JJ Abrams’ Fringe episode 7 review

Fringe is back, but for how long? We check out the latest episode...

Fringe has been on hiatus for a few weeks, but now it’s back before the momentum ebbed away until at least early December.

Episode 7 is called In Which We Meet Mr. Jones, and to a degree, this is the first of this series where I felt that the concept trod water rather than expanded any horizons. That’s not to say it isn’t entertaining, it’s just that it doesn’t progress in any significant way the larger ‘pattern’ plot arc.

It starts in typical fashion, with a shocking and now entirely expected event, where an FBI agent collapses with what appears to be a heart attack. Except when they get him on the operating table they discover a strange parasite entwined around his heart. Can mad doctor Bishop, cool FBI minx Olivia and the weary Peter save this man from an unpleasant end? Silly question, really.

Solving this case requires the finding of two people, one called Jones and the other Smith. Mr Smith is located in a prison in Germany, so Agent Dunham is dispatched there while Charlie looks for Smith in the US. It’s a race against time, because Agent Mitchell Loeb hasn’t got long before the creature kills him.

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Olivia is met at the airport by an old military friend who she almost beds later on, but that annoying mobile phone she carries has a way of terminating her enjoyment, coital or otherwise.

Annoyingly, Charlie’s people rather efficiently kill Mr Jones when they try to capture him, which is a big problem because Mr Smith won’t talk unless he has an answer to a simple question from this man.Somewhat predictably, and now for the second time in the series, Walter has a technique for talking to dead people. And this time it involves lots of wires, high voltages, and some considerable discomfort on Peter’s part. Eventually, they answer the question, and get from Mr Jones the means to kill the parasite before it finishes off Mitchell Loeb. Hooray!

Except there is an uncomfortable twist in the tale, because it transpires that the real objective of this entire exercise was to get the answer to Jones’ question, something that Loeb and his wife were prepared to go to extreme lengths to get. The significance of the answer, ‘little hill’, isn’t explained, like much of what goes in Fringe.

At the end I felt a little cheated by this story. Walter was his usually insane self, even calling Astrid ‘Asteroid’ at one point, but he has been crazier. Peter looks tired of being Peter, and Olivia is becoming an icon for great women with great bodies but even better self control. This show needs some unconventional sex, and more graphic violence, or it’s going to become too cosy altogether.

There are three more episodes scheduled, so I think it’s time for Fringe to up its game and get wild, or this party will be over before it’s really got going.

Check out our review of episode 6 here.

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