November, portrayed by Miracle Laurie, is a recurring character of Dollhouse. She is one of a group of men and women who can be imprinted with identities, personalities, skills, and memories in order to be sent into the world on engagements. Between engagements, they live in the Dollhouse with no memory of their pasts or knowledge of their futures.
Early character descriptions for the show described November as "a hopeful child in the house and everyone else you need her to be outside. A comforting, radiant presence, who tends to get fewer of the criminal gigs and more of the personal ones.". She was intended to be a recurring Active, however during the retooling of the show in the Fall of 2008, Joss Whedon commented that "November has fallen out of the mix, because the show simply moves too fast now for me to do what I wanted with her," also noting that Miracle Laurie got another role, Mellie. The sixth episode, "Man on the Street", revealed that Mellie was in fact November. The episode "Omega" revealed that her name before entering the dollhouse was Madeline Costley.
For information on November's true persona and background, please see the article "Madeline Costley".
November is a sleeper Active, as revealed in "Man on the Street." She is engaged as Mellie, Paul Ballard's next door neighbor, programmed to surveil and seduce him. Simultaneously, November carries a second imprint, that of an assassin. This imprint is activated by the phrase: "There are three flowers in a vase. The third flower is green." The Mellie imprint is reactivated by the phrase: "There are three flowers in a vase. The third flower is yellow." No mention is made as to the colours of the other flowers, nor whether November is carrying a third, as-yet-unactivated imprint.
In "Echoes", a viral nerve agent breaks loose across Freedmont College. November is called to the Dollhouse to be tested to find an antidote. However, the drug slowly causes Mellie to have frequent memories which render her, and the other Actives, DeWitt, and Topher mentally unstable. After the drug eventually breaks down on its own, Mellie returns to her apartment and is shown to be leaving her apartment and Ballard. It is hinted that she is returning to the Dollhouse.
In "Needs", November is one of a group of Actives who awaken with their original personalities but not their memories, and try to escape. Her recovered memories eventually lead her to her daughter's grave, which the Dollhouse hopes will help the Doll find closure and prevent future glitching. From "Needs" onwards, November appears to sleep in the same pod room as Echo, Sierra, Victor and Mike.
In "A Spy in the House of Love", November is again engaged as Mellie. But, like Echo in "Man on the Street", her imprint was tampered with by an unknown entity and she reveals to Ballard her status as a sleeper Active. November calmly instructs Ballard to review his approach to finding the Dollhouse before automatically reverting to the Mellie persona. Mellie is unaware of the lapse.
In "Haunted", Ballard has Loomis run November's fingerprints through the FBI database, revealing a number of arrest records under several aliases. The aliases that appear onscreen are as follows: Annabeth B., Polly Keller, Amanda James, Heather B., Jane H., Michelle S. These records vanish from the database moments later, confirming Ballard's suspicion that Mellie is a doll.
In "Briar Rose", Paul breaks up with Mellie and tells her he's moving away. Distraught, Mellie walks to a freeway overpass and appears to consider suicide before a handler picks her up and drives her to the Dollhouse. On the way, Mellie tearfully talks about trying to make Paul love her. The Mellie imprint is wiped upon her return to the Dollhouse. November later sleeps in the same room as Echo, Victor, and Sierra. When Paul infiltrates the Dollhouse, he opens November's sleeping pod first but doesn't help her.
In "Omega", November and Sierra are imprinted as bounty hunters and sent to look for Alpha and Echo. In a deleted scene from "Omega", Sierra and November corner Alpha outside his lair. Alpha starts to use the "three flowers in a vase" code on November, forcing Boyd to shut down both Actives with the "treatment" code. This allows Alpha to escape.
Later, Ballard agrees to work for the Dollhouse and keep its secret in exchange for releasing November from her contract. Introducing herself as Madeline Costley, she briefly speaks to Paul on her way out.
When captured by the DC Dollhouse, Madeline Costley is imprinted as an Active again (designation unknown). Paul rescues her from the DC Dollhouse and brings her to LA, where she is imprinted as Mellie again.
|"The Target" to "Briar Rose"||In-House||Mellie||Neighbor||Live next door to Agent Paul Ballard and find out what he knows about the Dollhouse.|
|"Man on the Street"||In-House||Unknown||Assassin||Kill Joe Hearn.|
|"Needs"||In-House||Madeline Costley||Real personality||Find closure for November's old life.|
|"Omega"||In-House||Fritz||Bounty Hunter||Track down Alpha and Echo|
Notes & references
- A file on November was later placed on auction on eBay, containing various sorts of information, including medical and active listings.
- It would appear that there was more than one active designated "November" for the L.A. Dollhouse, as Priya Tsetsang had asked Anthony Ceccoli "which November" he had meant when he warned her to "remember what happened to November." While not explicitly elaborated upon, it is implied that the "other" November also met a tragic fate relating to the war against Rossum. ("Epitaph One")