Fringe

Season 2 Episode 9

Snakehead

9
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Dec 03, 2009 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

8.5
out of 10
Average
461 votes
  • Snakehead

    6.5
    Desperate to see someone running. You stew. Ask for help and asks for a certain address. In the confusion someone forwards. Is the dark of night but the light of the busy street, and dirty. Arrives. Finds comfort in her name. Pour rested and if all this would not end like an episode of "Fringe."



    From his mouth comes a huge parasite, a worm, a snake, something. And so begins the investigation we realized that was not the only death. Immense bodies, Chinese, gave the coast, all with the same cause of death. Migrants who mistakenly boarded the last voyage of their life because someone gave them a pill. A fatal pill where being lives and once inside the human body grows into that form we know. But why be ending so many lives?



    Why the strange creature has extraordinary medicinal properties, a kind of drug that is extracted and sold. In this case a mother who seeks to save his son. The main intrigue of "Sankehead" boiled down to this. No twists, no mystery and (almost) no action. This type of episodes with these stories too linear, eventually causing an extreme frustration in the viewer. The argument, which is mounted just a mere hunting man / monster turns out to finish bumpy and without content. We further background, more complex, more juice. But this is now the prayer of the day.



    On the other hand this ninth episode forget Olivia (Anna Torv) to embrace Walter (John Noble) as protagonist and it was here that the story had some interest. The attempted emancipation of Walter, from the beginning which is followed by his son until the end where a chip implant location was great exercise and a good interpretive character development. See Walter desperate to realize his folly and forgetfulness can never match the word responsibility. It is the fall itself, finally admitting that maybe, Walter healthy never return home.



    The Best: Walter Bishop.

    The Worst: The rest.
  • Cool Creature

    8.0
    Good episode, I thought the paracites were cool looking. But, it was kinda like the same with the episode of the cold bug being enlarged so it wasn't a wow experience but decent. I like the character development of Walter trying to be independent and I'm sure he will get the hang of thing further down the line. That is what I like most about this episode Walters independence.
  • Great character development in this episode! Warning, spoilers contained below.

    9.0
    This was yet another filler episode, but this one had a different tone then the last. It was yet another good episode, one with a much bigger emphasis on character development. The event of sorts in this episode was not exactly as shocking and interesting as some we have seen in the past, but it was still enough, and the main purpose of the episode sort of need a toned down event to really work. Not that nothing happened in this episode, it just was one of those that you watch out of interest in furthering the characters. In the case of this episode, Walter and Peters characters were furthered, more so Walter, but their relationship was definitely a big factor in this episode. I really enjoyed the episode, and I liked how it all played out. Bravo on a great filler episode once again!
  • Monsters and bloody scenes were not the reason why I added Fringe to my favorite shows. It was the underlying story about the pattern that was Fringe's strongpoint. Too bad that seems to get lost.

    6.5
    The last few episodes are somewhat stand alone shows. And that's a shame. Why do I like shows like Lost, Dexter or BSG? Because there is an underlying story to be told. Fringe also had such a story: The Pattern. Recently, however, the episodes are veering away from that story and frankly, it doesn't do any good to the show. This episode about alien like monsters growing inside human beings was a terrible episode. Just a lot of gore. The fact that Walter doesn't seem to be able to take care of himself was already obvious enough, so that part of the episode was also unnecessary. I'd rather see less episodes telling one story all together, then ten episodes of this type.
  • This episode makes you think twice about the worm in the tequila, doesn't it??!!

    9.0
    What a perfectly creepy story line. Not being a wormy or buggy-type fan at the best of times this whole concept was just...wrong! Wrong enough to be a completely perfect and wonderfully out there, Fringe episode.

    Walter as a "free man" wandering around China Town was a bad idea waiting to happen. In perfect counterpoint, his unparalleled brilliance and his overwhelming naivete both serve to get him in trouble, and it's hard to tell which one is the culprit at any given moment. Best to keep your mouth shut, Walter!

    Peter's "other" life was showing it's face tonight in his knowledge of the Asian gang details as well as his fluency in Cantonese. Just who did he "go wrong" with prior to being conscripted by Olivia and the Fringe unit, and will that help or hurt in the coming war?

    Even Astrid got to step out tonight. Unfortunately, she got her as-trid kicked doing so! But she did get closer to Walter, and in the coming conflict, I think walter is going to be "the" man to know...
  • Poor Walter.

    8.0
    Tonight's monster in Fringe involved worms. Blood, murder. zombies, all that atuff I am okay with, but worms really freak me out, I have to admit, so Fringe succeded in making this viewer a bit queezy throughout tonight's airing.

