Continuing from the previous episode, Alpha has taken an imprinted Echo away from the Dollhouse and has something special up his sleeve in creating another ultimate "him", in a sense. Taking all her imprints from all her engagements and placing them all inside her head at once, to make her understand who and what she is and kill "Caroline", her original real life personality that Alpha imprinted a poor innocent girl with so the cycle would be complete. We also learn about Alpha's past, who he was before and how he and Echo initially met, and how he become the monster he is now. However, his plan for Echo doesn't pan out as he'd hoped and he's faced with a better half of himself.
Meanwhile, Paul Ballard teams up with the Dollhouse as a profiler to find Alpha and save Echo, and Dr. Claire Saunders discovers something about her past.
The end of the season (and hopefully not the series...) gives a full-circle conclusion as Echo comes fully aware of herself, Alpha's true intentions are uncovered and Paul Ballard rescues the girl. Along with more questions and mysteries, but overall a nice way of tying up answers to our original questions from the very beginning and a sort of resolution as a whole.
Alpha and Echo: "Alpha, meet Omega"
"I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last"
After a long-waited time the whole season, we finally get a chance to see some Alpha and Echo communication, with added snarkage and pwnage. Since the beginning we knew that Alpha had some sort of fascination with Echo, from testing her abilities of survival and how she does after remotely being wiped, so obviously he was setting everything up to finally get her out from the Dollhouse. The question back then was wondering why. Why was Echo so important, so special to Alpha, or in general? Was it because she had the ability to acknowledge and adapt to her surroundings moreso than other Actives? We as fans were trying to pick apart that puzzle about how Alpha was attracted to Echo and his purpose of contacting her and with Paul, speculating if he was planning a massive attack on the Dollhouse and needed help or what. Well, in this episode we finally got the answers, and they weren't what we expected. Just better.
First we have the background of Alpha, or Carl William Craft, who was originally a criminal convicted of kidnapping and attempted murder before coming into the Dollhouse. His original deal was to trade away five years out of his time in prison being in their care, but it didn't pan out since even though his personality had been wiped those instincts still existed which led to lethal consequences.
This backstory wasn't one I expected to be revealed, but nevertheless worked. This adds the complexity and the flaws in which the Dollhouse uses its technology in wiping away personalities, because you cannot erase who a person is at their core. Alpha wasn't right mentally before entering into the Dollhouse, and after being bombarded with the combination of all those eighty-three personalities he snapped. Now we had this notion that the Dollhouse created him this way, which technically they did with that kind of technology there had to have been some flaws in their creations. But at the core of everything, Alpha is just Alpha, ultimately dangerous no matter what. Wiping away your original personality doesn't change this fact, you cannot have a "clean slate" when your soul is still intact.
So when Alpha decided to create "Omega" through Echo, adding all her personalities and making her essentially a female version of himself, a so-called crazy all-knowing, all-powerful and understanding the ways of the universe that other people cannot fathom let alone understand themselves, he didn't realize that the outcome would be different from how he turned out. They are polar opposites, something inside of him snapped whereas with Echo she is able to adapt, to understand and assess situations without going haywire. She's more stable with that than he is, which could be due to how their brains work initially. Alpha will always avert to being slightly cuckoo psychotic, however with Echo we've seen numerous of times that she wants to save and help people. With every personality she's been imprinted with those personalities have always wanted to help innocents and understand the difference between right and wrong, and adding all those personalities together would lead to the ultimate heroine, not some killer or whomever Alpha wanted her to become. This was his mistake in assuming she would do his bidding, because he doesn't know her. Only understood that she was different, special, he didn't see who Echo was and who she's turning into as her own personality was evolving.
Their final confrontation was fascinating, and it makes me crave for more Alpha/Echo confrontations in the future. The overall effect of supercharged!Echo and Alpha was amazing to watch, and if the series continues I want more of them.
Ascended Superior Beings: The Philosophy of Alpha
Or rather, Alpha's philosophy based upon Nietzsche's philosophy as he repeatedly refers to the creation of new life, something more than human, as in reference to the idea of Übermensch. Alpha understood parts of this and wanted to create a new generation, so to speak, of a powerful ascended human lifeform by adding all the personalities of many individuals into a singular mind, a singular body. Thus, creating something more powerful than any God or Gods of the universe. Himself being a prime example of such radical notions, the Dollhouse being the primary target in which this is a goal to be achieved, the fact that his genius comes from this notion is very interesting, and also dangerous and terribly frightening.
Alpha believes that he is an embodiment of all human potential wrapped into a singular body, and with the technology that the Dollhouse uses it's quite possible that, given to the wrong hands, this could ultimately become what destroys us as a human race. He also wanted to do this to Echo, seeing how special she was and often testing her limits until finally coming into contact with her again, for her to ascend, to evolve into something higher than human just like how he deems himself to be.
