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Fringe Season 3, Episode 13

Season 3, Episode 13

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  • Liane Hentscher/FOX
  • COME OUT WITH YOUR MANDIBLES UP: Anna Torv and Seth Gable

“Fringe” goes back “over there,” to the alternate Earth home of Walternate, Fauxilivia and the gang with the new episode, “Immortality.” One of the most fascinating things about the other Earth is the way the damage wrought by Walter’s old experiments has changed American culture in ways both drastic (everyone carries “Show Me” I.D. cards) and subtle (with coffee a global luxury, tea shops serve as the equivalent to Starbucks).

Something that always nagged me about the America of “24” and the England of “Doctor Who,” to pick two loosely comparable shows, is that the countries look basically like their real-life counterparts. But if the U.S. suffered a 911-scale terrorist event on an annual basis, or London was the epicenter for frequent, failed alien invasions, the sociopolitical structure would be wildly different, even though people would still have jobs, go on dates, etc.

“Immortality” establishes that “over there” isn’t just an evil version of our world, like “Star Trek’s” mirror universes where everyone has a bad, goateed alter ego. Walternate, for instance, has seemed utterly ruthless in seeking the return of Peter Bishop and striking back against our world (and he’s got a legitimate beef with our universe, with the whole kidnapping and holes-in-space thing).