Friday, May 25, 2012

Written Reviews for episodes 4.15-4.22 coming this Summer!

I'm currently rewatching Season 4 from the beginning (and it's awesome!).  Hopefully, I'll get my reviews for the remaining season 4 episodes up sometime soon.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things)- Part VI

1. Peter and Olivia

2. Peter and Walter Relationship

3. The Observers

4. Peter’s journey to go home

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

6. Olivia and Nina relationship

7. Olivia’s destiny

8. The character of Lincoln Lee

9. Cases of the week

10. Use of secondary characters

6. Olivia and Nina Relationship (Click HERE to listen to the audio)

Because my schedule has gotten quite busy, I will be doing audio reviews of the fringe episodes from this point onwards- it’s just a lot easier than typing out my reviews. I will try to transcribe the notes whenever I have a free moment, but that might not happen until this season is over. I will definitely do full written reviews once the season is over which might be better actually since I’ll have a full picture of the season by that time.

I’m pretty much picking up where my written notes left off: Review of Episode 4.12, 4.13 and 4.14 where I discuss the Olivia and Nina relationship. I also touch on the relationship as it is portrayed in Episode 4.15.

I hope that this is okay. Let me know if you have any problems with the audio and any comments or questions that you have about the audio itself. I would love to hear your comments or questions about what I said and I will definitely try to address any comments in future audio pieces.

Length of Audio: 6 minutes and 52 seconds

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things)- Part IV and V

1. Peter and Olivia

2. Peter and Walter Relationship

3. The Observers

4. Peter’s journey to go home

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

6. Olivia and Nina relationship and Olivia’s destiny

7. The character of Lincoln Lee

8. Cases of the week

9. Use of secondary characters

4. Peter’s journey to go home

I will touch on this topic more in my review for “A SHORT STORY ABOUT LOVE.” I just wanted to say that I am really admiring this story line since it ties in very well with the character’s overall journey and his constant quest to find his home. At the end of THE END OF ALL THINGS, Peter comes to the conclusion that he is not in the right place and needs to go home. To me, this conclusion seems natural considering how confused Peter is at the moment and how he has been lied to before about Olivia (Season 3) and about where his home is (Subject 13). His determination reflects his insistence on not being lied to anymore and his determination to find out where he is and where he needs to be. In the past, he’s been very passive in giving in to the illusion in front of him despite knowing that it is false. When he was kidnapped, he was firm in his belief that his home was someplace else. He noticed all the differences. However, Elizabeth and Walter kept telling him that he was confused and rather than continuing to fight against them, he gave in and accepted this new place as his home. When AltOlivia switched places with Olivia at the end of season 2, Peter saw the differences in season 3, but he chose to ignore them in favor of being happy. In THE END OF ALL THINGS, he is insisting on returning to his own home and he insists on noticing the differences in this Olivia and staying away until he is completely sure that she is his Olivia. I feel that this has provided some really great development for the character.

I recall reading a post on Tumblr that commented on the fact that Peter doesn’t have an alternate and how this fact actually allowed the character to be the most consistent character on the show. I just wanted to briefly touch on this and how much I agree with this statement. Giving each character an alternate has allowed the show to explore their main characters in far more depth by allowing the characters to appreciate the weight that their choices and experiences have in shaping their lives. For Walter and Olivia, however, we are introduced to many alternates and sometimes it can get confusing and any consistent character development can get lost. For Olivia, for example, we have Blue Olivia, Red Olivia, Amber Olivia and Olivia as Bell. In all that confusion, it is easy to lose sight of the character and who she truly is. Peter is always the same regardless of which universe he is in (Blue or Red or Amber) or which time period he’s in (Past or Present or Future). We can track the same character from the start of the show to now and see how much he’s grown on his own merits without having an alternate to help him.

A lot of fans have been asking about the purpose of this new Amber Timeline since, understandably, fans want to know that this whole season has served a purpose of some sort. As far as I can tell, being in this Amber world has served the story emotionally since it has allowed Peter to see the significance that his presence has had in the lives of those he loves. It has also provided us with some new relationships and has given us the opportunity to reintroduce old characters like David Robert Jones. What would be really amazing, in my opinion, was if the show provided a mythology-related reasons for why we are in this amber world. Maybe something needs to be done in the Amber world that can only be done in the Amber world and not in the Blue universe, which is why we had to leave it. I think that our presence in the Amber world will help to build the machine that we saw in season 3. We already saw that Peter and Walter are working on the beginnings of the machine (WELCOME TO WESTFIELD) and David Robert Jones is working with Amphilicite, a substance whose power is comparable to the power wielded by the machine.  It would be interesting if the "first people" were the people whose lives we are experiencing in the Amber world.  

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

I honestly have no idea what David Robert Jones is up to and I think that this will be the biggest mystery of the season moving forward. Before I continue, I just wanted to mention one thing that some fans have been complaining about: the fact that the conflict between both universes is no longer the center of the story as it was in season 3. I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of the alternative universe plot line since it took time away from the original characters that we love. I did, however, appreciate it for what it provided us with- rich character development. I feel like the plotline concerning the two universes has been resolved for the most part since the source of the conflict (Peter) was removed (at least in the minds of those that were involved in the conflict) and the bridge that was established has stopped the decay that was threatening both worlds. I really hate it when shows drag out plot lines for more than one season since it begins to lose its importance and significance. The next logical step of this plotline is seeing the two worlds work together. We haven’t been able to see that very much this season since there have been other more pressing issues that we’ve had to deal with on the home front. I hope that we see more of the alternate universe going forward since it probably will factor in heavily with regards to Jones’ plans.

In the episode WELCOME TO WESTFIELD, we observed a phenomenon in which the individuals in a town were being merged with their alternate selves in the other universe. Peter proposed amphilicite as an example of a chemical that could potentially harvest enough power to do this and the teams’ thoughts went immediately to David Robert Jones who they concluded was the mastermind behind what was happening in the town. If merging the universes is Jones' ultimate goal, then the event in Westfield might have just been a trial run to see what would happen.  But, why would David Robert Jones want to merge the universes? What could possibly be his end goal?  I can see how merging the universes would serve the overall plot (since a lot of fans have speculated that that is the direction that this season is ultimately heading in), but what benefit would it have for Jones the character? How does he plan to use Olivia in his goals? He is definitely not just using her in his goals to cross over since he can do that just fine himself. In THE END OF ALL THINGS Jones stated that Olivia’s abilities are far greater than he realized. What does he mean by this and how does he know this?

I watched the season 1 finale during the hiatus and the David Robert Jones in the old timeline also reassembled himself on the atomic level, but unlike this new Jones, he gradually started to fall apart, using bandages to keep himself together. How did this Jones find a way to keep himself together? I think that in this timeline, Jones crossed over to the other side (since Peter wasn’t there to close the portal on him) and found the technology necessary to repair himself in such a way that he wouldn’t fall apart. Also, what role do Shapeshifters have in Jones’ plan? Are they still relevant to the plot line? I ask because they were seemingly dropped in episode 9 (Enemy of My Enemy). How do AltNina (Meana) and AltBroyles play into everything that is happening with Jones? What motives do both characters have in working with Jones? My theory is that Meana has very ambitious goals for herself and that she sees Jones as a way to achieve those goals. I think that Meana will contribute to Jones’ dismiss and downfall in the end. I think that AltBroyles is being blackmailed into being cooperative. Maybe Jones is holding his family ransom or is holding another threat over his head.

We have 7 episodes left of this season and we still have to wrap up the mystery with the observers and with Jones. These are two really big plot lines and the only way that I think that the show can manage to do both justice is to have them both be related to each other in some way such that by exploring one, they are exploring the other.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things)- Part III

1. Peter and Olivia

2. Peter and Walter Relationship

3. The Observers

4. Peter’s journey to go home

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

6. Olivia and Nina relationship and Olivia’s destiny

7. The character of Lincoln Lee

8. Cases of the week

9. Use of secondary characters

3. The Observers

Although the observers were only touched on in the last episode (episode 4.14), the plot line with the observers is really what everyone is talking about during this hiatus and which I feel will play a major part in the plot as this season wraps up.

When Peter went into September’s mind during the episode THE END OF ALL THINGS, September explained three things to Peter: 1. He explained who the Observers were, 2. He explained why Peter was erased, and 3. He explained what Peter needed to do now. September explained that the observers are scientists from the future and that “September” is a code name that was assigned to him; it’s not his real name (which wasn’t given for some reason). They have access to technology that has enabled them to turn back the clock of time in order to “observe” their beginnings. So, in a way, they are like anthropologists which I found to be fascinating. September also states that they are only ONE of countless possible futures for humanity. I took this to mean that they are the result of a very specific path that has been taken. When you look at all possible futures, there are some things/events that are inevitable and are thus, present across all futures. The fact that the observers exist in only ONE possible future out of many supports the idea that their existence is the result of specific choices/events that didn’t occur in other futures. September also reveals that the observers are HUMANS in the future whereas before I know that a lot of fans thought that they were aliens, machines, robots, etc... So, it’s nice to receive a confirmation that they are humans. But, what has caused them to lose their hair, their taste buds and their emotions? This episode was so great in that it revealed some things about the observers, but it didn’t reveal everything. It kept the mystery of who they are and where they’ve come from alive which to any true fan, is a blessing. Part of what makes the observers so interesting is the mystery that surrounds them. 

