Fringe

2008, TV Show

Fringe Episode: "Night of Desirable Objects"

Season 2, Episode 2
Episode Synopsis: The team travels to rural Pennsylvania, when they find that a construction worker's disappearance into a subterranean passage may have larger implications. Meanwhile, Walter uses frogs as guinea pigs for reality-shifting experiments.
Original Air Date: Sep 24, 2009

Full Episode
click to playclick to play
Season 2, Episode 2
Paid | iTunes
Length: 43:53
Aired: 9/24/2009
Also available on Amazon Prime and VUDU
play more info

Fringe Episode Recap: "Night of Desirable Objects" Season 2, Episode 2

After the breathlessly paced season opener, "Night of Desirable Objects" was a much more subdued episode of Fringe, but that doesn't mean it was any less involving. The action was ratcheted down, and the suspense was cranked up as the team investigates the bizarre disappearances in a small Pennsylvania town. Plus: Olivia goes through some changes, and Evil Charlie anticipates his new orders.

The episode opened with a team of road workers doing their business near a cornfield. When one of the unlucky workers decides to investigate a subterranean rumbling he hears, he is quickly yanked through the dirt. Has a cornfield ever been a setting for much joy or happiness? I think not. Thank God none of my relatives live in Nebraska anymore. Back to the episode, we get a quick scene of Olivia being released from the hospital (with the assistance of Peter and a cane) before we see the road workers ultimate fate: death by a Gollum-like creature. It takes quite a bit for a TV show to creep me out, but the silhouette of the creature slowly moving towards the road worker certainly sent a shiver up my spine.

Meanwhile, Broyles informs Peter that his demands were met by the senators, and Peter takes it upon himself to suggest they investigate the missing road worker. While this may seem like a small occurrence, it's nice to see Peter take charge again. It seems the take-charge Peter from the premiere is here for good. Olivia returns to Walter's lab where he and Astrid are performing an experiment to see if they can explain Olivia's mysterious car accident. For some inexplicable reason, this involves a frog and a miniature cop car, but I appreciated the sight gag of the frog hurtling through the air all the same. Walter also opens up to Olivia and tells her he doesn't know what he would've done if she had died. Such a beautiful, emotional little scene that reminded me that I may watch this show for the weird, freaky cases, but it's the characters and moments like these that pay off the most. He also asks Olivia if she's felt any side-effects from her recent travels between dimensions; she says she hasn't, but we all know that won't last for long.

Olivia, Peter and Walter investigate the corn field where the road worker was taken and meet the local sheriff. Back at the sheriff's office, the side effects that Walter had asked about finally kick in, and Olivia develops short bouts of super hearing. The sounds of a fly buzzing around the room and the traffic outside are all amplified. Olivia is, quite naturally, disturbed by this development. She then calls Evil Charlie (as he will be referred to from now on) to update him on the case and we see him go back to shop that houses the inter-dimensional typewriter. One thing I found interesting is that Evil Charlie appeared to be in some sort of pain; is the shape-shifter only able to stay in one shape for so long? Will the Evil Charlie storyline wrap up fairly soon? Looks like a possibility.

After the team figures out that the creature paralyzes it's victims before killing them, Olivia uncovers a common link in the recent disappearances: one Andre Hughes. Peter and Olivia pay Mr. Hughes a visit, and while inside his house, Olivia has another bout of her super-hearing and hears ragged breathing from somewhere in the house. She goes upstairs to investigate and finds some old lab equipment (like the cornfield, never a good sign). Olivia hears the breathing again and when Peter surprises her, she nearly blows his head off. Clearly, she's not 100 percent after her accident.

Olivia questions Mr. Hughes at FBI headquarters and learns that he had a wife who died during childbirth 17 years ago. How much you wanna bet that has something to do with what's going on? Afterward, Nina Sharp pays Olivia a visit as she gets a check-up from her doctor. Nina recommends Olivia sees Sam Weiss to help overcome what's happened to her. Of course Nina seems to understand that Olivia is experiencing more than just some bruised muscles and broken bones.