    The episode was really fun with a nice mix of political background in tonight's supernatural events. I also liked the side storyline with the show's best character, Walter Bishop, getting lost in Chinatown, and not knowing how to get home. These side storylines can work at times, but when the show takes itself too seriously (like that 4 episode arc with Olivia crying about her life) is when I think viewers get turned off.

    Not the best this season, but still a strong showing from Fringe. Hopefully more like this will get the show a third season.
  • Walter's baby steps put Astrid in grave danger.

    9.0
    It's a big day for Walter: the first time he pick up his own clothes to work all by himself. Unfortunately, he spots Peter making sure this would not be his first ride to work alone and like any child whose parent doesn't respect his search for independence he makes a huff, in the traditional sense.

    However ill-equipped Walter may be to face the normal world, he's outstanding when it comes to understand the intricacies of the not-so-normal one as he solves the current case involving an snake-like parasites that infected a group of chinesse immigrants that came to America looking for a better life. Walter resolves to go to Chinatown all by himself ans Astrid resolves its her time to follow him.

    Unfortunately for her the bad guys follow her back to the lab, unfortunately for Walter he forget his own number and can't make a phone call back home, fortunately for Fringe Division they do capture the "Doctor" that used those poor immigrants as unwilling incubators for his treatments using the parasites.

    After a tearful hug upon Walter and Astrid's reunion, Dr. Bishop resolves to implant himself with a tracking device so she would never be harmed again.
  • While you may roll your eyes at yet another stand alone episode of Fringe, 'Snakehead's 'curiosity of the week' is actually window dressing to something far more interesting.

    8.0
    While you may roll your eyes at yet another stand alone episode of Fringe, 'Snakehead's 'curiosity of the week' is actually window dressing to something far more interesting: a bucketload of wonderful development for the show's most lovable character. Walter's quest for independence is undoubtedly the highlight of the hour as John Noble rises to the occasion and puts in a magnificent tour de force, expertly depicting Bishop's frustration, determination and sorrow without ever resorting to cliche. The scene in which he forgets Peter's telephone number in Chinatown is just excellent: his break down on the bench at the bus stop is genuinely moving stuff and more than a little tear-jerking. When he meets a distraught Astrid at hour's end, the feeling is only amplified; Noble's hesitations, his apprehension when confronted with a horrific situation that is of his own making, feel horribly real, just the sort of uncertain awkwardness that often typifies such circumstances. And then there's the narrative's pay off: Walter's decision to implant himself with a tracking device. This is an absolutely genius notion, the perfect flourish to the story, as it's just the sort of ridiculously out there idea that we know Walter would have. It's also worth noting that Joshua Jackson is typically superb as his foil, playing the part with understated reserve but rising to the occasion when he is required to depict Peter's palpable concern.

    Amongst all of this, the 'mystery', if you can call it that, sort of fades into the background. It's hardly original stuff - ANOTHER parasite? More things that grow inside people's bodies and ultimately cause them to endure grisly deaths? Yawn! - but at least the minutiae are cut from a different palate. The decision to set the story in the murky underbelly of Chinatown makes for some refreshingly original visuals, and the inclusion of the Triad adds a nice garnish of verisimilitude to proceedings. The gore factor is off the scale too: when Walter pulls the parasite out of the corpse's mouth and neck, you'd be forgiven for leaving the rest of your dinner, and then when the gang member slits his own throat, it'd be no surprise if what you had managed to get down your neck came shooting straight back out again. Awesome.

    There is one niggling gripe, however, and that is the manner in which the narrative completely forgets about one of its most crucial components. While the poor separated Chinese family are happily reunited and we're meant to feel distinctly comforted, the same cannot be said for the immune deficiency patients, whose fate is left entirely to the imagination. Thanks to some nice scenes with Josh Jackson, we actually care about Matt, who may well die without the treatment being provided by the Triad, but we never get any clue as to how Fringe Division might go about rectifying this problem. It's hardly his fault that his mother is acquiring the drug through illicit means; surely we could at least have had some acknowledgment of this moral dilemma (this did seem to be what the narrative was setting up)? It seems to slip writer David Wilcox's mind which frankly, is more than a little callous, don't ya think?!

    On the whole, 'Snakehead' is a surprisingly solid episode for one that appears so bog standard on paper, but it's primarily the result of some well written character moments and a thankfully brisk paced narrative. While the stand alone element relies heavily on the show's established formula, its predictability fades from significance when faced with so many wonderful scenes involving Walter and Peter. Fringe could do with a great deal more episodes like this.
  • When several bodies with worms/parasites growing from their mouths are found, the Fringe devision investigate

    9.0
    It's episodes like these that remind me what a fully superior show this is to the likes of Flashforward. Although it is another stand alone episode, it's still entertaining.

