Echo's getting Susan to open up, and I think I already told you why I'm not getting invested here, so let's stick to the part where Echo suggests Susan reread the story while imagining herself as the prince, or as the hero of the piece, and the way she encourages Susan to think about Briar Rose and the prince is reminiscent of what goes down between Alpha and Echo at the end, but even if I didn't find all this forced, I think the words "WE GET IT" would be coming to mind, so let's move ahead to where Rose Nylund tells Echo it's time to go, but before she does, Echo gets Susan to give up the knife she's got on her, no harm, no foul. Susan's like, "But what am I going to use to cut up my 12th copy of Briar Rose in the last week?" Nonetheless, she complies, and then Echo tells Rose Nylund this: "She's close to moving forward, but it's gonna hurt." Especially if she gets her hands on another blade.
Ballard knocks on a nondescript apartment door -- and Alan Tudyk answers. Yes! Ballard asks if he's "Steven Kepler," and Alan Tudyk is like, "I'm a paranoid pothead with the munchies. Please go away unless you have food you're willing to share." Ballard, however, flashes a badge (keeping the photo covered, which suggests he borrowed it from Aisha Hinds, but how's she going to get into the building tomorrow?) and assures Alan Tudyk he's not in any trouble, but he would like to talk to him about his area of expertise. However, when it comes clear that Alan Tudyk's most current area of expertise brings to mind High Times, he pushes his way in and discovers Alan Tudyk has some positively enormous ganja plants growing inside, like to the point where he could supply an entire Phish concert and still have plenty of eighths to spare. Hilariously, Alan Tudyk says they're carrots. "Medicinal carrots! Personally-used medicinal carrots that were here when I moved in, and I'm holding it for a friend!" Hee. Some actors would have lost that delivery halfway through, but not Alan Tudyk. Ballard, no connoisseur of humor at the best of times, turns the subject to his environmental systems, and Alan Tudyk babbles that that's his thing, making systems that are entirely self-contained, but they cost a lot of money. After some more funny ranting about carbon footprints and Earth Day, Alan Tudyk offers Ballard a jar that he says is full of recycled urine, and then after some "Just kidding/not really" stuff, adds, "I also have POM." I cannot do justice to the delivery of that line. Ballard, amazingly not on the floor laughing by now, confirms that Alan Tudyk could design a completely self-contained system, but when Ballard intensely brings up the underground building thing, Alan Tudyk realizes where this is heading and tries to hustle Ballard out of there, so Ballard gets to it: "Tell me about the Dollhouse." Alan Tudyk sobers up fast as he says they'll kill them both, but Ballard displays his gun, so Alan Tudyk admits that he built "the shell" that contains the Dollhouse, and he could probably open it, but he doesn't know where it is, and he never leaves his apartment anyway. Ballard's like, you do now, on both counts, and they head out of there. If only Ballard had taken a few tokes first, the upcoming scenes would be even more enjoyable.