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‘Fringe’ – Concentrate And Ask Again

The fate of the entire universe depends on love. Bummer, right?


This review may contain spoilers.

Walter (John Noble) was pretty much considered a terrible person (or a “scientist,” if you don’t like to think in terms of black and white) when his part in the Cortexiphan trials was revealed, so it’s no surprise that when another Cortexiphan kid shows up in “Concentrate and Ask Again,” the guilt he showed last season came rushing back. And since this Cortexiphan kid was never given the chance to learn how to control his ability – mind reading – he was practically driven mad and could barely function around people because of it.

Of course, Olivia (Anna Torv) finds a kinship in him; both because of the Cortexiphan link, and because she still hasn’t gotten over that whole Fauxlivia living her life thing and is finding it a bit hard to function around people herself.

“We’re not supposed to know what people think.”

It takes Olivia the entire episode to learn that lesson, but that doesn’t mean she takes it to heart … Especially since she’s left with the message “He still has feelings for her.”

The again, if the Fringe Division just decided follow the natural order of things, they’d all be out of a job.

Points of Interest

1. “Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care” in the stack of books next to William Bell’s diplomas was a nice touch, wasn’t it?

2. According to Olivia, Fauxlivia is like her, but better. How rude would it be to actually agree with that.

What Worked

Well, Olivia looked amazing in that dress, didn’t she? And Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) and Sam Weiss are always fun to have around.

What Didn’t Work

But one can only hope that the Peter/Olivia romantic relationship (and the love triangle that comes with Fauxlivia) does not become the dominant aspect of the series. It’s not looking likely, though. The fact that it unnecessarily brought in the relationship woes of Nina Sharp in regards to the deceased William Bell was an immediate red flag.

The “will they or won’t they” is supposedly a necessary evil of most television series, but if it’s going to become the most important part – leaving the mythology to be half-heartedly thrown together to support it – maybe the show shouldn’t last on Friday night after all. Olivia Dunham is too strong of a female character to have her entire purpose be defined by any guy, let alone Peter Bishop. And the doomsday device is too important of a plot point to depend on whether or not Peter has deeper feelings for Olivia or Fauxlivia.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

“Concentrate and Ask Again” was written by Matthew Pitts and Graham Roland. It was directed by Dennis Smith.

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

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