Not entirely stand-alone. A lot of long-arc info was conveyed. It is starting to explain what makes Echo unique in her ability to remember (or at least have some sort of feeling memory) about her assignments, whereas none of the other dolls do -- they're starting to suggest that the brain may not be the seat of the soul, so to speak (at least not for Echo). And it's teasing us with the possibilities of who the informer is. Ballard also stated plainly that he is trying to bring down the Dollhouse, whereas before it was iffy whether he took the job and just accepted that the most he could do was try to be a good influence. And Echo is getting more personality even when she's wiped. (I liked her command to the car to "go"). I didn't know the show had begun again, but I found out just in time last week. All I'm expecting is 13 episodes. Whether they're aired, or simply produced and sold on DVD, looks like an open question with these kinds of ratings.