Binge Worthy Television

One Night in October: Fringe 4.02

Choices and the consequences thereof are central themes in Fringe. This episode beautify demonstrates the consequences of the choices we make. In one universe a man is a college professor, in the other universe his double is serial killer.

The man has the same inner demons in both universes but a single choice (to run or not to run away from his father) gave of one them the tools to step outside of his own psychosis and live a productive life. The alternate universe Fringe Division requests assistance in solving a series of murders. Can a psychology professor from ‘over here’ confront his inner demons to help stop a serial killer from ‘over there’?

Alternate Dunham is working directly with ‘the real’ Agent Dunham? I was a bit worried when I saw the network promo for this episode. All credibility usually goes right out the window as soon as a television series presents one actor portraying two characters who will both appear on screen at the same time.

Every time I see this ploy in a TV series I am immediately reminded of Bewitched (the TV Series which ran from 1964–1972). There was a recurring character who was sort of the ‘evil twin’ of Samantha, the central figure of the series. Actress Elizabeth Montgomery played both roles but the producers thought it would be clever to credit her alternate personality as “Pandora Spocks”. Even considering the limitations of television production in the late 1960′s their shared screen time was less than believable.

I am pleased with the way FOX handled the multiple Olivia’s. Suggesting that Anna Torv’s actual blonde hair was a wig worn by the alternate agent Dunham was very clever. Creating subtle differences in posture and body language allowed Anna to be convincing as two characters.

Careful choreography and well chosen camera angles prevented other characters from from making eye contact with empty space while they were allegedly speaking to one of the agent Dunhams.

Some interesting side-notes:

As agent Lincoln Lee joins the Fringe team on “this side” Astrid suggests a possible romantic connection between Olivia and Lincoln. There was also some sexual tension between Olivia and Lincoln “over there” before the universes crossed paths.

It seems that Peter’s absence from the timeline prevented the demise of the alternate agent Broyles. He was killed helping our Olivia escape from Liberty Island and taking her to the lab at Harvard to cross back over to our universe. This will probably never be explained.

Now that Kirk Acevedo has left the series, Agent Charlie Francis is on a beach somewhere. Is he retired or just on vacation. (Kirk is currently on NBC’s “prime Suspect”.)

Next on Fringe:

Season 4, Episode 3: “Alone in the World”
When two 12-year-old kids bully another boy, they are found dead and in just hours after dying their bodies are shockingly in an advanced state of decomposition. As the Fringe team investigates the mysterious case, they uncover an amorphous figure claiming more victims. Meanwhile, Walter becomes increasingly distracted by hallucinations of Peter.

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