FRINGE: Earthling - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRINGE: Earthling

November 6, 2009 by  

Can I just say that I was really creeped out by the opening scene of this episode? Maybe it struck a chord because today is my own wedding anniversary and the thought of my husband planning a nice surprise for me and then turning to dust in front of my very eyes is beyond horrific. Or maybe it is because my television inexplicably turned itself off in the middle of the day yesterday (probably should have been doing something more productive anyway)…either way, the first few minutes were pretty darn scary for a TV show!

Russian Fringe Science
The body of the husband that turned to dust opens up a case that rings a bell with Agent Broyles. Broyles had seen a similar phenomenon four years ago in DC. Multiple people, linked to a particular hospital, had turned to dust. At that time, Agent Broyles had received a call from an Eastern European man who said that the murders would end if Broyles could find someone to solve a particular formula. Broyles was unsuccessful in obtaining a solution, but the murders inexplicably stopped and he thought it was over…until now.

The team learns that the murdered husband had been at Latchmere General Hospital, visiting his mother, the day of his murder. They begin their investigation there, looking specifically for an Eastern European employee who had previously worked at the DC hospital where the previous murders had occurred. They find a suspect named Thomas Koslov, who is a night nurse in the coma ward.

Thomas Koslov is an alias for a man who is wanted by the Russian government for stealing the body of his brother, a Russian cosmonaut, who had returned from a space trip in a coma. Koslov fled with his brother’s body to the US, where he hid it in various hospitals while he searched for a “cure”. The cure is related to the formula that has remained unsolved until Walter tackles it, or “her” (as Walter calls it).

While in outer space, the cosmonaut brought back an organism. The organism is a “shadow man” and it can project itself without ever actually leaving his body. It seeks radiation and is basically passing through the victims, taking all of their radiation and turning them into dust in the process. Walter deducts that the cosmonaut and the “shadow man” are linked at a molecular level and it is not possible to separate the two.

The team is ultimately able to trace Koslov to a local motel where he has moved his brother, but it is too late because Koslov is already dead. Broyles shoots the brother, but does not kill him, so the shadow man is either (a) back in the cosmonaut who, presumably, has been shipped back to outer space by the CIA or (b) occupying the body of a little girl who had the unfortunate luck of being in the same motel.

The Softer Side of Broyles
You probably know by now that I prefer Pattern related episodes to the stand alone case episodes, but I did enjoy this one quite a bit. I liked the character development of Broyles. He has always seemed like such a hard man and I was never quite sure if he was entirely playing on the side of good. I think the back-story of his obsession with this particular case and how it ultimately ruined his marriage helps to explain why he comes off the way that he does. His words to Olivia (taking the job to make the world a safer place for his family even though it made him lose them) and his actions (defying the CIA) show that he is a man on a mission and I’m interested to see where his character goes.

A Few Random Thoughts….

  • Could Josh Jackson’s facial expressions be any more priceless? I love the way you can see Peter’s growing fondness for Walter, mixed in with a healthy dose of exasperation in every scene.
  • Is Latchmere General Hospital the most poorly lit hospital on the planet??…real hospital patients would be so lucky if hospitals actually did turn off the lights at night!!!
  • Why is Broyles storing old case files in an off-site storage unit?

So looking forward to an episode that will get me speculating again. These ones that leave me with little else to do other than recap are just not as fun!

For all you code crackers – tonight’s word was DEJA VU.

Gretchen is a stay-at-home mom of two awesome little girls who has the good fortune of being married to a husband who is completely cool with her slightly out of control television addiction. During her precious few sleeping hours, Gretchen frequently finds herself ridding the world of pesky vampires and demons, as well as taking down fake secret branches of the CIA.


4 Responses to “FRINGE: Earthling”

  1. John on November 6th, 2009 5:41 pm

    I think the shadow man has to be in the cosmonaut, and now in outer space.

    Broyles shot the cosmonaut in the head killing him. He inexplicably came back to life. You don’t do that on your own.

    Also, the nurse/brother had accidentally killed his brother (the cosmonaut) with the electrical shock to keep the shadow man confined to his brother – the hear monitor thing stopped. At the time I attributed that to some sort of spontaneous revival, but it had to be the alien.

  2. Gretchen on November 6th, 2009 7:56 pm

    The end was really confusing to me especially the part where Broyles shot the cosmonaut in the head and he was clearly dead…but then he wasn’t. At first I thought for sure like you did that the shadow man was back in the cosmonaut/returned to outer space, but then what was the point of the little girl? Did you notice that the static on the TV was still there even after she said that the shadow man was gone? The opening sequence of the show felt a lot like a scary movie and I thought the scene with the little girl played out that way, as well…leaving it open ended for a sequel kind of thing.

  3. John on November 6th, 2009 8:11 pm

    I believe the little girl was used for misdirection. We assume the shadow man has occupied her and then they bring out the fact that the cosmonaut came back to life, showing the alien as reanimated him.

    Also, I think Walter’s “findings” with the tinker toys show that the cosmonaut and the alien are inseparable linked so it couldn’t occupy the girl.

  4. OldDarth on November 8th, 2009 8:50 am

    Sigh. Another stand alone episode. It was nice to find out some thing about Broyle’s back story but in the end this is another episode that did nothing to advance the show mythology.

    The shadow monster and ash effects were cool though.