Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fringe 1x16: "Unleashed"

Ugh. Animal-rights activists. A bunch of them break into a lab and release all the animals - including the Big Giant Mystery Animal that promptly kills the irate owner of the lab and one of the unfortunate tree-huggers.

The other three escape in their vehicle but the Big Giant Mystery Animal follows them, tips their car, and butchers them at its leisure.

The Fringe Buddies show up for damage control. Judging by the state of the bodies, the animal is enormous but seems to possess traits from a variety of species - the fangs of a snake, the talons of an eagle, etc. They also note that despite the evidence of four passengers in the car, there are only three bodies. As the evidence piles up, Walter starts acting very twitchy and weird.

So far, no one's able to track the monster, and it kills two Animal Control employees and attacks Charlie when he shows up to investigate - although he manages to escape with only a scratch.

Finally, Walter spills the beans: at one point, he attempted to combine species into a FrankenMonster much like this one, although his attempts all failed. It seems someone must have built on his existing research to create this monster, and for the first time, Walter feels actual guilt for the repercussions of his irresponsible Mad Science Shenanigans.

Things worsen when the ravaged corpses start to swell and explode with growing, wriggling larva - apparently, FrankenMonster's a FrankenMama who impregnates her victims with her scorpion's tail. Victims like Charlie, who gets an ultrasound and discovers he's due to require a FrankenMonster Baby Shower in a matter of hours.

Apparently, the only thing that will save Charlie is an infusion of FrankenMonster's blood, which would cause the FrankenBabies to stop eating him from the inside out. Of course, one would have to find the FrankenMonster to achieve this, and Walter becomes even more frantic to find the monster and reverse the suffering he believes he's caused.

Meanwhile, Olivia tracks down the original lab from which the monster came. Its manager, Robert Swift, insists they only test medications and beauty products on animals. However, eventually he breaks down and admits they created the FrankenMonster, and that the fourth animal rights activist who died at the beginning of the episode was his son, Jonathan. One good thing? The monster's creator (Cameron Delgman) used his own original research to create the beast - he had nothing to do with Walter at all.

Walter, Peter, and Olivia take some Huge Ass Guns and go down into the sewers to lure the highly maternal FrankenMonster with some of her larva. However, Walter locks Peter and Olivia in a nook and decides to kill the monster himself - even though his research wasn't responsible for the FrankenMonster's creation, it could have been. He also swallows a vial of poison so that he might still kill the monster if it decides to eat his Crazy Ass.

Peter and Olivia manage to escape in time to watch Walter shoot the monster down and kill it. Well done, Walter! Walter and Charlie are soon given antidotes for their respective Mad Science Ailments and all is well with the world. Except, well, Walter still feels a bit of a twinge of guilt, but that's hardly a bad thing.

Mad Science:
  • Animal Testing
  • Multi-Species Genetic Creations
  • Monster Babies
Best Death Scene: Jonathan Swift being sucked into the doorway (and presumably, the gaping maw of the FrankenMonster)! 

Mad Science Questions:
  • Walter does not like feeling guilt over the repercussions of his experiments - why is that?
  • What's up with Charlie's Buffy-extra wife? 

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