Season 2 Episode 2

Night of Desirable Objects

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Sep 24, 2009 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

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out of 10
568 votes
  • Night of Desirable Objects

    We are creatures fast. Rushed make our day and swing speed comes to us only in situations of impact. That's when I hit my knee on the chair careless that I realize my genica. All to say, when we packed the worst we can do is put an object in front.

    And this "Night of Desirable Objects" is a huge obstacle in our journey and see one of my worst fears, that bind a curious chain.

    First, we turn to the case of the week. After a late start and later filled with mythology and the key issues, is pressing the pause button and go to the field. Neither Massive Dynamics, global or conspiracies, or big cities, not the slightest connection - they sometimes still struggle but not here - with the central plot. People are disappearing and nobody knows why.

    Why is my second point, because if nobody knows we know very quickly. Everything is predictable, very predictable. If you really want to continue to invest in this type of narrative structure have to add mystery, twists, surprises, and not report everything to the middle of the story, because then the little interest that we immediately dies. 40 minutes are linear where a doctor has created a child-freak who is a sort of mole. What this contributes to our happiness? Or rather, what it contributes to the happiness of the series? Absolutely nothing.

    Thirdly, the spaces that exist and could function as the primary engine of the plot are wasted in moments like this that Walter (John Noble) again repeats his theory. Characters that could give a new fresh air to the situations and actions, are silenced, as Jessup (Meghan Markle), which after a promising start here was not a single speech. And the only novelty of the episode was the fact that Olivia (Anna Torv) to be very careful with the hearing, an apparent consequence of having traveled to a parallel universe [I do not consider that the new Charlie (Kirk Acevedo) is bad and trying to walk draw information from the protagonist].

    Fourthly and lastly, there is my fear of having fewer words to write or to write always the same.

    "Fringe" has room to grow. It has room for a plot and a primary event of the week. It's just a matter of consciously managing well and all these plots, never forgetting the crucial value of entertainment.
  • Little slow paced, but good to see incite of characters

    It was a little slow. Didn't care much about the case though yes it was predicable. I liked how the team worked together though in my opinion I think their doing lazy cases or should I say lazy case writing because of Olivia's injuries. That is what disappoints me but, for me why i give it the score I did because I got to see some sweet moments like Peter and his father asking to go fishing with him, Olivia and Peter working together. Not often Olivia asks for help she always did it alone and this was great to see them working together.
  • In case anyone missed the following X-Files Episode: "The Post-Modern Prometheus" - you are treated to its re-telling in this mostly disappointing episode...

    Okay, now that I'm on board with this whole FRINGE phenom., I was really hoping that this creepy episode would not turn out to be so weak. And face it folks, it was a direct rip off of the X-Files episode referenced in my summary. And in a world in which a simple domestic dispute will result in an entire neighborhood being surrounded by police cars with FOX NEWS flying overhead, I just couldn't buy the whole idea of Olivia and Peter showing up at the end to apprehend the creature beneath the house - especially, since the Sherrif had already gone missing. A message to the writers: Your audience is NOT STUPID - quit treating us as if we are or else you will sure to find your program on the list of those CANCELED. Peace Out!
  • Pretty predictable, which was a shame and a surprise - and not the good kind.

    It's always disappointing to have figured out where an episode of any show is going from before halfway through - it really takes the fun out of watching a show. It was very obvious that the kidnapper/killer was the old guy's son as soon as he waxed lyrical about having lost his and, from there, all you were watching for was the appearance of the grotesque creature itself. Overall, the episode felt like a filler: something to keep us occupied while the writers figure out where to take the overall story. Or they've figured it all out already and are just toying with us.
  • screenagedkicks covered everything in his review and I agree completely, but he missed one thing.

    screenagedkicks covered everything in his review and I agree completely, but he missed one thing. I hoped someones review would cover it 'cuz I didn't want to write a review just "vent my spleen" on this 1 issue, but it also occurred in 2x03 so I thought I'd just bother all of you with it. In this episode they drove back and forth from Boston to Pennsylvania like 5 or 6 times and then a few times in 2x03 also. That is a 6 hour drive each way, and Olivia is still recovering from a head wound ! I would be too out of it to investigate anything after even 2 of those trips. One of the 2 eps. had a scene where they asked for a cargo plane so maybe they're going to use that to avoid this situation in the future.
  • The Fringe division investigates the disappearance of 7 people from a rural Pennsylvania community; Olivia, still recovering from her accident, learns that there are side effects of traveling to another universe; Peter and Walter share a father-son moment

