Again, Couch Baron will be back for your full recap -- he's off trying to find the location of the Dollhouse with Ballard or something. The episode starts with lots of crazy flashes in Topher's lab, and then blood hitting the window. Echo and Sierra speculate on who did bad things and is getting in trouble. We head back in time, to see how we got here from each active's perspective.
Echo is a dominatrix and offers Boyd a session in her dungeon, then calls him "vanilla." On the way back into the Dollhouse for her treatment, they run into Victor and his handler. He's off on another Lonely Hearts engagement (despite prior warnings not to do the same imprint too many times) with a sad old lady. Echo sees Adelle and Mr. Dominic talking; she's going to HQ and doesn't think it will be good. Echo sees Dr. Saunders, and Boyd comes in all worried about Echo's last rough engagement. Boyd and Saunders argue over the actives being used for sex. Topher snags Boyd and tells them that there's a spy in the Dollhouse using a chip to steal imprints so they can alter them. Echo sees Topher and Mr. Dominic yelling at each other. They put the entire house on lockdown. Mr. Dominic takes Sierra off for a treatment, Echo tries to comfort Topher and hops in the chair and says that he makes people different, so he can make her help. Um, she's not supposed to know that. Topher looks horrified/intrigued.
November: She sees Echo waving, but is confused. She's back to being Mellie and returning to her apartment. Ballard's gone Dollhouse crazy, with extra locks on his door and maps and strings all over the place. Mellie distracts him, but as soon as they start getting intimate, her alternate programming kicks in and informs Ballard that Mellie is a doll and not to tell her anything.
Sierra: She watches Mr. Dominic threaten Topher, then gets on her spy gear to break into the NSA to find out the identity of the spy. It's actually pretty awesome, in a Sydney Bristow sort of way. She's got contacts to fool the retinal scan, really awesome shoes, a rockin' wig and some badass kung fu moves. And she can run really fast in high heels away from speeding bullets.
Victor: He's heading off to see the old lady, but really he takes her sports car and heads off to see... Adelle. He gets her to relax, they fence and have sex. She likes being around him because she doesn't have to hide anything. Then fantasize about running away together. Then she's dressed and crying because she's gotten a call. What's that call about? Oh, perhaps that the Dollhouse is crumbling while she's having a weekend romp with an active.
Echo: After Topher programs her, they go to Adelle's office to see Mr. Dominic, who isn't too pleased that Topher took the initiative to program her with some detecting skills. Well, until she says Topher is her first suspect because he's either dangerously incompetent or selling them out. I am in love with this imprint, and leaning towards dangerously incompetent myself. On to the investigations. Topher puffs that he's a genius. Ivy doesn't like being stuck on snack duty. Boyd thinks that they are philanthropic pimps. Saunders never leaves the dollhouse (because she's ONE of them... my theory!) Sierra returns from the NSA and the culprit is... Ivy. Not so fast, Echo says that intel was a plant, and it's really Mr. Dominic who is in the NSA and covering his own ass. He starts shooting things up, but Echo has been gifted with kung fu skills, courtesy of Topher, and the scene ends with Echo dangling him out a window over some cheesy looking blue screen.
At Adelle's, in the fencing room, Echo arrives with Mr. Dominic who tries to explain that he was protecting Adelle from herself and leaking info to Ballard. She has no pity on him and banishes him to the attic. En route back to the Dollhouse he gives this evil smirk because he thinks one day Echo's going to go all Alpha and erase the powers that be. In Topher's lab, Mr. Dominic tries to shoot himself in the head, but the bullet hits Adelle. He gets his brain wiped, Adelle just has a flesh wound. Topher and Adelle discuss the Echo evolving situation and are grateful she saved their asses. Then she tells Topher to get rid of Victor's lonely hearts personality, because the client doesn't need it any more. Boyd gets a promotion to head of security, and Echo gets a cute new handler named Travis.--Angel Cohn
Seizure-inducing flashes of fluorescent light and several jump cuts partially mask the locale of the opening, but we're in the darkened lab, and it looks like someone is undergoing the process of getting his or her personality erased, as we saw happen to Sierra in the first episode. Downstairs in the atrium, Sierra and Echo see the ominous lights, and when Sierra wonders what's happening, Echo fearfully misdirects, "She made a mistake, and now she's sad." Suddenly a loud noise rings out and blood spatters against the inside of the glass...
...and we cut to a black van driving down a highway and a chyron that reads "Twelve hours earlier." I'm thinking this means we're going to be borrowing heavily from Alias this episode, and the fact that we then move inside and see Echo dressed like something out of Barbarella does little to change that supposition. Actually, she's just a standard-issue dominatrix, and she waxes poetic about the beauty of total submission to Boyd, who maintains a smile of amused skepticism even when Echo offers him a session in her "dungeon." He politely declines, and Echo is amusing as she tries to change his mind, pointing out that she trusts him, as she got in the van. Of course, she only did so at the prospect of getting a treatment, as becomes clear when they pull into the Dollhouse garage, and on their way in they run into Victor and his female handler, who bitches that he's going on another "lonely hearts" assignment, his tenth. "How pathetic is that old bag?" This woman's going to be mystified when she's suddenly denied elevator privileges. Victor, in an "English" accent, pipes up that while his handler ("Ramirez") may sound jaded, she's got a stash of romance novels in the van, and secretly wants to be kidnapped by a pirate. Hilariously, Echo pipes up that she knows a guy, but Victor plows on that if he weren't madly in love with "Catherine," he'd see to her needs himself. Ramirez rolls her eyes hardcore and says she'd take "S&M Barbie" over Victor any day, and then snarks, "Your geriatric princess awaits." For this comment, however, Echo gives her a little bullwhip action to the calf: "It's love. Show some respect." Ramirez looks like she might prefer Echo even more now, which raises some interesting questions, but for now Boyd merely confiscates her whip, and they head upstairs...
...and then she's coming out of the chair. For once, it isn't Topher there to greet her, but the Asian tech ("Ivy") who's always being tasked with getting him food. However, once she's done with the scripted exchange, Topher pops up from behind some equipment, starchy snack in hand, and criticizes her line readings, as it's important for the Active to hear something pleasant when she first comes out of the chair. "Not so" -- Laurence busts in and gruffly orders Echo out of the chair -- "that." Heh. After some bitchery between Laurence and Topher about bullets in computer equipment interfering with the schedule, Laurence leads Echo out for an appointment with Claire, but leaves her to go on without him once he sees Adelle approaching. He reports that "aside from Topher being Topher," everything's under control, and she replies that she expects him to keep it that way while she's gone. Laurence wonders why Rossum is calling her in, and she sarcastically supposes it must be to compliment what a great job she's been doing lately. We see Echo curiously observing their little confab as Adelle upbraids herself for all the problems they've been having lately...