'Fringe' recap: A 'Marionette' and a strawberry milk shake with extra whipped cream

Knowing that this was the first Fringe after the alternating alternate-universe arc and the last before a winter break placed quite a burden on this week’s episode, entitled "Marionette." But by now, the series is so sure of its tone, its surging story-telling power, that it more than met its challenges. The fringe-science case was a resonant dilly: A man is harvesting the donated organs of a dead woman he loved/loves, hoping to put her together,Franken-style, and reanimate her. In the same way as this harvester, Fringe has become exhilaratingly fearless about snatching up bits from literature, movies, pop and high culture, brazenly acknowledging their provenance, and putting them together in a unique way.

"Marionette" had a typically fine pre-credit jolt — the image of a man whose heart had been removed still alive and imploring, "Don’t let me die!" But the hour proceeded to top itself for such fun at the half-hour mark, with a shock-cut of a man with no eyes whimpering, "Please help me." (Is Fringe doing everything good in pairs now?) Olivia was back — back at work too soon, Broyles thought, and as it turned out, he was probably right, even though he ended up quickly reinstating her.

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