WATF: Fringe – Episode 102: The Same Old Story

My “Well After The Fact” (or WATF) reviews are my personal analysis of content. Usually this means that I purchase wrestling dvds, graphic novels/trade paperbacks, and television episodes of genre entertainment on the cheap, through ebay or other means. And then I review them.

When it comes to television shows, you can count on several things. The first, is that the episode after the initial pilot will be a fairly straightforward ‘easy’ story, that further establishes the characters and re-emphasizes the general premise, without major trauma to the characters.

The second, is that eventually all sci-fi/genre television shows hit the same cliched plotlines. And filed right in-between the ‘amnesia’ episode and the alternate reality episode is the investigating a baby that becomes older (or dies an old man) quickly.

And here Fringe does it, in Episode 102: The Same Old Story

WATF Review: Fringe – Episode 102: The Same Old Story

Most of the help remembering this episode comes from: The Fringepedia

Basic Plot

The tease has a stripper in a hotel with someone she met. He is about to inject her with something, when she starts seizing. He drops her off at the hospital, where the doctors tell her that she’s pregnant. The doctors perform an emergency c-section, and they are horrified with what they see.

The first scene is Broyles in a committee, introducing his group. Nina Sharp from Massive Dynamics raises objections about every member of the group. Broyles seems to be briefing this group, and not seeking their approval. Though, he mentioned that he hopes this group will be more successful.

Olivia, Walter, and Peter are called to the hospital to investigate the stripper, who died because the child she was giving birth was aging so rapidly that it ripped her apart. The baby rapidly became an old man, and died shortly after birth.

Olivia and Peter head to the motel to review the scene, and Olivia determines that she’s investigated this murderer before, and that the perpetrator removes the pituitary glands from his victims, and the victims always number five.

Walter retrieves his files and remembers working on a similar project for the government to create ‘instant soldiers’ from embryos, but they kept aging until death. Olivia goes to interview a professor at Boston College, who worked with Walter, Dr. Claus Penrose.

As this is happening, another victim is being injected in a warehouse.

Olivia and Peter interview Penrose, who claims to know nothing, and feels only regret as to the experiments that he and Walter did years ago. Peter thinks that Penrose is not telling them all the truth. At that moment, Charlie calls to tell them that they found another body.

Later the killer is revealed to be Christopher Penrose and is the ‘son’ of Claus Penrose (but most likely a clone). Chris is in pain, and requires five pituitary glands to relieve the pain.

**SECOND FRINGE SCIENCE ALERT**

Whoo hoo, two in one episode. Walter theorizes that he could use a device to capture the last electrical images from the victim’s eyes to determine her last visual memories. To do this, they need an electronic pulse camera from Massive Dynamic.

Olivia interviews with Nina Sharp when she gives her the camera. Nina seems to be probing Olivia for something, or pushing her, or testing her, about the details of Agent Scott.

The team uses the camera to capture the last images from the dead girls eyes. Eventually an image from the girl’s eyes appears on the monitor, and it’s a bridge in the Boston area. They pinpoint the location where the girl would have seen the bridge, and move out.

At the warehouse, Olivia and Peter find another victim. Olivia gives chase to Christopher, and Peter stays behind to revive the victim rather than chase after Claus. Olivia catches Christopher, who is now aging, says he was a failed experiment, but Claus refused to let him die out of love.

Olivia returns the camera to Nina, who offers her a job at Massive Dynamic. Olivia refuses. Broyles tells Olivia after her conversation, that she should keep case details private, even to those who have clearance like Nina Sharp. Additionally, Walter talks to Olivia asking her to keep the details of Peter’s background hidden from Peter, but Olivia doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Great Quotes

Not that many this week:

WALTER: I’ve never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It’s wonderful. Have you tried it?

PETER: This is your car? Of course it is. So what, you got cars stuffed with papers all over town?
WALTER: Not just cars. You have no idea where I’ve hidden things.
PETER: Friend of yours? (displays severed hand in jar)
WALTER: Oh… I certainly hope not. Come on, boy, we need to get these file boxes back to the lab.

PETER: Walter, I’m with a woman in her mid-20s. She is going into cardiac arrest due to an overdose of anesthesia. Her heart just stopped.
WALTER: Do you have any cocaine?
PETER: Cocaine? No, I don’t have any cocaine.WALTER: Oh, then too bad. You’ll have to shock her heart.

Analysis

A keep things simple, give a few clues, but don’t change the game, episode. Decent, but MUCH better episodes to come.

The theme of every episodes always revolving around Walter’s previous experiments, begins here. Still unsure if its a good thing, but there you go.

Nina Sharp is very protective without being menacing. It’s a very interesting character. Not likeable or even hateable to be fun, but interesting. Almost like the X-Files Cancer Man.

Basic Questions
* Is Walter hinting at the end that Peter is a clone and not his own biological son. The conversation in this epsiode might suggest that, especially with Walter knowing what Peter’s abilities are.

* What side is Broyles working for. And why does he have to answer to a committee?

* Is Nina Sharp offering Olivia a job to protect her, to include her, or to keep her from being independent?

Characters:

Little or no character development this week. Olivia is a dedicated agent. Walter is crazy and had severe excesses in the 70s. Peter is the well-meaning maverick type. Nina is guarded. Broyles is very heavy in words and actions. Charlie is very loyal (to Olivia). And Astrid is undefined.

Overall Grade

It was an unspectacular episode, but that’s what it was trying to be… so… what can ya do… But as I said, better was to come. C+

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