Fringe is back for another season. After the series started slipping in the viewer ratings Fringe producers have promised less convaluted plot lines and fewer story arcs, they are going as far as saying that season 4 will be a kind of reboot for Fringe. That is all well and good, but its not true for the first episode of season 4 entitled ‘Neither here not there’ (aptly named) as it continues the storyline of season 3 during which the two Fringe alternate realities were partly merged allowing continous contact between them to resolve their conflicts. This fact, abd the disapearance can’t simply be resolved within the span of a few episodes so far as the reboot is concerned we won’t be seeing much of that for a while.
Plot synopsis…. taken from wikipedia….
A week passes after the Fringe divisions in both dimensions have begun to work together to solve the impending collapse. Olivia investigates a case where Lincoln Lee from the prime dimension witnessed a man with translucent skin attacking and killing his partner Robert (guest star Joe Flanigan) while tracking a sale of illegal weapons. Lincoln insists on following Olivia and the division around to solve the case for his partner’s sake and he discovers that there is more than one victim and multiple bodies have turned up undisclosed by the Fringe division. They eventually track down not one, but two killers with the same translucent skin at their hideout and kill them, but not before the killers burn their research notes and a third suspect, unobserved, gets away. Olivia decides to bring Lincoln into the loop and have him visit the hangar with the doomsday device with both teams setting up inside the facility. Lincoln meets Fauxlivia as she is being informed by Olivia about a biological device recovered from one of the killer’s bodies and deduce them to be a new form of shapeshifters originated from humans. Throughout the episode, Peter Bishop appears and disappears and Walter gets a fright upon seeing him although not recognizing him due to the changed timeline. The Observer is sent to “correct” the timeline by erasing Peter’s presence completely but does not go through in the end, while Walter is shocked to see Peter appear again on the reflection of his TV screen.
In all honesty, this episode was a tad slow, it carefully broods every move and twist seemingly to get non-Fringe viewers into the series. However, I do suspect that the complicated deal with the two alternate timelines merged into one is too convaluted for fresh viewers. The absence of Peter is really felt in the storyline, now Olivia has no partner to bounce ideas off and her close friendship with Walther is all the weirder because of it. Of course Peter will be back soon enough, as proven by his two appearances as ghostly images. One thing that is certainly taking shape is the presence of the Observers, it was always suspected they were a benign influence and that is for the most part proven in this episode. Bringing in the character of Lincoln Lee from Prime universe closer to Fringe division adds a sense of development that was missing from the first two seasons of Fringe. Season 3 corrected this in the alternate universe with the appearance of the alternate Lincoln Lee and Charlie Francis but the Prime universe was somewhat starved of interesting new characters. I hope the character of Charlie francis will make more appearances in the coming season as well because he can well serve as a good anchor character for viewers to associate with…..
Viewer rating; 3.53 million. Somewhat of a disapointment for a season opening though the number does not count the viwers recording this on their Tivo at which Fringe scores above normal. Nontheless the number is worrisome.
Next weeks episode fringe…. ‘One night in October’