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Episode Discussion 2.11 "Getting Closer" - aired 8/1/10 (FOX-US)


Resident Jew
Aug 7, 2009
Little Rock, Ar
Ahhhh! My brain hurts!
Personally, I blame FOX. It was a good episode, but entirely too much stuff happened. This was all stuff that needed to go down over many episodes, even seasons! I'm a little upset that so much did happen. It didn't seem like it served the storyline justice. And so I blame FOX.

As for what actually *did* happen... WTF?????? I was actually surprised when Saunders shot Bennet. Call me thick, but I thought she was just making an observation. And then the gun... god, poor Topher!!!!
Also against what seems to be the common perception, I still think Caroline is a real bitca. So she didn't leave Bennet to die in the awful way we thought she did. She still is bossy and rude and is more concerned with saving humanity than with saving her friends. All lives are not the same; she needs to consider the consequences of the stuff she gets into. I'm not *the* hugest Echo fan, but I'd rather have her than Caroline. I did love the flashbacks with her, though. She looked real Faith-y when she was wearing all that leather!

My favorite part of the ep was how it changed the viewing of Epitaph One. Especially the Topher part! The scene of him in Epitaph One made me cry and this adds a whole new layer! Here's my projection:
Topher develops evil body-snatcher thing. Adelle gives it to Rossum. Topher falls for Bennet. Bennet is killed. Topher's one last act of good he can do to atone for the body-snatcher thing is to fix Caroline (I thought it was interesting that it was shown how he still feels major guilt about developing the tech.) His last moment of passion is to save Ivy. He spends time fixing Caroline and then becomes insane. And thus is born the Topher of Epitaph One.
So, most of that was actually in the ep, I know, but I'm just trying to sort out the feelings behind it.

And for the record, it never occurred to me to think Saunders was a sleeper. If the series were able to continue, I don't think she'd turn out to be. I'm convinced that her true motive is because she still hates Topher. That's been apparent from the beginning- I always loved their intricate relationship. But with only a two eps left, I think that's how they'll have to play it- with her being a sleeper.

Boyde... just questions. No answers. My questions have already been asked so I'm just here going WTF????? some more.

Best moment EVER: When Boyde shoots the people in Adelle's office and her face it totally placid. Her eyebrows twitch a bit, but she seems more bemused than anything. God, I love Adelle!
Well said about Caroline and Topher. ;)


Dec 28, 2009
New Orleans, LA
OMG OMG OMG (I'm such a dork)

Did anyone catch during the flashback of Caroline in Adele's office when she looks at Bennet's file and says "She can kill you with her brain?" My friend and I jumped up and down and gave each other high fives. Joss you sly dog. Faith and River. wow.
Wow, I haven't heard that line clearly. Now I'm jumping up and down too. :)
LOL - yeah, I belive I mentioned that earlier in the thread?
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
FIREFLY REFERENCE! I totally caught that! :)
HA omg i saw this too!! :D:D


The Late Goodbye
Jan 12, 2009
Sydney, Australia
I'm pretty much speechless, fantastic episode, fantastic twists. Just awesome.

I love how they planted little bits and pieces of things with boyd over the course of the season. The way he knew how to get rid of Nolans body when they killed him, and just showing his darker side. I also liked how he said he was having issues at home or w/e and its because Saunders was there with him.

Just really good but i'm very sad that Bennett died, i liked her a lot and Tophers one of my favourite characters so its just really cruel hehe.
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
I like Topher a lot,too.


Countess Von Drunkaton
Jan 16, 2009
I was completely shocked about Boyd. The fact that he has been working for Rossum this whole time just blew my mind. Great twist. Basically, if I am correct, Boyd contacted Caroline to be put into the Dollhouse so he could what, use her to infiltrate? Learn their secrets? The thing that upsets me the most is how much he appears to care for and trust Echo and her abilities. It makes me wonder if it's been an act the whole time. Their handler/doll relationship was one of the things I loved most about Season 1 (reminded me of Giles/Buffy) but now, in light of this recent development, it all seems like a sick act on his part.
I hope we'll get the answer about Boyd in the next episode. I think he really cares about Echo. I don't thinks he faked it.

