Fringe Season 4 Episode 2: Review

Out of the Darkness Into The Light
‘One Night In October’

The big question going into Season 4 was how the Fringe writers were going to utilize the new timeline for story telling possibilities.  The first episode of the season gave a universe load of exposition.  This time the episode cuts to the chase right from the get go.  A serial killer is on the rampage on the Other side and Our side is asked to help out by bringing his counter part over to work on the case.  A counterpart whom just happens to be an expert on serial killers.  
All set up within minutes of the episode start.
The story can take off so quickly because this new timeline has been used to strip back a lot of the continuity baggage both Olivias are carrying.  They have been reduced back to their basic qualities; both Olivias void of any impacts that Peter has made on them.  A concentrated distillation of their characteristics has been attained in Season 4.  This leanness of character is a deliberate decision by the Fringe show runners.  It allows them to highlight the similarities between the two Olivias.  And the differences.  It also streamlines story telling setup.

So close yet so different.

None of this story telling economy would have been possible if the previous timeline had been in play. The impact that Peter had on both of them plus their unique love triangle and baby Henry were wonderful paths of growth for the two Olivias within the story arch of the past season.  But here they would have been encumberances and required a lot of valuable story telling time to wade through before even setting up the episode.  All that plus Peter in the mix would be another buffer between the two Olivias – of course removing Peter from this episode could have easily be done without the need for his Existence Erasure.
The net result?  A taut, tightly drawn episode that moves with a brisk pace.  Of course we do want those layers of history taken back out of storage and returned to the Olivias.  Especially our Olivia. But until then the Fringe writing staff look well prepared to use these lightened characters to re-examine them before those Peter influenced moments changed them forever.
Episode ‘Patterns’: Add your own in the comments.
  • patented creepy opening Fringe scene with neon blue tubing, skull plug with electrodes, and male victim with the cold breath
  • Walter rants to Lee about shapeshifters and the other side while putting cloths over any reflective surface
  • Olivia was kidnapped for two weeks & not enough drugs in the world for Walter to forget that
  • ‘She bought my ignorance with baked goods.  It was that damn Portuguese sweet bread!’
  • in the new timeline everyone remembers Walternate starting The Machine in an attempt to destroy our world but instead the Bridge was created
  • ‘Kennedy, help me!’ ‘It’s Lincoln!’ ‘Quickly!’
  • Olivia arrrives with coffee – anyone think Peter is going to get a chance to redeem his coffee order gaffe from last season?
  • Astrid the Match Maker: ‘Do you ever think maybe your type doesn’t exist?’
  • Olivia & Fauxlivia share scenes & Anna Torv nails it
  • Serial Killer on one side vs Professor of Forensic Psychology on the other
  • ‘I lived in your apartment.  I picked up a lot of things about you.’
  • John Ferguson does outstanding outwork in a guest star role
  • Charlie is with the Bug Girl.  On their honeymoon!
  • well done scene of misdirection with kidnapping of girl’s mother at the gas station
  • Walter gets horizontal in a chair to re-enact the Maxell ads of the 80s
  • John not knowing he is scoping ‘himself’ out as he examines the contents of the house
  • Anna plays Fauxlivia playing Olivia
  • highlight of the episode – John & Olivia share their memories of abusive fathers
  • John understands the other John but he had Marjorie to help step him out of the darkness into the light
  • ‘Small moments of peace.’
  • ‘What my father did with cruelty, she did with love.’
  • There is no other road for the serial killer John
  • Alt Broyles is alive!  New timeline has pluses and minuses.
  • Olivia owns Fauxlivia with her photographic memory recalling the tractor licence plates.
  • John confronts himself
  • ‘The night my father found the dead things.’  Jack Ketchum short story anyone?
  • ‘What happened to him?’  ‘My stepfather?  …I killed him.’
  • Serial killer John steals Marjorie from John but not the mark she left on John
  • Peter pleads Walter for help
John Ferguson made a great guest star turn.  My favorite moment from the episode is the scene where John McClennan is discussing Marjorie with Olivia. His explanation of his realization of what Marjorie had done for him strikes me as foreshadowing for further down in the season when Olivia begins to comprehend and/or regain her knowledge of what Peter did for her.

‘Her name was Marjorie.’

I was completely engaged emotionally for this guest star turn; further evidence of John Ferguson’s excellent performance. I imagine quite easily being a puddle when the great cast from Fringe ie Olivia, Walter, et al have their moments of realization about Peter.
If we get episodes like this one in Peter’s absence from the Fringe gurus, then keep bringing them on. By the look of next week’s episode the Fringe show runners sure seem to be taking full advantage of this new timeline.
And Olivia owning Fauxlivia over the tractor licence plate? Can I have a Hell Yeah!

9 out of 10 Genes.

One thought on “Fringe Season 4 Episode 2: Review

  1. John

    Great episode..some of the dialogue was again on the nose and I can see where the season is going. I am a little bummed about the 1.2 in the ratings…it seems that viewers have done a Peter and dissappeared, hopefully they will come back when he comes back.


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