‘Fringe’ review: Etta totally rules ‘In Absentia’

There was something very interesting about Friday night’s new episode of “Fringe” in that it took most of the grand themes and massive hype surrounding the whole idea of saving the future, and while it did not necessarily throw all of these out the window, it did opt instead to focus the story in on some smaller moments where the characters could shine … in particular a daughter of Peter and Olivia who is far from being the most innocent little girl in the world.

So what was young Etta really up to during this episode? To be frank, the best way to explain it is that she spent her time torturing a man using some crazy and horrifying piece of equipment that managed to age him in front of our very eyes. This was completely awesome to watch, and we were actually a little disappointed, strange as it may seem, to see her parents try and get her to ease up a little bit. This really felt like a similar problem we had with the final season of “Chuck” or “Weeds,” where the producers felt a little too desperate to wrap up a story knowing that they had to get on to the next thing. It would have been better to scale back on a few things down the road just so that we could have seen more of a gradual transformation here,

As for what some of these stories coming up will be, it looks like Fringe Division is going to be on a series of fetch quests in order to complete the videotapes left behind by Walter, who is now useless with much of his memory gone. We’re exciting for this story, but also skeptical. Really, it all depends on how the producers decide to execute this. It could come across as really cool, but it’s a risky proposition if the stories to find these tapes are not tied together closely enough.

What did you think about this episode?

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