Friday's Dollhouse finale answered some questions and raised many more that we may never get the answers to. Not least of which is, what if everyone in the show is an active? Spoilers and speculation!
Friday's revelation that Dr. Saunders is, in fact, a Doll herself may not have been the greatest surprise to those who'd seen the previous week's episode, but it did open up the possibility that there are more actives in the show's world than we'd previously thought. It'd make sense for the series to have more sleepers than we'd expect... Hell, I still think that Lawrence Dominic was actually one (I mean, come on, they imprinted the exact same personality into Victor two weeks later very easily. You're telling me you didn't at least consider the possibility?). But in this crazy world of no-one being exactly who or what they seem, who can you trust? We run down the suspects:
Reasons Why He's An Active: Boyd's unexplained backstory, seemingly-strong moral character that doesn't have that much of a problem with the Dollhouse's human trafficking, and an ability to roll with punches as metaphorical as physical - Becoming the head of security without blinking, for example, despite knowing what happened to his predecessor - may seem like a generically stoic central character to you, but it seems very... convenient to me, as if he'd been programmed to respond properly in every situation. And don't get me started on his attachment to Echo...
Reasons Why He May Not Be One, After All: An active assigned as a handler to an active? That doesn't make a lot of sense (Not that everything in Dollhouse made the most sense).
Reasons Why He's An Active: We've seen that the Dollhouse isn't too concerned about having actives in key administrative roles, and isn't Topher just a little too much of a genius for one so young? How could he be able to do everything that he's supposed to do... unless he's been imprinted with multiple smart guys at once?
Reasons Why He May Not Be One, After All: Well, we saw him get infected with the "Naked Time" virus in "Echoes" without any devolving into his true self. Unless, of course, his nerdy munchies self was his true self...
Reasons Why She's An Active: Would the mysterious forces behind the Dollhouse really place their operation in the hands of anyone who wasn't specifically crafted for that particular purpose? Unlikely. Especially when it'd be so much easier for them to control someone whose memory, sense of morality and even personality can be altered at the flash of a chair. Why else do you think she keeps going to the headquarters of the organization for such regular meetings?
Reasons Why She May Not Be One, After All: Again, got dosed with the virus in "Echoes" without having the same experience as Sierra, Victor or Echo. But that assumes that there's not some kind of double-dip dollhousing going on, and the virus just hadn't broken through yet.
Reasons Why He's An Active: We know that there are sleepers, we know that there are multiple Dollhouses, and we know that there are rogue actives... Who's to say that Ballard isn't another Alpha (or, for that matter, an active imprinted with this very purpose) that the LA House doesn't know about, slowly working his way into the organization in order to destroy it altogether? Sure, he's taking the long way 'round, but how else do you explain his "I hate the Dollhouse I hate the Dollhouse I hate the Dollhouse, oh, okay, I'm working for the Dollhouse" about-turn? I'm telling you; there's more to Ballard than meets the eye. If nothing else, only an active can go from being in space, frakking a cylon wife, to living in modern-day LA and investigating the modern-day slave trade on the same night.
Reasons Why He May Not Be One, After All: Because that would be way too convoluted, and also lame. Almost as lame as him deciding to work for the Dollhouse in the last episode. Plus, hasn't everyone been expecting this reveal since the show started, kind of?
Reasons Why You're An Active: Well, how do you know you're not? Mellie probably thought she had free will as well, after all. And aren't we all, like, programmed by society? If nothing else, I can say with all certainty, at least we know that io9's very own Annalee is officially a Doll (Warning: That site may give you nightmares).
Reasons Why You May Not Be One After All: Because the Dollhouse doesn't exist. Or, at least, that's what they want you to think. If they existed, that is. Repeat after me: There are three flowers in a vase...