Season 2 Episode 15


Aired Friday 9:00 PM Feb 04, 2010 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

Write A Review
out of 10
748 votes
  • Jacksonville

    "Fringe" is a troubled courtship. The other half promised me that things are constantly changing, it's just a phase, that everything will be fine. But after discussions (fillers) are back, one after another and when I say it's over, she makes a new promise. She returns to the mythology.

    Now comes the so-called "late winter", which, while not offering us the world, promise us surprises. I read somewhere that this "Jacksonville" end with a huge cliffhanger and I, as much as we want, go up to expectations. But first things, first, by an earthquake shakes the building and the result is not expected. Beyond the physical destruction of the structure, the bodies of those who were there it was changed, merged into each other, stuck in materials and inertia. A true scene grotesque, outspoken who offered a fascinating premise. And I speak not only in the initial minutes, the arrival of the team building and discussion of Walter (John Noble) with the victim were fantastic.

    We thus know that the building and its tenants have come from another dimension, where the September 11 was slightly different. We soon realized that this phenomenon was the work of Newton (Sebastian Roch) - one much like Voldemort - which gives more step towards opening the portal between two worlds. It was not explained why this experience, the true purpose ... maybe say in the future. That said, the big question that did move the whole episode was, if a building to enter our world, the other will have to leave, what? To maintain balance out material where, material has entered, with the same weight, with the same measure. I realize now why Olivia (Anna Torv) in addition being counted the minutes, if she got too much time someone would spit on the other side to side. I do not understand the question of Peter (Joshua Jackson) and his permanent stay, but it should still going to be explained. The action is then focused on finding this building on time and save all the people who inhabit it.

    The only way to find this nomadic body is back to "light up" the capabilities of Olivia, who as a child, medical tests, was able to identify objects on the other side. We traveled to the name of the episode, Jacksonville, where Bishop and Bell (Leonard Nimoy) trained mercilessly countless children. Here the narrative loses pace, slow down and return address past issues. Why knock again on the question of the immorality of the old shares of Walter? This has been debated, discussed, wept. We want new discussions, new arguments. So what promised to be a frantic race turns out to be a walk Sunday best who wins just forces near the end.

    Here some questions arise. In late winter of last season, an episode called "Ability", Olivia demonstrated that under conditions of stress, have paranormal abilities. In that case telekinesis, to erase the lights - I do not remember if Jones had previously injected with the stimulant drug. Now, almost a year later, she returns to be tested and with the help of Walter realizes that the fear is that links the "switch". So far so good, she realizes the dynamics of the thing and will tell Peter. So but if she was activated as soon not see that Peter did not belong there? Seconds later he saw the building (in a scene a bit forced). They decided to leave this revelation to the end - when she was supposedly rested and without their active power - for almost a novel that you see now at risk. And it was this huge cliffhanger promised. Yes it is a major change, but please do not play more with our expectations.

    We go to break. Time to buy popcorn. For want a second part better than the first.

    The Best: It's mythology. It is the juice that matters.

    The worst: The huge lack of pace.
  • Truth is known

    I bet Walter wish he had his full memory now, of what hes being accused of doing test on Olivia when she was a little girl made her scared. Olivia was enraged at Walter for scaring little children including her, Walter didn't know how to explain in a right way to Olivia as much he tried Olivia didn't want to hear it. She was so scared when she was little she learned how to put her fear in to anger, is why she not afraid of anything. She can't use her powers if she was scared, when they started losing buildings and running out of time she felt helpless and scared. When she felt scared she was able to use her powers to see the next building that was going to disappear into the other side, thus evacuate the people that were in that building just in time. Olivia and Peter were going out for drinks, so Peter gave Walter contact numbers to call just incase. Olivia was at the door Peter answered and the door and said hi to Olivia he was excited to go, he need to get something upstairs before he went Olivia saw an other side aura around Peter indicating he was from the other side. Peter went upstairs and Walter told Olivia please don't tell him. This is getting out of contol and what Walter did back than is comming into light. I don't know if Olivia can see him the same way, and not to be able to tell Peter put her in the same boat as Walter. If Peter finds out some way he will think they tag teamed on this and will have no trust from either one of them. I'll be watching the upcomming episodes on this but can't wait to see what happens.
  • We've come to expect rather more of Fringe and justifiably so.

