Television Review: Fringe: Nothing As It Seems

Olivia made the decision to be her better self and allow the other Olivia’s memories to supersede her own, and now she is paying the consequences. “Nothing As It Seems” gets back into the monster of the week episodic format we have all come to love, with a bit of a dose of the larger story line. The Fringe event already happened in Peter’s timeline, but nothing is unfolding like it did before. Will the team figure out what is happening? Will Peter remember enough to be able to help?

Obviously those are rhetorical questions. This is after all a show about heroes and heroines, with some character flaws, who inevitably save the day. Fringe is one of my favorite escapism places, where the good guys win. It is comforting to see something turn out right-ish, when my life isn’t so much like that. Not even in my dreams where a car hijacker stabs my thumb to steal my car and drive it down a snow covered cliff.

Don’t ask me what I ate, because that has nothing to do with my strange dreams. I have an over-active imagination. That’s all.  

Getting back to Olivia, she has been put on suspension as the FBI decides what to do with this new Olivia with her new memories. As a result of reverting to the other Olivia, only 60% of her memories accurately reflect her current life. So, bye bye Olivia.

Peter gets called on to consult on a case, some Porcupine guy has taken out his frustrations on some TSA agents. Way to go Porcupine guy! Peter remembers this case from his timeline, only it went slightly different. In his timeline, the Porcupine guy died in the plane crash, here he changes in the back of a TSA torture chamber. I mean, detention room. Though the team interviews Porcupine guy’s sister, she is no help. I think she’s hiding something. But I’m cynical that way. Peter remembers the guy in his timeline had a partner, but he can’t remember the name.

Queue Olivia’s involvement and her phenomenal memory.

Peter points out that Olivia will remember. HA, called it! But Olivia refuses to be sidelined and instead of just handing over the information she shows up at Porcupine guy’s partner’s apartment. Second Porcupine guy. Who jumps out of nowhere and claws at Agent Lee. I literally screamed and then giggled slightly hysterically.

And lo, Agent Lee is hurteth. Queue Olivia’s guilt.

Walter discovers that the Original Porcupine guy was injecting himself as part of an experimentation. But the team is still unsure why, because the original bad guy behind the experimentation is dead in this timeline. Luckily the Original Porcupine guy has an original tattoo that is Samarian in origin. Peter goes to some dude in a bookstore from Peter’s old timeline (who I for the life of me can’t remember even after googling).  The Book Guy discovers that Original Porcupine guy is part of a cult obsessed with the guided evolution of man. That is, mutation by design. The Sarmarian tattoo/symbol can be found in the back corners of the internets.

Meanwhile, Walter thinks that Agent Lee was infected when he was hurt and keeps Agent Lee in the lab for tests. Do I need a poor Agent Lee picture as well? Sheesh!

Second Porcupine guy shows up at his lover’s apartment. She finds him special, she is Eve to his Adam, blah blah blah. And in spite of Original Porcupine guy dying, they must continue with the experimentation! The team’s research reveals yet another link between a fringe event and an old Massive Dynamic research project. In fact, a David Robert Jones, Madscientist, project.

Throughout the episode Walter has been going through a box he has kept for his Peter all these years. He buys a birthday present for his Peter every year, and has decided to give them to this Peter. But then spends the majority of the episode opening the presents himself and giggling over them. However, Walter does find time to run tests on Agent Lee, and sure enough Agent Lee has caught the virus.

Definitely need a Poor Agent Lee poster. Hmmmm. 

But because he’s been infected, Walter studies him and discovers that he craves human fat to help in the metamorphosis. Which explains the rash of plastic surgery labs that have been targeted lately. A blood sample from Agent Lee also shows that the Porcupine people have wings. Peter figures out that they will probably try to find another place to rob, in a high-raise.

The team goes to secure the building, and only part-way through does anyone think of the fact that the Porcupine people would be adverse to light. They turn on the light just in time and shoot the creature. Then a woman attacks and Peter shoots her. Aw Percy, you are all grown up. Sorry, that is all I can think with Joshua Jackson is such a badass. 

Neither of the Porcupine people know who created the virus they injected themselves with, and they are forced to take Walter’s remedy. Because of course we can’t have Agent Lee actually turning into one of the Porcupine people. Walter figures Jones’ god complex has manifest itself in trying to control human evolution.

Broyles pulls Olivia aside to let her know that she has been reinstated, because he fought for her. Original Porcupine’s sister (who I knew! was hiding something in the begining interview scene) injects herself and her boyfriend. The camera pans out and we discover that there are many of these human turned animal hybrids aboard a large boat with a keeper.

Noah and the Ark anyone? Wowza, first Adam and Eve, now Noah’s Ark. What is next? Jonah and the Whale? 

An extremely odd way to end a delightful episode, but still intriguing. I loved the lighter fare of this weeks story line. A bit of the ridiculous, the agents solve a case, yet there is more to be learned. How Jones is ultimately connected to the tattooed/hybrid people is yet to be seen, but maybe this new story line means that the Poor Peter bit is over. Especially since he and Agent Lee had that whole awkward but adorable scene where they were both like, yah that happened -with Olivia.

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