Fringe, "Firefly": in love with a chain reaction

Quick Take, Fringe, "Firefly"
"There are things I cannot know." - The Observer

Walter and Roscoe

Review, Fringe, "Firefly"
(S0310) Fringe is never easy to explain, so we'll go with the quickest route. Walter is trying to make some concoction that will restore his lost brain-parts and or the intellect lost with them, and has started experimenting on themselves. We're in the blueniverse once and for all and Olivia is still upset about Fauxlivia living her life and no one noticing, but she puts on a brave face because Weird Things are happening. The main Observer who we all know is relatively young and quirky contacts them (indirectly at first) to help him fix a mistake. By letting Walter and Peter live when they fell into the lake all those years ago, he let a string of events come into play that has to finish up now. Walter is sure it means Peter needs to die, and he spends a portion of the episode being almost killed, but not as almost-killed as the girl who sets the whole fixing in motion.

So Walter follows the clues and meets the keyboardist for his old favorite band, Violet Sedan Chair (check out this clue about them from, like, two years ago), and finds out that the band broke up because of the mistake-chain. Because whenever Walter gets to save something he loves, he loses something else. But the upshot is that Peter wasn't killed and there's an opening for Christopher Lloyd to come back for other guest spots!

I was concerned when Fringe was moved to the Friday Death Slot, but it looks like the move hasn't damaged the show at all. This is as complex and clean an episode as Fringe ever made. Even though this could have been a simple throw-away episode, a space-filler to bring the show back without changing the status quo too much, but they went ahead and produced this beautiful clockwork of an episode instead. Every little thing that happens in the whole thing fits into everything else that happens, and it all dovetails nicely with what we already know of Peter and Walter's shared history. It's brilliant.

More thoughts on Fringe, "Firefly"

  • It's always great to see Christopher Lloyd anywhere, and the fact that he's on the other side of time travel this time around is pretty charming. I hope he comes back. Walter needs a few friends of his own, and why not a musical genius who can maybe help him get back that lost brainpower?
  • That poor shop girl. She was robbed, saved but almost died of an asthma attack, saved again, almost killed in a car wreck, almost suffocated again, and then got replaced by Peter and was never seen again.
  • The scene where Peter explained his favorite book and its relation to her was very sweet-- and beautifully understated. The whole thing would be easy to turn into melodrama, but Fringe is determined to stay the calmest massively scifi show on TV, and it's still refreshing.
  • Even if it's not a direct reference to the show Firefly and its time in the Friday Death Slot, it makes my geeky little heart happy to have the name around. And the fact that, even with all the emphasis on little changes leading to big ones, they never once mentioned butterflies, makes me happy.
  • Video for Fringe, "Firefly"
    Check out a sneak peek of the episode:  

    By Samantha Holloway

    About the author

    Samantha is a freelance writer, editor and book and TV reviewer. She's currently in gradschool and working on her first novel, and one day she'll rule to world. Or marry her TV. Whichever comes first. Follow! twitter.com/pirategirljack.

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    1 Comment
    On: Monday, January 24, 2011
    Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

    More Chris Lloyd, always a good thing !

    I kind of think the "rules" are changing significantly in many ways. There are more great shows on in the summer than ever before, and same goes for Fridays. This week for example I watched Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and Kitchen Nightmares. Hopefully Fringe will thrive in the Friday slot. 

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