Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fringe: Yes, Sir, That's My Baby

Fringe: There's More Than One of Everything
(aired May 12, 2009)

Dr. Walter Bishop's eight-year-old son, Peter, dies from a childhood illness. Dr. Bishop discovers a way to open a portal to a parallel dimension where there are duplicates of everything in Dr. Bishop's known dimension. Dr. Bishop enters the portal, finds the double of his very-much-alive son Peter, takes Peter back to Dr. Bishop's universe, and raises Peter as his own son.

Issue: Did Dr. Bishop kidnap Peter?

Law: A kidnapping is the taking or carrying away of another by force or fraud and without consent.

Likely yes. The initial issue is whether the Peter that Dr. Bishop took and raised as his own was really Dr. Bishop's son. If so, then there is likely no kidnapping. But this is not the case: Dr. Bishop's actual son--let's call him Peter Alpha--died. The Peter Dr. Bishop took from a parallel dimension--let's call him Peter Beta--is a different person, and because Dr. Bishop was not Peter Beta's father, he likely did not have consent to take Peter Beta.

Peter Beta was taken by Dr. Bishop into another dimension and, as seen in the finale of Fringe, did not even know that he came from another dimension, which suggests Dr. Bishop tricked Peter Beta into coming with him. This deception is sufficient to show fraud. So, since Peter Beta was not Dr. Bishop's actual son, Dr. Bishop did not have consent to take Peter Beta, and Dr. Bishop used deception to take Peter Beta, Dr. Bishop kidnapped Peter Beta.

And presumably, Peter Beta's face is listed on the registry of the beta version of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

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