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'Fringe' - Making Angels

This week we are presented with a tale of two Astrids

This week, "Fringe" had a great case revolving around a man who found an Observer device and worked out the math so that he see the world like they did -- past, present and future -- all at once.

Neil Chung (Chin Han) was a former MIT professor who took a job with the TSA so he could meet people. When he found a person whose life meets a tragic end, he kills them to save them the pain.

Olivia (Anna Torv) and Peter (Joshua Jackson) work the case and track him down. Neil pulls a gun on them and deliberately misses so he can be killed in the return fire. Neil believed he was doing good, and wanted to become an angel. He could not get to Heaven if he killed himself, so instead it was death by cop.

This was a great story, and I enjoyed it, but it was secondary to the real fun of the episode, Alternate Astrid (Jasika Nicole) coming over. When she left her side, Fauxlivia came to bring her back.

It appears that Alt-Astrid's father has died recently and she is having difficulty processing it. So she goes to the one person she feels can relate, her doppelganger.

Alt-Astrid doesn't believe her father loved her very much because she is like she is. Astrid reassures her that he did. She tells Alt-Astrid her father is a difficult man, and hard to get close to. This reassures Alt-Astrid.

But the closing scene is of Astrid visiting her father, a warm and loving man. They hug and it is very apparent that they are close. It was so sweet that she lied to Alt-Astrid to help her.

This was a superb story line, and I loved wathing the two Astrids interact. Jasika Nicole did an amazing job with this. I am often times amazed at what a great cast this show has.

Alt-Astrid also interacted with Walter (John Noble) a great deal, and the two appear to have bonded easily. She picked up that Astrid and Walter have what appears to be a father-daughter relationship, which Astrid confirms after thinking about it for a moment.

Walter also had fun scenes with Fauxlivia, with his harboring ill will towards her due to her time spying on him and his friends. Fauxlivia has fun trying to break the ice with Walter, and has a chuckle when he returns some of the belongings she left behind during her earlier visit.

It seems the key to Walter's affections is through his stomach, when she gives one of the above-mentioned items to him, and it is a container filled with mints. He gives her a piece of candy as a parting gift, and it appears they have taken a step towards mending fences.

All in all, a great episode, and even though it was saddled with a case of the week, the real joy was all in the characters. Watching the established characters interact with versions of themselves not quite the same really opens up our heroes, and lets us take a closer look at them through the different aspects the doppelgangers bring.

This has to be the best episode of the season.

WHAT WORKED
Before Walter knew it was Alt-Atrid, he used one of the "wrong" names he usually uses when addressing her. When Alt-Astrid corrected him, he seemed concerned and almost hurt when saying "you never correct me."

It was equally funny when Walter addressed Alt-Astrid by her name in front of our Astrid, that she takes slight offense at him getting her name right.

While it's never actually said, Alt-Astrid does recognize she is different, like when she tells Astrid she thinks her father would have loved her more if she wasn't the way she is.

WHAT DIDN'T WORK
Honestly, I think it all came together quite well, and I have no complaints. It all worked.

GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

"Fringe" stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole, Seth Gabel and John Noble.

"Making Angels" was written by Akiva Goldsman, J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner, was directed by Charles Beeson and guest starred Chin Han, G. Michael Gray, Adrian Hough and Blu Mankuma.

"Fringe" airs at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.

About the Author

Ed Left is a lifelong fanatic of genre television, counting among his earliest memories watching "Star Trek" during its original NBC run. When not writing his column for Airlock Alpha, he can be found working on his website, Sci-fi on TV.com. He currently lives in the the Chicago suburbs.
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