Dollhouse Season 2, Episode 2 – Instinct

Dollhouse has returned with another exciting episode. Instinct doesn’t do a whole lot of the over arcing storyline of the series, but it does do what Dollhouse does best – put Echo in a situation that doesn’t go entirely as planned.

In Instinct, Echo’s client is a man who wants a mother for his baby son because his wife died in childbirth. Nate Jordan (Kristoffer Polaha) can’t bond with his son and blames him for the death of his wife. Jordan realises that a baby needs his mother and this is where Echo comes in. Trouble starts, as it always seems to around Echo, when she takes too strongly to motherhood, thanks to some physical changes made by Topher’s programming. Meanwhile Senator Perrin (Alexis Denisof) furthers the enquiries he started in the season premiere and begins to investigate the Rossum Corporation (parent company of the Dollhouse) in earnest.

To be fair to Instinct, it is a good episode; it begins to further the questions that started to be asked in Vows and brings in the added question of matter over mind, that is – is an active’s instinct stronger than the imprints given to them by the Dollhouse. Echo, once again, confides in Ballard, who is now her handler, that she can feel the emotion of each of her imprints and that it’s not pretend for her. The idea that instinct can override the mind is not a new one, but it is interesting when brought into the realm of the Dolls, where they are supposed to be wiped clean after each assignment.
Added to that is the knowledge that not only are Ballard and Echo trying to bring down the Dollhouse from the inside, but now there is a Senator on the outside who believes the Dollhouse is a slave organisation and, presumably, will stop at nothing until the truth is exposed.

Instinct feels like an episode from the second half of season one, that it is leading somewhere the season is already building toward something, but what that something is, is not yet clear. One can only hope that the season doesn’t draw out the finale and kill any curiosity in audiences.

GS Reviewer:Brogen Hayes

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