    The trouble with sliding comfortably into an episodic pattern is that you set up a series of expectations that, if not met, will have an overtly negative impact on the viewer's reception. Fringe has been running for so long on the 'three stand alones, one big mythology hour before break' formula that it's somewhat redundant to even state the fact. Unsurprisingly, after three episodes with very little bearing on the arc plot, along comes a story, titled 'Jacksonville' no less, that promises to ramp up the progression, just before, shock of shocks, a hiatus! Well, I never. The problem here, however, is that it struggles to deliver against the expectations that we justifiably have for it. This certainly isn't a bad episode of Fringe by any means, but by focusing all of the arc plot movement into a single hour, the writers shoot themselves in their respective feet. If they'd maintained a steady momentum, tied the stand alones into the mythology to a greater extent, and steadily revealed certain elements, what we get here wouldn't feel quite so underwhelming.

    To begin, how many times must we see Olivia strapped to a chair, forced to enter a 'dream like' state? This is a thorn in Fringe's side, the sort of half-baked deux et machina that allows the writers to get themselves out of sticky situations. It robs the episode of its dramatic momentum; for all the scenes are executed well, making good use of chiaroscuro and soundtrack to manufacture something truly eerie, the teleology feels weak. The drive to prevent another cross-dimensional incident is subsumed by the inner workings of Dunham's conscience and this sadly doesn't have the suspenseful pull to captivate. Unfortunately, it's somewhat contrived too. Once again, we're treated to some cod-psychoanalytic mumbo jumbo about Olivia's emotions affecting her abilities: she needs to get scared, to revert to a child-like state in order to see the glimmer. And unsurprisingly, before hour's end, she's miraculously able to do so, despite years of blocking out such feelings and maturing into adulthood. It's just so darn predictable: why do we need to resolve the enigma, to restore the equilibrium before the episode ends? Would it hurt to present a more human side to the character for once and have her fail? At least that way, there would be some genuine tension and, get this, significance to the threat. A quick fix isn't always the best solution.

    The fix itself is rather questionable too. In order to find her scaredycatness again, Olivia needs the possibility of a smooch with a close male colleague... there's a shred of sexism in there, if you can find it. This whole strand feels unnecessarily fluffy and pointless and sadly, reads like a transparent attempt to manufacture further conflict. Lo and behold, Olivia and Peter begin to see each other in 'a new light' just as Dunham is able to see glimmers around those who don't belong, thereby revealing Walter's secret and setting the narrative on the inevitable trajectory of Olivia feels guilty, doesn't tell Peter, it weighs down on their potential relationship just as things start to get serious, Peter somehow finds out, feels betrayed, they 'split up' and the season ends with young Bishop waltzing off to the alternate universe to 'find himself' or some such contrite nonsense. Actually, that's not a bad guess for the cliffhanger: Peter scarpers, closes the 'gate' behind him, Walter and Olivia are left alone. If I was a betting man...

    There is a great deal of potential in 'Jacksonville' and some of it is realised well. The basic crux of the story is inherently intriguing, with a stellar teaser sequence that is stunningly executed, creating some truly horrifying, but memorable, visuals. The methodical pacing of the Jacksonville scenes work wonders, with reflective piano music and slow shots that linger on the minutiae working in conjunction to create a potent sense of wonder and displacement, as well as a notably eerie undercurrent. It's just a shame that these strengths don't filter through to the other aspects of the narrative. The writers channel their energies into over-utilised plot tropes rather than unique, engaging drama. Olivia's dream trips are becoming tiresome, the overall story lacks oomph and the realisation of the connection between Peter and Dunham is just a convenient plot manoeuvre rather than a logical development. We've come to expect rather more of Fringe and justifiably so; let's hope the remainder of the season delivers.
  • Anachronisms, anachronisms

    I loved this episode, but am I the only one who noticed a few thing out of place (or rather time) at the day care center? I'm specifically referring to some of the toys, which were not produced until after the daycare center would have been closed down. There were some woolly mammoth toys on a table in the classroom. These were kid's meal toys (I forget which fast food chain) related to the Ice Age movies, and I believe they were actually for Ice Age 3. Did they time-travel to bring back these toys, or were the set dressers just a little careless?
  • My favorite show astounds the audience yet again with another incredible episode. **spoilers**

    Finally, the truth is coming out! Ever since the season finale last May, I have been waiting for the inevitable discovery regarding Peter's past. The writers did a brilliant job slowly bringing the past into light. This cliff hanger has prepared the viewers for the long hiatus until this April, giving them something to think about in this time period. The entire episode seemed to build to that moment. Peter and Olivia's building chemistry seemed to come to a breaking point in this particular episode. Their "almost kiss" and "almost date", both of which were unfortunately cut short in this particular episode, were beautifully acted by Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv. Olivia's pain throughout the episode was obvious. Her past has haunted her throughout the series up until now, and will continue to haunt her even with the answers she has found. Her relationship with Walter has always been a complicated one, considering what he did to her as a child. This episode, along with The Road Not Taken from season 1, has shown the anger she feels at Walter over what he has done. The episode itself was a very mythological one, as opposed to the dreaded stand-alone episodes that fill the gaps in the season. It was an excellent way to go into the long break, and will leave fans wanting more for the time leading up until the new April 1st episode titled Peter.
  • Wow! I wish this episode never ended! It really felt like it could have benefited from being 1 hour longer. Warning, spoilers contained below.

