Fringe: 6B

Posted by: Andrew Burns  //  February 21, 2011 @ 9:18pm

Filed under: TV Recaps/Reviews 

Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic? Have you or your family ever seen a spook, spectre or ghost? If the answer is "yes," then don't wait another minute. Pick up the phone and call the professionals... The Fringe Division. Okay maybe I borrowed those lines from "Ghostbuster", but who else are you going to call when there are ghosts in New York City and the boys in grey haven't strapped on a proton packs since the 80's?

After six people fall to their deaths from a supposedly haunted New York City apartment building the fringe team investigates this unexplained phenomenon. When Walter and Peter figure out that those deaths all defy the laws of physics the building's ghost stories quickly turn it to something much more serious. A tare between the two universes is starting to open and Walter fears his side will start to decay like Walternate's universe. Meanwhile, during the investigation Peter and Olivia try to move forward in their complicated minefield of a relationship to make things work.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw the preview for this week's episode, "6B", since it sounded like it would revolve around the possibility of there being ghosts. Maybe it's the hard core "Ghostbusters" fan in me but I was hoping for some Fringe version of ectoplasm or Walter trying to create an unlicensed nuclear accelerator. Instead the case turned out to be a similar problem that the alternate universe has to deal with, being the small holes that start to form before creating a deadly vortex. When the fringe team eventually verifies that is indeed a crack in their universe Walter does a quick 180 from his usual zany attitude to being aggressively responsible for this event. He even goes as far as taking the same steps the alternate fringe division do and reverse engineers the amber compound from one of their earlier cases.

The reasoning behind the cause of that crack starting to expand to being a possible vortex is what has been the biggest stretch Fringe has taken all season. That being a woman grieving over her late husband in this universe, and that same husband grieving over his late wife in the other (it sounds a lot simpler when you've seen the episode). Both being some kind of soul mates, even in both universes, and their heightened emotional states create a form of 'quantum entanglement'. Now I give Fringe's writers credit for trying to add the actual science of that effect since it was one of Einstein's theories, but the ghost story angle would have been more believable. However, as much as I questioned the episode's logic it is saved by the moving performances of the elderly on screen couple, making an unbelievable concept slightly more believable.

As for the latest chapter in the Fringe love triangle Peter and Olivia go back and forth in this episode before ultimately going...well you know. I always knew those two would eventually get together but I'm still on the fence if it has been too soon since the whole Fauxlivia ordeal. It has been over 5 episodes since Peter told Olivia his involvement with her double, so in TV time that's at least a couple of months I guess. Also with Fauxlivia being pregnant now there is no need to drag out their complicated relationship angle just for the sake of creating tension between the two, because that will be happening soon enough. Peter and Olivia's relationship problems are what make this episode work as well a it did becaue it produces a great parallel between them and the elderly couple.

All in all, as much as I want to question certain motives for the direction of this show my patience as always paid off. Fringe's show runners have stated early in this series that they know exactly where they are going and how it all ends. It's just a matter of figuring out how many episodes to space everything out. From what "6B" can tell us for future episodes is that we probably won't see this supernatural angle again since Peter almost laughs when Walter draws the line at ghosts. It seems like the afterlife was the only Walter and William Bell disagreed upon in regards to the impossible. Go figure.

Tags: Fringe, Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole, Seth Gabel, Walternate, Ghostbusters

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Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.

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