Season 1 Episode 8

The Equation

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Nov 18, 2008 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
585 votes

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Episode Summary

Walter's former bunkmate at the mental institute is linked to the abduction of a young musical prodigy by a serial kidnapper. Peter is concerned when Walter insists on going back to the mental institute to solve the case.

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  • The Equation

    The eighth episode of "Fringe" is distinguished from its predecessors (except "The Arrival") by the ease in which we got involved in the case of the week, due to its credibility, and the return of Walter (John Noble) to house that he met during the last decades, which gives us some scenes far more uncomfortable than any head explode. The problem comes to us in the end, when we want to take away and just take in the carpet under his feet.

    Like "Fringe" will not exactly to do with whether or not to be skeptical about certain subjects out of common sense. There are many other series that explore alternatives to our realities that somehow managed to sell us the concept enabling us that each scene too farfetched, we did not feel the temptation to roll your eyes or simply turn off the television. Some even managed to become a cult phenomenon and 40 minutes per week not to be missed. "Fringe" seems to adopt the same posture, but in my case, I can not put on your pseudoscience or their revolts and fancy hooks that can result in little more than a twitch of discomfort on the couch.

    However, this episode before its end, can carry us to a world we can imagine as ours: we have a sophisticated form of hypnotism (ok, it is accepted), we have a woman who supposedly died in a car accident ten years, but it is alive (instead of the usual ghost a la John Scott, it seems that this time was even a covert death and that the woman was even alive) and have a kid stuck in your imagination (it is much more acceptable than, for example, connecting wires to the brain of a dead person and see what he saw or talk to him or whatever). Only I will not question why is this kid know the formula, it seems that others also knew that somehow, after having been six days in a coma. I will not ask me about it because they simply do not want to know an answer I would bring more than just lack of interest in what happens in this series ...

    To save the kid of evildoers, Walter must return to the site where he spent the last decades of his life in captivity. The burden of dramatic scenes set in a psychiatric hospital, and the reflection of terror in the face of Walter back there, they gave the character more sympathetic than ever. He did not want to return to that place, where his life was withdrawn from him, but put the search and the possibility of salvation for a kid, a stranger, above their fears. On top of that, things did not go for the best and Walter almost found himself trapped again, but never lost the sense of what had taken him there and got the same information I wanted. The scenes shared between John Noble and Randall Duk Kim were superb and the difficulties posed by the character of William Sadler created some tension to leave me to wonder if Walter could really turn it up to that setback. Just did not realize the scenes in which he saw himself.

    As I did not realize that ending. These outcomes are typical in the series of mystery from JJ Abrams. "Alias" had them. "Lost" has them. But "Fringe" can not catch up to either of the two, much less the second, where these mysterious end result and this can only create further confusion and frustration. Mitchell Loeb (Chance Kelly), the character found in the previous episode, being a double agent, reappears. The woman who kidnapped and tortured the kid gives him the formula. He places an apple inside a machine. Both have a dialogue about the properties of numbers, the kind that would leave a book "Physics for Dummies." Connect with it and takes out his club a few seconds later, able to cross the wall of the chest with his hand. He kills his wife (who knows why ...). Connects to someone to say that it worked and ready ... went away. There was a hook that has piqued my interest to continue to monitor what these people go to engender. On the contrary: just gave me even less inclined to see the show.moreless
  • Good Ol' Walter.

    I think one of the things that I love about this episode is that it was a great balance between case and personal. We have an Ben who is suddenly able to play and compose music. But the musical composition is an obsession of both little Ben and a patient at St. Claire's. Walter is willing to see what his friend knows by returning to St. Claire's. It turns our the obsession isn't a pattern, it's an ability. But it's currently in the wrong hands. The wonderful part of this episode is the interaction between Peter and Walter. Peter wanting to protect and care for the man whom is his father. Walter wanting to be the father to Peter that he never had.moreless
  • A show focused on Walter!

    This was a good episode that focused more an Walter. Walter has been doing better lately and this episode really highlights how much healthier Walter is out of the hospital. It also makes you wonder what they do to the patients in that hospital. Walter definitely seems crazier inside the hospital than with Peter. It was also good to see Peter stand up for his father and even respect him a bit for doing something that scared him so badly. Olivia did not have that much to do do in this episode, but the episode still works. We also learn that the doctor at the hospital might make things hard for Peter in the future. Overall, another great episode!moreless
  • I absolutely adore this show and this is most likely my favorite so far!

