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Episode Discussion 2.12 "The Hollow Man" - aired 15/1/10 (FOX-US)

Buffyverse Fan

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Sineya
i'm kinda meh on this ep
I knew the end would be kinda rushed, but i am just really confused right now.

what the hell is up with Boyd? the Boyd/Echo/SpinalFluid/cure/i'mevilznow didn't make any since to me.

Why go to all that trouble? Why didn't they take Echo's Spinal Fluid in the first place.
In the beginning, pre-Echo, Boyd & Clyde 2.0 just saw that Caroline's genetics were somehow resistant to Active-Technology. It wasn't until Caroline joined the LA Dollhouse that they learned the full extent of her resistance to the imprints & wipes.

At that point, purely logically, Boyd could have just "taken her spinal fluid," but he didn't because he had grown attached to her and wanted to wait until she evolved further and he could extract it without harming her.

And what was up with Boyds "I love you all like my family, except paul" (Though i must admit i agree, i do not get the appeal of paul.)
Boyd secretly "chose" Adelle, Topher and Caroline. Boyd didn't choose Paul, Alpha and then Adelle brought Paul into the mix.

---------- Post added at 02:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:12 AM ----------

I agree with what you're saying about being invested in every character except Echo. Perhaps the lackluster nature of the main character is why the show failed. While I'll admit she's grown on me (I love for brave she is, for instance) I find myself for more interested in Topher, Victor, and Adelle.
Those are my favorites as well. I'd put Real!Paul in there too, but Doll!Paul is a little less interesting to me (his connection with Echo was such a big part of who he was, and without it...).

I also happen to like Dominic a lot since he was sent to the attic. I mean, Caroline's Hippie-Terrorist shtick kinda pales in comparison to Dominic being a Secret Agent Antihero!

Adelle was just always great, and I agree with Topher. I don't really think that he just grew on all of us, thinking back, he's just been written with better thought and dialog lately. His speech to Saunders "you learned to hate me all on your own" with tears in his eyes, was what got me hooked on his character.
 

Emzzie

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I thought Topher called himself the lion (cowardly), and Adelle the tin man (no heart). Is that not correct?
No, as Kinslayer said, he did call her the lion.

Many complaints from the fans are about how fast the show is moving. But to be honest, I'm enjoying it more at this pace then at the pace it was moving before.
I've had time to think about Boyd being the villian, and I really don't like it at all. It just did not "fit" in with his story. When they dropped that bomb last episode, it was kind of random IMO. Sure he was insane so he could have been cunning enough to hide it, but I'm thinking Joss did not plan to have him as the villian.
Somebody said that they did not like Amy Acker as Clyde. I agree. I'm confused to the max on the relationship between Dr. Saunders and Boyd. I doubt she knew he was nuts, but there must have been clues or something? Did he really love her?
And why did they have to kill the doll that was boyd? I mean, the person whose body that was would have been innocent, right? I guess though, they would have not known where the actual person's personality was. I think I'm just upset that they blew him up! And he seemed so innocent doing it.
 

Flannen

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Okay, so after watching this episode yesterday, I decided to rewatch Epitaph One to continue to evaluate what happened in this episode and also to get ready for Epitaph Two thinking it would be helpful and make some sense. Boy, did it not! Seriously, my brain is ALL over the place right now. I have too many questions and too many comments to make and no idea where to put them...Gah!
 

Washburne

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And why did they have to kill the doll that was boyd? I mean, the person whose body that was would have been innocent, right? I guess though, they would have not known where the actual person's personality was. I think I'm just upset that they blew him up! And he seemed so innocent doing it.
Guess I had to much information to take in. Boyd was just a doll? I thought they just inprinted him in the end. Was the Boyd we've seen for two seasons just a doll with an inprint? Seems like an important piece of information to miss. :blush:

---------- Post added at 05:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:50 PM ----------

Many complaints from the fans are about how fast the show is moving.
Not like they had much choice if they wanted to get it in before the show ended. Sure it felt rushed at times but rather that than missing out on a lot of things.
 
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
No, I thought Topher just wiped Boyd at the end. He was never a Doll as far as I know.
E
Emzzie
I know :) I said that many of the complaints are saying that it is rushed, but I LIKE it better that way. I dont want to miss anything either.

Flannen

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And why did they have to kill the doll that was boyd? I mean, the person whose body that was would have been innocent, right? I guess though, they would have not known where the actual person's personality was. I think I'm just upset that they blew him up! And he seemed so innocent doing it.
Guess I had to much information to take in. Boyd was just a doll? I thought they just inprinted him in the end. Was the Boyd we've seen for two seasons just a doll with an inprint? Seems like an important piece of information to miss. :blush:
I don't think he was a doll. Boyd, the man, was the villain. What Topher used to wipe him, is the tech that goes rampant in Epitaph One. Topher made a piece of technology capable of wiping any human individual whether they had the imprint/doll brain architecture or not. Boyd was a doll in the sense that he had been wiped but he wasn't being used to do someone else's dirty work - Boyd did do it all. He was only innocent in that sense because he had forgotten he had done it all.

