Dollhouse Wiki
(→‎Lair: Minor edit; got rid of a redundant phrase.)
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Alpha has set up shop in the Los Angeles area, at the very same power station where his original personality (a criminal) held a woman hostage for three days before slashing her face. Alpha's equipment includes an imprinting chair and many computers. At the base of the chair, there are multiple engravings, one of which while upside down clearly says "Danger".
Alpha has set up shop in the Los Angeles area, at the very same abandoned power station where his original personality (a criminal) held a woman hostage for three days before slashing her face. Alpha's equipment includes an imprinting chair and many computers. At the base of the chair, there are multiple engravings, one of which while upside down clearly says "Danger".
In "Omega", Alpha's lair (an abandoned power station) is discovered by Ballard and Boyd. Alpha escapes, so any new or alternate base is again unknown.
In "Omega", Alpha's lair is discovered by Ballard and Boyd. Alpha escapes, so any new or alternate base is again unknown.

Revision as of 04:01, 12 November 2009

"Dead bodies in a shower. And a man standing over me holding a knife, but I can't see his face. I don't think he has one."
Echo / Jenny

Alpha is a rogue doll, played by Alan Tudyk (although is played by a different actor during a short scene in episode 1). During much of Season One, his identity was a mystery. He was revealed in "Briar Rose", and details about his motivations were given in "Omega". His original personality was named Karl William Kraft, a kidnapper and attempted murderer with a penchant for slashing faces.

Flashbacks from "The Target" suggest that the Alpha's killing spree and escape were, in fact, an unforeseen byproduct of the technology the Dollhouse uses to program its actives, an incident they have dubbed a "composite event." In this unique event, all of his previous imprinted personalities resurfaced simultaneously. Alpha was forced to process countless world-class talents and equally countless and irreconcilable memories, which caused a psychotic break; Alpha has become an omnidisciplinary psychopath.

Topher noted to begin with that Alpha, as one of the earlier dolls, has "default" fighting abilities in his doll state, whereas later dolls did not receive such a default skill set due to its dangerous and unpredictable nature. This, however, proved to be a problem for the Dollhouse population when Alpha went on his rampage because the dolls were unable and unaware of how to defend themselves and were quickly killed.

Alpha's character and mindset have been described as having "multiple personalities and a fragmented and twisted individual thanks to the Dollhouse's influence over him".[citation needed] In Omega, it was pointed out that his original personality is also borderline psychotic.


Alpha is extremely aggressive and unstable due to his composite event and prior history. Indeed, the fact that the composite event has caused many, if not all, of his imprints to reactivate could mean Alpha has something akin to dissociative personality disorder on a scale never likely seen before. In "Omega", his personalities appear to disagree with one another openly, though a consistent identity appears to be in control. It is still possible that personalities may be working against one another. Alpha deeply resents his original personality, feeling it abandoned him to exploitation by the Dollhouse.

His fixation on Echo shows Alpha's focus and obsession, regardless of whether he is fixated on her or on rescuing her. Alpha sabotaged her engagements throughout Season One, endangering her in the process but also providing learning experiences, providing her with evolving self-awareness. Eventually, it is revealed that Alpha has been trying to bring about a stable composite event for Echo, which he then tries to catalyze himself by reproducing the imprinting accident that created him.

Alpha is an intelligent strategist: see "The Target" and "Gray Hour" as prime examples of this. In "The Target," Alpha appeared to be the mastermind behind the hunt that led to Echo learning she deserved to live. He covered his tracks, eliminating an accomplice at the end of the engagement. In "Gray Hour," he displayed remarkable intelligence when he performed a remote wipe on Echo by hacking the Dollhouse's secure signal, something that Topher claims is impossible, suggesting that Alpha can utilize the combined intellect and skills of his different imprints.

Briar Rose also showed that Alpha is a master planner, a manipulator and very, very patient. He successfully managed to throw the Dollhouse of his trail with a flash drive that sent them on a wild goose chase that they only realized when it was to late. He manipulated/ helped Ballard so he could get back in to the Dollhouse and take Echo, subtly taunting Saunders-- possibly intending for her to eventually realize that she is herself an Active.

