Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review - Fringe Season 1 Episode 15 Jacksonville

I've been waffling back and forth on the numbering of episode for various shows. Many two-part episodes are considered by networks as two separate episodes and some don't. The unaired season 1 episode "Unearthed" which aired curiously last month isn't officially considered episode 11 by Fox, but everyone else seems to consider it episode 11, so I'll go along and call "Jacksonville" episode 15. It's confusing, but that's one of the things you have to deal with.

Like Bones, Fringe won't be back until April 1, but the episode ends on a nice cliffhanger that should keep viewers waiting until then. Fox is content with putting two shows that have been getting great ratings lately on the back burner for now, opting to run Past Life against the Winter Olympics and a few more weeks after. Since Fox has pretty much declared Past Life dead by reducing its order and taking away the Idol lead-in, it's silly that Lie to Me, Bones, and Fringe get pushed back so much.

There have been mythology episodes that have hit it out of the park, and mythology episodes that have been average. "Jacksonville" was a mixed bag that tried to do a lot with very little. The episode starts with huge potential--all of its episodes do--with people's body parts fused together into a sickening mass of flesh. Dead bodies are strewn across a building as the team arrives to find a man still alive. He wants to hear his wife, but he has none. Then they find his head stuck into his chest. The two worlds have somehow mixed together with devastating result. Walter predicts that in an equal exchange, a building from their world will go to the other, and time is limited.

The only person who can see the building that will cross over is Olivia. She can see the "glimmer" which will indicate if a building with be pulled into the other world. They take a trip back to Jacksonville where Olivia got the cortexiphan as a child. This begins a long and uneventful stretch that took up most of the episode. It was interesting, but it could easily have been condensed into 10 minutes or less. It seems like the writers were floundering with what to do. Olivia doesn't remember the past, but is apprehensive at Walter after undergoing the cortexiphan treatment.

After getting back, there is nothing more that can be done. The treatment doesn't seem to have worked, and time is almost up. The FBI starts a last ditch attempt to find the building, but there are too many choices to narrow down. Olivia realizes she is fearful, an indication cortexiphan is working, so she looks out across the New York skyline and spots a building shimmering. The building is evacuated, but there is a huge hole sitting there between two other buildings. The government has an excuse, but who could believe that there was an unscheduled demolition that left people scrambling for their lives?

Peter and Olivia came about a second away from kissing before Olivia had the revelation about the treatment. The progression of their relationship has picked up since Olivia came back from the other world, giving Peter the resolve to become more involved. At the end of the episode, Olivia comes over for a pseudo-date, but sees Peter glimmering. Uh oh...

The 3D Manhattan was spelled incorrectly as "Manhatan" in the beginning of the episode. Mistake or a clue to show it's the alternate world? The other world has Richard Nixon as a silver dollar which is a bad sign, but for all we know, he could have been Ronald Reagan. Double decker cars? Why would they need that? The planes hit the Pentagon and White House on 9/11. It's weird that with Nixon not being caught in the Watergate scandal, he's seen as great person. That would mean no War Powers Act which could lead to other consequences. The implementation of the resolution has gone haywire in this world, but without it's passage, 9/11 still happened.

Score: 9.0/10


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