Tuesday, September 2, 2014

dollhouse ep01 : Orpheus


Episode One
"This Is"


New recruits had just joined the company.  Misha Rusanov (played by Teddy), a 26 year old immigrant had hoped the job would pay well and found himself meeting Wendell Pruce (played by Rocky), a 26 year old gay man who had nearly overdosed on Pigment.  Misha was eager to learn more this new vista that bordered on the supernatural and considered the Orpheus Group his family away from home.  Wendell on the other hand silently fought against an anguish within, as he suffered from the survivor's guilt of recovering from the drug abuse-related death that claimed his college lover, Charlie Matthews.  As Orpheus worked in Crucibles, the two would soon learn that they were intended to team up with Shepherd, a 40 year old bum who had long passed on and now sought to find a new life (and a means to protect his homeless friends in the alleyways) as a Hue.

Misha Rusanov, Skimmer - Marrow

It would soon, however, be apparent to them all that Kate Dennison had her own plans for the three.  First, she had them experiment a team up with Alexander Carter, a Bible-thumping Baptist who had control issues and Ellie Baker, an idealistic religious woman with an eagerness to make friends.  They are assigned to handle a simpler Mission: a Retrieval Mission.  Martin Lazlo, a wealthy businessman who had suddenly passed away due to what seems to have been an intense allergic reaction.  His wife, Rebecca Lazlo, had hired Orpheus to attempt to regain the dead man's password.  The bereaved had a son, David, who was autistic.  They discover, upon arrival, that Rebecca Lazlo had also contacted one of Orpheus' larger competitors, Terrel and Squib!  Karen Adams and Roger Voight are unpacking their things and preparing to enter the estate grounds.   The group hurries inside, with Alexander taking point as he charms his way into Rebecca's trust.  Misha finds the young David and attempts to reach out to him.  Wendell and Shepherd, on the other hand, attempt to investigate the rest of the house hold.

Shepherd, Hue - Banshee
Secrets are revealed as the group discovers another Spirit in the premises.  And while the identity of the Ukranian woman in the basement is not clear, the group realizes that Terrel and Squib have to be kept from interfering.  Shepherd uses his Wail Horror to hurt the agents, bringing them down to the point that hospitalization will be needed, while Misha and Wendell discover a locked suitcase in the trunk of Martin Lazlo's car.  The threads of secrecy and cruelty, however, come to light when Wendell finds hidden passageways beneath the house, as well as the remains of a young woman who had been buried in secret.  When Rebecca Lazlo heads down the basement while the others attempt to reach out to the Spirit, they hear from her an unexpected confession. Rebecca Lazlo, as it turns out, had buried the woman's body with Martin's help.  The Ukranian woman, it turns out, was murdered by David! The boy hated how her visits always interrupted their play time.  The woman is named Valerie and the group quickly sense that she is a Banshee, just like Shepherd.  She declares that Martin was planning to run away with her and that Rebecca had hired people to convince him to kill himself!   And as her screams of anguish begin erupting outwards and hurting the team, the team use their combined Horrors (with Misha embracing the advantages of his ability to call forth his Stains using his Marrow Horror) and eventually reach out to Valerie and help her Sever the Strand.   Valerie desires to rejoin him.  Misha and Wendell find themselves synching as Misha throws a Benefit upon Wendell without realizing it.  As Wendell throws an image of Martin within the glow in his body, Valerie reaches out and admits she wishes to go to him.  Wendell uses the  illusions to have Valerie admit where her body is buried.   Misha manifests fully and uses his Hammerfists to shatter the floor open and uncover Valerie's remains.  Rebecca tries to stop them, but Wendell leaps into the hole and takes the bones away.  Wendell blocks Rebecca from approaching even as she complains about this not being what they discussed.  "It is time to go home," Wendell tells Valerie using Martin's voice.  And to finally set her free, the group shunts Vitality into the Spirit to finally guide her to her eternal rest.  Misha feels a reassurance within his soul that though he is far from his family, there is a place for them to be safe in the afterlife.

In the silence that follows the chaos, Alexander and Rebecca give excuses to the guests in the wake that all is well.  He explains to the crowd it was just "the washing machine" and then he tells the others to head back to the car and leave him to close up in the house.  He vanishes, and suddenly Rebecca talks to the crowd about doing the laundry too loudly.  The group realizes he had been projected all this time.

Wendell Pruce, Sleeper - Wisp
Back in the van, Misha and Carter both return to their bodies and feel the pain they suffered while projected.   Ellie is there, worried about how the Mission went. The suitcase, thankfully, has been kept safely out of the hands of Terrel and Squib.     The group heads back to the office to cremate Valerie's remains.

It would not be until around seven hours later when Wendell awakens in the Cradle.  Shepherd is there, waiting.  Shepherd warns Wendell that if he ever crosses the line once again to him or anyone else in the Cradle, he will beat the crap out of him.  Wendell stresses that he was right.  Shepherd grows that it does not matter.  Outside, Shepherd finds Ellie outside.  She confronts him that he is just as bad as Carter.  Shepherd admits he is much worse.  "At least Carter admits he's an asshole.  He doesn't pretend to be nice."  Misha talked to Carter, surprised that the man kept out of the action for a large majority of the time.

Ellie Baker, Skimmer - Phantasm 
Carter seems to lament that the group had not become a Crucible, but the others seem uncertain if they should tell him they already "linked up" as one.  But he admits it might be for the best given some Crucibles get so intimately connected, they share surface thoughts.  He still holds strong bigoted views towards homosexuals and other people.  Wendell throws statements suggesting they already are connected, and before Carter can ask, Kate Dennison arrives to give them the debriefing.

She asks Shepherd for an assessment of the mission and he admits they fulfilled the requirements of the contract, that being the passwords, and the signed papers from Rebecca Lazlo that the Mission had been completed to their satisfaction.  When asked who was the team's weakest link, Shepherd admits Ellie was the one.  He goes through the contributions of each member of the team in the Mission to express why Ellie was the one who contributed the least.  She, however, followed orders.  Kate then compares the assessment with that of Hoyt Masterson's, who was with them to simply observe how they tackled the Mission.   She asks the rest of them what they feel of the Mission and in the end asks if Shepherd feels he had found a team.  To their surprise, she informs Carter that she will find him his own Crucible. He is surprised that they actually already are together.

Alexander Carter, Skimmer - Skinrider
Days pass.

The other missions that come are less dramatic.  Observation missions, spying missions, a few investigative ones.  Nothing too dangerous.  They learn Alexander Carter has his own Crucible now.  They are all dressed in suits and seem to carry themselves with a tremendously serious demeanor.  They start to realize that performance is important in Orpheus and Carter's group has started to gain prominence in the number of successful missions they have accomplished.

In many ways, they realize they now have a rival.

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