Fringe: Night of Desirable Objects   Rewatch 
September 18, 2014 11:51 AM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Scary crows, alluring lures and what parents will do to protect their children feature heavily in this episode. Olivia struggles with whether she should remember her meeting with Bell. Charlie has dead eyes.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! (6 comments total)
I had to watch this episode through splayed fingers from the opening scene.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 12:23 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes, this episode is in many ways as close to straight horror as Fringe gets. It's superficially like the X Files at its best, specifically "Home." But of course, it quickly transcends those influences and beds itself into the Fringe universe and its preoccupations—parenthood, dead or absent mothers, and the potentially monstrous nature of "designer" children.

Other thoughts: with a name like Sheriff Golightly and that obstructive attitude, I wonder what the chances are of him living out the episode? Also, he looks oddly like an older version of my school friend Henley.

Awkward Nina entrance, there. I love how intrusive and offputting that is.

Oh hi, Agent Jessup. I thought you'd been written out of the show already based on overwhelmingly negative test audience scores.

25:00 Oh great. A creepy exhumation scene. Just the kind of thing I love when trying to get off to sleep.

28:00 A horrifying, silently screaming, not entirely defleshed skeleton. See above about things I love to see when trying to get off to sleep.

34:00 Doggy! Oh. Not the nice kind of doggy. That figures, since this is a horror episode.

36:00 The cops get their man in the end. Nice police work there, Sheriff Golightly!

Unanswered questions: so where's this kid been for the last 17 years? Why is he only starting to feed on townsfolk now? Did his Dad manage to keep him contained in the house all that time?

Awesome! Sam Weiss! Love this character. The season's escalating panoply of Big Lebowski references start here. Just you watch. They're there.
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:15 PM on September 18, 2014

Right, our private feud over The Big Lebowski references in Fringe goes public right here. Right now.

No! I say no!

There must be an ability to reference bowling on its own merits without it being about Lebowski if this world is to be good and free.

posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 1:25 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ok, so how does Broyles go from representing Fringe division before a hostile Congressional panel to attempting to requisition a C-130?

Science is slimy!

How many times have we heard "impossible" on this show? And how many times more before the team realizes they should stop.
This whole baby casket and papered up nursery thing is very creepy. I understand why this show got dismissed as an X-Files pastiche, but this series has a much stronger, more deliberate set of overarching themes. The bits of Nina and 'Charlie' we get in this episode, the fishing trip, and the introduction to Sam Weiss, are part of that.

It's pretty obvious that the shifters don't take on the memories of their victims. But they must be pretty good spies/actors to smoothly fit into their lives.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:18 PM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

I agree, thematically there are so many references to traps and lures, paper thin walls between worlds all in the context of difficult parent and child relationships. This is one of the strongest stand alones for me.

I also love the way this show preys on our sense that old technology is sinister. It reminds me a little of Gilliam's visual design in Brazil. It feels like everything in this episode is designed to resonate as familiar but not quite right, as many old objects do. Everything from the music, to the old fashioned flocked nets in the Hughes house, right to the casting of John Savage, a nod to Carnivale is chosen (or borrowed even) carefully to remind us of a genealogy of similar stories. But in a unique Fringe way.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 11:51 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Don't people realise that if there's something strange in a cornfield and they're in the rural US, nothing good can possibly come of it?

I'm glad to see Agent Jessup, even if she does take a huuuuge leap from "it wasn't your fault your wife and baby died" to "he murdered them".

And tunnels! Has no one on this show ever seen a horror movie before?

I keep thinking of Astrid as former intern Dana. It improves her enormously.
posted by Athanassiel at 12:55 AM on October 22, 2014

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