    When Olivia is surprised that Peter speaks Chinese, he tells her quite bluntly to 'get to know him.' Although this is just another flippant remark from him, it really made me realise that for all we do know about Peter (The Observer saving him as a child; his daddy issues and most importantly his apparent abduction from his home universe) there is so much still to be uncovered, by both us and the rest of the team. And although we are told of Peter's intellect, we rarely see real evidence of it, so it was nice to see him speak another language with apparent fluency.

    Walter's independence is a major theme of the episode. It's something that's been so lacking in his life ever since he got sent to St Claire's, so I really feel for his need to get it back. The scene where he breaks down at the bus stop is truly upsetting, and his concern for Astrid's wellbeing after he learns of her attack is touching. Although this has been highlighted quite frequently in recent episodes, it's prominent just how much stronger the father-son relationship between Walter and Peter has become. Peter's concern for his father is evident in his actions, from putting his number in his coat pocket to having Astrid follow him and it's clear he no longer resents his role as Walter's guardian, and the final scene that has Walter wake Peter on the sofa (becoming a recurring incident…?) shows that Walter accepts that he needs Peter, despite his new found freedom. It's episodes like this that show us just how much both stand to lose if the truth about Peter's childhood eventually comes out.

    The case itself had a moral quandary which was completely sidestepped by the writer. The question of what happens now to the teenage boy Peter bonded with was ignored in favour of showing the almost-victims recovery, which is why I marked down this episode a little.
  • Fringe's take at the Species movie franchise..

    7.0
    Yes, the Species movie franchise featuring the Canadian hottie Natasha Henstridge. That's what came to my mind when I saw those tentacled slimy snake like creatures growing inside a human body, forcing itself out by exploding through the mouth.

    Well, I think Fringe can do much better than this. I am actually not a fan of mythological creatures or genetically modified monster animals in science fiction plots. And when I look back at the earlier episodes, the show seems to be veering away from its usual Fringe science concept, and slowly adapting generic sci-fi storylines like these. I usually cry out loud in my reviews that Fringe is the best sci-fi on TV, and now the last few episodes have got me thinking otherwise..
  • Yet another stand-alone episode

    7.0
    This is one of those episodes that felt like a completely self-contained effort, but could easily become tied into the overall season arc, depending on which direction the writers choose to take. It all comes down to the relevance of Walter's subplot: was it just a bit of character shading to provide a "B" plot for the episode, or was seeding of an important plot point?

    The "monster of the week" was interesting enough, but as I've mentioned in previous reviews, it just didn't seem to hold any pertinence beyond the point of having a strange and unusual creature on screen. The creature was a pure plot device. Compare this to most of the creatures featured on "Supernatural", where some aspect of the "monster of the week" has some pertinence to a specific character aspect or relationship concern for the Brothers Winchester.

    In this case, it was the origin of the creature that made a difference. Because it was being smuggled into the country by an Asian drug cartel, there was a bit of danger for Walter and Peter, and there was a personal attack on Astrid. Walter felt responsible for Astrid's injuries, because if he hadn't wanted to regain a sense of independence, Astrid wouldn't have been sent to keep an eye on him.

    I like the fact that Walter failed miserably in his attempt to work on his own. Walter works as a character because he is broken, and because his arrogance and mental damage keeps him from recognizing just how broken he is. He wants to be less of a burden, but it's hard for him to retain perspective of his own capabilities (or lack thereof). I'm reminded of real-world dementia sufferers, right down to the breakdown that occurs when a critical piece of information is just out of grasp, even when it is written down on a piece of paper within reach.

    It's very interesting, then, that Walter chooses to give Peter a means of tracking him. It seems like a typical Walter solution to a problem. But what if this entire incident was meant to bring Walter to this point, so that Peter would have a means of locating Walter in some future plot twist? Or more to the point of the series mythology, what would it mean if the transponder was suddenly out of range?

    In other words, I think the important part of the episode is the final scene. It's the proverbial gun on the mantle. Peter is going to need to locate Walter at some critical juncture, and the existence of that tracking device is going to factor into it. At least, it needs to factor into the story at some point, or this episode loses much of its meaning in the context of the series.

    After all, very little else in this episode had any solid connection to the rest of the "Fringe" tapestry. One might indirectly connect Olivia's niece to her interest in saving the little girl in this episode, but it's a thin thread. We learned a bit more about Peter's hidden talents, but at this point in the series, we expect him to pull some cache of knowledge out of the blue.

    Like I said in previous reviews this season, the writers raised the stakes when they ramped up the mythology towards the end of the first season. Since they've returned, there's been a distinct lack of balance. This episode may fit into the big picture in the long run, but in many ways, it was yet another stand-alone episode.
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