Quirks/ personality traits

Flashbacks and clips have shown he seems to have interesting quirks and idiosyncrasies. One prime example can be found in the first episode where he sits mostly (if not completely) naked in a room of a house where he has just killed two people, watching a video of Echo. Also he doesn't sit on a seat but on a table. He has a unique method of killing people where, after disabling them, he cuts all the major blood vessels, a process Boyd described as causing the maximum amount of damage and pain for the victim. It is hard to tell whether these quirks are "normal" or part of the insanity from the composite event.

Prior to his composite event, Alpha also used to sign his name in the house art class with the Greek letter alpha, which Dominic said was the first sign he was different from the others. Alpha described his face-slashing technique as unique, saying that every time he did it, it came out different. His hand moves with an almost inhuman quickness when he performs the facial slash, supporting Dominic's theorized timescale for other kinds of kills (8 seconds). Interestingly, the face slashing is a characteristic of Alpha's original personality, Carl William Craft, rather than an imprint. While in the guise of Kepler, Alpha said that he prefers Mother Earth to humanity; this could be part of his assumed identity or a statement of his own beliefs.

Interestingly during his time in the Dollhouse Alpha showed a high level of self awareness, even more so than Echo does when she isn't on engagements. He was able to remember certain emotions and read them on people's faces, like he did when Caroline first arrived he noticed and commented to Whiskey that Caroline was sad but Whiskey just blissfully ignored him and mentioned that Dr. Saunders is nice. This also led to another interesting quirk where Alpha responded with a look a confusion and even annoyance at the "stupidity" of the other active. He also showed that he wasn't ignorant like the other actives when he listened in on a conversation between the original Saunders and a worker about the "new arrival" and was notably interested in this.

Imprints/ Composite personalities

Alpha claims to have 48 personalities. Only one is directly attested to, his engagement with Whiskey as the masochistic sex criminal "Bobby" (this personality proved unstable; instead of delivering the crime spree and sexual exploitation requested by the client, Whiskey and Alpha escaped surveillance and tortured him until stopped by their handlers). Alpha claims that another of his personalities in fact has multiple personalities.

Though no other information has been revealed about what missions Alpha was sent on before the composite event, from the events provided so far we can assume a few things. Firstly, he was probably sent on violent engagements judging by his killing abilities and violent tendencies. These may have been assassination engagements. His intellect and hacking abilities probably arose from an espionage engagement or professional hacking gig. His technical skills could have come from a similar imprint, and the chemical expertise may have come from an imprint that required it.

Dialog from "The Target"

Concerning Alpha's violent tendencies:

Boyd Langton: [Looking down on Actives doing Tai Chi] Look at them. Just a bunch of helpless children. Did the ones Alpha slaughtered even put up a fight?
Topher Brink: They wouldn't know how. Not without an imprint.
Boyd Langton: Why not default them with ninja skills or whatever?
Topher Brink: We tried that once.
Boyd Langton: And?
Topher Brink: Blood. Screaming. Dying.
Boyd Langton: Alpha.

Concerning Alpha's modus operandi:

Boyd Langton: A single blade, non-serrated, ten to twelve centimeters. The tendons in the extremities were severed first to disable him, and then the real work started. He knew exactly where to cut to cause the maximum amount of damage and pain. Whoever did this took their time.
Laurence Dominic: Eight seconds. That's the time line we've been able to piece together.
Boyd Langton: The cuts are meticulous, almost surgical. I wouldn't have thought it was possible to carve up a man like this so fast.
Laurence Dominic: It isn't, unless you've been imprinted with the necessary skills.
Boyd Langton: You're telling me you programmed one of your dolls to be Jack the Ripper?
Laurence Dominic: Not my department. All I know is that Alpha accessed multiple imprints, personalities that should have been erased, and one of them did this and slaughtered everyone around your girl before pulling a smoke-and-mirrors.


