Dollhouse returned with a shocking revelation, metaphorically and literally. The stage is set for the inevitable “Epitaph One” to go down and members of the L.A. Dollhouse have to question who can they trust when the people they work for have turned on them.
The Set Up
Senator Daniel Perrin (guest star Alexis Denisof) prepares for a press conference that would destroy the Rossum Corporation and the Dollhouses. His wife Cindy (guest star Stacey Crowley) wishes him luck. Perrin enters the stage and gives his speech about how Dollhouse is not a myth and that he wants to put a face on the issue that is the Dollhouse. That face?
Madeline/”November” (guest star Miracle Laurie)
She makes her testimony about how Perrin showed her evidence and how she was disgusted with what she saw. She then declares that there are others like her who need to be saved.
Back at the LA Dollhouse, Matthew Harding (guest star Keith Carradine) grills Adele for letting Madeline go so early, but remembers the deal made with Paul Ballard, who is also in the room. Harding tells Adele that she is growing soft on Madeline and that her judgment is being called into question. Harding then tells the two that Madeline will be taken care of, which angers Ballard wants to know how.
Later, Ballard asks how bad is Madeline in trouble and Adele pretty much says severely. But she is remarks that Madeline is being used and she is being used against Adele, but the million dollar question is who is pulling the strings?
Boyd gives the group a history on Sen. Perrin, who belongs to a political dynasty. Echo walks in and comments that “November” (Madeline) looks sad and that they should help her. Then when Ballard tries to escort her out the room, Echo remarks that Cindy Perrin “isn’t right”. This prompts the group to listen closely to Sen. Perrin’s words about how Cindy is “perfect” and that “they made her” just for him.
Hmm… Look who’s hand been caught in the cookie jar…
The First Phase
After Ballard presents Adele with all the forged documents on Cindy Perrin, Adele concludes that not only is Cindy Perrin a Doll, she’s a” sleeper”, like Madeline was. Adele says that she might had been planted to take out Madeline and that Ballard needs to stop it. Boyd lets Ballard know that Cindy and Madeline are being holed up in a safehouse, while Perrin is downtown at a hotel room working on post press conference issues. Adele then shows Ballard the video of Madeline (as Mellie) taking out the Handler who was raping Dolls last year. Adele tells Ballard that she is just prepping him for what he will have to face is Cindy is activated.
Meanwhile at the safehouse, Madeline tells Cindy about how Ballard looked nice and kind the last time she was there. She then laments on killing someone. As Cindy calms her nerves, the phone rings and it’s Perrin just checking in on them.
Topher comes up with a device that he calls a “Disrupter” that Ballard can use against Cindy. Bad thins is that if Madeline is in the vicinity, which is 50 feet, she will be affected as well, because she still has Doll Architecture in her brain. Like Ballard sums up, nobody ever leaves that place… Boyd pulls Echo for a treatment and she asks if she can help “November”, which Boyd says she will be.
Perrin talks on the phone with someone, but then he passes out. When he comes to, he finds himself in bed naked with Echo, who is recording everything.
The Second Phase
Echo’s imprint is Bree, a high class call girl, who is programmed to think that she had sex with Perrin and give him a message. The message? “Back Off.” Perrin deduces that Rossum sent Echo and he takes him with her to the safe house. On the way there, he tries to tell “Bree” about how she is nothing but a sex slave and that she is not real. He finds out they the Dollhouses program the Dolls extensively. He tells “Bree” that Cindy can help her.
At the safehouse, Ballard gets clearance to get into the house without being detected. When he reaches Madeline, she freaks even when he says he’s there to help her. She breaks free and calls for help. Cindy shows up and Ballard pulls out the Disrupter and uses it. Outside the house, Perrin pulls up with “Bree” and she collapses from the Disrupter’s frequency, as does Madeline inside. But Cindy doesn’t drop. Two guards tackle Ballard and Cindy takes the Disrupter and gives it a look over stating that it’s new. Outside, while “Bree”/Echo recovers she notices that Perrin’s nose is bleeding and that he, too, collapsed!
PERRIN IS THE DOLL!!!!
