kirkacevedo fringe s2 290 'Fringe' premiere: RIP Agent Charlie FrancisTonight on “Fringe,” new character The Shapeshifter takes over Agent Charlie Francis. Bummer.

When we last left our Fringe Team, we learned that Walter lost his son Peter at the age of 7 and subsequently retrieved him from an alternate reality. Olivia was sucked into said alternate reality (or not the same one, we don’t know) and met William Bell. In the World Trade Center towers. 8 years later and that’s still a chilling sight.

Tonight we introduce a new recurring character that shall be referred to as The Shapeshifter. Said Shapeshifter is the one who hit Olivia in her car on the way to meet with Nina in New York. Over the course of the episode, he/she morphs into several different people but The Shapeshifter’s ultimate goal is to find out what Olivia learned at her meeting (with William Bell) and then kill her.

Unfortunately, this culminates in The Shapeshifter killing Olivia’s partner Charlie and assuming his appearance. While I’m sad about Charlie being dead and now the actor being a bad guy, it certainly adds a chilling element that WE know Charlie is The Shapeshifter but THEY don’t know. Also, The Shapeshifter conveniently breaks his shape-shifting machine so that he is stuck as Charlie and we see Shapey throw Charlie’s body in an incinerator, so I don’t think he’s a-comin’ back.

In Olivia’s Alternate Reality Jaunt news, Olivia can’t remember anything from her visit with Spock. She knows she has to find something and that lives depend on it, but she can’t remember what or where it is. That looks to be an on-going storyline too.

In the “Mystery” of the Week department, Washington DC wants to shut down Fringe Division. Agent “I would appreciate it if he would address me as Colonel or Sir. I believe I’ve earned it.” Broyles chews some scenery and informs the suits that Fringe Division is vital to this country’s security, but they don’t actually win until Peter commandeers The Shapeshifter’s face-changing device and gives it to Broyles as a bargaining chip. If they fix it, they can make an army that looks like whomever they want. Chilling, that.

In ‘Shipper News, Peter is very upset when he thinks Olivia is dead from the car accident and her sister Rachel conveniently spills to him that Olivia likes him. Thankfully it didn’t devolve into “Does she like me? Or does she like-like me?”

In the Peter Died at Age 7 department, Walter spends all episode making custard for Peter’s birthday, even though grown-up Alternate Reality Peter says he doesn’t like custard. Walter insists that he loved it as a boy. It’s a small part for Walter this week, but John Noble does a lot with it. I can’t wait to see where this goes. I bet Noble will just about break our hearts.

In the Weird Coincidence, when Olivia wakes up from her coma-like state she bursts out with some Greek. Peter recognizes it as something his mother used to say to him every night before bed. It means, “Be a better man than your father.” It meant to them that you take care of the people you love because Walter had already left them. Why did Olivia say it? We don’t know. Spooky.

Finally, new character Agent Jessup somehow garners access to the classified Fringe Division files. Where did she get that slip of paper with the password on it? I watched several times and couldn’t figure it out. The one interesting thing she does is start cataloging last season’s cases in accordance with Bible scriptures. I hope we revisit that.

Odds & Ends

  • I have one question about Olivia’s alternate reality travel: did she skip to the alternate reality at the moment of the car crash? Tonight seemed to imply that she dids because last season Nina Sharp was “out of the country” when Olivia called her and when Olivia jumped back into the right reality, she was back in her car getting in the accident. However, if that’s the case… why the flashing lights and people in the elevator last season? To me, that implied THAT was when she jumped. But now I feel differently. I don’t know.
  • Speaking of the accident, wasn’t it creepy when Olivia’s body just came shooting out of the windshield? I was not expecting that.
  • How do we feel about new Agent Amy Jessup? She’s in the first couple episodes, so she might be recurring. Another “foil” for Peter and Olivia’s romance, like needless tertiary character Rachel?
  • I could not help but laugh at the following:
  • [Agent Broyles joins Peter in a bar]
    Peter Bishop: How did you find me?
    Agent Broyles: I work for the FBI.
  • Walter: Peter! Peter! They said I can ride in the back with the body. Can I?
    Peter: Sure, of course you can. Stay out of the medications though. Please.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."