Television Tourniquet: We Play in the 'Dollhouse' -- Episode 10


Dollhouse Episode 1.10 "Haunted"
Written by: Jane Espenson, Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon
Directed by: Elodie Keene
Original Airdate: 24 April 2009

In This Episode…

Adele's friend, Margaret, dies mysteriously.  The extremely wealthy woman sensed that someone was going to kill her, and had spent the last year and a half cataloging her brainwaves so that, in the case of her untimely demise, she could have herself implanted on an Active and solve her own murder.  Which is exactly what happens here.

Adele puts Margaret into Echo, and heads to Margaret's funeral as a very close friend.  Echo is surprised to hear her children, Nicholas and Jocelyn, and her brother Bill, speak of her with such vitriol.  According to them, she was cold, uncaring, and unsupportive.  On top of that, they accused her much younger second husband, Jack, of being a womanizer, and of using Margaret for her money.  Echo desperately tries to defend her honor, but it doesn't work.  On top of that, the kids think Jack killed his wife and Jack thinks Echo is a spy hired by them.

Echo takes one of her horses out for a final evening ride, and is confronted by Nick when she returns to the stables.  As a Dollhouse client himself, he knows that his mother is in Echo's body.  They bond a little, clear the air, and Nick opens up about millions he lost on the stock market.  Jack breaks up the little love fest and gets into a fight with Nick.  He and Echo escape and run to the house, realizing that Jack is the murderer.  With Nick's help, Echo writes a note in Margaret's own hand, dated a week prior to her death, laying out her suspicions.  But she has been double-crossed: Nick was the killer, with a plan to take his inheritance to pay off the millions he lost, and at the same time frame his stepfather.  Luckily Jack busts in as Echo realizes this, and fights Nick to the floor before he can kill his mother again.  She burns the initial note accusing Jack and writes a new one with the correct killer, and writes Nick out of her will.

Also: Ballard is having a very hard time pretending everything is okay with Mellie.  He steals a wine glass with her fingerprints and runs it through the system.  Dozens of identities pop up, before they are all deleted. 

Dig It or Bury It?

Bo-ring.  My bean and cheese burrito was more interesting than this episode.  Hell, I almost fell asleep trying to recap it.  The meager action was poorly shot, the characters were bland and cookie-cutter, and the plot wasn't even particularly engrossing.  I'm going so far as to say this was the worst episode so far.  Just thinking about it makes my head hurt.

Persona Non Grata

Echo is Margaret, Adele's friend, longtime Dollhouse client, and wealthy equestrienne.  But "Margaret" pretends to be "Julia" around her family, a very close friend of Margaret's.  Victor is sent in as Drew, a horse buyer, because of Boyd's suspicions that the horses had something to do with Margaret's death (she was being dosed with the same steroids the horses were given).  Sierra is programmed as the ultimate video gamer chick for Topher – an allowance Adele makes on occasion so that Topher can have a friend.


"You were no fun as Echo's handler; now you get to be twice as no fun as head of security" – Topher to Boyd


Next week Ballard actually manages to break into the Dollhouse, spots Echo/Caroline, gets caught by Boyd, and put in the chair by Adele.  Oh yeah, and Alpha shows up, too.  Sounds like a kick-ass episode.  Certainly can't be as bad as this week's.