Review and Recap: Fringe – “Bound”

What you are about to read contains spoilers.  There is no attempt to conceal them as they are necessary for guiding my impressions of the episode.  If you have already seen it or aren’t upset by having your favorite media spoiled, head past the break.  Otherwise, disregard this post completely and continue about reading the rest of the site.

Until the eighth episode, “The Equation,” this show really had no hooks.  The acting was very often sub par, and there was practically no good reason to come back and watch the show each week.  Its repeatability was lacking in several departments.  It was as if the science that was shown wasn’t explosive enough to induce repeat viewing.  The story-line was so thin and without-substance that one would find themselves asking the question, “Why am I watching this show?”

However, The equation began a story arc that momentarily saved the show.  It catapulted viewers through the next two episodes before they hit the castle wall that is the month long break.  To make things worse, the wall was just about to burst.  The assault about to begin.  Until a the cliffhanger came to kill all possible momentum.

Last night Fringe returned from it’s month long hiatus ready to please the world and continue with its story arc.  It began rebuilding the castle walls which had been crumbling from the catapult’s impact.  It began just as the last episode, “Safe,” left off:  Olivia was captured and Mr. Jones was broken out of prison via teleportation.

We find out that Olivia is being kept held by the same men who were responsible for breaking Mr. Jones out of prison, and that she has some kind of purpose to them.  They take a spinal tap.  She makes note of a white stain on a man’s shoe, and in childish move, they unbind her.  One of them gives her a glass of water in an act of kindness, and in an act of rage and violence Olivia smashes it against his head.  She begins her escape, disabling every possible threat along the way, and steals a few of their test-tubes in which samples are contained.  Like a squirrel, she buries the tubes for future recovery.

As is the case with the other episodes, she spends this one trying to solve a very strange death, this time of an important man.  He’s an epidemiologist.  He was suffocated during a lecture on parasites by a giant cell of the common cold traveling and tearing its way out of his body through his esophogus.  To add another dynamic to the show, a new character is introduced, Mr. Harris.  He’s got quite a vendetta against Agent Dunham because she tried to put him away for three counts of molestation.  The charges, however, didn’t stick.  He becomes a severe pain in her side the entire episode, blocking her initiative the whole way.  He may be a saving grace for the show as a whole as there is practically no tension, and an antagonist is very much needed to keep things interesting from episode to episode.

In finding out how this man was killed, Olivia is able to relate the killer to the people who abducted her.  They go on a crazy chase hunting down the person responsible only to find out that it’s one of their own, a man with a stain on his shoe, Agent Mitchel Loeb.  After a some, quite severe, collateral damage, Loeb is arrested and held for interrogation.  During his questioning, Loeb is coerced, through speech, to leak the vaguest of information to Olivia.  It turns out that she has “ruined everything.”  Peter believes he was just trying to strike a chord with her, and it was successful.

It’s unfortunate that its wasn’t as successful to the viewers.  This small plot twist was almost immediately cut off by Peter.  It barely had it’s legs before it was chopped down and thrown through the grinder.  It was as if they were delivering a still-born baby.  This plot point should have spawned all sorts of questions and story arc ideas to run through the viewers’ head, however, due to its delivery, it fell on deaf ears.

Disregarding this issue, the episode was actually quite good.  It had some nice comedic moments and tension breaking from Walter, two strange and gruesome deaths of epidimologists due to giant cases –literally– of the common cold, and an end to an only-just-begun story arc.  The unfortunate truth about this show is that it’s starting to go back to its origins.  Some may say that that is a good thing, but for a show that had no plot for six episodes, it could be the death of it.  This is quite sad considering it was just starting to intriuge minds and make for interesting viewing.  Until this show can man up and follow some wild tangents, there really isn’t much to see.  After all, what is a show about wild occurences supposed to do without a few wild plot points?

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