Night Of Desirable Objects

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Night Of Desirable Objects
Episode202.jpg
Season: 2 Episode: 2
Air Date: 24 Sep 2009
Written by: Jeff Pinkner
Joel Wyman
Directed by: Brad Anderson
Starring: Main Characters
Guest Cast: John Savage as Dr. Andre Hughes
Kevin Corrigan as Sam Weiss
Meghan Markle as Amy Jessup
Charles M. Smith as Sheriff Golightly

Stefan Arngrim as Store Owner
Chad Cole as Raymond (Workman)
Craig March as co-Worker
Marsha Regis as Nurse
Raahul Singh as Doctor
Chris Eastman as CSI Tech
Matt Kelly as Alex (garage caller)

Next: Fracture
Previously: A New Day In The Old Town
Transcript  —  Additional Images
Introduction
Night Of Desirable Objects is the second episode of the second season of FRINGE. It first aired on September 24, 2009. A highway construction worker in rural Pennsylvania goes missing when he is mysteriously drawn into an underground tunnel. In his lab, Walter attempts to simulate travel between alternate universes using frogs. The science team believes that the disappearance in Pennsylvania may not be an isolated incident.

Synopsis

Prologue

A construction crew in rural Lansdale, Pennsylvania is shutting down at the end of the workday. One on the workers, Raymond, notices that he has forgotten some personal items. When he walks across the road to pick up his thermos bottle, safety goggles and gloves, he notices scarecrows - with crows sitting on them. Raymond next notices a portion of the waist-high corn moving strangely. When he looks closer, he sees a blue object lying on the ground. He bends over to brush the dirt away from the object and it proves to be a hand, covered in a viscous, dark blue-colored substance. The hand grabs Raymond's wrist and pulls him under the ground. Raymond's co-worker calls his name as a freight train passes by the worksight.

ACT I

In her hospital room, Olivia is being released by the staff after several weeks of recovery. Free of her I.D. bracelet, she and Peter have a few minutes to tease one another. After a joke about her cane, and seeing if she remembered to pack all of her stuff, she takes him down a notch - questioning his usefulness, and has him tote her suitcase. As they load into Peter's SUV, the Shape Changer (disguised as Charlie Francis) sits unnoticed in a nearby car, watching their every move.

Scorpion-Mole Boy on the prowl
In an underground lair, beneath the cornfield in Lansdale, Raymond comes to, laying on the ground with some dark blue slime covering part of his legs. Temporarily paralyzed in the lower limbs, he ignites his lighter to see where he is. The dark tunnel he occupies is littered with rotting corpses. A naked, man-like creature approaches on all fours. Unable to crawl away fast enough, Raymond is dragged, screaming, back into the cave.

ACT II

In Boston, Peter and Broyles are walking along a street. Peter asks if Broyles was able to get everything Peter's list. Broyles responds that the FBI agreed to everything, but that getting a C-130 aircraft would be difficult. Peter tells Broyles that the Science Team's next case should be to examine multiple missing persons in Lansdale, Pennsylvania; six people are missing and four of those reportedly disappeared into thin air. Broyles approves and tells Peter to keep his eye on Olivia.

