Spoiler Heavy Reviews: Fringe: Forced Perspective

by Kevin on January 28, 2012

A bald guy with a gunshot wound shows up to tell you he has predicted your inevitable death. Who better to conveniently appear next but a girl with precognitive abilities who can see when and how you’re going to die?

“Forced Perspective” was a breather, a step back from the high tension and action of the last few weeks. We’re introduced to Emily, a teenage girl who gets visions of strangers’ deaths and draws them in a well-meaning but ultimately futile attempt to warn them. And after a particularly gruesome accident at a construction site, Olivia and a pretty much nonexistent Lee investigate. (Seriously, how many lines did he even have this week?)

Truthfully, I thought “Forced Perspective” was a little too removed from the events of this season. Fringe has always found ways to distract itself from the main arc of the season, particularly using its Freak of the Week format (sorry, Emily) to explore the weird sci-fi nature of their universe. Unfortunately, we’re right at a key point in our story, where the two universes are supposed to team up to stop David Robert Jones and his army of shape-shifters—is this really the best time to do a cliched bomb-diffusing episode?

Perhaps if “Forced Perspective” showed up earlier in the season, or later, after wrapping up a larger story, it might have worked a little better. Inherently there was nothing wrong with it; it was interesting to see more of this Olivia’s relationship to Nina, especially since it had been a while and it was a subplot I had forgotten about. And Walter’s decision to trust Peter and hypnotize Emily showed good progress on both their parts. I just think the timing was wrong for this episode, and it didn’t do enough to tie back in with our story to justify airing it now.

Besides, what was this episode about? How nothing is predetermined and fate doesn’t exist? Fringe has already done that—and much better. As Peter explains about the Observers, “They don’t predict the future, they’ve already experienced it.” If “Forced Perspective” was supposed to illustrate that, it failed. And if it was supposed to show the opposite, that fate is a myth and we’re all masters of our own destinies, it blew that when Emily died of a stroke. We’re masters of our own fate, but not our biology, so let’s just ride it out.

Kevin’s Grade: B

The Good

  • It’s a rare episode that can’t be saved by Walter mentioning urine.
  • I miss alt-Astrid.

The Bad

  • I’m not sure what Emily’s death accomplished. Was it just a plot device to prevent her from telling Olivia specifically how she’s going to die? Was it supposed to be her release, having fulfilled “her purpose” and saving the people in the courthouse? It was pretty much just a bummer.
  • Speaking of which, that building didn’t look like any courthouse I’ve ever seen.

The Weird

  • Oh, look, an Observer, watching at the end. Guess I was wrong, this did tie in with our story!

Things to Think About

  • I can’t wait to see Nina’s perspective on the experiments (or whatever) she’s conducting on Olivia. There wasn’t anything I noticed that suggests she feels bad about what she’s doing, unless you count soup and experimental drugs. Whatever Massive Dynamic is up to, they seem to think it’s for the greater good. (Don’t they always?)

Next Week: 4.11 “Making Angels” gives us two Astrids at once. Hooray!

You can follow Kevin on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment