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Margaret Bashford is an old friend of Adelle DeWitt, an avid horse rider and regular Dollhouse customer. She is portrayed by Eliza Dushku and Brenda Bakke. Her story is told in the episode "Haunted".


An avid horse rider and a wealthy woman in her own right, Margaret Bashford grew up a cold, rather distant woman. She recalls having a nanny who put shards of glass into a cookie because she wanted to impress Margaret's parents by saving her life, possibly one of the many reasons why Margaret drew out her distant exterior. Prior to the Dollhouse, she and Adelle had already met. Margaret was unaware of her immediate family's problems. Her daughter Jocelyn felt neglected since her mother regularly ignored her, her son was having financial problems despite the fact that he was a stockbroker, she remained estranged to her brother before her funeral, and almost everyone disapproved of her much younger lover, Jack.

One afternoon, Margaret went out riding on her favorite horse while her husband and his friends were resting. Shortly after, her horse came back without a rider. She was then found dead with reports stating that she died of a heart attack despite her being in excellent health.

Character Development[]

Before her unfortunate death, Margaret agreed to a contract to undergo painful brain scans for the Dollhouse. Boyd disapproved of placing the imprint thinking that she might escape in Echo's body but the process continued. Her imprint was then placed on the Active, Echo, who woke up imprinted with Margaret's memories from the last brain scan before her death. She and Adelle engage in conversation with Margaret already enjoying her younger body and had hatched a plan to attend her own funeral under the alias of Julia.

Margaret and Adelle arrive at the funeral. There, Margaret points Adelle to her immediate family: her son Nicholas, her daughter Jocelyn, her long-estranged alcoholic brother William, and her husband, Jack. Margaret explains that she has been preparing them for more than a year for the arrival of a beautiful young confidante named "Julia", so her identity will be safely established. After the funeral, she first expects a warm recollection of herself when her family thinks otherwise. Nicholas believes that she pressured him constantly into his current career as a stockbroker. Jocelyn believes that her mother ignored and didn't care about her, especially her passionate career for photography. William takes the most charitable view of his sister, saying she was much like her mother (much to Margaret's chagrin). The family speculate that Margaret was murdered by her gold-digging husband. While trying to clear the air for herself, Nicholas attempts to seduce Margaret, but Margaret, horrified, resists her son's advances.

In her will, Margaret divided her fortune among her children and brother; her husband, Jack received only her prize horses. Although she had intended her gift to her husband to be a sign of her love, he resents not receiving any of her fortune and being burdened with horses that he could not have cared less about. He realizes that the family believe he killed her, which he finds ironic because he was left nothing of value. He throws Margaret out, thinking she is a spy sent by the family. Her son Nicholas was deeply in debt, her daughter had a career in photography she never knew about, and her brother claimed the two had reconciled the day before she died. Any of the four could have a reason to have killed her. The Active Victor adds to the evidence when he discovers that their prize horse, now Jack's, has been carefully doped with steroids and a masking drug. This makes the horse look very valuable now, but worthless for racing. The same drugs would have been able to convincingly make Margaret's murder look natural as well.

Margaret enjoys riding her horse one last time late at night, confiding that she would miss him most of all, when she is surprised by Nicholas. A Dollhouse customer himself, he has guessed her secret. He admits to his monstrous gambling debts and the two reconcile when Jack mysteriously arrives with Victor. Nicholas and Margaret hide and hear Victor reveal that he has discovered the doping. Victor storms off. Thinking he is alone, Jack screams with rage and frustration. Suddenly aware that he has been seen, he gives chase to Nicholas and Margaret. Mother and son escape to her room, where she formulates a plan while Jack beats on the door in fury. She will write a note (in her own handwriting, of course), accuse her husband of the murder she now knows he committed and back-date it to a week before she died. The note complete, she suddenly realizes that Jack knows nothing about horses and wouldn't have known how to dope the horse. Nicholas reveals that he was the murderer. With the family fortune in hand he can escape his debts, and with the note he can set up Jack for the killing.

At this point, Jack breaks the door down; he realized earlier that Nicholas had set him up and was pursuing him for murdering his beloved wife. The two fight and Nicholas is subdued. Margaret burns the original note and writes another. Attached, she has written an addendum to her will, disinheriting Nicholas and giving his share to everyone else. She has also written messages to her family expressing her love for them and healing old wounds. She finishes by giving a private note to Jack, who genuinely loved her, confirming to him that he was more than her plaything. Back at the Dollhouse, Adelle expresses surprise that Margaret didn't at least attempt to escape. Margaret admits she thought about it, but knew Adelle well and realized she wouldn't have made it to the airport. Sitting down to die a second time, she bids her old friend goodbye. Adelle holds her hand as the imprint is wiped from Echo.

Presumably in "Omega", she is one of the personalities which awaken during Echo's composite event and confrontation with Alpha, as one of the flashbacks seen during this event is Margaret saying she'd like to solve her murder.

In "Vows", Echo momentarily glitches to Margaret Bashford's personality before glitching to another after getting punched on the head by Paul Ballard.