  In
Fearless Fringe Frogs Flying Fairly Far
Walter's Lab, he and Astrid are attempting to duplicate Olivia's accident using a toy car and a frog. Walter wants to know if the frog ever leaves this universe, as he is theorizing Olivia did. Walter begins to draw a diagram on a chalk board when Olivia interrupts him and he realizes they have had the conversation before. Olivia tells him that she knows that she went somewhere and thinks that she met with someone, but the rest is like a dream she can't quite remember. Walter answers that she may remember in time and tries to tell her how sad he felt when he thought she was dead but chokes on the statement. Olivia expresses her thanks. Walter says that she appears to be fine, but that traveling to an alternate reality has consequences. Peter enters and asks Olivia if she feels up for a drive.
  In Lansdale, Pennsylvania, the Team meets Sheriff Golightly, who responds to their presence by commenting that he had not called the FBI. Olivia
Desirable Fishing Lure
reminds him that his office had recently filed six missing persons reports; he responds that the count is now seven. At first he denies access to the scene by the Team, but later admits them and allows Walter to have a sample of a blue substance. When they all return to Golightly's office, he gives them files on the disappearances. He then appears to have second thoughts and questions the nature of their jurisdiction. At this point, Olivia's senses go into high gear and she is able to hear a fly rubbing its legs together. Sheriff Golightly is unconvinced by Olivia's explanation and again asks about jurisdiction. As Olivia's attention comes back to the sheriff, Peter interrupts and starts talking to the sheriff about his fishing lures, one of which is called the "Night Of Desirable Objects." The team then leaves the Sheriff's office with the files it needs. Olivia calls "Charlie" and asks him to run the names of the missing persons through the investigative indexes and to tell her if anything comes up; he agrees.

At the office equipment store, the Shape Changer is in some physical distress, and demands the key to the back room from the owner. Once seated, he types a message on the Selectric 251 that Olivia still believes him to be her partner and trusts him and that he is awaiting instructions.

ACT III

Back at the Lab, Peter and Olivia are reviewing case files of the missing
Temporary Zipper Paralysis... Pee minus 23 minutes and counting
persons while Walter is examining one of the specimens collected at the site of Raymond's disappearance. Peter and Olivia are commenting about the trivial nature of some of the entries in the files. When Peter asks Walter how he is doing, Walter responds that he plans to urinate in twenty-three minutes and goes on to casually explain that he will need help unzipping his fly because his hand is paralyzed. They conclude that the blue substance Walter was examining is a paralytic used by the person who took the victims to disable them. Peter wonders if the substance can be traced and Walter responds that its base solution contains male D.N.A. Peter observes that they may have encountered a mutant; Walter responds that we are all mutants, but that it is remarkable how many of us appear to be normal. Olivia, who had continued to review files comments that Andre Hughes, who was not related to any of the victims, appears in more than one incident report. They decide to go back to Lansdale.
As Peter
Meeting Andre Hughes
and Olivia arrive in Lansdale, they drive along a road above a large tunnel. Andre Hughes is in the tunnel looking at Raymond's corpse. He mutters his, "Aw, hell."

Peter and Olivia are knocking on the door of Hughes' house when he approaches them from behind. After Olivia explains the reason for their visit, Hughes invites them inside his home, explaining as he kicks off muddy boots that he spends a lot of time digging and maintaining water wells. Olivia's hearing becomes hyper-sensitive again and she hears motion in the house. When she asks Hughes if there is anyone else in the house, he denies any other occupants as he leaves the room. Olivia tells Peter to keep Hughes busy and walks up the steps to the second floor. She enters a room with laboratory equipment. Hearing snarling noises from behind a door she extends her weapon and opens the door to find a closet. Seeing movement out of the corner of her eye, she turns and fires, narrowly missing Peter.

ACT IV

In a Fringe Division interrogation room, Andre Hughes resists Olivia's probing, uncertain as to why he has been brought in. She tells him that she knows he has been a retired doctor for 20 years. She also reveals that she knows he immediately visited others in the Lansdale area that had lost family members mysteriously. He claims they were not former patients, just friends. He shares with her that he had lost his with wife and infant son 17 years prior... his visits were to comfort friends. Olivia wants to run DNA tests on Hughes to determine his involvement. Hughes resolutely refuses the request. In the adjacent observation room, Peter and Broyles monitor the interview. Peter says that there was nothing in Hughes' house that suggests his involvement, and that the old lab equipment they found was being delivered to Walter's lab for inspection. Broyles wants results - ordering Hughes held and a court order to gain access to his blood and DNA, and, that he was sending Amy Jessup to inspect
Getting A "Clean Bill Of Health"?
Hughes' house.

