This review may contain spoilers.
It's been a while since we’ve checked in on the Other Side, and "Immortality" filled us all in.
We got the return of Fauxlivia's (Anna Torv) boyfriend, Whatshisname (or Frank, if you want to get all technical about it), who most viewers probably forgot existed or expected to have died during his work travels.
Of course, since this is "Fringe", things can't be too easy for any of our protagonists (even if the protagonist in question is someone who has been treated as antagonistic for a large part of her story, Fauxlivia), and Frank's return marked the not-so-big Fauxlivia pregnancy reveal. So yeah, it looks like there's no way away the romance-driven plot (and rather head-scratching) direction of this half of the season.
But hey -- we got the return of Lincoln Lee and Alt-Charlie, so the episode wasn't a complete wash. We even learned that Lincoln got promoted to head of the Fringe Division.
Sorry, Colonel Broyles (Lance Reddick).
No offense to the typical "Fringe" episode in our world, but the episodes that heavily feature the Other Side have been some of the stronger episodes of the season. Part of that stems from the fact that the audience doesn't quite know what to expect with stories from the Other Side -- it's a new and foreign world for us, and learning about about is half the fun -- and it lacks the baggage that we see on our side, with our Olivia, Peter (Joshua Jackson), and Walter (John Noble).
The fact that the season stopped the week-to-week switch-up between the two worlds after the Olivias returned to their rightful places was a bit of a letdown in such a strong season.
Points of Interest
1. In the one scene she was in, the signs that Alt-Astrid (Jasika Nicole) is autistic (instead of just an emotionless "robot," like some have described her) were more obvious than they'd been in previous episodes dealing with the Other Side.
2. While the Charlie of our world (had he lived) would've probably replaced our Broyles in a position of power, Lincoln was promoted in the Other Side's Fringe Division, adding more to the mystery that is Lincoln Lee. What exactly are his qualifications to make him leader over Charlie, or even Olivia?
"Fringe" never has a problem bringing the gross-out factor, and this week was no exception. Bugs and science-fiction never lead to happy images -- why can't there be a genetically-altered bunny attack for once? -- so of course the bugs in this episode were given the extremely gruesome task of eating people from the inside. It's enough to make you squeamish just thinking of it.
Also, one of the best understated moments of the episode came from Walternate, our "Fringe" "big bad." Of course Walternate wouldn't want to test Cortexiphan on children -- it's tantamount to committing a crime on a child, which as we know, is pretty much the worst thing you can do in the Other Side's legal system. It's great that they've managed to keep this humanity in the evil genius villain that is Walternate.
What Didn't Work
Did Frank really not think something was up when Fauxlivia offered him a glass of wine upon his return home but stuck to a glass of water, herself? Was the audience not supposed to? Because it seems like we were also supposed to be "shocked" that Fauxlivia was with child (the only other possibility would've been a fake-out, but since our Olivia hasn't been sleeping with anyone, there wasn't much on the suspense front).
But even more unbelievable than that was that when he found out she was pregnant, he didn't assume Lincoln was the father, who could probably wear a t-shirt that said "I am in love with Agent Olivia Dunham, and I just want her to love me back" and still have everyone (at least, Fauxlivia and Frank) think he was just kidding. The only good that came out of this was the departure of Frank, aka Whatshisname.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
"Immortality" was written by David Wilcox & Ethan Gross. It was directed by Brad Anderson.
"Fringe" airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.
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