Review: Fringe - Earthling
by Jane Boursaw, posted Nov 5th 2009 11:20PM
(S02E06) "Why is this case so important to you?" - Olivia to Agent Broyles
I said in my preview earlier today that I hoped this episode of Fringe wouldn't be a stand-alone creature feature. Unfortunately, that's exactly what it was. No William Bell. No Nina Sharp. No Pattern. No alternate universe. And no Observer. At least, not front and center. Did anyone see him?
Instead, we got a little diversion into the life of Phillip Broyles; how he got so involved in a case four years ago that it cost him his marriage and family. I feel for the guy, but I'm not that interested in his life. As for the Shadow, was this an X-Files knock-off? You can tell me in the comments after the jump.
As an avid Art Bell listener from way back, I couldn't help but think about The Shadow People that used to be a frequent topic on his radio show. As I recall, the Shadow People were beings passing through from one inter-dimensional spot to another. Kids told stories of seeing lines of Shadow People walking past their door at night, heading ... somewhere ...
In this case, though, the shadow person was a being from outer space, brought back to earth by a Russian cosmonaut who was also serving as the alien's host. The alien was able to project itself out of the guy's body and grab energy from other people, who then turned into dust. Really nice special effects on that score. Half a head -- yes.
As the fringe crew investigated the case, we got a look into the life of Agent Broyles. We see him playing peekaboo with a kid sitting at the table next to him in a restaurant. We hear the story about how this case broke up his marriage four years ago. We see him going to tell his ex-wife that the case is finally solved. We see a departmental struggle between the fringe team and the CIA. Take the creepy alien factor out of it, and this could have been any other police procedural.
Well, maybe not. We always have Walter and his Walter-isms, though not too many of those tonight. We learned that he thinks of complicated formulas as female, calling this particular one a "sly temptress," as he tries to decipher it with tinker toys while listening to opera music. And he's still into licorice. He's still our Walter.
One thing I didn't understand, though: When Broyles shot the host, it seemed like the bullet must have killed him (and thus killed the alien). But later, after talking with the guy outside his ex-wife's home, it appeared that the host started breathing again and was then shot into space, taking the alien with him. Any theories on that?