After two weeks of focusing on the series arc, we are back to a case of the week story on "Fringe." We can expect them to spoon feed us the story arc for most of the season now.
Our A-story revolves around Emily Mallum (Alexis Raich), who has the ability to see a person's death. She draws the death, because she describes it as like a dream. It comes strong at first, but then fades.
She first draws a man impaled by a girder walking near a construction site. She runs to the man, hoping the picture can serve as a warning, but he cannot avoid his fate.
She is later riding on a bus and begins to draw again. She sees a man exit the bus and she follows, wanting to give him but he is gone before she can catch him.
The drawing at the girder accident draws the attention of the Fringe division. Lee (Seth Gabel) and Oliva (Anna Torv) manage to track down Emily's home, and meet her father, Jim (Currie Graham). He lies to the agents about having a daughter. Oliva and Lee run into the girl returning home and Oliva gains her trust before her father comes and takes the girl into the apartment.
The storyline continues with the girl contacting Oliva, and she is brought to Walter's (John Noble) lab. Walter repeats a theory of William Bell's that abilities like this ripple back from a great trauma. Peter (Joshua Jackson) convinces Walter to hypnotize the girl to get more detail about the vision. They learn the man she wanted to help is actually the one who causes the deaths.
They learn who he is, and Oliva convinces him not to kill anyone. The episode ends with Emily dying of a stroke, caused by the ability. Very sad.
I love how they tried to make us feel for this character. For me it didn't work, and I from the moment Walter revealed the theory, I knew she wouldn't survive the episode.
The B-plot revolved around Olivia revealing her confrontation with the Observer to Broyles (Lance Reddick). He spends the episode being all concerned for Olivia and her being brave in dealing with being told she has to die.
Olivia also talked to Peter about the Observer, and he identifies him. He tells her they experience time all at once. She asks Peter if the Observer can be wrong, and Peter tells her no, they have already lived the future.
This piece of the puzzle was rather small, and while it is building to something, we don't get enough of it here to know what. It left me flat.
The only other story line of consequence has Olivia going to see Nina Sharp (Blair Brown). Jim Mallum mentioned to Olivia a time where Massive Dynamics took his daughter and experimented on her. Olivia goes to discuss it with Nina.
Nina talks rather matter-of-fact about the incident, and it upsets Olivia, given all that had happened to her as a child. Later in the episode Nina comes to Olivia's home and apologizes. They get past it, and Olivia tells Nina she is the closest thing she has to a mother.
Olivia has one of her migraines and Nina volunteers to make her some soup. Meanwhile, we see an Observer outside of Olivia's apartment, watching.
All in all, it was a good episode. But I have to admit the only story that has any interest for me at this point is Peter's need to get back to his timeline. And this episode really didn't go into that at all, with the small scene of Walter and Peter working on it.
I look forward to next week's episode and perhaps more Peter.
I liked the actress playing Emily. She was very sympathetic. She nailed playing the role with a sense of impending doom. She would have done well with a better story.
The scene with Emily walking through the explosion while hypnotized is very cool. Quite well done.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK
I understand the need for case of the week stories. I really do. But I wish they could squeeze in more story arc. The show is down to hard core fans, and I don't think they are here for the weekly story, but for the big picture.
This season, there is only one character that carried over from past seasons, Peter. Everyone else is a new version. I find myself only interested in Peter. I wish it wasn't the case, but they wiped out all the character development for every character besides him.
GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
"Fringe" stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole, Seth Gabel and John Noble.
"Forced Perspective" was written by Ethan Gross, directed by David Solomon and guest starred Currie Graham and Alexis Raich.
"Fringe" airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.
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