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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fringe 4.21: Shocks

Having closed the bridge between the two realities last week, how could Fringe have topped itself this week, in 4.21 the first of a two-part season finale?  Fringe did this in at least four ways:

1.  First,  let's bear in mind that the two realities we've been watching this season are not the two realities of previous seasons.  The two Season 4 realities are realities in which alt-Peter was not successfully rescued by Walter and drowned in Lake Reiden.  Our (alt) Peter did indeed come back to our reality, as an adult, in mid-season, but differences between the two realities of Season 4 and earlier seasons can continue, and indeed are ...

Take William Bell, for example.  He apparently died in the Season 1-3 two realities.  But he need not have died in Season 4's, and indeed he did not.   And, he's not only alive, but apparently the evil mastermind behind David Robert Jones.  (I never took seriously the report that Leonard Nimoy was never going to play Bell again - an actor can change his mind.)  Bell tells Jones that in order for Bell's plan to succeed (presumably, to become creator and master of a new universe), the "bishop" on the chessboard has to be removed (killed).

2.  When I first heard that, I just had a feeling that Bell was talking about Jones removing himself, but my wife pointed out that Walter is a Bishop, and she had a point.  For that matter, Peter is a Bishop, too, and it looked as if Jones was planning to eliminate Peter - setting a trap for him and Olivia - and indeed comes close to overpowering Peter when Olivia helps Peter dispose of Jones.  In his dying breath, Jones realizes that he, Jones, was really the bishop to be eliminated.

3.  The way that Olivia helps Peter against Jones was also cool and noteworthy - Cortexiphan has now given Olivia telekinetic powers (moving objects at a distance via sheer mental will and direction), and she directs Peter, on a nearby rooftop, to literally beat Jones.   He falls back into an electric grid and is electrocuted.

4. But there's one last stunner.  When Bell's bad guys get the drop on Walter and Astrid (whom Walter has a little earlier called "Alex"), she pivots into ass-kicking FBI mode - great to see - knocks down a bunch of villains - and then is apparent shot dead.  

I certainly didn't see this  coming, and have to hand it to Fringe to still surprise and shock, just when you think you have it figured. Looking forward to Part 2 next week.

Hey, check out my essay The Return of 1950s Science Fiction in Fringe in this new anthology

See also Fringe Returns for Season 4: Almost with Peter ... Fringe 4.2: Better and Worse Selves ... Fringe 4.3: Sanity and Son ... Fringe 4.4: Peter's Back, Ectoplasm, and McLuhan ... Fringe 4.5: Double Return ... Fringe 4.6: Time Slips ... Fringe 4.7: The Invisible Man ... Fringe 4.8: The Ramifications of Transformed Alternate Realities ... Fringe 4.9: Elizabeth ... Fringe 4.10: Deceit and Future Vision ... Fringe 4.11: Alternate Astrid ... Fringe 4.12: Double Westfield / Single Olivia ... Fringe 4.13: Tea and Telepathy ... Fringe 4.14: Palimpsest ... Fringe 4.15: I Knew It! ... Fringe 4.16: Walter Likes Yiddish ... Fringe 4.17:  Second Chances ... Fringe 4.18: Broyled on Both Sides ... Future Fringe 4.19 ... Fringe 4.20: Bridge

See also Fringe 3.1: The Other Olivia ... Fringe 3.2: Bad Olivia and Peter ... Fringe 3.3: Our/Their Olivia on the Other Side ... Fringe 3.5: Back from Hiatus, Back from the Amber ... Fringe 3.7: Two Universes Still Nearing Collision ... Fringe 3.8: Long Voyages Home ... Fringe 3.10: The Return of the Eternal Bald Observers ... Flowers for Fringenon in Fringe 3.11 ... Fringe 3.12: The Wrong Coffee  ... Fringe 3.13: Alternate Fringe ... Fringe 3.14: Amber Here ... Fringe 3.15: Young Peter and Olivia ... Fringe 3.16: Walter and Yoko ... Fringe 3.17: Bell, Olivia, Lee, and the Cow ... Fringe 3.18: Clever Walternate ... Fringe 3.19 meets Inception, The Walking Dead, Tron ... Fringe 3.20: Countdown to Season 3 Finale 1 of 3 ... Fringe 3.21:  Ben Frankin, Rimbaldi, and the Future ... Fringe Season 3 Finale: Here's What Happened ... Death Not Death in Fringe 
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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