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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Dollhouse

WARNING: Spoiler tagging may be somewhat inconsistent. Tropers are working to restore said tags to full operational efficiency.

Alpha didn't perform the remote wipe.
In Epitaph One we see that the modern light-and-sound imprint chair came by Topher's improvements. The original was a bunch of pads and wires, like Alpha's imprinting chair. He knows less than Topher about efficient imprinting, and Topher didn't know enough to do a remote wipe. Epitaph One tells us that at some point people figured out how to do remote wipes and imprints using almost any audio or visual signal. I think we still haven't seen the person who invented that.
  • It's possible that Alpha could do a remote wipe, but the mass imprint required the chair. Granted, Alpha's own mass imprint was done without wires, but there were some nasty side effects (like the personalities fighting for control) that Alpha hoped to invert with EchoOmega, which required the chair for a procedure that even Topher wouldn't perform.
  • Potentially er... something as of A Love Supreme. Topher invents a way to do it. Alpha -also- figured out a way to do but his method required pre-existing programming (or maybe he just needed the distraction).
  • Topher had been approached by Adelle prior about creating a remote wipe, other house techs probably were as well. The LA house is much more ethical in the treatment of dolls than other houses as shown by the contrasting D.C. house. Another house could have developed the tech through much less ethical testing and alpha could have hacked in and stolen it or he could have figured out how to do it alone. Bennett could be capable. When Alpha 'ascended' he made the reference to hell implying that he now had full perspective on all the things that he saw as a doll. Also Victor states in "Needs" that he's always awake while in doll state, but that he can't get out, implying that his mind is fully active but suppressed by active arcitecture. Alpha could have studied Topher's imprinting techniques while suppressed. Alpha's chair probably uses wire input because of the availability and price of the instruments as he is living under the radar. Alpha's chair also transfers multiple imprints via wire about as fast as topher's epifluorescent chair implying much better implementation.

Echo is Caroline's Nobody
  • Let's expand on this one a bit. We know from Kingdom Hearts 2 that, during Ansem's experiments with interdimensional travel, he uplinked the Hollow Bastion computer system into the ENCOM Corporation database, which is how he learned about its laser digitization technology and got a copy of ENCOM's operating system. In the process, he may have accidentally uploaded some of his own files into the ENCOM database - specifically, the technology for changing humans into Emblem Heartless. Since nobody knew the files were there, and since the company was dealing with the chaos of the Dillinger scandal, the MCP's crash, and Flynn's arrival as the new CEO, the files just sat undetected until the company got bought out in the flurry of acquisitions and takeovers in the late 1980s. It was bought out by... the Rossum Corporation. During their review of the company files, the Rossum Corporaton discovered Ansem's research hidden in ENCOM's files and began recreating his experiments on people. They quickly learned that the Heartless are uncontrollable monsters; but they also realized that a few of the test subjects not only changed into Heartless, but also left their bodies behind as an emotionless shell, a Nobody. The Actives are Nobodies who, since they have no real consciousness of their own, are easily wiped of their residual memories and implanted with different personalities. Of course, the process of creating an Active also changes the original subject into a powerful, dangerous Heartless, some of whom might be strong-willed enough to retain their human form and intelligence. Which is where Alpha comes in...
  • This means that next season, we're going to see Sora, Donald, and Goofy show up in Los Angeles and take on the Dollhouse. And the second season finale will be an epic fight between Alpha and Bad Ass Long Coat Mickey Mouse. You heard it here first.

Caroline Origins Speculation
  • At least partially JOSSED. As of S 02 E 08 "The Attic", Caroline saw the faces and learned the names of Rossum's two top head-honchos who evidently have some kind of world-domination plot. They made her a Doll to keep her from ever revealing that information.
1. Caroline participated in or led a quasi-terrorist attack against Rossum
  • Caroline is the direct-action type. We saw her break into the lab in "Echoes" and try to take the Dollhouse down from the inside in "Needs." It's not a stretch to imagine her pulling an operation in the style of PETA or Earth Liberation Front against Rossum, who in turn agreed to settle privately with Caroline rather than pressing charges.
    • Confirmed in S 02 E 11. Caroline tried to blow up Rossum's headquarters and referred to herself as a terrorist.
    • Further support can be found in flashbacks to her intake conversation with De Witt [in the pilot?] where she seems to be coerced into it, fleeing from the consequences of her actions. Perhaps someone got killed because of what she did? (The Season One Recap on Hulu strongly suggests that this is exactly what happened.)
    • Wasn't it mentioned several times over in Echoes that the lab was owned by Rossum and that Adelle learned of Caroline's strength/loss through the break-in?
2. Caroline knew Alpha before she became Echo.
  • It explains why he's so focused on HER, and it also explains how he got that tape of her in college... heck, maybe he's the one who was holding the camera.
3. Adelle knew Caroline before she became Echo.
  • During "Echoes", it seemed as if Adelle knew Caroline very well. They were supposed to have had a cat-and-mouse game going for a while when Caroline was looking for the Dollhouse; but it's also possible that Adelle knew her in her old life and, once Caroline discovered the Dollhouse, agreed to let her become an Active as a favor to forget about Leo's death.
    • Adelle says she played the game of 'cat and mouse' for a little over two years with Caroline - that gives Adelle plenty of time to find out a lot of information about Caroline while she was running from the Dollhouse after Leo was killed.
4.The memories of delivering a baby in the beginning of "True Believer" are Caroline's memories.
  • It was her first glitch. There is really no reason to hire an active as a midwife, because the price difference must be insane. Caroline also mentions feeling "at home" on a mountain in "Echoes". There has been no indication of what Caroline was taking in school, and for someone like her, midwife/nurse seems a logical choice, (caring about animals, obviously a nurturing person) and if the school is indeed a Tech School, it's entirely possible they offered nursing degrees.
    • There is really no reason to hire an active as a midwife I disagree. Midwives vary wildly in skill and technique (there's lay midwifery, traditional midwifery, nurse midwifery, and others) Midwife isn't even a protected term in some states, so anyone off the street can bill themselves as one. People are EXTREMELY particular about birth and their baby's first hours (at least the type who hire a midwife rather than having a standard hospital birth), so it makes perfect sense to hire a doll as a midwife to me. Plus, while a few aspects of Caroline's personality fit nurse or midwife, the vast majority do not.

The Dolls have a third state (besides "tabula rasa" and "imprinted") that functions as a sort of diagnostic "console" — they are aware of who and what they are, if perhaps lacking memories of previous engagements, but lack real personality or decision-making ability.
  • When delivering her message to Ballard, Echo seems aware of being an active.
  • November behaves the same way when delivering her own message.
  • More importantly, when an active experiences a composite event, they seem to instantly gain an awareness of the Dollhouse, what it is, and the fact that they are an active (judging by Alpha's and Echo's reactions).
  • However, it may be that the TR state -is- the diagnostic state. It would be useful, after all, for Dolls to unconsciously know, say, the layout of the Dollhouse so handlers don't have to babysit them all the time (or re-teach them every time they awaken) or what to do in the event of an emergency. So if their handler says "Condition Blue", the Doll would simply go to their sleeping pod and not come out or what not.

Joss's Five-Year-Plan is to turn the show into a mix of Quantum Leap and Doctor Who.
In the second season, Caroline's personality will be put back into Echo. Unfortunately, she is still physically a doll; Caroline will only be an imprint. She will glitch like crazy. Alpha will likely cause all this.

Somehow, Darla Echo will be killed sometime around the middle of the third season. The mind of Caroline will be saved somehow, probably by a redeemed Topher, only for him to be killed after a beautiful day in the sun. Caroline will spend the rest of the season as a resurrected crimefighter, having to jump from body to body because it is dangerous for non-actives to be imprinted. Then someone will grow a new body for her. This will probably be a Doctor Saunders/Whiskey (see below), who has received an upgrade from Woobie status. The problem is, if you can create one body, you can create two at twice the price.

Season Four's antagonist will be "Dark Caroline" or some other appropriate fan nickname. Prvt. Pyle!Victor, Priya!Sierra, and Caroline!Echo2 will soon learn, this was all a plan by Dewitt to have individuals infiltrate Wolfram & Hart the Rossum Corporation and shape it to her wishes.

Season Five will open at the New York Dollhouse with a stand alone episode involving actives Sam, Nora, and Adam, all of whom look suspiciously familiar. Everything will appear to have been reset back, but clones and imprints ensue for one big Mind Screw at the end. Enjoy!

Victor will become the new head of security after Boyd gets killed by Alpha.
Just because Joss has a habit of killing people I like, Boyd will die. Then newly-scarred Victor will be head of security.
  • Doubtful, since it probably goes along the lines of why they wouldn't make handlers out of Actives. See the WMG below.
  • Jossed in Epitaph Two

General Whiskey Imprint Speculation
1. Saunders is an active named "Whiskey"
  • Only DeWitt and Dominic know.
  • This explains:
    • ...Dom yelling it out during the interrogation and Adelle's quick response, clearly hiding something. It also partially explains Alpha's secondary focus on her.
    • ...the conversation with Alpha: "You always wanted to be a doctor?" "That's a lie."
    • ...why Saunders couldn't remember being outside the Dollhouse since Alpha in "Spy in a House of Love". Likely the real Saunders was killed and "Whiskey" was programmed with her personality.
  • Possible loose-ends tie: Alpha's slice and dice on Victor in 1.10 suggests a possible scenario for the Whiskey—>Saunders promotion. Follow the bouncing ball:
    1. Alpha goes axe crazy, chops up the Dollhouse including slicing up Whiskey and killing the previous doctor.
    2. Dollhouse needs a doctor, stat.
    3. Whiskey is the only remaining active. Poof, trauma doctor.
    4. Whiskey!Saunders is too recognizable/scarred to be sent on assignments and plus, they feel bad about Saunders dying, so she gets to keep it.
    • She was the doctor when Alpha first arrived. But there isn't any other good reason for her to be the doctor, so it's still possible.
    • Confirmed in "Omega". (1x12)
      • Re-wind bonus: she visibly breaks down and glitches in her first scene in "Omega".
  • She was imprinted with most of her original personality, like in "Echoes," and it's Dr Saunder in name only.
2. Topher knew Whiskey's original personality
  • There is a personal connection between the two. Topher was somehow involved in getting her into the Dollhouse and feels guilty about it. It may even explain why he gave her certain abilities she shouldn't have, and why he made her dislike him.
    • Going along with this, the personality Topher imprinted on Sierra for his birthday is Whiskey's original personality.
      • Maybe Whiskey is the remains of the first time he tested the imprinting process, and the original was corrupted. Proto!Whiskey was his girlfriend, cause he talked her into trying out the new chair when no one else would.
    • I reckon they could be related. While it's understandable he'd be freaked out under the circumstances, Topher seemed absolutely digusted at the concept of waking up with Amy Acker in his bed. Like he's embarrassed by the implication he's getting turned on by his sister..?
2. Topher imprinted Whiskey with some of himself
  • It explains how she was able to hack into his personal computer—something even Alpha couldn't do. Furthermore, she hates him because he hates himself.
4. Topher likes Whiskey.'
  • In the man-reaction sort of way. And so, to avoid temptation (because he's really a good guy), he imprints the new Dr. Saunders with a distaste for him.
    • The last part was Jossed in "Vows". He didn't make Claire hate him.
5. Dominic was originally Whiskey's handler
  • He seems to be calling out to her in 1.10 (Is that the correct episode?)
6. Dr. Saunders is a former doll
  • Just because her being a doll is too obvious.
  • Possible chain of events:
    1. Saunders signed a contract for the five years and served as Whiskey.
    2. After finishing, she took a position as the Dollhouse physician.
  • Jossed in "Omega". She didn't get around to serving the full contract. "Dr. Saunders" is an imprint. They kept her on a permanent assignment that would keep her within the Dollhouse to protect her from Alpha.

