Now that I’m all caught up with Fringe, I’ve decided to review “Amber 31422,” the first episode after the World Series hiatus. It didn’t have many twists and turns, but it was an excellent episode that continued to prove that season 3 is the best season yet.

This episode took place in the alternate universe, and its case concerned the “quarantine” process used to contain fringe events. It provided a nice mirror for the ongoing Fake Olivia plot. At some point, our Olivia is going to have to realize that she’s not the Olivia from Over There, and this episode took us further towards that goal, allowing Olivia to hop between universes and to rediscover her emotional connection to her niece.

I’d just like to commend the cast on playing two versions of their characters. Anna Torv is really digging into the Fake Alternate Olivia role, creating a looser version of her regular character. The difference in her inflections is subtle, but it helps show that Alternate Olivia and Regular Olivia have different personalities. In this episode, she slowly let more and more of Regular Olivia shine through to reflect the fact that Olivia is getting closer to rediscovering her true self.

I’m really enjoying Walternate as well. His scheming nature is worlds away from Regular Walter’s drug-addled, mad-scientist persona. John Noble somehow manages to make both characters compelling. In this episode, seeing Walternate running experiments on Olivia with Brandon’s help was both terrifying and fascinating.

I’m really enjoying the Olivia/Lincoln/Charlie dynamic. I was sad to see Charlie go so early in season 2, so I’m happy to see him return to show, even if it is in the alternate universe. Lincoln has also turned out to be a fun addition to the show. The banter flying back and forth between the team’s members provides some good comic relief (since we don’t have the fun Astrid/Walter dynamic in the alternate universe).  In this episode, I particularly enjoyed the scene where the team was having their wounds treated after the explosion (particularly Lincoln repeating Charlie’s words in a mocking tone).

Overall, “Amber 31422” was a very strong episode. I don’t have much else to say, and I feel like I’m only going to talk in circles, so I’ll end this review here. I may or may not review Fringe every week. If an episode isn’t particularly substantial, it’s not essential that I write an entry stating, “The case was interesting and the mythology advanced slightly.” But meatier episodes will certainly warrant a review.

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