Recap / Fringe S01 E02 "The Same Old Story"

Season 1, Episode 2:

The Same Old Story

The Fringe team investigates when a child goes from conception to death by old age within a matter of hours. While Walter investigates the science, theorising that it's based on research he did for the Department of Defence in the 80s, Olivia suspects that it has something to do with an unsolved serial killer case that she worked with John Scott.

Tropes present in this episode include:

  • Express Delivery: The prostitute is accidently impregnated by Christopher, and the fetus keeps growing until it kills her. This is because it's rapidly aging, and it dies an old man shortly after being cut out.
    • Olivia has a nightmare of being impregnated by John, and then the baby starting to grow rapidly like the victim.
  • Fetus Terrible: Once that poor girl gets impregnated by Christopher, the baby keeps growing inside her until she dies. By the time it gets out and dies, he is an old man.
    • Then Olivia's Jump Nightmare.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Christopher claiming his father should have let him die rather than harm and make him harm so many to keep him alive. This mirrors Walter ruining the Red Universe to save Peter. Walter himself realizes this.
    • Walter asking Olivia about Peter's medical history, and Olivia telling there was nothing about medical history in Peter's file. He thought she learned the truth of Peter having come from the other universe.
    • Also, the last shot of many clones of Christopher lying on lab beds. This alludes to Massive Dynamic's Penrose-Carson experiments, to create mind-controlling clones to fight the war against the Other Universe.
  • Magical Defibrillator: Peter improvises a defibrillator out of some piece of industrial equipment, to revive a woman whose heart has stopped due to an anesthesia overdose. It works.
  • Not So Different: After you watch season 2, you'll realize the meaning behind Walter's words, and how he's silently and subtly admitting he is like Penrose, harming innocents lives in order to save his son, or a close substitute.
  • Serial Killer: Christopher Penrose. He captures women, drugs them and surgically removes their pituitary glands. This is because he is rapidly aging, and needs to do this periodically in order to survive. By his final words to Olivia, he doesn't seem happy about it, and tells his father should have let him die a long time ago.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: The baby that kicks off the plot grows from an infant to an old man in the space of minutes. Where all that mass came from is not addressed.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Given that it's a rapidly-aging and growing baby, yeah.