General Alpha Imprint Speculation
1. Alpha was imprinted with some of Caroline's (dead) boyfriend's personality
  • And it's the part that cares about her. This would explain why Alpha seems so obsessed with Echo; it explains why he spared her but not all the Dolls; it explains why he has access to some of her video yearbook clips; etcetera.
    • Nah, he just had a thing for her. Which is why he attacked Whiskey. And also why the higher-ups at the Dollhouse were so concerned when they found out about Victor's "man-reaction" to Sierra.
      • It was a valid theory when posted. Now disproved by "Omega".
2. Alpha is imprinted with some of Caroline's personality.
  • She was an intelligent and motivated individual; why not throw her brain into the mix? Alpha's not in love, just obsessed with the girl that has the face 'she' remembers as 'hers.' This could explain:
    • ...why Echo was spared, and why Alpha would have access to Caroline's stuff.
    • ...why Alpha's so hellbent on bringing down the Dollhouse, especially since Echo as Memory-Wiped Caroline contacted Ballard just like Alpha, only with less subtlety.
  • Then there's the extra level of Meaningful Name to Echo and Alpha.
  • This is hinted at by the Susans' conversation about Sleeping Beauty and the Prince.
  • Jossed. Oh well. It would have been one creepy ass Enemy Without.
3. Alpha is a stand-alone complex, like the laughing man in Ghost in the Shell
  • Alpha is a personality that doesn't stick to one body. Said personality may range from a few imperatives to act, to a full imprint, to a brick of a collective.
  • Intriguing idea; what would this explain or predict?
    • It would predict multiple actors for Alpha. If he's a stand-alone complex, he can change Dolls without the Dollhouse machinery. Hostile takeovers also become an option - he could override a Dollhouse-assigned imprint.
4. Alpha wasn't an aberration or a freak event. He was a near miss.
  • The ultimate purpose of the Dollhouse is to synthesize an ultimate polymath. Alpha was almost — but not quite — what they were aiming for. That's why DeWitt is so happy with Echo's progress — she wants her to become like Alpha, only not homicidal (which would be the near miss part).
5. One of the imprints that surfaced during Alpha's composite event is Topher.
  • As suggested below, it seems likely that when Topher did his diagnostic-birthday-thing, he imprinted Sierra with his own personality.
  • Additionally, the Dollhouse ARG featured a woman finding an old imprint machine programmed with an imprint of Topher's personality.
  • Either way, it's entirely likely that Alpha was imprinted with Topher's personality at some point, and it may have surfaced during the composite event, explaining how Alpha had the technical knowledge to remote-wipe Echo.
    • Note that Topher does not claim the ability to do a remote wipe.
    • Conversely, Alpha was doing a good Topher impression when first cornered by Ballard.
    • Jossed by "Epitaph Two" - neither Alpha nor Echo had sufficient skills to build the device, only Topher did.

Alpha is Wash.
Wash is a timelord. When he died in Serenity, Zoe and Mal left too early for them to see the regeneration energy. He then left to come to the 21st century and was caught up with the Dollhouse. Eventually, he was turned into an Active. As for why he still looks the same after his regeneration, maybe he's found a way to control his regeneration. His TARDIS? Probably one of those plastic dinosaurs on the console in the cabin.
  • If he's a time lord, then he wouldn't need to regenerate because only one of his hearts was pierced. He was perfectly fine and he faked death
  • The TARDIS is hidden behind the panel with the three switches that he always flips to do something. The switches move the TARDIS by remote control, which is why the Serenity can fly even when the engine room looks like some terrifying space monkeys got loose inside.

Alpha going haywire was part of someone's bigger plot, and season 2 (if there is one) will deal with finding out why.
It wasn't just an accident that one of the Actives turned into an Ax-Crazy Omnidisciplinary Scientist. Someone arranged for that on purpose. Dominic would be in a prime spot to do that, given his tampering with the chair, but why?
  • Alternatively, Alpha was an unforeseen side effect of Dominic's tampering with the chair.
  • Jossed

The personality Topher put into Sierra in 1x10 is HIMSELF
Since the whole point was to celebrate something by playing all these games he invented, plus his rather self-worshipping personality, it would be the ideal gift he could give himself. His ideal friend? Yeah...
  • It may have been a composite (like most of the other imprints), but odds are high that parts of Topher's own personality were included.
  • Or a dead little sister?
  • In the past, Topher celebrated his birthday with Alpha. This is how Alpha got the knowledge to do remote imprints.
    • But to do that, Topher would have to use his own chair. Why would he want to do that?
    • There are multiple Dollhouses, and so more than one guy is doing Topher's job. And it seems like the entire staff has to undergo routine brain scans so they can all be replaced in a pinch, as we saw with Domenic and Saunders. But yeah, Alpha might have been a Topher BFF in a previous year.
  • But considering the way that personality seemed totally subordinate to him (never generating new ideas, going along with his, etc.), it's unlikely she was completely him.
  • Seems even more likely now that we know he has a self-imprint now; he may have had it on file rather than creating it for that engagement. Also, remember he can alter the imprints - take out a little of the obnoxious, toss in a heaping of "girl"

Alpha had a thing for Saunders
She's the only one Alpha scarred but didn't kill, meaning there was something personal about just hurting her, perhaps motivated by a sense of betrayal.
  • Alpha scarred her out of jealousy to make Echo the best.

De Witt and Topher are... how shall we put this... doing it.
Come on, you know episode 7 showed them in obvious Ship hinting.
  • DeWitt has Roger!Victor for that.
    • Not any more.

The Dollhouse is run by the Learned Elders of Zion in coalition with the Illuminati and the burgeoning Dalek invasion of Earth.
All of those... beings would love to turn human beings into blank slates!

EVERYONE is a Doll
Somehow, a Doll got imprinted with the personality of someone who runs the Dollhouse. It took over and began imprinting other Actives with the personalities it would need as staff. Then they started sending Dolls all over the place to cover their conspiracy, including to the other Dollhouses. Thus, every single character we've seen so far is a Doll; some just have longer-term imprints.
  • Probably disproved in Episode 7: Actives are immune to (or at least affected differently by) the drug; but other Dollhouse staff, including Adelle, Topher and the handlers, are infected and react normally
  • The universe would collapse if that one were true.
    • Ah, but you see, that's because those characters have had the same imprint for a long time. Their brain chemistry has become closer to that of normal humans over time.

Dollhouse is set in the same universe as Buffy, and Echo is Faith.
Sometime in the near future, Faith was captured and brainwashed into becoming one of the Dolls. Her awareness of self stems in part from her Slayer dreams.
  • As an inevitable result, Dollhouse will complete the respective storylines of both Buffy and Angel.
  • As a corollary, Dr. Saunders is Illyria, presumably trying to infiltrate the Dollhouse to bring back Faith's memory.
    • Dr. Saunders' self-identity issues seem to still fit in with that, somehow. Check Illyria's speech from Angel 5.17: "My face is not my face. I don't know what it will say. All I am is what I am. I lived 7 lives at once. I was power and the ecstasy of death. [...] Now ... I'm trapped ... [...] in this time and this place, with an unstable human who drinks too much whiskey [...]."
  • Apparently, Faith wanted to go to college, and so Willow hacked a bunch of databases and set her up with a fake identity as "Caroline".
    • This would certainly explain the total lack of background Bennett's been able to pull up for "Caroline".
  • As for the unfortunate lack of blood, demon hordes, and twisted otherworldly architecture in Los Angeles: the Dollhouse is kept static and safe because it is run by Wolfram & Hart.
  • Alternatively, since everything has a cost, Dollhouse was the price of the end of the [[Spoiler: Reality Rewrite]] at the end of Angel: After The Fall. W&H set it up so that Faith and Fred/Illyria are stuck in the Dollhouse. To keep Angel far away and unable, even by accident, to interfer with their newest plans, they set him up as an FBI Agent in DC. The other characters are still MIA, but will likely show up.
    • Angel being an FBI Agent in DC would sure explain why Wesley is a Dollhouse planted senator.
  • Okay, so here's what happened. The "spark" that turns a Potential Slayer into a Slayer is the same "spark" that keeps Caroline from being fully imprinted. At some point, Faith nearly died, and was actually clinically dead for a few minutes. When she woke up, she had amnesia, and named herself Caroline - maybe off of a gravestone nearby where she died. She went off and did Caroline things, eventually ending up in the Dollhouse. But the important bit is when she died, her spark, for some reason, activated two different Potentials - Victor and Sierra (or Anthony and Priya, if you prefer). Since her spark was split between two people, it wasn't enough to keep them from being imprinted. But it was enough to keep them from forgetting each other. In fact, the fact that they share a spark is what links the two against all odds.
    • This...actually makes a whole lot of sense than the one right below this.
    • But since when are there male Potentials?
    • Transvestites. note 
Dollhouse is set in the same universe as Buffy, and Faith is Echo.
  • At some point, the Watcher's Council hired the Dollhouse to program another slayer for them. Unfortunately, her handler was killed by Kakistos, and Echo went rogue.

The Actives are cheaper than real experts.
One obvious problem with the premise, pointed out by almost every reviewer, is that if you want the world's greatest hostage negotiator, you can just hire them without all this sci-fi malarky. Even the memory-wipe stage doesn't make the Dolls much more attractive. One possible solution is that the Actives are cheap compared to hiring the real world-ranking experts - although still expensive in absolute terms. This means that the Dollhouse can't be making any money from the Actives, but the whole operation could just be a non-profit field test of a technology that has something other than money driving it. Perhaps the government wants to turn entire cities into millions of Jack Bauer clones during terrorist attacks. Or maybe the creators of the Actives see them as inherently superior to normal humans and want to transform the entire human race.
  • The first episode talks about, not only imprinting other peoples' personalities onto an Active, but also mixing and matching to mold someone. It's not perfect - you can't just select "this trait, that trait, and this background aspect" the way one might create an RP character - but it's certainly a higher degree of selectivity than sticking with 100% natural personalities. This does raise the question of how the Dollhouse gets so many different natural personalities to work with while remaining so secretive that the FBI believes it a fairy tale at best....
  • Also, the best hostage negotiator in the world may not be around anymore. Remember that the obvious main part of her personality in that episode was based on a woman who had committed suicide.
    • They took the best hostage negotiators in the world and threw in the experiences of a victim for that extra edge.
  • It seems that the Actives have more than just experience or skills. They seem to be closer to manufactured versions of Taskmaster from Marvel Comics (or for a less obscure reference, that chick with superhuman muscle memory from Heroes). They don't seem entirely human. They seem "better". As the cop chasing after the Dollhouse explained, you can hire the world's best whatever...but Dollhouse can give you better for a slightly higher fee.
    • He went to the Dollhouse instead of somebody else because he already had a relationship with them. DeWitt does call him a "valued customer," after all.
  • You may be able to hire the best hostage negotiator currently alive, but the Dollhouse can mix and match the personality to make you a better one than any who ever lived. More importantly, the hostage thing was an emergency which the manager didn't seem eager to respond to. Judging by what we've seen so far, on ordinary day to day assignments, the Dollhouse is like a luxury whorehouse, only it can give you what money can't buy you anywhere else: Authenticity. The Dollhouse can set you up with a date who has genuine feelings for you; it can give you the real thing, whatever that is to you. This is something people are willing to pay any price for: [1] [2] There's no doubt about the marketability and profitability of such an enterprise. Getting it known among your customers while keeping it secret from the rest of the world (so secret that the rest of the world doesn't believe it exists) is a different matter.
    • As for the source of the imprints, here's a theory: Psychology/Medical studies. The people bankrolling the Dollhouse obviously have a strong network in the mental sciences, so it's not too much of a stretch to think that people who sign up for clinical studies are being recorded for imprints.
  • There's discretion. You can hire the world's best X, but then you have to depend on the expert valuing confidentiality. Or you can make a temporary X and know that once the job is done, no one will know that you hired a bank robber, assassin, or someone to do something with a tea cozy and only one spoon for forty-three hours.

Dollhouse takes place in the Street Fighter universe.
The Active technology is a refined version of the ability of M. Bison that created the 13 "Dolls". Instead of just creating assassins, the Active system can install all manner of skill sets. The Actives are even theme-named like the Dolls: NATO phonetics, as opposed to months.

Agent Ballard is Alpha
Lets think about this for a second. By and large, the FBI considers the Dollhouse and its Actives to be, at best, an urban legend based on a technology that exists in their universe. (Hence one agent's mention of "They can do that now, with science.") Most consider the Dollhouse just a myth. Ballard not only believes it's real, but he has also dedicated his life, and possibly risked his career, to find out where it is and discover the truth. Why? More importantly, to what end? To "rescue" the Actives? Their minds are gone; they're not even children. They're literally empty. What possible reason would he have?

Unless he was Alpha. Supposedly, Alpha was shot in the head. Considering how that poison in the most recent episode brought up Echo's memories, maybe being shot, but not fatally, had a similar effect on Alpha. If he did manifest multiple personalities, then this Agent Ballard could be just one of them; the others could be the personalities that hired the crazy Kraven the Hunter dude, and his cohort, and set all this up. God only knows why, but since Alpha was batshit bonkers, no reason is required. Crazy people...do crazy things: Hence the term crazy.

