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I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is, after a 4-month-long hiatus, “Fringe” back. The bad news is, Joshua Jackson is not. Nope, Peter Bishop went missing in last year’s season finale, and no one seems the slighted bit concerned about it anymore. Rather than trying to find Peter, keep their world from being destroyed or prevent Olivia’s predicted fate of being shot in the head by the evil Walternet (I have no idea what happened to him either), the Fringe devision goes about their daily business, solving mysterious crimes that, for all we know, may or may not have ties to the alternate universe.
But back to more important things here – WHERE THE HELL IS JOSHUA JACKSON? He was standing right there just a moment ago – RIGHT THERE – before he suddenly disappeared! With the exception of a minor glimpse of him as a reflection in Walter’s television screen (I think), Peter doesn’t make an appearance at all this episode. Either the producers have something up their sleeves, or something went haywire with Joshua’s contract. Whatever the reason, they better fix it, stat. Without Peter, who’s gonna be the Tom Cruise to Walter’s Rain Man? And who’s gonna add the tender moments with Olivia for the 2% of their viewers who don’t care about the science part and tune in just to watch Joshua Jackson get it on?
Who’s this guy?
Well, I tell you one thing, it ain’t gonna be Lincoln. Lincoln is Olivia’s agent partner in the alternate universe who is just another unassuming FBI agent in ours. But things move quickly on “Fringe,” and within an hour, Lincoln has gone from a low-ranking, blissfully unaware average guy to a full-fledged Fringe member with full security clearance to the Fringe Division’s secrets. But really he’s just here to fill in for Josh by trying to add some humor and make googily eyes at Olivia.
It all starts when Lincoln and his partner chase a bad guy through a dark, deserted warehouse, as they tend to do on these shows. Lincoln gets his guy, but later finds his dead partner’s DNA being sucked out of him by some weird translucent shapeshifter. He’s interviewed by Olivia, who can’t tell him what division she works for and why she’s asking questions. But she really pisses him off when she tells him she can’t release his partner’s body to his family – and Lincoln is expected to keep it quiet. But Lincoln is no dummy – and he finds a way to track down Olivia, and eventually ends up in Walter’s lab. Well, now that he’s here, Olivia might as well use him, she thinks. So she takes him on a wild goose chase that results in them running around a train depot, shooting translucent shapeshifters and saving each others’ asses.
In the couple of days they get to know each other, Olivia and Lincoln discover they have a lot in common, like they both lost a transparent partner. No, I don’t mean that it’s obvious what these people are thinking or feeling when you look at them - I mean, their partners were literally see-through when they died. Since they’re the only two people in the world who share this experience, they bond pretty quickly. By the end, Olivia trusts Lincoln completely, and all it takes is answering a few questions and getting a hand scan for Lincoln to gain full security clearance to the most top-secret division of the FBI. Something tells me Lincoln is here to stay for awhile.
Oh yeah, Olivianet is here and working for Fringe now, even though no one trusts her. Yes, Olivia has to work with the chick who stole her identity and slept with her boyfriend. That should make for some interesting gossip at the water cooler. Oh, and one other minor detail – they’ve built a full a portal to the other world in the room where Peter connected the two universes and then disappeared, which is amazing considering that no one can figure out how to stop a satellite from crashing into the earth. Ah, technology. All I have to say is, this is going to be one confusing, dramatic year. But I don’t care – I’m in!