Dollhouse Episodes

2009, TV Show

Dollhouse Episode: "A Spy in the House of Love"

Season 1, Episode 9
Episode Synopsis: Echo and Sierra are turned into spy hunters in order to track down a Dollhouse traitor. Meanwhile, Mellie delivers surprising news to Ballard; and Adelle has a secret.
Original Air Date: Apr 10, 2009
Guest Cast Valerie Cruz: Ramirez Liza Lapira: Ivy
Full Episode
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Season 1, Episode 9
Subscription | Netflix
Length: 50:20
Aired: 4/10/2009
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and VUDU
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Dollhouse Episode Recap: "Spy in the House of Love" Season 1, Episode 9

Who would have thought fusing Dollhouse with Rashomon would lend the show a storytelling device needed to deliver its most fast-paced episode yet? In "Spy in the House of Love," we followed our four main dolls on their individual engagements — which added up to a wealth of revelations, plot twists and resolutions.

The episode began near the end of the story. I found myself asking the type of questions usually reserved for the teaser of an episode of Lost: Where are we? The Dollhouse. Who are these people? The staff. And what is that lightning? It's the result of a procedure a little more intense than the normal imprinting.

As Echo and Sierra look on, the electric shocks fly. There is a gunshot, and then blood splatters the frosted glass. Echo's analysis of the situation? "She made a mistake. Now she's sad."

Hours earlier, Echo returned from a dominatrix engagement ("It's about trust") just as Victor was sent out for the tenth time as Roger on the Miss Lonely Hearts engagements. She doesn't approve of repeated imprinting. My first reaction to that? November. She's been engaged as Mellie for months and surely wiped clean a dozen times or more.

Upstairs, Topher continues to bestow his graces upon "Ivy, babe." Today's lesson, the post-wiping script. As I've expressed before, Topher lords his code phrases over the dolls. He relishes his ability to put them at ease with the power of his voice. He's trying to pass that feeling onto Ivy but finds her attitude unpleasant.

Adelle is preparing to leave the Dollhouse in the hands of Laurence for the next 48 hours. She tells her head of security that she's been called in by Rossum to discuss the current state of The House. November is taken for a treatment while Echo is on her way to see Dr. Saunders.

Later, Topher comes running up to Boyd. The resident genius has found a chip that would allow a mole to manipulate the personalities he works so hard on. Echo waves to November, who now wonders who this strange woman is and why she's waving. The House is placed on lockdown and Sierra is taken in for a treatment.

A curious Echo goes upstairs to investigate. She doesn't see Sierra being abused in the lab, but does see Topher in the chair. He's being pressed for information by Laurence about the identity of the spy. When Laurence and Sierra leave the lab, Echo makes her entrance. She tells Topher that she knows he makes people different and he should make her different so she can help.

Imprint: November
Mellie returns from her trip with a raging case of jetlag and is greeted at her door by the man responsible for sending her away, brandishing a gun. He explains it isn't safe and she should come inside his apartment. As is apparent by the locks on his doors, Ballard's security has been upped since their last meeting. As has his obsession with the Dollhouse.

Suddenly Mellie is no longer herself. It seems a spy, not necessarily the spy, in the Dollhouse has put a backdoor imprinting into Mellie. Seemingly the same spy who sent Echo to see Ballard in "Man on the Street." She tells Ballard everything. Her name is November. She's a doll. She was even monitoring him months before their actual meeting. Mellie only exists because of Paul. Now that he's found the bug in his apartment, the Dollhouse will be relying on Mellie even more. What she doesn't know, she can't tell them. Mellie, reiterating what Echo told Paul about the Dollhouse, says "investigate their purpose. You must maintain the illusion."

Imprint: Sierra
In a Mission: Impossible-style plotline, Sierra is imprinted with the best secret agent parts to gain access to NSA files in order to find out who the mole is. This is more of a suspenseful spy mission than revelatory story, but I really enjoyed the gadgets and espionage.

Imprint: Victor
Oh, great. After two solid storylines, we're going to have to suffer through Victor's engagement as a lover to an old bag. Wait: Adelle is the old, er, middle-aged bag?

