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Opinion

‘Fringe’ – Over There (Part 1)

The first part of the second season finale


This review may contain spoilers.

If this second season has proven anything, it’s that glimpses of the Other Side are pretty much guaranteed to be awesome. From the moment the episode started with the Fringe Division Headquarters in New York, one could assume that things were bound to be at least a little interesting.

And that was a safe assumption to make.

With Olivia (Anna Torv), Walter (John Noble)and a few of the Cortexiphan test subjects from earlier in the season taking a walk on the Other Side, it was only fair to see how the other half lives.

We got to see Other Side Charlie (with the perfect tough guy hairdo – a shaved head), Other Side Olivia (with better hair than her “normal” counterpart – perhaps the whole point of this experiment is hair) and character played by Seth Gabel (“Nip/Tuck,” “Dirty Sexy Money”) who sadly didn’t last all too long.

There was also all of that stuff with Peter (Joshua Jackson) and his “real” mother, and it was all rather touching, albeit noticeably slower than the rest of the episode.

Then again, we’ve still got another part to get to with this finale.

What Worked

In an episode that lacked the general humor present in every episode of “Fringe,” particularly from Walter, it was interesting to see the show do just straight drama from scene to scene. This was certainly an all work, no play episode. Even the differences between our world and the Other Side were no longer played mostly for laughs (differences like Martin Luther King Jr. on the $20 bill instead of Andrew Jackson) and they were either mentioned in passing for plot reasons or just subtle little touches.

Although, the bus stop poster about the eleventh season on “The West Wing” – complete with Sarah Palin and Barack Obama-esque characters – was quite nice.

What Didn’t Work

It would have been nice to have some real interaction between Peter and Walternate, but one can assume that won’t happen until Part 2 next week.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

“Fringe” stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole. “Over There (Part 1)” was written by Jeff Pinkner, J.H. Wyman & Akiva Goldsman and directed by Akiva Goldsman.

“Fringe” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.

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