    This episode was definitely faster-paced than the previous installment but still lacks the intensity
    and suspense that I came to associate with last season. At its core, this episode began with the typical Fringe-esque teaser: A utility worker "Raymond" is working near a field of crops and an ominous looking scarecrow. In the background, a radio announcer indicates that six people have been reported missing in the past few weeks with no leads. Citizens who have any information are instructed to contact Sheriff Golightly. The utility worker walks near some pipes, and his coworker tells him to hurry up or they'll miss the game. Raymond hears a rustling noise in the field and tells his co-worker to wait a minute. When Raymond investigates the noise, he sees a mysterious blue hand, which pulls him into the ground. Meanwhile, a train is heard in the background, which drowns out the noise, and the co-worker has no idea where Raymond went.

    The rest of the episode play out in typical Fringe fashion, with the team investigating the abductions in rural Lansdale Pennsylvania, resulting in more deaths, and the discovery of a human/scorpion mutant hybrid, which paralyzes its victims and is also a cannibal. The mutant's father was a scientist, who injected his wife with an experimental treatment so that she could bear a child. The wife died, but the monster survived, and the father has been unable to catch it for years, feeling guilty that he has introduced a dangerous creature into the world, when all he wanted was a healthy child. Most of the story is bland and has many parallels (no pun intended) to last season's Chimera episode. There are, however, a few interesting nuggets to this episode, which build on the parallel universe saga from last season and the Season 2 opener. We learn, for example, that there are side effects of traveling to another universe. Olivia seems to have ultra-sensitive hearing, which aids in the resolution of the case but nearly results in her shooting Peter. We also learn that there will be other side effects, such as headaches, and the shapeshifter/Charlie-look-alike will somehow "help" Olivia remember what occurred in the other universe.

    Near the end of the episode, there is a father-son moment with Peter and Walter. Peter wants to go fishing with his father and shows him a lure called "The Night of Desirable Objects," hence, the title of the episode. It was a nice scene, but as with most of this installment, I felt that it was surrounded by a plodding story. Hopefully, things will pick up next week.
  • Olivia shoots Peter

    The Monster of the week episode is tainted by domestic moments such as Peter going to pick up Olivia at the hospital, the Bishop boys fishing trip and Olivia & Peter taking turns at driving the car, most of the time Johnson's favorite recruit and Bishop's only son look like a very tired couple trying to get away from the stress of parenting the big child that is Walter only to be caught up by the work-related-stress of their current assignment.

    Thus is how Olvia ends up shooting Peter in the course of their investigation, whether it was the house or Olivia's paranoia Peter covers for her with Broyles the same way main suspect Dr. Hughes covers for his son, a boy altered within the womb with scorpion and mole rat DNA that bites Peter as he tries to get Olivia away from his pull. In the end the boy is crushed by a vehicle in the same place where he used to grab his victims.

    In the end Peter tells Walter a story about a fishing trip they never got to do together and Walter agrees to go this time, as Olivia takes a bath she realizes her paranoia was indeed a heighten hearing sense and the shapeshifter posing as Charlie prepares to trigger her memories from the trip to meet William Bell.
  • Another mutant story..

    I am a little disappointed with the writers reusing some old material. I can distinctly recall, there was another chimera creature in one of the earlier episode that almost killed Charlie.

    Otherwise, this was again a edge of seat nail biting typical Fringe offering. A lot of things are brought out. Olivia getting a heightened sense of hearing, presumably a side effect of traveling to the parallel world. We are also introduced to a new character who will be helping out Olivia deal with her new found ability. The parallel universe conspiracy involving Charlie is still in a teaser mode, with the conspirators still trying to extract the meeting information from Olivia.

    I guess Fringe is off to a good start.
  • Predictability never helps

    After a premiere that re-introduced the status quo and set up the story to evolve organically, the real question was how the writers would shift back into the usual "monster of the week" mode. It was the trick that always seemed to elude the writing staff of "The X-Files", after all, and something that has plagued other semi-serialized shows as well.

    In terms of the overall mythology, the main advancement appears to be the physical and mental changes taking place with Agent Dunham. In particular, she seems to be losing control over some form of enhanced hearing, and that is affecting her perception and ability to focus. Walter, Nina, and Olivia's new friend Sam all hint at the notion that traveling between two universes can have unexpected consequences, and that this is just the beginning.

