Couch Baron will be on hand for the full recap, but he asked me to sub in for this recaplet. I'm so glad, because this was hands-down my favorite episode of the show to date. Getting to explore the backstories of the actives and seeing what happens when all hell breaks loose at the Dollhouse is actually exciting.
Adelle calls a staff meeting and says that the actives are having flashes of memory and that's something they need to fix. Topher's going to mess around with one pod's sleep drugs to see if it will more effectively wipe their brains. Claire suggests letting the troublemakers go, to let them resolve their issues. So Topher gives them back their personalities, but not their memories.
When the dolls wake up, they're panicked and freaked out, have no idea how they got there, and think that they're in a spaceship or some kind of government testing lab. November is looking for something she lost. Echo needs to get to the mountains. There's a random guy named Mike who shares their pod. He's gung-ho on this whole alien abduction theory. While the other pod buddies try to blend in with the other dolls, Mike doesn't, and he goes for a mind wipe.
Sierra, Victor, November and Echo decide to bust out of the Dollhouse. They start remembering their pasts. Sierra remembers being assaulted. November remembers she has a kid. It seems weird that the security doesn't stop them at all, or at least pick them up on the cameras, but I guess that's all part of Adelle's plan. Once they reach the surface, Sierra and Victor go off to find the man who put her there, and November goes to the cemetery where her daughter is buried. Once they get closure, they pass out. Echo decides to go back in to help the rest of the actives escape. Echo/Caroline's abilities are underestimated by Adelle, as she breaks back in and cuts the power. She almost wipes Topher's brain… which would have been the best thing ever… but alas, she's stopped by Adelle. Sad, but Echo puts her gun to good use and leads the actives outside to the light to their freedom, and then immediately powers down.
Elsewhere, in Paul land, he finds out that his apartment is being bugged by some super high-tech equipment, and he's having a nightmare about being a necrophiliac. And apparently before Echo went back to being Echo, she made a call to him saying that they were underground and they needed his help. - Angel
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Apparently late at night, Ballard answers a knock at his door dressed in pajama bottoms and nothing else. That's certainly a way to get my attention from the get-go. It's Echo in the hallway, dressed in a little number I would say is designed to pull in the part of the audience not already there with Ballard, and she pushes her way in and says she doesn't have a lot of time, as "they" can't know she left an engagement. Thinking this is Chapter Two in their series of surreptitious communications, Ballard kind of dimly asks if they're not fighting again, but Echo merely tells him she has a message for him from inside the Dollhouse. Ballard is over that noise, though, impatiently saying he's been sitting on his hands while his life has been dismantled, and grabbing Echo's forearms as he says he could handcuff her right now and bring the Dollhouse to his door. Dude, if that's how she's dressed for her current assignment, she might enjoy that. Oh, great, I made myself think of that bondage doofus. Well, I'll console myself with the thought that he's probably starved to death by now. Echo, whose lipstick is really garish at the moment, ties us into the episode theme by saying they each have something the other needs, and then attempts to make her mouth looks even worse by planting one on Ballard. Not that I blame her. Ballard kind of hilariously tells her, "I'm not a client. I don't need that." Echo, however, demurs, and after another kiss, Ballard uncertainly asks, "Caroline?" She whispers for him to save her, and soon he's on top of her on the couch -- only Mellie then appears and snits that she took too long getting back. Continuing to be unintentionally hysterical, Ballard tells her he knows this is confusing "for all of us," like I'm sure Mellie's mollified by the fact that the slut with the smeared lipstick is having an existential crisis while continuing to fondle her boyfriend. Getting funnier by the second, Ballard adds, "I'm sorry! I have a thing she needs!" and all I can say is that I certainly hope so. However, we get serious again in a hurry, as Mellie snarls that Caroline doesn't need anything anymore -- she's dead. Ballard pulls away from her lips in horror as he realizes that Echo's now covered in pancake makeup. He begs her to come back, but things only get worse as blood starts to trickle down from Mellie's scalp as she accuses Ballard of letting "them" hurt her. He desperately tries to tell her he's attempting to stop everything, but she asks, "How did they know? How did they know what we shared?" Honey, this is a man that spilled government secrets to you over a little pad thai. Keeping his mouth shut isn't exactly his forte. There's a flash of light...