Season 2 Episode 7

Of Human Action

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Nov 12, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
478 votes

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Episode Summary

The Fringe Division investigates an unusual kidnapping with connections to Massive Dynamic.

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  • Of Human Action

    After half a dozen signs of fatigue are evident. We came here with dark circles and without faith. Counting the days of those who know equal to those who wait know different.

    It is not necessary to read minds to know the opinion already worn and used, "Fringe" is sick. Symptoms of an initial season got worse and now we are faced with several problems: first, the central plot is interspersed with episodes amorphous, without the slightest reference to the mythology of the series, and secondly, these fillers may even be interested if they had mystery, suspense, tension, but nothing is so obvious that even offend, and finally, as a consequence of the two preceding paragraphs, the fluidity and willingness to watch the next episode ceased to exist.

    And that's how I would position myself to watch one more case of the week. And so I was happily surprised, for "Of Human Action" is everything a weekly episode of "Fringe" should be. It is the careful correction of the faults listed. Consider this: the beginning (always good) presents us with a pair of kidnappers and a kid. The police try in vain to catch them but they are driven by what we perceive to be mind control, to put an end to their lives. The flight continues, as the normal hunting, but which at any time it was not linear here:

    Neither the first nor the raptor raptor two were the real cause of those deaths and that kidnapping. The way we were showing the incident was well mounted, with some plans that led us to believe a false truth. The real culprit was the kidnapped girl. The roles were reversed and sinister after the accident victim was a predator. A good surprise that filled the first part of the episode and dynamic force.

    The scene of the headphones is sublime. Although a mechanism has already seen, resulted in perfection, offering as close to reality here, leading us into the heart of the action, lost in the sleepy sound. One of the best exercises for action that the series has offered us this season.

    Discovering the identity of the villain of service missing figure out why all their wickedness. Peter (Joshua Jackson) is abducted and taken a road trip, tense and turbulent, which only ends when the young man finds his mother, who told him that was dead, that he seeks only to embrace never to quit. This is the mind in question was normal and not full of violence. New trail, but this time with a happy ending.

    Finally, then there is the connection to Massive Dynamics and William Bell (Leonard Nimoy). We knew that the young man's father was a scientist of the company, we did not know, and that was revealed only in the final moments, is that everything was part of a giant experiment. A laboratory test where dozens of clones are tested, where many Tylers have put their skills into play. The final scene is beautiful, with the balance of Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) to serve as background to the closing of the doors.

    Creativity, rhythm, mystery and action. Episodes are so "Fringe" needs. Moments that grab from start to finish and that destapem gradually the veil of events. May more.

    The Best: The scene of the headphones.

    The worst: The cases of the week are not all like that.moreless
  • Alright

    This episode is alright, I didn't see a whole lot happening in this episode. Kids goes crazy to find his mom so he kidnaps two car saleperson with mind control to do his evil bidding. He fake his ransom to get the money and kidnap Peter in the proecess the whole show was trying to find out who controlling the salesmen when it's so predicable we knew it was the kid. So watching the whole show knowing whats going on was a pain. Only little juicy surprise was the ending and that was the last 10-15 seconds of it.moreless
  • Another classic scenario emerges

    One of the most popular episodes of "The X-Files" was called "Pusher". It involved a man who could use mind control, and as one would expect, this particular criminal had some serious moral deficiencies. That episode continues to be one of the most memorable for "X-Files" fans, so the writers for "Fringe" are treading on sacred ground for many.

    The writers do manage to put a spin on the formula by having the mind control agent be a teenager, and giving the kind of explanation for the ability that meshes with the "Fringe" mythos. It's been a long time since elements of The Pattern were directly linked to the activities of Massive Dynamic, so this was a welcome turn of events.

    Since the end of the first season, The Pattern has largely been attributed to the activities related to immoral and illegal experiments conducted to develop both offensive and defensive capabilities for the coming war with Alt-Fringe. The role of Massive Dynamic in that scheme has never been completely clear, and this episode doesn't necessarily change that. Instead, it adds to the evidence that Massive Dynamic was put in place to mitigate the human cost of developing an defense against Alt-Fringe.

    That does much to render William Bell a more enigmatic figure. While he may consider it important to foster Olivia's development as the most important element of Fringe Prime's defense, there's no indication of how far he's willing to go to that end. We have yet to see much advancement in Olivia's training, after all. But it makes sense that Massive Dynamic would be meant to facilitate that training, directly or indirectly.

    That said, it's hard to fathom what the current experiments in mind control are meant to achieve. Why create several versions of a single person, spread them around the country under foster care, and then conduct these experiments under those conditions? It speaks to the notion that William Bell never stopped the kind of experimentation that he and Walter started decades earlier, but it doesn't quite seem to fit in the scheme of the conflict as it has been presented.

