Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fringe - "6:02 AM EST"

Olivia (Anna Torv) and Nina (Blair Brown) discuss the mysterious Sam Weiss.
Photo Credit: FOX
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 3 - Episode 20
"6:02 AM EST"

This week's 'Fringe' was a very welcomed return to form. While the rest of the season has not been as strong as the opening eight episode "switched Olivia" arc, the only real weak hour was last week's "LSD". Season three has been the strongest yet for the show and "6:02 AM EST" is any indicator, we're in for a hell of closing run.

Bouncing between two parallel worlds could potentially be confusing, but I think that the writing and editing really kept things sorted out. There were a few great transition establishing shots that indicated when the story was taking us back and forth. Most effective are those New York City skyline switches with our green Lady Liberty getting replaced by the Alt-Fringe bronze version or the sudden appearance of the World Trade Center and blimps.

One of the highlights of "6:02 AM EST" is the recognition of how close the Fringe Prime team have become. There is the strange little family of Walter, Peter, and Olivia developing as later continues to spend the night. Her run in with a naked Walter in the hallway was pretty hilarious. Broyles has a few nice moments with Walter and Peter before the machine is dealt with. Astrid and Peter have become a very sibling pairing, since she has become Walter's default caretaker when Peter is not around.

John Noble is pretty outstanding this episode. Walter is almost broken when Peter is hurt by the machine and even resorts to talking to God for answers. Noble conveys the complexities of Walter's amazing mind and emotional depths. His virtually wordless good-bye to Peter was heart-wrenching. I still don't understand why this man has not been nominated for an Emmy yet.

Another big moment in the life of the series is when Fauxlivia finally realizes what Walternate is up to and decides to take matters into her own hands. She will not let him sacrifice billions of lives on the other side in an effort to save their own universe. While we've been pushed into siding with the Olivia from our universe, Fauxlivia is still a noble and decent person at her core. Both Olivias are more similar than either would like to admit.

"6:02 AM EST" was an excellent start for a three part conclusion to an already amazing season. I'm really looking forward to finding out just who Sam Weiss is and I'm really glad that we'll be getting more Kevin Corrigan next week.

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