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(Meta) A Dollhouse poll

4th May 2009 (22:43)

A quick update: I've done four of the requested drabbles and I've still got four to do. I'm also pleased to say that Netherlands to Nepal was runner up in the Viagra Award ('Best Unsung Fic') at forbiddenawards, while It's Curtains For You, Slayer has been put forward for Best Lighthearted Spuffy at the Rogue Poet Awards. Big thanks to whoever nommed me. :-)

Next, a poll about Dollhouse. I'm curious to know your thoughts:

We've been shown most of Caroline's initial interview with Adelle, where she was asked to sign the contract agreeing to become a Doll. For those who don't remember it so well, I've included a full transcript under the cut:




"I'm going to make you an offer."

"I told you. All I want is to be left alone."

"We both know we're past that."

"Gee, what gave it away? The big black van? Or the being held in this room for two days with no fricking idea where I am?"

"My offer is this. Your life for your life. I get five years, you get the rest. You'll be free."

"Is that you talking, or the Rossum Corporation? Why me? Why did you pick me?"

"Caroline, you picked us. This is a good thing, Caroline."

"I know what I saw. What started this?"

"You and I have been doing this dance for almost two years. I thought you'd learn by now. Nothing is what is appears to be."

"It seems pretty clear to me."

"Because you're only seeing part of it. I'm talking about a clean slate."

"You ever try and clean an actual slate? You always see what was on it before."

"Are you volunteering...?"

"I don't have a choice, do I? How did it get this far?"

"Caroline. Actions have consequences."

"Oh God. You're loving this, aren't you?"

"I'm sorry you don't understand what I'm offering here. But what we do helps people. If you become a part of that it can help you."

"Right. You're just looking out for me."

"Perhaps better than you have. We can take care of this mess. After your five year term, you will be free to--"

"I don't deserve this. I was just trying to make a difference. Trying to take my place in the world, you know, like she always said. And now, I'm... I know. I know. 'Actions have consequences'."

"What if they didn't?"

 


So, here's the question: if Caroline had turned Adelle down, said "No", refused to sign the contract - what do you think would have happened to her?


Poll #1394866 What if Caroline said "No"?

What would the Dollhouse do if Caroline had turned them down?

Kill her and dump the body.
3(8.8%)
Mindwipe her and put her in the Attic.
4(11.8%)
Make her a Doll anyway, without her consent.
4(11.8%)
Erase the last two days from her memory and free her.
6(17.6%)
Edit her memory and hand her over to the police.
11(32.4%)
Let her go. Nobody would believe her story.
4(11.8%)
None of the above; my own idea is better!
2(5.9%)

Comments

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:11 (UTC)

I really can't see Adelle making her a Doll without her agreement.

If she didn't agree, Adelle would absolutely go out of her way to make Caroline's life a misery... but I don't think she'd make her a doll.

(Possibly she'd kill her - but I wasn't sure enough about that to choose it in your poll...)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:30 (UTC)

If they were going to make her a Doll regardless, I can't see why the head of the Dollhouse would waste her time trying to persuade her to sign the contract. Of course, I do think that the reason Adelle can go to sleep at night is because she genuinely believes that her Dolls (most of them, anyway...) volunteered for this.

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:29 (UTC)
Dollhouse-fridge

Honestly not sure - partly because we don't yet know whether we know everything there is to know about Caroline's past. (Or if any of what we do know is actually real.)

On the one hand, Adele seems to go out of her way to get Caroline's consent.

On the other, Adele doesn't contradict her best friend (in 1.10) when she tells Adele that she knows that if she'd tried to run, "I wouldn't have gotten as far as the airport."

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:34 (UTC)

My impression of Adelle is that she can be utterly ruthless when she needs to be, but she prefers not to. She's more of a Wesley than a Lilah.

I also suspect that her best friend in 'Haunted' still had the standard Active triggers relating to being offered a treatment, so it would just be a matter of catching up with her. (Unlessm, of course, Adelle deliberately left that part out of the imprint as a gesture or test of trust - either calculated or unconscous on her part.)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:03 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:33 (UTC)

Make her a doll anyway is certainly possible, it looks as if that has happened with Sierra, but I can't really say until I have a better idea of what Caroline did. She "played that game for 2 years" Adelle says in one flashback (or something similar), so that one Rossum flashback was only the beginning.
And it has to have been something quite tenacious and non-harmless, otherwise Adele wouldn't put so much trust into the basic instincts and character of Echo.
But curently I have no idea what it was and thus no idea what Adelle would do.

