In the midseason end “Wallflower,” the Fringe team is on the hunt for an invisible man as Agent Lee comes to grips with his new assignment at Fringe division and the insanity that comes with it.
“Wallflower” is quite simply, a return to Fringe’s episodic “freak a week” format with the funny twist that a main character isn’t part of the actual team this time around. Peter continues his semi exile as the “Fringe event” in himself and has no real play in the episode. Rather, we see that Olivia and Lincoln seem to make a good team as new partners, despite Lee’s struggles to cope with the strange things he has seen.
The episode as a whole references a lot of the mental stress that working at Fringe has on its agents. Astrid has to maintain time with the FBI shrink or else “her brain would explode,” and Olivia has constant migraines and the inability to sleep. With Lee as an outsider thrown into this world without the slow ramp-up of the past three years, his stress is a refreshing look as a fresh pair of eyes into the world of the strange and weird.
There was a feeling of complacency with “oh it’s another weird event” while Olivia was with Peter. The audience though, can more relate to Lee as he goes though this new world of science and can reconcile their feelings of confusion the same way Lee must after every case.
“Wallflower” also deals with the concept of existence, and the need of people to not feel invisible. Of course Fringe takes this to the extreme by providing an antagonist who actually was invisible his whole life and whose goal is to be noticed by people, proving he exists.
It’s a feeling that many people out in the world might have. What makes us exist in the world. Is it the fact that we live and breathe, or is it the interactions we have with each other on a personal level. If we send all of our life hidden against the wall without notice, can we truly say we have existed at all?
It was a quiet end to the first part of this season, with a minor cliffhanger at the end. I’m surprised they used an episodic episode to end this part of the run, but overall it was a decent episode. Fringe returns January 13, 2012.
- Walter’s rats are named John and Yoko…
- “Leprechauns are possible”
- “Tell Agent Broyles that science has no price tag.”
- That was a pretty roundabout way to ask out Agent Lee.