A wealthy backer asks the Dollhouse for help when his daughter is kidnapped. They send Echo to negotiate the release. One of the memory imprints used to prepare Echo for the mission causes some complications.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Gabriel Crestejo
David Doty ...
Sam Zimmerman
Mr. Sunshine
Davina Crestejo (as Haley Alexis Pullos)


Echo is one of several volunteer "Actives" working for a secretive, morally ambiguous organization known in urban legend as the Dollhouse. Cunning and enigmatic entrepreneur Adelle DeWitt, whose motives are far from transparent, heads the Los Angeles-based outfit. She enjoys the luxury of a seemingly endless budget and employs the best and the brightest in the fieds of tech and neurobiology. Programmed with a new personality for each assignment, Echo carries out various tasks according to the wishes of the Dollhouse's wealthy and enigmatic clientele. In her latest role, Echo is tasked with rescuing a client's kidnapped daughter. Aided by her handler, Boyd Langdon, and programmed by prodigious techy Topher Brink, Echo embarks upon the rescue mission. Along the way, glitches in her memory imprints cause some complications. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Paul Ballard struggles to uncover information on the Dollhouse. His growing obsession with the case has destroyed his marriage and threatens to ... Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

13 February 2009 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Gabriel first meets Echo, he reveals that he had expected a fatherly character as the hostage negotiator, someone like Edward James Olmos. Olmos plays Commander Adama in Battlestar Galactica (2004) which Tahmoh Penikett (Paul Ballard) also stars in. See more »


Every time "Ms. Penn" uses her inhaler, she does it wrong. See more »


[first lines]
Adelle DeWitt: Nothing is what it appears to be.
Caroline: It seems pretty clear to me.
Adelle DeWitt: Because you're only seeing part of it. I'm talking about a clean slate.
Caroline: You ever try and clean an actual slate? You always see what was on it before.
Adelle DeWitt: Are you volunteering?
Caroline: I don't have a choice, do I? How did it get this far?
Adelle DeWitt: Caroline, actions have consequences.
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References First Blood (1982) See more »


Just Dance
Performed by Lady Gaga
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User Reviews

Quite a good start, with potential to stay that way
23 February 2009 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

As usual, after just seeing one episode, many people here are too quick to write a new show off. I thought the first episode did a very good job of laying out the plot and introducing the concept of 'actives' such as Eliza's role 'Echo'. Many seem to agree that Buffy and Angel were Joss Whedon's best work and something he hasn't been able to top, but even those 2 shows (which I'm a huge fan of) failed to capture me from the first episode the way Dollhouse did. Instead they started to grow on me far into the second season or even further, until I one day realized I really loved them. As far as I'm concerned, Dollhouse kicked off with far better episode than they did, so I'll stay optimistic.

Also I'd have to disagree with a comment made earlier that the following episodes can only deliver a single-episode story with a new character, without being able to relate to 'Echo' or having a greater story-arc. It was quite obvious that 'Echo' is having flashes of memory and seems to be remembering fragments of things that were supposed to have been wiped. While there probably will be many single-episode stories like the kidnapping in this pilot, I can easily see a story-arc forming over the whole series, which Joss Whedon has done successfully before (again Buffy and Angel, with the single-episode creepy crawlies to dispatch and a bigger story forming over that).

Anyway, all over I think it's a great start, and while it's a wait and see to how well the story will develop, I'm still giving this an 8/10, just for that.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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