Home > Episode Recaps, Opinions (TV), TV > TV: Dollhouse – The Public Eye (S02E05)

TV: Dollhouse – The Public Eye (S02E05)

Episode quote: "You can never tell what monsters are hiding inside." (Cindy Perrin)

Year of Broadcast: 2010

Starring: Eliza Dushku, Harry J. Lennix, Fran Kranz, Olivia Williams, Keith Carradine, Tahmoh Penikett, Stacey Scowley, Miracle Laurie, Alexis Denisof, Summer Glau.

*Spoilers follow*

Summary: Senator Daniel Perrin steps up his campaign against the Dollhouse when he obtains a witness willing to testify, but DeWitt’s boss is confident that things will go their way.


  • Echo malfunctioned, again. Even with the special circumstances brought about by the disruptor device it gives her such a high amount of these malfunctions that by this point she should either be locked up in the attic or relegated to the less important sex assignments. There was nothing here that couldn’t have been done with Sierra (who wasn’t even in the episode) or the newly-introduced Kilo, who may only have appeared for Topher’s joke about her weight.
  • Ballard is clearly still conflicted from working for a company he wants to see the end of, which is good.
  • Having Perrin be the Doll was a great development, seeing as it puts a different spin on what was looking to be a re-tread of the Ballard storyline from season one.
  • Having said that, I’m not sure the episode properly justified it.  They were having Perrin under their control so that he could eventually help craft laws that serve their purpose, but they could have done that with lobbyists and regular political corruption.
  • Perrin being used to publicly bring down the LA Dollhouse also didn’t make sense. It made sure he would get noticed and put him in a place of power, but at the cost of exposing a huge portion of the operation (and likely a lot of the clients) and its ties to Rossum, confirming to the world that Dollhouses do exist (making it harder for the other Dollhouses to stay secret), as well as confirming its existence in a wholly negative light of “prostitution” and “people trafficking”. If Rossum wanted the LA Dollhouse brought down they could have done it privately simply by replacing the staff.
  • It was nice to see one of the other Dollhouses and have them feature prominently in the story, after all this time of being mentioned but otherwise not present. Summer Glau is always great, although I wasn’t quite sure of her role here as she seemed to have the authority of DeWitt but involved in the technology/imprinting like Topher. It also turned out that she knows Caroline (Echo’s real identity), which could prove interesting. As far we know Caroline went straight from her personal disaster to being approached by DeWitt, but the implication here seemed to be that she had some involvement with the other Dollhouse, which could possibly explain how she was programmed to combat the Dollhouse from the inside.
  • In this episode the LA Dollhouse was definitely pitched as the good guys, which they aren’t really. Echo summed it up well as “I think her bad guys are badder than my bad guys,” but it did kind of mean there wasn’t any real victory possible here. Perrin succeeding would mean the end of the LA Dollhouse (good) but further the interests of the other Dollhouse (bad). The LA Dollhouse stopping Perrin would mean they keep the other Dollhouse out of power (good) while keeping the entire Dollhouse operation secret and operational (bad). I guess in this case you root for the apparent lesser of two evils (the LA Dollhouse), but it does kind of keep things from being satisfying in either case.
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