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TV Review: Fringe – “Brown Betty”

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The run that Fringe has been on since the start of the second half of season two is amazing. Each week’s episode builds on its predecessor and moves us toward the start of the war of the Bishops. The final scene of last week's show was an emotional bomb, incredibly acted by John Noble and Joshua Jackson. It really showed how Fringe is much more than just a well-written trippy science fiction piece; it has a deep emotional reservoir.

I spent my nights this week watching season one on Blu-ray as I worked on my blog. It is quite interesting watching the genesis of Walter and Peter’s relationship. From the beginning Peter has utter disdain for his father, who has been in a mental institution for years. However, slowly but steadily Peter realizes that Walter is not an evil man and truly loves him deeply. Walter, with all his myriad of eccentricities, never stops attempting to reconnect with his son. I love watching season one and cannot wait for the release of season two.

It is with this in mind that last week's episode was so sad for me. Olivia is my favorite character; I have a strong affinity for a gorgeous, smart, gun-toting woman. However, Walter is my second favorite and John Noble is the best actor on television. Come this year’s award season, I hope he gets the recognition he richly deserves. Peter’s rejection of Walter has set us moving toward the next phase of Fringe which started tonight, or did it?

I was not a fan of the musical episode. It just did not work for me. Yet, in Walter’s drug addled mind there were some amazing clues as to what might come next. Is the observer working with Nina Sharp? They are shown working together to try and find Peter. Does Walter know this to be so? Rachel, Olivia’s sister, is the first person killed in the noir musical played out in Walter’s mind. This could be an awfully bad sign for a person that has become a rock in Olivia’s life.

The episode did awaken in me the notion that I have not fully appreciated what the revelation of the truth has meant to Peter. After years of a lonely nomadic existence, he had finally felt a familiar kinship within Fringe Division. Peter’s heart is broken. He feels betrayed and alone. Is there optimism within Peter that he can forgive his father? The preview for next week's show has a very self-aware Peter fighting the mysterious Thomas Newton. Lost in all this is the not so subtitle threat that the observer makes toward Walter. With only three eisodes left in season two, I was glad to see that next week will get back to the Fringe I know and love.

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About Lazaro Cooks

  • DocH…Awesome comments. Agreed on all counts. Walter is usually wrong, but something tells me he’s about to be right. Glad to see the show is gaining steam as we head to the end of season 2. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Cheers!

  • Two Points.

    1) About the “musical”… I don’t mind that they did it, its’ just that they did it wrong, they under did it. Some of those actors should not be singing. At least Jackson had the good sense to zip it. Jasika was robbed… she could have belted out a full rendition. Talent aside, most of the “music” only real took place in the stoned mind of Walter.

    2) The stoned mind. Your list of “foreshadowed” events in Walter’s tale may bear fruit (see’ya Rachel), but Walter is usually wrong (at first) in many of the episodes. Is he now a sooth-saying prophet when wasted. Prob not. Probably just as error prone as ever. His preconceptions and misconceptions about Massive Dyanmic, Nina, Bell, Observers, etc… is all tainted by two decades at the funny farm (and now pot).