Season Three
Available on DVD

Fringe Cast

  1. Olivia
  2. The Box
  3. Plateau
  4. Do Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?
  5. Amber 31422
  6. 6955Khz
  7. The Abducted
  8. Entrada
  9. Marionette
  10. The Firefly
  11. Reciprocity
  12. Concentrate And Ask Again
  13. Immortality
  14. 6B
  15. Subject 13
  16. Os
  17. Stowaway
  18. Bloodline
  19. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide
  20. 6.02 AM EST
  21. The Last Sam Weiss

Olivia Dunham - Anna Torv

Peter Bishop - Joshua Jackson

Walter Bishop - John Noble

Phillip Broyles - Lance Reddick

Charlie Francis - Kirk Acevedo

Astrid Farnsworth - Jasika Nicole

Nina Sharp - Blair Brown

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Eleventh Hour

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Agent Olivia Dunham was captured during her trip to the alternate universe, her doppelganger coming back to our world with the rest of the team. During experimentation, she manages to escape and go on the run, but how far can she get in a world that is wholly alien and altogether against her.

The opening volley of this third season of FRINGE is a tight and exciting fugitive story in which the slight differences between the alternate world and our own are plain, but not laboured. The story is the thing and the effect that the drugs and treatments are having in undermining Olivia's sense of who she is.

There are definite shades of THE PRISONER here, but it's a good story well told and starts the new season off in exciting fashion.

Written by JH Wyman & Jeff Pinkner
Directed by Joe Chappelle


The Box

Agents from the alternate universe dig up a box from a family's basement and find that the contents can kill everyone for some distance in a particularly gruesome manner. Only one of the men survived the opening of the box and the Fringe team have to track him down, not realising that Olivia needs to get hold of the box for the other side.

The main plot about a Pandora's Box that contains part of the machine into which alternate universe Walter wanted to put Peter is a fairly standard episode, but everything is enlivened by the fact that Olivia is a double agent working for the other side and is always moments away from being discovered. Without that frisson, this would have been very ordinary, but the twist lifts the episode a little higher.

Much more earthbound is the subplot in which William Bell's will is revealed to Nina Sharp and our universe Walter.

Written by Graham Roland & Josh Singer
Directed by Jeffrey Hunt


The Plateau

In the alternate universe Olivia has been brainwashed into believing that she is their version and goes back to work on the case of a man whose ability to compute odds and process information has virtually allowed him to write the future, a future in which he is killing.

Being set in the alternate universe there are always the nice differences that mark the story apart from those set in our universe and the denouement to this case plays on those differences. It's a fairly standard FRINGE storyline, but the twisted situation with Olivia makes it feel shiny and new.

The fact that the brainwashing isn't perfect and that her colleagues are starting to guess that she is not their Olivia is setting up interesting future developments.

Written by Alison Shapker & Monica Owusa-Breen
Directed by Brad Anderson


Do Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?

An apparently random road crash reveals a high ranking politician to be a shapeshifter working for the alternate universe. Since he knows all about alternate Olivia's mission to infiltrate the Fringe Division in our world, he needs to be eliminated, but the assassin is having second thoughts about his place in the world.

The ever-present threat of alternate Olivia's discovery as a doppelganger is heightened in this episode which brings that threat to the very fore of the story whilst throwing in a secondary storyline of shapeshifters being vulnerable to human emotions if they spend long enough in one place and one identity.

Peter has noticed that Olivia is not as she was, but how much he suspects is kept uncertain as every conversation they have on the subject is clumsily interrupted, forcing Olivia into an action that might push her closer to suffering the same emotional entanglement with her subjects as the shapeshifting assassin.

It's mainly a suspense episode, though there is one full on action chase and much poking around inside shapeshifters' eye sockets in glorious high definition. Walter's pep talk to his Massive Dynamics troops whilst high on drugs and before he takes his trousers off isn't as funny as it thinks it is.

Written by Matthew Pitts & David Wilcox
Directed by Kenneth Fink


Amber 34122

In the alternate universe, the case of one twin freeing his brother from an imprisonment in the amber resin used to seal leaks from our universe gives Olivia insights into the reality of her situation.

Forget the twins plotline which is trivial, not very interesting and adds very little to the show other than to provide a framework within which Olivia can come to terms with the fact that she is not the person everyone is trying to make her believe she is. It also gives her the first steps on the path to being able to switch universes at will.

This is mildly intriguing and diverting, but it does feel padded and not going anywhere very quickly. Now that Olivia knows the truth about herself, things on that side of the veil might start moving a little faster.

Written by Ethan Gross & Josh Singer
Directed by David Straiton


6955 Khz

Three people listening to a radio station that is transmitting random numbers that may have some cosmic significance about the origins of the universe have their memories wiped by radio. The Fringe team try to find out who is responsible and why.

As if the story of twin universes fated to collide isn't enough we are now treated to a race that existed before the big bang and have left behind clues about an even greater danger. It's a plot twist that sits at the heart of an otherwise ordinary mystery storyline the likes of which we have seen many times in the show. Only the fact that Olivia is not who she seems to be has changed.

This is mildly intriguing and diverting, but it does feel padded and not going anywhere very quickly. Now that Olivia knows the truth about herself, things on that side of the veil might start moving a little faster.

Written by Ethan Gross & Josh Singer
Directed by David Straiton


The Abducted

In the alternate universe, Olivia takes on the case of a serial child kidnapper who literally sucks the youth out of the kids in order to become young again. As the case progresses, she is caught between her need to return to her own universe and the need to save the latest victim.

The serial child kidnapper case is fairly straightforward by FRINGE standards and isn't all that interesting. It's solved fairly quickly and just plays out through the numbers whilst Olivia attempts to set up her trip home. Having one of the previous victims be Broyles' own son is an attempt to make the whole thing more personal, but it doesn't really work.

There's a nice cliffhanger ending, but that doesn't make up for the rest of the episode.

Written by David Wilcox & Graham Roland
Directed by Chuck Russell



Peter learns that the Olivia he is now romancing is a traitor from the other side and she goes on the run. As they try to track her down, Olivia on the other side gains help from a trusted friend that has tragic consequences.

Having the two Olivias on the opposite sides of the veil between worlds has been the driver of the show to date and now the two stories come together for the first time, events on both sides happening in the same episode. This potentially confusing melding of two worlds is managed really well and there is never any doubt as to which universe we are in. The action is nicely staged and gets quite exciting. The price that has to be paid for the return of the Olivias is a surprising one.

Written by JH Wyman & Jeff Pinkner
Directed by Brad Anderson



Following her escape from the alternate universe, Olivia now has to come to terms with the fact that there was a stranger living her life for months, a stranger who slept with Peter. She has to do this against the background of a man who is removing people's body parts whilst keeping them alive afterwards.

FRINGE returns to its bloody roots with this story of a man removing organs from people with a care to keeping them alive. Gaping chest cavities and yawning eye sockets are the frights that are in store here and they enliven a story that is slight and not very fascinating.

The emotional turmoil in Olivia and Peter's life is the more interesting aspect of the episode and it is nice that there is no easy answer offered. Having your boyfriend stolen by a woman who is, to most intents and purposes, you has got to be a total mind messer. The fact that it also keeps the will they/won't they dilemma going is just a bonus.

Written by Monica Owusa-Breen & Alison Schapker
Directed by Joe Chappelle


The Firefly

A musician hero of Walter's is visited by his long dead son. It's a scheme set up by the Observer and the Fringe team try to make the rock star remember what he was told in order to save lives.

This is a smoke and mirrors episode for the science fiction mystery show's return from mid-season break. Whilst it is entertaining and features a great turn from Christopher Lloyd as the rock star, the plot makes little to no sense and is all explained away by the fact that we cannot think in the same terms as the Observers because of their powers. That's something of a cheat.