September then goes on to explain the mistake that he made after he admits to Peter that he’s done more than just “observe.” He shows Peter the moment where he interrupted Walternate as he was searching for a cure for Peter. It’s interesting how September tells Waltnerate that he is an admirer of his work and that September had the very human desire to simply witness this important moment. I’m assuming that this moment was important since it involved Walternate finding a cure for someone who is very important, Peter. September goes on to say that his mistake caused Walter to cross over and kidnap Peter, initiating a war between two worlds and bringing about a child (Henry) that was never meant to be. If Henry were to have existed, he would have altered everything that was to come (in good or bad ways?) and thus, in order to erase Henry, the observers had to erase Peter. September admits that he didn’t know how Peter continued to bleed through and how he managed to return to physical form. Nevertheless, he feels that now that Peter has returned, he has a chance to make things right. He states that Peter must find the right Olivia for she is the one whom a (?) shared life is meant to spring. I don’t know what exactly September was implying here- whether he was saying that they are suppose to share a life together or that they are (additionally) suppose to create a life (a child) together. Why is this so important? Before I get into my theories about this, I wanted to explain one discrepancy that a lot of people have noticed about this scene

September says that Peter is meant to be with the Olivia from the Blue Universe and that he made a MISTAKE when he distracted Walternate from discovering a cure for Peter. If the mistake ended up bringing Peter to the Blue Universe and hence, closer to Olivia, how is it a mistake? I think that what happened was that September did indeed make a mistake in distracting Walternate from discovering the cure for Peter. If no further intervention was done, then the Peter from the Red Universe would have died. But since he was important, the observers looked at all possible futures and found a way for Peter to be saved through Walter crossing over. They allowed this to happen and September even helped Walter out. Thus, Peter being in closer proximity to Olivia was an unintended consequence of the observers trying to rectify September’s mistake. Even if Peter had never even been brought to the Blue Universe, we can assume that he and Olivia would have found some way to be together (Olivia or Peter would have crossed over). This would naturally be the better path since Peter and Olivia would be together and a war would not exist since Peter would have been raised in his home universe. It’s interesting that the observers never felt the need to intervene in the death of Blue Peter, but Red Peter’s survival was important. What is it about Red Peter that was so different and which made him so important?  My theory is that it was crucial that a Blue Olivia be united with  Red Peter.  I can see how this would be important on a thematic and mythological level, but on a practical level, what would this accomplish?  Would it bring the worlds closer together in ways that the current bridge cannot?

The theory going around currently is that Peter and Olivia are the ancestors of the observers. This would explain a great deal like why Olivia had that connection with the observer child in “Inner Child,” why Peter was able to operate the observer’s gun in “August” and why September is so heavily interested and invested in Peter and Olivia’s future. It would explain why there is only one version of the observers since they are descendents of Peter of whom there is only one version. It would explain how they have acquired the ability to travel between universes since they probably have Cortexiphan in their blood from Olivia. It is likely that the abilities that Cortexiphan bestows on an individual get stronger with every generation such that by the time that you reach the observers, the abilities have become very powerful and controllable. But is Cortexiphan inheritable? Walter took a snippet of Olivia’s hair and was able to see Cortexiphan in her DNA (I think) so I would assume that, yes, it is heritable. It would explain the observers ability to travel through time since they probably use the technology of the machine and the fact that they have Peter’s blood running through them enables them to use such technology. The blue wands that they use are remarkably similar in appearance to the machine. The only flaw in this theory (that I can think of) is the fact that Neil was able to operate the observer’s blue wand (in MAKING ANGELS). But, the even bigger flaw in this theory is that the other Observers seem to be set on removing Peter’s presence in this timeline. Since Henry is still gone even with Peter present, why is it important that Peter still needs to be erased? And why would the observers want to erase someone whom their own existence depends on so heavily?  This is just a theory and so I could be completely wrong in everything that I'm saying here.  :)

Even after this episode, we still don’t know who shot September. Peter and Olivia seem to be asking all the relevant questions that the audience wants to know (Who shot September? Why does Jones need Olivia to cross over when he can do so himself?), but the individuals being questioned failed to give us answers. September says that the question of who shot him is irrelevant. I don’t know whether or not there is any truth to that. Maybe he means that “what is done is done” and how it happened to begin with is irrelevant since it can’t be undone. Or maybe he doesn’t want to say since it might alter things too much. The other question is what happened to September after Peter was removed from his mind and after he told Peter that “they are coming.” He seemed to have vanished, but I think that he was probably taken by the other observers who rewrote things such that they were not seen, the only evidence of their presence being the table that was turned over. Lastly, is there any significance to the fact that September was labeled Mr. X and that his consciousness merged with Peter’s? Does Peter now have a piece of September’s consciousness permanently in his brain (like what happened between Olivia and John Scott) and will he thus play a role in Olivia’s death? There are so many questions to be answered and I worry about how the show will answer them in the 8 episodes that are left in this season.  All of this discussion is making me even more eager for Fringe to return!  Just 6 more days!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things)- Part II

1. Peter and Olivia

2. Peter and Walter Relationship

3. The Observers

4. Peter’s journey to go home

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

6. Olivia and Nina relationship and Olivia’s destiny

7. The character of Lincoln Lee

8. Cases of the week

9. Use of secondary characters

2. The Peter and Walter Relationship

If there’s one complaint that I have about this season so far is that it hasn’t done a very good job regarding developing the Peter and Walter relationship which is surprising since this relationship has been such a strong point in past seasons. The relationship has been so glaring in its inconsistency. Walter alternates in his attitude towards Peter almost every episode. For much of the first part of the season, he was fearful of Peter and avoided him like the plague. At the end of ENEMY OF MY ENEMY, Walter agreed to help Peter, but in MAKING ANGELS he was angry at him again because he was taking Walter’s place on the team. In WELCOME TO WESTFIELD, he and Peter worked together gloriously after Walter considered AltAstrid’s advice, but in A BETTER HUMAN BEING and THE END OF ALL THINGS he grew angry at Peter again when he posed a threat to Olivia’s safety.

For most of the beginning of Season 4, the relationship between Olivia and Walter was primarily highlighted, especially in SUBJECT 9. Although, I loved how sweetly the relationship was portrayed by both John and Anna, I never thought that it was as close as it was when Peter was around and it was certainly never as close as Walter’s relationship with Peter. Nevertheless, I’m glad that this season is taking the opportunity to develop the relationship between Walter and Olivia. I’m glad that Walter’s close relationship with Olivia was brought back in these last three episodes. In WELCOME TO WESTFIELD he talks a great deal about what Olivia was like when she was a child which was similar to how he always talked about Peter as a child in previous seasons. In A BETTER HUMAN BEING and THE END OF ALL THINGS, you see Walter’s protective side come out with regards to Olivia. He sees her changing and he sees that Peter may be doing more harm than good and that Olivia could potentially get her heart broken and lose herself in the process. He immediately voices his disapproval. I actually don’t think that he disapproves of the relationship that is (re)developing between Peter and Olivia. I think he’s jealous of the deep connection that they share and wants to be apart of it, but doesn’t know how. Alternatively, he could be jealous about how much Peter is stealing Olivia’s attention away from him when all he wants is Olivia to pay attention to him only (in a father-daughter way). He could see Peter as a threat to the relationship that he has with Olivia. Peter hasn’t done anything bad that would give Walter the indication that he’s a bad person. When times get tough (as they have in the past 2 episodes), he naturally looks for someone to blame and he ends up pointing fingers at Peter, the person that he knows the least. His jealousy, I think, is what prompts him to make Peter the villain. Their relationship is the opposite of what it was at the beginning of the series when Peter was the resistant one and Walter was the willing one. So, it’s interesting to see how the dynamic has flipped this season and how glaringly different it is compared to past seasons.

