Topher: (affably) Boyd, hey, how’s the promotion treating you? You must be thrilled. I mean, you were no fun as Echo’s handler, and now you get to be twice as no fun as Head of Security.
Boyd: Mostly the Actives are on Rest. Echo's out though?
Topher: Ahhh, yep.
Boyd: ...What's she, ahhh...
Topher: Having trouble letting go, Papa Bear? (smiles, teasingly) Awwww.... (deadpan) We put a dead lady in her.
Boyd: That's what I heard but I didn't believe it... A dead client?
Topher: (nods, waves his head) I guess she's special friends with Adelle, or something. I mean, not special friends (makes a sexually suggestive gesture).
Boyd: So we can give you life after death?
Topher: Only if we really like you.
Boyd: Life after death. Where does that end?
Topher: Same place it begins. Death.
Echo/Margaret: This is... soooo... stunning! Really! Last thing I remember is coming here a month ago for that dreadful process of yours.
Adelle: Well, if we'd spoken in the meantime, I'd've been able to tell you about the last three weeks of your life, but...
E/Margaret: Well, this way I don't have to remember dying.
Adelle: Undoubtedly a plus.
E/Margaret: God, it's all a plus! More life! And this body! (almost feeling herself up) Nice work, Addie! I'm pointing to the sky! (they both laugh) A shame it's only a loaner.
Adelle: That was always the deal.
E/Margaret: I swear I've never felt this good. Did being young feel this good?
Adelle: I seem to recall it was rather nice. Wonder why we gave it up?
E/Margaret: Please! You're what, ten years younger than me?
Adelle: And oddly fifteen years older. (firmly) Just remember -- it's temporary.
E/Margaret: Just a chance to indulge my curiosity. See my own funeral. Who wouldn't want that?
Adelle: To hear what the world really thought of us? To count out the number who love us?
E/Margaret: Addie. Are you all right?
Adelle: (melancholy) Well, let's see... my friend just died.
E/Margaret: (smiling) Come on. We've got a funeral to go to. Then, maybe, you can help me wrap this up.
Adelle: Wrap this up... your life?
E/Margaret: Well. I thought maybe I'd solve my murder.
Echo/Margaret: The autopsy said it was a massive heart attack. I was perfectly healthy and ridiculously wealthy. And wealth can be a dangerous thing to have.
Adelle: You suspected this might happen?
E/Margaret: When I was three, my nanny put ground glass in my nap time snack. She wasn't going to let me eat it, she was going to be the hero who caught it just in time...I snuck a cookie, and spent two weeks in the hospital. Forgive me if I'm the suspicious type.
Adelle: You had the scans so you could come back and solve your own murder?
E/Margaret: I like a puzzle.
Echo/Margaret: Oh, not Margaret. I'm 'Julia' now.
Adelle: You've really thought this through.
E/Margaret: I started mentioning Julia now and then to my family before we started the scans. I wrote myself into my own will, instructed the family to expect me...
Adelle: While you... spy on the servants and the family friends and the business associates.
E/Margaret: A spy? No, no, Addie. I'm a ghost.
Nicolas: Mom wasn't exactly a bundle of warmth.
William: She tended to ... push people off. Like a bulldozer.
Jocelyn: She did like to befriend complete strangers for short outbursts and have them stay for the weekend wearing all of my clothes...
Nicolas: (to Jocelyn) That wasn't a stranger that was Camille...
Jocelyn: (overspeaking Nicolas) She was a stranger to me and she was rude!
Nicolas: She just looked better in your clothes than you did!
Jocelyn: (looking at him aghast) Oh, God, you slept with her, didn't you?
Nicolas: Technically, no, we didn't sleep...
William: Ah, Nicky, just like me when I was your age, wooing all the women and... sorta worthless.
November/Mellie: You’re a better cook than you think.
Ballard: Hmm. I don’t think pasta should be that, umm… snappy.
N/Mellie: It’s 'al dente'. That’s Italian for, “Ow, my teeth.”
Nicolas: Julia, I know we're being terribly shocking and you're being charmingly loyal, but you may want to brace yourself. You may be here to mourn Margaret Bashford, but the rest of us, we just live here.
Ballard: I’m fine and you’re adorable. You’re beyond adorable, you’re…
November/Mellie: If you say “adorabubble,” I’m leaving.
Ballard: I wasn’t going to, but I love the fact you thought it was the next logical word.
(after he just attempted to kiss Echo, not realizing she was his mother)
Nicolas: Are you a, gonna... ?(implied: "puke")
Echo/Margaret/Julia: I don't... Ehhh... I don't think so!
Nicolas: Okay, want some water? No?
E/M/Julia: No... I'm ok.
Nicolas: Well... I mean it seemed like you wanted to...
Nicolas: You said you wanted to comfort me.
E/M/Julia: Not with my tongue.
Nicolas: You also checked out my body, I saw that...
(almost hurls again at the idea...)
Echo/Margaret/Julia: Addie, it's just sooo, ugly. I love these people but I don't like them! What if one of them...? Oh, God...
