>The Same Old Story
While not specifically addressing any of my concerns from the series premire, “Fringe”‘s second epiosde felt a lot more complete than the first. It still hasn’t quite hooked me as “must see” yet, but it’s still got my interest, for now. (It’s hard to recall that while the pilot for “Lost” was good, it was the fourth episode that elevated it to “can’t miss” status).
After a quick, “hey, here’s the premise and characters” recap (I guess Fox knew there’s be lingering “House” fans for this week’s story), Olivia, Peter and Howard are alerted to a case about a baby that rapidly ages from birth to death in about six hours. Turns out the case ties into an old case investigated by never solved by Olivia where women were picked up and then killed by extracting their pituitary glands. The killer went underground and now appears to have resurfaced.
And it all turns out, this ties into research Howard was doing back in the day on cloning. The problem turns out that while you could fast track clones, there wasn’t any way to pause the growth process once you kicked it into fast forward. Seems that harvesting the glands of the young women and using them is doing the trick.
Looking at the plotline on paper, it all seems really coincidental and it does raise a lot of questions. For one thing, we find out that clone boy needs the hormones from the gland in the worst possible way or he’ll die. So why was he able to drop off the radar for a couple of years? Given that he is killing people in such a way, it seems possible that he might alert some local authorities if he expanded his killing field. I was kind of hoping the story would maybe try to address this, but it never did.
That said, despite the huge coincidences involved in things, the story moved along at a brisk enough pace that it didn’t leave you much time to ponder these things. I guess that’s one of the benefits of shorter commercial breaks–less time for me to consider all the implications of things and start poking holes in them.
That said, the show’s success comes down to the trio at the center of things and this week, that’s what sells the thing. Seeing Peter and Olivia banter back and forth with Howard’s out of left field observations works. Howard’s comment about the seat warmers was a highlight of the story.
Of course, there were some other hints of things to come. One is the most obvious foreshadowing in history when Howard says, “You surely know the truth about Peter?” and then Olivia says “No” and Howard goes, “Oh…never mind.” Not very subtle, but easy to see coming from a guy who doesn’t exactly hold back from saying whatever comes to mind. And we had the whole “let’s borrow some technology from the big mega corporation” story and the offer for Olivia to take a job there. I have a feeling this favor will be called in later and it makes me wonder if they’re offering Olivia a job because of her abilities or because they’re afraid of what she may investigate and find out.
On the unanswered questions front–what’s with the three bodies on the table at the end? I couldn’t figure out if that’s the three victims we’ve seen so far? (Mark Valley, scientist dad and clone boy). Or am I missing the point entirely?