Fringe (2008) – The Arrival, and Power Hungry

The Arrival throws FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and the viewing audience right into the series’ blossoming mythology arc. Written by J.J. Abrams and Jeff Pinkner this episode first aired on 30 September, 2008 and puts the Observer (Michael Cerveris) front and center and still keeps viewers guessing about what is going on.

A strange cylinder emerges from underground, destroying a construction site, and it is somehow connected to the work of Walter Bishop (John Noble) and The Observer. Olivia gets called in to investigate by Broyles (Lance Reddick) alongside her partner, Charlie (Kirk Acevedo).

Walter’s son, Peter (Joshua Jackson) is less than thrilled to still be involved in the project as the living arrangements with his father, not to mention his behaviour, are beginning to grate on him.

The case leads Olivia to learn of another cylinder, both of which are vibrating at a high level, and discovers the existence of The Observer, but none of them are sure how to put it together. There is someone else out there hunting down the cylinders and he seems to have some unusual abilities, but it’s Peter’s confrontation with The Observer that really convinces him to stay with the group.

He, like everyone else, has to know what is going on.

The episode also reveals a shocking revelation about a traumatic incident from Peter’s youth. A revelation that seems to be just about The Observer, but will come to impact Peter in a number of ways.

This is a great mythology episode that doesn’t give us a lot but hints at a number of things to come, especially with that shocker of an ending.

Power Hungry is the first episode that arguably isn’t a mythology episode and more a case of the week story. Having said that, the mythology arc does get pushed forward a little and The Observer makes a brief appearance.

Written by Jason Cahill and Julia Cho, this episode first debuted on 14 October, 2008 and introduced us to the troubled Joseph Meegar (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). Lacking confidence, attempting to take care of his mother, he answered an ad promising to improve his life, and now he’s paying the price for it.

He is somehow able to trigger electrical fields, but he has no control over it, and a series of accidents and deaths are drawing attention to him, both Olivia’s and the man who created him.

Who will find him first? And what will his fate be?

Weaving through this is the fact that the visions Olivia is having of her dead partner may have a rational explanation as Walter explains it.

The series shows here that it can do a case of the week, and it definitely dances around the edges of fringe science with its explanations of what Olivia is seeing and how they track down Joseph.

I honestly forgot how much I enjoy this show. I’m getting such a kick out of this rewatch.

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