This was a fantastic non-linear episode full of action, misdirection, and suspense. What else does one want in a sci-fi mystery? Damnit, why doesn’t more people watch this awesome show?
The episode titled, “Spy in the House of Love” opened up with flashing lights in Topher’s imprint room with a number of people trying to contain someone. Echo and Sierra look above at the struggling and Echo says something that hints a woman made a mistake and is now facing the consequences. Then we hear a gunshot and blood splatters on the window. This was a serious “WTF?” moment and it perfectly set the mood for the rest of the episode.
We find out that Adelle Dewitt will be away for a few days from the Dollhouse because she’s been summoned by the superiors. She puts Dominic in charge, which not too many people were too happy about. Soon after Dewitt has been gone, things go awry. Topher addresses Langton about a microchip he found in the programming chair that can add an imprint on top of the one Topher prepares for the Actives. Topher traced it as NSA technology and suspects Langton first. He tells Langton that he’s giving him a few moments to run and get away before he tells Ms. Dewitt. This little bit of information is interesting and perhaps meaningful. Why would Topher do this for Langton? Or is this just foolish Topher doing foolish things? Anyway, Langton assures Topher he’s not the spy.
So who’s the spy? With Ms. Dewitt gone, everyone seems to be on the mission. But before we get to the good stuff, a little information on the whereabout of Adelle. Victor is imprinted and goes to visit an elderly woman that many call the “lonely hearts” engagements from time to time. But it just so happen that Victor doesn’t satisfy the elderly woman… he actually drives and meets a woman named Catherine, and soon it’s revealed that Catherine is Adelle Dewitt. Whoa. Although this wasn’t a piece to the unsolved puzzle of who Alpha is or what the Dollhouse’s real purpose is… this blindsided me. Anyway, Victor (or Robert) and Adelle share intimacy along with a pretty feisty fencing duel. Victor/Robert seems to know all about the Dollhouse, but he doesn’t seem to know Adelle’s real name. The engagement ends with Adelle crying and Victor/Robert comforting her.
This was the first time, besides the drug-induced embarrassment in (name of episode), that we see Adelle Dewitt outside of her usual cold-hearted and stern shell. She’s seen as very vulnerable and caring. At the same time, there’s a hint that she might be thinking through the whole meaning of Dollhouse internally. Is she turning the tide and seeing the Dollhouse as an immoral organization? Or maybe she’s questioning whether or not she’s actually an imprint herself?
Next we see November imprinted back with Mellie’s personality. She goes back to her apartment across from Agent Paul Ballard and he’s startled that she’s returned. He escorts her into his room and tells her how his apartment was bugged and all he could think about was the Dollhouse and how he’s getting closer to understanding and breaking them down. After a small back-and-forth conversation, it’s settled that Mellie will be staying with Ballard to keep him “grounded” from chasing the Dollhouse. But here’s when another “whoa” moment came: right in the middle of kissing Ballard, Mellie freezes up and then took on her new personality as the imprint from the spy in the Dollhouse. She breaks the news to Ballard that she’s an Active. You can see it in his eyes that he’s in total disbelief. He doesn’t want to believe it but at the same time feels foolish to make such a mistake. November continues to warn Ballard to stop giving Mellie information because she reports back to the Dollhouse and if he knows too much, they’ll kill him. I just don’t know why they don’t kill him anyway, but whatever. Anyway, November goes back to being Mellie and Ballard is forced to falsely show affection to save himself.
Then we see Sierra’s imprint for the episode, which is of a spy. Dominic has her sneak into the NSA building and retrieve the information that will lead to who the spy is. At the same time, Echo confronts Topher and tells her, during her wiped phase, to imprint her to find out who the spy is. So Echo begins her investigation by questioning everyone in the Dollhouse. Sierra returns with the evidence that Ivy (Topher’s assistant) is the spy, but Echo has information up her sleeve to disprove that. She drops the hammer on Dominic, saying he called the NSA to plant evidence against Ivy. Also, as an imprinted expert on body language, Echo noticed he relaxed when his planned seemed to be working while everyone else was still tense. And finally, she noticed how Dominic unsnapped his holster when he was being blamed, which resulted in a heated fight between the two.
The episode concludes with Dominic being sent to the Attic, which is described as Topher as being practically brain dead. Before he’s wiped, he talks to Echo with a smile on his face because he believes she’s going to do to everyone what Alpha did before. Meanwhile, Adelle promotes Langton to head of security and Echo gets a new handler.
So what did we learn this episode? Well, Dominic was the spy inside of the Dollhouse, but that doesn’t mean he’s the person giving Agent Ballard all of the warnings. That being said, we’re really limiting who else could be a mole: Ivy seems to be the only person who’s capable of messing with the imprints, but Dr. Saunders seems to have the most motivation. Langton is moral and seems to still be attached to Echo… maybe there is more to why he wants to protect Echo. I’m interested to see how Echo reacts to her new handler. It was obvious Dr. Saunders’ theory to have the Actives’ minds resolved didn’t fully clean them out. Was that just a diversion? Will Echo confront Langton over her handler? Unfortunately, with the season coming to an end shortly, and Fox most likely pulling the plug on the show, we might never find out all the answers to these questions.