Season 3 Episode 3

The Plateau

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Oct 07, 2010 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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  • The Plateau

    In recent horror films there is a saga that, although weak, has always stimulating and ingenious sequences. I refer to "Final Destination", where a group of people miraculously escapes death, then to be hunted by it. Of the most inventive (and gruesome) ways. Almost like a game of dominoes, where a piece falls and hits the next and so on ...

    "The Plateau" reminded me delirious scenes of these cause-effect, where a tiny object, a microscopic action can trigger a gigantic web of events, a macroscopic catastrophe. The top is a picture of that time, where a single pen makes a death occurs. The look insane, nervous fingers, and all the cameras slow down on that particular order make this opening a bang. Undoubtedly one of my favorite, the entire series.

    Then it was followed by the generic, one red, one that we like and look forward. And why? Why are we on the other side, the side we do not know any history here gets automatically double the interest. We return to Olivia (Anna Torv) of mind washed, changed sides and no idea of his real identity. She and her team, Charlie (Kirk Acevedo) and Lincoln (Seth Gabel), then investigate the strange death home, connecting it immediately with another similar event. One clue leads to another track and hunt a rhythmic come to the guilty, the genie out of control. A guy with an IQ too low, which after having been subjected to various treatments, jumped to the other pole. The brilliance and madness. It can calculate all the actions that will take place in the future and how they interact. All variables, all the tiny figures of life fit into one mind, playing well always one step ahead.

    This "case of the week" was a true spectacle. The history base is in itself very good. The whole concept of prediction, sequence, math, destination, it is fascinating and palpable. It is fiction but the fog is real, the little butterfly that flaps its wings out there and change my life, very near here. Added to this, a charismatic villain, well built, and a team Fringe far more interesting and cohesive than our world. The characters, including the two co-Olivia, have more space, more time, more presence. There is a whole different dynamic in this department and freshness.

    Along with everything we had Olivia. That which was ours is theirs, but want to come back here. And it gradually, remembering Peter (Joshua Jackson), Walter (John Noble), his true heart. All in fleeting moments and always under the watchful eye of Walternate and Charlie. Gradually, our protagonist is returning to you and how the episode managed to marry this struggle with the "case of the week" was brilliant: the fact that it is not the person thinks he is saved his life. The fact that even something you made the calculations of the villain bored and leave only those bricks amassassem the ground.

    We ended up with almost lucid. Is it? We have no certainty, even today, not next week, when we return to our world. The only thing I can guarantee is that this was another magnificent episode and "Fringe" is taking great strides to become a mighty serious matter.

    The Best: The great weekly event.

    The worst: I expected to see more differences and easter eggs on the side there.
  • Better

    It's getting better, it was a good episode. We learn about the other side Fringe Division. There not so bad guys, as we we already know that. When it comes to war each side think their right, their all soldiers to try and protect their world. Olivia is starting to get visions of Peter and Walter, Peter saying you don't belong in this world. Were starting to see Olivia question her own beliefs. Basically I just miss the old team, I don't really like the seperation like this in two worlds its to much to cover and I don't see as much of any of the original cast to get a strong connection, just when I was starting to feel at home with them. They seperate. It's like relearning new things of the same character in my opinion. Just have to keep watching see how it goes.
  • Amazing!

    Wow, just wow. Is it just me, or are the writers of fringe getting better as the show goes on? I am very scared about where the show is going, but at the same time I have never been so exited and on the edge of my seat. I knew Fringe was picking up steam from season 2, but my god, it's become even more amazing! We are only at episode 3 and already I am absolutely loving every second of it. The only thing bad I can say is that we have to wait for the next episode, and that's nothing new, but it feels so much longer with episodes this good.
  • 303

    Finally, a good episode of Fringe tonight. We had the continued evolution of the unique Olivia and Peter relationship and we just had a nice fast-paced episode that for once was reminiscent of JJ Abrams' vision for this series. The villain of the week was very compelling and did a good job playing off of "the good guys" and creating some intense drama. Not exactly the most shocking supernatural thing, but some good action sequences is all I really need from this show.

