|Air Date:||07 Apr 2009|
|Written by:|| Brad Caleb Kane |
|Directed by:||Frederick E.O. Toye|
|Guest Cast:|| Jeremy Shamos as The Artist |
Ari Graynor as Rachel
Lily Pilblad as Ella
Erik Palladino as Eliot Michaels
Alicia Goranson as Samantha Gilmore
Spencer List as The Child (later Michael)
|Transcript — Additional Images|
Inner Child is the fifteenth episode of the first season of FRINGE. It first aired on April 7, 2009. A mysterious mute child that has been living alone underground is discovered - just minutes before the building above him is to be demolished. When the team investigates, the boy forms an empathic connection with Olivia. Meanwhile, a gruesome serial killer resurfaces and showcases his 'artistry' by displaying his work publicly. As the boy assimilates to the new environment, law enforcement races against the clock to prevent the killer from committing additional atrocities.
Demolition experts are preparing to drop an allegedly unoccupied building. After a final sweep of the facility, Dennis, one of the safetymen, gets a strange feeling and heads back inside. After reviewing the blueprints, he senses a portion of the structure has not been checked. After finding a hollow spot in the foundation floor, and kicking it in - a dark, dank series of subsurface passages are exposed. A few workers follow him into the passages and detect someone in the shadows. They find a room cordoned off by bars, and inside, huddled in the corner, is a pale young, hairless boy - emaciated, trembling, and naked.
At Olivia's apartment, Rachel and Olivia help Ella pick out an outfit for school. Rachel admits that she and Ella went apartment hunting the day before, despite Olivia's insistence that having them stay with her is no problem. Then Olivia receives a call from Charlie, who informs her that "The Artist" has returned. And just as Olivia is about to rush to join the investigation, Broyles calls and tells her to fetch the Bishops and meet him at Boston Children's Hospital.
At the Boston Children's Hospital, Broyles shows Olivia, Peter, and Walter the boy from the demolition site. The tunnel in which the boy was found had been sealed shut for at least 70 years, but somehow the boy managed to get down there -- and survive. He hasn't spoken a single word since he was found. Walter tells Broyles that he'll need a piece of special equipment: a record player. The boy's attending physician, Doctor Winick, tells the team that the boy is having trouble breathing. Walter explains that he was trapped in an oxygen-deprived atmosphere for so long that his body became accustomed to it. To get the boy breathing normally, they need to deprive him of oxygen.
At a laundromat, a man folding his clothes at a table strikes up a conversation with a female customer, commenting on her griffin tattoo, but she gives him the cold shoulder. Moments later, she sees to her embarrassment that the man is wheelchair-bound. Outside, the man is loading his laundry into his van as the woman exits. She offers to help and he accepts. As she sets his basket of clothes inside the van, the man stands up from his wheelchair, pulls out a syringe and injects her in the neck.
Inside the van, the Artist, splattered with blood from sawing, powers-up a small drill and continues his artwork.
Back at the hospital, Walter is proven right as the boy's breathing returns to normal. Walter instructs the doctors to increase the oxygen concentration by 10% every hour until he acclimates to the normal atmosphere. Winick says the boy is actually in surprisingly good health; he responds to sound, he has no brain damage, and his heart and blood pressure are strong.Olivia is trying unsuccessfully to communicate with the boy when her phone rings. It's Charlie with more details about "the Artist" case. The boy eyes Olivia as she writes down an address. And then the boy gently takes Olivia's hand and pulls her notepad into his lap. As the two lock eyes, the boy's
← Charlie and Olivia arrive at a crime scene. The woman from the laundromat is dead, propped up, wearing a wig, and dressed in a gown. The officer in charge tells them that the victim's name is Samantha Gilmore.
At the Federal Building, Charlie briefs a room full of agents on the Artist. His M.O. is to kidnap, sedate, and kill his victims. Then he uses surgical tools and chemicals to "enhance" their appearance. In Samantha Gilmore's case, he bleached her skin to remove her tattoos and removed her piercings. Meanwhile, Olivia tells Broyles that the boy's photo has been given to Samantha Gilmore's family, but so far no one recognizes him.
Later, Walter says that based on the boy's blood-work, he was likely raised, if not born, in the basement of the building where he was found. Olivia reiterates the question that if the place had been sealed off for decades, then how did the boy get there? Walter suggests that the boy may be significantly older than he appears. Suddenly, an FBI agent comes in and tells Olivia they received another fax. The Artist is going after another victim.
