Fringe Review: "One Night in October"

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"One Night in October. No, this week's Fringe episode title was clearly not referring to an evening from the month in which it aired. Rather, it referenced the one simple night when a life was changed.

Let's dissect it below, shall we?

Worlds Collide

Oh, the possibilities!
As we get to work (weekly it would seem) with both universes, the possibilities of nature versus nurture and choice versus circumstance provide us with endless story possibilities. Following where these differences can take us is going to be a real mind frak.

The subtleties driving the case of the professor over here and the serial killer over there (alternates) were downright shocking, really. I hate to think that anyone who has a morbid interest (raising hand) in serial killers is just a few dead pigeons and a mutilated dog away from making a move to the dark side.

There is so much material to run with this season, and I look forward to seeing some of the more inconspicuous examples of the thematic issue of our experiences is who we are.

Did I mention the possibilities? The Olivias!
It didn't come as a crushing surprise that Olivia would find the idea of working with Fauxlivia distasteful. But even when she feels strongly about something, Olivia will allow nothing to compromise her work. What a treat that is for us!

The Agents Dunham, standing side by side in identical clothing, still look different. Fauxlivia is sexier and more alive. It's even more apparent now that Peter has never been. Olivia hasn't been in love since John Scott, and we know how that turned out. Olivia's disdain for Fauxlivia appears in enjoyable ways. She can snark out a comment like "I button my jacket" that messes with Faux's confidence (even though she'd never admit it). I love it!

It's also fantastic that they are learning about each other as individuals. For all she thought she gleaned from living in Olivia's shoes, Faux had no idea she was abused by her stepfather as a child. The reality shook Fauxlivia's foundation a little bit. What shook mine was when Olivia said she killed her stepfather. She wants to keep her alter-ego on her toes, that's for sure.

How long can Walter last like this?
Walter's practically falling apart at the seams. Covering every shiny item is a must so he doesn't catch a glimpse of "the man" or what is left of Peter. His little tirades to Lincoln about how he was conned by Fauxlivia due to his love of bread and how "they" want to destroy "our" world are both amusing and sad.

Right now, he's the only person who is receiving any intel that there was a Peter. We haven't seen Walternate, but I doubt Peter is spending any time trying to get his attention. Would Walternate and Peter have enough of a connection, even a negative one, to share communication through the ether? I doubt it. I can't help wondering what Walter's reaction might be if Peter called out to him as "Dad" rather than Walter. It might at least flip a switch that he's dealing with the spirit of his son, even if he is now a man and not a ghost child.

Other thoughts and rumblings.

  • Best news of the season is that alternate Broyles is still alive. I want Peter to come back to both universes. That would make his disappearance completely worth it.
  • Somehow John remembered what Marjorie taught him about darkness and light, even though he didn't actually have his memories of her. So why is it taking so long for Walter and Olivia to feel the same sort of imprint from Peter? 
  • Charlie married Mona, the bug girl! That reference made me smile.
  • One of the gravest of wounds has to be to steal someone's happiness prior to taking their lives.
  • Will they limit the number of "alternate" characters sharing a scene at any one time? Since Lincoln didn't accompany Olivia to the other side, I thought logistically the more doubles they have in a scene, the more difficult it must be to execute.

With the two episodes we have seen so far, I am extremely happy with the way the season is progressing. Just the sheer volume of thinking I do as I watch excites me. This is not a show for multitasking, and there are very few that earn that distinction. What are your thoughts about the season so far?

One Night in October Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (116 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Fringe Season 4 Episode 2 Quotes

Walter: Kennedy! Help me!
Lincoln: Lincoln!

Even I don't have drugs strong enough to forget they kidnapped Olivia to the other side.