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Okay, so I know I have been using the word parallels a lot, mainly because my synonyms seem to be lacking at the moment, but this episode was all about the comparisons from one crazy to the next. First you have this ATF man who seems just as corrupt as the guy he is trying to get to. But more prominently, the cult’s belief in returning to the Garden of Eden is a huge analogy for what the Dollhouse is hoping to do with the dolls themselves, at least in their innocent state. “We must keep it pure,” and all that jazz. I understand what Joss is trying to do; I just wish the writers would realize not every storyline has to be a metaphor for the Dollhouse. But, while I am drawing connections between these two things, does this mean that the Dollhouse is going to go down in flames in the end?
With the subject matter of purity and religion, it is a great relief that this episode did not take itself to seriously. I am, of course, referring to the “man reactions.” By now it has been made obvious that something is going on with the dolls, whether it is learning or instinctual, it is evolution nonetheless. And now Victor is being turned on by the opposite sex! Yay! This was funny enough on its own, but listening to Topher try to explain this to Dr. Saunders was pretty amusing.
Which brings me to something else. Though some of the characters still seem to be developing on the acting/writing end, it is great to see how many of them are interacting together. I have already mentioned that I love the scenes between Echo and her handler, Boyd, but now I am really hoping to see more between both Topher and Dr. Saunders, as well as Ballard and Loomis (AKA computer/photo recognition lady). She may not play too big of a part in the series, but the scenes where Ballard tries to charm her into doing something for him, and then later when she figures out Ballard’s lead is actually just the mailroom guy, are great. Also, Ballard got to be more than just a stiff FBI agent, which I really appreciated.
Speaking of characters. At first I wasn’t all for Echo’s “I have found my knew Jesus” gig, but once she realizes that Jonas Sparrow is not the man she hoped he is, but is rather crazy, she let her inner BA out, and all was good. She’s all like, “I have seen the light, and in the light I have found cuss words and the ability to knock people out with a single punch! BAM!” But I do have to ask, if she has not sight read since she was nine, would she really have been able to read that well now? And more importantly, did I know the word Nebakanezer when I was 9?
Finally, three things I am hoping for at this point. Okay, technically I do know what is going to happen in the rest of the season (minus the last episode), so just play along. I want to start learning about who Caroline/Echo actually is. At least show us a different picture or video of her. Secondly, can we stop ending the episodes with these little “reveals” that Echo is remembering things? We get it already. Sure, “I see perfectly” is clever because she was blind, but lets get some grander scale revelations going on already. Or if that is asking too much, just insert these smaller moments, very subtly, throughout the episode instead of always ending on that note, with the fade out music upping the moment. And last but not least (okay, maybe least), but can we deal with Dominic, the head of security at the Dollhouse, and his issues with Echo already? Cuz he is just obnoxious.
Final Grade: B
Quote of the Episode: Echo (as Esther) – “Seth. The blind girl is looking you in the eye. Do you know what that means? It means God brought me here. He has a message for you. And that message is, ‘Move your ass!’”