    Having Peter be abducted and controlled made for some compelling tension, even if it was highly unlikely that he would be seriously hurt or killed. It was enough to see him try to work his way around the control and fail. Peter's resourcefulness has always been an important part of his character, so it makes sense that he would keep testing and pushing Tyler's ability.

    More than that, it applied more pressure on Walter, who is slowly but surely losing the ability to hide what he knows about Peter's unique background. Walter identified with the powerful emotions of losing a child, but at the same time, he was also reacting to the fact that he was, in truth, a child abductor. He's been on both sides of that coin, and considering that Walter is not good with complex emotions, it's hard to know how close Walter is getting to revealing the truth.

    Overall, this was another solid entry for the second season, but the writers need to start pulling the threads together a bit more. Right now, the season seems to be struggling to present a clear direction, despite some key revelations along the way. Given some of the challenges to the ratings this season, thanks to an inexplicable timeslot shift by FOX, the writers need to make sure the story doesn't get lose coherence.moreless
  • I thought Peter was going to get flashbacks of his childhood for a minute.

    Good episode. I think they are going to delve into what really happened to Peter (speaking about Walter kidnapping him from the other reality) and this show was the catalyst. I thought that maybe Walter was going to slip when he said that he couldn't lose him again referring to Peter. Massive Dynamic still has "massive" secrets and we will never get to the root of them all. It looks like the observer was on the sidewalk behind a car during the the police car chase just before they ended up on top of the parking garage.moreless
  • Mind control this time..

    Although this episode had the usual JJ Abrams fringy touch to it, I wasn't too thrilled with the mind control concept. It's like the most overused theme in almost all Sci-fi', Matt Parkman in Heroes for instance.

    I actually get why ratings have taken a nosedive this season. As a matter of fact, this whole one case a day strategy has waned my interest. It's about time they took care of the parallel universe track, and stop writing stuff about kids controlling people after popping some pills. Not to steal the moment from this story, I must admit the ending was pretty cool. Massive Dynamics dark side has been revealed once again. No matter how open and helpful they seem to Dunham and the Fringe division, they sure do have the most bizarre of secrets.

    Decent episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Walter explains that Peter's teddy bear emits a stream of audible white noise. White noise in audio terms is actually a particular signal with a fixed bandwidth which sounds to the ear like a high-pitched hiss. The teddy bear, however, emits a undefinable oscillating sound, predominantly in a lower frequency range.

    • When the convenience store clerk is forced to insert a key into the wall receptacle, he is hurled away by the resulting electrical jolt. In reality, a source voltage of 120 volts running through a person with an average build, an average height, with dry hands and wearing shoes would feel an uncomfortable tingle in his or her arm, but suffer no permanent damage unless he or she were to sustain the current for a few minutes or more.

    • Trivia: The Observer can be seen behind a silver car on the right as the police cars arrive at the parking garage.

    • Trivia: The glyph code for this episode is ARRIVE.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Peter: Genius, the second you took me, they knew you were behind it all.
      Tyler: Whatever. You had no idea I was the one in charge.
      Peter: Yeah, you managed to kidnap yourself. Congratulations. You're a criminal mastermind.

    • Walter: (found a toy) Here it is. It generates white noise which simulates the sound of being in utero. Just what we need to block the mind control.
      Peter: (sarcastically) A teddy bear versus mind-control spies. The bad guys don't stand a chance.

    • Walter: That was quick thinking. You always prove to be more resourceful than I give you credit for.
      Peter: Is that supposed to be some sort of compliment?

    • Walter: How many do you want?
      Peter: I'm not hungry. I don't need any crepes.
      Walter: Oh, don't be ridiculous. You were abducted. Of course you need crepes.

    • Peter: Walter, remember that conversation we had about personal space?
      Walter: I'm bored. No cadavers at this crime scene. Or food.

    • Astrid: Chicken. You serious?
      Walter: Just a hypothesis. What do you think, more like pork?
      Astrid: Truthfully, I don't really spend a lot of time thinking about what human brains would taste like.
      Walter: Then why did you ask?

    • Walter: This is exciting. You think the FBI will ever give me a gun?

    • Walter: All commands will come through the headphones. Once you're given the order to put on the headphones, do not remove them under any circumstances. If you do, you may die a gruesome and horrible death. Thank you for your attention and have a nice day.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Music: Subtle Duck (Charles Bissell), Angel Love (Samantha James)

    • International Airdates:
      UK: November 15, 2009 on Sky1/Sky1 HD
      Latin America: December 8, 2009 on WB
      Sweden: January 14, 2010 on Kanal 5
      Australia: February 3, 2010 on GO!
      Germany: April 26, 2010 on ProSieben
      Poland: October 21, 2010 on TVN
      Finland: November 3, 2010 on MTV3
      Czech Republic: January 7, 2011 on Nova Cinema
      Slovakia: April 23, 2012 on Markiza