This episode, entitled "The Target", is all about the flashbacks! Echo sits in the middle of the shower, surrounded by her dead fellow Actives.It opens with a scene from three months ago, where an alarm is going off throughout the Dollhouse. She's wide eyed and vacant, saying softly, "They won't wake up". This is an amazing start to the show, even if it is just a flashback.Scared Actives are being ushered into their sleeping pods; they don't seem to understand what is happening. But all Actives get wiped after every engagement, Lawrence argues, so how could he composite? Unfortunately, the rest of the episode doesn't quite live up to the action, suspense and punchy-dialogue of the first few minutes.There are dead bodies and lots of blood everywhere. All-in-all, however, the flashbacks colour grade should make you feel warm, as it feels so bright and sunny, juxtaposed nicely with all the blood and bodies -- a hyper-reality.Mr Security Chief Lawrence gets the attention of a slightly shocked Topher, asking him what happened. Also, considering the amount of people killed, and the fact that they managed to get at least five Actives asleep, I wonder exactly how big the Dollhouse is, and how many Actives there are in total. Let's hope they got all those blood stains removed.First things first, though: Topher asks if he can have a gun. It also seems like there are a number of other Dollhouses around, rather than just this one, situatied in LA. Anyway, as the haunting music of the opening credits ends, Adelle Dewitt explains that Dollhouse Actives are as innocent as children in their resting state, which they call the "Tabula Rasa" -- the blank slate.Lawrence brings him back to task, which makes Topher launch into an hysterical explanation, "Doc Saunders looks like a jigsaw puzzle, and what he did to Samuelson? The imprint process fills it, creating a new personality: a confidante, a friend, "your heart's desire made flesh". The security team, with Lawrence in front, rush past more blood-stained carpets, more dead people and more pools of blood, all in ominous slow motion.
Adelle is talking to a prospective client, Richard Connell.As calming and manipulative as Adelle is, she sure snaps into business mode quickly.Adelle explains that his engagement has been flagged as a moderate risk to the Active, and, as such, the company requires a small, additional fee -- and by small, she means rather big.Adelle adds, "Just make sure you return her, safe and sound.Otherwise there will be additional costs." Oh writers, could your foreshadowing be any more obvious?
With a crooked smile, Richard says, "Don't worry, I'll keep it low key." And then it cuts to him and Echo white-water rafting. For someone as skinny as Eliza Dushku, she sure is muscular.