This is easily one of the most unexpected plot twists in the series yet. Roger knows Adelle is Catherine. They don't only spend their time together in bed. They fence and talk. A lot. Roger knows all about Adelle's job at the Dollhouse. The only person Adelle allows herself to get close to is a product of her own business.

The following morning, Roger awakes to find Adelle returning to the bedroom wearing her business attire. She collapses in his arms and cries.

Imprint: Echo
Topher delivers Echo imprinted as a spy hunter to Laurence, who is obviously against trusting the doll he's had so many problems with in the past. He changes his mind when Echo wants to start her interrogations with Topher. She works her way through Ivy, Boyd and Dr. Saunders. Spy Hunter Echo makes a very interesting observation about the Doc: After observing Saunders' use of the computer system, she notes how long it's been since he has even logged out. Dr. Saunders has no solid explanation for this and is saved when a call from Sierra reveals Ivy to be the mole.

We finally learn what the threat of being sent to The Attic over Ivy's head entails.

"It's a mental suck." Imagine having every thought you'll never have right on the tip of your brain for an eternity. I'm sure this procedure ultimately ends in being sent to an actual guarded area of the Dollhouse as well, though it's never specifically stated.

Echo reveals that she knows the real spy is Laurence, and the fact that he starts shooting at her in response to this accusation only proves it. Ivy, who once again proves she should be in charge at The House, suggests that she and Topher should help Echo fight off Laurence instead of hiding behind a couch. Topher replies, "I helped when I imprinted her with kung fu skills, but be my guest."

So maybe it's Topher who actually saves the day. Echo's able to get the upper hand and Laurence is taken to Adelle's house for a scolding from his boss of three years. The way he explains it, he wasn't sent by the NSA to bring her down but to make sure she didn't bring herself down. Oh well, I'm sure she's okay with his treachery, right? No. She's sending him to The Attic.

Laurence takes comfort knowing Echo will be erased. Returning to the beginning of this episode, we observe the events in a whole new light. Laurence fights against the Attic-fying of his brain. He attempts to shoot himself but instead sends a bullet whizzing past the lab into the gut of Adelle Dewitt. Unphased, she orders the procedure completed.

After telling Topher to shelve the Miss Lonely Hearts imprint and lose Laurence Dominic's mind in the archives, Adelle informs Boyd he will be the new head of security despite his desire to stay on as Echo's handler. Echo is put through the bonding procedure with her new handler, Travis.

Did you find this episode as fast-paced as I did?

The most entertaining storyline had to be Sierra's, but the others were certainly more important to the overall story arc. Whose story were you most intrigued by?
Most of you have probably heard that Fox will not be airing Episode 13, "Epitaph One." I'm not trying to be a blind optimist, but I do want you to know the facts behind this decision. Fox, the network, ordered 13 episodes of Dollhouse. The decision was made to scrap the original first episode, leaving them with 12. However, Twentieth Century Fox Television, not the network, ordered a 14th episode which the network is choosing not to pay for.

We'll just have to wait until the announcements in May to see if the adventures of Echo & Co. will continue.

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Who would have thought fusing Dollhouse with Rashomon would lend the show a storytelling device needed to deliver its most fast-paced episode yet? In "Spy in the House of Love," we followed our four main dolls on their individual engagements — which added up to a wealth of revelations, plot twists and resolutions.

The episode began near the end of the story. I found myself asking the type of questions usually reserved for the teaser of an episode of Lost: Where are we? The Dollhouse. Who are these people? The staff. And what is that lightning? It's the result of a procedure a little more intense than the normal imprinting. read more

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Premiered: February 13, 2009, on FOX
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (471 ratings)
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Premise: A sci-fi drama about a woman named Echo and other 'Actives' who are controlled by a shadowy group. Each week, they're programmed with specific personalities in order to service the needs of the wealthy, ranging from hostage negotiation to providing comfort to securing the Dollhouse itself. When finished with the jobs, their minds are wiped clean. Yet, for some, memories linger, and for Echo they become a driving force that she shields from her handlers.

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