Synopsis: Just seconds before a building is demolished, a mysterious mute child that has been living alone underground is discovered. When the FBI’s Fringe Division investigates, the boy forms an unspoken connection with Agent Olivia Dunham. Meanwhile, an especially gruesome serial killer resurfaces and showcases his “artistry” by displaying his work publicly. As the boy gradually assimilates into a new environment, Olivia and the team must race against the clock to prevent the mad man from further macabre.
Below the jump I share my new observations and perspectives, and take a quick look at the unresolved and closed mysteries from “Inner Child”.
New Observations & Perspectives
1.) One of the workers at the demolition site where the Child is found mentions how “cold” it is. Looking back, this seems like a clue as to the climate of the Observer’s world (the Child being one such Observer, in my opinion). This would make sense to me, as there have been other clues which point to their world being a lot colder than ‘ours’. (the fact that he was shivvering when Olivia was in the meat-packer was probably because he was in-tune with Olivia’s emotions, rather than his own resistence to cold, at that time).
Also, this would be further evidence that the Observers are not from the rather warm parallel world that we witnessed at the end of season 1, but from elsewhere. Time-travel could also come into play.
2.) Walter compares the Child’s ability to read people’s thoughts with the electromagnetic field of a shark. Yet another broad nod to the ‘electricity theme’ running throughout the first season.
3.) Some note-worthy foreshadowing of the alternate reality:
Peter talking about the toy: “Funny, I always remember the scar being on the other side”
There’s also the flipped or ‘mirrored’ scene of the child in the hospital room. I thought I’d reference this again as I really like the subtlety of it – you just know it was purely for those of us who pay attention.
4.) It’s strange seeing Olivia smiling at the end of an episode, off the top of my head I can’t previously recall her being so upbeat at the end of the show (there are probably one or two occasions but that are not coming to me at the moment). It’s almost as if getting in touch with her ‘inner child’ – having someone who understood her needs without even having to say a word – was like a weight being lifted from her shoulders. Not an important point, but seeing as Broyles made a point of her inability to ‘savour the moment’ earlier in the season..
1.) Where is the child from? If, as suspected, he’s from the same place as the Observer, how did he get here? How long has he been here (Walter mentioned the possibility of 30 years!)? And why was he trapped/hidden underground?
2.) Elliot Michaels was apparently working for the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, but c’mon, who was he really working for? My guess is Massive Dynamic.
We can assume that the Observer is concerned with people crossing between worlds – does William Bell ever fall foul under the Observer’s policing? Not to mention that in episode 1.19 Nina showed more concern, than I’ve ever seen her display before, over the Observer’s increasing appearances. So there would be reasons for Massive Dynamic wanting to get hold of a mini-Observer. Another guess is that Michaels is connected to John Mosley, who so desperately wanted the Observer’s beacon.
If Michaels really is CIA, that would be another way to bring the Government into the wider arc of the show – which is interesting in itself, as I’d have to believe that the man at the top would have knowledge of what is really happening in the world. And if he doesn’t, that’s even more food for thought.
3.) Why was the child “emotionally bonded” to Olivia? Why not Peter or Walter or Gene? Like others have also suggested, I’m tempted to believe that lil’ Observer and big Observer are one in the same – there’s a big chunk of the story we’re yet to discover.
4.) “The Artist” – so, did Olivia rid the world of his ‘artistry’, or is he still alive? It wasn’t very clear to me.
1.) According to Walter, the Child is not psychic but an empath – he’s able to sense other people’s emotions. This perhaps gives us a clearer understanding of the adult Observer, and how he was able to read Peter’s thoughts and show up at “pattern events” before they happened.
Actually, thinking about it, this could explain why he had to reign himself in when becoming invested in Walter’s emotions upon revisiting his old beach-house – “I’m not supposed to get involved”, were his words..yep, to my mind he’s an empath, which could also tell us so much about his role as ‘inter-reality policeman’, or whatever it is he does. I’ll have to remember to pay attention to that scene when it comes around.
Best Moment: The end scene when Big Observer met Lil’ Observer.
Best Performer: Spencer List
Retrospective Rating: 7/10