Until she came along, he hadn't shown an interest in anyone romantically. It was funny when he said he had a crush on her even before he knew she was a girl :)
Lol at Bennett's face when he said that. And he also used that gadget/machine to test if she's a doll in The Left Hand.

And then there's....Caroline. I hate her more now then I ever have. I hope to God she never comes back. Echo doesn't want her back, and neither do I. She was/is so obsessed with bringing down Rossum that she doesn't care who she hurts or screws over in the process. She's reckless and hot-headed. She reminds me of Faith in Season 3.

Caroline is a poor excuse for a "revolutionary" or "activist" or whatever the hell she considers herself to be. She makes stupid decisions for the 'greater good' as she sees it (alerting the public to the atrocities undergone at Rossum) but like you say, doesn't think things through properly.
You're so right about this. I hate her less, though, because she didn't leave Bennett in awful way like we thought.

And S3 Faith has excuses because she's young and has fun with her new powers. But Caroline has not so much excuses.

What is she doing at the DC DH?
After Senator Perrin left her like that in The Left Hand, she was sent to DC Dollhouse, remember? But I really don't know why they did that to her.

I wasn't surprised that Topher removed Paul's love for Echo. It's sad, though, to see her reaction to that. I think she really loves him.
I'm sure Paul can love Echo again. But I doubt we will see it in these last two episodes. I wish there would be more Dollhouse seasons. :(

Pretty shocking to see Claire/Saunders kill Bennet in cold blood like that, arguably only to spite Topher. Sure. Bennet was nuts, but it's so typical of Whedon to kill off someone's love interest. *sigh*

I was a Claire/Topher shipper, but at this point, I don't ship anyone with Topher. It's clear that Bennet's death has had a serious effect on him. Who knows if he'll make it out of this unscathed.
Damn Claire! She used to be my favorite character. I thought she's over it about Topher since that heart-to-heart scene in Vows.

---------- Post added at 05:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:58 PM ----------

Wow. I've just IMDB-ed Summer Glau and it said she will be in the next episode. *happy dances*

I hope she won't be there as a body like Tara did in Villains of BtVS
It might be more flashbacks with Summer.
lol I love how you wrote that veeery little. I'm gald she'll be back too :D

Angelic Slayer

Daydream Believer
Jun 4, 2004
Ontario, Canada
Okay, so I haven't had a chance to read all of the other responses here yet but this episode's been brewing in my head all weekend and WOW! I'm still not quite sure if I can believe the ending.

Starting from the beginning of the episode anyway, I really enjoyed the scene where they broke Bennett out of her Dollhouse-- thought it was a neat way to do it. It was nice to see more of her character this episode, and hear a little more back story for her and Caroline. And the scenes between her and Topher were really sweet, it made her ending so much more drastic.

It was nice to see Doctor Saunders back in the house, I missed having her around. It would have been nice if she came back a little more peaceable, but I guess it's not her fault she's been programmed as a serial killer :silly: I didn't see the shot at Bennett coming at all, definitely the second biggest shocker of the episode. It was so surreal, almost like the second she finished her speech Saunders shifted from the caring Doctor we all know to another person. The scene afterwards with Topher was really heart breaking (the part with Ivy perhaps more so even than his reaction to Bennett, I thought) but I'm glad that Ivy got some camera time.

Moving back in the episode a little bit, I think they almost took the easy road out, taking away Paul's "connection" to Echo. A little cheesy, a little predictable, but I suppose it added another level to their seemingly doomed romance, which is right up Joss' alley. I can't help but wonder if Paul's brain would be able to get back those feelings for Echo in time, or if once that part of his brain's taken over he's without that for life. Next week it looks like we see more of him (without Echo around so much) so it'll be neat to see if any other parts of his personality have changed since he went brain dead.

