Tuesday, October 6, 2009

fringe: s02 e03 fracture

I think I didn't review last week, but it had Olivia acting weirder than usual, her hearing heightened, her leg still damaged, her concentration off, and Nina Sharp gave her the name of a guy who 'put her back together'-- I'm assuming the one who gave her a robotic arm, or maybe someone involved after that. This week, she's still going to see him, three or four separate visits in this one episode that can't take place over more than a few days, and he keeps pissing her off.

Meanwhile, the case they're on is about people who are crystallizing and then exploding, becoming their own bombs and shrapnel in one-- a guy goes off in a train station and blows up alot of innocent bystanders, and that's what gets Fringe Division on the case, via a news filter Astrid's invented that looks for weird events.

It turns out that they've stumbled on something called Tin Man, a secret project that was supposed to help American soldiers exposed to a synthetic nerve toxin in Iraq. Most of the people treated died-- more than two hundred-- but a few of them didn't. They have to treat themselves with a top-secret serum they can't let anyone know about every day, but it's that serum that's exploding them. Their Colonel is calling them back into active duty and sending them to intercept people in black trench coats carrying briefcases, then triggering a super-high frequency that catalyzes the serum while also jamming all electronics so there's no proof of what happened.

They manage to stop him before he blows up the next one, but they don't catch the man in the trench, and in holding, the Colonel tells them that it's to send Them a message: they can't just pick a war with us. He doesn't actually mention alternate realities-- he doesn't know who or what they are-- but the montage while he talks shows us the man in the trench coat taking that briefcase to the Observer, while he says that they're collecting info on our culture and our defenses to use against us.

The plot, she continues to thicken. The last shot is of what's in the briefcase, the info that will doom us all, and it's observation photos of Peter and Walter. (dun dun DUN!!!!)

My reactions:
- I like that working with Olivia on her cases has changed Peter enough that people from his past who have plenty of reason to distrust him (though he won't say why), can now trust him on the force of his convictions alone.
- I like that we get to see something of what Peter did before he was recruited, and a little of who he was-- which was apparently both untrustworthy and somewhat dangerous. I hope it doesn't degenerate into Peter's 'I know a guy' replacing Walter's 'I remember working on this', though.
- I like that Peter could hold his own against a seasoned Colonel who has 'no regard for human life'.
- I like that when Olivia was in Iraq, everyone looked at her like she was nuts, but she had the decency to cover her hair.
- This guy that's helping Olivia deal-- I like him. He's vague and distracting and strange, but he seems sincere, if a little jaded, and he accomplished what he meant to do-- which seems to have been to piss Olivia off enough that she pushes past her fear. Because when he's done, she suddenly doesn't need her cane and can hold a gun without her hand shaking (does that means she doesn't need a robotic arm? It'd be neat if she does...). I wonder what else she has to go through with this dude?
- Astrid gets to have a little personality, and she seems to be getting kind of fond of Walter, alternating between sweetly guiding him where he needs to go emotionally, and firmly telling him where his boundaries need to be. The news before hand said he'd be getting romance from an unexpected quarter-- could be be Astrid? Talk about an odd couple, but I think it could work. She's so unfazed by everything, and she knows how to handle him, which has got to be good for Peter.
- Peter and Walter get to have their own apartment soon! So maybe they can both have some privacy. And it makes relations simpler, too, doesn't it?
- Olivia's still putting on a brave face and not sharing info with the others about what she's going through, and Peter's still seeing through it but not pushing her. This, I like. What I don't like is when a show has this sort of awareness of eachother's moods and mentality, and keeps insisting that they don't want to have a romance. These two-- I don't get a platonic siblingness off them, and if that's what they're aiming for, they really sort of missed that one and need to focus on shifting the intensity. It's frustrating in an X-Files way, and if that's one of the ways they emulate the previous show (ie: drag it out and keep denying the love and then toss us a single warped little bone very late in the series when we're all ravenous for a payoff), I'll be more than a little ticked.

But so far, it's lovely.

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