Fringe is back folks ...again. With the story taking place back in our universe (or prime universe), "The Box" still has that season premiere feel to it.
Like last week's episode, "Olivia", this episode takes place a couple of weeks after the season 2 finale. While Peter and Broyles are worried after going over the plans of Walternate's doomsday weapon to destroy their universe, Walter is trying to figure out a way that Gene (the lab's resident cow) can naturally produce chocolate milk. And alternate Olivia is trying to fit into life on the other side while enlisting help from Newton, the frozen head guy from last season. Man I love this show!
"The Box" revolves around a piece of the ancient tech to be used in Walternate's doomsday device. It starts out like any other 'case of the week' type episode until the Fringe team figures out that it's no ordinary box. Turns out that Newton is the one searching for the box but this time he's not alone. The alternate Olivia is working with Newton and she goes to see him as her liaison to the prime universe so she can blend in easier and help him track down this missing piece of this weapon. There is a very cool dynamic between Olivia and Newton just because it's not the regular Olivia, so it's fun to watch him taking orders from her. From the looks of it Newton might be in the picture more than last season, which I like because he plays a great villain.
There's a small side story line in this episode where Walter and Peter go to Massive Dynamic to meet Nina for the reading of William Bell's last will and testament. Last year when Leonard Nimoy officially announced he was retiring from acting, executive producers said that he had already finished filming every scene Bell was needed for before the series is done. It's also been hinted at that after season 2's finale, where Bell sacrifices himself so the others can get back to the other universe, that we still could see Nimoy again before the series is done. Fingers crossed that this rumour is true, because from the sounds of it Nimoy isn't coming out of retirement anytime soon, even for J.J. Abrams' Star Trek sequel. One of my favourite episodes from last season was the 1985 retro episode "Peter", so I'd love to see another flash back episode with John Noble and Nimoy together again. Whatever the case, when Walter finally shows the audience what Bell left for him in his will, it's a big shock because it's really going to change the dynamic (no pun intended) of the show. I'm not going to tell you what it is; you'll just have to watch it for yourself.
With executive producers like Abrams, Jeff Pinkner, and the rest of their team having already laid a great foundation for this unique series over the last two seasons, they are going to have a lot of fun exploring different concepts this year without jumping the proverbial shark. They have already started showing an example of this with the relationship between Olivia, Peter and alternate Olivia; as Pinkner said, "this is the only show that you can have a love triangle between one man and two versions of the same woman". Also, personally, something I'd love to see this year would be some celebrity like Will Smith, Brad Pitt, or some big name guest star on the alternate universe just being a regular person.
From the looks of the previews of "The Plateau", next week's episode will be back over in the alternate universe with our Olivia. 'Til then, I'll see you on the other side Fringe fans.
Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.