Synopsis: The Fringe Division is on the case when severely mutilated bodies drained of spinal cord fluid begin to pile up. After their investigation leads them to a scientist (guest star Jefferson Mays) with possible ties to the Z.F.T. bioterrorist cell, they are shocked to discover the identity and motive of the killer. When the kills occur with increasing frequency, Olivia, Peter and Walter go to desperate lengths to stop them.
Below the jump I share my new observations and perspectives, and take a quick look at the unresolved and closed mysteries from “Midnight”.
New Observations & Perspectives
1.) I still find it slightly strange how Olivia just assumed that Phillip was divorced. Sure, she’s good at picking up on things, but it was still a major leap. I guess it’s a sign that they feel more comfortable with one another, that she could ask him something so personal, despite him being the boss man.
2.) Beneath the surface of spine-sucking drama, the episode was largely about broken relationships: Greg and Rachel’s marital problems, discovering Broyles is divorced, the flawed singles together programme, Bob Dunn cheating on his wife, Nicholas Boone losing his wife to her beastly transformation, and so on. Was this concentrated shift in focus an attempt to humanise the show as headed down the home straight?
3.) Olivia’s been keeping track of the death toll since she started working at Fringe Division – 81 people dead, not including the 147 that died on flight 627. Contrast this with the 9 who died on cases that she previously worked on and it’s easy to see why she was so determined to finally gain some traction on the pattern. I’m glad for this little detail – I’d expect Dunham to keep count of every person lost, and it only magnifies her blossoming role as world protector – but for which world?
4.) Rachel: annoying and self-absorbed as ever. Calling Olivia about her ‘relationship issues’ while she’s at work. Couldn’t it wait, Rach? Not only could this have distracted Olivia, it didn’t make her look very professional in front of the boys club. For someone who has had to fight tooth and nail to get where she is, this was an unneeded distraction. To her credit, she handled Rachel with the patience of a saint. And I loved Charlie’s smile – yeah, that’s Rachel for ya.
Also, Rachel features in the second half of the season A LOT more than I previously thought.
5.) The line; “you’re my kind of guy/girl” was repeated several times throughout the episode. I’m not quite sure what the significance (if any) of this was, other than perhaps alluding to the possibility that Valerie required compatibility in terms of who’s spinal fluid she took? She did seem fairly selective in her approach (well, more selective than your average vampire). But if this is the case, how did she know who was compatible and who wasn’t prior to draining them of their spine?
6.) Boone seemed to believe that ZFT wanted the skin growth toxin and ‘vampire virus’ to show-off to other scientists. I have to believe that there’s more to it than that (like the much hyped war, for example). Although this kind of school-yard behaviour would align with Jones’ motivation in wanting to murder William Bell for not appreciating him.
That said, who’s to say that Boone was working for Jones, since..
7.) According to Boone, he had never heard of David Jones. He also said that the ZFT he worked for is funded by William Bell. Which is surprising given that previous ZFT attacks (i.e. the skin growth virus from “Ability”) were led by Jones.
So either ZFT is divided into several factions, or Bell and Jones were working together on some of these attacks. The evidence, of course, points to the former. Perhaps Jones had a spy in Bell’s camp and that’s how he got hold of the skin growth virus? (I recall him asking one of his men about the “sealant” in “Ability”). We’ve also seen viruses traded in previous episodes, so there’s also that possibility.
8.) Walter remarks on his fall from grace in comparison to the rise of former colleague William Bell – but I have to wonder, what if it is actually Bell who has fallen? He’s the richest man in the world(s) and, through his soldiers, he will shape the future, but surely he has committed many trespasses of which he is not proud? As Walter all but said, his journey isn’t over yet, there’s still time for redemption.
9.) In the Inner Child rewatch I suggested that the Observers world may be cold due to the various clues we have been given throughout the season. I think that Peter gave more credence to this notion when he said “you know what I hate more than the cold?”. A line said with too much intent to be meaningless, IMO. Could Peter actually be from the Observers reality? (for the record, I don’t believe that the Observers are from the reality we saw at the end of 1.20). What counts against this idea is that we know from the season finale that our Peter has memories of his old beach house – over in his original reality, which is similar to ours and therefore unlikely to be the home world of the bald fellows.
But I’m positive that Peter’s line was a hint – so perhaps it’s a clue that our Peter was the one who experienced and survived the near death experience in the frozen lake? Perhaps that’s why he hates the cold so much – a subconscious memory of that harrowing night? Out of the two suggestions, I think this makes more sense.
10.) Peter playing with the sirens: “everyone should get to do this at least once before they die!”. The alternate reality storyline leaves a lot of room for this kind of irony.
1.) If William Bell funds the same ZFT that Boone worked for, how did Jones get hold of his skin growth toxin, given that Bell is Jones’ sworn enemy?
1.) ZFT infected Boone’s wife as punishment, because he tried to leave the organization.
2.) One of the reasons for ZFT creating this virus was to create special attributes in humans. No doubt useful in any inter-reality war.
3.) Boone was responsible for making the skin-growth toxin seen in Ability.
Best Moment: Walter using the clapper.
Best Performer: Jefferson Mays
Retrospective Episode Rating: 6/10
Our original Midnight posts can be found here.
Next Rewatch Episode: “The Road Not Taken”.