Episodes: Fringe 2.06 – “Earthling” & 2.07 – “Of Human Action”
Original Air Dates: November 5, 2009 & November 12, 2009
Fringe, we need to have The Talk.
You’re a good show. You really are! You’ve got great dialogue, a couple of really great characters (Walter Bishop will forever be on my favorite list), and at your core you have an interesting concept (The Pattern and alternate realities going to war with each other). It’s when you decide you need to do a mash-up/redux of old The X-Files episodes where you go bad.
Much like the “Simpsons did it” line from South Park, just about every “Monster of the Week” episode you’ve had has been straight out of the first few seasons of that other FOX show with FBI agents. I know it’s hard to come up with original storylines for an FBI agent investigating the strange and unusual when The X-Files was on so long it pretty much covered just about every supernatural entity you could think of, but you really don’t have to do that! The Pattern is interesting enough on its own! That’s what fans want to see, and I suspect that the reason you’re losing viewers is because you bring up super hearing abilities in Olivia for one episode, and then never go back to it (we haven’t even seen the Bowling Zen Master for awhile). You’re trying too hard not to be serialized when the story you have to tell obviously needs it. At this rate, I would rather watch an hour of Walter doing random crap in his lab, so please go back to your main storyline. Thank you.
Just in case you forgot what the show’s about (because you might have during the mini-hiatus or after these last two eps), 2.06 starts off with a quick recap of the mytharc, even though the ep ends up having nothing to do with it. 2.06 seemed to take a cue from The X-Files episodes 1.09 – “Space” and 2.23 – “Soft Light.” The first of these was about an entity from space (clearly), while the second was of a man’s shadow that “ate” people. So the monster in Fringe had its own traits (it was a alien entity/shadow thing, living in a cosmonaut, and moving through people to absorb their radiation), but it wasn’t enough to overlook the obvious pull from The X-Files. When the alien passed through people, what was left was pure ash in the shape of the person. That was a very cool effect, and except for the first victim’s head falling off was done pretty smoothly.
The usual characters that I always enjoy (Walter, Broyles, Astrid) were still enjoyable. Because this ep was basically giving everyone a little insight into Broyles’s background, it had enough to keep me watching instead of just turning to a different show. Walter’s dialogue is always aces and entertaining as hell, and the introduction of that odd CIA guy at the end could possibly be a new foe for the Fringe Division (because the CIA are always the pains in the ass).
Remember that mytharc recap at the beginning of 2.06? Damned if they didn’t do the same thing before 2.07! And, you guessed it, this ep had about zilch to do with said mytharc! Following suit, this episode seemed to be a mash-up of The X-Files episodes 1.11 – “Eve” and 3.17 – “Pusher.” It was about a kid with mind control powers (Fringe twist: the powers were supplied by drugs) that was angry with his father for telling him his mother was dead all these years. The kid’s father was a scientist for Massive Dynamic, so that got the entire team in the MD building.
Walter was pretty overwhelmed this entire ep; mind controlling kid takes Peter hostage, and seeing how much Bell accomplished had him on edge. A few times, it seemed like the “Peter is an alternate reality Peter” secret might either be elaborated upon or get leaked, but the episode stayed firmly out of the overall mytharc. We did find out that Bell introduced Walter to Peter’s mother and that he and Walter were supposed to start a company together.
Turns out the kid’s father isn’t really his father, and his mother was a surrogate. For many clones of the kid, who all had the same name. When it comes to clones, you don’t want to get fancy and start forgetting who is who. Just call them all “Tyler” or “Eve” and it’s simpler that way. Coincidentally, the drugs the kid was popping to get his powers were dispensed by a Homer Simpson PEZ dispenser. But the real kicker is the ending where Nina is sending Bell a message on a computer older than me about how the “Tyler” project was successful. Perhaps this was a mytharc ep after all? Only time will tell (if FOX doesn’t cancel the show first).
Here’s the glyphs for the episodes and here’s the cypher to crack them!
Episode 2.06 Glyphs:
Episode 2.07 Glyphs:
Rating: 2 / 5 Stars for both episodes