Fringe Season 4 Episode 2: Review ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Season 4 Episode 2: Review

      Email Post       10/01/2011 09:47:00 PM      

Out of the Darkness Into The Light

Fringe: Season 4 - Episode 2

One Night In October

The big question going into Season 4 was how the Fringe writers were going to utilize the new timeline for story telling possibilities.  The first episode of the season gave a universe load of exposition.  This time the episode cuts to the chase right from the get go.  A serial killer is on the rampage on the Other side and Our side is asked to help out by bringing his counter part over to work on the case.  A counterpart whom just happens to be an expert on serial killers.  

All set up within minutes of the episode start.

The story can take off so quickly because this new timeline has been used to strip back a lot of the continuity baggage both Olivias are carrying.  They have been reduced back to their basic qualities; both Olivias void of any impacts that Peter has made on them.  A concentrated distillation of their characteristics has been attained in Season 4.  This leanness of character is a deliberate decision by the Fringe show runners.  It allows them to highlight the similarities between the two Olivias.  And the differences.  It also streamlines story telling setup.

So close yet so different.

None of this story telling economy would have been possible if the previous timeline had been in play. The impact that Peter had on both of them plus their unique love triangle and baby Henry were wonderful paths of growth for the two Olivias within the story arch of the past season.  But here they would have been encumberances and required a lot of valuable story telling time to wade through before even setting up the episode.  All that plus Peter in the mix would be another buffer between the two Olivias - of course removing Peter from this episode could have easily be done without the need for his Existence Erasure.

The net result?  A taut, tightly drawn episode that moves with a brisk pace.  Of course we do want those layers of history taken back out of storage and returned to the Olivias.  Especially our Olivia. But until then the Fringe writing staff look well prepared to use these lightened characters to re-examine them before those Peter influenced moments changed them forever.

Episode 'Patterns': Add your own in the comments.
  • patented creepy opening Fringe scene with neon blue tubing, skull plug with electrodes, and male victim with the cold breath
  • Walter rants to Lee about shapeshifters and the other side while putting cloths over any reflective surface
  • Olivia was kidnapped for two weeks & not enough drugs in the world for Walter to forget that
  • ‘She bought my ignorance with baked goods.  It was that damn Portuguese sweet bread!’
  • in the new timeline everyone remembers Walternate starting The Machine in an attempt to destroy our world but instead the Bridge was created
  • ‘Kennedy, help me!’ ‘It’s Lincoln!’ ‘Quickly!’
  • Olivia arrrives with coffee - anyone think Peter is going to get a chance to redeem his coffee order gaffe from last season?
  • Astrid the Match Maker: ‘Do you ever think maybe your type doesn’t exist?’
  • Olivia & Fauxlivia share scenes & Anna Torv nails it
  • Serial Killer on one side vs Professor of Forensic Psychology on the other
  • ‘I lived in your apartment.  I picked up a lot of things about you.’
  • John Ferguson does outstanding outwork in a guest star role
  • Charlie is with the Bug Girl.  On their honeymoon!
  • well done scene of misdirection with kidnapping of girl’s mother at the gas station
  • Walter gets horizontal in a chair to re-enact the Maxell ads of the 80s
  • John not knowing he is scoping ‘himself’ out as he examines the contents of the house
  • Anna plays Fauxlivia playing Olivia
  • highlight of the episode - John & Olivia share their memories of abusive fathers
  • John understands the other John but he had Marjorie to help step him out of the darkness into the light
  • ‘Small moments of peace.’
  • ‘What my father did with cruelty, she did with love.’
  • There is no other road for the serial killer John
  • Alt Broyles is alive!  New timeline has pluses and minuses.
  • Olivia owns Fauxlivia with her photographic memory recalling the tractor licence plates.
  • John confronts himself
  • ‘The night my father found the dead things.’  Jack Ketchum short story anyone?
  • ‘What happened to him?’  ‘My stepfather?  ...I killed him.’
  • Serial killer John steals Marjorie from John but not the mark she left on John
  • Peter pleads Walter for help

John Ferguson made a great guest star turn.  My favorite moment from the episode is the scene where John McClennan is discussing Marjorie with Olivia. His explanation of his realization of what Marjorie had done for him strikes me as foreshadowing for further down in the season when Olivia begins to comprehend and/or regain her knowledge of what Peter did for her.

