Season 1 Episode 8


Aired Friday 9:00 PM Apr 03, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
887 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Awakening within the Dollhouse, with large parts of their original personalities having returned, Echo, Sierra and Victor plan an escape.

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  • Echo gets her personality back but without her memory.

    Now that's what I'm talking about. Finally, an episode where everything we love about the whedonesque universe appears. I love the fact that it takes about 15 minutes for us to understand exactly what's going on. At the beginning Echo, Victor, Sierra and Mellie wake up in a state of shock, entrapped in their bed. They get out only to realise that they have no memory of what has happen to them or where they are. They seem to have their personalities restored but minus the memory.

    They try to blend in as best as they can; mimicking what everybody else is doing, similar to what happens in "Invasion of the body snatchers". Echo goes to see Dr. Saunders because she hurt her hand and Dr. Saunders seems to want to help Echo but can't really do anything about it. It's great the way that they make us think that Dr. Saunders wants to help the actives but, in the end, it's quite troubling when we find out that it was her idea to give them closure so they wouldn't glitch anymore.

    I taught the action scenes were really well done and the way that they escaped was quite fascinating. Great to see Sierra confront her abuser with Victor by her side even thought we know that she'll be back in the abusers arms sometime soon. The Mellie story also got very interesting with her remembering that her daughter died. And it was so nice to see Echo "save" everyone even if we know it wasn't real, it really makes us hope that she could actually accomplish something in the future. Love the message she sends to Paul, even if she doesn't exactly know who he is.

    Very excited about where this season is going. This episode, for me, is pivotal for the rest of the season. Very strong episode indeed.moreless
  • Strong ep


    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.


    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! Check out Eliza as undead Bonnie and Clyde here Cutest picture ever (for fans of Buffy/Angel) - The Trek BBS

    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

    Addy is a bit British;

    Topher is a bit geeky;

    Astonishingly he's afraid of the dark

    Subverting the Hollywood cliche;


    Sierra tied up; 1

    Knocked out; everyone passes out once they've achieved their closure

    Echo; 2

    November; 1

    Sierra; 1

    Victor; 1


    Sierra; 2 kills

    Echo; 1


    Dolls injured;

    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


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


    Missing scenes;

    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

  • Echo and her 4 close cohorts start to have some flashes of recall about who they are and decide to try reaching the outside to get some answers. The revolt falls short, however, and they all end up back in the Housemoreless

    This show is really turning out to be lame. It has the look of those silly tele-novelas like "Watch over me" that were running about a year and a half ago. the writing is pretty weak and the show is more about style than substance. They like to use lots of fancy camera work, like 360 degree tracking shots around some characters in the big fancy Dollhouse, but the camera moves too fast and it just creates a dizzy confused look to the shot. This show is designed to be a showcase for Eliza with the main aim to be making her look smokin' hot above everything else. I don't really find myself caring about any of these characters. I think I can find better use for an hour a week than this crap.moreless
  • Echo, Victor, Sierra, and several other Dolls seem to have regained their self-awareness. They have no memory of their lives before the Dollhouse, but they know they need to escape--right away.moreless

    I thought this episode was enlightening. Parts of the puzzle have begun falling into place about the Dolls and their pasts, and this added several new pieces. We knew some parts of Caroline's history, but I didn't understand her motivation for willingly joining the Dollhouse. What was revealed is that she was motivated by a need to escape the pain and guilt she felt over her boyfriend's death. She couldn't deal with it, so essentially she chose to hide out in the Dollhouse, away from her memories. As for the rest of the Dolls, I had never imagined any of them were there willingly. What I found out through this episode was that they had their own reasons for being in the Dollhouse--and they were not necessarily prisoners there.

    Finding out more about some of the other Dolls and the history of their true personalities was a little heartbreaking, in Mellie's and Sierra's cases.

    I was disappointed by the ending, that the whole escape was just something engineered by the Handlers. But come on though--we knew it wouldn't be that easy for the Dolls to get their lives back, didn't we? I can't wait to watch the next episode and see what else is happening at the Dollhouse.moreless
  • A considerably solid effort and certainly the most satisfying episode to date.

