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Fringe Fodder

Fringe: Power Hungry

Power-Hungry.jpgWe wake up to an apartment building in Worcester, Ma. There is a man sleeping in a bed. We hear a voice, not unlike the voice of the beloved Mama Fratelli, telling Joe he is going to be late. Reluctantly, Joe looks at his flashing digital clock. His watch tells him that it is 9:00. Just another Manic Monday. For some reason, he has recently been keeping track of his temperature and pulse. He is writing it in a notebook, but there is not a lot of data already recorded. He leaves the apartment listening to the words of a mother's love "Tuck in your shirt! Put a comb through your hair for God's sake!" and of course the ever popular "Dara's son always takes care of his appearance." Love you too, Mom!

He gets to work and dons his work uniform. Joe works for a package delivery service. He stares longingly at the picture of a woman taken from his cell phone. His boss is just as kind and friendly as his mother. He comes to yell at him for being late, and accuses him of stalking the woman he was looking at. Suddenly, the work device he is holding starts to smoke and smolder. Nothing like the smell of an electrical fire in the morning!

We are taken on a lovely scenic shot of the city, accompanied by REO Speedwagon's I Can't Fight This Feeling blaring at us. Hey, it could have been worse, it could have been Foreigner's I Wanna Know What Love Is, no wait, maybe that would have been better. Anyway, Joe arrives at his package's destination. He is listening to the music on a Walkman, OK, maybe not the right brand, but definitely a tape cassette player of some sort. He saunters up to the receptionist desk, and lo and behold! We see the subject of his phone pictures. She is multi-tasking on the phone and wanting to sign for the package. While he is waiting he notices a Brownie patch pinned to her cork board. In an effort to share and connect, Joe tells her that he was a Webelo. Unfortunately, she just has it for the kitsch value. Strike One.

Random office guy stops by to ask Bethany if she is still up for drinks tonight. Which she is, provided he doesn't keep her out too late this time. Strike Two. All of a sudden, her computer decides to go haywire and crash! Joe decides to make a hasty exit. He walks into the elevator, just as The Observer (who gives him a sideways glance) is leaving. Hmmm... Bethany runs into the elevator at the last second. She needs to go down to the tech department to ask about them coming to fix her computer. She bumps Joe, who drops his phone. Courteously, she picks it up and goes to hand it back to him, when she notices her picture all over it. And he's out! He tries to explain, she says stay away from me and things start to go wrong in the elevator.

The elevator starts shaking and rocking then racing downward. It crashes with quite a force into the garage basement. It would appear that everyone except for Joe is dead. He is a little bruised up, but walks out in to the garage. The alarms and lights of every car he passes goes off as he runs off.

Back in Boston, Olivia is confiding in Charlie that she saw John Scott last night. What she doesn't tell him is that she was downing a bowl of cereal and whiskey, but you know, details. He thinks she is working herself too hard over all of this. Of course, she feels guilty, but Charlie wants her to try and stop thinking about it. Yeah, right.

Meanwhile back in the Batcave, Peter is playing the piano and enjoying the usual banter with Walter. Peter looks like he hasn't gotten much sleep lately. Of course, his capture and subsequent torture might have something to do with that. Walter thinks that he knows something about the man that tortured Peter, but he can't quite place it. Walter is looking for a reality check from Peter. He is concerned that all the time in the hospital has affected his mind -- YA THINK? But Peter, the caring and sleepy son, tells him he is doing fine. Um, OK.

Agents Broyles and Dunham walk in and interrupt their chat. Broyles tells them about a power surge that caused an elevator to plummet to the ground. Peter says it sounds like the cables were cut, but it looks more like the elevator drove itself into the ground, despite all of the precautions that usually prevent that kind of thing. Nine months ago in Tokyo, the same thing happened to a train. A massive (dynamic?) power surge caused it as well. Broyles and Olivia think it is testing for some kind of new weapon. Everyone packs up and goes to Worcester.

