Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fringe Episode 4.03 (Alone in the World)

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

I really, really loved this episode of FRINGE titled "Alone in the World."  It certainly didn’t hurt that David Fury wrote the episode and he wrote some of my favorite episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Some thoughts: 
- Walter completely and absolutely broke my heart during this episode.  His fears of being sent back to St. Claire’s were very legitimate and I could really understand his fear.  That scene where he was talking to Agent Broyles and Astrid when the body is first brought in is heart breaking and absolutely unbelievable.  He is clearly suffering so much as he tries to block out Peter’s voice that is calling to him.  Agent Broyles’ and Astrid’s reactions are both perfect in this scene.

- I’m not sure how I feel about all the Olivia/Lincoln bonding.  I think that they’re suitable together in the Alternative Universe, but I’m uncomfortable with them developing a closer connection in our universe.  If Lincoln Lee provides Olivia with some kind of companionship, I hope that it is temporary until Peter comes back.  Olivia belongs with Peter and if Lincoln tries to come between them, he’ll be sorry!  :)

- I appreciate Olivia checking in with Lincoln, but shouldn’t she be checking in with Walter instead?  In this timeline, Olivia seems a lot more unaware of certain things (like Walter and what he is going through), a lot less compassionate (she was willing to sacrifice the boy.  The old Olivia would have found another way), a lot less open to new ideas (she was very skeptical throughout Walter’s explanation of what the fungus actually was and it’s connection to the boy), and a lot less willing to open up to other people (she didn’t tell anyone about her dreams).

- I absolutely loved, loved the relationship between Aaron and Walter and how Aaron reminded Walter of his own little boy, Peter.  The way that the relationship was portrayed was interesting.  Walter played the role of the adult, providing reassurance and comfort for Aaron.  Normally, Peter plays the role of the reassuring parent and Walter is the child who needs comforting.  So, the episode definitely allowed me to see Walter in a new light.  There must have been so many moments in Peter’s childhood where he wished that Walter would have been there for him like Walter was there for Aaron in this episode. I loved the moment when Olivia is telling Aaron that he doesn’t need to be afraid of Walter and Walter comes prancing in with a bloody apron.  Walter has the worst timing, doesn’t he?  I also love it when Walter invites Aaron to stay with him and tells Aaron that he is a very busy man.  In the next scene, he’s making milkshakes for him and Aaron and they are both wearing tin foil hats.  Walter is never to busy for food, is he? :)

- It makes perfect sense that Peter isn’t in this timeline since he died as a boy when Walter brought him over to our Universe to cure him.  So, instead of watching his son die once (in the old timeline), in the new timeline, he had to watch his son die twice.  That’s enough to unhinge anyone.  I guess the observer must have rescued Walter, but not Peter when they both feel through the ice.

- The parallel between Boy/Gus and Peter/Machine is interesting.  Both boys have a deep connection to something that is supposedly inanimate.  However, the relationship between Gus (the fungus) and Aaron is a little different and their story is very sad.  Aaron was so lonely and his feelings of loneliness were so profound and deep, that even an organisms without a heart could feel his pain and reached out to him, forming a connection with Aaron that would help him to cope with his loneliness and that would give him a sense of belonging in the world.  I think that Peter is kind of like Gus in that, wherever or whenever he is, he senses the loneliness, pain and anguish that Walter and Olivia are feeling and is reaching out to them, desperate to make a connection with them.  These ideas are expressed best by this post HERE.  I almost cried during the scene where Walter was telling Aaron to let go and that he shouldn’t feel lonely since Walter will never leave him- they can be lonely together. When Walter told Aaron that it would be best if he let go, it saddened me since when Walter let go of Peter, he lost him forever.

- The final scene was so heart breaking when he decides to give himself a lobotomy in order to get rid of the hallucinations that he’s been having.  Walter needs Peter so much and it pains me to see him this way.  Peter was also such a calming presence for Walter, grounding him in reality and always so patient and caring.  Seeing Walter this way makes me really miss Peter.  When I watched other episodes of Fringe after watching this episode, I began to appreciate Peter’s stillness and sensibility.  He doesn’t just ground Walter, he grounds everyone.  He has a calming presence in the mist of all the craziness that I never quite appreciated until now, when we are observing a world in which he doesn’t exist.

- I love the fact that Olivia has been dreaming about Peter for the past three weeks.  I wonder about the content of her dreams with him.  My guess is that they are comforting dreams which is probably why she is able to cope a lot better than Walter is.  I imagine that the dreams look similar to when John was recalling Marjorie in the previous episode- with Peter in the sunlight and perhaps they’re in a field of tulips.

Some thoughts about Peter:
- In the promo for next week’s episode “Subject 9” it shows a mysterious force that is haunting the team and they apparently seek answers in Walter’s past.  I think that the force is Peter and he is literally pulling all the stops to get Walter and Olivia and others to remember him.

- When I imagine how difficult it must be for someone to adjust to coming back to a world where no one remembers them, I’m really glad that Peter is the character that has to do this.  I’m glad because out of all the characters, I think that Peter would manage the best with these circumstances.  All his life, he has been placed in situations that are less than ideal, usually due to no fault of his own: He had a distant father who he wished was more comforting and present, he had the love of his life reject him because she couldn’t listen to his side of the story concerning the switch of the Olivias, he had to adjust to a new world when he was abducted, and now he has to similarly adjust to a new world where no one remembers him.  In all those scenarios, Peter never once just sat there, wishing that things could be different and wishing that the world could be the world that he wants.  He instead takes situations and people for what they are and learns to adapt and to make the best of the situation.  It reminds of what his mother said to him in the season 3 episode Subject 13- “Sometimes the world we have is not always the world we want.  But, we have our hearts and our imaginations to make the best of it.”  I think that this will definitely be how Peter approaches this new world and timeline.

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