In the opening scene, a large parasitic worm erupts from a man's face
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Paul Holahan|
|Written by||David Wilcox|
|Original air date||December 3, 2009|
"Snakehead" is the ninth episode of the second season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe . The episode followed the Fringe team's investigation into horrible deaths caused by large parasitic worms erupting from their victims' mouths. The case soon leads them to a Chinese gang and a black market of immunodeficiency medicinal drugs.
Co-executive producer David Wilcox wrote the episode, while Paul Holahan served as its director. Andrew Orloff, the episode's visual effects supervisor, strived to makes the parasitic worms look as real as possible with the help of the actors and camera angles. It featured one-time guest stars Tzi Ma, Colby Paul, Ingrid Torrance and Jack Yang.
"Snakehead" first aired on December 3, 2009 to an estimated 6.94 million viewers in the United States. Reviews of the episode were generally negative, as multiple critics expressed their dissatisfaction that little was learned about the series' overall mythology.
In Dorchester, a damaged cargo ship from China washes ashore; all of the crew members seem to be infected with squid-like creatures which soon erupt from their mouths, effectively killing their hosts. Other survivors flock to a contact house in Boston's Chinatown, only to suffer the same fate in the presence of a man (Tzi Ma). While investigating the crime scene shore, the Fringe team discover a healthy young Chinese woman, who tells them all of the passengers but her were given pills for their perceived seasickness, and that another ship is expected in two days. In the lab, Walter (John Noble) posits the creatures are gigantic parasitic worms, a modified version of Ancylostoma duodenale, that needs hosts for their gestation period, hence the distribution of parasitic pills. One of the still-living worms bites Walter, boosting his white blood cell count and making him suddenly feel better.
The Fringe team discovers a Triad gang member and ties to several shell companies the gang has set up in the US. They interview Elizabeth Jarvis (Ingrid Torrance), one of the companies' large investors, but she seems unaware of her investment's criminal background. While at her house, Peter (Joshua Jackson) observes signs of obsessive compulsive and germaphobe characteristics such as large quantities of hand sanitizer. Walter informs him the worm has a medicinal purpose, not a narcotic one as they previously believed. These two discoveries lead Peter and Olivia (Anna Torv) back to Jarvis' house, and they learn that her son (Colby Paul) has an immunodeficiency disorder. To allow him to be able to go outside, his mother and doctor have been giving him an injection to his spleen once a month, though he is unaware of the medicine's origins.
Meanwhile, an invigorated Walter ventures out to Chinatown to find a herbalist for his research; unaware of the clerk's connection to the case, Walter casually mentions the giant worms. Walter manages to lose Astrid (Jasika Nicole), who was sent to follow him out of worry for his ability to travel alone. She goes back to the lab, but is attacked by Triad gang members intent on getting back the remaining worms. Unaware of this, a distraught Walter becomes lost and wastes all his bus money on wrong phone numbers, causing Peter to have to pick him up. Olivia talks to Jarvis, who finally admits to being aware of the medicine. She tells Olivia the whereabouts of the incoming ship, but they find it already empty. Peter and Walter return to the herbalist shop and discover the remaining passengers. The FBI storms in and the survivors are sent to the hospital for care. Feeling remorseful about the trouble he caused, Walter injects himself with a tracking implant and gives Peter the transponder.
— Visual effects supervisor Jay Worth
"Snakehead" was written by co-executive producer David Wilcox, who had also written the season's third episode, "Fracture". The episode gave television director Paul Holahan his first directional credit for the series.The episode featured one-time guest appearances by actors Tzi Ma as Ming Che, Colby Paul as Matt Jarvis, Ingrid Torrance as Elizabeth Jarvis, and Jack Yang as Tao Chen.
The episode's visual effects supervisor, Andrew Orloff of Zoic Studios tried to make the parasitic worms look as real as possible. He explained, "...we just don't have any shots that seemed staged for the camera or any hint of being a visual effect. One of the big effects, like the parasite that crawls out of the guy's mouth, are interacting with actor's performances and they're shot with a very loose camera style and we have to have the tentacles of this creature coming out of the guy's mouth and all the deformations that are in his stomach and in his throat and in his chest."Orloff continued, "And we had to create a proprietary workflow here of what we're calling performance transfer of tracking 2D points, and putting those 2D tracked points onto the formation of 3D inter-geometry. So we're transferring not just the camera motion but also the performance of the actors on set onto 3D pieces of geometry so we can deform them and warp them and have our effects interact with them because the mandate is all about making it look as natural as possible, so that means a lot of optical tricks and atmosphere put in as seamlessly as possible."
