Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fringe 3.2: Bad Olivia and Peter

Fringe continues to be so good, so sharp in storyline and smooth in execution, that it's almost a different show than it was two years ago, even last season.

My favorite scene in Fringe 3.2 is in Olivia's apartment - now inhabited by bad Olivia, i.e., the hot redhead Olivia who now looks like our Olivia and seems firmly ensconced on our side. Peter comes a calling, just after bad Olivia has killed a loose end guy. She drags the body into the bathroom, and proceeds to distract Peter the good old fashioned way.

Not the best strategy in the world.  Let's say Peter had to go to the bathroom, afterwards? Perhaps Olivia's quick idea was to screw Peter into unconsciousness or at least until he fell asleep. Still not the most reliable way of keeping him from seeing the corpse, whose blood was now seeping out of the bathroom...

Fortunately for bad Olivia, she and Peter get a call to a scene by Broyles. Saved by the Broyles. But it was still a great scene, because it epitomizes what will now be the central issue, at least on our side of the dual universe: How will bad Olivia continue to fool everyone?

Peter would in some way be the easiest to fool, since he comes from the other side himself, and his instincts about who comes from where could be a little jumbled. On the other hand, for the same reason, Peter could be the first to notice something wrong in this Olivia, because he knows the other side, first hand as a boy. One point in bad Olivia's favor, though, on yet another hand, is that good Olivia and Peter were never intimate - which means Peter has no erotic standard against which to judge bad Olivia's lovemaking.

And then there's Olivia's sister - who knows Olivia in a way no one else can. Would she be likely to be fooled very long by bad Olivia? I don't see how. Fortunately for bad Olivia, the sister has been in short supply on Fringe this season - that is, not on at all.

Olivia's niece could also be a problem for bad Olivia - kids have a way of seeing through the pretenses of adults.

And there's Walter. Up until now he's been all but still consumed with grief over what happened with Peter all of those years ago. But Walter has been capable of a blindingly brilliant insight - indeed, that's his stock and trade - and could realize in a heartbeat that the Olivia in front of him is in Walternate's employ.

This set-up is so captivating that the central story - Walternate's plan on manipulating Peter to design the weapon to destroy our universe - almost seems back-burner. But it's proceeding apace, too, as this masterful season of Fringe unfolds.

See also Fringe 3.1: The Other Olivia

See also reviews of Season 2: Top Notch Return of Fringe Second Season ... Fringe 2.2 and The Mole People ... Fringe 2.3 and the Human Body as Bomb ... Fringe 2.4 Unfolds and Takes Wing ... Fringe 2.5: Peter in Alternate Reality and Wi-Fi for the Mind ... A Different Stripe of Fringe in 2.6 ... The Kid Who Changed Minds in Fringe 2.7 ... Fringe 2.8: The Eternal Bald Observers ... Fringe 2.9: Walter's Journey ... Fringe 2.10: Walter's Brain, Harry Potter, and Flowers for Algernon ...  New Fringe on Monday Night: In Alternate Universe? ... Fringe 2.12: Classic Science Fiction Chiante ... Fringe 2.13: "I Can't Let Peter Die Again" ... Fringe 2.14: Walter's Health, Books, and Father ... Fringe 2.15: I'll Take 'Manhatan' ... Fringe 2.16: Peter's Story ... Fringe 2.17: Will Olivia Tell Peter? ... Fringe 2.18: Strangeness on a Train ... Fringe 2.19: Two Plus Infinity ... Fringe the Noir Musical ... Fringe 2.21: Bring on the Alternates ... Fringe 2.22:  Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming ... Fringe Season 2 Finale: The Switch

See also reviews of Season One Fringe Begins ... Fringe 2 and 3: The Anthology Tightrope ... 4: The Eternal Bald Observer ... 7: A Bullet Can Scramble a Dead Brain's Transmission ... 8. Heroic Walter and Apple Through Steel ... 9. Razor-Tipped Butterflies of the Mind ... 10. Shattered Pieces Come Together Through Space and Times ... 11. A Traitor, a Crimimal, and a Lunatic ... 12, 13, 14: Fringe and Teleportation ... 15: Fringe is Back with Feral Child, Pheromones, and Bald Men ... 17. Fringe in New York, with Oliva as Her Suspect ... 18. Heroes and Villains across Fringe ... Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, and Star Trek in Penultimate Fringe ... Fringe Alternate Reality Finale: Science Fiction At Its Best

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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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