It would explain his fixation with the Dollhouse; he may not be able to recall where it is anymore but, suffering from a kind of PTSD, he sends himself these "clues" to lead himself-as-Ballard back to the Dollhouse. He may also be, in some way, attracted to or obsessed with Echo in his Alpha persona.
  • Alpha is the most well known Active among Dollhouse. They know who he was, what personalities he had been given and, most importantly, what he looks like. If Ballard is a persona of Alpha, the Alpha would have to be the recipient of plastic surgery after the still unknown events which occurred. General workers in Dollhouse seem to have been told Alpha was killed. If he is alive, one would think the upper-echelon of management would want him dead as quickly as possible. Saying 'no' to a hit on an FBI agent who MIGHT be Alpha would seem silly, even for a company intent on privacy.
  • Some evidence, the official music video of "What You Don't Know", the show's theme. There are scenes here that, unless they're splices of other different scenes, directly imply (along with the music) that Ballard and Echo know each other. Now, there are only a few ways this could happen. At the end of the video, during a fight between them, he seemed to clearly know her face. The lyrics even outright state this. His being Alpha, post some kind of surgery, is possible and indeed may be probable from a Twist Ending perspective. More so, Alpha was skilled as a surgeon; they said this outright in the series' second episode. Do the math.
    • In the original pilot, Echo (or one of her personalities) and Ballard met; this is undoubtedly the clip you're referring to. Alpha would probably be unable to or unwilling to hold down a job, let alone send himself mail.
    • The argument seems iffy at best because it takes its cues from Ballard. Ballard received a picture of Echo (likely from before she became an active); this would explain Ballard's recognizing Echo. A real clue into this would be Echo recognizing Ballard during the clip, but there is no hint there that she does. His apprehension happens because Echo does not seem to recognize him. Though, it should be pointed out that the video holds scenes which are slightly out of order and cross at least 3 episodes.
    • The "math" adds up to "no surgeon in the world, expert or not, is trained to do extensive plastic surgery on ANY subject without an appropriate anesthetic (the thrashing and screaming in agony tends to botch such delicate work), let alone on THEIR OWN FACE."
      • It's mentioned that Alpha carved up Echo's previous handler in eight seconds flat... we're a bit beyond what regular people can or can't do.
  • Jossed (heh) by Word of God: Alan Tudyk is playing Alpha.
    • Unfortunately, not as Jossed as you'd think.
      • How is that unfortunate? Wash as a psycho slasher?! That's the coolest thing ever!
      • Completely Jossed by episode 11. Who saw that one coming?
      • The person who posted the first "Jossed" announcement? As soon as Wash started hiding from Topher and Saunders, it seemed clear. Then he had tracking skills that belied a dude that never leaves his apartment.
  • Double Jossed: Alpha now has imprinted himself with Agent Ballard.
    • Which in a roundabout way, proves the base of this theory.
Mellie is an Active
She seems too good to be true, and she's in a perfect position to keep an eye on Ballard. She's an Active on extended assignment.
  • Alternate theory: she's somehow in league with Alpha. In fact, she's the mastermind behind everything.
  • Whedon stated in an interview that Miracle Laurie (who plays Mellie) was originally cast as an active named November. Who's to say she isn't an Active named November under her other ID?
  • Appears to be true. DeWitt used Mellie/November to get at Sierra's rogue handler.
  • Confirmed: Mellie is November. Looks like Joss was just playing with us when he said he nixed the November idea.
    • More likely, the promo people got hold of too many of Joss's brainstorms. As a way of preserving a few ideas that would make good twists, he sheepishly claimed he nixed ideas such as November/Mellie and Victor/Lubov.
      • And tried to deny the rumors that Alan Tudyk would be playing Alpha...."That actor looks familiar...wait, shit, that's Wash; Alpha's not really in Tucson!"

Alpha wants to make Echo into someone like him
Setting up the Hunting the Most Dangerous Game scenario was all part of his plan to force Echo to evolve or die. Somehow, when he encountered her on his post-integration rampage, he recognized that she had the potential to undergo that same integration; he knows that only some form of great stress can force the memories out—and indeed, something in the poisoned water or being hunted caused Echo to hallucinate past 'lives' and buck her conditioning. At least one ghost of a memory survived past the wipe.
  • As a corollary: it's possible that Alpha is obsessed with making her 'wake up' because they knew each other before they became dolls. Love Makes You Evil and all that.
    • Alternately, Alpha is the reason Echo became an Active. He was assigned to bring her in after the events flashed back to in 1x07, and feels responsible for her as a result. (And that was the reason he went crazy?)
  • Looks CONFIRMED as of 1.12. It seems like that was exactly his goal and his means.

The Handlers are Actives
Why hire real handlers when you can make better ones and not compromise your security by letting more people in on your secret? At the very least, the powers that be need to address how you can work in a place like Dollhouse and not wonder if your memories have been tampered with.
  • The handlers are a backup for the actives. It wouldn't make sense to have a backup that would fail because of the thing it's meant to backup; it's like how all of the backups of this site were stored on the same servers as the site itself.
    • So, they make sure the handlers have totally different personalities from the actives. The only remaining risk that having an active handler creates is remote wipes, which they had thought were impossible.
      • "Only remaining risk?" Methinks you are forgetting what happened with Alpha. A handler going Axe Crazy is usually going to be worse than an active doing so because handlers are always armed.
      • It's OK, I've worked it out. Now to get to a piano.

Eventually, if the show runs long enough, Echo WILL be rented by a woman.
There's no way that isn't on the schedule to happen at some point. Joss Whedon gets credit from the left for not side-stepping the issue of homosexuality; he has a ready made "don't judge" moral (someone important in the woman's life disapproves and tries to kill them); and there's plenty of opportunity for fanservice.
  • Topher will be in his bunk.
  • According to this interview, no homosexuality for the first 13 episodes. It will show up in the second season, assuming they don't get screwed again.
  • Thrown a bone by Episode 9, in which Dr. Saunders mentions that homosexual encounters are the most popular reason Dolls are rented out.
  • Confirmed, retroactively, in 2x08; all of Echo's past romantic engagements are being murdered by Alpha, and some of them are women.

Lubov is (mostly) Victor's original identity.
It would help greatly if he has connections, rather than a stack of forged documents, for Ballard to track down. He states that he'd probably be better off as a Doll. And it's not that tough to think of a human trafficker who knows of the Dollhouse and eventually opts to use it to get away from it all.
  • It's possible that Lubov started asking around, per Ballard's orders, as he said; so, the Dollhouse abducted him and turned him into an Active.
  • The connections are easy to explain: the Russian mob family is in with the Dollhouse anyway. It's in their interest to play along.
  • Almost certainly Jossed in episode 8: Victor's original identity doesn't have a Russian accent.
  • Completely Jossed in season 2; we now know who Victor was, and he was a US soldier before coming to the Dollhouse, not a Russian human trafficker.

Topher is deliberately sabotaging the process to cause Echo to retain skills.
He acts guilty and defensive whenever the subject comes up, especially in the pilot. Either he knows it's happening, or he's causing it to create a team of supersoldiers programmed to be controllable only by him.
  • It would be interesting to see Topher with some skin in the game for a change, rather than just being glorified comic relief.
  • Topher seems to be the only one in this dollhouse who knows how the process works. Ivy says that she could take apart and rebuild the machine, but who's to say that's not just her resentment at being a gofer to Topher (which could always be deliberate on his part, to keep her in the dark)? You have technology that can remold anyone into anyone that you can imagine, and there's only one person in the group who fully understands it. Each time he "wipes" someone, he could just add a bit more into them. Slowly, over time, he could make every Active loyal to him. Then he makes his Actives take out the non-Active staff, turn them into dolls, but leave enough of their original memories so that the superiors from Dollhouse HQ will never suspect a thing. If Topher doesn't do it, then some other Dollhouse has or will.

The Confessional is dolls from the Attic that can't retain imprints longer than short term
This reconciles a high level of secrecy with enough intelligence and creativity to design imprint specs appropriate to the engagement.

Dollhouse will not get canceled before the 13 episodes end.
Because this page needs a truly crazy theory.
  • You're out of your mind.
  • At least some of the hatemongering on the web is being planted by Joss et al, to garner an incensed response from the fans of this FRICKING AWESOME show.
  • This show is produced by NBC Universal. When FOX cancels it, it'll likely get Un-Cancelled and get at least a full season on the Sci Fi Channel. (If Dollhouse can't succeed there, it will prove once and for all that Joss Whedon is taken way too seriously.) FOX does not need that kind of competition on basic cable, so it'll keep the show around for at least 22 episodes. Perhaps even three full seasons, just like Sliders.
  • Confirmed: Not only did Dollhouse make it to the end of season 1 (despite the 13th episode only appearing on the DVD), it's been renewed for a second 13-episode season. Now there's a twist no one here on TV Tropes saw coming.
    • And now they're saying it's about to be renewed for a third.
      • That has been discredited. Apparently, it got beaten by Stargate Universe (on SyFy) one time too many. For November sweeps, FOX has replaced it with House reruns. Or Bomes reruns. Either way, you get the idea.
      • Jossed. It's been canceled, and FOX hasn't renewed it for a third season.

The Dollhouse is the centuries-prior predecessor to the Academy.
The Academy makes use of powerful mental control and subliminal messaging to control its agents. This could easily be a refined version of the basic imprinted personalities used on the Actives. Over five centuries, they improved the technology to its present state in the Firefly Verse, though it seems they can't quite get the tech to develop psychic powers to produce perfectly mentally stable agents....
  • So, keep your eyes open for the episode where an Active goes berserk after seeing an ad for Nature Valley granola bars! (All right, FOX would have to pay for that Product Placement, but still...)
    • But wait, wasn't that Universal?
      • If it is Universal, then the odds of an Active going berserk over a granola bar Product Placement approach certainty.
  • And when the Operative says he has no name, he means that literally — they deleted his name along with the rest of his personality. River only escaped the personality scrub because she's psychic.
    • Would also explain why Earth has been abandoned in the Firefly 'verse, what with the Apocalypse and all. All the Firefly people are descendants of ihabitants of Safe Haven

Ms. DeWitt and Echo are deep-cover federal agents on assignment to bring down the Dollhouse.
When you have a corporation that can re-write memories, the damning testimony would have to come from an Active. Echo's composite events are deep-level programming designed to hide from Topher and give her enough freedom to remember what was done to her. DeWitt recruited Echo as some part of a plea bargain. This is also why the Feds are so keen to keep Agent Ballard away from the Dollhouse: they don't want their operation exposed. Jossed

Penny from Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is an Active
We've got WMGs for the rest of the Whedonverse, why not complete the set? The ELE hired Penny because they recognised Billy's potential but wanted to stamp out his idealistic streak. They got an Active to become Billy's dream girl before crushing his spirit, causing him to fall to genuine evil. Of course, getting an Active killed would probably be extremely expensive, so those so inclined could probably use this as a theory of how she might have survived.
  • Sure, where does Sugarshock fit in then?
    • What, you hadn't worked out what Dandelion's secret government organisation that has authorised her to use lethal force is? This also explains why she hates Vikings (aside from their creepily advanced ship-building skills, that is).
      • Episode 13 (which will only be on the DVD) will have Felicia Day (who played Penny). No news on if she's a doll or not.
      • Jossed: Her character explicitly has her original personality, having not been wiped either before or After the End.

The employees, or some of them, are threatened with becoming a Doll if they try to quit.
Boyd and Dr Saunders clearly aren’t happy working there; one must wonder why they don’t leave. Dr Saunders particularly behaves as though she feels trapped there. It certainly seems like the kind of thing the Dollhouse would do.
  • Alternately, they will have their memories wiped. They stick around because they want to keep the last few years of their life.
    • Seemingly confirmed. Sierra's handler, after his indiscretion, alluded to the threat of being made a doll or put in the Attic. We can assume similar would happen if someone quit.
      • And Dominic is turned into a Doll after betraying the Dollhouse.
      • No, he wasn't. He was sent to the Attic, which means his body is boxed away while his mind is put on a hard drive on a shelf. And there's little reason to assume they would do the same to someone who quit.
  • 1x09 strongly hints that Dr. Saunders is an Active.
    • Really? It's not simply that Saunders is so afraid of Alpha that she won't leave the Dollhouse?
      • Really. Alpha asks if she's always wanted to be a doctor, then calls her a liar when she says "yes." More significantly, Dominic calls out "Whiskey" when he's in the chair in Victor's body. It's casually dismissed by everyone in the room as a request for a drink, but it's also a letter of the NATO alphabet — while it could be a red herring, the line suggests strongly that someone in the room is a doll. And given what happened earlier in the episode, who's a better candidate than Doctor Saunders?
      • He'd just called out Topher and Boyd's names, then looked right at Saunders and said Whiskey.
      • It's worth noting that Saunders herself appeared to be the quickest to dismiss it. It seemed like DeWitt was echoing Saunders, not vice versa.
  • Jossed in 2x10: Boyd is threatened with being put in the Attic or being murdered, but not with being turned into a Doll.

Boyd sticks around because of Echo
He's clearly protective; he's seen more unusual shouldn't-be-happening behaviour than anyone else; and if he left and another handler was brought in, then they would probably tell the Dollhouse all about it, and Echo would be put in the Attic.
  • As of Episode 9, Boyd is no longer Echo's handler due to a promotion. One way or the other, we'll find out.
  • Completely and utterly Jossed by 2x11, where we learn the real reason he's stuck around...
    • ...Echo. In a way.

