There are two J.J. Abrams produced shows that are returning this week, 'Lost' and 'Fringe'.This means for the first time ever, we will have two extremely frustrating nights of television, at the end of which, we curse ourselves for being so foolish to actually believe we would get answers to the many questions either show inspires.
Last night's episode of 'Fringe' answered only one question from the mid-season finale- 'Where did Loeb's men take Olivia?". The answer is : 'To an abandoned warehouse, to perform a spinal tap on her'. The credits from the mid-season cliff hanger made it seem as if Olivia would be Loeb's prisoner, and that we might see a little bit of what goes on, behind the curtain, with double agent Loeb and Mr. Jones. The second half of the first season could have been filled with intrigue, with Olivia at the mercy of Loeb and Mr. Jones, similar to the beginning of the third season of 'Lost', when Jack, Kate and Sawyer were held captive by the Others.
Sadly, this wasn't the case, because using her 'I need a glass of water, can you untie me' trick, and her hidden Jason Bourne abilities, Olivia was able to escape from the warehouse right before the opening credits.
In fact, her escape was so quick and easy, that they were able to fit in another scene before the credits, where an immunologist choked to death on a super enlarged germ. It seems like every episode of 'Fringe' has to open like an episode of 'The X-files'. The innocent victim dies in a strange way- cue the opening credits.
Putting all unanswered questions aside, this was an extremely well written episode, where every small detail that was brought to the viewers attention was used to further the story. From a white dot on a pair of loafers, to a magic eight ball, to a wire tapped phone, each of these random objects were like maps for the viewer to follow, leading up to an extremely intense scene where Olivia gets into a life and death fight with Loeb's wife.
At the end of the episode (which I am about to spoil, so go watch it first on Hulu.com) Olivia has enough evidence to connect Loeb to the murders of two immunologists, and to nail his ass for being a double agent. Not knowing that his wife has been shot in the head, Loeb tells Olivia he won't talk until he speaks with his wife.
Olivia, being exceptionally cold says "Do you want to see your wife?" and then shows Loeb a picture of his wife, with a bullet through her head. In a particularly twisted bit of writing for network television, Olivia throws in "It was me who pulled the trigger!"
I have to give credit to the 'Fringe' writers, I was not expecting to see something so brutal (at least verbally) on Fox at prime time. Unfortunately, the show dropped the ball, when Loeb finally confessed, and instead of explaining what the Pattern is, or what his plan was, he just sputtered out a few cryptic sentences.
Typical 'Fringe'. We shall have to see where the show goes from here. On the official 'Fringe' site, there is a video where J.J. Abrams mentions that the show will deliver "big answers", but from the preview from next week's episode, it looks like another typical 'X-files' "What killed them?" yarn.