"You're the Problem, Peter."
Since my review for this episode is quite long, I am going to post just the first half tonight and then tomorrow night (Monday), I'll post the second half. This episode seriously hurt my head and it raised a lot more questions and barely provided any answers. For this episode, more so than any other episode, "the more I see, the less I understand." So far, this is my favorite episode of Season 4.
- The beginning dream sequence was lovely. I really represents everything that Peter and Olivia’s relationship should be- kind, gentle, warm and loving. It is a bit inconsistent with the season 3 finale where it was revealed that they married while Walter was in jail; in Peter’s dream sequence, Walter is there which expresses Peter’s desire to have Walter be apart of his married life too. My first thought was that this was Peter dreaming about his Olivia and wanting to be with her and wanting to be married to her (just like he was in the season 3 finale). But, then his subconscious interferes and tells him what he deep down already knows and what we've known for the past 4 seasons- he is the problem. At the end of the day, no matter how you slice it, Peter will be a problem for someone, somewhere, and at sometime. That is the inherent nature of his character. However, after finishing the episode, a part of me believes that maybe his dream sequence was actually a time jump. Also, what does Peter mean by “it took me three years to get you?” Is he talking about the previous three years or does it foreshadow (or not if it’s a dream) that it will take him three more years to get to her? Although it was wonderful to see Walter on the swing set, a part of me wishes that Peter and Olivia were looking at their children. I WANT MY TRIBE OF BISHOPS!
- The Ring: Peter has a wedding ring on his right hand during the dream sequence (or was it the left and the scene we were shown was actually flipped in post-production?) and when he arrives at the crime scene after jumping the first time, he has the same ring on his left hand. However, within the same jump and the same scene, the ring mysteriously disappears (See Image HERE). I’ve already re-watched the first half hour of the episode, and he doesn’t have the ring on at all prior to the first time jump- sometimes I couldn’t tell since Joshua Jackson so conveniently had his hands in his pocket during most of the episode. A part of me thinks that maybe Joshua Jackson just forgot to take his ring off when filming the scene (maybe the crime scene and the dream sequence were filmed on the same day), but that would be so irresponsible of him (It’s a RING! Peter/Olivia shippers can see a ring from a mile away!) and he’s definitely not that type of person. Also, a mishap like that would probably not be seen by the casual viewer and so they might have seen the mistake and just decided to ignore it and air the scene as filmed. But, the thing with Fringe is that they control quite heavily the scenes that they film and so I don’t think that the ring was a mistake that they overlooked (but as I think about it more and more, I’m not sure). If Peter had the ring on after the first jump, then why didn’t he recognize that he had the ring on? I would recognize when a ring appears on my finger when it previously wasn’t there. Did Peter (not consciously aware) jump forward in time between when he was in the lab and when he arrived at the crime scene for the first time? Is that where he got the ring? Also, in behind the scenes photos for episode 4.08, Peter is wearing the ring still. This is not a detail that, as an actor, you would make a mistake about more than once. Hopefully, we’ll get some answers in this week’s episode. This small detail leads to so many questions, it’s ridiculous!
- The initial scene with the woman and her young daughter was really well done and made the episode’s premise already so interesting. I loved how when the woman was outside, her daughter became a five year again, which immediately allowed you to understand what was happening. The time shifts were done really well and very seamlessly. I really wish other TV shows would learn from Fringe regarding how to do CGI properly. Fringe is truly amazing when it comes to their CGI effects- they seem realistic and not at all fake.
- The car scene between Olivia and Peter was a great scene as well since you could really see how much Peter is hurt by the fact that Walter wants nothing to do with him and how little Olivia cares about his current state of mind (she doesn’t care about how he is feeling about being outside for the first time in a long time; she just wants to know how he feels about the current case). The scene also reminds me of when his mother is driving him through the fields in “Subject 13” and when he is looking at the Altverse through the windows of a helicopter in “Over There- Part I” in season 2. In all scenes, he is looking at a new world for the first time...through a window which represents that he is in that particular world, but not really apart of it.
