This weeks episode of Fringe was highly anticipated by fans as it was the first Astrid-centric episode. The episode was a slight disappointment as the issues surrounding the alternate Astrid weren’t all that clear. The main storyline of the murderer who tried to save people from a terrible future also fell a little flat, and for a reason that kind of mystified me.
As for the story…
This weeks episode is called ’Making Angels’ and is a reference to the main antagonist named Neill (played by Chin Han from The Dark Knight) who can see into the future after he has taken possession of an artifact left behind by the Observer known as September (the one who saved Peter and Walter from drowning), after a near death experience during his youth in which everybody in his family except his mother was killed Neill decides to kill people who suffer from a terrible future. One such victim suffers from cancer while another suffers from alcoholism.
Meanwhile the Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) from the Alternate Universe travels unauthorised to the Prime Universe to meet her counterpart. Apparently her father has just died and she wants to know if this Prime Astrid also had the same trouble with her father. The prime Astrid admits her father has difficulty with showing emotion. A further reason for the alternate Astrid’s presence is not given in the episode and just like she finds out that the killer’s method is a Deux Ex Machina so is her presence in this episode which is a suggestion that makes my head ache.
In a twist of the tale of two identical Astrid’s we also see the alternate Olivia Dunham travel to the Prime universe. She also helps in finding the killer but the real treat is her rapport with Walter who despite lambasting her ‘Vagenda’ and calling her Mata Hari seems to have grown fond of her.
After the gang has found out that another victim survived Astrid finds out that all three victims traveled by air. Quickly they identify Neill as being the TSA agent who has checked them through at the airport. Reviewing his background they find out he was a professor at MIT and a mathematics genius. Apparently he left MIT to solve an equation that would allow him to see the past, present and future. They also find out he lives at Reiden Lake which Peter quickly informs Olivia is of importance.
Neill’s house is empty yet the open door suggests he knows they are after him. In the end Olivia and Peter track him down at his mother’s house where Neill forces Olivia to kill him by aiming the gun at her. Olivia later on muses that Neill didn’t want to commit suicide because that would be a sin. Peter replies that so is killing other people. Olivia says that Neill tried to save them in a way. During the night we see three Observers enter the house of Neill’s mother and open the safe that has September’s artifact. One of the Observers informs their leader that Peter is back.
The last scene is were both Astrids say goodbye to each other and thanking each other for their support. Fauxlivia shows that a box she took with her the first time wasn’t a spy gadget at all but contained sweets. He replies that she might have some qualities that he wasn’t aware of before and she asks him if he is flirting with him. Next we see Astrid entering her home and telling her dad of the rough day she has had.
The episode was quite good, but it suffered from a killer with a motivation that was difficult to understand. Apparently he was meant to kill them in order to save them from a terrible future, but with his last victim he failed and actually caused the pain that he was trying to prevent. I think that fans for weeks on end will discus the contentious points of this episode. The fact that the Observers were involved is also suggestive and might lead to an opening for Olivia after she learned two episodes back that she needs to die.
The presence of the alternate Astrid was of course the real draw to this episode and yet her over the top OCD behaviour made it less amusing than hoped for. Instead the inclusion of the alternate Olivia was the real surprise and this lead to some hilarious encounters with Walter.
Fringe suffers from not always being able to make good on its promise but shines often in unexpected ways.
Score; 8.5 / 10.
Viewer Rating; 3.19 million (preliminary). This is slight drop over last weeks but its still a good number.