"Over There: Part 2" Review
Anyone who’s nervous about it, don’t worry, Fringe has been renewed for a third season. I just want to say that now, because it would be really disappointing to end the series on such a strong note, and with such an amazing cliffhanger.
With that out of the way, let me talk about “Over There: Part 2” The episode picks up where last week’s left off. It moves quickly - even faster than Part 1. It’s clear from the beginning that the stakes are higher than ever, as alliances grow and shift throughout the episode.
It’s getting kind of difficult to write about Fringe, since there’s pretty much two of every character - I’ll stick to referring to characters as “regular” and “alternate” before things get too confusing.
Regular Olivia and alternate Olivia share a couple great scenes together (I’m sure that fight sequence was a nightmare to film and choreograph). Regular Olivia dying her hair brown foreshadows all the mistaken identity to come, and it was a clever move from a storytelling perspective. By going undercover, Olivia is able to interact with the other side as “one of them.” The shift in alliance is always interesting, with Olivia feeling nostalgia for Charlie at one point, and then smashing him over the head a second later.
One of the most noteworthy sequences in “Over There: Part 2” is Olivia telling Peter she needs and loves him. Part of me is bothered that the show went there so soon, but the twist ending to Part 2 promises to keep the story interesting. I understand how it’s the right time to pull that card, since Peter doesn’t feel welcomed anywhere. He was originally from the other side, but grew up in the “regular” universe, and now he’s back to the other side. I don’t blame him for being confused. Olivia tells him exactly what he needs to hear - that she needs him. Rather than choosing where to stay based on the laws of physics, Peter makes his decision for another character.
There are many great scenes between William Bell and Walter Bishop. I love their back-and-forth banter. Walter keeps referring to Bell as a sellout, and I’m surprised that Bell didn’t rub Walter’s destruction in his face. After all, Walter really screwed up this alternate universe by stealing Peter. That amber covering everything is a really creepy display of Walter’s impact on the alternate universe. And speaking of that, Part 2 gave us plenty more of the other universe differences. As I mentioned last week, the attention to detail is remarkable.
The ending of “Over There: Part 2” leaves us with a great cliffhanger and setup for season 3. Regular and alternate Olivia switch sides. I kept thinking that season 2 would end with all our characters being trapped on the other side, but the actual ending is just as effective. Only Olivia is trapped, and nobody even knows it. Alternate Olivia is now an agent for the other side - we see her typing on that mysterious typewriter from earlier in the season (I’m glad that thing is back!). Meanwhile, regular Olivia is a prisoner to Walternate Bishop, who by the way, is terrifying. The closing scene of Part 2 is really dark and frightening. Walternate is such a cold man… I suppose it makes sense, given that his son was stolen and his world is in chaos… but still. The way he kind of smiles, and closes the window on Olivia? It’s just cruel.
There are tons of questions at the end. I’m most interested to see how Peter interacts with alternate Olivia. He probably thinks they’re a couple now, and I suspect alternate Olivia will play along. Also, I have a feeling that alternate Olivia won’t be as cold as she appears. We saw that look of joy on her face when she realized that her sister was alive on the other side. I’m sure that will play out in season 3.
“Over There: Part 2” closes season 2 in a satisfying way. It answers enough questions while changing the Fringe rulebook in the process. I’ll miss writing these reviews, but no worries, I’ll be back next fall with the new season.