Television Review: Fringe Friday: Stoway Stuck

By Fox Broadcasting Company from Wikimedia Commons

My Fringe Fridays will be a play by play for each Fringe episode from the previous week. Consider this my *Spoiler Alert.*

Click the link below to read the full review.

The show opens with Olivia possessed by William Bell sitting in the lab hooked up to wires. Peter is sputtering around mad. Walter and Bellivia share chuckles and discuss how Bell’s brainwaves are active while Olivia’s sleep inside Olivia’s body. After hitting on Astrid, which seemed like something the writer’s thought an old man in a young woman’s body would do, as opposed to something that Bell would actually do, Bell bargains with Agent Broyles to remain in Olivia’s body for 48 hours while he and Walter search for a comatose patient into which to transfer Bell’s life essence.

The jokes about being a man in a woman’s  body were par for the course cliche and I didn’t really find the comments about bras being constraining all that enlightened or amusing. Peter is mad Olivia is no longer Olivia…. again. Frankly, I’m mad too. While Anna Torv always does an excellent job playing alter egos and possessed people, can Olivia just be Olivia for more than five seconds?

Then comes the introduction of the subset story line of that episode, the woman who can’t stop the suicidal man so she jumps with him and walks away after landing on a car. So she’s the woman who can’t die? I bet myself $50 she will be dead by the end of the episode.

Next we see Bellivia and Peter have a discussion in the lab. This is when I sat up to take careful notes, it’s a discussion about fate. Peter of course has been trying to figure out if he can stop the world from ending, even though he is supposed to be the one that ends it. Bell tells Peter that every time we try to walk away from our fate we only end up walking towards it, fulfilling our destiny every time. This is the essence of Fringe, science fiction and philosophy.

The team finds out about the woman who walks away from death. Walter is sure this is another sign that “spacial decay”, as Bell calls it, continues to happen because he brought Peter over from the other side (the alternate reality) 25 years earlier. Bell says that the only way to know if its spacial decay is to run tests at the site, which they do, and discover that it’s not the site that’s special but the woman. John Noble, who plays Walter, continues to act the mad scientist with enough finesse that is never too much, but always just right, always just Walter.

A Department of Justice (DOJ) Special Agent arrives on the scene. It’s Alternate Lincoln Lee’s real (?) persona in this universe. Also named Lee. This is one thing I don’t get, why would any alternate universe that exists slightly out of sync with our universe have the same name in all the alternate universes? Every one’s name remains the same. Seth Grabel plays his characters alter with enough subtle differences that I didn’t recognize him at first. But also, all I can think about is how he looks like Cillian Murphy in Batman Begins. Agent Lee explains how Gray never dies, not when her family was murdered, and not the times she falls to death with other suicide victims.

While Walter and Bell were discussing how Gray had the ability to live through anything, they discovered that her molecules would not come apart. Her body was too magnetic, I thought for sure that she would be Bell’s new bod. Especially since he seems to have a thing for possessing pretty blonds. Bell says that Gray must be trying to take the life essence of other people as they die so she can continue to live. But this is questioned when they find out that Gray works for the suicide hot-line and has saved 37 people. Agent Lee asks, “What is she? Some kind of compassionate soul vampire?” Um, hell to the yes. This reminded me of Jim Butcher’s the Dresden Files White Court vampires who seek the essence of people instead of their blood.

Gray’s attempt to help a new suicidal guy fails and right before he pulls the gun he tells Gray that he has put a bomb on a train to go off at a specific time. He dies and she puts the phone back in the cradle without calling 911. I’d like to point out that I figured out what she was up to before Agent Lee hypothesizes that she was going to kill herself with the bomb in the hopes of riding all the people on the train souls to her dead family.

William Bell’s suggestion that his essence should be transferred to Walter’s pet cow, and that Walter could tell what he was thinking as a cow if he just jury rigged some mind reading machines was a ridiculous as Walter’s statement, “Then I would have to milk you.” Bell’s guffaws had me rolling my eyes until I realized I thought of Anna Torv as Olivia possessed by a dirty old man. Damn you Torv, if you keep doing such a good job as these alter egos we will never get to see Olivia and Peter in healthy relationship. What am I thinking, this is t.v., Olivia and Peter will never be in a healthy relationship.

Peter calls Gray to talk her down from her suicide and mass homicide. He fails, which was not surprising, but thankfully he kept her on the phone long enough to pin point her location and the team arrives at the train station with enough time to stop the bomb. But they can’t find Gray on the train. Panic sets in, but then the bomb goes off in a near by field actually killing Gray. I guess I owe myself $50.

The show ends with a heart to heart between Bell and Peter. Bell figures that the bomb reset the magnets in Gray’s body, finally allowing her the ability to die. But then he wonders that maybe it’s because she needed to be on the train, to take the bomb off the train, to save all those people. Since she had to be alive to take the bomb off the train, she couldn’t die until she had fulfilled her destiny. This of course proves what Bell said earlier that everyone who tries to walk away from fate, just walks toward it. Intimating that no mater what, Peter will control the machine that destroys at least one of the the Fringe worlds.

A bell chimes in the back ground and for thirty seconds Olivia comes to herself and questions Peter about where she is at, then the chimes fade away in the back ground and Olivia’s head sinks to her chest. When she lifts her head back up its Bell who states, “This is going to be more complicated than I first thought.”

No shit Sherlock.

Preview for Bloodline.

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