- The opening sequence. Visually and artistically stunning.
- The strong and deliberate overarching mythos
- Olivia’s dream sequence. Conceptually beautiful and re-establishes some delicious possibilities.
- The “Man of science, Man of faith” overtones with Walter and his Bible. I hope to see more spirituality incorporated into Fringe to balance the all of the science and technology. It was also interesting to see Walter shun the opportunity to put Olivia back into the tank. Remember, this is from a man who loves nothing more than to experiment on himself or others.
- The return of Nina and Massive Dynamic. Nina always brings something extra to the party and this episode was no different.
- The introduction of the “smokescreen” suggestion was a good move as it allows Olivia and the viewers to re-evaluate the nature of the Pattern. It’s a bit like the ‘freewill vs destiny’ debate on LOST, only corporate instead of spiritual.
- The music – gorgeous in places. Not quite up to LOST standards just yet but it’s getting there.
- The “Peter/Tess” story wasn’t very interesting and seemed somewhat out of sync with the rest of the episode. I can appreciate the need to expand the character back-stories but I care less about Peter’s back-story in this episode than when he rumbled the photographer at the beginning of “The Arrival”. I hope this Tess/Mob back-story is going somewhere but I’m pretty dialed out at the moment.
- As I’m writing this I literally forget her name. No, seriously. Anyway, Astrid – she had a few more lines in this episode but she’s not a key component of the story. For a JJ. Abrams show this is surprising, just look at the first season of LOST – an enormous ensemble yet every single one of those muthas were integral to the story. Don’t get it twisted, we like Jasika Nicole, we just hope there’s more to Astrid than just being ‘there’.
- Whilst the mythological elements are melding with sweetness, it’s a shame that there isn’t greater continuity between the characters from episode to episode. An example – in The Equation Walter was traumatised from his return to St. Claire’s. In this episode it’s as if that never happened. Whilst I give kudos for actually showing that his request for his own room came to something (he’s now in 112), the show could benefit from tighter integration (aka, make it more serialized).
- Walter’s “erection” comment. I know the man is insane and crude, but they pushed the Walter-button too far in that moment. It had me cringing for the first time in the series and the joke went down like a lead balloon (so to speak). I don’t want them to sanitize the show, far from it, but something about that gag just didn’t feel right. Perhaps it’s just the thought of a not so young gentleman having feelings downstairs *hurls*. Poor Astrid, will she recover from the shock!? Tune in next week!
- Lacked some of the ebb and flow of previous weeks.
- I worked something out this week. We don’t do the best foot-chases in Fringe. Take a look at LOST. That Keamy v Ben/Kate foot-chase in the season 4 finale was how to do a foot-chase. Either Olivia is chasing someone into the heart of darkness by herself or Charlie contributes nothing to the end result of said foot-chase. Remember Ziegler? Rogue? Ostler? This is probably a harsh complaint considering I love this show, but foot-chases should be exciting, adrenaline pumping events. OK, enough on the foot-chase.
- Olivia’s return to the tank – not enough bra and panties! Walter has a great figure, why not show it off?
Overall this was a good episode, no question. The main gripe is that it had less exceptional moments/attributes than the previous 3 or 4 episodes, so this is testimony to Bad Robot and their usual bar-raising standards. This was an episode which moved things along and set up some nice little questions for the fan community to speculate over. Rating: 7/10