Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day Three Hundred and Twenty-eight - Fringe: Season 4, Episode 15, "Squeeze-tube Love"

One of the main arcs of this season deals with the fact that Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) was erased from both universes, but through sheer force of will was able to break his way back in to a world where the love of his life, Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), doesn't remember him at all. That is, until her memories from the old timeline begin to overwrite the present ones... something that she is conflicted about to say the least.

Meanwhile, season arcs aside, the MotW (Monster of the Week) is a serial killer who is stealing the juices from men in loving relationships, dumping their bodies, and using their concentrated pheromones to seduce their wives before he murders them as well. As far as mysteries go, it's not all that compelling, but that's not the real meat of the episode.

No, the real meat is Olivia's gradual realization that, despite the fact that it means the loss of her old self, she actually does want to give into the memory rewrite and love Peter. Normally, that would be a bad thing... in fact, Walter (John Noble), goes so far as to laud Peter for his restraint in trying to stay away from Olivia in the hopes that absence will stop or at least slow the overwrite.

There's also the continuation of the Observer subplot where Peter goes on a search for the one seemingly good Observer who is trying, however obscurely, to help humanity. I like the Observer storyline, and know it's going to come to a head in season 5, but after a while it just becomes so much noise such that I never understand why the other Observers don't just kill the Fringe teams in both worlds. It really makes no sense to keep the one group of people who can stop you alive.

From a storytelling standpoint, the episode is one of the weaker ones when you consider the actual mystery. The arcing bits are great, but those are the only things to care about. The cinematography is your standard Abrams greatness, as he and his crew really know how to put a show together that is beautiful, moody, and compelling. I don't think I could ever be disappointed by Fringe, no matter how freaky or weird it gets. It has all of the strengths and none of the weaknesses of its more famous cousin, Lost.

Will I continue to recommend Fringe? Yes, of course... and that's probably why I should stop watching it for the blog. I'm pretty sure that all of my fawning is getting repetitive and puerile at this point. Maybe I'll come back to it for Couchbound for the finale, maybe there will be something that I just can't wait to tell you about in the interim which forces me to go back on my word, but if there's one thing I really want for the blog, it's authenticity, not pandering... so we'll see.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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