Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review - Fringe Season 3 Episode 1 Olivia

Fringe began as fairly ordinary sci-fi show, akin to The X-Files, about a group of people dealing with the cutting edge of science. The writing was good, the acting was good, but it wasn't really that special. Jump forward to the third season and Fringe is now one of the most ambitious shows on television, with a wide, sweeping arc that has no bounds: Olivia is trapped in the alternate universe and the other Olivia is undercover in ours.

The first episode of the season, "Olivia," deals with the alternate universe, indicated by the red opening credits. Very surprisingly, we don't even see our world until a brief scene at the end. Almost equally surprising is how great Anna Torv is. She manages the subtle shifts in behavior with believability and comes out looking not that shabby beside John Noble.

Olivia spends the episode escaping from her doctors, driving around the place with Bubbles (seriously, why call him anything else?), and dodging her captors. She returns to the opera house where the team initially entered the world, but the cool technology of the world and the protocols leave the opera house encased in an amber-like substance. Olivia breaks down, realizing there's little chance to get back home. However, by the end of the episode, it's a mere afterthought for her, as the injections took their effect and our Olivia now has the memory of their Olivia. My theory is that Walternate somehow captured her memory.

From what I could tell, Walternate truly believes that the two universes are at war. Whether he's a bit crazy or holds animosity due to the theft of his sons remains to be seen. There could also be a war unrelated to Peter that is going on. In either case, his plan is underway and the other world has no idea what's coming.

Oh yes, and our favorite informant Bubbles is returning!

Score: 8.9/10
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