The Dollhouse technology is based on the Neuralizer.
Similarity of function.

Sarah Michelle Gellar will play "Foxtrot"
Whedon's got her on his speed dial and plenty of former alumni working on the show. It would be a subtle gag on the comic strip of the same name that SMG is a fan of, in addition to the return of Buffy vs. Faith.

The spy in the Dollhouse is Topher's assistant.
We've seen her around for a few episodes, but she hasn't served any necessary purpose on the show. She's mostly there to give Topher a sounding board, which would work just as well with another character... unless Whedon is setting up a Chekhov's Gunwoman. She would know how to use the technology to plant a hidden command in Echo's imprint, perhaps the only one other than Topher himself. And no one would think it suspicious if she were hanging around the equipment.
  • Close. Turns out she was being set up to be the scapegoat. It didn't work.

Alternatively...

The spy in the Dollhouse is Dr. Saunders, possibly working with Boyd.
One of the above WMGs mentions that both are clearly unhappy working at the Dollhouse; maybe one or both is an undercover agent. Dr. Saunders has been there long enough that she might have some knowledge of Topher's equipment. If Boyd is also a spy, it might not be a coincidence that he came to talk with Topher at exactly the right time to distract him from Echo's imprint.
  • Whether or not he's exactly on her side, Alpha chose to keep her in the Dollhouse by scarring her, thereby making it look like they're enemies while still sparing her life. Also, when Echo contacts Ballard, she talks more like Saunders than any other character; if you were crafting a messenger, wouldn't it ideally be a copy of yourself?
  • In "Needs", it was her idea to temporarily give Echo her old personality back. She knew Echo would want to escape, so she secretly added a command to the imprint that caused her to call Ballard.
  • This specific theory has long been Jossed by 1x09, but its interesting to note how prescient it really was, considering Boyd turns out to actually be the head of Rossum, and he uses Whiskey's body for Clive 2.0.

There is no mole
Topher inputted the subversive subroutine at the behest of Adelle so that Paul Ballard would back down for the time being — she knew he wouldn't back down entirely, but at least this gave them some time to come up with another plan to keep him from finding the Dollhouse. (And as Echo said, "You have to let the Dollhouse win.")

The mention of a single person on the inside to Agent Ballard was to throw him for a mental loop and confuse him enough to both have him worried about protecting Mellie and get him out of the FBI. In other words, it's a Mind Screw.
  • Considering how much of a Chess Master DeWitt appears to be, this is entirely possible. Though it's Jossed now...

Agent Ballard is either related to or knows Caroline/Echo, pre-Dollhouse.
As Mellie indirectly points out, Ballard IS rather focused on freeing Caroline. Not to the exclusion of the other Dolls, but she does seem to be his priority. Pluss, this is Joss Whedon we are talking about, so it's right up his alley.
  • She's the only one he knows about - and this is why. But it's more likely that Alpha knew her.

The Dollhouse functions like Netflix.
While they might make exceptions for one-time customers, the best way to justify many of these jobs is to assume that the regular customers pay an annual rate and get as many dolls as needed. They have to remain under the radar regarding who they allow as clients, and those clients are clearly regulars. This would explain a good deal of their business. Think of all the clients who request repeated imprints and have ongoing relationships with them.

The concept of the Dollhouse is based off of the urban legend.
Because there is NO WAY that kind of technology existed in the "late '80s".
  • Confirmed...maybe in 2x10. Clyde says he was put in the Attic in 1993, and that was towards the very beginning of the Dollhouses; based on his description of events, it seems unlikely that there had been Dollhouses for at least five years prior to his imprisonment.

The mole is Topher himself
This one's a little less likely, but recall when we see Topher creating the imprint. He sends mad-science-intern away to get him food, then closes and uploads the imprint. No one else would have a chance to alter it before Echo got her treatment.
  • Jossed

The Dollhouse orchestrates the 'volunteering'.
Allegedly, the dolls are all volunteers. It's not explained why they would do this with only a blatantly amoral and secretive company's word that they'll get paid or even get their identity back, or even how they find the Dollhouse. So, instead, how about the Dollhouse finds them? All the dolls seen so far are young and reasonably attractive, so there's two necessary criteria. Given the martial arts they pull off quite frequently, another one is probably athletic ability. So maybe they go through winners of athletics competitions to find the best-looking ones, isolate them from their friends and family via the insinuation of other dolls into their life, grind them down past the Despair Event Horizon, and then see that they find their way to the Dollhouse. No-one seems to have been looking for Caroline; and in the yearbook video she was pretty offensive about all her friends, which suggests she managed to separate herself from them.

Then why stage the volunteer interview at all? To show squeamish customers, or cover their asses legally. Are we even sure that that was Echo's original personality, as opposed to an imprint with the original's name acting out a programmed scene? In which case, the Dollhouse may just wait for a doll-to-be to isolate themselves sufficiently from their friends before kidnapping them off the street.
  • If this is true, then a lot of what they're doing with Agent Ballard would make sense; they're trying to grind him down enough to recruit him as an Active.
  • Looks like this might be confirmed with Sam in Echoes.
  • And then there's Sierra, who was clearly not a volunteer. DeWitt seems to know this. What else might she be lying about?
    • Jossed by 2x04: Apparently the Dollhouse sometimes takes psychotic individuals with the intent of using them for five years and then releasing them cured; both Topher and DeWitt thought this was the case with Sierra. They were both greatly disturbed when they found out her psychosis was created by Nolan to bring her into the Dollhouse.

The Dollhouse's agenda is good.
This is the first of three related guesses.

They're not going to do a complete retool of the show this early. Echo is the protagonist; if they go for making the Dollhouse increasingly insidious, she'll have to be freed at some point, and then the premise of the show goes flying out the window. Instead, it will be revealed (this would be shocking) the the Dollhouse is working to recruit soldiers and gather resources to fight some greater evil.
  • Jossed

Langton is the mole.
The only other serious candidates are Adelle (which would make no sense) or Topher and/or Claire (and neither of them could be an effective antagonist). Furthermore, this leads us into...
  • There's also Dominic. It looks like he was the only character not mentioned on this page. What, too obvious? Turns out, sometimes the obvious choice is the right one.
  • sort of confirmed

Next season, Agent Ballard will become Echo's new handler.
Once he realizes the Dollhouse is a necessary evil, he'll want to be where he can protect Echo.

The April Fool's joke shown on Fox for Dollhouse seemed to show him as her handler; but it seems bad that they would spoil it like that. It's likely a dream sequence or some other fake-out.
  • As of the season 1 finale, this looks possible.
    • Confirmed in the season 2 premiere.

Echo is the mole.
Knowing something about the dollhouse prior to volunteering, as we see both in the intro and in the web extras, Caroline imprinted herself with some sort of deep code to fuck up the Dollhouse and then volunteered.
  • Probably Jossed by November having a secret message for Paul buried in her implant as well.

DeWitt is the mole.
Or at least a very good chessmaster. She even got Topher on board. She was speaking to Ballard through Echo; she sent Sierra's handler to his death through her deep undercover agent. She knows where Ballard lives; she could easily send Ballard tips; and she seems to have some sort of attachment to Echo. She even may be working with Alpha (or not).

The plug has been pulled.
"Dollhouse: Awakening" sounds a hell of a lot like a finale. It's only the eighth episode. Yep, The Firefly Effect lives on.
  • The Other Wiki says the eighth episode is called Needs, and involves Echo, Sierra and Victor regaining part of their real personalities. Sounds more like a turning point in the arc-plot, not a finale.
  • ALL 13 episodes WILL be shown on Fox (apart from on April 17th, when there isn't an episode because of Prison Break).
  • Well, not exactly; only 12 of the 13 episodes were shown, with the last being available only on DVD. But since the show was renewed for a second season, this theory has been Jossed.

Most of the "X is an active" theories have been Jossed by episode 7.
Except for:
  • Saunders: Since they only pick pretty people to send out on assignments, when she got scarred up they had a useless slave on their hands. So, they imprinted her with a doctor (probably one Alpha killed).
    • Given a boost when Dominic (imprinted into Victor) says something about "whiskey" when Saunders injects him with a sedative, while Boyd and Adelle whisper in the background...
    • Confirmed in "Omega". Alpha attacked her specifically because she was Whiskey (and was more successful than Echo, who he was in love with.
  • Ballard: Created to draw out the Dollhouse's real enemies.

Dollhouse collects memories from the deceased.
We know they have the memories of that girl who committed suicide and Rebecca. The process might only work on dead people or it might not, but it would explain how they have so many memories. The deceased's families aren't likely to complain about the person suddenly forgetting important experiences.
  • Sub-theory: The Dollhouse collected Leo's memories, which became part of Alpha in his "composite event".

Adelle isn't British — she just had a good accent coach.
The whole "because I am so very British" thing in "Echoes" is because she knows she's drugged, is worried about blowing her cover, and is overcompensating.

The Memory Drug is not so rare
The drug in the water in "The Target" is the same as that one used as the main plot point in "Echoes".

The Dollhouse is preparing humanity for a future alien invasion or perhaps one that's already landed.
Let's count the evidence:
  1. The Dollhouse can provide extremely good (one might even say super) soldiers ready and willing to kick some alien ass.
  2. The Dollhouse provides its own funds by getting enormous sums of money from billionaires, which also lets the Dollhouse partake of the billionaires' more useful newly invented technologies.
  3. The place Actives go when decommissioned is the Attic, aka between the house and the open sky.
  4. All of the world's governments are apparently in on Dollhouse, and surely not all of them are keeping silent because they want to partake in a fantasy every once in a while. Some other, more pressing, concern must be keeping the officials protecting the Dollhouse.
  5. The Dolls are named after military call signs.
  6. Aliens are the only thing Joss hasn't pulled out yet.
  • [[Spoiler: Pretty much Jossed]]

Most of the higher-ups in the FBI are Dollhouse clients.
It would explain how the Dollhouse gets its clients even though the FBI reportedly thinks it's a myth. Moreover, Ballard got to research the Dollhouse because they had to give the assignment to someone... why not discredit the psycho agent at the same time?
  • Well, sort of, there are a bunch of government officials who are clients.

Ballard will eventually become an Active.
Again, Echo was supposed to have been on the Dollhouse's trail before Adelle recruited her. Once Ballard gets too close, Adelle will forcibly remove his memory and make him an Active to keep him from exposing the Dollhouse. After all, we've seen that some Actives, like Sierra, weren't exactly volunteers...
  • Yes, though he keeps his own personality

November is responsible for her daughter’s death, and the guilt drove her to the Dollhouse.
DeWitt’s little speech in Needs about the Actives all wanting to get away from something. This is one thing November could plausibly be trying to escape.
  • This could be true. Alternatively, maybe it was just a tragic accident, but former-Mellie still couldn't handle it. Whatever the case, here she is.
  • Former-Mellie was responsible for her daughter's death, and went to the Dollhouse to avoid jail-time. It's the only way that her volunteering to be an Active makes sense.

There is more than one mole.
Dominic claimed to have been keeping Ballard off the Dollhouse's trail, so it must be someone else sending the messages through Echo and November.
  • He seemed to be honest about doing what he could to protect the Dollhouse. He probably wasn't a mole yet and wouldn't become one unless the NSA decided to take down the Dollhouse.
  • Or Ballard finding the Deep Dark Rossum Secret will help with the mole's stated policy of containment. Or it's basically a dodge so Ballard doesn't concentrate on the physical Dollhouse; clearly, the messages are less than forthcoming on that score.

The mole's Motive Rant was a lie.
Why exactly would you tell the truth in that situation? The mole's actions don't seem consistent with the claimed motive: Occam's Razor says this explanation is more likely than multiple moles.
  • This is WMG! We laugh at Occam's Razor!
    • Problem: If Dominic wanted to bring down the Dollhouse, Ballard can't do anything that a highly-placed NSA operative couldn't. Gather evidence on their clients and connections? Expose them to the public? Arrest them outright? Why bother with a crazy, lone FBI agent when their own person could get the job done?
  • Dominic was a mole. That doesn't mean Dominic was the one sending messages through the Actives. As noted above, the NSA would hardly need to resort to such methods if they wanted Ballard in their tent. Either there's another mole, or the messages are, indeed, DeWitt's red herring.

The decoy Miss Lonelyhearts is Adelle's grandmother/mother/aunt/close family friend.
It makes sense. Victor brought flowers she liked, which everyone assumed was a romantic gesture, but bringing flowers or some other little present to your girlfriend's family members, especially an older member, isn't exactly a strange act. She said nothing when he left without even engaging in some idle chitchat, which she could attribute to his desire to quickly see his girlfriend, her (fill in the blank). The car was either one he kept at the house while away (if he's supposedly rich, that works), or it belonged to someone he had express permission from to use. There are many reasons Adelle could have a different surname than the decoy, and given her position, she could likely ensure a family background check doesn't show any relatives or close family friends near by.

