Saturday, October 3, 2009

Super-Powered TV: Dollhouse 2.2: Instinct

Topher opens the show with a chat about the human brain to Ballard. Must say I am a big fan though of “The brain is kind of like Van Halen, if you just pull out one piece and keep replacing it, it just degenerates.”. As we see Echo, the ability that Topher talks about becomes clear, as she breast feeds a child she thinks is her own.

Echo begins to think her husband is up to no good, when in reality he is a greaving husband trying to cope with the loss of his wife & child by using her.

The senator continues to investigate Rossum, but his evidence isn’t solid. But his lady-friend (wife?) does return from an rang doorbell with a stack of files for him.

Adele pays a visit to the former November, and she seems a little standoffish. Adele insists that Melanie come in for a check-up and she realizes Adele will not take no for an answer.

Echo is acting overly paranoid at her current assignment. She calls her friend Kelly (actually Sierra) worried that her husband wants her dead. But when Kelly arrives so does the black van she saw outside. They take Kelly for her treatment and she just grows more paranoid.

She escapes the house and uses “Kelly”s car to make her escape. The father freaks out because Echo disappeared with his son. She finds a pair of police officers on the street and reports the situation as a potential crime. At the precinct, they take the baby away and Ballard (acting as an FBI agent) drags her away.

Back at the Dollhouse, Madeline gets a clean bill of health. After the check-up, Ballard returns with Echo who knocks Madeline to the side.

After Madeline and Ballard have a chat, Echo finally goes in for treatment. But the treatment doesn’t quite take. She decks Topher.

Senator Perrin learns the true status of the Dollhouse. And they apparently have a name to trace.

Echo tries to escape, but her mind does not retain any knowledge. The glandular situation mentioned at the beginning of the show has seriously affected Echo’s mental state. She wants the baby back, without any knowledge of who the baby is.

Echo breaks in to the house and retrieves the baby and a knife. Dad explains the situation to a confused Echo who has enough sense left to understand. She quietly leaves the house and returns to the park.

She and Ballard discuss the situation. We really begin to get in to the situation that gives Echo agony. Ballard offers her an out, but she reiterates that she “doesn’t want to go back to sleep” just as our episode ends.

We get a decidedly different episode of Dollhouse this week. While not as solidly built as last week’s show, we do get a few good character bits with Madeline and Echo. We learn more about Alexis Denisof’s crusading senator character, but we still see very little to differentiate his quest from Ballard’s last season. But the ability to not have to rely on easy answers and the season’s worth of narrative drive the show has to build upon, clearly seems to have set this season up to be much more capable of building an ongoing storyline.

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