Fringe “The Consultant” Review

Fringe "The Consultant" Review

Last week we were treated to an exciting Fringe where Lincoln seems to find a new home investigation Fringe Division cases in the altverse. In “The Consultant”, we get a continuation on the same theme when Walter crosses to the altverse to help the investigation into a series of death affecting both universes. We also learn of what’s behind the unlikely cooperation between Alt-Broyles and David Robert Jones, and why it resonates with Walter. Speaking of Dr. Jones, we finally learn what his master plan is and how it could change everything in both universes.

Walter Returns to the Altverse

This week’s case is extremely interesting, which is saying a lot for a show like Fringe that specializes in the odd. Three people die suddenly in our universe under odd circumstances at the exact same time, and, to make things every weirder, their counterparts in the altverse also die at the exact same time. This is bizarre enough to cause Walter to visit the altverse and help Bolivia and Lincoln with the investigation. His investigation shows us two things, that inhabitants of each universe resonate at different notes (ours at a C, theirs at G), but the dead bodies in each universe resonate at the same note. Things become more serious when Peter and Olivia find a device after a second set of deaths that points to David Robert Jones as the responsible party.

After having Lincoln spend time in the altverse last week and seeming to find a new home with the their Fringe Division, having Walter visit was a nice way to touch on his past while highlight the differences in both universes. The writers did a great job giving Walter great one liners throughout the episode while also the opportunity to work with Bolivia and overcome their differences. It goes without saying that as good as the writing was, John Noble hit it out of the park, he was perfect in each of his scenes tonight.

The Mole of Fringe Division

For weeks now we’ve known that Alt-Broyles has been cooperating with David Robert Jones, but without any clue as to why he would betray his country and colleagues. I actually thought that he may have been a shifter that was acting as a sleeper agent for Jones, but the real reason was much more surprising and heart breaking. Alt-Broyles was cooperating with Jones to help his son Christopher. If you remember from the Season 3 episode, “The Abducted”, Christopher had been kidnapped and as a result suffers physically and is blind. Jones had developed a medicine that reversed the effects of the abuse and turned Christopher back into a healthy, active boy.

In tonight’s episode, Jones approaches Alt-Broyles after the second set of deaths and tells him to plant a device at the control panel for the bridge between both worlds. Bolivia becomes suspicious of Alt-Broyles after a late night discussion with Walter, and tricks Evil Nina into confirming her suspicions. Lincoln and Bolivia chase after Alt-Broyles before he can set the device, but are surprised when Alt-Broyles turns himself in and confesses his treason to our universe’s Broyles. The last we see of Alt-Broyles, he is being escorted to a detention cell, as Evil Nina watches.

The parallels between Alt-Broyles’ and Walter’s stories are very evident throughout the episode and gave a hint of where the episode was headed. I actually had hoped they stretched out the story into a second episode because of the emotional pull of watching Alt-Broyles and his son. I thought the writers were steering us in an interesting direction by having Walter confess to Broyles that, knowing all he knew now, he would still have tried to save Peter as a child. After hearing that bit of dialogue it seemed like Alt-Broyles would do what Jones wanted of him, but was pleasantly surprised to the outcome. Last word on Lance Reddick, Alt-Broyles was pure swagger on his way into the DOD to plant the device, loved it.

When it comes to master plans David Robert Jones’ does not mess around

At the end of the episode, Walter figures out the purpose of Jones’ device. If Alt-Broyles had placed it at the bridge between the universes, both worlds would have collapsed on each other. It’s not exactly clear if that means that there is one world left with no inhabitants or both worlds cease to exist, but it’s a scary thought either way. The only thing that kind of surprises me is that it seems a little out of character for Jones. A few episodes ago he was behind a group that was producing human-animal hybrids that were supposed to be the next stage of evolution. Now he wants to destroy the world? This leads me to believe that the result of Jones’ device would have been one world with limited or no human population left other than the hybrids, but maybe he’s just a plain old crazy megalomaniac.

My Favorite Parts from “The Consultant”:

– A few Lost references: The financial firm Aartz Holdings in the beginning of the episode and the 108 (sum of the numbers from Lost) names on Bolivia’s list of mole suspects
– “Are you on any medications?” “Several, mostly recreational.” Soldier and Walter at the bridge
– “Anything is possible, even Santa Claus.” – Walter
– “You can’t bring a casserole across universes, but somehow a severed hand is okay?” – Lincoln
– “Love makes us vulnerable, but it also makes us human I suppose.” – David Robert Jones
– Alt-Astrid’s reaction to Astrid bringing her coffee.
– Walter’s ridiculous outfit while staying at Bolivia’s (see the above picture for an example)
– Love that the altverse has domesticated badgers as pets, but hate that they don’t know who is Sherlock Holmes

What did you think of “The Consultant”? Would have been willing to go as far as Alt-Broyles did? Is Lincoln going to stay permanently in the altverse? What do you think is David Robert Jones’ endgame? Let me know in the comments section!

Next week’s Fringe looks very promising as we go into the year 2036 and face the threat of the Observers (wait they’re bad now?). Also, how can you not have a story about time travel without Henry Ian Cusack (Desmond form Lost)? Here’s hoping Peter is Desmond’s constant. Make sure you tune in next week’s Fringe, “Letters of Transit”, airing Friday at 9PM on FOX.

About The Author

Jose has enjoyed television ever since he was a little boy in his native Puerto Rico, learning how to speak English from watching Saturday Morning cartoons. That love of television was nurtured on a steady diet of Voltron, Saved by the Bell, and Cheers. He enjoys a variety of shows, but sticks to science fiction and comedy when possible, including the occasional Sponge Bob episode. He despises poor writing, and has an ever growing collection of shows he likes but were cancelled after only one season. His wish is for J.J. Abrams to get Alias back on the air, and for the cast of The Vampire Diaries to come down with an incurable case of laryngitis.