Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Season 1 Episode 2
“The Same Old Story”
Written by Jeff Pinkner & J.J. Abrams & Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci
Directed by Paul Edwards

“Massive Dynamic is one of the ten largest economic entities in the world. Our weapons technologies shape the Defense Department’s strategies. Our investments sway the markets and make or break presidential elections. Overseas, we have responsibilities traditionally sacred to the state: the right to direct private armies, to manage global affairs into stable equilibrium.”

Now, while a certain amount of fun was had with the short-lived Threshold, if there’s a show that’s to be crowned a successor to the late, great X-Files, it’s quickly looking to be Fringe, as it continues to display an excellent mix of speculative science and creepy horror.
And, as if to solidify that X-Files connection, X-alum Darin Morgan clambers on board as consulting producer on Fringe, which makes me a happy camper and even more eager to see what future episodes hold.

The episode’s main plot involves a serial killer/government super soldier mash-up, and writers Abrams, Kurtzman, Orci, and Alias and Lost alum Jeff Pinkner (also one of the show’s producers now) open the hour with a cracking prologue that recalls everything from Humanoids From The Deep to It’s Alive.
Of course, it really isn’t some killer mutant baby that gets born, but the horror movie echoes were welcome nonetheless. (I could have done without the subsequent Aliens–ish nightmare sequence though.)
We also get some fodder for the show’s main throughline (apparently, both Broyles and Massive Dynamic’s Nina Sharp are on a committee concerned with investigating the Pattern; this shadow cabinet, another bit that recalls The X-Files) as well as an intriguing allusion to Peter’s “medical history.”
Oh, and apparently, Dunham and company are a “new team,” and there’s a passing mention of a previous team. Hurm…

Anna Torv continues to impress, as does John Noble, who again, is the show’s MVP, nailing the script’s primo stuff (the seat warmer bit is hilarious) with apparent and enviable ease.
Joshua Jackson however, is still a tad shaky. Why a genius with an IQ of 190 (a fact repeated in this episode) would resort to using the term “magic old man baby” is a little beyond me… He just can’t seem to shake the ghost of Pacey.
At any rate, this one’s a winner and strengthens Fringe’s credentials as one of this season’s triumphs.
Bring on next week’s weirdness!

(Images courtesy of impawards.com [Fringe OS, design by FOX IN], variety.com, buddytv.com, and fringetelevision.com.)

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