Hardcore fans of any show can easily turn into ass-kissing douchebags or hate-everything assholes once it has been on long enough (my often mentioned post-season 2 phenomenon). And it is difficult, as someone who finds himself trying to be objectively critical, to not side with the haters more often than I do the ass-kissers. But being someone who prides himself on being able to maintain objectivity even when show writers make it difficult to not dive headfirst into negativity, I definitely root for quality.
In this episode, quality emerged with a vengeance.
Trying to shy away from the hyperbole of feeling blown away by something just watched, I am going to stop myself from proclaiming this "one of the best episodes in the series."
Fuck it, I just failed.
THIS WAS ONE OF THE BEST EPISODES OF THE SERIES! HOLY SHIT!
One of the things that made this show something of an addiction was the excellent acting and well written characters/dialogue. Throughout the history of the show, those things have trumped the stories, even when they were worthy of praise. But something happened on the way to season 4 and everyone seemed to, more often than not, lose their focus. As I mentioned in the latest podcast, FRINGE had become a show with characters and situations I loved, but without the intrinsic quality that made me fall in love.
Somehow they rediscovered it in episode 89.
What made it so great? Let me just bullet point it because I am too exhausted from the intensity to recap shit.
- It's a break-in episode and those rule!
- It's a grand plan episode and the origin of those ideas are often so much better than the eventual payoff (yes, this probably means the resolution will suck but we live in the now people!).
- The individual interactions between Etta and her parents were pretty much perfect, with so much unshared pain and frustration between them, yet with love holding them in a bond.
- Walter being the Walter we all know and love with nutty and hilarious dialogue.
- A side-story involving an enemy that goes well beyond anything one could have expected (give that man an Emmy nomination!).
- A somewhat Star Wars like infiltration into the enemy base minus a wookiee and this time to turn the power on.
- One of the most powerful scenes in show history (when Etta loses her shit upon discovering what had happened to her partner) that is still giving me chills.
- A powerful ending that ran the gamut of emotions.
- And all the things I forgot to mention because I'm on such a high right now.
Bravo writers. Superb work. If this is what is to come this season, then I will weep when the show ends.
If I had to rate this episode, and I really want to, I'd give it:
98 out of 100
What did you think?