We are edging ever closer to the conclusion of the strange show that is Fringe. There have been parallel universes, doubles, many lab experiments and a cow. The crew have been through all sorts of dramas and have even been stuck in the colourful Amber. But episode 9 of season 5, the marvellously alliterative Back Blotter, has to be the best one yet. Just as I was beginning to think that Fringe was becomming a bit like a fancy treasure hunt we get this.
So as the radio, found in the pocket universe, begins to transmit some noises, which are clearly a code, Walter decides to drop acid. And I’m so glad he did as that opened up a whole area of weirdness and visual delights. First there was the green fairy who flitted about with a trail of fairy dust left in her wake. Then Walter’s dead lab assistant, Dr Carla Warren, appeared and began to chat to him. She seemed a little annoyed but then she had been killed in a fire in the lab at a young age so who can blame her? She leads him to a hidey hole in the floorboards where his book detailing experiments and ideas is hidden. At this point a younger Nina with red hair appears. Nina and Carla pull Walter in two directions, the latter bitterly predicting that the scientist will go back to being THAT man who thinks only of himself and his work and Nina who tries to convince him that he can continue to be THIS Walter. Psychiatrist?!
In the meantime Olivia and Peter are tracking the signal. They find only dead burnt bodies but they do stop to have a romantic moment in the woods. Well, it’s not like they’re saving the world or anything… Later they are joined by Astrid and a confused Walter and after a bit of a shoot out with some Loyalists they get in a boat and go to an island where Walter sees what could so easily be the Emerald City. I was so hoping for some Munchkins and a witch or two but instead we got a man standing on his porch, holding a gun, who was definitely NOT Donald. Where is the elusive Donald?
It was at this point that Walter goes on a bit of a trip in his tangled mind and we were treated to a Monty Pythonesque montage of wonderful crazy creatures and a large foot. Fans of the show would surely have spotted the frog and the sea-horse from the titles in this bit. I love that the creators are playing with these images last seen on doors in the pocket universe. I’m still holding out for the six fingered man to be Donald – one can dream. And of course the lovely Gene made an appearence too, acting as Walter’s faithful steed.
So now the team have the little bald boy – who has been named Michael – who does not age or talk. And we are left with a troubled Walter who fears he may become THAT man again. Someone get him a cow and liquorice laces and perhaps some more acid. Just 4 episodes to go – episode 10 Anomaly XB-6783 will be aired in the new year.