Adelle is a drug addict.
In Episode 9, she shrugs off a high-caliber bullet like it's nothing and then refuses anesthesia for its removal. For the most part, her personality is subdued when she's not lashing out at inferiors. The scene with Victor also seems to suggest that she has depression, which raises the possibility of self-medication. My guess is speed, PCP, or coke.
  • Alternatively, a session with a nice psychiatrist is to the Dollhouse as grow-organs-from-stem-cells research is to cloning. Adelle is part medical mystery already, or she has a spare set of organs under her desk and knows she doesn't need to worry if she gets shot.
  • Not possible; as Topher states in "Echoes", the Dollhouse does regular drug testing on its employees.
    • Maybe they're giving her the drugs themselves?
    • Also, he said they happen on a regular schedule and most things only stay in the body a few days. There's a difference between "junkie" and "self-medicating" and she could probably hold off for a bit when a drug test was coming up. There are also ways to beat a drug test with a drug in your system.
  • Not exactly confirmed yet, but she definitely shows strong signs of alcoholism.
    • I'd say this is pretty much confirmed after episode 2.9 and 2.10
    • There's also some information in websites and official wikis that says or suggests this with no reason to believe it's not canon.

The mole is an NSA doll.
Now that Episode 9 has laid to rest any doubts that Dollhouse is set Twenty Minutes into the Future (bendable OLEDs at that resolution are still quite a ways off), it's not so far-fetched to believe that the Dollhouse aren't the only ones with imprinting technology. If we take this assumption to its logical end, why send a relatively unreliable agent when you can send a doll of your own? This gives reason for the NSA's activity, too: if the Dollhouse messes up, the technology might get out and ruin the government's ace in the hole.
  • This troper disagrees; the fact that the Dollhouse has flexible OLEDs doesn’t mean it’s Twenty Minutes into the Future. If a secret organization in 2009 has the technology to write over someone’s mind, why wouldn’t they have flexibled OLEDs?

Another conclusion that you could make: The Dollhouse is (clandestinely) a government test. As for Episode 7, maybe they have a better understanding of the whole thing?
  • This seems unlikely - in "Echoes", the Dolls react differently to the mind-altering drug. Dominic was exposed to the drug and seemed to react like a normal person.

The Dollhouse universe is one of the alternate possibilities in Shinji's mind from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Echo is Shinji: the main character out of three people being used and screwed up by some shadowy organisation.
  • So does that make Alpha a very possible Kaworu? Or maybe a pint-sized Unit 01?
  • Sierra and Victor are Rei and Asuka: the other two of the three.
  • Boyd is Misato Katsuragi: the handler in charge of the main character's missions, and also their well-being.
  • Topher is Ritsuko Akagi: the mad scientist, more interested in the science than the people.
  • Adelle is Gendo: the big, bad chessmaster magnificent bitch/bastard.
  • Lawrence Dominic is Professor Fuyutsuki: the right hand man.
  • Ballard is Kaji: sort of... Kaji did a bit of investigating, didn't he?
    • Well, he did enough investigating to get shot for it.

Wrong, Neon Genesis Evangelion is Echo's Attic dream and Echo is all 3 pilots. Caroline is Asuka, the id. Did I fall asleep-season 1 Echo is Rei, the super-ego, and Omega-Echo is Shinji, the ego.
  • Alpha is Kaworu
  • Sierra and Victor are Toji and Hikari.
  • Boyd is Gendo, the father-figure who is ultimately a corrupt chessmaster and wants to bring about Instrumentality.
  • Claire is Fuyutsuki.
  • Clyde is Yui.
  • Topher is Ritsuko.
  • Adelle is Misato.
  • Dominic is Kaji.
  • Ballard is Echo's Girlfriend of Steel!

Dollhouse clients are required to donate memory scans.
Margaret had already been in for routine personality scans; when she grew paranoid about someone wanting to kill her, she starting having them regularly updated so that Adelle could imprint an Active with her later.
  • In "Epitaph One", this is very strongly suggested; in particular, there's at least one memory that gets accessed which would only be there if either this theory were true or Adelle were scanning herself.
    • Adelle clearly has scanned herself along with, at the very minimum, Victor, Dr. Saunders and Caroline, otherwise the chair would not have contained the other 8 memories. As Mr. Miller states that he is talking to a MAN before we delve into that first memory, this memory could only come from Adelle.

The murderer in Episode 10 will become an Active.
He knows too much. The killer in "Haunted" managed to figure out who Echo was and said that he himself has used the Dollhouse in the past. The Dollhouse can't let the case go to trial because there's too much risk that he would expose their operations or try to save his skin with a plea bargain that exposes them. Besides, he meets the physical requirements (youth and attractiveness) for Actives.

Victor was a cop who got too close to the truth.
He may have been investigating disappearances - or perhaps Nolan's use of the Dollhouse - when he got too close to them. There have been some hints that the same thing might happen to Ballard.
  • Jossed by 2x04 - Victor was already an Active before Sierra.
Alternatively...

Victor is ex-military.
He knows the NATO codes, and moves militarily (is that even a word?) when he gets the personality-but-not-memories. Also his flashback is to a military situation. That could be a doll memory, but still...
  • Of course, these two aren't necessarily exclusive. Plenty of cops are former service members.
  • Some evidence for this is shown in 2x04, where Victor has military-related flashbacks.
  • Confirmed by 2x09: Victor is Anthony Ceccoli, an Afghanistan War veteran with PTSD.

In time, WMGs that "X is a Doll on assignment" will become as prolific as "X is a Time Lord"
While only one character in a given fiction can be a Time Lord, there are no limits on the number of Dolls, and there is no need to figure out their TARDIS.
  • They will be pretty much mandatory for any character played by Eliza Dushku (Echo), Enver Gjokaj (Victor), Dichen Lachman (Sierra), Miracle Laurie (November), or Alan Tudyk (Alpha).
  • There is a need to identify their handler, or explain the absence of one.
    • Eh, handlers stay out of sight unless needed. You could make it work without identifying a handler.
  • The Doctor is a Doll on assignment. The TARDIS is his handler.
    • I think my brain just imploded...
    • The Time Lords invented imprinting technology and the Dollhouse are actually using stolen tech they found inside Wash's crashed TARDIS. (see "Alpha is Wash" above)
      • The Dollhouse technology is simply a modified Chameleon Arch, stolen from Wash's TARDIS.
    • The Time Lords actually sent the Doctor out on assignments, which he interprets as his rebellious misadventures, which the Time Lords knew would prevent greater disaster, so he is essentially a Sleeper Active. But now that the Time Lords are gone, he is a Doll with no assignment, which creates his angst.

The Dollhouse's ultimate purpose is resurrection.
The events of episode 10 represent either a dry run, or a rediscovery by the Los Angeles branch of this particular function.
  • If you like, you can combine it with the "the Dollhouse's ultimate purpose is to produce polymaths" theory above, and say that the plan is to allow their customers, after they die, to wake up in young attractive bodies knowing kung fu.
  • The department Adelle was working for before her transfer to the Dollhouse—researching growing organs from stem cells—actually is working up to creating entire clone bodies, so as not to have to rely on a ready supply of dolls.
  • Wait a minute - did you just say "Resurrection"?
  • This doesn't really work though. The original person (Their 'soul', I guess) stays dead, the dollhouse just creates a copy. It's like with vampires in Joss' other work- they may look like you, act like you, have your memories, they may even think they are you... but the original you is still dead. Of course, strictly speaking this means that all the dolls' original personalities are also technically dead. Perhaps you could skirt around this a bit by taking Ballard's suggestion that you can't erase someone's soul, so putting a mind back in its original body means it's really them, but... this is all getting rather philosophical now.
    • Obviously you wouldn't get the service unless you held the kind of physicalist beliefs that make you think this sort of resurrection is reasonable. Or unless you thought the world needed someone like you around (like Margaret).
      • Or unless you hold the belief that the soul, as created by God(s), is smart enough to "stick" to the mind no matter what happens to that mind.
  • Seemingly confirmed by 1x13, "Epitaph One". At least, this seems to be the Rossum Corporation's big motivation - DeWitt et al seem none too happy at the idea.

Adelle is a Terminator.
There's no way she could have shrugged off a bullet to the stomach that easily. Clearly, she's been sent back in time by Skynet to manipulate or control the Dollhouse so Skynet can use that technology to its own ends.
  • Clearly, so that they can turn captured Resistance members into Skynet sleeper agents.

Echo is somehow responsible for making Alpha
Just like she told the girl, Susan, about how Briar Rose made the prince to get her out.
"It's okay to be rescued by someone else if you're young, or small, or can't do it yourself."
"The prince shows up at the last minute, takes all the credit."
"The prince was her dream. She made him; she made him fight to get her out."
  • Plus Echo calls him her prince after he imprints her.
  • Well, I suppose this is true in a way...Alpha fell in love with Echo the moment he saw her, and that led to his going crazy. No wonder they were so worried about Victor's reaction to Sierra...

Alpha is pulling a Sylar with personalities.
Sure, there are better explainations for how he pretended to be the environmental guy, (He's an acting imprint, and Ballard lacks enough knowledge that Alpha could have said anything, or the environmental guy was already part of his imprints, for whatever reason) but he clearly possesses the tech required (ala the remote wipe) So why not up his portfolio. Note that he likely isn't doing it on any expert, just what he needed to get what he wanted, hence him being able to keep his secrecy.
  • Better yet, Alpha IS Sylar using his newly acquired shapeshifting abilities after he realizes that he isn't Nathan.
  • And Echo is Peter Petrelli...sort of.

Joss Whedon's long-term plan has always been for one character to Body Surf
After 1x11 "Briar Rose" aired, this viewer's boyfriend commented on how "lucky" it was that Reed Diamond's initial portrayal of Dominic has such distinct yet easily-copied mannerisms. Not to either imbue Joss Whedon with god-like Chessmaster skills of long-term planning or to knock Enver's capabilities as an actor, but I'm starting to think luck might've had very little to do with it. As in, the character was written to have this happen to them from the get-go. Prediction: Dominic will be hopping from one Active to the next in the second season. Assuming of course we make it that far. (The implication of this, unfortunately, is that the first actor's sort of been screwed.)
  • Unless they purposely designed something for Dominic's actor to do. Remember, they still have his body!

The dollhouse is actually being run by the Church of Scientology
Why else would there be a reference to Jenna Elfman specifically out of all the actresses out there. And the way the dollhouse just imprints personalities with reckless abandon. Between the staff and the dolls there is not one psychiatrist; nor is there ever counselling offered even with all the times that things go awry. this is just a guess, I may be wrong. Please do not sue me or tvtropes. Or Joss.

There will eventually be a plotline involving a "mix-up"/gender-bend of some sort where an imprint ends up in a body of the wrong physical sex
Because this is Joss Whedon - if given the chance, you just know he's going to go there. Considering they've already played body-roulette with him once, my money's on Dominic. Which, face it, would be hi-larious.
  • Confirmed in "Belle Chose", more or less. Though not the identity of the imprint.

The Dollhouse is an ally of Torchwood
Secret underground organization with unlimited funding? check. Lonely, geeky tech wiz? check. Questionable morals? check. Adelle could have worked for Torchwood when she lived in the UK and Torchwood and UNIT could certainly use a few dolls.

Adelle is a Timelord
She's smart,clearly {The Chessmaster},she's British, she could be in hiding, or could be Timelord turned human through a chameleon arch.

Victor will eventually become self-aware, just like Alpha and Echo.
Alpha first showed signs of self-awareness when he fell in love with Echo. Victor has shown signs of a similar attraction to Sierra. Furthermore, when the Actives were imprinted with their original personalities in "Needs", Victor seemed more concerned with helping Sierra with her needs. The parallels will eventually manifest.
  • However, I don't think Victor is going to become another Alpha. Alpha's attack on Whiskey was motivated by his feelings for Echo, as at the time, Whiskey was the Dollhouse's top Active. However, due to the fact that Echo had already been showing signs of becoming self-aware, DeWitt and Boyd have been limiting her assignments, while Sierra seems to be getting many of the top assignments for female Actives. Eventually, this will lead to Alpha going after Sierra—and Victor awakening to defend her.

Dollhouse isn't set in the future, or if it is, it's nearer than most of us assumed
Caroline is surprised to learn that the US has a black President, implying that she became an Active before the 2008 US Presidential election, otherwise she would have known already. That puts the series a maximum of five years from then, or 2013. I guess they could invent that weird electric paper stuff seen in episode 9 within the next few years, but I think we all assumed it was later than that.
  • In "Needs" the date was stated to be 2009 and in a flashback in (I think) "Omega" Echo was shown joining the house three years ago. So, yeah, it's current.

