The conclusion of this week’s Fringe — and the remarkable amount of information crammed into the coming attractions for next week’s season finale — was so startling, it’s difficult to regroup and pull back. But we have to take the full measure of “The Last Sam Weiss” to truly appreciate its shocker ending.
Last week’s episode “6:02 AM EST” did a number of surprising things in matters of both plot (the revelation that Walternate could start the doomsday machine from his universe; Nina explaining more of what she knew about the imminent doomsday, via Sam Weiss, to Olivia) and pace (the quick rejection of Peter by the machine, after such a dramatic build-up, was so clever I laughed aloud at its blunt wit; the way the hour made room for Walter to pray on his newfound, “White Tulip” inspired faith was daring and moving). And here let me pause and apologize to you for not writing a recap of “6:02 AM EST”; I was out of the country — believe me, it felt like a third alt-universe there.
This week’s Fringe was equally surprising in its plotting and pacing, but not, by now, in the extraordinary degree of intense emotion. As I’ve said before, one big reason Fringe can stand with the great sci-fi and fantasy shows is the way it invests these frequently cold, pessimistic genres with warmth and optimism. The hour began by lighting a fire in the sky (in the form of “dry lightning storms” sparked by the alt-universe’s remote machine ignition) and by lighting a fire under Sam Weiss: Kevin Corrigan and Anna Torv made a terrific pair, early on, chasing after “the key,” “the crowbar,” that would unlock secrets to the machine that had repelled Peter and landed him in the hospital.
It was fun to learn that generations of Sam Weisses have possessed and increased the First People-based knowledge, and this week, the current, “last” Sam was shaken out of his usual bowling-alley cocksureness. (Although his bowling skills came in handy during a ridiculously funny, Indiana Jonesy moment when he wedged a large museum vase under a closing gate to enable the pair’s freedom.) He was as startled as Olivia was to discover that our O., not a piece of tech, was the crowbar — it was her powers of telekinesis that could override the pre-programmed machine’s defense mechanisms. She was also able to harness her abilities to use the Selectric 251 typewriter. (The series-recurring “Be a better man than your father” popped into her head as the test phrase to type.) (more…)
Anna was listed at #29 of 190 women. To see who else is on the list click here