Welcome back Fringe fans. Apologies for the week absence, I was exploring the ability to open a hole in space time via Cortexiphan. Sadly my no-show reflected in the show ratings taking a dive, but that is neither here nor there. It’s Over There.
After weeks of doomsday devices and doomed relationship drama, Fringe takes a hard left into the alternate universe this week. I couldn’t be happier that we are getting continued looks at the other world even though our principal character is back where she belongs. If it were up to me, I’d continue alternating episodes between worlds, because I find the glimpse into a slightly askew scenario more engaging and fascinating at times then the world Fringe has built for three seasons now. There seems to be more energy in the Other Fringe Division, and frankly, I love me some airships. The opening scene this week, with an airship docking in the Empire State Building, was a gorgeous bit of alternate history nerd bait, and I knew we were in for a good week.
The case of the week centers around a real creep, a scientist who harvests skelter beetles by poisoning the drinks of restaurant-goers, causing them to die hours later and a whole mass of beetles to emerge from the victim’s bodies. Peculiar still, in this world, sheep suffered a mass extinction in 2001, and this breed of beetle could only be found in the innards of our wooly friends. The villain, who goes by the name Anton Silva, was a little obsessed with keeping his creepy crawlies around, trying to re-engineer the DNA of these beetles to live inside humans.
For a world whose current situation has borne out a brutal, shattering degradation of itself, the people in it seem much happier than ours. For one thing, alternate Steve Jobs must be ecstatic. Everyone has an iPad and uses it constantly to procure data and work on. Even the relationships find more peace in them. Lincoln, finally healed from his burns, has been promoted to Col. Broyles old job. Fauxlivia’s boyfriend, back from his CDC post in Texas, has returned, and asked her to marry him. At peace and back at work, Fauxlivia says yes. (Yay? It’s too soon to be invested in these characters to truly be happy for them.)
Toward the end of this week’s hunt for the killer, Olivia is knocked out cold and awakens in Silva’s lab. Silva gets her to drink one of his shady glasses of water, and soon enough, she becomes infected! Fringe Division gets there just in time and Frank uses his CDC knowledge to save her in the ambulance ride over. But before they inject the antidote, something strange comes on the monitor. Fauxlivia hasn’t been infected…she’s pregnant! When Frank and she get to the hospital, we learn that Fauxlivia has been pregnant for only six weeks, far shorter than the time it’s been since her beaux shipped out to Houston. Uh oh.
The final scene of the episode sets up what promises to be a driving plot point to tie the two world together. Fauxlivia is pregnant with our Peter’s child, and Walternate sees this as the perfect opportunity to get him back to the other side in time to power the doomsday device. Finally, some character love triangles that mean something! Walternate’s creepy smile in the end can only mean bad things, and being spurred on by a strangely sinister Brandon at work could prove a test of morality for our heretofore super villain. Here’s to hoping we get to spend more time on the Other Side in the weeks to come.