Olivia visits her doctor for a follow-up examination. He tells her he thinks she is doing well... although she has not mentioned the extremely acute hearing she is experiencing. As she redresses, Nina Sharp pops into the room for a brief chat. Nina hadn't visited Olivia during her recovery, but tells her she has been keeping track of her, through Broyles. Nina shares part of her past with Olivia - following her cancer, she felt her body had betrayed her. Nina then takes the doctor's prescription pad and writes down the name and address of the man who helped her recover from her ordeal. Olivia accepts the note, assuming it is for psycholgical support. Nina, tells her the man is not a psychologist.

At the Hughes' farm, upstart FBI Agent Amy Jessup walks through the on-going forensics recovery effort on the first floor of house. Boxes are being packed and positioned for removal. Amy strolls around the main room and notices a religious figurine, then turns to see a cabinet with a Christian cross on the panel of the door. She opens it and finds a large Bible and a few candles. She picks up the hefty book and discovers a newspaper clipping about the demise of Hughes' family, and a hand-written note from a pastor. The newspaper article identifies the cause of the deaths as unknown. The note from the Pastor cites the loss as "God's will."

Back at
Grave Consequences
Walter's Lab, Peter takes a call from Olivia. Amy told Olivia that Hughes may have killed his wife and child. Walter becomes proactive and assumes they will be able to dig up their remains. Astrid is on the ball and heads for the phone to get authorization for an exhumation order.

While Andre Hughes waits alone in Federal custody, Amy and Sheriff Golightly join the science team to exhume the bodies of the Hughes family. An excavation crew has dug-up the gravesites on Eveline and "Baby Boy" Hughes. They continue, and hoist the coffins of the two from the ground for inspection. The casket of Mrs. Hughes is opened to reveal her well-decayed corpse... while the casket of the infant is empty. Startled, they look into the infants' grave, finding a large hole, a tunnel - burrowing into the depths. Meanwhile, Hughes has been sitting alone in the interrogation room, fashioning a metal noose from a wire grate. Bleeding from the mouth for his efforts, he succeeds - hanging himself from a ceiling fixture.

ACT V

Hughes' Final Act
Olivia returns to the Federal Building to continue interviewing Hughes. She exits the elevator with an escort and walks directly to the interrogation room. When they arrive, the open the door and find Andre Hughes dead - hanging by the wire noose he created while in custody.

In Walter's Lab, the autopsy of the exhumed Eveline Hughes has begun. Doctor Bishop finds it curious that Mrs. Hughes had a child, an impossibility given that she had extremely advanced Lupus, making her incapable of reproducing. Her Lupus would have resulted in an overactive immune system that would have destroyed any fetus she was carrying.

 At the
What Lies Beneath?
Hughes farm, Sheriff Golightly surrounds the house with crime scene tape. He has been pounding wooden stakes into the lawn to hold up the yellow barrier tape. What he hasn't noticed is the traveling mound of dirt that has been following him around.

 Back at the Federal Building, Olivia is angry and demands an explanation for the situation with Hughes. Broyles dissuades her, then informs her they are transporting Hughes to the Bishop Lab. The parking structure they are in has harsh acoustics, but Olivia's hyper-sensitive hearing is in overdrive - as she listens in on a cell phone conversation almost a hundred yards away.

 In Walter's Lab, the test results have come back on Eveline Hughes. The testing tells the scientists that Hughes had given birth, but that she never expelled the fetal placenta. The more shocking news is that the infant it contained wasn't entirely human - possessing animal genetics like that of a scorpion, and a mole-rat. Peter suggests the paralytic blue toxin they have encountered is in-line with the scorpion genetics. Astrid says she is a little sickened by the thought, but Walter claims the science as brilliant - Hughes having created the "super-baby". Olivia arrives late to the conversation, but gets the team headed back to Lansdale when she insists she heard a second person at the Hughes homestead.

← Back in Lansdale, Sheriff Golightly has just finished securing the Hughes property and is loading equipment back in his cruiser. As he turns to walk towards the house, the soil in front of him starts to crack and divide. Then, suddenly, the crack begins to accelerate towards him and he is pulled underground.