"Snakehead" first aired on December 3, 2009 in the United States. It was watched by an estimated 6.94 million viewers, earning a 4.2/7 household ratings share and a 2.5/7 ratings share for the 18–49 demographic.Fringe aired against repeats of Grey's Anatomy and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation , helping the series earn a 25 percent ratings increase since the season premiere.
— MTV columnist Josh Wigler
Critical reception for the episode was generally negative. MTV writer Josh Wigler noted the week's Fringe case for "delivering an absolutely grotesque mystery of the week — even if the actual plot surrounding the worms was thin and unimportant in the long run". He believed the best part of the episode was John Noble's performance, as "he kills you with laughter just as easily as he kills you with tears," but disliked the focus on Astrid, believing the focus would have been better spent on Olivia.Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly called the case "pretty X-Files -ish" and Walter's storyline "the true heart of the hour." Other critics also spotlighted Noble's acting. AOL TV's Jane Boursaw believed the worms were "seriously freaky" and the opening scene "cringe"-worthy. Writing for the magazine New York , critic Tim Grierson called the focus on Walter the episode's best moments, but wrote that after the audience "adjusted to the ew factor, the plot wasn't all that interesting. The story line about rich, ailing Americans paying Chinese gangsters for miracle cures appeared to be a ripped-from-the-headlines commentary on hot-button issues like human trafficking and illegal immigration, but the execution just seemed silly."
Conversely, Noel Murray of The Onion 's The A.V. Club graded "Snakehead" with a B+, explaining the focus on Walter was a "smart choice by the Fringe team thematically". Murray continued, "Ordinarily I'd be griping that this episode was yet another mythology-free time-waster, with a plot that—two-foot-long parasites aside—could be passed along to any other procedural show currently on the air. But I really enjoyed 'Snakehead,' both because of the way the story reflected who Walter is and because of all the little touches of character development and scene-setting.
Though not appearing as depicted, the species is a real-world hookworm that infects a large number of Earth's population, which as said in the episode, has been used by some as an alternative treatment for asthma and other allergies.Popular Mechanics published an article assessing the episode's science; they concluded that the worms depicted in "Snakehead" -- "hybrid parasites, a new species bio-engineered from an intestinal hookworm"—cannot grow as quickly nor as large in real life, though it is possible for hosts to die from "parasitic asphyxiation". A George Washington University Medical School doctor noted that some scientists are researching the healing potential of parasitic worms.
Hookworm infection is an infection by a type of intestinal parasite known as a hookworm. Initially, itching and a rash may occur at the site of infection. Those only affected by a few worms may show no symptoms. Those infected by many worms may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and tiredness. The mental and physical development of children may be affected. Anemia may result.
Necator americanus is a species of hookworm commonly known as the New World hookworm. Like other hookworms, it is a member of the phylum Nematoda. It is an obligatory parasitic nematode that lives in the small intestine of human hosts. Necatoriasis—a type of helminthiasis—is the term for the condition of being host to an infestation of a species of Necator. Since N. americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale are the two species of hookworms that most commonly infest humans, they are usually dealt with under the collective heading of "hookworm infection". They differ most obviously in geographical distribution, structure of mouthparts, and relative size.
Ancylostoma duodenale is a species of the roundworm genus Ancylostoma. It is a parasitic nematode worm and commonly known as the Old World hookworm. It lives in the small intestine of hosts such as humans, cats and dogs, where it is able to mate and mature. Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus are the two human hookworm species that are normally discussed together as the cause of hookworm infection. They are dioecious. Ancylostoma duodenale is abundant throughout the world, including Southern Europe, North Africa, India, China, southeast Asia, some areas in the United States, the Caribbean, and South America.
Hookworm vaccine is a vaccine against hookworm. No effective vaccine for the disease in humans has yet been developed. Hookworms, parasitic nematodes transmitted in soil, infect approximately 700 million humans, particularly in tropical regions of the world where endemic hookworms include Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus. Hookworms feed on blood and those infected with hookworms may suffer from chronic anaemia and malnutrition. Helminth infection can be effectively treated with benzimidazole drugs, and efforts led by the World Health Organization have focused on one to three yearly de-worming doses in schools because hookworm infections with the heaviest intensities are most common in school-age children. However, these drugs only eliminate existing adult parasites and re-infection can occur soon after treatment, school-based de-worming efforts do not treat adults or pre-school children, and concerns exist about drug resistance developing in hookworms against the commonly used treatments, thus a vaccine against hookworm disease is sought to provide more permanent resistance to infection.
