Last Thursday, the second season finale of the television show Fringe, “Over There, Part 2,” aired, a rare extended adventure into the alternate universe that Fringe has only briefly given us glimpses of until this point.
Fringe is one of those rare shows where the mythology episodes seem to outshine the “monster of the week” ones. I find myself typically preferring just the opposite – shows like X-Files, Supernatural, and others seemed to always shine in the one-shots, rather than the ongoing mythology episodes. Fringe? Just the opposite – one-off episodes felt like X-Files ripoffs, and the mythology episodes were the strongest of the bunch.
Check out my thoughts on season two of Fringe, and it’s recently aired season finale, after the jump.
I’ve really enjoyed season two of Fringe, but do feel strongly that episodes not related to the mythology, such as “Night of Desirable Objects,” which didn’t suck, were definitely weaker than the rest. Lapses in the show’s logic, such as the ability to travel great distances in a matter of minutes (especially in busy New York City, or Boston) really took me out of the story. However, there were some fantastic season two episodes – the opener, “A New Day in the Old Town,” featured the death of a beloved character. Other shining moments included “Earthling,” “August,” “Peter,” and the fun musical episode, “Brown Betty.”
Though we’ve known since season one, Peter finally finds out that he’s from the alternate universe. He gets pissed at Walter, and goes into the other dimension with “Walternate,” the other universe’s Walter, who also happens to be the Secretary of Defense. Our Walter, along with Olivia and some other of Walter and William Bell’s experiments go over to the other side, where sh*t goes bad really quickly. All of the other experimental kids end up biting it pretty quickly and Walter gets shot. Not only that, they’re being chased by Earth-2 Olivia and Charlie Francis, who’s still alive in this Universe.
In the season finale, Olivia and William Bell save Walter from being whacked in his hospital bed, and come up with a plan to get Peter back to Earth-1. Olivia confronts Earth-2 Olivia and kicks her ass, then dyes her hair and takes her place to find Peter. When she does, she confesses her love to Peter (no l-word spoken though), they share a kiss, and Peter decides to come back to Earth-1, especially when he finds out Walternate’s plan is to use Peter’s power to destroy Earth-1. They’re found out by the Fringe Division at their meeting place (an old opera house), and in the confusion, Olivia is swapped out with Earth-2 Olivia, who comes back to Earth-1 with Walter and Peter, and it seems like William Bell has sacrificed himself to get them there. No one knows that Earth-2 Olivia swapped with Earth-1 Olivia, who is now being held captive on Earth-2.
While the second season finale of Fringe wasn’t a spectacular episode, it certainly was a damn good two-parter, and set up for an interesting opening story to start season three. The direction of the episode was strong, and the acting was great, as usual. John Noble and Joshua Jackson did their usual great jobs, but the standout performance really goes to Anna Torv, who has done tremendous work at making Olivia, who I felt was the week part of the first season, a truly likable and interesting character this season. Leonard Nimoy got to do something this episode other than talk, and while he’s not really an action star, it was fun seeing him in action mode this episode.
I really enjoyed season two of Fringe and I’d venture to say that I enjoyed it just as much as the first. While the romance angle of the show could go either way if furthered in season three, I think that bringing Olivia-2 into the show could definitely lead to some interesting qualifications. In a way, the episode almost reminded me of the BBC show Primeval, where two characters professed their love for each other, right before the past was irreconcilably changed, leading to one of the characters to no longer exist. While Olivia-1 is still alive, I am curious as to how long she’ll stay trapped in Earth-2.
What say you? What did you guys think of the season finale? Or season two in general?