Fringe: Season 4, Episode 3

Alone in the World (7 Oct. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
7.8
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When two 12-year-old kids bully another boy, they are found dead and in just hours after dying their bodies are shockingly in an advanced state of decomposition. As the Fringe team ... See full summary »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Nina Sharp (credit only)
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Dr. Sumner (as Bill Sadler)
Morris Chapdelaine ...
Morgue Worker #2
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Morgue Worker #1
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ND Agent #2
Tristan Jensen ...
ND Agent #1
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MD Tech
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Matthew Mitnovitz
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Storyline

When two 12-year-old kids bully another boy, they are found dead and in just hours after dying their bodies are shockingly in an advanced state of decomposition. As the Fringe team investigates the mysterious case, they uncover an amorphous figure claiming more victims. Meanwhile, Walter becomes increasingly distracted by his hallucinations. Written by Fox Publicity

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milkshake | hazmat suit


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7 October 2011 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Somewhere at the 33:10 minute mark, when Olivia calls Walter, You can see on her phone that she isn't calling anyone. See more »

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References Toy Story (1995) See more »

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Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)
(uncredited)
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by Manfred Mann
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User Reviews

Unbalanced writing, horrific immersive production, humanist predictable story, decent child acting, wowing John Noble, intriguing Walter, psychological ending
8 October 2011 | by (France) – See all my reviews

One step forward, one step backward. When One Night in October had redeemed the mediocre premiere this third installment reminded me why I had given up on Fringe only after watching some episodes of its first season. The third one was stellar because its episodic format was brilliantly mixed to the main plot line involving shapeshifters and of course the other side. Alone in the World had many flaws and my first impression was to consider it as a filler of the worst kind. That's why I wasn't surprised to find out that it was only written by one individual instead of the usual duo or trio. Peter ? One minute at the beginning, one at the end. I know that intertwining its arc to the story of the week would require a lot of work and a complex puzzle to design but they successfully did it for almost all season 3 episodes. Even the cliffhanger wasn't surprising because it was awkwardly thrown into the mix at the last minute. It's obvious the episode was first written and then the few Peter elements were added to make it less conventional. Objectively I have to admit that a few scenes prove me wrong, like Walter calling a boy Peter by mistake or revealing what happened to his son, but overall I was quite disappointed and almost felt betrayed because the second episode had convinced me that season 4 would blow our mind again. Now I'm very skeptical and worry that the next installment will be as deceptive, if not worst.

As for the episodic story it involved a fungus and I enjoyed how it was both frightening and disgusting. It actually reminded me of Fringe's series 3 episode 5, entertaining but lacking the emotional spirit of this one. The production was also immersive thanks to some really good special effects. My favorite sequence featured Olivia and her team entering an infested room. Their red protective suit were well designed and I liked how their heads were glowing in a blue light behind the glass of their helmets. Better the cunning use of flashlights and dark areas was reminiscent of The X-Files. A night vision sequence brought also its lot of spookiness even if it won't dramatically raise your heartbeat like a Doom 3 or Descent session. Otherwise these few sparkles couldn't hide the relative lack of substance. In fact they magnified it. I just didn't like how the boy was used nor how the story ended. Are they afraid to shock us ? We have seen so many scary and disturbing stuff on Fringe that I wouldn't mind crying or feel depressed at the end of an episode for instance.

At least the young actor did a decent job and it's quite an achievement considering he faced John Noble most of the time. Indeed he impressed us again with his tremendous skills and Walter's conversation with Phillip Broyles was quite moving and shocking. However to go back to the ending I think they made a major mistake. If you think about it what Walter decided to do didn't really make sense because it wasn't the logical continuation of what happened. It reminded me of The Walking Dead's finale, TS-19. Otherwise such a rational analysis doesn't really apply to Fringe because the human brain is also irrational and until now we didn't really know this Walter. Intuition ? Senses ? Imagination ? We can't always control our emotions so for the moment I'm ready to give Fringe the benefit of the doubt. Still I can't see how fans couldn't possibly be disappointed now when an episode doesn't feature Fauxlivia, shapeshifters or the parallel world. Still learning more about this Walter backstory was enlightening but that intriguing breadcrumb got almost lost between two scenes. I understand that it has to last for one season but so far season 4 hasn't met my expectations. They could serve us Twin Olivias every single episode and I wouldn't get tired of them ! Well maybe a little so at least they're reasonable enough not to overuse their aces. As for Walternate I already anticipate how much his return will be memorable because John Noble never disappoint.

Note : This review was first posted on Kritikenstein, my weblog.


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