"Night of Desirable Objects" (2.02)

The second episode of the new season is a major descent from the premiere, in my opinion, which really disappoints me. I don't understand why, considering the fact that this is only the second episode into the new season, it was decided to air a "stand-alone" episode like this that has absolutely nothing to do with the overarching story, but at the same time, it is an incredibly entertaining episode, and I do have to give it some credit for that. Admittedly, however, throughout some of the episode, I thought that it was doing the big "no-no" in my book and recycling anX-Files idea, but, as I was happy to see, it goes in a much different direction, which I will discuss later in this entry. As I always do, though, I warn you that if you have not seen this episode yet but would like to see it, then please, don't read any further, as this entry does contain a fair amount of spoilers.

"Night of Desirable Objects" opens in a much similar fashion as typical "monster-of-the-week" shows do, such as the X-Files (not that I'm drawing comparisons, because trust me, if you're trying to tell me that the two are very different shows and to therefore stop reaching for comparisons, then you're preaching to the choir) or even House (except a House episode can't exactly be given the title "monster-of-the-week" unless you want to consider whatever the bacteria, virus, etc. of the episode is as a "monster"). It opens with people that we don't know, people that we've never seen before on the show. We don't see Olivia or Peter or Walter or anyone else, just these people, and after the show's title sequence ends, then we see how our beloved team becomes involved in what we see happen before the title sequence began. Like I said, I was very disappointed. There are no shape-shifters (except for a little bit of Charlie's doppelganger), and there is almost nothing relating to the Other Side (again, except for a little bit of Charlie's doppelganger, and also for us seeing a little bit of Olivia's side effects of having crossed over).

Again, this is something that I don't quite appreciate, because after the mythology-infested premiere that we got last week, this didn't give us much to follow up on, and for that reason, I'm not going to talk much about the episode's primary plot line, which involves a man who fused scorpion DNA with the DNA of his unborn son in order to protect it from the mother's Lupus, which would have otherwise attacked the child and killed it. Ultimately, what happened is the baby clawed its way out of its casket and lived underground, attacking and thereby killing its "prey" with a blue liquid which paralyzes it. What I was referring to earlier in regards to my initial fear is that when the paralyzing substance is mentioned, I immediately thought of the X-Files episode 6.21 titled "Field Trip," in which some sort of underground plant life poisons and paralyzes its prey and then devours them while they are in a dream state. Fortunately, it doesn't go down that road, not even close. The road that it does go down involves some pretty interesting stuff, but there are two reasons why it disappointed me, one of which I already talked about.

The other reason why it disappointed me is because it kind of reminded me of "The No-Brainer" last season, because in "The No-Brainer," Paul Dempsey seemingly has no affiliation with ZFT; the computer "virus" which he develops which basically hypnotizes people and then turns their brains into liquid goo is developed, because Dempsey feels that he was wronged when he was fired from his job, so he therefore kills his former boss's loved ones. It was personal and had nothing to do with the show's mythology. However, I forgave that episode, because it needed to be shown that science and technology has become so "out of control" that you don't need to be some criminal mastermind such as a member of ZFT in order to develop something like this; virtually anyone can. Dempsey was able to exact revenge on those close to the man who fired him by using a very technologically advanced weapon, a computer virus that kills, and although it cannot be ruled out, there is no evidence to support a theory that he was affiliated with ZFT.

However, with this episode, even though I suppose you could make that same argument, that argument is going to get old after a while if there are too many episodes like that, but since I'm pretty sure that this was the only one besides "The No-Brainer," I suppose that I can forgive it one more time. I suppose that there does need to be episodes like this occasionally not only to show what I just talked about but also to show that as FBI agents (which I suppose Peter technically is now), the Fringe Division isn't only going to be investigating matters that pertain to ZFT and William Bell, etc. As I just said, science and technology has progressed to a point where it cannot be stopped, and the show does need to show that this applies in the "real world," as well, that your average but smart criminal can accomplish a great deal with science and technology since it is so monstrously out of control.

