...but he's too late, as a black-clad and ski-mask-sporting Hearn busts into Ballard's apartment and starts throwing Mellie around like a rag doll. Ballard runs, trying to call Mellie as he goes, and the phone rings as Hearn pins Mellie to the floor. She gets his mask off, which is key, because oh, the look on his face when the answering machine picks up... AND IT'S NOT BALLARD BUT ADELLE, who recites, "There are three flowers in a vase. The third flower is green." I would have been happier if they'd made the trigger "The owls are not what they seem," but I will totally take it, because the words cause Mellie's head to snap up, and she starts kicking Hearn's ass. After a very brief and completely one-sided skirmish, she uses the coffee table to break his neck, and whether by design or accident, he ends up in a position that could have resulted from losing his balance in a very unfortunate manner. Adelle, with a small but satisfied smile, repeats the incantation while substituting "yellow" for "green," and that's all it takes to turn Mellie back into her mild-mannered self, and she sinks down to the floor and cries, and then Ballard returns. I suspected Mellie was a Doll, but that was an ingenious way of revealing that to the audience, not to mention how clever it was to get, as Adelle would put it, the best use out of Hearn's deserved death sentence. Excellent.
One more interview gives way to Ballard turning in his badge and gun, these latest incidents presumably being the collective straw that broke the camel's back. At the Dollhouse, Laurence happily reports to Adelle that Ballard was suspended pending an investigation into, basically, everything that he's been up to since the series began. She asks about Mellie, and Laurence says review of the tapes showed she performed perfectly, so Adelle says to bring her in for a diagnostic. Laurence wonders if they're pulling her now that Ballard's off the case, but Adelle says no -- she doesn't think this will stop him from coming after them. "Besides, she loves him." Loudly. Laurence tells Adelle she played a good hand, but she demurs: "I played a very bad hand very well. There is a distinction." It's true, and the latter usually involves a lot of bluffing. Adelle tells Laurence to contact his counterparts in the other Houses about what happened to Sierra, as it can never happen again. She adds that Topher's done everything he can to remove the memories of what happened. "Ignorance, in this case, truly is bliss." Laurence opines that the Dolls aren't as ignorant as they thought, and Adelle agrees. "We're working on it."