Season 4 Episode 16

Nothing As It Seems

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Mar 30, 2012 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
257 votes
  • Disappointing story, uninspired writing, some thrilling sequences, misplaced humor, underused Olivia, mysterious ending but not intriguing (Spoilers)

    Nothing is as it seemson The Island of Doctor Moreau ? This is not Fringe anymore, at least the one I like. Season 3 was all about the fascinating amber and delivered some mind blowing stories. However for some episodes now I have been questioning the sources of inspiration used by the writers to develop the arc about David Jones and the shapeshifters. I'm not satisfied at all with this episode probably based upon H. G. Wells' novel. Humans turning themselves into porcupines thinking it's an improvement ? With no doubt the last man we saw, played by the actor who portrayed a doctor in Smallville, did it for love and it's not surprising considering how the woman was pretty but why would she inject herself such an atrocious substance ? And I'm not really interested in answering these questions because I feel like the writers are out of ideas or just slowing things down using fillers to achieve their goal, 22 episodes. So let's hope they will step up their game and go back to the show's roots !

    In my opinion the first disappointing element was the creature of the week. The second it rushed out of the bathroom and attacked the customs officers I knew it should have been kept in the dark. Isn't the unknown stimulating for the imagination after all ? The part on the plane was thrilling, from the nosebleed to the panic attack in the toilet, but afterward they landed in B movie land. Still its sudden appearance in the house both scared my popcorn and myself. An entertaining explosion and it took me a while to recover ! It leads us to Lincoln because his infection was dead boring and for once even Walter's jokes didn't make me laugh. This time one of them was even misplaced, the late birthday presents, as it interrupted Olivia and Peter's discussion about the case. Moreover it seemed even Joshua Jackson was annoyed by his role, forced to jump from seriousness to a kid at some party. Even his chat with Lincoln in the car, finally, didn't meet my expectations because he played it way too nicely. How would you react if some other guy stole your girlfriend right under your nose ? So let's just hope he's a shapeshifter or will turn his back on them somehow !

    As for the episode concept I have to admit that it was well thought out. Peter and Olivia used their alt-knowledge to investigate but I think the last could have been better used. What about using her as a bait to trap the porcupine ? He was apparently seeking for a mate. Moreover when it comes to such monsters I can't help thinking about the 15th episode of Primeval 3rd series. In it Abby, the cute blonde, has to deal with a half Gollum and half Gremlins creature. I compared her to Buffy and mentioned the Little Red Riding Hood as a reference because she just made the story more frightening. That's why I strongly believe that an Olivia versus Porcupine sequence could have been jaw dropping ! After all what's more exciting than a damsel in distress ? Instead they decided to develop some predictable arc about her career when I never considered for a second that she was in trouble. Last but not least I can see how the ship transporting the creatures is a Noah's Ark but sadly, beside spotting the leg of a giant spider, I'm not really intrigued by it. In fact I worry that we will never know what it was even if David Jones should be behind it.

    Note : This review was first posted on Kritikenstein, my weblog.
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