This weeks starts out kind of odd but builds up nicely to a shocking conclusion.  Shocking because any true soap fan would have seen it coming a mile away.  The writers are definitely good at keeping you sidetracked with what looks like a conventional X-Files episode, while simultaneously building up to what’s really important to them (and us). 

Last week we were promised in the preview that we’d get a “can’t miss” episode, but the first half plays out kind of slow and very episode-of-the-week-ish.  The only catch is we are back in the Altiverse and faux-cused on Faux-livia (See what I did there?  Clever huh?  Sorry).  Anyway, apparently she is back to normal and her hot boyfriend (introduced a while back) is back in town and ready to get. it. on.  She’s a bit hesitant, and gives him numerous signs and looks that things aren’t perfect, but he’s a guy and he’s very horny, so he chooses to ignore them to get some action.  Everyone knows on this series who is going to put out and who isn’t.

Meanwhile, the Alt-Fringe team gets a case involving some bioterrorist dude who infects people with some disgusting beetle bug that we get lots of gross special effects from.  Bugs crawling all over, out of peoples’ noses, etc.  Since Alt-Broyles is dead, the goofy burned boy (let’s call him Human Torched) has apparently taken his place as boss.  Why on earth didn’t they pick Alvarez (I mean Charlie) to do the job, or perhaps get someone who looks like they had not just gone through puberty?  Even Fauxlivia looks like the more experienced between the 2.  I guess being burned alive and surviving it gets you an easy promotion.  Something to remember in this bad economy. 

In between the craziness we get a cut to Walternate talking to his wife, played by the lovely and ever exotic Joan Chen.  And by lovely, I mean she is a freaking mutant who apparently does not age.  She looks exactly the way I remembered her from around 20 years ago, luminous and almost glowing with classic Asian beauty.  I kept staring at the screen and looking for wrinkles or some sign she was not a lizard with human skin painted on.  Walternate meanwhile looks like a sharpei, with enough wrinkles to scare anyone into submission.  Anyway, Joan yammers on about how awesome he is, and he whines about not wanting to sacrifice any children even for the greater good.  That’s the only line he’s drawn, which kind of doesn’t make sense when the *fate of the universe* is at stake and he’s previously been shown to be willing to make any sacrifice.  It’s all in all a bizarre, needless (well not needless as I’m sure they are foreshadowing “something”) and creepy scene.  I love Joan but have no idea why she would play this role because seeing her in bed with him gave me the heebee jeebees.

Anyway, the creepy bio guy has some aspiration to resurrect some long forgotten species of beetle, and thus achieve immortality in the annals of science, yada yada yada.  To do so he just needs to perfect his bugs to be more resilient, and a couple human hosts to get the party started.  Really no one cares about this, because as already revealed, the only thing important to us now is the soap opera plot.  The gross effects make for a good diversion though.  Bio guy realizes all of this too so he knocks Fauxlivia unconscious and seals Human Torched in a refrigerator.  Irony much?  We then see her coming to and drinking the same water he used to infect his previous victims.  Uh oh, this is really bad news for our spunky heroine.

Now by the second half I started wondering exactly what was going to be so special about this episode.  I figured someone important to the main plotline was probably going to die and for a moment I wondered if they’d really put their twist on and kill Fauxlivia.  Too bold.  Or maybe have to freeze her in some stasis to save her life from the crazy beetles.  Too predictable.  Instead the writers go full-soap, revealing Fauxlivia was never infected and instead that she is – wait for it – preggers!!!  I have to say I was totally ashamed at myself for not figuring this out.  I’ve seen dozens of Chinese soaps where I was able to predict who was going to get pregnant and when.  But here I didn’t catch on until I saw the ultrasound and realized where they were going.  Even then I thought maybe the baby would be in jeopardy from the beetles, but no such luck.

In a conventional soap I suppose this would just be a standard bump in the road.  But on Fringe it’s a masterful twist to the core story.  Fauxlivia eventually admits she still loves Pacey, breaking the heart of the beau who is trying to propose to her, and now she is pregnant with Pacey’s baby.  Wow.  How can he not choose the Altiverse now?  Is he willing to kill off his gal and his own baby?  AND Joan Chen?  Things are not looking good for our Olivia, or our sad reality.  It’s hard enough to compete with a smilier, happier, friendlier, and sluttier version of yourself.  And now there’s a baby as well?  Damn, I’m booking a zeppelin to the Altiverse NOW.

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