Since we have "Top 5 Episodes" threads in most of the Boards for the individual seasons of Buffy and Angel, I thought we should have a Top 5 Dollhouse episodes per season thread too! Mine are as follows:
- Needs - I love seeing the Actives with their original personalities (but not memories) restored. It really reiterates how everyone has a core personality which never changes, and how our memories add to our character, rather than change it. I love the mystery aspect to this episode, with the Actives figuring out everything step-by-step and each of them realising their individual needs. It also has one of my favourite sequences in the show, with Caroline leading all the Actives to "freedom" with that beautiful song accompanying it. Just a great episode.
- A Spy In The House of Love - I love the layers to Adelle that are revealed in this episode, as well as the central mystery of who the spy is. The way the story is told in pieces, with us seeing everything from different perspectives is a great way to tell the story and I love the final scenes with Adelle showing Dominic no mercy and the way she sadly lets go of "Roger" at the end of the episode. A great look into Adelle as a character and a strong episode all round.
- Man On The Street - this really was the turning point for the series, with Paul getting closer to the Dollhouse and questions about the ethics and morality of the Dollhouse coming into play. I love Paul's interactions with Joel Miner and the way Paul tries to let go of Caroline and turn to the "real" girl. And then, that amazing reveal that Mellie is a sleeper doll! I remember when I first watched that episode, I did not see that twist coming!
- Epitaph One - I really like the new characters introduced in this episode and the way it gives us a glimpse of what's to come, while also filling in (some) of the blanks as to how we got to this point. Seeing Whiskey in such a state is sad but also very interesting, as it shows what happens to the Dolls if they are left in an imprint for too long (I wish we'd had more time to expand on Whiskey's character, there was so much potential there!) Also love the final scene with that beautiful song, as Caroline and her fellow travelers climb to hope.
- Echoes - This episode is a lot of fun (until it isn't at the end, which is kind of really dark!) but I love seeing Adelle and Topher all high as kites, plus it lays down the foundation for Needs.
- Epitaph Two: Return - I really love the Dollhouse finale. I think the characterisation is solid, I love seeing the fallout from our heroes "taking down" Rossum, I love the plot of the episode, with them having to return to the Dollhouse, Topher's sacrifice is heartbreaking but very fitting and I love the final song and the final shots of the series. A beautiful finale to a underrated show.
- The Attic - I love finally seeing inside the Attic and the horrors it contains. Dominic returning and helping them escape is brilliant, and I love that he stays behind to help Clyde free other people. I also love the B-plot of Adelle secretly recruiting everyone and the reveal that she deliberately sent Echo into the Attic to gain information. And, once again, there is a beautiful final song and that horrific but powerful montage of them all "dying" in the Attic in order to come back to the real world.
- Belonging - this is such a hard episode to watch but I love Priya as a character and so loved seeing her backstory. Nolan might be the grossest character across every Whedon show and seeing Priya finally take her power back from him is both satisfying and bittersweet, given the toll it takes on her. This is also an important episode for Topher, as he tries desperately to help Priya but only succeeds in making things worse. A sad but powerful episode.
- A Love Supreme - I don't usually love the more Echo-focused episode, but this one is very well done. The return of Alpha is awesome and when he kills and imprints himself with Paul it always hits me hard. Also like the return of Joel Miner and Adelle's increasing suspicion of Echo's true abilities.
- The Public Eye - I really like Alexis' small role on Dollhouse and I like that this episode shows more facets to the Dollhouse and what they can do. Perrin being an imprint of himself but with more ambition is a very interesting take (and a hint of what will happen to Paul down the track) and I like seeing a new/different Dollhouse. Plus we have the introduction of Bennet!