In WELCOME TO WESTFIELD, Peter and Walter are very in sync with each other and they bring out the best in each other. Their minds both work in similar ways and complement each other and generally come to the same conclusions. In A BETTER HUMAN BEING, in the mist of being distraught about what is going on with Olivia, he remarks to Peter that what Peter is supposedly doing to Olivia is wrong, even though it is tempting. He himself has felt the temptation before. Is he referring to his feelings towards Peter throughout this season? On a side note, I truly loved how Walter didn’t hesitate to drink the vials of “Cortexiphan” when he was questioning Nina. If anyone would know what Cortexiphan tastes like, it would be Walter. In THE END OF ALL THINGS, Walter didn’t seem too alarmed at the prospect of sending Peter into the dying observer’s mind which disturbed me a bit. In general, actually, I felt that John Noble’s acting in this episode was a bit stiff.

Since I don’t know how Peter will get home and what the result will be, I don’t know how it will impact the other characters (will they return back to their old selves, will they become a mixture of Blue and Amber, etc...). I sincerely hope that Peter and Walter find a way back to each other again. As much as I deeply love Peter and Olivia, I hope that they find a way back to each other in episode 15 so that we can proceed to repair the relationship between Peter and Walter. The warmth and understanding that they have for each other has been severely lacking in this season and I hope that they give the relationship the attention that it deserves for the remainder of the season since this whole conflict did start, first and foremost, because of a father’s love for his son and if this is the show’s last season (which I pray to God it’s not!), then it should end on the same note.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things)- Part I

Review of Episode 4.12, 4.13 and 4.14

I decided to review episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things) together since I feel like these episodes are kind of like a trilogy in that they belong together and should probably be examined together. I really like how this middle part of the season is organized and there’s an urgency in episodes 8-14 that wasn’t present in the first batch of episodes this season. Episode 8 and 9 belong together since once directly leads into the other and they complement each other plot-wise. They expand on Peter’s quest to go home and they introduce David Robert Jones. Episode 10 and 11 feel like two sides of the same coin to me and they expand on the issue of Olivia’s fate and introduce the observers as a mystery to be explored. In Episode 10, we are presented with the idea that our fate is not written in stone and that it can be changed. In contrast, episode 11 presents us with the idea that our fate is predetermined and that there is no escaping it. Episode 12, 13 and 14 bring everything together: David Robert Jones, the observers, Peter’s journey and Olivia’s fate. Although this middle part of the season was infinitely better than the first part of the season, I’m not sure whether we got any definite answers for where things are going for the remainder of the season. Fringe seems to excel at giving us everything, but at the same time, giving us nothing. :)

During this spring hiatus, I hope to review the season thus far (while recapping the past three episodes), by creating posts where I address the following topics:

1. Peter and Olivia

2. Peter and Walter Relationship

3. The Observers

4. Peter’s journey to go home

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

6. Olivia and Nina relationship and Olivia’s destiny

7. The character of Lincoln Lee

8. Cases of the week

9. Use of secondary characters

My first post will be devoted to Peter and Olivia.


I think that the best part of these last three episodes have been the fact that they’ve really developed the relationship between Peter and Olivia. The relationship is in a completely different place compared to where it was at the end of Wallflower. I honestly think that these episodes have been so rewarding because of the wonderful acting by Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv. For some reason, the acting and the relationship itself is much more believable this season compared to season 3. I think that it just seems so much more genuine in this season which may be due to the fact that much of the drama surrounding the relationship overshadowed the relationship itself in season 3.

In WELCOME TO WESTFIELD, we finally find out the content of Olivia’s dreams. When I first saw the scene, I was genuinely surprised by how graphic the scene was and I wondered how FOX ever approved its airing. The more I watched it (and I’ll admit, I watched it several times!), however, the more I appreciated how beautiful it was with the lighting and emotion and music. The color of blue is splashed everywhere, reflecting the universe where the true Olivia and Peter belong. Olivia asks Peter whether he loves her. We have never heard him say that he loves her and when she said that she loved him in THE LAST SAME WEISS, he didn’t say it back. If this is a memory, then he must have said it off camera, when they shared an intimate moment prior to Peter getting into the machine. For someone like AmberOlivia who has felt a hole in her life for as long as she can remember, this scene of such intimacy must have made her feel complete and loved beyond measure. When she was questioned by Peter about her dreams in AND THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND, she said that she didn’t feel anything towards him. This was understandable (to an extent), but now that she knows Peter better, does this dream carry more weight for her emotionally? Peter gives her a wake up call (literally) and when she sees him in the lab, her face is vibrant and alive. She doesn’t look at all as tired as she claims.

Their interactions during this episode are wonderful and I loved how it felt like the old gang of Peter, Walter and Olivia were back together. Peter’s concern about her was refreshing to see and I really appreciated his speech about how his Olivia was his home. The conversation mirrors the conversation that he had with AltOlivia in OVER THERE where she also asked about his Olivia. Both conversations are different, reflecting how different their relationship is now (in season 4) compared to then (at the end of season 2). He says that she is strong and stubborn and that they met when he was doing some “criminal activity” in Afghanistan. He says that she sees the best in others even when they can’t see it in themselves and this Olivia automatically says that he doesn’t look like a criminal. She is already seeing the best in him, saying that he is not as bad as he believes he is. The most interesting part of the episode, however, comes when Olivia starts to experience symptoms that are very similar to what the rest of the town is experiencing as they merge with their counterparts in the other universe. She remarks that she feels like there is someone else in her head, leading her to feel unstable and confused. Walter summarizes it best, when he examines the woman in the town who believes that her husband is both alive and dead. He states that it must be terrible to have someone else’s memories inside your head, not being able to distinguish between what is real (your memories) and what is not (memories from another life). At the very end of the episode, when Peter drops by her apartment to check up on her, she is acting very much like the old Olivia. She is glowing, her smile is wide and she pours herself and Peter a glass of wine (correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that AmberOlivia has drunk alcohol at all this season). On a shallow note, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Olivia look more pretty. She leans in to kiss Peter and when she does, he draws back in surprise with a small smile on his face, thinking that this is some kind of joke. He quickly realizes that Olivia doesn’t see the problem with the kiss and his expression turns to one of shock and confusion.

A BETTER HUMAN BEING might just be one of my favorite episodes this season (probably on the same level as ENEMY OF MY ENEMY) due mostly to the fact that the acting was so very good. I remember initially thinking that Olivia’s joy at these new memories was a bit over the top and I was disturbed by the fact that she wasn’t concerned or alarmed. But, once I watched the episode a couple of times and read a couple of reviews, I realized that her response was very natural. Throughout the episode, she receives the memories of Peter’s Olivia and those memories with Peter are warm and happy. She goes through a process of rediscovering herself. With each memory that she acquires, she grows to understand herself more and falls more in love with Peter again. With this newfound love, comes a new confidence and a greater sense of self. Of course she wouldn’t worry about what is going on with herself. She’s is happier than she ever remembers being and these memories appear to make her a “better human being,” whereas before, she was only a shadow of the Olivia that we know. When we are changing in positive ways, we don’t question it. Rather, we rejoice. Peter’s resistance to these changes causes her to be even more drawn to him in an attempt to achieve the closeness to him that she “remembers.” Being so sure, she doesn’t understand why Peter is questioning these feelings. Peter’s hesitance is understandable. He has been burned by the wrong Olivia before and after having distanced himself from the people in this timeline, I can imagine how overwhelmed he must feel upon all of the sudden seeing his Olivia right in front of him after having dreamed about it for so long.

Throughout the episode, everyone seems to believe that Peter is the one who is altering Olivia’s memories in an attempt to force her to become his Olivia. Walter’s hypothesis is that Olivia is using her empathy to feel Peter’s desires to be reunited with his Olivia. She meets those desires by becoming his Olivia. This is such a wonderful idea because isn’t that what love is all about? Sensing what the other person needs and becoming that for them? I think Walter is very much against Olivia having any kind of attraction towards Peter and it is very clear that he sees this change in Olivia as a bad thing. In this timeline, he has a closer connection to Olivia and thinks about Olivia’s welfare before Peter’s which is definitely something new. It was a bit hilarious seeing him come between Olivia and Peter throughout the episode. It’s as if he’s an overbearing father trying to protect his sweet girl from the new bad boy on the block that she’s deeply attracted to. But his efforts are in vain since clearly, Peter and Olivia are smitten with each other. The crucial realization comes when Olivia mentions how she and John Scott discovered that it was Sementex that was stored in the storage units from the pilot. Peter didn’t know this and so he concluded that he cannot possibly be transferring his memories to Olivia since if that were the case, she wouldn’t have memories that he never had. I also thought that it was interesting that Olivia so casually mentioned John Scott throughout this episode and I know that a lot of people felt that it was weird since she had such an intense relationship with him in season 1. I don’t think that it feels weird at all since, after 4 years, I fully expect Olivia to be a very different person. She probably doesn’t even recognize who she was in season 1 before all this stuff with the fringe division tore her life apart. John Scott, in a lot of ways, represents the old life that she left behind. In the remaining moments of the episode, Peter confesses to her that he is scared, but that fear dissolves away when he looks into her eyes and sees that she is there. She interrupts their kiss to take a bathroom break (honestly, Olivia!) and ends up disappearing, leaving a confused Peter to wonder where she went. I really love how vulnerable and open Olivia was throughout this entire episode and it contrasted so well with how resistant Peter was.

