No, Walter! No, “Fringe”? Noooo!
Thursday night’s “Fringe” had a really cool, intriguing, evil bad guy, and Walter killed him. Haven’t you listened to anything I’ve said? Bad, Walter! Bad.
Our villain was set up so perfectly to hate. First he crashed what seemed like a lovely wedding. We the audience got just enough glimpse at the family to feel bad as we watched them all choke to death on nothing. Then he jumped into a conversation between a mother and her daughter to say some extremely creepy things before gassing a coffee shop. And his final target was a huge “World Tolerance Conference,” a banquet to get rich people of all different ethnicities together to eat catering.
Oh, and did I mention he was a NAZI?
Nobody fights Nazis anymore. Not even Indiana Jones. But “Fringe” has Nazis. Nazis that stay forever young a la Richard Alpert. Well, "Fringe" had Nazis. Not anymore.
Olivia, Peter and Walter are brought in after the wedding attach. A mysterious toxin managed to kill only blood relations of the groom. It also managed to reveal an grandchild as illegitimate. A super-bad day all around.
Walter recognizes the weapon as a Nazi experiment, and when he examines the molecules of the toxin, he finds a tiny seahorse. The seahorse happens to be the signature symbol of his father, Dr. Robert Bishop, or Bishoff in German. (It also happens to be part of the glyphs that lead in and out of the commercial breaks.) Robert Bishop worked in Berlin up to 1943 as a scientist for the Nazis and a spy for the Allies. Someone has completed Robert Bishop’s work on a weapon that can target specific genetic or physical features and is using it to kill.
That someone, of course, is our Nazi. He’s out testing his weapon, slowly perfecting the cinnamon candle that can wipe out all but his idea of the master race. Such a sweet, homey feel to his evilness.
The Fringe Division manages to track the mad German down, and Walter kills him with his own toxin. The guy wasn’t any immediate threat. Killing him wouldn’t have stopped the toxin from being released into the World Tolerance Conference. Peter saved the day there. No, Walter wanted the Nazi dead for corrupting his father’s work. And to steal away another great “Fringe” villain before his time. Bad, Walter. No.
With or without the Nazi bad guy, “The Bishop Revival” had some great moments for the father-son duo. It started out with Walter’s amazing driving skills and talk of his wedding to Peter’s mother. Walter even snuck in a few jabs about a possible relationship between Peter and Olivia, going as far as to ask whether Peter thought Olivia would call him dad. Who couldn’t love that?
Later when Walter went looking for the books containing his father’s experiments, he found out that Peter had taken them a decade before and sold them when he needed money. Though, Peter admits it was more an attack against his father than a grab for cash. This turned into another great moment for the Bishop clan in which we got to see Walter’s passion for family and Peter’s desire to fix the mistakes of the past.
Wow, with this episode and last week’s “What Lies Below,” “Fringe” has some strong momentum heading into next week’s winter finale. Can’t wait to see what they have cooked up for us next.
I want this spun off! -- So what you’re telling me is that Walter Bishop’s father worked at the University of Berlin, helping the Nazis with their crazy fringe science while all the time secretly sending information back to the United States. Mr. J.J. Abrams, if you’re reading this (and I fully assume that he does read my Show Trackers), you have to create a series around Robert Bishoff. He’s helping create chemical weapons and flying saucers, but at the same time, sabotaging the results and trying to keep from getting caught. And smuggling the Jewish test subjects to safety. Get cracking. You can have it ready by the fall season.
Astrid Action -- Astrid was back to her position as lab assistant/research tech/chaperon. I’m sure she enjoyed the break after being so deep in the action for the last couple of episodes. Though I have to admit, when Walter called her Ostrich, it felt like a stretch. Go on and learn her name already, Walter. You’re running out of homonyms. Or is it homophones? I always forget my words that describe words (is there a word for that?).
Spot the Observer -- OK, I’ll admit I couldn’t catch him tonight. If anyone did see Baldy McPeepers, please leave a comment. Though I thought it would have been great to see the Observer jumping out of the way as Walter drove to the first crime scene. It’s been almost two full seasons. Time to start having a little fun with the guy.
-- Andrew Hanson
Photo: Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop. Credit: Fox Television