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Fringe – “Reciprocity”

Fringe delves deeper into the psyche of Peter Bishop in one of the most bipolar ways in television history. One minute he is this sweet man being used as a pawn in an inter-universal war and the next he becomes Anakin from Revenge of the Sith. Continuing to progress the main plot line, Massive Dynamic rebuilds the mystery weapon that we were introduced to back in the Season Two finale (A.K.A: The McGuffin 2000; Order now and receive a copy of Crisis on Infinite Earths). We still don’t know what it does, how it works, or why Peter is the ammo for the weapon, but that’s what our heroes try to find out… and Peter ends up going through some serious stuff before the end of the episode.

The episode opens up with the Fringe team being taken to Area 51 where M.D. has recreated the ancient super weapon (brilliant idea!). As soon as Peter steps into the main room, the device releases some kind of tremor which they believe has been affecting Peter’s body in some way. The episode is then divided into two equally important stories: Peter’s health and how Walter is dealing with his son being used as a lab rat; and Olivia’s investigation into the executions of undercover shapeshifters that could have been leads.

Over the course of the episode, we see Peter from different angles. At first, he is innocent and kind and the only thing he really seems to want is for Olivia to forgive him and perhaps give him a second chance. We also see Walter worried sick about his son’s well-being and his struggle to regain his knowledge so he can solve the mystery of the super weapon. The scenes really tug at your heartstrings and you can easily relate to the Bishops and their plight. It’s essentially the same as watching a loved one go through sickness (except with multiverse weapons and evil doppelgangers). But when you get to the third act twist, you find out that Peter has gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs and was the one responsible for killing the shape shifters. Not only does this change Peter’s character completely, but it adds a completely new dimension to the war that we’ve been building up to for two seasons. How this will play into the season finale, I have no idea, but I can’t wait to find out.

Also worth noting is the subplot involving “The First People”, the book that hinted that there was a civilization before ours and that they were the ones who made the super weapon, discovering parallel earths in the process. The book is only peripherally in the story, but they are clearly hinting that it will be the key piece in whatever is about to happen next. All we know is that William Bell already put out an order to find it before, but does this mean he is still alive? Was he looking for it before he died? Is someone impersonating Bell? If so, why? Once again, Fringe has me suckered in to tune in on Friday nights to watch the best Sci-fi show on television.

One last thing: Was anyone else grossed out by the insane gore when Peter chopped off the dude's hands? I know it was mercury, but still… ew!



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