Steve the Pirate is one of Alpha's personalities.
He did say one of his personalities was a split personality so it's not that crazy of an idea.

Echo-Omega had a heart-to-heart talk with Boyd and Ballard during the drive back to the Dollhouse
Ballard had a pretty impressive shift in attitude by the end of the episode; during the drive back to the Dollhouse, he undoubtedly had a long talk with Echo-Omega—who probably gave him something of a reality check, given all of the experience she has locked up inside. And she probably pointed out that letting Caroline go free would be a tad foolish at this juncture, since Alpha has already murdered her twice (smashing the backup and shooting Wendy-Caroline)

Victor will be the new Dr Saunders
. Ugly rumour has it that Amy Acker has had a pilot picked up so she may not be available. It's better for Victor than the Attic, anyway.
  • Jossed: she's back

November/Madeleine's five year term was over.
Remember Susan's line from "Briar Rose" about how the prince doesn't save Sleeping Beauty, he just shows up at the last minute and takes all the credit? It's like that.
  • Also, this is why Adelle doesn't see any need to tell Madeleine, "By the way, we're letting you out of your contract early, so don't be surprised when you walk out the door and discover that it's 2009 instead of 201X." She isn't.
  • Jossed: turns out she was let out years early as revealed in the episode "Instinct"

The amount of WMG on this page is so big that TV Tropes will be forced to either erase already Jossed theories or implode over the combined might of this page and the Doctor Who WMG
Way to go tropers.

Joss Whedon sold his soul to the devil
How else do you explain this getting a second season?
  • He sold his soul to Fox?
    • Exactly

The Briar Rose foreshadowing doesn't refer to Caroline, but November.
It clearly doesn't parallel the Echo arc of the last episode. She didn't get rescued nor was she active in making Alpha want to rescue her. But November is rescued, likely towards the end of her contract anyway, and only because she formed an attachment with her rescuer in her "sleep". Additionally, there is only one sleeper doll we know of.

Composite Events aren't when an Active is imprinted with many imprints but when an Active becomes self-aware
  • This editor read into things, especially Omega, that the Dollhouse has really vague understanding of what composite event really is. They think it's when an Active is imprinted with many personalities resulting in a psychotic. But it's really when an Active in their Tabula Rasa state develop self-awareness and personality that is, in part, based off the original personality that was there (the strongest parts); to greater and lesser degrees, this also means that the Active has to respond to their sudden knowledge and either accept or reject it. All that the imprinting of the other personalities does is give them experience and skills of many lifetimes. It's like suddenly you wake up one morning to realize that you can literally do everything Batman can. What you do with that though. This editor notes this because...
    • Alpha and Omega clearly demonstrate a very focused sense of purpose and self. Alpha was psychotic because the original personality already was and that was the strongest trait to carry over. Alpha as an Active developed the attraction and superiority kick all on his own. Same for Omega - her devotion towards promises and helping people. If a composite event were really just a mishmash of personalities, Omega would have responded in the way Alpha probably expected it to happen. Likewise, Alpha probably wouldn't have been able to focus so much on such a specific goal - there's no reason why 48 different personalities would even agree on such thing unless it's not really personalities.
    • Contrast the behavior of Alpha and Omega to their original personalities likely reactions and their own. Alpha destroys his original personality - he doesn't restore himself. Omega's first few acts as well as the last moments of the episode are radically different than the blank slate Caroline (or the original personality Caroline in the redshirt's body).
    • Whiskey's mini-composite event - the side story involving Whiskey has many echoes with the larger one involving Alpha and Omega. However, with only one personality imprinted and the more gradual self-discover instead of the harsh method used by Alpha and Omega, the event is rather benign. Note how Whiskey acts to Victor in their scenes together. Initially, Whiskey acts exactly how a self-aware doll would - despondent and dejected, telling Victor as much. However, after re-discovering what happened, confronting her past selves, Whiskey reconciles everything. Subsequently, Whiskey's gesture towards Victor, the first time that gesture was shown despite being part of one of the original personalities, is a symbol of Whiskey's acceptance, free will, and acknowledgment of one of the original personalities. Moreover, it's a happy sign to both Victor and Whiskey - a turn around from the previous negative exchange.
    • Victor and Sierra both demonstrate a vague memory of each other and Echo. This is a throwaway line in a previous episode noted by Topher about flocking. However, in their blank original states, they both seem to recall each other and have an attachment to each other, if vaguely. This shouldn't happen if it were completely their original personalities - it's really their blank slate memories manifesting on their own.
    • See also Echo during her assignments as the blind cultist and the millionaire's dead wife. As well as Spy in the House of Love (perhaps a stronger point as this is when she has no imprint).

Dollhouse is actually a branch of the Hellsing Organization
  • There's only one explanation for Adelle DeWitt's stoic demeanor, the British accent, her aristocratic personality and role as head of a secret organization: she's clearly Sir Integra Hellsing, who's dyed her blonde hair, assumed a fake name and has come to the United States to oversee the Dollhouse, which is one of the Hellsing Organization's more specialized and esotoric projects. And Echo? Well, the chilling truth is that Caroline was just one more memory implant and Echo is really... Alucard, in his "Girlycard" form. The long dark hair, the piercing eyes, the intuitive ability to, when push comes to shove, ruthlessly tear through her enemies? It's all Alucard's homicidal nature slipping through the imprints and tabula rasa state, which in reality are very high-level, experimental versions of the Control Art Restriction System. That's the true purpose of Dollhouse: Hellsing was starting to lose control of Alucard, and the Dollhouse is an elaborate experiment to try to improve the CARS, by testing it on both him and on ordinary people who are being used as a control group. As for Alpha? That whole storyline's just an elaborate Mind Screw meant to keep Echo from realizing the truth: what really happened was that she reverted completely back to Alucard and sadistically laid waste to Dollhouse before they could reapply the seal and force him back into his Girlycard, "Echo" persona. This also explains why Echo is drawn to Sierra: in reality, Sierra is Seras Victoria with her hair grown out, similarly mind-wiped by Hellsing to preempt any threat her loyalty to Alucard might pose to the project. Of course, as her sire, Echo instinctively recognizes her anyway.
  • This Troper thought Clyde 2.0, aka Claire Saunders In A Suit looked waaaaaaay too much like Integra for her comfort.

Ballard is a Doll
Several years ago, another Dollhouse (not the one in Los Angeles) deployed Ballard on a special long-term assignment. His purpose is to discredit the FBI investigation of the Dollhouse. Ballard was programmed to join the FBI, and be obsessed with finding the Dollhouse. At this point, Ballard has largely succeeded in his goals.
  • Jossed

Topher is not just creating a geek friend when he imprints Sierra (1x10)
The ideal way to mess with imprints in unauthorized ways is to have people let you mess with imprints in unauthorized ways, and to just do a little more messing around than they think you're doing. If he has some kind of a plan (see also "Topher is deliberately sabotaging the process to cause Echo to retain skills" and "The mole is Topher himself"), it's a perfect cover to do anything he wants, while having the higher-ups look the other way.

The Dollhouse is run by Wolfram & Hart and Whiskey is a natural doll
Just look at the architecture in there, the Dollhouse looks so much like the W&H offices that it could hardly be accidental (same creator even, do you think he didn't notice?). Likely it was one of their science departments pet projects, likely created by Knox or another of his ilk to "audition" bodies to be a host for Illyria, before Fred came along.

As a second note, Whiskey's original personality was Fred. When Illyria stole Freds body it "burnt up Freds soul in the fires of resurrection". When Illyria eventually moved on it left Fred's body as the only naturally created doll, soulless, mindless, pliable

Finally, there never was a Caroline. Faith was recruited because the Dollhouse wanted a slayer to use for assasination missions. They didn't know that the mindwipe technique would destroy the part of her that connects her to the slayers power. Finding themselves with a doll who had signed no agreement and had no particular worth besides physical attractiveness, they imprinted the false Caroline memories onto her, complete with a suitably traumatic event to justify her signing the agreement (with an inbuilt parameter to sign her name "Faith Lehane" instead of using Carolines name). They then had her record the odd video and take a few pictures with her hair restyled and her clothes changed in an attempt to make her look younger so they could plant those about and build up the fake Caroline background. This explains why Caroline seems to be far too old for college in those videos.

"The Twins" are Romeo and Juliet.
DeWitt offers to let Biz unwind with "the twins". Romeo and Juliet are both in the phonetic alphabet, so this seems like a natural fit. Remember that twins can be fraternal; or this might be a case of Half-Identical Twins. This would also imply that Biz is bisexual.

At least 75% of this page has been Jossed in the old-school sense of the term by "Epitaph One".

Epitaph One is the seed of the Firefly universe.
In the future of Epitaph One, Earth That Was could no longer sustain us - due to all the remote imprinting tech and the mess it made of the world.
  • The solution to the mess was to settle on a new planet on the rim (of a new solar system), called Safehaven. This, and similar settlements would eventually form the Independents.
    • Later, Safehaven would be shortened to just Haven.
    • Epitaph One ends by climbing up - because they are flying a cheap spaceship from the roof to Safehaven.
  • The Chinese, with their area-blanketing imprinting wave, do have a head start. That's why Rossum Corporation - the minds behind every classified operation in the universe - will have to join forces with China to form the Alliance that will strive to control the future society.
  • There appears to be no imprinting technology (nor memory of one) by the time of Firefly. (If the Alliance still had it, they wouldn't need to cut River's brain in her "school".) So how was it lost?
    • Caroline finds a way to share her power of resisting imprinting. Therefore, imprinting tech becomes useless.
    • Butlerian-style Jihad against tech? Would seem in line with the "no tech ever" attitude of the naturals in Epitaph One.
      • A Butlerian jihad must leave deep scars and tabus in the aftermath. We don't see those in Firefly.
      • What the attitude does explain is the Space Amish feel of the rim worlds.
  • Was imprinting really lost? There appear to be similar, though less subtle forces in Firefly.
    • River is a sleeper agent: "There are three Fruity Bars in the vase. The third Fruity Bar is green."
    • The Operative is dangerous because he Believes. Dolls truly believe they are the implant! And the Operative had no name. Is there an Operative Academy even scarier than the school River went to?
    • Chemical manipulation persists: the experiment on Miranda resembles the "sedatives and anti-psychotics we pump into the pods with the O2" (1x09) Dr. Saunders warns "If you start playing with their meds, it could backfire or damage them." If only the Miranda scientist were as prudent...
  • River and Simon are the descendants of Bennett and Topher! It explains EVERYTHING!

The imprinting process was originally invented by MI6
It was intended as a way to replicate the personalities of certain agents into multiple bodies. Clearly there's not an army of suave, martini-drinking Brits around is because the technology wasn't as sophisticated as it is by the time of the show.

The Dollhouse was created/is owned by Madacorp
Madacorp, the evil corporation from Kyle XY, developed the dollhouse technology out of their CRI research. This would make Jessie XX possibly the first ever Active.

The remote-wiping technology was developed by another Dollhouse
While Alpha might be capable of a remote wipe, there's no particular reason he would wipe Echo in "Gray Hour" especially if it would put her in danger (which it did). However, another Dollhouse could certainly do it, if they have someone even half as capable as Topher. The "Gray Hour" wipe was a field test - rather than risk one of their own Actives, they targeted one of Adelle's. It is also far more likely for someone else (ie China) to get their hands on remote-wiping technology if it was developed by a Dollhouse than if it was developed by Alpha.
  • This rival Dollhouse may end up becoming the Big Bad in Season Two.
    • We know there is another Dollhouse based out of Washington DC. And they have their own Topher-style programmer in the form of Bennet. Maybe she's the one who's behind this?
      • Semi-Jossed: we at least know that the DC Dollhouse didn't come up with it. Topher has actually improved on it, so it looks like he's the source.

Every major character in the LA Dollhouse is working against the Rossum Corporation.
Every character is either a mole or has a plan going on against Rossum, but none of them are aware that the others are doing it. Because so many high-level people appear to be connected to the Dollhouse, every investigation is being kept very hush-hush. At some point in season two people will begin to connect the pieces, and eventually in season 3 they'll work together to fight the other Dollhouses and Rossum.

More specifically: DeWitt has a Gambit to rise through the ranks of Rossum and take them down from the inside, Boyd is a mole for someone, Ballard is still working for the FBI, Topher feels guilty and is sabotaging the imprint process causing the compound events. Dominic likely was a mole for the NSA, but was simply bad at it and so he was caught. All of the others went along with Attic-ing him, because they couldn't let any of the others know that they were betraying Rossum.
  • There won't be a season 3, but the rest of this WMG was pretty much confirmed by the final scene in episode 2x10.
    • The "everybody" bit was so, so, so severely Jossed by 2x11.