Still, the plot zips along at a good pace, there's plenty of characterisation and the slow rehabilitation of Olivia and Peter's relationship is the most convincing aspect of the show. John Noble's Walter remains great fun.

Written by JH Wyman & Jeff Pinkner
Directed by Charles Beeson



when Peter comes into close proximity of the machine that might be able to destroy whole universes, it starts up. At about the same time shapeshifters start dying, shapeshifters who could only be identified by someone with access to the false Olivia's files.

This is FRINGE at its best with some good character progression going on, some comedy from Walter (apparently turning into a chimpanzee), some brutal violence (chopped off fingers, shots to the head, that kind of thing), some nice plot twists and a real sense of the plot going somewhere.

There is, however, one major weakness. What sort of an idiot has plans for a universe-destroying machine and decides that it would be a good idea to build it? I mean asking for trouble or what?

Written by Josh Singer
Directed by Jeannot Szwarc


Concentrate And Ask Again

Someone has a biological agent that liquefies bones and isn't afraid to use it. In fact, they are taking revenge on the people who experimented on them to create it. The only hope for the Fringe team to stop them is a man whose ability to read minds is shredding his own.

It's a welcome return for the FRINGE disaster threat of the week standalone storyline, although it neatly gives a backdrop to the continuing struggle for Peter and Olivia's relationship.

The initial bone-melting is quite nasty, but after that it's more a standard police procedural with a telepath thrown in for good measure.

Written by Matthew Pitts & Graham Roland
Directed by Dennis Smith



In the alternate reality, the Fringe department investigate a case of people being killed by bugs eating their way out from inside. Olivia's boyfriend proposes to her.

We're back in the alternate universe for what initially appears to be a standalone story. Bugs eating out of human hosts makes for a suitably icky investigation, but it really isn't anything that we haven't seen before and seems for most of its length to be a retrograde step after the more recent episodes that have advanced the plot arc of the show.

Then, in the final moments, there is a revelation that promises some interesting developments for the future.

The characters in the alternate universe are more likeable and rounded than before and it is they rather than the perfunctory plot developments that make this an entertaining entry in the show, though little else.

Written by Ethan Gross & David Wilcox
Directed by Brad Anderson



An apparently haunted building takes several lives. The team track down the source as apartment 6B in which an elderly woman is mourning the loss of her husband. Is it a case of ghosts or the start of the end of the world.

The standalone story dovetails nicely with the main plot arc, though it does feel artificial and manufactured to do just that. The moments where Peter makes impassioned speeches about love that inspire Olivia in their troubled relationship never feel natural and are, at best, obvious.

Written by Glen Whitman & Robert Chiapetta
Directed by Thomas Yatsko


Subject 13

In the early days after being abducted from the other universe, young Peter fought against the parents and world that he just knew weren't his. Then he met Olivia Dunham, a young girl who was involved in experiments being carried out by the man who called himself his father and an unlikely relationship was formed.

After a couple of very ordinary episodes FRINGE bounces back to form with this retro episode set in the 80s and complete with 80s titles, fonts and props.The apeing of the filming styles of the decades goes a bit far since half of the long shots seem to be out of focus, but there's some fun to be had with the time period.

Much more interesting is the fantastic plot that weaves together the mythology of the show to bring characters together in a way that is both satisfying and entertaining, though it does beg the question of how Peter and Olivia could have been so significant to each other and yet never realised that they had met before. The two young actors capture the spirit of their elder characters nicely and the Olivia abuse theme doesn't seem forced.

The insights into what the kidnapping of Peter meant to both sets of parents is excellent and really gives a focus to the human story as well as a lovely twist that explains how the the alternate universe Walter came to know where his son had gone.

Written by JH Wyman, Jeff Pinkner & Akiva Goldsman
Directed by Frederick EO Toye



A man who literally defies gravity is killed whilst carrying out from a metal depository. It was a team of two and the Fringe group go after the other with atrophied legs as their only clue.

Alan Ruck appears as a scientist who is trying to right a wrong and make a name for himself in this standalone story that is just full of themes that the show has explored before. There's the father doing unconscionable things for his child, the mad scientis carrying out mad experiments, the unravelling of the science.

