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October 13, 2015

Fringe: Night of Desirable Objects

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 25th 2009 4:50AM
Fringe: Night of Desirable Objects
(S02E02) "We're all victims of our own gene pool. Someone must have peed in yours." - Walter to Sheriff Golightly

Creature feature? Or relevant to the alternate universe storyline? Those were the questions running through my head as I watched this episode of Fringe.

What I believe -- at the moment -- is that all of the creature features we had during season one are somehow relevant to the overall storyline. Since things are slightly different in the alternate universe, perhaps there are creatures there who've evolved or avoided extinction that have somehow made their way back to this universe. Of course, it appears that this episode's creature was created right here.

Read my Fringe theories, and follow me after the jump for commentary on tonight's episode.

The story begins in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, with a worker being dragged into the earth and becoming the seventh missing person in the area. That was just the beginning of the horror of this episode, and I loved every minute of it.

I loved that we had another mad scientist who, like Walter, did something completely unthinkable for his son. He somehow created a genetic anomaly so that the baby would survive inside his Lupus-ridden mother's womb. But I bet Dr. Hughes didn't count on ending up with a slimy-blue mole-slug for a son.

This episode played like a one-hour feature film, from the opening Children of the Corn scene to Dr. Hughes hanging himself to Olivia and Peter searching for clues in the creepy old house and stumbling upon the secret room and cavern into the earth. I jumped OUT of my seat when the creature grabbed Olivia and started dragging her into the bowels of the earth. That scene was freaktastically awesome.

With the earth-centric theme of this episode, I immediately thought of the cylinder from season one. And when the officials were collecting clues, I could have sworn that in one of those plastic bags was a cylinder-shaped object. I could be totally jumping the gun on that, though.

I got a kick out of Walter and Astrid trying to re-create Olivia's car accident by setting up a mini scene with a frog in a car. "No matter what I do, I can't make the frog disappear," says Walter, who explains that Olivia must have been missing for at least an hour before she came crashing back through the windshield, and that he believes she traveled to another universe.

"I know that I went somewhere," says Olivia. "I think I met with someone, but the rest of it's like a dream I just can't quite remember." It was sweet when Walter said how distraught he was when he thought she might be dead. "I don't know what I would have done," he tells her. It made me wonder if there was more behind his words -- as if he might have blamed himself for her death.

Ok, so here's where we get the idea that people who travel to these alternate universes come back changed somehow. For Olivia, she now has an acute sense of hearing (which could come in handy in her life of work ... until the headaches set in, that is). I kept thinking she would have asked Walter about this, rather than seeking out Nina Sharp's contact, Sam Weiss. I'm curious to learn how he fits into all this. And when Nina was telling Olivia about him, I just wanted Olivia to ask, "Well, who is this person and why is he so special?!" But she just looked at Nina with that half-smile.

Hmmm ... on Agent Jessup finding the cross and Bible in the Hughes house, with the newspaper clipping inside titled, "Evaline Hughes and Baby Die in Childbirth, Cause Unknown." When I paused the DVR here, the top paragraph in the first two columns of the newspaper clipping were exactly the same: "The tragic deaths of Evaline Hughes and her baby were confirmed today by local police authorities. 'We have started an investigation, and at this point we can only confirm the two deaths,' said Police spokesperson Robert Smith."

I can't imagine it's an oversight on the part of the behind-the-scenes Fringe crew. I mean, they must know we watch this stuff like hawks and speculate up a storm. The other note tucked inside the Bible read, "Andre, don't blame yourself. It's God's will. Your wife and child are with him. - Pastor Lisburn"

Evil Charlie and the Magic Typewriter ... I wonder if it's William Bell on the other end of that typewriter through the mirror. Or maybe it's alternate-universe Walter. Or maybe Olivia. The possibilities are endless really. Any thoughts on that? Here's what Charlie typed:

Target trusts me completely.
She still believes I'm her partner.
Awaiting your instructions.

And later:

Charlie: Target visited other side, but remembers no details. Please advise.
Magic Typewriter: Unacceptable. If she can't remember on her own, then do something to help her.

And why would the Magic Typewriter be so concerned with her remembering?

