Fringe: The Equation

Stretch... knuckle-crack... exhalation. Fringe has been on hiatus for a while (it returns April 7th), so now seemed a good enough time as any to wrap up a few of those episodes I didn’t get a chance to review at the beginning of the season. But don’t worry if you’re catching up on back episodes—I’m keepin’ it spoiler-clean for those that follow.

The Theme of the Week wasn’t just mind control: it was manipulation of others for personal gain. The director of the mental institution manipulated Walter into further insanity—probably because of some sort of power trip. Janet Ostler manipulated Ben into finishing the equation through truly unmitigated cruelty. Even Walter manipulated, albeit with little success, Dashiell Kim into revealing the truth behind his abduction.

Poor befuddled Walter was the shining star of this episode—his hesitant insistence on not being “really back” in St. Claire’s was quite touching, and was a great example of the kind of subtle gesture that a great actor can use to create a sympathetic character despite his flaws.

But as Peter says, “After some of the things I’ve seen in the past three months, Walter’s one of the sanest people I know.” Because Walter’s not crazy crazy. He’s just a slightly amoral and misunderstood genius. He didn’t even start seeing things until after they medicated him.

As far as the main storyline is concerned... well, child abuse is never a friendly topic, but it does slightly decrease the suspense: I trust that network TV shows won’t kill off a young boy—it’s just too brutal. (Not that I’m complaining.) So the real suspense gets shifted to whether or not Ben will complete the equation, and what the equation might mean. The equation means apple. Must be that new math.

Things of Fun:

Peter: “The US Government had you working on mind control?”
Walter: “It wasn’t the government... it was an ad agency.”

The face Peter made when Olivia said she’d played the oboe for six months and then quit was priceless.

“Mathematical equations are not conducive to my mental stability.” I say something like that every time I try to balance my checkbook.

Peter is left-handed. As you probably know, left-handed people are better than regular people.

I saw the Ostler equals Hotel Name coming. My left-handedness knows no boundaries!

Three out of four apples.

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

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

This one actually got to me. And again, because of Walter and Peter. Walter's courage in walking back into that hospital for the sake of a little boy he didn't know, and Peter threatening the administrator because he kept Walter.

"Joanne Ostler" looked familiar so I looked her up. It's Britta from Community in a very non-Britta-like role.

Patryk said...

Britta is really the worst isn't she? :)