Fringe Season 2, Episode 18 The Man from the Other Side

Another trip into the Fringverse, and this time in a Shapeshifter centric episode that manges to do the typically Fringe trick of delivering advances on the main show arch while packing in thrills and uckiness of the week. Spoilers may lurk within this review like a serial killer on the edge of an abandoned warehouse. Or more likely like one dancing in the spotlights.

The ep kicks off with some pleasant body horror ickyness which gives us a nice insight into the Shapeshifters. It may be some of this was revealed in Season 1 but as I’m late to the party I really enjoyed the way this was done. The discover of bodies brings in a Fringe Team where Walter is still struggling to ‘fess up to Peter about the precise nature of his extra-dimensional tourism and what he brought home for wifey. Petetr believes Walter wants to discuss his wife’s suicide. Needless to say the ‘shifters are up to something and through some nify detective work the team uncover the plot and take action about it.

This element of the story with a nice action scene – featuring Olivia in great form (I wouldn’t want radio failure when she was around!) There are nice over the shoulder shot firefights that felt a bit Greengrass to me (the Director not the former Heartbeat regular.) A foreshadowed rediscovered skill of Walter comes to the fore and you get to see Peter and Walters love for each other on real form. But despite all the whizz and bangs the real bombshell is yet to come.

A cordial awoken Peter requests to see Walkter alone. There he shows that he has deduced his origins and Walters role in it with a controlled, cold fury. Olvia later reveals he has checked himself out the hospital and is off the grid. This was a great conclusion to the episode and to that thread of the plot arch. The fact the team side-stepped the ‘tear jerker movie of the week’ confession scene but endorsed and demonstrated Peter’s deductive powers was a great move. The hanging thread of mystery over his whereabouts and future actions leaves one hungry for the next episode.  There’s more of course – who was the ‘railway man’? and what was the ‘shifters ultimate objective? However the Peter conundrum coming so swiftly on the back on the glimmer of hope for Walter out of White Tulip is a steady foundation on which to build the continuing arch.

Oh and the embryo scene by candlelight – genius – very Mary Shelly meets Cronenberg (and that’s a good thing.)

A winning ep a 4.5/5.

GS Reviewer: Andrew Clark

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