Wednesday, May 13, 2009 07:59 PM
On the Viewer - Fringe (Episode 20 - "There's More Than One of Everything")
 by Fëanor

Robert Jones returns! And he shoots Nina Sharp and steals the power cell out of her bionic arm! Walter disappears! What a crazy opening! And things get even crazier from there. This might actually be one of the craziest, most out there episodes of Fringe yet, and that's saying something.

At this point Olivia is convinced William Bell is funding ZFT and is responsible for its actions, so she insists on seeing him. Nina says Bell has nothing to do with ZFT, but promises to get Olivia an interview with Bell if Olivia can stop Jones from killing him first! She reveals that Jones was one of the first employees of Massive Dynamic and has a weird kind of prodigal son relationship with Bell; many of his terrorist acts may have been an attempt to impress Bell, or prove himself to Bell. And now he wants him dead.

But, Nina further reveals, Bell is not in this world! He's in another reality, and has been hiding out there for some months. Jones needed the cell hidden in Nina's arm to power a machine that can open up a gateway from this universe into that alternate reality, so he can get to Bell. The problem is, there are only one or two places where the boundary between worlds is weak enough to make this possible, and Jones isn't exactly sure where the perfect spot is, so he tries a couple of different places, in one case bringing half a truck in from another world, and in another case cutting some poor dude in half when the gateway shuts on him.

Meanwhile, Walter is with the Observer, who says he's not supposed to interfere, but feels he must give Walter a few hints anyway. He shows him a coin and asks him if it's familiar. It is, but that's because it's another version of the coin Walter is thinking of. "There is more than one of everything," the Observer says. Cool. Anyway, the Observer says Walter has to find something quickly and it's very important. Walter goes rummaging around his old beach house, certain the special something is there, but not sure what it is. Peter shows up and helps him remember. Turns out the item is a gadget that will shut gateways between universes. Handy, that!

Walter happens to know there's a potential parallel world gateway nearby (that's in fact why he got this beach house - to have a house near it), and that just happens to be the same spot where Jones, Olivia, and everybody else is headed. It's a big showdown which ends with a pretty tense race between Jones and our heroes - can he get through the gateway before they get him, or close the door? It's at this point that it comes out that although Jones' dalliance with teleporting is slowly killing him, it's also in the meantime made him immune to bullets! Which is pretty ridiculous, but then, what isn't in this show? Regardless, the outcome of the showdown is cool and satisfying. Afterwards, Olivia gets her interview with William Bell as promised - but not quite in the location she expected! It's a pretty fascinating and shocking conclusion, and it's great to see Leonard Nimoy back on TV as William Bell.

Before Olivia sees Bell, Walter wanders off again to visit a gravestone we've seen him standing at a few times. I had already guessed whose name would be on it, and why, but the reveal was still pretty cool. We've been told over and over throughout the series that Peter was sick when he was young and this supposedly made him forget a lot of things that had happened when he was younger. Walter will often describe something from Peter's childhood that Peter won't remember at all. I suspect this is because the Peter from this world died when he was a child, and Walter couldn't take the loss, so he went into a parallel world where Peter had not died and brought him back to this one. The transport probably didn't go all that well for either of them. That's just a guess, of course, but I feel pretty confident about it.

As in many episodes of this show, there are a number of moments in this episode that really stretched my suspension of disbelief. I didn't like the casual way Olivia, Nina, and Broyles explained to Charlie (as if it were common knowledge) that deja vu is actually a glimpse of a parallel reality. I also didn't like Walter's similar claim that taking LSD gives you glimpses of parallel realities. In fact, I'm a little confused about this whole parallel reality theory in general. Is there just one parallel reality adjacent to ours, or many? Because if there are many (as I would assume there would be), how did Jones know which one to go to, or how to tune in on just that one?

So yeah, I had some problems with the episode. But it was a ton of fun with a lot of cool ideas and exciting sequences. I particularly liked the phrase that they used for the title, and all that it implies. They've planted a lot of seeds this season that can grow into pretty exciting stuff next season, so I'm looking forward to seeing where they go with all this.

But now I have to go back and watch the episode that came before this one, which I missed!
Tagged (?): Fringe (Not), On the Viewer (Not), TV (Not)

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Welcome to the blog of Jim Genzano, writer, web developer, husband, father, and enjoyer of things like the internet, movies, music, games, and books. For a more detailed run-down of who I am and what goes on here, read this.

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