‘Fringe’ Episode 2.10 Recap: ‘Grey Matters’

Episode Title: “Grey Matters”

Written By: Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz

Synopsis: When a mental patient is discovered with his brain exposed, the Fringe team — Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) and Walter Bishop (John Noble) — are shocked to learn that the patient has become more sane. As it turns out, the patient had a piece of brain tissue removed — a piece of tissue that never belonged there in the first place. Ultimately, it all points back to Walter, prompting an alternate universe soldier named Thomas Jerome Newton (Sebastian Roche) to abduct the off-kilter scientist in an attempt to learn some answers.

Insane in the Membrane: Don’t you love it when “Fringe’s” mystery of the week ties into the ongoing plot? In “Grey Matters,” we found out why Walter is so bizarre — and while his proclivity for hallucinogens probably had something to do with it, the reasons are ultimately much more sinister. Walter had pieces of his brain removed by none other than William Bell (Leonard Nimoy), his equally brilliant colleague, in an effort to keep Walter’s knowledge of how to access the alternate universe a secret. As a result, certain aspects of Walter’s personality and behavior are a little… off, to put it nicely. Pretty interesting stuff. It’s nice to finally have a reason to point at for Walter’s craziness.

The Head Man: “Grey Matters” also brought new villain Thomas Jerome Newton into the spotlight. This guy is looking pretty darn good for having been a frozen head not too long ago. Regardless of what he was before, we know what he is now — a threat to everybody on our side of the reality fence. Newton is a formidable foe for Olivia, the likes of which we haven’t seen since last season’s Mr. Jones. Whether or not Newton lasts the entire season and beyond, one thing is for sure — we haven’t seen the last of this villain.

No More Bells: On the flip side, it’s entirely possible that we’ve seen the last of Nimoy as Dr. Bell given the actor’s previous comments. This is the last episode that Nimoy has filmed and it’s also the last episode that he agreed to participate in. If we never see Bell again, I’ll be tremendously disappointed, as the character still requires an extraordinary amount of elaboration in my mind. Do you think the show’s end game would still be satisfying without Bell, or could “Fringe” withstand Nimoy’s departure?

Walter’s Weekly Wisdom: “Peter, I have a terrible headache — and a sudden craving for chicken wings.”

Conclusions: It’s a no-brainer that when “Fringe” focuses on the overarching plot, excellent episodes are produced. “Grey Matters” was no exception thanks to the exploration of Walter’s madness and the reintroduction of the alternate universe. Hopefully, the latter half of “Fringe’s” second season keeps up tonight’s momentum.

Next Case: No new “Fringe” next week — the next episode airs in January. See you guys then!

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Let us know in the comments section or on Twitter!