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Review: Fringe - Johari Window

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jan 15th 2010 4:15PM
Fringe: Johari Window
(S02E12) "Hard artichokes rarely keep. Norwegian elephants, Singapore sleep." - Walter's song to remember the Harkness Law Library

Now that's more like it! After Monday's misplaced episode, Fringe was back to speed tonight with "Johari Window," an episode that played like a thriller movie. I love Fringe and always hate when an episode ends because I know I'll have to wait a whole week to see the next one.

While this was seemingly a stand-alone episode that didn't deal directly with the alternate universe, we did get a little tidbit from Walter at the end. One of those lines with very words and a facial expression that says so much. Oh, Walter. I feel for you when it all comes out in the open, because I have a feeling Peter won't be so forgiving.

It was one of those episodes where you had to roll the DVR back because your mind went, "Wait. The kid was normal when the cop picked him up." And sure enough, he was normal. And I had a feeling the sheriff of Edina was hiding something from the beginning. He was just too nice and helpful.

Very interesting how this episode played out. Walter remembering the elephant song when he heard the buzzing from the military base, and the fact that it wasn't that the people changed, but rather outsiders' perception of them changed. In the bigger scheme of things, it makes you wonder what else in the world is coloring our perception of things and people that we're totally unaware of.

Once again, John Noble played everything brilliantly. His worry at the beginning of being kidnapped again ("I'm learning to appreciate cowardice," he said. "The lion had a point."); his method of throwing himself into work to take his mind off whatever is bothering him ("Work heals the soul."); and his caring for Astrid enough to bring back a beautiful butterfly (which she loves, and which helped to crack the case).

And Walter's concern to Broyles that the machine not be turned off to protect the folks in Edina (and Broyles telling him if they didn't find the machine, there's nothing to report.) Still, the residents of Edina are being a bit selfish in that they're making the decision for every future generation to come. You would think that some young person would say "enough," and want to wander off and see what's out in the world.

I loved all the action and gunplay, with Olivia, Peter and Walter being run off the road, then shot at. And what a fun, B-movie scene when all the deformed people gathered outside and the sheriff told them, "Others have come before. I'm going to take care of this. I'll make it all go away." You'd think Roger Corman had a hand in this episode.

And of course, the end scene where Walter told Peter how brave Rose was to be willing to expose the secret to right a wrong, and Peter told Walter he was proud of HIM for speaking up for the people. "I'm glad you choose to see me the way you do," said Walter. "Very glad indeed." Behind those words, Walter was undoubtedly thinking he hoped Peter would still see him that way when he learns the truth about being dragged from the alternate universe.

Other stuff:

Walter humming the theme song to Deliverance when he saw the picture of the deformed boy, and Peter reminding him that it was a movie.

"This boy bears no resemblance to a Sasquatch, or a Yeti, for that matter." - Walter to the FBI agent

"Ever get the feeling that doing this job makes you less and less normal?" - Olivia to Peter

"I'm just saying, the first time's rough." - Olivia to Peter, on killing a person

Walter's love for Devil Dogs (after finding the ancient box at the Harkness Law Library), and Astrid saying they'll get him some fresh ones.

"A friend of mine once wrote that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Walter

Walter getting all excited about heading into town to find the source of the electromagnetic pulse -- after Peter told him to go home.

Teddy letting Walter and Astrid into his house. My kids and I both said, "Stranger danger! Stranger danger!" Even holed up in the same town for years (especially!), you'd think he'd know not to let strangers into the house when his mom wasn't there!

That darn Army, expanding the scope of the test without telling Rose's father.

Your thoughts on this episode?

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13 Comments

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Echy

I generally liked the episode. My problem was with the moth/butterfly. If the signal changed the perception of the moth why didn't the perception of other things change as well. I mean if it didn't effect the perception of only deformed humans then other items should have been perceived differently. Maybe Peter's old clunker should have turned into a Cadillac.

January 19 2010 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob

Hey now,.. that's uncalled for.

January 16 2010 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
H

I've been a pretty big Fringe supporter from the beginning but even I have to admit this episode was a little weak. It got better towards the end though, when they explored the question of whether or not those people should leave and be ostracized by the rest of humanity or should stay and feel trapped in their small town. I also got a kick out of the butterfly/moth. Even in the weaker episodes, Fringe knows how to integrate their own brand of weird - which is what I love about it.

Oh well, filler is filler. No show is 100% on 100% of the time. The only frustrating thing is having to watch filler when I know a large episode break is coming up and we won't get the rest of the season for months until the Olympics are over. (This is one of the reasons I don't like them - they completely take over television when they're on and they're not even that interesting!)

January 16 2010 at 2:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to H's comment
Rob

Sorry,.. nevermind that "uncalled for" statement. It was directed at a different post that was apparently deleted.

January 16 2010 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jane Boursaw

e3m88 - The only question I asked was the last one where I asked for comments from you guys. Hopefully that's not too silly. :-)

January 16 2010 at 12:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Jane Boursaw's comment
Daritan

I still enjoyed the episode even if it was a little random. I kept thinking poor Walter, if his late night movies had included They Live his whole real life vs movie thing would be in trouble. Though perhaps they gave a nod to the movie when they told Asyrid a satelite dish couldn't send out such a signal since I think that's how it was done back then.

Also, my gf had me cracking up. As soon as Walter sang his little song she took the first letters and started yelling that Captain Jack Harkness was responsible for the town.

January 16 2010 at 2:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
H

Jane -

Don't change the "other stuff" portion of your reviews! In a show like this, this is where we get reminded of the best parts of the episode. Fringe is really great in its small details - and I love being reminded of all the random Walterisms after watching it.

January 16 2010 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
e3m88

The last two reviews are horrible, I recommend the blogger to actually focus and watch the ep, before asking silly questions.

January 15 2010 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chuck

It was unbelievably bad! Reminded me of the weakest The X-Files 'filler' episodes. Shame.

January 15 2010 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chuck's comment
bruce

that's exactly what I was going to say. How many x-files "monster of the week" episodes took place in little small towns where all the residents had a long-kept secret that they're willing to kill the show's stars to protect? At least 2 per season... probably 3 or 4 per season in the show's last few seasons.

Very lame. And the fact that the 'magic' happens right at the exact location of the "welcome to edina" sign was just stupid, based on the stupid explanation for what was supposedly going on.

This was just a bad episode of the X-Files. Nothing more.

January 16 2010 at 2:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

"A friend of mine once wrote that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Walter's friend was either Arthur C. Clarke, or quoting him. This statement is generally known as Clarke's Third Law, the first two being:

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."; and

"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."

January 15 2010 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jane Boursaw



Europa - Uh, that would be me. And thanks.

January 15 2010 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Europa

Who wrote the review/blog for this show last season? I miss them.

"Oh, Walter. I feel for you when it all comes out in the open, because I have a feeling Peter won't be so forgiving."
Joshua Jackson has already stated as much.

"It was one of those episodes where you had to roll the DVR back because your mind went, "Wait. "
It was? I think most of us were able to follow along pretty well just like last week when everyone caught the reference the teenage girl made to Olivia regarding Peter but you didn't.

"You would think that some young person would say "enough," and want to wander off and see what's out in the world. "
Um, hello, that's how this episode started. The boy, Teddy, was hanging out at the edge of town, probably itching to see what's beyond the city line, when the state trooper picks him up thinking he's a runaway.

January 15 2010 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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