    Taking the memory loss and perceptual issues into account, this might begin to explain what happened to Walter. It has always seemed like something more than a psychotic break, but the man clearly doesn't operate on the same wavelength as most of the world. Could this be some kind of lingering aftereffect of repeated travel between dimensions? And could William Bell have chosen to stay in Alt-Fringe to avoid the consequences of frequent travel? (Alternatively, has he discovered a way to cross without the effects?)

    "Charlie" also seems to be suffering from some kind of side effect of the transference process, which suggests that this subplot will come to a head sooner rather than later. That's probably a good thing. This kind of subplot can drag on past its viable lifetime, especially when the ability to hide inconsistencies becomes hard to reconcile.

    All of these mythological elements are a good thing, because the case at the center of the story was utterly predictable. This sort of story has been told enough times in enough variations that the twists and turns felt like a paint-by-numbers effort. I'm not sure if this was a matter of easing the audience into the season with a familiar tale, but this felt like something out of a horror story cliché generator. Last season made it abundantly clear that the writers can do better.
  • A weak follow-up to an explosive seson premiere.

    I won't go into the plot of this episode as it's already out there. I'll just say that it was a predictable-if not boring- episode that didn't really push the show forward. Still, it made for an ok transition episode , it made us ask some questions whose answers could lead to an awsome development in the future: Who is Sam and what does he do?
    Is olivia a super-woman now?
    and again: WHAT did she see? WHAT does she know?!

    But for me, the most intriguing question is:
    Who is on the other end of the typewriter?

    A different Walter? Peter? or evil OLIVIA?!

    Let's hope the answers are out there.
  • A great episode

    The Fringe team travels to Pennsylvania to investigate an underground tunnel full of human remains. Meanwhile, Walter experiments using frogs to travel between realities. This episode was not as good as the last but it was still a great watch. The epidoes main story was fun to watch there was a couple of jumpy moments like when people kept getting attack and when Olivia shot at Peter by accident. Loving the Charlie storyline it is very intresting and I cant wait to see what happens there. Walter was great as usual. Another strong episode of the show just not as good as the prevous episode.
  • Another good episode, but once again, a lot more questions and little answers. Warning, spoilers contained below.

    This start to the episode was a little less visual then most starts that I remember, but not less interesting. Olivia seems to have a heightened sense of hearing after coming back to her own reality, which does distract her, but also leads her in the right direction. It seems though, what is happening to Olivia is not abnormal for those who visit the other reality and come back. I am curious to find out more about what is happening to her, what she saw and who the shape shifter is working for. Also, I would like to know more about Olivia's being a solder, she was a recruit, so I wonder if we will see her future in that, or if it will die with Jones.
  • Unfortunatly I found this episode to be slow and predictable, a real disapointment for Fringe.

    Agent Dunham investigates a case of missing persons. A man being questioned by Dunham becomes a suspect when he refuses to cooperate. Walter requests to examine the suspects late wife and son's bodies but while they were exhumed it was discovered that the sons body was missing and it had apparently tunneled his way out of the grave. Upon examination of the dead wifes body Walter discovers she would not have been able to concieve a child. To cut a long story short the suspect had created a 'Super Baby' as Walter called it, and this baby was responsible for the deaths of the missing persons. I say, cut a long story short because i wouldn't want to bore you with all the details. I am a huge fan of Fringe but this episode was a massive disapointment. It was slow, predictable and far below par compared to other episodes. At times I felt even the acting and filming was poorly done which I am so sad to say because I have never critisized Fringe so harshly before. It seemed to me that the plot to the episode was created for the sole purpose of telling the viewers that Agent Dunham was starting to have super hearing abilities as a side effect of traveling to a paralel universe. This rendered the episode a pointless filler because Dunhams condition could have been disclosed in a much better way. I absolutly get frustrated when writers drag out a full season-plot in such small doses within another plot.
    I really hope this was a one off, I hoping that it was an off day for filming, maybe everyone was down with a bug or something because I saw fault in everything. Even down to Walter's emotional venerabilities which we are used to, this time it appeared to be over-acted and didn't look right when Peter asked him to come fishing with him. Also, while I'm talking about the acting, even Agent Dunham appeared to strugle to put a convincing expression on her face and a lot of her lines didn't flow. Please Please make me think that this was just a bad day at the office, because if it's like this for the next couple episodes I will seriously consider giving up with it.
    Overall Fringe has a fantastic plot with amazing opertunities to tell some great stories, the theme of the show allows it to really venture anywhere it wishes so their really is no excuse for delivering a bad episode with so much possibilites. Speed it up please and get us excited again like last season. I want to antisipate the next episode, not worry about it like I am now. Writers... take a lesson from a show like supernatural, they always get the right balance of full and sub plot while always leaving us anticipating the next episode and wanting more. I literally can't remember the last time I said oooohhh Nooo!!! at the end of a Fringe episode which to me is the indication of a great show.
  • Once again, Fringe decides to slam the brakes on rather than speed down the highway.

