Seriously, leave her alone. Echo has been through a lot since the end of last season, and the Dollhouse management always seems to want to push her out into another engagement instead of giving her adequate time to rest and recoup. Well, enough is enough.
The girl needs some time off.
After watching “Instinct,” I began thinking about how Adelle and Topher are purposefully and negligently pushing Echo harder than she needs to be pushed. They both know that something is catastrophically wrong with her because of the composite event she went through with Alpha during the season one finale (not to the extent that Ballard does, however). They’ve even mentioned being worried she’ll snap during an engagement because of it.
Yet Adelle always signs off on giving Echo extended engagements that are known to be stressful, such as her faux-partnership with Ballard in “Vows” and her mommying in “Instinct.” She also signs off on Topher screwing with Echo on a glandular level in “Instinct” instead of experimenting on another doll like Sierra who is known to be in perfect shape and not likely to experience another composite event.
No Rest for the Best?
Given that Echo is known to be unstable, why would they not give her every opportunity to get back to her best? If she is, as viewers are constantly reminded, the Dollhouse’s number one Active, a little more care should be show to make sure that she remains in top condition. That means, give her the easy jobs and stop experimenting on her. Give Sierra the lengthy, dangerous engagements and glandular enhancements, and make Echo lounge around the luxurious, spa-like environment so she doesn’t crack and end up destroying the world.
I don’t even particularly like Echo (I feel that Eliza Dushku is the least versatile actor on Dollhouse, actually), but I’m miffed that the Dollhouse higher-ups are being written to not act as professionally as they should. It seems like a given they would more fervently protect their Actives instead of watching them slowly degrade.
All A Part of the Plan?
At this point in the season, I chalk it up to being part of an unfinished storyline. As Jenn put it to me, the seeming negligence could come from Adelle’s morbid curiosity at what will happen if Echo snaps, combined with Topher’s arrogance and naiveté. I hope that’s the case, especially since Fox said Dollhouse would complete its 13 episodes this season. Because right now, I am having a hard time immersing myself in the narrative due to characters not acting the way I expect them to act.
Or I could be falling right into their trap because all of this might just be a part of the ever expanding moral gray area that permeates Dollhouse week after week. I love the fact that I never really know who is a good guy or bad guy or if any given character falls into either category. It’s smart TV, I tell you. Smart TV.