Monday, January 25, 2010

'Fringe' Virus

Fringe gets more and more X-Files-ish by the week.  Last week's rural "they're not like the rest of us" outing was straight out of that show's playbook, and this week's virus-of-unknown-origin nail-biter also felt a lot like the former Fox series.  Maybe this is why I loved both of these episodes!  There was even a touch of Duplicity and Outbreak thrown in this week just to make things even more fun.  What wasn't fun, though, was the horrible spraying virus!  The sweating, the weird skin, and finally, the blood-colored spray that spread the deadly virus to anyone who ingested it.  And this wasn't even the scariest aspect of the situation -- that fell to the uber-frightening map that showed the deadly reach of the virus if just one infected person got out of the quarantined building.  There was only one problem: Olivia and Peter were locked inside.  And things were about to get a lot worse.

Putting aside what Walter may or may not have done in the past, I'm not sure what the Fringe world would do without him in the present day.  He discovered the source of the virus (long-buried oil that the original virus carrier had uncovered and harvested a core sample from), he designed a test to find out who was and wasn't infected (saving the lives of those uninfected inside the building), and he eventually produced the anecdote (thanks to his vast knowledge of natural history).  While all of this was quite a feat, it was even more impressive when you add in the part about things getting a lot worse for Olivia and Peter inside the building.  She managed to stay virus free and was subsequently released from the quarantine.  But Peter was not as lucky.  He had slipped and fell into the blood of the first victim.  He washed it off, but apparently, the virus had taken a deadly grip.

With Olivia on the outside safe and Peter stuck inside with a mere 30 minutes ticking away until the virus more than likely claimed him, the team had to think fast.  Walter started to lose faith in his own abilities because he was so distraught over Peter.  So distraught that he accidentally let something slip to Astrid that he shouldn't have -- he said something about Peter dying... again.  Whoops!  But after a pep talk from Astrid, he remembered the natural history of the earth and theorized that sulfur might be the potent anecdote for the virus.  Thankfully, he was right.  Meanwhile, Liv was trying to get inside to turn the ventilation system back on so the CDC could pump gas into the building and knock out the infected. After a physical encounter with Peter (not the good kind), she was able to complete the task.  Walter injected the unconscious infected, including Peter, and another catastrophe was avoided.  See what I mean about Walter?

Fringe airs Thursday nights on Fox. If you missed this week's episode, you can watch it for free at


John said...

This was a good episode.

My only quibble is I don't believe (even in the fantastic world of Fringe) that a virus could tell its host was confined and then drive its host to try and escape confinement so that it could spread. I would buy that a general symptom of the virus is to want to move about, but that isn't what thew hsow was positing.

I wonder if Walter's slip to Astride will lead to anything important. I am betting not.

TVFan said...

Yeah, I kinda had to laugh at that element of the story.

RichE said...

(This is not a show I watch so this is purely based on the review and comments)

Is it so fact ridiculous that an illness makes you act in a certain way? People with asthma would quite understandably want to get into fresh air during an attack. Pregnant women get odd food cravings. Photo sensitivity, forces you to avoid sunlight. Could an illness not make you claustrophobic or crave sunlight? If that is what would best serve the virus then that would eventually happen through evolution.

Kathryn Morris UK