Episode Reviews

Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?

We return back to our world to find Altlivia straining herself to maintain her cover among the team as she prevents the team from recovering data from a shape-shifter.

"Walter inspects the machine brain"

In tonight’s last Fringe before we go on hiatus for a few weeks, we return back to our world to find Altlivia straining herself to maintain her cover among the team while fighting her natural human compassion which is starting to take a toll on her emotions.

In “Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?”, we find out a lot more about our shape-shifting spies from the other side. They’ve been around for some time, taking up positions in many high profile places including a US Senator’s seat. The shape-shifters are humanoids sent over by the other side to infiltrate our society by killing someone and taking their form, memories, and personality. Normally, they are emotionless and are designed to follow orders, but like the namesake of the episode, some of them have started to gain emotional attachments to their surroundings. As Walter puts it, they’ve adapted so well to their victim’s personality that they have even recreated the same emotional attachments.

After an accident, one of these humanoids, Senator Van Horn, dies, and the Fringe team has to go to work to recover the data. At the same time though, we see Altlivia trying to stop the team from actually recovering the data which would obviously expose her as a double agent.

It was a great episode with plenty of suspense as we the viewers know the truth about Altlivia, and the writers kept us on the edge of our seats the whole time as Peter inches closer and closer to a realization that this is a different Olivia. Despite that though, we end up with the classic tragedy of mistaken identity as Peter ends up in bed with the wrong Olivia. I can’t wait to see the next set of episodes when Fringe returns in a few weeks.

Other observations

  • Altlivia is terrible at identifying people and their motives, something a trained FBI agent would likely be able to do.
  • Walter spends much of the episode on LSD.
  • “I do some of my finest work self medicated.” – Walter
  • Walter inputs “Astro Farnsworth” into the system.
  • “You just called me Astrid! You never get my name right.”
    “Must be the LSD”
  • Hat-makers in the 19th century used mercury to flatten the brims, causing them to go mad, hence the term “Mad Hatter”
  • The shape-shifter’s main memory core is located in it’s butt, like a stegosaurus.
  • Peter has known something has been off ever since they got back, and feels like Olivia is a different person, but he’s been ignoring.
  • The episode’s namesake comes from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K Dick.

By Kien Tran

Based in Dallas, Texas, Kien Tran is an avid television enthusiast. After spending hundreds of hours wasting away on a couch, he decided to actually do something creative with his hobby and created this very blog.

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