Here's the scene where Anna Torv really proves what a versatile actor she is — first she registers a ton of different emotions as Peter shows her his secret. And then she turns into a whole new person.
Honestly, last Friday's episode of Fringe was one of the least memorable overall, except for a couple of bits.
So the "A" plot of "Os" was one of several we've had lately where something gruesome or weird is happening, and everybody involved is well-intentioned, and really not very much is at stake. There's a guy whose son is suffering from muscular dystrophy, so after he discovers a weird new molecule that is lighter than air, he starts experimenting with making other MD sufferers float as a way of alleviating their condition. But they need to keep stealing rare elements for him, so he can keep making the floaty serum. It's all a bit — pardon me — lightweight.
The only really important thing about that storyline is how his floaty molecule works — it shouldn't, but the laws of physics are going all bendy as a delayed reaction to Walter's universe-crossing misbehavior, 25 years ago. Walter is more convinced than ever that he needs to find a solution to the problem of the universe breaking down — and he wants the help of William Bell, who was the Lennon to his McCartney. (Although William Bell lived for years on the Other Side with another Walter Bishop, and never had any solutions to the problem there.)
There were a few decent Walter scenes — most notably, when he gets stoned with a security guard and watches the Massive Dynamic security monitors, before realizing he's never been inside "Belly's" office. And his interest in life after death via "Soul Magnets," which I thought was a throwaway remark, turns out to have been ultra-significant. Because Walter decides that William Bell may have saved his life essence — his Katra, if you will — inside another person who was there when he died. That Nimoy, always transferring his life essence at death.
Meanwhile, Olivia and Peter are getting to know each other better, and Olivia is sharing such intimate secrets as the fact that she doesn't like it when Peter grinds her bones with his hand while they're watching television. And meanwhile, Peter is continuing to be shifty skulky guy, in a return to the plotline where he was kiling shapeshifters and wearing a sinister hoodie. It's been ages since we dealt with that storyline, but it's suddenly back full force, because Peter has arranged the shapeshifters' data drives into a "daisy chain" and revealed tons of hidden extra data which he can't access.
It all culminates in the final moments, where Walter decides that the brass bell that William Bell left Nina is the key to restoring Belly's Katra. (And somehow, Nina never thought of trying to ring the bell that her old boss/lover left her. Not once.)
That final scene is actually pretty interesting — like I said above, watch all the different expressions that go over Anna Torv's face when she realizes that Peter's secret project isn't just macrame or something. And then when it dawns on her that he was the serial killer they were tracking a while back, and he's been lying to her all this time. And then, right when she's about to process it all, she gets taken over by Belly, and starts doing her Nimoy impression.
Honestly, this was one of the weaker episodes of Fringe lately, and the whole "Olivia taken over by William Bell's ghost" storyline does not seem promising on the face of it. This show seems, in the past few months, to be teetering on the line between "grand epic" and "random soap opera," with some of its recent twists falling a wee bit on the "random" side. Here's hoping that this Friday's big reveal of Bellivia doesn't disappoint.