"The Plateau" Review
I thought the case-of-the-week was pretty interesting tonight. The idea of using a chain of events (through cause and effect) to commit murder was very clever. This also led to some great scenes. The knowledge and thought of Olivia being killed by the falling pile of bricks brought about some tense moments, and it was a nice touch that her being from the other side caused the unpredictability that saved her. While this was a clever idea, Peter explaining it to Olivia at the end felt unnecessary - like the writers were saying, “see what we did?!” to the audience.
While “The Plateau” wasn’t the best episode of Fringe, it brought about some important moments in the broader scope of the series. First off, Olivia has realized that she’s from the other side. I’m not sure where she’s going to go from here or whether or not she fully believes her memories of Peter. Still, it’s character moments that bring Olivia back, which is what I like about Fringe. The writers are fairly good at applying powerful character moments to the procedural nature of the show.
This attention to characters extends to the case-of-the-week, too. The small horse figurine caused some really strong moments between the brother and sister (I forget their names, but remember that it sounds like a children’s book!). When the brother’s calculating nature doesn’t account for the figurine, he gets all teary eyed. It’s a nice moment and the writers don’t explain the horse’s significance… and they don’t need to. We can draw our own conclusions about their relationship and what this little horse might mean.
Olivia continually seeing Peter and Walter through memories/hallucinations is a nice device that makes us question the power of emotions verses science. Secretary of Defense Walter tried to erase Olivia’s memories and implant new ones, but it’s obvious that strong bonds can’t be broken easily. This notion reminded me of a two-part episode of The 4400 called “Gone.” I think that episode is stronger than “The Plateau,” but both use the idea of trying to erase the memories of people we love and the consequences that follow.
By the way, the reason this review is going up a little late is because I actually went back to re-watch The 4400 episode - sorry! It’s a great one, though… and a great show. You should check it out if you’ve never seen it.
Anyway, “The Plateau” continues with the new Fringe format of switching back and forth between the two universes. Next week, we’ll be back in the real world. I’m still trying to decide which episodes I like more - the red ones (in the new universe) or the blue ones (in the old universe). If you have a preference, let me know in the comments! I wonder how long it’ll be before the two worlds collide.