After Agent Jessup and her team investigate Mr. Hughes house, they get the go-ahead to exhume the graves of the late Mrs. Hughes and her son. The mothers' grave seems normal enough, but the baby's coffin is empty with a sizable hole through the casket and that goes deep into the earth below it. Back at FBI headquarters, Hughes takes the light cover from his interrogation room and fashions a noose and hangs himself. What a resourceful man he is!

Walter investigates Mrs. Hughes corpse and discovers she had lupus, which should've prevented her from having children in the first place. The team determines that Mr. Hughes must have been experimenting with his son while in the womb so he could survive. And because this is Fringe we're talking about here, that means injecting the fetus with scorpion and mole DNA. Wonderful! Unfortunately, they don't discover this in time to save the poor sheriff, and the creature treats itself to a snack.

Peter and Olivia investigate the Hughes household and find the entrance to the creature's lair. Olivia gets taken by the creepy-looking freak, but she is saved by Peter before the lair collapses and the scorpion-mole-baby is crushed by the sheriff's car from above. Like I said in my opening, while this episode may have seemed lightweight in comparison with the stunning season opener, I found it incredibly enjoyable. From Olivia's acquiring of the super-hearing ability, to the whole "body horror" feel of this episode's "freak-of-the-week," there was a very distinct David Cronenberg feel to it. Which is absolutely never a bad thing in my eyes. There were more quietly disturbing scenes instead of flat-out action, but I enjoyed it all the same.

But it's not like this episode was all about the most current case. It ended with a few interesting scenes that hinted at what's to come. We got to see our first interaction with Olivia and Evil Charlie, where he slyly tries to convince that she needs to remember what happened to her in the alternate dimension for her to move on. It seemed like your average Olivia and Charlie scene, which made it all the more involving because we know it's not. We also saw Olivia's super-hearing bother her to such a degree that she broke down and went to see Sam Weiss, who, oddly enough, worked at a bowling alley. After toying with Olivia a little bit, he asks her if the headaches had started yet. And finally, Evil Charlie gets his orders through the inter-dimensional typewriter: "If she can't remember on her own, then do something to help her". Poor Olivia, she's headed for a tough time I'm afraid.

So what did you think readers? Were you disappointed in the change of pace from the premiere? And did anyone else find the whole fishing story with Peter and Walter kinda shrug-worthy? It was sweet and more than a little heart-breaking, but it wasn't one of the stand-out elements of the episode for me. Also, Agent Jessup barely appeared and had no lines. The creators better do something with her soon if they expect viewers to care about her. Post your thoughts on the episode below!

show less

After the breathlessly paced season opener, "Night of Desirable Objects" was a much more subdued episode of Fringe, but that doesn't mean it was any less involving. The action was ratcheted down, and the suspense was cranked up as the team investigates the bizarre disappearances in a small Pennsylvania town. Plus: Olivia goes through some changes, and Evil Charlie anticipates his new orders.

read more

Related Links

Other Links:
Fringe
Tags:
FOX

Are You Watching?

Loading ...
Premiered: September 09, 2008, on FOX
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (5,447 ratings)
Add Your Rating: 1 stars2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Premise: A drama with sci-fi elements following the FBI probe of mysterious deaths aboard an airplane that landed at Boston's Logan Airport. But the deaths aboard Flight 627 are only the beginning of the story. Executive producers include J.J. Abrams ('Lost') and his 'Mission: Impossible III' co-screenwriters, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.

Cast

Shop

Fringe: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
Buy Fringe: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
From Warner Home Video (Blu-ray)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $68.89 (as of 8:14 AM EST - more info)
Fringe Florida: Travels among Mud Boggers, Furries, Ufologists, Nudists, and Other Lovers of Unconventional Lifestyles
Buy Fringe Florida: Travels among Mud Boggers, Furries, Ufologists, Nudists, and Other Lovers of Unconventional Lifestyles from Amazon.com
From University Press of Florida (Hardcover)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $18.95 (as of 8:14 AM EST - more info)

More Products

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular