Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Fringe, "Inner Child": Love and Happiness

Spoilers for last night's return of "Fringe" -- including a brief synopsis of what you might have missed at the end because of the obnoxious "American Idol" overrun -- coming up just as soon as I put on a robe...

I watched this on a DVD screener, so I can't speak to exactly when the Fox broadcast cut off because "Idol" ran long and pushed the end of "Fringe" past 10 p.m., but here were the notable developments:

• Olivia recognizes The Artist at a police roadblock because he has a yellow Christmas tree air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror -- just like the M&M sculpture the boy made earlier in the episode -- gives chase and wins a hand-to-hand fight by stabbing him with his own knife.

• Olivia arranges for the boy to be taken away by the doctor from the hospital, and Broyles lies to Erik Palladino and claims the kid somehow snuck off on his own.

• After Olivia comes home to enjoy the sight of her sister and her niece playing together, we cut to the doctor driving the boy off to his new safe home, and the car goes right past The Observer. The boy -- clearly implied to be some kind of junior Observer -- takes a long look, the car keeps going, and The Observer walks off (no doubt in search of a CostCo-sized bottle of Tabasco).

As far as the episode as a whole goes, I thought it was fairly solid procedural hour of "Fringe." No, it didn't follow up on any of the revelations from "Ability," but it also didn't feature any of Agent Harris, and both the serial killer case and Olivia's rapport with the kid were compelling enough that I can wait on the mythology stuff for later.

Anna Torv's always going to finish a distant third in a charisma contest among the show's three leads, but she does seem to brighten up a bit when she's around young children. Still, she couldn't help but be upstaged by Walter's Al Green dance number (and his Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct" moment with the robe), or to Peter explaining to the kid that Roadblock was "not really one of your top-tier GI Joes," but was the best they could find.

Weird seeing Erik Palladino pop up in two shows in one night (he was also on "Cupid"), and the idea that the CIA has its own equivalent to Fringe Division has potential.

I'm lucky that I was watching "Idol" live and could see it was running long, which allowed me to both pad that recording and make sure I knew where my "Fringe" screener was (and I would have padded that recording too, if needed). But for those of you who got screwed, I understand your anger. The blogosphere is in fire with calls for "Idol" director Bruce Gowers' firing. Whoever was responsible, that was embarrassing.

What did everybody else think?

12 comments:

Matt said...

The overrun was clearly deliberate in an effort to try and take wind out of "The Mentalist." Put the last performer (and arguably the most popular guy currently on the show) into an overrun. Especially given that "Fringe" apparently tanked hard in the ratings last night, it's an easy call.

7s Tim said...

wish they had in more revelations about the Junior Observer role of the kid, since it was kinda telegraphed. The reveal at the end felt natural, but also not as reveal-y as seeing the Pappa Observer watching the hospital earlier, with a more substantial coda or something at the end could have. all in all, not a bad episode. and it's probably best to ease back into the show, after the long hiatus. Alias would suffer from long waits between episodes, then information that was weeks old would be assumed within the show, leaving casual viewers...and maybe this more devoted viewer, lost at times. but perhaps here isn't the place to complain about the scheduling problems of ABC 6 years ago...eh.

JD said...

According to the ratings, Fringe only scored half of the American Idol audience, so if Fox did keep Idol on to lure in viewers for Fringe, it didn't work well enough. Didn't House use to get 20 Million viewers a few seasons back after Idol?

I hadn't ever watched Fringe before, but I will probably come back for more. The episode seemed like a good entry point for someone like myself who hadn't watched it before and would be overwhelmed with the show's mythology that the show seems to have. I'll have to catch up with it on Hulu I guess this weekend.

amysusanne said...

Hibberd's interpretation of the early numbers (and predictions of how they'll be revised later on) are positive.

http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/04/fringe-returns-ratings.html

I liked it. Maybe not the best of the series, but more enjoyable than most. I like seeing Olivia with the kid and I enjoyed the usual Walter and Pacey show. I'm also interested in where they'll go with the Fringe team vs. their CIA counterparts.

The Idol overrun didn't kill me, but it did have me scrambling at 10pm to try to get it back in the correct channel when the DVR flipped on me. It switched right as Olivia was realizing that this was the guy and I got it back in time to see them chasing after him. My question is: did the girl get away? If they mentioned it after that scene I totally missed it and obviously i didn't see what happened right when the guy bolted.

Also, randomly, Sara Gilbert was in the audience of AI and Lecy Goranson was on "Fringe". I was ready for another "Roseanne" alum at 10, but "Cupid" didn't come through for me.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the third woman The Artist kidnapped survived. She had a bloody gash on her forehead though.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! I am so glad you mentioned the overrun by Idol. It really made me angry and upset the whole DVR thing. I thought I was the only one. Clearly not the case!! Thanks, everyone, at least for commiserating!

amysusanne said...

@Anonymous12:50

Thanks for filling in that small blank.

Hooks Orpik said...

Thanks a lot for the recap of the last moments, my DVR got cutoff as well due to Idol.

Josh said...

Hey, for those who missed out thanks to Idol, go here for a video of the last few minutes:

http://www.fringetelevision.com/2009/04/fringe-episode-115-what-you-missed.html

Observer said...

Very glad to see that Fringe is back. This episode was a little slow and there wasn't much revelations other than the kid being a kinda junior observer, but I guess they are trying to smoothly ease viewers back in. Peter didn't have much of a role tonight, but Walter had a lot of funny moments during this episode. Seems like he was a little more eccentric than usual.

“I’m sure Agent Dunham knows what a PENIS looks like. Don’t you, Agent Dunham?”

LOL freakin hilarious. Anyways, if you missed this episode, I just watched it online here at...

http://watch-fringe.com/season-1-episode-15-inner-child/

dez said...

This was the first time all season that I liked Olivia. Anna Torv needs to play off kids more often.

Walter was awesome. And I hope Idol doesn't overrun every Tuesday because that Adam guy was painful to listen to.

W said...

I'm having a lot of trouble getting into the whole conspiracy plot because of the way the show keeps dissapearing for weeks at a time. Anyone know the deal with that?