TV Review: Fringe 4.9, 'Enemy of My Enemy'

This weeks Fringe sees both universes ultimately join forces to battle the ever-devious David Robert Jones...

rating: 4

This weeks Fringe sees both universes ultimately join forces to battle the ever-devious David Robert Jones, the series most enjoyable villain, played to perfection by the resplendent Jared Harris. But first a quick recap: Peter (Joshua Jackson), who is stuck in an alternate timeline in which neither universe is his own, has crossed over to the other side to enlist the help of the not-so-evil Walternate (John Noble). This plotline gets benched for the majority of the episode though, because of the more imminent threat of Jones. Fauxlivia (Anna Torv) and Alt-Lincoln (Seth Gabel) bring Jones in, who immediately delivers orders to his captors during the interrogation, just as he did in the good old days of Season 1. (Broyles) €œBefore we let you go? Of course, anything else you want while we€™re at it?€ (Jones) €œUm, I wouldn€™t mind a cup of tea!€ Spoilers Follow: Broyles (Lance Reddick) is of course working for Jones, as we discovered at the end of the last episode, so the interrogation is merely a formality for them. That is until Peter shakes things up a bit. Definitely the highlight of the episode, Peter catches Jones of guard with his intimate knowledge of Jones€™ facial scarring. Evidently this Jones has been able to heal himself after teleporting out of the Frankfurt prison, and then succeeded in crossing universes. Since Peter never existed as an adult in this timeline until now, he was never there to stop Jones from crossing over as he did in the original timeline (Season 1 finale). Now this is were things get a little murky for me. Jones was able to cross over because Peter wasn€™t there to stop him. OK, that makes sense. But why does that mean the Fringe team never tried to stop him? In this timeline, it seems that Olivia and her Fringe team don€™t know of Jones either and yet we€™re constantly reminded that things in this timeline happened the same way as they did in the original one, except the things which were directly affected by Peter. They bring it up several times in this episode alone, where characters question Peter€™s knowledge of Jones movements and then accept his reasoning that he €œdid it before€. If we€™re to accept this, then we also have to believe that this Jones, like the previous, had a fetish for Olivia and would have involved her in his escape from prison just as he did in the original timeline. Peter or no Peter, Jones should have been a part of their past. But apparently not€ Then again, we know that Olivia in this timeline was never treated with Cortexiphan. So in fact things that don€™t directly involve Peter are also different. I might be getting a little pedantic about this, but it really annoys me when the writers establish one set of rules, and then change them when it helps them get out of finding another way to explain something. They establish that things in this timeline are different (absence of Cortexiphan, Olivia€™s history/relationship with Nina etc.) but then they revert that rule when they don€™t know how else to explain why Peter is able to so easily predict Jones€™ movements. It needs to be one way or the other, I€™m sorry but you can€™t have it both ways whenever it suits you. When people like me who obsess over these tiny details watch the show, it really stands out, and kind of ruins the experience. But enough of my ranting, back to the episode€ So Jones masterminds his release from captivity and promptly thwarts any attempts for Fringe Division to track him. For a brief moment we return to the Peter/Walternate subplot (it€™s really not a subplot since the overarching story is Peter€™s exit plan from this timeline but in this episode it is treated as such). Peter€™s Alter-mum (Orla Brady) suggests to Walternate that she may be able to help Peter, if he, as he confesses, cannot. Back at Fringe HQ, Peter and Astrid (Jasika Nicole) are going over the contents of the hard drive left by Dr. Fayette (revealed as a shapeshifter last week) and Peter, using his knowledge of the original Jones, assess that this Jones is going after the same thing; a mineral called amphilosite (Google doesn€™t know what this is, do you?). They deduce a location for the mineral based on the data off the hard drive but when they arrive, Jones is nowhere to be seen. Peter realises that Jones has tricked them and is mining the mineral in the other universe. This Jones seems to be able to universe hop like there€™s no tomorrow but as I recall, the old Jones could only use his device on €˜soft spots€™. Does that make the random park and then later the quarry where he crosses back soft spots? Or is that another detail I wasn€™t supposed to notice? There€™s another subplot scene where Alter-mum crosses over to convince Walter to help Peter. It€™s a rather touching scene, and it shows that both these versions of Walter seem to have more going on emotionally than the old Walters. After this it€™s promptly back to the action; Peter and Lincoln return to the Prime Universe and the chase resumes. The Fringe agents arrive at the quarry in force and there€™s a big gun fight against Jones€™ soldiers, although the only casualties appear to be one random FBI agent and that shapeshifter chic (classic death-acting). Jones escapes in his mineral truck through another portal and Olivia goes after him. A desperate Peter convinces her not to drive through as the portal will cut her in half and she brakes just in time. With all the excitement over we wrap up the episode with an almost friendly moment between Olivia and Peter, reminding us of what they once were; Walter agrees to help Peter return to his timeline; it is revealed that Nina, absent since we discovered she was drugging Olivia, is working with Jones and; the two universes make a formal alliance to stop Jones with Peter being their secret weapon. Another quick puzzler for you before I wrap this up: Jones clearly has a plan for Olivia as evident by his IM conversation with Nina, but that plan would have failed today had Peter, the variable Jones hadn€™t accounted for, not saved her life. Whhaaattt??? Despite a few minor plot inconsistencies, the episode follows strongly on from last weeks, but I mean really how could it not, since this was really a two part-episode. There was plenty of fast drama, action and intrigue, all the elements that do well in Fringe. I have to close by reiterating that this episode is made even greater by the presence of Jared Harris. I know it€™s a bit of a cliché to have the English villain in an American show, but he really is a spectacular actor and David Robert Jones is one of those great villains who clearly gets a great kick out of just being plain evil. Bravo Mr. Jones!
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