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Fringe: The Arrival

“It’s disturbing, but you get accustomed to it.”

Let’s take this one plot-line at a time.

The Fringe Science Story:

The phallus-ovum was pretty cool. I like glowing things. Which probably explains why I liked the flash-gun doohickey, too.

The Mythos-In-The-Making Story:

Abaddon is being under-used. He seems to be stuck repeating... well, it’s not even exposition. It’s just ‘we’ve seen this before... we’ve seen this before.’ Should I call that ‘expository back-story’? ‘Desperate relevance-making’? It’s as though without him, this Pattern thing that’s causing so much trouble would bloop out of existence. Because a conspiracy that falls in the forest...

On Roswell, didn’t the aliens like hot sauce? Is The Observer an alien? That would explain his agelessness.

The Character Development Story (Peter Section):

Walter’s obnoxiousness was in full force, and Peter’s annoyance almost matched my own. But the suspense loses something when we know that Peter can’t leave, because the show’s premise would fall apart. Instead of suspense, we’re just left suffering with him in grumpy despair. He gets roped back in either because he wants to find answers, or because he wants to get to know his father. Maybe a bit of both.

The Character Development Story (Olivia Section):

Dead lover phone call? Death just doesn’t mean as much as it used to on TV these days.

Dead lover apparition? I’m sensing a cliffhanger.

I’ve watched this episode twice—once when it first aired, and once more recently to review it. The first time, I kept finding reasons to leave the couch, and I think I wound up baking cookies. This time around I stuck with it. (For you, dear reader. All for you.) But what can I say?

I can’t discern a Theme of the Week, but the whole Observer-as-foil to Peter is pretty clear, especially thanks to the showdown in the graveyard. The Observer connects with Walter in ways that Peter can’t, and Peter himself is stuck observing what goes on both in the FBI, where he doesn’t have clearance, and the lab, where he’s just Walter’s errand boy. And while Peter likes to be removed and distanced from life, he doesn’t like to be powerless in it.

The Theme might be that what’s buried never stays buried, whether it’s Peter’s and Walter’s issues, Olivia’s grief, Astrid’s (totally justified) anger, or a glowy cylinder with sonic awesomeness.

Three for character development, one for John Scott (I just can’t get on board with that), two for mythology…

For a sum total of two out of four glowy phallus/ovum thingamabobs that magically get sucked back into the ground.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)


  1. I think i liked this one more than you. I quite liked the baldy geezer and his derivative eating habits. The only complaint I have is that Peter doesn't seem to have any purpose, thus far. I'm hoping, maybe, he can fly, or read minds... or at least starts to display some discernible skills before long. I think I'm starting to see beyond his Pacey persona, however. Which is a total relief.

  2. Eleven jalapenos. Not ten, not twelve. The X-files-ish stories haven't grabbed me yet, but I'm surprised by how much I really like Peter and Walter. And I'm starting to enjoy the series. Maybe I should have hung in there a little longer three years ago, huh?

  3. That's the episode that hooked me into Fringe. That's when I felt sure they had a master plan or something like it.

    But I didn't like Olvia much back then. Or Broyles.


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