I will go ahead and say that there be spoilers in here, because I still feel like no one who isn't already watching Dollhouse will actually read this dribble. Not only that, but all the best moments in this episode that aren't "Porn!" related are extremely spoilerrific (fuck you, spellcheck, that's a real word!). To say that Whedon was very much at the top of his game with this episode would be a huge understatement.
So in the first of a few big shockers in this episode, we find out that all is not well in the house of the dolls. Ok, fine, we already knew that, so what? What we had all expected was for Echo to eventually get her mind back and go all Alpha on their ass. What I personally did NOT expect was for someone to tamper with the personality imprints and use the dolls as erstwhile messengers after they finish kicking the living crap out of someone. The big reveal that there are people trying to bring the Dollhouse down from within was cool. The bigger reveal that there are multiple Dollhouses and that there are ulterior motives beyond trafficking in programmable sex dolls was just awesome.
Then you have Mellie. Damn you, Whedon, I called it in my review of Episode 3 and I was totally sure of it until they marked her for termination. So then my heart swung the whole other way and I felt really bad that this sweet girl was about to die and our intrepid hero was going to have his shot at happiness raped out from under him. You know that sicko was going to. That dude was jacked up. Then the phone rings and it's DeWitt's voice on the line. I knew where it was going before it even happened, but it still caught me as off guard as it did Hearn. It does raise an important question, though; What if Ballard plays the message with Mellie sitting there? Would she proceed to whip his ass? Could be that the second command nullified that set of mental programming, but it's still an interesting point, I think.
You brought me back from the brink, Joss. Now the question is, can you hold it? I hope you can, but this is Fox and Fox likes killing good shows at their peak. I doubt they'd blink at the prospect of killing what has been an uneven show that's been more down than up, so far. Whatever the case, I will be back, next week and I will buy the next episode off Itunes like a good little fanboy. Here is hoping this episode starts an uphill climb to awesome.