A woman walks a dog down a wide street as she is approached by the man from the laundromat, the Artist. He kneels and pets the dog while looking at its owner. He has found his next victim.
At the hospital, Olivia brings the boy a bag of M&M's to entice him to eat. She tells him that as a kid she used to live on them -- but not the yellow ones, which reminded her of medicine. The conversation is interrupted by Eliot Michaels from the Department of Social Services.
The two talk outside the boy's hearing. Eliot tells Olivia that since there's nothing physically wrong with the boy, he's arranged to have him moved the next day. The boy worriedly watches them, as though he knows what they're saying. Suddenly the boy's vital monitors start beeping as his blood pressure and heart rate spike. Olivia comes back and the boy returns to normal almost immediately.
As Eliot leaves the hospital, he speaks cryptically to someone on his cell phone. He informs them that "we may have found another one."
Back in the boy's room, Olivia is about to leave when the boy scribbles another message for her: "547 Marlborough."
On Marlborough Street, Charlie and Olivia have no other leads, so they split up to knock on doors. As Olivia walks down the street, someone watches her from inside a parked van. It's the Artist, his hand firmly pressed over his latest victim's mouth to muffle her screams. Olivia continues down the street, oblivious.
Later that night, Olivia and her sister enjoy a nightcap at the apartment. Rachel asks Olivia if she likes her job. She replies that she does most days, but not today. Their conversation is interrupted when Charlie calls Olivia to say they've found the Artist's second victim. She was not found on Marlborough... but they found the victim's dog tied to a fence there.
At Peter and Walter's hotel room, Olivia asks Walter if he knows how the boy could be coming up with these clues. Walter posits that the boy might be hypersensitive to people's emotions. So much so that he may be able to intuitively detect the feelings and thoughts of others, similar to the manner that sharks sense bioelectric fields to catch their prey, and other animals sense pheromones. Walter also believes that the boy has thoughts despite his inability to communicate them, and there may be a way he can access them.
Olivia goes to the hospital to fetch the boy. On his food tray, a pile of yellow M&M's have been shaped into what appears to be a fir tree. The two leave together.
In the his lab, Walter brings out the neural stimulator, which he'll use to translate the boy's thoughts into sound. He'll make some minor adjustments to the halo ring so it won't need to be drilled into the boy's head, as was the case with Roy McComb (The Ghost Network).
Meanwhile, Elliot Michaels discovers that the boy has been discharged from the hospital.
In the lab, Olivia sits and comforts the boy, telling him if he doesn't like what's happening - to simply squeeze her hand. Walter has a plan to loosen the boy up. He puts an Al Green song on and begins to dance joyfully with the scary-looking neural stimulator. The boy smiles, loosens his grip on Olivia's hand, and Walter gently slips the neural stimulator onto the boy's head.
Soon thereafter, Eliot Michaels arrives with Broyles and admits that he's not actually with Social Services, but with a classified division of the CIA Directorate of Science & Technology. He's here to take the boy so that his abilities don't slip into the wrong hands. Astrid interrupts with news that they've received another invitation from the Artist. Broyles asks Michaels for one more day, and Michaels reluctantly agrees, on the condition that after 24 hours they'll turn over the boy without a fight.
Later, Walter is reciting mnemonics, trying to remember the proper wiring sequence for the neural stimulator. Olivia says the forensics report found blood under the fingernails of the Artist's second victim but the blood isn't human; it's cow's blood with plastic polymers in it. Peter says he used to work at a meat-packing plant where they wrapped the cuts of beef in plastic sheeting.
Olivia arrives at a meat-packing plant. Simultaneously, Walter calibrates the language-translation apparatus that's attached to the neural stimulator on the boy's head. As Walter tweaks the dials, the computer begins to generate language-like sounds based on the boy's thoughts but the boy suddenly begins to shiver uncontrollably, and Peter aborts the procedure. At the meat packing plant, Olivia also shivers as she questions the manager. After Olivia asks for a sample of their plastic, the manager admits that he sold some plastic to a man the day before.
Across the street from a school that has just dismissed for the day, the Artist helps a teacher with her hands full, load her schoolwork into the back of her car. He's found his next victim.
Olivia calls Peter to say she's gotten a sketch of the man who bought the plastic -- finally, a solid lead. Walter interrupts Peter's conversation and asks if the plant was refrigerated, because that would explain everything.
