Portrayed by Harry Lennix, Boyd Langton is a character of Dollhouse. An ex-cop, Boyd was first introduced as Echo's handler and he monitored her remotely while she was on engagements. , he is later promoted to be the LA Dollhouse's new Chief of Security.
Character Development[edit | edit source]
Career at the Dollhouse[edit | edit source]
Little is known about Langton's past, except that he was a cop sometime prior to the events of "Ghost." He joined the Dollhouse three months before the same episode, only a few days after Alpha's massacre. What ended his police career, how he found out about the Dollhouse, or what motivated him to join their staff (given their moral ambiguity) remain a mystery, though in "Belonging" he is shown placing a call requesting the services of someone called "The Goose" saying "I need someone disappeared." It is left open how or why a former police officer would have or need such connections.
Langton attempts to remain a white hat aloof from the Dollhouse's morally gray workers. He once convinced DeWitt into allowing Echo to continue on an engagement that had ended in order to rescue the client's kidnapped daughter and has directly questioned Topher's methods. He is not only unafraid to question others in the Dollhouse, but also untrusting of his superiors, for instance Alpha was truly dead as the Dollhouse claimed. He shares his doubts and opinions with Dr. Claire Saunders, who is one of the few other persons at the Dollhouse besides Echo whom Langton apparently respects (Although at the end of "Needs", he appeared to be disgusted by Saunders' attitude regarding what was done to Echo, Sierra, Victor and November, thinking of it more as a sick trick than any form of true closure).
In "A Spy in the House of Love", Adelle promoted Boyd to chief of security, after Laurence Dominic was sent to the Attic for his deception. He did not want the position because he wanted to stay with Echo and continue to be her handler but Adelle insisted in his promotion. When Echo was being prepared for her new handler, he seemed unwilling to leave her side and Echo stared at him as she was going under the new handler imprint, as if she did not want to forget him.
In "Belonging", Boyd follows Echo closely, realizing that, unlike other Actives, she can read and is planning something. Later he secretly gives her an all-access security pass. In the same episode, Boyd helps Topher and Sierra by arranging for the disappearance of Nolan Kinnard, killed by Sierra in self-defense. He shows considerable expertise in disposing of dead bodies, as well as contacts outside the Dollhouse.
In "Epitaph One" and "Getting Closer", Boyd is seen briefly packing bags and leaving the Dollhouse. The reasons his departure are left unclear though he says Echo is already in danger and that the Dollhouse will hunt him once he's gone. He appears to be injured in some way, taking extra bandages and infection medicine with him. While he packs, he talks to a tearful Saunders, who implies that over the course of however much time had passed their mutual respect evolved into a relationship. When he leaves he tells a heart-broken Saunders he will come back for her.
The Truth Revealed[edit | edit source]
During the first of three final episodes, Boyd is revealed to be a completely different person.
Everything that Boyd had been a part of, everything the characters and the audience knew about his character was changed dramatically as of the events of Getting Closer. As Boyd fights to protect Echo from incoming Rossum soldiers, Caroline's memory reveals to Echo that Boyd is, and has always been, the head of the Rossum Corporation, the mastermind behind the events of the series, responsible for the death of Bennett Halverson, and the ultimate threat to the world.
As shown in The Hollow Men, Boyd's ultimate plan is to use Caroline to create a vaccine for the imprinting technology so as to protect chosen individuals (more specifically, "[his] family" which includes the main cast with the notable exception of Paul Ballard). This contrasts with the plan of his partner Clyde 2.0 who is simply hellbent to eradicate all beings who are not "evolved" enough to guard themselves against getting imprinted leaving all others at his mercy. Boyd thus, while being the perpetrator of highly criminal acts, retains a somewhat ethical position (towards his inner circle of people) when compared to Clyde. Ultimately Boyd wishes to protect his family and is unable to comprehend why they cannot understand his actions or motives, described by Dewitt as being "spectacurlary insane."
Ultimately, Boyd causes the death of November/Mellie and tries to kill Echo, deciding he doesn't need her alive, but is stopped by Topher's remote wipe device, turning him into a doll. Echo equips him with explosives and instructs him to destroy both himself and the Rossum building, which he does.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
- Echo: At the outset of the show, Langton balanced his ex-cop instincts with his desire to protect Echo. He clearly showed care for her, calling Topher to task for imprinting her with physical limitations that put her at risk on the job. When he argued with Adelle DeWitt to allow Echo to continue the engagement after it had been bungled, he showed confidence either in Echo's ability to find the kidnapper who took their client's daughter, or in Miss Penn's. However, Langton's arguments may also indicate that he valued justice above Echo's safety. In "The Target," we see that Langton was not always so balanced. When the Dollhouse first hired him, his belief that Echo does not fit his definition of "person" made her just a job to him. He was skeptical of the importance of the handler/Active bonding process and was reluctant to take Echo's hand. Although Langton's affection for Echo has clearly grown by "Ghost," it is in "The Target" that we see the development and subsequent nature of their relationship. It is in this episode that Langton put his own life at risk for Echo's and received a life-threatening wound in return. At this point, he submitted to the reversal of the Handler/Active script when Echo asked him, "Do you trust me?" and he replied, "With my life," after which, having providing her with a weapon, he allowed her to protect the both of them for the remainder of the episode. In season 2 Boyd notices some odd behavior in Echo and discovers that not only can she read but she is remembering things. Rather than report her he confronts her cautioning saying that her desire to save everyone could cause more harm than good. However after having time to think about and seeing the danger of someone like Nolan he smuggles Echo in all access pass of the compound for "When the Storm comes".
- Topher Brink: Topher and Boyd initially clash due to their moral differences. Topher regards Boyd as over-serious and taunts him, while Boyd seems to find Topher's antics tiresome. Over time, however, Topher begins to develop a set of morals, something that initially surprises Boyd. When Topher makes a botched attempt to do the right thing in "Belonging", Boyd helps Topher cover up the ensuing murder. Boyd later states in "The Hollow Men" that he thought of Topher (as well as Adelle and Echo) as family and seemed to be proud of Topher's moral growth as well as his technological skills.
- Adelle DeWitt: Despite Boyd's apparent ethical reservations concerning the Dollhouse, Boyd and Adelle generally get along well and have a good professional relationship. Boyd, as the true head of Rossum, would often push Adelle from behind the curtain and force her to find the resolve to push through tough decisions and circumstances. Like Topher and Echo, Boyd considered Adelle family and claimed to love her very much.
- Paul Ballard: On the surface, Paul and Boyd seemed to get along very well and would often agree on even small things. They both questioned the morality of the Dollhouse and both cared very much for Echo and often acted together in her best interest. In truth, however, Boyd hated Paul, describing him as a relative he couldn't stand and even decided to kill him in "The Hollow Men".
- Claire Saunders: Early in season two, Saunders and Boyd began to develop a romantic relationship, although Saunders expressed reluctance due to her true status as an Active. At least two months before her return to the Dollhouse, Saunders reunited with Boyd and began to live with him, even developing a romantic relationship. Unfortunately, Boyd imprinted her as a sleeper Active, allowing him to trigger her to become Clyde 2.0, completely dissolving Saunders' personality. In light of this, it is unclear if Boyd had any true romantic feelings for her, or if he simply pursued her as a means to an end, although the latter seems likely.