In THE END OF ALL THINGS, Peter goes into the observer’s mind in an attempt to figure out where Olivia was taken. The observer tells Peter that the primary reason for his erasure was to erase his son, Henry, since he was born to the wrong mother. Peter’s reaction upon learning that he had a son was very sad to watch and I think that Joshua Jackson did an excellent job with the material here. I think one of the major themes in Fringe revolves around the relationship between a father and his son. It would be interesting if they continue with this plotline to show how Peter relates to his own son and that strengthens the relationship that he has with Walter. September tells Peter that although he is mystified regarding Peter’s return, Peter’s return will provide Peter with the opportunity to set things right. Peter must find the right Olivia, the one from which this shared life (Henry?) was meant to spring. He tells Peter to go home and Peter takes his words literally.

Upon arriving at his home, he is knocked unconscious by one of Jones’ accomplices and taken to where Olivia is. Olivia apparently told Nina that Peter was the only one who could unlock her powers with Cortexiphan. With Peter in the same room and his safety in jeopardy, Olivia gives Jones’ exactly what he wants and much more. This was probably one of my favorite scenes in this episode. I read a comment somewhere that this scene was an interesting twist in the traditional dasmel in distress scenario since Olivia finds a way to get Peter to where she is (by revealing to Nina that Peter is the key to unlocking her powers), but once he gets there, instead of having him rescue her, she uses him as a battery to fuel her powers and then ends up saving the both of them. It’s such a beautiful message- she uses her amazing capacity to love Peter to unlock her potential. She fries to a crisp one of his men as Jones and Nina escape. Upon encountering Jones at the portal, Jones remarks that Olivia’s love for Peter must be quite profound since she was able to expend her powers so much. Once outside, Peter gives in to his doubts and Walter and Lincoln’s accusations and tells Olivia that he doesn’t know what she is anymore, but he is sure that he is doing her more harm than good (as evidenced by the fact that she had a seizure after her fireworks show). After having seen his son in the observer’s mind and after having learned that he ceased to exist because of Peter’s association with the wrong Olivia, Peter’s hesitation and doubt are understandable. He doesn’t want to proceed unless he’s absolutely sure. Peter leaves her in the pouring rain (did Olivia cause it to rain?), reiterating the phrase that has been his mantra for most of the series: I’m going home. Olivia is understandably heartbroken and the degree of vulnerability that she shows in this scene is just absolutely amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so desperate.

The whole plot line between Peter and Olivia really highlights some important themes. One such theme is the idea of identity- what makes us who we are? This Olivia from the Amber timeline is genetically identical to Peter’s Olivia and has all her memories, but does that mean that the two Olivias are the same? As an audience member, I’m tempted to think that it does, but according to Peter, it doesn’t. What’s been so interesting about this season is that everything is so interconnected: You have Olivia who was given a ultimatum by September who appears to be trying to save her from her fate (I assume that’s how he got the gun shot wound). But, September is also trying to save Peter and may be Peter’s answer for how to get home. But, David Robert Jones with his plans to apparently merge timelines/ universes/whatever may also be Peter’s way home, but Jones is more concerned with activating Olivia for some unknown reason. I think that there are major questions that need to be answered regarding these two characters:

1) How will Peter get home (if there is a home for him to get back to)?
This seems to be THE question in this season and honestly, after 14 episodes, I still don’t have a clue what the answer to this question is. On the one hand, I applaud the writers for keeping the viewers guessing regarding the answer to this question. Peter’s perspective on things constantly changes- one minute he thinks he’s where he should be (AND THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND), the next minute he thinks home is someplace else (majority of season 4), the next minute he thinks he’s actually home (A BETTER HUMAN BEING), and the next minute he thinks he’s not (THE END OF ALL THINGS). Our opinions shift with Peter’s opinions and it’s made for a really heart-wrenching ride for the most part. On the other hand, it’s a little frustrating that we’re no closer to answering this question than we were when Peter first reappeared in SUBJECT 13. I’m a bit impatient for the answer to this question. The interviews with the actors and producers have been misleading as well- the way that they’ve answered questions has been very ambiguous and vague. In a recent interview with The Fringe Podcast, I believe that Jasika Nicole stated that this new “setting” for season 4 is neither a new timeline or a new universe. As was stated in THE END OF ALL THINGS, I believe that this is the old timeline, just rewritten to account for the fact that Peter is no longer apart of it. The old timeline is gradually starting to bleed through and I think that something will happen in the next episode that will help to speed up this process to the point where it gets Peter’s attention and he is able to finally accept that this is his home, but that it’s just a little different. I’m so glad that in THE END OF ALL THINGS, Peter finally got an explanation regarding why he was erased and who was behind it.

2) Is Olivia still destined to die and if so, can her fate be changed?
One theory regarding a possible cause of Olivia’s death is that CorteXiphan is the killer (= Man X where the “X” comes from the “X” in Cortexiphan). In the human mind, sometimes we can take inanimate objects like drugs and personify them as Olivia did in the episode LSD. In Olivia’s mind, Cortexiphan has damaged her beyond repair and so it makes sense that she would think that it would bring about her end as well. The seizure that Olivia experienced at the end of THE END OF ALL THINGS may give support to this theory. Expending her powers caused her to have a seizure, exhausting her. David Robert Jones stated that Olivia’s potential is far greater than what she exhibited in this episode. The effects of expending her powers must be far greater as well, perhaps great enough to kill her. If the cortexiphan is what is putting her life at risk, I think that the key to her survival is finding a way to control her powers (like she mentioned in THE DAY WE DIED). Another theory is that September is Man X (he was labeled as such in episode 14), but that doesn’t make sense since he has obviously been trying to save her and was concerned enough about her mortality to warn her. Since Peter merged with his consciousness, however, some of September’s consciousness could still be in Peter (similar to what happened with Olivia and John Scott in season 1). Thus, Peter could potentially be Man X which honestly, is a terrifying, but intriguing, thought. A third theory is that September’s prophecy doesn’t mean anything at all. I remember an interview from Joshua Jackson around the time of episode 4.08 where he said that September’s prophecy could mean everything, but on the other hand, it could mean nothing at all. I don’t know if the question of Olivia’s fate will be addressed in the next episode or if it will be something that will play out over the rest of the season. This plotline has been a bit forgotten over the last few episodes and so I hope that it comes back into play soon.

3) Is this Olivia Peter’s Olivia?
In response to the question of whether or not this Olivia is Peter’s Olivia, I think that she is and she isn’t. That would explain why Peter recognized her to some extent, but still feels the need to pull back because there is a part of her that he doesn’t recognize. This is consistent with the theory that the old timeline has just been rewritten. The aspects of Olivia that are bleeding through are what Peter recognizes, but the rewritten portions that are still there are what he doesn’t recognize. The question is whether the rewritten portions will gradually fade away over time and we will eventually get the old timeline back, whether there will be a merger of some sorts, or whether Olivia (and everyone else) will fluctuate between their two states forever. If the old timeline comes back in full force, then there needs to be some other justification for why have been in this Amber “timeline” all season. By having a merger of some sorts, we can preserve the good things about the old Olivia (which would satisfy the fans that love the old characters) and also preserve the things we’ve grown to love about this new Olivia (and satisfy the fans that don’t want to be told that this season has been a waste). I think that to some extent this Olivia is not our Olivia since I don’t think that the writers would have Peter screw up again and have him not recognize Olivia.

Another big mystery centers around how this Olivia acquired the memories of the old timeline Olivia and why she is the only character that has done so. One theory is that, with the help of Cortexiphan, she is able to access the experiences of individuals in different timelines similar to how she is able to cross between universes. Although she was doing this to some extent before Peter’s arrival (as indicated by her dreams), Peter’s presence allowed her to fully embrace this ability, allowing her to fully immerse herself in the memories of the Olivia from the old timeline. Another theory is that she is acquiring these memories from Peter himself and that her desire to immerse herself in his world is so strong that she is sometimes able to fill in the blanks herself (i.e. sementex). I think that Cortexiphan is the key to why she has been experiencing the memories from the old Olivia and no one has.

4) What greater potential does Olivia have that Jones was referring to?
This ties in to what Jones’ goals are and I have no idea how he even knows the extent of Olivia’s potential. This seems to be a big plot point and I think it’s something that will play out over the rest of the season.

