Review: Dollhouse 1.5, True Believer: The Girl With the Television Eyes.
Tracy S. Morris is the author of the award-winning Tranquility series of Southern paranormal humor mysteries.
Morris's story Fish Story will appear in the Baen anthology Strip Mauled
Her new novel Bride of Tranquility Is available now from Yard Dog Press.
Her website is http://www.tracysmorris.com/
In this episode, a senator (presumably from Arizona) calls on The Dollhouse to help him and the ATF take down a cult. He needs someone who the cultists can’t detect, and he just doesn’t think an agent can pull that off.
Echo is sent in with the imprint of a blind woman named Esther. (Interesting parallels between the biblical Esther and Echo). The imprint is so realistic that Echo’s eyes are even surgically altered with cameras so that the ATF can see what she doesn’t.
Of course, nothing goes according to plan. Echo’s TV camera eyes go on the fritz, and when she gets her sight back, the cult followers are convinced that she’s sent by the almighty. Their leader is convinced too – convinced that she’s an informant that is. In a show down with the ATF, he tries to burn down the compound, but Echo manages to get everyone out.
Back at the Dollhouse, Echo isn’t the only one showing signs of a personality. Topher notices that Victor seems to be fully functional whenever he’s in the proximity of Sierra. Dr. Saunders seems to think that it’s because he’s been participating in too many romantic entanglements.
I found this episode interesting on several levels. Firstly, the dilemma faced (or ignored) by Sen. Hypocrite and The Dollhouse. They want to save those poor deluded cultists who are obviously being held against their will. So how do they do it? Send in those poor brain-wiped dolls, who may or may not all be there against their will. (Yes, I know that Echo signed a contract. But we don’t know about the others. And just because you agree to do something doesn’t mean you want to.)
Secondly, the exchange with Topher and Dr. Saunders brought home that the handlers at The Dollhouse don’t completely know what they’re doing. They have a guess, but the procedures – haven’t exactly been rigorously tested. The handlers at The Dollhouse are like children playing God. In the end (or possibly as soon as the next episode, if you believe Joss) that’s going to come back to bite them.
I liked this episode very much. The Dollhouse seems to be picking up steam this season. With the way that episode six has been hyped, I’m eagerly looking forward to it.
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