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Fringe - 3.16 Os Review by A.D.Harris



It's been a while since Fringe aired, two weeks is a lifetime to any Fringe fanatic and so to open the return of Freaky Fridays with Jorge Garcia on my TV screen in a mystery drama was perfection; based on the Fringe scale it's been an eternity since that happened.
After Walter and Garcia's Kevin the Security Guard had smoked a few and had a good giggle, we turn back towards more serious matters; Walter's desire for more knowledge. This episode he sharply turns his focus to solving this problem by searching for a way to bring back former lab partner and recently deceased William Bell. Of course, such a concept is totally bonkers, any other show (even LOST perhaps) and I would be shouting in despair at such a stupid idea, but this is Fringe and as I realised when I bought that an old couple who longed for each other could create a vortex about to destroy two worlds, I could buy anything on this show.

As a result it was a great chance for John Noble to play around with some fun scenes with Nina Sharp, including the very entertaining penultimate scene when he rung William's Bell in the hope of drawing his 'soul' into her and being able to commune with his old friend. The actual result of which was... interesting to say the least, but that would be getting ahead of myself.
Returning to the beginning of the episode, our case of the week revolved around the titular Osmium, and how despite it's heavy density, was giving people the chance to float up into the air. It begins with a robbery...
OBSERVER ALERT:

...on an unknown building and one of those security guards who always happen to stumble upon these moments in TV shooting one of the robbers before he attached some big boots on; the result was the now dead man floating up like a large balloon.

Kudos to the camera work of the opening moments of the robbery, a trick of the camera making it appear that the robbers were walking upside down, whereas in fact the floating was allowing what appeared to be climbing the wall to actually be returning to the ground following the robbery. Typical stellar Fringe visuals in use, and it made the pre-credits bonanza a stand-out for the series; I dug it.
Heading to the smaller of the side plots for the episode, we had Peter resuming his 'reciprocal' ways and studying the Shapeshifter brains that he took out of their lower spines. Of course, Peter talks into a tape recorder during these sessions he has so we know exactly what he's thinking, and we learn he still is a bit stuck with what to make of them. This all leads to the point where he decides to tell Olivia about it, a big moment for Peter in revealing one of his deepest and darkest secrets. The Olivia, Peter relationship in general was intriguing to watch this episode, I'm still not totally buying the sudden connection between the two after the traumas of Fauxlivia's vagenda, but it's nice to see the two repairing the damage. Olivia's attempts to get Peter to open up in the car with a 'casual game' was interesting too, in that it's clear that she's still not trusting Peter's feelings about her. Not just yet anyhow, although I'm sure she'd have been less subtle about it if she had known what Sam Weiss had to say about. And so Peter brought Olivia to his own lab in Harvard, and unveiled to her that he had gone all Shapeshifter-crazy a few weeks ago in the hope she would understand. But Olivia of course was slightly 'distracted' by something else that was happening... but that would be getting ahead of myself once again.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of the story of the week, something I noticed in this episode was that Walter & Astrid's relationship felt a little off this episode; Walter's distractions with his increasing worries over Universal-Wars leading to him leaving his 'Astro' a bit bitter. Did you catch her mumbling under her breath about mid way through the episode; I sense something is coming up that 'Os' was setting up. You can quote me on that :)

Osmium, one of the densest elements on earth... and it makes you float. Say what? But then Walter discovers it's mixed with another dense element, Lutetium and that's what's causing the floating and it all makes sense. Wait, what? Well Walter does; He's so busy thinking about flipping ten heads in a row and deploying Amber in Apartment 6B to miss what's happening. The universe collision is causing the elemental properties to flip, creating a product that's lighter than air. Holy Moses, has our Universe started to have some problems...

This discovery was made by Dr. Krick, who in hunting for a cure for his wheelchair bound son, the mixture of Osmium and Lutetium providing the ability to walk again. The only problem Krick was having being that the elements and weightlessness of the body was damaging the body organs and killing his test subjects. It was quite similar in some ways to 'Immortality,' a man blinded by an original vision of doing good but having fallen down the path of science pushing him too far. It was a tragic story, and to see his son reject his attempts to 'save' him, claiming he didn't need to be saved in the first place a great example of Fringe science on an emotional level. The similarities between Walter & Peter's father/son relationship were there for the more astute to notice, and Fringe is constantly reminding us that our so called 'villains' are really only a pebble's throw away from our 'heroes.' The characters of Fringe are all so similar and yet we can't help but view everyone differently. The show is so cleverly devised and created, in this metaphorical way and also literally in the division of the two universes.

Best awesome moment of the episode was Peter's jump from the balcony, a real moment of heroism for Peter, and it was cool seeing him and the test subject tumbling to the ground. Fringe always managed to pull off some excellent visual effects for a TV show, and 'Os' was no exception, it really made for spectacular viewing.
And so finally I reach that point; soul magnets.

Walter rings Bell's bell but Nina does not become his old friend, instead Peter, who is dealing with breaking big news to Olivia finds himself in front of his new girlfriend in a different form, the Nimoy slur and the wry one-sided smirk signalling that the Doctor is back and ready to help save the Universe. I'd wager he'd been expecting it... I am still not totally sold on Anna Torv's interpretation, it ticks ll the Nimoy checklist, but I still wasn't quite feeling it. I'll give Bellivia time though, at least till the end of the next episode.
Afterall when it comes to Bell and just who the hell he is, I feel his first lines to Olivia in the series sum up my own feelings towards him...

"I've been waiting quite a long time for this."
... Darn straight. Now William, tell me something I don't know. Like who are the Observers for one!

8/10

Adam

Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter: @AdDHarris
Facebook: Adam D.Harris

For the Rest of my Fringe Season Three Reviews, Head Here:
3.01 Olivia
3.02 The Box
3.03 The Plateau
3.04 Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?
3.05 Amber 31422
3.06 6995 kHz
3.07 The Abducted
3.08 Entrada
3.09 Marionette
3.10 The Firefly
3.11 Reciprocity
3.12 Concentrate & Ask Again
3.13 Immortality
3.14 6B
3.15 Subject 13
3.16 Os

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