Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fringe recap: S1E15 "Inner Child"

This one starts off exciting: someone's building a bomb.  Oh, wait, it's not a bomb - it's construction explosives to implode an old building.  A couple of construction guys chat as they leave said old building, then one of them pauses, saying he's got a weird feeling.  He goes back into the building to do another sweep, thinking they missed something.  In one room he stomps on the floor and breaks through - there is a warren of tunnels underneath.  The construction works climb down with flashlights to look around.  There are cages (?), it stinks, and just beyond the reach of the flashlight beams something moves.  Then they find him: a pale, bald, naked boy, crouching in a corner.

At FBI HQ, Charlie gets a phone call from a buddy, asking if he's seen the fax: it's a photograph of creepy burned and melted doll parts with the text: YOU ARE INVITED TO THE SHOWING OF A BRAND NEW WORK.  Time: TODAY.  Place: BOSTON.  Charlie wears his concerned face.

Yet another boring domestic scene with Olivia, Rachel and Ella (we get it: Olivia likes and is good with kids) is fortunately interrupted when Charlie calls to tell Olivia about the fax: "The Artist is back."  Olivia is about to head off to meet him - this is an old case of theirs, now reopened - when Broyles calls, telling her to collect the Bishops and go to MGH.  It's the basement boy, of course.  The chief of pediatrics says that the boy is having difficulty breathing and she's going to put him on oxygen.  Walter protests, saying that the boy is used to a low oxygen environment and will drown if she gives him more.

Over at a Somerville (MA) laundromat [I used to live in Somerville!], a fellow in a wheelchair tries to talk to a punk chick about her tattoos.  She blows him off but then, outside, she asks if he needs help putting his clean laundry in his van.  He thanks her and, when she turns to lean into the van, rises out of his wheelchair and stabs her in the neck with a hypodermic syringe.  Sneaky!  He's apparently the Artist as the next short scene has him dressed like Dexter, spattered with blood and wielding a circular saw.

The low oxygen feed is working and Walter suggests increasing the flow by 10% each hour, getting the boy used to it.  He is remarkably healthy for having lived in a basement for so long (however long that is).  He doesn't talk but he watches everyone closely and when Olivia writes down some notes, he grabs the pen from her and writes a name, the letters upside down: Sam Gilmore.  Broyles says he'll contact Missing Persons to see if there's a lost boy with that name.

Charlie calls to say they've found a body - the Artist's first piece, the punk chick from the laundromat.  She's done up with dark hair and an evening gown, her piercings removed and tattoos bleached; she's posed like a mannequin.  Her name is Samantha Gilmore ... which gives Olivia a twitch.  Back at HQ, they review the Artist's file: he killed four women last time before stopping.  Broyles is curious as to how the basement boy knew the victim's name.

The Fringe gang discusses Basement Boy.  Although he looks to be about ten years old, the tunnels had been sealed for decades and Walter thinks that the closed environment may have altered his physionomy.  Meanwhile, the Artist picks out another victim: a girl walking her dog.  Olivia visits Basement Boy and has brought some M&Ms since she's heard he doesn't much care for hospital food.  He doesn't eat any himself but feeds her one.  She asks him to write his own name down this time but they are interrupted by a Social Services guy (played by Eric Paladino so you just KNOW he isn't actually a Social Services guy) who says that he's arranged for Basement Boy to be moved to a "facility" where he can "get the treatment he needs."  Basement Boy watches Olivia's interaction with Eric P. through the window.  When she gets distressed, the alarms attached to the boy's monitors go off and he starts wheezing and panting.  Olivia rushes to him and he calms down immediately.  Eric P. takes off and makes a phone call: "I'm at the hospital.  I think we've found another one."  See, I knew he was too much of a badass to be Social Services. 