Hmm, I'm not sure I'm making sense? Basically Boyd wasn't a doll, a random body hadn't been imprinted with an imprint to take over the world, it was really him.

Well, that's what I thought anyway...maybe I got it all wrong? lol

I thought he'd basically infiltrated the Dollhouse because he needed to keep an eye on Caroline's body because they would ultimately need access to her physiology when the time came. So he'd just, as Topher said, been one hell of an actor from day one.
 

Joan the Vampire Slayer

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In the beginning, pre-Echo, Boyd & Clyde 2.0 just saw that Caroline's genetics were somehow resistant to Active-Technology. It wasn't until Caroline joined the LA Dollhouse that they learned the full extent of her resistance to the imprints & wipes.

At that point, purely logically, Boyd could have just "taken her spinal fluid," but he didn't because he had grown attached to her and wanted to wait until she evolved further and he could extract it without harming her.


Boyd secretly "chose" Adelle, Topher and Caroline. Boyd didn't choose Paul, Alpha and then Adelle brought Paul into the mix.

---------- Post added at 02:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:12 AM ----------


Those are my favorites as well. I'd put Real!Paul in there too, but Doll!Paul is a little less interesting to me (his connection with Echo was such a big part of who he was, and without it...).

I also happen to like Dominic a lot since he was sent to the attic. I mean, Caroline's Hippie-Terrorist shtick kinda pales in comparison to Dominic being a Secret Agent Antihero!

Adelle was just always great, and I agree with Topher. I don't really think that he just grew on all of us, thinking back, he's just been written with better thought and dialog lately. His speech to Saunders "you learned to hate me all on your own" with tears in his eyes, was what got me hooked on his character.
Paul was originally my favorite character, but my interest in him was waned for some reason. Probobly because he's a doll now. Agree about Dominic. I wondered what happened to him.

Yeah, Topher is just....amazing.

---------- Post added at 09:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:46 AM ----------

I'm confused to the max on the relationship between Dr. Saunders and Boyd. I doubt she knew he was nuts, but there must have been clues or something? Did he really love her?
I'm confused about this too. Who knows if he even had the capacity to love. After all, he said he loved Echo, Adelle, and Topher, said they were his "family" but he'd been using them all along.

And why did they have to kill the doll that was boyd? I mean, the person whose body that was would have been innocent, right? I guess though, they would have not known where the actual person's personality was. I think I'm just upset that they blew him up! And he seemed so innocent doing it.
No, it's not like the situation with Clyde and Saunders/Whiskey. Boyd wasn't inhabiting anyone else's body. The person whose body that was wasn't innocent - it was Boyd's. In his Dollstate, he's a blank slate yes, but his body is still Boyd's. We are supposed to believe, at this point, that Boyd is evil - even as bad of a move on the writers part as it was. And we are supposed to believe that Echo is the Hero. I don't think Boyd was lying when he said she was going to save them all - it just ended up being in a different way then he had envisioned, using him as a weapon.

---------- Post added at 09:56 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:51 AM ----------

I don't think he was a doll. Boyd, the man, was the villain. What Topher used to wipe him, is the tech that goes rampant in Epitaph One. Topher made a piece of technology capable of wiping any human individual whether they had the imprint/doll brain architecture or not. Boyd was a doll in the sense that he had been wiped but he wasn't being used to do someone else's dirty work - Boyd did do it all. He was only innocent in that sense because he had forgotten he had done it all.

Hmm, I'm not sure I'm making sense? Basically Boyd wasn't a doll, a random body hadn't been imprinted with an imprint to take over the world, it was really him.

Well, that's what I thought anyway...maybe I got it all wrong? lol

I thought he'd basically infiltrated the Dollhouse because he needed to keep an eye on Caroline's body because they would ultimately need access to her physiology when the time came. So he'd just, as Topher said, been one hell of an actor from day one.
I think your theory is spot-on, Flannen. That's what I thought, too.

I'm wondering, does anyone know if there is some sort of significance to the title of this episode, 'The Hollow Man'? I couldn't figure out what it could mean. There's a poem by T.S Eliot called 'The Hollow Men'. I wonder if it's an obscure reference?
 

Flannen

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I'm wondering, does anyone know if there is some sort of significance to the title of this episode, 'The Hollow Man'? I couldn't figure out what it could mean. There's a poem by T.S Eliot called 'The Hollow Men'. I wonder if it's an obscure reference?
Well, I think the episode might actually be called 'The Hollow Men' and you reminding me of T.S Eliot's poem made me go back and read it. Now it might just be cos I'm a literature geek and it's kind of been my life for the last three years to interpret literature but I actually think it's rather fitting.