Olivia is hoping that they will have some security camera footage, but they were all fried. The engineer says that it was like another power source jacked itself into the system and double or tripled the output of the motor. The brakes were on, but no match for that kind of power. Upon examination, Walter determines that the passengers in the train were electrocuted before they ever hit the ground. They have burn marks. Walter uses Olivia's necklace for an experiment. There is so much residual electromagnetic energy that her necklace floats in midair. You know like those cheesy pen desk sets.

Walter has worked on a project like this before. The government asked him to work on a project that would turn a person into a homing beacon for carrier pigeons. Theoretically, if you could enhance the electromagnetic currents (coppertop?) going through the human body, you could train a pigeon to find that signal. As usual, Walter is miffed that someone else was able to finish it first. To illustrate a point he takes a heart out of one of the elevator victims. It begins to beat all on it's own while sitting on a tray, because it has so much stored up energy from the blast it received and Walter has hooked it up to a battery. Spooky. Consequently, Walter believes that it is a human creating the problem. He cannot do it of his own volition, but nonetheless, he is responsible.

Joe returns to work bedraggled (not bedazzled) and bloodied, only to get fired by Mr Boynton. After he turns away to get back to his work, Boynton's arm gets sucked into a piece of heavy equipment and it doesn't look like it is going to come out whole. Ouch! Joe, knowing he is the cause, backs away slowly.

Broyles finds Olivia in her office working late. She is researching Walter's human experiment theory. Broyles tells her about a handful of clinics that advertise on late night TV, (like the Ron Popeil) with promises of making you a better you. Some of the experimentation they found was horrific. Using humans as guinea pigs. He gives her a name Jacob Fisher. Broyles thinks this fits into his pattern very well. Aside-- OK, so when is Olivia going to get full disclosure on all of the stinking "Pattern" files??? Come on now. Alright, alright, getting down from soapbox now. In the midst of her work, the power goes out. Olivia gets out her trusted flashlight to take a look around. Lots of scary lighting and spooky music reveal that John Scott is waiting for her again. He tells her that he always loved her, never wanted to hurt her and that she needs to trust him. John tells her that she is on the right track with Jacob Fisher, and that she needs to find the subject before he does. He then leaves in the elevator. She runs down the stairs to catch him at the bottom, but the doors open to reveal no one and nothing there. Except a sign that says Maximum capacity 2000 lbs. This sign jars something in Olivia's memory.

She runs over to Peter and Walter's apartment to let them in on her discovery. Basically, the data from the elevator reveals a 165 lb weight discrepancy. More weight went down that was accounted for on the bottom. Someone walked away from the crash. Walter theorizes that the killer was able to unknowingly create a buffer for himself and therefore survive the disaster. It's like Bill Cosby used to say (paraphrased) If I am in an elevator that is falling, you better believe that I am going to try and jump before it hits the bottom. Walter is taking in her observances and starts to dance on the carpet. He does this to prove a point, he gathers up loads of static electricity and unleashes it on Peter like Thor, Dog of Thunder. "Wool socks" Now they really want to find him.

Joe returns home to his adoring mother. He looks like hell and she gives him some. He admits to her that he answered an Ad he saw in the back of a magazine about gaining confidence. He went to this place and he can't remember what happened, but all of this weird stuff has been happening to him ever since. Mama Fratelli, concerned as ever, berates him for wasting money on that junk. As the tirade goes on, Joe gets upset and lights start to flicker. His mother clutches at her chest - (pacemaker, anyone?) eventually collapsing dead on the floor. Joe panics and packs a bag to leave. Just as he is about to exit the apartment complex, he is stopped by Jacob (Lost?) Fisher and colleague. They shoot him with a tranquilizer gun and take him away.

In searching for leads to find Joe, the FBI stumbles upon the delivery place that Joe works for. Apparently, Joe signed into the building registry when he arrived. They go there to find him only to find out he was fired the day before. They do, however, manage to get his address. They barge in like stormtroopers and find his mother dead on the floor. Walter wants to know what other types of electronic devices there are at the house. As Olivia rattles off her list, he remembers the Walkman. Someone with that much of a charge would leave that imprint on a magnetic tape strip like the one in a cassette tape. Walter proceeds to ascertain Joe's frequency and trains 2 dozen carrier pigeons to home in on it.

