Fringe S3E7 review
|REVIEWS - TV|
The Broyles character finally opens up a little, while Our Olivia plots her escape from the Other Universe...
Unlikely as it is that any of the show's creators or writers have ever read my regular laments on the subject, it is nonetheless with pleasure that I can report that this week's episode of Fringe actually gave Lance Reddick something to do besides look good in a suit and send agents on missions in a bladder-rupturing deep bass voice. If the Fringe writers hadn't brought Andre Royo's cab-driver back this week (hurray!) only to throw his role away (boo!), I'd almost begin to think that Abrams and Co. actually liked The Wire instead of just wanting to lo-jack the kudos of its stars by including them in Fringe.
Our Olivia is stuck and desperate to make a bid for escape via Walternate's isolation chamber on Liberty Island. But first there's a case to solve: serial kid-kidnapper 'The Candyman' is on the loose in the red-titled Other Place, and another child has gone missing...
It's not much of a case, to be honest, and something that the X-Files writers would have probably let slip down the 'future episode possibilities' pile without actually trashing it outright. Turns out that Candyman needs injections from children's pituitary glands every couple of years, explaining why the kidnappings occur at roughly two-wear intervals. The kidnapped children, though otherwise unabused, are returned within 48 hours with depleted internal organs and all the lethargy associated with old age.
One of the young victims, it transpires, was Broyles' son, an excellent performance from the visually-startling and extremely talented young Curtis Harris, a veteran of FlashForward and Grey's Anatomy.
With a new kid missing, Broyles is reluctant to accede to Our Olivia's request to re-interview his son, for two reasons: firstly, it would stir up terrible old memories, and secondly, Broyles himself now knows from Walternate that His Olivia is set to return to Fringe Division from the other dimension (ours), and that Our Olivia is consequently due to be disposed of.
Nonetheless Broyles' wife (Karen Holness) persuades him, and Our Olivia is able to glean enough information from the child to clean up the case and point the real blame towards a new-age vicar who is masterminding the pituatary kidnappings.
With this rather perfunctory case out of the way, it's time for Andre Royo to nervously ferry Our Olivia over to liberty island so that she can insert herself into the tank and try and get back. Unfortunately, as in the previous instances where the isolation tank has transported her to our universe, the effect doesn't last long. Just long enough, in fact, to get a message to Peter back in our world about the serious situation that she is in...
It's unclear as to whether Olivia thought that for some reason the 'crossover' would last longer, or even be permanent, or if she merely wanted to get a message through to someone who could help. There was no evidence, based on previous history, that this 'trip' would be anything more than a flying visit, and yet Olivia didn't run to a phone as soon as she 'crossed over', but ambled about the hospital looking for an exit, barely managing to convey her message to a cleaning-woman before disappearing back into the clutches of Walternate and his cronies. One could argue that it was being snatched out of the isolation tank that ended her trip, but that doesn't make any sense, since her previous 'crossovers' always ended spontaneously after a minute or two.
More interesting was the part where Not Broyles tripped up Our Olivia, who had introduced herself in his presence as an FBI agent - even though the FBI was disbanded a decade ago in the Other Place. But since Our Olivia had saved his son from a return visit from The Candyman, Broyles let it go, so that she could make her doomed escape attempt.
We also learned that Ronald Reagan actually landed the lead role in Casablanca over in the other world, thanks to some off-hand pillow talk between Not Olivia and Peter. A bit of a goof on Not Olivia's part though, seeing as she managed to look so pleased at Peter's gift of U2 concert tickets last week (Not Olivia, we must remember, comes from a world where Bono never 'made it').
On a note of greater pathos, we were reminded (when Walternate commiserates with Broyles on having had his son kidnapped) that a part of Walternate's evil nature might really be due to the selfishness of 'good' Walter, who decades earlier had snatched Walternate's Peter from the Other Place after his own Peter died of a then-incurable disease. Who knows but that for this interdimensional kidnapping, Walternate might himself not be more interested in candy and cakes than doing evil?
The great Fringe experiment continues then in season three, and I still half-expect it to conclude with a vote-line number for which universe the viewers would prefer for season four. Me, I'd like the old universe back, but not if Lance Reddick has to go back to being a tailor's dummy with a pull-string in his back that bleats out exposition for five minutes every episode.
Next (it seems), the rescue mission...
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