2.09 Snakehead

Fringe 2.09 "Snakehead"


After a cargo ship runs aground, the shoreline becomes littered with bodies hosting a giant squid-like creature. The Fringe team descends upon the scene to examine the bodies and discovers that the mysterious organisms are actually giant parasites. As the investigation unfolds, Walter heads back to the lab while Olivia, Peter and Broyles race against time when they realize the case has ties to a threatening organization in the all-new “Snakehead” episode of FRINGE airing Thursday, Dec. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (TV-14 L, V)

2.09 “Snakehead” trailer:

2.09 "Snakehead" Rating

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  1. johnnynumber5 says

    Sorry if this isn’t the best place to ask this but I have a question:

    On last weeks episode the observers said the only time they had basically altered natural events in the past was when they made a mistake. I’m guessing that somehow relates to Peter & Walter but do we have a direct reference to what it is that they had to fix?

    As for this episode … I liked it. This was acting at it’s finest as I was completely convinced in Walter Bishops annoyance with Peter, concern for Farnsworth after she got beat down, his breakdown in chinatown and the transponder scene where he told Peter he wants to live his life but can’t do it on his own. In my mind this episode was more about Walters journey than anything else.

    I came into Fringe by watching the entire first season on Blu-Ray and the second season up to this episode online … this was the first one I had to wait for and it was excruciating especially knowing the hiatus is coming in FEB.

    Sorry to use noobish forum etiquette by asking an unrelated question but it’s something I was curious about.

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  2. Tom says

    It was a standalone, but I can’t really bring myself to hating it =D it was possibly one of the best yet: well-paced, full with character development, brilliantly acted and quite exiting, they just need to give Peter a damn gun already!

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  3. Lauren says

    Didn’t really care much for the episode. Yes, the acting was brilliant, but I felt like we didn’t go anywhere for an hour. Also, am I the only one who thought Walter was going to go in for an Astrid-kiss for a moment there at the end?

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  4. Bumblebee Tuna says

    I wish they would stop wasting our time with the episodes that don’t help the overall story. Is it just me or have we gone about 6 episodes with out touching on the real story?

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  5. Xochitl says

    I just finished watching, I liked it, A LOT, of course the character development not the main story, and I still have the feeling that all this seems unrelated but at the end everything it’s going to be connected, I also feel like the show has been a little bit slow ( don’t kill for the ” a little bit”) but they cannot burn the whole story like in a season, one we wouldn’t have more fringe and second it would lost all the appeal, I still feel like everything it’s related at some level

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  6. Xochitl says

    Pedro, so you still like the show? :) just a question really, i don’t mean to bother you, but you seemed so into it in the first reviews, so what happened?

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    • Pedro says

      I still watch every episode, but I am not sure I would say that I “like” the show. I would say that I am not ready to give up on it yet.

      Earlier I liked it because I didn’t feel like it was so unbelievable from a human character standpoing.. For example, Olivia almost died, MD caused the meeting, the shapeshifters, the impending war, what William Bell told her, Charlies Death and the list goes on and on.

      I mean come on, there is no way that list of stuff would happen to that group of people and not at least get mentioned.

      So to answer your question, no I don’t “like” the show as a stand alone Twilight Zone meets Murder She Wrote. I like the show when it is telling a serialized story. I am not ready to give up yet though, but 7 weeks are going to be hard on a viewer like myself.

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      • Xochitl says

        ok, I get it, still I hope you give it a try. I’m just completely obsessed with the topic because despite my opinion, what I do or how much I watch fringe it’s not going to matter because I watch in another country and after tons of series I have watches that ended in fiascos I would hate to end it for lack of support. :)

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  7. says

    I think this episode was great. Lot´s of character development, great acting and a very good case.