    Good episode, but I still think that it is too little too late and this is the last year for Fringe.
  • nice to see Olivia :)

    I was waiting for her, I missed her.
    the case was intresting, predicting future with math and calculating probebilities and figuring out what will happen! that guy could be very usefull.
    Olivia with her natural talent handle the case, the best one of the team. she has illusions about Peter and Dr Bishop which means she didn't forget everything. she's stil fighting with who truly she is. she had a great ability in memorizing and still know somehow she doesn't blong there. in her illusions Peter kissed her and that effects her as real.
    the secretary of defence wants to know how she was able to cross over but if they make her forget her past she won't remember how she came here. she won't be usefull for them.
    Charlie is getting suspicius about her. he can help her in future he is a good person!
    poor Olivia!
  • See Summary

    The Plateau was an exciting episode of Fringe. It was a unique story line, which will continue into the future. I think this series is so fascinating, dealing with the complex nature of the human mind. Olivia is still trapped on the other side, and still believes she is the other Olivia from that side, though she is starting to have troubling visions that make here question this reallity. I think its great to see old characters again, thanks to the parallel universe theme, such as Agent Charlie. The other Walter makes some revelations about his plans, and continues to press forward. I can't wait to see what happens next!!!
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Hand in hand direction and writing, fascinating causality concept, dazzling editing, exciting memory glitches, cunning characters, disturbing protagonist, solid acting, entertainment²

    The Box mostly lacked a better script. So when The Plateau was served at my table I sharpened my fangs and was ready to bite its flesh. But with Brad Anderson at the direction and two experienced women to support him at the writing, Alison Schapker and Monica Owusu-Breen, there was no reason to worry. Indeed the story is quite similar to his Masters of Horror's Sounds Like and the ambiance reminiscent of his The Machinist. So it seems they were able to team up the right individuals. In both episodes a disturbed man has a special ability that he uses to hurt people.

    But considering Schapker and Owusu-Breen worked on Lost the addition of causality shouldn't surprise you, but definitely fascinate. This 3rd installment felt like toying with a Rube Goldberg machine. The causes are set up, just wait for the predictable effects. Slow motion was used to highlight the chain reaction links and different editing techniques were applied to picture what's happening in Milo's hyperactive head. From scene mosaics to grain filters they really brought a lot to the ambiance and made the events even more captivating. But the drawback is that it revealed the weaknesses on Olivia's side. Indeed her memory glitches weren't supported by similar effects. For example in Dexter Harry's appearances are bloomy so it helps make the difference between reality and the hallucinations Dex has. And when it comes to science-fiction shaking the pylons of creativity should be mandatory, even if the show budget is not infinite obviously. So in the end they didn't find the right balance when the possibilities were endless. Milo's side was heavy on effects, Olivia's one was cheap.

    Otherwise despite the form issues the substance was definitely there. Indeed it was still exciting to hunt the little bugs that mess up with her mind. They wickedly mirror Fauxlivia's missteps in the Prime universe. About the alternate world it's enlightening to better understand what the fringe events impact is. From her burnt partner to oxygen rarification I really felt sorry for its residents. The character development is also well thought because as I hoped some characters would question Olivia's hasty comeback and their leaders decision. John Noble is even beginning to grow on me as Walternate. His behavior is so different than Walter Bishop. He has so much more charisma and he's convinced that he's doing the right thing to protect his dimension. What he said about being a scientist was also quite deep and it even linked him to his Prime self. The approach is smart because Anna Torv and Bishop must feel right in acting heaven with their respective roles. One episode you're blue, the next you're red. Like in Lost I suspect the scenes are not filmed in the airing order but the editing seams don't show.

    To sum things up The Plateau succeeded in rubbing out most of the previous episodes cons. Michael Eklund's performance as Milo was excellent and some sort of insane Rain Man or What's Eating Gilbert Grape version. Kacey Rohl's angelic portrayal of Milo's sister, Madeline, also nicely balanced her brother's tortured profile. You should definitely be moved by their scenes with the horse. An other sweet factor was the entertainment. I couldn't help thinking about the video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. You should want to rewind or fast forward some parts to change the tides of time. I can already imagine how great the episode would be if it had been interactive ! Last but not least the prediction technology the Fringe team used to solve the case was surely inspired by Isaac Asimov's Foundation. With so many cult references and well executed ideas The Plateau could only be a success and if the next episodes are in the same vein season 3 could propel the show in the upper league.
  • Inner truth on the other side

    This episode takes us back to Alt-Fringe, and the writers use a relatively standard type of "Fringe" situation to shed light on Olivia's mental state, as Walternate continues to implement his plan to control her through identity overlay. The structure is very similar to the best of the "Supernatural" episodes, as it's much less about the crisis and more about the central character.

