Posted by SH
Fringe finally has its first cliffhanger! Olivia has been abducted by Mr. Jones and his minions for God knows what purpose, leaving Broyles, Massive Dynamic and the Bishop boys in hot pursuit. And a long-lost invention by Walter — a teleportation system similar to what Jeff Goldblum made in The Fly, with the added power of time traveling — has been co-opted by some bad dudes who used it to free Mr. Jones from his German prison cell.
That’s the good news. The bad news, and what makes me want to initiate some Pattern-worthy event of my own and send it TV schedulers’ way, is that we apparently have to wait until 2009 to find out what happens next. Ten episodes in, and we’re already taking a monthlong hiatus. Hey, I know the show is one of the few ratings winners this season, but is it wise to build up momentum to its highest peak yet only to dull it by a month of reruns — not to mention a bevy of other wacky shows out there that could usurp our interest. Remember the writers strike? Even shows with seemingly invulnerable fan bases, e.g. Heroes, Grey’s Anatomy, suffered the effect of long layoffs. It’s this whole “midseason finale” phenomenon that keeps popping up. For instance, Nip/Tuck, another one of my batsh@# crazy favorites, is touting its January return, not with a new season, but the second half of its current season. Huh?
I mean, I’ll be back to see what happens to Olivia, if she gets lost in the wilderness of John’s memories, looking for more of that steadily building crescendo of a roll in the hay between her and Peter, but I’m getting paid for it. What about everybody else?
The network promises to air “relevant” episodes (a nice way of saying “reruns”) until then, but really, with the entire run of Fringe a Hulu click away, who is going to benefit from that?
About the episode, it starts off with a bank robbery that uses that walking-through-walls technology we saw a few episodes back. Agent Douchebag leads a gang of mercenary thieves, who presumably aren’t aware of his penchant for shooting his co-conspirators once they have outlived their usefulness. Or to leave them suspended inside the wall of a bank vault if they’re a little slow getting back out. They break in and grab a safe deposit box, but the door solidifies before one dude is able to get out, leaving him stuck. Instead of taking the time to try to get him out, which apparently they could have done, Douchebag just shoots him in the head and gets out of Dodge.
Olivia thinks she recognizes the guy, that they served in the Marines together. But when she visits the widow, she realizes this is someone from John’s past, and that she is starting to confuse what is from her memory and what is from his. Walter is taken aback by this and vows to look into it, if he can stop combing his cow (not a euphemism) long enough. But they do find out the dead guy had been in a VA hospital with some other guys who are his likely accomplices. They also detect a strange pattern to the safe deposit boxes being stolen. They are in fact the numbers to the Fibonacci sequence, which apparently does have dramatic uses outside The Da Vinci Code. This leads Walter to a startling discovery. The safe deposit boxes being robbed … wait for it … are his!
Gotta say, of all the gruesome twists Fringe throws our way, this bloodless one was among the best. Didn’t really see that coming. But Walter says he used the boxes to stash a little device he was working on that was going to help him save his little boy, who was dying from a mysterious illness. It was going to allow him to go back in time and snatch away the now-deceased doctor who knew what little Peter was battling. But then Peter miraculously recovered (though I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear of it) and Walter stashed the pieces of his machine in various safe deposit boxes.
This, of course, leaves a lot of questions. Who else knew about Walter’s device? Why in the world did a man of science just stop working on the greatest invention of all time? And, how in the heck do you forget something like that? OK, I know they use the whole he-was-in-a-mental-institution thing for a go-to excuse, but it’s asking a lot to think that a man who devotes his life to science would just abandon such a breakthrough just because it no longer benefited his immediate situation, and then went on to totally forget about it.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jones is in touch with his gang of robbers and playing all creepy with his poor attorney. Things get worse for the attorney when Dr. Jones snaps the guy’s neck and takes his suit, all in preparation of being zapped to an airfield (the aforementioned Little Hill) in Massachusetts. Racing him there are the FBI agents, but Olivia is stopped short by a gaggle of SUVs. She is Tasered and brought to the sneering Dr. Jones, who probably wants to extract the same information from her brain that Massive Dynamic does, if only they’d gotten there first.
But the race is on.
My prediction: The romantic tension between Olivia and Peter — which so far has been a pleasant will they will-they-or-won’t-they — will ratchet up now that she’s in danger and he has the opportunity to ride to her rescue. Mark Valley will continue cashing the easiest check on network TV, playing John Scott’s corpse or his smoldering, seemingly mute ghost. Walter will still have trouble with Astrid’s name, and Broyles will continue to walk like he’s trying to out John Wayne John Wayne.
Stay tuned, if you have the patience.