    I don´t really understand the hate to the case of the week thing. Since season one the shape of the show has been this one. There´s a case every week and there´s a bigger mithology developing little by little, and of course, the characters and their growth. Season two is a little bit slow, but I think is a natural pace. In season one we knew nothing about anything and now we know lots and a war is building up, and the peter bomb is ticking… It´s a “building up” pace…

    I rewatched the whole season one and what we have of season two and didn´t find a single episode without at least character development. The only complaint I have is that Olivia got over Charlie´s death too quickly and the shapeshifters could, at least, be a light concern in the back od their head. But, really, that does not ruin it for me…

    But, apart for that, is still the show i loved since the pilot and I hope the thursday time slot problem and the fans that likes JUST the mithology don´t ruin it. It would be a shame…

    Sorry the long speech but this is something that´s getting on my nerves. I am more irritaded with the “i-only-like-mithology-fans” than with the writers or fox with it´s bad moves (and there are many)

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    • Pedro says

      I am not a mythology only fan. I can respect a healthy mix, like 3 mythology episodes to 1 stand alone episode. If the writers intended the show to be like this then they should have started this way, kept this way and never given an overall story line.

      Let’s face it Luana, if someone caused you to have a serious wreck because you needed to travel to another universe and it almost killed you. Don’t you think that would be something you’d at least mention to the person that arranged the meeting?

      If someone came to you and said Luana, if you don’t stop this guy everyone will be killed. Then you miss the guy. Are you going to go on like nothing ever happened?

      If one of your best friends died/was killed would you ever speak of it? Would your friends at least ask you how you are doing?

      The case of the week BS takes away from the natural progression of the characters. Development doesn’t mean much if you are making the characters NOT act like a normal person would.

      If FRINGE/Bad Robot/Writers can find a better mix of stand alone to Serialized Episodes, then I would be more on board.

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      • says

        Well, Pedro, as I said, yes, I miss at least the mention of these things that happened and that they are pretending it never happened, or at least not talking about it… But, what is bugging me is how people are reacting like the show changed completly, and it didn´t. Maybe that´s the problem, I don´t know. Maybe people are expecting too much answers. Like the observers episode, I saw a comment that we didn´t learn anything new from that episode. Well, I learnt. I didn´t know that the observers were observing every historic event since… ever. I didn´t know how they observe time, I didn´t know that Walter made Peter important, I didn´t know that the observers made some mistakes that september had to correct by saving peter´s and walter´s life.

        I mean… Face it, it never was the kind of show that gives a lot of answers at once. And that´s why you, Pedro, are not ready to give it up yet, because you know it comes little by little, and you know that it is worthy of your wait.

        And after the second season of Lost (the worst ever) I think that Bad Robot can survive a slower second season of Fringe.

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  8. FlashWriter says

    I think this ep came as close as they’ve gotten to the quality of the first season. The differences for me is that in this season we’re not seeing nearly as much of Olivia as we saw in the first. I still think that she’s the heart of the show. Anna Torv lights up every scene she’s in. A while back there was a comment that Olivia wasn’t the only heart of the show and that the show beat with many hearts. I don’t agree. Olivia was the main character in the first season, we were following her and her exploits throughout. Anna Torv was off-the-scale fantastic. I feel disjointed this season in that her screen time is markedly less. None of the other characters, no matter how good the acting, no matter how good the character development fills the bill.

    I won’t bore you with production value complaints. Not this week. The parasite worms were fantastic. The intial scene of the bodies scattered around the beach with these horrid things seemingly growing out of their mouths, that teaser scene. I thought I’d have to get a bucket or two for me–there should have been a warning about not eating while watching the ep. The one thing that continues to bother me is the lighting. It’s too dark, it’s contrasty, it just bothers me. Small detail but important to me.

    Anyway, an all around great job this week. It’s not the first season, though and these stand-alones without any mention of the shape shifters, guarding the gate, and the alternate reality is really not the best idea here. Really not.

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    • says

      Interesting, one of the things I didn´t like about Fringe in the first season is how everything was about Olivia…. But I do like her, and I think we have loads of interesting character to make Olivia the only one “special”

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  9. Page 48 says

    With fairness, I think this was a better than average standalone, because it broke (slightly) away from the usual self-contained eppie formula (i.e. Walter and Astrid branched out a little).

    That said, standalone is not what I signed on for. Even last week’s Observers ‘R’ Us episode did little (okay, precious little) to push the show in the direction it desperately needs to go. Sure, we had our one zillionth hint that Peter is not of this world. Sure, we had our one zillionth hint that ‘things’ are about to get tricky out there, but was anything of value revealed?

