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Fringe, “Concentrate and Ask Again” (3.12)

Is blue powder sucking all the bones out of people’s bodies in this week’s Fringe, or is it really just a severe lack of calcium? Have yourself a glass of milk and read the review after the jump…

How’s the Case?

It’s back to some classic “Freaky-Shit-of-the-Week” Fringe! And dying from loss of bones certainly counts as freaky. Despite this case being pretty self-contained, unlike the episodes of the last two weeks, it was a decent case: it had revenge, secret military projects and Olivia shooting a guy in fucking neck! Hell yeah! It also had…

How’s Walter?

As it appears is the case with everything weird that happens in this universe, Walter was involved in this week’s case. Apparently, he might have been at the genesis of the bone sapper’s delivery method. When the main suspect in the case discovers how receiving a car in the side feels, Walter decides to enlist a former Cortexiphan subject who can read minds to get the info they need out of the suspect. While this former guinea pig of Walter’s did end up helping, he also had another role…

How’s Peter and Olivia… and Fauxlivia?

He was acting as an example for Olivia of how not to deal with Walter ruining your life. She appears to be feeling pretty envious, almost unreasonably so, toward Fauxlivia’s life in this episode. I’m not sure what stage that is in the grieving-due-to-stolen-identity process but it doesn’t really seem like progress from last week.

This week’s “Way to go, you dumb-ass” Peter moment involved him getting Olivia coffee… but having it made as Fauxlivia likes it. Oh, Peter! Now, I might feel bad for him (as I have been recently) due to the way Olivia has been using him as an emotional punching bag for her issues, but guess what? Our mind-reading friend decided to drop the revelation bomb on Olivia by telling her Peter still has some feeling for Fauxlivia.

That’s right. We have ourselves a classic love triangle. Oh boy.

But wait! It’s gets crazier! Nina discovers that apparently Olivia’s mysterious mentor/blowing lane operator is actually the person who might have written all the copies of the First People books. Wait, it gets crazier-er! He says that depending how Peter is feeling – in other words who he chooses, Olivia or Fauxlivia – that choice will determine whose universe the machine will not destroy.

Yeah…

I’m not entirely fond of the fact this has turned into a game of high-stakes matchmaking. I initially hoped this Olivia-Fauxlivia-Peter thing would play out as a secondary plot for all the mushy sentimental relationship types who, to be honest, I didn’t know even cared for this show. I mean Olivia’s declaration of love in last season’s finale came almost out of the blue. Now however, this love triangle, it seems, will be central to the survival of the two universes. I did like the truly Fringe way that they had Peter unknowingly fall in love with the wrong person but now, this is really becoming a question of who will he choose between. And let’s be honest, it’s not a vast choice – it’s like choosing between Coke and Pepsi, if not between Pepsi and Pepsi Lime. To make things worse, there isn’t much love to be had for Fauxlivia or the Over There gang. You can sympathize with Walternate’s loss of his son but don’t forget that he is still the one who’s actually trying to destroy a universe. As for Fauxlivia, she a deceptive whore (reminder: she actually has someone back home who she cheated on with Peter) who is simply Walternate’s minion. If you could actually root for one team or another and actually have some trouble choosing who was the good guy, the whole love triangle might get interesting. Unfortunately, the show has yet to really make the Other-Siders very loveable.

In Conclusion

I might not be entirely on board with where the show is going but I certainly can’t say that I didn’t like this episode. While it was centred around a standalone story, it was a good story and the episode still managed to deliver as much, if not more, information about the larger story arc than the last two episodes – which focused much more on that very arc.

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