Fringe

Season 1 Episode 17

Bad Dreams

9
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Apr 21, 2009 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (20)

9.2
out of 10
Average
575 votes
  • Bad Dreams

    8.5
    I had a dream, he said. A dream tragically interrupted. I had a dream, she said. A dream that tragically has to be resolved.



    Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) wakes from a nightmare. Pushes him to the line a couple of meters even before this move. It was just a bad dream, he thought. This even see his face on television that they allegedly pushed. The mother of a child that has died and police labels the case of suicide. The cameras and all the circumstances point to it but the player knows that sleep was there, knows that is the case of the week itself.



    Right here the episode inserts some freshness narrative: the beautiful FBI agent is the aberration to be investigated. By itself. This puts the monster of the week and deepens the main story, uncovering a little over the past Dunham. Of crime on crime, we realize that your childhood is directly related to what is happening. Those tests that she was subjected as a child, previously introduced, linking it to another person, another subject of study. William Bell, the scientist responsible for these injections emparelhava children and could be created between them a bond so strong that it would be for life. That's what happened. She sees through the eyes of his old "friend" Nick Lane (David Call) and its ability to infect people with their deepest emotions.



    As Joy:

    - Both the beginning and the end are great scenes of the supernatural. If the tense start, with the image of Dunham standing in line, shiver in the spine, the end, with people in the eaves of the building (reminiscent of "The Happening"), is a stunning photograph that freezes in the body;

    - Deepen the past of the protagonist was an important step in the history of the series. If, on the one hand, we learned more about its importance as a unique person, on the other hand, we realize that the recruitment was done on a grand scale and preparing a sort of war between parallel worlds. This is one of my favorite subjects and it is with great anticipation that I await the unfolding of this battle. Do all of these experiments are intended to create an army to defend humanity against the "other" dimension? Does it actually is all done for our good? Does the "other", the bad do not already have undercover agents on the ground? Is the Observer a kind of arbiter of this "game"? Is it??;

    - What Walter (John Noble) was involved in much of the antics we knew already. But this was "Bad Dreams" that we knew the extent of that involvement. He collaborated in testing and Olivia begin now to think how far is that Peter (Joshua Jackson) will not have a skill and is not about to be recruited;



    Or as Sorrow:

    - I wish they gave more emphasis to Astrid (Jasika Nicole). He liked to see the character more action and maybe have a more important role in the unfolding of history. It may be the owner of a twist there any further forward.

    - Despite the tension be in the right house, the episode lacked some pace. Too many stops in the action did not help the natural flow of events;



    Finally, this was a solid episode that essentially the series prepares for a big event. Come to him, we're here, rather than present, more than ready.
  • Getting somewhere

    8.5
    We learned more about Olivia and the big event that's suppose to come. Now we know that there could be others out there just like Olivia that can control people, have a feeling thats just the beginning of it. I wonder how this is all going to play out especially Walter has the video tape of Olivia when she was little. In that tape she lost control and hurt someone I believe. Other thing I notice is that Walter asked Peter to help her calm down and Peter touched her and she calm down, that was weird maybe there is something more to that. Also the thing about Peter, Walter wants to keep quiet about Peters medical record and assumed that Olivia knew but didn't. I wonder what that's all about, the paint is set now its time to start painting the canvas.
  • Amazing episode which reminds me how much I love this show!

    10
    Olivia dreams that she is commiting murders all around the city, which become true next day, what leads the Fringe division to investigate.

    Fringe is such a great series, and this episodes proves my point. There a bunch of awesome episodes, but I gotta say that this is one of the best. Not good enough to defeat the first one, but good enough to defeat many others, the Bad Dreams episode might be one of my favorites. The show gets better and better, so interesting and so thrilling, full of suspense. Fringe is one of the best shows, and this episode proves it!
  • Now THAT's more like it.

