Image via WikipediaI saved this review for its own post for a couple of reasons. For one thing, Fringe is easily one of my favorite shows of all time due not only to the subject matter and the subtly-woven humor, but to the genius, magnificent writing the show constantly provides. For another thing, this particular episode, "Johari Window," shows a deep care for the story process that is difficult to find in any other show. The plot and the subplot in this episode are so intricately entwined that it's difficult to say where one begins and the other ends. As a matter of fact, the subplot is part of a larger arc that doesn't really end with this episode.
To say that Walter Bishop is shaken up from recent experiences (such as being kidnapped) would be an understatement. And who wouldn't be? Olivia comments that this is a sign that he's becoming more normal - less crazy. His subplot is his journey through his mounting fears and into a state of bravery.
The main plot, which I always tend to find less interesting, is a small-town cover-up in which people seem to be transforming from normal to deformed. To get any deeper into that would mean delving into spoiler territory, but I can say that the investigation leads more deeply into Walter's past than he first thought it might.
There are clues in the beginning that are called back near the end and there are themes that are called on from the rest of the series. This episode develops Walter's character so beautifully that I'm really not sure how to describe it. Walter's mental condition has become clearer and clearer as he seems to be coming out of it and back into the land of the sane. Well... sane, but still eccentric. If you haven't been watching Fringe from the beginning there's a lot here that you might miss, but there's still a great plot to follow in the main story. If you have been following, this is a masterpiece of an episode. It's well worth catching up on every other episode just because of this one.