But on to last week’s episode of Fringe. “6B” was a pretty engaging episode that delivered an interesting ghost story while making great leaps in the Fringe mythology. “6B” takes place in Manhattan (at this point, why is Fringe still set in Boston - does anything ever happen there?), where a vortex threatens to open up inside a Brooklyn apartment building. I like that the effects of the Alternate Universe are starting to transpire on the Regular side, too.
One of the stronger segments of “6B” involves Walter’s reaction to the possible vortex. He is full-on freaking out at the very possibility of having to use amber to seal the hole. He knows it’s only the beginning of a catastrophic event. It was a nice inclusion, by the way, to reference an early Season 1 episode, “The Ghost Network,” where amber filled a bus-full of citizens. Though Walter is still on edge at the conclusion of “6B,” he stays in New York, comforted by a confident Nina Sharp.
The standalone story worked well in “6B,” too. Though technically a ghost story, it’s a touching one, with characters you really care for. Mrs. Merchant is a wonderful example - she was easy to relate to and sympathize with. Her need to let her husband go was well acted and fairly powerful. The switch to the Alternate Universe presented a perfect ending, with the vortex closed, and Mr. Merchant remembering his wife the way the rest of us remember those who’ve passed: by looking through an old photo album. It was an appropriate and poignant resolution to “6B.”
The most important story-arc of “6B” is the Olivia-Peter relationship. In an awkward limbo ever since the swap back in “Entrada,” “6B” finally ends the uncomfortable tension between Olivia and Peter, and allows the two characters to form a relationship. It’s hard to imagine where exactly this will lead, so I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to find out. Maybe two pregnant Olivias? Haha - I hope not!
Fringe returns tomorrow with a flashback episode (a la last season’s excellent “Peter”). I’m really looking forward to that, but we’ll probably have to wait till the following episode to see how Olivia and Peter function as a couple.