Fringe: The U.S. Government is Using Psychics to Tap the Ghost Network

I know there are going to be Fringe haters out there the whole season, but I have to admit the show sort of won my heart last night. Maybe it was the moment mad scientist Walter Bishop started singing the words "when I was in a mental institution," or maybe it was the pro-homebrew drug agenda, or maybe it was the scene where an office drone freaks out and does cheesy comic book art in his cubicle. The weirdo dark comedy tone in the show really came together in last night's episode, "The Ghost Network," which was all about wiretapping the spirit world. OMG DEA FBI! Spoilers ahead! Following the formula of all our episodes so far, this week's Fringe had a mcguffin mystery and a mcguffin key to solving it. The mystery: Why is a bus full of people totally frozen in ice? Whoa! The key: A psychic office drone named Roy who draws weird Ben Templesmith ripoff pictures of scary death moments all connected to (you guessed it) the Pattern! Turns out mad scientist Walter put metal shavings in Roy's blood when he was a kid so that he could "tune" the "ghost network" for psychic shit! Holy crap what the hell! And now the guy is intercepting messages from bad guys who are using psychic frequencies for their "secure channel" bad guy stuff! This show requires exclamation points and I like it! In a world where my government really is wiretapping every single phone call and all internet traffic, there's something weirdly believable about the idea that if there were a ghost network for psychic communications, some nasty intelligence agents would be using it to send encrypted messages. And of course, to spy on those messages too. Vague Agent Olivia and her scoobies have to figure out a way to turn Roy into a psychic wiretap. Which involves more homebrew brain surgery, and what Walter charmingly refers to as "intercranial penetration." In the end, we find out that the bus is full of ice people because one of the dudes using the ghost network was a seriously fancy assassin. He used nitrogen-freezing chemicals (oh ok) made by Massive Dynamic so he could kill a DEA agent who had what looked like a bong screen (or perhaps a transparent Necco?) implanted in her hand. Apparently this DEA agent was also involved with the Pattern. So it seems that the Pattern exists like anywhere that somebody is an agent. I'm hoping we'll get an episode about a notary agent at some point. There's a great scene where the brain-zapped Roy literally intercepts the secure psychic channel between two bad guys, inexplicably describing the conversation he's hearing in Latin. Armed with this knowledge, all the scoobies are able to catch the bad guys, and recover the stolen bong screen. Also, the cool thing about the ghost network? You don't need a warrant to tap it. In typical JJ Abrams fashion, the episode ends with anti-closure. Sure, we know why the bus was frozen, but we've still got the mystery bong screen, which is apparently covered in encrypted data. Olivia's boss Broyles hands off to Nina Sharp from Massive Dynamic, which I guess means Sharp is a good guy or maybe Broyles is a bad guy. Either way, we know that Walter is truly a mad scientist, and maybe even evil too, since he's been responsible for creating at least three severely mutated boys just in two episodes. Oh, and guess what? Olivia's lameass, traitor ex-boyfriend is all wired up and naked in a tank at Massive Dynamic. Tune in next week, when bald people and funny spaceships force Peter to beat somebody up, make Olivia pout, and cause Walter to do something MANIACAL. Also, special notice to Fringe team: Pianos do not add anything to this show. Please stop with the piano thing.


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