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In Praise of Fringe’s NewLivia

Let us not feel anger at those who didn’t watch last Friday’s Fringe. For while yes, they helped contribute to one of the show’s lowest Nielsens ever, they too deprived themselves of a showcase for Anna Torv’s latest iteration of her Agent Olivia Dunham. Call her NewLivia. And pity the fools who missed this standout episode.

Having already given us Original Recipe Olivia, the alt-world’s Bolivia (or Fauxlivia), Bolivia-As-Olivia and the Spock-possessed BelLivia, Torv is now up to her awesome in the fifth version of this complex Fringe Division dame: An Olivia who never knew Peter Bishop. An Olivia who offed her abusive stepfather. An Olivia with swagger. An Olivia we LOVE.

In the season’s second episode, fans got a buffet of bad-assery as NewLivia and Bolivia were forced to play nice together in order to catch a serial killer from Over There. Playing opposite herself in several scenes, Torv got to turn the lights up on the differences between these two women and develop sides to the Bishop-less version that — gasp! — made us possibly like her even more than the one we have spent the last three seasons with. She’s looser, funnier, more accessible and completely entertaining. So here’s hoping that she is also here to stay… especially once Peter returns and has to pick between the two Dunhams who loved him.

 

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