Fringe: Stowawy

Posted by: Andrew Burns  //  March 20, 2011 @ 7:27pm

Filed under: TV Recaps/Reviews 

Olivia Dunham, in the alternate universe, with the cup of tea. If Fringe was a game of 'Clue' I would of won after my prediction in last week's review. In "Stowaway" Bell-livia (Olivia possessed by William Bell) officially confirms that he did dosed Olivia's cup of tea with his soul magnet invention during their first encounter on the other side.

"Stowaway" picks up just shortly after the big reveal in last week's episode. After confirming it is indeed William's concessions in Olivia's body Walter is ecstatic to have his old friend back. Peter and the rest of fringe team on the other hand are not so thrilled about this new situation. Bell-livia insists Olivia is fine and is only a temporary host until Walter can find him a suitable vessel, without its own consciousness, to inhabit. But while they scan medical databases for this mystery vessel Bell-livia joins the rest of the team when a fringe case arises. The case of the week being about woman unable to die after being struck by lightning twice, making her molecules almost impossible to break apart. After this woman is the only one to walk away after a joint suicide attempt, off of a ten story building, another FBI agent joins the investigation; who happens to be none other than Lincoln Lee (Seth Gamble) from our universe.

Anna Torv has another stand out performance in this episode. Just being the regular Olivia Dunham would seem difficult enough as it is with all of the emotional obstacles she comes across. Then add in Torv playing her character's alternate version, Fuaxlivia, and then both when she played the regular Olivia pretending to be Fauxlivia. It just becomes mind blogging how great of an actress she really is. The Aussie does all of this in an American accent, no less, then is still able to amaze as she literally embodies Leonard Nimoy's character, William Bell. Now at first I'll admit I was a bit sceptical that Torv's Nimoy impression would over shadow the episode and take away from the story, but it didn't at all. Torv never comes close to being too over the top in her performance or seems to struggle to become this different character. Rather it seems like the opposite for Torv. She looks to be having a blast playing off of John Noble like she was actually Nimoy himself. So just to recap Torv is able change her accent from Australian to American, her voice and mannerisms from female to male, and make it all look fun and easy. At next year's Emmys I'm going to be baffled she isn't at least nominated.

As for Gamble's introduction, into Fringe's other universe, it was a pleasant surprise. His agent Lee's 'out of the box' thinking could possibly bring him back to help the gang in fringe division in the future. Becoming a full-fledged member of this team might be a stretch but Lincoln got along great with everybody, especially Peter, so I liked that they left it open for that possibility. Not what I was expecting but it was good introduction for the Lincoln Lee character from the main universe and the timing for his introduction made sense. Seeing as while Olivia is being possessed by Bell she is in a coma like state being unaware of what is going on. If Olivia was just herself when agent Lee was introduced she might believe he was from the other side. So good timing but I hope this isn't the last we see of Gamble in this universe.

"Stowaway's" weekly fringe event wasn't all that exciting but it's fate theme did play nicely into the rest of the episode. Thanks to the story by Jeff Pinkner, J. H. Wyman, and Akiva Goldsman the writing in the episode intertwines the small story-lines for "Stowaway" with the larger multiple story arcs of the whole series beautifully. Making these different story concepts connect is difficult enough to do without it being too obvious or seem forced. But the real talent is shown in how the writers were able to make the episode come full circle. Have the concepts of fate and density are very tricky to mesh with a science based series, yet somehow Fringe makes a solid case for these opposing conceptions.

I would have liked a little more time with Bell-livia and the Bishops but the other version of agent Lee reasonable trade off. Like last week's episode Fringe uses yet another great cliff hanger to end the episode on. Even though Fringe's next episode takes place in the alternate universe when they return to the main universe it will be a race to find William Bell a body before he dies ...again. Now it might sound like wishful thinking or typecasting but if they find a body for Bell my vote is for J.J. Abrams & Fringe to bring on Zachary Quinto to the show. A little obvious sure, but he did a great job filling Nimoy's shoes once before. So why not? It's so crazy it might just work.

Tags: Fringe, Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole, Seth Gabel, Jeff Pinkner, J.H. Wyman, Zachary Quinto

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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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