Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: C | Grade It Now!
Hush, Little Baby, Don't You Cry…
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Ballard walks into Topher's lab and regards the imprinting chair "thought"fully, and after pacing around it nervously for a moment and accidentally hitting a button somewhere on the back, he settles into it, and while he obviously isn't any smarter for being out of the FBI, he certainly is learning how to dress better for being exposed to the Dollhouse. Before I can admire his purple stretchy shirt for long, though, someone he's certainly not getting any fashion tips from, Topher, interrupts to ask him if he'd like a treatment, with a "I'll be here all week!" delivery that seems entirely appropriate. Ballard hops back up and explains that he's tired, and they chat about how Ballard's off-shift at the moment but is having trouble sleeping before Topher presents his ego to Ballard with all the subtlety of a female panda in heat, eagerly asking what he thinks about the "new protocol" in Echo. Ballard allows that it's "different," which is all the encouragement Topher needs to babble about how he blew his own mind just by making one minor change according to a client's request. "I just opened up a whole new world for us." And what did it ever do to you? He "explains" that the "code" he wrote for Echo's brain resulted in changes on a glandular level, and knowing the Dollhouse the first place my mind went was natural boob enhancement. For once, however, Topher seems to have his mind on loftier ideals, saying it might be possible to program the brain to, say, fight cancer or be telekinetic, although he does add, "or not to have that gag reflex when you eat sea urchin," which is certainly gutter-adjacent. Ballard asks if he could do that all to him, but Topher says it could only be achieved with an Active. "I can't fiddle with the mind until it's wiped clean." The fact that he does not follow with the obvious joke at Ballard's expense suggests to me that he's the one that's sleep-deprived. Oh, wait, there he goes -- Ballard says he doesn't understand, and he replies, "But it's so cute that you're trying!" I think now that Boyd doesn't have as much occasion to stop by the lab, Topher's transferred his adversarial man-crush to Ballard. If he invites him into his sleep alcove to play with Fozzie, we'll know for sure. Topher tells Ballard to say hello to Echo...

...who, at the moment, is lying awake in bed next to a gentleman who is neither clothed nor conscious. She gets up, demurely donning a robe on the way, and exits the enormous bedroom and heads down the hall to a nursery, in which she happily greets an absolutely adorable baby boy. She sits and lets him nurse as she sings "Hush Little Baby," and all I can say is that either Eliza is really good with kids or her acting's improved dramatically. I know which one I'm going with. Credits.

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