I do think that the episode delivers some mythology, though. I was really happy to see that Olivia is not out of the hospital, all better for now with what happened to her seemingly off her mind until it's convenient for the writers to have it bother her again like X so frequently did. The fact that she can't remember what happened to her is still weighing her down, and I really like how we see her check out of the hospital, and then at the end, see her seemingly desperate to hunt down answers. This is what I don't understand, though. Why can't she remember meeting William Bell? Now, obviously, that's part of the mythology, and we're not supposed to know at the moment, but that's not what I mean. I might have this wrong, but I seem to recall her remembering going to visit someone before she switched realities, so you would think that she would remember the few days before it happened and therefore remember her obsession with trying to find William Bell and thus put two and two together.

This question goes along with the scene in which Olivia and Nina meet for the first time since her "accident," as Nina suspiciously calls it with a slight hesitation. I was expecting Olivia to say something to the effect of, "What happened to me? Youknow! You were supposed to be at that restaurant, and you weren't there!" but she didn't, which leads me to believe that she doesn't even remember Nina making the appointment with her, but again, as I said, I could have sworn that she said that she remembers up to when the car "almost" hit her (even though it really did in "our" universe), but maybe that's what I'm getting wrong. Maybe I should watch the scene in the premiere episode during which she first wakes up again, just to make sure. It seems to me like Olivia would remember Nina setting up that meeting and would therefore be suspicious of her.

What really bothers me about Nina in this episode is that she obviously knows who Olivia went to see. She's the one who fulfilled her promise to arrange the meeting, so why isn't she telling her this? Why is she keeping her in the dark, arranging for her to see this Sam Weiss guy when she could just fill her in herself, and who exactlyisnot a psychologist," which makes me wonder who exactly he is, what he did for Nina ("put me back together" is what Nina says, potentially loosely paraphrased) and what he plans to do for Olivia. What does Nina's cancer have to do with Olivia's "condition," and most importantly, what is Olivia's "condition," and what does Weiss mean when he tells her that she will eventually be experiencing headaches? I wish I had theories for all of these questions to help make this entry a bit more interesting, but I really don't; nothing comes to mind, and this is one of the reasons why Fringe is so amazing; it consistently keeps you guessing.

Walter is behaving a bit suspiciously too. Well, he's behaving a bit more suspiciously than usual, shall we say? He knows something about Olivia, as well, something that he's not telling her. When he tells her that sometimes moving from one reality to another has its consequences, she instantly shows concern, and Walter moves on to another subject, almost as if he feels that he has already said too much, telling her that he is sure that she will be fine, but the look on his face is unmistakable; he is drastically worried, and I would imagine that his worry has something to do with Olivia's strange new "ability" to hear things with extreme precision and volume. I am wondering whether or not he knows that she is experiencing this. That scene near the end in which Olivia is taking a bath, and she hears arguing, traffic outside, a fly in the room and the bubbles in the tub popping, I was starting to become vehemently annoyed and was wondering how she isn't screaming to make it stop; that has to get under your skin.

I don't know if anyone else noticed this either, but even though we see Olivia trying to find answers, she seems a lot more cheery than usual in this episode. She smiles a lot more often, seems a lot more friendlier and warmer with Walter, cracks jokes (such as the "What's your name?" line when the doctor asks her how her short term memory is), etc. She just seems a lot happier, and I'm not sure what to make of it, but I do have one theory. I think that the "real" Olivia is the Olivia that we see at the beginning of the pilot episode when she is all smiles and laughs with John Scott, and then after he "betrays" her and dies, she is crushed, and we see the effects of that trauma for quite some time. I think that she is slowly coming out of that shell and learning that in Peter and Walter, she has friends that will help her pull through when she needs them, especially Peter. I am just so worried, though, because she is going to be torn apart when she finds out about Charlie. He is her partner and ultimately her best friend, and she won't even have a body to mourn.

Next week's episode is called "Fracture," but I can't really say too much about it, because to be completely honest, I don't really know that much about it. The week after "Fracture," however, we will be seeing an episode titled "Momentum Deferred," which was either originally titled "This Is the Night Mail" or "This Is the Night Mail" is the name of the fifth episode, since the first eight episodes have been given titles except for that one, which is strange. All I have to say about "Momentum Deferred" is that I am really looking forward to that episode; it looks like it's going to be mythology-heavy with possibly some real, concrete answers. It really does look like it's going to be epic. It won't be a seemingly unnecessary (but admittedly entertaining) "stand-alone" like this one, to which I give 6 naked mole-babies.

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