For the moment I still haven't completed my review of Wallflower, the last episode before the winter break. But it doesn't imply at all that I had lost faith in Fringe. There're just moments in life when you have to think instead of doing things. Was it a dream ? Maybe a nightmare ? The truth is that the boundaries between reality and fiction are thin at times. So I wasn't surprised by the beginning of this 8th episode because it just felt natural. Sexy Walter cooking breakfast. Peter and Olivia in love like if nothing happened. An oneiric life that acted as a wake up call and allowed him to find a new solution to his problem. I wanted to get back. He just wants to get back !
It took me some weeks to watch Fringe again but as expected this first installment of a whole new journey didn't disappoint. First I have to admit that I never really felt sympathy for Lincoln considering the awkward way he was introduced in this season pilot. But thanks to this story he has finally reached a dimension that made me care for him. Of course his few encounters with his alternative self weren't as jaw dropping, and charming, as with the Olivias but I will never get tired of these parallel trips. He's also part of a hypertriangle involving Peter and Olivia so his empathic factor has definitely increased.
But this episode best part was with no doubt the highly anticipated return of Walternate. I probably mentioned it in all my past reviews considering how much John Noble amazes me. How wise to keep such an asset to boost the season ! At first the quick and dirty portal they opened at the opera made me skeptical because it seemed way too easy. It also woke up the geek within and reminded me of Quake III Arena so I began to worry that Peter and Lincoln would turn into blood thirsty gladiators ! The writing of their attempt to reach the island was sloppy in my opinion because it was more reminiscent of professor Arturo in Sliders' pilot, when he faked to be a general, than the best of what Fringe has to offer. But it was a minor issue compared to what happened next. Indeed Peter meeting his alternate mother was already moving but I was overwhelmed when he met Walternate face to face. I knew something was going on and their scene was incredibly intense but I never excepted his assistant was a shapeshifter. Damn writing spoilers like if it was nothing is so new and painful, probably as much as Olivia's headache is starting to worry her.
All in all focusing on the shapeshifters couldn't be more exciting and they definitely have the potential to turn se4son into an other s3ason. Yes, The Matrix is everywhere ! Even in this very review. More seriously I question the double cliffhanger because I think Broyles' call was enough, implying that he's working with the shapeshifters, but as I really care for Olivia I can't wait to watch the next episode. Don't worry Anna Torv, if they kill her there's still Bolivia ! And if they kill them all, well we will call Neo plus Spartacus plus Dexterminator to change their mind !
Note : This review was first posted on Kritikenstein, my weblog.