Artificial Continuum

Friday, October 16, 2009
Dream Logic

(WARNING Review Contains Spoilers)

After last weeks stellar episode, I expected to be disappointed by this weeks installment of Fringe. I just didn't expect to be this disappointed.

The episode follows a series of victims throughout the country, who find themselves in a dreaming state while they are awake. However, not just any dreams. They find their worst nightmares transported into their every day lives, with often disastrous results. Olivia and Peter then travel to Seattle, site of the first attack, to attempt to solve the issue. (Yes they did solve my problem with last weeks episode, so I am happier now.)

What follows is almost a flashback to Fringe's struggling days of its youth. Almost every episode of season 1 of Fringe followed a very basic formula. An attack occurs, and through that attack Olivia and the team trace down the assailants to their lab, there are some moments of tension and maybe some gunfire, and the team emerges victorious. This episode strays dreadfully close to this hopefully abandoned idea.

The episode also does a poor job of hiding its twists. You know from the beginning they are introduced what role a character will play in the episode. The “shocking” reveal of the episode villain is so expected that I was literally clenching my fists in frustration. Luckily, “Dream Logic” gives its villain an interesting and bizarre motive that make up for his predictability.

The dream sequences are also full of wasted potential. Not truly frightening enough to evoke the emotion they need, they end up falling flat on their face. It is sometimes hard to believe that anyone would feel compelled to kill their friends over some of the events that take place.

However, the episodes main saving grace is how it deals with its main characters. The dream centered storytelling leads to some interesting pieces of information about Peter's childhood, that correlate with what we learned last season. Walter's refusal and reasoning why he doesn't want to go to Seattle is also well acted by Noble, and proves once again just how great an actor he is at playing the deranged scientist. However, best of all is Olivia's emotional fallout from last weeks ending sequence. Handled beautifully, if slightly confusing, Anna Torv pulls of the necessary grief and mourning.

Yet, sadly this is not enough to save an overall sub par episode of Fringe.

Score: C+


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