Review: Fringe – In Absentia


by Ashley Binion

A change is coming. But wait a minute, why is Peter in a Loyalist uniform? In Fringe’s second episode of the season, “In Absentia,” the show continued to build the storyline and there were lots of Lost references.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Last week’s season premiere began with the Observer’s invasion in 2015 and Peter frantically trying to find Etta. However, this time the exact same event began the episode, but instead from the point-of-view of Olivia. In fact, a good amount of the episode was from her perspective, giving the audience a better understanding because, much like Olivia, we have been awakened to a very different world.

Walter continued to try the Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11to combine his thoughts but had no luck. So, they went to the lab to find whether he documented the plan. They traveled through steam tunnels to find that the lab had been ambered (more on that later).

Inside the amber was a video recorder, and in order to get to it, Walter needed a laser. To use the laser, they needed power, which the lab didn’t have. While there, a Loyalist soldier named Gale (played by Eric Lange, who also portrayed Lost’s annoying Stuart Radzinsky) made his way into the lab, but the Fringe team captured him.

Etta tortured him for a while to get some information on the science substation. He attempted to manipulate Olivia into having her daughter release him, but to no avail. So Peter, dressed as a loyalist soldier, and Etta were off to the science substation to turn back on the electricity. In short, they successfully turned the power back on, got the laser to work, and retrieved the video camera with the tape inside.

For this season, it seems as if they are largely staying away from the whole “freak of the week” storylines and giving the viewer one long mythology driven story. In my opinion, this is when Fringe thrives.

It’s amazing how well they cast Etta. Georgina Haig is the perfect mix of Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson, but when Torv and Haig stand next to each other, it seriously looks like they are related.

Throughout the episode there were a good amount of mother-daughter scenes. Olivia seemed troubled by how hardened Etta had become. At the end of the episode, she made a point to show her mom she has started to soften her heart.

On the way to the Resistance headquarters, where Etta was going to turn in Gale, Etta saw pity for her and everyone else in her mother’s eyes and decided to let him go. Before he went on his way, he also saw something in Olivia’s eyes: certainty. He said that was the first time he thought that humanity was supposed to win. To me, the entire Gale turning on the Loyalists seemed way too easy. Was he actually a plant to see what the former Fringe team was doing down in the lab?

On the tape, Walter explained that he had the entire plan on video tapes. So, it’s now up to the Fringe team to successfully find the other tapes them and implement his plan.

Well, it looks as if we won’t be seeing agent Simon again. While looking through the rooms in the science lab, the father and daughter came across him, or should I say his head, being tested on by Observers.

Since I am a huge Lostie I am going to throw this out there. Did anyone else notice that when Peter and Walter opened the lid to the steam tunnels the shot looked exactly the same as when Jack and Locke opened the hatch? Did Walter’s video feel a lot like a Dharma orientation video? Or how about when Etta was torturing the soldier just like the Lost survivors tortured Desmond?

The glyph code for this episode was “faith.”

Will they find the other tapes that spell out the plan to defeat the Observers? What is the significance of the bullet Etta keeps carrying around with her? And will Olivia become the face of the resistance?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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