First off, I just have to mention: who decided to spell “Manhattan” as “Manhatan” in the very beginning? Really? A typo in those gigantic Fringe letters? That was unacceptable - I honestly couldn’t believe it. I kept trying to convince myself that we were in the parallel universe and that’s how they spell Manhattan there… but we were not. I really can’t see that getting through without someone catching it - there must be some meaning behind it, right? I hope so.
One of the best things about this episode was the growing tension between the three main characters. Olivia’s aggressiveness towards Walter grew drastically when she came to grips with the experiments he’d performed on her. The chemistry between Olivia and Peter finally lead somewhere as they almost kissed… and it wasn’t dismissed, either, as they were going out on a date at the end. Also, the deception between Walter and Peter finally lead to a great cliffhanger - the secret is out. Olivia knows that Peter’s from the alternate universe and I’m sure Peter will be finding out soon. It should be interesting to see where that leads. On a side note, I can’t help but wonder if Peter will always look all distorted to Olivia now. I’m sure he won’t, but that would be so weird if he did.
Another aspect of this episode that was intriguing was the idea of fear. Olivia’s ability only works when she’s afraid… and she realizes that nothing scares her anymore. As Walter suggests - she turns her fear into anger. The scene in the dark forest was really creepy - I liked it, though. It was a bit obvious that the little girl was Olivia, but it was still handled well. On the subject of fear, I don’t know how I feel about Olivia being scared at the very end, allowing her to see the distorted building. It was random and incredibly convenient for the episode.
Still, “Jacksonville” was a great episode overall and I’m looking forward to Fringe’s return in April. We were left with a lot of lingering questions, like why Newton decided to cross the parallel worlds at this building in Manhattan (I’m sorry, I mean “Manhatan”). He’s a character that’s been underused, but I’m sure he’ll be back. I just hope the show continues to give us more mythology this April. The standalone episodes work, they just need something to connect them.
Oh, and bring back the Observer.