ACT VI

Returning to the farmhouse, Peter and Olivia enter, unable to find Sheriff Golightly.
Attacked While Defending Olivia
Peter detects a hidden door behind wallpaper, then kicks open the door, only to find a dusty, abandoned nursery. Olivia finds another unexplored room, and draws her pistol. Peter joins her as she holds up a canine tooth. Peter confirms her find when he dislodges a dogs' skull from loose brickwork in the wall. After pushing away the loose bricks, they discover a lengthy tunnel extending away from the room. Olivia spies corpses strewn further down the tunnel. When she turns to talk with Peter, the creature appears from the dark, directly behind her... then bites here and drags her into the darkness. Peter pursues the abducted Olivia, and both struggle with the strong beast. Peter takes a bite to the arm, but Olivia hands Peter a large, sharp, bone fragment from the tunnel floor, and Peter stabs the creature. Badly wounded, the beast tries to tunnel away from the two. In the process of escaping, the surface soil above the tunnel collapses, and the police vehicle above falls through, landing on the creature's mid-section.

Later, as law enforcement combs the Hughes farm, numerous large metal spring traps are collected from around the property. Apparently Andre Hughes was actively seeking to capture the creature - his errant son.

Back in Boston, Olivia rides along with "Charlie". She talks about the case in Pennsylvania, then shifts to a more personal conversation, not realizing she is confiding in the same shape-changing soldier that attempted to assassinate her. She is worried about her memory, and wonders if maybe her brain is protecting her from the specifics of her ordeal. Trusting in him as if he were the real Charlie Francis, he tells her he will be there to help her get through it - and help her remember.

It's evening in Walter's Lab
Taking The Bait...
and Peter is preparing for a fishing trip. Walter is curious and, as Astrid listens along, Peter tells Walter he is going with "someone". Peter spins a yarn about an eleven year-old that had planned to go fishing with his father, but wound-up fishing alone. Interested, Walter asks to come along on Peter's fishing voyage - dense to the fact that Peter's story is a parable for his experience with Walter, two decades prior. Walter, still not enlightened about the earlier fishing fall-out, is gladly asked to join this excursion.

  Back in her apartment,
"Say What?"
Olivia relaxes in a hot bubble-bath. Her auditory senses peak again, but this time it's worse. She can hear everything: an insect as it crawls along her windowsill, drips from faucets, bubbles popping, neighbors speaking, a child crying, bugs flying, traffic, the disturbing hum of the overhead lights.

Later that night, Olivia checks out the address that Nina had given her, which turns out to
Suddenly Seeking Sam
be a bowling alley. She makes her way in, and downstairs to the barely occupied sports venue. As she looks around, the employee at the counter tells Olivia that the bowling alley will be closing soon. She asks him if "Sam Weiss" is in the building - he replies earnestly, saying that Sam had met a girl and moved. Olivia thanks him for the information and starts to leave. As she does so, the employee asks if she is just going to give up that easily. Suddenly, it dawns on her - she's talking to Sam Weiss. Sam tells Olivia that Nina had contacted him - he then asks her if the "headaches" have started yet. Olivia tells him "No', to which Sam eerily replies "they will".

Back at the typewriter store, the Shape Changer updates his unseen superior using the
Awaiting Further Guidance
Selectric 251.
  His comment     The reply
  TARGET VISITED OTHER SIDE     UNACCEPTABLE
  BUT REMEMBERS NO DETAILS     IF SHE CAN'T REMEMBER ON HER OWN
  PLEASE ADVISE     THEN DO SOMETHING TO HELP HER

Quotes

"...sometimes the physical injury is the easiest to get over. I remember when I was first diagnosed with cancer. Beside the fear, my most overwhelming sensation was one of betrayal... the realization that my own body was fundamentally foreign to me, that it was a threat". - (Nina, preparing Olivia for the side effects of her trans-universe travel)

