October 23, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Fringe’s April 1 episode is no joke

By Fred Topel

HollywoodNews.com: Fringe returns on April 1 after a hiatus of two months. They sure pay off your patient wait with an episode filled with answers, both confirming things and putting a surprise twist on backstory we took for granted.

“Peter” is set in 1985, and it takes an ‘80s TV perspective. Most notably, the opening credits are in the style of an ‘80s TV show, adapted as if Fringe were produced in the ‘80s. That alone is worth seeing.

Recalling the events that led Walter (John Noble) to kidnap his son Peter from an alternate universe, Walter relates the story to Olivia (Anna Torv). 1985 is when Peter succumbed to his childhood illness. Joshua Jackson isn’t even in this episode, because Peter is only a child when these events took place. Walter and William Bell (not on screen in this episode so no Leonard Nimoy), have developed a window to observe the alternate universe (the one where the twin towers are still standing in 2009.) Even though Walter’s Peter dies, he observes his “Walternate” (cute name for the Walter in the alternate universe) discovering a cure.

Only problem is that Walternate didn’t realize he’d done it, so he moves on. The cure would be lost unless our world’s Walter intervenes, breaking some serious moral, ethical and metaphysical rules. Here’s where the episode plays with things we know.

We know The Observer saved Walter and Peter from falling through the ice. This episode shows exactly how that occurred, and it’s not quite what we imagined. We also know that Walter ends up keeping Walternate’s Peter, but you’ll actually sympathize with the circumstances that lead to essentially a kidnapping. It turns out this incident is also how Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) lost her arm. Maybe you theorized that already but it’s a good payoff.

As his 1985 self, Walter is more physically vital, and speaks much more clearly than the disheveled eccentric we know today. That means there aren’t many Walter-isms this week, but the drastic difference in his persona is equally powerful. Those scenes of watching his parallel universe son are heartbreaking.

There’s not much Anna Torv, since Olivia is only listening to the story in bookend segments. The episode is really the flashback. Again, there’s no Joshua Jackson. There’s only preteen Peter. It’s a Walter episode, and a doozy.

There is an awesome Back to the Future joke for anyone who knows the behind the scenes history of that movie. It’s not even hidden. You’ll notice it on the marquee in the alternate universe, but you’ll have to really know the movie to get it. Otherwise you might just think it’s random.

Since this is a real character arc episode, there’s not so much of a case of the week. You might consider the window the science of the week, but it’s just a macguffin. The point of the episode is to really explain some of the mysteries of Walter’s experiments and his kidnapping of Peter from another universe. It delivers on that. Wonder what

About Fred Topel

Fred Topel has been an entertainment journalist in Los Angeles since 1999, for websites like Daily Radar, About.com, Crave Online and Sci Fi Wire. Follow his celebrity encounters on Twitter @FredTopel.

Follow us

Breaking Hollywood News   


Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.