The first bad Fringe episode of the season happened this week, and the scary thing is it's a possibility of future events. It played almost exactly like the episodes from season one, and considering how great the last two have been, that's not a good thing.
Olivia and Peter travel to Iraq in order to find out the source of a mysterious experiment that makes people into human bombs, shattering and exploding like glass. Walter and Peter squabble over finding a new house while the scientist attempts to figure out the device used in the main mystery. Olivia starts to have headaches and visions from her time in the alternate universe.
Much like the episodes of season one this featured a killer, literally, opening sequence. The cop grabbing onto the briefcase and then shattering like ice was fantastic and what the show excels at. This episode also brings back the mysterious Observer who had a somewhat staggered role last season. His return at the end, with pictures of Walter and talk of how he's passing information that can destroy mankind should be a main plot that hopefully won't get dumped mid-season. The humor was ramped up in the Walter/Peter department with two jokes that were hysterical, one involving Walter's morning routine and another involving a father/son bonding experience and a Playboy centerfold puzzle. John Noble and Joshua Jackson have phenomenal chemistry and moments like these really add heart to the series. Olivia's headaches have started and that led to more of special guest Kevin Corrigan who was so wonderful with his dry wit and love of bowling. The fact that he actually helped Olivia walk without her cane shows that he's more than meets the eye, hopefully that's explored a bit further. Kudos also go out to actually explaining a plot point right off the bat, how Nina Sharp came to Sam Weiss and why. The show isn't usually one to explain things right away, as we've seen with The Observer, Olivia's father and all the other dropped stories, so it was great to get some small sense of closure. The human bomb was interesting and led to Walter attempting to blow up watermelons. The story was very steeped in some Bourne Identity-government storytelling and used well.
This episode just seemed too mellow and procedural compared to the last two. More geared towards a crime show than the supernatural slant we've been on. The Iraqi subplot seemed to be exposition in a unique setting, we never learn anything about Peter even though there's constant mention of how he's off the grid there. The Observer also brought up a sad truth that the series has dropped the ball on too many story arcs. I mentioned the former and Olivia's dad, Peter's time in Iraq is another. Here's hoping the series actually delves into resolving those stories.
Fringe is great but this episode didn't show any of that. It was a bit too cold and stereotypical this week, it seems they should stick more to the supernatural and sci-fi aspects of X-Files they enjoy borrowing so much. This week gets a 2.5/5.