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Fringe:" Season 3 Episode 11"

Episode 11

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Joshua Jackson can’t help the way he looks. Just because he grow some scraggly chin-stubble, that doesn’t mean the former "Dawson's Creek" star looks anything less than apple-pie wholesome. A challenge during “Fringe’s” first season came from the disparity between Jackson’s Opie Cunningham screen presence and the writer’s conception of Peter Bishop as a con man and globetrotting troubleshooter (before he became a consultant with Fringe Division, that is). I always felt that the writers envisioned Peter Bishop as being played by someone like Josh Holloway, a.k.a. Sawyer on “Lost.” It’s like he’s a bad boy character, only Jackson makes us think “boy” more than “bad.”

The most interesting things about the new episode, “Reciprocity,” hinge on the evolution of Peter as a character, and how Jackson plays the role. Otherwise, the story felt like the kind of plot "Fringe" (and similar TV series) have done before.

Peter arrives home in the middle of the night, but tells Walter than he never left, a plot point for later on. Shortly thereafter Fringe Division gathers in a mysterious warehouse/high-tech facility to see that Massive Dynamic has mostly assembled the Doomsday Machine. With computer stations and bright lights gathered around a central point, the set evokes similar locations in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Stargate. The eggheads don't know to make the gizmo work but — whoops! — it turns on with ominous hums and flickering lights, simultaneous with Peter getting a nosebleed. Did Peter’s presence boot it up? (With its metal legs, the Doomsday Machine reminds me of the Omnidroid from The Incredibles.)