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TV Recap: Dollhouse-Gray Hour

Ok, so last week's suicidal Britney episode was a bit of a fall-off, but Dollhouse has stepped it up once again this week! There aren't necessarily alot of reveals this week, but there are definitely some set-ups for some very interesting future revelations and plot-lines. There is also plenty of drama and action this week - as cliche as it sounds, I actually spent some time on the edge of my seat tonight!

I must have looked away from the television at the wrong moment last week, since the "Previously On..." lead-in showed a scene with Lubov waking up in the "treatment chair". I suspected that he was an Active, not the least because the first name he gave to Ballard - Victor - is a letter in the phonetic alphabet that they use to name the Actives, but it's now been confirmed. Just thought you should know.

Anyway, Topher (Science Boy) and Langton observe Echo, Sierra, and Victor - in their mindwiped state - continuously grouping together at lunch and activities and even routinely sitting at the same table for lunch. Topher describes it as grouping at an instinctual level. Whether this is the beginning of an explanation for what's happening to Echo (and Alpha before her) or a way to explain away the fact that we continuously see the same relatively small group of Actives interacting when there's an entire houseful of Actives remains to be seen.

While meeting with a potential client, Ms Dewitt receives a call from someone she simply refers to as "sir" and discusses Agent Ballard in a very concilatory manner. The caller seems very concerned that Ballard is getting too close and Adelle assures him that she has a plan to give Ballard closure and throw him off the trail. Up until this point, I assumed Adelle Dewitt was in charge, but it's starting to look like this while Dollhouse operation is bigger than her. I've heard talk that the recent "Dollplay" interactive game indicated this same conclusion - that there is more than one Dollhouse and this is actually a very large organization.

When Ballard arrives home from the hospital, Victor-as-Lubov is waiting inside his apartment to beg for asylum. He claims that the Russian mob used him to funnel the information that led to Ballard's ambush and, since Ballard took the bait, they now know that Lubov is talking to the feds and will kill him the first chance they get. Ballard tells him to wait at the apartment while he sees what he can do and leaves.

When Ballard comes back, he tells Victor that he just needed time to put out an APB on Lubov in order to ensure that Victor couldn't leave town. Since he doesn't trust anything Victor says or does,Ballard figures that he can learn more from Lubov's dead body and how he is killed. Victor slinks off. I'm not sure if this gives Ballard closure, since I get the impression that Actives are considered very valuable assetts and wouldn't be killed unless absolutely necessary. On the other hand, I'm not sure how Victor will be with every cop in the city looking for someone with his face.

Our first glimpse of Echo in-engagement is giving some guy a lapdance in a hotel bar. Dialogue between the man's two friends indicates that Echo is a bachelor party gift. The group is getting a bit rambunctious, so the manager bribes them with champagne to take the party to their room. Later, Echo runs from the men down the hall and into the manager. She begs him to protect her from the men, who she claims hurt her. The manager takes her to his office and offers her a bribe (he's big on those) to sign a paper absolving the hotel and it's guests of any responsibility for her trouble. Echo plays indignant for a moment before kneeing the manager in the face, knocking him out.

At this point, we find out that it was all a ruse to get into the managers office since an art museum's vault is on the other side of the wall. She lets the men into the office, where they prepare to blow a hole in the wall. The exposition fairy then possesses the group to explain that the art museum will be shutting down their security system for one hour while it is upgraded and the guards will only be patrolling the perimeter, since they're not allowed onto the vault floor "for security purposes. This group, much like the A-Team, has been put together for their specific talents. There is an art expert to recognize the piece they are looking for, an explosives expert to blow the wall, a technology expert to track the guards via their gps badges, and Echo whose current personality is a safecracker named Taffy.

Everything goes smoothly until the art expert finds the piece they're looking for and decides to double-cross the others and sell the piece to someone other than their client. He stabs the tech guy, makes a run for it and locks everyone into the vault on his way out. Echo/Taffy doesn't freak out, though - she calls Langton to catch the art expert and finish the job while she cracks the safe again to make their escape. Langton agrees, but then a weird tone comes over the phone, remotely mind-wiping Echo. This isn't supposed to be possible, but we'll get into that later.

A mind-wiped Echo isn't much use to anyone, so everyone is kinda freaking out. The tech dude is resigning himself to die or go to jail, the explosives guy is readying himself for a gunfight and hopefully shooting his way out, everyone at the Dollhouse is trying to figure out whether they can rescue Echo or need to make plans to have her killed so she can't be traced back to them.

Finally, Sierra is imprinted with the Taffy identity in the hopes that she can talk Echo through cracking the safe and escaping. They almost make it, but Echo's hand slips while she's drilling and she breaks the glass inside, locking down the entire safe.

When the "Gray Hour" of no security system ends, it looks like a firefight is inevitable. The explosives guy goes down shooting, but the tech guy tosses a smoke grenade that gives him and Echo enough cover to sneak out.

Langton catches the art expert and makes him lead him back the way he came in the hopes of saving Echo, but Echo's got it covered. Everyone arrives in the managers office at the same time and they make their escape. How they get through the hotel without anyone seeing their faces and thus being able to identify them, I have no idea, but there you go.

As previously mentioned, a remote mindwipe should not be possible and Topher is going crazy trying to figure who pulled it off and how. After thinking up every possible suspect - and then dismissing them for one reason or another, Topher comes to Adelle Dewitt and tells her that the only person who would be able to pull this off would be Alpha, who she's been telling everyone is dead. Adelle slides over a release for Topher to sign, granting him a higher security clearance, and agrees to tell him everything she knows about Alpha, including that he's still alive, and then he'll tell her how Alpha did this and how they can keep it from happening again.