Adelle: Killed you?
E/M/Julia: Am I being paranoid?
Adelle: You spent a year and a half having regular painful brain scans because you thought someone was going to murder you. So, 'paranoid' is still a contender.
E/M/Julia: I thought it would be a maid.
E/M/Julia: Someone who resented my money. A distant friend, maybe.(Adelle laughs politely) Adelle, there's just so much anger. At least the first time I died thinking people loved me. All just a worthless illusion.
Adelle: Illusions aren’t worthless. They’re at the heart of most relationships.
E/M/Julia: I suppose you’d be out of job if they weren’t.
Adelle: We'll figure this out.
E/M/Julia: Of course. I should've stayed dead.
(Boyd walks into Adelle's office and says...)
Boyd: Eternal life.
Adelle: Nice adjective. Excellent noun. Is there more?
Boyd: Is that something we offer, now?
(looks around and hesitates as Adelle's secretary walks in with Adelle's morning tea -- haltingly, realizing he's overstepping his bounds as an employee, but feeling a responsibility as a human)
Boyd: Because... If it is, thats... You realize...That's the beginning of the end. Life everlasting. It's.. it's the ultimate quest. Christianity, most religion, morality.... doesn't exist, without the fear of death.
Adelle: I'm not planning on presiding over the end of Western Civilization. This is a one-time situation.
Boyd: You know that you're asking her to voluntarily die, when the time comes.
Adelle: Well, if she resists I have a new head of security who handles that kind of thing.
Boyd: Mmmm. Yes, ma'am. (turns and begins to leave)
Adelle: You can still help Echo, you know... Tell me your take on this.
Boyd: First instinct. Follow the money.
Adelle: That's not easy.
Boyd: It is when the money runs. I've looked into the horses. One of them -- King's Ransom -- was a Derby contender not long ago.
Adelle: So the husband stands to make a bundle.
Boyd: So does the buyer. I thought I'd send someone to look around the stables... A breeder, with a naturally curious streak....?
Echo/Margaret/Julia: You lost your mother. It’s only natural you’d be so elmo.
E/M/Julia: That’s not a word, sweetie.
Jocelyn: She didn't even know me. She didn't know me any more than you do. She didn't want to.
Echo/Margaret/Julia: That's not true.
Jocelyn: I take pictures. I'm good. She never came to a single one of my exhibitions.
E/M/Julia: You were serious about that? (Jocelyn looks at her strangely) I mean, obviously you were... serious about that. (looks at the picture of Jocelyn and Margaret which Jocelyn was crying over) You're right. That was very bad of her. I don't... I don't know what to say...
Jocelyn: All of her lectures about being... practical and then she throws herself at some little tropical cookie she picked up in Manila. He is my age.
E/M/Julia: Some tropical... Jocelyn!
Jocelyn: He played her like a fool. He spent here money, and he probably slept with every woman who stepped foot in this place.
E/M/Julia: Did he...!? Tell me, did he ever try...
Jocelyn: With me? God, no. I wouldn't put it past him. If you don't believe me, go talk to him. When your ass hits the sheets, you'll know. (pauses) I spent my whole life watching her... being, y'know... tough. And it was okay that she didn't let me in because...(crying) she didn't let anyone in. Right? And then, umm, two years ago she meets Jack, and she's all fluttering, and whispering secrets and then... now there's you.... Whatever.
(Loomis walks in, turns, is startled to see Paul standing quietly in a corner of her office)
Loomis: Holy cr-!
Loomis: You can't be here.
Paul: I need you to run some prints. They're entered. All keyed up. Just need authorization.
(Loomis sits down)
Loomis: I shouldn't do this.
Paul: I got prints on someone who might be a missing person.
Loomis: You got prints on someone who might be A Doll, you mean.
Paul: They are missing people, you know, they just... don't know it.
(Loomis authorizes the fingerprint search. After a moment, a picture and a name pop up. It's November/Millie, with the name, "Annabeth S." )
Paul: My God, it's her! How do we access the file?
(another ID pops up, Millie with a police mug shot and the name "Polly B -- Denver PD, 56404, 140, Dec, 2006")
Loomis: Polly Keller?
(another mug shot pops up, Millie as "Amanda James -- Florida PD, 154604, 4901, Feb, 2006". Then another, just a face shot in profile with just the name "Heather B.". Then another with "Jane H.", and another, "Michelle S." -- then suddenly all the names get cleared off, and the system indicates "Search Returned Zero Results")
Loomis: They're gone!
Paul: What just happened?
Loomis: (she looks at Paul) I just started to believe you.
(holding a sort of laser-tag pistol in the darkened Dollhouse -- using a b-movie-style voiceover tone)
Topher: In a world where all men are guilty until proven dead... One man stands as our only hope in the fight against... (hears a noise, shuts up, runs off)
November/Mellie:I let myself in a little while ago. Hope you don't mind.
Ballard: You have a key.
N/Mellie:I know, but it's just... your apartment and with everything lately, I don't know, I don't want you thinking I'm in here nuzzling your shirts while you're gone. Anything weird like that.
