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Fringe Fodder

Fringe: The Same Old Story

Same-Story.jpgThis week starts in another motel room. This time it is not star-crossed lovers, but a hooker and a John. We have come to them post-encounter and "John" is getting dressed and packing up. He takes his travel bag into the bathroom and we see it is full of instruments, no not the musical kind. These appear to be surgical instruments. It's like a bag full of things from Dead Ringers. Creepy. He begins to prepare a syringe, presumably for the mushroom pizza-craving hooker in the next room. Before, it is finished, Loraine Daisy (her real name) starts screaming and thrashing. It looks as if she has something trying to get out of her stomach (Alien, anyone). He gets her in the car and whooshes her off to the hospital and dumps her there. We then see her on a gurney racing down the corridors. The doctors are asking her how many months she is. Her answer is that she is not pregnant. (For those of you that are readers of the Twilight saga, it is similar, but much faster than Bella and Lorraine is nowhere near pleased). She is wheeled into a room where they are attempting to take out the "baby". She flat-lines and they go in for the baby. Whatever it is they pull out causes the nurses to scream and back away in terror.

Phillip Broyles is overseeing a meeting about "the pattern" there are quite a few people in the boardroom, but the one we are meant to notice is Nina Sharp from Massive Dynamic. She is not happy with the fact that Broyles has decided to bring Olivia, Peter and Walter in on "the pattern", but Broyles sticks to his guns. We then see Olivia ruminating over Agent Scott's files to see if she can figure out what is going on. She gets a wake-up call from Broyles who tells her to gather the gang in half an hour and meet him at the hospital. She wakes up a grumpy Peter who in turn finds Walter in the closet. Apparently he is unsettled because one of the other patients at the hospital used to sing Row Row Row Your Boat all night and it helped him sleep. Remember there is a fine line between brilliance and nuts.

They arrive at the hospital and are given the back ground story. Apparently, Loraine was pregnant. The baby they took from her was growing at an insane rate, so much so that in the span of his 4 hour life time, he went from newborn to grandfather. The shrieks were because the baby just kept growing. Walter insists on taking them both so that he can do some tests, but first he needs a lab. But wait, they re-instated his old laboratory at Harvard last week. He forgot all about it. Alrighty then! Why is it that I can't see the word laboratory without hearing La-BORE-a-tor-y? Anyway he gets them back to the lab to run tests. Meanwhile someone from the motel calls the hospital to check and see how the pregnant girl is doing, so now ever so conveniently, they have a place to search.

Olivia and Peter go to the motel to investigate the room. He takes a sample of some orange goo he finds in the sink. Olivia finds something more disturbing. The motel sheets have been replaced with water-proof industrial sheets. The reason it disturbs her is because she and John were working on the case of a serial killer who used those exact sheets so that the blood would not be able to seep into the mattress and leave evidence behind. Olivia is totally freaked out that the girl had been in there with the killer that she had not been able to find. So, now it would appear that Loraine was not long for this world in any event.

Olivia tells Peter on the drive back that this was one of the first cases she and John worked on. The killer always killed 5 girls - no, not at once! But he did paralyze them with a muscle relaxer, cut their mouths wide open, and steal a piece of their brains through their nasal cavity (Sylar, anyone?). Turns out that the muscle paralyzer he used was bright orange -- Olivia was certain he would kill again.

She was right, he picked up another girl and takes her to a storage facility, which of course she is crazy (or desperate) enough to go willingly into. He distracts her and then injects her with the paralyzer.

We find Walter milking his cow in his lab. Remember the cow? Peter finds him and tries to remind him that he has a job to do, but he is way ahead of him. The DNA results showed that the woman was impregnated by a man that had the same kind of genetic manipulation that he was experimenting with 30 years ago. So, Peter naturally assumes that the good news Walter is going to share with him is that he knows what is going on. Well, no, but Walter does remember where he parked his car. I tell ya, he gets all the best lines. But in all seriousness, he takes him to a storage facility (hmmmmm) where he had left his car 17 years ago. His car is filled with all sorts of cool scientist stuff. Peter gets is up and running and they bring it back to Harvard.

Walter had deduced that he is looking for his files about pituitary glands, as well as research he did with a former colleague Claus Penrose. They worked on rapid growth together back in the day. Olivia and Peter track him down and interrogate him. Dr. Penrose resigned his work because he thought it was wrong and Walter's incarceration was the best thing that could have happened to humanity. So the question is, do you believe him, or is he just trying to avoid persecution? Peter doesn't believe him.

Charlie calls Olivia to tell her about the new body they found and she has it taken to the lab for analysis. Walter tells her of something they were working on during the Vietnam war. His department was tasked with a design to cultivate soldiers. Yes, grow them. The hope was that a baby could be accelerated to 21 years old in 3 years time. The only problem is they can't stop the aging process once they started it. Walter believes that the killer is the product of one such experiment. In order for the killer to stay young, he needs the pituitary glands from his victims to keep himself from aging too quickly.

