Monday, September 7, 2009

Want to Catch the Dollhouse Wave but Can't or Won't Watch Season One?

The new season starts on September 25, which for some is coming very quickly. I'm going to help you by summarizing the first season. After reading this, you'll be able to watch season two and follow along reasonably well.


The Dollhouse is a business that sells a service. If you need a human being, for pretty much any reason, they will create a profile of a complete human being, skills, memories and all, and imprint that on to a person whose memories have been wiped (and stored - dolls are reconstituted at the end of their five-year term). Echo, Sierra and Victor are the three main dolls the series follows. The dollhouse is a luxurious place where the dolls live when they are wiped. It's calm and soothing.

Echo, the beautiful brunette doll, gets wiped at the end of every engagement, but we the viewers know that she retains knowledge from each personality after being wiped. There was also an episode where we learned part of Echo's real-life backstory - that's why some people know her as Caroline.

It takes a lot of people to support this business. There's Miss Dewitt, the glamorous, very British CEO; the annoying tech guy who has no inner-censor so he says everything on his mind; the tech assistant; and a timid doctor with scars on her face. There are also a bunch of people running around in the background, but you can think of them as people on Star Trek wearing red uniforms (The expendable ones who get killed first when Kirk beams to a new planet).

Erasing people's minds can't be legal, so there is an FBI agent tracking them down. Special Agent Paul Ballard is being fed disinformation by the dollhouse, but is also getting accurate info from someone in the dollhouse and a rogue doll known as Alpha. Ballard is actually getting played by all three but he nonetheless finds the dollhouse in episode 11. After pursuing the people who run the dollhouse as criminals, the tables turn and he is put into a position to protect the dolls in the end.

Dominick, the head of security for the dollhouse, turns out to be a spy for the NSA. Up until he was exposed, he played the part very well. It's never stated, but he is probably the person who fed info to Ballard. I have a problem with that twist - the NSA knew about the dollhouse but the FBI didn't? Never mind.

Boyd started out as Echo's handler. He is everyman, the skeptical observer, but deeply loyal to Echo. He gets promoted to chief of security near the end of the season but he never loses his bond with Echo. I consider him to be the inscrutable rock of the show.

From episode one, a rogue doll named Alpha is mentioned. Before the series started, he went on a rampage and killed a bunch of people in the dollhouse, maimed the doctor and escaped. Ever since, he's been angling back for some reason, including feeding information to the FBI guy. In the final episode, we find out why. He's a psycho with good taste - he's got the hots for Echo. Alpha is psycho because he was accidentally programmed with over 40 imprints - Eve, with her three personalities or Sybil with her 16, have nothing on Alpha. He kidnaps Echo and programs her with 38 imprints so he'll have an equally psycho girlfriend. Echo, though, is stronger and fights back. The glitch that allows her to remember things after being wiped probably has something to do with it. Ballard ends up saving the day and, with his FBI career over, begins a voyage from within the belly of the beast.

Tune in on September 25 and every Friday thereafter.

No comments:

Post a Comment