John McCracken


Fringe Episode Recap: "Jacksonville"

"Jacksonville" opens with an event we've been waiting for; a building from the other dimension crosses over into ours, killing and deforming everyone inside. As Walter explains, in order for the universe to right itself, a building from our dimension will be sent to theirs — and the only person who might be able to tell what building it will be is Olivia.

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Fringe Episode Recap: "The Bishop Revival"

The team investigates a wedding where the groom and all of his blood relatives have suffocated to death. They soon realize that not only does the killer have ties to the Nazis, but he also has a connection to Walter's father.

At the end of last week's recap I said that I was worried about this episode of Fringe after having seen the preview. To use Nazis as a villain these days tends to indicate a lack of originality — they've been used for 60 years now as the boilerplate villain in a lot of popular culture. Luckily, "The Bishop Revival" was not the episode I worried it would be, though that doesn't necessarily mean it was all that great either.

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Fringe Episode Recap: "What Lies Below"

Network TV dramas have a long history of the "quarantine" episode. It's usually in medical dramas like House or ER, but many long-running dramas seem to eventually work it into their episode roster. "What Lies Below" represented Fringe's stab at the "quarantine" episode and considering how often it's been done, it remained a pretty effective hour of television. When the team investigates a death at Vitas Petrol they soon learn it was a contagious pathogen responsible — but not before Olivia and Peter are trapped inside by the quarantine.

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Fringe Episode Recap: "Johari Window"

Fringe has always worn its B-movie roots on its sleeve. It owes as much to monster and sci-fi movies of the 1950's as it does to The X-Files (which itself owes a great deal to those movies). But one of the reasons the show doesn't feel like a mere rehashing of these movies and shows is the thoroughly modern conceit of the human body being weaponized. It's a potent and rewarding concept, and one that the latest episode almost completely abandoned. The team investigates a group of deformed people after they kill a few state police, and while the episode contained a "scientific" explanation, it largely felt like a by-the-numbers B-movie affair.

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Fringe Episode Recap: "Grey Matters"

Walter Bishop has always been one of the central characters to Fringe. This is hardly a revelatory statement. But as the series has progressed it becomes more and more apparent that he may be the central figure of the series — the one on which the mythology of the series hinges. This episode, in which the team investigates three mental patients' sudden rehabilitation, only underlines that fact as it shows how important Walter is to the enemy as well as the good guys... read more

Fringe Episode Recap: "Snakehead"

"Did you eat?"

"Yeah"

"Well, that's unfortunate."

Fringe has never shied away from the viscera and gore that the sci-fi genre so often demands, but "Snakehead" was an especially stomach-churning addition to the series. The team investigates a case involving large parasitic worms that are growing inside groups of Chinese nationals, and while this was a great freak-of-the-week, it was Walter's search for independence that gave the episode its beating heart.

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Fringe Episode Recap: "August"

After a few weeks of less-than-stellar self-contained episodes, Fringe turned its attention to one of the most interesting aspects of its mythology: The Observer. Or as it turns out, the Observers. When a rogue Observer kidnaps a young woman, the Fringe team and the other Observers try to figure out why and Walter worries that they've come to collect a debt.

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Fringe Episode Recap: "Of Human Action"

The latest episode of Fringe opened on a pair of men being chased to a rooftop. They appear to have kidnapped a teen boy in their backseat. Once cornered, one of the men seems to the force one police officer to leap to his death and another to kill her partners and then herself using mind control. This being ­Fringe, of course, none of this is exactly what it seems. And though this particular freak-of-the-week had a cool power and there were a couple of interesting twists, this episode was largely paint-by-numbers.

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Fringe Episode Recap: "Earthling"

Welcome back Fringe-philes (that nickname still needs work). After a baseball enforced hiatus, we finally got back to wonderfully weird world of Fringe. This episode's freak-of-the-week had one of the cooler nefarious powers we've seen on the show, the ability to turn people into dust, while Broyles desire to solve the case reveals a little bit more about him — and gets him into some hot water.

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Fringe Episode Recap: “Momentum Deferred”

After the lackluster previous episode, "Momentum Deferred" got Fringe right back on track with an exciting plot-packed episode. Shape-shifters are stealing heads from cryonics labs across the East Coast as Olivia's memory begins to return, and because this is Fringe we're talking about, the two events seem to be related. Plus: Walter seeks the aid of a former test subject and Evil Charlie's plans come to a head. read more

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