Friday, December 3, 2010

Fringe “Entrada” Recap & Review

 Photos © 2010 FOX Television

Fringe (Fox) will be moving to Friday nights beginning in January 2010, and as a result I won’t be able to recap the episodes every week.  I’ll still be watching, of course. “Entrada” closes the loop – at least for now – on Olivia Dunham’s (Anna Torv) imprisonment in the alternate universe. And it’s not a moment too soon.

It seems that The Secretary – AKA Walternate (John Noble) – has what he need from Olivia – it’s Cortexaphan – and he’s going to have her sent back to our universe. She’ll be going back minus a few critical organs, though, which means she’ll be going back dead.

In the previous episode, Fringe: Abducted”, Olivia won the support of Colonel Broyles (Lance Reddick) when she helped solve a mystery which related to his son’s kidnapping and resulting illness, which ultimately helped restore his son’s health and well-being. Now, Colonel Broyles helps Olivia escape from Liberty Island and helps her get to Walternate’s old lab so she can get into the isolation chamber to return home. Sadly he pays for it with his life.

But, first things first. In Fringe: Abducted”, we saw Peter get the phone call late at night from a woman saying she had a message from the real Olivia and that she was trapped on the other side.  This scene replays in "Entrada" but now Peter waits until the Alternate Olivia is asleep, and then tries to access her computer. When she wakes up and asks what he’s doing, he just says he’s doing his email. But when he makes a comment to her by using a Greek phrase that Olivia should know and this Olivia  doesn’t know it, he knows for sure she is not the real deal. The problem is, she realizes that her cover is blown, and with Peter at gunpoint, has Peter inject himself with a paralytic so she can flee. Her problem is she takes HIS computer, and leaves hers with Peter. Oops.

While our Fringe team works to track her down, Alternate Olivia works to get her way back to her own side, using the old typewriter to communicate to the alternates that her cover is blown and she needs to get out. She enlists the help of the typewriter storekeeper – with the promise she’ll get him better legs – to do something for her. She also gets some help from a shape shifter. A sharp eyed Astrid (Jasika Nicole) notices that the bakery shop where the alternate Olivia was bringing bakery from to give to Walter was not the location where Alternate Olivia implied.  Broyles, Peter, and Walter head to the area where the bake shop is located. Peter reaches the typewriter shop and sees his computer and knows she’s been there. When they get the shopkeeper to show them the room that Alternate Olivia used to communicate, Peter looks at the typewriter ribbon and sees the typing showing that she’s going to Penn Station. This is where a shape shifter injects something into Alternate Olivia, and, when a woman walks into the rest room and sees them in the act, she becomes the person to which the shape shifter changes. When Walter, Peter, and Broyles arrive at Penn Station and see Alternate Olivia, she uses what looks like the woman who stumbled upon them in the restroom as a hostage. When the woman’s daughter freaks out at the sight of her mother as hostage, Peter decides to ask the hostage to give him her daughter’s name. When she can’t, Peter know the hostage is a shape shifter and shoots her. Alternate Olivia is taken into custody.

She’s not in custody for long.  While she’s in the police wagon being held, she uses whatever device that was injected into her and makes her escape back to her universe. Walter realized too late that she has some sort of harmonic rod that he and William Bell used to cross over. Peter, Walter, and especially Broyles, are shocked to find that in her place, Colonel Broyles has been returned – dead. And he’s been sent back in a manner that he accounts for all the material or mass used to bring the Alternate Olivia back.

Meanwhile, Olivia, who got into Walternate's isolation tank while Broyles stalls the security people, makes it back home. Broyles gets word that their own Olivia came back to the lab – much to the surprise of Astrid who is there when Olivia climbs out of the isolation tank. Olivia had collapsed and was taken to a hospital, where later she reunites with Peter. He doesn’t let on what happened between him and her alternate.

Later, Broyles contemplates over his alternate’s body, and Alternate Olivia is back to work at the Alternate Fringe division. It seems that Colonel Broyles is "missing" from work. The typewriter shop man gets an injection from a man looking like Mr. Rogers and the typewriter man walks without help, a bit wobbly but better than before. In return, Mr. Rogers guy has his hands on another part of Walternate’s machine.

I’m sure we haven’t heard the end of the alternate universe or Walternate. But it’s good to have things back where they belong. There is sure to be some fallout, though, when Peter tells Olivia what he was doing with her alternate while Olivia was on the other side. One question I have is – if it is so important to keep matter in balance when things switch universes, how did our Olivia get back with nothing in trade? If the Alternate Olivia went back with the enough of Colonel Broyles to account for the swap, then what accounted for our Olivia on the other side? Was Colonel Broyles enough for both Olivias? If someone out there can clarify this for me, I’d be grateful.

As I mentioned earlier, in January 2011, Fringe will be moving to Friday nights, and as a result, I may not be able to recap regularly. I do hope that viewers continue to support the show, as it is one of the finest science fiction shows on television right now. 

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