Fringe has gone from a mediocre reinvention of X-Files to a popular show with its own vision. Anna Torv, often questionable as both a female lead and as a depiction of a top FBI agent, has also come a long way.

I still can’t make myself care very much about this show, but “Olivia” gave us a fairly strong season premiere.

The “fringe” science (the explanation for memory transfer was unnecessary and beyond ridiculous) and the underlying premise (alternate universe with a different history and culture, but the exact same people) remain absurd, but this episode features a strong opening sequence, good pacing, and a decent handling of Olivia’s identity dilemma. John Noble remains the show’s strongest asset, both as the familiar mad scientist and the evil Walternate.

-Will the two Olivias replace each other, in intent as well as addresses?
-(When) will the two sides work together against the greater enemy?
-Would Dogs make you laugh, make you cry?
-When will Olivia’s fellow agents realize they’re being played, too?
-What role will our cabbie-cum-poster-boy-for-Stockholm Syndrome play?
-Should we post discussions for The Big Bang Theory, which also had its season premiere last night?
-What do the rest of you think?