"We're all victims of our own gene pool. Someone must have peed in yours." - (Walter, condescendingly to Sheriff Golightly)

Trivia

General
  • The Observer stands in the field near the Hughes' house as Agent Jessup investigates inside.
  • In 1986, British jazz/blues guitarist Philip Charles "Snakefinger" Lithman, released the album "Night Of Desirable Objects". He died in 1987, on the very same day a song called 'There's No Justice In Life' was released as a single off of the same album "Night Of Desirable Objects."
Continuity Errors
  • The featured locomotive train had Canadian National Railway markings. Owner of many former Central Illinois lines throughout the Mississippi Valley, Canadian National Railway has no known routes in Pennsylvania.
  • At the start of the scene where Walter's hand is paralyzed, Gene can be seen in the background in her pen, alone. When the scene cuts to Peter entering the room, Astrid instantaneously appears in the pen, brushing Gene.
Recurring Themes
  • Genetic Engineering. Manipulation of fetal DNA to produce genetically-modified off-spring, as in The Same Old Story.
  • Transmogrification. Transgenetic mutation into hybrid form, as in The Transformation, Unleashed and Midnight.
  • Red and Green. Agent Amy Jessup opens a cabinet in Hughes' house to find a bible lying next to a red candle and a green candle.
Cultural References
  • LOST. All of the infamous "Numbers" from fellow-Bad Robot Production LOST (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42) appear throughout the episode. The number 42 is seen on the bulldozer at the beginning of the episode, Walter tells Peter that he will have to use the bathroom in 23 minutes, the number 16 is on the Bowling alley neon sign, Sam Weiss tells Olivia she has only 15 minutes to bowl before he closes and guesses her shoe to be size-8, and the opening sequence radio show announcer was offering to give away 4 Pairs of tickets to the first 4 callers.
  • Back To The Future. The experiment that Astrid and Walter are working on with the car and frog mimics the experiment Doctor Emmett Brown (i.e. Doc) used in the movie Back to the Future to illustrating how a Delorean car would/could travel back in time.
Literary Techniques
  • Symbolism/Irony. Symbolically - throughout recorded history, crows/ravens have been considered messengers of death by many civilizations. Many believe they can smell the scent of death upon a person before they die. This ties to the mysterious disappearances among the cornfields of seemingly otherwise healthy individuals. Ironically, scarecrows posted in cornfields are designed to drive the birds away, yet in this case, they served not only as a perch for the bird, they were a pulpit.

Previously

NextEpisodeClue202.jpg
NextEpisodeClue202.jpg
NextEpisodeClue202.jpg
NextEpisodeClue202.jpg
NextEpisodeClue202.jpg
    From the accident scene (A New Day In The Old Town), the fictional name on the signage in front of the building is GRUNO & DUNDER, a concise anagram for UNDERGROUND, foreshadowing the main theme of the plot in Night Of Desirable Objects.

Music

Poor Little Fool by Rick Nelson
Dear Mister Fantasy by Traffic

Glyphs


—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Address theories about questions on Night Of Desirable Objects/Theories   Ask minor questions on the Talk Page  

 1) Do not answer the questions here.
 2) Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.

Olivia
  • What caused Olivia's sudden super-sensitive hearing?
  • Is Olivia in control of her super-sensitive hearing, or does it just occur (seemingly) randomly?
  • Is super-sensitive hearing what Walter meant by "side effects" of going to an alternate universe?
The Bishops
  • What does Walter mean by "The grave of a boy... who was not in his grave"?
    • Is Peter's grave empty?
The Hughes Family
  • Was Andre Hughes professionally associated (projects/field of study) with Walter twenty years ago, before Hughes left science?
    • If so, did that association lead to any of the familial problems either of them experienced, shortly thereafter?
  • If the trans-genetic Hughes child has been 'on-the-loose' for 17 years, why - recently - are human victims on the menu?
  • Is the Hughes child a by-product of the same line of experimentation (mute, subterranean albino) that gave us the boy from Inner Child?
Sam Weiss
  • How did Sam Weiss treat Nina, and how will (can) he help Olivia?