- When they arrive at the apartment complex, I found it hilarious how Olivia was treating Peter like he was a five year old. And speaking of children, I loved Peter’s interaction with the young girl who was trying to find her elephant. The show goes out of its way to show us how wonderful Peter and Olivia are with children. Again, WHERE’S OUR TRIBE OF BISHOPS? The look that Olivia gave Peter while he interacted with the girl makes me think that she is not entirely telling the truth about not caring about him.
"He's a Fringe Event"
- I loved Peter’s reaction to finding out that Walter was living in the lab and I also admired how he pulled himself up by his own bootstraps and used his own intelligence to figure out the problem. I’m so used to him relying on Walter to figure something out that Peter figuring things out is new to me.
- I was pretty shocked to learn that Peter didn’t know about haunting Olivia and Walter prior to his return. I think that maybe their longing for what Peter represents to each of them was so intense, that they brought Peter into existence during the moments that they saw him briefly. This would probably be possible since Walter’s mind was so fragile during the times where he saw Peter that generating a manifestation of Peter in some form would certainly be possible. In the first four episodes of this season, Walter always seemed to see Peter at especially vulnerable times (when he was being questioned about going back to St. Claire’s by his psychiatrist and by Boyles, at night before he went to sleep, after he said goodbye to Aaron). Furthermore, Olivia saw him when her mind was relaxed and when her subconscious took over. Also, it probably means that Peter probably wasn’t reaching out to Olivia in Subject 13 and that his manifestation must have been entirely due to Olivia.
- The train sequence was very, very cool. I loved how the train was transparent and appeared in different colors. You don’t see something like that on television every day, that’s for sure.
- My favorite part of the episode was probably when Peter slipped through time not once, not twice, but three times. At first, I was a bit surprised when it happened initially, but by the time that it happened for the third time, I (like Peter) was really annoyed (pleasantly so!) with all the disruptions. It turned out to be a pretty hilarious sequence that served Peter well since he got the evidence that he needed that an outside force was responsible for these occurrences. Although everyone in this episode was slipping through time by 4 years (due to Raymond’s machine and the consequences), Peter was only slipping through time by about 30 minutes or so and he was doing so repeatedly. It was very similar to what happened to Olivia at the end of Episode 5 (Novation). Why was this only happening to Peter (in this episode) and why did it happen when it happened (at the crime scene)? Does it have something to do with the radiation that was at the crime scene? I think what is happening to Peter is different that what was happening to everyone else and thus, wasn’t connected to the time abnormalities that Raymond’s machine was causing. Peter almost seems like an observer in that he is moving through time in different ways compared to everyone else. I hope that we continue to see Peter having time slips because not only are they hilarious, but they are also really cool and fascinating. The special effects and coordination between scenes were both perfect!
- Raymond and Kate was two very interesting characters and their story was heartbreaking and had many parallels to Peter and Olivia’s story. I especially loved it when Raymond says to Kate “We’ll have all the Christmases in the world.” It’s horrible to have a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease and heartbreaking when they look at your with no recognition in their eyes and no memory of the love that they shared with you. That’s exactly what Peter is going through right now with this Olivia in front of him. When he inquires about whether or not she feel something for him in the dreams that she had of him, she replies, “Why would I? You’re a stranger.” Just like Raymond used a machine in an attempt to save his wife, Peter used the machine to change the course of the future so that his wife’s death could possibly be averted. Raymond uses the machine to return to the wife that he knows and loves. Although the present woman is not the same woman that he loves, he chooses to abandon the machine and remain with her, possibly finding new ways to love her. In contrast, at the end of the episode, Peter decided that he is the problem in this timeline and that he needs to find his way back to the people that he knows and loves. I fear that Raymond and Kate’s story is a foreshadowing of what’s to come. I fear that Peter will realize that, contrary to what he believes, he is in the right world and that he needs to learn to love the people here, albeit in new ways since they are different people.