Fringe 3.02 "The Box" Review

Before “The Box” aired tonight, most Fringe fans knew that the series would be alternating universes for its third season. This process would build two simultaneous arcs while remaining tension in each story during its off-week. It’s very risky, and with “The Box,” I think it’s paying off.

Before we get started, let me tell you that there is no way in the world that “The Box” is one of Fringe‘s great episodes. It doesn’t even begin to touch the high quality of “Olivia,” last week’s jaw-dropping premiere. Instead, this felt actually like an old season one throwback. Is that a bad thing? Not at all. In fact, I think the return to the procedural grind was a wonderful way to show how deep undercover Altlivia is going with Peter and Walter.

I have to say, though, despite occasions of nail-biting tension during the intimate Peter-and-Altivia scenes, the two weren’t the best part of the episode, despite the fact that Anna Torv really acted her ass off. The contrast between the two Olivia’s is subtle but at the same time giant, and I can’t wait to see how both characters evolve while in each others’ shoes.

Of course, the real zinger of the episode was William Bell’s will, which left Walter in control of Massive Dynamic, a company which he bitterly felt Bell had stolen from him for most of the series. Now that he’s in control of the company, will we get some crazy CEO hijinks? Normally I would hope not, but since it’s Walter Bishop, I would say hell yes. Just to have him ordering around not one but several assistants to help him with his crazy experiments (which he probably has a lot more money for now) would be brilliant, but we’ll also have the more serious elements. He’ll obviously have an even more strained relationship with Nina (who I’m sure will feel like she deserves the company), and with Astrid, who might feel like she’s losing Walter to the company. There are so many possibilities, and I can’t wait for any of them!

TVOvermind will have a recap of the episode up soon, but until then, I give it a B+.

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