Dollhouse technology will have a part in The Singularity.
They have Brain Uploading. They just need machine bodies and a CPU/Drive combination that can run an imprint.

Ballard and Echo will have sex sometime this season
Everything has been leading up to this from Ballard's now-fulfilled obsession in season 1. Combine that with the fact that there might not be another season, making Shipping Bed Death loom less large. And they've already started to dial up the creepy on his character even more. It is going to happen, and it will not be pretty. One potential scenario that I would not be surprised to see: Ballard's already become a client. So he turns Echo into a doll and re-enacts one of those creepy rescue fantasies he had in the first season. Cue Echo glitching.
  • Jossed: Echo actually comes onto Ballard of her own free will. He resists for a long time, and eventually gets one 3-second long makeout session before Boyd arrives and they bring Echo back into the Dollhouse.
    • It isn't Jossed yet, there are four more episodes and they've already made out.
    • Confirmed in Epitaph Two, though less so than he wanted

The senator's wife is an Active.
If not her, then someone else close to him, but so far she's the only person we've seen him with, and it's very similar to the Paul/Mellie situation. Adelle knows he's gunning for the Dollhouse; does anyone honestly believe she hasn't planted a spy?
  • Except that she said he came out of nowhere, so unless she was lying to Boyd she hasn't had any time to get a long-term scheme running. Setting up a wedding takes time, and from the way those two talked they seemed to have been together a while.
    On the other hand, the cute new intern who turns up in a couple of episodes' time and finds senatorial authority very sexy could bear watching.
    • They don't need to set up a wedding. They could wipe his wife, then imprint her with her original personality and a sleeper personality underneath. However, that would almost certainly require coercion or trickery, and Adelle has demonstrated an aversion to making someone an Active against their will. The other 19 Dollhouses, on the other hand...
    • As far as Adelle is concerned, he came out of nowhere. The Washington DC Dollhouse might have seen it coming, and they're also in a much better position to plant a spy. Whether or not she was an Active when they were married is still up in the air, but in one of the preview clips he comments that "it's like they made her just for me"...
      • Jossed by the Public Eye and The Left Hand. Daniel is the doll and Cindy is his handler.

The folder left at the senator's door was sent by Alpha, who is also "foil hat guy"
I saw this one, along with the above, suggested on the ew.com recap of "Instinct". Certainly that folder had to have come from someone close to the Dollhouse. Which suggests another possibility...

The folder was sent by Ballard.
Leaking information to the senator is part of his plan to bring down the Dollhouse. As long as the information can't be traced to him, if this part of the plan fails he won't lose his spot on the inside. Jossed, it was Rossum

The folder was sent by Whiskey.
I mean come on!
  • It would explain where she was during that episode (possibly with Boyd covering for her). But it would also give the surviving Wesley/Fred shippers a happy, and Joss would never do such a thing. Unless it was to make their later misery all the more profound. Okay, it was sent by Whiskey.
  • I consider it unlikely that Whiskey wants to bring down the Dollhouse. If that happened, Whiskey's pre-wipe personality would be restored and "Claire Saunders" would cease to exist, which is exactly what Whiskey doesn't want, according to "Vows".
    • Unless she brings it down from the outside, without making her presence known to anyone who knows she's an Active. She may be thinking she can tear it down and walk away as the person who she's become. The flaw in this plan is that, presumably, she needs regular treatments to maintain her imprint — but does she realise this? Mellie seemed completely unaware of her periodic visits to the Dollhouse; maybe Saunders is equally ignorant, and hasn't stopped to think long enough to put that detail together.
      • I don't think most imprints need to be maintained—November was a special case because she was a sleeper Active. The subliminal programming she was imprinted with ("three flowers in a vase") was experimental and they wanted to be sure they hadn't created another Alpha. Besides, how would they know what information she had gotten from Ballard unless they retrieved her memories?
Jossed, it was Rossum

The folder was sent by Adelle, and contains deliberate misinformation.
She gave Senator Perrin just enough of the truth to make it look genuine, but if he tries to use the contents of the folder to expose the Dollhouse, it will lead to a dead end and discredit him. Jossed, it was Rossum

The Dollhouse is seducing Ballard by fulfilling his fantasies.
In "Vows" and "Belle Chose" he got to do more bad-ass police work than he ever got to do in the actual FBI. And of course he gets to hang around Echo and "white knight" her. So like Whiskey, Ballard is being given reason after reason to benefit from the Dollhouse's existence.
  • Asking Madeline/November to come back for a "checkup" was part of this. Sure, they could just have been making sure the restoration of her original personality went smoothly, but there was no reason to believe it hadn't. Adelle just wanted her to come back and meet Ballard again to keep him emotionally off-balance.
  • As DeWitt puts it, everyone working for DHLA has compromised morals or none at all. Ballard's were fatally compromised perhaps as early as the first time he had sex with Mellie knowing she was an Active programmed to fulfil his fantasies, and they get more compromised with every desire of his DHLA helps come true.

The series will be cancelled within a year...but it won't matter.
Seriously, Joss Whedon will cut a deal for a comic book series within the week of cancellation.
  • Sadly, only half right. It's been cancelled, and Joss won't be continuing the story.

Ballard is an Expy of Boyd!
  • They are both connected to Echo, both of them have some sort of history...furthermore, Joss Whedon hasn't killed off a major cast member yet...And he loves to do that. Plus, he seems to disappear from the flashbacks. Ballard exists to take Boyd's place as the one closest to Echo, and it's already happening in Season Two. (Except for the book scene, Boyd barely gets to interact with Echo.) This is preparing for...

Boyd is going to get wiped!
  • Note that scene with Dr. Saunders in Epitaph One. Furthermore, note that he disappears from the show, and there's vague hints something bad happened to somebody...and Dr. Saunders has to have something even WORSE happen to her, to convince her to commit mind-suicide...after she comes back to the Dollhouse. Boyd befriending her, then dying work?
    • The above two theories have been Jossed by 2x08; while the connection between Ballard and Boyd was correct, it was Ballard who got wiped. And better
  • but Boyd does get wiped.

Topher is a sociopath.
  • Or, at the least, he has no sense of morality. It would explain why he works here.
  • Jossed by Season 2. His brain scan does not compare to a sociopath's, and he's a lot, lot nicer. Furthermore, there's the Sierra episode.

Topher is falling for Sierra.
Am I the only one who got that vibe from "Belonging"? Not that he'll do anything about it—now that he has a conscience, he's not going to ruin Sierra's adorable romance with Victor. If you don't believe me, just watch his face in "Meet Jane Doe" when Harding suggests sending Sierra to Dubai.

Senator Perrin is NOT helping Rossum.
Echo is more than capable of pointing out all the problems that could have shown up if he'd gone and exposed Rossum. So was he, for that matter. He's still in his 'Dollstate,' and he plans to take Rossum down without ever exposing them. Rossum built themselves a president, yes, but it's not going to be one they can control.

Fixing Ballard will have horrible consequences.
Topher has created the plans for the remotely wipe-and-imprint-any-human machine. In order to put Ballard's mind back in its rightful body the machine will need to be constructed. Once the machine is constructed by Topher (and maybe Bennett Halverson), it will be taken by Rossum and sold to the highest bidder.
  • Jossed

Ballard will become a doll.
The Dollhouse may not have much choice about it. The only known copy of his personality is in Alpha's head, and good luck getting it from there. Though this still doesn't explain his presence in the future in "Epitaph One"...
  • I haven't see Epitaph One but... as of A Love Supreme, I could see Alpha's Heel-Face Turn being because of Ballard's mind being stuck in there (with a 'copy' going back to the original body if he appears like that). Ballard basically usurps Alpha's body and channels their combined love and skill sets into something good. Basically, Ballard becomes Alpha's Morality Pet.
    • Looks like the original WMG is confirmed. Imprinted with his original personality! in 2x10. They couldn't do it any other way.

In order to fix Ballard, the Dollhouse will have to dump all of Alpha's personalities into him.
The only copy of Ballard's personality is in Alpha and there might not be a way to separate it from the others. In Epitaph One, Caroline says no one has been wiped at Safe Haven, thanks to Alpha. As the actual Alpha going good or accidentally giving information doesn't seem likely, and Ballard still seems to be around in the future, this seems likely.
  • Jossed

Dominic's coming back before the end of season two.
We know he showed up in Epitaph One. We know there's going to be an Attic-focused episode. We know he'll have issues with the shit that's going down.
  • Confirmed in episode 2x10.
  • And what a return it is.

Epitaph Two will take place in a different future than Epitaph One.
Possibly another horrible, dystopian future, but a different one.
  • Jossed

Epitaph One was All Just a Dream
Epitaph One isn't actually happening in the real world, but is the nightmare scenario given to someone in the Attic. This explains the bits that don't quite seem to fit into continuity.
  • Epitaph One is, in this troper's mind, either The Future (for realz, You Can't Fight Fate) or else what we saw was one of the scinarios in Clyde's head, allowing Joss to give an upbeat and happy send-off so the fans won't pester him forever with "When are you going to make more Dollhouse!!" questions at conventions (ala Firefly).
DeWitt was Clyde's original partner
In 'The Attic' we meet Clyde, who explains that he was one of the two young students who originally set up the Rossum corporation. He was betrayed by his partner, who made Clyde the first person to 'enter' the Attic after removing any memory of either the partner's identity or that of the first person to receive an imprint ('Clyde 2.0'). Clyde is British and seems to be in his forties which obviously fits in with DeWitt's profile. Tellingly, he says he can't remember if his partner was male or female. This also fits in with DeWitt's game-playing and her apparent heel-face and face-heel turns in recent episodes. Perhaps Topher is a later version of Clyde 2.0, made with an earlier-generation technology that did not use the current Active architecture and so does not react to various substances and machines in the same way as the other Actives.
  • The problem with that is Topher's magic taser, which very clearly didn't work on him or on DeWitt. While in theory some kind of handwave would be possible, it just wouldn't sit well.
    • If DeWitt were the partner, there is no reason why the taser would have worked on her. Clyde doesn't imply that the partner transferred his/her personality, and the ages match. As for Topher being Clyde 2.0 (or, more likely, Clyde 2.5, Clyde 3.0, Clyde 3.1, etc) I was under the impression that the taser worked on the current Active architecture. And this architecture seems to be what is necessary to constantly load and delete new imprints into a brain, which means it may have not been necessary for one wipe followed by a single, permanent imprint. The bigger problem with Topher being Clyde 2.0 is that we are specifically told Clyde's knowledge of the technology was suppressed in the new imprint.
      • Except that Clyde's been in there 17 years, with no idea how much time has passed — which implies that subjective time in the Attic bears no relation to real-world time. There's no reason why your mental projection in the Attic should age visibly, which means if he's 40-something in the Attic, he's probably in his 60s in the real world. Or, alternatively, since he thought far more than 17 years had passed, he went in as a 19-year-old genius.
      • But the fact remains that the guy says they were 'students' which suggests 18-25; it was 16 years ago, and he, like DeWitt , seems 40-ish, fitting the timeline of events well.
  • The thing though is that DeWitt is very clearly not in control of Rossum or what have you. Even Harding answers to higher ups. Were DeWitt the original, surely she'd be good enough to stay in control.
    • DeWitt is so slippery that she might be hiding in the woodwork rather than being the much more exposed head of the Rossum corporation.
  • Alternatively, Adelle could BE Clyde 2.0. after several mind wipes and installations into different bodies, his obedience could have been lost somewhere along the way, whereas his anger at Rossum might have reememerged
  • Jossed! It was Boyd, not DeWitt. Although the age thing DOES fit.

Megan Fox is an Active.
For clarification, Actives are people (volunteers) whose minds have been wiped and who can be "imprinted" with any personality and hired out for jobs or "engagements", sometimes of dubious morality. When needed, they can be wiped and imprinted with a personality that can be of use to the Dollhouse rather than used for engagements (such as Dr. Saunders). Perhaps Megan Fox just couldn't cut it as a Doll? (Incidentally, this would also explain her...er...acting.)

Also, compare Echo to Megan - notice the similar dead eyes and surreal expressionless faces?
  • No way. If she was an Active, she'd be better at acting. And would be less of a resentful bitch in interviews. I mean, if she's an active, why the smeg did they pick this useless personality to go with that body?

What Topher and Ivy took from Ballard was his thing for Echo/Caroline
Rule of Drama. He wouldn't be happy if he found out. In Epitaph One, Caroline said the "jury's out" on whether they were together at that point.
  • Or his thing for November.
  • Or - my personal favourite guess - his ability to have "man-reactions" altogether. That would be LO Larious.
  • Confirmed! As of Getting Closer.

