Fringe: Season 1, Episode 12

The No-Brainer (27 Jan. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
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Two mens' brains are liquefied and their only apparent connection is that they both downloaded a huge file before dying.

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Nina Sharp (credit only)
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John Scott (credit only)
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Brian Dempsey
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Jessica Warren
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Luke Dempsey
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Akim
Susan Knight ...
Cynthia Wiles (as Susan Elaine Knight)
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Two mens' brains are liquefied and their only apparent connection is that they both downloaded a huge file before dying.

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27 January 2009 (USA)  »

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Joshua Jackson was reunited with former Dawson's Creek (1998) alumnus Mary Beth Peil ("Grams"). She plays Jessica Warren, whose daughter was Dr. Bishop's former lab assistant. See more »

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When Olivia and Peter walk through campus toward the lab - which is in the next scene - they actually walk the campus of Brooklyn College (CUNY) in New York, not Harvard University, where lab is supposed to be located. (27th & 28th minutes) See more »

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Shades of Videodrome
3 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Only, no James Woods.

How dangerous can Social Networking be? In this episode, it can be fatal - Your Brain could be liquefied!

This happens to Gregory Wiles (Jake O'Connor) as he is chatting with Luke Dempsey (Noah Fleiss, "Josh and S.A.M."). From Gregory's POV, a glowing hand emerges out of his computer monitor in clear homage to David Cronenberg's "Videodrome" but instead of forming a gun from it's fingers and shooting him, it grabs Gregory's head and sucks his brains out-that's all she wrote.

This is both creepy and humorous, as every time we watch TV we feel that this is going to happen anyway.

There are more victims that are killed in this manner and it seems that there is a "pattern" to how the victims are being selected: They are all past associates of Luke Dempsey's father Brian (Chris Bauer).

Astrid notices that the Hard Drives in Gregory Wile's Computer are fried and fused solid. Not being able to get anywhere with them, "Peter knows a guy" - Who checks them out and finds out that right before the incident, a huge mega-file was sent to Gregory's PC¹. It is a form of programming that nobody has seen before, and it's been cleverly protected from being traced - But they can see where it is going - And at that very minute-It is being downloaded to Olivia's Address!

This makes me suspend disbelief, I don't see how Brian Dempsey could have discovered he was under FBI scrutiny and specifically by Olivia - But in fact, he does know that he's in the eye of the Fringe camera, and he has sent the program to Olivia's Sister Rachel's Laptop, which Ella happens to be playing her Pony game on!

Olivia and Peter race back to Olivia's apartment: Rachel had been making macaroni and spilled it all over. She had no clue Ella was in danger of becoming a child with "Water on the Brain." But imminent danger is averted. However, Brian is logged in to Rachel's Laptop Camera to watch it all and sees Olivia - while remarking "I'm who you're looking for, sister."

This must mean, that Olivia had a very poor WiFi router in her apartment, you would think an FBI Agent would have a router that could be programmed to reject devices with unknown MAC Addresses, assuming that Rachel's Laptop had a WiFi card in it and that it was turned on.

Setting that small thing aside, the case develops to the point where Harris makes his episodic interference attempt-He wants to take the case from Fringe Division and give it to the CDC. Wrong kind of Virus!

Meanwhile, a handwritten Letter had been mailed to Walter's lab, addressed to Walter. Peter opens it, and throws it away - Astrid fishes it out of the trash. Later, the Lab's Land Line Phone rings - Peter answers it and rudely dismisses whoever it was who called. Astrid shows Olivia the letter, which is from the mother of Walter's Lab Assistant who had gotten killed in the fire at his Lab, which resulted in his 17 year prolonged visit to St Claire's: "The Place Where I Lived for 17..."-You know what Walter will repeatedly say. They had bad Butterscotch Pudding.

In this episodes weekly dose of Parallelism, Luke Dempsey is trying to find closure with his Father, who is the source of the Mega-File: While the Mother of Walter's Lab Assistant wants to find closure with Walter for her Daughter. The latter happens, the former doesn't. In the end, Walter shows Jessica Warren (Dawson Creek's "Evelyn 'Grams' Ryan," Mary Beth Peil) his lab, and she helps him Milk "Gene."

¹It is interesting that the computer Peter's friend had, was an old-school PIV Xeon 2.8GHz with an AGP slot!


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