Fringe Episode Review: Ability ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Episode Review: Ability

      Email Post       2/17/2009 09:14:00 PM      

The team investigatesI didn't think Fringe could get any better than Bound, but Ability proved me wrong. Talk about a mythology download. Midway through the first season, we already know what the Pattern is, and the show's meta-narrative is being slowly revealed. In a word: fascinating.

But it wasn't just the script that worked; the score and the cinematography were both flawless. I'll go ahead and say it: Fringe is the best-looking show on television. And if it weren't for Lost, it would be the best-sounding one too.
"If I wanted to harm you, I would have...long ago."
Mr. Jones and MeMy favorite character, the eerie Mr. Jones, revealed the reason for his infatuation with Olivia. He's been keeping tabs on her since the tender age of three, when she was exposed to the consciousness-altering drug Cortexiphan (by William Bell, no less). I think we've all suspected there's something special about Olivia, so kudos to the writers for giving us a tangible answer: she's got an unknown set of powerful mental abilities. Looking forward to seeing more of them!
Knowing what we do about Olivia, Jones and Loeb's actions start to make sense: they need Olivia's abilities. But as members of this cult-like organization, are they themselves capable of similar feats? Jones certainly seems like a powerful man. And his "that's-my-girl" pride in Olivia made me wonder if he might be her real father. I really hope we haven't seen the last of Mr. Jones (or Jared Harris). His improvised, MacGyver-esque gadgets are too cool.
"What was written will come to pass."
Talk about congestion.
So it turns out the Pattern isn't completely unprecedented. It was prophesied. Predicted in an obscure, unpublished manifesto that argued against the unchecked progress of technology. And it looks like Walter may have written it himself.
The most telling clue? Jones' reaction to meeting Walter face-to-face. The man was in awe, like a disciple in the presence of his religion's inspiration. But does Walter even remember writing ZFT? Or perhaps the show is misdirecting us. We only know that the typewriter in Walter's lab was used to compose ZFT. But that also means that William Bell could've written it.
My guess? Walter. It sets him opposite from Bell, the tech-tycoon, and I like the symmetry implied.
"Only one world will survive."
Walter, not on the crapper.
Here's the real kicker. Fringe is rolling out the Multiverse Theory. The primary conflict involves a world similar to ours, "but whose history is slightly ahead of our own." When people from that world start visiting ours, bad things will happen. The technology involved must be pretty harmful. In the end, it's us versus them. This sounds like the "two sides" Mitchell Loeb was preaching about.
Could these visitors from a parallel universe be Observers? That's my best guess. I hate that we'll have to wait until April for more clues, but at least we've got plenty to chew on.
Stray Thoughts
  • Best Line of the Night: "The man was clever enough to Star Trek himself out of a maximum-security German prison."
  • Is it just me, or does Fringe have the coolest voices of any TV show? Between Jared Harris (Jones), Kirk Acevedo (Charlie), and Lance Reddick (Broyles), I could just listen to an episode and be entertained.
  • I'm dying to see Creepy Cult Recruit Tests 2 through 10.
  • How did Jones escape the hospital? Does using Walter's Dizray eventually transform you into something not-quite human? I gasped at the hole in the wall.
Adam Morgan is a writer for both the page and screen in Chicago, and blogs daily on writing, film, pop culture, and strange news at Mount Helicon.


Anonymous said...

two thumbs up on the voices comment

Especially Kirk's. I'd love me some more Charlie.

Anonymous said...

What about Anna's voice? It's fantastic!

Capcom said...

Great post!

Did Jones transport (spontaneously or otherwise) out of the hospital? There was a hole like the one left in the prison after he got zapped out of there.

Not too sure what to think about what Walter meant about not being dead but something worse. :-o

Unknown said...

my god! anna's voice and also walter's... they are really fantastic!

Anonymous said...

i saw the OBSERVER standing on the sideline during the playoff game between giant's and eagles.i wonder if they are going to use some of this footage in a upcoming episode.the observer definetly seems to be alien.Fringe rocks i hope it doesn't get cancelled,at least until all is known.

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