Fringe: The Ghost Network

Fringe, FOX, Tuesdays 9/8c

Episode: “The Ghost Network” (Season 1, Episode 3)

Synopsis: After something close to a bio-terror attack on a bus leaves all of the passengers frozen in amber, Agent Dunham’s team enlists the help of average-joe-precognitive-artist Roy (Zak Orth) to track down the killer. Using him as a sort of satellite radio, mad genius Walter and his son, Peter, begin to unravel the plot which involves Massive Dynamic (again), the DEA, and, of course, an ominous third party. In the episode’s final moments, we see that Massive Dynamic is in the process of resurrecting (?!) double agent John Scott for reasons that are not yet clear.

Review: More hypothetical science is practically applied in the latest episode of Fringe. This week, the plot revolves around the cliché of the tortured psychic who uses charcoal to express himself (didn’t we see that in Heroes less than a couple of years ago?), and Dunham’s search for the killer. For me, the episode was the least of the three for a simple reason: It did not offer us much new material.

“The Ghost Network”, while it had its moments, felt like filler: the overall plot did not budge until its final moments. Treading water would feel fine to me (I am, after all, a huge fan of Lost) if the episode presented us with any fresh ideas. Instead, we see that Massive Dynamic still has a hand in everything, the interviewee still has something to hide, Walter still has a solution for everything, and Peter is still snippy. What’s more, the climax of the episode felt rushed and familiar—the episode didn’t bother giving us any allusions to whom the guy might have maybe worked for—and did anyone actually gasp when he jumped in front of the bus? The show’s formula is starting to show, and that’s never fun.

But, as I said before, the episode had its moments. Its shining moment came in the first scene, with the bio-terror-like attack on the bus. That scene was excellently crafted—it was particularly evocative when the sounds of reality fell away to only the pulsing rhythms of the soundtrack. I am enjoying more and more of Walter’s minor tantrums and hysterics, and the scene in the diner where we find that he is more aware than we give him credit for was a nice touch.

Curiousities:

  • The first scenes are always the best on this show. Be on time for the next one.
  • The piano is a nice addition to the lab. I hope the lab just keeps getting odder and odder and thus more endearing.
  • Since Walter’s past seems to consistently catch up with him (Roy turns out to be Walter’s old lab rat, and the visions are the results of various experiments) maybe we can expect a flashback episode?
  • “You were supposed to check in before you came home.” What are you up to, Peter?
  • Of the recent Pattern-related events: “You yourself are somewhat responsible.” So far, Dunham has been the least interesting character. Why don’t they just come out with it and tell us why everyone else thinks she’s so damn intriguing!
  • After all this, I have just one ultimate question: When you can interview the dead, who needs to download their conscience?

Up Next Week: The appearance of a mysterious cynlinder triggers odd behavior and surprising revelations.

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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