The Abducted

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"The Abducted"
Fringe episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 7
Directed by Chuck Russell
Written by David Wilcox
Graham Roland
Production code3X6107
Original air dateNovember 18, 2010
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
 Previous
"6955 kHz"
Next 
"Entrada"
Fringe (season 3)
List of Fringe episodes

"The Abducted" is the seventh episode of the third season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe . The third season spent much of its time alternating between the prime and parallel universes, and "The Abducted" was set in the latter. The episode followed the Fringe team's investigation of "the Candyman", a man who kidnaps children to harvest their youth-giving hormones.

<i>Fringe</i> (season 3) season of television series

The third season of the American science fiction television series Fringe began airing on the Fox network on September 23, 2010, and concluded on May 6, 2011. Twenty-two episodes long, the season was produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, and its showrunners were Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. Lead actors Anna Torv, John Noble, and Joshua Jackson reprised their roles as FBI agent Olivia Dunham and the father-son duo Walter and Peter Bishop. Previous series regulars Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole, and Blair Brown also returned, along with recurring guest stars Kirk Acevedo, Seth Gabel, and Ryan McDonald.

Science fiction Genre of speculative fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. It has been called the "literature of ideas", and often explores the potential consequences of scientific, social, and technological innovations.

Drama Artwork intended for performance, formal type of literature

Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance: a play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on radio or television. Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes ever since Aristotle's Poetics —the earliest work of dramatic theory.

Contents

The episode first aired on November 18, 2010 in the United States to an estimated 4.85 million viewers. Reviews of the episode were mixed; multiple critics lauded the final five minutes of the episode, while another praised lead actress Anna Torv and actor Lance Reddick's performances. Due to the holiday of Thanksgiving, "The Abducted" began a two-week break that did not end until the broadcast of a December 2 episode.

Thanksgiving Holiday in North America and Liberia

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and around the same part of the year in other places. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.

"Entrada" is the eighth episode of the third season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe, and the 51st episode overall. The first part of the third season spent much of its time alternating between the prime and parallel universes, and "Entrada" was the first episode of the season to have time evenly divided between both. In the episode, both Olivia and her doppelganger "Fauxlivia" attempt to journey back to their respective universes. John Cassini, Seth Gabel, Ryan McDonald, Stefan Arngrim, and Karen Holness guest starred.

Plot

"The Abducted" takes place in the parallel universe; Olivia (Anna Torv), having broken her conditioning that made her believe she was her doppelgänger Fauxlivia (Torv) from that universe, maintains the pretense that she is still conditioned. She meets with Henry (Andre Royo), the taxi driver who helped her out before, and asks him to help her return to Liberty Island to use the sensory deprivation tank to return herself to her universe.

Anna Torv Australian actress

Anna Torv is an Australian actress known for her roles as FBI agent Olivia Dunham on television series Fringe (2008–2013), for which she was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series in 2011, and as Dr. Wendy Carr in Netflix's Mindhunter (2017–present).

Doppelgänger Person who very strongly resembles another

A doppelgänger is a non-biologically related look-alike or double of a living person, sometimes portrayed as a ghostly or paranormal phenomenon and usually seen as a harbinger of bad luck. Other traditions and stories equate a doppelgänger with an evil twin. In modern times, the term twin stranger is occasionally used. The word "doppelgänger" is often used in a more general and neutral sense, and in slang, to describe any person who physically resembles another person.

Andre Royo American actor

Andre Royo is an American actor, producer, and writer. He is best known for his role as Reginald "Bubbles" Cousins on the HBO crime drama series The Wire, and his appearances on Fringe, Party Down, How to Make It in America, and the 2013 film The Spectacular Now. Royo currently appears as Lucious Lyon's defense attorney Thirsty Rawlings on the FOX hit drama series Empire.

A child, Max (Michael Strusievici), is kidnapped from his home. The Fringe team investigates and Broyles (Lance Reddick) immediately recognizes this as the work of "The Candyman"; though only appearing once every two years, the Candyman abducts a child and returns him some days later, but whatever the Candyman has done leaves the child physically deprived. Broyles' own son, Christopher (Curtis Harris), was one of the most recent victims, having become blind as a result of the ordeal. Christopher tells Olivia that he believes there were two people involved with his abduction, one old and one young. Combined with other information, Olivia suspects that the Candyman is draining the children of hormones from the pituitary gland, helping the Candyman stay young.

Lance Reddick American actor

Lance Reddick is an American actor and musician. He is best known for playing Cedric Daniels in The Wire and Phillip Broyles in Fringe. He is also known for portraying Detective Johnny Basil on Oz, Matthew Abaddon in Lost and Charon from the John Wick franchise. He has provided the voice and likeness for video game characters Martin Hatch in Quantum Break, Sylens in Horizon Zero Dawn and Commander Zavala in the Destiny franchise. He currently plays Chief Irvin Irving on Amazon Prime's Bosch.

