Saturday, January 23, 2010

Review - Fringe Season 2 Episode 12 What Lies Below

If the writers are going to have frequent standalone episodes, they could at least make them interesting. I'll accept that too many mytharc episodes could make the show too complicated and serialized, but I want to see solid episodes with good storylines.

The case was exceedingly simple and wasn't even mysterious--basically the whole point of standalone episodes. The sequence of events went as such: man dies and spits up blood, team comes, another man dies, spitting out blood as he tries to leave the building, the building is quarantined, everyone is tested, Peter is positive but fakes his test, Walter finds the cure, the ventilation needs to be turned on so gas can be pumped in, Olivia goes to turn it on, infected Peter takes her out, she wakes up and turns it on. Everyone is saved. Along the way there is some meager science done by Walter to determine that it is a bacteria and that it died out 75,000 years ago because of sulfur from volcanoes.

That is left largely unresolved along with the guy who was selling the ice core samples. The concept of a bacteria that makes people do crazy things isn't a bad idea. The X-Files episode "Ice" did a brilliant job with the infection and kept the audience interested, because it wasn't clear who was infected. The fact is, we know who is infected, we know the building is quarantined, and we know it's a bacteria Walter can destroy. What else is there to make us think?

Astrid continues to be awesome as Walter's sidekick and I wish she could get a bigger role. There are some great scenes between them as Astrid encourages Walter in a very positive, non-annoying way. Walter lets slip that he won't let Peter die twice and Astrid picks up on that. Walter doesn't reveal anything, so we don't learn anything new.

Score: 8.4/10


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