Fringe Season 2, Episode 2: "Night of Desirable Objects" - Recap

After the breathlessly paced season opener, "Night of Desirable Objects" was a much more subdued episode of Fringe, but that doesn't mean it was any less involving. The action was ratcheted down, and the suspense was cranked up as the team investigates the bizarre disappearances in a small Pennsylvania town. Plus: Olivia goes through some changes, and Evil Charlie anticipates his new orders.

The episode opened with a team of road workers doing their business near a cornfield. When one of the unlucky workers decides to investigate a subterranean rumbling he hears, he is quickly yanked through the dirt. Has a cornfield ever been a setting for much joy or happiness? I think not. Thank God none of my relatives live in Nebraska anymore. Back to the episode, we get a quick scene of Olivia being released from the hospital (with the assistance of Peter and a cane) before we see the road workers ultimate fate: death by a Gollum-like creature. It takes quite a bit for a TV show to creep me out, but the silhouette of the creature slowly moving towards the road worker certainly sent a shiver up my spine.

Meanwhile, Broyles informs Peter that his demands were met by the senators, and Peter takes it upon himself to suggest they investigate the missing road worker. While this may seem like a small occurrence, it's nice to see Peter take charge again. It seems the take-charge Peter from the premiere is here for good. Olivia returns to Walter's lab where he and Astrid are performing an experiment to see if they can explain Olivia's mysterious car accident. For some inexplicable reason, this involves a frog and a miniature cop car, but I appreciated the sight gag of the frog hurtling through the air all the same. Walter also opens up to Olivia and tells her he doesn't know what he would've done if she had died. Such a beautiful, emotional little scene that reminded me that I may watch this show for the weird, freaky cases, but it's the characters and moments like these that pay off the most. He also asks Olivia if she's felt any side-effects from her recent travels between dimensions; she says she hasn't, but we all know that won't last for long.

Olivia, Peter and Walter investigate the corn field where the road worker was taken and meet the local sheriff. Back at the sheriff's office, the side effects that Walter had asked about finally kick in, and Olivia develops short bouts of super hearing. The sounds of a fly buzzing around the room and the traffic outside are all amplified. Olivia is, quite naturally, disturbed by this development. She then calls Evil Charlie (as he will be referred to from now on) to update him on the case and we see him go back to shop that houses the inter-dimensional typewriter. One thing I found interesting is that Evil Charlie appeared to be in some sort of pain; is the shape-shifter only able to stay in one shape for so long? Will the Evil Charlie storyline wrap up fairly soon? Looks like a possibility.

After the team figures out that the creature paralyzes it's victims before killing them, Olivia uncovers a common link in the recent disappearances: one Andre Hughes. Peter and Olivia pay Mr. Hughes a visit, and while inside his house, Olivia has another bout of her super-hearing and hears ragged breathing from somewhere in the house. She goes upstairs to investigate and finds some old lab equipment (like the cornfield, never a good sign). Olivia hears the breathing again and when Peter surprises her, she nearly blows his head off. Clearly, she's not 100 percent after her accident.

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