FRINGE “Neither Here Nor There” Review

FRINGE Neither Here Nor There Review

FRINGE “Neither Here Nor There” Season 4 Episode 1 – After taking viewers to the alterverse with an amazing finish to Season 3, the big question this summer has been how will FRINGE top it in Season 4. In tonight’s premiere, we see what has happened one week since the events of last season’s finale. The two universes have been connected via the Doomsday Device and an uneasy truce exists between our world and the alterverse. The team investigates a series of bizarre deaths that leaves the victims translucent, including FBI Agent Lincoln Lee’s partner. When the team tracks down the killer with Lee’s help, we learn that the killers themselves are not normal, they are man-machine hybrids similar to the shapeshifters from the alterverse. In the end, Lee joins the Fringe team and is introduced to Fauxlivia, opening his eyes to both universes.

While the above describes what happened in the episode, what was really awesome about “Neither Here Nor There” is how different things are now that the Observers have erased Peter from the timeline. The most obvious difference is how Walter behaves, never wanting to leave the lab and being odder than usual (even for Walter). As Olivia put it during the episode, Walter doesn’t have anything tying him to our reality (which is Peter in the original timeline). Then there’s the way the Fringe team acts, much more secretive and militarily, more like the team from the alterverse. While some of that can be explained by tighter restrictions and increased security after the Device was activated, I think the turn for the serious in the team is partly due to Peter missing from the universe. I also liked the introduction of the new human-hybrid killers, I’m just not sure where the show is going to take this (another universe again?).

We did get to see Peter in this episode, there was a momentary flickered image of him in the early part of the episode with the two Olivias. There was also a final surprise where Walter sees his reflection on the TV screen, though poor Walter did not take that well. How is the show going to bring Peter back?!

I have to admit that I thought this episode of Fringe was outstanding on all accounts. While I think a lot of fans wanted it to be more climactic and provide some instant information about Peter, I think it’s more interesting to see the effects on everyone without Peter being around. John Noble did a wonderful job in bringing out a different Walter that is not completely crazy but is not the same Walter from the last few seasons. On top of that you have Anna Torv playing a more serious, colder Olivia, which is more impressive since this is the fifth different interpretation of the character and it’s just as interesting to watch as the other versions of Olivia. The writing for the episode was good, especially when there were those hints of the other Fringe members remembering Peter or noticing that something is not right. Some of the visual effects were a little gross, the translucent skin on the killers and the victims was both cool and disgusting at the same time. The best visuals were definitely the flickering image of Peter in the first few moments and the two different skies Lincoln saw in the Doomsday device warehouse.

My Favorite Parts of Tonight’s Episode:

– The brand new Amber opening for the show. I kind of thought it would be purple because the two different openings last season were red and blue, but yellow/amber is cool. I’m sure fans will be dissecting it frame by frame to see what’s different.
– Walter’s creating a zombie bird that flies around and drops dead suddenly. Maybe it’s hinting at a future episode?
– Electrical Shop Owner: “What do you need this for?” Observer: “I need to erase someone from time”
– Walter: “I’m not wearing pants” That’s classic Walter right there.
– Guest star Joe Flanigan as Lincoln Lee’s FBI partner. He was fun to watch while he was alive (what like five minutes?), though I was hoping he was going to become a permanent part of the cast, I still have Joe withdrawal after Stargate Atlantis ended.
– Lincoln Lee’s reaction to everything when he goes to the Doomsday Device warehouse, from the very personal questioning while getting his pass to seeing the two Olivias to suddenly seeing an alterverse airship and realizing whats going on. It’s a subtle thing, but Seth Gabel makes it work like no one else can.
– The episode’s title “Neither Here Nor There” does a nice job of showing that we are not in our original universe, nor the alterverse, just somewhere different. It also plays on the missing Peter, since he is neither here nor there (yeah that sounds way to punny).

What are your thoughts on the premiere? Are you happy that Lincoln is joining the team? Did you want to get more Peter? What do you think about these new human-hybrids? Let me know in the comments section, I look forward to hearing from you.

Next week the Fringe team investigates a series of murders in the alterverse, but there may be a connection to our universe. Make sure you check out the the next episode of Fringe, “One Night In October”, next Friday at 9 PM on Fox.

Follow me on Twitter @josedaemons