5) How is Olivia’s storyline connected with Peter’s storyline?
This is one point that I’m a bit confused about and it’s frustrating because, in my opinion, this should be a topic that should be very clear by now at this point in the season. It’s almost like we have two plotlines (Peter’s and Olivia’s) independently going on at the same time and that seem to be at odds with each other rather than complimenting each other. For example, at the beginning of WELCOME TO WESTFIELD, Peter is on the right track towards finding a way home, but all the issues with Olivia throw him off course. I think Olivia’s storyline is connected with David Robert Jones and Peter’s storyline is connected more with the observers. I think that we’ll get answers to Peter’s storyline in the next episode, but Olivia’s storyline with David Robert Jones will continue to play out for the remainder of the season.

NOTE: I’ll talk more about how Peter and Olivia relate to September/The Observers in my section on the observers.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.11 (Making Angels)

Making Angels was a fairly good episode. It expanded a little bit regarding what we currently know about the observers, but aside from that, it didn’t illuminate the overarching plot as much as I would have liked. The true star of the episode was Jasika Nicole who was fantastic in this episode.

- I loved how Astrid yelled in surprise when she sees her alternate for the first time. Like Olivia, I always wondered why people don’t do that. Right from the start, we see that Astrid responds to her alternate in a kind and compassionate manner which contrasts sharply to how Walter and Olivia respond to their alternates. AltAstrid’s father had just passed away and so, in her struggle to understand what happened and to comes to terms with it, she pays Astrid a visit. In her first speech, she describes what happened and it’s interesting that she keeps mentioning how cold it was. Perhaps being unable to understand the coldness that she feels inside, she attributes the coldness that she feels to external causes. When Astrid told her alternate that her mother had also died when she was young, you could see the guilty looks on Walter’s, Peter’s and Olivia’s faces. They are generally so caught up in their own problems, that they probably don’t ask Astrid a whole lot about her own life. It is clear that AltAstrid is a little bit autistic since she appears to lack the social cues that normal people have. It is curious, though, that she is in touch with her emotions enough such that she can cry. I’m assuming, then, that she must have only a minor type of autism.

- AltAstrid’s presence definitely illuminates several of the relationships in the current storyline and her bluntness and attention to detail allows her to say and see things that other people couldn’t. She is such a refreshing character. She mentions that Walter seems to talk and act through Astrid as if they were the same person. We all know that Astrid and Water share a very special relationship and so I’m glad that this was pointed out. AltAstrid also comments on Walter’s treatment of Peter. In the beginning of the episode, Walter is not appreciative of Peter’s presence and even says that he prefers Lincoln’s presence since Lincoln plays chess with him and doesn’t starve him like Peter does (I agree with Peter, though, Walter takes too many food breaks!). AltAstrid points out to Walter that anger towards a person usually means that you are emotionally invested in that person in some way. In other words, he must feel something towards Peter in order to be angry with him. Also, it’s interesting how Walter is angry with Peter since he isn’t HIS Peter; Peter is a reminder of the son that he had, the son that he wished had lived. I always wondered if Walter loved Peter because of who he was or because he was an image of his Peter. I understand that Walter is suffering, but what about Peter? I think that it’s really selfish of Walter to not consider how Peter is feeling- he’s constantly being insulted by Walter, the one man who can help him get home. I really loved the whole scene where Peter is investigating the body at the crime scene and Walter is watching through Astrid. Peter says everything before Walter does, which apparently makes Walter even angrier at Peter. Throughout season 1-3, the reason why the relationship between Peter and Walter was so strong was because Peter was always able to anticipate Walter’s needs and what he would do. One can image that it would eventually become a habit. Also, Peter probably learned a great deal from Walter over the years. His suggestions (DNA sample and take the body back to the lab) seem like routine things that the Fringe division always does and so it seems natural that he would know to do them.

- I thought that the scene where AltAstrid attempts to explain the inexplicable was really amazing. The writing seemed be challenging and I commend Jasika Nicole for beautifully rising to the challenge. AltAstrid comments on the compound that killed the victim, saying that the compounds intermingling is not predictable and not expected. Since the compound has not been invented yet, someone would have to have seen the compounds mixed together in order to know how to mix them (Peter says this). She concludes that there must be something else at play here- the hand of God. As she is saying this, you can see that Walter is obviously falling more and more in love with her with every word she says. It’s a wonderful scene. :)

- I thought that the interactions between AltOlivia and Walter were cute, but confusing and disappointing when you look at how they are placed with respects to the overarching story in season 3. Throughout season 3, there was a great deal of rich conflict and distrust between both sides that really made season 3 as epic as it was. Now that both sides are working together, the distrust has apparently vanished along with the rich character exploration that occurred during season 3. The friendliness between both worlds in this timeline seems to be such a contrast to what was the case in season 3 and I guess to some extent it makes sense since Peter was the cause for the conflict between the two worlds in the original timeline. I wonder what will happen between both worlds when the timelines merge (as I predict). Will they both remember a time of peace (this timeline) AND a time of war (old timeline)? If so, which situation will they chose? Also, regarding AltOlivia, it bothered me that she never once apologized to Walter for tricking him when she was undercover on this side and she seemed almost too perky for someone that does the work that she does.  Although a lot of people love AltOlivia, I'll take our Olivia over her any day.  :)

- When Peter and Olivia visit a colleague of Neil’s at MIT, he explains how Neil spent the summer at a lake house in 1985 and came back changed. He worked tirelessly on equations that would allow him to flatten space and time such that they would both exist on the same plane. This would allow someone to see the past, present, and future simultaneously. So this means that the observer’s ability to travel through time boils down to nothing more than mathematics. It would be interesting if we learned that someone in the future had made the observers for a specific purpose.

- The case of the week centered on Neil, a brilliant scientist and mathematician who, through acquiring September’s blue wand in 1985, acquired the ability to travel through time. This enabled him to see the future, especially of those who would suffer greatly before dying. He used his knowledge to warn such people and killed them mercifully (with a compound he probably discovered in the future) in order to prevent their suffering. He did all this to become a savior of sorts so that he could eventually become an angel. Neil thought of himself as a compassionate killer, believing that painful suffering can sometimes be far worse that death. When Neil meets his third victim in the episode (a businessman), he tells him that he will be hit by a car while driving once he leaves the parking lot. This accident will damage his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed and alone. Neil tells the man that by killing him now, he will offer him a painless exit from a living nightmare. The man runs away to try to escape from Neil, but ends up getting hit by a car. Thus, although the circumstances were different (he got hit by a car while running away, not while driving and talking on the phone), the result is the same. This implies that our fate is set in stone, no matter what we try to do to change it. This contrasts to the previous episode (Forced Perspective) where the idea prevailed that we can change our fate and that our destinies are not written in stone. During his final scene, Neil speaks to his mother, saying goodbye since he has foreseen his death at the hands of Olivia and Peter. He knows that she feels like the wrong brother died. That she felt that Alex (the one who died) was the better one. “You always resented that I wasn’t Alex. Not your angel. I worried I wasn’t good enough. But God has a plan. He let me live for a reason. God let me see the future so that I could give people mercy (paraphrased).” Not only does he talk like an observer throughout the episode, but he also acquires the ability to speak at the same time as others since having seen the future, he knows what they’ll say before they even say it. It’s interesting also that Neil could have easily avoided his death by running away once he saw Peter and Olivia arrive through the window, but he had faith that God had a plan for him and so he stayed to be killed. The word faith is very interesting in this context and, like hope, might have a bigger role to play in the upcoming episodes.  Neil's speech also reflects Peter's situation- perhaps September rescued him from drowning and didn't erase him because he has a bigger purpose, a purpose that goes beyond the machine. 

- AltAstrid explains to Astrid her dilemma when it comes to dealing with her father’s death. She regrets that she wasn't able to love her father in the way that he wanted or could understand due to who she was. She asks Astrid if he would have loved her more if she was normal. Initially Astrid doesn’t have a response for her, but by the end of the episode, Astrid tells her that her own father is a very hard man to love and that he shows love in his own way. It’s who his is and it’s not her. She tells AltAstrid that she shouldn’t feel guilty about not loving him enough. This was such a sad scene because every child must feel like that at some point in their lives, feeling like they’re not good enough for their parents to love. No child should have to feel that way. Neil felt that way and I imagine that Peter feels that way as well. In fact, Astrid’s speech to AltAstrid could very well describe the relationship between Walter and Peter. During Astrid last scene, we see her at home and her father, who has made her dinner, greets her warmly and gives her a big hug. We realize that Astrid lied to AltAstrid about her father. Considering how warm and kind Astrid is, I didn’t expect anything less from her. The reality is that AltAstrid’s father probably didn’t love her as much because of who she is; they weren’t able to communicate in the same way or in the same “language.” For some parents, the differences between them and their child can be too much and they can’t seem to overcome the emotional barriers. Neil’s mother unfortunately probably did love Alex a little bit more and Walter does love his own Peter a little bit more. I think that individuals that do have mental challenges (like AltAstrid) are among the bravest and most courageous people in society and I think that AltAstrid is an extraordinary person and character.