    9.0
    Now THAT's more like it. 'Bad Dreams' pulls off that most tricky of feats and manages to incorporate a thoroughly engaging self-contained 'curiosity of the week' into a narrative that advances the season-spanning plot. As a result, this feels like something of a treat, marrying the two most commendable elements of the show in one highly entertaining package. Predicating the story on Olivia is a deft structural decision as it guarantees the viewer's engagement from the get go and while it is evident to everyone with even an ounce of sense that it is not she who is prompting these horrific events, that hardly seems to matter. The writing staff do an excellent job of illustrating the kind of fear and horror that would inevitably result from these sort of prophetic dreams, and Anna Torv certainly rises to the challenge in her portrayal of the character. To make matters more palatable, the story doesn't spend 35 minutes believing that 'Olive' is the culprit and then the remaining 10 reeling from the 'shock' that she isn't; no, this is brushed aside after the first act as ZFT connections are unpacked and contemplated. The plot moves at a decidedly brisk pace, opening up a number of interesting points to ponder along the way, and builds to a fantastic crescendo as first Olivia, Peter and Walter get a marvellous scene together in the Bishops' apartment and then Dunham gets to confront her ex-testing partner on the rooftop. The set-up of this sequence is fantastic: watching the guy slowly acquire 'followers' is decidedly disturbing and, just to place the icing on the cake, we have THAT squirmy moment when one of the bodies falls to her excruciatingly believable death. Massive kudos to Akiva Goldsman (writing AND directing this one, to maximise the realisation of artistic vision) for keeping the camera fixed during this moment and not following her descent: the impact is far stronger this way. In fact, Goldsman does an excellent job with the orchestration of action throughout the episode, as evidenced by both the deliciously eerie pre-titles sequence and the slow-building horror of the scene in the restaurant. And then there's that closing moment, hinting further at Walter's former involvement in Olivia's life which is obviously going to have a massive impact in future episodes. Excellent stuff then, with some token same-sex snoggage to boot.
  • Amazing episode!!! Warning, spoilers contained below.

    10
    So this episode starts off with a bang as Olivia dreams she pushes someone into an oncoming train, and when she awakes, what she did in the dream is reality. Only difference being Olivia was not there and it was said to be a suicide. Really great episode full of information that I have just been dying to know! Amazing really, this episode had it all, and more still! I like the use of the green and red lights to put Olivia under, it was interesting to see them in use again, but for a different purpose. I also thought this was one of the best most interesting episodes of the season, definitely had me guessing and wondering. The most shocking secret comes at the end of the episode, where we see Walter watching old tapes where it sounds like he was involved with what happened to Olivia. How will she take this and what is Walter hiding? Only time will tell, and I can't wait to find out!!!
  • A suicide incident occurs at Grand Central Station, which Olivia dreams about. Meanwhile, shocking details emerge about the ZFT manuscript and Olivia's past.

    9.0
    A suicide incident occurs at Grand Central Station, which Olivia dreams about. Meanwhile, shocking details emerge about the ZFT manuscript and Olivia's past. The ending was by far the best part of this episode. Not to say that the rest of the episode was bad - but the ending made the entire epsiode better as a whole. Looking at the episode it was pretty good. The show only scores a "9" because I think thats going to be the standard score for the episodes of the show without any of the big players (Bell, Jones, Observer Centrics) involved. I think the end of season one is going to bring some of those players into the forefront, so I expect the last 2 episodes of the season to be where you will find the 9.5 and 10.0's of the show. I like how they didn't put Olivia back into the tank again. They hooked her up to some machines, but she didn't have to go into the tank - it would have been way too many times in a season. Looking forward to finishing up season one Tuesday morning online.
  • Olivia's dreams are coming true

    9.0
    Olivia dreams are coming true, yes people, though in a freakish way as they victims end up dead with her doing the killing. How is that possible? At first, she fears she's turned into a type of Freddy Krueger, but she's not causing the deaths; she's in fact an invited guest to witness them.

    So it seems that a man named Nick Lane, a former mental patient is responsible for all this. Why is he sending Olivia to front row seats to his victim's deaths? They use to go to the same school together, strange? Nick recalls word-for-word regurgitation of the infamous ZFT manifesto, written on Walter Bishop. Nick has have passages written on his wall. Nick leads a bunch of followers to the top of a roof where he looks like to end his with a bunch of others, cue Olivia to save the day. Walter digs up on old video tape of Olive (Olivia) sitting in a white corner of an otherwise blackened room in Jacksonville, Florida. From what we hear it looks like Walter, Nina and William are behind the camera. What is Walter hiding here?
  • Best episode in a long time.

    10
    A suicide incident occurs at Grand Central Station, which Olivia dreams about . Meanwhile, shocking details emerge about the ZFT manuscript and Olivia's past.

