Episode Title: "Os"
Writers: Josh Singer & Graham Roland
Director: Brad Anderson
Previously on "Fringe":
Ever since FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) was replaced by her alternate self from another universe, she's had difficulty stepping back into her life. Olivia also had a hard time forgiving Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) for having a romantic relationship with with "Fauxlivia" while she was trapped. And Peter himself seems to have become unhinged, after secretly hunting down several shapeshifters and murdering them without the knowledge of his friends and colleagues. Only Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) became aware of the truth, but stayed quiet to protect his son.
More recently, Peter convinced Olivia to give their relationship another chance and after some soul searching, she agreed and led him back to his bedroom.
In the Massive Dynamic building, Walter gets high with a security guard who looks suspiciously like Hurley from "Lost." The guard (Jorge Garcia) shows Walter the one room no one goes into: William Bell's personal office. Hours later, Walter bursts into Nina Sharp's (Blair Brown) office with a stack of his and Bell's best ideas, including viral dreaming, a morality detector and animal ESP. He tells Nina that he is sure that this formerly lost research may hold the key to saving their universe. Elsewhere, two thieves break into a metal depository. A security guard stops and shoots one of them, whose dead body proceeds to float upwards.
At his personal lab, Peter examines the memory disks he stole from the shapeshifters but he comes up empty in his attempts to retrieve the data. Olivia calls him, thinking that he's still at home, but he lies and says that he's at the gym. Broyles (Lance Reddick) soon calls them and Walter in on the floating body at the metal depository. They examine the man's belongings and find a key card to another building. Meanwhile, the surviving thief approaches Dr. Krick (Alan Ruck) with news of his partner's death. The thief soon dies as well from a toxic level of osmium in his blood.
Back at Walter's lab, he makes the connection to osmium, which is generally known for being a heavy element. The body of the thief killed at the depository suddenly crashes to the ground and becomes too heavy to lift. Elsewhere, Dr. Krick begins dissecting the other thief when Olivia and Peter show up. He escapes, but they find evidence that many young men had died and been dissected in similar circumstances. All with toxic levels of osmium in their blood and all of them with severe muscular dystrophy. Back at the lab, Walter is alarmed by the fact that the osmium is basically breaking the laws of physics.
In his desperation to get help, Walter shows Nina Bell's files on "soul magnets," which may summon the soul of his dead friend. But Nina is unconvinced that it will work. At a gym, Dr. Krick watches his son Michael (Lance Reddick) dominate a wheelchair league basketball game. He also preys upon a young man named Vince (Greyston Holt), who is also stricken with muscular dystrophy. He cons Vince into taking his mixture of osmium and lutetium, a mineral found only in meteorites. It allows Vince to float freely like the thieves. And then Krick subtly convinces Vince to help him steal more.
At a museum, Krick and Vince get inside, but Peter, Olivia and the rest of the team catch them in the act. Vince almost floats away uncontrollably, but Peter saves his life. Later, Peter and Walter bring Michael to see his father in prison, but the son is heart broken that his father thought he needed to be "fixed." Krick then explains to Walter how he combined the two elements, which shouldn't have worked. Walter realizes that only the fundamental breakdown of their universe caused the elements to fuse. Elsewhere, Peter takes Olivia aside and begins to confess about his rogue activities before taking her to his lab.
Back at Massive Dynamic, Walter activates Bell's model bell, thinking that it will summon Bell's soul into Nina herself. But instead, nothing happens. However, at Peter's lab, he gets a major surprise when Olivia responds to his question in Bell's voice. Walter's soul magnet experiment worked... and Bell says it's good to see Peter again.
A couple weeks back, Leonard Nimoy hinted that he may come back to "Fringe" as William Bell. So I was expecting some kind of cameo from him in this episode, rather than the ending we got. And don't get me wrong, I liked it. Out of all of Walter's crazy experiments, this was the one I expected him to fail completely at. So it was a nice surprise when it did work. It's a little too soon to say how well Anna Torv can pull off an imitation of Nimoy, but her first lines as Bell were pretty good.
The thing that "Fringe" does better than almost any other show on TV is the way that it marries the done-in-one episodes with the continuing storyline of the season/series. Everything tracks back to the pending destruction of the universe, even when it's not directly related to the Walter vs. Walternate arc. But it's clear that Walter is right and our universe is becoming unhinged like the alternate Earth. That's actually a very exciting direction to take the series and I'm looking forward to seeing more examples of this.
Dr. Krick was one of the more intriguing villains on "Fringe" in a while, because he had a true altruistic reason to do some of the horrible things that he did. Compare that to the scientist a few episodes back who was infecting people with killer bugs just to get the glory of making a major medical breakthrough. It was also a powerful moment when Michael rejected his father's efforts on his behalf because he was satisfied with his life. And because he already felt whole and didn't need fixing.
The new relationship between Peter and Olivia has also been fun to watch so far, as they slowly provoked each other to be more honest and live without secrets. It was also impressive that the writers didn't drag out the one secret that Peter had been keeping from her: what really happened to the missing shapeshifters. There's a great moment when Olivia looks at Peter and we see her realize the truth on her face while he silently confirms it. And what I liked most about it was that she didn't flip out and start accusing him of anything. She just kind of accepted it.
Jorge Garcia's cameo was also amusing and I love seeing Walter use his Massive Dynamic assets whenever he seems to remember them. But I am getting a weird vibe between Walter and Nina these days, which I'm hoping won't be a romantic connection. I don't think that's where the series is going, but they do seem to be getting closer. I've also been surprised that she never makes an issue of the fact that Walter basically cost Nina her hand when he stole Peter from the alternate universe. Come to think of it, we haven't seen Nina's artificial hand for a while.
I'd almost think that Nina's a fake, except she seems more concerned about keeping this universe alive and overly invested in Peter and Olivia's relationship... which I presume stems from Sam's prophecy from a few episodes back: Peter will spare the universe with the Olivia that he loves. Of course, Sam could be wrong or lying... It certainly wouldn't be the first time.
God, I love this show.
Crave Online Rating: 8.5 out of 10.