2x07 4 'Fringe': A mind is a terrible thing to wasteTonight on “Fringe,” Howdy Doody learns how to control people’s minds.

Mystery of the Week
Two men are chased down by the cops in a parking garage in Queens. They have a small boy as a hostage. Suddenly there’s a weird sound and one cop walks off the parking garage and another cop shoots two officers and then herself. Each person looks like they are straining, I’m betting mind control.

Turns out the kidnapped boy is Tyler Carson, fifteen. Fifteen? Are you kidding me? He looks 12. Anyway, Tyler’s father works for the aerospace division of Massive Dynamic. Our team heads for MD headquarters. Turns out Dr. Carson didn’t even know Tyler was missing. Way to go, dad. Also, raise your hand if you think Tyler’s the one doing the mind-control?

Meanwhile, the kidnappers stop at a convenience store to rob it. The weird sound kicks up again and a man who tries to stop the robbery pours scalding hot coffee on himself, smashes the pot over his head, then runs through a glass door. The clerk takes a gun out and someone makes him electrocute himself.

It’s not hypnosis, it’s mind control. The dead female cop has hematomas (lesions) on her brain, indicating conflicting neural impulses. Back at Massive Dynamic, Tyler calls his father and the team puts on a trace. Tyler begs them to give the kidnappers what they want, which is $2 million. What? That’s it? No government secrets? No crazy technology? Olivia has the same reaction as I do. Hmmm.

So our team sets a trap, giving the SWAT team members head phones that emit white noise so they can’t be controlled. However, one of the kidnappers grabs the money and runs, the other one crashes the car. And it turns out the headphones don’t work and the mind-controller is actually Tyler Carson. He makes Peter drive him away. DUN DUN DUN. Yeah, that was a total surprise.

Nina Sharpe tells Olivia that Dr. Carson has been collaborating with the pharmaceutical division on the hands-free navigation of fighter jets. Turns out Dr. Carson took some samples home and says Tyler “might” have found  them.

These drugs coupled with Tyler’s ADD medication are a “mind-control cocktail.” I don’t get the violence, though. Why was Tyler making people be so violent? Anyway, they discover that Tyler purchased two one-way tickets to Costa Rica BEFORE kidnapping Peter, so he’s probably working with someone else.

Walter has gone to a pretty bad place since Peter is missing, saying he doesn’t want to lose him again. But Nina and Oliva snap him out of it and he decides to use an EMF scrambler to disrupt Tyler’s beta wave transmissions.

On Tyler’s computer, the team finds that he’s been  searching for obituaries and death notices for women who died 14 years ago in car accidents, just like his mom supposedly did.

Meanwhile, Peter and Tyler are eating dinner… in a strip club. Awesome. As Tyler is distracted by a dancer, Peter slips a steak knife up his sleeve. Tyler then reveals that Dr. Carson lied about Tyler’s mother being dead and Tyler found out that she lives in Maryland.

The next morning, Tyler and Peter find his mom Renee. Tyler tells Renee that he blames Dr. Carson for her leaving and then tells her they have to leave together. Her husband Seth comes home and Tyler starts forcing Peter to shoot Seth but our team gets there just in time.  Peter shoots Broyles instead, which I suppose is better because he probably has on body armor.

Tyler then escapes with Peter, but Walter and Astrid are in quick pursuit with the EMF scrambler. They knock Tyler’s beta waves out and Peter crashes the car. Everybody is safe and Tyler is sedated. Once the drug from Massive Dynamic wears off, he’s fine.

Massive Dynamic
Right at the end, Nina sends William Bell a message about Tyler’s mind-control and how Renee was his “surrogate mother.” Hmm. We then see Dr. Carson taking Tyler into a creepy room housing other coma-like patients.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • I didn’t love tonight’s episode, I thought it was predictable and easy, plus it’s two weeks in a row we’ve hardly had any Impending War or Alternate Dimension stuff. C’mon show! This is sweeps!
  • Fortunately, next week’s episode looks cool.
  • Walter: Whenever your mother made them, you called them creeps.

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Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."