This week's episode of Fringe started out with its usual X-Files vibe, then moved to a Without a Trace feel before finally settling on a Lost vibe (which, it's worth noting, is the first time I've seen a resemblance between these two J.J. Abrams series). Perhaps, it was the decision to pose more questions than answers or the whole green light, red light now-you-see-me- now-you-don't trick which ultimately led to the pulling- the- apple- through- the- safe trick. The man behind the tricks was using math to make it all work. Had I known that math could allow me to reach my hand through solid objects, I might have paid more attention in class. In all seriousness, math can unlock all sorts of advancements in science and technology, and that was the basis for this week's episode. The problem was, no one seemed to be able to complete the all-important hand- through- the- safe formula. They could start it, develop the middle, but never reach the conclusion. Even a little kidnapping, mental persuasion, and eventual breakdown couldn't produce the result the mastermind needed to complete his experiment. That was until they kidnapped a young boy with an uncanny ability to tickle the ivories. Like the other abductees, he could start his composition, develop the middle, but never finish it. After emotional and mental duress, he was able to finish his song. The significance -- music is math and his composition was the exact mathematical formula that the mastermind was trying to solve. The question is -- how does this formula fit into the pattern?
I'm really not loving this "Walter might have to go back to the mental hospital" story line. It just feels a little, well, CONTRIVED! As in, we needed to create conflict, so enter a overzealous doc, a convenient trip to the mental hospital so Walter can "interview" his former cell mate who may be able to provide the key to finding the missing boy, and an outburst that lands Walter back in the hospital for the night. Luckily, Olivia was able to work her magic to get him out first thing the next morning. Now, overzealous doc is on the war path to get Walter back in the hospital and is petitioning the state to revoke the younger Bishop's guardianship. Walter may be a little "off," but his knowledge (as convoluted as it may be at times) and his former research for the government is a vital part of Olivia's work as she uncovers the truth behind the Pattern. They can't take Walter!
Fringe airs Tuesday nights on Fox. If you missed last night's episode, watch it for free at Fox.com. Photo courtesy Fox.