Friday, November 12, 2010

Fringe “6955 kHz” Recap & Review

All photos from Fox

Yet again Fringe (Fox) delivers another fascinating episode in this season’s main story of two universes on a collision course. In “6955 kHz” we are on our own side, but with the alternate Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) continuing to pass herself off as the real thing. The episode gets its title from a mysterious radio signal at 6955 kHz which wipes the memories of those people who are happening to listen its transmission. One doesn’t have to be a fan of science fiction to enjoy Fringe because it offers an interesting mystery that doesn’t require massive amounts of effort to follow from episode to episode.

The episode starts with 15 people scattered on Eastern Seaboard who suffer retrograde amnesia from listening to their shortwave radios on the same frequency – 6955 kHz. The Fringe team – Dunham, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) and Walter Bishop (John Noble) are called in to investigate. They find those people were listening to radio “number stations” and discover that people have been trying to crack the code of the mysterious numbers transmissions for years. The Fringe team believes these amnesia victims were close to cracking the code, and this is why their memories were erased.

Meanwhile, Peter and Olivia continue to cement their romantic relationship. Walter, however, is dismayed that Peter continues to work on the device from the other side.

To examine the transmission without causing the memory erasure, Walter finds a way using a children's toy that makes animal sounds plus a guitar wa-wa pedal. There are two sound waves from the broadcast, one for the numbers, and one for a pulse which is what erased the listeners’ memories. When the Fringe team finds a floating cube at the radio station that made the transmission, they get a fingerprint off the cube and Walter tries to find how the cube works.

While all this is going on, there are signs that Olivia may not be who she says she is, but is anyone really picking up on it? Olivia doesn’t seem to have immediate recall of Ed Markham, the bookstore owner, whose name appeared on a list of one of the initial memory victims chat rooms. She asks Nina (Blair Brown) to talk to Walter about Peter and the machine, and Nina thinks it’s unlike Olivia not to take the direct approach herself. When Peter asks her to recall the numbers from the transmission, Olivia, who is supposed to have a photographic memory, seems to be slow with the recall.

As the team works on the mystery of the numbers, they find out from Markham that it was rumored that when Marconi invented the first radio, he turned it on to hear the numbers already over the airwaves, Markham gives Olivia and Peter a book called “The First People” who were allegedly here long before us, and they apparently had discovered the “Vacuum” which is something like the Big Bang which both creates and destroys. Peter realizes that the numbers heard in the transmissions correspond to an early calendar in the book. Astrid (Jasika Nicole) works on cracking the code, thinking it is some sort of “decoder ring” of sorts.

Later, they get a second cube when another transmission occurs, this time affecting a plane in flight, causing it to crash. It’s that second cube where Peter finds a component that looks new; it's a Polish, military-grade transistor that would have to be registered. But Olivia already knows who is planting the devices, and while others work to crack the code and to trace the source of the component, she heads to the apartment of Joseph Feller (Kevin Weisman) to tell him they are on to him. When she gets a call from Broyles (Lance Reddick) that they are on their way to Feller's, she kills Feller by sending him out his high rise apartment window, to fall to his death. He “bleeds” mercury – he’s a shape shifter. Olivia says he came at her and she had no choice. Peter sees that Fellers’ data storage unit was destroyed in the fall.

Back at the lab, Astrid, possibly inspired by a special sandwich Walter made for her to help her thought process, cracks the code of the numbers - they are coordinates to locations all across the world. The team assumes since the number transmissions are old, that they may be looking for something buried at each location. They excavate the closest location in New Jersey and find what looks like a component to the device that Peter has been working on from the other side. Astrid also finds that one of the locations is for the house where a piece of Walternate's machine was already found buried (located a few episodes ago).
Walter seems to have changed his mind and wants to help Peter assemble the machine, thinking that the outcome doesn’t have to be complete destruction of their world or the alternate.

Olivia heads back to the typewriter which allows her to communicate with the alternate universe and types “ They've located the pieces of the device." The response : "Well done. Initiate Phase Two."

But, back on the alternate side, the real Olivia gets a call from Brandon (Ryan James McDonald ) from the lab; he’s canceling her tank dunk for the day. She sees her “vision” of Peter and he tells her she has to get out of there, and she must know why they canceled the test - they already have what they need from her. He urges "You have to go home."

This is the big question for Fringe viewers – just when will our Olivia get home? So far, the story is not getting old and there is plenty of mystery involving both sides that can keep viewers entertained. Still, as the faux-Olivia’s romance with Peter continues to grow, I find myself hoping that the real Olivia returns sooner than later.

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

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV

No comments: