Fringe: Review: Season 4 Ep 5

Fox, 4 November

Peter Bishop returns, but no one knows who he is…

Fringe has been pottering along in its ‘re-booted’ Peter-less universe, somewhat lacking in fireworks. The two most recent episodes that see the return of the previously ghostly Peter should have been cracking television, instead they’re kinda flat.

In ‘Subject 9’ there could have been few viewers who didn’t realise from the beginning that the ‘distortion’ was in fact Peter trying to break through rather than anything to do with another victim of Walter’s Cortexiphan trials. While it’s an excuse for this universe’s more sheltered version of Walter to venture outside (and who wouldn’t share his view of hotel beds?), it’s all a little like treading water—which is exactly what Peter’s doing when he finally appears.

There was a long wait for ‘Novation’, but it failed to deliver the promised fireworks. The younger Bishop quickly comes to terms with his non-entity status, then chips in with his knowledge of shape-shifters to help the team. This story, featuring guest star Arye Gross as a biochemical scientist, advances the agenda of the new half-human shape-shifters, but leaves an awful lot of questions hanging. What’s going on with Olivia’s ‘reality glitches’? What do the shape-shifters want and who do they work for? How will Peter Bishop be re-integrated to this universe? Will Fringe ever produce a fantastic episode ever again?

Verdict: A fine episode, but Fringe is lacking in real excitement.

Episode 5: ‘Novation’: 7/10

Brian J. Robb


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