This has to be one of craziest episodes Fringe has ever produced, and that's saying something for this show! "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide" (hereafter "LSD") was a bizarre cocktail of Inception and The Matrix, partly told in an animated style akin to Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly. The storyline itself was very simple and didn't deserve this kind of expensive attention, although a part of me's happy there's a mainstream TV show prepared to take creative risks -- reminding me of how The X Files used to deliver episodes built around gimmicks (monochrome horror homage "The Post-Modern Prometheus", the uninterrupted takes of Rope-esque "Triangle".) Unfortunately, those episodes told compelling stories in their own right, whereas "LSD" was just an hour of weird, often distracting, nonsense. Perhaps that was intentional, given the drug taking...
As a playful exercise in giving audiences something unexpected and fun, "LSD" was a success. I certainly didn't expect the show to produce a credible animated special under the constraints of network television (how long has this episode been in production?), but when you take away the nifty presentation this episode wasn't anything very special. In fact, it was a disappointing conclusion of William Bell's storyline that didn't even give him a final scene to match his live-action "death" in season 3's finale.
A memorable episode, but only visually, as there was very little to get stuck into emotionally and intellectually. Frankly, it was an anti-climactic resolution of Bell's story that confirmed the idea of his beyond-the-grave return was a wasted opportunity. Hopefully the remainder of season 3 will return to the issues with the alternate universe that were so rudely interrupted by Bell's pointless encore.
- I liked the moment when Peter saw Nina's (Blair Brown) robotic arm, which came as a surprise to him. If memory serves me, Peter is unaware of Nina's prosthesis in the real world, so perhaps assumes this was just a quirk of Olivia's mindscape?
- Who is the strange man in the airship who attacked them, later identified by Olivia only as someone she believes is going to kill her? Any theories?