I am so conflicted about Boyd being the founder of Rossum. A part of me absolutely loathes it. Another part of me has to admire it's brilliance.
From the beginning, the very first episode of season 1, I loved Boyd. Each episode after that just made me love him more. His protective attitude towards Echo struck a chord with me. In a sea of immorality, he seemed to be a beacon of decency. Although I knew that he wasn't a saint by any means; after all, he worked at the Dollhouse (something had to have led to him being there). Never for one second did I consider the possibility that his secret would be unforgivable.
When I realized that everything that I thought was "Boyd" was a lie, I felt as betrayed as Echo. I know that Joss loves to twist the knife, but I wonder if he's twisted it too far this time. I forgave him for many deaths; Tara's, Anya's, even Wash's. But he didn't just kill Boyd- he took away the character. He perverted him into something completely different. How can I watch the episodes that came before without his betrayal screaming in my head?
This is how Paul must have felt when he found out that Mellie was a doll. Which brings me to the brilliant aspects of this bold twist.
Boyd, as we knew him, was nothing more than a construct- a program if you will- as good as any of Topher's imprints. He was exactly what Echo needed; a nurturing father figure that would encourage her to "save" herself. He pushed Adelle and Topher in just the right ways, with just the right amount of pressure, to get them where he wanted them. He made himself into something they didn't even know that they needed and they never suspected a thing. All of these "fake" people running around and they forgot that normal people can deceive just as well.
Were there subtle hints along the way? I honestly don't know(but I'll be rewatching episodes with that in mind for sure), but if there were I think we didn't see them because we wanted (just like Echo, Adelle and Topher) to believe in Boyd. We needed to believe that he was trustworthy- that there was someone in the Dollhouse that was good.
So "Boyd" wasn't real...does that mean I can't love him anymore? Claire and Mellie weren't real and I still loved them. Can I still love Fake!Boyd? Now I know why people want dolls; I want Fake!Boyd back. Was any part of him real? He said that they were his family, he cared about them- but he was going to wipe and enslave them; harvest Echo's body.
I think I hate this twist. In spite of all the interesting moral questions it raises...I want my Boyd back. I usually enjoy it when a character develops into something different, but this isn't a development- it's a corruption. Can I let go of Boyd as I knew him and embrace Evil!Boyd? I don't know.