The Escape

Three months prior to the time frame of the show, Alpha escaped from the Dollhouse. His obsession with Echo lead to him attacking the popular doll Whiskey, viciously slashing her face with bonsai shears, so that Echo could be "number one". Restrained by Dollhouse personnel, he was brought to the imprinting room, where he was to be diagnosed and then sent to the Attic. Instead, he attacked, inadvertently imprinting himself with the diagnostic Topher was running; a composite of all his prior personalities.

One of the many victims of Alpha's massacre was Echo's previous handler Samuelson - it was reported that every major blood vessel in his body surgically severed in eight seconds; however, in "Omega" it is only shown that he gouged his handler's eyes out with his thumbs during his composite event. The original Dr. Saunders was murdered immediately after, followed by many Actives and Dollhouse employees, though Alpha spared Echo. Alpha then escaped and vanished. The "new" Dr. Saunders and other staff members were told that the Dollhouse managed to track and kill him.

Alpha's whereabouts were unknown prior to his invasion of the Dollhouse. He anonymously assisted Paul Ballard in investigating the Dollhouse. His file is shown at the end of the pilot as the heads of the Dollhouse discuss him briefly, stating that he needs to be contained. Elsewhere, a mysterious man watches a video of Echo's previous life before sending a picture of her to Paul, telling him to "keep looking." The overlap with the discussion of Alpha suggests that their rogue doll is in fact the mysterious man, who sits near two dead bodies, suggesting that Alpha is willing to kill to either expose the Dollhouse or to protect Echo, or Echo's original persona, Caroline.

The identities of these latest victims remain unknown, though it has been speculated that they are either Dollhouse operatives or Caroline's parents.

"The Target"

Alpha appears to be the mastermind behind Richard Connell's subversive engagement with Echo. Depending on how much of the scenario Alpha planned, it reveals a lot about his capabilities. Connell's identity was forged to pass the Dollhouse's background check; Alpha himself may have created it. He may have also been the one who provided Connell with the drugged water that Echo drank and caused her to see some of her previous imprints, which would suggest he has a chemical expertise has well. The events of "The Target" would also seem to suggest that Alpha is testing Echo for an unknown reason, which may be to discern if Echo is similar to Alpha. Echo survived the ordeal Connell put her through, who commented, "He was right about you. You really are special," to a confused Echo after she had to kill him in self defense. The "he" to which Connell referred may have been Alpha. Alpha himself helped to clean up the aftermath of the encounter, as an accomplice of Richard's was found murdered in a manner similar to the murder of Echo's previous handler.

"Gray Hour"

Alpha once again made a move against the Dollhouse when he remotely wiped Echo's imprint during her engagement. Again, his actions tested Echo, possibly to grant her the opportunity to develop skills, beliefs, and a personality. This feat shows Alpha to have access to Dollhouse intel and tremendous technical skills. He had to have both to hack into their system to access Echo's cell number and to perform the remote wipe; a feat that even Topher cannot achieve. Topher correctly deduced that only Alpha could do this and must therefore be alive, and received confirmation after DeWitt upped his security clearance. She further explained that even though the Dollhouse was able to track him for awhile, the "gifts" Alpha has makes finding and confining him impossible.

"True Believer"

Alpha was mentioned by Laurence Dominic, Dollhouse's head of security, while expressing concern about Echo's growing unpredictability - described as being similar to Alpha's "composite event". He also mentioned that despite DeWitt's confidence in managing the Actives, Alpha had taught then this wasn't the case. Alpha sent a package to Paul Ballard containing a video of Caroline saying goodbye to her sorority at college. Agent Ballard noted that the hand writing on both envelopes were similar.

"Man on the Street"

In this episode, Sierra's handler mentions Alpha when it was thought that Victor was raping Sierra. Sierra's handler claimed Victor could be pretending to behave just like Alpha did, suggesting Alpha may have Composted a little while before his escape and simply waited for the right time to escape. Victor was later cleared of any rape allegations. Someone inside the Dollhouse interferes with Echo's imprint to give Paul a message about the Dollhouse and to ask Paul to find its true purpose. While many fans thought that Alpha might have been behind this, further events cast this theory in doubt.