And Boyd. Wholey macaroni, BOYD? I must have stared at the TV for a good 5 minutes before I could form a coherent thought, after the episode finished. It all seems so out of the blue to me. Given we didn't know a whole lot about Boyd's past until now, but we could say the same thing about DeWitt. It's just hard for me to believe that this twist was planned from the start. Maybe I'll have to look over the episodes from last season to see if I can find any clues, before "all is revealed" next week. When he was revealed as the big bad though, I couldn't help but laugh a little. All this time I've thought Boyd was kind of the same role as Giles played on BTVS; the adopted father role who looks after the female heroine. It serves me right for thinking Joss would re-use a character, maybe he knew all along that Buffy Fans would make that assumption-- it sure made Boyd seem a little less suspicious that he otherwise might have come across.

If he really is the mastermind though, it does make me question some of the other things that have gone on in the Dollhouse. Like Alpha, that was a random computer error--right? Assuming Boyd's the mega-brain head of Rossum, maybe he somehow manipulated the chair that day knowing what could happen to Alpha? Knowing that enough handlers would die that they would need replacements, and he could be brought in? It was a fleeting thought anyway, since Echo's being a doll was planned, I wonder if the same was true for Alpha or anyone else in the Dollhouse.

Guesses for next week:
  • I have a very bad feeling that Millie/November is going to die in the next episode. I remember hearing (I believe via whedonesque's twitter page, but I'll see if I can find a link) that Marcie Laurie's filming ended before the last episode was taped and I haven't seen her in any of the promotional photos. Maybe I'm wrong, but she seems like a likely candidate to be put on the chopping block for the next episode to me. And there seems to be an increasingly small chance of her ever getting her original personality back now, so I don't see how she would fit into the rest of the story.

  • I'm really hoping that they backtrack to some of the older episodes and show us some clues to Boyd's identity that we missed last season. I keep thinking back to shows like the "Target" and I'm having a hard time truly believing that Boyd's whole character was a deception. And did anyone else get a bit of a religious/extremeist vibe from Boyd the trailer for next week? It sounds almost like he sees Echo as some kind of Saint, sent to "save everyone" or something. I donno, but maybe that's how they'll explain Boyd being the mastermind? That he thinks he's saving the world from some greater evil (perhaps even itself). Just a random thought I had when I rewatched the trailer.

  • I'm not sure if he has another appearance, but now that Alpha's imprinted with Paul, I wonder if that's how Joss is going to explain what we found out in Epitaph One about Alpha. I mean, he was supposed to be the one that set up the "anti-imprint" tech (that Echo mentioned in 1x13), right? Maybe having a personality as morally sound as Paul's will somehow turn him into a good guy. At the very least I'm hoping that Echo gets another encounter with him. If he has Paul's full personality, maybe the Paul in Alpha's brain still has that connection with Echo. That could make for an interesting scene or two, I think. All just theories right now anyway, going to have to wait until next week for the answers!
Your posts are always amazing. Lol at macaroni, though.
[No message]


Eyeballs to entrails, my sweet.
Oct 8, 2008
Omg! Only just watched this it was amazing! Was great to see Saunders back but wha?!?! Dont get the killing at all! Became a Topher Bennet shipper-so cute! And lettin Ivy go :). I'm shocked at Boyd totally speechless!. Can't wait for the next ep.


The Late Goodbye
Jan 12, 2009
Sydney, Australia
I have a very bad feeling that Millie/November is going to die in the next episode.
Please don't get my hopes up!

I'm not sure if he has another appearance, but now that Alpha's imprinted with Paul...
yes, he's scheduled to appear in Epitaph Two!!

I'm still thinking constantly about yesterdays episode.

I'm totally in love with the part where you see Claire walking down the stairs with gun in hand, the music adds to it as well. Just awesome!
Angelic Slayer
Angelic Slayer
Awesome about the Alpha appearance, thanks!


