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"Dollhouse: Needs (#1.8)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Dollhouse" Needs (2009)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"This is getting weirder and weirder"

Author: gridoon2016
11 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hey, what is happening here? Echo, Victor, Sierra, November and Mike (a new male Doll) wake up but they're not in their usual blissful, peaceful state - they're back to their old personalities, except that most of their memories have been removed. They all decide to try and escape from the Dollhouse, but when Adelle gets informed of their attempt, she remains strangely calm: it seems that this entire situation is part of a larger plan. This is a clever episode that keeps you wondering how much of what you're watching is part of a "test" on the Dolls, and how much is beyond Adelle's control. It also gets you thinking: what if people use their free will to abandon their free will? Because it seems that some of the Dolls (November) may have chosen to enter this establishment to escape from some painful memories that they couldn't handle, so they wanted to get them "wiped". In the end, however, not much is really accomplished by "Needs": theoretically the Dolls find the closure they need to stop glitching - but where would the rest of the show go if they really stopped glitching? *** out of 4.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: Joxerlives from United Kingdom
6 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The good; Excellent scenes with the actives planning their escape in true The Prisoner style. Very gratifying to watch Victor beat the stuffing out of the guy abusing Sierra.

The bad; Seems all very reckless of Adele, Victor throttles one handler and beats up Sierra's client. Echo beats the crap out of another handler before raiding the armoury and threatening everyone with a gun. Perhaps Topher put in blocks to prevent them killing anyone but given how the wipes haven't been working lately this still seems very risky.

Best line; Dr Saunders; "Let the tide wash in"

Packing heat; Echo with a glock. The Dollhouse has it's own armoury in the handlers room with Glocks, M16 carbines and H&K MP5s. Echo;5 Boyd; 6 Dominic; 6 Sierra; 3 Victor; 2

Echo kissage; By request this new topic will be included.

Kinky dinky; Mike suggests that they've been kidnapped to have sex with aliens, an idea that Mellie is understandably not too keen on (presumably she's seen Alien vs Predator; Requiem or Taboo Comics/Monsters and Angels-internet GOT-fic?). But she's quite OK with the thought of showering naked with both boys and girls unlike Sierra who's more hesitant.

Notches on the Dollhouse bedpost; Echo; 3 November; 1 Ballard; 1

How'd they get away with that? Dead Echo is plenty frightening! Victor is also pretty hardcore throttling the handler but that suits his soldier mentality. Echo beating up Sophie is also pretty savage.

This weeks fantasy; 1 each for everyone, their own personalities but without the memories. Echo is still the moral crusader we see in Echoes. Victor the level headed military man, November the maternal free spirit, Sierra kinda prickly and damaged.

Total number personalitites; Echo; 15 Sierra; 6 Victor; 3 November; 2

Total dolls; 6, we meet 2 more, a blonde girl called Tango (who I think we've seen before as a background player?) and Mike who seems to be a conspiracy theorist and finds himself in the ultimate conspiracy. We also meet handler Sophie who like Topher's assistant Ivy will become a recurring minor character. We see another active in military garb (maybe filling in for Victor?) but we don't get a name. Echo, Sierra, November, Victor, Mike, Tango

Topher is a bit geeky; Astonishingly he's afraid of the dark

Bondage; Sierra tied up; 1

Knocked out; everyone passes out once they've achieved their closure Echo; 2 November; 1 Sierra; 1 Victor; 1

Kills; Sierra; 2 kills Echo; 1 November;1

Capt subtext; Ballard's dream suggests he has a sexual attraction towards Caroline at the expense of Mellie. Victor is appalled by the Village People-style leather chaps he appears to have in his wardrobe (Rid'em Cowboy?). Echo eyes Tango's legs in her stockings and suspenders. Tango closely resembles Liza Minelli's character in Cabaret. Is she off to a hetero client who wants to have sex with her or to a gay guy who wants to sing 'Money makes the world go round' with her as Buffy star Joel Gray (Doc from season 5) did in that movie. Boyd says he would have liked to have seen Echo leading everyone to freedom, he subconsciously wants to free everyone?

Happy hookers; Echo refers to the Dollhouse 'Pimping them out'

Know the face? 5 Whedon alumni-Mark Shepherd, Amy Acker, walking action figure, Eliza Dushku, Jim Piddock

Guantanamo; Dominic suggests that the handlers think of the Actives as pets instead of children? Mike thinks they're government prisoners.

Reminds me off; The Buffy ep Tabula Rusa (a phrase used in this show), the characters all have their personalities and are trapped somewhere but don't have their conscious memories

Breaking the programming; They all do so Adele allows them all to partially achieve their secret desires under controlled circumstances.

Questions and observations; Victor very much the military man and does it very convincingly. November has a daughter called Kate who died, did she kill her? Even unprogrammed Caroline is pretty tasty in her fight with Sophie, maybe she retains some of her fighting skills from her imprints? Sierra's loathsome returning client (who appears to have forced her into the Dollhouse in the first place?) calls her Maria but is that her real name or the name of the personality he hires? Is he the guy who gave her the cut on her face in Echo? Victor's love for Sierra seems to be able to overcome even his mindwipe. Presumably Mike didn't really have an awakening, he's the control entered by Topher to convince the others they have to make their escape quickly. Marks out of 10; 8/10

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Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
10 October 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One night Echo wakes up in a state of terror; she manages to get out of her pod and it becomes clear they the others in her group; Victor, Sierra, November (Mellie) and the previously unseen Mike are in a similar state. They have no memories of being in the Dollhouse and start to come up with theories about what is happening to them. When they see how the other dolls are behaving they try to fit in but Mike soon attracts attention and is taken to be reconditioned. The others determine to escape. It emerges that Adelle and Laurence not only know about their planned escape; it is part of an experiment to see how they would behave when given their original personalities but no memories… it is just a question of how far the experiment will be allowed to run.

This episode continues the run of superior episodes despite its 'just-a-dream' prologue. I liked how we are told Topher is planning some changes that will be trialled on one group so when Echo's group wakes up confused and terrified the viewer can be forgiven for thinking his change didn't work as planned. The way they tried to fit in was handled in a believable way as well as providing a few laughs. The escape was exciting and their actions after getting free were interesting as Sierra and November are driven to resolve certain issues they seem to remember. Echo's story was unsurprisingly the most interesting as she attempts to rescue the other dolls. All these goings on taught us quite a bit more about the Dollhouse as we learn how Sierra and November came to be 'recruited'. The discussion of how the dolls should be treated, with Laurence suggesting they are treated as pets not children was interesting and reminded me of similar discussions in the anime series 'Gunslinger Girl'. Overall this was another really good episode which left be keen to find out what will happen next.

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