Fringe

2008, TV Show

Fringe Episode: "Fracture"

Season 2, Episode 3
Episode Synopsis: The Fringe crew is flummoxed by the strange circumstances surrounding a bomb blast at a Philadelphia train station, but Walter's discovery in the lab and the prospect of more explosions send Olivia and Peter to Iraq for answers.
Original Air Date: Oct 1, 2009
Guest Cast Michael Cerveris: The Observer Patrick Sabongui Kevin Corrigan: Sam Weiss Navid Negahban Claudette Mink Stephen McHattie
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Season 2, Episode 3
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Length: 43:45
Aired: 10/1/2009
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and VUDU
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Fringe Episode Recap: "Fracture" Season 2, Episode 3

"Fracture" featured one of my favorite reoccurring themes of Fringe: the human body as a weapon. The engaging opening scene featured a human bomb; and I don't mean a person strapped with a bomb, but a human acting as the bomb itself.  Unfortunately, outside of a few scenes of Olivia meeting with the quirky and amusing Sam Weiss, this episode brought too little imagination to the table.

Was it just me or did this episode feel like some of the earlier episodes of Fringe? Cool and weird, with occasional bright spots of humor and character development, but oddly uninvolving. That's not to say it was an all out bust, but I didn't find myself truly caring what happened in this episode's "freak-of-the-week" storyline. Let's discuss it a little bit, shall we? This week's freak brought back memories of the human porcupine from "The Transformation" or the human fireball from "The Road Not Taken;" the victim's body is somehow altered and used as a weapon.  This time it's used as human shrapnel, which was illustrated to wonderfully grotesque effect when the team picks through the remains of the train station bombing. (I am consistently surprised and delighted by the amount of gore this show is able to get away with on network television.) However, it felt like it took the team a long time and way too much effort to figure out what was going on.

I thought the storyline was taking a turn for the better when it became necessary for Peter and Olivia to travel to Iraq to unveil the secrets behind Project Tin Man. We got hints of Peter having a troubled past in the first season and I was hoping this episode would delve deeper into those troubles but, alas, it did not. It's obvious that he made some dubious choices in Iraq and that there was most likely collateral damage from those choices (for example Ahmed's burnt face) but it all felt extremely anti-climactic. I don't know if this is because the creators have a bigger plan for parceling out Peter's back-story or because they just used Peter's time in Iraq as a crutch for the team to get information in this episode.

We learn from the trip to Iraq that the soldiers being used as bombs were infected in Iraq and the serum used to treat them provided a much more explosive (forgive me) result than they intended. They also learn that one Colonel Gordon is behind this nefarious plot. The team discovers another soldier is going to explode and hurry to stop it, and Col. Gordon, just in the nick of time. I almost forgot to question why Gordon was even doing this, luckily his reasoning provided the one truly interesting aspect of the whole plot; Gordon was trying to stop deliveries to The Observer (whether he knew it was specifically The Observer I'm not sure, but I'm guessing not). That the deliveries were merely pictures of Walter, was also a little frustrating. The Observer knows Walter, he knows where his lab is, I doubt he needs pictures of him walking to his car. Sorry, I'm picking nits, I know.  

The secondary plot was infinitely more interesting and one I wish I could've seen much, much more of. Kevin Corrigan is a welcome presence in anything and his character of Sam Weiss brought this episode to life in ways nothing in the main plot could. From the shoe-tying to him deliberately infuriating Olivia in their final scene, he was a joy to watch. I truly hope that he sticks around for a bit. The sparks Weiss and Olivia create together feels totally organic and exciting; two things that would've been welcome in the rest of this episode.

Random Thoughts: 

  • - Walter's scene with Astrid towards the beginning was one of my favorite moments in this episode. We rarely get to see anything personal from Astrid, so a little feels like a lot.
  • - Gene the cow doesn't like when Peter eats a hamburger. I laughed at this moment but it still kind of felt like it would be more at home in a broad CBS sitcom than Fringe.
  • - I'm very happy Olivia left her cane behind at the end; it was oddly disturbing for me to see her in such a vulnerable position. I literally felt uncomfortable watching her limp and lean on it for support.
  • - Peter remembers constructing the Playmate puzzle with his father at age 10. Is this after he was taken from the alternative universe? Anyone remember offhand what the dates were on Peter's tombstone in the finale?
  • - No Agent Jessup this episode, anyone miss her? Didn't think so.
  • - Next week is the big return of William Bell and when we purportedly find out what happened in his meeting with Olivia. I will gladly forgive the creators this lackluster installment if they deliver the goods next time.
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"Fracture" featured one of my favorite reoccurring themes of Fringe: the human body as a weapon. The engaging opening scene featured a human bomb; and I don't mean a person strapped with a bomb, but a human acting as the bomb itself.  Unfortunately, outside of a few scenes of Olivia meeting with the quirky and amusing Sam Weiss, this episode brought too little imagination to the table.

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Premiered: September 09, 2008, on FOX
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (5,430 ratings)
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Premise: A drama with sci-fi elements following the FBI probe of mysterious deaths aboard an airplane that landed at Boston's Logan Airport. But the deaths aboard Flight 627 are only the beginning of the story. Executive producers include J.J. Abrams ('Lost') and his 'Mission: Impossible III' co-screenwriters, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.

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