Back at the Dollhouse, Topher, Adele, and Boyd find this tidbit out and tries to warn Ballard. Adele surmises that Cindy is Perrin’s Handler and that Harding made a senator, but that it doesn’t make sense for them to sic him after the Dollhouse. They watch as Echo puts Perrin into the car and drives off with him.
Perrin tells “Bree” that he has to go back to the house for his wife, but “Bree” says no and that something is wrong with the both of them. Then “Bree”/Echo is hit with all the images of the Imprints that she used to be. She comes to conclusion that Perrin was telling the truth and that she is not real.
Cindy sends Madeline to the airport with some of Perrin’s men, while she grills Ballard for the LA Dollhouse’s insolence. Ballard in turn tries to get answers out of her, but she has a plane to catch. She tells one of her goons to finish off Ballard and commands for the other goon to put the Disrupter in a bag that will get past airport security.
Perrin tries to calm down “Bree”, but he realizes that he too is a Doll. He doesn’t want to believe it. Back at the Dollhouse, Topher finds out that “Daniel Perrin” is actually Daniel Perrin. Let me clarify that “Huh!?!”
Daniel Perrin came from a political background, but was a Van Wilder type character at Yale, who was the black sheep of the family. “Daniel Perrin” is what someone wanted Perrin to be and they Imprinted his ambition to succeed rather than his whole personality. Makes sense? Good!
Boyd fills Adele and Topher in on the fact that Echo and Perrin stopped on the GPS system as well as the Retrieval Team Boyd sent to get them. They get a call from “Bree”/Echo who wants to know what’s going on. Adele tells Echo she can help them, which Echo responds thought meant a treatment. Perrin gets on the phone and refuses a treatment. Adele tells Perrin the truth about everything, including that it was her who sent Echo to blackmail him. She wants to help him, but Cindy makes her way to Perrin and Echo’s location. When Cindy tries to play wife, Daniel remembers being Imprinted. Cindy then pulls a gun on Echo and Cindy. She knocks out Echo, which triggers Super Echo who proceeds to beat the hell out of Cindy. After having to knock out Perrin for interfering, Echo manages to take down Cindy and she and Perrin runaway.
At the airport, Ballard catches up with Madeline, who demands to know what is it with her that Ballard is obsessed with. He tells her about “Mellie” and how he made a deal for the Dollhouse to let her go. He accidently calls her Mellie when asks her to not testify against the Dollhouse, because they are using her. But Madeline asks Ballard that since he freed her does she get to make mistakes? Then she asks him if she is really “free”. Ballard gets it. I get it. I don’t know if the audience really got it. But Ballard lets Madeline go.
As Echo and Perrin drive along the street, they are bombarded with waves from the Disrupter. Cindy has caught up with them and she proceeds to take them in.
Now Things Get REALLY WEIRD!!!!
Topher and Adele realizes that Echo and Perrin are gone. They try to call Ballard, who ignores their call. Boyd then asks Adel why would Rossum set them up. Adele explains that with Perrin under Rossum’s thumb, they are powerful and can get Perrin to pass any law they want. Adele finishes with that they have to stop them so they won’t become a scapegoat.
At the D.C. Dollhouse, we meet Bennett Halverson (special guest star Summer Glau). Bennett is the D.C. Dollhouse’s version of Topher, but far, far, more eccentric in nature. She tells Grace, who is a maid or something, to mind her business and for Grace to clear way for the arrival of Perrin and Echo. Bennett also has a knack for a few spasms and is slightly handicapped with her left arm out of commission. I slick think she’s a robot of sorts, but that would be too much like Terminator now would it?
In short, she is creepy.
It seems that the D.C. Dollhouse Dolls have Greek code names such as Hades and Aphrodite, but when Cindy arrives she gives Bennett the Disrupter that Topher created. Bennett reveals that she knows Topher and she “always wanted to meet his tech”. She checks on Perrin who freaks and doesn’t want to be wiped, but that’s not the crazy thing.
Bennett approaches Echo and says, “”Caroline, you always promised you’d come back to me.” Then she zaps Echo with the D.C. version of the Wipe Chair and that’s it for the first hour of the December 4th two parter.
Read the recap for “The Left Hand” here.