This weeks episode of Fringe sees the return of David Robert Jones which raises the boiling point in a way that seems like he never left. The plot this time makes my head spin and frankly that is what I am looking for in a Fringe episode.
As for the story…
Following from “Back to Where You’ve Never Been“, the alternate universe’s Olivia (Anna Torv) and Lincoln (Seth Gabel) track down David Robert Jones (Jared Harris) to a warehouse, unaware that Colonel Broyles (Lance Reddick) had alerted Jones to their arrival. Jones waits until Olivia and Lincoln arrive before destroying one of his beloved shapeshifters, warning that if he’s willing to destroy someone he loves, they should fear what he would do to anyone else. He asks to be taken to Fringe headquarters.
There, Peter (Joshua Jackson) and the prime universe’s Lincoln (Gabel), having been cleared to return to the prime universe, are present when Jones is escorted to an interrogation room. Peter recognizes Jones and offers to interrogate him; Peter is able to throw Jones off guard, revealing that he knows Jones had crossed over from the prime universe and that his scars showed he’d suffered injuries as a result of being teleported out of prison. Jones makes a demand for a hard drive, containing satellite tracking data, to be returned to him and to let him go or else his agents will launch terrorist attacks; this is demonstrated when one agent sets off a biochemical agent in a hospital ward, killing all inside.
They let Jones go after secretly fitting him with a tracking device. However, due to Broyles’ interference, Jones is able to elude the tracking system, leaving the prime version of Lincoln suspicious of a mole within Fringe. Peter and Astrid (Jasika Nicole) study the data from the hard drive, and identify that Jones appears to be looking for a mineral in appreciable quantities in a nearby quarry that, when processed correctly, can create a hole in the universes. Peter realizes too late that the maps are those of the prime universe; Jones has crossed back over with help of his shapeshifter agents there to access the quarry. Peter and Lincoln return to the prime universe to catch up to Jones, but arrive too late as Jones takes a load of the mineral back to the alternate universe. The two Fringe teams meet and agree they must work together to defeat Jones, even though they know that Jones has been ahead of them. Peter recognizes that he knows Jones from the alternate timeline and is a variable that Jones has not accounted for. Later, the viewer is shown that Jones is communicating with Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) of the prime universe, who is preparing an unnamed woman for “Phase Two” of their plan.
Meanwhile, Walternate (John Noble) and his wife Elizabeth (Orla Brady) discuss helping Peter. Elizabeth crosses to the prime universe to meet with Walter (Noble) and to gain his help to assist Peter, which he has been reluctant to do, believing he has been given no sign of absolution for taking Peter from her. Elizabeth assures him that she had forgiven him long ago. Walter returns to Peter that evening and offers Peter his help to return home.
In many respects I shouldn’t be surprised that Jones works for Nina Sharp as he was an old Massive Dynamic Employee, but the question arises, which Nina Sharp does he work for. The production values on Fringe remain high despite the rather low ratings. The fact that many actors now have a dual role makes the plot all the more interesting and the acting has certainly not suffered under it.
Score; 8.5 / 10.
Viewer rating; 3.18 million. which is an increase of 300.000 over last week but a show of this calibre has to make at least 4.5 million to be sustainable.