Nice wrap-around storyline with the "Night of Desirable Objects" fishing lure, and Walter and Peter bonding over Peter's remembrance of saving up to buy one when he was a boy, so he could go fishing with his father. Walter is such a dolt sometimes. Doltishly brilliant. But sweet: "Can I come? With you and your friend?" And Peter responds, "You know, Walter, I think that would make the trip."

Other stuff:

  • The car radio playing "Poor Little Fool" when the first worker was pulled into the earth.
  • Evil Charlie sitting in his car reminded me of the bad Terminator in the second Terminator movie -- the weird-eyed robotic cop.
  • Olivia is a bit of a loose cannon with that gun, nearly shooting Peter in the head at the Hughes house. Peter's not letting anything on to Broyles, though, even though Broyles is suspicious.
  • That hole underneath the baby's empty casket was another freaktastic moment. "It's like something dug its way in ... or dug its way out ..."
  • Walter pondering this: "The grave of a boy ... who's not in his grave ..."
  • Another creeptastic scene at the end, with Olivia talking to Charlie in the car: Charlie: "Whatever it is, we'll deal with it together. I'll help you remember." Olivia: "I know you will."

So, do you think the subterranean creature/storyline is part of the alternate universe and/or cylinder storyline? I look forward to reading your comments on this episode.

[Watch episodes and clips of Fringe and other shows at SlashControl.]

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Walter pondering this: "The grave of a boy ... who's not in his grave ..."

I loved that - such a great reference to Walter's own situation with Peter and how Peter has a grave that he is not in...

September 29 2009 at 3:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In addition to the X-File scene, in the season premier, when Broyles is testifying in front of the Senators/Representatives, the lead Congressman says

"... Technology run amok. The old 'X' designation and your Fringe investigations have ..."

"The old 'X' designation" is a clear reference to the X-Files.

September 26 2009 at 12:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only thing thats still bugging me is how the "takeover" of Charlie only took a split second,but the opener took a whole involved proceedure (crushing of the face...hooking up the 3 pronged electrodes).How come?

September 25 2009 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to zkbzjm's comment

Technically, the Charlie takeover could have taken as long as necessayr, since Charlie may have been dispatched by the shifter by hand, replaced, hidden, and then the nurse's body was dragged into place and shot. Thus, everything would already be prepared when Olivia and Peter arrive.

The shapeshifter would have had to risk going hand-to-hand, but seeing its opportunity (and evidently being quite strong), it would then capitalize off of the situation.

September 26 2009 at 9:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How many times did they go back and forth between Boston and Pennsylvania? They seemed to imply that they were driving, and that's not a short drive. It's probably at least six hours, each way. And for a six hour drive, they sure looked rested and relaxed when they got there...

September 25 2009 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jane Boursaw

I totally have to put X-Files on the list for Jane After Dark this winter.

September 25 2009 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When Broyles was testifying to Congress one of the Congressmen mentioned "X-Files and Fringe division" with regard to funding and shutting down both operations.

September 25 2009 at 8:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There was good stuff in the episode, but nothing spectacular. There seems to be lots of storylines that are going to collide sometime this season: Agent Jessup's Bible thing, Walter stealing Peter, Olivia's trip, Charlie's replacement, Fringe Division getting more resources. Full review of the episode.


September 25 2009 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First off, they showed a scene from X-files in the opening show this season, about 2 minutes in. So I think we can finish with the 'nods' to X-files. ;-)

As for songs in the this weeks show, how about Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy" playing in the bowling alley as Olivia goes to find Sam? That crazy J.J...

September 25 2009 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bob's comment

Finish with "nods" to X-files, eh? Not when this show is trying to duplicate the edamn show.

October 03 2009 at 3:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm confused .... last week the shapeshifter wanted to kill Liv in the hospital once she confessed she couldn't remember anything ... now this week they shapeshifter's boss actually wants her to remember something from the cross-over. Did I miss something ?

September 25 2009 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Picviewer: The shapeshifter was shot a couple times last episode. So he's probably still injured from that. (He shot the nurse at the end to match the wounds)

Hank: Fringe moved filming to Vancouver this year. (They did a good job recreating the lab set). Last year the explanation was that the events all lined up over these two points in the north-east. It's unclear whether the line about the transport plane would mean that they'll travel further (then they wouldn't be able to use their lab set, which seems to be the only set they recreated in Vancouver).

September 25 2009 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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