Dollhouse Season 2 Episode 2 (10/02/09)
Topher has really outdone himself this time - at least, that's what he tells Ballard. He has managed to trick the brain into changing the body's physiology - the implications are endless! He is pure genius!
What is it exactly that Topher has done for the latest engagement? Cut to Echo rousing in the middle of the night to check on a baby, where she proceeds to nurse that baby from her own breast! Topher got Echo to think she was the mother of that baby, so much so that she produced milk! But the maternal instinct he imprinted is even stronger than he could ever imagine.
Echo believes she is Emily Jordan, wife to Nate, and mother to Jack. She is disconcerted that her husband has been rather secretive lately, and is worried that he is not trying hard enough to bond with their son. She expresses these concerns to Sierra, who has apparently been hired as another active for this engagement (though it's not clear why the client would pay for an extra friend doll). Echo thinks Nate is having an affair, or maybe doing something illegal. She is suspicious about a black van that is parked outside of the house. Sierra just attributes her paranoia to sleep deprivation, since she is a new mother after all.
Echo decides to see if her husband is hiding something from her and snoops through his office. Later that evening, Nate notices the door to office is ajar. An irate Echo is waiting for him in the kitchen with hundreds of photos of Nate and another woman spread across the table. The woman in the photos is clearly Nate's wife and the mother of his child, but Echo believes she is this woman, so Nate explains that this is a woman from his past who died. Echo apologizes for overreacting and they both suggest she get a good night's sleep. However in the middle of the night, Echo awakens to hear Nate talking on the phone, saying that this situation is not working out, and that he'll get rid of her and get rid of the baby.
Echo tries to escape with the baby, but Jack has made it impossible for her to leave. Echo calls Sierra to pick them up. However, when Sierra pulls into the driveway, the mysterious black van pulls in behind her. We see Paul Ballard step out of the van, and Echo watches in horror as Sierra steps in, presumably for a treatment. In sheer panic, Echo rushes upstairs to the nursery. Ballard follows close behind, knocking on the door, asking Echo if she wants a treatment. He hears her talking in the nursery, but when he opens the door, he realizes it was a recording and they have escaped through the window and away via Sierra's car.
Echo goes to the police for help protecting her and her baby. They take her down to the station and she explains what she had heard on the phone. However Nate shows up at station and tells the police that the baby is his, but that Echo is not his wife. Ballard drags away a hysterical Echo who fights and screams for her son the whole way back to the dollhouse.
November has returned to the dollhouse for her diagnostic tests, since she has been released from her contract as an active doll (though Adelle has not been forthcoming in explaining why she was released years earlier than specified). She is surprised to see the hysterical display of emotion from Echo and wonders aloud to Ballard if she experienced anything so real. Guiltily, Ballard denies any knowledge of her experience as a doll. November assures Ballard that Echo's pain will go away - she knows from personal experience, as she reveals that she had lost her own child, which had led her to the dollhouse originally.
Topher is also convinced that Echo's pain will go away - as soon as he can deliver her treatment - as soon as she wakes up from her tranquilizer. After her treatment, just like always, Echo asks if she fell asleep. Topher replies in his usual way, and Echo punches him square in the face! Her maternal instinct could not be forgotten!
Adelle calls Nate to warn him that Echo has escaped and would likely be trying to get back to Jack. Nate rushes upstairs in terror to find an empty crib. At the bottom of the stairs, Echo stands in the foyer, holding the baby and a knife. She earnestly asks Nate why he would take the baby away from her. Nate explains to her that she's not his mother - that Jack's mother had died during childbirth and he had tried to replace her with Echo, since he blamed the baby for his wife's death and couldn't care for him on his own. She hears everything he is saying, yet she still feels like the baby is her own. Ultimately, she listens, hands over the baby, drops the knife, and walks out the door.
Ballard apologizes to Echo for putting her through this and offers her a treatment to make everything go away. Echo knows the feelings, the experiences, are not hers, but all the same, she'd rather have them than feel nothing at all.
In the meantime, Senator Perrin continues his investigation into Dr. Rossum's affairs. He's unsure of whether he made the right move, going forward with the press conference, when he didn't have any concrete evidence. He's not interested in exposing Rossum for money laundering, but knows that he has crossed an ethical line. This is something deeply personal. The doorbell rings and his wife returns with some documents that were delivered anonymously. The files include evidence of prostitution, human trafficking, and maybe even murder. And apparently, the files also included a name attached to these affairs - something that may break the investigation wide open...