Quick Take: Fringe, "Everything in its Right Place"
"It's crazy day." - Peter
Review: Fringe, "Everything in its Right Place"
(S0417) After learning that David Robert Jones (Jared Harris) has an army of the most fearsome Fringe foe-beasts roaming international waters, I found it hard to get excited for a Lincoln-centric episode. Not to diminish Agent Lee (or Seth Gabel's acting chops) – he has been largely upstaged and underused in the busily bizarre Season Four, but he, too, has proven himself more than capable of managing the duality of Fringe's universes.
It's been a long time since we've visited "over there," what with Peter and Olivia struggling through identity crises, and I think that's where my lack of excitement came from – or didn't come from, rather. Feeling displaced since Olivia's memory-upheaval, Lincoln opts to coordinate with his counterpart and Fauxlivia in the alternate universe as they attempt to take down a vigilante shapeshifter. And it's awesome.
A lot of the fun from "Everything in its Right Place" comes from Lincoln's renewed excitement for life as he explores and learns about the other universe. He finds subtle differences, like the Mantis – and not Batman – protecting Gotham City, as well as more jarring ones. Fringe Division's publicity comes as a shock to Lincoln, who is used to working in secrecy in his own life, as he is given a heartening reception upon arriving at the bridge between worlds.
Aside from Colonel Broyles – who may or may not be a shapeshifter, but is definitely working for David Robert Jones – the Fringe Division warms up to Lincoln as quickly as he does to them. Broyles deflects Lincoln as long as he can, but support from Fauxlivia and a higher-ranked Captain Lee get him involved soon enough. The circumstances and their pursuit of the crime-fighting shapeshifter inspires some interesting remarks on the stresses of nature versus nurture, free will and circumstance, and otherwise straightforward philosophizing in Walter's general absence.
After apprehending their suspect halfway through the episode, Linc-one and Linc-two attract the attention of alternates Broyles and Nina, who move to neutralize the target before it tells too much about Jones's plans. Despite trusting absolutely in DRJ and his goals, the shapeshifter maintained a modicum of his humanity in choosing to use his enhancements to only kill criminals while delaying his mortality.
An assassination attempt against the shapeshifter, Canaan, ends up claiming Captain Lee's life – rather anticlimactically if you think about the pyrokinetic explosion he survived at the end of Season Two. Though there has been an undeniable chemistry between Fauxlivia and the Lincoln from her universe in episodes past, Linc-two's passing conveniently gives Lincoln the chance to make a new life in a new world, as he opts to spearhead the David Robert Jones investigation from "over there."
Sharing its name with my favourite Radiohead song, "Everything in its Right Place" ultimately earns its keep being included in the final leg of Fringe – the season and potentially the series. Some final thoughts: How badass is it that Fauxlivia is an Olympian sharpshooter? Taking out the rooftop assassin was the single coolest moment in Fringe that had nothing to do with the fringe science. Also, I did not like the way Alt-strid (Jasika Nicole) left things off with Colonel Broyles: one of them is certainly a shapeshifter, and I have a funny Fringe-feeling that it might be both.