    Again this week, there was no Nina, no shapeshifters, no Bellie, no alternate reality (or mention thereof). In other words, nothing of the nature that fans of Bad Robot expect from their TV shows. This week’s installment was an exercise in trying to reach new levels of grossness, but little else. “Snakehead” may have fulfilled a contractual obligation, but what else was accomplished?

    Now, here’s something radical to consider, is “Dollhouse”, having been freshly canceled, becoming more interesting than “Fringe”?

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  10. Frobozz says

    Wasn’t fond of this one. Sorry. Kind of tired of all these non-Pattern related episodes. You could have stuck Mulder and Scully in this episode and it would have been an X-Files episode without blinking. A bland one. And for god’s sake, can we get Broyles an office? Or has he gone green and he only works in the park now? The show really needs a David Robert Jones at this point. Maybe next week we’ll get one?

    So…what happened to the kid? He was being kept alive by his rich mommy and her gang of Triad drug dealers…so it all got shut down and what, he kicks off?

    I did like the Astrid/Walter moments. That was nice to see some serious character evolution there between them. Peter though? He’s getting pretty cocky/reckless. Whatever happened to Fat Tony the Gangster? I thought he was out for Peter’s head?

    Glad we’re back to the main plot next week. Can’t figure out why Olivia has been totally unconcerned about her failure to stop the Shapeshifter Chief the past month.

    (As an aside, the whole “Vancouver feel” is really bleeding through the show now. I watched a Season 1 X-Files episode before Fringe and you can really see the similarity. But at least Mulder had an office, unlike Broyles.)

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  11. February says

    @WWE Fan from LA


    I loved this episode. Yes, it was standalone, but had great acting, great character and a good plot.
    I didn’t lose my interest. It was well paced.
    I liked the reference to ‘Unleashed’ when Walter was in the car.
    Astrid finally got some good screentime.
    Walter was constantly making me ‘awww’ all the way through.
    The case was good, interesting.

    The thing is, I don’t mind standalones that much. They are OK, but I like diving in to the mythology of the show. This was better than the average standalone, but still, standalones are fine in my book but I prefer something I know will be important in the grand scheme of the show.

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  12. YeeYang1 says

    Flashwriter, why not ask Fox to just fire Josh, John, Jasika and Lance since to YOU, Olivia is the only person who matters and nobody else deserves their own screentime or character development. God, what a obsessive Olivia fan you are!

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    • Reflection says


      I read comments like this and it just makes me shake my head. If you disagree with what someone says, you can say so in a friendly, polite manner. Comments like yours tend to cause people to want to stop commenting at all. And that would be a real shame, because I’ve found that FlashWriter always has really great insight.

      Additionally, I believe you took what FlashWriter wrote and completely twisted it out of context. FlashWriter wasn’t suggesting that the other characters shouldn’t be there — the show obviously would not be the same without Walter, Peter, and the others. All FlashWriter was trying to say is that this show was meant to be about Olivia…essentially, when all is said and done, it’s her story. That’s not to say the others aren’t important aspects of that story (and, as such, they definitely deserve their own development and screen time and story arcs, etc.). But Olivia is the main focus. That’s been clear from the very beginning. And, as FlashWriter pointed out, the last five or so episodes have really been lacking that focus. It’s like Olivia, while still there, has been pushed into the background, and it leaves the episodes feeling a little different.

      Certainly, you’re free to disagree or have a different opinion. But that doesn’t make it acceptable for you to attack someone else’s opinion. If you feel inclined to share your own opinion, it would be appreciated if you did so in a way that doesn’t insult and attack another person’s opinion.

