NB: This review was originally printed in the Spoiler Zone in issue 185 of SFX and is reflective of our assessment of the show at the time of viewing.
Written by: Andrew Chambliss
Directed by: David Solomon
THE ONE WHERE
Topher finds NSA tech in his machines, suggesting there's a mole in the Dollhouse. While Sierra is imprinted to go undercover at the NSA, Echo volunteers to be imprinted with a counter-intelligence agent's profile to help Topher discover who the spy is - it's Dominic, who is ultimately apprehended, has his memory wiped and is sent to "the Attic". Meanwhile, the identity of Victor's regular engagement "Miss Lonelyhearts" is revealed to be Adelle, and November, as Mellie, delivers another message to Ballard.
I love the format of this episode - it makes excellent use of multiple perspectives to keep the intrigue high, and it's got plenty of tense scenes throughout. The fight between Echo and Dominic, with her remembering his earlier attempt to kill her, is great too, and it's nice to see more characterisation for Adelle. There's just one big problem I have though, and it is this…
I can't quite get my head around the whole thing with the mole. The implication through the episode is that whoever tampered with Topher's machines (Dominic) is the same person sending messages to Ballard. But when he's caught, Dominic says his role included keeping Ballard off the Dollhouse's trail. If one is true, then the other doesn't make sense. Is there another mole, or is that just bad writing?
The kanji on Ballard's t-shirt says "Tokyo" on the front and "Japan" on the back.
Ivy: "Shouldn't we help?"
Topher: "Yeah. I helped when I imprinted her with kung fu skills, but be my guest."