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“A Better Human Being”
Writers: Alison Schapker, Monica Owusu-Breen, Glen Whitman, Robert Chiappetta
Director: Joe Chappelle
THE ONE WHERE A teen in a mental hospital has a telepathic link with a group of teens going around killing random people, while Olivia and Peter try to come to terms with Olivia’s memories of her life in the other timeline.
UNIVERSE Over here – orange credits.
VERDICT After the previous episode’s merging universes, this time Fringe decides to wholeheartedly overlap with The X-Files . This is the sort of case that would have been bread and butter for Mulder and Scully back in the day, as the Fringe team investigate some teens whose unusual genetic link (they should have realised the culprit is always the doctor playing god by using his own DNA in experiments) has given them an uncontrollable, murderous urge to protect their “hive”.
If it’s a slightly underwhelming and predictable case of the week, however, it is at least given a backseat to the more important business of the ongoing saga of Olivia and Peter. The chemistry between Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson has always been great (there’s a real twinkle in Torv’s eyes as she looks at her beloved), and they make the most of a storyline that feels like it’s trying to restore the couple to their romantic status quo – even though Peter is trying to find a reason not to give in to his desires. Has there ever been a show that works harder at putting its romantic leads through the wringer? Possibly not.
The shock ending of the episode – with Olivia and Nina abducted – is great too.
THE SEX FILES You’ve got to feel for Peter. He’s already fallen in love with Olivia and had an “affair” with her doppelganger from another universe. Now he faces temptation from a woman who is effectively his Olivia and shares her memories, yet exists in a different timeline. Is she the same woman? Is he betraying his Olivia if he acts on his attraction to this one? Sigmund Freud would have a field day…
DID YOU SPOT? Slusho, JJ Abrams’ soft drink of choice, is on sale at the petrol station where Peter and Olivia have their heart-to-heart. (The made-up “brand” has appeared in Super 8 , Star Trek , Cloverfield and pretty much everything he’s ever done.)
OBSERVING THE OBSERVER He walks past the window when Peter goes into the petrol station to look for Olivia. Maybe he’s just grabbed himself a Slusho?
Walter: “That’s when I told him, ‘I said Tim, it’s not what the LSD can do, it’s what the mind can do that is truly wonderful.’”
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