Yay! Fringe is back! The best sci-fi show on television returns, and everything is all messed up. At the end of last season, Peter strapped himself into the machine and turned it up to 11, creating a shared space between the universes and erasing himself from everyone’s memories. So now Olivia and Fauxlivia must work together and not be jealous of each other’s hair, both of which have admirable qualities.
Things get freaky right away in “Neither Here Nor There,” when Lincoln Lee returns and loses his handsome partner to the monster-of-the-week, some new kind of shapeshifter. Meanwhile, the Observers look on and remind the audience that no one remembers Peter. I remember that part just fine, what I don’t remember is why the Observers don’t have eyebrows. Olivia tells Lincoln she can’t tell him anything about his partner’s freaky, mysterious death at the hands of a translucent, soul-stealing monster. For some reason, I don’t think Lincoln is just going to accept that.
Astrid and Walter then remind us that it’s been a week since they agreed to work with the other universe. What, the Observers are too busy to share that info with us, as well? Or is everyone assigned their own exposition responsibility.
As predicted, Lincoln shows up at Harvard, and Olivia threatens him up one wall and down the other, but he’s tenacious and oh-do-adorable in his hipster glasses and big boy FBI suit, so she lets him tag along to the next gruesome attack. Lincoln proves to be useful in pointing out things Olivia misses and manages to convince her to trust him just a little bit. This is important, because Fauxlivia begins the episode accusing Olivia of being unable to trust anyone. Stupid Fauxlivia.
Olivia and Lincoln share a nice moment in the morgue, surrounded by horribly disfigured corpses. Aww. Olivia Lee has a nice ring to it.
Back at the lab, Olivia and Astrid take their turns in sharing some exposition about this new world. Apparently, Walter is afraid to leave the lab, and the only thing that seems to keep him calm is Olivia and her soothing voice. I know how he feels. Sometimes I put recordings of Anna Torv on a loop and listen to her all day long. No freak-outs yet, so it must be working.
Walter discovers all the victims have medical issues involving metal. So, our bad guy is sucking all the excess metal from the blood of his victims. He’s like a metallic vampire.
Lincoln continues to have reservations about the cloak and dagger aspects of the FBI, and I have to wonder if maybe he joined by accident. Perhaps he thought he was joining a gym or the local chapter of the Boy Scouts. Still, Olivia drags him along to the next stakeout and tells him that she knows how it feels to lose a partner to a gruesome, inexplicable skin disorder. Meanwhile, I renew my Proactiv order, just in case.
This awkward sharing of dead partner stories ends, thankfully, as another attack unfolds in the train yards. Olivia fires off five warning shots into the perp, and Lincoln discovers there’s another one lurking around the corner. He only fires twice to bring him down, proving he really doesn’t have what it takes to be an FBI agent.
Still trying to make friendly, trusting gestures, Olivia releases Lincoln’s partner’s body to the family, against FBI orders. I feel sorry for whoever gets Olivia as their office Secret Santa. Finally, just to blow his mind a little, she drags him off to meet the alternate universe folks. Walter found a device in the bodies of the metallic blood-sucking monsters, and who do we know who’s really good at that sort of thing? Walternate.
Lincoln is sufficiently freaked out by the split-screen shenanigans of two Olivias in the same room, but it’s nothing compared to Walter’s freak-out when he notices a mysterious reflection in his TV: Peter! Instead of just saying, “Hey, Pacey! Where you been?” Walter smashes the TV and goes fetal. That is not going to do anything for Peter’s self-esteem and father issues, that’s for sure.
Fringe is on Fridays at 9/8c on Fox. Watch it! And be sure to keep up with all of FBOTU’s Fringe recaps here.