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'Fringe': The Dreamscape

November 26, 2008 |  8:27 am

109_dreamscape_0470 Just when I think I've got my head wrapped around all the secrets "Fringe" has hidden, I stumble across something new. Tuesday night, I learned of the "next episode" pattern (not to be confused with THE Pattern, mind you).

Showrunner Jeff Pinkner touched on it briefly here, but it seems to go something like this:

In the episode titled "The Cure" or as I like to refer to it, "The one where the girl's head explodes," Dr. Bishop uses a thermometer that has the letters ZFT on it. ZFT being an organization involved with THE Pattern brought up in the very next episode, "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones" a.k.a. "Parasite around the guy's heart." Oh, and speaking of which, Agent Loeb's wife gave Olivia her husband's things in that episode, including a copy of "A Christmas Carol," which hints strongly toward the flashing green-and-red lights in the next episode, "The Equation." You know ... the one with the Equation. There was some mention of a butterfly painted on a trash can in that episode to hint at tonight's plot. So now I have another thing I need to look for each week as I rewatch "Fringe" frame by frame.

Normal objects made extremely creepy:
This one is a tie between butterflies and the booting music for Olivia's laptop. The Venture Brothers have done a good job of giving the old Monarch butterfly some street cred lately, but it doesn't hold a candle to Tuesday night's razor-winged beauties slicing through a man's neck. I was let down to find out they weren't real. Though their creepiness factor was matched by the sound of Olivia's laptop booting itself. Popping back to life to show her e-mail from a dead man with No Subject! Almost feels like that will be part of campfire stories for kids of this generation. "And the e-mail had NO SUBJECT!"

Best Walter line: "Uh oh." Second place going to its immediate follow-up: "I just got an erection." Tuesday night really was a treasure trove for Walter. We got to see a little of his past -- Dr. Frankenstein-ish home movies of him psychosomatically burning a dirty hippie with a piece of ice. But by the end of the episode, we saw his compassion keep him from letting Olivia threaten her life in the pursuit of answers. A marvelous episode for our semi-evil genius, but the best part had to be his proclamation of arousal, though he did assure Olivia that it was simply because he had to urinate and had nothing to do with her state of undress. That just makes it more uncomfortable.

Peter proving he's not Pacey:
You see him beat the crap out of that guy? No idea who he was. Michael Kelly. Most likely one of the guys who is looking for Peter now that he's back in Boston. Beat him down, emptied out his gun and walked away down the street. Nice going, Pacey. Or should I say MISTER Pacey?

Connection to Massive Dynamic: Isn't it good to have our old friend back? "Fringe" kept the sinister global conglomerate out of the picture just long enough to be missed and then brought it back perfectly. Did its leaders kill an employee who was stealing corporate secrets? Or were they merely victims? And the longer the writers and producers keep from showing William Bell, the better. He can be hidden longer than the nightmare man, but not as long as Jacob.

Connection to J.J. Abrams-land: Check out the scene in which Agent Dunham searches Mark Young's house. She finds his plane ticket to Omaha, and yes, he planned to fly on Oceanic Air -- the airline of choice for "Lost."

Spot the Observer: The powers that be must have wanted to reward us for having to wait for the extra long "House" to finish. They gave us the Observer in the very first scene. As Mark Young hurries off the elevator, the Observer stands at the end of the hallway and watches him scurry down the hallway to his horrible end.

-- Andrew Hanson

Photo credit: Fox