By Vlada Gelman
April 29, 2010 at 09:43 PM EDT

Image Credit: Liane Hentscher/FoxWhat do you get when you combine a mad scientist, singing, dancing, and 1940s noir? Surprisingly, not a Broadway musical or a rejected episode of Glee, but tonight’s musical episode of Fringe. While dealing with some upsetting news, the self-medicating Walter (John Noble) tells Olivia’s (Anna Torv) niece a fairy tale, which plays out in his head with a lot of singing and dancing.

With tonight’s episode, Fringe is entering into some competitive territory. There have been some great TV musical episodes: A patient hallucinated that everyone was singing on Scrubs, which gave us the bromance anthem “Guy Love.” How I Met Your Mother recently celebrated its 100th episode with a big production number featuring Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) ode to suits. Harris also showed off his incredible pipes on a musical episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold last year. (You must download the soundtrack!) But of course, my favorite is Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s superb “Once More, With Feeling,” the granddaddy template for a great musical episode.

When I first heard Fringe was doing a musical episode — “Really? Seriously? Um, OK…” went my reaction — I thought maybe it was time to put the musical episode to rest. But with the success of the every-week-is-a-musical Glee, it seems like we’re in store for more characters breaking out into song. In fact, tonight is the beginning of Fox Rocks Week, so prepare for music-themed episodes of all your favorite Fox shows through May 5. I wish NBC was a part of this because if there’s one show I can easily picture doing a musical episode, it’s the self-aware Community. The show has already tipped its hat to The Breakfast Club, mafia movies, and classic sitcoms, so why not the musical genre? The funny will make up for whoever can’t sing.

My other pick if I could turn back time: Pushing Daisies. I’m still sad the show, which featured the occasional song, never did a full-blown musical episode. Its candy-coated world of whimsy was the perfect setting for one.

PopWatchers, are you excited for tonight’s Fringe? What’s your favorite musical episode? Which show do you think should tackle a musical episode next? Does all this talk of musicals make you miss ABC’s Eli Stone a little bit or is it just me?