But let’s get on with this review. By the way, this is the first review on the new website, so that’s something else to celebrate. “Stowaway” picks up where “Os” left off. If you remember from last week’s review, I was nervous about where Fringe was headed. Anna Torv’s impersonation of Leonard Nimoy was definitely cause for concern.
To be honest, by the end of “Stowaway,” I’m still torn between loving and hating the concept. Every now and then, throughout the episode, I’d see moments of brilliance, but then a split second later I’d be taken out by Olivia’s weird voice. It’s difficult to say because we didn’t actually see too much of Olivia. “Stowaway” tends to focus on the case-of-the-week aspect more than Bell’s possession of Olivia.
As far as the case-of-the-week went, I really enjoyed the invincibility concept presented in “Stowaway.” A suicidal woman who couldn’t kill herself presented some intriguing drama, and it was met with a nice resolution when Olivia (as Bell) suggests why the woman couldn’t die. It was all a little metaphysical, but effective, nonetheless. In addition, it was great to see the Regular Lincoln appear on this side; he plays a very different character type and I’m glad the writers introduced him.
By the end of the episode, we learn that things have grown more complicated than Bell originally anticipated, after the real Olivia struggles to break through after a church bell rings. We don’t know quite what this means, but it’ll be interesting to see where the show goes with this.
One other aspect I’d like to mention about “Stowaway” is the nice inclusion of humor. Bell’s return through Olivia led to some genuinely funny moments throughout the episode. Fringe started as a show that embraced humor, but lately, things have gotten a little intense. “Stowaway” didn’t take Olivia’s possession too seriously, so there were some really funny moments involving almost all the cast members. But I have to say, Olivia’s inappropriate dialogue with Astrid was my favorite. My favorite line: “Has anyone ever told you, my dear, that you have lovely hands?” It’s such a creepy question! I love it.
Of course, this was also a flaw because we didn’t learn much from Bell through Olivia. We don’t quite know why he’s back or what he plans to accomplish. I can’t help but wonder how the show will address this. Should Bell have stayed dead? I can’t say yet. Whatever the resolution, it’ll have to wait because tomorrow’s episode takes us back to the Alternate Universe. I’m excited for that - I really like it over there.
As always, please let me know your thoughts on “Stowaway” in the comments below. And for now, let’s all be grateful that we get another season of this show!