Here's a link to the poem: T.S Eliot - The Hollow Men. Now I think there are several parts of the poem that relate quite heavily, not only to this episode, but to where the finale is heading. If you have any thoughts, PM or something. I don't want to hijack the thread but for those other literature nuts out there, I'd love to see what you think and if we pick up on the same bits. It really might not have anything to do with the episode title at all but it wouldn't surprise me in the least.
 
Joan the Vampire Slayer
Joan the Vampire Slayer
I'll have to re-read it and see if I can make any connections.

Buffyverse Fan

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Well, I think the episode might actually be called 'The Hollow Men' and you reminding me of T.S Eliot's poem made me go back and read it.
I'm unsure about any cultural references, but taking the term literally, the episode really was about "Hollow Men." Topher created the technology to truly, and instantaneously make human-beings "hollow"
 

Flannen

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I'm unsure about any cultural references, but taking the term literally, the episode really was about "Hollow Men." Topher created the technology to truly, and instantaneously make human-beings "hollow"
Oh yeah, definitely. But after reading the poem, even just the first few lines, I think it's quite possible it's where the title and that whole concept comes from. I'm not saying it definitely must be, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear it's not (just as much as I wouldn't be surprised to hear it is, lol) but like I said, I'm an English student and soon to be teacher - it's my "job" to make these links, no matter how tenuous! :p
 

Frketson

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It was an ok ep, i did like getting closer much better but i did love the mellie scene and then the boyd one at the end.

I'm totally confused about Whiskey/Dr. Saunder/Clyde. So when boyd was with claire for a few months when she was living with him she was dr. saunders. When she was brought back she was still Dr. saunders, when she killed bennet she was still dr. saunders (we still dont know why she killed her). And then all of a sudden she is clyde?? Did boyd let clyde take over her body? And why?? I thought he really cared for her, and now whats happened to dr saunders, shes just gone?
 

Flannen

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It was an ok ep, i did like getting closer much better but i did love the mellie scene and then the boyd one at the end.

I'm totally confused about Whiskey/Dr. Saunder/Clyde. So when boyd was with claire for a few months when she was living with him she was dr. saunders. When she was brought back she was still Dr. saunders, when she killed bennet she was still dr. saunders (we still dont know why she killed her). And then all of a sudden she is clyde?? Did boyd let clyde take over her body? And why?? I thought he really cared for her, and now whats happened to dr saunders, shes just gone?
The only thing I can shed any light on is that she's not 'just gone'. I distinctly remember hearing Topher say that he had 'got Saunders' as in got her out of the building before it blew up. She's back with them now, but as who, I don't know.
 

Buffyverse Fan

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The only thing I can shed any light on is that she's not 'just gone'. I distinctly remember hearing Topher say that he had 'got Saunders' as in got her out of the building before it blew up. She's back with them now, but as who, I don't know.
Yeah, her body is fine as seen in Epitaph One, but I'm inclined to think Whiskey/Saunders is dead for all intents and purposes. I think her transition to the altruistic zombie from Epitaph One was a direct result from her manipulations by Boyd & Clyde 2.0, and she never fully recovered.

I almost hope that's the case since the alternative is bringing Saunders back, and having her realize that her only friend in the world was just using her for his evil scheme, and he's now dead.
 

Frketson

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Yeah i know her body is still intact but i just dont get what happened with her "mind" so to speak. Clyde threw it out on the digital street. Could the writers really be any more ambiguous??
 

J. Ruby

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Topher to Anthony: Are you still me? Because I could use someone to shoulder some of the guilt.
Priya: It's Anthony... with some enhancements.
Adelle: Really...!?

:lmao:
 

saturn5

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THE HOLLOW MEN
The good;
Once again we have Victor/Topher and it's brilliant although how we get it, this seems a little bit contrived. Couldn't Topher just leave a note with the Topher-wedge saying "Victor/Sierra, I think one of us is a traitor, please follow us to Tuscon and try to find out who it is". The rest is a thrilling ride but frankly Miller's Crossing was easier to understand first time around (but worth it).
The bad;
The machine that can be blown up to make everything ok seems a little contrite (think They Live) but they didn't have much time to work with (3 eps of Dollhouse after cancellation compared with 10 for Angel). Although we know that Topher is a genius it seems awfully convenient that he can be lured to Rossum headquarters and solve a problem that has perplexed their experts in about 10 minutes. Truth be told there's WAAAYYYYYY too much Duex et Machina in this ep, I've watched it several times and in honesty still cannot figure out Boyd's motivations, the whole thing makes exactly zero sense. More redundant cocking of pistols.