- It was refreshing to see Peter and Olivia working on a case together just like old times. That moment where Olivia picks the lock at the lake house made me laugh since picking locks was always their thing. They seem to bounce off each other very well, posing questions for the other and finishing each other’s thoughts and sentences. I thought that it was nice when Olivia told him at the end that he makes a good partner. Peter thanks her and chuckles in response and immediately leaves. He seems very noncommittal here which is consistent since he is trying to remain as detached as possible from these people in this timeline. It’s interesting that, in this case, all roads lead to Reiden Lake as they always do. The shot of Peter looking out over the lake was a nice reflective shot. I’m sure that he was thinking about the time when he resurfaced in Reiden Lake in Subject 9 and about everything that has happened at this iconic place.  Also, I found it weird that Peter and Olivia didn’t take the equations from Neil’s house back with them to the lab and study them. It might help them to understand the observers more.

- The final scene between December and March answered some questions, but raised some more. Firstly, based on their conversation, it seems like September is alive and well and that Neil’s blue wand belonged to him. Neil acquired it after September dropped it on the night that he didn’t save Peter Bishop. If Peter wasn’t saved, then why was September there in the first place? Was he just observing this important event? What caused him to drop his blue wand? I think that the latter question is an important one. Also, I find it interesting that they didn’t know about Peter’s reappearance in this timeline till right now. This is so glaringly inconsistent that it must not be a plot contrivance. The observers are thought of as being all seeing and sometimes, all knowing. They should have sensed Peter’s reappearance a long time ago and there must be a reason for why they didn’t. Also, I really wished the show went into greater detail regarding how the observer’s technology (their blue lights that enable them to see the future) works. Does this mean that the observers, by themselves, don’t have any special powers? Are all their powers attributed to the technology that they wield? This gives credibility to the theory that observers were once humans.

- I loved the sayings in this episode, by the way: “Kirk Out!” and “Shittake Happens.”  :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.10 (Forced Perspective)- Part II

- When Olivia was at the courthouse, talking to Broyles, she said that she can’t stay away from the site just because she has a death threat looming over her. She can’t live her life constantly looking over her shoulder and nor can she do her job right. When she was talking to Duncan, she told him that our fate is not written in stone and that she wasn’t ready to die. Not today. The whole scene, although touching, felt a bit contrived since any bomber wouldn’t stand around and talk when they could just pull the trigger and get what they need to get done. And I felt that Duncan backed down too quickly. But, the message got across regarding Olivia’s state of mind.

- Olivia and Nina’s relationship was interesting to see in this episode. When Olivia confronted Nina regarding Massive Dynamic’s involvement in Emily’s life, Nina appeared very nonchalant about their efforts to study her. Olivia was completely justified in getting a big angry- she’s right in that no matter what you do to a child, when you violate their rights to privacy and respect, it’s abuse. I was a little disturbed by the scene with the two of them at the end. Olivia (no doubt encouraged by what Emily said about telling those you care about that you love them before it’s too late) told Nina that she loved her and that no one has been more of a mother to her than Nina. Nina appeared very touched by this and offered to make Olivia some soup and to obtain for her some drugs that might be helpful for her migraines, drugs that are currently in the experimental stages at Massive Dynamic. I can’t imagine how cold Nina must be in order to hear what Olivia said and still want to give her even more drugs. She seemed more concerned about the migraines than about anything else that Olivia said. I am actually convinced that it’s AltNina who is working with David Robert Jones and who is drugging Olivia. This Nina seems very nice, with no sign at all of guilt and I recall her interactions with Walter in Novation. She seemed very genuine with Walter there and with Olivia in this episode. This goes back to what Walternate said: Not Everything is as it seems.

- “God has a purpose for all of us even if we can’t understand it.” Emily’s story was heartbreaking and it ties very strongly to Olivia’s story. In the end, Emily realized that her purpose was to save those people in the courthouse and after she had fulfilled her purpose, the electrical activity in her brain became too much and she died. I wonder if this is foreshadowing Olivia’s fate. Does she have a certain purpose and once she fulfills it, will she die? This is very similar to what happened to Peter. Are both of their fates unavoidable? Are they intertwined in some way? Like Emily, Olivia has a very special ability (although she doesn’t know it yet) and I fear that what has given the abilities to her (Cortexiphan) will kill her. In season 3, when the gang went inside Olivia’s mind, they encountered Mr. X and Olivia later said that this was the person who was going to kill her. Could Mr. X be CorteXiphan? Another way that you can approach this is by reasoning that Peter is the one that gave Olivia that ability to cross over. By manipulating her own feelings of fear and love towards Peter, Olivia is able to cross over. Thus, could we say that Peter in some twisted unintentional way will be the one to kill Olivia? I thought that Walter’s quote was very appropriate for this episode: “A candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.” But, as we’ve seen with Olivia, she is an exception. Her candle does burn twice as bright, but it also burns as long as any candle realistically could. In a lot of ways, she defies the odds. When Olivia asked Emily if she sensed anything around Olivia, Emily grew very quite, but her father interrupted before she could say anything further. I wonder what Emily would have said and it’s a shame that we’ll never figured that out. Also, Emily’s final scene was superbly played by the young actress who played her. Her child-like voice was creepy and provided her with great emotional depth and vulnerability.

- I also thought that it was interesting that both Emily and Olivia had the habit of drawing what they saw. Do Olivia’s dreams of Peter work like Emily’s visions? Is she seeing echoes of future events when she dreams about him? Is she even still having such dreams?

- The scene between Olivia and Peter near the end of the episode was interesting in providing us with some interesting facts about the observers. As Peter said, they experience the past, present and future simultaneously and they don’t predict future events- they know the future because they’ve been there and have experienced it. When Olivia asks Peter if the observers can be wrong, Peter says that he doesn’t see how they could. It’s highly ironic that he says this since he is living proof that the observer’s plan can sometimes backfire. Peter was suppose to die as a boy, but September (with Walter’s help) saved him. Peter was suppose to be erased from time, but September (with Olivia’s help) brought him back. He has a lot of experiencing in avoiding his fate (aka Death). I wish that Olivia would have confided in him instead of lying to him since he of all people could really help her. But, I imagine that when he does find out, he’ll be devastated. After all, the main reason why he chose to build the bridge in the first place was because it was the only way to change the future such that Olivia doesn’t die. Stuck in this new timeline, his only reassurance is the knowledge that he at least averted Olivia’s death. Imagine how he’ll feel when he realizes that his efforts were in vain.

- The glyphs for this episode spelled out MARCH. This could mean several things. Firstly, it could refer to the observer that we’ll see in the next episode named MARCH who could possibly be taking over for September. Secondly, coupled with the glyphs from the previous episode, we get DEATH MARCH which obviously refers to Olivia. Thirdly, it could refer to the fact that Olivia’s death will occur in March. If you recall in Shakespeare, there’s a quote that states “Beware the ides of March.” March was obviously the month in which Julius Caesar was murdered.

- The theme of this episode was the idea that our fate is not written in stone. It can be changed and shaped to be whatever we want it to be. So far this season, we are being presented with two overarching story lines: Peter’s quest to find his way home and Olivia’s struggles with her own mortality. Time is running out for the both of them. The big question is how these two plot lines tie together and whether or not the solution is the same for both of them. Will they both have to be sacrificed for the greater good because they have a pre-destined, overarching purpose? Or are both of their journeys about overcoming the odds and figuring out how to escape their doomed fates?

- A minor quibble: When I initially saw this episode, I strongly disliked it because in a lot of ways, it rehashed the plotlines from Subject 9 and Wallflower in which the cases of the week were both experimented on and reflected the character of Olivia. But upon viewing the episode again and thinking about the themes presented, I have a greater appreciation for what this episode offers in terms of helping us understand how the story will move forward. I still am a bit frustrated by the fact that we have been given very few answers so far this season, but I trust the writers. One of the reviews that I read stated that part of the reason for why a lot of fans are frustrated this season is because we see these new characters discover themselves in ways that we’ve already seen with the old characters. In the old timeline, our Olivia has already come to terms with her past as an experimental subject. In the old timeline, our Walter has already overcome his guilt and grief at what he did to Peter and Olivia as children. There comes a point where you have to ask the writers: are you recontextualizing or rehashing old plot developments? But, nevertheless, I remain steadfast in my trust in the writers.

