Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fringe 4.17: "Everything in its Right Place"

“Your team may toil away in secret over there, but over here? You’re heroes.”

It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a real “Other Side” focused episode of “Fringe.” Now that the Red crew isn’t evil, I think I enjoy trips to the Other Side more than I did last season. This Alt-livia hasn’t deceived Peter into cheating on Olivia, after all. And the Red Universe characters, despite having lived a more hardscrabble existence, don’t seem quite as morose as their Blue/Amber counterparts. The most morose of all the Blue/Amber folks is Lincoln, especially since Peter stepped in and kind of ruined any chance he had with Olivia, and fittingly, Lincoln starts to find himself and his confidence on a trip to the Other Side. I’m not sure how I feel about Lincoln finding his place on the Other Side, though, since the show has pretty much re-shifted focus to our universe. I’d miss seeing Seth Gabel on the show regularly, even if Amber Lincoln isn’t as entertaining as Alt-Lincoln. So yeah, overall, this episode was a pleasant surprise for me. It was very entertaining and engaging despite being set almost entirely on the Other Side. With that said, on with the post!

We begin the episode in the Amber/Blue universe, where it’s “Grazing Day” at the lab. As Peter explains it to Lincoln, Grazing Day is when the team takes Gene to her favorite pasture because Walter is convinced that she has Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is rather hilarious, but Lincoln is acting rather mopey because of how family-like the rest of the team is acting. He’s even more depressed when Olivia gives him a pendant of his that she found in her apartment. It was originally given to him by his former FBI partner and symbolized finding a home after being transient. Lincoln had subsequently given it to Olivia, but since her memories were switched up, she doesn’t remember that anymore. Astrid arrives carrying boxes of documents and informs the team that she had to cancel a family obligation because she’s supposed to give the Other Side Fringe crew a briefing on David Robert Jones. Lincoln offers to do the briefing instead, and Broyles reluctantly agrees.

On the other side, we see a shady guy with a knife try to attack a woman in a parking garage at night. Something even scarier (we can only see the shadow) attacks the man before he can hurt the woman, though. And we have our case of the week. Meanwhile, Lincoln crosses to the Other Side at the bridge, and Alt-livia says he’s going to have to give his David Robert Jones briefing on the move because they have a case (the one from the parking garage). As they drive towards the crime scene, we learn that conditions have been improving on the Other Side ever since the bridge was created. We see them drive past one particular sector of New York City that is being reopened because the atmosphere has improved. Alt-livia tricks Lincoln into telling her his middle name (Tyrone), which she later uses against Alt-Lincoln, who hates his middle name and had refused to say what it was. It was an amusing little sequence. As Alt-livia and Lincoln arrive on the scene, we learn that there’s a vigilante on the loose, but this is the first time he/she has left a body behind. And it’s really gross and kind of half-decomposed.

Over in the district that is scheduled to be reopened, we see a guy who looks like the original attacker open up a wallet and look at the photo of a little boy. So it’s pretty apparent now that the vigilante is some form of shapeshifter. He is interrupted by two guys in haz mat suits who appear to have something to do with reopening the district. The atmospheric readings they’ve been taking look good, so they take off their masks. They are, however, getting high readings of tissue organics from a nearby church. They investigate and find the bodies of the rest of the people the vigilante has killed. This makes the Fringe Division case heat up, obviously, so Alt-livia tells Lincoln he can go home until they’re freed up. But Lincoln wants to stay. A soldier comes up to Lincoln and thanks him, and Alt-livia explains that the Blue/Amber Fringe team are heroes for healing the Other Side. It’s clear that Lincoln is starting to think that he might be where he really belongs.

