Inner Child
Season 1, Episode 15
1x15 Child
Air date April 7, 2009
Written by Julia Cho
Brad Caleb Kane
Directed by Fred Toye
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Cast | Transcript

"Inner Child" is the fifteenth episode of the first season of Fringe.


Just seconds before a building is demolished, a mysterious mute child that has been living alone underground is discovered. Meanwhile, an especially gruesome serial killer resurfaces and showcases his "artistry" by displaying his work publicly. As the boy gradually assimilates into a new environment, Olivia and the team must race against the clock to prevent the mad man from further macabre.


As a demolition team is about to bring down a building one worker is drawn to an area not marked on the blueprints. Inside, they find a path to the building's foundation, and in the darkness, an albino boy. The Child is taken to a children's hospital and the Fringe Division is contacted. The boy does not speak, and Walter Bishop explains some of his medical conditions as a result of living underground for several years. Olivia Dunham seems to be the only person that the boy reacts to, and she helps to coax him to help in his treatment. At one point, she encourages him to eat by sharing candy with him, but he only places the yellow pieces in the form of an arrow for her.

Meanwhile, Charlie Francis receives a fax, which he recognizes as a taunting invitation from the serial killer, The Artist, who kills women and "displays" them in gruesome poses. Charlie contacts Olivia at the hospital requesting her help, but as she takes notes, the boy attempts to take her writing tools. Olivia gives them to the boy, and he writes, upside down, a name; Sam Gilmore. Charlie alerts Olivia shortly after that a victim of the artist was found. Upon arriving on the scene, Olivia discovers the victim's name is Samantha Gilmore. Later, the boy provides an address, and Olivia and Charlie race to the location, but find nothing. Only later do they learn that a second victim, Kate Harper, was taken from that spot moments before they arrived.

Walter seeks to use a neural stimulator to understand the boy's empathy, but Peter only allows it after Walter devises less invasive methods. The child's mind is too difficult to understand, but they discover the boy has an emphatic connection with Olivia and The Artist. Olivia uses this connection to convince the boy to write another address. Olivia, Charlie, and other agents stop and search cars driving through this location until Olivia spies a van with a yellow tree-shaped air freshener, and recalling the child's candy display from earlier, determines that the Artist is inside. She and Charlie successfully capture the killer before he is able to harm his third victim.

Olivia and Broyles arrange the transfer of the Child to an adoptive family, in large part to keep him away from Eliot Michaels, an alleged “social worker” who wants to claim him for CIA research. While in transit to his new home, the boy makes eye contact with The Observer, with whom he shares a resemblance.

Notable Quotes[]

Walter: Unless you have an IQ higher than mine, I am not interested in what you think.

Olivia: Walter, the last time you used that thing, you drilled it into the guy's head.
Walter: If you think he'll find it disagreeable... I suppose it could be modified.
Peter: Really? You didn't think to mention that to the last guy?

Walter: Pheromones. Undetectable chemicals that nonetheless affect our behavior, our sex drive...
Peter: (points to Walter's open bathrobe) Hey, speaking of sex drive...
Walter: Oh, Peter, don't be such a prude. I'm sure Agent Dunham knows what a penis looks like. Don't you, Agent Dunham?
Peter: My father, ladies and gentlemen.

Walter: After that, it's a simply a matter of synthesizing the impulses. Think of it as creating artificial vocal cords.
Peter: Simple. Like making an omelet.
Walter: Actually, son, a good omelet is far more complex, eh?



  • "Love and Happiness" by Al Green
  • "You Fall To Pieces" by The Shore


  • Dunham's notepad switches sides several times when she goes to see the child again.
  • As Olivia is writing on a notepad, the child all of a sudden grabs her arm. There is a shot with both of them in it and he has his hand on her jacket. There is a section of skin near the child's midsection that is exposed where medical wires are inserted. There is clearly much more pigmentation on this section of skin than there is on his feet, hands, face and head.


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