Friday, September 18, 2009

The Man from the Mirror Comes Calling

Fringe: Season Two – Season Premiere

“They’ve closed us down, Scully. They’ve closed the X-Files.” Whoops, wrong show! But it’s easy to make the mistake when the Fringe Division, a sort of next gen The X-Files, is shut down in this episode, the second season opener.

They’re all back: Agent Olivia Dunham (fresh from her trip to the alternate universe), the Bishop Boys (Mad Scientist Walter and son Peter), Charlie, Astrid and Agent Broyles. They even manage to squeeze Gene the cow into two scenes (he’s even wearing a party hat in one)!

The show starts with a bang and one of the coolest/freakiest entrances I’ve seen in a while, when Dunham’s (Anna Torv) SUV is found in New York City, the front smashed in, apparently the result of a massive head on collision (but there’s no other car). And the funny thing is the vehicle is locked up and the air bags have been deployed, but there’s no Olivia. Exactly HOW she makes her entrance on the scene I won’t reveal, but it was totally cool. And it really hurts, so Olivia winds up in a hospital bed for this episode.

There’s a crazy alternate universe super-soldier-type on the loose in our ‘verse. He has a device (an iFace?) that allows him to become a doppelganger for any other person. And this “shapeshifter” is after Olivia.

Meanwhile, it’s Peter’s birthday and Walter wants to make homemade custard for his son. John Noble as the mad Dr. Bishop proves once again that he desperately needs to be nominated for an Emmy, a Golden Globe and any other TV-related awards you could think of. The birthday boy has to deal with a new “partner” in Agent Amy Jessup (former Deal or No Deal model, Meghan Markle), who is new to the whole Fringe thing, but may know more than she lets on; plus she may have an agenda all her own.

In a nice nod to The X-Files by co-writers J.J. Abrams and Akiva Goldsman, boss Agent Broyles appears before the bean-counting suits in Congress who are tired of pouring money into “the old X designation and your Fringe investigations…for over half a century” and not getting any tangible results from these explorations of the bizarre. Broyles reveals to the senators and the audience that he is actually a Colonel and has been at his post for three presidential administrations and six wars. Also that we are NOT safe, so they should be glad he and the Fringe Division are there when the strange comes knocking at the door.

Charlie (Kirk Acevedo) has always been a good friend and strong arm for Olivia. After this episode, that will likely change. I won’t say what goes down, but you gotta see it!

Fringe is back, and I’m a happy camper (in this universe at least).

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