Fringe came back last night, and it was great to worm back inside its spooky world of human science experiments and penis jokes. Spoilers ahead!
"Inner Child" was a fun departure from the usual "science menace of the week" formula for Fringe. Instead of just discovering something weird, Olivia and the Scoobies used the weird discovery to stop a completely non-fringey series of murders.
The episode opens with some building demolition workers finding a preternatural kid who has been living underground in a facility that's been sealed for almost a century. Sure, he could have crawled in there since it was sealed, but nobody can figure out how he would have done it. Pasty, bald, and speechless, the kid is like a miniature Observer (and as you can see in the clip above, the Observer has noticed the similarities too).
Turns out mini-Observer also has extreme powers of psychic empathy, and his favorite person to empathize with is Olivia. Makes sense, because Olivia feeds him M&Ms and is herself superpowered as a result of strange childhood experiments. Speaking of which, there were no mentions of Olivia's newly-discovered lightswitch mental powers from last episode, but it was obvious that the kid was tuned into her much more than to anybody else. Clearly there's something going on there.
Meanwhile, the kid keeps manifesting an uncanny ability to know things about a local serial killer called "the Artist" who murders women and then puts their dressed-up bodies in the middle of staged tableaux. First the kid writes down the name of a future victim, and then he writes down some addresses where the Scoobies are likely to run into the Artist. Eventually Walter figures out that the kid has such tremendous empathy for Olivia that he's trying to help her - and he can use his empathy to figure out the location of the killer too. Something to do with shark vibrations or something, according to Walter. I think he mentions the shark thing right around the time that Peter points out that Walter's penis is hanging out of his robe, which is a perfect way to distract us from the cheesy fake shark science talk.
Of course some dude from the CIA is also looking for the kid, and pretending to be a social worker in order to snake him from under Olivia's nose. There's obviously some conspiracy side to this, since we hear CIA dude talking on his cell to somebody about the kid and he says, "We've found another one." So is this kid part of an alien race or mutant group that's somehow connected to the Observer? I certainly hope so. I want a subplot about the Observers, and this kid would be a perfect way into that.
By the end of the episode, the kid has helped Olivia and the Scoobies catch the Artist, saving a final victim in the process. And Olivia has really taken a shine to him. Maybe that's because she misses kid company now that her sister and niece Ella are about to move into their own apartment. Or maybe it's some kind of human science experiment bonding thing. Either way, she arranges for the kid to get placed in a secret foster home and the CIA dude has to go back to the Company empty-handed. And pissed off.
I predict more tangles with CIA dude, as well as (hopefully) more Observer action. Plus, Olivia is going to start growing more cool powers and I can't wait.