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Fringe Recap: Episode Two, "The Same Old Story"

Fringe Rundown: Episode Two, "The Same Old Story"

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

Tennant_Love Tennant_Love 9 years
I love this show. Walter makes me laugh out loud, the character is brilliant. I was always going to watch it for my Josh Jackson fix but now I'm enjoying the show in general. Can't wait for next week :)
bunnychick bunnychick 9 years
I freakin' love the lettering!! No other show I've watched have the 3-D letters...I think it's fantastic. I too thought that it storyline was too neat (ie. really easily wrapped up) but I think as the season progresses it will hit its stride.
soulight soulight 9 years
I find the place identifying letters very reminiscent of Alias so I like it, mostly because any connection to Alias makes me happy. I also like the idea of conspiracy which is what I liked about Alias so I will be sticking with the show for a while.
sydneyalias sydneyalias 9 years
I like parts of the show, but I hope it hits its stride in the coming episodes. I think it's tough when you first introduce characters to get things moving, but I think it has potential to be a really interesting show.
aoitenshi aoitenshi 9 years
I really like the show. It creeped me out during several scenes, which means that I was buying what they were showing me. Walter Bishop is hilarious. I laughed during that seat warmer line too. I kinda got an inkling that there might be something weird about Peter during the first episode, when Walter checked his pupils - does anyone remember that? I thought that was kind of odd then, but it ties in very neatly with what was revealed in this episode. I didn't like the gore much though. I was watching while eating a tuna sandwich at the start of the show, ugh.
CocoChic CocoChic 9 years
Someone brought up last week that the apple seeds were actually human embryos and I noticed last night that on the frog is the greek symbol for phi. Interesting... I still love the letters and was glad they stopped putting motion on all of them.
CM213 CM213 9 years
i don't know if you guys know this, but there is an actual Massive Dynamic site love this show!
luckyme luckyme 9 years
I liked the second episode better than the first. I'm still not completely hooked, but I'll keep watching a few more episodes (again, pretty much strictly for Joshua Jackson ;) ). I second what ehadams said about Dr. Bishop's epiphanies. It will get very formulaic very fast if that stays a constant.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 9 years
Phil, they discussed the cow in the first epidsode...The cow is an ethically accaptalbe test subject in lieu of a human due to very close genetics.
anya_t anya_t 9 years
Really this show was good...hopefully it can keep it up. As long as it doesn't have a "crappy" season the way Heroes did last year...all should be well :-)!
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 9 years
I liked the show as well but I grew up liking the darker "old" tv shows "outer limits" " Twilight Zone" " The Night Gallery" etc. and this is the the new style of those types of shows way more modernized. I love Walter Bishop he is the highlight of the show for me as well as Lance Riddick who I hope gets a meater role in the future. Best line ever " it warms your ass" ahahaha! The one thing I hope they don't start doing is creating a bunch of fake "Massive Dynamic" commericials.
Phil Phil 9 years
I'll probably keep on watching Fringe week in and week out, but a lot of the reason is my unerring faith in the things JJ Abrams can do when given money and a time slot. It seems to me like what's been forced down our throats as a strong point for Fringe all summer, the strength of Anna Torv as a lead, was just talk because at this point in the show I have absolutely no interest in what her character is doing. There's a lot of focus on her character and her work with Mark Valley's character but I find myself wondering what Lance Reddick's character is up to, or captivated by the estranged relationship between Joshua Jackson's character and his senile scientist papa. I'm also really curious as to the extent of significance the cow has, or if it's just there to remind me of the flying cow in "Twister."
ehadams ehadams 9 years
I just hope every episode Dr Bishop doesn't remember some random technology or procedure which magically solves the case. There is no foreshadowing of this technology, and there doesn't seem to be any "rules" for how this science/magic works so far. It just pops up and saves the day out of nowhere...a dues ex machina moment. I'll keep watching but I don't really like the characters, the plotlines bore me, and I feel like they can't decide what tone they want their show to have. Is it kooky sci-fi? Is it a serious mystery? Is it a procedural?
Nitachequita Nitachequita 9 years
I love the actors, I don't mind the lettering, but the storylines have been somewhat of a yawner for me thus far.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
I wasn't sure about this episode. I like it overall so far so I'm going to keep watching, but this seemed a little cheesy. For one thing, they almost lost me with that whole "He loooooved me" dying breath thing. So ridiculous. But Walter is fantastic, and there's Pacey obviously, so definitely enough to keep me around for a while longer.
amloveaffair amloveaffair 9 years
Oh I also love the lettering, I think it's neat!
amloveaffair amloveaffair 9 years
I'm not sure how I feel about this show yet. I think I like it though. I'm not big on all the gory stuff, it could be because I had just heated up some pizza though. I wish they'd give Joshua Jackson more to say though. He seems a bit annoying with his 'wise cracks'. I love Walter too. He has great lines! I really hope this show does not get canceled. I need a show to fill my Tuesday nights with Secret Life of the American Teenager being gone. We all know Fox loves to cancel good shows [*coughArrestedDevelopmentcough*]
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
i couldn't sit through the 2 hour premiere (it's still on my DVR), but i really enjoyed this 2nd episode. : )
briggs313 briggs313 9 years
Love this show! I disagree, i love the letters ... they remind me of the opening credits to panic room which I thought were super creepy! Josh Jackson was a great cast ... he's super cute and his character is very intriguing! btw Anna Torv is related to Rupert Murdoch! weird ...
CYL CYL 9 years
I loved it...I love Walter..I laughed at the butt warming scene too. Did anyone else see the last scene before Walter fell alseep..looks like clones...I couldn't get a good look..but was it of the aging man or someone else?
PinkNC PinkNC 9 years
You made it 20 but I only made it to 10 minutes of watching before I put in a DVD. That show is boooooring.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
i can't wait to watch this episode. i loved the first 20 minutes of the pilot then hated the rest of it. I just don't know... it comes off kinda silly and I'm not sure i can handle another show with a storyline.
Bksuga Bksuga 9 years
I may be the only one but i like this show!! "I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful." that line had me and my boo boo cracking up!!!!
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