Friday, February 4, 2011

Fringe - "Concentrate and Ask Again"

Olivia Dunham taking aim and looking hot.
Photo Credit: FOX
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 3 - Episode 12
"Concentrate and Ask Again"

While the situation may be growing old for some viewers, I find Olivia's continuing struggle to come to terms with Peter's relationship with Fauxlivia still somewhat interesting. This is a very human reaction to an extraordinary situation. In some ways it reminds me of the Aeryn Sun and two John Crichtons arc on 'Farscape'. Science fiction, if done well, can find ways of breaking our hearts, no matter how outlandish the story.

I was also glad to see that Olivia gave into the temptation of reading the note from Simon. A lot of show's employ a protagonist that would be morally above an arguably selfish and invasive act. But the fact that Olivia is very human and flawed, liked the rest of us, makes her even more relatable. This continues to be one of the biggest triumphs of the third season: the transition of Olivia Dunham into a character that I can care about and root for.

The introduction of Simon Phillips tells us that there could be more cortexiphan test subjects out there than the ones that Walter reported to the FBI. We learned about the kids that underwent the complete process of experimentation before, but with this episode, we found out that there could be a number of children were removed. Still, even some of the programming continued to effect Simon's daily life, outside of his telepathy. Like Olivia, Nick Lane, and James Heath, Simon has a very monochromatic style of dress. I love little details like this.

Kevin Corrigan finally returns as Sam Weiss after being gone since halfway through the second season. Now we find out that he wrote the books about the First People under various anagramed names. If one of those books was written in 1897, then how old is he? He did tell Olivia last season that he was older than he looks, so I guess he wasn't lying. I just glad he's back and in a way that continues to broaden the Fringe mythology while connecting some of the dots.

While this was more in the tradition of a typical Monster of the Week episode, "Concentrate and Ask Again" was extremely myth heavy. I hope 'Fringe' is able to maintain this balance, because it's giving us the best of both worlds: various, interesting cases mixed with opportunities to further develop the overall story of the show. The third season has yet to deliver a dud.

No comments:

Post a Comment