Fringe: Episode 7 "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones" Review
Fringe: Episode 7 "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones" Review
After a short break to make room for election shenanigans, Fringe finally returned tonight with its unique brand of sci-fi nuttiness.  It's possible this show has me looking for interconnected events in my everyday life, because I'm starting to notice that Fringe itself follows a very interesting pattern.  It seems that every episode of the series co-written by J.J. Abrams, including tonight's installment, ends up being a mind-blowing roller coaster ride.  Abrams previously chipped in on the first two episodes, as well as "The Arrival," which introduced us to that creepy bald man known as The Observer.  I'd certainly rank "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones" alongside those superior spook-fests.  Not only did it contain some of the strangest things we've ever seen on Fringe, but it also introduced us to another mysterious man who may know more about The Pattern than we realize.

I'm proud of the fact that I've sat through some of the most disgusting horror movies known to man, but somehow Fringe still manages to gross me out on a weekly basis.  Tonight's episode opened with an FBI agent named Loeb collapsing for seemingly no reason.  That could be the teaser for any episode of House, but of course things soon took a turn for the weird and revolting.  When the doctors peeked inside the agent's chest, they found a parasite wrapped around his heart, threatening to clench down with its sharp little teeth at any moment.  The parasite resembled the baby version of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors, which is the last thing I'd want touching my internal organs.

After the team did some investigating and took a tissue sample, Walter (John Noble) discovered that the parasite had an unusual repeating pattern buried in its DNA.  Astrid (Jasika Nicole) finally proved her usefulness by cracking the strange code, which translated into the letters ZFT.  What the heck is ZFT?  According to Broyles (Lance Reddick), it's one of many cells scattered around the globe specializing in abnormal scientific research.  Believe it or not, there's now a mysterious organization on a J.J. Abrams show that doesn't start with "The."

The Mr. Jones of the title worked for ZFT until he got himself thrown into a prison in Frankfurt, Germany.  Olivia (Anna Torv) flew to the foreign country to get information about the parasite, and also ran into an agent/ex-lover by the name of Lucas.  I'm not sure why Olivia insists on hooking up with her fellow agents, but I believe I'm detecting a pattern, if you'll excuse the pun.  Olivia nearly rekindled her romance with the man, but decided to put business first for now.  At least he got her to lighten up and smile a bit more, which is always welcome.  He also agreed to help her again in the future, so we may see more of him.

Mr. Jones would only speak to Olivia if she could convince a man named Joseph Smith to answer a question for him.  Unfortunately, the FBI ended up shooting Smith in the head when he tried to pull a weapon on them.  Of course, this is Fringe, so "death is simply an inconvenience" as Walter so elegantly put it.  The good doctor figured out a way to hook Peter's brain to the dead man's, allowing Peter (Joshua Jackson) to absorb information from him when they were both jolted with massive amounts of electricity.  Astrid asked Jones' question ("Where does the gentleman live?") and eventually got the answer ("Little Hill").

Mr. Jones let Olivia know the chemicals needed to kill the parasite, but not before making her more paranoid than she already is.  He hinted that both of them were being manipulated to uncover "Little Hill," and also mentioned that he wasn't the one who infected Agent Loeb with Audrey II.  At the end of the episode, it was revealed that Loeb is a mole working for ZFT, and that he's been looking to uncover "Little Hill" for quite some time.  We don't know what he's after or what "Little Hill" will lead to, but it wouldn't be an Abrams show if all of our questions were answered in one episode.

"In Which We Meet Mr. Jones" was Fringe at its finest.  The episode was creepy, disgusting, full of great Walter moments (including his craving for fruit cocktail and the reveal that he once tried to interrogate a dead Jimmy Hoffa), and brimming with mystery.  The first season feels like it's starting to hit its stride, though I still wish Abrams would stop by to write more episodes.  I'm convinced he's part of The Pattern, and The Pattern is shaping up very nicely.

- Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)