Review: Fringe 2.2 - "Night of Desirable Objects"

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First off, we have a new intro. It's Nina Sharp recapping who works in the Fringe Division and what their emerging purpose is.

Pennsylvania. There's a construction/road work team wrapping up for the day. On one man's truck radio, the local news continues the story of the six local missing persons. One man forgets something and goes back to get it. He senses something odd in a cornfield near a scarecrow and goes to investigate. He sees something on the ground, it looks like a blue hand. As he digs it out, the hand grabs him and pulls him into the ground.

Opening Credits.

New York. Agent Olivia Dunham is being released and Peter is there to help her. She had a fractured hip and so is walking with a cane. As they reach Peter's car, we see Agent Charlie Francis in a car watching them. Peter senses something and looks around, sees Charlie's car, but Charlie is hidden. Back in PA, the man underground ignites a lighter and looks at his wounded leg, then around the cavern he's in. There are body parts everywhere; some human, some animal. He sees a tunnel and crawls toward it when he sees a creature emerge from the tunnel. It's just a silhouette but we sense that it's almost human, the same shape and sound as Gollum from Lord of the Rings. The creature attacks.

(sea horse, light lower left)

Peter meets with Broyles, asks about the requests Walter has. Broyles says it should be no problem, but the C-130 might be hard to get. They talk about the mispers in PA and that it'd be a good thing to look into proactively. At the lab, Walter and Astrid are recreating Olivia's accident using a toy car and a frog (1.21 Gigawatts?!) to see if he can make the frog disappear. Olivia was missing for over an hour. Walter tries to explain his multiverse theory with branching time lines, but then stops realizing he's done it before, then gets very sorry for what Olivia went through. Then he talks about the consequences of visiting an alternate reality, then drops it. (We'll see later, I'll let you know.)

Peter, Olivia and Walter go to PA and talk to Sheriff Golightly (Charles Martin Smith) about the mispers and the Sheriff quibbles with the crew about rules of evidence, but they're finally allowed to investigate. Back at the Sheriff's office they again butt heads about this being a local investigation. Olivia starts getting angry but then stops when she hears a fly quite clear and loud, cleaning its legs. Peter jumps in and deflects the tension by talking to the Sheriff about this great lure he has in his office.

Olivia calls Charlie and asks for some help getting some information run through. He agrees to help after he's done running an errand. Charlie goes into the typewriter shop, gets the key from the becrutched proprietor and goes into the backroom. He types, Target Trusts Me Completely. Believes I'm Her Partner. Awaiting Instructions.

(flower, light upper left)

Olivia and Peter pore over the extensive but almost useless information the Sheriff's office has collection on the missing persons. Walter discovers the blue liquid found at the scene is a paralytic, interacting with human DNA or containing it; a possible mutation.

There's a light in the darkness coming towards us. As it gets closer, we see the dead body of the road worker. Then we see a shovel and someone says, "Oh no." We pass up through the ground and come to light in view of a mailbox marked 'Hughes.' Olivia and Peter are on the porch knocking when a grizzled man with a shovel appears behind them. He his Mr. Hughes and as he lets them in, he indicates he's been digging wells. Olivia's super hearing kicks in and she asks if someone else lives there. Mr. Hughes says no, but Olivia goes to investigate. A fairly tense few minutes of her limping along hearing a heartbeat and breathing, she finds a lab of sorts upstairs. When she opens a closet and finds nothing in it, Peter appears in the door behind her and she whirls around and shoots at him, just missing his head.

(frog, light lower right)

Mr. Hughes is in an FBI room behind questions by Agent Dunham. He says he visited the families of the mispers to try and comfort them. He had lost his wife and child, his son died after five minutes. Olivia asks for a blood sample and Mr. Hughes refuses. Broyles asks Peter about Dunham's gun and he says it was a misfire. Olivia is getting a check up on her injuries. She's getting dressed and we see a lot of bruising. Nina Sharp comes in and talks to her about a man who helped her after her cancer. She gives Olivia a note with the name Sam Weiss.

