This post contains spoilers for the 12/9 episode of Fringe: Marionette.
I'm a huge fan of Fringe. While they have filler episodes here and there, the plot and character arcs are following what I think (and hope) is a planned series. The 12/9 episode showed the main character, Olivia, dealing with the fallout caused by her lookalike from an alternate universe impersonating her for weeks. Olivia's final scene of the episode was tragic and delivered on all the points I wanted it to deliver on. However, Olivia is an FBI agent so she was dealing with FBI stuff along the way.
In "Marionette", a brilliant man collects organs to reanimate Amanda, a young woman who killed herself. They were patients and friends while receiving treatment for depression. He has her body completely preserved because of being a genius scientist guy, and he puts all of her previously donated organs and eyes (after taking them back from the people who received the donations. Yep.) back in place. He reanimates her, finds out reanimating people is a totally stupid idea, and tells Olivia he wanted to bring her back because "she made a mistake. I just wanted her to live her life."
Between putting the organs in place and pushing the reanimation button, he places Amanda in a wheelchair and ties straps to her limbs. She is dressed in a tutu and pointe shoes. In life, Amanda loved performing ballet. So scientist man goes to a set of levers, and begins to pull them while a piece of instrumental music plays over the scene. The levers control the straps attached to her limbs, which pull her out of the wheelchair and into a series of ballet movements that bring tears to the crazy man's eyes. It was without a doubt the creepiest thing I have ever witnessed. And it was completely gratuitous.
There was nothing in the first 3/4ths of the episode to suggest crazy man was channeling the murderer from The Cell. Up until that moment he seemed well intentioned despite being nuts. Nothing suggested he was a guy who got off on dressing a girl up and forcing her to put on a performance for him. Portraying a woman controlled by a man through the use of straps and levers opens a disturbing can of non-consent. A can the episode drops on us and doesn't explore. Instead of this gratuitous scene, good writing would have sufficed. The episode also doesn't bother exploring the self-righteous declaration that a person who committed suicide "made a mistake." It was obvious the man thought Amanda would want to come back from the dead if she had the choice. There could have been a scene in which Olivia questions his position, makes him answer for his selfishness. Instead, we get a poor attempt at making him sympathetic because he realized How Wrong He Was when he looked into Amanda's eyes. That line was a set-up for Olivia admitting she isn't okay with the fact that her impersonator slept with the man she loves, and though he looked into her eyes, never knew the difference. Important, but the parallel between the inability to reanimate and inability to fully reclaim one's identity after it has been stolen wasn't fleshed out enough and became overshadowed by the chase for a scary organ thief. Fringe seriously missed an opportunity for good writing and storytelling.
The episode did have some shining moments, though, having to do with personal lives of the characters. This is especially true for Broyles who remains the most inscrutable character on the show. I loved seeing him thinking over the life his alternate universe self was able to have that he could not have himself.