It doesn't matter who Clyde 2.0 is.
Because s/he's just going to be implanted into a different body anyway. There are at least 6 named characters running around with active architecture in their heads who could end up as Clyde 2.0. My money's on "You don't want to end up like November."
  • Well, maybe. Don't forget that we are going back to an earlier version of the technology. We take it for granted that the 'point' of the technology is and always has been to constantly change imprints but that's because the Dollhouse needs to use it this way for its business. Therefore, the technology has been developed to enable constant loading and wiping of (modified) brains. But consider how much trauma wiping and imprinting must cause — the architecture was presumably developed to help minimize this. However, in the early days, dealing with unmodified brains, there would have been a definite limit on what would have been possible — maybe just one wipe and one imprint per brain (if you were lucky). So Clyde 2.0 may have remained in the same body since 1993, because re-imprinting him was for a long time too risky.
    • Possible, but Clyde 1.0 does note that his copy will probably have changed bodies by now.
    • Maybe Bennett is Clyde 2.0. Or, Ivy.
      • Can't be Bennett. She isn't a Doll.
      • We only know she doesn't have doll architecture. We have already seen multiple times that brains can be wiped and imprinted without it.
      • Not until Topher invents it, which happens well after we meet Bennett.
    • Clyde 2.0 could be the basis for Doll architecture - he mentions that all 2.0 did was take orders - in effect, every Doll is Clyde.
      • But it is said that he is an imprint wheareas dolls are most suggestible when they are not imprinted, but in their tabula rasa state
      • But the tabula rasa is an imprint, it's just a default, probably built into the architecture. Once you have active architecture, everything is an imprint, including your original self, your original self just hasn't been tampered with and had bits added, like the imprints Topher et al create. Proof: the disruptor will knock Madeline out, and someone's release procedure involves a more or less routine round in the chair.
    • If Clyde 2.0 had no special knowledge and no free will, then what was the point of him? How can a personality with no 'aspiration' resemble any human being, let alone one who must have been some kind of genius?
      • He does have special knowledge—he knows all about imprinting technology. And I think "no aspiration" is supposed to translate to "no ambition" rather than "no free will"—he's perfectly happy being a cog in the huge Rossum machine.
      • It's Clyde 5.0, he's not a known character, but Clyde 6.0 very much is.
Epitaph One is not the literal future - it's a symbolic one representing two competing groupminds.
Rossum is making an army as shown in Stop Loss/The Attic. This is the killer imprints. The sanctuary that Alpha created is not a literal one... it's another groupmind, abit one where everyone retains their individuality (more or less) and the journey there is like trying to escape The Attic. Note the use of climbing a ladder into a light in both episodes and other motifs (a place of fear, adrenaline). Thus, in the future, -everyone- is an Active.
  • Not sure. Am I the only one who thought the hive mind in Stoploss seemed way cruder and more limited than any of the tech we've seen so far, even the retro/homemade imprinting gear? Although I think that was mainly because the episode was a bit rushed. That's where cancellation roulette gets you.
    • Hi there, welcome to the armed forces. Money is poison, and they spend as little of it on the infantry as they can. Stuff tends to be a bit crude, and cruder is better in the armed forces, as well, because simpler is tougher and easier to replace.
    • Not crude as in uncomfortable/unimpressive, crude as in simplistic and limited in applicatation (i.e. easily overcome in the space of one filler episode).
    • No, it's really true.

Clyde's best mate is a woman.
For some reason, when this troper heard him say that it might be a woman, two phrases came to mind. The first was, 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned'. The second was Topher's line about never trusting a woman. So, Clyde did something to his best mate, and she took revenge. And yeah, this is just a weird feeling with no real basis that will no doubt be completely Jossed.
  • Yep, Jossed. Boyd was Clyde's partner.
    • And yet played with. Clyde the 6th is a woman.

Bennett will die, which will trigger Topher's Despair Event Horizon.
Topher is still apparently worked up over what happened with Bennett, and the promo material for the rest of the season shows both Bennett and Topher kissing and Bennett being attacked by some unseen opponent. And we know that Joss really likes making sure that Love Hurts.....
  • WMG follow up: Topher gets Attic'ed for some reason. His nightmare is redeeming Bennett only to have her killed because of him and his technology. That would play into his God/Samaritain complex to the hilt. Alternatively, Bennett somehow ends up getting her personality changed in the same way that Perrin did.
  • Confirmed, at least regarding the part where Bennett dies.
  • But the rest is completely and utterly Jossed.

Post-Dollhouse, Alan Tudyk and Enver Gjokaj, as Crowning Actors Of Awesome, will team up in a sci-fi TV show to create the most CMO- ever.
I mean, just look at the evidence!

Echo is going to die.
More specifically, Caroline will replace her. In 'Epitaph' everyone kept calling her Caroline. She hated and possibly killed DeWitt when Echo doesn't seem to have too much of a problem with her. Boyd's "hang in there" at the end of 2x11 may also support this. He seemed to think that Caroline was special. Possibly "hang in there" means he's hoping Caroline will take over.
  • For now, it's unlikely. However, there's a definite likelihood of a fight between Iris|Caroline and Echo.
  • Jossed

Caroline's "specialness" comes from a connection to Topher
In 2x11 the Big Bad, in flashback, tells Caroline she's "special." In the preview for 2x11, the Big Bad tells Topher "You're very special. I'm glad we chose you." So Caroline got her "specialness" from Topher somehow, before becoming Echo.

Boyd isn't the bad guy
This is about as likely as Joss giving everyone a happy ending with extra puppies, but still... how do we know Caroline's memory was real? For all we know that was an implant. Hells, maybe Caroline was a doll all along. Maybe Boyd has an identical twin who he's determined to bring down. Maybe Joss will come round to my house and give me a solid gold Porsche and Dichen Lachman's phone number (this is approximately 15 per cent more likely to happen than Boyd being a good guy).
  • It's difficult to tell WHO is good or bad at this point. It may be that the head of Rossum has plans we don't expect, or that Clyde was not telling the whole truth.
  • The problem with that idea is that Boyd told Caroline that she'd trust him with her life...
  • On one fanboard, someone speculated that Rossum fucked with Caroline's imprint to make Boyd show up on it. But I doubt it.
  • Boyd is the bad guy, the memory is real.

The whole thing is taking place in a Wofram & Hart prison dimension.
We've already seen they can mess with memories in the one where Gun and Lindsey were tortured. The reason this one is so complex is because someone pointed how easy it is to break a simple prison. With this one by the time Angel and company even figured out what was happening to Faith they'd be just as confused as the viewers are.

Echo is DeWitt's daughter
.
  • Possible, but unlikely, given that Adelle is at most 15 years older than Echo. Still, that'd be one more reason for their relationship it to be a secret, if this guess is true.
    • Fifteen is certainly old enough to have a child. It's also certainly a likely age at which to have a child and give her up for adoption, which would explain why Caroline doesn't seem to know Adelle — at least not that way.

Boyd will die between 2.11 and the series finale
. But first, there will be some sort of redemption/hand wave/logical explanation that clears his name somewhat. My best guess? He'll pull some sort of Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, possibly while saving Echo, and then promptly be shot by either DeWitt or Ballard.
  • Confirmed, but not exactly like that. He actually got blank-slatized and got ordered to blow up the Rossum building, while inside it.

Active Architecture enables stable imprinting of full personalities
.

In the Dark Future of Epitaph One and Epitaph Two, there are a) Actuals : people whose minds and brains have never been tampered with ; b) 'dumbshows', who are wiped but not imprinted (unlike Actives, they cannot even speak and are hardly functional) ; c)'butchers' who have been wiped and imprinted with a crude program that makes them mindless killing machines ; d) 'tech-heads' ex-Actives (with Active Architecture) who have taken the technology into their own hands ; e) 'immortals' who move from body to body such as Harding, Ambrose and Iris. These last presumably also use Active Architecture. This seems to be what is required to imprint someone with a fully functioning copy of a personality rather than a simple program designed to turn them {Ax-Crazy}. At the end, whatever Topher does with his pulse is NOT any form of imprinting but some way of drawing on the residual traces of the original personality in the brain to try to restore an Active, Dumbshow or Butcher to their original identity (possible minus some or all of their old memories — it depends how thorough the remote wipe is compared with the chair-based or even hand-held version).

Alpha was created intentionally

Boyd implied he'd be in the dollhouse with Caroline and she'd "learn to trust him", implying he meant to become her handler. Which is an awesome plan in and of itself. But then you have to remember that Alpha had two specific events - the slow building of his original personality, which seems to happen to all the dolls (possibly why the term is five years?) and which, because he was a serial killer, caused him to attack Whiskey, and then the chair malfunction that caused the composite event. It was after the chair portion that he killed Echo's handler, which is the only reason that Boyd was able to become her handler at the opening of the series. Does that mean that Boyd hacked the chair to create the composite event so that his gambit would work?

The reason Echo and company ultimately failed to stop the end of the world is because cutting the head off of a snake doesn't work
Boyd was right when he said that once the cat was out of the bag, it wouldn't go away. Unless the 'head of the snake' is the only one with the information, all cutting off the head does is cause new ones to grow. If Echo and company had done what Boyd proposed they could've stopped the end of the world. Especially after wiping Boyd. It's much easier to fight a war when you've coup'd your main enemy, after all.
  • It seems to this troper that this WMG is true in another way. Judging by "Epitaph One", the first sign of the coming end was seen when Harding and Ambrouse decided to provide a service of immortality. "Epitaph Two" shows us the Neuropolis, where the remains of Rossum survived by means of imprinting people. They don't seem fully responsible for the mess. When Eco and company decapitated Rossum, they destroyed the handheld imprinting device, but the idea remained. Inevitably, at some point a technician in some obscure house figured it out and built a new system tied into the communication networks. But there was no visionary leader now. Instead of world domination and enslavement which would have resulted from Boyd___'s plan, came chaos brought about by reckless use of the tech. Lose-lose.

More of a question really. We know Rossum managed to get Senator Perrin. We also know Echo convinced him to deny the allegations against Rossum. Which leaves the question of, what does he do next?
He was, after all, primed to be President. If he's working with Echo, which was the implication I had, shouldn't he be more than capable of screwing Rossum's plans before they reach the hellworld we see in the Epitaphs?
  • I got the idea that instead of face the knowledge that he was responsible for the death of the woman that he loved, he chose to let the Rossum agents capture him shortly after Echo told him that they had to flee. Echo fled, leading to her storyline in the next few episodes, but Perrin just wasn't as strong as Echo, so he was reprogrammed by the Washington Dollhouse to acomodate for Echo and Perrin already messing up their plans somewhat. This way, they still won, but they had to change their plan a little bit. That was how i interpreted it.

Dr. Saunders wasn't a sleeper agent
She genuinely hated Topher. She couldn't kill him for certain,since she knew he was backed up. What would hurt him was destroying his happiness by shooting his new beau Bennet.
  • Alternatively,Boyd___ was feeding her stories of Topher's 'accomplishments' to push her over the edge.
  • Or perhaps she was a sleeper agent, but she was able to suppress her program until the right time to be sure Topher was there to witness her kill Bennet for maximum emotional pain. Otherwise, Saunders would have just killed her the second she found out Bennet was finished or nearly finished repairing the wedge.

Echo was not the first or only Doll to take on Multiple Imprints
In fact, there was at least one before her who's still alive, Tanaka. Hear me out on this. I've always thought it odd that an actor like Mark Shepard would be playing an FBI agent with a Japanese name. "Tanaka" is made up of two Japanese character ("Ta" and "Naka") which when written in the standard way translate to something along the lines of "In the rice field" and is a pretty common surname. But if you wrote it using one of the alternative characters for "ta" is could translate to something that roughly sounds like "multiple insides" or "a multitude inside". Sound familiar?

After Echo and company manage to take down the remaining Rossum members, civilization begins it's slow crawl back to normalcy...but some people just haven't learned. Remnants of the Imprint technology still remain, and have been reverse-engineered by Rekall Incorporated. However, the technology is still unstable, leading to schizoid-embolisms and ultimately lobotomies.

The big bad we saw was an Imprint

I mean come on! I don't care what you say what kind of Evil overlord places himself again and again in dangerous situations like Boyd did. Back in the day when Caroline came across the test subjects it looked like their imprints where hard wired in as in the singing imprint. Wouldn't be too far to believe that the big bad decided to leave a sleeping imprint on Boyd untill he found it useful. I mean that kind of sincerity and courage couldn't be faked could it? Deniel? What deniel.

Boyd Langton was a candidate for the CBS show Undercover Boss

Langton could have had a hidden camera on him to record and see how things were done on the lower levels of his company. Once the company was powerful enough for the government to be unable to stop them, his time in the Dollhouse would have been an episode of Undercover Boss.

Caroline's imprint was one of many uploaded into GLaDOS.

And contributed to the AI's Deadpan Snarker tendencies.

The song from the intro sequence is the lullaby that the dollhouse plays for the dolls to calm them down.

There's really no visible evidence, but listening to it is weirdly soothing.
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