    This episode was really great, the whole plot was very interesting and it kept me on the edge of my seat. This was the best episode of the show and after a run of slightley dissapointing episodes this one came along and was really refreshing to watch, it brought back the promise the show shown earlier this season. Also Walter was on top form and the ending was fantastic. "Bad Dreams" deserves a 10 out of 10.
  • an okay episode but something is missing in the mix this time...

    7.5
    This was sorta interesting. not terribly though. i fell asleep watching it. i'm not sure why it lost its interests partway through. there was just something missing. i used to find the episodes compelling from beginning to end but this and the last one seemed closer to boring. is it getting too predictable? The whole Olivia was experimented on as a kid thing should be so much more compelling. i don't know why it isn't. maybe the show is becoming too formulaic. Also, somehow, this whole contagious emotions things just seemed a bit farfetched. i don't know why. i usually buy right into this kind of stuff but not this time. hope it picks up again.
  • Olivia has very vivid dreams of killing people and of witnessing murders. Upon waking, she finds that the people she's dreamed of are real and have actually died in the manner witnessed in her dream. A man with a mysterious history provides some answers.

    7.0
    Fringe is good enough to prevent me from turning the channel after American Idol, but its quality is inconsistent. Some episodes are great; some are mediocre. This was a mediocre episode, possibly because it tried to be too mysterious. We're left with few answers and a lot of questions. The plot was generally predictable after the first few minutes. The episode lacked the deliciously sinister undertone that some of the better episodes have had. Perhaps something as simple as a more effective musical score could have improved things. On the plus side, the characters remain engaging and likable. As usual, the show manages to mix in a fair amount of dry humor and witty dialogue that flies by so fast that it's easy to miss if you're not paying attention.
  • Haunting Dreams...

    8.5
    I found the idea of Olivia dreams becoming reality a freaky one but I was intrigued at what would be the cause. I loved the challenge of convincing everyone that it wasn't just a dream then freaking everyone one out when she proves it. I loved listening to Peter being the voice of reason to Walter and Olivia. The link to Nick Lane brings about another "pattern" but a pattern that includes Olivia. Nick's "ability" was truly freaky especially with the final scene on the rooftop. It was really intense. But the revelation that the link between Olivia and Nick extends even further to Walter in Jacksonville was astonishing. I appreciated seeing a vulnerable side to Olivia and a very protective Peter. I liked seeing this side of the characters. Astrid had me laughing with her one-liners. She's definitely been hanging around Walter too long.
  • Exactly why I watch this series!

    10
    I really liked this one. It's actually the first episode that kind of made me feel connected to Olivia, who has always been a little bit too distant in the past. Ever since watching the pilot, I've been a fan of Anna Torv and one could easily see the potential of the character. Knowing Anna from some of her other projects, it has always been obvious to see that she was holding something back. Until this episode...

    Finally, we see what has been cautiously implied on various occasions, that Olivia is, in fact, capable of expressing her feelings not just as a brief grimace that leaves you guessing if you've actually seen it, but as intense as such a strong character requires.

    I'd surely love to see more glimpses of that!
  • Olivia is called upon by another person who was in the clinical drug tests back in Jacksonville. She finds him and stops him from hurting more people. Then they put him in a drug induced coma.

    9.0
    This episode revealed more about the testing done on Olivia and other children on the army base in Jacksconville when she was little. Olivia dreams that she pushed a woman into a subway and that she helped a woman stab her husband when in reality it was Nick Lane a fellow testee from Jacksonville. Nick'e emotions were contagious. He could make people kill themselves or others. Olivia found him on the top of a building with about 20 other people waiting to jump. He remembers Olivia very well from the drug tests. She doesnt remember at all for some reason......he wants Olivia to kill him so he doesnt hurt anymore people, but instead she shoots him in the knees causing him and the others mimicking him to fall back from the ledge. In the end they put Nick in a drug induced coma indefinitely and Dr. Bishop watches a video of the kids being tested and we see that Olivia or Olive as they called her back then, could blow things up with her mind when she was upset....trippy!!

