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UPDATE: 'Fringe': Foiled by Simon Cowell

April 8, 2009 |  9:05 am

115_innerchild_0108 Seriously. Fox and my TiVo need to communicate a little better. I’ve been waiting two months for a new episode of "Fringe," and as I fast-forwarded through a potential "American Idol" murdering the entire song “Mad World” instead of just murdering the last bit of “Mad World,” I knew something was wrong.  I found out 40  minutes later, right as Olivia was pulling over the Artist’s van and noticing the air freshener hanging from his rear-view mirror that was the same shape and color that the Basement Kid had made out of M&Ms in the hospital. That’s when my TiVo switched over to "Law and Order: SVU."

But I can’t get mad at Fox. In these economic times, I understand how they might need to keep that "American Idol" audience around as long as possible.

I’m just warning you that I’m relying on hearsay for the last few minutes of “Inner Child.” I had to call my editor and have him describe it to me over the phone.  What an ending it was! I mean, from my understanding. Wow! Right?

I’m getting ahead of myself. "Fringe" returned from its hiatus in a surprisingly understated episode.  Just before demolishing a building, the demolishers (demolishiers?) are mysteriously drawn to a hidden chamber and a being I refer to as Basement Boy, a bald, feral child who survived 70 years eating rats and millipedes. Which spawns the larger question of the episode, how can a child who’s never been exposed to sunlight have a darker complexion than Olivia's?

Basement Boy goes all Diana Troi on our favorite G-(wo)man. Seems he can sense her emotions, a skill that must be helpful since you can’t really pick them up watching her. Aw, I shouldn’t rag on Anna Torv. She is starting to grow on me.

At the same time, Olivia and the Bishop crew are trying to figure out Basement Boy, a serial killer who  plagued the FBI in the past resurfaces. The Artist, as he’s called, likes to Buffalo Bill women into his van, murder them and pose their bodies in elaborate displays.

On the surface, “Inner Child” could be a strong stand-alone episode, but at the same time, it hints at connections to the greater mythology. I think we got the perfect ratio of the two from our writers Julia Cho and Brad Caleb Kane  (this dude was the singing voice of Aladdin). I may be reading a little too much into the episode’s ending (well, my editor’s description of it), but it seems like Basement Boy and the Observer had a bit of a moment. And you cannot deny that they have a very similar style. Plus CIA agent Eliot Michaels, when we still thought he was a social worker, said on the phone, “I think we may have found another one.”  You have to admit that kinda points toward him donning his own black trench coat and hiding in the background eventually. Right?

Speaking of agent Michaels, when I wasn’t trying to figure out when where I’d seen that actor before (he was a doctor at County General Hospital), I was thinking how cool it was that he’s in the CIA science and technology department. Hardcore, highly trained nerds. Science geeks who can kick butt. I hope Agent Michaels makes more appearances in the future.

Bits and Pieces (little things that may or may not be important in the future): Was Rachel about to say something important when Olivia asked her why she was up so late when they got cut off by a phone call? What about Peter realizing that he always thought Roadblock’s scar was on the opposite side as he remembered: a hint at something larger or just a detail they threw in? How about the recording of Basement Boy’s inner voice? We gonna ever find out what was in there?

Astrid Action: Walter’s lab assistant was quite active in “Inner Child.” Not so much personal development but ample screen time.

Spot the Observer: If you didn’t see him, then your TiVo must have done the same thing as mine.

P.S.: Someone cracked the glyph code. Make sure to check that out.

UPDATE: The NY Post has the final few minutes of last night episode, courtesy of Hulu.

Photo: Anna Torv and Spencer List in "Inner Child" / Fox

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