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Fringe Season 1 Episode 14: Ability

fringe-cast-pictureDuring the “Fringe” Panel at NYCC, the moderator said last night’s episode was going to be the best yet and he was right! As we mentioned yesterday, the show opens as Mr. Jones is teleporting out of a German prison, ending up in Boston. Then a newsstand worker is killed when scar tissue grows over his nose and mouth.

Jones has come to Boston to recruit Olivia into the ZFT. In previous episodes we learned that ZFT was letting scientific anomalies into the world but last night we got closer to learning why. In their manifesto (written by Walter), ZFT says, “We think we understand reality, but our universe is only one of many. The unknown truth is that the way to travel between them has already been discovered by beings like us, but whose history is slightly ahead of our own. The negative aspects of such visitations will be irreversible both to our world and to theirs. It will begin with a series of unnatural occurrences, difficult to notice at first, but growing not unlike a cancer until a simple fact becomes undeniable: only one world will survive. And it will be either us…or them.” So Jones considers himself a fighter against these “beings like us who are slightly ahead of us”. Now, I have a personal bone to pick with executive producer Jeff Pinker because he clearly stated “Fringe” had nothing to do with aliens and this seems a bit alienesque to me.

Jones is fixated with Olivia specifically because she was administered Cortexifan (a drug developed by William Bell that is meant to prevent the shrinking of human brain power by outside social and moral pursuits) by Massive Dynamic as a child in the early 1980s.

As a test, Mr. Jones sends Olivia to pick up a box of games in Salem (which some may recognize as Coney Island, where the scene was actually shot). He tells her she must complete the first game and report back to him in order to spare anyone else being killed. Her task is to turn off the lights on one of the games by looking at them. Peter rigs the game so the lights will turn off on their own and they can fool Jones into giving them the information. Their plan works and Jones gives them the location of a bomb which will unleash a massive dose of the crazy scar tissue killer. This is where the show gets all “24” on us. When Olivia finds the bomb, she realizes it is controlled by the same light game and she must turn off the lights with her mind for real this time, in less than two minutes.

This episode definitely answered some questions that have been looming since the series began. We can see that The Observer is most likely one of these “further ahead” beings now that the mulitverse concept has entered the plot. We can also more clearly see the true complexity between the characters as Olivia, once Bell’s test subject, is now teamed up with his former partner, Walter. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the remaining 7 episodes.

“Ability” was the last new episode until April so you have a few weeks to catch up on the series over at if you’ve missed out any of the actions. And one last thought, am I the only one who picked up on the plug for J.J. Abram’s upcoming big screen project?

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