‘Fringe’ was off last week due to the holiday. That’s fortunate for me, because it means I had time to catch up with it and write a recap before this week’s new episode. I hear that the show’s ratings haven’t been very good, and it may not get a fourth season. That would be a shame. While I’ve had my quibbles with some of the writing, this season has generally been the show’s best so far.
Episode ‘The Abducted’ bounces back to the alternate universe. In “New Yonkers,” a man in a steel mask kidnaps a young child. This ties back to a series of previous abductions, including alt-Broyles’ son. In all cases, the children were eventually returned, but in terrible physical condition, as if the life had been sucked out of them.
The perpetrator, who the Fringe team has dubbed “the Candyman,” is an old man who’s been draining fluids out of children’s glands to make a concoction that turns him young again. As Olivia discovers, he’s not working alone. He’s part of a religious cult, and the reverend is behind the whole conspiracy.
All the time that this has been happening, Olivia has also secretly gotten her memory back and knows who she is. She recruits the cabbie from the season premiere to help her sneak back onto Liberty Island so that she can get in the isolation tank without Walternate knowing and jump back to her own universe. Until that can happen, she has to continue to play along and pretend that she still thinks she’s Fauxlivia.
Eventually, Broyles (who knows the truth about her identity) overhears Olivia tell the rescued victim that she works for the FBI, which hasn’t existed in the alternate universe for decades. He knows that she knows, and tells her as much. But, because he’s grateful that she stopped the Candyman, he just walks away.
Olivia breaks into the Liberty Island facility and manages to jump back to her own universe, but only for a few minutes before Walternate yanks her back and has her imprisoned again. It’s just enough time for her to run into a cleaning lady, who she convinces to call Peter to deliver a message. Peter has already found Fauxlivia’s complete ignorance of ‘Casablanca‘ puzzling. (She’s never even heard of it.) The phone call from a random woman telling him that Olivia is still trapped on the other side appears to be the final puzzle piece to help him figure out what’s wrong with his girlfriend. More on that this week, I’m sure.
‘The Abducted’ is a strong episode, and a big improvement over the previous episode. I look forward to seeing the Peter and Faulivia story thread play out after this new revelation.