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- TV Series: Fringe
- Episode: The Man From The Other Side
- Starring: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Lance Reddick
- Written By: Josh Singer, Ethan Gross
- Directed By: Jeffrey Hunt
- Network: Fox
Fringe: The Man From The Other Side Review
Peter Learns The Truth About His Origin
By Kurt Anthony Krug
April 23, 2010
© Fox/Bob Trate
Those nasty shape-shifters are back. The episode opens with two teens listening to Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” and smoking joints. There’s a noise in an abandoned warehouse, the guy goes to investigate, while the frightened girl begs him not to go. In the next scene, a shape-shifter kills him. Seems pretty cliché in a lot of ways and this part of the story drags somewhat.
What many want to see is Peter Bishop’s (Joshua Jackson) reaction upon learning his origin. For the uninitiated, the ongoing subplot where Peter learns he’s the Peter Bishop from an alternate reality, one of the cornerstones of the Fringe mythos, comes to a head this episode.
It’s also revealed that Peter’s mother Elizabeth (played by Orla Brady, who doesn’t appear in this episode) committed suicide. He learned this while he was in Europe. Also, this was the only call he ever received from Walter when his father was in St. Claire’s, a mental institution, for 17 years.
As Peter confronts Walter about how he’s put it all together, he says that Elizabeth committed suicide because she couldn’t live with the guilt of raising a Peter from another universe, couldn’t live with the guilt that an alternate version of Elizabeth was grieving for her lost son. Not only that, Peter says it explains why he can’t remember much of his childhood.
Walter tries to explain himself and calls Peter “son,” to which the younger Bishop angrily responds that he’s not his son. He then demands Walter leave him alone.
What sold this scene is veteran actor Noble. His face has an expression of horror, shock, profound sadness, and the way his mouth moved but no words came out was well-played. To ratchet up the angst level, Peter and Walter were doing plenty of father/son bonding, finally getting along after so many years apart and so many years of bitterness. Peter even called him “dad,” which is possibly a first for the series (Fringe fans, take note: I’m new to Fringe and have just started watching prior episodes. If you can help me out with this tidbit, that’d be great).
At the very end, Peter is missing, according to Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and nobody knows where he is. It probably won’t be resolved next week as the musical episode is scheduled, which seems to be a tribute to film noir, something many are looking forward to. Joss Whedon really started something back in 2001 (that long?) with the musical episode, “Once More With Feeling,” of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, didn’t he? How I Met Your Mother has done a musical episode, now Fringe.
Quote of the week: “There’s more than 1 way to roast a reindeer” – John Noble and Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole).
In-joke: Peter mentions a Star Trek convention. Leonard Nimoy, who has a recurring role on Fringe as Dr. William Bell, is best known as Mr. Spock from the original Star Trek series and seven Star Trek motion pictures. Furthermore, Fringe creators J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman were integral to last year’s Star Trek blockbuster movie, which rebooted the franchise and featured Nimoy.