Sunday, April 25, 2010

Crossing Over (Without John Edward)

Fringe - "The Man from the Other Side"


The alternate universe shapeshifters are back, and they're up to no good (as is their usual m.o.). This means Thomas Jerome Newton (Sebastian Roche, who'd be my pick to play Gordon Ramsay in a bio-pic of the Hell's Kitchen celeb chef) is also back and he's perfected a way to bring something or someone from the alternate universe over to our universe.

This is another strong Walter Bishop show as John Noble, once again, gives an Emmy-winning performance. Walter is still wracked with guilt over whether to tell Peter (Joshua Jackson) the truth about his origins. Just as he's about to confess, Olivia (Anna Torv) calls in and the Fringe team is put to work. Walter gets to put his marijuana knowledge, as well as his pecan pie-making skills to work, and he gets to cut up a shapeshifter embryo. (It sort of looks like a next gen version of the Alien egg.)

As always the science sounds like it could be true or at least plausible (I'd love to sit and chat with the show's science and tech consultants), with frequency harmonics and such.

The scene between Walter and Peter in the hospital is absolutely heartbreaking. Peter, having survived the attempt to neutralize Newton's crossover bid, has deduced the truth about himself, that he is in fact from the alternate universe. I've never seen Joshua Jackson so stone-faced and cold as he was in this scene. It was chilling, and in such contrast to John Noble's Walter as he stood there, eyes welling with tears, lower lip quivering, as his world is being torn apart by the ugly truth of what he, and he alone, had done. Great writing, acting and directing.

One of the things that has really bothered me about the final season of Lost is that the characters seem just so blase about huge, important revelations, things like we know John Locke is dead - we've seen his corpse, and now there's something that's walking around that looks like Locke, and oh yeah, this faux-Locke out and out tells people he's the freaking Smoke Monster and they don't bat an eyelash. They've be more surprised if Locke had a twin brother than by the fact that a cloud of black smoke has taken the form of a man they've lived and fought with and against. I hope Fringe really changes its characters with these life-altering revelations - they may have to still work together but they cannot treat each other the same way.

Please, Fringe writers, don't disappoint me there (you haven't so far).

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