Episodes

Season 5 : Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11In AbsentiaThe RecordistThe Bullet That Saved The WorldAn Origin StoryThrough The Looking Glass And What Walter Found ThereFive-Twenty-TenThe Human KindBlack BlotterAnomaly XB-6783746The Boy Must LiveLibertyAn Enemy Of FateSeason 4 : Neither Here Nor ThereOne Night In OctoberAlone In The WorldSubject 9NovationAnd Those We've Left BehindWallflowerBack To Where You've Never BeenEnemy Of My EnemyForced PerspectiveMaking AngelsWelcome To WestfieldA Better Human BeingThe End Of All ThingsA Short Story About LoveNothing As It SeemsEverything In Its Right PlaceThe ConsultantLetters Of TransitWorlds ApartBrave New World, Part 1Brave New World, Part 2Season 3 : OliviaThe BoxThe PlateauDo Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?Amber 314226955 kHzThe AbductedEntradaMarionetteThe FireflyReciprocityConcentrate And Ask AgainImmortality6BSubject 13OsStowawayBloodlineLysergic Acid Diethylamide6:02 AM ESTThe Last Sam WeissThe Day We DiedSeason 2 : A New Day In The Old TownNight Of Desirable ObjectsFractureMomentum DeferredDream LogicEarthlingOf Human ActionAugustSnakeheadGrey MattersUnearthedJohari WindowWhat Lies BelowThe Bishop RevivalJacksonvillePeterOlivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver.White TulipThe Man From The Other SideBrown BettyNorthwest PassageOver There, Part 1Over There, Part 2Season 1 : PilotThe Same Old StoryThe Ghost NetworkThe ArrivalPower HungryThe CureIn Which We Meet Mr. JonesThe EquationThe DreamscapeSafeBoundThe No-BrainerThe TransformationAbilityInner ChildUnleashedBad DreamsMidnightThe Road Not TakenThere's More Than One Of Everything

Transcripts

Season 5 : Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11In AbsentiaThe RecordistThe Bullet That Saved The WorldAn Origin StoryThrough The Looking Glass And What Walter Found ThereFive-Twenty-TenThe Human KindBlack BlotterAnomaly XB-6783746The Boy Must LiveLibertyAn Enemy Of FateSeason 4 : Neither Here Nor ThereOne Night In OctoberAlone In The WorldSubject 9NovationAnd Those We've Left BehindWallflowerBack To Where You've Never BeenEnemy Of My EnemyForced PerspectiveMaking AngelsWelcome To WestfieldA Better Human BeingThe End Of All ThingsA Short Story About LoveNothing As It SeemsEverything In Its Right PlaceThe ConsultantLetters Of TransitWorlds ApartBrave New World, Part 1Brave New World, Part 2Season 3 : OliviaThe BoxThe PlateauDo Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?Amber 314226955 kHzThe AbductedEntradaMarionetteThe FireflyReciprocityConcentrate And Ask AgainImmortality6BSubject 13OsStowawayBloodlineLysergic Acid Diethylamide6:02 AM ESTThe Last Sam WeissThe Day We DiedSeason 2 : A New Day In The Old TownNight Of Desirable ObjectsFractureMomentum DeferredDream LogicEarthlingOf Human ActionAugustSnakeheadGrey MattersUnearthedJohari WindowWhat Lies BelowThe Bishop RevivalJacksonvillePeterOlivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver.White TulipThe Man From The Other SideBrown BettyNorthwest PassageOver There, Part 1Over There, Part 2Season 1 : PilotThe Same Old StoryThe Ghost NetworkThe ArrivalPower HungryThe CureIn Which We Meet Mr. JonesThe EquationThe DreamscapeSafeBoundThe No-BrainerThe TransformationAbilityInner ChildUnleashedBad DreamsMidnightThe Road Not TakenThere's More Than One Of Everything