The Best of the Best
Dollhouse “Epitaph One” In this coda to season one, we start off ten years in the future and learn what effect the dollhouse technology has had on the larger world.
WARNING: After the jump, THERE BE SPOILERS!
The beginning of this episode is a rather jarring shift from where we ended the first season only a few short months ago. Set in 2019, we follow Felicia Day (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) and a band of survivors in post-apocalyptic LA. They quickly stumble upon the remains of the dollhouse and a scar-free Whiskey.
After a few minutes of the cliched Matrix/Terminator “band of survivors” drama we quickly get into the meat and potatoes of the episode: the flashbacks.
Here we see the next steps in the dollhouse technology, and we even begin to see our characters acting somewhat admirably for once. They have finally begun to comprehend what they have brought into the world. This is most evident in the kitchen, when one of Rossum’s higher-ups is explaining that this technology can now be used for “anatomical upgrades.” Though he doesn’t say a word in this scene, the look of absolute horror on Topher’s face here highlights his feeling of complicity and sets up the mental breakdown we witness him having later on.
The potential for these uses was made clear from early on in the show’s run, but it is only now that they are being realized that we see our characters having to grapple with the impact of their actions. No longer can they hide behind the belief that they are helping the actives, because now its becoming clear that Rossum, as a whole, is much less concerned about the fair treatment of its actives.
In another telling moment in the kitchen scene, the higher up says that both Adele and Topher can take advantage of these “anatomical upgrades” themselves. He tells them that they “have earned a spot on the ark”—hell, Topher built most of that ark. And on Topher’s face is the realization that he also created the flood that is coming to wipe away humanity.