    Got to love Fringe's strange starts, they kind of grow on you. This has to be one of the strangest and most awesome starts. At first you think it's just the one dude, but when you see that everything in the building got all screwy as a result of two worlds buildings colliding, it definitely makes the plot more interesting. Right off the bat, you knew this was going to be one of those episodes that delivers the goods. Finally Olivia's ability is addressed; it's been a while since we saw her doing anything out of the ordinary. When Olivia and Peter almost kissed, I admit, it felt really weird. Like a brother and sister kissing. And finally at the end of the episode, Olivia finally finds out that Peter is not from their world. I have always wanted her to find out, but now I am not sure if it is a good thing. How will things change between Olivia and Peter, I sure hope it doesn't affect their relationship to much. Though I have to admit, I sort of hope they don't end up together, it would just be too weird to watch. If anything, I would be more comfortable with Peter hooking up with Olivia's sister.
  • Nothing to write home about.

    The opening scene was really cool. The guy being transformed into some freak with many arms, legs and body matter was a truly awesome sight, but was it really anything that unexpected from what we have gotten all year. These opening scenes have always been crazy, that is one of the rewards for watching Fringe every Thursday on FOX.

    But the rest of the episode? Just not that great in my opinion. The general feeling for this viewer was a "been there, done that" notion where I have seen Olivia being in control of the world's destiny so many times that it's almost boring at this point.
  • Things begin to unravel in more ways than one...

    An earthquake unravels the fact that the parallel worlds are starting to collide so Walter unravels Olivia's ability to prevent an upcoming tragedy; problem remains to unravel such an ability she must unravel herself to a level of fear she no longer has since she became an agent for she just can't be afraid when she has to protect everyone.

    And yet is that very nature what triggers her fears as she realizes she can't protect anybody: people are going to die and she can't stop it. That pimal fear is enough to trigger the ability to spot a glimmer that tells her which building doesn't belong: an Hotel is the target and she does her best to save everyone.

    Watching herself in the mirror one Olivia Dunham questions herself at the end of the day, wondering about it before she, finally, unravels her hair, a gesture that might seem senseless if it weren't because of the fact she's about to go out with Peter, something that might be routine if it weren't because he tried to kiss her earlier that day, a situation that might have been cute if it weren't because she spots a glimmer that tells her the man she's about to date just doesn't belong...
  • This episode's beginning was just the most bizarre moment of Fringe. It promised a great episode, and it delivered. The show's mythology story arc should really be developed to the maximum until the season finale. The pieces are almost set.

    What hit me the most is the fact I had no idea this episode was the last episode before the hiatus. And it really left me with my jaws dropped to the floor. The episode was remarkably easy to follow, pretty linear, with a straight goal. The beginning was a big 'wtf' for me, the bodies from the office merged with their alternative selves just made me stare at the screen in astonishment. I've had my fair share of weird scenes on TV shows, but this one is definitely on the top. And yes, Walter closing two set of eyes... frightening and funny at the same time.

    Olivia turning against Walter for abusing children was a great dramatic stand out in the whole show. It showed she had boundaries we were not aware of. Too many times did she approve of Walter's crazy ideas and experiments, many of them being tested on her. But this time, it was enough. I'm really glad we're back on the right road for the main mystery of the show. Alternative universe, Bishop/Bell experiments and world collision. Ain't that awesome? Oh, I almost forgot. Nina Sharp and Broyles. I want more of them. You can never get enough of Nina Sharp.

    But what shocked me the most was of course the ending scene. I have waited for quite some time now for someone (who can see the 'foreign' elements from the Alternative universe) to see that anomaly surrounding Peter. And even before Olivia rang the door bell, I knew it. This is the moment we have all been waiting for. A great cliffhanger. Too bad we have to wait almost two months for the continuation. Olivia/Peter thing... Yeah, we saw it coming. I personally have nothing against it, I really like Peter and think he has that special connection with Olivia. But the thing I didn't expect was to see this happening when Olivia finally saw who Peter really was. A brilliant set up for the rest of the season, and I sincerely hope the writers will use the remaining time to finally dive into the Alternative universe storyline. Will Olivia reveal the secret to Peter? Will Astrid realize Olivia knows something's wrong? And most importantly, what does this mean for the Walter/Olivia relationship and the strength of the Fringe team?
  • You see, this is what TV is supposed to be about.

