General Impressions: Dollhouse is all about slow patient revealing of it's mysteries. It's a layered amazing show, but since this blog itself is called I Heart Dollhouse, I'm most likely biased.
And this episode also provided one of the first revelations. That scene in the past when Echo talks about that nice "heavy" guy - the one that basically is a repeat of "I've finally found the right guy/You're good people" scene from Ghost. That was one of the first "whoa!" moments for me in Dollhouse. It was like "whoa Boyd, I totally get you now." Did I already mention how much I miss Boyd? For some reason The Target is the most Boyd-centric episode in the whole Dollhouse.
I'm not a fan of the original pilot, because discovering all those things that the originl pilot throwed at you immediately, was one of the better things of season 1.
Anyway, I just love how Paul walks. He just has a such a nice stride.
And, mm, Miracle Laurie. For me it was love from the first sight. I tell you, even if Dollhouse gets cancelled before it reaches it's crowning moment of awesome - at least we had Miracle Laurie. This is what I love about Joss Whedon shows - the casting. Always amazing casting.
Echo's Journey to Enlightment
One of the prominent themes in Dollhouse is the human being at it's most basic. The strongest core being. Remember Firefly's episode War Stories? It's torture subject? How torture is all about revealing who you really are? And of course, Mal was revealed to be awesome, but that's beside the point.
Basically what Alpha does, is what that guy did to Mal - he forces Echo to awaken. For Echo to become self-aware. And I really enjoyed those scenes where Echo sees all those past imprints. "I'm all those people and yet I am none of those people." You know, I really should do post dedicated entirely to a buddhist interpretation of Dollhouse.
And that scene in the end, when she does that hand to the shoulder thing? That rocked my world. Post-Belle Chose world, because then I most likely didn't notice it. In Belle Chose Echo says "goodness gracious!" when watching the body of her recent imprint die. It seemed like that bad guy was still in Echo, but no... she does the same thing here. It's something completely else. It wasn't Echo being "possessed", but it's what she does. These traits she adapts are usually involved in very intense situations that leave a mark, that goes down to her deepest core, and so become part of her.
Foreshadowing: Echo's "shoulder to the wheel" in the end foreshadows that she's somewhat aware that Dominic is a threat to her.
Grading: That "crazy hunter guy who hunts people" plot was a bit too similar. I've seen that plot in of those CSI-like shows. Many times. It's a really sad world where CSI and it's copycats and spin-offs get like 354 seasons, while a refreshing innovative show like Dollhouse struggles to just finish the 2nd season.
Anyway, this episode didn't provide that many "oh my god, it all makes sense from the beginning" moments in rewatching than Ghost did. But the introduction of Alpha, and all those flashback scenes and Boyd-centricness deliver this episode pretty close to heaven for me. So B+. Yeah, I really don't have a system for reviewing, I usually grade them on whim.