Dollhouse Premiere Review - Ghost Episode
On the "Ghost" episode of Dollhouse, we see a young woman named Caroline talking with a British woman. Caroline is in trouble of some sort. She was trying to do something good, but everything went wrong. Now she's going to prison. Caroline says that she knows actions have consequences, and the woman says "What if they didn't?"
Cut to two motorcycles racing through a city. They weave in and out of traffic, cut through a shopping area, and end up at a birthday party, where it says, "Happy Birthday Matt."
Caroline, now called Echo, hops off one of the motorcycles. Matt, the birthday boy, is on the other. They have a good time at the celebration, dancing the night away. At the end of the night, he gives her a heart necklace. She's happy. Then she gets serious and just walks away.
Echo turns a corner and walks up to a black van. A man, who we learn to be her handler, Boyd Langton, opens the door and says, "You ready for your treatment?" She says yes.
They get to their destination--the Dollhouse--and Echo asks Boyd if he could take her back to the party after her treatment. He says yes. She steps into an elevator and Boyd has a look of disappointment and regret on his face. He's lied to her, and it bothers him.
Echo gets to the treatment room, and the technician (Topher) asks her to lie down. Her head fits around a contraption, and then he turns on the machine. Just like that, they suck out her memory. It's gone.
Echo stands up and asks if she's been asleep. Echo leaves, and Topher takes the tape of her memories and puts it into a computer. He and Boyd talk about the good they are doing for humanity. Boyd says something about if it's so good, why would they end up in jail if anyone found out about it?
Cut to a girl named Davina talking on the phone in her house. She's on the phone with her dad Gabriel, who is in a limo. The conversation ends, and Davina falls back on her bed, relaxing. At that moment, we see someone put a cloth over her mouth, then others appear to kidnap her.
In the next scene, Gabriel is talking to the British lady. Her name is Miss DeWitt, and she runs the Dollhouse. The Dollhouse uses 'Actives'--people that are programmed for specific tasks--to solve problems. For a fee, of course.
Gabriel wants to hire the Dollhouse. DeWitt says they'll help, but it's imperative that the Active not know about the arrangement. It would only confuse her.
Downstairs, Echo is getting physical therapy on her knee. It hurts badly, but she cannot remember doing anything to it. She finds this curious. The doctor arranges a massage for Echo, and Echo leaves. But instead of heading where she needs to go, she walks up to the next level. Here, she sees another woman getting treatment. Only this treatment has dozens of wires attached to the woman's body. It looks painful. Echo is a little freaked out, and Topher sees this. He tells her that it's the woman's first time in treatment, and they'll have to do more 'work' on her because it's her first time. The woman's name is Sierra, and she'll be living with Echo.
Cut to Agent Paul Ballard getting reamed by two superiors. He's been investigating the Dollhouse, but hasn't found any credible evidence that it exists. What he has done is cause a lot of problems for the Bureau, as well as a Senator. His superiors don't think the Dollhouse is real. Why would a billionaire need to create the perfect woman, assassin--whatever? A billionaire could have all of those things and more.
The agent tells them to take him off the case, but he knows they can't. Someone higher up than his superiors believes the Dollhouse is real, and that person wants on the investigation. They ask him to tone it down, and he tells them he will (though we get the feeling he won't).
Back at the Dollhouse, we see Echo going in for a treatment. This time, rather than erasing her memory, she is supplanted with one--as well as a mission.
Cut to DeWitt talking with Boyd. She tells the man that Echo is to facilitate a trade in the kidnapping case. She is to only get the girl back. No one is to be brought to justice. If Echo is in trouble, the man is to pull her out. Echo is his only priority.
We then see Echo entering Gabriel's house. Echo is now Elanor Penn. Gabriel tells Elanor that he wants a fatherly type to do this job. Someone that will make the kidnappers feel at ease. That Elanor is wrong for the job. Beautiful women don't make men comfortable.
Elanor tells him that she's the right person for the job--that she's been doing this stuff her whole life.
In the van, Boyd is watching all of this on video. He notices that Elanor has on glasses. Boyd talks on the phone to the technician and asks about the glasses. The technician tells Boyd that he can duplicate personalities or maps of people, but he has to take the good with the bad. In this case, Echo has been implanted with the personality of a long time profiler. However, that person was near sighted (hence the glasses) and had asthma.
