Fringe

Episode Report Card
admin: B | 2 USERS: B+
YOU GRADE IT
You Can't Call It Cheating, Because She Reminds Me of You
t was ballet. That was the only thing that ever made her happy," she says. There's a framed picture of a girl in a leotard on the table near Mrs. Walsh, who, when asked by Peter, says Amanda killed herself and had been clinically depressed. "She was on anti-depression medication. She also did a lot of group therapy. She kept trying different ones, but there were a few that she stuck with," she says. Olivia asks for the names of the doctors and the groups, and meanwhile Peter's phone rings. It's Astrid, because she needs to demonstrate the video-chat capabilities of a particular phone whose company hopefully paid a lot of money to earn such a jarring product placement.

Back inside, Mrs. Walsh is giving Olivia Amanda's schedule and info, and then Peter rolls back in to ask permission to exhume Amanda's body. "You can't," she says, and Peter takes that to mean that she doesn't want them to, but she says it's not actually possible.

And then there's Peter carrying an urn into the lab like he's playing football with it, and he plonks it down next to Walter. "I hope there's a good reason for this, given all that family's already had to suffer," says Peter, and Walter opens up the urn and takes a pinch of ash on his fingers and then tastes. I mean, we already know it's not Amanda, but Peter and Astrid don't, so they're appropriately disgusted, and are somewhat suspicious when Walter says, "I suspect it's some kind of hardwood. Cherry, maybe mahogany, and concrete." Peter asks if he's sure, and Walter says, "I know that these are not human cremains," and I don't think anybody really wants the answer to how Walter knows that. Astrid asks where Amanda's body is, then. Walter says it's likely with the rest of the organs: "I believe whoever is stealing these organs is trying to put this girl back together again."

Speaking of that, Mr. Mary Poppins has a lifeless Amanda Walsh sitting in a chair, with ropes secured to various joints on her body. "It's gonna be good for you, very good. We need to keep your body strong, don't we?" he says. Then he puts the needle on the record on an old Victrola and goes to a series of levers connected to pulleys, and -- well, the name of the episode is "Marionette," after all, so it's not like this was ever going to be a surprise. He pulls some levers on what looks like some kind of 19th-century contraption, because he's got this whole steampunk thing going on. On some level I found it creepy, but on another I found it a little too cartoonish to be that unsettling. Technically well done -- it's remarkably easy to believe that the woman playing Amanda Walsh is an actual corpse -- but the elements -- the old-fashioned music on the old-fashioned player, the Industrial Revolution machinery, etc. -- added up to something that felt too manipulative to actually manipulate me. Anyway, good thing this guy was obsessed with a ballet dancer and not a crunk dancer. I can't even imagine what that contraption would look like.

Back at the lab, Astrid's on the phone with Broyles, who lets her know that Amanda's body was stolen before it could be cremated. "And the funeral home covered it up. Apparently, stealing bodies is not all that unusual," she tells Walter. Does she expect Walter of all people to be surprised to hear of grave-robbing? He points out that the theft of corpses is a "time-honoured tradition" in the fields of science and medicine. "My dear, we've been stealing from the dead for as long as we've been burying them," he says, telling her that in the 19th century it was the most common way doctors and scientists had for getting cadavers to study. "In fact, the practice was so common that it inspired the gothic novel Frankenstein. You may have heard of it." This sounds kind of like the thing they do on Law & Order for legal reasons, where the lawyers or cops explicitly refer to the real-life case that the episode is based on to add a little layer of legal protection. Only this is Fringe, so the real-life case is Frankenstein.

Anyway, Astrid asks if Walter believes the dead can be brought back to life. He doesn't, but it's not for lack of trying on his part: "Belly and I dabbled in that arena for years. But alas, we never could revive Yatsko," he says. Astrid looks at him. "Peter just loved that cocker-spaniel," he finishes, and Astrid's face wrinkles up a little. Anyway, looks like the rigor mortis is setting in, as Walter looks over the corpse. "Feel that. Finally some stiffness," says Walter, and I think this scene got cut off too soon because obviously Astrid would have added, "That's what she said."

Elsewhere, Peter and Olivia are going through the stacks of files on the groups Amanda was in and the people she knew, having already removed anyone who doesn't have a medical or a scientific background. Peter's got one: Ellis Rourke, from the General Depression group, which he was in with Amanda for almost a year. Age 36, majored in biology, has an anger-management problem, arrested twice for battery. Olivia rejects him because she thinks whoever's doing this isn't driven by anger. Peter gives a slight eye-roll as he tosses the file aside, and an FBI agent comes in with more patient files from Col. Broyles, and I guess now everyone is going to call him Col. Broyles to remind me what an idiot I am. Anyway, Olivia says Amanda was also in a cognitive behavioral group that focused on ways to cope with depression. "You'd think that someone who was working that hard at being OK would get some sort of payoff," says Peter, who probably means well but displays a sadly common misconception of depression, and Olivia quietly says it doesn't always work like that. Anyway, Peter picks out another file: "Simon Whelan, age 29. Says here that he is socially and sexually incompetent," he says, but Olivia dismisses that one too.

Peter says he knows profiling is one of her specialties, but she could at least listen to what he has to say before she just dismisses it out of hand. "Well, he's not the guy we're looking for," says Olivia, tersely. Peter wants to know what he's missing, since this Whelan guy ticks off all the boxes: loner type who has difficulty making friends, who more than likely has parents who are either living far away or deceased. "Therapist says he displays symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, which means caring about other people is not exactly his strong suit."

Olivia just says again that he's not the guy, and Peter presses her on why. "Profiling is not just about checking off the facts. You have to weigh them. You got to feel it in your gut," she says, which still doesn't satisfy him, and she finally snaps, "He doesn't love her. Whoever's out there fighting to give Amanda back her life, even though she chose to end it, loves her. OK?" So Peter knows this isn't just about this, but is also about that. She realizes that she's being a little short with him and says she's sorry. He tells her not to be, even though he clearly wants her to be.

Anyway, then he finds Roland David Barrett, who worked in animal research. But then Peter figures it's not him, because he dropped out of the group last spring, and it doesn't take a genius to determine that he dropped out the day that Amanda committed suicide, but Olivia asks the pertinent question.

And then they're racing towards Barrett's house, while Peter fills in more of the background: only son to Nathaniel Barrett, heir to the Stanfield Chemical fortune, which he inherited 10 years ago. "Does his post-doctoral work on cell decay and regeneration, but then quit abruptly because of an onset of severe depression," he says, adding that a few years ago he picked up his work again at the Duk-Hee Genetic Institute, where his research contributed to the creation of synthetic life on the cellular level. "I wonder if he could actually do it," says Peter. "Reanimation."

The whole while, we're also watching Barrett working with some thankfully much more modern equipment while Amanda is laid out, electrodes attached to her head. I was half-expec

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6Next

Fringe

Comments

SHARE THE SNARK

X

Get the most of your experience.
Share the Snark!

See content relevant to you based on what your friends are reading and watching.

Share your activity with your friends to Facebook's News Feed, Timeline and Ticker.

Stay in Control: Delete any item from your activity that you choose not to share.

The Latest Activity On TwOP