Ballard: Good to know.
N/Mellie:I mean they smell really good... some of them not so much...but... overall your shirts are nuzzleworthy. (He looks at her nonchalantly) Joke. (He doesn't smile) Jeez. So grumpy.
Boyd: One other thing, Miss DeWitt. Are you aware of this 'Topher' situation?
Adelle: (smiles) Yessss. There's no need to address the issue with him. I allow him one of these "diagnostic" tests every now and again.
Boyd: Well, I guess Topher can't make friends...
(as they continue talking in voiceover, we see Sierra bringing a Twinkie with birthday candles to Topher in his office)
Adelle: Loneliness leads to nothing good, only detachment. And sometimes the people who most need to reach out are the people least capable of it. In any case, it only happens once a year.
Jack: I hope she didn't know... didn't know the truth about her son... it would have killed her!
E/M/Julia: It did.
Adelle: Tell me you weren't tempted, even a little, to not come back here today.Just to disappear in this body.
Echo/Margaret: Maybe a little. But I've had my turn. And the people I love are moving on... besides.
E/Margaret: I know you, Adelle. You're too much like me. (smiles) I wouldn't have gotten as far as the airport.
(long pause as the machine warms up)
E/Margaret: Will I see my whole life flash before my eyes?
Adelle: Every single moment...
Because... If it is, thats... You realize...That's the beginning of the end. Life everlasting. It's.. it's the ultimate quest. Christianity, most religion, morality.... doesn't exist, without the fear of death.
Boyd is, I would argue, substantially incorrect here. Certainly the fear of death is a significant force in a human's association with religion and with the development of morality, but it is far from the sole significant force. To anyone, there are secondary questions with almost the same degree of force as "What happens when I die?" -- These include "Why am I here?" and "Why do I continue to fight just to live?" This latter one is still relevant because the technologies behind the Dollhouse don't confer eternal life, they at most postpone it indefinitely. Any number of things can happen which would restore one's life to a more typical state -- a widespread biological threat, a nuclear war, a collapse of civilization in general due to some external force such as an asteroid strike. Even a computer virus that corrupted all stored copies of your personality would do the job. And the Second Law of Thermodynamics still applies, meaning that life is and will continue to be an uphill struggle against one of the prime forces of nature.
As far as morality goes, there is more to that than religion, too. Most of what we call ethics and morality is a natural outgrowth of effective rules for interacting with other peoples to further one's own personal goals. The Iterated
form of The Prisoner's Dilemma
shows that there is an inherent moral basis to human activity, that cooperation (i.e., moral action) is, in fact, the best way to play. And this would be even more true in the case of a Dollhouse-extended life, in which failure to cooperate with others -- "selfish play" -- is even more likely to result in some form of retribution later on in a very long life. In a Dollhouse universe, one's reputation also becomes far more relevant than it did before.
Boyd: On other thing, Miss DeWitt. Are you aware of this 'Topher' situation?
Adelle: ...And sometimes the people who most need to reach out are the people least capable of it.
Adelle might also be speaking of herself, here -- not so much as a matter of general social ineptitude associated with genius level intelligence (as in the case of Topher being spoken of) as much as the situational inability that she herself suffers from. She's just lost one of her better friends, and clearly one of a limited range of people she might be able to speak about the Dollhouse with, and she was, prior to Boyd's entry into her office, sitting, lonely, in the dark, thinking. Boyd can nominally be or become friends with other handlers at the Dollhouse, but Adelle and Topher have fairly unique positions which render them each relatively lonely and unable to share or discuss their problems and lives with others. What Topher is doing is not substantially different from what Adelle did with Victor in A Spy In The House of Love., probably even less of an issue as the relationship he's created with Sierra appears to be more of a fully platonic playmate than anything sexual.
Note also that what both Adelle and Topher are doing is very different from what Hearn did to Sierra. Hearn was preying on the Sierra in her helpless, childlike state, and doing so in complete and direct violation of the explicitly created trust-relationship which the handlers have with their actives. Topher and Adelle, on the other hand, are using the actives no differently from anyone else using The Dollhouse, and in a nominally "consensual" way -- the actives have normal, balanced personalities with normal human psychological defense mechanisms imprinted. Even if there are arguments about the degree of consensuality involved in what Adelle did with Victor (and what Topher may have done with Sierra, though there is no real suggestion of such), the underlying level of psychological and physiological trauma would be vastly different. From the description of the active's "inactive" personas, what Hearn did to Sierra was no different from child molestation in any possible way, and, worse still, by someone violating a trust/authority position over said child -- despite Sierra's womanly body, she was mentally a child and Hearn in charge of protecting her and she knew this. The worst concept of rape applicable to Adelle/Victor or (assuming it) Topher/Sierra would be more one of non-consensual drug rape. While that is still rape, there is an inherent mental distance to the act which shields the victim from the worst aspects of the psychological trauma, since they would become aware of its happening but have no memory of it at all, presumably not even deep down.