Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Big Reveal on Fringe “Concentrate and Ask Again”: Review and Recap

Fringe doesn’t always focus on the season’s overall storyline--in season three, that’s Peter’s relation to the doomsday machine and the ‘other’ side--and that’s okay. In episode 12 of the season, Concentrate and Ask Again, the FOX drama spent more time on a disturbing medical murder case. That’s not to say the team isn’t working on the mystery of how the doomsday machine is controlled. They definitely are, but it’s not the main focus.

In the main storyline on February 4, three men are committing biological attacks against those they hold responsible for giving them a DNA pathogen that kills their unborn children. Murder on Fringe is always unpleasant, but this is downright creepy. A single cloud of powder causes people’s bones to disintegrate.

As Walter (John Noble) tends to do, he lightens the mood. He forgoes his diet so he can eat chicken wings and break their bones using the biological agent. But things turn serious again when their first suspect Aaron Downey ends up in a coma. Walter has a solution: find Simon (Omid Abtahi), the child he once experimented on--like he once did with Olivia (Anna Torv), because Simon can read minds.

The only problem is that Simon gets sick every time he reads minds, which is constantly because he can’t control it. But that’s a moot point. Luckily, he can’t read Olivia’s.

Simon ends up helping and brings the Fringe team to a fundraiser where the two other terrorists are. The storyline is wrapped up incredibly fast--because that’s not the point of the episode.

Even though ‘the first people’ were only mentioned on Fringe "Concentrate and Ask Again" in the beginning and end of the episode, a lot of important things were revealed. Nina (Blair Brown) went through all of William Bell’s artifacts and found yet another ‘first people’ book. In doing so, she put something together. Sam Weiss (Kevin Corrigan)--the infamous bowling alley owner who once helped Olivia--wrote every one of those books.
That means he knows how the doomsday machine works. Peter’s (Joshua Jackson) frequency determines how the machine will react. And how is this frequency determined? By who he decides to end up with, Olivia or Faux-Livia. Whoever he chooses, it’s her universe that survives.

And as all viewers know, nothing is for certain--ever--on Fringe. Peter spent the episode trying to convince Olivia that he does not care about Faux-livia at all, but the mind-reader Simon knows better. He tells Olivia the truth: “He still has feelings for her.”

While the main story line of this showing of Fringe wasn’t the most compelling, the FOX drama more than made up for it by the big reveals. Viewers now know what to root for, what Peter needs to realize--choose Olivia!--and how the world can be saved.


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