Fringe: Season 3, Episode 3

The Plateau (7 Oct. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
8.7
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In this case, timing is everything as a series of anomalous events lead the Fringe Division to investigate deadly incidents with unimaginable coincidences. As the freaky crimes continue to ... See full summary »

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Title: The Plateau (07 Oct 2010)

The Plateau (07 Oct 2010) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Dr. Levin
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Storyline

In this case, timing is everything as a series of anomalous events lead the Fringe Division to investigate deadly incidents with unimaginable coincidences. As the freaky crimes continue to occur, the team is in a race against time to protect potential victims. Meanwhile, Secretary Bishop shares his strategic plan with Colonel Broyles as Olivia grapples with a heart-stopping vision. Written by Fox Publicity

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7 October 2010 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The story concept for "The Plateau" was pitched by J.H. Wyman's nine year old son, Oliver. He receives a "Special Thanks" in the credits. See more »

Goofs

During the bus incident, an older gentleman knocks over the post office mail box into the street. In the United States post office mail boxes are bolted into the ground and can't be knocked over by the average person. See more »

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References Star Trek (1966) See more »

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Fringe Main Title Theme
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Written by J.J. Abrams
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User Reviews

 
Hand in hand direction and writing, fascinating causality, dazzling editing, exciting memory glitches, cunning characters, disturbing protagonist, solid acting, entertainment²
15 January 2011 | by (France) – See all my reviews

The Box mostly lacked a better script. So when The Plateau was served at my table I sharpened my fangs and was ready to bite its flesh. But with Brad Anderson at the direction and two experienced women to support him at the writing, Alison Schapker and Monica Owusu-Breen, there was no reason to worry. Indeed the story is quite similar to his Masters of Horror's Sounds Like and the ambiance reminiscent of his The Machinist. So it seems they were able to team up the right individuals. In both episodes a disturbed man has a special ability that he uses to hurt people.

But considering Schapker and Owusu-Breen worked on Lost the addition of causality shouldn't surprise you, but definitely fascinate. This 3rd installment felt like toying with a Rube Goldberg machine. The causes are set up, just wait for the predictable effects. Slow motion was used to highlight the chain reaction links and different editing techniques were applied to picture what's happening in Milo's hyperactive head. From scene mosaics to grain filters they really brought a lot to the ambiance and made the events even more captivating. But the drawback is that it revealed the weaknesses on Olivia's side. Indeed her memory glitches weren't supported by similar effects. For example in Dexter Harry's appearances are bloomy so it helps make the difference between reality and the hallucinations Dex has. And when it comes to science-fiction shaking the pylons of creativity should be mandatory, even if the show budget is not infinite obviously. So in the end they didn't find the right balance when the possibilities were endless. Milo's side was heavy on effects, Olivia's one was cheap.

Otherwise despite the form issues the substance was definitely there. Indeed it was still exciting to hunt the little bugs that mess up with her mind. They wickedly mirror Fauxlivia's missteps in the Prime universe. About the alternate world it's enlightening to better understand what the fringe events impact is. From her burnt partner to oxygen rarefaction I really felt sorry for its residents. The character development is also well thought because as I hoped some characters would question Olivia's hasty comeback and their leaders decision. John Noble is even beginning to grow on me as Walternate. His behavior is so different than Walter Bishop. He has so much more charisma and he's convinced that he's doing the right thing to protect his dimension. What he said about being a scientist was also quite deep and it even linked him to his Prime self. The approach is smart because Anna Torv and Bishop must feel right in acting heaven with their respective roles. One episode you're blue, the next you're red. Like in Lost I suspect the scenes are not filmed in the airing order but the editing seams don't show.

To sum things up The Plateau succeeded in rubbing out most of the previous episodes cons. Michael Eklund's performance as Milo was excellent and some sort of insane Rain Man or What's Eating Gilbert Grape version. Kacey Rohl's angelic portrayal of Milo's sister, Madeline, also nicely balanced her brother's tortured profile. You should definitely be moved by their scenes with the horse. An other sweet factor was the entertainment. I couldn't help thinking about the video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. You should want to rewind or fast forward some parts to change the tides of time. I can already imagine how great the episode would be if it had been interactive ! Last but not least the prediction technology the Fringe team used to solve the case was surely inspired by Isaac Asimov's Foundation. With so many cult references and well executed ideas The Plateau could only be a success and if the next episodes are in the same vein season 3 could propel the show in the upper league.


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