    Fringe is a great show because it is so out there and different from other shows on television right now. The Equation is an excellent episode for many reasons. First off, it helped show that waltar genuinely does care about the welfare of others because he sacrifices himself in order to get inside and speak to the man who he believes to have the answer to where the woman took the boy. Another reason it is good is because it helps show that Peter loves and cares for his father. All in all the episode had some excellent character development and told one amazing story.moreless
  • A mysterious woman kidnaps a child music prodigy.

    Where Fringe is successful is in capturing the essence of the first season of Lost. Throughout the episode you find yourself on the edge of the seat while asking just what the hell is going on? In that area the show is a success. Where Fringe struggles is with the concept of planning out episodes. For some reason they insist on lengthy run-times nearing 50 minutes, when the major storyline of each could easily be handled in the normal 42.

    Until programs like Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who return Fringe is still the best source of science fiction excitement on television. It is still an incredibly well-written program and this episode was no different, but the storylines are starting to get repetitive. We already had the mad scientist who tried to milk information out of subjects done on this show.

    There's a whole world of craziness out there. Explore some of it and Fringe will become even better but if they stick to the same 3-4 concepts the show will lose all of its momentum very shortly.moreless
Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson

Peter Bishop

Lance Reddick

Lance Reddick

Phillip Broyles

Kirk Acevedo

Kirk Acevedo

Charlie Francis

Jasika Nicole

Jasika Nicole

Astrid Farnsworth

John Noble

John Noble

Dr. Walter Bishop

Anna Torv

Anna Torv

Olivia Dunham

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Trivia: The glyph for this episode is "TAKEN."

    • Trivia: In the shot of Olivia on her cell phone just before she sees the "castle," a butterfly can be seen on a trash can behind her to screen-left. This is a clue toward the next episode, "The Dreamscape."

    • Trivia: The Observer is standing by a tree to the left in the far background as Olivia talks to Peter on her cellphone and is told about the "red castle."

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Walter: Actually I was referring to the equation. Dashiell was obsessed with it.
      Olivia: Obsessed. In what way?
      Walter: He couldn't complete it. I tried to help him solve it once and he came at me with a plastic spork.

    • Olivia: What is it, Walter? Can we talk to him?
      Walter: I guess that would depend on whether he has succeeded in killing himself or not.

    • Walter: They hoped to broadcast the flashing lights during commercials so that the viewers would have no choice but to buy their products. Unfortunately, it merely caused nausea which was unfortunate because apparently, people don't like to shop when they feel like they're going to throw up.

    • Walter: And you look different too, somehow. That smile. Have they altered your medication? Wouldn't surprise me. These medieval quacks are more proficient at phrenology than psychopharmacology.
      Dashiell: I miss your jokes, Walter.

    • Peter: After some of the things I've seen in the last three months, Walter strikes me as being one of the sanest people I know.

    • Joanne: Seems crazy that some numbers can make a machine like this work.
      Mitchell: Look around your house, your office, your kitchen--numbers make everything work.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Blair Brown and Mark Valley are credited but don't appear.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Sweden: November 20, 2008 on Kanal 5
      United Kingdom: November 23, 2008 on Sky One
      Australia: December 8, 2008 on Nine
      Norway: February 22, 2009, on TVN
      Finland: February 23, 2009 on MTV3
      Germany: May 11, 2009 on ProSieben
      Belgium: June 25, 2009 on RTBF2
      France: July 8, 2009 on TF1
      New Zealand: August 19, 2009 on TV2
      Poland: October 29, 2009 on TVN
      Slovakia: November 22, 2009 on Markiza
      Czech Republic: March 5, 2010 on Nova Cinema


    • Astrid: What's up, Chachi?
      Referencing Chachi Arcola, The Fonz's nephew on Happy Days. Scott Baio played the character, who proved popular enough to be moved into a spinoff, Joanni Loves Chachi with Erin Moran. The series only lasted two seasons before being cancelled and Chachi returned to Milwaukee to hang out with his uncle.