Guest Blogger: The Red-Headed Mule’s Clarence Riley Recaps Fringe’s Brave New World Part 1

Hello, BiffBamPop readers and Fringe fans! I’m sharing my thoughts about the latest Fringe happenings. I’ve been a fan of Fringe since that fateful Sunday night debut four seasons ago. Fringe may have been “X-Files lite” back then but I still enjoyed the first season. It seems like Torv & Jackson being on the cover of Entertainment Weekly came from an alternate universe, doesn’t it?

What makes Fringe one of the best TV shows today is the journey of the characters. These engaging people are always welcome to act out their temporal struggles in my home. Anyone watching Fringe week by week will wonder why John Noble, or even Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson, never gets considered for a major TV award. Mad scientist Walter Bishop should be one of the highlights to be promoted by anyone airing Fringe, whether Fox or some other channel in the future.

Last week we may have seen the last of the alternate universe. Both universes were saved by closing the bridge linking them. Before the alt-Fringe team vanished, Alt-Olivia (“Fauxlivia” suggests that the fiery redhead is a wrongful “fake”) gave a touching reminder of the normalcy she desires in her universe. An amazing bonding moment happens with the Walters, too.

This episode has the Fringe team find David Robert Jones once and for all. Jones plants nanites on an escalator. These deadly nanites trigger spontaneous combustion when the victim proceeds to move far enough. Olivia shows her latent Cortexiphan-driven ability of, in my view, manipulating molecules: first with a lab subject they picked up from the incident and next with Peter in a fight with Jones. Through Walter’s help, Olivia and Peter find antennas that beam rays of sunlight. Jones has already started a plan to blow up Boston by aiming the satellite-guided beams to an underground oil reservoir, but…

Confined by Walter’s detective work, the nanites were created by William Bell. Leonard Nimoy returns as the ultimate heel in play. Nimoy’s Bell shows his fondness for chess and willingness to sacrifice a bishop. The bishop is actually David Robert Jones as he is defeated, thrown onto the antenna, and dies.

What is Bell’s endgame? There is a powerful device inside a shipping warehouse from which Bell used to import almonds. Astrid and Walter investigate the warehouse. A lone gun-wielding attendant meets them. When said attendant suspects Walter and Astrid are snooping around, he and other gunmen open fire on the duo. Astrid is shot while she and Walter run away. Walter stops, holds Astrid, and is now held captive by Bell. Whatever is being developed in the warehouse is making a noise “like a rhino, but only more nasal.”

This first episode in a two-parter is typical great Fringe. Next week is the season finale and the end of the story that began four years ago. Fringe will be back for a final 13-episode season. Hopefully off-network syndication will improve Fringe’s legacy. As the show stands now, we’re likely to see an exciting finish.

Clarence Riley tends to the Red-Headed Mule ( originating from the Deep South Swamplands. He was once a hardcore PC gamer, but developed a knack for clearing Angry Birds stages on Android devices. He wants to writes the next great adventure, but the people in his story only come to him in his dreams…

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