Written by: Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz
The Story: More shape-shifters from an alternate universe begin to emerge, with an odd proclivity for collecting frozen human heads. While Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his son Peter (Joshua Jackson) try and find a way to identify the shape-shifters, Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) finally recalls the entirety of her conversation with the elusive, reclusive Dr. William Bell (Leonard Nimoy).
For Whom The Bell Tolls: Well, wow. That was certainly worth the wait. Based on their conversation, Dr. Bell is potentially permanently bound to the alternate universe. Not only that, but his longstanding relationship with Olivia served a very profound purpose — according to Bell, his and Walter’s experiments on Olivia were to shape her into “a guardian, someone to watch the gate between this side and [hers].” While it’s not exactly news that Olivia is to “Fringe” as Neo was to “The Matrix,” it’s still exciting to hear it from the oft-mentioned William Bell himself.
A Face You Can’t Trust: Bell also provided some clarity on the alternate universe’s shape-shifters. Apparently, they’re human hybrids — a mixture of organic tissue as well as metallic elements — and they’re better known by people with Walter’s knowledge as “The First Wave.” They seem to be the foot soldiers of the alternate universe, agents that are seeking to invade our world in order to destroy it. I cannot wait to see more of them.
Casualty Of War: While we’re on the topic of shape-shifters, let’s bid a fond farewell to Agent Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo). Sure, he died at the end of the season premiere, but his likeness remained in place thanks to one of First Wave’s soldiers. But the moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived — both the real Francis and the fake Francis are gone from “Fringe.” Acevedo will certainly be missed, but man, what a way to go out! His final moments on “Fringe” were absolutely breathtaking.
The Last Great Storm: Going back to the amazing revelation of Bell and Olivia’s conversation, it appears that a war is brewing between Olivia’s world and the alternate dimension — and the folks on the other side have already infiltrated our society, seen by the fake Francis and the other character played by “24” alumnus Roger R. Cross. According to Nina Sharp (Blair Brown), only one world can survive the impending “storm” — hopefully, this season will continue to show us plenty of instances of this cross-dimensional battle.
Walter’s Weekly Wisdom: “Dear, I’m not certain that you’re not simply a figment of my imagination.” – Dr. Bishop to Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole)
Conclusions: Tonight’s episode was “Fringe” at its absolute finest. The mystery-of-the-week and the overarching plot worked in complete harmony with one another, proving that “Fringe” is entirely capable of delivering on both a serialized and episodic basis. The title is absolutely misleading — “Fringe’s” momentum is anything but deferred. If the season continues on this path, we’re in for an amazing year of television.
Next Week: Crazy “Pan’s Labyrinth” inspired monsters hit the world of “Fringe” with an apparent connection to the dream world.
What did you think of tonight’s “Fringe” installment? Let us know in the comments section!