General Impressions: This is a really great idea. I mean, what better way it is to know a character than to make them all high. Brilliant. I think this is also the first episode that sort of paints out Rossum Corporation as the "ultimate evil" of this show.
I liked how ashamed Adelle was when Topher was a bit too Tophery with Adelle's superior. Slight hint that there's a slight dissonance between Adelle at home (Dollhouse) and Adelle at work (Rossum).
In Belonging we saw Victor's war flashback... hinting that it's going to play out in future episodes. I had forgotten that there was a war flashback in this episode too. Perhaps we will see something of Victor's war past tonight?
Like any other character in Dollhouse Dominic isn't really a bad person. This sort of thing that they're basically good people... or more precisely, just normal broken people with good/kind moments to them adds a lot of nuances to Echo's tale of self-liberation from mental slavery (my take on the show is really just blacking and whiting the whole thing. I liked how he apologized to Echo.
And those being high moments were just so good.
This episode also hints at a very complex relationship between Echo/Caroline and Adelle. We have gotten a few moments so far that hint that Adelle admired E/C. Adelle also seems to believe that there is a core something, a soul, that cannot be wiped. You can see it Omega when she's all „damn he's hot“ when Ballard comes out with the same idea. I really hope they have some hot MILF action planned for these remaining 9 last episodes. Badelle is better than Becho. Anyway, Adelle fears that Caroline is punishing her, that Caroline is there... aware.
Echo's Journey to Enlightenment: Finally we can compare Caroline and Echo. Well to be honest, they're not that different. It's just Caroline is very diluted Echo, Caroline is 25% of what Echo is. She is Echo anchored down by her cultural limitations – all that militant veganism and PETA activity. She also is inconsiderate about people in her life. Echo has learned to observe people. Echo would have noticed that Caroline's boyfriend pissed his pants when he discovered that Caroline was actually serious. And Echo's boyfriend would have been cool – like Spike or something. Echo's boyfriend wouldn't have made me feel dissapointed or annoyed. :awkward pause: Okay... so yeah.
Of course there are similarities. After all Echo is Caroline's core being. Caroline and Echo share the "to the end, going all the way" thing. When they see something is wrong then they go all the way trying to bring it down. Similar way of falling into things too big for them. I think I read something that hinted that one of those December/Friday two hour episodes depicts how it happens with Echo. Of course I tried to avoid spoilers so I just assume the attic thing will happen to her.
I don't really have an explanation why Echo felt the need to go to Rossum School when she saw it in the news. But we can see that Echo is beneath all those imprinted personalities. That this show sides with Ballard when he says in Omega that the core being never changes. So when the sleeping giant Echo gets a hint of something, the imprinted personality goes bye-bye and Echo gradually surfaces more and more.
I really have no idea what that thing meant where Echo chases that guy and where Caroline runs with her boyfriend. One of those small symbolic ironies moment. But to interpret a deeper thing out from that goes beyond my capabilities.
Foreshadowing: Victor is NSA and Dominic's reaction, tired Adelle after an exhausting day checks up on Echo and Echo walks all doll-like until a plant comes between her and the camera (okay so this is an interpretation thing, but I think it hints at Echo doing stuff that Adelle can't see.
Grading: Hey, until to Spy in the House of Love it's all one big continous arc (with groundwork laid in True Believer) that is just awesome. There really is no way to tear out a chapter and grade it as a stand-alone.