I know I'm in danger of becoming a rampant apologist for Fringe, but goddamn it I really like this blood-soaked, dorky show. It's like a horror comic that I can't put down because just when the dialog or plot get completely preposterous, the writers throw in an exploding brain or conspiracy parasite or a kid in a mind-control helmet watching his mother rot while he invents a teleportation machine. Even though last night's episode had that kind of good stuff, the best part was watching mad scientist Walter and his rakish son Peter get all badass - and emotionally schmoopy. Spoilers ahead. The clip above basically captures the perfect Peter and Walter moment. Olivia and the FBI crew are hot on the tail of an underground neuroscientist who kidnaps people, hides them in her warehouse, and brainwashes them into trying to solve a mathematical equation. Turns out the only guy who might have a clue about here whereabouts is Walter's old buddy from the mental institution, Dashiell Kim. So Olivia and Peter send Walter back to the loony bin to question Kim. Unfortunately, the creepy square-headed white guy who runs the institution thinks Walter needs to stay inside - and is willing to fight Peter to keep his dad locked up. Before Peter can use his fancy DHS connections to get Walter out, the old mad scientist manages to squeeze some more information out of Kim, whose gibberings about red castles and torture chambers turns out to be just the information Olivia needs to locate our rogue neuroscientist and her latest victim. That's why things were so badass with both Walter and Peter in this episode. We're beginning to understand that Walter will get better, as long as he's kept out of the loony bin. Even while he's inside, he manages to (mostly) stay sane and help Olivia out. And Peter got to show his edgy side to creepy white dude at the asylum, giving him the old "I'll fuck you up if you mess with dad" treatment. The more we get to know Walter and Peter, the more I like their dynamic and the more I like this freaky science show with a family melodrama at its heart. And just in case you started to get bored with all the running around, the episode also gave us a glimpse of a cool, throbbing teleportation machine. The rogue neuroscientist finally sucked that number she wanted out of one of her victim's brains, and raced over to give it to some guy who is building this box that looks like it's breathing. Of course it has bizarre semi-anal openings on it, which he has to reach into in order to extract an apple he teleports using the number. The weirder the science gets, and the more we get to see this bizarro network of para-terrorist researchers who trade in "scientific progress," the more I want to plunge into the world of Fringe. It reminds me of the very best pulp fiction from the 1920s and 30s - it practically has cosmic rays and brain serums. I hope at some point there are bulbous aliens and bad guys with high, silvery collars. But for now, I'll settle for neuroscientist kidnappers living on the edge.
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