Fringe Season 3: US Speed, a look back at a mindbending season

Starring Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole and Blair Brown.

One of the best shows on telly returned for its third series with plenty of classic moments from the eccentric scientist Walter Bishop, and the continued developing of relationships between the characters really make for beautiful viewing. The show really has evolved into a terrific story of complex and emotionally compelling viewing, and has really developed the chain of events that took place in Season 2. Particularly in the middle of season 2, Fringe really began to focus on the parallel universe called ‘Over There’ and the relationships between Oliva(Torv), Walter (Noble) and Peter (Jackson). Both of these factors have really driven Season 3 as the two universes begin to intersect and overlap and the themes of loyalty and deception begin to take over. In amongst this, the show still manages to produce action and suspense, and the weird and strange that attracted so many to the show in the first place. The show also really starts to explore the troubles caused by Walter due to his desire to save a copy of his son as in his universe, his son died before he could cure him of his illness.

What is really impressive about this series is the way in which the two universes are handled. The viewer can clearly differentiate between the ‘prime universe’ and the ‘parallel universe’, particularly the differing personalities of Oliva and Walter, who plays their parts magnificently. But also the colouring and the fact that the parallel universe just feels a bit “off”, clear that something is different, and the visible repercussions caused by Walter’s actions have really taken their toll. You’ll have fun identifying the differences with the picture when watching the parallel universe. Also, during the first half of the series, the parallel universe has a red title sequence and the prime universe has the original blue title sequence. This develops later in the series where an episode has a mixture of blue and red which signifies the universal focus of the episode. Finally, the season finale “The Day We Died” has a grey title sequence to indicate the future setting of the episode!! Clever, eh!!

The first episode of the series ‘Olivia’ starts of with “our” Olivia stranded in the parallel universe, a psychological nightmare, as a disorientated Olivia tries to hold onto her identity. The second episode focuses on ‘Fauxlivia’, the Olivia from the parallel universe, who has taken up residence in Walter and Peter’s world and has a very definite agenda. Both episodes see very different acting from Torv but thankfully she doesn’t overact the roles. Instead it is subtle and quiet, almost unsettling and menacing, particuarly from “Fauxlivia”. Later in the series, she also ends up becoming possessed by William Bell, and it is quite funny to watch Torv displaying Bell’s mannerisms, not to mention she tries to sound like him as well! I have to say that I think she did incredibly well and did pull it off; however, I did get a bit fed up with her voice after a while!! The chemistry between Walter and the possessed Olivia was also great viewing. Walter just turned into a giddy child again, playing around with his best mate ‘Belly’!!

The two universes also give Noble the opportunity to display his amazing range! In the parallel universe, “Walternate” is authoritative, powerful and commanding, and downright frightening in some places, who Walter may have been if it wasn’t for his blind ambition, his obsession with tampering with Mother Nature, and the fact he removed the bits of his brain that contained the knowledge he so desires throughout the series.

What really is beautiful entertaining viewing in Season 3, for me, is how three relationships in particular evolve and develop: Walter and Peter; Peter and Olivia; and even more wonderful Walter and Astrid!!

For me, the relationship between Peter and Olivia was really painful to watch at times, particularly once Olivia had returned to her universe. She has to come to terms with the fact that the “other” Olivia has been living her life, and more importantly, has been with the man she desires. Olivia really makes Peter sweat, sometimes too harshly, but then how would any of us feel. A sense of betrayal but one that was certainly not intended!!!! A tricky one really! And you can not help but feel totally sorry for Peter, who is battling with so many emotions himself, not to mention his need and desire for Olivia. Jackson really plays his part beautifully and painfully, a lost man who wants to make things right. But behind all of this, there is a fantastic relationship with Peter and Olivia. In some ways it’s not a love relationship in terms of a sexual one, it’s far deeper than that.  I won’t go on too much about this, as I certainly wouldn’t want to spoil anything for you, particularly on the events that ultimately transpire.

Walter and Peter’s relationship really has developed into something wonderful, despite their circumstances. Walter really dotes on his son, and has to come to terms with the fact he can not control the events that are taking place, resulting in him falling apart at times throughout the season! This realisation is ever so prominent in the episode “The Firefly” where the ‘Observer’ tests Walter to see if he would let go of his son when the time called for it! On the other side of things, Walter and Peter do really have quite a special, understanding relationship, particularly on Peter’s part!! I mean how many of us would accept that on Tuesday’s; Dad walks around the house naked!!

Finally, I absolutely love Walter and Astrid’s relationship. Particularly the many mistaken names he has called her, some of which are: Asterisk, Astro, Asteroid, Astringent, Aspirin and …. Ostrich!!! They really are a bit of a double act at times, as Astrid has learned to accept Walter’s ways, but also you can see she deeply cares for Walter, and vice versa.

Other favourites also really deliver in this season. The wonderful Broyles is still on form with his alto voice (it still cracks me up to hear him say ‘Dunham’ so deliberately and with such intent!!) And there are many cameos such as Christopher Lloyd, Jorge Garcia (Hurley, from Lost!!!!), Brad Dourif, and of course, not forgetting Leonard Nimoy as William Bell, all delivering fantastic performances donning the weird and strange!!

I have been totally impressed with this season and I can only urge you to watch it immediately. The makers of the show have been so inventive and experimental with some of the scenes, the effects are fantastic, and there is even an episode which is 90% animated!!!! Bring on Season 4!!!

By Kirsty Wavish



  1. Really good review to what is one of the best shows on the box!

    I loved the cartoon episode, it was surreal, totally unexpected and fitted the enitre originality theme of the show!

    My memory of this show is the episode in which Walter is speaking to Olivia while naked, and tells her to put a pair of slippers on!

    For some strange reason that really made me laugh out loud! 😀

  2. Really this is an awesome story about eccentric scientist Walter Bishop, and the continued developing of relationships between the characters. I appreciate this movie. Thanks dude 🙂

  3. I watched previous two seasons of the Fringe. I enjoyed it. I hope this series will fantastic too. Thanks a lot for giving out the post 🙂

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