A little late, but it's here! The first part of Fringe's second season finale has aired and I'm about to give you my thoughts. Can ya dig it?
Episode 21 - "Over There (Part 1)"
All the waiting and breaks have finally come to this, the (first part of the) Season Two finale of Fringe. I have to say, I was really disappointed with the show during the first half of the season, and I'm sure that was very apparent in my reviews, but ever since the show came back from its long hiatus it has been more/less consistently good, and actually sticking to the main story arc for once. And now that we've reached the season finale (not series finale mind you, it was recently renewed for a third season, which seemed doubtful before the hiatus) it can only get better I think, because if the first season is anything to go by, Fringe is not only at its best when it sticks to the main story arc, but it's also really great in the finale.
"Over There (Part 1)" opens up very interestingly, in the alternate universe, complete with a red version of the traditional Fringe opening titles. We see alternate versions of Olivia, Charlie, Astrid, Broyles, and see that the alternate Fringe Division is a full-fledged military force. They're investigating a recent hole in the universe, and it turns out it was cause by Walter, Olivia, and a few familiar faces... and then goes back 36 hours. In an effort to find Peter (who has been taken by "Walternate") Walter and Olivia both use their tips from the Observer to find a way into the alternate world, with the help of some reluctant "classmates" of Olivia's from the Jacksonville facility. Together, they and Walter manage to bring themselves across into the alternate world and cause a whole mess of issues for themselves and their alternate versions.
Meanwhile, Peter tries to reconnect with his long lost original Mother, and we learn that "Walternate" is the Secretary of Defense in the alternate universe, and needs Peter for a very peculiar machine. What I liked about this episode, and other ones that take place in the alternate universe, is noticing all the subtle differences in the world. There's stuff like buildings in New York City that were planned but never built in our world, stricter security methods, an actually bronze Statue of Liberty, Nixon on the silver dollar, and Martin Luther King Jr. on the $20 bill, plus dozens more things.
Oh, and William Bell (Leonard Nimoy!) finally shows up in person again, and considering I heard his voice this morning in Land of the Lost (which I just happened to turn on...) and was utterly shocked that he would've agreed to be in such a film, I was very pleased to see him back in pure awesomeness. And assuming that he appears in the second part of this finale, this will be Leonard Nimoy's final acting appearance, as he has finally retired from acting for good, which is sad, but hopefully it'll make next week's finale that much more special. We'll see!
Overall Score: 9/10
Missed the episode? (like I did) Watch it on Hulu