Pituitary gland endocrine gland

In vertebrate anatomy, the pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is an endocrine gland about the size of a pea and weighing 0.5 grams (0.018 oz) in humans. It is a protrusion off the bottom of the hypothalamus at the base of the brain. The hypophysis rests upon the hypophysial fossa of the sphenoid bone in the center of the middle cranial fossa and is surrounded by a small bony cavity covered by a dural fold. The anterior pituitary is a lobe of the gland that regulates several physiological processes. The intermediate lobe synthesizes and secretes melanocyte-stimulating hormone. The posterior pituitary is a lobe of the gland that is functionally connected to the hypothalamus by the median eminence via a small tube called the pituitary stalk.

The interview leads Olivia and Broyles to Reverend Marcus (David Nykl), who gave up a career as a physician in order to establish a local church. Working through the congregation list, Olivia talks to one member, Wyatt Toomy (Will Rothhaar), a garbageman. When Olivia spots a child's toy within his apartment, Wyatt realizes he is caught and attempts to escape, but Olivia captures him. She soon finds Max in a hidden room with a not-yet-activated device on the back of his head near the pituitary gland. She frees the boy, accidentally telling him she is an FBI agent.

David Nykl Canadian actor

David Nykl is a Czech Canadian actor of film, television, commercials and theater. He is best known for portraying Dr. Radek Zelenka in the SyFy television series Stargate Atlantis and Anatoly Knyazev in DC's comics' popular series Arrow.

William Edward Lamar "Will" Rothhaar is an American actor. He was born in New York City, the son of Michael Rothhaar and Nancy Linehan Charles, both of whom are playwrights, actors and directors.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Governmental agency belonging to the United States Department of Justice

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes.

Believing the case completed, Olivia goes to meet with Henry, where he has gotten use of his cousin's boat. As he talks about having been trained to use it, Olivia contemplates how Wyatt knew about the chemistry to make the serum, and realizes he had a teacher as well - their true culprit, and immediately suspects Reverend Marcus. Broyles and Olivia hurry to his house to protect Christopher from Marcus; Broyles kills Marcus. Olivia accompanies Broyles and his family to the same hospital that Max is being treated. There, Max thanks Olivia personally and asks her about what the "FBI" is. Broyles, having listened to Olivia's conversation, knows that she has broken her conditioning, as the FBI had ceased to exist years earlier in the parallel universe. Because of her efforts to save Christopher, he lets her go.

Olivia rejoins Henry and then leaves him to swim the rest of the way in and make her way to the isolation tank. After injecting herself with the same drugs Walternate (John Noble) had used on her, she enters the tank and soon finds herself back in her own universe. She encounters a cleaning lady, and as Olivia feels herself being dragged back to the parallel universe, she gives the cleaning lady a message to pass along to Peter (Joshua Jackson). Back in the isolation tank, Walternate has had Olivia extracted from the tank and directs his agents to lock her up and sedate her.

John Noble Australian actor and director

John Noble is an Australian actor and theatre director of more than 80 plays. He is best known for his roles as Dr. Walter Bishop in the US Fox science fiction television series Fringe, and Henry Parrish in the Fox action-horror series Sleepy Hollow. His most high-profile film role was as Denethor in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He also provided the voice of the DC Comics supervillain Scarecrow in the 2015 video game Batman: Arkham Knight, where his character served as the main antagonist. In 2015, he joined the main cast of the television series Elementary as Sherlock Holmes's father. He was also cast as a doctor in the Australian TV series All Saints. In 2012, Noble was diagnosed with osteoporosis. His charity, Noble Bones, helps to raise awareness for the disease.

Joshua Jackson Canadian actor

Joshua Jackson is a Canadian actor. He is known for his starring role as Pacey Witter in the teen drama series Dawson's Creek (1998–2003), Peter Bishop in the science fiction series Fringe (2008–2013), Cole Lockhart in the drama series The Affair (2014–18), and Mickey Joseph in the drama miniseries When They See Us (2019).

Back in the prime universe, Peter and Fauxlivia are in bed together when Peter receives a call from the cleaning lady, who relays the message: that Olivia is trapped in the parallel universe. Peter realizes that he has been sleeping with Olivia's doppelgänger.

Production

"The attitude among the characters in the alternate universe is that the people ‘over here’ are bad... They did this to us. They started this thing. They’re trying to destroy our world. As far as I’m concerned, Olivia is one of those people. She’s one of the bad people that wants to kill us and if there’s any chance she can regain her senses, she’s a threat, especially if she’s as formdiable [ sic ] as our Olivia. But something happens in this episode where things begin to change."