    So Olivia doesnt even know her powers yet!!
  • real good

    10
    srsly one of the best ones yet. i thought the 'psychic link' part was a lil cliche and obvious for sci-fi, but the one thing I've always thought Fringe needed was some continuity, some tying-together of the random things/characters/storylines they introduce and then promptly drop after every episode, and I was afraid they were going to forget about the whole cortexephan/interuniverse war/olivia's craaazy lightbulbing ablities too (which was one of my favs, along with the observer(s)), but I'm pretty happy they came back to it. so this episode gets a 10 for 'expandin the storyline' :) next thing this show needs is more characters/character development/better characters (astrid=soo bleh yall), but I'm pretty content for now as they seem to be into a continuing story. plus the ending was sosweetomg! can't wait for Nimoy yall
  • One of my favourite episodes so far...

    10
    It is good to see the connections for all the weirdness that happens to this crew, and that there are some as yet unexplored tie-ins from "Olivia's" past and her current position makes sense. Nothing happens in a vacuum...even in J.J. Abrams inventive if somewhat scary mind! I also like to see the character development that comes out of episodes like this one. There are some really good insights into the character of Olivia, and if the ending is any marker, not only are there more to come...Walter may figure prominently in them!

    Twisted is good! I'm looking forward to more surprises...its a nice change in a show plot; to not really know where things are going or how they are going to get there!
  • Memory and dream

    9.0
    The previous episode was fairly stand-alone in nature, so the beginning of this episode made me wonder if we were in for the same kind of story. And for a couple of acts, there was little reason to suspect any different. And then the story took an unexpected and chilling turn, and nothing was the same.

    I'm speaking, of course, of the scene in the hotel room, when Olivia realizes that there is a connection between herself and Nick Lane. As Walter and Olivia began to put the pieces together, based on her exposure to cortexiphan during her childhood in Jacksonville, with Peter shouting in confusion and fear in the background, I went from vaguely interested to riveted. A lot of people have criticized Anna Torv as Olivia, but in that scene (and many that followed), she brought it.

    The fun didn't stop there. The rooftop confrontation between Nick and Olivia was exceptional for two reasons. First, I didn't expect anyone to step off that ledge, so when it happened, it was startling. (Walter's subsequent comment was, however, priceless.) But more importantly, that death wasn't the primary source of the tension in the scene. Instead, it was the palpable dread as Nick continued to talk about his young relationship with "Olive".

    It was quickly matched by Walter's intensity as he unearthed a videotape of an old experimental session, co-run with William Bell (as voiced, quite recognizably, by Leonard Nimoy), with "Olive" as the subject. Perhaps worse, the scene in the video was incredibly disturbing, with young Olivia in isolation and terrified. That there was talk of an "accident" and that the room seemed to be charred to a crisp around Olivia was even more evocative. It was easy to guess that William Bell was involved in the experiments in Jacksonville, given the Massive Dynamic connection, but the thought that Walter could have been involved had slipped my mind (and, apparently, his).

    Throughout, there were several callbacks to the ZFT Manifesto, as apparently written by Walter, and the reminder that those following the manifesto consider themselves preparing for a war with invaders from a parallel universe. To me, it's fairly straightforward. What makes things complicated is Walter's inability to remember the past with any certainty, forcing everyone else to discover the truth little by little and piece by piece.

    And of course, relying on some bizarre manifesto as a source of reliable information is questionable at best, so there are likely to be many twists and turns. The presence of the Observer and the child supports the notion of beings from another reality, but the cause of the conflict (if there is, in fact, a conflict taking place) has yet to be explored.

    This definitely feels like preparation for the finale, which is a good thing. So far, the first season of "Fringe" feels like more cohesive update to "The X-Files", with elements of "Lost" and "Alias" thrown into the mix for good measure. But that's something that JJ Abrams has shown a talent for: taking existing conventions and favorites within the genre and mixing them together into something fresh and exciting. "Fringe" is living up to that potential.
  • Not even Tylenol P.M. can keep Olivia from falling asleep and dreaming of killing people. But is she the one doing the killing? Her search for answers leads to an unexpected surprise regarding her childhood-and we're not talking simple child abuse.

    1.5
    I watched Fringe for the first time last week and as you can read from my earlier review, I was very disappointed. Well, unfortunately, the disappointment continues. Fringe just does not have what it takes to evolve into a long lasting series. And I completely understand why right before the commercial breaks the little notices pop up indicating that one has 90 or 60 seconds to go before Fringe returns. I'm sure the producers realize that given the poor acting and writing that there is very little incentive for anyone to continue watching.

