"Alone in the World" Review
There are several reasons why “Alone in the World” works. First, we stay in one universe. It keeps the story more contained and it’s refreshing to have just one Olivia this week. In effect, story arcs don’t become too confusing, and we’re not left juggling back and forth between two universes in a single episode.
This week’s case is well-told, too. Did anyone else think that Walter naming the parasite Gus was a Breaking Bad reference? Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but there’s something familiar about a Walt trying to kill Gus. (Check out my Breaking Bad “Face Off” review if you want to know how that turned out.) If this was, in fact, a Breaking Bad reference, I like the Fringe writers even more.
What’s most effective about the case-of-the-week is the way in which it connects to Walter’s state of mind. We find out that in this post “Day We Died” universe, Walter did attempt to rescue Peter from the other side. This time, however, the observer did not interfere, thus allowing Peter to perish in the lake.
This answers some of the lingering questions, explaining why the alternate Universe is still in chaos. Peter was still stolen from Walternate; he just didn’t survive, providing a much bleaker and ironic resolution. The case-of-the-week allows all of the information to reveal itself in a way that feels organic and interesting. It also helps that John Noble is such a fine actor.
I have to say, though, that I loved the end of this one. The reveal that Olivia is seeing Peter in her dreams was a perfect reveal. I’d wondered why she didn’t see Peter back in “Neither Here Nor There,” and this shows I was just getting ahead of myself. It only makes sense that Olivia would see Peter; after all, she held onto his memory in the early part of Season 3, when she was trapped on the other side.
Though “Alone in the World” is another standalone episode of Fringe, it’s a good one, and it has just enough connective tissue to keep me coming back. Can’t wait for tonight’s episode, starting in just a few hours.