Hey everyone. We decided to move my thoughts on the weekend’s Fringe to Mondays. So from now on I will be posting my impressions the Monday after each episode airs instead of Saturday. Here are some thoughts on last Friday’s episode “Nothing As It Seems” (Spoilers for the episode follow, so make sure to watch before you read on):
Monster of the Week: So this week’s case is a throwback to Season 1’s “The Transformation” which is immediately evident. We start on the plane again with the guy freaking out and when you think he is going to turn into the giant porcupine creature, he doesn’t. That happens after the plane lands. And from here it felt like this episode was going to go in a much different direction and it does. The first episode used this creature to set up Olivia heading back into the tank to communicate with John Scott and stop a weapons deal involving the virus that caused this mutation. This episode we actually get to see these monsters in action beyond the first scene which is great. And just when you think you have this thing figured out, the writers go insane and make it evolve into a being that flies. Which was nuts and awesome all at once. It was cool to see the team track this monster down, but I also liked how they showed the way the mate reacted to her giant flying porcupine… ummm… guy when seeing him in the apartment and then dying at the end.
Funny Episode: This episode turned out to be really funny. It starts with Walter bringing out all of the gifts he has gotten for Peter on his birthday each year even though he had passed away. There was a beer that Peter probably shouldn’t drink now. There was an issue of HUMP magazine which we see Walter come back from the bathroom with later. And there was the gyro wheel that both Walter and Peter play with (and Peter hides when Broyles comes in the room at one point). Walter’s reaction to Peter hugging him was a nice moment that resulted from this plotpoint as well. There were some other funny parts too. Like Walter asking if Peter had found the monster’s genitals or his confusion over which was Olivia’s good and bad news. And when we find out about Walter and Bell’s palindrome coding, he gives us “boob” as an example of a palindrome. Oh and there were peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. Just a really funny episode overall.
Olivia Being Evaluated: I can appreciate the fact that Olivia’s decision about just forgetting her old life isn’t going over too well with the FBI. It may seem less crazy to us because we want our old Olivia back, the one we have spent most of the show with, but it would seem at least a bit weird to the people above her in the FBI. And the bit about her sister and how her life is different kind of helps to sell how strange her giving some of this up will be. It gave us a couple of good lines too like Olivia’s “Weird is a matter of degrees” with Fringe and how Broyles will take however much of the Olivia he knew as he can get because she is just that good of an agent.
That Crazy Ending: The ending is one of those “What?!?” endings this show has from time to time. There seems to be a Noah’s Ark-style boat with a bunch of weird ass creatures on it. Included were this week’s flying porcupine people as well as a couple creatures from old episodes of the show (Season 1’s “Unleashed” and Season 2’s “Snakehead”). I always like tying some old stuff back into the bigger picture so that was nice. This seems to involve Jones and it all seems to be building towards a cool conflict to close out this season.
Lingering Issues: There are definitely some problems with this season that kind of hang over the new episodes for me still. I am kind of waiting to see how they resolve our characters getting their memories back before I give my full feelings about the this whole season and the decision to do this new altered timeline. But regardless of how they work this out, it definitely hasn’t played out fast enough. We should have our characters with their old memories back by now (actually like five episodes ago) and after last episode I figured we’d be closer to getting there this episode, but we aren’t. It was nice to see the group all hanging out and having fun for a bit, but we need more than this. And I also hope the writers have some big payoff for all this Lincoln stuff they have been doing, but I suspect they do.
Some more quick things:
- Not of fan of Astrid’s hair this episode.
- I watched “The Transformation” again before writing this up. I was a little worried I’d start mixing the two episodes up Olivia-style.
- Rewatching that episode hammered a couple of points home for me. Broyles is really underutilized on the show now. And I miss Charlie who was a better character than Blue Lincoln (sorry Linc… you’re a good guy though…).
- Edward Markham the book store owner makes an appearance. It was fun to see him interacting with a Peter and Olivia he did not remember.
- I suppose last week’s Glyph code Quill was referring to this week’s episode.
This was another strong episode of Fringe. I think the case was its best element. Not only did it call back to an early episode of the show, but taking on these creatures just felt like a great way to spend a week with the Fringe team. The episode had quite a few laughs too mostly stemming from Peter’s birthday gifts. And even if I am still bothered by the pace of the season and some of the decisions along the way, I am hoping the ending coupled with Robert David Jones involvement will make for a great conflict as we close out this season. Only six episodes left. Feel free to leave your thoughts on this week’s episode in the comments below (though steer clear of preview and future spoiler talk for those of us who avoid it). Thanks for reading! I’ll be back next Monday with some thoughts on this week’s episode of Fringe.