Episode Title: "Meet Jane Doe" & "A Love Supreme"
Written By: Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon & Andrew Chambliss / Jenny DeArmitt
Synopsis: It's been three months since Echo (Eliza Dushku) went AWOL. In that time, she has increased her self-awareness to the point of having a full-fledged personality, thanks to the companionship and training provided by her handler-turned-friend Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett). At the Dollhouse, Topher (Fran Kranz) discovers a deadly secret about the Rossum Corporation, providing Adelle DeWitt (Olivia Williams) with an opportunity to regain control over daily operations and proving once and for all just how cutthroat she truly is.
But even more dangerous is the renegade Alpha (Alan Tudyk), who resurfaces with a bloodthirsty vendetta towards every man and woman that ever fell in love with Echo. Now back at the Dollhouse, Paul and Boyd Langton (Harry Lennix) assist the secretly self-aware Echo in finding and stopping Alpha, but the deadly sociopath already has plans of his own to make himself known.
A Stronger Echo: Well played, Camp Whedon. Thrusting us three months into the future with "Meet Jane Doe" solved many problems, the greatest being Echo's lack of meaningful involvement in "Dollhouse." Now, Echo has advanced to the point of having the tangible personality and mission-centric drive she exhibited in "Epitaph One," which would be a great development even if "Dollhouse" wasn't rushing towards the finish line. As it is, these final few episodes are likely to have an active Echo in the forefront, which is absolutely fantastic.
The Deadliest Tech I've Ever Seen: Aside from Echo's evolution, the plot is quickly ramping up towards the future seen in "Epitaph One" thanks to Rossum's development of a doll-inducing device. Essentially, this technology could immediately turn any geek off the street into a doll with the mere flick of a switch. As seen by the pseudo-zombies in "A Love Supreme," this development has potentially catastrophic repercussions — and if the show catches up to the "Epitaph One" timeline, then those repercussions will be realized.
Return of the Ice Queen: Adelle DeWitt has always been forward-thinking, but self-preservation is higher up on her personal hierarchy. As such, she provides Rossum with Topher's blueprints detailing the aforementioned device's creation, unknowingly dooming the entire world as a result — all just to get her prominent job back. It's nice to have the sickly cold Adelle back, even if it was equally pleasant to have the compassionate version of her for a time. But this show needs antagonists, and her actions in "Meet Jane Doe" certainly put her in a more villainous role than before.
Do You Like The Suit: Of course, the greatest villain the show has known is Alpha, and he came back in literally stylish fashion. From blowing up that poor man on the rooftop (nice continuity by the way) to turning every single doll into dangerous, mindless combatants, Alpha proved once again why he is such a threat to be reckoned with. Also, it's always fun to see Tudyk getting his Joker vibe on — hopefully we'll see him a few more times before "Dollhouse" finishes.
Bye Bye Lover Boy: Alpha's greatest achievement in "A Love Supreme" comes in the form of essentially killing Paul Ballard. Thanks to some aggressive and invasive interrogation techniques, Alpha rendered Ballard completely brain dead. Previews indicate that Ballard isn't completely off the playing field, which I'm happy about since I love the character, but man — how crazy would it be if that's how Ballard went out? Several episodes left to go before the series finale, and Ballard is just preemptively taken off the board? It would be a very ballsy move, but my hunch is that Paul will somehow be saved in the coming episodes.
Final Imprints: Maybe it's thanks to the two-hour format, but this is the second straight week of awesome "Dollhouse" outings, which actually translates into four consecutively terrific episodes. If the rest of the season can keep up this brisk pace, then "Dollhouse" fans are in for an incredibly satisfying finish.
Next Engagement: The next back-to-back episode pairing sends Echo to the infamous attic, while medical professionals within the Dollhouse race to rescue Paul Ballard's life.
What did you think of the back-to-back episodes? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!