Well it only took 4 seasons but the oh so lovable Jasika Nicole finally gets her due on Fringe with her own Astro episode. Asterix episode? Aspirin episode? No wait Astrid episode.
Joking aside Nicole's character Astrid has been a series staple since the "Pilot" episode and having her finally get an episode all to herself is exactly what diehard Fringe fans have been waiting for. This week's episode, "Making Angel", exceeds fans' expectations because both the regular universe Astrid and the autistic alternate universe Astrid also get to share the screen with each other. The episode still includes an original idea for its case of the week that delivers some unique backstory into the ever so mysterious Observers.
"Making Angels" begins with the alternate Astrid crossing over to the regular universe after the death of her father, in hopes to meet her doppelganger for emotional support. After the alternate Fringe division learns of their Astrid crossing over they send Bolivia over as well to bring her home. But not before the Fringe team in the regular universe stumbles upon some god-like deaths, enticing both alternates to stick around and help solve the case.
Personally I loved this episode from start to finish because it was both incredibly interesting and hilarious at the same time. Within the opening five minutes I think I probably laughed out loud at least twice for alternate Astrid and Walter's first meeting. Nicole and Noble have always had great chemistry in the past, but this was the first time the autistic version of Astrid and the regular zany version of Walter ever had a scene together and the result was amusingly comical at every exchange. Walter not only gets her name right when addressing the alternate Astrid but in many ways understands her better than the Astrid he has known for years. If it wasn't for Nicole's brilliant dual performances Torv could have stolen the show with her sassy Bolivia's playful interaction with a cranky and untrustworthy Walter.
Acting against themselves has become an almost standard practice on Fringe these past few seasons with Torv, Noble, Gabel, and Reddick all having done it on multiple occasions. However, Nicole and Jackson were always the odd ones out (Jackson for obvious reasons) until now. Nicole doesn't just get to have those silent mirror opposite moments she actually has some genuine scenes with her two Astrids. Both Astrids are completely different types of characters so Nicole deserves a ton of credit for separating the two with ease since the majority of the episode included one, the other, or both.
Being so hung up on Astrid finally (did I say finally enough times yet?) getting her own episode I almost skipped over the Fringe case that happened. Chin Hans (The Dark Knight) guest stars as a MIT professor turned mercy killer after he discovers a way to see time as the Observers do. In any other episode I would of liked to see more about Hans character and how exactly he was able to see into the future, but Fringe does make up for it with some big reveals for the Observers. First of all they reveal that the main Observer the Fringe team has had encounters with has a name: September. Raising the questions are there only 12 Observers in total? Or is it just an unusual name for an unusual guy? Then its revealed that the tech Hans' character was using to see into the future was September's, as the other Observers realize he didn't get rid of Peter when he was stuck between both worlds.
Still no talk of David Robert Jones this episode, but plenty to look forward to in coming episodes. Not only did the show leave it open for both Astrids to work together in the future but the regular universe's Fringe team has even started to warm up to Bolivia. With everyone starting to get along now its not long before things go sideways. Its Fringe after all.
Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.