    Fringe treads water for the second week running with 'Night of Desirable Objects', which sees the show return more explicitly to the formula it adopted in the early stages of its first season. Once again, we take a trip down X-Files lane as the gang investigate an unusual occurrence in a sleepy town, and any mythology elements, any movement in the progression of the ongoing story arc, are relegated to the narratalogical second division. In theory, there's nothing wrong with this set-up; some of Chris Carter's show's greatest achievements are to be found in its stand-alone hours, but it doesn't seem that the Fringe writing staff have yet discovered how to make their 'curiosities of the week' actually hold the viewer's attention for the duration of the programme's forty five minutes.

    Too often, as here, the plot feels like it's stretched thin, lacking the sort of substance and intrigue that pushes the need to advance the ongoing plot to the back of our minds. The central conceit, that people are going missing 'on the spot' (so to speak) in Lansdale, may be deftly executed – Brad Anderson uses long shots, pregnant silences and disconcerting set pieces (the scarecrow, the train) to manufacture a potent level of eeriness – but it's regrettably predictable. The 'human mutation' storyline has been done so many times in the show already – some successful ('Inner Child'), some not so much ('The Transformation') – that it feels tired; it no longer surprises us and as such, it's a struggle for the viewer to invest in it, to be as apparently psyched as Walter by the whole thing. Worryingly, it also becomes obvious from the moment that we first see Hughes's boots trawling through the underground 'tunnel' that he has a distinct emotional investment in the case, and it's only a few beats later before we put two and two together and realise that his apparently dead son is still alive and (very much) kicking. Consequently, the ultimate pay-off in the graveyard falls depressingly flat: the fact that the boy is not in the coffin is built up as if it's the most shocking of revelations when actually, it couldn't be any more signposted if it tried. This sort of thing smacks of lazy writing; it really wouldn't take much to expand the scope of the plot, to incorporate further minutiae to help disguise these developments.

    Even more problematically, it becomes clear at various points in the episode that Whyman and Pinkner are struggling to keep their script afloat. There are a number of disposable scenes included that, in more complex and interesting hours, would undoubtedly end up on the cutting room floor. The most notable of these is Olivia and a fellow agent discovering the body of Mr. Hughes in a sequence that opens the act immediately following the depiction of his suicide. It adds absolutely nothing of relevance to the plot as the viewer is already privy to all of the intricacies. Seeing Olivia connect the dots is superfluous; the same effect would be created if she was simply informed by someone else, or if we returned and she was already in acquisition of the knowledge. Curiously, the converse is true of the narrative's denouement; there is simply not enough here, as we spend all of two minutes with the creature before it meets its ungainly end by being speared by a police car. There is a minor scuffle between it, Peter and Olivia and hilariously, that's it. While the 'monster' had previously secreted paralytic venom to ensnare its prey and clearly has the geographical and psychological upper hand in the situation, it decides to sit back and rest on its laurels when faced with our protagonists, just jostling them about a bit and dragging Dunham off for a tet a tet or something. Ergo, the story's resolution is completely anti-climactic and far too sudden. Could we not have learned more about the creature's genetic make-up, something about what makes him tick or simply spent more time involved in the struggle?

    It's somewhat frustrating that too little time is spent on important sequences like this one, and the development of the mythological elements of the narrative (we still don't know the specifics of Olivia's encounter with William Bell), when Whyman and Pinkner manage to incorporate pointless rehashes of previously established minutiae, such as the inclusion of a scene in which Walter tells the audience about the existence of parallel universes; you know, jut for those who forgot or have only just joined the show. 'A New Day in the Old Town' tried this trick too and frankly, it's irritating; would it really hurt the production staff to give their audience some credit, or to leave the recapping to the 'previously on Fringe' segment?

