So... Walternate is the villain of Fringe, right? Well, you might not think so after watching tonight's episode. We've seen "Immortality," and it's another classic Fringe episode. Tonight's episode contains some shocking revelations — but it also will change how you view some of Fringe's main characters.
Here's our spoiler-light preview of tonight's episode...
By spoiler-light, I mean that we're not going to give away any major plot twists, or reveal anything beyond what you could learn from watching the 30-second promo for the episode, which is at left. (That's the Canadian promo, actually — just in case you've already seen the U.S. promo.)
"Immortality" takes place "over there." And it's the first episode of the show which is set in the alternate universe but doesn't feature any of "our" versions of the characters. That is, previous episodes in the alt-verse included either Peter or "our" Olivia, sometimes accompanied by Walter. Now, for the first time, we're only seeing the alternate characters without anybody else in the mix.
And we get to see the fallout from "Entrada" — Fauxlivia is back home, Broyles is missing (and actually dead), and Walternate has the missing piece of the doomsday machine. But also, we get to see how the characters "over there" view things, without anybody from "over here" to serve as an intermediary or get in the way.
And more than ever, we get to see how Fauxlivia thinks about everything that's been happening. She faces a huge decision in this episode, and Anna Torv once again brings a whole range of emotion and information to every moment. You can see the wheels turning in Fauxlivia's head as she tries to figure out what to do.
And even more importantly, there are a handful of really powerful scenes involving Walternate, in which he shows that he's not just a single-minded lunatic. For all the revelations in the episode, the most surprising thing came towards the beginning of the episode, where Walternate reveals that he has ethical limits. When I found out just what line Walternate is not willing to cross, my jaw dropped.
And yeah, there is at least one big revelation in the episode (which some of us might already have guessed at), but more importantly some important stuff gets explained.
Just like some other recent Fringe episodes, the "monster of the week" packs a decent creep factor but is otherwise a bit flimsy. But that scarcely matters, because it really is all about the characters. We already sympathized a fair bit with alt-Charlie and alt-Lincoln, but more than ever, this show is forcing us to sympathize with the characters we thought were — to borrow Walternate's phrase — "monsters in our [heroes] skin." And that's a very good thing.