Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fringe 4.09: "Enemy of My Enemy"

“The outcome is still the same. I couldn’t save our son then, and I can’t help him now.”

“Enemy of my Enemy” wasn’t exactly a stand-out episode of “Fringe,” but it wasn’t terrible, either. It basically just kept the season arc humming along. After the wonderful creativity of last season, I’ve come to expect a bit more out of “Fringe” than mere passable episodes. On the positive side, this episode raised some important questions and really made me question the loyalties of some of the characters (mostly Red Universe characters). Is Alt-Broyles a shapeshifter? Is Walternate really a good guy and not evil? Is Amber Nina Sharpe super evil? I hope we’ll get the answers to these questions soon, because if the ratings are any indication, this season will be “Fringe’s” last. I also found it interesting that we’re starting to see the two universes work together against a common enemy. They were so diametrically opposed in the old timeline that this shift is taking some getting used to. That being said, I still miss the Original Recipe, Blue Universe Walter and Olivia.

The episode opens with Alt-Broyles being hella shady. He’s combing security footage of Fringe Division HQ to figure out where Alt-Livia and Alt-Lincoln have hidden Amber Lincoln. He eventually figures out that Lincoln is in a storage closet, and he starts preparing some nasty looking yellow injection. Luckily for Lincoln, Walternate and Peter interrupt the nefarious plan. Walternate wants to brief Broyles on the shapeshifter situation, and Alt-Broyles manages to act quite surprised at the information. Alt-Livia and Alt-Lincoln are sent to the shapeshifter factory on Walternate’s information, and they meet the mastermind of the place. He’s none other than villain of seasons past David Robert Jones. But they don’t know that. Jones says he has created 47 of this new type of shapeshifter, and he kills one of the shifters in front of Alt-Livia and Alt-Lincoln. He demands to be taken to their leader.

Meanwhile, back in the Amber Universe, Olivia pays a visit to the Harvard lab to talk to Astrid. She wants Astrid to test a blood sample, and she also tells Astrid about where Peter and Lincoln went. Olivia knows that since Peter and Lincoln have been away for way too long, it’s time to face the music and tell Broyles what’s going on. When Olivia does go to see Broyles, she’s in for a bit of a surprise. Broyles already knows that Peter and Lincoln have gone to the Other Side. Apparently Alt-Broyles told him. Considering Alt-Broyles seems to be in league with the shapeshifters, I don’t have a good feeling about that. Broyles briefs Olivia on the situation as he understands it from Alt-Broyles.

Peter and Lincoln are at Fringe HQ arguing over whether or not it’s time to head back to the Amber Universe (Peter thinks it is, Lincoln thinks they should do more recon) when Peter sees them bringing in the creator of the shapeshifters. He of course recognizes him as David Robert Jones. Alt-Broyles begins the interrogation of Jones, and Jones has some odd demands before he will provide any information. He wants a cup of tea, and he wants the hard drive that was hidden in Brandon’s desk. Alt-livia and Alt-Lincoln are sent to fetch these items just as Peter and Lincoln arrive to tell Walternate what Peter knows about Jones (he’s a scientist from the Blue Universe). Thanks to his Jones knowledge, Peter gets to take over the interrogation. Jones is pretty agitated that Peter knows who he is, but he doesn’t seem to know Peter. As this is going on, Walternate gets a call from a woman at a hospital. This woman sets off some sort of disintegrating gas, and it kills quite a few people. We get a shot of flesh falling off a hand as it slides down a window. “Fringe” often brings the creepy and gross, but this was kind of beyond the beyond. My notes on this part of the episode basically just say “ewwwwwww.”

To avoid any more casualties, Walternate decides to let Jones go, but not before Alt-Lincoln puts a tracking device in his cup of tea. Amber Lincoln wants to help with the surveillance detail that will be following Jones, and the Alt-Fringe team agrees to it. The surveillance, however, doesn’t really go well at all. Jones somehow knows he’s being tracked, and he starts giving out “free money” on the street corner. Each dollar bill has a tracker in it on the exact same frequency as the original tracker, so all of a sudden the Fringe team has many trackers on their screen instead of just the one. Jones uses the chaos to escape into a waiting car, and predictably, Alt-Broyles sees him leaves and lets him go.

Elsewhere in the Red Universe, Walternate and Elizabeth are having dinner together. Walternate is very upset that Jones got away and that he can’t help Peter. I’m not sure why Walternate isn’t capable of helping Peter, but that’s what he thinks. Elizabeth seems determined to find a way to help Peter anyway, and we soon see what exactly she attempts. She crosses over to the Amber Universe to talk to Amber Walter and tries to convince him to help Peter. Walter didn’t get the White Rose card in the Amber Universe, so he is convinced that God has not forgiven him for what he has done. Elizabeth says that even if that’s the case, she forgives Walter for what happened because he was trying to save Peter’s life when things when awry. It looks like Walter is finally coming around to being willing to help.

Back on the Other Side, Peter has been looking at the maps that were on Brandon’s hard drive, and he figures out their significance. Each of the mapped locations have deposits of a particular type of rock that can be used as a power source, and Jones has stolen this type of power source before. The Fringe team sets up at the quarry from the maps that looks like the most likely target for Jones, but when a road on the map doesn’t actually exist at the quarry, Peter realizes that the maps aren’t for the Red Universe. By the time the Fringe Team comes to the realization they’ve been duped, Jones has crossed over to the Amber Universe with the help of his shapeshifters.

Lincoln and Peter return to the Amber Universe, and Broyles is there to meet them. He tells them they should go to “the site,” presumably the Amber Universe version of the quarry. There’s a huge shootout at the Amber version of the quarry between the Fringe crew and Jones and his shapeshifters. Olivia starts driving after Jones as Jones is running for a window between the universes, and Peter tells her to stop. If the window closes on Olivia, Olivia will die. Olivia, of course, keeps driving anyway. Somehow, she makes it through the window and is still alive on the other side. She only has about ¾ of a car left, but she herself is just fine. I wonder if this is related to her Cortexaphan world hopping ability.

Walternate and Peter call a big summit meeting between both Fringe teams. They’re going to work together to stop Jones, which could be interesting. Peter thinks he’s the variable that could help them beat Jones, because Peter already knows who Jones is, and that seemed to throw Jones off. Peter gives a big speech about it and everything, which is kind of corny. Olivia wants to start working on the fight against Jones right away, but Peter wants to wait until the next morning. He needs to get some sleep. That night, the doorbell rings at Peter’s house. I thought for a second it might be Olivia, but it turned out to be Walter. Walter tells Peter that Alt-Elizabeth came to visit him, and he also finally offers to help Peter. Peter is very happy about this turn of events, obviously. Meanwhile, Jones and none other than Nina Sharp are corresponding across universes, talking about working on her. I was so, so disappointed that Amber Nina appears to be evil.

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