"He could be significantly older..."
Our Pattern event of the week: the mysterious appearance of what can only be a young Observer. Or perhaps, as Walter theorizes, a young-looking one. He was found in a creepy subterreanean complex that hadn't been opened since the 1930's, and it looked to me like he was hiding from the construction workers in a holding cell of sorts. Was this some kind of abandoned research facility? Was our bald friend left behind by his experimenters to survive on rats and moths?
Or, could he have come through to our "universe" down there more recently? Given our clues from ZFT, it sounds like the Observers hail from a parallel Earth. Perhaps this one picked a bad place to cross over, and has survived down there for years (but not 70 of them).
"Our perp's name is The Artist."
Congratulations, writers. You managed to successfully incorporate a non-Pattern mystery into the show. By using the young Observer to solve the crime, I didn't feel like our time was wasted with the Artist subplot (like I did with the cyber-killer in The No-Brainer).
The Artist himself was nicely cast. He reminded me of John Fowles' The Collector, a novel about a mild-mannered sociopath who kidnaps women. But making surgical and cosmetic alterations and then putting them on display? That's pure Fringe.
"Not a psychic, more a shark."
Walter's shark analogy to explain the child's mental abilities was brilliant. I was spellbound by the implications. I have a feeling Olivia may be capable of similar feats, thus reinforcing my idea that Inner Child acts as a prologue for the rest of the season, where we may learn more about Olivia's cortexiphran effects.
On the same subject, what did Walter pick up with his wire-infested halo ring on the child's head? A signal from the Ghost Network? I have a feeling we'll be hearing that recording again soon.
- Best Line of the Night: "Don't be such a prude. I'm sure Agent Dunham knows what a penis looks like!" John's delivery is perfect, once again.
- This was Anna Torv's strongest performance yet. She's great with action sequences, as we saw in Bound, but her scenes with the young Observer in this ep were touching and filled with nuance.
- Walter's dance is my new favorite scene. It wasn't just hilarious, it was touching. Walter's still got a very big heart underneath all those years of madness.
- Was anyone else reminded of the Green Lantern when Olivia mentioned her avoidance of yellow M&M's? (The Lantern's weakness is anything colored yellow.)
- Ari Graynor and Lily Pilblad are adorable as Olivia's family, and part of me is glad they're apparently here to stay. I do wonder how the writers will incorporate them into the story's meta-narrative.
- Does Walter's halo ring remind anyone else of Doc Brown's similarly-purposed mind-reading device in Back to the Future?
How would you grade "Inner Child"?
Adam Morgan is a writer for the page and screen in Chicago, and blogs daily on writing, film, tv, and pop culture at Mount Helicon.