Dollhouse Season 2, Episode 2: "Instinct" - Recap

Last season, we saw Echo deliver a baby while on an engagement. Now, it's time for her to have her own child. You know, without that pesky delivery thing.

"Instinct" largely took a break from advancing the grand arc and instead focused on Echo's imprinting as Emily, a woman designed to serve as the replacement mother for Jack and wife to Nate, whose real wife died giving birth to their son

What We Learned

Topher has reached a new plateau in imprinting technology. He can now tell the brain how to affect the body. And not just muscle memory but, theoretically, he could train the brain to fight cancer or - and here's the real coup - not gag while eating sea urchin.

Senator Daniel Perrin doesn't have much on The Rossum Company yet. He's not after money laundering. He wants to know what they're up to as far as medical science is concerned and someone wants to be sure he finds what he's after. A file is left on Perrin's front step containing "a name" as well as evidence of human trafficking, murder and prostitution.

Madalyn, formerly November, has a great apartment and is living the life of the "idle rich," something she never thought she'd be able to do. She also hasn't returned to The Dollhouse for her follow-up diagnostic test.

Topher's developed a ventriloquism app for actives.

Madalyn's daughter died of cancer.

Adelle recruited Madalyn after her daughter's death.

Topher's tech breakthrough has a side effect. Sure, it works; Echo's body is reacting just the way her brain has been wired to, but the problem is, his programming works a little too well and the feelings inside don't go away after a treatment. Her instinct takes ove

Great Lines & Moments

Topher: I don't want to use the word 'genius' but I'd be okay if you wanted to.

Talking to car.

Echo: Go, please?

Topher: I remember wiping her and then my face exploded

Topher: Perhaps triggering lactation was a bridge too far. Live and learn.


Who left the file on Perrin's step? Ivy, Victor, Boyd and Whiskey were missing this week. Did they take a trip to Alexandria, VA? Or, could it have been Alpha? Could he curb his blood lust long enough to simply drop a file and leave instead of killing the Senator and his wife?

How did Adelle know who Madalyn was before she recruited her? What about her screamed "Doll!" to Adelle


"Instinct" reminded me of the episodes early in season one. It was mostly about the engagement of the week and didn't do much to advance the psyches of the main characters.

Due to lower stakes, missing characters and the absence of signature Whedon-esque dialogue, this episode failed to deliver.

I don't want to use the word 'boring' but I'd be okay if you wanted to.

Next week's episode "Belle Chose" will be the last before a one week break.

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