Episode Title: "Of Human Action"
Written By: Glen Whitman & Robert Chiappetta
Synopsis: The Fringe team is called in when two suspicious men seemingly kidnap an innocent child by way of mental persuasion — which, as it turns out, is only partially true. Once Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) is abducted by the real culprit, his father Walter (John Noble) and Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) frantically try to find a way to resolve the situation, which may or may not have something to do with Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) and Massive Dynamic. Okay, it obviously has something to do with Massive Dynamic.
Fear of the Mind: The opening sequence and the subsequent convenience store hold-up were two of the scariest scenes I've seen on "Fringe," not due to any special effects, but the absolute dread you feel in knowing what's about to happen to these bystanders. At first, I thought it was interesting that the "Fringe" writers decided to give these bizarre mind control powers to two seemingly thuggish guys that used these abilities in sadistic ways — but nothing is ever what it appears to be on "Fringe," of course.
Child's Play: As it turns out, the kidnapped child is the one with the mind control powers as per an experiment of Massive Dynamic's. Young Tyler embarks on a road trip to find his mother, leaving several dead bodies and an abducted Peter Bishop in his wake. I didn't fully see the twist until it was too late, so major applause for that. Also, it looks like Tyler isn't the only Tyler out there — there are others exactly like him, all experiments of Massive Dynamic, a company that continuously tests the limits of children's psyches. One of these days, Nina and William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) are going to have a lot of explaining to do.
Daddy Has A Secret: Maybe the most fascinating aspect of the episode was the unspoken turmoil between Walter and Peter thanks to the latter's kidnapping. The audience is fully aware that Peter comes from "Fringe's" alternate dimension, but Peter himself has no idea of his true origin — which makes his comments of "Oh, our dads aren't so bad" all the more cringeworthy. Walter knows it, too. His hurt-filled face betrays the terrible secret he's keeping from Peter and the rest of his contemporaries. While I love this tension, I am very much hoping for some sort of confrontation on the issue before too much longer.
Walter's Weekly Wisdom: "Bah, bah, black sheep — have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!" – Dr. Walter Bishop
Walter's Weekly Wisdom, Part 2: "Don't be ridiculous, you were abducted! Of course you need crepes!" – Dr. Walter Bishop
Conclusions: As a stand-alone episode with some interesting character insight, this week's "Fringe" was a success. It might also be a mythological success, too, should the big reveal at the end — the fact that Massive Dynamic has inundated multiple children with telepathic abilities — pan out in future episodes.
Next Case: The Observers are coming, once again reinforcing the idea that there is more than one of everything.
What did you think of tonight's episode? Sound off in the comments or on Twitter!