Shiny Shelf

Fringe #2.17: Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver.

By Stephen Lavington on 16 April 2010

WARNING! Contains spoilers!

Fringe castBrilliant title, but all but irrelevant to the story of this week’s episode (bar a brief appearance of the game ‘Cluedo’), a fairly vanilla piece of plot development in spite of the gruesome monster-of-the-week: James Heath, a Cortexiphan test-case with the ability to give people fast-acting cancer through his touch.

The Cortexiphan reference is a bit of a smokescreen, however; it gives Olivia the chance to mope about a bit and rant atĀ Nina Sharp of Massive Dynamic, but the real focus is on the recent revelations of Peter’s true heritage.

Olivia mopes around some more, this time torturing herself on whether to tell Peter or not. Not able to sleep, she looks up creepy psychiatrist guy Sam Weiss, who said that she was probably a bit stressed because of her job and that she shouldn’t worry (I think I can see how he ended up runningĀ a bowling alley rather than running a successful practice).
Then she decides she will tell Peter, but Walter says she shoudn’t. Nina also says she shouldn’t, but Olivia says she will. Then she decides she won’t, but by then Walter has decided had he will… and then the episode ends.

Meanwhile it turns out that another one of Oliva’s classmates has had their latent powers awakened, becoming able to pump his cancer into fellow Cortexiphan users in exchange for a brief boost to his own life-force. He tracks down Olivia but she briefly snaps out of her misery reverie to hit him upside the head with a lamp.

He claims to have been coached by a mysterious visitor, but no-one seems to ask whether it was a highly elaborate attempt to wipe-out Cortexiphan survivors: Heath needed to kill them in order to survive, so was highly motivated to track them down and take them out. Just saying.

Anyway, we are left with little changed at the end of this episode than at the start: someone is activating Cortexiphan Kids and, sooner or later, Peter’s going to find out about his secret origin story. We knew this already!

If you’re watching season 2 as some sort of crazed all-day marathon, this is as good a time as any to grab a sandwich and visit the bathroom.

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By Stephen Lavington

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