Here’s our short and sweet good and bad review:
1) Some important back-story developments and reveals – notably with Olivia showing more sides to her character, Peter’s recollection that his father went all B.F. Skinner on his ass as a child, and Broyles becoming more 3 dimensional.
2) Pattern-events are still happening in Olivia’s back-yard, but finally she got to get out of Boston and fly to Germany (on-board a Massive Dynamically engineered plane, no doubt), where her Observer friend was waiting for her.
3) Brilliant casting – the actors portraying Agent Loeb, his wife Samantha and especially the fantastic Mr. Jones, were, well, fantastic! Jared Harris (Mr. Jones) has something of the Michael Emerson‘s about him, and that is a very very very good thing. Please can Jared be recurring? Pwretty please? Oh, and that “tick-tock” noise that he made with his mouth as Olivia ran out of time, genius!
4) An incredibly intricate yet delicious plot. Yes, thinking was required in this episode, but this is why we love serialized shows from the JJ. Abrams stable.
5) The parasite. So cute, I want to buy one.
6) Walter Bishop. The man is crazy, he places scientific wonder over the lives of human-beings (his son included). He was devastated when the parasite died, he was closing the curtain on a piece of engineering that he respected more than he abhorred. This allows us to get inside his head-space a bit, he is able to brush aside the evil intentions of the science he comes across due to the genius of the creation.
7) The fringe science. Sure, the way in which Mr. Smith got shot in the head was a bit too convenient in allowing for the clever stuff with Peter’s horizontal lines thing, but the improvisation crafted by Walter and the subsequent deciphering of the “Little Hill” answer was amazing, and in a “Fringe” sort of way, it actually made sense. I mean, getting shot in the head would surely damage certain brain functions, just as it would a computer’s functions. Therein also lies an important comparison (or parallel) that we might see played out over certain arcs - the human brain and the computers made by man.
8 ) Astrid. OK, OK, she’s still as useless and Gene, but she’s just sooo cuuute. She also has the patience of a saint dealing with Walter and Olivia barking orders at her, and did I say she’s sooo cuuute? We like Asteroid.
9) Olivia’s hair. Yikes! It’s such a mess! That’s a good thing though, she’s been through hell and she’s an intense FBI agent who’s not so vain. Thing is Torv still looks fantastic (that’s for you, haters!). Great casting JJ, we tip our Observer hats to you.
10) Plenty of mythology and overarching story-line potential. This is how we like it.
1) Continuity. As Page 48 pointed out in the comments, where exactly was this ‘punishment’ that Broyles promised Olivia in the last episode? Broyles doesn’t strike me as someone with a short memory, so why no reference to her “not getting away with it that easily” thing? Seriously, why put it in the last episode if there’s not going to be any follow up to it? We had the same thing when Walter attacked Astro, and I fear we might experience similar ‘forgetfulness’ with Peter not angsting over his father’s experimentation on him (both as a child and in this episode!).
2) Did Charlie Francis die earlier in the season or something? I could have sworn I saw him in this episode, but it must just be the result of a waking dream or some such. Yeah, more Charlie, please.
3) Love Broyles, love Lance Reddick, but some of his delivery wasn’t to his usual high standard. Then again, perhaps it’s because we’re not used to seeing Broyles’ feathers ruffled, or maybe there’s something else afoot regarding his allegiance? Mostly, I just wish they re-shot that telephone convo with Charlie, it didn’t feel authentic somehow.
4) Astrid. OK, OK, we think she’s cute but we wouldn’t be doing our job as Fringies if we didn’t put her in this section. Lets just be clear, Astrid is an FBI Agent, yes? I think it might have been better to have made her a lab tech. Seriously, this girl has skills (like, for real) so why is she being wasted in the FBI? No wonder their agents are working for Pattern-folk if they don’t receive recognition for their work. Make her a spy or have her do some field work, or something. Sheesh!
5) So Olivia, we’ve defended you on FringeBloggers since the beginning. We think you’re pretty hot, fearless, vulnerable and pretty engrossing. But if it wasn’t for the wonders of modern technology, you would’ve given Mr fancy-pants a piece of that wouldn’t you? How does that work exactly, when you’ve got the living part of John Scott’s brain inside your head? Or is this some sick fantasy of yours? Tsk tsk, we’ll see you in the morning.