When Olivia returns to the lab, Walter explains his theory to her. The boy can develop emotional connections, like with the construction worker that found him, and the killer, but the he is emotionally bonded with her. He can sense and feel what she does, and he's relaying information about the crimes because he knows that information is important to her. Olivia speaks with the boy, but senses that he's mad at her for some reason. Astrid suggests that this is because he "felt" the conversation she had with Eliot, and doesn't want to be sent away. Olivia apologizes to the boy and tells him, very sincerely, that she wishes she could stop Eliot from taking him but she can't, and still needs his help. The boy writes down a set of cross streets for her - York and Glenway.
A roadblock has been set up at the corner of York and Glenway, and Charlie and Olivia are stopping cars to be searched. A familiar van appears, with the Artist behind the wheel. The sketch isn't a very good match to his face. Olivia asks a few questions, and then notices the air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror. It's yellow, in the shape of a fir tree -- the same design the boy made with the yellow M&M's. Olivia tells the Artist they need to check the back of the van, but he floors the gas and peels out. Olivia shoots out the van's tires, causing it to crash into a fence. The Artist takes off running, Olivia close behind.
At the FBI, Broyles receives a call from Olivia; she needs his help with something. Later, she stops by Boston Children's Hospital, and asks Dr. Winick for a favor.
Olivia arrives with Dr. Winick at the lab. She tells the boy that Dr. Winick is going to take him to live with a nice family. Olivia and the boy share an emotional goodbye.
At the FBI offices, Broyles lies to Eliot Michaels, telling him the boy disappeared mysteriously from their protective detail.
Olivia returns home and shares a nice moment with Rachel and Ella playing "Simon Says".
Dr. Winick drives down a suburban road. The boy sits quietly, content in the back seat. Out the window, the boy spots a bald man in a black suit standing by the side of the road. It's the man we've come to know as The Observer. As the car passes by, the two make eye contact, and the boy watches as The Observer fades into the distance. The Observer then turns away and continues walking down the street.
Project 773, Exploration 14 — Trimmed Copy of Typed Notes
- The notes appear to have been typed using the same typewriter from Ability with the elevated 'Y'.
- The note paper has been crumbled, opened and smoothed for presentation.
- Walter refers to Lethe. In Greek mythology, Lethe is a river in Hades. Those who drink from it experience complete forgetfulness.
- Marie-Angélique Memmie Le Blanc featured in the book in the notes, was a genuine feral child.
- Catch-22 is a novel by Joseph Heller about World War II. It primarily treats activities in a U. S. bomber unit. Within the novel, catch-22 was that a person who was insane could not be assigned to fly missions, but the reluctance to fly missions was a clear indication that the person was not insane.
- The approximately square image with grayish background and red curve, when placed next to a silimar image from the notes from Ability, shows a curve with a varying radius (The Curve), suggesting a Fibonacci spiral.
- The Observer walks along a snowy sidewalk, as The Child is driven away in the opposite direction.
- Allston, Peter's childhood home in the early 1990's, is mentioned again. This time, it's the location of a copy store used by the Artist to send his fax. (617-555-0109 Boston Metro)
- Storyline Analysis
- Uttered out of context in this episode, Walter used a mnemonic tool found in his lab notes from Safe - "Cannot Build Phallic Puzzles In The Lab." In that episode, teleportation equipment had been locked away in bank safe deposit boxes for years. Specifically, Cleveland (233) Baltimore (377) Philadelphia (610) Providence (987), however, he did not state the I - T - L portion of the mnemonic acronym. The numbers of the deposit boxes aligned as part of Fibonacci sequencing. Continued sequencing may highlight the remainder of the mnemonic.
- Episode References
- Neuro-Stimulator. The cranial brace, or halo, was used to help Roy McComb hear voices on a covert communications network (The Ghost Network) .
|At the curbside newsstand (Ability) - the awning above displays a bright yellow tree - foreshadowing the yellow M&M candy tree in the children's hospital and the lead to the air freshener in the car, in Inner Child.|
• Love and Happiness by Al Green
|— Plot Relevant Questions —||Address theories about questions on Inner Child/Theories Ask minor questions on the Talk Page|
1) Do not answer the questions here.
- What was the language heard on the computer when Walter used the cranial device on the Child?
- Does Eliot Michaels work for a classified division of the CIA Directorate of Science & Technology, as he claims?
- The Child
- How did the Child come to be in the sealed chamber, and survive there?
- Why does the Child develop an emotional bond with Olivia, and not one of the others?
- Why was the Child so intrigued when he saw the Observer?
- Where is the foster home that Child is headed too?
- How did Olivia recruit Doctor Winick?
- How did Olivia find a foster home for the Child?