Written By: Jeff Vlaming
Synopsis: A lethal virus breaks out inside of an office building with Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) and others trapped inside. Doctor Walter Bishop (John Noble) has Agent Broyles (Lance Reddick) quarantine the building while Olivia and Peter struggle to maintain control from within, but when Peter is infected, the situation escalates in ways that the Fringe team couldn’t have possibly predicted.
Disease From The Depths: The virus running rampant on “What Lies Below” truly lived up to the episode’s title given its origin in the depths of the ocean. The ancient disease was something akin to a zombie outbreak, certainly in its contagious nature but also in the rage-inducing side effects. Perhaps the “28 Days Later” films serve as better examples. Regardless, it was a pretty cool mystery-of-the-week that I’d like to see crop up again in a future “Fringe” installment.
Real Time Horror: Although it wasn’t quite the same as a “24” episode, I did enjoy the fact that “What Lies Below” occurred over a relatively short span of time, no more than four or five hours at most. It’s fun when “Fringe” trots the globe, but there’s something to be said for a claustrophobic scenario such as the one in this most recent episode.
I Can’t Let Peter Die Again: Did Walter make the fatal mistake of confessing his abduction of Peter from the alternate reality? Astrid (Jasika Nicole) certainly picked up on Walter’s poor choice of words, and as we learned from a recent spoiler-filled article, the mad scientist’s secret is about to explode in a big way. Tonight was just the tip of the iceberg.
Walter’s Weekly Wisdom: “If you hadn’t looked for the monster, you wouldn’t have found it and you’d still be happy in your bed, instead of being slowly digested in the stomach sack of the creature!” — Dr. Walter Bishop to a classroom filled with children.
Conclusions: While not quite as strong as when the mythology is in full gear, “What Lies Below” was nonetheless a compelling hour of television. Still, I’m annoyed that “Fringe” is three episodes back from the December break and there’s still no word on the alternate reality. It doesn’t look like that will change next week, either.
Next Case: A ghost from the past — perhaps literally — resurfaces and manages to suffocate a room filled with people… a room that’s also filled with air. The Fringe team, understandably, is on the case.
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