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Fringe: The Transformation

Possums have 15 nipples?

Oh, and... John Scott isn’t dead?

The Fringe team is walking their fine line again between mythology episodes and stand-alones. We were re-introduced Massive Dynamics and the mystery of John Scott, but we also got a massive dose of sci-fi and spy-movie plotting. And can I just say that, between the Fringe season premiere and Lost, J.J. Abrams is starting to convince me to never fly again?

Of course, all of that means that the personal side of Olivia’s character got short shrift. I’m not counting the John Scott bits, of course: they’re too dull to matter. Although Olivia finally getting closure from her suspended-animation ex might be a good sign that she can develop a real romantic interest in anyone…Peter would be great (and he’s spectacular in a double-cross gone wrong), but I’d just settle for someone with a pulse. Literally.

This week I bring you categories from the show itself. How meta, right?:

First we have The Good News (recalling Olivia’s confusion over which was which):

• The microphone earring: a gadget worthy of Get Smart.

• Abaddon yelling at Olivia. What can I say? I like emotion—which would explain my moment of joy when Olivia finally dropped her guard and told her sister about John Scott. Of course, that was just to set up later plot points, so then I felt used.

• The spiny possum-man with animalistic pelage. Really, I just liked learning a new word.

• There should be a Walter quote in this list, but there isn’t one (see below).

The Bad News:

• The tooth falling out in the airplane sink.

• The reliance on Olivia’s memories of John’s, um, memories: do you think they have to pay royalties to Chuck?

• The lack of humor. Not what I expected from a writer with the last name Whedon.

And in the words of Peter: Falls Under the Heading of What the Hell?

• They got the bloodwork back, but the transformation disk rewrote his DNA. So what’d they do the bloodwork on?

• The water tank. Again. It’s a mystery that they would continue to inflict this on us (twice!), and a mystery why the rules keep changing.

• Ernesto’s eye-opening scene. There’s allusion and homage, and then there’s just weirdness.

Between this episode and the return of Chuck, I’m starting to worry that there’s something wrong with me. What was off about this episode? The writers obviously want to make the show accessible to new or casual viewers, which I understand. But can we hope that the John Scott resolution signals a transformation in the interpersonal dynamics of the show? If this dud of an episode serves a larger purpose, then I’m all for it. But in the meantime, I’m going grumble out a rating and slink away...

One out of four possums.

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

5 comments:

  1. Hi Josie,

    I quite enjoyed this episode. I actually felt involved with the plot and did feel some tension towards the end. But there are still things wrong with this show. It's still too X-filesy (only the XF did it so much better) and Walter's supposedly amusing, random comments are becoming a little tiresome.

    Plus, beautiful though Anna Torv is and great actor though she is...I just don't feel any sexual tension whatsoever between her and Joshua. In fact I'm hoping they don't develop the relationship aspect of the show at all.

    Still, I've dumped too many shows in the past only to have them pick and become classics (B5 springs to mind). But I am clock watching whilst watching Fringe at the moment.

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  2. I really want to like this show but like Paul, I find myself watching the clock and calculating just how much more time I have to spend before the episode ends. That is not a good sign (kind of like my last girl friend - when the telephone rang I was actually hoping that it was a telemarkerer and not her).
    More mythology or I am going to give up.

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  3. Peter and Paul (odd coincidence, or something more?), I agree with you both. I think my desperation for an Olivia/Peter pairing is really just desperation for an emotional hook...to match my desperation for a mythology hook, of course.

    I do feel a bit bad about the lack of chemistry I felt at the Oliva/John Scott pairing, as I just learned that the real-life actors who play them just got married. I wish them well!

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  4. Hi Josie,

    That depends on what you're talking about. If you're making reference to the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter, then no. If you're talking about two little birds sitting on a wall, well, I can't speak for Peter, but I'm without a doubt a chaffinch.

    And freaky about Livia and John Scott being married in real life. Man, I hope they have more chemistry in real than they do on screen. Otherwise I don't give their marriage long.

    But what do I know. I'm just a bird?

    *chirp*

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  5. If I were into Olivia's relationship with John Scott, this episode would have been really cool and a massive tearjerker. Too bad. Loved the exceptional job Peter did as Olivia's sting backup, though. Best part of the episode.

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