Give the Fringe creators credit where credit is due: They really know how to deliver a fantastic episode, especially when they’ve been taken off the air for a few weeks. Without question, this episode easily fits into Fringe’s Top 5 Best Episodes.
William Bell (Leonard Nimoy, who makes a rare, post-retirement appearance as a cartoon) has possessed Olivia (Anna Torv). Olivia is unaware she has a visitor inside her head and her ego is retreating inside herself. If they don’t find her in a day’s time, she will be lost to them forever. So, Walter (John Noble) and Peter (Joshua Jackson) are linked up to a machine with the plan enter Olivia’s mind in order to find her – only with the aid of some LSD. The other part of the plan is Walter wants to download Bell’s consciousness into a computer.
And that’s when the fun begins. Things really get tripped out from this point (no pun intended).
As they get into Olivia’s head, the tribute to last year’s blockbuster hit Inception is quite obvious and nicely done. When Peter and Walter find Bell, everyone and everything becomes animated via interpolated rotoscope. You never see Nimoy un-animated.
They eventually find Olivia and save her. However, Bell is lost to them as he relinquishes his hold of Olivia and is unable to project his psyche into a computer. He tells Olivia to inform Walter that “the dog wouldn’t hunt,” which is their way of saying that it won’t work. Walter is saddened that he loses his friend once again, whereas Peter is happy to have his girlfriend back.
The little things went a long way in this episode. Torv really deserves an Emmy for mimicking Nimoy, right down to the arched eyebrow for which he’s so famous. Both Jackson’s Peter and Lance Reddick’s Broyles on LSD was priceless – especially Reddick with some of the expressions he was making while under the influence. It gave him a chance to demonstrate other acting skills, given that Broyles is a no-nonsense, buttoned-up man.
The creators took a risk with some of the things they pulled off in the episode – makes you wonder if they did a little LSD themselves (or LDS, which was the cover story for the bizarre behavior of Nimoy’s Spock from 1986’s Star Trek: The Voyage Home in 20th century San Francisco – surprised there wasn’t a little nod and wink to that comment). In the end, those risks paid off as the third season heads towards its explosive season finale in the coming weeks.