Fringe Season 2 Episode 22 Over There Part 1

Okay spoilers are incoming…take cover.

“Hi Hoooo…Hi Hoooo… Hi Ho, Hi Ho

Invading parallel universes we go,

With a build up here, and a build up there

Hi Ho Hi Ho Hi Ho Hi Ho”

And that in a tiny pixies acorn beer cup (apologies to Richard Herring) is the joy and the dissapointment in this episode.

First the plusses:

Excellent acting – a given.

A sweet twist on the lookalikes from the gunned up UNITesque Torchwood wannabees of paral world Fringe Division. Initially I get rather pissed off at parallel universe populated with spins on the ‘normal’ universe characters. it stretches the suspension of disbelief. A throwaway line about a dollar bill suggests the split point in the early 1800s (Andrew Jackson was President then and played an important role in the War of 1812,) so having a Ginger Olivia was getting on my nerves. The a change so far back what’s the chance of those particular genes ending up in such an identikit package? And then Fringe did something very Fringe indeed  with some excellent acting, some throwaway lines about not liking the taste of booze and showing us an Olivia at ease with herself it showed us this truly was a different person. Kudos to Fringe.

Some nice set up that suggests that parallel Fringe has more to worry about than our little reality which suggests a bigger scarier multiverse out there. No there will be worries this could lead to Fringe becoming Sliders (and let’s face it even Sliders was embarrassed to be Sliders,) but with this creative team we could be oncourse for soemthing very exciting.

The plot indiciating that Parallel Walter is the vilian when the stench of villany has been hanging around William Bell is a nice touch. It also works to make us doubt ‘our’ Walter in the future. There was also nice stuff between Peter and his mum – it was nice to see him as the child rather than the parent for once. You suspect he enjoyed it too.

The action scenes are well put together and pre-titles set up was nice. There are enough hints about the Parallalverse to suggest an interesting history there for future fan-fic fun.

Now big sign – the negatives. And is this is the first review of mine you’ve read let’s be clear – I love Fringe.

Fringe seems to have taken a heavy footed step further into the world of high camp pulp here. It has always to a degree been successful because of a certain respectful, old school horror movie, less-is-more approach. Finding out a gaggle of damaged former villians have been ferreted away by Massive Dynamic and X-men-ed was a bit of a jaw dropper.

Secondly it appears Broyles has no qualms about launching a attack on a  parallel universe in conjunction with Massive Dynamic and a fore mentioned former villans of the week.

Really?  Walter and Olivia I can understand motivated by parental love, comradely compassion (and maybe a bit of chikka chikka wah wah passion under her icy exterior.) But Broyles – Broyles is essentially ‘The Man’ and he’s dubious of Massive Dynamic – it’s a bit of a push. Acts of War are largely outside the FBI’s remit – never mind an act of war aganist a parallverse. Yes I’m a policy nerd and stuff like that annoys, espcially if the characters have been bound by red tape previously.

Thirdly there was a bit too much emotional baggage banter in the run up. Nescessary but in execution it felt a little padded.

So did I enjoy it. Yup. Is it one of the weakest epsiode I’ve seen? also yup. But a bad epsiode of Fringe is still better than a lot of other shows best.

As a rating 3/5.

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