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Review: Fringe - What Lies Below

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jan 22nd 2010 4:00AM
Fringe: What Lies Below
(S02E13) "Quickly, get your pajamas off and let's go!" - Walter to hazmat guy escorting him back to the lab

Ok, I know Walter Bishop is brilliant, but coming up with a cure for a 75,000-year-old virus? A little far-fetched, but hey, we'll go with it. Geez, put Walter on the cure for the common cold or cancer. Just put him in a room with Astrid and a refrigerator, and who knows what awesome scientific wonders he might come up with. He's the new MacGyver.

Well, it didn't take long for things to kick into high gear in this episode of Fringe. Within seconds of the first floating letters, we had a mysterious guy wandering into a petroleum company, bleeding from the nose and turning into The Thing from Fantastic Four. And was that some awesome blood spewing or what? Props to the behind-the-scenes crew who put that together.

Walter may be a brilliant scientist, but his kid skills leave something to be desired. "Children should know the truth," he said, after telling a group of museum kids a creepy story about finding monsters under the bed, being eaten and digested in the stomach of the monster, etc. "When you open new doors, there is a price to pay," said Walter. Ok, we get it. Stay in your house and never venture into alternate universes. Ever!

So let's take stock here. Without Walter's awesome science skills, people plagued with an ancient virus would have died, thanks to the CDC and other clueless government agencies. "I was chairman of biochemistry at Harvard and have little patience for small minded bureaucrats." You go, Walter!

So in addition to putting Walter in charge of curing cancer and the common cold, we'd do well to put him in charge of national security, too. Because the people currently in charge there are really stupid.

I liked seeing a little more of Agent Broyles, but what a waste of talent for the former Cedric Daniels. He needs more to do, other than clue Walter into the ways of bureaucracy and keep him from getting arrested. We need another Broyles-centric episode.

And hey, next time you get a cold, remember that viruses have feelings, too. No wonder we get a little crazy hacking up lungs and blowing our noses until the skin comes off. It's the virus talking. And if you feel like jumping out of a window, it's the zombie virus talking.

For a minute there, I thought Peter was going to lay a big wet one on Olivia, during their little talk about her not telling her sister what was going on: "I thought that was the point of having people who care about you in your life," he said. "To have someone to talk to when you're scared." In my head, they kissed at that point.

Peter's mad espionage skills came into play, too, with his theory that you never take any leverage into a deal -- you leave it in neutral territory. Like the trunk of your car.

And Walter and Astrid's interesting relationship took a new turn. She knows something is up with Peter dying ... at some point in the past. "Some things are meant to be left alone," Walter told Astrid. I'm guessing this won't be one of them.

Pop Quiz: What was the classic sci-fi film Peter was watching on the computer?

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Camant

Fringe is one of the shows I look forward to watching every week and a filler episode now and then isn't a bad thing.
I do miss the pattern though. Didn't they figure out the pattern lead to the location of the portal that Jones was trying to get to? The one by the lake?


January 27 2010 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
WhatI

Q: did anyone else have this episode broadcast in standard definition (not HD) like the Seattle market? We usually get a taped version that is so compressed that makes YouTube quality look good, so it was actually better quality than usual, but most of us pay big $$ for HiDef and I'd like to get it.

January 22 2010 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
s thompson

It's easier for the casual viewer to watch stand alone episodes of a series instead of a long continuous storyline. I have no problem with Olivia and the Bishops investigating whatever "endless impossibilties" may be happening. If you tell all of the alternate universe stories in a row the realization may be that you've overplayed your hand with the very same audience you're trying to impress.

January 22 2010 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

And what the hell ever happened to agent Jessup, who we met at the beginning of this season? Seemed like she was going to play a part. But nope, suddenly gone. Along with everything else.

What about Olivia and her ablitities to turn off those light bulbs? When is she going to have to do the rest of the tests in the "box"?

January 22 2010 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
WhatI

I liked seeing Astrid involved more in this episode, especially since she (so far..) isn't connected with the alternate world thing as part of her past - she's the "innocent". I don't know if the scene at the end, asking Walter directly about what he said, was necessary but it was good to have the confirmation that she picked up on it when it was said.

January 22 2010 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Schwack

I have to agree with Bruce's comments above. I, too, am getting tired/bored on the weekly Scooby Doo's of monsters/viruses. I understand the creators can't "all at once" give us the answers to the mysteries but c'mon....they're dragging them out so much that I have to think they're going to bore the viewers and lose the audience.

January 22 2010 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pamela

I LOVE Fringe! Great episode! Peter & Olivia are great together.

January 22 2010 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ian

We all know that this isn't the original Peter. This is a Peter whom Walter kidnapped from an alternate universe. I hate to think what happens when Peter learns the truth. But we will then probably be told that he had become an orphan in that Universe.

January 22 2010 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Gunter

Bruce,every ep has something new.Walter has now told Astrid Peter died.That's ;eading us to some serious new.

Walter/a scientist etc could cure a 75000 virus because 75000 years ago there wasn't anybody to cure anything.I would bet there are a lot of "viruses"that have origins 75000 or more years ago and can be cured with an antibiotic.

I was hoping Olivia's megacute sister was going to make an appearance with all the mentions but not yet I guess.

I liked Broyles saying Olivia and crew "were like family to him".

I'm digging it all.I don't get annoyed by filler eps.This group of people do more than chase the pattern and all that,they deal with other things and I can live with that.If we get all pattern/Olivia/Peter eps etc the show will be over in one season.

January 22 2010 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

I'm getting REALLY sick of these monster of the week eps. At least give us SOME episodes that have info about the pattern and the alternate universe and william bell and all that stuff. Yes, Walter said something about peter not dying again. But we already know for certain that he took this peter from the alternate universe when this world's peter died at a young age. That's not new info.

I just want to find out that the ultimate bad guy on Fringe, the head of the bad guys from the other alternate universe, is the "other" Walter Bishop. Bad Walter. We've seen that Walter is a pretty mean, heartless guy when his brain is fully intact. I can only imagine how evil he'd get if someone took away his son - even if that someone was his alter-self.

I can handle having half, or even 2/3 of the episodes being lame MOTW episodes. But it's been a really long time since we've learned ANYTHING new... including having a worthless season 1 episode with Charlie still alive tossed in the mix a few weeks ago. What the hell? Much more of this and I'll be done with Fringe. For once, I actually won't blame Fox for cancelling a sci-fi show. Surely Fringe's ratings must be dropping with these lame pointless episodes week after week. And next week has something to do with Nazis? Ugh...

January 22 2010 at 9:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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