For the most part, this episode is self-contained but again has an entertaining plot. In the beginning, we see a police officer get a mysterious phone call to go to a train station and retrieve a black brief case from a man in a black trench coat. Once he gets there, the officer tries to take the brief case and when he does, his body starts to harden and then explodes. This is why the FBI has a “Fringe” division.
It’s a rather standard case for Olivia, Peter and Walter, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.
Like any police procedural, Olivia and Peter follow their leads, which then take them to Iraq for further investigation and then they catch the bad guy before he can explode someone else.
The trip to Iraq is interesting and we see that Peter isn’t well-liked there. Those who saw last season know Peter has been a world traveler and made a good number of enemies. Still, it would have been more exciting had we learned something important from Peter’s life before he became his father’s babysitter and it felt like a missed opportunity.
The best parts of the episode had little to do with the actual case.
Last week, we saw Olivia’s heightened sense of hearing as a side of effect of traveling through universes. At the end of the episode, she met Sam Weiss (Kevin Corrigan, “Grounded for Life,” “The Departed”), the man who helped put Nina Sharp “back together” when she went through universes. He had asked Olivia if the headaches started; well, this week they do and she begins to see some flashbacks of her meeting with William Bell, though she still can’t understand what she is remembering.
One character who has been missing some this season is the Observer (Michael Cerveris, “The American Embassy”). Maybe he’s just been hiding better than usual, (he’s supposedly in every episode watching the strange events) but he finally makes an important appearance relevant to the entire story, not just this episode.
A good story and some funny parts with Walter as usual –including one of him telling Peter to be respectful and not to eat a cheeseburger in front of Gene, Walter’s cow– keep “Fringe” worth watching.
Next week should be a big episode as it looks like we’ll finally get to see what Bell told Olivia on the top floor office of the World Trade Center. Hopefully, that will be the focus and not another stand-alone.