Fringe Recap: “A Better Human Being,” An Awful Episode

Ok, I guess they can’t all be winners.  This week’s Fringe outing, “A Better Human Being,” was so very dull. Peter was wigged out by 3livia channeling Olivia, and an old mad scientist had been experimenting on a crop of in vitro babies using his own genetic material, creating a murderous hive mind bent on protecting itself from being exposed.

We saw a young man, Sean, in a mental institution who appeared to be directing a murder, but later discovered that he was merely experiencing the whole incident psychically.  Dr. Frank, the scientist who created him and his half-brothers was attempting to come clean to reporters about his experiments, and they weren’t about to be exposed to the public. Dr. Frank(enstein – I see what you did there, writers) died at their hands and Sean could no longer hear the hive mind, either being shut out on purpose for his betrayal or because their link – their father – was now dead.  It never really was explained and I frankly didn’t care.  Weak story, if you ask me, and taking away from the more disturbing and important matter at hand: 3livia’s loss of identity as her memories were slowly replaced by those of our Olivia.

Walter popped 3livia into the brain scan machine, but all her brain waves looked normal.  She did, however, have Cortexiphan in her system, which was not really shocking since Nina’s been injecting her with something for weeks now. Not-really-a-mystery solved, I suppose. I did like that Walter and Lincoln didn’t allow Nina to make any phone calls before she took them straight to the Massive Dynamic vault, where Walter tasted (ew) the vials and discovered there was no Cortexiphan in there at all. We flashed on over to Peter and 3livia, stopped at a gas station, mackin’ it in the front seat. So what if Peter has fallen into this not-my-Olivia trap before!  He insists it’s her this time. To which I say: you stupid, boy! I love you, but you are being dumb. 3livia wanders inside to use the ladies room and does not return. Peter starts freaking out and we cut to 3livia, tied to a chair in a basement with none other than Nina.  This leads me to ask: which Nina?  Is this the same Nina we just saw, lying her ass off to Walter at Massive D headquarters? Something tells me not, but it could have been. We didn’t get a sense of any time passing, however. Shapeshifter Nina?  Or is this good Nina, locked up and shapeshifter Nina has taken her place?  I’m sure David Robert Jones has them. This kidnapping should have happened halfway through the episode, then we could have gotten some useful information as Peter fights to find Olivia.  But no, we must waste an hour on hive mentality instead of continuing the kick-ass awesomeness of the last few weeks. If this is indeed the last season of Fringe we are getting, I am annoyed to be wasting any bit of time at all.

Slusho sighting!  This Abrahms-verse inside joke might be the only good thing about this ep.

Glyph code: HENRY.  The Over There cab driver of awesome, and the name of Fauxlivia and Peter’s baby. Oh sweet strawberry Poptarts, now what?  Not the baby again! I am disgruntled with Fringe this week.

Episode rating: 3 Red Vines. And I’m being really generous.

Next week’s “The End of All Things” looks back on track, busting with Observers, Peter fighting for his lady love, shenangans with Nina and DRJones, and other insanity!  I only wish this week’s could have been better.

Written by: Amy Imhoff

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