    Basically, there are 3 major things wrong with Fringe and for all you "fans" reading this review, these are the reasons (unless corrected) why Fringe will not live to realize a second season:

    1) The lead characters are not compelling. I think this point was proven with the lame lesbian kiss experienced by Olivia during one of her dreams. Whenever a story has to resort to cheap gimmicks to keep its audience interested, you know there is a problem. And what's-his-face from Dawson Creek fame always acts as if he simply inserted into a scene to offer comic relief. No matter what's going on, he is always relaxed and somehow just shy of really being interested in what is going on.

    And Walter? omg. This guys portrayal of a mad genius is simply a rip-off of the dude from Back to the Future. But the guy playing "Walter" keeps trying to bring a seriousness to the role that simply does not exist. In summary, there is not one compelling reason given why any of us should care what happens to any of these characters. Nothing important is at stake except for what the writers suggest through simplistic plot developments that are always contrived.

    2) There is No Eye Candy. Not a single person on this show has any "Sex Appeal" whatsoever. Don't get angry because I'm just keepin' it real.

    3) Lazy Writing. A good story requires that the audience is allowed to participate in the hero's journey as he or she battles to overcome a threat. Fringe relies on a so-called threat that is too random and after 2 episodes, I still don't get it. Random experiments that can lead to "hot" lesbian kisses?? Okay. What else you got? Evidently, not much else. And during last night's episode I felt as if the producers were making up the story as they filmed. And hello! Why not just get a sniper to take out the nut job atop the roof? Olivia and her team could have shot a tranquilizer into the bad guy. After all, they knew that the others were only up there because of him. Where's James Bond or the Navy Seals when you need them?

    Trust me folks, unless things improve soon, this show will not make it to Season 2. And if it weren't for American Idol, it likely would not survive Season 1.

    Don't get angry 'cause I'm just keepin' it real
  • Best one yet.

    10
    After two rather average installments, Fringe reaches back to "Ability", and delivers what possibly is the BEST episode of the show so far.

    As much as I love "Safe" and "Ability", this episode seemed to be the best from both worlds; a fantastic standalone story that, in the middle of everything, suddenly turned into a key element in the show's overall arc.

    There might've been complaints regarding Olivia's character, but in this episode, she was simply fantastic. And who didn't like the lesbian scene?!

    All this episode needed was a little Mr. Jones love, but hell - instead we got our first glimpse of William Bell(only his voice, but still...) and some more insight on Walter's past - rather controversial - experiments.

    Overall, Fringe at it's best.
  • Olivia experiences a waking nightmare when she discovers that the people that she's killing in her dreams are dying in real life.

    9.5
    In this episode Olivia has dreams in which she is killing people, and she finds out later that they are ending up dead. She thinks that somehow she is responsible for their deaths and she asks for Peter and Walter's help. They uncover a suspect who can infect people with his feelings and can induce them to take action. What's more, he has a connection to Olivia from their childhood when they were both experimented on and something to do with a mysterious manifest.
    The show keeps getting better and better. The case was intriguing with Olivia wondering if somehow cortexiphan was affecting her and her sanity. It was nice to see the connection she had with Peter, him being supportive and being the one able to calm her down when she was getting upset while in a trance. As usual Walter was amazing, and I loved that part where he started singing when he thought he was going with Peter and Olivia to New York. I also laughed like a madwoman when Olivia was under and she started to make funny noises and Astrid, Peter and finally Walter figured out what was going on. Priceless. Loved this episode, love this show, and I hope that it just keeps getting better.
  • Olivia's dreams lead to deaths.

    7.5
    You know, I am not one to complain, but was the scene with Olivia kissing the dancer really necessary? I know the storyline justification for it, but I have a feeling that FOX recommended Fringe give us some girl on girl to boost the ratings. While you cannot argue with that logic, Fringe's credibility took a bit of a hit from doing so in my opinion.

    While this story was fun for sure, it just was not "Fringe-quality" to create an adjective. It felt really constrained and forced and when Olivia snapped, for example, or when Walter went off on one of bizarre rants, I just did not react like I normally would.

    What I did like was the vivid ending that showed that Walter actually experimented on Olivia as a youth. That is a good way to drive a potential wedge between their working relationship and take this show in a new direction.
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