Fringe Episode 4.10 (Forced Perspective)- Part I

Forced Perspective was a good episode, but much like Wallflower, it was a bit of a disappointment in comparison to the episodes that came before it. Ironically enough, during my first viewing, I thought that “Forced Perspective” provided me with very little new perspective, but upon subsequent viewings and after thinking about the episode a bit, it provides some good insight into the overarching plot of this season.

- At the beginning of the episode, we meet a girl named Emily and she apparently has the ability to see visions of a person’s death before it happens. When she hears a hum signaling that a vision is developing in her mind, she feels compelled to draw it out. Once she draws it out, she strives to warn the marked individuals in an attempt to allow them the gift of saying their goodbyes to those that they love. She appears to have a very fatalistic perspective on things since she feels that their deaths are inevitable. But, for a young girl who has seen drawing after drawing come true, how could she not have such a perspective on things? In the beginning of the episode, she promptly starts drawing a picture of a man that is struck by a high beam such that it goes right through his chest. She spots the man in the crowd and gives him the drawing. I thought that the conversation that him and his partner had about teenagers was funny, but his subsequent death was rather gruesome even if it demonstrated impressive work by the special effects department. When Emily stopped the man to give him her drawing, she probably delayed him for a couple of seconds and the man was delayed further as he slowed down his walking to examine her drawing. If Emily had not stopped him, would he have walked by the construction site a lot sooner and thus, avoided the beam that came falling down? By warning these people about their doom, is Emily inadvertently fulfilling their fate that she foresaw? This is called a self-fulfilling prophecy and its an interesting idea.

- In the next scene, we see Olivia and Broyles talking with each other about the observer sightings. In the first season, the team had encountered an Observer in the episode “The Arrival” and had notified Broyles. Broyles then told them that they had been investigating these individuals for the past 3 years. A similar situation is playing out in this episode. Olivia’s encounter with the Observer caused her to tell Broyles who disclosed that they had been investigating them for quite some time. Regarding giving information to the Fringe team, Broyles will only tell them what they need to know based on whether or not such information is relevant to a current case. Since the Observers have not directly approached the team before, it makes sense that this is the first time that Olivia is fully learning about them. I’m assuming that the Observers have not made contact with the team since Peter does not exist in this timeline. This is consistent with my theory that Peter was the one that the observers were observing and September presumably felt the need to warn Olivia of her fate because somehow it ties into Peter’s fate.

- Skipping a bit ahead, there is another scene between Olivia and Broyles a bit later in which he asks her why she’s been to the health center three times within the last month. Olivia’s normally strong fa├žade crumbles a bit as she tells Broyles that she has needed a constant supply of prescriptive medications to address her migraines that have seem to have gotten worse. She asks Broyles if he believes in fate and upon hearing that he doesn’t, she replies that she didn’t either, not until recently. Working on a case about a girl who is actually able to predict the death of certain individuals must have given credibility to the prophecy that she heard about her death a few weeks ago. Thus, she probably believes in fate a bit more than she did before. I can’t imagine how rattled she must be about everything that’s going on with her. Not only does she have to be able to work everyday in a job where life-threatening things can happen (and have happened), but she also has to deal with persistent migraines. Anyone who has experienced chronic headaches before will tell you that after about 5 hours of having a headache, you just want to crawl into a corner and start crying your eyes out. Regarding Broyles, our Broyles is such a contrast to AltBroyles who appears to be working with the enemy. In these two scenes with Olivia, Broyles proves that he is very different from his counterpart: he is caring and observant. He voices that he is committed to making sure that Olivia is out of harms way as much as possible from this point forward. It’s reassuring to see that their close relationship is retained in this timeline.

- I really loved the scene with Walter, Peter and Olivia in the lab. Walter has apparently stayed true to his promise of helping Peter to find his way home. Peter confesses that since he is not suppose to exist in this timeline, the machine in this timeline would not respond to him. In the initial episodes of season 4, we learned that when the machine was turned on, instead of destroying one of the universes, it actually formed a bridge. But how did the machine turn on in the first place in this timeline? Is the machine designed differently in this timeline such that it has been made to respond to something else other than Peter? It was responsive to Olivia in the old timeline. Is it still responsive to her? Does she have to be dosed with Cortexiphan so that her powers will emerge and so that she’ll be able to operate the machine? If the machine is designed a bit differently in this timeline, will Peter be able to manipulate it in such a way so that it can perform a different function (such as helping him get home)? On a shallow note, it should be a crime for Joshua Jackson to wear a shirt that makes him look as good as the shirt in this scene did. I’ve noticed that in almost all the episodes (with the exception of “Novation” and “And Those We Left Behind”), Peter is wearing a blue shirt or coat which is an appropriate homage to his true home (the Blueverse). I love the way that he says Olivia’s name when he sees her and the way that she smiles when she enters the lab. For both of them, the lab is a familiar setting, a setting that they’ve spent years in, investigating case after case. They’ve probably spent more time in the lab then they have in their respective homes. Olivia is delighted that Walter and Peter are working together and Walter’s response is sweet. He promises her that despite working on two different projects, she’ll always have his full attention when she needs it. I love the family dynamic between the three of them and seeing this scene really made me realize how much I’ve missed it. It’s weird, but with every passing episode, the characters become more and more like the older versions of themselves. I don’t know if this is intentional or not or whether it’s just lax acting. Because of Peter’s presence, are the timelines beginning to merge slowly, day by day?

- Another indication that this Olivia is becoming more like the Olivia from the old timeline is the fact that she noticed Emily’s backpack in the apartment when they went to question Emily’s family about her whereabouts. During the initial episodes of season 4, it was Lincoln who was the observant one and Olivia who seemed to be missing important pieces of information. With every passing episode, I find myself caring more and more about the characters from this timeline and Olivia is no exception to this.

- The scene in the lab with Emily was also a noteworthy scene. Walter proposed that some future events can reverberate backwards in time and Emily said that each vision comes to her like a dream and she draws them out before they fade away. I think that these ideas will somehow play out in future episodes, but I’m not sure how yet. I especially like how Peter relied on his past experiences to help the others on the current case. Peter learned about the green-red light method of mind control in the season 1 episode “The Equation” and I found it a bit weird that Walter didn’t know about this method in this episode. He learned about the method at St. Claire’s from one of his roommates. Him knowing about the method had nothing to do with Peter’s presence and so I felt that his lack of knowledge here was a bit contrived. It was wonderful to see Peter reassuring Walter while he was guiding Emily. Peter, more than anyone, knows what Walter is capable of and has confidence in him. Can I just give a shout out to the special effects department? There are some shows (like Once Upon A Time) that have an enormous budget, but that have really crappy special effects. I’m am constantly amazed at how good the special effects are despite the fact that Fringe is on a low budget. This show seriously makes the most out of every penny that they have, don’t they? Emily’s vision of the bomb attack was beautifully done.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.09 (Enemy of My Enemy)- Part II

- At the headquarters, AltAstrid states that they retrieved geographical maps from the hard drive that Bradonate had which means that David Robert Jones probably was searching for something that could be found underground. Peter, relying on the knowledge that he gained regarding Jones’ activities in season 1, states that Jones is probably looking for amphilicite (spelling?), an inert substance that if processed right, could create some serious damage. I really liked how AltAstrid expressed her disappointment at having overlooked the significance of the mineral and how Peter, laying a hand on her shoulder, stated that on its own, the mineral had no significance. Only when Peter’s special knowledge of the substance was factored in, did it acquire significance. It seems that AltAstrid has a little crush on Peter based on the fact that she looked at him straight in the eye when she spoke with him and was a little in awe upon realizing that he’s from another timeline. I loved their interactions and I hope to see more of them in the upcoming Astrid-centric episode.  I thought that Jasika Nicole was great in portraying both Astrids.  The Astrid in the prime universe is very in tune with the emotions of others and the Astrid in the alternative universe is very logical and perhaps a bit autistic (this has actually been confirmed by Ms. Nicole).  She makes decisions based on calculating the probabilities of possible outcomes.  If a factor is abstract (like an emotion) or unknown (like Peter's unique  knowledge of Jones' motives; or Olivia's unique knowledge of where the serial killer would be based on a picture she saw in his home)), she doesn't account for it.  She doesn't see that there are possibilities beyond the numbers and that sometimes, even with all the mathematics that we have available to us, we cannot possibility anticipate how things will play out.  Her approach to things is imperfect and very interesting.  She is also blunt and lacks social etiquette, which, in the upcoming Astrid-centric episode, will probably allow the writers to have her say things that the other character can't necessarily say. Altastrid is a very interesting character to me and I look forward to how Jasika Nicole will continue to play her.  Astrid is a truly wonderful character and, more than any other character, deserves to be fleshed out.  I wonder what AltAstrid will say about a possible hook-up between Peter and Olivia.  Considering that they both are slated to die, she'll probably say something like "the odds are astronomically small such as to be non-existent." :)

- The Fringe team in the alternative universe arrives at the appropriate quarry where they think Jones will be. In a great twist, Peter realizes that Jones is indeed at the quarry, but in the other universe. “Wrong Universe” indeed. When Jones arrives back to our universe that has the quarry that he needs, he remarks that the air here is sweeter. This alludes to the saying “Home, Sweet Home” and it also alludes to the fact that the air is indeed cleaner in this universe compared to the alternative universe that has been decaying at a much faster rate.

