"One Night in October" Review
That’s not to say “One Night in October” falls short. As a standalone episode, it works very well and is actually one of the better stories featured in the Fringe universe. I really like the idea of destiny, and how differences between experiences can account for differences in personality. Case in point: John McClennan, who in one universe is the leading expert in serial killers, yet in the other, an actual crazed serial killer. The difference? The kindness of a stranger named Marjorie.
In a bold, unprecedented move, Olivia takes John to the other side, and I was surprised how poorly the Fringe division handled the switch. John quickly finds out that he’s “over there,” but he takes the news surprisingly well, barely freaking out that there are two Olivias and piles of amber suspended in the other universe.
I really liked the concept of Marjorie, and the fact that one person can have such a tremendous impact on a life. The images of Marjorie were poignant and worked really well. The conceit carried over to Olivia’s personal life as well, using Marjorie as a metaphor for Peter. Still, so much of this episode deals with the specifics of this case, that fans could easily have skipped this episode and pick up next week with no problem. Maybe it’s me, but that shouldn’t happen so early in the season (or at any time, for that matter).
As mentioned, the case-of-the-week was great. It’s the mythology stuff that causes trouble. I’m not a big fan of the way Fringe is rewriting its own history. This week, we find out that Olivia killed her father; he’s no longer sending her cards on her birthday as we learned back in Season 1. Nope, he’s dead. And why is Alternate Broyles still alive? Didn’t he die last season?
The Fringe mythology was already a lot to handle, and with the writers changing it all this season, I’ve having trouble following (and reviewing) this show. The biggest problem is that there’s no direct confrontation about what happened directly after “The Day We Died,” and though that’s the Fringe style, it’s getting a bit frustrating.
For now, let’s take “One Night in October” for what it is: a strong case-of-the-week episode. In the mean time, I hope the writers eventually explain some of this to us in a future, mythology-based episode. I trust that that they will.
What did you think? Am I being to harsh on Fringe? Let me know in the comments.