Is it just me or have the past few episodes of Dollhouse brought the more ethical, non-kinky imprints to light? Admit it. When you first heard of the premise of the show your mind went right to Dirty Naughty Land. It’s OK. I think that everyone did it. Lately though we’ve been seeing the humane type of engagement where the Actives just help people that have had some sort of suffering in their life (ie: Patton Oswalt’s character in Man on the Street) or people that just need a friend (ie: Topher in this week’s episode). Then there are just paranoid rich people who have high powered friends. That’s where Echo goes off to this week.

I have to admit that I wasn’t too impressed with the idea of this back from the dead, non-zombie detective story at first. It just felt a little hokey. Instead of something really cool and interesting we got this Nancy Drew-esque amateur detective story with an old lady in a young girl’s body (whom everyone just totally believes is some long lost friend of the deceased). Then the show went through the reasons why this was a bad idea, which were pretty obvious in hindsight. Sure, funerals are a time to remember the great things about the dead, but people also mourn by venting about all the shit that the guest of honor did to piss them off. There’s a reason we can’t see our own funerals (yeah, we’re dead, but you don’t want to see all that stuff). Here you finally find out what people really think of you. Adelle’s friend Margaret found this out first hand. In addition to that, Echo managed to bring the family a bit of closure…sort of. The whole thing still felt a bit lackluster.

The real heartstrings were tugged with Topher. At first it was all fun and games as he imprinted Sierra to be his best buddy. They tossed the ball around, talked and played laser tag. Then you realize that the guy is just lonely. We found out during last week’s episode that Dr. Saunders hasn’t left the Dollhouse since the Alpha attacks. When was the last time that Topher left? He seems to live there too, but is his residency by choice or does he just have no place else to go? Or maybe he’s a doll too that’s been imprinted with the personality and brainpower of the guy who invented all this technology?

There’s a tie this week for the most cold-hearted stone cold mofo. Ballard came out strong with his hate sex with Mellie. It was like he was taking out all his frustrations that he had with the Dollhouse and everything else that he’s been through in recent weeks in some hot steamy anger love. But then we had Langton who was against the whole “life after death” thing that Adelle authorized for her friend. He’s still on the fence about some of the things that the Dollhouse does, but he’s definitely a big picture guy. If the Dollhouse offers this as a regular service, what’s to stop someone from buying an Active as a second life? This would completely erase the personality of the Active as they live their lives with the personality of another forever. Cold.

All in all, this episode could have been pretty cool but it ended up being rather sad. We still have a few questions though. Echo didn’t go off-mission or have any weird flashbacks. Is she cured? Or is the glitch glitching? If Mellie’s prints bring up a bunch of different people, but no one really, how deep does the Dollhouse reach? How awesome was Topher’s Boba Fett hoodie?

What did you think?

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