During a staff meeting to discuss the fact that many of the Dolls were developing sentience and the risk it posed (such as another composite event), Boyd asked what of the current Alpha, and in response Laurence Dominic replied that his current whereabouts are unknown. This would now mean the Dollhouse heads have revealed that he is still alive, in order to be better prepared if another composite event happens, or if he strikes again.

"Spy in the House of Love"

During her investigation into the spy master, Echo mentioned the "Alpha incident" when talking to Saunders. Dominic also called Echo another Alpha waiting to happen.

"Briar Rose"

An anonymous flash drive is delivered to the Dollhouse. Laurence Dominic is imprinted into Victor and gives the password to open it. It is theorized by the Adelle and Boyd that Dominic may have been in communication with Alpha. This leads to Tuscon, Arizona, where a man was recently killed in a manner similar to the way Alpha killed Samuelson.

Meanwhile, Paul tracks down Steven Kepler, an agoraphobic architect who designed the systems that make the Dollhouse almost self-sufficient. Ballard forces Kepler into helping him infiltrate the Dollhouse and takes him along. Inside the Dollhouse, Paul makes a male Doll undress and orders Kepler to put on the clothes. While Ballard searches for Caroline in the sleeping chambers, Kepler uses a computer terminal to take control of the surveillance and environmental systems.

While Boyd takes a captured Paul up to see Adelle, Claire looks after Victor, who was slightly injured in the fight. In Claire's office, Kepler slashes Victor's face with a knife. Claire, horrified, identifies him as "Alpha." At the same time, Sierra (imprinted as a forensics expert) informs Adelle that the dead man in Arizona is actually Steven Kepler.

Alpha threatens Claire into calling Echo to her. Alpha then takes Echo up to the imprint room, where he imprints her with the masochistic criminal personality previously used by Whiskey on a dual engagement. They kiss passionately, and she calls him, "My prince." They leave the Dollhouse together.


Having imprinted Echo with a persona that trusts him and stolen all of the wedges for Echo's imprints, including the original Caroline, Alpha takes Echo to his lair in a power station. He also kidnaps a woman named Wendy. Alpha exhibits sudden shifts in consciousness as the different personalities within him struggle for control.

Alpha uses his own imprint chair to imprint Wendy with Caroline, then creates a composite event in Echo that combines all of her previous imprints, which he calls "Omega." Alpha demands that the new persona kill her former identity imprinted into Wendy, as a blood sacrifice. The new persona refuses to kill herself or an innocent bystander. Alpha and Echo fight, and Alpha appears knocked out. Wendy/Caroline talk for a moment, shortly before Alpha shoots Wendy in the neck. Alpha threatens to go on a murder spree, imprinting all his victims with Caroline's personality. Alpha also holds Echo at bay by threatening to destroy the last remaining wedge with Caroline's personality; however, although it appears that for some reason he is unwilling to actually destroy the wedge himself. Alpha flees the power station with Caroline's wedge as Boyd and Paul arrive, with Echo chasing him. He throws the wedge away, but Paul catches it.

In a deleted scene, Alpha is cornered by Sierra and November (imprinted as bounty hunters) outside his lair. He starts to use the "three flowers in a vase" phrase to take control of November and turn her against Sierra. This forces Boyd to use the "treatment" code to shut down both Actives. Alpha takes the opportunity to escape.

Flashbacks and information from Adelle reveal that Alpha was a convicted criminal recruited by the Dollhouse in exchange for a shortened sentence. His methods strongly foreshadow his later behavior as Alpha. Like Echo, he exhibits more consciousness than the other Actives. He's sexually attracted to Echo and kisses her. When someone says that Whiskey is more popular than Echo, he slashes Whiskey's face with pruning shears. The guards drag him back to the chair for wiping, but in the ensuing struggle, he accidentally triggers a composite event. His first victim is Blevins, his handler. His second is the original Dr. Saunders. However, as Paul reveals, his first victim of choice, not necessity, was his own original imprint wedge.

"Epitaph One"

Though not seen, it is revealed that the technology that allows no one to be imprinted in Safe Heaven is thanks to Alpha. Whether this means that Alpha is there in person, helping Caroline and Paul or whether they simply use his technology is left unclear. It is also posisble that this refers to some kind of failsafe devised after Alpha's composite event.