'Her name was Marjorie.'

I was completely engaged emotionally for this guest star turn; further evidence of John Ferguson’s excellent performance. I imagine quite easily being a puddle when the great cast from Fringe ie Olivia, Walter, et al have their moments of realization about Peter.

If we get episodes like this one in Peter's absence from the Fringe gurus, then keep bringing them on. By the look of next week's episode the Fringe show runners sure seem to be taking full advantage of this new timeline.

And Olivia owning Fauxlivia over the tractor licence plate? Can I have a Hell Yeah!

9 out of 10 Genes.


Xindilini said...

Who was the first to notice John had escape? You have to give credit where credit is due.

LC_07 said...

I love that Alt Broyles is alive, but how can that be?!

And when did Olivia kill her stepdad? Didn't she shoot him but he lived and sends her postcards every year?

I love Walter so much! "Kennedy" is better than all the names he called Astrid!!! =)

Old Darth said...

Alt Broyles is alive because it is a new timeline.

All we know is Olivia was kidnapped. She may have never even been taken to the Other Side but held hostage somewhere on Our Side.

If she did go to the Other Side it was because of different factors ie kidnapped vs going to rescue Peter, therefore Alt Broyles did not have to sacrifice himself to buy Olivia escape time.

Riley said...

I also thought it was interesting that Olivia killed her stepfather in this timeline...I think she ended up killing her stepfather because Peter was never there to tell her to go to Walter and tell him about the abuse. For all we know she may never have met Walter as a child or been a part of his cortexiphan experiment in this new timeline.

fringeaddict said...

I've always thought that when Peter and Olivia met as kids they were about 10-13 years old but it wouldn't have matched the story timeline.
Correct me if i'm wrong.. But Olivia supposedly shot her step dad when she was 9 (right?). Which means that brief encounter with Peter as child must have happened around the time she was 9 and perhaps just before she shot him. Maybe she killed her step dad in this time line because she never had Peter to encourage her to talk to Walter. It could be just another way to reinforce the importance of Peter existance, especially in Olivia's life, and the choices she has made because of him/without him.

Dave Thompson said...

Alt-Broyles didn't help Olivia escape, so he wasn't killed.

LC_07 said...

Duh! Of Course he wasn't killed! I don't know why i didn't remember that!

LC_07 said...

"Lucky Frank likes them red"
Will Frank be back, maybe?!

Old Darth said...

'But Olivia supposedly shot her step dad when she was 9 (right?).'

Again, its a new timeline. Incidents from before may occur sooner, at the same time as before, later, or never.

Matthew M said...

‘What happened to him?’ ‘My stepfather? ...I killed him.’ I love this line! My favorite , how nonchalant over here Olivia says it. So matter of fact coldness.
Anna Torv is so convincing playing both Olivia's it's like there really are identical twins playing the roles. I do love identical twin girls! We know over there Olivia still has her mother alive but did her father live or did she have a good stepfather? Obviously it played out differently even before the timeline corruption as she doesn't have the baggage over here Olivia has before or after.
It is going to be really fun seeing what happens when Peter comes back. They still won't remember him and this will have to carry on until the end of the season and they still have to fix the problems so that both worlds can be repaired and survive. Then hopefully a season 5 with new strange tales. Good times ahead.

Matthew M said...

Oh yes I forgot - another reason to go live 'over there' - gasoline $.99 per gallon! How cool is that! Takes me back to the day..........

