"Northwest Passage" Review
While “Northwest Passage” doesn’t reach the brilliance that Fringe has delivered in the past, it’s certainly a huge step up from last week’s random musical. I like that Peter is given his own story here. He always feels like an underused character. The most insight into his life came from an episode (“Peter”) that he wasn’t even in.
And though I like that Joshua Jackson is given some more screen time, the plot in “Northwest Passage” just isn’t that interesting. This might be because the episode is so distant - it’s set in a Twin Peaks-style town, instead of Boston. Also, Sheriff Mathis feels like a much bigger character than she needs to be. I like that she’s given more focus, but she didn’t need to be such a huge part of the episode, did she? I don’t know, I just didn’t find her (or her story) that interesting.
One thing that makes “Northwest Passage” a bit uncomfortable is the fact the Sheriff Mathis has no idea about any of the crazy Fringe cases. I think that’s a mistake on the writers’ part, because the show is pretty ridiculous if you step back and look at all that’s happened. I’m willing to sustain my suspension of disbelief if the writers stick with characters who know what’s going on. But when you bring in a character like Sheriff Mathis, who has no clue about any of this, it makes the whole show seem ridiculous, especially when Peter tries to explain everything. Maybe that’s just my opinion, but I think it takes away from the credibility and it could have been avoided.
I’m glad Newton reprises his role as the villain this week - he’s such a cool character. He doesn’t even need to talk. We don’t find out too much about him, until the very end, where we learn The Man From the Other Side’s identity. Spoiler Alert: It’s Walternate Bishop! (which by the way was one of my predictions! Although I guess it was pretty obvious.)
Walternate Bishop looks so much more determined and angry than the Walter we know. It’s going to be interesting to see how John Noble plays the part. I’m sure he’ll do a great job.
In the end, “Northwest Passage” is an enjoyable episode. As I said, it’s not the best episode of Fringe, but it definitely sets the stage for the two-part finale.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited for it.