On Dollhouse

Boyd Langton and the Fantasy of Trust

By Christopher Souza

Do you trust me?”

“With my life.”

With this exchange, the bond between an Active (or Doll)
and her handler is solidified. The trust a Doll feels for her handler
is so overpowering that it withstands any imprint. Whether
she’s having the time of her life on a client’s yacht or on the
hunt to catch a spy, all it takes is a hypnotic suggestion from her
handler–“Would you like a treatment?”–and she’s in a van on
her way back to the Dollhouse. She doesn’t know why she trusts
this strange, tall man so much, nor does she ask. Their bond is
as irrational as it is powerful.

Such was the relationship between Boyd Langton and Echo.
Early on, we saw that just as Echo was different from the other
Dolls, Boyd was different from the other handlers and staff
members of the Dollhouse. Presumably a former cop, Boyd was
often the voice of morality in the house, forcing others around
him to question their actions and justifications. While the others
saw the Dolls as playthings, pets, or even happy volunteers,
Boyd was the only one who acknowledged what they truly
were: victims of exploitation. “We’re pimps and killers,” he said
of himself and his co-workers, “but in a philanthropic way” (“A
Spy in the House of Love,” 1-9). Unlike his boss, Adelle DeWitt,
Boyd’s sense of morality seemed far too strong to allow  …

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