"Subject 9" Review
“Subject 9” starts great. When a Fringe event happens to Olivia, you know it’s going to be an interesting episode. A mysterious, ghostly apparition appears in Olivia’s bedroom, threatening her safety. The investigation here was really well done, from Astrid’s involvement in the case to the return of Nina Sharp.
Yes, Nina Sharp is back (thank God!), and there are some nice new dynamics at play with her character. Walter is at odds with her, while Olivia has an extended relationship dating back years (as evident in that scene about Olivia being asked to the prom). Though I haven’t been especially fond of Fringe re-writing its own mythology, I have to admit that it’s starting to grow on me… and this plot deviation was too interesting to not like.
In addition, the trauma of the Cortexiphan trials returns, and the character of Matt Little (aka Cameron James) was a nice addition to this case. He brought a realism to Walter’s experiments, revealing some of the damage Walter did to his subjects.
And on the subject of Walter, he was so damn sad in this episode. Once more, John Noble gave it his all in a poignant and revealing performance. His fear of being sent back to St. Claire’s was subtle, and we could really understand his concern. With Peter’s absence this season (thus far), we didn’t know what Olivia might do. Pre-“Day We Died” Olivia would have easily refused Walter’s re-admission to St. Claire’s. But now? She might easily send him back since her connection to Walter isn’t as strong without Peter acting as a middleman. That’s one of the greatest strengths of “Subject 9”: the unpredictability of characters in this new timeline.
While the rest of “Subject 9” is equally strong, I have to talk about the ending. Peter is finally brought back to the series, and it’s anyone’s guess where the show goes from here.
I must say, though, that a part of me was disappointed that Peter actually returned here. I don’t know, I suppose I just expected Olivia and Walter to put up a fight to bring him back into the timeline. Here, it was kind of just an inadvertent accident; neither Olivia nor Walter really know what to make of Peter’s return.
Still, Fringe not fulfilling my predictions is in no way a fault. In fact, I’m glad the show is doing something different and I’m excited to see where this Friday’s episode takes us.
What did you think?