Apologies for flaking out last week, guys. Holiday travels plans and all. But before we get into last night's episode, I want to get down a few lingering thoughts on episode 7, "The Abducted," which I really, REALLY loved.
Clearly I have been enjoying Red Fringe more than Blue Fringe this season. Not that Blue Fringe has been a slouch, but I've been more captivated by our Olivia, her struggles to get back, and of course my beloved Red Fringe Team. This episode did a lot to deepen Alt Broyles (something that obviously paid off in this week's episode). And it once again gave Walternate the slightest twinge of humanity, which is the exact right amount. He's still the bad guy, and there's nothing that says we shouldn't have a guy to root against, but the show has been very careful not to strip away his humanity. He's the bad guy, but he's still a guy with feelings -- like empathy for Broyles, who we learn also knows what it's like to have a son taken.
The monster plot, with the child-abductor who's using them to steal their youth (how's THAT for a metaphor?), was terrifically frightening (those MASKS). I do like when Fringe scares the crap out of me. But it's Alt Broyles learning to trust Ourlivia that ends up being the most important part of the episode. It certainly gives tonight's episode it's big emotional wallop.
I've been neither effervescent nor harsh about the Peter/Olivia relationship chemistry. But it probably says something that I was FAR more emotionally invested in Alt Broyles's tragic efforts to aid Olivia than I was in Peter's heartbreak over the truth about Fauxlivia. It's kind of a loaded scenario, I'll admit. Broyles and Olivia got to be cool and secretive and resourceful (when is an adrenaline shot to the chest NOT awesome?), while Peter and the gang from our world were always several steps behind. But even in execution, how much fun was it watching Olivia try to explain two-plus seasons of weirdness (cortexifan!) to Broyles in ways that all seemed to amount to "kinda, yeah!"? I'm going to be sad to see Ourlivia go back to blonde, but I think this excursion to the alt world has brought Anna Torv's performance out in a way that won't regress.
As always, here's where I hope that this isn't the last we've seen of the Red Fringe team. Not when Lincoln's finally gotten himself burn-wound free! I was hopeful that Alt Broyles was going to take back with him the idea that Our World isn't trying to destroy his, and that the next time we see the Alt World that germ of an idea will have taken hold on some level (we've already seen political unrest at the fringes -- pardon the pun -- of Alt World life). But with Broyles dead, it looks like Olivia's going to have to fight the "we're not enemies" fight from our side. After all, she saw quite a bit on the Red side of the divide. I can't believe she's not going to want to save that world from snow-globe-metaphor doom.
I love this show, you guys.
More Fringe on Low Res:
Fringe 3.1 "Olivia"
Fringe 3.2 "The Box"
Fringe 3.3 "The Plateau".
Fringe 3.4 "Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?"
Fringe 3.5, "Amber 31422"
Fringe 3.6, "6995 kHz"