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'Fringe': 'Because I don't know everything.'

April 22, 2009 |  8:29 am

117_baddreams_168Sooooooooo … Olivia made out with a chick. A stripper. Sure it was her dreaming herself into the position of her former evil science camp buddy, but still, Olivia made out with a stripper.  Not that it’s a big deal. I only bring it up because it would be weird if I didn’t, right?

The first half of “Bad Dreams” wasn’t very exciting. Olivia dreams of herself killing people and wakes up to find them dead. Not really an unheard of concept in science fiction. I found myself trying to pick out significant clues from the background (What was with the picture of the flaming guy on the wall behind the suicidal woman’s husband? Was there a secret message on the package of 'No-Sleep'?) I really  hadn’t expected much from writer/director Akiva Goldsman. I have a sort of love/hate relationship with Goldsman. I love to hate on him, being the writer of one of the only films I seriously considered walking out of (it rhymes with Ratman & Bobin). 

The second half really picked up. Just about the time we found out this was all linked to the ZFT manuscript and Cortexiphan. From that point out, there was plenty to keep up interest.

If there had been any question whether or not Olivia had been experimented on, it’s long gone.  Olivia basically confirmed not only that she’d been experimented on, but that she’d been paired up with another child, Nick Lane. Through Nick, we got a lot of interesting info: They were recruited and trained like the manuscript said, they were put in hiding with instructions to wear black and grays and blend in, some strange man pretending to be his lawyer came to him and offered to activate him.  Just enough answers to make us ask more questions.

Olivia confirming she received Cortexiphan triggered something in Walter as well. His expression after she said it and how he choked out “This is good news” hinted at a deeper involvement and possibly his own first sparks of memory. Peter’s reaction of  “can we just stop right there and analyze that sentence for a second” to Walter commenting “Often when we experimented on children …” mirrored what I (and probably the whole audience) was thinking. Does anyone ask follow-up questions to any of this once the case is solved?

I’m glad I adjusted my TiVo. The very end of the episode was Walter watching some very interesting home movies. No so much birthday parties or weddings. This VHS  tape contained a little blond girl named Olive who had done something that might have ended in fatalities. Plus,  we heard the first appearance of William Bell. So much squeezed into those last few minutes. And there’s only three more episodes in the season to see how it plays out. 

Broken 4th Wall --If you TiVoed and fast forwarded through all the commercials, you might want to go back and check out the Fox: Green It, Mean It spot featuring John Noble. It’s weird to see Dr. Bishop talking with an Australian accent. Though, he’s right. You really should ride your bike more. 

Astrid Action -- Astrid did have a funny moment when she mistakenly assumed Walter was forgetting her name when he said Astral. I’m afraid that our in-depth look at the lab assistant will probably not come until next year. But the "Fringe" crew will have another entire season to fill. I’m sure she’ll get her chance then.

Spot the Observer --I think Baldy is pitching to us underhand. Ever since "Fringe" returned from hiatus, the Observer hasn’t been as hard to spot.  It’s like he wants to be caught. When he walked across the street as Olivia and the Bishops rushed to the building where the jumpers were poised, I almost expected the Observer to wink at the camera. Though I don’t want to complain too loudly about how easy he is to find. I’d hate to go back to having to look online to find out where he hid.

-- Andrew Hanson

Photo: Fox