Fringe Season 3:Episode 2 The Box

Kehaar drools over Fringe. This time from the Bluverse. Here by Spoilers amongst the slobber.

The opening scenes of Fringe episodes often remind one of horror films or creepy short stories. This time around we’re played false with what potentially could be a psycho home invasion but turns out to be more a matter of graft  motivated by the cross-dimensional war (or it wars) we are looking at.

Are point of view character is often Red-olivia (Redlivia from here on in) she is actuallyno mere pawn but taken over the command from Newton despite his superior understanding of the Bluverse’s world and its ways. It’s interesting to contrast ‘our’ Olivia’s comparatively restrained approach with the smack, snog it, shoot it apprach of Redlivia. For an underground mission deep within enemy territory with little back-up Redlivia’s instincts are very military compared with Olivia’s actions when she had her own mind.

Despite the brutal mechanics of the subterfuge it is clear that Redlivia’s mission is a long term one. This is a considerable ambition – Anna Torv gives a swagger and a confidence to the Redlivia which clearly defines her from the more circumspect, considered and sober (despite the odd whiskey) Olivia.  John Noble is rightfully applauded for his performances in Fringe and I have previous decried the flatness of Olivia’ s character before – but subtle differences in the quiet moments of the Redlivia performance shows Torv really can act.

  • Question is can Peter or perhaps John or even Atrid and Broyles pick up on the differences the knowing audience member does?
  • Can they do so before the pieces of the trap the Redverse is building fall into place?
  • How does the Redverse hope to use or obtain the outcome of the plan?

Thus far all smoke and mirrors – what about the story. it’s an effective spy thriller with Redlivia cleaning up lose ends and Newton advancing the cause while the Blue team try to discover the threat of the week and speculate on the Redverse’s machinations. Unaware of course that the threat of the weak is part of the Redverse’s machinations !

Unlike some shows that settle into a leisurely period of treading water after a series opening (Calling Mr Bartowski!)  Fringe really advances the plot here evoking sympathy or at least understanding for both ‘sides’ in the style of the best spy fiction.  This is due to great performances and direction, we also get a nice bit of splatterpunk too. It also has to be said this undercover team on a mission story constrasts nicely in feel to the stranded Olivia tale of last week. thee is a little movement in the Peter/Olivia relationship but this is a gradual clearing of lose ends and I feel Fringe is moving on to a broader landscape (or is that multi-verse scape.)

5 out of 5 happy seagull cries.

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