Fringe season 4 episode 11 review: Making Angels

Fringe gets its Minority Report-style precognition hat out for the second week running. Here’s Billy’s review of episode 11, Making Angels…

This review contains spoilers.

4.11 Making Angels

I was slightly aghast that Fringe ran another story this week on the subject of precognition, given that the basis for the previous one was exactly that. Maybe they intended these stories to not run concurrently in some earlier schedule, but this is the order in which they arrived.

In this week’s Fringe, a university professor gets hold of Observer technology, which allows him to see what happens to people, and out of some type of religious mercy he decides to cut to the chase and kill them before things get messy.

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My problem with this idea from the outset is that nobody has a life that doesn’t impact on others in ways that you’d never imagine, and so this angel maker would have a huge job to do and insufficient resources to achieve much. Therefore, what’s the point?

Relatively little about his motivation is presented until the very end, other that “he’s religious” which in the context of this story could be used to justify just about anything. If God had a plan, it was a very small one, it appears. Thankfully, there was more to Making Angels than this, as the time assassin narrative seemed oddly contrived.

The true highlight of this story was the amazing scenes where Astrid meets her alternate, who for the purpose of clarity and my own sanity we’ll call Kick-Astrid. The difference between these two is possibly the most extreme between alternates we’ve seen, as Kick-Astrid is seriously messed up by her relationship with her father and his recent death.From the point where she marched into Walter’s lab things got very interesting.

What’s always been apparent about Kick-Astrid is that she’s doesn’t do emotions well, but the death of her father has obviously unhooked some. Very soon, Altivia turns up to join the doppelgangers party – a shame Walternate didn’t also turn up to complete the set. How this develops, and Kick-Astrid’s quest for answers from her counterpart, were engrossing, as was her interaction with Walter, who actually got her name right.

In the end, Astrid tells her other self that she’s not very close to her father, something Kick-Astrid had a major issue with. A later scene shows that this wasn’t the truth, but Astrid sold it as a convincing lie. In this one tactical diversion, Astrid demonstrated that she is much more complicated than we’ve been led to understand, and I was fascinated by her cunning.

Astrid always had the potential to be a much deeper character than just an accessory to Walter, and this story glimpsed the Farnsworth we’ve always suspected but have never before seen.

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The story slightly fell apart right at the end, unfortunately, with some explanations I just didn’t buy. Peter asks why the professor aimed at the Window and Olivia gives a mindless answer about being religious. Suicide by cop is still suicide, and therefore a mortal sin, I assume. And do I need to mention the incredibly poor job of examining the home of the professor? There’s a safe – what’s inside it might be important, no? Nah.

Okay, that left them with a story arc insertion at the end where they suggest that the Observer, September, went rogue and left the device on purpose. Given that they’re all called after months, presumably there are 12 Observers, or rather 11, since one got shot? Presumably that could be an opening for Peter if things don’t work out for him.

This was a better episode than the week before, and Jasika Nicole was really fantastic. She’s always great in this show, and I can’t believe they’ve taken till it’s nearly over to give her the screen time she deserves.

On the subject of screen time, where was agent Lincoln Lee this week? He wasn’t mentioned or seen, and no reason for his lack of presence was offered, which is slightly sloppy.

Next week, Fringe goes to Westfield, a place that some find remarkably difficult to get away from.

Read our review of Fringe season four episode 10 here.

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