Last night, our TV centered around fedoras and musicals. Come on in!
It was the big musical episode of Fringe last night, and you know what? It wasn’t terrible! I know, that surprised me too! I would have bet good cash money that it’d be a train wreck, but it adhered to the spirit of the show, it was visually interesting, none of the cast looked too terribly mortified about participating in it, and the musical numbers were kept to a bare minimum. I’m especially grateful about that last part. Marvelous actors, those Fringe cast members, but for the most part, they’re not song-and-dance people. Joshua Jackson, don’t think it passed unnoticed that you slunk your way through the whole show without ever once bursting into song. You too, Blair Brown.
The entire episode took the form of Walter’s drug-addled, deliriously loopy, thoroughly inappropriate story to Olivia’s young niece Ella, whom he got stuck babysitting whilst Olivia was out searching for runaway Peter. Anyway, the story was a weird Raymond Chandler/Dashiell Hammett noir-inspired piece, with a little Blade Runner thrown in for good measure. It featured Olivia as a hard-boiled detective hired by eccentric inventor Walter to find ne’er-do-well con man Peter, who stole Walter’s glass heart and ran away. Why, yes, there is a double meaning to all this.
Anyway, Olivia runs afoul of evil vixen Nina Sharp, who is in cahoots with William Bell to find Walter’s stolen heart for their own diabolical purposes. Nina tries to murder Olivia, who is saved by the timely arrival of Peter. Peter tells Olivia the glass heart belongs to him and shows her the gaping hole in his chest to prove it. Then, randomly, a whole swarm of Observers attack them, ninja-style. Peter is mortally wounded, but Olivia sings a little Sinatra at him and brings him back to life. Peter splits his heart in two and gives Walter half, then Peter and Olivia dance to the gramophone and, presumably, live happily ever after. So, yeah. It was plenty weird, but not in a bad way, and everyone looked rather fabulous in their trench coats and fedoras. Nicely done, Fringe. Don’t ever do it again.
After a lame shuffleboard Reward Challenge, Danielle, Colby and Amanda end up taking a trip to Robert Louis Stevenson’s house, and of course Danielle finds the clue, because her alliance is the luckiest set of people ever. But Amanda catches Danielle trying to hide the clue, and they get into a total catfight, which Colby stays out of, because he is not that smart. He should have suggested that they read the clue aloud and then burn it or something, but whatever.
The next day at camp the Villains Alliance goes looking for the idol and because Russell’s tiny feelings are hurt, he finds it and then hides it from the rest of his team. He does do something very smart with it, though: he shows it to Candace, who thinks that Russell and his team are now too powerful to fuck with, and he flips her to his side.
But then Russell very does a very Russell-y thing: he cancels out this smart strategic move by overplaying his hand: When he hears from Candace that Sandra is going to flip and vote for him, he loses his ego-fueled mind and reveals to Sandra that he’s now in possession of Candace. Sandra takes this news to the rest of the Heroes, leaving them an opening, and making them decide to redirect their votes to Parvati for some reason that I don’t fully understand. Because of this misplay, Russell psyches himself into thinking he’s going home and plays the idol, even though no votes have been cast against him and he already had a six person majority locked up through pure good gameplay. Sandra and Candace are both forced to play it safe, so they send Amanda packing. On one hand, Russell did something really smart and impressive, and I cannot deny this; but on the other hand he did something really dumb. At this point, I’m just ready for him to get second place so I can laugh at his tears.