Last night's episode featured a mind-controlling teenager with a penchant for violence. But that's not why Astrid has her tinfoil hat firmly in place. We also learned something sinister about our corporate friends at Massive Dynamic.
Once again, we had an episode that looked like a mystery-of-the-week from the outset, but ended up connecting to the show's overarching mythology. The episode itself was fairly straightforward: teenage boy with mind control powers fakes his own kidnapping, tries to extort Massive Dynamic (where his father works) for the ransom, then kidnaps Peter for a fun killing spree (with time out at a strip club). But, as always, there's a little more going on beneath the surface:
Mommy Issues: The relationships between fathers and sons has been a big theme on Fringe of late, but this time we also got into the issue of absent mothers. Tyler, the 15-year-old who can control people's minds, is on a quest to find the mother he never knew, and Walter finds himself reminiscing about Peter's mother. There's been a lot of foreshadowing in these episodes, and given that William Bell recited Peter's mother's maxim to Olivia, we could be preparing for a meeting between Peter and his over there mother. Plus, how great is it that Walter tries to counteract Tyler's mind control by playing the sounds babies hear in the womb?
Leading Walter by the Nose: It's a little distressing how well Massive Dynamic knows how to manipulate Walter, though I suppose they know more than enough about him and his research from William Bell. They know exactly what kind of research to fabricate, what questions he'll ask. They even know to tell him that Tyler is taking ADD medication. Walter says he doesn't trust them, but the team took this one a bit too much at face value.
Penrose-Carson Experiments: So, at the end of the episode, we learn that Tyler's mother is not actually his mother, but a surrogate, and that Tyler is the result of one of Massive Dynamic's experiments, namely the Penrose-Carson Experiments. Carson is Tyler's father, but we've also met Penrose before. Clause Penrose is the creator/father of Christopher Penrose, the pituitary-eating fellow from last season. We know that there are multiple Christophers, and it sounds like there may be multiple Tylers as well. So perhaps we will be seeing Dr. Penrose soon and get more of these shady experiments Massive Dynamic is performing.
Astrid Action: Astrid managed to tiptoe into the field this week. She's the one who noticed the odd searches on Tyler's computer and she drives the car while
Walter Moment of the Week: Walter and Astrid discussing what human brains might taste like was a close second, but this week's winner goes to Walter's tinfoil hat — to keep Massive Dynamic from reading his mind. It's a legitimate fear, but I'm not sure the hat is going to keep Nina Sharp at bay. But hey, he even got Astrid to wear one, and it looks kind of chic on her.