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Fringe:" Season 3 Episode 9"

Episode 9

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  • Courtesy of Fox
  • DOES MICHAEL C. HALL HAVE AN ALIBI? Joshua Jackson on "Fringe"

In its third, potentially final season, “Fringe” hasn’t just honed a rich, intriguing sci-fi/horror/spy narrative. It’s also become a surprisingly and consistently well-acted show as well. John Noble delivered a rich performance as mentally discombobulated Walter Bishop from the very beginning, but Torv initially proved overly restrained as by-the-book FBI agent Olivia Dunham, and Joshua Jackson proved miscast as that ethically sketchy international man of mystery, Peter Bishop.

The leads all came into their own by the end of the second season, with Torv and Jackson increasingly effective at carrying the weight of their characters deeply-seeded secrets, going back to childhood betrayals. Even without the Fauxlivia romantic triangle, Torv and Jackson have plenty of subtext to draw on with the Olivia-Peter relationship beyond standard-issue will-they-or-won't-they sexual tension. Both bring their A-game to "Marionette," which performs triage on their damaged relationship in the midst of a deliciously sick “X-Files”-style medical mystery.

The fringe case begins with sinister commuters — lots of sinister commuters on this show — and we see a hapless guy tagged by the umbrella of his stalker, whose name we’ll discover is Russell Barrett. (This form of attack may footnote the real-life “umbrella” assassination of Georgi Markov.) Barrett trusses up victims in plastic, very reminiscent of “Dexter’s” m.o., but apologies and calls 911 for his victim. The paramedics arrive and discover that the victim's heart is missing — but he's still alive: “Don’t let me die!”