"The Arrival" is the fourth episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The episode was written by the series co-creator and executive producer J. J. Abrams and executive producer and show runner Jeff Pinkner. Paul A. Edwards directed it.
"In Which We Meet Mr. Jones" is the seventh episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The story begins when a FBI agent collapses from a parasite constricting his heart, and Olivia must meet with biochemist David Robert Jones in Frankfurt in order to find a cure. It featured the first appearance by Harris.
"The Bishop Revival" is the 14th episode of the second season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The episode's storyline followed Nazi scientist Alfred Hoffman as he specially designed airborne toxins to kill only surrounding people with similar genetic traits, such as people with brown eyes.
"Grey Matters" is the 10th episode of the second season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The episode was written by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, and directed by Jeannot Szwarc. It centered on three mental patients who mysteriously became sane again after shapeshifters from the parallel universe removed a piece of foreign tissue from each of their brains; this tissue is later revealed to have been taken from the brain of Walter Bishop years before. The fringe team of Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop, and Walter investigate and face a new enemy, Thomas Jerome Newton, whose purpose is to decipher the missing parts of Walter's brain and find out how to move between universes.
"Olivia" is the first episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Fringe. The episode was co-written by J. H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner, and was directed by Joe Chappelle. The third season spent its time alternating between the prime and parallel universes, and "Olivia" was placed in the latter. This is indicated in the introduction of the episode, with the same red screen used in the last season's finale, "Over There". "Olivia" follows the cliffhanger left by the second season, in which Olivia Dunham is trapped in the parallel universe. The episode explores the consequences of Olivia's abduction by Walternate, and her attempt to go back to the prime universe.
"A New Day in the Old Town" is the season premiere and first episode of the second season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe, and the 21st episode overall. It was co-written by J.J. Abrams and Akiva Goldsman, with Goldsman directing. The episode followed the aftermath of Olivia's journey to the parallel universe in the last season's finale, while also introducing the idea of shapeshifters. It guest starred actors Luke Goss, Ari Graynor, Meghan Markle, and Tegan Moss.
"Night of Desirable Objects" is the second episode of the second season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The episode followed Olivia and Peter's investigation into mysterious disappearances taking place in a small Pennsylvania town.
"Fracture" is the third episode of the second season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The episode followed the Fringe team's investigation into a man who mysteriously hardens and then explodes, killing those around him. The case leads them to a secret government project and an AWOL colonel.
"Momentum Deferred" is the fourth episode of the second season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. Screenwriters Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller wrote the episode, and co-executive producer Joe Chappelle directed it.
"Dream Logic" is the fifth episode of the second season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe, and the 25th episode overall. It was written by Josh Singer and directed by Paul A. Edwards. The episode follows several people seemingly dreaming while still awake, leading the Fringe team to investigate the dangerous side effects of a sleep study.
"Unearthed" is the 11th episode of the second season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. While the body of a young, recently deceased girl is being harvested of its organs, she suddenly comes back to life yelling classified naval launch codes and Russian phrases, leading the Fringe Division to a recently murdered naval officer. The episode was written by co-executive producers David H. Goodman and Andrew Kreisberg, and was directed by producer Frederick E. O. Toye.
"The Man from the Other Side" is the 19th episode of the second season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The episode follows the attempts of Thomas Jerome Newton, with the help of shapeshifters, to create a pathway between the two parallel universes, while the Fringe team's Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop, and Walter Bishop try to stop him.
"Bound" is the eleventh episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. It follows the aftermath of Olivia's capture in the previous episode, and subsequent efforts to identify and apprehend her kidnappers. Along with a double agent, Olivia's investigation is hampered by the appearance of Sanford Harris, an old adversary hired to audit Fringe Division.
"Unleashed" is the 16th episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. It centered on a man-made chimera, which escaped from an animal testing facility and attacked various people, including Agent Charlie Francis while the Fringe team tries to stop it.
"The Transformation" is the thirteenth episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. Its storyline centers on the circumstances surrounding a deceased scientist, who was doped with a "designer virus" and transformed into a dangerous monster, causing his plane to crash. Fringe agent Olivia Dunham and FBI consultants Peter and Walter Bishop connect the event to an impending arms deal. Olivia must explore her mind for remaining memories of her former partner and lover, John Scott, in order to prevent the sale of the virus.
Hookworms are intestinal, blood-feeding, parasitic roundworms that cause types of infection known as helminthiases. In humans, hookworm infections are caused by two main species of roundworm belonging to the genera Ancylostoma and Necator. In other animals the main parasites are species of Ancylostoma.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Snakehead|