Fringe took a ride on the gross-out side with the sixth episode, "The Cure." The Pattern-seeking team had to get to the bottom of a mystery that was literally mind blowing. See below for our review and the latest news of the Abrams/Orci/Kurtzman/Burk show.
Review – Fringe episode 6 – "The Cure"
Maybe because this was the last episode before Halloween, but the sixth outing for Fringe was pretty gory, with lots of blood and heads (human, rat…and papaya) popping like a sequel to the cult-classic Scanners. Not to be outdone by the special effects, we also find the always-lovable Walter (John Noble) finding a unique way to examine a corpse…by shoving a meat thermometer through its ear…yuck (but pretty funny).
"The Cure" was a fun fright-fest of gore and mystery centering on women with a rare disease being turned into head-popping radiation bombs by an evil yuppie scientist, David Esterbrook of the ‘Intrepus’ Pharmaceutical company (and was it just me, or did the ‘red’ and ‘blue’ injections Intrepus was giving people remind anyone else of The Matrix?). It isn’t clear if Easterbrook character will be recurring, but something about the way he got under the skin of Olivia says yes. The story also brought us back into the Massive Dynamics Corporation and Nina Sharp, who dropped some hints that she and Walter ‘knew’ each other back in the day. This allowed the show to continue that delicate balance of doing stand alone mysteries of the week and still play out the overall mythology.
There was also a lot of good character moments on the show, especially between Olivia and Peter and Olivia and Broyles. She and Peter seem to be bonding, but the show is taking the right move and not amping up any romance. Also her relationship with Broyles is now moving more to conflict, with Olivia bucking the system and causing political problems for her boss. Although this can move into stereotypical cop show territory (let’s hope we never hear "I’ve got the chief crawling up my butt over your latest stunt" type of stuff), for now it adds an interesting dynamic to their interplay and gives the always-excellent Phillip Broyles more to chew on. John Noble’s Walter continues to steal the show and provide much of the humor, with an especially amusing scene of his simulated head explosions using a ‘Mr. Papaya head,’ but was the fart joke really necessary?
However the show also had a bit of an odd back-story about Olivia and her abusive stepfather. This almost seems lifted right out of Lost with Kate, except that Olivia’s stepfather survived her attempt to kill him. Not really sure Fringe needs this kind of thing. Maybe her step dad can be related to the whole Pattern, then it might be interesting. Otherwise, lets hope they don’t waste too much time on this.
Bottom line is this was a solid week and possibly the second best of the post-premiere episodes.
Fringe science of the week:
- Humans turned into radiation bombs
Walter line of the week:
"Was I humming? I thought it was in my head."
Peter in hazmat…again
Ratings – Fringe moves to steady state
Fringe appears to be moving into a pattern now with regards to ratings. The sixth episode brought in 9.1 million total viewers, which is about the same as it’s premiere episode, and again came in third behind ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and CBS’s The Mentalist. However it also again won its timeslot for the key 18-49 and 18-34 Demographic groups. The show seems to benefit from the lead in of House and together they continue to win the night amongst the key demos for FOX.
Fringe is taking a World Series break for three weeks and is back November 11th.
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