Dollhouse: Season 2, Episode 2 “Instinct” (B-)
After a strong start to the season last week, this episode is a more formulaic Echo-malfunctions-on-an-assignment installment. It’s still relevant to the long-term storyline of the show, demonstrating that Echo isn’t like other actives and that Topher messing around with Echo’s brain functions is getting closer to the ultimate event leading up to “Epitaph One.” Two episodes in a row with Echo married isn’t terrific, and while the maternal instinct is supposed to be strong, this episode feels like too much and it’s not really worth taking up the whole hour. Perhaps I’m missing something, but shouldn’t Paul have said “do you trust me” the moment he saw Echo and everything would have been alright? Echo’s been pretty volatile lately, and it’s likely they’d put her into the attic rather than keep sending her out on dangerous assignments. It would be nice to see more of the other actives, especially because Sierra can do more than just play the soccer mom best friend. There should definitely be more conversations between Topher and Paul. They serve as a nice break from all the seriousness and moral superiority of the Dollhouse. Senator Perrin’s quest to take down the Dollhouse took a big leap this episode, and he really needs to get in contact with one of the actives (or Ballard) soon to move the plotline along more. His lines were fairly predictable – “prostitution…human trafficking” – and his wife isn’t as good of a sounding board as she should be. It was nice to see November again, and to realize how she still has tracings of the same relationship with Paul in her natural state. Let’s see more of Victor and Whisky next week!