Fringe 402 – One Night in October

“I’ve always thought there were people who leave an indelible mark on your soul. An imprint that can never be erased.” (Broyle)

Exciting things are happening on the Fringe front. Seriously: who has the guts to temporarily remove a lead character from a series like this? Sure, you can start waving the Charlie Sheen flag all you want, but Two and a half men didn’t start a new timeline/dimension/universe/whatever to remove him from the show. What Fringe did is more radical: it removed him in a way that he was never there. But once you take that ballsy step, where do you? What do you tell?

While continuing to tease us on the whereabouts of Peter Bishop, this episode offers us a mixed universe standalone to further explain the repercussions of the bridge between worlds being made. Olivia has to investigate a serial killer in the other world and uses the our-side version of said killer to do that. As soon as I figured out the premise, my mind went hog-wild. It’s one thing to do a dramaturgical trick, but it’s another to use it to full effect.

What Fringe did with this set-up was not mind-blowing on a plot level (in fact, the quote above was kind of cheesy, even if true), but rung home on an emotional level. Because what if your other side copy was everything you were afraid to be? What if you find out one tiny detail in your life – running or not running – changed everything? The way Fringe resolved this was simply stellar.

Thoughts and things

  • Walter silencing Peter’s cries for help was pretty moving. We still haven’t had an episode that focuses more around him and the way Peter’s removal changed him, but I like what I’m seeing.
  • Once again: Anna Torv is amazing. The way she plays both Olivias is so awesome to see. The effect department does a great job doubling her too. It works in a “which one was in the shot and which one was added” way.
  • I love how Olivia mentioned on a sidenote that she killed her stepfather. It’s interesting the writers really put thought into this new world they’ve created. Peter’s influence also lied in the characters’ backstories and was adequately removed there, too.
  • Hats off for John Pyper-Ferguson, who got the dream role as John McClennan and did not disappoint. It’s one thing to pull off Torv’s performance, but an entirely different to do the same as a complete newcomer.

In all…

The Fringe ship is sailing steadily as it has since season three. The show’s found a wonderful footing, a good balance between the case-of-the-week and the more mythology-heavy episodes. But the question does ask himself: how will they resolve the Peter problem? I’m getting scared to invest into a world that might not be permanent. But then again: haven’t we had this problem before, and wasn’t it resolved adequately?