We really need that second season.

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:35 (UTC)

The thing about the two years? Right there in the transcript. Gah!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:41 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:46 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:55 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:59 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:26 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:31 (UTC)

Posted by: alexeia_drae (alexeia_drae)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:59 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:33 (UTC)

Burning question: Is this your transcript or did you get it from elsewhere?

Whatever it is that they have hanging over Caroline's head -- it's serious and she feels at least partly culpable. It could be it's just the consequences of her boyfriend being killed during a breaking and entering. But it seems like it could easily be more. Anyway, no need to edit her memories. Big corporation v. animal rights activist = > Caroline has no credibility. And why would DH bring out the big gun if they can manipulate Caroline using more ordinary tactics? Especially in a show that wants to blur the distinction between what DH does and what ordinary people do.

Am holding out hope that Caroline is an imprint...

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:40 (UTC)

Am holding out hope that Caroline is an imprint...

Unless we're all already imprints, I'd consider that very doubtful. And you don't try and get consent from an imprint.

Did we see Sam as a doll, btw? (I'm only up until E09 yet)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:44 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:48 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:00 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:10 (UTC)

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:42 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 00:24 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 00:39 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 02:18 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 13:21 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:52 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:57 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:59 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:03 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:11 (UTC)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 00:16 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:00 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:08 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:48 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:09 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:14 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:56 (UTC)

Posted by: alexeia_drae (alexeia_drae)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 22:33 (UTC)
carolinegun

Kill her: Possible. We know that they've tried to kill Ballard on several occasions for trying to bring them down. As Caroline had information on Rossum they didn't want leaking out, it's just as possible they would have killed her too.

Mindwipe: The most likely in my opinion. She had info on Rossum they didn't want getting out, so they wouldn't hand her over to the police. And they mindwiped Dominic

Make her a doll anyway: That's also possible. Case in point, Sierra!Priya and Adelle thought about putting Ballard in the chair.

Erase the last two days: Sorry, we've yet to see anyone who gets muddled in this place be turned out by the dollhouse, so not likely. And they've been chasing her for two years. This option makes no sense.

Police: Still makes no sense because she has some dirt on them and they are an underground organization that doesn't want to be found. From what we've seen with Ballard, Dominic, and Alpha, they handled their problem cases internally rather than go to thee government.

Let her go: Not after chasing her for two years. Plus, no precedent in the show for this option.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:15 (UTC)

As Caroline had information on Rossum they didn't want leaking out, it's just as possible they would have killed her too.

If they really saw Caroline as a threat, then wouldn't they just kill her out of hand? Why bother trying to recruit her? Or if they wanted her as a Doll, then just do it without wasting time on the charade of asking her.

They mindwiped Dominic, I think, because they needed continued access to his knowledge. We saw that in the last episode, in fact, when they thought the NSA were trying to contact him. Likewise, putting Ballard in the chair would be a better option than killing him, because dead FBI agents (even suspended ones) tend to attract attention.

Those wouldn't apply to Caroline. (The only exception would be if they needed her as a sleeper Active to infiltrate her cell of animal rights activists, or something. Which only seems likely if in the missing two years she progressed to open terrorism or something like that).


we've yet to see anyone who gets muddled in this place be turned out by the dollhouse, so not likely

What about the contractors who built the place?


she has some dirt on them and they are an underground organization that doesn't want to be found

Hence the memory editing. Remove her memories of being taken to the Dollhouse, of meeting Adelle, etc, and replace them withsomething bland (sitting at home for two days watching TV). Once you do that, she knows nothing that can be any threat to you.


they handled their problem cases internally rather than go to the government

That's not true - with Ballard, they framed him for shooting a cop then left him to the tender mercies of the FBI's own procedures.