Dn'* letthespacebugsbite!
Apr 2, 2009
I went off Mellie after she was trying to expose the dollhouse...
Echo++Paul ftw <3

Blondie Bear

Zydrate Addict
Jul 26, 2007
I think everyone's covered my thoughts, so I'll just let you in on my immediate after-episode reaction as the "Grr Argh" monster was crossing the screen:

"Huh? What the . . . DAMN YOU, JOSS WHEDON!"

and then

"Okay, Friday is one, two . . . five days away. . . . Grrrrrrrrrrr."

My sentiments exactly!


Miss Treager
Aug 23, 2005
Rack agrees: Oh I guess you did mention this earlier in the thread. I was too excited LOL
Yeah, I'm surprised everyone in D/FW didn't hear my fangirl squeeeeeeing. As it was, I think the neighbors came running out of their houses! LOL!

Primal Slayer

Did I Fall Asleep?
Feb 27, 2006
Of course it was a great episode. And I have loved Dollhouse since it began but the only problem I wish they could have fixed...is more Victor and Seirra. I wanted them to stay with Echo and help with the fight and become aware themselves.

Spectre 13

Nov 11, 2008

...did anyone else catch this:

Caroline: So you're Rossum?

Clyde the 5th:"¦it's the name of a play, but, um, technically you're not robots.
He said YOU'RE, like she's already a doll. It hasn't been explained yet why Caroline had such a thing against the Rossum Corporation, why she was trying to shut them down.

So...was Caroline already a doll?
That confused me too. I thought I misheard him.


Into Every Generation...
Oct 4, 2007
I literally just finished the episode and my mouth has been hanging open for a good 30 seconds. Boyd is pretty much top 3 in favorite characters (and ones im most invested in).... i just...what...no...he can't be a bad guy. Seriously ill be SO upset.
same, i'm hoping Boyd isn't the bad guy :(


Sep 13, 2009
The good;
Wait a second, Boyd's the bad guy! Wow, didn't see THAT coming! Not to mention Dr Saunders(?) blowing Bennett's head off! Talk about 2 jawdropping moments in the same episode. That's off course if Caroline's memories are to be trusted and she's not just putting Boyd's face onto the person in her memory (as Dana did with Spike in the Angel ep 'Damage')
The bad;
If Caroline wants to destroy the labs beneath her why does she put the bombs on the roof of the service shaft? Why doesn't she put them on the bottom? Dominic and Adele just send terrorist Caroline up to meet the Rossum head honchos and don't even frisk her, what if she'd pulled out a gun and blown them both away? When Adele, Ballard and Echo play pass-the-pistol they each cock it, emptying the magazine of rounds.

Best line;
Ballard; (hearing the explosions of Rossum's force entering the Dollhouse) "We're breached"
Echo; "That's one word for it"
Packing heat; Adele/Ballard/Echo trade the same pistol
Boyd; 10
Dominic; 10
Sierra; 7
Victor; 7
Ballard; 12
November; 1
Adele; 2

Echo kissage; 4

Kinky dinky;
Caroline uses her feminine wiles to get access to Adele's office. Topher remarks to Bennett 'You show me yours, I'll show you mine'. At least they have the chance to get kissy with one another before you know what happens.
Capt subtext;
Caroline's relationship with Bennett is akin to seduction but Bennett is happy to be 'used'. Bennet remarks that Caroline is the first person to 'Take an interest' in her whilst Caroline asks her to 'Buy me dinner first'. Does Paul rescue Mellie because Topher removes his obsession with Echo? Boyd and Echo finally hug. Topher confesses he had a crush on Bennett even when he thought she was a guy. Adele refers to Echo as 'darling'. Topher makes sure that Ivy escapes. Because he LOVES her.....

Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost;
Echo; 6 definite, 2 possible
November; 1
Ballard; 1
Victor; 1
Adele; 1
Sierra 1
Topher; 1 possible

How'd they get away with that?
Bennett's brain matter splattered all over the lab AND Topher!

This weeks fantasy;

What do we think of the client?