The FBI is going through the Hughes house. Agent Jessup finds an area with a few crosses and a Bible. In the bible is a news clipping of the death of Mr. Hughes wife and child as well as an inscription from a Pastor Lisburn saying it wasn't his fault and they are with God now. Peter tells Walter that Jessup thinks they may have been killed and an exhumation order is requested. The crew digs up the caskets and opens the wife's first, nothing obvious. Back to Hughes in the holding room, he has taken the wire casing off the lights and is bending it and chewing at it, shaping into something. The crew digs up the baby's coffin but there's nothing in it, but a hole has been chewed, clawed, blasted out of it and they see under the coffin is a tunnel leading into the ground. They go back to question Hughes but he has hung himself with the wire.

(frog, light lower right)

Agent Dunham finds Mr. Hughes hanging from the light. Back at the lab, Walter, Peter and Astrid discuss the findings on Mrs. Hughes. She had lupus, there was no way she could have kids, but still she had a baby. We flash back and forth to the Sheriff putting stakes in the ground wrapped in crime scene tape and the ground swelling behind him. Olivia talking with Broyles and her super hearing kicks on again for a second. Walter tells Peter the Hughes boy wasn't all human and likely had scorpion and mole rat DNA to combat his mother's lupus. Olivia arrives and they determine the boy must be under the house.

The Sheriff sees burrowing come toward him when the ground explodes and he his pulled under.

(butterfly, light lower left)

Agent Dunham and Peter revisit the Hughes house and search it. Peter finds a door that's been wallpapered over and behind the door is a nursery. They also find a store room/shed/lab with a large canine tooth on the floor and a cinder block wall. They move away some bricks and a rotting dog head before Peter goes to get a shovel. Olivia sees bones and corpses and looks back for Peter when a thing springs from the darkness and drags her into the tunnel. She and Peter fight it off. It's a nasty looking teenage boy sized creature with an elongated head ending in a gruesome muzzle of teeth. Its skin is pale and covered in blood and dirt. Peter is able to stick the thing with a broken shaft of wood and the creature begins digging away. Unfortunately it digs under the Sheriff's car which comes crashing down on top of it.

Olivia rides back with Charlie and recaps, talking about all the holes Hughes dug in the ground. She says she may not want to remember. He says it may be important and whatever it is, they'll deal with it together. Peter tells Walter he's going fishing, tells the story of a boy who bought his dad a special lure but the dad didn't go. Walter doesn't gather that he's the dad or the one Peter wants to go fishing with, but asks if he can go with him. Peter and Astrid exchange knowing glances. The lure he gives him is called Night of Desirable Objects.

Olivia is in the bath tub when she starts hearing bubbles, a fly, voices, sirens, seemingly the whole city. She goes to a bowling alley and asks for Sam Weiss. He originally says Sam moved away but then chides Olivia for giving up easily. He says Nina told him she'd be coming and asks if the headaches have started yet.

Charlie Francis is in the typewriter room, he types: Target Visted Other Side, But Remembers No Details, Please Advise. Response: Unacceptable. If She Can't Remember On Her Own, Then Do Something To Help Her.

(frog, light lower right)

The glyphs spell MIRRLR, which is a disappointing oversight. We want it to say mirror, and the glyph for L is close to the one for O. Is it really an oversight or a way for the producers to see who's paying attention?

Monster of the week with an inordinately long denouement. The monster was captured with 7 minutes left to go, meaning Fringe is really trying to get the bigger story more air time. I think they realize that they can't do Peter's new Proactive Fringe Division AND keep fighting mutated humans, but the transition will happen slowly. After a full week debating on whether or not I like the Charlie Francis mole, I think it's a good move. It builds tension that only the viewer and that character can see. The rest of the Fringe Division crew and the FBI have no idea, and that makes it juicy.

The problem the show will run into is trying to mix too many monsters with the larger Olivia, Massive Dynamic story. They are at times completely separate, as is the case this week, and may only cause each episode to feel short. Olivia Dunham and crew were able to help the families of the missing persons by solving their disappearances, but they learned almost nothing about the Hughes family, which seems more important to the overall story. Nothing tied Andre Hughes to Massive Dynamic or William Bell or Walter Bishop and if they get more stories like this we'll have to have two teams. One to follow the Bishops, one to follow Olivia.

This was a little repetitive and reminded me too much of "Unleashed" or "The Transformation." Yes this is part of the show to have mutated people, but at least give us a link to the bigger story.

Three out of five randomly chosen glyphs.

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