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TV Recap: Dollhouse - Man On The Street

Did you hear all of the buzz saying that this week’s Dollhouse was going to be explosive? They were right! I would love to tell you right now what all the reveals are, but that would defeat the purpose of you reading this article, wouldn’t it? Suffice to say, Ballard and Echo finally meet and there are numerous big surprises and reveals. Dollhouse is finally getting good!

Through methods that didn’t really make any sense to me, Ballard has connected payments that the drug dealer with the kidnapped daughter from the pilot made to some charity to the Dollhouse. He then finds that a video game designer (played by Patton Oswalt) that he suspects of being a client of the Dollhouse has been making payments to that same charity every year.

What’s an obsessive FBI agent chasing what his colleagues consider urban myths to do – when he doesn’t have a hot, skeptical partner to lust after, that is – but stalk the programmer to see what’s going down? Through the miracle of modern television writing, Ballard has discovered this connection on the very day that Patton Oswalt is having his yearly “engagement” and arrives at the location at the precise moment that the Active has arrived.

But wait, there’s more! The Active? It’s Echo. Blows your frickin mind, right?

It certainly blows Ballard’s mind. He’s so shocked to find “Caroline”, and so busy trying to convince her of who she really is, that he forgets the client he was about to arrest and his bodyguards, who choose this moment to attack Ballard. By the time he beats them off, Langton has rushed Echo away and Patton Oswalt is the only person left.

Ballard tries to intimidate the client, but the man knows better. He would be arresting a very rich and powerful man on an outrageous charge with no real evidence. The client suggests they talk instead and then lays out the sad story of his wife supporting him for years while he struggled designing video games. The day he hit it big and got his first check, he bought a house to surprise her. On her way to meet him and be surprised, she was sideswiped by a garbage truck and killed. Heartbroken that his wife never knew that he made it, he hires a Doll every year to take the place of his wife and be surprised with the house.

He then tells Ballard that the only thing more sad than his story is Ballard’s obsession and love with “Caroline”, a girl that may not even exist. Ballard tries to deny it, but the programmer calls BS and points out how Ballard was looking at Echo and forgot everything else. One of the bodyguards must have called the cops, because Ballard suddenly hears sirens and runs away.

The client’s theories about Ballard’s obsession with Caroline must have touched a nerve, because he promptly goes home and sleeps with his neighbor (who has been chasing him since the pilot) Mellie and then tells her basically everything about his investigation, which I’m pretty sure is a big no-no, both in a professional sense and common sense.

Back at the Dollhouse, Sierra’s acting funny. She sits at a separate table from Victor and Echo, which seems odd to Victor. When he goes over to invite her to sit with them, she starts screaming and cowers away from Victor. When Dr. Fred examines her and finds out she’s had sex since her last engagement, everyone suspects Victor, especially after his “man reactions” last episode.

After some investigation, Langton has Victor and his handler removed from duty. Feeling confident that he’s gotten away with it, Sierra’s handler isolates her and begins to molest her again. Langton then pops around the corner and throws the other handler through a window, revealing that he knew what was going on all along, because he’s a BAMF.

Upstairs, Ms Dewitt reveals that she has Ballard’s home under surveillance and thus knows not only how close he is, but that he’s told his neighbor/new girlfriend everything he knows. She then hatches a plan to have Echo revisit Ballard to throw him off and have Sierra’s handler break in and kill Mellie “messily”, ostensibly as an opportunity to prove he can be of value to her.

While Topher is preparing the imprint for Echo, Langton pulls him aside to say that he’s being benched for 48 hours after throwing the other handler through a window and thus will not be going out on this engagement with Echo. This leaves the imprint unattended, which seems to be a rather opportune moment for someone to mess with the imprint for this engagement, doesn’t it?

Making things easy for Ms Dewitt, Ballard decides to leave the apartment to pick up some food, meaning each target is now alone. Echo shows up at the restaurant and attacks Ballard. They have a really awesome fight scene and we get to see that Tahmoh Pinkett really does know what he’s doing. I do not want to mess with this man.

Echo inevitably gets the upper hand though, and puts her gun to Ballard’s head. She doesn’t kill him though. Instead, she reveals that someone on the inside added a message to her imprint. She says that they’ll be in touch, through Echo’s body, again, but they need him to back off for now so that the Dollhouse won’t watch him so closely. A cop then shows up and Echo grabs Ballard’s hand to make it look like he’s holding it, shoots the cop, and runs, but not before warning him that Mellie is about to be attacked.

The cop is incapacitated, so Ballard starts running back to the apartment, trying to call and warn Mellie.

The handler is already there, though, so Mellie can’t make it to the phone. The attacker is tossing her all over the room, and it looks like she’s screwed. Then the answering machine picks up and, instead of Ballard’s voice, we hear Ms Dewitt’s. She speaks some kind of code that I’ve now forgotten, and Mellie goes all badass. She beats down the handler and then snaps her neck. Ms Dewitt speaks another code and Mellie goes back to “normal” and starts sobbing, which is when Ballard shows up.

The next day, Ballard is suspended indefinitely, which is apparently enough for Ms Dewitt since she seems very satisfied that he’s not dead.

So who’s the leak in the Dollhouse? I’m thinking it’s either Topher’s assistant who seems to only exist to get him food or… Ms Dewitt. Time will tell, though.