So, Peter is absolutely right about Dr. Penrose. He is the one that created the killer, Christopher and it appears he loves him like a son. Dr. Penrose tells Christopher that they are almost there. They only need one more pituitary gland and then they can make the pain stop.

Flash back to Walter and Peter arguing about theories about recovering the last images that were seen by the dead woman. They are trying to argue it all out, Walter the dreamer, Peter the realist. Walter manages to figure out how it can be done, but he needs one piece of equipment that is only manufactured by -- you guessed it -- Massive Dynamic. So, Olivia goes running to Nina to get this piece of equipment, and electronic pulse camera. Walter takes out the dead girl's eyeball and uses the camera to somehow get the last image she saw developed. They see the bridge outside the storage facility, which is just where Christopher is now with his soon to be last victim.

Just an aside, Walter reminds me just a bit too much of Dr. Frankenstein. (or is that Frank-N-furter?) He was overly excited about the camera working. He might as well have been shouting "He's ALIVE!" -- yes, yes I know that's the point.

Olivia and Peter go to the storage/warehouse place all alone (natch). They find Dr. Penrose almost ready to extract the last pituitary gland. Olivia takes off after the sounds and leaves Peter with the doctor. The girl goes into cardiac arrest and allows Dr. Penrose to get away. Christopher is running, but also aging rapidly. Peter manages to jury-rig a defibrulator and revives the would-be victim. Olivia finds Christopher who now looks like an old man hiding, and aging even more each second. She watches him die of old age.

Olivia returns the camera to Nina and Nina tries to recruit her for Massive Dynamic. She tells her that taking a position would help speed her efforts. In the end, Olivia turns it down.

Peter and Walter are asked to sign some waivers standard FBI stuff. Walter agrees and Peter refuses. In a new bombshell, Walter tells Olivia that if she had read his file, she would know about Peter's medical history. She knows nothing, which for him is just as well because he wanted her to keep it to herself. At least now we know why Walter wants to keep examining Peter. Peter oblivious to all of this, sings his dad Row Row Row Your Boat to help him get to sleep. We then see what is presumably Walter's last image before he falls asleep. It is a room full of men in incubators. --Are they Christophers, or Peters? I can't tell. What do you think? Post any of your thoughts about the show here. You never know when someone else is thinking the same thing.

See ya next week.

Posted by Wendy on September 16, 2008 11:25 PM
Permalink |

I don't think the last scene was an image from Dr. Bishop -I think it was a scene at Massive Dynamics -growing soldiers.

-- 1. Posted by: Dee at September 17, 2008 9:53 AM

Oooh! That is a MUCH better way to look at it. I love that possibility!

-- 2. Posted by: Wendy at September 17, 2008 11:24 AM

Loved the episode last night! Just found out my friends from Maine, the band An Evening With are going to have a song featured in next weeks episode. Or the week after..coming up anyway..very exciting!

-- 3. Posted by: Katie at September 17, 2008 12:21 PM

I thought the last scene was the resurrection process taking place for John and others...

So far, I'm not impressed. This ep reminded me of a very early ep of X-Files called "Young at Heart" and Joe Ridley, the geneticist.

We need more Gene the Cow...
We need more cowbell... :oD

-- 4. Posted by: Connie at September 17, 2008 12:48 PM

"Have you seen this? It warms your ass." that was hysterical.

Decent start, my interest is there. I hope they don't rush the relationship developing with Peter and Walter, or Massive for that matter. And at some point there will have to be a project Walter did NOT work on for the government.

A little bummed that they butchered pronouncing a town's name...that assistant said she was from Dighton, MA, but said it like Dit-un, it's pronounced Die-Ton. Sorry, nitpicking.

-- 5. Posted by: CC Boston at September 17, 2008 1:41 PM

Walter gets all the best lines! It must be a fantasctic character to play. I agree that this episode seemed to have a lot of "seen it before" stuff, but I am willing to trust JJ for now...

-- 6. Posted by: Wendy at September 17, 2008 1:57 PM

I got a real LOST 'warm-fuzzy' when Walter started spilling numbers, in a pattern (fractals?). Of course the Dharma test this week is "nnumber patterns".

Broyles seemed surprised when Dunham said that Nina Sharp tried to recruit her to MassiveD (sounds like a rapper name). I thought that he might know Sharp a tad better, and expect what she brings.

The big question is, as you pointed out, is boy-genius Peter Bishop a by-product of one of dad's experiments, or just a chip of the ol' block?

