Fringe: Same Old Story

Fringe, FOX, Tuesdays 9/8c

Episode: “Same Old Story” (Season 1, Episode 2)

Synopsis: We’re back in the world of fringe science this week with FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) in pursuit of a man who kills prostitutes. His method? Removing their pituitary glands. Things get complicated—the science this week involves hyper-aging humans and anesthesia overdoses.

Review: The plot thickens. Fringe is supposed to be a show that one can drop in on, but I imagine this being much more rewarding if viewed in the long term. This week, we see Olivia has some major issues with violence toward women (see hyper-fast pregnancy sequence) and more and more is revealed about the relationship between Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Walter Bishop (John Noble). Walter is still the ever-lovable comedic basket case, but did anyone catch the look in his eye when he snapped at Olivia, and how quickly Peter picked up the pieces—immediately saying, “Okay, that’s enough!” It was a side of Walter we hadn’t seen, and apparently one Peter has seen all too much of.

What we didn’t see this episode was much of Broyles—apart from briefing the dynamic trio and his secret meeting with some honchos at Massive Dynamic, he was mostly absent. Nothing happened between he and Olivia (at least nothing in reality)—but he seems to have retained his complete 180 from the beginning of the Pilot and is now defending Olivia’s merits as an agent. This episode tries to remind us of Massive Dynamic’s presence with their employment proposition to Dunham, but we don’t need reminding. I can’t wait for build-up of intrigue around the company to pay off.

As promised, the show gave us some fringe science this episode—and damn it if it wasn’t cool! While I’m still not sure that I like how easy it is to get information out of cadavers, the idea of a hyper-aging serial killer was certainly an interesting one. While the idea of government-funded genetically engineered soldiers is not a new one (read a comic book), the real inspired stroke here was to make the hyper-aging mechanism the crux of their failure. And let’s be honest here: how fucking eerie/ awesome was the end? That sent chills up my spine—if that was the twist presented in episode 2, what do you think the twist will be in episode 22? I, for one, can’t wait to find out.

Curiosities:

  • Another post-coital scene in a seedy motel. What transpires right after that scene—the man leaving her on the curb of the hospital—could only inspire me to say one thing: The men on this show suck.
  • A mention of St. Claire’s again, eh? Expect it to be a major plotline in the show.
  • I was happy to see more detective work this episode. It felt more realistic—however, this fact was immediately undermined when Dunham and P. Bishop raid the warehouse alone… two agents with no backup. Where is the backup on this show?? (I know, searching for realism in this show is an act of futility, but still.)
  • That homemade defibrillator thing was cool.

Up Next Week: Dead bodies of bus commuters are frozen inside like insects in amber.

For more coverage of your favorite shows, check out the Control Freaks Archive.

Did you watch Fringe this week? If so, feel free to discuss below.


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