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      • FlashWriter says

        Geees. I feel compelled to say something. Thanks, Reflection, I think you pretty well covered the bases, and thank you for your complement. Now, YeeYank1, first let me admit (as I do again and again both here and in Fringe Forum) that I am an avid Olivia fan and it doubtless shows through in every comment I make. I think Anna Torv is a HUGE discovery that Bad Robot and JJ made. That said, I’m trying to figure out how you interpreted what I wrote as “fire everyone else and just let Olivia have all 50 pages of dialogue”. No one knows better than I that a good story needs characters–all kinds and in this particular show character development is up there pretty high on the list. All I was saying (or trying to imply) was that formulas for successful series are as hard to come by as formulas for the cure for H1N1. When you find them, don’t screw around too much with it or you’re going to shoot yourself in the foot. You don’t have to go very far to find examples–maybe “Terminator” is the latest example. They had a first-rate first season and then they decided to go “internal” on us and start examining Sarah Connors’ psyche. They started throwing in new characters and killing off established ones. Before you knew it, nobody was watching the show. In the first season, Fringe had stumbled across one fantastic mix (Yes, with Anna Torv as the focus) and now they’re playing with it, changing the focus and, so far, I think they’ve come up with only one or two really decently executed eps. I think the Canadian production team is screwing up by the numbers. And frankly, I’m getting down into my foxhole and putting my fingers in my ears waiting for “the bomb” to drop. Fox isn’t helping matters with a monster hiatus coming. It’s like I’ve been here before with “Firefly”.

        I gotta go, but I think the bottom line here is “Don’t screw with success.” The first season of Fringe was magic in a bottle. It doesn’t take anything to completely loose that magic, and Bad Robot has changed far too much in too many areas.

        Live long and prosper.

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        • FlashWriter says

          By-the-way. I’ve just watched an episode of “Castle” and if “Terminator” was an example of what you don’t do, vis-a-vis a show’s formula, I’ve gotta say that “Castle” is THE example of what you DO do. I loved this show from the first, and now, in the second season, I’m still loving it. They’ve kept the formula. Any episode–on any level–of season two, is interchangable with season one. I’m not worried about a season three. Win, loose or draw, they’ve kept the faith. There’s still magic in the bottle labeled “Season Two”. Just a thought.

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          • Page 48 says

            As much as I love Capt. Mal, I can’t sit thru an episode of “Castle”. Though I did tune in for a few key minutes of his nostalgic Browncoat episode, as soon as he back in his civvies, I was a goner.

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  13. annon says

    I have to respectively disagree with season 1 being great. I found season 1 to be average at best and floored in alot of areas. The story/mythology was all over the place and alot of the stories were not well done. While the show did get better in the second half, because you had episodes continuing on from one another, it wasn’t a big improvement over the first half. I’ve stuck with this show because I believe it has an awful lot of potential. Whether the writers/producers can fulfill that potential remains to be seen.

    I had alot of problems with the characters in season 1. The biggest being that the only characters that you really got to know was Olivia and Walter. The others you had very little insight into them. To me most of the characters were operating on autopilot, in that they were there doing there job, to solve the case. We never saw much emotion written for them. It was only written for Olivia and Walter. While Olivia is the centre of the whole show, I felt there was just too much of her in season 1. I really wanted to get to know the other characters in the show more, because they all are interesting ones, but they were just not going there. However, I understand they were trying to tell the story of how Olivia was special and the chosen one, hence it being so much about her. It just would have been nice to have had sidestory/development for the other characters, other than assisting Olivia with the case in with those epsiodes. (They only did it once in episode 19).

    While, season 2 they have let us get to know the other characters alot more, which I have loved and think really needed to be done, the overall mythology storytelling has gone by the wayside. I agree, why could they not have had Olivia still dealing with her time in the altuniverse and the shapeshifters, in these last five episodes? It could have been done very quietly, but still showing the audience that Olivia hasn’t forgotten about these things. This is where I think they have fallen down this season. There is very little continuity from what happened at the beginning of the season, as the season goes on. While season 1 was also lacking big time in this also, they did a much better job of it, then what they are currently doing. By keeping that focus on Olivia and how she is coping, would have kept her upfront.

    They’ve got eight episodes left to film of this season, so I hope the writers/producers have been reading comments from fans and critics about this season and take them on board for the remaining ones. I’m all for the show surviving, but I think they really need to reassess a few things. Connect the episodes with what’s happened previously, continue the mythology thread through each episode and try to balance the development of all the characters better in each episode, so that no one is in the background.

    I’m not sure how easy that is to achieve though. I’m no writer. This is JMO.

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