Fringe Season 2 Episode 18; White Tulip

After an unexplained delay Fringe returns to our screens. Skipping onto the telly with Peter Weller as a scientist who has Walter-like dilemmas. Spoilers might judder around this review.

First of all an intial peev -I may be wrong but it seemed like there was a lot of  the use of repeat footage. Don’t get me wrong I love Rashoman style peices (Magnum PI’s ‘I, Witness’ being a case in point,) but hate where you feel like your being subjected to a ‘Jackie Brown’ – a repeating of scenes  for little or no narrative reason. In this epsiode, given that Fringe viewers seem like a pretty intelligent lot I think there was  a bit of padding, the same effect could have been done with less repetition. However, I thought it could be a lot worse than it war and from the middle of piece it got a lot tighter.

And there are more positives – Peter Weller acts, Peter Weller acts well. See Peter act. Act Peter act. Ok – that perhaps is more than a little unfair but I would say this is the best Peter Weller performance I have seen. That may be a consequence of him being given a meaty, intelligent and emotionally taunt character in Peck to play with a decent script. He also has to juggle with a bit of body horror that was appreciated by this fan of the Naked Lunch (movie and book.) There is a nice one on one between him and Walter which is well played on both parts.  The level of empathy that I felt by the conclusion of his character’s journey is a testament to a great guest star turn.

All the regulars perform admirably – but we’re spoilt by that on a regualr basis.  After the guest spot – it’s Walters show his dilema as to whether divulge Peter’s origins to him as the arch theme which is underpinned by Peck’s journey. The closing episode payoff  is a marvellous feature in agenre where this type of episode would have all to often been used as a reset button.

Oh the other very clever portion of story is seeing the Fringe team uncovering the mystery via several different routes. Too often even conventional mystery shows rely on lazy concidences, ‘magic’ computer hacking and stupid opponents. Fringe shows it’s just not skilled at sci-fi but skilled at it’s detective element as well. A 4/5 epsiode and that’s only due to the rehashing denying it a 5.

There’s a nice  interview with Peter Weller on this episode here http://www.movieweb.com/news/NEkbzmong6T8nk

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