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September 2, 2015

Fringe: A New Day in the Old Town (season premiere)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 18th 2009 3:40AM
Fringe, Season 2 Premiere, A New Day in the Old Town
(S02E01) "I went somewhere." - Olivia to Peter

I can hardly contain my giddiness that Fringe is back, so ... yay! ... Fringe is back! More mystery! More intrigue! More Walter Bishop! More Jean! More jump-out-of-your-seat moments!

It's been a long summer since we last left the crew with Olivia in another dimension, Walter visiting Peter's grave, and the mysterious William Bell played by the mysterious Leonard Nimoy. Follow me after the jump to explore how the season is shaping up so far ...

First of all, what an entrance Olivia made coming back by smashing through the car window and ending up in the hospital. Nice set-up for the focal point of this episode -- her waking up saying the Greek words Peter's mom used to say to him (more on this later), being scared out of her mind and too shaky to load a gun, attacked by the shapeshifter, and then getting her mojo back and being able to load the gun. Really nice storyline to heave us face-first into the new season:

Olivia: "I went somewhere ... He told me something ... I don't know, but there's something I have to do. I think that our lives may depend on it."
Peter: "Who's lives?"
Olivia: "Everyone's."

The whole shapeshifting thing is pretty darn cool (and I really don't care how many times it's been used in past and present TV shows). But, oh, Charlie! Yeah, we knew Kirk Acevedo was on the move, but the thought of sweet Charlie being some evil shapeshifter from another dimension makes me both crazy and psyched! The possibilities are endless with that storyline, and it'll be fun to see how it all plays out.

Let's talk about Agent Broyles and Nina Sharp. We knew they had a relationship, but it looks like that might become more concrete this season, with her kissing him on the steps with these words: "I don't have to tell you how important it is that Fringe Division not be shut down ... Do what you always used to do, Phillip. Save the day."

And what about that Broyles, ordering Agent Jessup to sign the case off as "a random traffic accident involving a federal agent, no extenuating circumstances, case closed. Sign it, please. That's an order." Somehow, I think he'd be rather difficult to say no to, with those steely eyes staring at you.

I wasn't sure I'd like the addition of Jessup, but so far so good there. The fact that she's a junior agent and is inextricably drawn to the Fringe Division, to the point of looking up past cases, is interesting. Although she could be there for completely nefarious reasons ... or good. I can't decide how to take that Bible she had with her.

I never really got into the storyline with Olivia's sister, so I wonder if she'll be a part of this season. Hopefully not. I'd rather see something develop between Olivia and Peter, although that's usually the death knell when stuff like that happens. Hey, it could work!

And whoa! Cool beans with the guy typing on the typewriter and getting a typed message back through the mirror! I actually have the note here, which arrived with the press kit last week. Here it is:


And, of course, we all know how that went down. Just listen to the girl in Walter's video: "... three nails in the mouth ... he's from a place that looks like this, but it's not here. He's from another universe, man. He puts a machine in his mouth ... that's how they change ... they're like shapeshifters ... they can look like us, they can look like any of us." Oh, Charlie!

That was a nice scene with Peter and Olivia in her hospital room at the end, where he tells her the words she said earlier were Greek words his mother used to say to him, meaning, "Be a better man than your father ... it was like a code between me and my mother ... keep your people close. Take care of the people you care about."

All of that makes me think Olivia must have met up with Peter and/or his mother in the other universe. At any rate, she's totally on target when she says to him, "There really is no point where things just can't get weirder, is there?"

Other fun stuff:

  • At the beginning of the episode, when the shapeshifting guy started messing with his face, I immediately thought of Lieutenant Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation. J.J. Abrams crossover!
  • Walter revealing that before he became chair of biochemistry at Harvard, he was a sous chef at the Bakersfield Food Lab, working under the guy who invented the Ho Ho.
  • Nice to see Walter and Peter being buddies. They seem to have come to a workable understanding about their relationship.
  • Walter sucking on a Twizzler/Red Vine (see debate on this here) in one hand, while plunging his other hand into a corpse. But, yuk, there was blood on that Twizzler/Red Vine hand!
  • Walter calling Astrid "Astrix," and her correcting him. Again.
  • Walter giving "Astrix" instructions on Peter's birthday custard.

More lines:

"Make sure Agent Dunham can attend. I want to see her face when she eats my pudding." - Walter to Peter, about his birthday party (yay, Jean in a party hat!)

Walter: "They said I could ride in back with the body. Can I?"
Peter: "Of course. Stay out of the medications, though. Please."

"Go get that bitch." - Olivia, after the shapeshifter assaults her, then jumps out the window and down several stories to run into the basement.

"Walter thinks that she was a shape-changing soldier from another universe. He thinks that might be where you went. Do you think it's a bad sign that I can say that out loud and neither one of us thinks I'm crazy?" - Peter to Olivia. I guess Peter has a lot more faith in his father than he used to, as he said, "No matter what happens, Walter will figure it out." (Score one for the mad scientist!)

"We're done reacting. We're not gonna be 'too late' anymore. After all, somebody's gotta save their asses, right?" - Peter to Broyles, after giving him the army-creating device.

Watch episodes and clips of Fringe and other shows over at SlashControl.

Ok, your turn! What did you think of this episode? Are you impatient for the next episode? Do you think season two is off to a good start?

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X-Files rip off show.....JJ Abrams is a rip off artist piece of shit. He's trying to do what has already been done. So unoriginal.

This show will be off the air by the end of season 3.

September 26 2009 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's funny how you mentioned Jean on here, all excited and such. I was going through some old Fringe posts and found you're review of the pilot. Here's what you said:

"The cow. Did it seem a little over the top to you? I'm trying to decide if I appreciate the presence of the cow, or if it just seems weird to have a cow in the laboratory. Really, it's basically there for comic relief."

Haha, how we've all come to love that cow!

September 21 2009 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm just uoset that they are no longer doing the limited commercial interruption thing they did last year. Any chance that could come back you think?

September 20 2009 at 5:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

(This has nothing to do with the plot of the epsiode, more the technical side.)

May not be true, as I have yet to find something to prove this. I am fairly certain that the hospital they used in this episode is the exact same hospital they use in Stargate SG-1's episode "Desperate Measures". The basement looks identical. Just a random trivia for you.

September 19 2009 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Olivia's appearance by flying out of the windshield of her vehicle was awesome!

September 18 2009 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The commercial break symbols equate to the word "TOWER" ... which is where Olivia went in the alternate universe. But maybe it's also a shout-out to Stephen King's Dark Tower series that also utilizes alternate universes... very cool!

September 18 2009 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm surprised I haven't seen much, or any, praise for the show's score. This show, along with The Dark Knight, demonstrates the perfect balance between synthesized sounds and real instruments. The cello used in the show is just beautiful.

September 18 2009 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The twist with Charlie was expected though not probable due to time constraints of the device.Kirk Acevedo's announcement of getting fired finally makes sense and he'll probably be gone soon. I loved the X-Files episode Dreamland Part II playing in the background which foreshadowed what would happen to those who got it (I'm sure not many did). Full review of the episode on my blog.


September 18 2009 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My problem with the whole Charlie the shapeshifter thing is this: Wouldn't the first thing Walter would want to do is get that shapeshifter back to his lab and dissect him/her? So they should find out right away that the nurse is just a plain dead nurse and not the shapeshifter.

September 18 2009 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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