"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fringe: Power Hungry

“You were hoping for something more specific, maybe?”

Fringe is getting consistently better week to week. Walter is fantastic as usual, Peter is subtly opening up, and even Olivia is improving. Last episode I commented on her lack of personal life being a detriment, and this episode actually addressed that a bit, giving her some nice interactions with fellow agent Charlie and having her show actual emotion. Yay Fringe!

The story centered on Joe, a delivery guy who just happens to cause electronics to go on the fritz when he’s upset. While delivering a package in an office building, to a girl he has a crush on, he gets mad in the elevator and sends it plummeting to the basement, killing everyone on board. Except him. Oh, and I saw The Observer just before the crash. Meanwhile, Olivia tells Charlie that she saw John. She knows it’s a hallucination. Charlie tells her to roll with it; it’s a manifestation of her guilt and confusion about everything that happened. Across town, Walter tells Peter the man who tortured him looked familiar. He is frustrated that he still can’t access parts of his mind. Peter gives him the sweetest look and says gently, “You’re doing fine.” Awwwww.

The continuity of this ep is all over the place. Peter, who was tortured in the last episode, is still all messed up; they even put rope marks on his wrists. But Astrid, who refused Walter’s apology in the last episode, is all smiles now. Grrrr.

While examining the bodies in the elevator, Walter realizes they were all electrocuted before the elevator hit bottom. Back in the day, he worked on a project to make humans trackable to homing pigeons. Each human being has a unique electromagnetic signature, and the idea was to augment the field in order to track people. However (of course), it had dire consequences. Broyles tells Olivia about Jacob Fischer, a biotechnology expert wanted in several states who lured in subjects via “the kind of commercials you see on TV at 3 AM” and then performed unspeakable tests on them.

I’m still not so sure Broyles is a good guy.

While Olivia is reading up on Fischer, the lights go out. I know I compare Fringe to Alias too much, but I wouldn’t mind if the show gave the impression that Olivia could actually defend herself without a gun. She seems sort of … weak. Anyway, she sees John again. He is reassuring, asks her to trust him, and says he truly loved her. Past tense. Interesting. John says she is on the right track and that soon he will prove that he loved her. It’s kind of creepy. He gets into an elevator and it actually moves, going down. Olivia races down the stairs, but when the doors open the car is empty.

However, Olivia sees the “maximum capacity” sign and does some research. She goes to see Peter, explaining that someone walked away from the elevator crash while Walter does a weird little dance in the background. Suddenly, Walter shocks Peter. Cute! His dance was to create electromagnetism. Meanwhile, Fischer tracks Joe down, takes him to a lab, and does things that make him scream his head off. After searching Joe’s apartment, Walter uses a cassette tape that Joe touched, which then became magnetized, to show pigeons how to track him. It sounds stupid, but it was actually kind of fun. Olivia is concerned about the pigeons’ welfare. Peter says, “We’re putting GPS chips on pigeons to track a man who can control electricity. This is your fault, right?” They’re so adorable.

Moments later, Olivia sees John again. He moves inhumanly fast but he kisses her, and that kiss seems real. He says, “I didn’t betray you, I wasn’t the one.” Peter interrupts and John disappears. Peter saw nothing. They follow the pigeons to a warehouse, and Olivia asks if Peter will have more faith in Walter if the scheme works. Peter says no. But he totally means yes. They save Joe, who just wants to go home, but he has to be tested and whatnot.

In the end, Walter tells Olivia she doesn’t seem herself. He knows she’s been seeing John. When she was in the tank, part of John’s consciousness crossed over and this is her brain’s way of working through it. But moments later, Olivia sees John again out on the street and follows him to an underground lair full of boxes and files. It turns out John was conducting his own investigations into the Pattern. And (so cliché) Olivia finds an engagement ring among John’s belongings.

Hmmm. Is Olivia’s mind really just working through something, as Walter & Charlie said (albeit for different reasons)? Or does this have something to do with Massive Dynamic? Since they have John’s body it would be a pretty huge coincidence if it didn’t. And speaking of MD, where has Nina been? She and Olivia had that loaded “everything we do leads us to each other” conversation … and then suddenly it doesn’t anymore? And finally, am I going to have to wait until the season finale to hear Peter call Walter “dad”? I think so.

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