Dollhouse (2009–2010)
3 user 5 critic


Echo is imprinted with the memory of a mother with a newborn baby for Dollhouse's latest business client. Complications arise when, thanks to Topher's programming, Echo takes too strongly ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Boyd Langton (credit only)
Victor (credit only)
Sierra / Kelly
Nate Jordan
Detective Donovan
Geoff Burns ...
Evan - Medical Tech


Echo is imprinted with the memory of a mother with a newborn baby for Dollhouse's latest business client. Complications arise when, thanks to Topher's programming, Echo takes too strongly to motherhood due to her maternal instincts. Meanwhile, Senator Perrin escalates his investigation into Rossum Corporation over the imprint technology. Also, DeWitt pays a visit to the former active November (now in her real personality of Madeline Costley) where she has a dark agenda of her own. Written by matt-282

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Release Date:

2 October 2009 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Topher Brink: Would you like a treatment?
Paul Ballard: I was just sitting... because I'm... tired.
Topher Brink: Life of a handler is pretty exhausting. Better you than me.
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User Reviews

Dollhouse 'Instinct' Review
6 October 2009 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

There are very few chances where you get to take a child away from a loving mother's arms, without leaving with a few scratches and scars along the way.

Dollhouse used the value of motherhood and parenthood on a different level that actually had me marveled at the sight of Echo willing and able to breastfeed a child she didn't even carry herself. What I found most fascinating was the fact that she truly believed she was a mother at heart.

The writers outdid themselves this time with a moving theme in 'Instinct'. Eliza Dushku was able to capture the true emotions of what it would feel like to have your child ripped away from you, especially if you believed they were in danger.

How many fathers would be willing to pay the Dollhouse a load some of money for a strange woman to become your child's mother? Given the details of his wife's passing during childbirth gave more clarity to the plot, but how long would that engagement be; up until the child was old enough to take care of their selves or until the father loved his child.

This story was down right heartbreaking indeed. I applauded the way Echo screamed in the station when they pulled her away to receive her treatment and she firmly believed they were giving her child to a murderous fiend.

DeWitt made an excellent point to the father; he could have asked for a nanny or even a child specialist, but he asked for a mother-someone to give his child the love he couldn't give himself. DeWitt had some serious balls giving Echo a long term engagement, how much money did this guy pay for a deal like that?

Echo keeps getting used time and time and time again and it's beginning to show up on her such that she even has a personality to go with her doll behavior. She felt the loss of her child even when she was wiped like a computer. She was still overwhelmed with grief to the brink of insanity when she couldn't get what she wanted. The only person she can now count on is Ballard.

Madeline made her first presence this season and we got to see an essence of the life lives after being a doll. I believe DeWitt doesn't trust her and the feeling is mutual. I wonder how many people have actually made it out. Madeline and Ballard shared some time together and he seemed to have some feelings for her and maybe subconsciously she did as well. At one point when Echo went zany on Topher and knocked Madeline in the head, I believed Madeline would have glitched; if not by the uncanny questions, then surely a knock over the head should have done it.

I really cannot get over the impact Dushku left from the scene she created in the station. Her abilities to portray a multitude of characters should be commended, but she hit the nail on the head with that jaw dropper of a performance that has me wondering what more personalities she could portray with the same quality.

This is what I am asking for with the Dollhouse, we finally have a storyline we can follow; Echo is about reached her limit, she's not a computer, maybe that's a hint of Caroline talking in that end scene.

There was no mention of Dr. Saunders or even Boyd. Shouldn't DeWitt be the least bit concerned about one of her dolls actually leaving the Dollhouse, maybe for good?

I must say Topher should be commended; getting Echo's body to produce breast milk is classic, but he could have simply let her bottle feed her child, but where would be the fun in that.

For now lets focus on the underused characters like Sierra and Victor, I am sure they have more to offer.

A few more doses of this kind of material and anyone would be hooked, let's see what happens next.

Lexa Reviews


Four and a Half Stars

Grade B+


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

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