Fringe Episode Review: Of Human Action ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Episode Review: Of Human Action

      Email Post       11/14/2009 04:16:00 PM      

Fringe Photos:

The episode starts out with Tyler Carson, a fifteen year old boy that has been kidnapped by two men, that are using mind control to hold him hostage and killing anyone that gets in the way. When the Fringe team arrives we learn Tyler’s father, James Carson works for the Aerospace division of Massive Dynamic.

Fringe Photos: The next scene was interesting in that it is Walter’s first actual contact with Massive Dynamic. He hasn’t seen or heard from Bell in decades but just being in the building, his presence is heavily felt. Early on we gain references and parallels to Peter’s childhood and Walter raising him. It’s the father of the kidnapped boy that says, “What I do here, it's -- it's my life. It's the only -- Tyler's mother died when he was just a boy. And now if -- if I lose him, I don't know what I'd do.” I imagine Walter was much the same way in that his work was his life. Certainly we know Peter was sick and it was his work that he tried using to save him and eventually used to bring the alter-version of him to this world. Though we don’t know much about Peter’s own mother, we do learn that Bell had been the one to introduce them at Neruobiology Conference in Berlin.

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The episode continues with a convenience store robbery and finally a ransom call from the kidnappers demanding two million dollars. Nina Sharp states that “Massive Dynamic will cover any ransom.” At this point to me, the alarm bells were going off. How many businesses would eagerly offer two million dollars to cover a ransom demand. That’s awfully generous. It’s Olivia that doesn’t buy the fact the kidnappers are after money and believe it’s a distraction for something bigger.

Fringe Photos: Walter determines the cause of the mind control is an auditory signal and white noise should be able to protect oneself with headphones and the constant pulsating noise. I do love how Walter seemed to save everything of Peter’s, including a teddy bear that emits the sound of the womb—in essence, white noise. Were those teddy bears even around when Peter was born?

The boy isn’t with the kidnappers and Peter leaves Walter to chase the money only to find himself suddenly under the control of the fifteen year old boy. It was the kidnappers that had actually been kidnapped. Imagine trying to explain that to the police and FBI.

Fringe Photos: The intensity of the episode seems to pick up now as Peter is under the boys control and when he tries to fight it, the boy just becomes reckless, swerving them through traffic, about ready to kill them. Peter gives in, willingly driving the car, learning quickly Tyler can control all or part of him. Peter tries to get inside his head, deflate the situation. It’s Peter that says, “Do you really think that you're the first kid whose father didn't think he was good enough, or smart enough? Take a number.”

We find out it’s up to Walter to disable Tyler as the cocktail he’s taken from Massive Dynamic, the hormones, and his ADD medication have given him the ability of mind control. Walter can’t seem to work, worried about losing his son again and it is Nina that finally is able to get through to him.

Fringe Photos: The search continues and we learn Tyler was lied to about his mother and it was his desire to find her, to be a family that started this whole charade. When they meet up with her, Tyler tells her he wants to go away with her, anywhere. When Seth, her new husband, sees Tyler and asks what’s going on, Tyler loses it and forces Peter against his will to pull the gun. Broyles sees the situation from outside the window and goes into the house. Broyles uses the stun gun to disable Tyler’s ability but in his effort finds himself shot by Peter, in the arm—due to Tyler’s ability. It doesn’t end just yet as Tyler forces Peter back to the road and we find Olivia, Astrid, and Walter trying to get close enough to disrupt Tyler’s brainwaves. Peter sees it working beside him and knowing he might not have much time crashes his father’s car into a telephone pole. Thankfully Peter is okay and the boy though unconscious is also given a sedative to keep his power disabled.

Fringe Photos: In the final scene, we see Nina typing on an old computer a letter to Bell that Tyler #3 displayed the ability of mind control and before they grew aware of his ability had searched out his surrogate mother. Suddenly it all makes sense. This was another experiment by Massive Dynamic.

I think this episode worked well in both a stand-alone and bigger overall story-arc. Nina writes to Bell in regards of the “Penrose-Carson experiments” and for those that have followed the show, may remember Penrose from early season one. I believe the episodes with character driven stories, where their emotions tie in and relate to the cases leave us feeling much more satisfied and invested as viewers.


Unknown said...

This is less of a review, than a recap. I dont mind a recap since the end moved pretty quickly and i only briefly caught that he was a clone or something that they were experimenting on.

However i like previous reviews that i thought analyzed the story and specific scenes better.

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