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Fringe Recap: Episode 3, "The Ghost Network"

Fringe Rundown: Episode 3, "The Ghost Network"

The third episode of Fringe delivered a new mystery while nudging the overall story arc forward just a bit. I'm starting to get a handle on the basic structure of the show, and I'm not sure it's going to work for me long-term — it seems like in their efforts to deliver a less-confusing show, JJ Abrams and company might have made things too simple. Then again, maybe I'm just being lulled into a false sense of understanding so that three episodes from now, some major world-changing event can come along and shake things up. Who knows?

Anyway, to chat about the case, the revelations, and the ever-changing place of Massive Dynamic on the good vs. evil scales, just


  • So much of this episode can be summed up by Peter's line to Olivia about who manufactures the technology they needed to crack the case: "I'll give you six guesses, and the first five don't count." The answer, of course, is Massive Dynamic, as it always has been so far on this show. And what leads them to Massive Dynamic is, once again, an experiment Walter did more than 20 years ago. Aha!
  • That said, I did find the whole idea of the "ghost network" compelling. It's pretty easy to believe in government conspiracy theories these days, and the concept of chatter going on across invisible frequencies isn't actually all that hard to believe.
  • I was also relieved to have a case that was a little less disgusting. Especially after watching an inordinate amount of blood/brain surgery on House immediately before, it was nice to deal with "mosquitos trapped in amber" rather than dissolving flesh and the miracle birth of alien babies.
  • I'm not surprised at all that Broyles gave the mystery chip to Nina; I'm also not surprised that Massive Dynamic is still doing something-or-other to Agent Scott's body, since that was pretty well established at the end of the pilot. And yet, I still want to know why the two of them are in cahoots and how Scott fits into all of it. I'm a sucker, I know.
  • I was hoping we'd get a little more action this week on the issue of Peter's medical history/possible non-human-ness, but no such luck. However, we did get a look at another side of Peter, the one that makes him a prime target for spying photographers who tell him he was supposed to "check in" before coming home. I'm hoping we can get more into his story soon, because as much as I love him being the wisecracking guy, he doesn't have much of a to be around (other than, apparently, his wide-ranging knowledge of poker psychology).
  • I wrote down a bunch of Walter quotes last night, and they all look ridiculous typed out, but John Noble is really selling the whole "crazy, drugged-up, brilliant, ethically questionable doctor" thing. "Am I required to keep him alive?" "That would probably be best."
  • But, um, for real, he can also do brain surgery?
  • I like that Walter's lab assistant character is getting some lines, but seriously, even I knew that was the Latin word for "hour," and I've never taken Latin!

How is this week's episode sitting with you? Do you like that most storylines are wrapped up within the hour, or do you wish the show kept you guessing? And what was your favorite Walter-ism of the week?

Photos courtesy of Fox

ehadams ehadams 9 years
Just watched this on my dvr. I can't believe no one commented on the huge plot inconsistency in this episode. In the beginning, the guy can see the future- he sees the event happening (twice- the bus, and the girl's hands) BEFORE it happens. This is precognition. Then halfway through the episode they change it to telepathy, which is hearing/seeing someone else's thoughts. Except the person he is connected with wouldn't see the event before it happened, so this makes no sense. It is huge plot holes like this in every episode that have turned me off from this show entirely. Also, I'm tired of the Doctor pulling miracles out of his memory whenever they are needed. It is already old on the third episode.
DCStar DCStar 9 years
I loved the part in the diner when Walter was like "It was something important. I've decided on the pancakes. Blueberry." HAH. Also loved the line about "do I have to keep him alive?"
sydneyalias sydneyalias 9 years
I'm agreeing with just about everyone. I really want this show to be good, but it needs to step it up! I love JJ and Alias, but we need some more interesting plots. I like some of what they're doing, but it's missing a little something to make me stick with it. And the comment about Anna Torv scowling...I never thought of it before, but yeah, that's pretty much her character at this point. They really need to switch it up.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
I think it's so bizzare it's silly.
fireyelectra fireyelectra 9 years
As far as dead languages with which to communicate over a ghost network are concerned, Latin is probably the worst choice. A lot of people study Latin. I would have picked something like Aramaic, or maybe a dead Native American language. Something with ABSOLUTELY NO SPEAKERS LEFT! Some secret terrorist operations are really, really stupid . . .
Ikandy Ikandy 9 years
I felt the same way TLS...I don't want EVERYTHING 2 b connected to Massive Dynamics...the show will get old FAST...
sean-bennett sean-bennett 9 years
Fringe is stretching the imagination a little bit. It is on at the same time as Criminal Minds here so I'm afraid I'll have to go back to Special Agent Rossi. Fringe - It Sucks
luckyP luckyP 9 years
I love the show but this episode was not as good as the two previous ones. It was a slow episode, but I think next week it will be good and pick up again. And an added bonus is of course Joshua Jackson.
susanec susanec 9 years
I'm having fun with it because I miss sci-fi and am a sucker for Alias but I'm not convinced that making Walter a chemist was the way to go if they're going to keep having him working on patients. I'm a science nerd though...
luckyme luckyme 9 years
Blah. It's losing me. I'll give it one (maybe two) more episodes before it comes off of my DVR.
geohiker geohiker 9 years
I'm still excited about the possibilities in this show. (And, I love the floating letters announcing locations - very cool!) Walter is definitely the best character, but I'm hoping they will be able to flesh out the other characters more as the series progresses.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
I feel the same way CYL - I really WANT to like the show and have it become the next totally addictive JJ Abrams project, but so far it's a little flat. I'm hoping we'll just have to wait a little longer.
Nexxus1 Nexxus1 9 years
OK, I'll admit it. I love this show, though Joshua Jackson may have SOMETHING to do with that! I agree that it is a bit predictable, but it IS only the third episode, so a curve ball can be thrown at any moment. And besides, my husband likes this show too (and the only thing he watches is UFC), so it's something we can watch together.
CYL CYL 9 years
I agree TLS girl! It is getting kind of boring when every answer is something Walter has done years and years ago...or Massive Dynamic as the answer to everything... I would love to love this I hope the show gives us more soon..
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
Here's what I need: a plot line where the answer is NOT readily available from old files and more of Pacey's, I mean Peter's, story. I was watching with my BF last night, and when Walter miraculously found the answer from an old experiment, the first thing out of my mouth was "I wonder if the tool is manufactured only by Massive Dynamic." I was actually pleasantly surprised to find that it was stuck in the wall of their old house. Made for a nice change of pace. I just want them to switch it up a little bit I guess, although I'm going to keep watching either way because I like the Peter and Walter characters. One more thing, I know this was mentioned last week, but I'm more and more questioning why there was so much buzz about Anna Torv, since she mostly seems to wander around scowling.
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