This of course is the genius of Joss Whedon and what he adds to his shows, scary notion as it is. But since this is Dollhouse the darker the subject matter the more interesting it is.
The Dollhouse and Its Intentions
We've been given the run-around towards the Dollhouse and what it truly stands for the entire season, and I mean this in a good can-we-have-another-season-to-explore-th
So, what is the Dollhouse's true intentions and purpose? People were contacting Paul Ballard to try and find ways to understand and investigate the truth behind the Dollhouse and its purpose. Initially I'd thought it was Alpha, however it turns out to be people within other governments, like the NSA for example. If they expose the Dollhouse would that be a good thing or a bad thing? In the end of this episode Paul is to eventually join them, not because he wants to, but because he needs to. Perhaps not only by releasing Mellie/November from her contract but by staying there means looking after Echo along with trying to understand the Dollhouse from the inside. Already we know that the Dollhouse recruits new Actives by looking at their background, giving them a chance to use this time of cleaning themselves from their past through a clean slate, however in the case of Alpha this wasn't the best decisions to be making recruiting prisoners into their program. That alone should've sent off warning signals, and we know that they recruit individuals that have literally nothing else in their life to turn towards, people who have come to a dead end and need a place to cleanse themselves before returning out into the real world.
But the question still remains, how? How is that even possible and what is their purpose aside from business exchanges and transactions via clientele? This is something I hope will be revealed, if not with a second season then in some special feature or possibly in the thirteenth episode they aren't airing.
Memorable Moments in the Episode:
++ Alan Tudyk and Eliza Dushku folks, they play off each other so incredibly well. ♥ I loved every single scene with them, from beginning to the end. Plus seeing Alpha go all schizo on us was hilarious if scary, because damn if Alan does creepy very, very well. This has me craving more Alpha/Echo scenes because hot dayum, that is all.
++ DR. CLAIRE SAUNDERS IS A DOLL. Apparently the "Whiskey" remark that Dominic made was definitely foreshadowing for this moment of reveal. That entire flashback scene in the beginning with Alpha and Whiskey with the torturing and the sexiness and the torture-sexy-threesome thing was omgsohawt yet omgsocreepy at the same time. Again, Alan is SO CREEPY THAT I LOVE IT SO MUCH! But Saunders, in the end, putting those pieces together and discovering her nature as a doll....that was heartbreaking.
++ Also, finding out that it was WHISKEY that was the best doll within the Dollhouse, not Alpha, was another nice reveal. I'd suspected that with them talking about Alpha's reputation and referring him as a genius that he was considered the best. But that's just not the case.
++ Crissy Weaver from Growing Pains being imprinted with the Caroline personality? Cool.
++ PAUL AND BOYD WORKING TOGETHER! WHEEEE!
++ O hai thar
++ I kinda love Topher. It's all so very sad though, because apparently he imprinted Whiskey/Saunders to hate him? That means that he hates what he does and with that case, he hated having to do that so he needed something to punish himself. What better way to do that other than imprint someone with the automatic dislike for you? Oh Topher. :((((
++ Poor Victor. :((( So he's no longer going to be "his best" meaning he's no longer going to be an active doll anymore? Where will he go? What will he be imprinted with, if they plan on imprinting him like they did with Whiskey/Saunders? I just wanna give him a huge hug and tell him everything'll be okay. Oh, Victor.
++ "We're not multiple personalities, we're many personalities. One of my personalities just happens to be a multiple personality, but that doesn't make me a multiple personality....." LOLOLOL OH JOSS ILU SO MUCH FOR THIS LINE. XDDD There was so many great lines in this episode, I'll definitely say it, it totes felt like a Joss show. Not that it wasn't before but the many Jossisms used here totes felt like it was Joss Whedon, through-and-through. Me likey.
++ The flashbacks were amazing. I aww'd when we saw Alpha becoming a bit attracted and having a crush on Echo. Him kissing her (and her finishing her sentence afterwards! lol) and then saying that she was the best, my heart swelled a bit. He can do crazy and psychotic and then he can be sweet and adorable? Oh Alan, I love you so much. But of course he went all cuckoo crazy and went all slash-happy with scissors, all due to his progression and evolution from his original personality that probably still remains within his core.
++ It also explains why Adelle didn't want Victor to be having feelings for Sierra though, because of Alpha's attachment to Echo which created his outburst. But again, Alpha's default has always been not quite right, it was just seeping through and evolving as time went by. There is nothing indicating that Victor had anything psychotic in his background, so they should be alright. But I still want Victor/Sierra to happen, of course. Hopefully Sierra will still like Victor even with him scarred.
++ Is it strange that I kinda feel sorry for Alpha? I mean, I know that he's CRAZIER THAN CRAZY with PSYCHO in the middle, but just watching those flashbacks, idk. I feel bad for him. Idk what that says about me though.....
