A rather bizarre episode this, as it is largely throw-away, not altogether convincing in terms of how it all happens but ultimately delivers an answer to a question and simultaneously set-up the two-part season finale - Walternate is Mr Secretary.
We don’t know what he is Mr Secretary of, though, not yet. I suspect the larger organisation of which he is evidently a key part will become clear in due course, but it’s unlikely to be a focus this season. Whatever he is, his arrival is a wonderful thing for a couple of reasons; seeing the wonderful John Noble extend his range to that of a man who has not spent 20-odd years in a mental hospital, one who is likely to be in immense control of himself and, it would seem, the greater group as well as revealing which way he will go now he’s found Peter, and by extension our Walter. All logic indicates he’ll be a massively annoyed man who despises our Walter for what he did – namely kidnapping his son. But, remember, he also saved his life, and stranger things have happened in Fringe than the two Walters befriending one another and teaming up to do good for both universes, and maybe going head to head with Massive Dynamic. It’s unlikely, for sure, but either path would yield an interesting narrative.
As I’ve mentioned Massive Dynamic it seems appropriate to bring William Bell into this. He has to appear in the next pair of episodes. How much does he know about any of the Walter / Walternate dimension hopping, Peter-napping and the like? Is he for or against one in particular? Has he been helping Walternate get over to our world so he himself can get back – or has he been helping him despite knowing how to get back? Are there two Bellys? Have they met? An awful lot of questions, I know, but important considering one or more Billy Bells must be involved in any Walter vs. Walternate showdown.
How will Peter react to coming face to face with his real father? I’d assume fantastically in the first instance, but Walternate may be an evil and twisted man. Will he really just want to know about his Mother, something he hasn’t had in our world for many years, and who must have had the most awful time since the night her Peter was taken by ‘her Walter’?
All of the above should become clearer before the end of season 2. What won’t ever become clear is quite how some dairy farm boy was able to skilfully operate on various females to remove the temporal lobe in the exact same way we’d seen those from the other side do and not be linked to our visiting friends despite Peter’s belief of this throughout 92.3% of this episode. Not a major gripe really as it’s not part of the mythology or anything, but a bit shoddy compared to the satisfyingly high standards set by the Fringe team in the past few months.
I need to mention the lead role Martha Plimpton had to play here, too. She played the Noyo county Sheriff and despite Andi being my very favourite Goonie when an impressionable young lad, any Goonie is great to see these days. Her (pen’s) slogan in this episode was ‘Find the crack’, relating to the fact that wherever darkness is there’s got to be a crack into which light can shine (metaphorically relevant to young Peter who’s obviously struggling given his recent discovery).
As you can guess from the rest of this review, it’s all about the next episode. This was very much filler with a decent line in entertainment, a nice finish and not much else in total. Exciting times ahead though...