Fringe

2008, TV Show

Fringe Episode: "Of Human Action"

Season 2, Episode 7
Episode Synopsis: The Fringe division assists in the investigation of a kidnapping-turned-hostage crisis in New York and discovers a possible connection between the current situation and Massive Dynamic.
Original Air Date: Nov 12, 2009
Guest Cast Andrew Airlie: Dr. Carson Peter Graham-Gaudreau: Seth Davies Cameron Monaghan: Tyler Carson Vincent Gale: Dobbins John Tench: Hickey Doron Bell Jr.: Off. Gibson Jacqueline Ann Steuart: Renee Davies
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Season 2, Episode 7
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Length: 43:44
Aired: 11/12/2009
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and VUDU
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Fringe Episode Recap: "Of Human Action" Season 2, Episode 7

The latest episode of Fringe opened on a pair of men being chased to a rooftop. They appear to have kidnapped a teen boy in their backseat. Once cornered, one of the men seems to the force one police officer to leap to his death and another to kill her partners and then herself using mind control. This being ­Fringe, of course, none of this is exactly what it seems. And though this particular freak-of-the-week had a cool power and there were a couple of interesting twists, this episode was largely paint-by-numbers.

The Fringe division team pays a little visit to Massive Dynamic, where it turns out that the supposed kidnapping victim, Tyler, is the son of one of the scientists there; a scientist who works on guidance systems. Agent Dunham and co. can't figure out why the kidnappers would want his son in particular, since he doesn't seem to have any information that would be of use to a couple of used car salesman turned kidnappers. One of the most interesting parts about "Of Human Action" was that it got Walter to Massive Dynamic. Agent Dunham visits MD regularly, but it hadn't occurred to me that Walter had never been until now. This led to a well written scene where Walter reflects on how he and William Bell (or "Belly" as Walter affectionately calls him) once planned to start a company like Massive Dynamic together and how Belly introduced him to Peter's mother. I get the feeling Peter's mother has a part to play in this series. She's brought up every now and then and I can't imagine we won't see her sometime as the series progresses; I'm just not sure what part she will play in all of it or if it will even be a significant part.

After another effective scene of the supposed kidnappers causing havoc at a convenience store, the Fringe team sets a trap. The kidnappers demand money from Tyler's father and set up a meeting place. The team naturally attempts to intervene and arrest the kidnappers but after one of them dies in a car crash and the other cowers in the corner firing an empty gun into his head it becomes obvious that they aren't the kidnappers but the kidnapping victims. Unfortunately for Peter, this is only confirmed when Tyler uses his mind control powers on him; forcing him to drive Tyler away from the sting operation.

After this the episode largely seemed to be on auto-pilot. Peter is forced to drive Tyler around and Tyler demonstrates his power by having him pistol whip a cop. Tyler uses his powers to get into a strip club. All Tyler really wants is to be reunited with his long-lost mommy. The word "uninspired" crossed my mind more than a few times during all of this. It was a nice little twist to have the Tyler be the real freak-of-the-week but there's nothing very threatening about a freckle-faced red-head (I should know, I am one); even with the mind control powers, Tyler's mommy issues and petulant teenage behavior made him seem totally harmless.

Walter, on the other hand, continued to have some nice moments this week. He and Agent Farnsworth's aluminum hats were a nice touch; silly but endearing and believable for Walter. Also, his reaction to Peter's kidnapping was somewhat revealing. Not only was it obvious he'd been through this before ("I can't lose him again") but it showed that he's not as effective without Peter. Nina being the one to talk him off the ledge was another pleasant surprise, though I'm sure she's used to calming down neurotic scientists most of the day. Last week I complained that Walter was on the verge of being used too much for comic relief but this week showed the lighter moments being balanced by the serious ones much more effectively.

In the end, Olivia, Farnsworth and Walter manage to break Tyler's mind control and Peter gets home to Walter safe and sound. The final twist showed that the mind control experiment was entirely on purpose and that there are a series of Tyler-clones that are used for experiments. Meh. Better luck next week, Fringe.

Random Thoughts:
• Once again Olivia was mostly extraneous this week. Freak-of-the-week episodes don't seem to bother me as much when our main character is actively involved in them. Imagine that.

• What do you think the human brain tastes like, dear reader? I'm going to go with Walter and say chicken.

• Are the Tyler-clones going to be a recurring thing or a one-off? I'm guessing one-off, but you never know.

• Those stupid Simpsons Treasure Hunt ads really take away from any drama going on, don't they?

• Next week The Observer(s) return! That should be a nice break from these self-contained episodes.

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The latest episode of Fringe opened on a pair of men being chased to a rooftop. They appear to have kidnapped a teen boy in their backseat. Once cornered, one of the men seems to the force one police officer to leap to his death and another to kill her partners and then herself using mind control. This being ­Fringe, of course, none of this is exactly what it seems. And though this particular freak-of-the-week had a cool power and there were a couple of interesting twists, this episode was largely paint-by-numbers.

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Premiered: September 09, 2008, on FOX
Rating: TV-14
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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.

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