Though not seen in this episode it is revealed that Paul is helping the Dollhouse find him has he has the most experience with capturing somone like Alpha. Also it was revealed that Alpha's composite on Echo has had the unforeseen sideffect of allowing her to remember and use her former imprints despite the Dollhouse's attepts to wipe the personalities. Alpha may also have sent pictures to Echo's fiance of her and Paul either as way to mess with her engagment or to se if he could get her on his side again.


It would appear that, like with Paul Ballard, Alpha is now giving information to Senator Daniel Perrin who is investigating the Dollhouse. This is evident by the fact that an anonymous file full of information about the Dollhouse is delivered to his home, in a similar manner to how Paul used to receive messages.

"Belle Chose"

When Victor is on the loose with a serial killer's personality inside of him Adelle demands that Topher free him; and Topher guesses she means a remote wipe. He says it is impossible but Adelle responds that Alpha can do it. Topher responds that Alpha was able to access Echo's phone and also used some kind of tech that even he has not thought up. This means that since Grey hour no one in the Dollhouse has been able to crack the mystery of the remote wipe. Topher tries to use the bio link in Victor to wipe him remotely. However, it does not produce the desired effect and switches the serial killer imprint with Echo's imprint and also crashes the Dollhouse. Meaning so far Alpha is the sole master of remote wipes. Echo, however, is able to resist the imprint on her own but could not rid herself of it; even after a proper wipe it would appear a fragment still lives in her.


In this episode Topher is grumbling to himself while fixing the damage to the Dollhouse from the previous episode while wondering how Alpha could have done remote wipes. When he notes he's talking to himself like Alpha does he wonders if that has something to do with it. This could mean that Alpha is able to do remote wipes because the collective personalities were able to figure it on there own while a normal single personality person couldn't.


The Dollhouse

It is uncertain what kind of relationship Alpha had with those involved with the Dollhouse before his composite event and escape. The events of "Gray Hour" indicate that many of the Dollhouse staff are terrified of him and he is a touchy subject to talk about. Topher, who seemed scared before when he mentioned there was only one person who could perform remote wipes and that person was supposed to be dead, became downright terrified when DeWitt confirmed that Alpha was alive. DeWitt, while showing more composure, also seemed afraid and uncomfortable when their rogue was mentioned and the fact he had eluded capture. The Gray Hour incident may also indicate that while Alpha was testing Echo again he might also have been mocking the Dollhouse.


It's hard to tell what Alpha thinks of the rest of the Dolls. On the one hand, many of his victims were his fellow Dolls as well as the Dollhouse staff. But comparing the bodies of the Dolls and staff seen in the Target, the wounds on the Dolls are less severe and less in number. There were also a few other Dolls spared from the rampage as well who had been sent to their sleeping quarters at the time. Alpha seemed to resent Whiskey's popularity prior to his composite event; afterwards, he taunts her imprint as Dr. Saunders with hints of her true nature, but does not harm her. During "Briar Rose", Alpha wounded Victor in his trademark style, casually slashing his face. He told Saunders that Victor's wounds were deeper than her own had been.


One of the biggest mysteries to date involving Alpha is his relationship with the Active Echo. She was one of the few who were spared from his rampage (even though the room in which she was found was filled with his dead victims). It is also suggested that he has been observing (in "Ghost") and testing Echo (in "The Target" and "Gray Hour") for an unknown reason. Prior to his composite event, Alpha considered Echo special and may have had romantic feelings similar to those of Victor for Sierra. At one point, Alpha goes so far as to kiss her.

Echo appears to have some experience with Alpha. Although Echo admitted in Briar Rose that she had some memory of him, her repeated wipes made her unable to recall much until she was imprinted with a memory with clear recollections of him; ironically, this was an imprint originally used for Whiskey. For his part, Alpha claimed that he remembers everything about Echo. Although he attempted to use a composite event to bring them together as "superbeings", she instead turned violently against him. Despite threats to destroy her original personality, Alpha seemed curiously reluctant to harm her imprint wedge.

Agent Ballard

Alpha has been using Ballard as a pawn to get closer to the Dollhouse. He has been sending him information on the Dollhouse and Echo, providing him with his only known major leads on the Dollhouse, and acting as a silent partner and informant in Paul Ballard's investigation. When they finally met in person, Alpha played the part of Kepler and led Ballard to the house. At the end of Briar Rose, Alpha appears to have abandoned Ballard and escaped with Echo on his own.

For his part, Ballard was quick to seize on the importance of Alpha's original personality as the key motivator for Alpha's behavior.


Topher Brink: "You can't profile Alpha, he's not a person! He's like... Soylent Green! He's... people!"

With a stream of contradictory memories, he has a severe variant of Dissociative Personality Disorder. Under the circumstances, it is fruitful to consider the "relationships", friend and foe, between his various imprints.

There are 48 complete personalities residing within Alpha in total, one of which is itself a DID case, not including the original characteristics of Carl Craft which seem to still reside in the 'ascended' Alpha, despite that imprint no longer existing. Alan Tudyk has also stated that while Alpha is in control most of the time, it is quite a strain for him to maintain this, as each of the personalities have a desire to speak their mind/desire a voice [citation needed]. So essentially he will say or do something in one instant and then contradict himself as another personality rises and takes over. Also one of the personalities notes in his lair that they are all screaming, which would suggest that they are not comfortable with the situation they are in. Another personality mentioned during the argument that "the little one's gone", which might have just been nonsensical gibberish or a sign that the personalities are "dying" due to their crowded environment.

While in the guise of Steven Kepler, Alpha appeared to be raising sizable quantities of marijuana under grow lights in Kepler's apartment. Whether this indicates that Alpha is self-medicating or was simply a part of his disguise is unknown.

Evidence from Omega suggests that one or more of the personalities doesn't like Echo very much. One such personality emerged before Alpha initiated an imprint on his hostage Wendy, when Echo said she didn't understand what Alpha was doing. After she said this Alpha's posture shifted and his voice took on a deeper more educated and slightly irritated tone that said Echo obviously couldn't understand what was going on. He also said that because of what the house did to Echo he was amazed she could still do such basic things has walking and talking. Alpha quickly took over again and told a distraught Echo to ignore what the other personality just said.

Other personalities however seem to show concern for Echo and disagree with what Alpha is doing. This is evident in Omega while in the car several personalities berate Alpha for not telling Echo the truth and one even claims to have known Echo when she was younger. Some of these personalities may have been the ones who held Alpha back from destroying Caroline's wedge.

Alpha may or may not know what his original personality was before the Dollhouse, as he destroyed his wedges. He thought that Caroline was weak for abandoning herself, so he may also think his original personality was weak as well. His composite event seemed to awaken his real personality even though it wasn't imprinted back into him - the facial slashing and psychotic personality fit with who he was before the Dollhouse (in jail). Ironically, despite destroying his original personality, this is the strongest influence on his behavior.


Prior to breaking out, Alpha knew Saunders as Whiskey, the most popular of DeWitt's Actives. Alpha resented her because he felt Echo should be number one, and thus he attacked her during a bonsai trimming class. His rampage occurred shortly after, when Topher and his then-assistants tried to figure out what was wrong with him. He killed the original Dr. Saunders, and thus, after his escape, Whiskey was turned into Saunders' replacement, believing that she'd always been the house physician.

When they meet again in Briar Rose, Alpha appears very angry in Saunders' presence and speaks to her with much disdain, asking her to remember how she examined him after he was first wiped. Since Whiskey was at this point still an Active, he clearly is taunting her with her false memories (or, perhaps, is taunting the remnants of the Dr. Saunders he murdered). He refers to her scars as his "gift" to her, and notes that hers are much more shallow than the ones he gave Victor.


Alpha has set up shop in the Los Angeles area, at the very same abandoned power station where his original personality (a criminal) held a woman hostage for three days before slashing her face. Alpha's equipment includes an imprinting chair and many computers. At the base of the chair, there are multiple engravings, one of which while upside down clearly says "Danger".

In "Omega", Alpha's lair is discovered by Ballard and Boyd. Alpha escapes, so any new or alternate base is again unknown.