Fringe Season 3 episode 8 review: Entrada

Peter learns he's a mug and Olivia makes a dramatic return in the pre-hiatus episode of Fringe…

This review contains spoilers.

3.8 Entrada

We’ve been building up to the realisation that the Olivia that Peter is now in a relationship with is actually not the same one that he’s been getting to know for the last two seasons and a third. But I, for one, was a little surprised that the confrontation it was bound to cause happened so quickly in Entrada.

With just a few minutes, a secret that’s been privy to the viewers for the previous eight episodes was out in the open, and everyone at Fringe division realised they’d been duped. Is it me, or was this like saving pennies for months and then blowing the whole enchilada on a single horse?

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But what I didn’t really follow about proceedings was that, if Altivia’s mission was effectively complete, which it appears it was, then why was she still hanging around anyway?

As they tried to track her down I also kept wondering why they didn’t power up that wonderful device that Walter made which creates a window into the other dimension and use it to spy on them as a means to gather information as to their next move.

Entrada, in the end, started very well and then lost its momentum when it got to the later stages, where Colonel Broyles is convinced to help Olivia escape and the ultimate drastic consequences of this choice.

What I did enjoy was the sequence in the train station where a shape-shifter turns up to prepare Altivia for her return trip, with the FBI and Fringe division in hot pursuit. The twist they inserted into this, with the woman stumbling into them in the bathroom was slick, if slightly predictable. And it left me wondering how they’d explain to that young woman that the person she saw shot in the head wasn’t her mother, who presumably was already dead.

It all ended rather flat, with Peter being sensitive and romantic at Olivia’s beside, presumably wondering how he’d drop into the conversation how good the alternate version of her was in bed. My plot spies tell me that doppelganger sex is a subject that’s given some mileage in the next episode, which is the last of 2010 before the show goes on its annual hiatus until the end of January.

I’m slightly concerned that Entrada tied up rather too many plot threads in one go, and we’ve got relatively little now to follow other than the rather mysterious machine that Walternate has everyone searching for pieces of.

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That said, the standard that Fringe has achieved this season has been very high, and maintaining that level was always going to be a challenge for the creative team. I’ll be very surprised if episode 9, Marionette, doesn’t throw us a couple of curve balls to keep the viewers tuning back in when it returns.

I’m also hoping that Walter comes back into form, as he’s been quite suppressed (and depressed) his season, and we need him back in full straightjacket-crazy mode as soon as possible.

Read our review of  episode 7, The Abducted, here.

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