In this article I take a look back at last night’s season 2 premiere of Fringe with 6 things I learned from A New Day In The Old Town. These are my immediate thoughts upon watching the episode:
1. Peter is rocking the “black and gray” clothing
First revealed in “Bad Dreams” as the attire of soldiers in the coming war, the season premiere told me that our Peter is getting his swag on and unknowingly preparing for battle. Proactive Peter – I like it.
2. The hunt is on!
As I speculated in our recent “Fringe Observations” article, Olivia’s “near miss” in the finale was not such a near miss – she travelled to the parallel world prior to the elevator ride. The shapeshifter was lying in wait, an attempt to intercept her meeting with Bell. However Olivia transported to the parallel reality before impact. The shapeshifters are in search of a hidden item, something so important that it would bring one of them to the verge of tears!
This item could turn out to be a “Holy Grail” of sorts, something with religious, possibly multiversal, consequence.
3. Advanced technology – more than two realities
The type-writer and the ‘mouth-plug': these objects do not seem advanced in appearance, but similar to the Observer and Mosley’s high-tech/low-design gear in “Arrival”, they are literally out of this world. My instinct tells me that the shapeshifters are from a third reality, one more advanced than the two main worlds of the show. But thinking about it, we also saw some pretty ‘out-there’ events in the first season, such as hybrid monsters and teleportation – right here in ‘our’ world. So not only are we looking at the impact of people crossing between worlds, but perhaps more significantly, technology. Where do these items originally come from? I’ve referenced the Prometheus/Massive Dynamic connection many times on FB, this episode is another example of how it might apply.
4. Phillip and Nina have ‘knocked boots’
I raised the question during our Fringe rewatch, the relationship between Phillip and Nina is professional but they have history. Their smooch was one of familiarity, tenderness and further instructions. Nina, despite her flirtation (wonderfully portrayed by the awesome Blair Brown), has a measure of influence over Phillip – she has steely determination and knows what makes him tick – “do what you always used to do Phillip..save the day”. Well, if that isn’t motivation for Phillip to put the “S” back on his chest then I don’t know what is.
5. Agent Jessup is one to watch
I’m not going to lie, Meghan Markle is exceptionally gifted. And she can act too. OK, it’s not a breakout performance by any means, but considering the unfair response to her casting from some quarters, I enjoyed what Amy Jessup brought to the game. Back in my 5 Things I Learnt From the Season 2 Sneak Peek article I suggested that Peter would have his sights set on her. Whilst Peter WILL no doubt still be looking, I now see that Jessup’s introduction is more than just a romantic diversion. She’s open-minded, determined and intrepid. She kinda reminds me of Dunham, only more spiritually inclined – and that’s what I like most about her. That she went about connecting “pattern events” to texts from the Bible was one of those ‘where is this going?’ moments for me, and further brings into question the nature of the manifest.
“Deal or no deal?” – you’re kidding, right? DEAL!
6. Move over “Dollhouse“, Fringe explores identity issues much better.
It’s been building for a while now – the exploration of identity and our place in an ever changing world.“A New Day In An Old Town”, told me that the wider illustrations of technology and identity are also worth watching. Alongside the more intimate, overarching issues concerning Peter, Walter and Olivia. The shapeshifters – identity thieves, Decepticons, “Bros”, call them what you want, have reaffirmed that technology not only opens the world, but changes who we are, or who we can be. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but obviously for dear Charlie, it kinda was.
We’ll post our review of this episode on Saturday.