Review Of Fringe 302 'The Box' ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Review Of Fringe 302 'The Box'

      Email Post       10/01/2010 09:21:00 AM      

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If I had been asked to name this episode, I would have entitled it 'Distraction,' because all of the Fringe-related characters were quite distracted, with at least one thing apiece, in 302 except for Astrid, who seemed to be able to pretty much stay on task.

Walter was distracted by, of course, the strained post-reveal relationship he now finds himself in with Peter. Astrid told us Walter has not explained his side of the 'Peter' story to his surrogate son since they returned from 'Over There,' and she demanded he do so immediately, which was very Astrid. As if that wasn't enough distraction, Walter Bishop was distracted by the posthumous reading and revelation of his best friend, William Bell's will. It was quite telling that he did not respond to Peter's asking of what he received, but instead revealed the information instead (twice) to Astrid.

FauxLivia was distracted by the full-time job of pretending to be our Liv. She did get some help from Newton in the form of classified documents, files, videos, and other information on our favorite Fringe characters on 'our side.' Interestingly, we learned that Newton has been on our side since FauxLivia was in high school (quick math would say at least 13 years!). On top of that FauxLivia got distracted by an unexpected visit from Peter Bishop while she was trying to hide her dirty work. As the blood from the poor victim's body started flowing under the bathroom door, FauxLivia had to do some quick thinking and further distract our already distracted Peter. Luckily for her she was saved by their cell phones (from a firm P/O shipper, thank you for that Jeff Pinkner!). She was also distracted by the urgent need to save Peter from being run over by an approaching train he couldn't hear, and for a girl without cortexiphan powers, she moved pretty quickly!

Most interesting in this episode was our thoroughly distracted Peter Bishop. It's amazing he was able to think clearly at all after all he's been through in the recent past, and further amazing how adroit he was at walking down the train tracks and disarming the killer box (yes, Jeff Pinkner must like boxes) after at least 2 shot glasses of something strong. Peter never catches a break. He was distracted in this episode by his strained relationship with his kidnapping 'father,' Walter. He was distracted by the 'doomsday device' and his perceived puzzling role in its construction and execution, and didn't appreciate his boss Broyle's pushing him to get Walter and him to figure it out more quickly. He told us he continues to be distracted by the photo our Liv showed him in the second part of the Season 2 Finale of him with fireballs shooting out of his eyes, and strapped to said doomsday device. Enough so that he showed up at our Liv's apartment, unannounced, to vent to her. And also, to put it bluntly, he was and continues to be distracted by Olivia Dunham. Period. In my opinion, he currently sees her as an ideal that he can hold onto literally and figuratively, the one constant in his current state of uncertainty, which will make it all the more tragic when Peter finds out he's been duped and that his ideal, isn't.

It was fun to see Thomas Jerome Newton distracted in this episode. He's been presented to us in the past as a cocksure, unstoppable half-human, and it was entertaining to watch him as FauxLivia told him a third man took off with their box scheduled for Peter's hands.

Another interesting, distracted character in 302 was the ever unreadable Nina Sharp. She gasped when Walter gave her a sympathetic bone-crushing hug, and it makes me think even more that there is a definite back story to Nina and Walter. We usually see Nina in the utmost control, but she sat there passively during the reading of Bell's will, and nearly cracked her well-constructed facade when she was presented with a bell (haha) to remember her moments in Tuscany alone with Bell (hmmm).

The episode ended with FauxLivia getting more distracting orders from 'Over There' to "work on Dr. Bishop." Can't wait to find out what that means? Neither can I, but I'll bet there's distraction involved.

I give 'The Box' 4.5 out of 5.


Xindilini said...

Distraction. I like it.

Anonymous said...

Distraction would have been a good title. It looks like there may be a lot of that in future episodes as well as pointed out.

I have to wonder what was in Nina's letter from Bell. The implication that her and bell had a relationship going was interesting. It also reminded me how we were given a hint that her and Broyle's had something going. Either she is real easy and has been around (possibly with walter too) or there is some kind of connection there.

When I was doing my family tree and discovered that one of my great great great grandfathers was William Bell it made me start thinking. We have been introduced to time travel in this show as well and Olivia was aware that something was going on in the form of DeJa vu. We now know that we are dealing with ancient tech and an older race... I don't think William is gone, I even have to wonder if Broyle's is William in a different form. That is reaching but it opens up the imagination a bit. They were quick to compare how both Broyle's and William were willing to cross the line. And remember how Nina referred to the ancient tech as Williams technology. Maybe there is a connection there as well between why there is no AltBell on the other side.

It's going to be a fun ride

Anonymous said...

Very good review. I enjoyed reading it and I agree 100% with it.

Talitha said...

When Broyles and Peter were talking toward the end, about the box, and the tech being in this universe, and there being doubles of everything, and them clearly suspecting something to do with something was up... were they starting to cotton on to fauxlivia?

fringeobsessed said...

I really doubt it, Marigold. But I'd love it to be so. I still stand by my theory that the '97' in the top left corner of the hair dye box in Part II of the Season 2 Finale was there for a reason. I've got a sad feeling our Liv will be a prisoner of 'Over There' for at least 97 days from the day Peter, Walter, and FauxLivia left.

Anonymous said...

Off topic but I loved it when Eric the midget head exploded sorry I am a huge Howard Stern Fan as I am a Fringe fan and if you know how ungrateful he is you would love that scene as much as I did :)

Joanna said...

Anyone notice the bell was the same bell (or identical to the one) William rang early in Season Two when Olivia was in his office at the WTC?

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Did notice that bell :)

Btw, is anyone kinda annoyed with Fauxlivia? Something about her personality just ticks me off... That and the fact that she's totally messing with Peter. I like our Olivia!!! Get her back un-brainwashed, like, now!!!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous-agreed Alt-livia ticks me off too, and ditto to wanting our Olivia back ASAP!

As a side note, I'm interested to see when the writers are going to have Alt-livia meet her sister and niece for the 1st time. Hopefully they'll catch her then!

Here's hoping the next episode will be better!

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