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Playing Catch-Up: Fringe 

Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX

Let me start off by saying that Fringe, to me, is one of the best series on television today. Coming off of a very strong Season Two, the writers could have just coasted their way through the first part of year three, but no, the writing got even better. Here are my thoughts on the first half of the season:

  • The show had a sense of newness with each episode alternating between our “Universe” and “over there.” They changed the color scheme for “over there” as well as had a slightly different opening sequence. When we inhabited the “over there” episodes, we were almost watching a different show. All the actors gave stand-out performances with their own alter personalities.
Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX
  • I still have to give kudos to Anna Torv for her stellar performance as Olivia and Bolivia who were the anchors for both universes. She was able to play the nuances of each character who were essentially impersonating the other. It sounds so confusing but Torv executed the differences expertly.
  • We have seen the battle occurring between our universe and “over there” from the viewpoint of “over there” being the villains. What we learned while inhabiting the other reality, is that as a result of Walter’s actions, the alternate universe is crumbling. There are parts of different cities that are Ambered out. In “Amber 31422,” we found out that the people stuck in stasis are still alive when their loved ones all think they’re dead. We see Senator Walter Bishop is quite ruthlessly pursuing the ability to crossover. It was fascinating being able to see through the eyes of the “over there” citizens and understand why Walternate was mounting such a war against the enemy.
Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX
  • My opinion on one of the best episodes of the first half of the season was “Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?” In it, we learn that the shapeshifters have been in our universe for at least 20 years. We also learn they do have feelings. One of the most amusing scenes occurred when Walter visits Massive Dynamic for the first time after learning that William Bell left him the company in his will. Walter was rather freaked out so he took some LSD prior to going into the office. A rather strange way of coping, but nonetheless, this created some amusing situations. From start to finish, I was on the edge of my seat. I was disappointed to see the demise of Newton, a great villain, played oh so well by Sebastian Roché.
  • The evolution of Alter-Broyles in “over there” wasn’t something I saw coming. Colonel Broyles seemed like he couldn’t wait for Olivia to be terminated or returned to her universe throughout her time in his Fringe Division. He seemed rather cold towards her until Olivia used her considerable skills and instincts to catch the Candyman, who we learn abducted Alter-Broyles’ son. Ultimately, his desire to help Olivia go home, cost him his life, but he was willing to believe that there was a better way of resolving the conflicts between the universes.
Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX

Where we left off? Olivia was back home and she was learning to her horror that Bolivia totally inhabited her life, and no one, including Peter, was able to see the difference. At first, she tried to act like she was fine with how it went down but by the end, we begin to see how Olivia’s feelings of anger have bubbled up for her. How will her relationship with Peter continue? At the time of the switch, they were in the burgeoning stages of exploring being together. Peter progressed with Bolivia so will Olivia be able to pick up with where they left off or will Olivia feel betrayed and totally break things off with him? Did Bolivia complete her mission? Has the endgame been set in motion? How much of “over there” will we continue to see now that both women have returned home to their respective realities? What will be the ultimate legacy of what’s occurred? Can’t wait to find out.

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