Fringe Season 2 Episode 8 ‘Of human action’

First of all a confession – I’m new to Fringe. Not a Virgin but still a bit ‘fumbly’ having come in on Episode 2 of Season 2 so I may make some damming error of continuity. Damming errors of judgement or taste are all my own work.

This episode of Fringe features a murderous rampage linked to a kidnapping where people are compelled to murder their comrades, self harm and commit suicide. The nature, origin and cause of the compulsion is particularly well dealt with by the writers Robert Chiapetta and Glen Whitman,

When revealed the villain’s motivation makes sense, mid story googly bowled by the writers is played out convincingly by all parties and the resolution delivers both a successful climax to the episode and lovely bit of ground work for the broader story arch.

Too be honest I find Special Agent Olivia Dunham a bit indistinctive as a character, but this may because the actor has the short straw of playing the most conventional part. Peter Bishop is a bit more interesting especially when the writers allow time for more of his back story to breathe into the script. Dr Walter Bishop is the star turn of the show and while other actors may be tempted to go all out wacky – John Nobles performance is underplayed beautifully and all the better for it, in this episode and all I have seen so far.

Actually that’s pretentious horlicks – it’s not underplayed – it’s just pitch perfect.

I would desperately appeal for giving Special Agent Broyles something meaty to do! Lance Reddick is a storming actor. However the ‘Wire’ alumni appear from my viewing to be criminally underused.

In short I’ve really enjoyed Fringe so far and thought this episode a highpoint of my limited experience. I’m old enough to remember the first appearance of the X-files and to be honest never really understood the fuss. Fringe seems to deliver the same format but with slightly better science, a more balanced cast of characters and a mythology that isn’t yet threatening to consume the drama.

GS Reviewer: Andrew

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