Best line;
Mellie; (declining Ballard's offer of a rifle)"I don't think so, I'm afraid"
Ballard; (placing it in her hand) "So am I, that's why we have guns" (Words to cheer the heart of Sarah Palin/The National Rifle Association)
plus
Ballard; (as Boyd turns on him) "What did I miss?" Frankly Paul you're only as lost as the rest of us.
Packing heat; Sierra and Victor pick up the Sig and MP5 from the dead hitmen at the Dollhouse, Adele also packing an M4, everyone swaps guns at some point. By the end of the ep Ballard has traded up to some serious firepower with the M249 SAW (Squad Automactic Weapon) beltfed machinegun. Also see best line.
Echo;14
Boyd; 11
Dominic; 10
Sierra; 8
Victor; 8
Ballard; 13
November; 2
Adele; 3

Echo kissage; 4

Kinky dinky;
Victor/Anthony gives Sierra/Priya permission to shoot him if he turns evil but tells her to 'avoid the junk'. When Sierra tells Adele that Victor has had some 'enhancements' she says 'Really?' in a very suggestive manner.
Capt subtext;
When someone questions whether Bennett fixed the wedge Topher immediately springs to her defence. Adele comforts Topher over his loss of Bennett, pets Echo in a very maternal manner and Whiskey does the same to her in a far from maternal manner. Topher refers to Boyd as his 'best man friend'. Boyd jealous of Ballard, perhaps seeing him as taking over his role in the group? He also disapproves of Adele pimping Echo out in a very paternal manner.

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?
I'm really going to be happy when there's no more needles (shudder), the scene where they drain her spinal fluid especially wince inducing. Also someone showered with brains from their beloved who's just been shot in the head for the second time in 2 eps.

This weeks fantasy;


What do we think of the client?


Total number personalitites; note that it's Mellie in this ep, Paul's next door neighbour and not Madeline, the girl we saw testifying in The Public Eye.
Echo; 41
Sierra; 13
Victor; 11
November; 3

Total LA dolls;
9-Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango, Alpha, Whiskey, Kilo

Addy is a bit British;
She remarks "Look lively".

Topher is a bit geeky;
He thinks that gun-toting Sierra is super sexy in a 'Ripley' sort of way (Joss of course having written Alien 4).

Subverting the Hollywood cliche;


Bondage; Echo tied to the surgery table
Sierra tied up; 2
Ballard; 2
Echo; 6
Victor; 2

Knocked out; doped Echox2
Echo; 9
November; 1
Sierra; 2
Victor; 3
Topher; 4
Ballard; 1

Kills; Victor kills at least 2 of Rossum's hitmen and Echo sends active Boyd to his death.
Sierra; 3 kills
Echo; 4
November;1
Victor; 2
Boyd; 4

Dolls injured;


Happy hookers;
Boyd refers to Echo bedding 'half of LA'. It's a very dominating concept, Caroline who was the righteous crusader against Rossum surrendering to them and becoming their willing slave whom they pimp out as they please.

Know the face?
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)

Guantanamo;
This time it's Ballard who says they can't wait (because Topher removed his love for Echo?)but Adele who insists on staying for the others.

Fanfic;


Missing scenes;.


Reminds me of;
Besuited Whiskey is reminiscent of Demi Moore's famous cover shoot from the 80s. The Wizard of Oz again, something much quoted in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, another series with Summer Glau.

Whedon cliches; again we see that with it's cutting edge medical Rossum is actually quite benevolent in many ways (like the Alliance in Firefly). As was the point made in Buffy/Angel, humans rule because they evolve and demons don't, Boyd making the same argument here. It's not necessarily those who are stronger and smarter who survive but those who adapt and evolve best, fire, TV and opposable thumbs. Boyd refers to the Dollhouse crew as a family, much like the Scoobs, AI and the Serenity crew. We're told that Echo is 'The Key', like Dawn and River Tam. Another big girly fight that isn't girly at all.
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;
All the Dolls can now break their imprinting to a greater and lesser degree, Sierra and Victor feel their love for one another whatever they're imprinted and Mellie now kills herself rather than hurt Paul.

Questions and observations;
So, they always had the idea of Caroline being special, it was clear to them from the start. Her physiology holds the secret to being able to resist being forcibly imprinted. Who killed the Rossum hitmen at the Dollhouse? One could see the dangers of the Dollhouse tech as an analogy for nuclear proliferation, that even if every nuke were destroyed it wouldn't matter because once the knowledge of how to create them exists it can never be de-invented. Adele refers to Nero fiddling whilst Rome burnt. Actually he didn't, his actions during the fire were quite heroic but that story was spread afterwards by his enemies when he tried to raise taxes. Victor quotes the Ranger creed 'Leave no man behind'.
Marks out of 10; 8/10, enjoyable despite the bafflement
 
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