Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fringe “ The Transformation”: Is Change Coming?

Congratulations to the happy couple!
Images from Fox

In this week’s episode of Fringe (Fox), “The Transformation” Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) seems to have come to a crossroads. In order to solve a case, she needs to go back into Dr. Walter Bishop’s (John Noble) isolation tank and reestablish her connection with the memories of the deceased Agent John Scott (Mark Valley), her former colleague and her lover. The problem is in doing so, she must essentially big him goodbye, as the memories she gained from him are quickly fading permanently.

But, as reported yesterday by the TV Guide, Anna Torv won’t be saying goodbye to Mark Valley in real lilfe, as the two secretly married over the Christmas holiday. TV Guide also reported that Valley is leaving the show. This may mark a slight change in direction for the show, which up to now has been somewhat dependent on Valley’s dead character to help Agent Dunham solve some of her cases. I’m assuming this was Valley’s last episode, as Olivia was finally taken to see his dead body – held in suspended animation at Massive Dynamics. Needless to say, she is stunned. She is told by Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) that they kept his body going as a disk that was implanted in Scott as part of a bio-terrorist plot, and they needed his body to continue functioning in order for the disk to keep functioning. But since they weren’t able to get anything from the disk, my guess is there is no reason to keep him in this state much longer.

Agent Scott's body related to the current case through thie implanted disk. It seems someone else who had the disk implanted in him went through a physical transformation while aboard a fully loaded jet – and the jet crashes as a result of the man’s rampage during his transformation. Walter finds a disk in the “hand” of the remains of the transformed man, and suspects it triggered the process. Based on memories Olivia retained from Scott, she was able to identify other people involved in what they suspect is a bio-terrorist plot, and when they pick up another man that was associated with "plane crash guy" and with Scott, he also begins to transform. Lucky for him that Walter is there to help in sedating the man to help slow his transformation, just long enough to get the guy to his lab and put him into a coma to really slow down the process. He too has a disk implanted inside his hand.

It also seems that the man was set to meet someone by the name of Conrad (Al Sapienza), who they believe is selling weapons on the black market. Olivia tries to get the information from John Scott via the isolation tank, but all he tells her is that in one of his memories, he was on a rooftop, pointing a rifle at Conrad, and didn’t kill him because he didn’t know it was Conrad. He also tells her that he was in “black ops” for a secret NSA task force. He doesn’t know anything about the sale in which Conrad may now be involved. He tells her that Hicks – the other man with the disk who Walter has in a coma in his lab – should know.

Walter had been working on a antidote for Hicks and they try to use it to keep him conscious while Olivia and Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) try to make Hick’s meeting with Conrad in his place. Hicks feeds them the proper responses for Conrad’s front men, and things seem to be working well, until one of Conrad’s men asks a question that Hicks can’t answer, because Walter’s antidote was wearing off and he was transforming again. It seems that Hicks became a little stressed when he heard one of the men mention that they were throwing in the antidote with the sale because it would take someone years to develop on their own. While Olivia and Peter wait for Hick’s answer to one of the men’s questions about Ernesto, one of the men who was supposed to have shown up for the meeting, they can hear Hicks going through a very terrifying sounding ordeal. When one of the men, dissatisfied at the delay in their response, pulls out a gun, Peter jumps up and starts yelling at Olivia to just tell them already, that he’s not going to die for Ernesto's “dirty little secret.” Olivia says Ernesto is sick. Lucky for them, Conrad arrives, and Olivia finally uses the code word of “Christmas” which is the signal for the rest of the team to come in and arrest the group. And they do. Olivia leans over to Conrad and says “John Scott says hi.”

Back at the office, Agent Broyles (Lance Reddick) wants Olivia to be happy that they got Conrad. It still leaves Scott’s status as a traitor to the bureau the same, as there is no proof he was working to get Conrad - but Olivia believes he is innocent. She decides to get back in touch with John’s memories. Despite the fact that Olivia’s previous time in the tank was so traumatic that she had to be pulled out, she wants to go back in and she enlists Walter’s help. He warns her that she probably wouldn't be able to find John as her brain waves are returning to normal and her brain is “purging” him. She'd probably only have seconds, so she says to do it now.

In the tank, she sees herself on a dock at a small lake. John appears standing beside her, and she tells him they got Conrad. She is sorry she did not trust John, and he says it was not her fault. He adds there is one other thing, and he takes out a diamond engagement ring and places it on her ring finger. They kiss as a final goodbye, and he disappears. We see Olivia, in the tank, with her eyes closed, saying, “I love you, too."

Now that they seemed to have closed the book on Valley’s character for now, Olivia will be left to her own investigative skills in order to crack cases. It may bring more of a sense of realism to the show that seems to be all about the unrealistic, and maybe it will also help her to move on to another relationship as well. Will that other relationship be with Peter, or does he have eyes for her sister? Or, once he realizes that the book is closed on John Scott, will he be more open to a relationship with Olivia? I have to admit that the “spark” between Torv and Valley on screen was somewhat obvious, and maybe that’s why it never seemed there was much chemistry between Olivia and Peter. It could be that this episode will bring on another transformation – with the relationship between these two. One thing is for sure, I can’t wait for next week’s episode.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, here.

No comments: