Review: Fringe – The Recordist
By Ashley Binion
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
This week’s episode of Fringe, “The Recordist,” was one big scavenger hunt and left me wanting more development in the season’s broader story arc.
Last week it was revealed that Walter recorded his plan on video tapes, which the team now is on the hunt to find. The episode starts with Astrid and Walter lasering their way through the ambered lab. Of course, Walter being Walter, he hid the tapes out of order and they had to start with the third, of who knows how many.
Side note: You could really tell the actors had some fun during these early scenes, as a couple of them (I’m looking at you Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson.) could barely keep it together.
As instructed by Tape Walter, the family of four was off to an unknown site in Pennsylvania. Poor Astrid never left the lab and was delegated the task of fixing the tape.
Once they arrived at the specific spot, they found a camp of refuges covered in this weird bark-like substance. Their leader, Edwin, began recording all major events after The Invasion occurred. Edwin’s father believed that someone had to record human history, so they moved out into the woods to do so in peace. While searching through the cubes, they found a man named Donald had come to the same mine looking for rocks and Walter, but was taken away by the Baldies.
Who is Donald? How would he know about Walter and the rocks? And why did the Observers take him away?
In looking for answers, they went into an old mine where they found the source of the refugees’ bark problem. The closer they got to the source, the worse their barkification became. In order to get the rocks, they had to go into the deepest part of the mine. Unable to build a suit in time, Edwin sacrificed himself to get the rocks that the Fringe team needed. Astrid found that the rocks at the bottom of the mine are the energy source that is essential to their plan.
River, Edwin’s son, was so cute as the Fringe team’s groupie. I really enjoyed the subtle shout out to Joshua Jackson’s comic book Beyond the Fringe.
One of the strongest scenes in the episode was between Olivia and Peter. We finally found out why Olivia left Peter to go to New York. She didn’t go to fight the Baldies, but instead because she was afraid of finding Etta dead. She believed that it was her punishment for wanting to be something more than a mom and not appreciating Etta while they had her.
I’m pretty sure the show was attempting to make a parallel between Edwin, his son, River, and Olivia and Etta. But the connection that was made seemed somewhat weak.
I can’t be the only one else wondering why Olivia and Peter aren’t asking Etta what happened to her after she went missing. It seems like such a crucial part of what happened in their family’s history and to the show. Is the show omitting it for a reason?
The glyph code for this episode was “anger.” And fun fact: apples in the future come in pill sized tablets. What is up with all of the food being condensed!
We have to wait two weeks for another new Fringe, “The Bullet That Saved the World.” On the bright side, from the preview, it looks like an exciting episode in which we might finally learn what Etta’s bullet means.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars