With Peter’s origins out of the way all that’s left is to go back to the running plot in the Fringe universe. An interesting subject this week, a man who can spread cancer by touch, opens the door for new questions about Olivia’s capabilities. Walter also ends the episode resigned to telling Peter the truth, unfortunately that seems to be coming in next week’s episode.
A man who was tested with Cortexaphan starts infecting people with a rapidly spreading cancer through the power of touch. As his hunt puts Olivia in danger, she must find the connection between him and other victims as well as debating whether to tell Peter about his origins.
After the powerful storytelling of Peter’s origins this episode probably knew it was following a tough act. Olivia grappling with her decision to reveal what she knows to Peter was the most compelling story as some truths are better left untold. Walter being the one to confess to Peter seems the most appropriate route and it’ll be interesting to see if and how the tenuous father/son dynamic changes once that’s revealed. Props to having such a big star playing a minor role in this episode, mainly Diane Kruger as the first victim of the mysterious cancer. Kruger is star Joshua Jackson’s real-life girlfriend and she provided a lot of the weight to a rather minor character. Kevin Corrigan also returned as Olivia’s wise mentor and he brought some much-needed levity and humor to the episode, the best aspect was his arrival at Olivia’s house with the board-game Clue, some irony to the plot. The Cortexaphan story isn’t my favorite but it was great to have the war of words between Olivia and Nina Sharp this week, as Olivia said she was still “foggy” on where the corporate head stood in her loyalty. Olivia mimicked the fans who are also wondering if Sharp is wholly good or bad and it was nice to have something like that acknowledged.
The episode just felt rather by-the-book this week in contrast to the top-heavy dealings of last week. At the end of the episode I was a bit confused about how James Heath and his sister fit into the bigger picture and the Cortexaphan storyline seems like a poorly executed plot from Alias. The Peter and Olivia romance is also starting to annoy, especially with the way Peter constantly tried to bring it up with Olivia despite the villain coming for her and killing people.
Overall, I enjoyed this episode but not compared to last week. Kruger and Corrigan were familiar faces that made the episode enjoyable; I hope to see the latter return more as the season progresses. The story was a bit complex but otherwise standard.