General Impressions: With this extra week between Getting Closer and Epitaph Two, I've had time to think about what exactly I found to be missing in the last few episodes. And this episode provided the answer.
In the first season, Dollhouse was more meditative, it was more about making allusions of what Dollhouse is with metaphorical or symbolical exmples. Like True Believer for example - Dollhouse is like a cult, where people trade away their individuality for imagined safety adn comfrot, and Esther is the blind girl who sees the most.
It was much more of a symbolical show, and they always had some Greg Laswell song finishing the episode. Okay, so there was a Greg Laswell song just a few episodes ago, but Dollhouse 2nd season is still much more of an typical sci-fi action show - and there are also those thematic similarities, or repeated patterns if you will, with Buffy 7th and 8th season and Fray.
Oh, it has been a breathtaking and awesome second season, but I miss this old Dollhouse with it's symbolic meditative approach.
Speaking about allusions that mirror the current situation in Dollhouse - Echo the Imprint making ironical comments considering she's Echo the Sleeping Beauty.
All that talk of the prince showing up in the last minute and taking all the credit for rescuing Briar Rose. And then Echo says something about Briar Rose dreaming the prince up...
...flashback to Needs where Echo calls Paul and asks his help...
The prince is coming and in a clever twist, we find out that the real prince is the other guy. Alan Tyduk is just awesome in this episode - I really enjoyed his Stephen Kepler personality, with all those brilliant moments like "the earth day speech" and "this is the same kind of expansionist thinking that led to the Trail of Tears."
And this is also the first episode, where we the viewer, start to realize the awesomeness that is Enver Gjokaj with his brilliant and intense Dominic imprint scene.
Echo's Journey to Enlightment: In the style of 1st season, the current mission personality of Echo is an allusion that mirrors the situation in Dollhouse. Her speech about Briar Rose really creates this clever irony, because she is the Briar Rose. And she's right about her dreaming up her rescuer right before the curse was about to end. Because by now, she was just one step away from Super Echo. Her prince, Alpha who dropped all her imprints into her, arrived in the last moment to take credit for making Echo into "a god". But we see in Omega what she says about that. She was her own person before Alpha did that thing, and that person kicked Alpha's ass.
The Question of Boyd (is there anything that would reveal whether Hollow Men was pulled ot from their asses in the last minute or not?): No. Not really. However you see his fight (particulary his lines) with Paul in a new light. There is a bit of that "whoa, I now see" moment, but there are also some other things that make it more fuzzy - his expressed reluctance over Adelle's idea of making Paul into a doll against his will, and his surprise over Adelle's "we're not going to let a thing like Attic stop us from speaking with mister Dominic, now are we?"
Foreshadowing: The word "Whiskey" uttered by Victor/Dominic. Plus, Boyd dialogue with Ballard is interesting in light of the recent revelations.
Grade: Awesome. Fucking Awesome.