–Actor Lance Reddick [1]

"The Abducted" was written by co-executive producer David Wilcox and executive story editor Graham Roland, and directed by filmmaker Chuck Russell. [2] The episode featured guest appearances by Curtis Harris, David Nykl, John Hainsworth, Karen Holness, Andre Royo, Will Rothhaar, Tristin Leffler, and Michael Strusievici. Holness and Royo had previously guest starred on Fringe before as the characters Diane Broyles and Henry Higgins, respectively. [2] [3] [4]

Alluding to the normally "no-nonsense" personality of his character Phillip Broyles, actor Lance Reddick noted that for once "you get to see [Broyles] smile and have fun. Not for very long, but you see it. You get to meet his ex-wife (Karen Holness) and find out why his marriage ended. You understand more about his relationship to his work and his job and the Fringe Division–how he feels about it and why he does what he does." [5]

Reddick drew inspiration for the episode from undercover FBI agent Joe Pistone, whom he met while filming the TV series Falcone . Pistone recommended his autobiography Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia , and Reddick found many parallels to it and the episode. "In the book, [Pistone] talked about how while being undercover in the Mafia, he had to separate his personal feelings from his professional and moral sense of responsibility. There were certain guys he really couldn’t stand, but there were some people he genuinely liked, even though ultimately he had to bring them down. I think Col. Broyles feels the same way about Olivia. On various occasions, she has performed heroically to earn his respect, and in tonight’s episode, that appreciation — and the angst that goes with it — reaches a new level". [1]

As with other Fringe episodes, [6] [7] Fox released a science lesson plan in collaboration with Science Olympiad for grade school children, focusing on the science seen in "The Abducted", with the intention of having "students learn about vaccination and the spread of communicable diseases." [8]

Cultural references

Peter and Fauxlivia watch the 1942 romantic drama film Casablanca , and the latter incorrectly says it starred actor and later president of the United States Ronald Reagan, rather than actor Humphrey Bogart. [2] [9] [10] Olivia finds a children's book her niece owns called Burlap Bear Goes To The Woods in Christopher's room. [9] [10] SFScope's Sarah Stegall believed that the episode antagonist's name of Toomy was a reference to popular villain Eugene Victor Tooms in the science fiction television series The X-Files . Olivia also refers to several fringe cases that were in first season episodes of Fringe, including "The Same Old Story" and "Midnight". [2]

Reception

Ratings

On its initial broadcast on November 17, 2010, "The Abducted" was watched by an estimated 4.85 million viewers in the United States, with a 3.0/5 rating among all households. [11] It earned a 1.9/5 ratings share for viewers 18-49, helping Fox place third for the night in that demographic. [12] Due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, "The Abducted" was the last episode to air until December 2, when the season's eighth episode "Entrada" aired. [13] [14] Time shifted viewing increased the episode's ratings by 37 percent among adults, resulting in a rise from 1.9 to 2.6. [15]

Reviews

"This was one of the best, creepiest, most tightly written episodes of this outstanding third season... It takes a heck of a writing team to give us a story that is both touching and spine-tingling."

SFScope writer Sarah Stegall [2]

Entertainment Weekly writer Ken Tucker wrote, "I loved this episode for... its careful layering and expansion of the series’ key themes, and for the way it’s setting us up for a truly superb, universe-shaking episode when Fringe returns Dec. 2." [10] The A.V. Club 's Noel Murray graded the episode with a B+, explaining he enjoyed the episode more than the previous visit to the parallel universe because "the last five minutes or so of 'The Abducted' were more compelling than the case-of-the-week. But not far more. The Candy Man is just so creepy—and his crime so powerfully symbolic—that I felt better about this episode overall than I did about 'Amber." [9]

Los Angeles Times columnist Andrew Hanson thought the whole episode was "disturbing, even for Fringe", and was pleased that the killers were shot rather than arrested due to the heinousness of their crimes. [16] SFScope contributor Sarah Stegall believed the episode contained some of the cast's best performances, especially praising Lance Reddick's portrayal of a "very human, caring hero who has been damaged but not crippled by the tragedy that struck his family" and Anna Torv's ability to subtly play both Olivias. [2] IGN's Phil Pirrello believed "the Broyles Factor padded a cool premise with a solid (if unremarkable) execution that lead to a great final five minutes." [17] In January 2013, IGN ranked it the eighth best episode of the entire series, explaining that "this one holds a special place for having so many elements of what makes Fringe great... There's only one word for the way this episode handled two awesome storylines and intertwined them seamlessly: brilliant." [18]

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References

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