First off, it’s clear that the writers of Fringe pay attention to their fan base. I love that Walter finally called Alternate Olivia Fauxlivia; reviewers and bloggers have been calling her that for over a year now, but I’m sticking to “Alternate Olivia,” damnit. It’s classier. Still, it was nice to have that referenced in the actual episode.
Second, fans have been complaining for some time now that Peter’s never given intriguing character material. I disagree, and think he’s had some great stuff this past season (and last!), but “Reciprocity” is clearly a Peter-centric episode. It’s packed with shocking revelations about Peter, and it leaves us with a fascinating question about whether or not he’s in control of his own body.
From the very beginning, Peter’s sneaking out - and with black gloves! - hints that he’s up to something. I figured it would have something to do with Olivia or possibly the other side, but I didn’t expect it to tie in with the shapeshifter murders. “Reciprocity” lays out a nice mystery, filled with red herrings. The reveal that Peter’s been killing the shapeshifters was one of the more jawing moments of Fringe, and it worked quite well.
We’re not quite given the justification behind Peter’s actions, but it’s intriguing (and a good decision on the writer’s part) to have Walter find out. But I have to say, it seems out of character for Peter to leave such an obvious paper trail for Walter to find… but maybe that’s the point. As Walter suggests, perhaps the machine has changed Peter in some way. If that’s the case, is Peter in control of his actions at all anymore? Or is this just elevated aggression (as evidenced by the increased heart rate)? At this point, we simply don’t know, but I’m eager to find out.
“Reciprocity” is a well-rounded episode that gives all the characters something to work with. It was nice to see Nina Sharp return; I love her scenes with Walter… and his monkey DNA storyline was pretty hilarious. Olivia, too, had great material, as she continues to deal with the fallout left behind by Alternate Olivia. Her coming to grips with Alternate Olivia’s file was an important moment for the show. I feel like Olivia’s discomfort is starting to wear off, as she continues to confront the actions of her doppelganger.
As mentioned at the start of this review, I really enjoyed “Reciprocity.” It managed to add another intriguing layer to the Fringe mythology, while upping-the-ante of the machine’s capabilities and purpose. I’m eagerly awaiting next week.
What did you think of this episode?