September 16th, 9:00pm on FOX
Synopsis: The investigation into fringe science continues as Agent Dunham (Anna Torv) teams up with Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Walter Bishop (John Noble) to investigate paranormal activities (called “the pattern”) stemming from last week’s events on the airplane. This week, the trio investigates the mysterious death of a prostitute involving a killer that Dunham could not catch in the past.
Thoughts: The pilot episode was packed with twists and action sequences throughout its commercial-reduced hour. This week was not as exciting as the pilot, but “The Same Old Story” was definitely an entertaining television experience. The episode got off to an interesting start and introduced us to a man we can now refer to as “The Pituitary Gland Robber.” In the opening scene, he was with a woman in a hotel room and following some “nap time,” he went to the restroom prepare some sort of injection for the woman. Following some shrieks of pain and apparent agony, the man acted as any “normal” serial murderer would: he left the women at a corner so other people could deal with her. Fast forward to the hospital where the woman was taken, and it appears she is delivering a baby that she insisted should not have been there. She did not survive the delivery, and the baby died of natural causes. Yes, the baby died of old age. Apparently, something sped up the aging process to the point where the baby was too old to survive its birth. Wow! Talk about crazy and paranormal activities. Anyway, the rest of the episode is mostly investigation into Walter’s past experiments and studies.
The pilot episode got this new show off to a great start, so my expectations were slightly raised for the upcoming episodes. This was a tremendous follow up to last week’s pilot, and although it may have been a bit slower in pace with fewer action sequences, this episode definitely set the show up for the rest of the season. I’m still not quite sure what to think of Anna Torv as Dunham, because it is still so early in the season. But there are definitely some signs of a potentially solid female acting lead. The relationship between Peter and Walter Bishop adds some good comic relief to an otherwise serious show. John Noble is absolutely perfect as Walter Bishop and his portrayal of a genius shaken by his experiences in a mental institution is spot on. Joshua Jackson, on the other hand, has been all over the place. Prior to hearing what Walter “told” Dunham, I wasn’t really sure how his character was going to work with this show?
J.J. Abrams decision to cast his former Lost employee, Lance Reddick, as Dunham’s superior was an intriguing one and I have a feeling his character his hiding something from Dunham. Why did he choose her? In closing, while this show certainly was not on the level of the pilot, this was a solid component to the first episode. Fringe’s originality should make it mainstay on Fox this fall, and I can not wait to see what is in store for the rest of the season.
Overall Grade: B
A+: Episode is nearly perfect. It doesn’t get any better then this
A, A-: Excellent Episode with only minor flaws or imperfections, a must-watch episode for anyone who enjoys TV
B+, B: A Good but not great episode, has flaws in a few key areas but still a great television experience
B-, C+, C: Enjoyable show that has some obvious flaws, but has certain aspects that make it a decent show
C-, D+, D: Episode with more weaknesses than strengths, barely watch able. But, worth a look if one is a fan of the genre
F: Episodes receiving this grade are not worth the time. These have numerous shortcomings and flaws. Minimal to zero entertainment value