"A Better Human Being" Review
I want to first talk about the case-of-the-week because that’s arguably the weakest part of “A Better Human Being.” The story involves a schizophrenic patient (there’s been a lot of schizophrenic people on Fringe lately) who is viewing crimes as they occur. The story is decent, but not particularly memorable by Fringe standards. Regardless, it was nice to put Astrid front and center in the investigation - especially after seeing her role in “Making Angels.”
Olivia’s transformation is easily the strongest aspect of “A Better Human Being,” and the writers amp up the nostalgia factor with numerous references and flashbacks to the Season 1 pilot. Even the storage lots (pictured below) from the pilot serves as a locale. It’s great to see Anna Torv transfer her persona from the cold, Season 1 & 2 investigator, to the warm, friendly Olivia we know from the end of Season 3.
Peter’s transformation is interesting, too, with Walter blaming Peter for Olivia’s altered memory. I especially like the end, where Peter is hesitant about falling for a doppleganger of his Olivia (even referencing the wonderful episode, “Marionette”). He decides that this is his Olivia, and shortly after their embrace she is kidnapped and tied up (presumably by David Robert Jones).
But then we get the fantastic reveal that Nina Sharp is tied up - likely a second Nina Sharp - which changes everything we thought about this season. First, which Nina is real? And better yet, who is the other Nina Sharp? A shapeshifter? Or a Nina from a parallel universe? I can’t wait to see how the writers play this one.
Also, I should mention that tonight’s new episode, “The End of All Things” is being pitched as a huge, game-changing episode. It should be interesting to see, as it’s the last finale before the home stretch. Fringe will return in a month non-stop until the finale. So far, things are looking good for Season 4, with a million dangling threads just waiting to be tied up.
What did you think of “A Better Human Being” - and which Nina Sharp do you think is the real one? As always, let me know your thoughts!