In the Pit of Despair, Joe is being subjected to further torment. They have implanted wires and metal plates into his skull and are sending who knows what through them to him. He is in massive amounts of pain and is desperate to leave. Fisher will have none of it. He is continuing his experiment no matter what.

Walter's homing pigeons work and lead Olivia, Peter, Charlie and a redshirt right to Joe and Dr. Evil. Fisher's minion interrupts the experiment to let him know about the gathering police force outside. Fisher dons his lab coat and tells the minion to take Joe out the back door. He is going to provide a distraction so that Joe can get away. Nothing is as important as Joe (or should I call him Job) is right now. He gets Joe into the car as Fisher is being arrested. However, all this stress is freaking Joe out and his "ability" turns on the car and runs over the henchman. Fisher gets taken into custody by Charlie and Peter manages to stop a fleeing Joe with a tire iron.

Joe is tied to a stretcher and heavily sedated. All he wants to do is be left alone and to go home. Olivia tells him that he is being taken to a hospital, and she doesn't know when he will be able to leave.

Back at Harvard, Walter is mixing something up in some beakers. Olivia walks in as he tells her that Peter is returning the pigeons. He takes a swig of his swill and Olivia tries to stop him (who knows what it is). Turns out it is just milk from Jean the cow. (remember her?) He mentions to Olivia that she is not looking good or acting normal. Coming from Walter, that is quite a put-down. She looks as if she wants to confide in him, but then thinks better of it. But don't worry Walter guesses that she is upset because she has been seeing John Scott everywhere. (insert double take here). He doesn't know exactly what is happening, but he surmises that when she underwent the procedure to get the information from Agent Scott's mind, a small piece of it lodged its way into her brain. He thinks that when she sees him, it is her brain shoving him out as there is "no more room" in there for another person. She asks if it will just eventually go away. Walter has no answer for her about that.

On her walk home from the lab, Olivia sees John again and decides to follow him. He leads her to an underground room that is filled with files upon files of the things he was working on at the time of his death. Broyles will take this information and "add your own distinction to ours". It would appear that John has quite a bit of knowledge about "The Pattern" and has even more information that Broyles does. Go figure!

AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!! My brain is so full right now it is not even funny. How did The Observer know there was going to be a meltdown? Who is Fisher? Why didn't we hear anything from Massive Dynamic this time? When is Broyles going to give Olivia full disclosure? Will Peter have to get counseling for PTSD? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? What do YOU think? What do you want to know? Post questions and topics for discussion here -- let's see if we can figure this out together.

On a sad, (happy) note, I will be on vacation next week. I am bringing my computer with me, and I will be watching fringe, but I won't have the ability to watch it over again unless it is going to be online the next day from Fox. This means one of two things, either the review will be short and just hit the main points, or it will be late a day or two and be chocked full of detail. Sorry for the problem, but thanks for the understanding.

Posted by Wendy on October 14, 2008 9:14 PM
Permalink |

Still not feeling it. I'm more watching now to see Mark Valley and his character than anything else. Have you watched 11th Hour yet? That's actually along the same lines as Fringe/X-Files, but I like it better somehow...

-- 1. Posted by: Connie at October 15, 2008 11:33 AM

No, I haven't seen 11th hour. My brain is feeling full enough right now with Heroes and Fringe. Let's not even talk about the mush my brain will be when Lost finally makes a re-appearance.

I will say that this episode was not as exciting as the one two weeks ago, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

I am also guessing that this episode was a set up for more future events, JJ has a tendency to do that kind of thing, you know.

I just want to hear The Observer fall into singing some Sweeny Todd.

-- 2. Posted by: Wendy at October 15, 2008 12:13 PM

"What she doesn't tell him is that she was downing a bowl of cereal and whiskey, but you know, details."

Made me giggle. Been there, done that.

"Walter has worked on a project like this before."

This guy must have *the* best CV.

