Fringe: "What Lies Below" Review Season 2, Episode 13

I won't even try to hide my disappointment in this episode. I'll come right out and say that I found this story astoundingly average. Despite previews that promised an infection-crazed Peter in hot conflict with Olivia, the vast majority of this episode was predictable, and lacking much of the quintessential storytelling elements that, once upon a time, made this one of the best shows on TV.

This episode starts off with a weird event, as all Fringe episodes do. Some sick dude shows up at a company and hacks up some really nasty looking blood mist. This all leads to a quarantine situation in the building, which provides all the drama for the story, the catch being that once Peter and Olivia arrive at the scene, they become part of the quarantine.

As usual, John Noble holds things together, and is once again pitch perfect as Walter. Walter's warning to the little kids at the science center is worth a few laughs, is quite foreboding, and applies to his own situation of course. Later on, he wrestles with CDC bureaucrats and the pathogen that threatens to take his son away from him...again. The setup could have delivered a very interesting story that would have broken new ground in the painfully drawn-out "Walter kidnapped a Peter from another universe" storyline. Or, it could have been a good chance for Joshua Jackson to really explore darker parts of his character. Instead, we got a simple bio-threat procedural, and while it is kind of fun to see Walter taking an active role and solving a case with that big brain of his, there's just not enough to move this story past mediocrity.

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