Total number personalitites;
Echo; 41
Sierra; 13
Victor; 11
November; 3

Total LA dolls; we meet Apollo and Cassandra, Dolls in the DC house (Cassandra foretells disaster?)
9-Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango, Alpha, Whiskey, Kilo

Addy is a bit British;
She loathes Arizona (too dry for her?). When a bullet shatters the window in front of her she comments 'Damn, I just had that replaced' in true Churchillian style. By contrast Caroline hates tea, she's obviously evil, let's keep Echo instead.

Topher is a bit geeky;

Subverting the Hollywood cliche;

Bondage; Caroline cuffs the security guard. Echo is tied down by Ballard
Sierra tied up; 2
Ballard; 2
Echo; 5
Victor; 2

Knocked out; Topher by Rossum goon
Echo; 7
November; 1
Sierra; 2
Victor; 3
Topher; 4
Ballard; 1

Kills; Boyd kills the Rossum head honcho and 3 of his goons
Sierra; 3 kills
Echo; 3
Boyd; 4

Dolls injured;

Happy hookers;
Echo comments that people still look at her as though she's 'Doing tricks'

Know the face? Mike Massa was of course David Boreanaz's stunt double in both Angel and Buffy
17-Whedon alumni-Mark Shepherd-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Amy Acker-2 (Dollhouse/Angel), walking action figure-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse), Eliza Dushku-3 (Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse), Jim Piddock-2 (Angel/Dollhouse), Gregg Henry-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Alan Tudyk-2 (Dollhouse/Firefly), Felicia Day-2(Dollhouse/Buffy), Alexis Denisoff-3 (Buffy, Angel and Dollhouse), Kristoffer Pohala-2 (Dollhouse/Angel), Stacey Scowley-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse) Clyde Katulas-2 (Buffy/Dollhouse), Maurissa Tanchon-2(Dollhouse/Dr Horrible), Summer Glau-3(Angel/Firefly/Dollhouse) Glenn Morshower-2(Buffy/Dollhouse). Greg Collins-2(Angel/Dollhouse) Mike Massa-3(Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse)

Dominic tortures the poor security guard. Adele shows her ruthlessness, wanting to return Dominic to the Attic to save his life.


Missing scenes;.

Reminds me of;
Carrie at the prom is referenced as is The Wizard of Oz. Bennett is very Willow and her meeting with Caroline akin to Buffy's historic first conversation with Willow in the Sunnydale High courtyard. Tron and The Matrix also mentioned. The lab is very similar to the Angel ep 'Dead End'. Rossum's office is very Blade Runner. The scene where Boyd(?) strokes Carolines face is reminiscent of the Shadowmen in the Buffy ep 'Get it done', doing the same even after enslaving Buffy and having her knocked up by their pet demon.

Whedon cliches; sleeper agents
Maimed characters. Rich and powerful famillies who cover up the evil deeds of their wayward sons. Top security installations which aren't secure at all. Loving self-sacrificing mothers who risk all for their children. Corporate politics literally played with deadly seriousness. Monty Python quoting villains. Offices full of zombies. Strawberries. Sleeper agents.

Breaking the programming;
Bennett speculates that Echo has merged her personalities into a 'superego', made up of all her collective minds but not dominated by any of them.

Questions and observations;
Interesting that Bennett and Caroline can have a different memory of the same event (although it may just be that they're both deaf from the explosions and can't hear what one another are saying). Adele says that the Rossum bigwig will undoubtedly have downloaded himself into several different bodies. That may be true but he's still dying when they kill him, his consciousness ends there, the others are just his clones. We discover Clyde is dead but we now meet Clyde 2.0 (or one of them)
Apparently in the scene at the end of the The Attic the cast and crew get the word that the series had been cancelled. This means that Joss has 3 eps to finish off the entire storyline AND address all the issues raised in Epitaph One. For that reason they obviously have to cram an awful lot into 120 minutes of airtime and it sends your brain pretty much into overload.
Marks out of 10; 8/10, certainly zips along at a fair pace


Sep 30, 2012
Loved the short Rick Fox cameo when they were giving the actives back their original personalities.

Fox: Feels like it was just yesterday

Topher: Last tuesday actually

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