"When is Broyles going to give Olivia full disclosure?"

I'd like to give Olivia a full disclosure... ... did I say that out loud?

"... unless it is going to be online the next day from Fox."

Yeeeessss, from Fox. Just like how I get it here in the UK.

-- 3. Posted by: Danny at October 15, 2008 2:58 PM

Good review... I agree, not as good as two weeks ago in "The Arrival", but still a very good episode.

They really started bringing in the subtle humor too. As soon as Walter started shuffling his feet on the carpet - I knew Peter was going to get zapped on the ear.

What I really liked is that the storyline and 'arcs' are starting to take off. In ANY show, the first few stories can only give you "Point A" - the origin... but after a few eps... they can feed you Point B - C - etc.... That is what this show did - we saw lots of new vectors on our main characters (that's why your brain hurts a little - and a vacation will help).

Yes... who doesn't want to smack Broyles for holding back... but he did say he failed with his last science team... so, instead of putting Olivia in overload, he's weening her into it. Speaking of loads - Agent Scott's basement is probably going to be the mother-lode for the first two years of the show. Can't wait to see Doc Bishop sink his teeth into those files!

Two things to add - closed caption had Fischer (not Fisher), and the Fox website released Doc Bishops' notes (semi-canon) just after the show. The notes were about EM-guy, mostly, but there was also a Tarot card... the "King of Cups". I think that 'Walter Bishop' is based on this card.
---*King of Cups. He is interested in the arts and sciences and enjoys quiet power. Someone you would likely display paternal feelings toward. Symbols on the card suggest calm in the midst of turbulence, spirit and creativity and the balance of the unconscious with the conscious. The King of Cups does not repress his emotions and unconscious impulses, but accepts and deals with them. Traits - you may not understand him, but you can trust him. He has achieved something in life. Sociable, loving, sensuous. Intelligence combined with strong intuition. Enjoys comforts of life. Love of arts. Responsible and generous. In a positive environment (Tarot reading), the King of Cups can be; secretive, yet professional; empathetic and good in an emerging dynamic; able to bring ideas to fruition and imaginative; act as a concerned protector; moody, sophisticated, quiet and deep; romantic, poetic and a guardian of hidden mysteries. In a negative environment; powerful, but likely to double deal; display a crafty, violent nature; barbaric, insecure and immature; manipulative and will toy with others emotions.---

-- 4. Posted by: DocH at October 15, 2008 5:44 PM

As for 11th hour... They are calling it "Fringe for Dummies" (not my words).

click my name link BELOW.

-- 5. Posted by: DocH at October 15, 2008 6:02 PM

Thanks Doc.

The EW article was interesting. At least I don't feel like I am missing anything not watching 11th hour too.

I, too, am anxious to see what goodies will be found in Agent Scott's stash.

Your description of King of Cups does mesh quite well with Walter's personality.

-- 6. Posted by: Wendy at October 16, 2008 12:33 PM

Well I still enjoy 11th Hour, but I liked the original British version as well. Same can be said for Life on Mars.

Still sticking with Fringe and hoping it will turn me at some point. I do like the little odd moments like Walter drinking milk he got from Gene. I wonder if that milk was genetically altered...

-- 7. Posted by: Connie at October 16, 2008 12:39 PM

>> Connie

I hope it's Jean, not Gene. Otherwise that ain't milk!

Mmmmmm, creamy ;-)

-- 8. Posted by: Danny at October 16, 2008 1:21 PM

Who says Gene is a guy and Jean is a gal? Gene can be short for Eugene... true. But it can be short for Eugenia too (MY MOM!). Jean, in Europe, is mostly men, pronouced --- JHAWN ---... (van damme you very much).

In this case, true. Gene is a spin on Gene-tics...

-- 9. Posted by: DocH at October 16, 2008 9:30 PM

Rumor has it that there has been a whisper uncovered in Fringe. More precisely from the cassette tape. Anyone here know what was said in the whisper?

-- 10. Posted by: Hammer at October 23, 2008 12:59 PM

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