Thursday, May 20, 2010

This Week in Fringe - 5/20/10

And so it arrives, the second season finale of Fringe, and probably more importantly, Leonard Nimoy's final on-screen acting appearance. Was this the proper send off for the legendary actor? And does this episode get me even more excited for Season Three? Let's find out... with SPOILERS!

Season 2 Finale: Episode 22 - "Over There (Part 2)"

As indicated by the title, this week's episode carries on right from where Part 1 left off, with Walter and Olivia already in the alternate universe; Walter is of course in the hospital after being shot, and Olivia is a fugitive looking for him, but luckily William Bell has showed up to assist her (finally!). Obviously there's a bigger situation here, what with the highly secure measures of this alternate universe, word soon travels to "Walternate" that a William Bell is in the hospital, and he sends alternate Olivia and Charlie after him while he and his recently returned son, Peter, discuss the blueprints for the device that would eventually eradicate the normal universe.

So for once we already have our set up and situation from the start, there's no lead up to some bigger case at hand, there's no monsters of the week, just pure story and character development, and it's great. But the star of this episode is definitely Leonard Nimoy as William Bell. Instead of his usual, elusive self, William gets a ton of screen time, as he should, because with Nimoy retiring, this was basically our last chance to really get to know him. I'd say about... 80% of the episode has Nimoy on screen, and every bit of it was freaking awesome! It was great to actually get to see him being a bit of a dick to Walter, and the interactions between the two of them were just brilliant. But it was even more awesome to see Nimoy being... well, awesome. He blew up a freaking truck!!! Not even Arnold Schwarzenegger gets to do that on a daily basis!

But sadly, William Bell's awesomeness comes to an end, and he sacrifices himself in a very Spock-like fashion; he even puts his right hand up, and I was just waiting for him to split his fingers and says "I have been and always shall be your friend," to Walter. He didn't, sadly, but it was a pretty shocking/heroic moment to see his character disintegrate before we ever really got to see him in the series. I'd of definitely loved to see more Walter/William episodes like this, but I suppose that's what will make this episode all the much more special.

As for the non-Nimoy parts of the episode, there's a lot to do with both Olivias trying to cope with the other's existence. And yes, annoyingly, our Olivia finally confesses her love for Peter, which may or may not make Season 3 suck a lot... which I'll get to in a bit. See, to get passed everyone, our Olivia disguises herself as the other Olivia, which seems to work quite well and the major threat of the episode (the Peter Doom Machine) seems to have been very nonthreatening after all. That is, until the final moments, when it's revealed that alternate Olivia actually came into our universe, and it turns our that Walternate is keeping our Olivia in captivity, the obvious story-arc for Season 3 being how Peter and Walter can get her back. This is a cliffhanger that the Fringe writers can't possibly ignore. Fall can't come soon enough.

Overall Score: 9.5/10

Yes, it's the same score I gave the VFH Seal of Approval winning episode, "Peter," and while this episode was just as great as that, there was something a bit more special about "Peter" when compared to the rest of the season that really made it stand out. "Over There (Part 2)" will definitely be one of my highlights of Fringe and not to mention Leonard Nimoy's career. But if you're wondering why there's no Seal for this episode, it's because as great as it may be, it comes after a string of great episodes, and in a sense feels slightly less special.

Stay tuned next week for a complete Season 2 recap!

Missed the episode? Watch it on Hulu

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