It's all perfectly fine, but we have seen it all before, so it is left to the sory of Walter trying to reanimate his dead partner William Bell to provide the sting in the tail.Jorge (LOST) Garcia's cameo role is pointless in the extreme.

Written by Graham Roland & Josh Singer
Directed by Brad Anderson



The consciousness of William Bell is living inside Olivia Dunham. He makes himself useful as the team take on the case of a woman who seems unable to die.

Anna Torv gets to play a whole other character again, but this time her impersonation of Leonard Nimoy's William Bell isn't convincing enough to be truly effective and the story fails to make the most of the unusual situation.

The story of the woman who cannot die is another FRINGE standalone story with little to mark it out.

Written by Danielle Dispralto
Directed by Charles Beeson



In the alternate universe, Olivia learns that to go through with the pregnancy will kill both her and the baby. This is unfortunate since she has just been kidnapped and the pregnancy accelerated.

Taking a break from the plot threads in our universe, we go back to the other side to pick up some plot points there. The episode story of Olivia's kidnapping and the accelerated pregnancy is fairly standard and not very exciting stuff, but the wider issues it raises, such as Peter's baby and its connection to the alternative Walter's plans for the giant machine lie under everything, drawing the story arc ever onwards.

There are also the developing relationships between Olivia, her boss and the cab driver, all of which seem destined to become important, even though their collision here is far less convincing as the Fringe team allow a cabbie to wander freely around their headquarters only minutes after having met him.

Written by Monica Owusa Breen & Alison Schapker
Directed by Dennis Smith


Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

Attempts to extract the personality of William Bell from Olivia's head are not going well. Walter decides that the only way to acheive this is for Peter and himself to take LSD and enter her dreams, but what if she is so scared that she doesn't want them to find her, even there?

This is going to be a marmite show that will split opinion and the basis of the response will be completely down to the individual's reaction to the cartoons. Yes, inside Olivia's dreams, everything turns to a rotoscoped cartoon as Peter, Walter and William Bell race to find Olivia before the hordes of zombies that her mind has created find them. Accept the cartoons and you'll have a fun time with the action-packed ride, but if they bother you then the whole thing is a complete mess.

Still, you have to admit that it's original.

Written by JH Wyman & Jeff Pinkner
Directed by Joe Chappelle


6.02 AM EST

In the alternate universe, Walter uses the blood of his grandson trigger the Machine, causing widespread disaster on our side. Peter tries to shut down the Machine from this side, but is left in a coma and the alternate Olivia tries to stop the annihilation of a universe.

The season plot arc is coming together with the strands being thrown together by the activation of the Machine. The increased urgency aids the story, but the lack of warmth from either of Anna Torv's Olivias continues to be the show's major stumbling block. Still, the story is irresistible and the end is nigh.

Olivia meeting Walter in the nude is a hoot, though.

Written by David Wilcox, Graham Roland & Josh Singer
Directed by Jeannot Swarc


The Last Sam Weiss

The machine continues to wreak havoc, but the team get together with bowling alley attendant Sam Weiss to provide a way to get Peter into the machine. Unfortunately, Peter just went missing from his hospital room.

The end is pretty nigh and this episode is certainly well aware of the fact, full of a sense of foreboding as the time for Peter to eneter the machine grows ever closer. There are flashbacks to Peter and Olivia's time together, meaningful glances and even more meaningful silences. The dual universes plotlines comes down to this.

Sam Weiss has been around in the background for a while, an attendant at a bowling alley, but someone who always knew more about the situation than he was telling. His character is now revealed, but is a bit of a Deus Ex Machina to get around the particular problem of the machine's forcefield.

Absolutely none of which matters as the the plot has become utterly compelling and we need to know what happenes when Peter enters the machine. We get a glimpse of that and it is a bit disappointing, but the final episode might sort that out.

Written by David Wilcox, Graham Roland & Josh Singer
Directed by Jeannot Swarc










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