Fringe: Season 2, Episode 20

Brown Betty (29 Apr. 2010)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,478 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 4 critic

While Walter deals with some very upsetting news, he tells Olivia's niece, Ella, a fairy tale that includes musical performances by Olivia and Agent Broyles.



(created by), (created by), 4 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video


IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 838 titles
created 10 Jan 2012
a list of 23 titles
created 25 Jul 2012
a list of 23 titles
created 30 Aug 2012
a list of 1995 titles
created 08 Jul 2013
list image
a list of 32 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Brown Betty" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Brown Betty (29 Apr 2010)

Brown Betty (29 Apr 2010) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Fringe.
« Previous Episode | 40 of 100 Episodes | Next Episode »





Episode complete credited cast:
September / Gemini
Rachel / Kelsie
Candus Churchill ...
Dead Singer / Corpse #3
Nurse (as Sarah Ann Hayward)
Tom Pickett ...
Dead Singer / Corpse #1
Dead Singer / Corpse #2
Erica Van Briel ...


While Walter deals with some very upsetting news, he tells Olivia's niece, Ella, a fairy tale that includes musical performances by Olivia and Agent Broyles. Written by FOX Publicity

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

29 April 2010 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael Cerveris (observer) and Lance Reddick (Broyles) both attended Yale and were in the elite Drama program there. See more »


During one scene where Olivia visits Nina, there is a Windows logo on the back of a flat screen monitor. The time period this episode often portrays would have been before Windows existed. However, this is all part of Walters "noir" story, where characters also use mobile communication devices. See more »


Peter Bishop: [as Miles Davis' Freddie the Freeloader plays... ] Do you like jazz?
Olivia Dunham: Jazz?
Peter Bishop: Miles, Duke, Louie, John Coltrane. You can tell a lot about a person by the music they listen to. And whether or not they dance.
Olivia Dunham: Jazz- not so much, but dancing? Sure.
Peter Bishop: Well, I guess we're opposites. I hate to dance.
See more »


References Top Secret! (1984) See more »


The Candy Man
Written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
Performed by John Noble, Tom Pickett, John Prowse and Candus Churchill
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Disastrous "cutesy" episode, for Fringe apologists only
30 April 2010 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

I watch Fringe every week, and am surprised at the variable qualities of the show. Recently the White Tulip segment starring Peter Weller was a universally treasured outing, and I concurred -truly memorable. Back in January there was an out-of-sequence episode Unearthed (bringing back Nick Acevedo's cop who had been deleted from the series previously) that was an insult to loyal viewers, as it contradicted the progressing story arc. And now we have the "fun" diversion of Brown Betty, a creative train wreck.

Yes, it is always tempting to try a film noir pastiche, but it takes some talent. For interested Brown Betty viewers, I suggest the George Segal film The Black Bird, which was a big failure back in the '70s trying to comically imitate The Maltese Falcon (replete with roles for original '40s cast members); I enjoyed that light movie but it was much hated at the time and is now forgotten. I also loved the Steve Martin super-production of Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, the ultimate film noir send up, and also a famous flop.

But under the direction of hack Seith Mann (check out his credits -episodes of random recent TV shows, strictly a traffic cop grinding out filler), Brown Betty is embarrassing. Sure, we get to see the cast out of context, getting to sing and generally do wink-wink over the top performances. For the retarded TV writers out there, series regulars ARE talented actors who can do drastically different roles than their constrained weekly duties, so proving it is silly and insulting. After a few seconds of seeing Jasika Nicole and Lance Reddick hamming it up, the novelty wears off.

Low point for me was the corpses singing Sammy Davis Jr.'s old hit Candyman. (Punsters would have enjoyed some Clive Barker and Tony Todd riffs, but that was beyond the memory and knowledge of Fringe's team.) Again, this must have wowed 'em at a story conference, but as executed it was atrocious, reminding me of the comic relief included in New Jersey soft porn horror garbage being ground out on videos (as we speak) by companies like Seduction Cinema, only without the nudity. If this is the direction Fringe's creators want to take, why don't they transfer the show to cable and turn it into a Skinemax lesbian soft-porn parody series?

Film noir by definition should be in black & white, but even with a framing story in color (Noble telling the cute kid bedtime tales), the network didn't have the guts to do the lion's share of Brown Betty in b&w. The sets, lighting and costumes evoke none of the intended noir genre low-key look; hairdos and makeup to evoke pseudo-'40s styles were amateurish, and the inclusion of modern devices like cell phones in the period milieu (completely extraneous to Noble's tale) instantly destroys the mood.

I can't wait for the endless apologies in the voice-over commentary on the Year Two DVD compilation to explain away the shortcomings of this disastrous episode. Check that, I don't want to hear any ramblings from Seith Mann -he should turn in his Director's Guild card after handing in this rubbish, and move to New Jersey where starlet Darian Caine awaits his gentle touch: it's time for a no-budget, shot on video Iron Man 2 parody. Who can we get to lampoon Mickey Rourke? Maybe....Mickey Rourke? Nope, with a zero budget we'll have to settle for Robert Z'Dar, when he finishes work on the new movie Salvador's Deli (no, I didn't make up that pun, it's actually in IMDb!).

33 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
ending plot hole saiken2009
What will I experience in this show? DennisLaursen89
The reason xfiles was better? filmtvwatcher
slides downhill after 4 and half seasons ophelia_hardin
I miss this show ! I miss this show ! cookie141
what is another show like fringe? michaellou26
Discuss Brown Betty (2010) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: