Written by: Tim Minear
Directed by: Tim Minear
THE ONE WHERE
Alpha's back story is revealed - he developed a fixation with Echo when she first arrived at the Dollhouse, and the event where he slashed Dr Saunders' face actually happened prior to his escape… when she was still a Doll with the codename Whiskey. An accident during an imprint meant that he had 48 personalities imprinted at once, and he now intends to do the same to Echo using a makeshift chair. But his creation - whom he names Omega - turns on him. Alpha escapes, Echo is returned and Ballard is hired as her new handler, with the condition that November is allowed to return to her former life.
Maybe it's just because "Briar Rose" was so good, but it's hard not to feel disappointed with this finale. It's not without its fantastic moments - the flashback where we discover that Dr Saunders used to be Whiskey delivers a great punch (and explains Dominic's cry of "Whiskey!" last episode), the scene where she snaps at Victor as he begs her for reassurance after his attack is a wonderful turn by Amy Acker, and Alan Tudyk is still on top form. But there's a lot about it that's unsatisfying too. Alpha's characterisation feels badly inconsistent with the previous episode (he sustained the "Kepler" persona for hours there, but here he seems to struggle to control any personality for longer than ten minutes), the final confrontation is massively anticlimactic, and Ballard's decision to join the Dollhouse staff having spent the whole season being disgusted by its premise - even with November's freedom as a sweetener - really doesn't make sense.
On the plus side, Dollhouse's renewal for a second season means it now has more time to deliver the excellent series we've seen glimpses of in this season. I do hope that's what we'll get.
Alpha imprints Echo with every profile she's ever been given, then instructs her to kill the girl he's put Caroline's personality into so she can be free of her old self. But wouldn't one of those profiles be Caroline anyway?
Yes, it's great that we now have a black US President, but that little motivational exchange between Echo and Caroline about how that means you can't "sign a contract to be a slave" just feels mawkish and seriously forced.
The closing scenes are set to "Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime" by Beck.
Alpha: "We're not just humans any more. We're not multiple personalities. We’re many personalities. And one of my personalities happens to be a multiple personality. But that doesn’t make me a multiple personality. I’m looking for a little nuance here."