Oh, dude. Okay: Three years ago, idealist Caroline invaded Adelle's office and found both Bennett's file and her own. She then made friends with an unsuspecting and desperately-in-need-of-a-friend Bennett, and took advantage of her hero worship to get close to her -- and her Rossum security clearance. Laurence got wind of the files theft and reported it to Adelle, while Bennett discovered her file in Caroline's possession and confronted her. Caroline confessed she used Bennett to get to Rossum, and Bennett, somewhat surprisingly, told Caroline she'd be only too happy to help her. They headed to Rossum headquarters in Tucson, which they planned to blow up, but things went horribly wrong when Caroline discovered a secret room that wasn't on the floor plan and investigated -- and found people who seemed to be in Doll state. She frantically told Bennett they had to abort the explosive plan, but it was too late, and the scene we saw a few episodes ago came to pass, with Bennett getting her arm crushed and Caroline abandoning her -- only it was Caroline's intention to take the fall herself for the destruction of the building. She surrendered herself to Laurence and Adelle, but before they took her back to L.A., the head of the company insisted on seeing her -- without Adelle and Laurence there.
So back in the present, remember how Boyd was keeping secrets about his home life? Turns out it's because WHISKEY IS BACK, AND THEY'RE TOGETHER. Awesome. Boyd brings her back to the Dollhouse, whereupon she resumes her doctorly duties. Also, Echo realizes not only that Topher made Ballard a Doll, but that what Topher had to sacrifice was the connection between Ballard and Echo.
On to the real action: Echo impresses on the team the importance of finding Clyde's mysterious partner. Ivy and Topher are both wary of the potential consequences of dumping Caroline's original personality into Echo, given the state of her brain, but of course they do it anyway -- or at least they plan to, until Ivy discovers that the backup wedge Ballard so heroically saved at the end of last season is missing. While it's being sought, Adelle tells Echo that Caroline was a horrible troublemaker, but while Echo confesses part of her is glad the wedge is gone, she denies having stolen it. Meanwhile, Topher and Ivy remotely corrupt Bennett's chair to put one of the D.C. Actives under their control, and in conjunction with an invasion by Ballard and Victor, they achieve their intended result: Kidnapping Bennett and bringing her back to L.A. so she can help them with the Caroline situation, namely, getting her to try to fix the original Caroline wedge that Alpha broke. Also, while they're there, Ballard catches sight of Madeline on a video feed, and brings her along for the ride. With her team having taken not one but two of D.C.'s assets, Adelle calls a full lockdown, leaving Topher and Bennett to flirt and repair in peace -- until she realizes it's Caroline he's trying to resurrect. Before the lockdown is executed, Echo kicks Victor and Sierra out, at least for the night -- and immediately after, an escaped-from-the-Attic Laurence appears and tells Echo that Clyde is dead, and Rossum is coming for her. In the wake of this news, Adelle orders that every Active have his or her original personality restored and then be released before they all head for Tucson. Also, Laurence is physically messed up, so Adelle decrees that his best hope is to go back to the Attic, and she may have rehabilitated her image recently but that's still a big black mark against her. A bunch of Rossum guys then show up and die at Boyd's hand, prompting Adelle to send him away for his own safety. Echo tells Bennett that if she resurrects Caroline long enough to get her to save her friends, she can do whatever she wants to her. Bennett is all over that and gets to work, kissing Topher on the way, but then Whiskey shows up and BLOWS BENNETT'S BRAINS OUT! In the end, the Dollhouse is breached, but not before Topher succeeds in restoring Caroline's personality, and we see who Clyde's partner has always been -- BOYD. Never saw that one coming, I can surely say.
We open three years ago, and it looks at first like Echo is on a bimbo/romance assignment, but then we see that she and the guy she's with have entered Adelle's office, which I can't imagine our favorite Brit would allow no matter how much a client was prepared to pay. Caroline, for that's who she is, executes a nice move by removing the guy's clothing. Well, that's the part I appreciated most, at least, but the cleverer maneuver occurs when she takes advantage of her proximity to the guy's pants to grab his handcuffs and chain him to something on the wall. Even after she drops the ditz act and starts rifling through Adelle's desk, he guy takes an awfully long time to realize this means he's not getting any, which goes a good way to explain how he fell for this trick in the first place. When he finally gets it, he starts whining about how much trouble he's in, but since he probably isn't highly-enough placed to know about the Attic, I'd wager he doesn't know the half of it. On the other hand, Adelle seems like the type to make the best of a bad situation in finding a half-naked young man handcuffed to her office wall, no? The guy calls Caroline a thief, and she demurs with an actually-amusing delivery of "I'm a terrorist," which, you'll be surprised to know, doesn't do much to improve the guy's mood. Inside the desk, she finds a file on her and then one on a geek-glasses-sporting Bennett, which is marked with notes such as "PRIORITY" and "Full Scholarship," and once again makes me laugh with her description of Bennett as "Carrie at the prom!" Hee. Caroline asks, prompted by something in the folder, what's in Tucson, but the guy is of course no help, so she activates a nearby remote control, which causes the cabinet with all the security feeds to open up. Even the hapless guy is able to determine that what they're seeing isn't in the building as they know it, so Caroline suggests they take down the structure and see what's underneath. The guy asks who she is...
...which is a call that brings the response, "Caroline?" Did Whedon always rely so much on these hokey transitions between scenes? Anyway, it's Adelle asking the question, picking up where we left off last week, and Echo clarifies that they need to know what she knows, as she can identify Clyde's evil partner. Topher's more concerned about how the technology Adelle handed over to Rossum (for which he loudly calls her out, causing her to look chastened) is going to lead to the apocalypse, but Echo thinks if they don't find the man or woman behind Rossum, they'll never be able to eliminate it. Ivy points out another big problem, that being that Caroline and Echo by definition may not be able to co-exist peacefully, or as Topher puts it, Caroline might fight back when she returns "to find the house party that's going on inside your head." Echo, however, is confident in her ability to control Caroline, so Adelle orders them to pull Caroline from the vault and put Echo in the chair. She misses her chance to say "Make it so," though, which is a damn shame if you ask me. Not as much of a shame, though, as when, after Ballard and Echo have an inconsequential chat, Ivy turns up to the lab and informs them that Caroline's wedge -- the one that Ballard rescued when Alpha dropped it from a dizzying height -- is gone. Well, that doesn't bother me on a personal level, but it's going to make plot advancement more difficult, so it at least rates a DUN! Credits.