    Walternate's plan is rather logical, given what was revealed at the end of the second season. Among her other abilities (still to be revealed, I imagine), Olivia can cross between the two worlds with little or no adverse side effects. (You know, besides the whole conservation of momentum thing from the first season finale.) In terms of the war between the two universes, this is a powerful ability to be exploited. It just comes down to applying the best brain-washing techniques available to make sure Olivia is on their side. (Or, alternatively, no one's side.)

    Within that context, the drama of the current crisis plays out, and it's a wonderful little chess game. There are constant reminders throughout the early parts of the story to remind the audience that this is a world under siege, with unusual and unfamiliar dangers around every corner. What the denizens of Alt-Fringe consider the norm is alien to our culture.

    So while I can't say that the nature of the "villain" in this episode was entirely compelling, it tied in beautifully with the exploration of Olivia's situation. Milo's ability allowed him to predict actions well in advance, but those predictions were based on assumptions and probabilities confined to his societal and cultural context. While Olivia's visions of Peter and Walter were a sign that the identity implant wasn't yet fully integrated, her instinctual actions in capturing Milo (and avoiding death) were a clear indication that the process was, at best, flawed.

    The question is whether or not Walternate or Colonel Broyles will recognize that fact for what it is. Will they interpret it as the last vestiges of the original Olivia, subconsciously fighting for her life? Or will they suspect that Olivia is resisting the treatments as much as she is, and take action? This seems like a good set-up for the eventual exit strategy, with Olivia using the implanted memories to play along until she can derail Walternate's latest scheme and get back to her own world.

    Of course, that path cannot be easy, or it wouldn't be worth watching it play out. Charlie suspects that something is wrong, and Olivia is going to have to be very careful, if she has any hope of flying under his radar. Charlie has already been fairly observant, and he doesn't strike me as the kind of person that would let things go if he thought it would be a serious issue. People in Alt-Fringe don't strike me as the sentimental type.

    I wouldn't say that the case itself was the most engrossing thing ever seen on "Fringe", but I definitely paid attention for all the little touches that connected these events to the larger context of Olivia's plight. So far, the format seems to be resolving one of the issues with the first half of the second season (the disconnect between stand-alone and serialized elements), so creatively speaking, this has been a great start. One can only hope that FOX continues to demonstrate patience, given the stiff Thursday night competition.
  • Great episode. Spoilers below. This episode is about a man, Milo, who at first appears to have Observer like abilities...

    but later we learn that he had a very low IQ and was part of a test drug that had unintended consequences of making him extremely intelligent.

    He appears to be like Astrids super computer but even smarter. He can predict the outcomes of various scenarios with remarkable precision. He's able to kill people by setting off a chain of events with a small object ( a pen, which appear to be rare in that universe )

    Throughout the episode we see Olivia "hallucinating" Peter and our Walter. We also get clues that our Olivia is still in there when she's unable to know things that Bolivia does know. Charlie appears to be catching on to this.

    Milo envisions a scenario in which Olivia dies chasing him. He runs her though a quarantine zone and while she is inhaling oxygen through a small tank she gets hit by a forklift full of bricks. Only problem is Olivia doesn't know about the oxygen so she doesn't experience that distraction and too much of Milo's surprise and disappointment, she cheats death.

    She does however fall to the ground gasping for air. After Charlie stops Milo from running he has to tell her how to use the oxygen.

    This is my only complaint. Charlie is already doubting this Olivia. I would have thought that her not knowing to use the oxygen would be the nail in the coffin. It had great potential to add a good twist in Charlie figuring it all out then try to get her back home while trying to get his own Olivia back. But instead he seemed indifferent and basically told her not to let it happen again. We're all waiting on Peter or Walter to figure out that they are not with the real Olivia when it would be just as cool for Charlie to figure it out.