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'Fringe': Mr. Jones is here to stay

November 12, 2008 |  8:29 am

107_mrjones_581 As if the title of the episode wasn't a big enough giveaway (it was called "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones") tonight featured the introduction of what looks to be a major character in the future of the "Fringe" universe.

In a prison in Frankfurt, Germany, is a prisoner from a cell who has had direct dealings with the secret conspiracy dedicated to experimenting with people in our world. He's Mr. Jones and he knows a whole lot and if Agent Dunham is smart, she'll go back to him again and again, like her own Hannibal Lecter.

Mr. Jones spoke eloquently of the people he worked with, those mysterious men and women who have given people bizarre powers against their will or even engineered the death of others.

But the most intriguing thing from this episode is the Q&A between Mr. Jones and the dead body of Joseph Smith, who knows the answer to the question, "Where does the gentleman live?" The answer is "Little Hill." What does that mean? We don't know yet. But something tells me we will eventually.

One keen watcher of the show speculates that Agent Loeb, who spent most of the episode unconscious, with a weird, toothy parasite wrapped around his heart, and his wife planned this parasite attack in order to draw the answer to that question out from Mr. Smith, who was shot and killed by the FBI. (But when did death ever keep anyone from doing anything on "Fringe"?)

Something tells me Mr. Jones will be back, even if I doubt we'll see more from this bizarre virus. He knows stuff, Agent Dunham wants to know stuff. It's inevitable.

In other news, Agent Dunham almost got it on with a former flame in this episode. They were interrupted by a ringing cellphone, of course, but at least they made the best use of a commercial break I've seen in a long time.

Oh, the things that must happen during commercial breaks on TV. "Fringe" keeps the sexy bits there, while I've long suspected that Jack Bauer on "24" takes advantage of the commercial breaks to use the restroom.

Tonight's episode was solid if unexceptional. Dr. Bishop seems to be getting quirkier, which is always a good thing, but the vacuum of personality that is lab assistant Astrid Farnsworth is beginning to be noticeable. Time to round out the cast, guys. She's been around since day one, but we still know next to nothing about her.

In other news, we are introduced to yet another way to extract information from the brain. This time, we get the younger Bishop hooked up to the brain of a dead man, hoping to intercept messages from his bullet-riddled brain.

SPOT THE OBSERVER: In the first shot of the crowd inside the Frankfurt airport, check toward the middle of the screen. The Observer is walking off camera to the the right foreground.

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo courtesy of Fox