Fringe 3.15 “Subject 13” Review

If you look at episode 2.15 of Fringe, titled “Peter,” you’re probably like most in thinking that it’s one of the show’s best episodes. You’re quite right; the episode received great critical acclaim when it first aired, and was declared one of the best television episodes of 2010 by many critics. So how would Fringe, the best-written show on network television, follow up its acme? Could it perhaps top “Peter”?

“Subject 13” didn’t top “Peter.” That’s the inevitable comparison to be made with the episode, and to be fair, “Peter” is clearly superior. But look at it this way: “Peter” was the climax, “Subject 13” was the falling action of the show’s flashback timeline. “Peter” was significant because it opened us up to an entirely different story, with new characters, and put everything we were seeing in mid-season two into a new context. “Subject 13,” however, wasn’t as innovative: it was more of a ‘puzzle piece’ episode that revealed character motivations but ultimately not much else. The mythological elements, for example, were nothing we didn’t already know (Olivia can transcend universes when she’s emotional).

No, it’s undeniable that this episode was more about the characters than the plot, though unlike last week’s “6B,” neither suffered from the imbalance. Instead, we were essentially given a reiterated but solid mythological episode for our characters to interact upon.

Speaking of the characters, the acting this week was once again solid. John Noble is becoming less and less believable as a younger Walter (his hunched stride into Bishop Dynamic seemed more resultant from age than grief), but his acting abilities were otherwise unhampered. Both as Walter and Walternate, he created a character to really, really sympathize with. Seeing Walternate’s motivations instead of them being implied wasn’t groundbreaking, but it was powerful. Same goes for Orla Brady’s powerful performance as Elizabeth Bishop in this universe, as we saw the tip of the spiral that would lead to her eventual suicide.

The child actors were great as well; I could really buy that both of them were younger versions of Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson, and strangely enough, I found their encounter fleeting enough that it was believable for them not to remember it. By the way, that scene with young Olivia in Walter’s office at the end? Heartbreakingly well played. Kudos to her.

In the end, “Subject 13” isn’t going to be remembered in that same fond light as “Peter,” to which it will be forever compared. But it will bask in the glow of being one of the best episodes of season three, taking a firm third place after “Entrada” and “Olivia.” A-

VH-1 Recreates "The Partridge Family"
The 13 Most Popular Cars from TV Shows
The Comedy Festival Day 2
The 10 Most Disappointing Television Finales of All Time
Rubio
Watch Marco Rubio Repeat the Same Line Four Times and Get Called Out On It
Carson
Ben Carson and Donald Trump Completely Botch Republican Debate Entrance
'Andrew Lincoln and Robert Kirkman Attend 'The Walking Dead' Premiere in Madrid
12 Things You Didn’t Know About Andrew Lincoln
6811749-stunning-megan-fox
Seven Celebrities With Strange Physical Flaws
20th Annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Press Conference
12 Things You Didn’t Know about Claire Danes
Tilda Swinton
The 10 Strangest Looking Actresses in Hollywood
Coach Finstock
Coach Bobby Finstock from Teen Wolf Gives the Best Advice Ever
Time to Kill
10 Incredibly Powerful Movies That Center Around Racism
13th-warrior-800-75
A List of Movies with Numbers in the Title, From 1 to 25
Potter Fan
Harry Potter in Japan: Harry’s Biggest and Craziest Fan in History
U2
Seven Live Performances By U2 That Absolutely Rocked
fall on stage
It Happens to Everyone: When Famous Musicians Fall on Stage
Lady Pank
Obscure 80s Music Videos That Are Extremely 80s
The Clash
International Clash Day: Seattle Honors London Band with Holiday
Omaha
Ever Wonder Why Peyton Manning Says Omaha All The Time?
100514-NFL-Cardinals-Carson-Palmer-PI-CH.vresize.1200.675.high.2
Don’t Forget to Watch The NFL Honors 2016 Show
Josh Norman
When Is the Official Super Bowl Kick Off of 2016?
Weiner Stampede
Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials 2016: Heinz “Wiener Stampede” Gets Our Vote

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.