Fringe Gets Even Weirder In Episode 2

Wednesday, September 17 by

Recap: Season 1 episode 2. "The Same Old Story." After last week’s pilot, comparisons to The X-Files were being thrown from every direction and this episode certainly isn’t going to do anything to fix that.

Story:
A man and an attractive woman are just hanging around in a hotel, when all of a sudden the chick starts to have severe stomach pain. After a minute, you can clearly see something squirming around inside of her abdomen, Alien-style. The guy, who was clearly preparing to kill her in some other horrible way before she started wigging out, drives her to the hospital and then takes off.

Once inside the hospital, our friendly hooker dies right before giving birth to a baby, which immediately starts growing and aging, eventually dying of old age on the hospital floor. They call in Olivia and her band of misfits to investigate and, of course, Walter remembers doing some research back in the day about growing soldiers in a lab and decides that could be the cause.

Walter goes back to his lab to do some testing and Olivia does a little police work, eventually finding the hotel in which the killer was staying and realizing that he’s the same psycho serial killer that has been stealing the pituitary glands out of victims for years. They make a very nice souvenir keychain.

The evidence eventually leads Olivia to a Dr. Penrose, one of Walters former associates. They interview him, and he’s too grumpy to be helpful, so they decide to go the mad scientist route to solving the case by using a super-advanced laser camera borrowed from Massive Dynamics to analyze the second victim’s eyeball and see the last image she saw, which is a bridge. They then use some magic computer program to triangulate where she would be based on the angle of the bridge.

They get to the warehouse of horrors and we find out that it’s Penrose’s "son" stealing the pituitary glands because he is the result of his "dad’s" research and needs them, otherwise he’ll age rapidly and die like the big baby from the beginning of the episode. Our heroe break up the party, shooting the bad doctor in the arm as he flees. Olivia chases down the son, but by the time she catches him, he’s already almost dead of old age.

So, even though the scientist got away, Nina from Massive Dynamics is still very impressed with Olivia and offers her a job, which she promptly turns down. She’s then confronted by Walter who asks her not to share Peter’s medical secret with anyone else. Since Olivia has no idea what he’s talking about, it just manages to tease us with future story line.

Review:
So, this is the kind of one-off episodes they were talking about when they said even casual viewers would be able to jump in in the middle of a season. This really did feel a lot like an X-Files episode. The sexual tension isn’t quite there yet between Olivia and Peter, but it’s definitely coming. More importantly, the science on this episode seemed even crazier than it did in the premiere. The location triangulation software seemed like the silliest part to me, but I guess I’m no scientist. Honestly, I hope they get back to investigating the bigger picture soon. These little one-off episodes are kind of fun, but it feels like it has been done. Unless they’re going to do one about the Chupacabra. I love that thing.

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