-- 7. Posted by: DocH at September 17, 2008 3:18 PM

Parts of this episode were a little uneven, but I'm going to chalk that up to early-going jitters. I think they've got the characters and the pedigree to find the right tone/footing (watch the first few "X-Files" and you'll see how dramatically different those early shows were to what eventually came to pass).

Nonetheless, the bad-guy-aging-while-fleeing trick was a new one and "old-man baby" is a t-shirt waiting to happen ;)

-- 8. Posted by: mac at September 17, 2008 9:48 PM

UK Fringe watcher here (can you say 'Ra-pid-share'?). I get the impression that the writers are still feeling their way around the characters. Go back and watch the first few episodes of Lost and you'll get the same feeling. The possible downfall in Fringe is that they don't have the sheer number of characters that Lost had. That number allowed Lost to bring some characters to the fore while ignoring others.

I also had an issue with the storyline in this episode. If Penrose is a good enough scientist to create a genetically modified human, surely he'd have the know-how to artificially produce whatever it was they were extracting from the pituitary glands. Isn't it the same principal as an HRT patch?

-- 9. Posted by: Danny at September 18, 2008 2:49 AM

Danny -- you must be watching on-line at school. Sky1 doesn't premiere until early October, or thereabouts.

I agree that the Fringe character pool is fairly shallow right now. But it seems to be getting a little deeper each week. I think that Charlie Francis, Broyles, Astrid and Nina Sharp will get more backstory in coming weeks. More Agent Scott to follow too.

As for your premise that Penrose is "good enough"... I doubt that. He IS good enough to benchmark (steal!) off of Dr. Noble... but he's working out of a furniture warehouse/workshop... so I don't think he is the cutting edge when it comes to artificial hormone... he is just a common thief trying to make a name for himself. If he was 'top-drawer', he'd be in Massive Dynamic's pocket.

-- 10. Posted by: DocH at September 18, 2008 3:12 AM

I too, think that there could be a few more main players in this show, but let us not forget the poorly-timed (and written) additions of Nicky-Paolo and Maya-Alejandro. I am happy to give them some time to make everything work out in a good way.

I also have to say that I agree with DocH, if Penrose wasn't a hack, he would probably be working at MD, or running from them, depending on which way the wind was blowing

-- 11. Posted by: Wendy at September 18, 2008 10:31 AM

Wendy... Everyone... I found a great interview with the guys behind Fringe at

Two pages, five minutes to read and no spoilers. They really cover a bunch of our concerns about characters and the pace of the show...

(a good read!)

-- 12. Posted by: DocH at September 18, 2008 10:58 PM


Very cool

-- 13. Posted by: Wendy at September 19, 2008 12:24 PM

After a disappointing pilot, I have to say I thought the follow-up was excellent. It definitely had an "X-files" aspect to it, which IMO, is a good thing.
Not sure what to make of the ending, it did remind me of The Minority Report though.
I can see MD not wanting interest in Penrose, but he must be one hell of a scientist to create a genetically altered human. Didn't he and Bishop come up with it together? I missed that plot point. It doesn't matter. Even IF he stole the info, he still actually created it. Throughout history scientists have often "borrowed" theories of colleagues to further their own studies.
MD is after Dr. Bishop through Dunham.

I took the dream sequence Dunham had with Broyles as a "bad trip". A leftover from her LSD experience. I actually hope she is not pregnant after taking the LSD.

-- 14. Posted by: lost4ever at September 20, 2008 3:05 PM

I forgot to mention how much I am a fan of the "Fringe will return in 90 seconds" at the commercial breaks. Groundbreaking. This should be utilized by every show, especially LOST. I would love to hear "LOST will return in 420 seconds" or how ever long it is. But it seems that long if not longer sometimes for LOST. I hope Fringe keeps that up as well as the length of the breaks.

-- 15. Posted by: lost4ever at September 20, 2008 3:33 PM

I like the timed commercial breaks too. Seems like we are getting more show. I have all the video segs from the first two shows. Ep 1 packed 85 minutes into 95 minutes (10 - commercial), Ep 2 packed 50 minutes into 60 (10 - commercial). LOST normally airs 42-43 minutes every 60 minutes (17+ commercial minutes).
I think the 'bad-trip' thing is likely, but she has hated this killer for years for scavenging brain parts... now she finds out that he can make monster babies as well... (que?)

-- 16. Posted by: DocH at September 20, 2008 4:55 PM

We could really do with that timed advert thing here in the UK! When I was watching Lost on Sky, I eventually worked out that the advert breaks lasted 243 seconds. I would mute the sound, close my eyes, and count the ticks from the living room clock, thus meditating my way through the adverts.

Of course, now, we have Sky+, which is a DVR system, and I start recording the show, but only start watching ten minutes in, allowing me to fast-forward through the breaks.

-- 17. Posted by: Danny at September 21, 2008 9:22 AM

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