I’ll admit it — after weeks of Lori making me watch the Fox sci-fi drama Fringe, I’m officially hooked. And no, not because of the lesbian kissing in this week’s episode, but because I’m fascinated by Australian actress Anna Torv (whom many of you non-Fringe fans know as Shelley Conn‘s lesbian lover on the first season of Mistresses).
Anna (and her Fringe character Olivia) has an appealing ineffable quality I can’t quite figure out. And I love that about her.
Here’s what happened on Fringe this week: Torv’s Agent Olivia Dunham engaged in some same-sex activity while physically linked to the mind of a man named Nick whom Olivia was paired with in a clinical trial as a child. (Follow that?)
Both were given an experimental drug as children that is now having the unfortunate side effect of making Nick’s moods contagious — literally — which is translating into everyone around him killing themselves, since he’s always contemplating suicide.
To track Nick and stop him from (unintentionally) killing again, Olivia goes under sedation and temporarily melds with his mind — just as he enters a strip club and seduces one of the strippers, of course.
Since Nick’s sexual excitement is contagious, the stripper breaks the “no touching!” rule of strip clubs and Arrested Development fans everywhere, and kisses him — I mean her — and then leaves with him/her.
After this scene, you see Olivia semi-sedated on the table in the lab, in the middle of having sex with the stripper. You don’t see the scene, you just um, hear it, through Olivia. (Humorously, it’s Astrid, played by out actress Jasika Nicole, who first catches on to why Olivia’s writhing around on the table).
I’m sure it’s not coincidental that the writers chose this scene in which to have Olivia become Nick (is it May sweeps already?), and yes, it’s obviously designed to titillate the audience, but this is offset by the fact that the scene actually feels very organic to the plot (unlike, say, random Goth women hooking up in a morgue on Life). And in a nice change, Fox didn’t use the kiss in the promos as bait.
Plus, Anna Torv kissing a woman is almost always a good thing. Just watching the way she walks into the strip club “as a man” is amusing (and sexy) — and the audience’s first tip-off that something isn’t quite right, since Olivia doesn’t usually walk that way. (But she should!)
Watch the scene here:
(We’re not suggesting you visit this guy’s website to see the whole thing — that’s pretty much the whole kiss.)
Overall, I thought it was a very good Fringe episode. There’s lots of the show’s trademark quirky humor; a single-episode mystery to solve that ties into the overarching one; Pacey rolling his eyes at his dad; and (the best part of the show) a focus on Anna Torv’s character, who remains an enjoyable puzzle to be solved.
Or maybe I’ve just been spending too much time in the lab with the cast of Fringe. What does everyone else think about the show and Anna/Olivia?