Anonymous said...

lol... I noticed that too! and being an Aussie I thought 'wow petrol is still under a dollar in the states?'- but then i remembered we were looking at the other side and things made a bit more sense.

Old Darth said...

'gasoline $.99 per gallon' Yes! Darn, I forgot to include that.

KC said...

I totally agree about the wonderful job of John Ferguson. That scene when he's telling Olivia about Marjorie was amazing, so emotional. For me the best part of the episode. He goes to the group of my favorite guest stars on Fringe, for sure.

Kit said...

I can't believe how awesome it is to have Seth Gabel full time on the show and he is adorkable as our sides Lincoln.

Anna Torv is a goddess of the screen, she just keeps getting better. She needs so many more awards.

I love that the entire storyline of the last 3 seasons has been refreshed, it is still familiar but everything is new and shiny. This show was always on my "Must Watch" list but now its been added to my "Nervous Tick Until Next Episode" list!

crolmac said...

from what i understood, olivia had received the deug at 3years old, and at nine was recontacted 'cos walter wanted her to go 'over' with peter between her knees, because he initially wanted to return peter. no peter, no contact with walter at 9years old, but big possibility of the 3year old administration of cortexiphan. so she may have been dosed but not reactivatedood, olivia had received the deug at 3years old, and at nine was recontacted 'cos walter wanted her to go 'over' with peter between her knees, because he initially wanted to return peter. no peter, no contact with walter at 9years old, but big possibility of the 3year old administration of cortexiphan. so she may have been dosed but not reactivated

Anonymous said...

anna torv is slipping.

what happened to her, she looks so old and thin.

she is overacting her character fauxolivia.

its so overdone. i think anna cant handle the pressure.

Count Screwloose said...

I think the Lincoln/Kennedy thing was a shout-out to the famous list of coincidences between the two that circulated from some point after the latter's assassination. Although largely debunked now, I remember seeing it passed around many times as I was growing up. It fits the show's interest in coincidence, patterns, and parallel lives, obviously.

For more, see

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
anna torv is slipping.

what happened to her, she looks so old and thin.

she is overacting her character fauxolivia.

its so overdone. i think anna cant handle the pressure."

October 2, 2011 1:57 PM

You are so ignorant. 'OT' Olivia has always been that way. 'OH' Olivia looks that way because her life has been radically altered. Anna Torv looks great in both roles. Go stand in the corner.


Anonymous said...

oh no, you are not one of those that say " give anna all the awards" with every single thing that she does.

i swear if anna even blinks her eyes, you ignorant fans want to give her an award for that.

anna torv looks like a skeleton this season, her beauty is fading away.

john noble is taking her spotlight; she tought that she would be the one, but the press just talks about john noble who steals the show in fringe.

well, it kinda must hurt, putting 14 hours a day shooting fringe and than john comes along and takes over eveything.

Anonymous said...

my sister who never saw fringe in her live, thought that anna was a man .

my sister said that she has the voice and mannerisme of a man.

Lori said...

Anonymous @4:45 and @5:05 you are so jealous of Anna Torv just admit it. You're also a liar your sister did not say that lol you are the epitome of pathetic.Oh and I love Joshua Jackson and his character.

Kit said...

Anna Torv definitely plays up her characters masculinity as OH Olivia, that is because without Peter she has become hardened and self-reliant. Even the way she looks - as Anonymous (aka douchebag) has put it, thin and old has to do with the lack of Peter in her life.

She isn't a daintily featured woman and even though she IS beautiful you would more naturally call her a handsome woman. This isn't a negative thing, it helps to make it believable when she is chasing down and tackling freakish looking shapeshifters etc. She is our generations Sigourney Weaver and she is the bomb.

End of story.

Anonymous said...

The reason why Olivia killed her step dad is because peter wasn't there when she was a kid to talk to her in the white flower field. Peter not being there is the same reason y alt broils is alive.

Carl Matthews said...

Hurry and bring Peter back

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