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Fringe, Ep. 4.10, “Forced Perspective”: Treads water instead of gearing up

Fringe, Ep. 4.10, “Forced Perspective”: Treads water instead of gearing up

Fringe Review, Season 4, Episode 10: “Forced Perspective”
Written by Ethan Gross
Directed by David Solomon
Airs Fridays at 9pm (ET) on Fox

This week, on Fringe: The Newninverse catches up, re:Observers, Olivia and Nina bond, and Emily can see dead people

At this point in Fringe’s fourth, and very likely final, season, it’s time for the arcing storylines to kick into gear. Yes, we’re less than half-way through the season and we’re far from the final push, but on the whole, season four has been glacially paced and it’s time for that to change. Yes, we needed several episodes to get to know the new versions of all our characters. Yes, we needed a few episodes for Peter to find his feet, and yes, the two-episode excursion to the Other Newniverse was worthwhile in establishing the rest of this new landscape. However, after nine hours in this setting and the introduction of an interesting and credible threat, it is time for some action this week. Instead, we get a by-the-numbers standalone episode that, despite its visual flair, does nothing to move the storyline forward or otherwise earn its air time.

Alexis Raich is good as Emily, the Freak of the Week (she draws people’s future deaths), but from the moment she pops on screen, genre-literate viewers will know her exact trajectory. There’s a slight mislead with her relationship with her father, but otherwise, it’s pretty much beat by beat. There is a nice visual effects sequence as Walter takes Emily into her memory, but even that is something we’ve seen on the show before. The developments we see with Olivia and Nina may pay off in the future, but while their interaction feels far more natural than their previous ones this season, it feels like too little too late. Also, any development in Olivia and Lincoln’s relationship seems utterly halted- Lincoln is barely in this episode, relegated to Astrid-levels of background work. Taking an episode away from the larger arc isn’t a problem, so long as it gives us insight to the characters or at least a compelling one-episode story. “Forced Perspective” does neither. This is by no means a poor episode, but Fringe has shown itself capable of much better than mediocre or forgettable storytelling, no matter how well-executed. Hopefully, with Autstrid showing up next week and more Newniverse blending, things will get back on track quickly.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Looking forward to Astrid’s reaction to her counterpart? Post your thoughts below!

Kate Kulzick