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Couch Baron: B | Grade It Now!
You Only Live Twice

When we get back, Victor's checking out one of the horses when he's accosted by an unfriendly Nicolas, who can't believe Jack's selling his mother's beloved equine. Victor, however, tells him the stallion has another year of good racing in him, at least, but Nicolas tells him to stop -- the horse isn't for sale. Good little development here, because it seems like maybe Nicolas is getting more sentimental about his mother as the reality of her death sinks in, when in fact he's [redacted due to SPOILER!].

Margaret finds William, who asks her if she believes in ghosts. Margaret: "Sort of." Heh. William recalls to "Julia" how he and Margaret moved into the house when they were kids and were convinced it was haunted, and now he's getting the same creepy feeling -- like Margaret is lingering, and she's angry. Margaret asks why that would be, so William tells her she probably wanted more time. He goes on, not without a trace of affection, that they hadn't spoken in 13 years because they were both so stubborn, and then fate brought him to her the day before she died, and they reconciled. "Julia" asks what she said, but William tells her while it was all generic reminiscing, it wasn't the words that mattered -- they just knew they didn't need to stay mad anymore. He goes on to mention, however, the fact that Nicolas has serious debts and addiction problems, and the look on Margaret's face is like, "Great, another reason I should have stayed dead."

In the atrium, Topher and Sierra are playing Laser Tag or some variant thereof, and Sierra fakes him out and gets a frag, or something, and then they geek out over movie lines and bad puns, and it's not like it's unpleasant to watch but wake me up when something relevant happens, huh?

Ballard gets home to find Mellie waiting for him, lit candles at the ready, and when he reacts with indifference, she nervously babbles that she hopes it's okay she used her key -- she doesn't want him to think she's in there nuzzling his shirts while he's gone. Well, he probably wasn't thinking that before, but now that you mention it... Anyway, she pours some wine and tells him they have to talk -- she's been thinking a lot, and she loves being with him, so she's going to stop asking if everything's okay -- she's just going to let him take what he needs from her. Obviously, from the mere fact that the Dollhouse hasn't turned Mellie on him yet, Ballard has been doing a reasonably serviceable job of not talking about the Dollhouse without raising suspicion, but the entire situation is clearly taking a big emotional toll on him, which is compounded by the fact that presumably, every time Mellie reports back to the Dollhouse for a treatment, they step up her efforts to get information from him, using every emotionally manipulative tool at their disposal. Anyway, Mellie goes on that she's just going to lie by his side pretending everything's fine even if she knows it's not, and their relationship doesn't have to mean anything to him. Ballard finally decides to shut her up the only way he can think of, which is via the television version of rough sex, which isn't really very rough at all but does stop the questions from coming. Regardless, it's disturbing in a different way than usual, because while it's varying degrees of gross every time a Doll has sex, this is the first time we've seen a supposed "good man" take advantage of a Doll. It's hard to watch, yet interestingly told, because it seems that people always warned Ballard that his obsession with the Dollhouse would be his undoing, but it's happening in an entirely different way that anyone could have predicted -- even with all the help he's gotten, from Caroline, Aisha Hinds and Alpha, the Dollhouse is beating him. Anyway, moving on...

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