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?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (116 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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@dewdropvelvet
It's not so much about how she looks, but its more about how she carries herself. Fauxlivia has all this self-confidence and she shows it while our Olivia doesn't, (at least not as much as we would like).

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@Joni She did in the original timeline. Now, with Peter dead as a child, he's never survived for Fauxlivia to run that honey trap on him, so no more child.

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Am I wrong or right didn't Fauxlivia have a baby with Peter as the father?

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Am I wrong or right but didn't Fauxlivia have a baby with Peter as the father?

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Rex: The box had the dead animals he killed in it that his father found. Marjorie saw what he did and confronted him about it, then embraced him and accepted him. This is what stopped him from becoming a serial killer.

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Being a huge Dawson's Creek fan, Joshua Jackson ( I really miss Peter ) was the real reason I started watching Fringe, but now I am hooked on the storyline! Since Peter never existed, this means Fauxlivia never had a baby, right? So what happens when everyone can remember Peter (I'm sure that will happen, the real issue here is how it will happen) will everything go back to normal? I don't think Olivia could handle Fauxlivia having Peter's baby.

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One concern is how long it will take to get OUR FRINGE back. This version is interesting, but is missing what made it great.... Peter's sincerity, our super yet fragile Olivia, the kinder saner Walter, evil Walternate, and most of all the relationships between them all. The series is still suffering IMHO from some poor decisions made in the previous season finale. One thing they are trying to do now is structure the story arc to make it easier for new viewers to jump in. Which might not work, because it's missing the key human elements that made it memorable. It's the characters that involved viewers, but I'm not sure if these versions would have kept me interested. In short, they made a mess and are still trying to clean it up. I cannot give THIS week's FRINGE more than a 'C'.

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I give up! What was in the box Marjorie opened ?

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I really can't decide between Olivia or Fauxlivia.. I like them both in different way... x)

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Fauxlivia is sexier (for some) because she is more alive. She's outgoing and vibrant. People like that kind of thing. Also, red hair is hot. Bangs, less so, but still. Off topic a little, but Fauxlivia happens to still be with Frank, since Peter never existed and Frank never got pissed off at Fauxlivia running that honey pot. Poor RedLincoln. My heart bleeds for the guy. Kind of. Scarlie married Mona! Congrats Charlie! Does this mean we may or may not be seeing Julie McNiven show up for an episode or two? Because, again, redheads = hot. Even redheads purposefully done up to be an absolute caricature of geeky girls.