Fringe Season 2, Episode 6: "Earthling" - Review

It's a Broyles episode, hooray! Our favorite stone-faced FBI badass finally gets a story of his own, and we get to see a lot of interesting new aspects of the character. But, unfortunately, the story that serves as the vehicle for these revelations is kind of dull, and it doesn't quite measure up to the kind of captivating standalone episodes we've seen from Fringe before.

The episode starts off on a bittersweet note, with a man surprising his wife on their anniversary. Then a shadowy figure appears, and turns the poor dude to ash. It's not a particularly exciting opening (especially since the preview trailers kind of already gave up this part of the story), but it's still enough to pique interest. The effects team did great work on the CG and the props in this one, and the deconstructed dust bodies are wonderfully done.

Then we get into the first of many scenes with Phillip Broyles, starting with a miming game with a kid in the restaurant. It's a remarkable change of scenery for Broyles, and serves as a poignant reminder that this grim, formidable character actually has a few kids of his own. Lance Reddick does a superb job, as he always does, and it's remarkable how much "presence" he has on the screen. In the scene in the restaurant, he's relaxed and playful, and then turns around and looks so fierce and intimidating in the later scenes.

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