Night of Desirable Objects

Season 2, Episode 02
Aired: September 24th, 2009
Written By: Jeff Pinkner, J. H. Wyman
Directed By: Brad Anderson

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Resources: IMDb | Wikipedia | Transcript
Listen: The Fringe Podcast
Night of Desirable Objects

Episode Synopsis

A highway construction worker in rural Pennsylvania goes missing when he is mysteriously drawn into an underground tunnel filled with human remains. Meanwhile, back in the lab, Walter is attempting to simulate travel between realities on frogs. When it's discovered that the disappearance in Pennsylvania is not an isolated incident, the Fringe team travels to the crime scene to unearth evidence.

Synopsis provided by the Fandom Wiki, Fringepedia, and Wikipedia.

The Glyphs

This episode's glyphs spell: M-I-R-R-O-R

Certain events in this episode mirror the struggles Walter is going through in his personal life, such as the line "The grave of a boy... who was not in his grave", a reference to Walter visiting the grave of Peter Bishop in the season 1 finale. Alternatively, "mirror" could be a reference to the Shapeshifters in the previous episode who could mirror their look after anyone else.

Glyph symbol MGlyph symbol IGlyph symbol RGlyph symbol RGlyph symbol OGlyph symbol R
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The Observer

The Observer stands in the field near the Hughes house just before Agent Jessup finds the bible.


Timestamp: 24:22

Episode Clues

Previous Episode Clue

The car crash in 'A New Day in the Old Town' happens in front of a business called "Gruno & Dunder", an anagram for "underground", foreshadowing the killer's location in 'Night of Desirable Objects'.

Previous episode clue

Timestamp: 00:28

Next Episode Clue

The two Canadian National locomotives in 'Night Of Desirable Objects' each bear the logo "CN". This foreshadowed the goal of "Project Tin Man" in 'Fracture', to combat the effects of Cyanogen, a nerve gas with a chemical formula of (CN)2, and alludes to the fact that the Cyanogen-related explosion occurred in a train station.

Next episode clue

Timestamp: 01:57

Items of Interest

  • Nina gave Olivia contact information for Sam Weiss.

JJ Abrams Easter Eggs

  • Walter said he planned to urinate in 23 minutes. (Lost)

Fringe Division Case File

U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
121 105th Street • Washington, DC 20735
Phone: (202) 555-2100 • Fax: (202) 555-2101


FRINGE EVENT: Genetically engineered super-baby


AGENTS ASSIGNED: Dunham, Francis, Jessup


FILE ARCHIVED BY: Rosangela Torres da Silva

WITNESSES/CONTACTS: Dr. Andre Hughes (suspect; deceased), 7 townspeople

LOCATION: Lansdale, PA

VICTIM(S): Raymond [redacted], Sheriff Golightly, Hughes' offspring


In Lansdale, Pennsylvania, six people were reported missing in two months, four of whom eyewitnesses said had disappeared into thin air. Investigation led to the discovery that resident Dr. Andre Hughes did research in reproductive biology and gene replacement. It was thought his wife and child had died seventeen years ago. The recent disappearances connected to a mutated creature that secreted a paralytic substance containing male human DNA. An exhumation order for Dr. Hughes's family was processed, and Eveline Hughes was found to have had a very advanced case of systemic lupus erythematosus, making it impossible to give birth to their child. Dr. Hughes altered their fetus with possibly mole-rat and/or scorpion DNA so that their child could survive its mother's lupus. The creature was kept alive by Dr. Hughes until his secret was discovered.

Deleted Scenes

Walter Asks Astrid to Squeeze Gene

Peter Pulls Books That Might Give Hugh's Clues

Connection Chart

A visualization of all the ways this episode connects to other episodes. Scroll down to see the actual connections.

Episode Connections

Spoilers for future episodes below!

S2E15 - Peter

  • PETER about the demon child in 'Night of Desirable Objects': "And yet despite that she was somehow able to give birth to a son who from all appearances then burrowed his way out of his casket."
    WALTER: "The grave of a boy who's not in his grave."

      Just like Peter, who doesn't know that he took the place of the real Blueverse Peter who died in 'Peter'.
  • OLIVIA in 'Night of Desirable Objects': "Can you imagine living with a burden like that when all you wanted was a son?"
      This mirrors the struggle Walter went through in 'Peter'.

S2E22 - Over There (Part 2)

  • WALTER in 'Night of Desirable Objects': "Traveling to an alternate reality has its consequences."
      He suffered some of those consequences in 'Over There (Part 2)'.

S3E05 - Amber 31422

  • Olivia heard a bomb that others didn't hear in 'Amber 31422', perhaps the same enhanced hearing side-effect from crossing over that she exhibited in 'Night of Desirable Objects' when she could hear barely discernable sounds at home and in the Hughes home.