Fringe Episode Review: Midnight ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Episode Review: Midnight

      Email Post       4/30/2009 01:25:00 AM      

Greetings, Afringeonados! I'll be honest: I wasn't too excited about Midnight after last week's promo, which made it look like standalone filler that might try to appeal to American Idol holdovers with club music. But I should've known better, as the creative minds behind Fringe delivered another solid hour of television.

There were a few rough spots (Two Singles Together?), but fans got plenty of Walterisms, gross-outs, and mythological teasers to keep us happy until next week's penultimate showdown.

"Maybe we're looking for Dracula..."
The writers did a nice job playing with our expectations in Midnight's cold open (the in media res scenes before the opening credits). Fringe's usual "pattern" is to introduce a villain early and follow him on a crime spree, and we were certainly led to believe Captain Britain was a killer (thanks to casting, wardrobe, and that knife). He's even a predatory creep at the club, and we're led to believe his intentions are criminal. That is, until Valerie Boone breaks his neck.

I literally clapped. It was so unexpected, just like the scene where she opens up a mouth full of shark's teeth and feasts on another poor guy. She's an interesting mix of vampire and succubus, thanks to another "dosing" by ZFT, who've previously infected civilians with super-sized cold cells, orifice-sealing goo, and porcupinesque monster genes. Makes for some thrilling standalone threats, but how do these dosings fit into the big picture?

"Why would ZFT want you to create something like this?"
Well, according to Dr. Boone, XT43 was synthesized to "create a human nightmare...to show off." The biggest question being, to whom? It seems more and more like the Pattern is ZFT's attempt to demonstrate their technological prowess, a warning to the denizens of the parallel universe who will soon fight us for survival: "Don't mess with us. We can do some freaky stuff."

It's analogous to the old space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, as each faction vies to prove itself technologically superior to the other. That would make The Pattern an inter-dimensional Cold War.

"I was able to gather some names..."
Talk about a last-second revelation: now we've got a tangible link between Massive Dynamic and the Pattern, via William Bell's funding of ZFT. It's becoming clear that calling ZFT a "bio-terrorist organization" is a bit of a misnomer. Ostensibly, their goal is to intimidate the enemy in order to save mankind. To borrow a line from Spock (!), "logic dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." For the followers of ZFT, sacrificing a few innocent civilians is necessary to protect the human race as a whole.

Questions: are we certain that the Observers are the citizens of this parallel universe? If so, do we have "Observers" of our own in their world? Reconnaissance usually goes both ways!

Stray Thoughts
  • Best Line of the Night: Astrid. "When you finally meet a nice girl, I would avoid bringing her home for as long as possible."
  • I can't listen to the opening theme anymore without hearing Dujeous' lyrics.
  • How come the first special effects shot of Valerie's teeth was so cool, yet the second time (when she attacks Olivia), they looked so...fake?
  • Ari Graynor was great in this ep, but what's the deal with Greg? Will Olivia's family wind up playing a larger role than we think?
  • Loved seeing Walter show off his lab to a fellow mad scientist. And did Dr. Boone's voice remind anyone else of Benjamin Linus? Only slightly, of course.
  • I think my favorite part of Midnight, other than the neck-snap and that first teeth-attack, was when Broyles burst into the interrogation room. A small moment, but I'm desperate for Lance Reddick to get more physical.
  • Also loved how Astrid's knowledge of the Boston club scene wound up solving the case! And Jasika's really coming into this role, doing a lot with the little the scripts give her. I hope she gets a gun next season.
  • Anna looks good in a leather jacket. Definitely enhanced the Gothic atmosphere. And who knew Liv could speak Mandarin?
Adam Morgan is a writer for the page and screen in Chicago who blogs pseudo-daily at Mount Helicon.

10 Comments:

lou said...

did u notice in the opening sequence at the nightclub when "captain britain" was looking around for some babes, a certain familiar bald fellow in a dark suit walked across the screen behind him and even glanced at us the viewers?

Adam Morgan said...

Haha, I actually completely missed him this time (distracted by our live chat), but Dennis posted the video over in screencaps: http://eastereggs.fringetelevision.com/2009/04/fringe-easter-eggs-observer-in-midnight.html

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with you on the line:

"You're Hot, but Im looking for someone with Syphilis".

I also dont think we will see Lance do any real action scenes. The reason he waslk "stiffly" as some people say is due to a back injury from an car accident that happened. I think this back injury would also be the reason he wont or hasnt (at least that I have seen) done any real action scenes.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please help me identify the music in the this particular episode, at the beginning??

Dennis said...

Anonymous,

All the music for this episode is listed here: http://www.fringetelevision.com/2009/04/fringe-music-songs-from-midnight.html

Tanya said...

Great review :-)

I actually thought the two singles together bit was kinda hilarious!

Loved Olivia's cover w/Rachel "I've got a meeting" (lol), and the Mako character (however small) too.

Agree that the ep was impressive, hold on to your seat for the next 2 eps, it will be an amazing ride!!

xMort said...

"I can't listen to the opening theme anymore without hearing Dujeous' lyrics."

I pity you...

plasmablob said...

i speak mandarin, and i couldn't understand a single word she said. I only pieced together that it was supposed to be something chinese-y a few minutes after all the witty banter happened :)

jus_3c said...

yeah, i'm chinese, and olivia's mandarin was actually pretty terrible.. unintentional LOLs at the guy's reaction cos i'd be like "huh? who?" too if someone attempted to speak to me in mandarin like that..

Hira Islam said...

That's really horrible and I am a big fan of this.
Meet Muslim singles for Muslim wedding and connect them.

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