When Eric P. has gone, Basement Boy writes an address, again in upside down letters:  547 Marlborough.  Charlie and Olivia walk up and down Marlborough but don't notice the Artist and his latest victim, parked on the street in his van.  Later that night, Charlie calls Olivia to tell her that they found the second body, propped up in front of St. Catherine's, dressed like a Goth chick and surrounded by candles.  He also tells her that not long ago they found the victim's dog tied up near 547 Marlborough.  Olivia is aghast, saying that they were right there and didn't know it.  But what she's really bewildered by is how Basement Boy knew.

Olivia goes to Walter's lab and asks him if (1) he has any idea how Basement Boy is doing this, plus (2) how can she communicate with him.  Walter thinks that the boy's environmental deprivation ramped up his other senses and receptors.  He also thinks he has an idea on how to read/hear the boy's thoughts since the boy can't communicate the regular way.  Olivia goes to MGH nd tells Basement Boy tht she wants to take him away from the hospital for a while.  He takes her hand happily.  Not happy: Eric P. when he later finds out that Basement Boy has been discharged.

At the lab, Walter drags out that thought-transmitting head gear from an earlier episode.  Both Peter and Olivia object, saying that Walter is not allowed to drill into this child's head.  Walter supposes the head gear can be modified.  After some goofing around by Walter to put the boy at ease, they put the head gear onto his little bald head.  Suddenly he grabs Olivia's hand: he's not afraid of the testing; he senses Eric P. about to charge into the lab, a silent Broyles in tow.  Eric P. asks Olivia if she thought she could get away with stealing a child from protective custody.  She points out that she didn't steal him and also he's helping the FBI with an active investigation.  It is then brought to everybody's attention that Eric P. is actually CIA, Division of Special Sciences or something.  He's here to collect the boy. Broyles tells Olivia that this outranks them both, but asks Eric P. if he can wait one more day: it seems Charlie has found the Artist's third victim and maybe Basement Boy can help save the fourth woman.  Eric P. agrees but is all grumpy about it.

After Forensics finds cow blood and plastic shreds under one of the victim's fingernails, Peter deduces that meat packing plants have industrial rolls of plastic.  Olivia heads off to search meat packing plants and fortuitously finds one where the manager sold some plastic to some random guy off the street just yesterday.  The Bishops resume their attempts to read Basement Boy's thoughts.  The head gear starts to pick up something that sounds like a voice but then Basement Boy starts to shiver and turn blue.  They yank the head gear off.  Walter finds this confusing: if anything, brain activity should generate heat.  They soon figure out that the boy is an empath and is emotionally bonded to Olivia - he got cold when she was in the meat packing plant.  Olivia returns to the lab and asks Basement Boy directly if he will help her.  He's reluctant to do so and the team realizes that he heard Olivia acquiesce to Eric P.'s demands - he doesn't want to help her because he'll have to go with the CIA when the case is over.  Olivia apologizes to him sincerely and asks again for his help.  Basement Boy writes down another address.

The FBI runs traffic stops near the address the boy wrote down.  Soon enough, they find the Artist.  He tries to make a break for it and ends up crashing the van.  Charlie checks the van and resuces the fourth victim - still alive - while Olivia chases down the Artist, without backup, mind you.  The Artist attacks her but is no match for our kickass girl; she ends up stabbing him with his own knife and, it looks like, killing him.  No loss there.  As they drive back to HQ, Olivia calls Broyles and asks for his help.

She brings the head of pediatrics to Walter's lab to pick up Basement Boy: the doctor has found a safe and anonymous home for him, with a family, where he will not be subjected to the CIA's testing.  Olivia gives him a kiss on the forehead and he smiles, just a little, and goes peacefully with the doctor.  Some time later, Eric P. is infuriated when Broyles tells him that the boy just disappeared out from under the protective detail - no one knows where he went.  Eric P. doesn't buy it but doesn't press the issue.

There's a quick domestic scene with Olivia, Rachel and Ella laughing.  Basement Boy, in the backseat of the doctor's car, picks up on Olivia's feelings and smiles to himself.  Then there's that weirdo bald dude just standing there on the sidewalk.  The boy turns and stares at the man, and Bald Dude stares back.  I guess Eric P. was right: there is another one.

Previously on Fringe / next time on Fringe

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