Four episodes in and where do we stand with Dollhouse? Is it time for FOX to pack up their toys and go home? Not just yet (I hope). This week’s episode, “Gray Hour” wasn’t as impressive as previous episodes, but it did add to the overall story of the show. While each episode has been largely stand-alone in nature, there has been an overlaying story arc (Alpha) that has been set up as we go along. The show isn’t perfect though and things need a little bit of work.

This week, Echo was a bank robber. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of heist movies. That’s one thing that I can actually agree with Dane Cook about: guys love heists. They’re so f-ing awesome. Anyway, this one looks like it’s going well…until Echo is remotely mind-wiped faster than you can say Zatana backwards. Now Echo is back in her child-like state and locked in a huge safe with two dudes, one of which is stabbed and the other is angry and has a gun. Everyone freak out!

The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that Alpha somehow did the mind-wiping and that’s what Topher figures out. Topher by the way, is the token Joss Whedon character. The guy has all the best lines in each episode and he’s funny and witty and whatnot. He seems to be the only link to previous Whedon work in terms of story and characters. Anyway, Alpha plays NO other part in this episode aside from that one part that he’s probably, maybe, sort of responsible for. I guess that’s cool.

Aside from the heist, the background stories were all pretty weak. Ballard is still lost and he tries to be a total badass to the Russian guy who we know is an Active, but he doesn’t know is an Active. Langton proves to be somewhat useless too as he just sort of helps out with the heist and doesn’t do much else. Echo and the stabbed guy get out past 10 or so guards because there was a smoke bomb. Really? A smoke bomb? I forgot that those block BULLETS. They don’t show you how Echo, with a childlike mind drags a guy that’s bleeding to death past all these guards and through a tunnel to Langton, but that’s OK. She’s not “broken.” Get it? It’s layers upon layers!

This episode didn’t sit well with me. The whole thing just wasn’t as cool as I was hoping for. There were a couple of cool moments though. Among them, the phone call between DeWitt and a higher power. It seems that she’s not the boss of the Dollhouse and she’s quite afraid of whoever is the real boss. Wouldn’t it be cool if Alpha ended up being the real boss? Or at least impersonating him since then? What about Ballard? Could his personality be split to be Alpha too? I think they should stick to this Alpha storyline a bit more because it’s a lot more interesting than some of the other stuff that’s been kicked around.

But what did you think?

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