I have heard the comparisons to another Fox series that found two FBI agents investigating a series of unexplained incidents, but despite the obviously very similar description, I didn't feel like Fringe was that akin to The X-Files (which I LOVED, btw) when I watched last week's series premiere. There were parallels, but overall, I felt that they were fundamentally dissimilar. And then last night's episode aired and I began to feel a little differently. The rapid aging incident (that had a woman get pregnant and deliver a full term baby who went from infant to old man to corpse all in matter of minutes) was very X-Files-esque, and I LOVED it! Fringe seems to be carrying on the tradition started by the sci-fi series back in the late 90s. Having seen the most recent X-Files movie this summer, I was missing the original Fox intrigue show so having this new one is beginning to fill that void nicely. Of course, Olivia and Peter are certainly no Scully and Mulder (and their obvious attraction seems to be heading somewhere more sooner than later), but they'll do.
This rapid aging incident was another product of Dr. Bishop's fringe research. Apparently, the U.S. government had requested a corp of soldiers that would be born and aged to 21 years in a matter of minutes, but Dr. Bishop and his team were never able to slow the aging process at 21 years old, thus, the subject would continue to age and die. A colleague, however, continued the research and found that stealing the pituitary glands of others slowed the process. He employed the theory to a test subject that he had grown quite fond of and didn't want to see aged to death. It was another part of what's known as "The Pattern." But, who is behind all of the unexplained phenomenon? Right now, it feels a lot like its Massive Dynamics, which just so happens to be headed by Bishop's former partner who has a very suspicious (and slightly creepy) secretary Nina. Notice that we never seem to meet the supposed CEO and instead, deal directly with Nina. And speaking of Nina, her job offer to Olivia was a clear sign that she's getting worried about Olivia's involvement in investigating The Pattern. Perhaps, she's concerned that Olivia may stumble upon the truth and wants to keep her close so she can control her better. It looks like Olivia may have a very tough road in front of her.
Fringe airs Tuesday nights on Fox. If you missed last night's episode, watch it for free at Fox.com.