Fringe: S4E08 “Back to Where You’ve Never Been”

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Action: 8/10
Acting: 9/10

John Noble overall; main plot development

Not sure about the current direction the show is heading in

Fringe returns with what should have been the mid-season finale (I mean what literally was supposed to be the mid-season finale, until “Baseball Happened”), and it shows off everything we would expect from a finale of fringe.  Its a shame that this rescheduling happened to this show especially though, considering fringe already suffers from poor pacing as it is.

So far I have been worried with the current season of fringe because it took a hard turn back to almost solely procedural episodes.   Note to the writers of fringe: The reason we watch this show is for he main plotline; That is what is interesting about this show.

I liked this episode a lot, but let me get rid of a few gripes right of the bat.  I am not a fan of Peter’s phone home story line.  If the writers are cementing that as the main goal, then why do we even care about what happens in this “world”.  The writers have essentially written in a safety blanket cop-out that will now hover beneath the show at all times until they get the balls to send Peter back.

A “curveball” is thrown in at the end of the episode with the Observer showing up and saying that Olivia has to die, but why do we care?  For all we care this whole entire world can explode as long as Peter gets back, and then everything will be back to normal.  I know obviously this story won’t be completely forgotten and plotlines will bleed back over to the ‘real’ universe, but still.  Its been done.  The writers know the rules of this show and they know they have the ability to hit the reset switch at anytime and start over plots.  They’ve already done it multiple times, and I now feel like its being used as a crutch.

I just feel like fringe comes up with good topics and milks the shit out of them.  We’ve already seen Olivia die, and we even had a funeral for her.  How many times do I have to see different versions of characters look at Peter and ask “Who the hell are you?”  We have now spent the whole first half of this season restarting Peter’s relationship with the cast we already know, and now we have to do it again for the other Universe.  Its not that emotional to see Peter’s mother on the verge of tears at the sight of her grown son if we have already witnessed the scene before, with her and with multiple other characters.  Move on.

Ok I’m done ranting.  I just care for this show deeply and I’m afraid its writing itself into a deadend.

The episode as a solo episode though was great.  Props to John Noble portraying Walternate here.  I feel like Walternate has been very undeveloped and cliched as simply “evil” throughout the series.  He basically was just “the bad guy” and that was it.  Here we see he might potentially be more than we thought, and John Noble does a great job of acting neutral throughout the first half of the episode, which kept the possibilities open to the viewer.

The multiple actions scenes were well done as well, especially the kidnap scene during the transportation of Peter and Lee.  That was fun as hell to watch.

I beg that Fringe answers the one major question that this episode brought up though, that question being of course what happened to the blatant Ford+Sprint product placement and how did Nisson outbid them.  Also Walter in an apron = awesome.


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Author: Chris Fadeley View all posts by
I am UF alumni and a computer engineer. I know virtually every useless fact about videogames ever. I like computers and potatoes.

940 Comments on "Fringe: S4E08 “Back to Where You’ve Never Been”"

  1. sarah January 16, 2012 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Walter in an apron!

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