Fringe takes a page from the recent slew of virus films and does it in a slightly shortened version. The story is tried and tested as a success and the episode was fun, but this was probably the most cliché episode of them all that offered nothing new. It’s a fun episode but other shows and films have done it better.
The Fringies get wrapped up in quarantine when a man enters an office building coughing up a virus that turns people violent. With Olivia and Peter trapped in the building with the infected, it’s up to Walter and Astrid on the outside to find a cure and save everyone before the army kills everyone. As time is running out the virus attempts to escape by having the infected Peter try everything he can to get out of the building.
A virus related story is always engaging, albeit not particularly original, but that’s the fun of it. As the group are sitting around the question slowly starts to be, who is the next to be infected? While it would have been more interesting to see Olivia become infected watching Peter slowly turn insane is oddly appropriate. He’s been the sole voice of sanity since the episode started and watching him slowly unravel and become a psychotic victim was cause for a lot of good questions. Walter and Astrid had some of the stronger moments as they continue to make a good team. Walter had a sad moment saying he didn’t want to lose Peter “again,” which caused Astrid to become curious. Astrid is the only one who doesn’t seem to truly be in the loop, and her final line asking Walter what he meant about his son should open the floodgates for her becoming a more inquisitive character.
There’s not a lot to say about this episode because of how bland it was. There was virus, people were infected and at risk of being killed by the military, and Walter needed to find a cure. If anyone’s watched Outbreak or 28 Days Later they knew exactly what they were in for. Aside from Astrid’s curiosity there was nothing original or thought provoking about this episode. It began and ended with little introspection and fans were left wondering whether this episode produced anything new. While Fringe borrows from shows like The Twilight Zone and X-Files, this was the most blatant copycat of something else and here it falls flat.
Overall this episode was highly disappointing. If someone discovered something important let me know because it seemed like another installment of the “virus” genre that’s been overdone. Hopefully Fringe comes back with something a bit more unique next time.