After cursing at the television for most of the last episode, “Fringe” somewhat redeems itself with a fairly interesting episode.
Unsurprisingly, “Johari Window” is yet another filler, standalone piece. At least they managed to keep a dead character dead, so that shows progress.
This episode takes place in the town of Edina in upstate New York. The entire town is engulfed in this strange hum, the famous Edina hum, but it seems that even stranger are the residents of Edina.
Everything begins with a NY trooper picking up a runaway kid outside of Edina. As he takes him back to the station, the normal-looking child inexplicably transforms into a grotesque monster, reminiscent of the Elephant Man. Apparently, there is an urban legend around those parts about these monstrous-looking people, a story that they’ve worked hard to keep in mythical status. Just as the officer logs in his report with a picture of the deformed child, three equally hideous men storm in, kill the cop and his two partners and take the child. As usual, this is when Fringe Division is called in.
Upon arrival, they see the picture of the child as well as the three murdered officers. From there, they begin their investigation in Edina. The first thing Olivia and Peter notice in the quaint little town is the hum in that could be heard in the background. When meeting with the sheriff of the town, to discuss what happened at the trooper’s station outside of town. He explains that the hum comes from a nearby military base. One of the things Fringe does well here is to make sure that the hum is heard whenever there was a scene in Edina.
It actually helps keep a consistency throughout the episode. Hmm – consistency – what a concept.
Getting away from the snide comments, when Olivia, Peter and Walter leave the town that night, they are run off the road by another car. After they trade some gunshots, the driver of the other automobile is killed. When he was put into the body bag, he was a normal looking guy, but when they opened it back at Walter’s lab, like the child before, he was deformed.
Without giving the science of the episode away, everything is about people’s own perception of the world around, and what influences that perception. Walter has a great line in the middle of the episode that says everything about the advanced science in the show.
Unfortunately, there isn’t anything that stands out in this episode that most usually have. The story was okay, and maybe if there wasn’t this unbelievably brilliant plot of parallel worlds on the brink of war using the advanced science developed by Walter and his old partner William Bell, these might be easier to swallow. It’s really hard not to be disappointed week after week when they refuse to advance the storyline further. The three episodes that followed the overlying plot were unbelievably excellent, some of the best television you could watch, and by comparison, everything else “Fringe” does is just a letdown.
Taking these standalone episodes for what they are, “Johari Window” was okay, maybe even better. Technically this show is always well done. It’s edited well, the music always fits the situation, the directing is good and it’s well acted. There’s just nothing special here, not even a great scene with Walter. Hopefully, things will pickup next week.