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the fringe files: 1×15, “inner child”

Okay, so hopefully I can start to do this a little more often now that things in my personal life have settled down.  That said, let’s talk about TV’s second-most-successful SF show right now, Fringe!  What with the traveling to alternate universes where Leonard “Belly” Nimoy stopped 9/11 or something and the consistent forgetting of plot elements it’s sometimes hard to remember that this show started as – and continues to be – an X-Files calque.

I’ll fill these in later as I go on, but let’s start with the fifteenth episode of the first season, “Inner Child.”  This was the first one to air after the mid-season break, and one of the first not to show any major X-Files influences.  But that’s not to say it doesn’t deal with ground that show dealt with fifteen years ago.

So here we are at “Inner Child,” which has all sorts of fun things – feral children (“Jersey Devil”), serial killers (any number of episodes of any show, ever), introduces the show’s good FBI vs. evil CIA stuff (the Syndicate), and creepy bald psychic kids (Gibson Praise).  The kid also looks a little like the flukeman, but that’s beside the point.   This episode also totally blows, which makes it a lot harder to talk about.  Unlike Gibson or that feral missing link kid the child found in this episode is portrayed as pretty much entirely normal, aside from the amazing abilities granted him by living in an underground rat-filled vault.  Aside, that is, from the fact that he looks like a tiny Observer.  Frankly, about the only interesting thing in this episode is John Noble dancing to Al Green’s “Love and Happiness,” the first of the show’s musical interludes – and, I think, a pretty big step in the development of the Walter character as he becomes more comfortably weird than he was in the beginning of the season.  Mostly a forgettable monster-of-the-week otherwise, though.

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