Skip to main content

Bound to a Star: A Quick Early Look at Tonight's Episode of "Fringe"

Just a few quick words about tonight's episode of Fringe ("Bound"), which is more or less the second half of a two-part episode that began last fall, in which we saw Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) kidnapped for reasons unknown by the nefarious Mr. Jones, who managed to escape his German prison by, well, teleporting out.

Those looking for some answers as to Mr. Jones' plan or, well, whereabouts will be sorely disappointed by tonight's episode, but "Bound" does feature perhaps the first real example of serialized storytelling in the series to date. With Olivia seized and bound, there's no way to have wrapped up the previous episode's storyline in that very same installment so it's nice to see things spill over more than just a bit. (New viewers will have the benefit of catching a rather exposition-laden recap of the events so far at the outset.)

"Bound" also picks up the pieces of various other dangling subplots over the last few weeks but also manages to tie them up very quickly by the time the episode ends, though there is a significant hint that not everything may be as it seems in the world of Fringe, leaving us to wonder just what some characters' true motivations really are.

Fans of J.J. Abrams' Alias will at least appreciate the rather Sydney Bristow-style ass-kicking that Olivia metes out to her captors in one of the more exciting and gripping sequences in tonight's episode. While we've seen Olivia run after suspects (and in the pilot leap off of fire escapes), we've never really seen her physically dole out punishment with the dangerous precision of Alias' Bristow. The scene in the building where Olivia is being held beautifully demonstrates Olivia's brutal survival skills, all the more haunting for the fact that she's just been operated on. (Yes, operated on... but I'm not saying why.)

Tonight's episode also features the first appearance of Ari Graynor (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) as Olivia's emotionally overwhelmed sister, who arrives in Boston for a visit, with her kid in tow. Viewers had better get used to Graynor's Rachel as she'll be sticking around for at least three episodes. While Rachel's appearance in this week's episode is pretty tangential to the overarching plot, it's good to see Olivia show some softness and familiarity for a change and it's clear that she has genuine feelings for her sister and wants to help her. Just how Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman plan to use Rachel remains to be seen.

As if Olivia doesn't have enough to deal with already, there's also a governmental review of the Fringe Division by the man Olivia thought she put away for molesting three women back in the military (remember him?)... and a killer who is striking at epidemiologists with a rather unusual instrument of death (let's call it bitter irony).

What else can I say about tonight's episode of Fringe?
  • Shoes provide a clue.
  • Olivia enjoys digging.
  • Some encounters are more forceful than they need to be.
  • Has anyone ever found a cure for the common cold?
  • Walter's food cravings know no bounds, even in the face of some rather disgusting discoveries.
  • Broyles may not really have control of Fringe Division after all.
  • Olivia is bound, not once, but twice.
  • As expected, Olivia turns out to be a much better aim than, well, someone else.
While this episode lets Lance Reddick's sorely underutilized Broyles have a little more investment than unusual in the proceedings (slightly anyway), the maddeningly frustrating fact is that Jasika Nicole's Astrid Farnsworth is still a complete cipher.

Here's to hoping that the February soft "relaunch" of Fringe will include some much needed character development for the notoriously one-note lab assistant... and perhaps some added doses of serialized storytelling.

Fringe airs tonight at 9 pm ET/PT on FOX.


Anonymous said…
It's about time they let Olivia do some serious ass-kicking! I look forward to seeing that and to seeing Ari Graynor in the role of Olivia's sister.
CL said…
This is my favorite episode so far, I think. It's the first in a while that dwells on the characters more than the mad science.

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

BuzzFeed: Meet The TV Successor To "Serial"

HBO's stranger-than-fiction true crime documentary The Jinx   — about real estate heir Robert Durst — brings the chills and thrills missing since Serial   wrapped up its first season. Serial   obsessives: HBO's latest documentary series is exactly what you've been waiting for.   The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst , like Sarah Koenig's beloved podcast, sifts through old documents, finds new leads from fresh interviews, and seeks to determine just what happened on a fateful day in which the most foul murder was committed. And, also like  Serial  before it,  The Jinx may also hold no ultimate answer to innocence or guilt. But that seems almost beside the point; such investigations often remain murky and unclear, and guilt is not so easy a thing to be judged. Instead, this upcoming six-part tantalizing murder mystery, from director Andrew Jarecki ( Capturing the Friedmans ), is a gripping true crime story that unfolds with all of the speed of a page-turner; it

BBC Culture: Matthew Weiner: Mad Men’s creator on its final episodes

The creative force behind the period drama talks about where his characters are as his show begins its final episodes. “We left off with everyone’s material needs being met in an extreme way,” says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner of where we last saw the characters on his critically acclaimed period drama when the show went on hiatus 10 months ago. “Then the issue is, what else is there?” That is the central question with the return to US TV of the AMC hit, one demanding to be answered by both the show’s characters, and its creator whose success is the envy of the television industry. Mad Men has been a defining part of Weiner’s life for the last 15 years. He wrote the pilot script on spec while he was a staff writer on CBS’ Ted Danson sitcom Becker in 1999, using it to land a writing gig on HBO’s The Sopranos in 2002. It would take another five years, filled with multiple rejections, before the first episode of Mad Men would make it on the air. Someone with less determination or vision