Posted by: alexeia_drae (alexeia_drae)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:55 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 00:02 (UTC)

Posted by: alexeia_drae (alexeia_drae)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 00:15 (UTC)

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 05:38 (UTC)

Posted by: alexeia_drae (alexeia_drae)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 06:17 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 13:31 (UTC)

Posted by: alexeia_drae (alexeia_drae)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 17:57 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 06:31 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 13:44 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 13:52 (UTC)

Posted by: fix me, motherfucker! i'm standing right here. (immortality)
Posted at: 4th May 2009 23:27 (UTC)
actives ↔ and my scars remind me.

I said 'erase the last two days' but I would also go with 'edit her memory. I don't think the Dollhouse generally wants to just go around killing everyone. I mean, what if people decided to quit, like Adelle? What would happen then?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 00:04 (UTC)

Well, those two options were meant to be the same, just "Erase the last two days from her memory and let her free" or "Erase the last two days from her memory and hand her over to the police". I was trying to save space. :-)

I don't think the Dollhouse are as keen on killing people as some people seem to think, either - it's bad for business, it calls down unwanted attention on their heads, and the people running Dollhouse don't seem particularly bloodthirsty.

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 00:25 (UTC)

O.O

This, and all the comments on this I've read, and really, all the meta/articles on this show, is just so thought-provoking and crazy. This kind of stuff is why I don't get why people don't like the show.

I'm in the 'not sure' camp as to what Adelle would do - we need to know more.

While I'm pretty sure she wouldn't make a doll without consent, I can't see her 'wasting' a body by just killing it - it doesn't seem her style. If she had to kill her, it'd have to be in a really ironic way, like imprinting one of the animals they tried to save from Rossum to beat the shit out of her.

...my brain works in funny ways. XD

Although, hmmm, can you imprint animals? Weird thought. O.O

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 00:44 (UTC)

I think Fox has fallen between two stools: the small group of fanatical Whedon fans who like deep, complex, symbolic shows on one hand; and the casual viewers who want fast motorbikes, big guns, topless sweaty men and women in micro-skirts. The show's become too deep to hold the interest of the second, and it was too late to catch enough of the first.


I'm sure they practiced imprinting animals before trying it out on humans. Remember all the caged lab animals in 'Echoes'?

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 06:39 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 13:46 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 13:50 (UTC)

Posted by: Episkopos Rev. Alixtii O'Krul V, TRL (alixtii)
Posted at: 6th May 2009 21:05 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 6th May 2009 21:09 (UTC)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 6th May 2009 21:35 (UTC)

Posted by: flake_sake (flake_sake)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 15:26 (UTC)

I guess, they would have put her in the Attic or removed her memory of the last two years, whatever Caroline exactly did in that time, she obviously found something out about them.

I can not see them let her go and there seems to be something about only making dolls with their consent, albeit Sierra was sold into "dollery", if anything in "needs" was real, so who knows.

I wonder if Paul will end up as a doll under similar circumstances.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 15:32 (UTC)

whatever Caroline exactly did in that time, she obviously found something out about them.

I got the impression it was more the other way around: they found out something about her in that two years that made her seem like a good candidate to become an Active. (If only the fact that she was desperate, and nobody much would miss her if she disappeared for five years.)

Posted by: flake_sake (flake_sake)
Posted at: 5th May 2009 16:27 (UTC)

Posted by: Martzin (martzin)
Posted at: 6th May 2009 00:03 (UTC)

I'm assuming they really need the dolls to be compliant at some level, so they won't make her a doll. A non-damaging memory edit would require doll-making, I'm ignoring that option too.

We can take care of this mess. After your five year term, you will be free to…


Adelle is giving Echo a choice. There is a threat (this mess you're in), and a prise (freedom and a spotless mind). The threat likely has weight for Caroline.

They will just release her, and possibly pull a few strings to have her put in a deeper mess, in prison or a mental hospital. They won't edit. Urban legends don't threaten them.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th May 2009 01:24 (UTC)

I do like the idea that doll-making requires the subject to be willing, at some level, for it to work - I don't know if we've seen enough to support it on the show, though. The same goes for whether they can edit people's memories so easily. I think I prefer it if they can't, actually - that ability would make them too powerful to be interesting as an opponent, and therefore destroy the plot...

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