Kidnappers call and Elanor answers. Mr. Sunshine, the kidnapper, is not happy that he's talking to Elanor. She tells Sunshine that Gabriel is unstable and that Sunshine will deal with her. She says he may call her Miss Penn, and he doesn't like it. Then she says that she'll give them 8 million dollars instead of the 5 they asked for, and that they should call back in 40 minutes so the Devina can talk to her dad.
Cut to a bar. Agent Ballard is drinking, doing surveillance on someone.
Back to Gabriel's house. Sunshine calls and says he wants 10 million. Elanor hangs up. Sunshine calls back and is very angry, but puts Devina on the phone.
The girl is scared, tells her dad that they're yelling at her. There is one man with a mask. Elanor asks if they hurt her, but she says no. Sunshine gives a time to meet, and hangs up the phone.
Elanor and Gabriel argue. He doesn't trust her, and he doesn't like how this whole negotiation is heading. Then he starts hinting around that she's part of the dollhouse. She doesn't understand.
Elanor tells him that she was kidnapped and abused by a man as a kid. That's why she chose the career she did. Gabriel tells her it could all be made up. Again, Elanor seems confused. At that moment, she has flashes of the woman she saw getting treatment.
Cut to russian man in bar, going into restroom. Agent Ballard pulls a gun on him and asks about the Dollhouse. The Russian says he doesn't know anything about it, but Ballard says a russian family supplies women to the dollhouse. Ballard is only intersted in one client. Find out who that is and he'll never come around again.
Cut to Gabriel and Elanor at drop site--a dock. Boyd is there in the background with a scoped rifle. Mr. Sunshine is alone on the pier. His crew is on a boat.
Elanor asks to see the girl. They show Devina, who has duct tape over her mouth. Sunshine asks to see the money. They show it to him. Sunshine motions to his crew to come get the money. Elanor sees one of the men and recognizes him. She starts having an asthma attack and falls to her knees. She tells Gabriel to not let them get on the boat--that they aren't going to give the daughter back.
Gabriel shouts at Sunshine and walks toward him and Sunshine shoots him. Then Sunshine points the gun at Elanor. Boyd shoots him with the rifle, then runs to Elanor and asks her if she's ready for her treatment. She keeps repeating something: "You can't fight a ghost."
Back in the van, Elanor tells Boyd that the man she saw on the pier was the man that attacked her when she was a child. She knows that he won't harm/abuse the girl until he kills the rest of the crew and ditches the boat. She thinks they have 6 hours tops. The van gets to the Dollhouse and Elanor is taken up for her treatment. Boyd tells everyone that Echo should remain Elanor for now, because she's the only one that can help the girl.
Boyd barges in Miss DeWitt's office and persuades Miss DeWitt to not clear out Elanor's memory. Elanor figures out who the person is. She thinks it's a teacher from Devina's school. Dominic tells her he has a helicopter for her, and that Boyd is staying behind. Boyd is not happy.
In the air, Elanor learns that James Shepard is the teacher they're looking to find. His sister has a house 6 miles from the dock.
Elanor walks up to the house alone and knocks. They let her in. She outs Shepard and tells the rest of the crew that the man that abused her will kill all of them and abuse Devina. She tells them that she knows the girl is in the refrigerator. That they took the shelves out and roped the door shut. She tells Shepard and another guy that they should take the money and run. Shepard says that they were going to tell people where the girl was, but Elanor tells them they were going to die.
Elanor taunts the man that abused her, and he hits her in the face. A shootout ensues. Elanor runs into the kitchen and opens the refrigerator door and pulls out Devina. One of the crew members comes in and tells her to go. As she leaves, Elanor sees her abuser dead on the ground. Right before she exits, the door is kicked in. A woman flies through the door and shoots the remaining crew members. She tells everyone to get the money and get out of there.
Elanor thinks the man in the mask is someone familiar to the girl, which is why he's wearing a mask.
At the Dollhouse, Dominic tells DeWitt that it all worked out. The dad is in stable condition, they got the 8 million plus a commission. DeWitt hands him a file labeled "Alpha" and asks him how they're going to deal with that.
Cut to a naked man on a table watching a college video of Echo. He inserts a picture of Echo into a manilla envelope addressed to Paul Ballard. On the back, it says "Keep looking."
The camera pans down to dead bodies on the ground. In the video, Echo is talking about her dreams for the future. She says, "I want to do everything."
Back at the Dollhouse, a handful of Actives lay down in separate chambers. Lids close over the top of them, and the episode ends.