‘Fringe’ Recap: Episode 3.04, ‘Do Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep’

Episode Title: “Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep”

Written By: David Wilcox & Matthew Pitts

Story: Upon returning “over here,” we see that Walter (John Noble) has just started getting used to his new role as the sole shareholder of Massive Dynamic, the science institution founded by the late William Bell (Leonard Nimoy). But he and his Fringe colleagues are distracted when an assassinated senator is revealed to have been a shape-shifting sleeper agent from the alternate reality.

The revelation of the senator’s identity portends a bad outcome for Bolivia (Anna Torv), who has just started getting comfortable in this strange new world.

Dream Analysis: The latest episode of “Fringe” marks four fantastic installments in a row, instantly establishing season three as having the strongest opening act of any other previous year in the science fiction series. “Fringe” has reinvented itself by drastically altering just one ingredient in the show’s successful format — namely, the true identity of Olivia Dunham — to create something wholly new and amazing.

Even without the substitution of Olivias, “Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep” would have gone down as an excellent mythological episode. Shape-shifters are always a welcome addition to the world of “Fringe,” and any time you lose a main character — this time being Thomas Jerome Newton (Sebastian Roche), who had to kill himself upon being captured — it’s always a monumental occasion.

But it was the smaller moments that won out for me, namely Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick) getting in on the action, Astrid Farnesworth (Jasika Nicole) having a greater chunk of screen time and Walter himself stuck in the midst of a brutal action sequence. Factor in the sexy times between Bolivia and Peter (Joshua Jackson) at the episode’s conclusion, and you’ve got the perfect cherry on top of an already delicious bowlful of awesome television.

The only rub? We’ve got to wait until November for the next episode of “Fringe,” all thanks to the pesky MLB playoff season. Normally, I would be worried that “Fringe” could lose some momentum in the off-time, but truth be told, this show is on fire — even a few weeks worth of hiatus would have difficulty derailing this train of televised goodness.

Walter’s Weekly Wisdom: “Don’t worry. I do some of my finest work self-medicated.”

Next Case: When “Fringe” returns in November, Olivia Dunham embarks on her long journey home.

Tell us what you thought of tonight’s episode of “Fringe” in the comments section and on Twitter!