After last week's super-sized premiere of Fringe, Tuesday's episode was the first chance to see what the show might look like on a weekly basis. Well, sort of. There was a lot of clunky recap in this episode, most of it crammed into the first 10 minutes. ("And now we're working with Walter Bishop, a scientist with questionable ethics who up until recently was institutionalized in a mental facility." "Yes, and also with his son, a college dropout with an IQ of 190.") It's a problem a lot of second episodes run into, but I still did a lot of eyerolling at the beginning.
The episode picked up after that, though, moving to the next case in The Pattern and some revelations about Walter Bishop's science and Peter Bishop's very being. To see what I made of it all and add your thoughts, just
- So, most interesting things first: Let's talk about Peter's "medical history." Walter has altered him somehow — but how? Is he a clone? That was my guess, going off the closing image, but I'm sure we'll discover any number of weird, quasi-scientific processes that could lead to the creation of a wisecracking, gambling 20-something guy. The most interesting things to me about it right now are a) that Peter doesn't know (even the serial killer/rapidly aging guy knew what was happening to him), and b) that, because the records were gone from the file, presumably someone else does know.
- Meanwhile, the actual science case wasn't quite as interesting as I wanted it to be — and I think that's because the pieces fit together too neatly. There's an obvious link to Walter's work, and then to his old partner, and then to the killer, and the actual science seemed relatively straightforward save for that one special Massive Dynamic camera. Which is just awfully convenient, no? I hope that the show has something else up its sleeve beyond a formula that's essentially "science-y thing happens; Walter Bishop solves it by drawing on his work from back in the day."
- What did creep me out was the scene of Olivia screaming and hallucinating that she, too, would birth a surprise baby. I guess we know by now that Agent Scott didn't have that particular affliction, but there's obviously still something fishy in his history.
- I'm really enjoying the wackiness of Walter Bishop. Maybe it will start to wear on me eventually, but right now, lines like "Do you have any cocaine?" and "Even condoms are not 100 percent effective; you two should be aware of this" are cracking me up. And hooray for a reappearance of the cow.
- My favorite Walter line deserves its own bullet point: "I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful."
- Massive Dynamic: Good? Evil? Somewhere in between? I'm a sucker for a conspiracy, and I want to know how much Nina Sharp knows about The Pattern. Why are she and Broyles in cahoots? Why is she offering Olivia a job? My sense is that Nina may be a double agent of sorts, working both the good and bad sides of this science.
- Here's the No. 1 thing I hate: those big, place-identifying letters. I know people will disagree, but they just look silly to me. Also, I would like the opening credits a lot more if they weren't throwing all these words at us, like "Science! Cloning! Time travel! Smart-people stuff!"
What did you think? Are you hooked, or was this episode tough to get into? Are you liking the procedural elements, or do you want more of a continuing story? The show has a lot of potential, but it hasn't totally come together for me yet. You?
Photos courtesy of Fox