TV Review: Fringe 4.17, ‘Everything in its Right Place’
April 7, 2012 4:10 pm
Emile K. Lewis
Finally we get to see some action on the other side, something that’s been a little lacking this season. ‘Our’ Lincoln (Seth Gabel) goes to the other side to help Fauxlivia (Anna Torv) and Alt Lincoln track down a vigilante killer. As we whittle our way down to the last episodes of the season (and maybe the series), there’s going to be plenty of spoiler material. There’s a major development this week and I’m not going to write around it, so only read on if you’ve seen the episode.
Unlike the titular Radiohead song suggests, we begin with everything very much in its wrong place. Lincoln, who began the season as a new recruit to Fringe Division, developed an unspoken attraction for Olivia. Whether she felt the same way we will never know for sure, although the signs were certainly suggestive. All that changed when Olivia began to get her original memories back. Peter’s (Joshua Jackson) return and the realisation that this was ‘his’ Olivia left Lincoln out in the cold. Things got even more uncomfortable for Lincoln last week when Walter (John Noble) remarked on how “perfect” things were, referring to the family bond shared between himself, Peter, Olivia and even Astrid (Jasika Nicole) His hurried attempt to include Lincoln in this dynamic failed to hide the truth: Lincoln is pretty much the fifth wheel at this point.
When the team take the day off to tend to housekeeping matters, Lincoln volunteers to take Astrid’s place as agent liaison with the other side for the day.
In light of the recent alliance, both sides are sharing information on cases related to David Robert Jones (Jared Harris). When Lincoln arrives, there’s no time for going over files; a case is afoot.
A vigilante killer is on the loose on the other side and he has left his first body behind, and it’s quite disfigured. On the way, Lincoln gets to ride with Fauxlivia in the car, and learns that because of the bridge between the universes, the other side is beginning to reopen the amber quarantine zones. Also, whilst Fringe Division remains a tightly guarded secret on our side, over there, they are apparently heroes. After a number of bodies matching the MO are discovered, Lincoln joins the investigation properly. When he examines the bodies, Lincoln discovers three distinct puncture marks on the roof of the mouth, you guessed it; shapeshifter. They take the case to Alt Broyles (Lance Reddick), whom we know is either in league with Jones or is a shapeshifter himself, and Broyles attempts to dissuade them from the right track.
Lincoln and his doppelganger take some time out to cross-reference each other’s lives to find out why they are so different in personality but discover that they lead remarkably identical lives. Meanwhile our shape-shifting killer strikes again and takes a new form (Maximino Arciniega) but a witness sees him and the truth of the case is confirmed.
The team hunts the killer down in some industrial storage warehouse (obviously). At first, Lincoln is alone and after a brief tussle, the killer has him dead to rights and then lets him go. Once the rest of the team catches up, he is caught and Lincoln is able to convince Fauxlivia to let him question the prisoner before he is taken up the chain.
Here we learn how the killer is basically like Lincoln, someone who goes through life unnoticed by the people he loves, only the killer met David Robert Jones, who promised him that he could be fixed. As they escort the prisoner to the vans, he is shot at by a sniper. Olivia uses her pro marksmanship to take him out, or at least we think so until he shows up at the shapeshifter lab to report to Nina (Blair Brown). This is again flipped around on us when we realise that it is the shapeshifter, now in the form of the sniper (Kirby Morrow) and that this is a trap for Nina, who is captured at last.
The biggest shock of the episode (and that spoiler I mentioned) comes when we learn that Alt Lincoln, who had been wounded in the sniper shooting, is now dead. What? But he never got to see Batman! I applaud the director, who chose not to show Alt Lincoln’s death, where he gurgles out some last words while Fauxlivia and Robo-Astrid cry and say how sorry they are. Instead we get the coldness of a report, which is probably how it would happen in real life, and also it leaves open the opportunity for Alt Broyles to smuggle out Alt Lincoln’s not-so-dead body and have him turned into the new shapeshifter chief. Hey, it’s just a theory…
All jokes aside, I thought they handled it really tactfully, unlike the re-uniting of Olivia and Peter when they kissed in the street. I am sad to see Alt Lincoln go, he was a pretty cool guy. Not counting previous seasons, before the timeline was reset, he’s also actually the first good guy casualty (also not counting the Dr. Fayette who was replaced by a shapeshifter, and potentially Alt Broyles if he is in fact a shapeshifter) Anyway, the point is, as we get closer to the end of the season, I expect that it’s soon going to be time for more character’s to die. How convenient that there’s more than one of everything! The biggest impact that Alt Lincoln’s death will have will undoubtedly be on Fauxlivia. In the closing scenes you see her going through his locker, picking out the photo’s that show the two of them together. In Season 3, as Fauxlivia dealt with her separation from Frank (Philip Winchester), you could see that Alt Lincoln was holding back from saying how he really felt about her. Now that he’s gone, I think Fauxlivia will realise she had those feelings too but will inadvertently project them onto ‘our’ Lincoln, who has chosen to remain on the other side for the time being (assuming that all still happened in this timeline? I remember her saying something this season about Alt Lincoln being her “shoulder to cry on”).
Lincoln staying will undoubtedly have consequences further down the line, either between him and Fauxlivia, or between him and the rest of his side. For now though, he’s content to live up to his doppelganger’s legacy and choose his own life, no longer content to ‘fit in’ to somebody else’s. Everything in its right place.