    While 'Echoes' was certainly something of a mixed bag, it has nonetheless had significant repercussions for the direction of the show as, with 'Needs', we are treated to the first almost entirely in-house narrative, a result of the glitches that befell the actives in Craft and Fain's script. It is certainly good to see this issue being addressed, as the litany of things that have gone considerably wrong with the imprint process has become rather abundant of late, and it is entirely logical that DuWitt and co. would feel the need to resolve the issue before sending anyone else out into the big wide world. The execution of this process is largely commendable: the concept of a 'brain wipe', if you will, for the central protagonists, wherein they lose their Doll-like innocence but fail to remember who they really are, sets up an engaging dynamic, wherein the viewer feels the potential for his or her questions about the individual characters to finally be answered. In effect, our emotional responses are transferred onto Echo, Victor, Sierra and November, and thus, the drive towards the resolution of their respective enigmas becomes all the more captivating. It's also rather refreshing to see the Dolls interact significantly with one another: outside of being imprinted, this is the first time the four characters have had a meaningful discourse (no, "I like art" does not count) and they complement each other well, the actors clearly having settled into their roles. The denouement is largely successful too: Sierra's past proves suitably chilling, Victor's expression of his attraction to the girl is a satisfying pay-off to the weeks of boners in the showers, November's grief at the death of her child is considerably moving, and all the more poignant for the beautiful long-shot in which we follow her from a noisy, joyful playground full of kids to a quiet, sombre graveyard, and Echo's need to seize control and 'rescue' the Dolls reinforces her position as the most important of our protagonists. The only real flaw in the whole thing is in the structuring of the explanation for their behaviour: the episode treats the notion that Dr. Saunders and DuWitt orchestrated the 'wipe' as if it is a major revelation, when in fact it becomes rather obvious as soon as no one appears to bat an eyelid in the face of some seriously un-Doll like behaviour. Nonetheless, this is a considerably solid effort and certainly the most satisfying episode to date.moreless
Emma Bell

Emma Bell


Guest Star

Vincent Ventresca

Vincent Ventresca


Guest Star

Skyler Stone

Skyler Stone


Guest Star

Reed Diamond

Reed Diamond

Laurence Dominic

Recurring Role

Amy Acker

Amy Acker

Dr. Claire Saunders

Recurring Role

Miracle Laurie

Miracle Laurie


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Jimmy: This don't even exist yet.
      Ballard: Meaning what?
      Jimmy: Meaning, if me and everyone else I know pow-wowed, we still wouldn't figure this out. It's gorgeous!
      Ballard: Can I trace where it was transmitting?
      Jimmy: Absolutely... if you were E.T.. It inverts the frequency into white noise. The only way you could find it once it hits the universe is to know exactly which speck of dust you're looking for and tune in on it.
      Ballard: What about scrambling it?
      Jimmy: Someone put this on you? You're gonna need an RF detector, a smart scrambler, and a frequency jammer. And to believe in God. Because I don't care how big you think you are, they're bigger.

    • Adelle: Topher?
      Topher: I've scrubbed them as much as I safely can. If we pursued the short-range calcium modulin K2 amplified, I could advance the protein's corrosion of long-term potentiation.
      Adelle: Done. Whatever that means.

    • Mike: They probably want to study our reproductive systems.
      Mellie: Sex with aliens?!?
      Victor: Come on. Who doesn't want to put alien guy back in the box?

    • Attendant #2: Good morning. We're having banana pancakes today.
      Tango: I like pancakes.
      Victor: We're all gonna die.

    • Sierra: Co-ed showers? I don't believe it.
      Echo: But we have to do it.
      November: So, no big deal.
      Victor: Okay, New York starting lineup, 1986, first base: Keith Hernandez; second base: Wally Beckman; shortstop: Rafael Santana.
      Sierra: Keep your eyes right where they are.
      Victor: Mookie Wilson: left field. Third base: Ray Knight; catcher: Gary Carter; center field: Lenny Dykstra...

    • Echo: That is not a costume warehouse we just busted out of. That's a people warehouse.

    • Laurence: (about the Actives) Don't think of them as children, think of them as pets.
      Claire: Is that supposed to be funny?
      Laurence: If your child starts talking for the first time, you feel proud. If your dog does, you freak the hell out.

  • NOTES (2)