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"Needs" is the eighth episode of Dollhouse. It was written by Tracy Bellomo and directed by Felix Alcalá. It aired on April 3rd, 2009.


When Echo, Sierra, November, Victor and Mike awaken in the Dollhouse with their original personalities, Echo leads the charge to free the Actives from their apparent captivity and escape the Dollhouse forever. Meanwhile, Ballard discovers the Dollhouse is closer than he thinks.


Active Client Alias Personality Mission
Echo In House Caroline Farrell Original Personality Liberate the Actives and find Closure.
Mike In House Unknown Original Personality (?) Control Subject
November In House Madeline Costley Original Personality Grieve for Katie and find Closure
Quebec Unknown Unknown Soldier Unknown
Sierra In House Priya Tsetsang Original Personality Confront Nolan Kinnard and find Closure
Tango Unknown Unknown Sally Bowles from Cabaret Unknown
Victor In House Anthony Ceccoli Original Personality Protect Sierra/Priya Tsetsang and find Closure
Whiskey In House Claire Saunders Scarred Physician loyal to the cause House Physician


  • After Caroline meets with Dr. Saunders, she speculates that Saunders is also a 'prisoner' of the Dollhouse. This later proves to be more-or-less true in "Omega".
  • This episode is among the first (if not the first) to establish a timeline within the series, with Topher Brink saying that the year is 2009. It is also the first hint to how long Caroline Farrell has been Echo, when she asks Topher how long she's been in there, he replies "Kinda... more." to "A day? A month?".


Main cast[]

Recurring roles[]

Guest starring[]

  • Teddy Sears as Mike
  • Skyler Stone as Jimmy
  • Emma Bell as Tango
  • Joe Wandell as Adams
  • David Law as Quebec

Background Information[]


Cast & Crew[]

Joss Whedon said about the episode: ""Needs" was one of the first episodes that I ever dreamed up. It was one of the first episodes I pitched. Tracy Bellomo wrote such a beautiful script and [director] Felix Alcala just made a beautiful show. Gorgeous to look at and well-paced. Everyone was just firing on all cylinders. And it was like, "This is the kind of story we're trying to tell."[2]


"[T]his is a very compelling episode – one I liked even more than "Man on the Street", thanks to the stronger characterizations."
IGN Recap
"This is a good episode, it’s an interesting, logical story. It has acting and writing to recommend it. But it still leaves me uncomfortable and without a bond to it."
The TV Critic Review
"All in all, this was a pretty great episode, even if it lost a little bit of its suspense after we realized this was all just Adelle's game."
io9 Recap
"Complete with lots of humor, intimate romance and twists and turns aplenty, "Needs" is another example of the potential "Dollhouse" has in its serialized form."
Airlock Alpha Recap


"Needs" a 2.2/4 Rating/Share,a 1.46/5 Rating/Share in the 18-49 demographic and a 1.7/5 in the 25-54 demographic. The episode was watched by 2.865 million viewers Live, 3.436 million viewers Live+SD and 4.392 million viewers Live+7. The episode averaged a 1.17 Rating in the 18-49 demographic Live, a 1.46 Live+SD and a 1.96 Live+7. Overall "Needs" had 1.527 million DVR viewers. 34.8% of all viewings of "Needs" happened via DVR, that's the third greatest percentage of DVR viewing for broadcast TV shows of that week.

The half-hour breakdown showed 3.51 million viewers and 1.4/5 Rating/Share in the demo between 9:01 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and 3.46 million viewers and a 1.4/5 between 9:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Promotional Photos[]

Notes & References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Seidman, Robert (April 4, 2009). Friday Ratings: CBS wins with mostly repeats, Dollhouse looks done. TV by the Numbers.
  2. Ryan, Maureen (2009-04-20). Joss Whedon on 'Dollhouse's' renewal chances, that missing episode, 'Dr. Horrible' and more. The Watcher. Retrieved on 2009-04-21.

External Links[]