Fringe: Earthling
October 12, 2014 8:44 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

'All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.'
A shadow figure visits some people, and Walter can't believe the results from a Geiger counter. Broyles is haunted by an old case, an old friend, and the Russians. Dunham deals with the faceless, and Peter snarks about his past.
posted by the man of twists and turns (4 comments total)
Again, this episode seems haunted by a particular X Files installment, in this case Space. Whereas the "Home"-inflected "Night of Desirable Objects" was one of the stand out standalones of the entire series, this one seems a little underwhelming, despite some creepy effects lurking in the shadows.

There are links with ongoing themes, though: the lengths people will go to to protect and "save" family members, despite the catastrophic consequences that might involve for everyone else. The idea that hospitals are freaky (there's some real medical gothic going on in this series). The creepiness of opera, with its suggestion of a morally compromised "Old Europe" (the gothic as a kind of historical phobia: a fear of the past). And the fact that you really shouldn't spring "surprises" on your loved ones, no matter how nice it seems. Dusty there in the opening scene shows how that works out.
posted by Sonny Jim at 11:42 AM on October 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cosmonaut is an interesting choice of word. Playing on the Cold War, when Russians were strange, othered people who used different words for the same things we had. Like another universe, through the lens of another destiny.

[Just a short anecdote related to this episode. It was on our second or third re-watch of this last year that we decided Broyles needed a little levity. We like the character fine and didn't want to make a big change, so we came up with the idea that Lance Reddick should be assigned one, and one only, whimsical prop per episode. Red balloon; feather boa; Hello Kitty backpack; swizzel stick; hibiscus tucked behind the ear; a pair of jorts. This went on, on Twitter, for a short time, right up until we re-watched Lysergic Acid Diethylamide with the bubbles (celebrated here). Once again JJ has foiled us: first he steals our mind-reading idea from some unpublished Alias fanfic we never uploaded to the internet or told anyone about, then he anticipates our (admittedly not trending anytime soon) #CheerupLanceReddick hashtag four years before we even posted it. There is only one explanation: time travel. And maybe mind reading. Ok two explanations.]

Also, that's the last time I ever go for a window seat on a long haul flight.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 12:08 PM on October 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Nice special effects with the dust. You can tell they had fun with that, especially the fly and the fan.

I kept being reminded of several horror films, from Ju-on to all the variations on space horror. There's something about Fringe though that although it dances with creepy, it never quite makes it to true horror. I keep trying to put my finger on why not. Possibly not enough scary music, though they sure tried with the Mario Lanza this episode.

And aww, nostalgia for tinker toys.
posted by Athanassiel at 3:15 AM on October 26, 2014

Mario Lanza. Brrrr....
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 5:40 AM on October 26, 2014

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