This episode of 'Fringe' had everything -- a slimy embryo, a thrilling gunfight, nefarious shapeshifters, some alternate universe action, and yes, that heartbreaking drama we've been waiting for all season.
First of all, how cool was it to see John Noble and Peter Weller hobnobbing on screen together? Just two old scientists exchanging time travel theories and comparing notes on saving/stealing loved ones.
It was the perfect vehicle to build on Walter's struggle about whether to tell Peter or not. In a sense, he'd already been through what Alistair was contemplating. Yes, Walter had crossed to another universe while Alistair was trying to jump back in time, but the result was the same -- be with the person you'd lost. Anyone who's lost a loved one can relate. There's nothing you wouldn't do to be with that person again, even if it means jeopardizing others in the process.
(S02E15) "We're standing in two buildings, one of which comes from the alternate universe." - Walter
Well, we asked for it, and we got it. A few big reveals -- or not -- about the alternate universe and Olivia's part in it. Big episode of 'Fringe' tonight, with lots of things coming together. This is the winter finale, and the next episode airs April 1, 2010.
(S02E10) "I don't do Valium nearly enough. I'll have 50 milligrams please." - Walter
More Walterisms like the one above, as well as a few reveals and a nice cliff-hanger into the second part of this season, which picks up January 14. So far, every episode in this season of Fringe has psyched me up for what's to come, whether it's a seemingly stand-alone ep or something that carries us forward into the alternative universe. Things don't sound too good over there. In fact, it sounds a little apocalyptic. Now I'm curious to take a look myself.
(S02E09) "Aren't they magnificent?" - Walter, looking at hookworms
Another creature feature! We're sort of in a "pattern," if you will, with Fringe alternating creature episodes with alternate universe episodes. It's ok, though. I probably wouldn't want all alternate universe episodes. Would you?
Wow, though. Those creatures were seriously freaky. That opening scene, among others, just made me cringe. I'm just now getting my appetite back. But this episode was more about Walter and Peter than the creatures.
Awww ... we have met The Observer, and he is shy and caring. Or a cold-hearted killer, take your pick.
At long last, it was good to learn a little more about these mysterious creatures, although there are still lots of questions about them. We know there are many of them, that they observe people throughout the course of their life, and that they're not supposed to interfere. Oh, and they like hot sauce, but we already knew that.
So even with all of the scary stuff she sees in her line of work, Olivia is scared of roller coasters. I guess it's one thing to peer down a dark corridor with a gun in your hand, and yet another to be at the mercy of the roller coaster builders. At least she and Ella got their day at the theme park. If only we knew what that Observer meant when he said ...
(S02E07) "Truthfully, I really don't spend a lot of time thinking about what human brains would taste like." Astrid to Walter, while he's dissecting a brain
As with last week, this episode of Fringe wasn't completely centered on the alternate universe and its goings-on, but that's ok. We still got plenty of good stuff to tie us over to next week, when it's all about The Observers.
What struck me most about this episode in terms of relationships is how broken up Walter was over the loss of his son. As mentioned in my other reviews this season, Walter is like the kid and Peter is the parent. John Noble does a fantastic job of portraying a scared kid who's lost his dad in a department store. I've said it before, and will again: He deserves an Emmy and whatever other awards are out there.
On first glance, it appears to be a standalone episode not connected with the alternate universe, but my feeling is that every episode is somehow connected to the big picture. The fact that this series of murders was unsolved is a good clue, and the guy in the hospital bed with half of a head is reminiscent of the people who get caught between the two universes. Any theories before we see tonight's episode?
And since the last episode, "Dream Logic," ended with a young Peter being yanked from his room, I'm hoping we get a few more clues into his past in tonight's episode, too. Here's the clip, straight from SlashControl.
(S02E05) "Whether you admit it or not, your life is something of a nightmare." - Bowling Alley Guy to Olivia
For a minute there, I thought maybe we were in a True Blood crossover with the horned guy in the first few minutes of this episode. But no, it was the usual twisty-turny Fringe-isms involving mind control, computer chips and dream states.
And it appears that something many of us assumed had happened to Peter actually did happen -- though with this show, you can never be sure until it all plays out. It wouldn't surprise me if it's something completely different from what I'm assuming it is. All this, and Mysterious Bowling Alley Guy after the jump ...
Cryonics, frozen heads, worm juice, mercury blood, shapeshifters, and Leonard Nimoy were all featured in this episode, and I loved it all.
Let's start with the worm juice. Olivia must have been seriously craving her William Bell memories to drink that awful stuff. And what a trooper that she was able to keep it down, too. I guess it must have worked. She got some of her memories back, along with some help from the bell -- both the bell they chimed during Rebecca's psychedelic adventure and William Bell. Or Willem, as Olivia used to call him.
Is she right not to trust him? Could he have started the war? It's certainly possible, given his mysteriousness. He said for reasons she might understand later, he couldn't come back to this universe right now, possibly never. Why? What's he doing over there? Is he the one building the army? Is he being forced to? Will he and Walter face off eventually?
(S02E03) "Get my portable chemistry set ... this means bodies!" - Walter to Astrid
This episode of Fringe sort of went along without too many shocker moments -- until the last few minutes, that is. I wasn't all that surprised about the serum that turned people into human explosives, or even that it might be part of a top-secret military experiment. But I was wondering when our friend The Observer would turn up again in a big way and dump something spicy all over his plate of food.
(S02E02) "We're all victims of our own gene pool. Someone must have peed in yours." - Walter to Sheriff Golightly
Creature feature? Or relevant to the alternate universe storyline? Those were the questions running through my head as I watched this episode of Fringe.
What I believe -- at the moment -- is that all of the creature features we had during season one are somehow relevant to the overall storyline. Since things are slightly different in the alternate universe, perhaps there are creatures there who've evolved or avoided extinction that have somehow made their way back to this universe. Of course, it appears that this episode's creature was created right here.
Read my Fringe theories, and follow me after the jump for commentary on tonight's episode.
(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 ...
Fox has released a few photos from the Fringe season two premiere, "A New Day in the Old Town," which airs Thursday, Sept. 17, at 9 PM ET. I'm so ready for the return of Fringe, and anxious to see where the show goes this season with the parallel universe storyline. And I've really been missing my Walter fix since season one ended earlier this year.
Interesting that there's no sign of Anna Torv in the photos. Rather, junior agent Amy Jessup (Meghan Markle) is pictured in the last photo after the jump. She's been assigned to an investigation with the Fringe Division. That would be Walter Bishop, Peter Bishop, Astrid Farnsworth and, supposedly, Olivia Dunham. Maybe she got stuck in the alternate universe. Walter apparently made it back!
(S01E18) We're definitely getting closer to some sort of revelation on Fringe. Last week, we heard Leonard Nimoy's voice on a videotape as William Bell, talking with Walter about a young Olivia in the room with them. This week, we learned that William Bell, founder of Massive Dynamic and the richest guy in the world, is the person funding ZFT. But it's not all that shocking. We've pretty much known all along that he's involved, unless ... there's some big, new twist about his involvement yet to come.
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