The vigilante shapeshifter, whose name turns out to be Canaan, shows up at a soup kitchen. The nice lady running the place (or a social worker or something) offers to find him shelter and invites him to sit down and eat. Canaan is rather contentedly eating when one of the other homeless guys says there’s something on his neck. Canaan panics and runs away. Back in the newly reopened zone, Lincoln is checking out the basement of bodies, and he notices puncture wounds in the mouth of one of the victims. He also finds a locket with a photo of the victim. Back at Fringe HQ, Lincoln has some tests run to see if that particular victim appeared after her time of death. While waiting for the results, Lincoln and Alt-Lincoln start comparing their histories. Their lives were identical through high school, which is odd considering the significant difference in their personalities. The tests show that the victim did appear on CCTV after her death, and Lincoln reveals that he thinks the vigilante is an original recipe (not the new, sophisticated kind) shapeshifter. The team informs Colonel Broyles, who is skeptical and gets rather nasty about it. Most likely because he’s in league with Evil!Nina and David Robert Jones.

We next see a crack house, where two junkies are shooting up. One gets up to use the bathroom, and he gets attacked by Canaan. Canaan has some sort of umbilical cord-looking thing attached to his mouth that makes the transfer instead of the metal device used by the original recipe shapeshifters. So he’s a sort of transition stage. The Fringe team gets word of the latest attack, and Lincoln convinces them to look for someone matching the description of the victim, even though Colonel Broyles seems pretty dead set against investigating the shapeshifter angle. They find their target, and the team is quickly in pursuit. While they’re looking for him, the Lincolns talk over the comm system about where their paths diverged (they never do figure it out), and Alt-livia makes fun of them for it. Lincoln finds Canaan and runs after him. Canaan almost gets away from Lincoln, but Alt-Lincoln and some backup make the save. Colonel Broyles tells Alt-Astrid to relay congratulations to the team, then he runs and calls Evil!Nina, who says her team will take care of the situation.

The team has Canaan in a holding cell, and Lincoln asks Alt-livia for five minutes to talk to him. Because Lincoln’s FBI partner was killed by a shapeshifter, he wants to learn everything he can about them. He asks Alt-livia how she would feel if Alt-Lincoln died, and Alt-livia reluctantly agrees to let Lincoln have his time with Canaan. Meanwhile, a sniper working for Evil!Nina starts setting up. Lincoln is able to get Canaan to talk by showing him the picture of the little boy. It’s Canaan’s ex-girlfriend’s son. After he and the ex broke up, Canaa was approached by David Robert Jones. Canaan was feeling disconnected from the world (much like Lincoln…subtle much?), and he thought he needed to become a better person to have a place in the world, so he agreed to Jones’ experiments. He won’t, however, give up Jones’ location. As the team moves Canaan out of the building and towards a van, the sniper strikes. Alt-Lincoln is hit, but Alt-livia manages to take down the sniper with a crack shot. Alt-Lincoln says he’ll be okay, but Lincoln goes to confront Canaan. He tells Canaan that it’s time to choose whether he’s going to define himself or keep protecting Jones.

The sniper appears to return to Evil!Nina at shapeshifter Hq, but it turns out he’s actually Canaan. Canaan has used his new identity to override the facility’s security protocols, and the Fringe team is able to apprehend Evil!Nina. At Fringe HQ, a rather upset Astrid tells Broyles she has something to report, and this is the first hint that things have gone horribly wrong. At shapeshifter HQ, Alt-livia and Lincoln are having a little fun speculating how they can use the massive amount of information in the building to take down Jones. Then Alt-livia gets the news that Alt-Lincoln has died. She runs off, extremely shaken and upset. My reaction to this was pretty much just “damn.” I’ll miss Alt-Lincoln for sure. I think his shining moment was when he helped Alt-livia deliver Henry in last season’s episode “Bloodline.” I really believed his love for Alt-livia in that one. It’s too bad he never got to experience her reciprocating that love. Lincoln ends up taking Canaan across the bridge to our Fringe team so Walter can study…er…help him, then he returns to the Other Side. Alt-livia is going through Alt-Lincoln’s stuff, and she’s still visibly upset when Lincoln appears. Lincoln says he’s going to be sticking around for a while, and Alt-livia seems oddly comforted by that. It’s clear that what made Alt-Lincoln so confident compared to our Lincoln was knowing Olivia longer. Kind of sweet sentiment, I think.

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