++ How twistedly awesome was it having Echo and Caroline communicate with one another? I mean, how mindfrakked would that be talking to yourself, and not in the normal kind of way? Your personality, your entire soul or mind or whatever you want to call it, talking to your own body that is carrying other personalities other than yourself? That's some twisted mindfrakking right thar Joss my man, and I kinda love you for it too.
++ Supercharged!Echo is my favorite, fo'reals. I love her. I love how Eliza played her, and I loved how she pwned Alpha. I'm sensing some USTing though, I can't help it.
++ Her mentioning "Caroline" in the end when inside the sleeping pods was awesome. I liked it, because it gives us some suspense that she knows, and I'm pretty sure the Dollhouse knows that she knows, especially Adelle since she knows that Echo is still evolving and her experience with Alpha could've made that more clear.
++ Paul saved Caroline and he saved November, whose name is actually Madeline. Good-natured, that is Paul Ballard.
Overall: EPIC EPISODE IS EPIC. I think this episode, even though packed, really gives us the true definition of what Dollhouse is, what it stands for and all it means. It makes me very depressed that ratings have dwindled away, and makes me wish that the show had started off this strong as far as what it presented instead towards the end. I'm also finding it odd that while here on LJ people are raving about the "finale" whereas on TWOP they found it underwhelming since throughout the duration of this season's run it's been the other way around. Weird. Nevertheless, I loved this episode and if the thirteenth episode is anything like this I say we have a strong show on our hands. A strong show that FOX will overlook once again because to them, ratings is more important than the content or the fanbase.
With this season supposedly done there are still questions that remain unanswered and even more questions that have arisen from these recent episodes. I'm also trying to remain optimistic for a renewal of the show, at least for another season so Joss can tell his story and give us this fulfillment of expanding this universe which has been so cleverly crafted, just poorly advertiseed and executed on the network's part.
So here are my Wishes and Expectations for next season, if and when we get it:
01. Another Alpha and Echo confrontation. They left the ending open for him to return if the series does indeed get picked up, even though we understand his motivations and what he truly wants now, there's still more to explore for his character. Like, now that he knows that Echo cannot be shifted to his ways of thinking he'll be wanting to take a different approach to this problem. Also, judging from how genius he is and how strong and intelligent Echo is, I'm sure she'll be the only one to stop him.There are so many things I wanna know, for this show to explore and the depths and lengths they can take things. I just wish FOX has the balls to give things another chance even if ratings aren't their best, y'know? New timeslots, new days, better advertisement and promotion, etc.
02. Boyd and Paul working together within the Dollhouse. It's clear that Paul will be working for them, but I'm pretty sure he, like Boyd, will have different reasonings for doing so. Whether he'll be investigating more into the Alpha case or looking after the other dolls in some way, making sure that all of them are taken care of and in hopes to release them all when the time comes. But I like the Boyd/Paul partnership status much better, they can solve crimes together and it would be awesome.
03. In addition to that, Paul could also be investigating what the Dollhouse's true purpose is from the inside.
04. Who else is an unexpected!doll from inside the Dollhouse? Saunders was a foreshadowed suspicion, but it really makes you wonder who else could be underneath the technology of imprints. In the mind of Joss Whedon, who knows? It could be everyone.
05. Victor/Sierra to be happy together. Just saying, because it has to happen.
06. We got Caroline and Echo to meet each other in this episode, for my ultimate wish I would like Caroline to be placed back but with Echo still inside with her....does that make sense? Like Echo's evolution can still happen even with Caroline being back, if you know what I mean. Because I think even though supercharged!Echo was kickass and awesome, having both Caroline and Echo working as one would be cool.
07. Perhaps we could visit other Dollhouses from around the world -- like have an Active investigate another Dollhouse that was attacked or infiltrated by some organization wanting to expose them or, perhaps, being attacked by Alpha. Also, perhaps we can investigate how the Dollhouse came to be with Rossum -- how Rossum did it, what were they first experiments, what their intentions are which leads to what the intentions of the Dollhouse is, what other big organizations want their technology, etc. More about that would be cool and add more understanding about the complexity and mystery of the Dollhouse itself.
08. Flashbacks to other Actives and their past lives, like Victor's or Sierra's, and maybe more understanding about who Caroline was before her incident with Rossum and perhaps what she was doing running for those two years. Or seeing more Actives other than the ones we already know.
There's also some talk about how the thirteenth unaired episode, "Epitaph One", could be used as a spin-off? A great notion however how would that be if Dollhouse hadn't done great in winning over high ratings? I would prefer having this have a second season, but heh, I can take what I can get as long as Joss and Eliza stick together with this project because dammit, we need this story to continue being told.