Fringe (2008–2013)
3 user 2 critic

The Box 

Three men abduct and keep a family tied up and gagged in the living room. Two of them dig the basement while the third one watches the family. The men find a box and decide to take a peek ... See full summary »


Jeffrey G. Hunt (as Jeffrey Hunt)


J.J. Abrams (created by), Alex Kurtzman (created by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Torv ... Alternate Olivia Dunham
Joshua Jackson ... Peter Bishop
Lance Reddick ... Phillip Broyles
Blair Brown ... Nina Sharp
Jasika Nicole ... Astrid Farnsworth
John Noble ... Dr. Walter Bishop
Russell Harvard ... Joe
Sebastian Roché ... Thomas Jerome Newton
Artine Tony Browne ... Mitch (as Artine Brown)
Kyle Cassie ... Darryl
Robert Egger ... Bank Manager
Steve Elliott Steve Elliott ... Dad
Hiro Kanagawa ... Executor
Khaira Ledeyo ... FBI Tech
Eric Lynch Eric Lynch ... Homeless Man


Three men abduct and keep a family tied up and gagged in the living room. Two of them dig the basement while the third one watches the family. The men find a box and decide to take a peek inside. The two men and the family immediately die. The Fringe Division investigate the case and Walter performs an autopsy on the bodies. Soon he finds that they die because they have been exposed to an ultrasound signal. Walter receives an envelope from William Bell's lawyer as inheritance and he discloses to Astrid what William left for him. Meanwhile the alternate Olivia and Newton, who had hired the men to find the box and bring to him, plot a scheme to retrieve the box. Then they set in motion a Machiavellian plan. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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USA | Canada



Release Date:

30 September 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In Massive Dynamic when Peter and Walter are in the hallway Walter glances in a room and sees scientists using a small transporter. Like in Star Trek. The show creator, J.J. Abrams, directed the Star Trek remake that had recently come out months earlier. See more »


Astrid says there were five victims at the first crime scene, but there were six (two criminals and four family members). See more »


Dr. Walter Bishop: Kent Street. I frequented a massage parlor just around the corner. I used to get off right here.
Peter Bishop: Sure hope you're talking about the station, Walter.
See more »


References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »


End Title Theme
Written by Michael Giacchino
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User Reviews

Exciting Fauxlivia missteps, promising red & blue format, conventional episodic story, horrific side effects, intriguing character development, questionable acting
15 January 2011 | by igoatabaseSee all my reviews

Pandora, Pandora. The malicious box is so luscious that shows can't resist to have one of their own. Opening it should be your second step toward the long and wicked ending of season 3. With the blue pill in my belly I felt strong enough to follow Fauxlivia and her team. In the first four episodes of season 1 I saw Anna Torv as the blonde babe you throw in the mix to appeal the male audience. But with her new dual role her characters should change the very idea you had about her. I mean how can you objectively embrace her when you have grown up with Dana Scully under your pillow ? Torv is no Gillian Anderson but she deserves respect and a chance to become who she is. Moreover it's probably not a coincidence that Olivia's hair turned red in the alternate universe. It's stealthier than pink, though.

But let's go back to The Box, shall we. The very first minutes sneaking behind the Fringers felt different. Indeed we know that Olivia Dunham is not who the others think she is. The real one is losing it in the parallel universe. Watching his inevitable missteps is exciting because Fauxlivia has to learn who Olivia is. In fact it's a good thing but as often the coin has a backside. Indeed I think the writers approach is not subtle enough. They should have pushed the concept further by hiding the truth to the audience. We just didn't need to know that Fauxlivia wasn't Olivia. It would have made the scenes even more puzzling and the inevitable revelation jaw dropping. Of course the idea is probably inspired by Edward Norton's performances. Once done with the season we would have to watch it all over again to really comprehend what happened and finally notice all hints related to her true identity. They have chosen an other road, probably a more accessible one, but it still has potential.

My only worry was the episodic format. The investigations of the week in season 1 were monstrous compared to the cult The X-Files episodes. Not all of them were exceptional but its charismatic and complementary characters prevented anyone to skip the weekly paranormal adventure. In season 3 Fringe has finally found its marks thanks to the brand new parallel arcs. In fact I can't help comparing them to Lost even if the last editing was so mesmerizing that it gave the process a new dimension. But even if the red and blue concept is less original its execution is nonetheless promising. Indeed the parallel and episodic elements were mixed and the arcs should nourish each other. The story itself was decent but lacked spice. It was really just an other investigation with a magic box and without the surreal dose it almost could have seemed like a Castle episode. However I enjoyed its bleeding side effects and one gore scene actually reminded me of Street Trash. Kids, it's time to go to bed !

All in all it was almost an installment in the same vein as the premiere. Still it could have been way better and despite its many strengths the show has weaknesses that could repel the most demanding viewers. It's specially true for long time scifi fans but even with my little big background I still enjoyed it. Of course compared to Isaac Asimov brilliant writing the investigation felt slightly dry but I'm sure Fringe's Genitrix hasn't played its trump card yet. Last but not least it's sweet that Fauxlivia uses a type writer to report instead of some hyper technological device. And her bizarre relationship with Peter Bishop is definitely intriguing. However Joshua Jackson's portrayal is a little bland so I really hope he'll bring his A game in the next episodes because his face off with Torv could lead to some edgy moments.

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