    Its supposed to be about stories that are not necessarily even close to the truth, but that have the ability to make themselves your personal truth for 60 minutes out of every week.

    This one can make me watch a woman rediscover a "gift" that will be as much her curse, and apply it to right the misguided past doings of a genius she once trusted. And she can use this gift to prevent a lot of people from disappearing from the face of THIS earth, even though the building they were in did not.

    And she could do this because she saw it glow; just like another man she is coming to care for is now glowing. And he's doing so because of something else this genius did in another place and another time. And so the next threat looms... It doesn't have to be real. It barely has to be believable. It just has to be imaginative enough, well written enough and well enough performed to make you take the wild ride; and when you get off the ride, hair in all directions and bugs in your want to do it all over again!

    The only question is: next ride? Will it be here, or there...?? Dunno. But I'll be there, bugs and all!
  • Fine, but not quite as good as it could have been

    First, as always, the opening sequence was just great, and creepy - even Astrid was disturbed by the double man ! What was nicely done is that everyone had a role to play in saving the day : good to have Nina Sharp back, especially, long time no see !Some very good ideas there, like the fact that Olivia being "tough" turns against her in that particular case ! But everything wasn't that good : the relation between Walter and Olivia only brings back to the end of season 1, so not much to say here. And please, another mindscape ??? As for the overarching arc, if the "invasion" doesn't progress much, THE cat is out of the bag : you can guess that Olivia won't keep the secret, like Astrid did, especially now that her relationship with Peter is evolving. I have to confess, though, that I felt bad for Olivia in the last scene : she's really opening her heart for the first time since John Scott died, and what does she get ??? I have to say, I wasn't keen on a Peter / Olivia romance ( and still not am ), but maybe the writers can do it properly ...
  • The past is prologue

    It's been a while since the writers of "Fringe" delivered a big chunk of the season arc. At least this episode was well worth the wait. While structurally simple, this brought a number of lingering items back on the table in a sharp, efficient manner.

    The nature of the Jacksonville experiments, and their relationship to the experiments surrounding Alt-Fringe, has been a huge question since the revelations late in the first season. It certainly seemed at that point, with all the talk about multiple levels of training for warriors under the ZFT mindset, that Olivia would progress along a steady path of unusual growth. The fact that her abilities have barely been explored this season is one of the reasons why it has been somewhat disappointing.

    But now there is some insight into the Jacksonville experiments, and as one would expect for this series, one key part was altered perception. It's hard to imagine that this was the full extent of the experimentation done on the children, but it was the part that pertained to this particular situation. If Walter Bishop and William Bell were interested in creating someone with the ability to combat the imposition of Alt-Fringe on Fringe Prime, then detection and identification was always going to be a primary concern. And that meant altering perception.

    As interesting as the methods were, especially in how they affecting Olivia, I found her reaction to the realization of what had been done to the children to be the most powerful. It really is something that cannot be dismissed. As horrified as Olivia has been of Walter's past activities, this is the first time that she has been this judgmental. Coming on the heels of his actions in the previous episode, it serves as a perfect prelude for how Olivia will react to her discovery of what Walter did with Alt-Peter.

    That was one of the biggest surprises of the episode, and it didn't even occur to me that it would be a consequence of Olivia's revived ability until the trigger was pulled. One could quibble that the writers didn't play fair with the audience; after all, if Olivia's fear of admitting her feelings for Peter was enough to allow her ability to manifest, why didn't she notice anything odd about Peter right in that initial moment? But given the dramatic punch at the end, it's easily forgiven.

    While I have enjoyed the subtle progression of Olivia and Peter's attraction and budding relationship, I wasn't particularly thrilled with the notion of them taking matters further. There is something to be said for the early Mulder/Scully model of professional distance despite attraction. I think it's safe to say that any romance is going to be on serious hold.

    The real question is where the season arc is going to go from here. This is a perfect example of why the previous run of stand-alone episodes didn't make sense after Newton's escape. What should have kicked up an even greater sense of urgency seemed to result in little change to the status quo. Now Newton is ramping up his efforts, and everyone in Fringe Division is well aware of the potential consequences. If the writers slip back into stand-alone mode again, all but ignoring the need to track down Newton, then it would be an even greater misstep.