For those who aren’t familiar with “Fringe,” which is sadly a great many people, it’s officially time to catch up — except you can skip the first season. “Fringe” has recently centered around the idea of parallel universes — mostly like our reality, but with some key, dangerous differences.

“Fringe” season three

“The Plateau”
Fox

The third season’s third episode, “The Plateau,” continues this season’s innovative trend of alternating between universes with each episode. It benefits from taking place in the alternate world. The stories from “over there” have the opportunity to explore all new kinds of impossible, and “The Plateau” embraced that with a plot centering on medical science yet for this world.

Detractors may argue that “Fringe” is milking the alternate universe for more than it’s worth, but that’s far, far better than downplaying it. The writers have crafted a world so subtly, coolly different from our own that even an episode of the alternate universe’s evening news would be incredibly captivating.

The actors also now get to show new sides to their old characters. One of the greatest strengths of “The Plateau” is that it finally put the alternate Fringe Division into a routine, letting the actors fully embrace their new personas.

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