Quick spoilers for last night's "Fringe" coming up just as soon as I crash a car with a frog...
"Night of Desirable Objects" was a pretty meat-and-potatoes Monster of the Week episode, and those tend to rise and fail based on two questions: Is it scary and/or creepy? And is the monster memorable in some way? In this case, I'd say the answers are "some of the time" and "not especially." I didn't think the teaser was as effective as they were hoping for - even when the show was struggling creatively in the first season, the teasers tended to be bang-on, like the hedgehog man storming out of the airplane bathroom - but Peter and Olivia's descent into the scorpion boy's lair was fairly well-done.
Where "The X-Files" tended to take a clear Separation of Church & State approach to the standalone episodes versus the mythology ones, the "Fringe" writers are trying to juggle both most weeks. Here, for instance, we have the shapeshifting assassin cozying up to Olivia, and Olivia starting to hear sounds from the parallel earth (or earths). While I understand the reason for taking this approach - audiences are more impatient now than they were even in the early-mid '90s, and ongoing story arcs have become a more acceptable part of weekly network dramas - I think I liked the way "X-Files" did it better.(*) The monster episodes tended to feel richer because the script was focused entirely on telling this one horror story, and the mythology episodes (before it became clear that the mythology was never going to make any sense) were more fun because we only got them on occasion, and because they in turn could focus entirely on the larger mysteries because there was no traditional case to deal with.
(*) It is entirely possibly, by the way, that I'm romanticizing the past here, as it's been a long time since I popped in my "X-Files" DVDs. For all I know, Cigarette Smoking Man kept walking through episodes like "Post-Modern Prometheus" or "The Host." But this is how I remember it, anyway.
Also, with Olivia out of the hospital, there was less of Walter and Peter, and of Walter, period, than I would have liked. The fishing lure scene at the end was nice, but the season premiere was a reminder of how much more interesting the show tends to be when the Bishops are at the forefront and Olivia is off to the side.
What did everybody else think?