    Naturally, there are elements of 'Night of Desirable Objects' that are somewhat more successful. Aside from the superlative execution of the more macabre portions of the narrative, there's also much to be gained from the character beats too. It's good to see Olivia suffering the after effects of her car accident. All too often, television sacrifices believability for the sake of re-establishing the status quo, but thankfully, not here; Anna Torv is excellent at depicting Dunham's fatigue, the fact that she's run down, and it really helps the viewer to invest in the story. Elsewhere, Walter and Peter's burgeoning relationship continues to provide a number of decidedly sweet moments, particularly Peter's offer to take his father fishing which could have seemed mawkish in the hands of lesser actors but is actually rather moving here. And finally, Agent Francis's transformation remains thoroughly entertaining; it's great to see the mysterious 'back room' again, with its typewriter-to-another-world, and kudos to Kirk Acevado for choosing to underplay the character's new-found evilness instead of hamming it up.

    Once again, Fringe decides to slam the brakes on rather than speed down the highway. The writing staff have abandoned the forward momentum they initiated towards the close of last season in favour of returning to the bog standard 'monster of the week' formula from which the show began. There are minor developments in the ongoing narrative but they simply aren't enough, especially when one considers the wafer thin nature of the remainder of the plot. While 'stand alones' can often prove more successful than the big, revelation-heavy episodes, they have to contain enough meat and a weighty enough concept to keep the viewer engaged. Sadly, 'Night of Desirable Objects' has neither of these: the 'human mutation' trope is highly unoriginal and its execution is mired in predictability – the viewer figures out the 'mystery' and can piece together the denouement within the first fifteen minutes. With a little more work and an amping up of the plot, this could've been a triumph but as it is, it's distinctly average.
  • Good episode very xfiles like in the creature and investigation. However are they still investigating "the pattern"

    I'm confused to where fringe has gotten to, dont get me wrong at this moment in time it is my favorite show on tv. However considering season 1 had a distinct feeling to it (investigating the pattern and its relationship with walter and massive dynamic) this season has started very differently. I'm all for change in a tv show but i never want a complete change of course. I'm just curious about this episode because peter chose it and it didnt seem connected to anything they had done before. However apart from the non seeming connection of story i thought this episode was great. Once again great visual effects and it just had a little more x files in it than most of the previous episodes which is great to me
  • Definitely not as good as last week.. some moments drag on.

    Seeing as it was the season premiere following an excellent season finale, I think the follow up can be excused a little bit. Fringe is sort of like Supernatural in the sense that there's a season long arc mixed in with individual cases that have nothing to do with anything. This episode, with a boy that was mutated in the womb by a distraught father, had nothing whatsoever to do with the plot from the previous two episodes. It was decent, nothing else.

    I really hope they don't drag out Olivia's inability to remember what happened in the alternate universe. I like the way they're building tension, but that tension could ultimately fail if they drag it out for too long. I do like how now that we're aware of Walter's secret about Peter being from an alternate universe, we can see his inner turmoil about it. I hope that we learn more about this over time as well.

    Other then that and a few interesting moments involving the case, there really wasn't anything worth noting. This episode could easily be skipped and nobody would notice the difference. I have high hopes for upcoming episodes though..
  • Good, but getting slow

    The premiere was great, but the second episode of the season seemed a bit slow. Olivia's side affects from returning are a bit boring and it seems her dialog is less and less. "Charlie" while some may find him intresting i just find him boring this year. The only good thing is Peter stepping up and becomming more of a leader and of course becoming closer to his father. Everyone else seems to have less screen time and less dialog. Hope the 3rd episode brings better story line, or else i think fringe may be canceled by mid season.
  • Weak.

    After such a great season premiere last week it was disappointing to see Fringe put out such a mediocre effort this week and it reflected in the ratings as the episode only drew about 5.9 million viewers. Sure, the monster that pulled people under the ground was cool, but it felt more like something that would be on a ride at Universal Studios than a particularly compelling or interesting story for Fringe.

    Moving the show to Thursdays could be the end as I will tune in week after week, but will others when there are so many other options (CSI, 30 Rock, basketball soon, college football, Grey's Anatomy etc.)?