Madeline's leaving the safe house, and after Cindy gives the goon accompanying her some instructions about getting her to the airport, she enters a room in which Ballard is tied to a chair. Sadly, it's not like the scene in Casino Royale, but when Cindy calls Ballard the "L.A. Dollhouse's latest idiot hire," it's at least difficult to disagree. Anyway, Cindy has little time for Ballard, and after instructing another goon to pack away the disruptor in her luggage so her techs can examine it, she ignores Ballard's questions in favor of telling yet another henchgoon to wait until she leaves, "and then make sure he ends up face down in the L.A. River." After she cautions the guy not to miss the flight and then leaves, though, Ballard gives him a hilarious nod and grin, like, "I may be even dumber than she thinks, but I still know I can beat the crap out of you."
In the car, it's Perrin's turn to get acid flashbacks, after which he makes Echo stop the car. He gets out, continuing to freak and see things, and Echo urgently tells him he must be a Doll as well, but he's not trying to hear that, at first denying it totally, but then begging her, "Please tell me I know who I am!"
After a response to that call that I will not be recapping, Topher informs Adelle that Perrin is a special case -- he is in fact named Daniel Perrin and is part of the family they thought, but he was a total "party-boy screw-up" even into his mid-thirties, so it stands to reason that the qualities that have made him a Senator were artificially granted. Too bad he doesn't seem to remember that past, because if he did, he wouldn't have been quite so fazed by waking up in a groggy stupor with an unfamiliar hooker and a video camera.
With Tahmoh Penikett's usual hilarious delivery, Ballard asks the goon if he'd be open to a bribe, but he's turned down, which turns out to be a mistake when Ballard ends up resorting to what he knows best, which is to kick the guy's ass. After the guy's partner enters and is just as easily dispensed with, Ballard, hands still cuffed, grabs the guy's ticket from out of his pocket to see where to go, and then leers to his unconscious form, "You're gonna miss your flight!" Ballard would make a great Rainier Wolfcastle, I tell you what.
Boyd tells Adelle that Echo and Perrin have stopped moving, but the retrieval team he sent after them seems mysteriously to have been neutralized. Which: Huh? Echo then calls in, figuring the number she knows as her escort agency is actually that of the Dollhouse, and when she tells Adelle that Perrin is with her, Boyd wastes no time in getting on the move. Echo accuses Adelle of making Perrin a Doll, but while she denies that, she offers that she can help him. Echo's open to the idea, but Perrin grabs the phone from her and spits that he knows all about them, and he's not a Doll. Adelle informs him that while that's true, strictly speaking, his mind has been altered, and she can find out who's controlling him and why. She starts to tell him about Cindy, but just then, the "wife" in question drives up, and she's alone because she presumably hopes to continue the charade. Echo, however, has other ideas, saying Cindy isn't right, but Perrin isn't ready to believe her just yet. However, when Cindy tries the stupid exchange yet again, Perrin gets a flash to being in a chair just like Topher's, and we see that the white knight/beautiful damsel stuff is their countersign -- their version of "Everything's going to be all right/Now that you're here." Maybe she had to use it so often because it's a long-term engagement, but they still could have picked something less Smurfy. Once it's clear that Perrin's clued in, Cindy gives up the ghost and draws her gun. Perrin points out that she can't afford to shoot him, but while she agrees, she has no problem training the gun on Echo. Echo's like, "If your arguments work out this well on the Senate floor, this country is in big trouble."
When we return, after some talk from Perrin, Cindy clocks Echo in the face with her gun, sending her to the ground. This, consistently and somewhat amusingly, evokes some memories of times Echo's taken one in the kisser, and if you're a regular viewer you'll know there were an awful lot to choose from. Perrin then brandishes a large rock in Cindy's direction, but Cindy talks him down. Unfortunately for her, during the time it took to sweet-talk him, Echo's gotten back on her feet, and after she uses her memories to punch Cindy in the face, she tells her, "You just woke up a lot of people. And they all think you're a bitch." And yes, it's easy to get on board the Cindy-hating train, but life doesn't always have to be so hard. Cindy tries whining to Perrin about Echo hitting her, but when that predictably doesn't work, she goes for her gun. Echo, however, remembers how to roll over a nearby car to safe cover, and once Cindy's out of ammo, she charges her and starts beating her to a pulp until Perrin pulls her off, saying he loves her. Echo says she knows -- and then decks him. "But I don't have that problem." This is the best Echo episode in a while, I tell you what. The melee resumes, but Echo's got the memories of many skilled martial artists, which are artfully intercut into the real fighting, and it's all over within another few seconds. Echo helps Perrin to his feet, apologizing for knocking some sense into him on the way, and then shepherds him off to the Dollhouse, explaining, "I think her bad guys are badder than my bad guys." Not perfect grammar, but I'll allow it. They take their leave of the still-unconscious Cindy...
...while Madeline's arriving at the airport. However, Ballard has made it there as well and is fast approaching, prompting the aide with glasses who broke up the makeout session much earlier (this is the "Burt" to whom Perrin referred earlier, I think) to order a henchgoon to call airport security. Madeline, however, kind of hilariously opines that if she can't face Ballard, she won't have a chance with Rossum, and after she walks over to him, she asks him to tell her who she was, saying if he doesn't, she's getting on the plane. He explains about Mellie and the FBI, but she misinterprets, thinking she was merely an element of his fantasy. Honey, if he could afford to pay the Dollhouse's rates, don't you think he'd have a better haircut? He explains how he was duped and about the deal he made to get her out of her contract, and I know she's got a lot going on but if she even half-believes him you'd think she might offer at least some conditional gratitude. Mellie was okay, and November just fine, but Madeline's pretty goddamned irritating. Ballard goes on that he wants the Dollhouse to fall too, but when Madeline suggests he just let her testify, then, he says that's exactly what they want her to do, and tells "Mellie" that it would be a mistake. After pointing out that she's not Mellie, she opines that freedom should mean she's allowed to make mistakes. "Am I free?" Being too thick to overcome the lamest of conversational gambits, he has no reply, so she leaves him there. Poor Ballard -- it's like he's just smart enough to realize how dumb he is.
Echo and Perrin are driving again when they're incapacitated by the disruptor. Cindy is wielding it, and she's on foot, so I guess we're meant to think that they had just gotten in the car when she caught up with them, except WE SAW HER LEAVE THE DISRUPTOR AT THE SAFE HOUSE BEFORE IMMEDIATELY LEAVING, so