- Gene, where have you been? You can tell that in this timeline, even Gene the cow has changed. She has fewer spots and seems quieter.  :)  Joking aside, this scene between Walter and Elizabeth was extremely touching and probably amongst my most favorite scenes in Fringe. Every line was just absolute perfection- the strong writing in this episode was especially evident in this scene. Elizabeth appears to Walter in the lab and she has some lights above her, giving her an almost heavenly appearance. Walter remarks that she has come a long way to see him and Elizabeth recalls how Walter once crossed universes to save a boy; she has now come to him to do the same. A version of their son has brought them together once again. Apparently, in this timeline, Walter never received a sign of forgiveness for his actions (a white tulip) and he uses his guilt as proof that he should not help this version of Peter. Elizabeth then says something that I feel was the highlight of their conversation: She tells him that if she can forgive him, God can too. If a mother can forgive you for kidnapping her only child, then anything is possible. When Walter says that he is afraid, Elizabeth gently cups his face and tells him that Peter is also afraid and deserves to go back to the people who love him. Part of what annoys me the most about Walter is that he lacks the ability to step into the role of a parent and realize that a version of his son is looking to him for help and guidance. Peter is scared and he is looking to this Walter (a version of his father) to be a father for once and help him. I’m glad that Elizabeth knocked some sense into him.

- I absolutely loved the scene where the entire team was at the quarry fighting off the shape shifters. When Olivia went off in the car to chase after Jones, you could see the panic in Peter’s eyes and tone of voice. Based on his experiences in season 1, Peter knew that if a person passed through the portal while it was closing, the person would be split in half. He urged Olivia to stop her car and to trust him. Although initially indecisive, Olivia pushed on the brakes in the nick of time. Her front car ended up being chopped off. You could see how frightened Peter was as he was waiting for Olivia to respond and when she did, his voice dropped lower as he inquired as to whether she was okay. Having experienced the death of Olivia in the future, it was only natural that her near death experience presently would frightened him. Is this how the plotline surrounding Olivia’s death is going to work out? Will Peter be using his unique knowledge to save her from every near death experience? If her possible death in this scene scared him that much, I can only imagine how scared he’ll be when he learns about September’s chilling prophecy. Once he finds out, will he strive to find a way to save her?

- The meeting between the Alternates was amazing and I felt like the characters were being very proactive in what they were saying. I felt like the plot was moving forward and that something monumental was in the process of happening. I really liked Walternate’s speech below:

“Seems only hours ago that I asked Peter to be my emissary. I knew that, despite the accord, that there remained a great deal of... distrust and trepidation between our sides -- much of it directed towards me. I also know the truth -- that a new breed of shape-shifter had infiltrated both our worlds. And the only way to defeat them meant working together, fully combining our resources and our talents. I thought that if you heard this from someone more impartial.... you'd see the imperative. That message is no longer necessary. We know who our enemy is now. And that, in itself is a distinct step forward.”

This is a great speech. They have identified a common enemy and this common enemy may be the key to bringing both universes together. I also really loved Peter’s speech. Always the messenger of hope, he says that HE is the one thing that Jones didn’t account for, the one variable in the picture that Jones might not be able to control in this plan of his that he has probably being planning for some time. They stopped him somewhere before, there’s no reason why they can’t stop him again.

- I’m a bit shallow, but one of my favorite parts of the episode was when Olivia and Peter were talking after getting out of the conference room. It was refreshing to see so much of the color blue around them and their surroundings really complimented their conversation since it reminded me of the Peter and Olivia that I’ve know for the last 3 years in the Blueverse. I love her hesitance in thanking Peter and how Peter automatically knew what she was trying to say. I feel like this scene serves as a bit of a turning point in their relationship. There’s a bit more trust and sympathy now than there was before. Their smiles were so beautiful and genuine and when Olivia was walking away, Peter kept looking at her, an almost wistful look in his eyes. She clearly reminded him of his Olivia and I wonder if there will come a point where the delineation between the two Olivias will become blurry for him and whether his longing for Olivia will overtake his logical reasoning that this Olivia is not his Olivia.

- The scene between Peter and Olivia signified a shift in their relationship and allowed us to sympathize with Olivia more since she seemed a lot more like our old Olivia in that scene. The same can be said for Walter in his scene with Peter. What particularly stuck out for me was his line where he said “I thought that I was an expert on loss. I guess there are still some things that I need to learn.” Peter responds that he was surprised that Walternate was not the man that he thought he was, but he is not surprised to learn that Walter is exactly the man that he thought he was. It was a nice way of using roughly the same line to convey how Peter feels about both Walters.

- At the end of the episode, we learn that Nina is working with Jones and, by extension, AltBroyles. Is this our Nina or AltNina? There’s general agreement that “her” refers to Olivia, but what are they preparing her for? In season 1, the cortexiphan trials were done to prepare children to be soldiers in some kind of upcoming battle. Is there a battle that lies ahead that Olivia needs to be prepared for? Are their actions meant to help Olivia, not harm her? If you recall, Jones had a bit of a soft spot for Olivia in season 1, helping her to bring out her abilities. Is his motives towards Olivia altruistic?

- “Back to Where You’ve Never Been” and “Enemy of my Enemy” don’t really answer very many of the questions that were proposed in the first couple of episodes this season, but they push the season in an exciting direction that promises to answer our burning questions. In the first couple of episodes this season, there wasn’t very much direction and I couldn’t really see where they were taking the characters, particularly Olivia and Peter. After these two episode, we see that much of Olivia’s arch this season will be about coming to terms with the prophecy she was given or finding a way to overcome it and avert it’s outcome. Peter underwent a significant change during these two episodes and the change didn’t seem rushed or drawn out- the pacing of it was perfect and was justified by the appearance of a grave threat, Jones. He went from “this is not my fight” to “I will help you.” For him to set aside his own objectives in favor of helping these people (that he has no connection to) defeat a common enemy is a pretty big deal. He understands that there is a bigger picture and I appreciate that. A lot of people have been theorizing that perhaps Peter is in the machine this entire time and that his work in this timeline is helping to build a bridge between the two worlds. In addition to building a literal bridge, maybe he has to build a metaphorical bridge as well and that once he does, he can step out of the machine and return to the people that he loves. I don’t necessarily think that’s going to be the case, but it’s an interesting theory.  These past two episodes also made me sympathize with this Walter and Olivia a great deal more such that if we were stuck in this timeline forever, I would actually be okay with that.  I feel like the next few episodes promise to be very exciting and I can hardly wait to see how everything unfolds!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.09 (Enemy of My Enemy)- Part I

“Enemy of My Enemy” was probably one of the best episodes this season. The pacing was perfect, the suspense was invigorating and I finally have some ideas regarding the direction in which this season is heading in. It also brought both universes together in a really great way, re-introduced an amazing villan, and served as a turning point for this season, especially with regards to Peter and his objectives.  After a lackluster string of episodes that characterized the beginning of this season, this episode (along with the episode that came before it- Back to Where You've Never Been) kicked the season into high gear, reminding us all of how great a show Fringe is.  

- By inspecting the security camera footage, Broyles finds out that AltOlivia and AltLincoln have hid Lincoln in a closet. He places some solution in a syringe and is just about to go down to the closet to give the solution to Lincoln when Walternate stops him to tell him to release Lincoln so that he and Peter can return home. The number one rule that every Fringe fan has to know and understand is that nothing is as it seems. In other words, you can never claim to know a character’s motivations and whether or not they are good or evil- generally, in the end, you’ll be wrong or the show will deliver a twist that you didn’t see coming. I think that AltBroyles is truthfully a good guy. He didn’t seem happy about helping David Robert Jones. Based on the looks that he gave David Robert Jones, he seemed to appear to question some of the things that David Robert Jones said during the interrogation. I think David Robert Jones is forcing Broyles to help him (maybe threatening to hurt his family if he didn’t help him; the ring on his finger in the beginning was pretty obvious). Perhaps Broyles knows that Lincoln is a shapeshifter and was actually trying to kill him; thus, proving that he's a good guy. All I know is that in the old timeline, AltBroyles was a good person, helping Olivia to escape and sacrificing himself in the process. It’s not possible for him to go 180 degrees in the opposite direction in this new timeline.  In the old timeline, Olivia told him that there is hope that the two universes can co-exist together peacefully.  Maybe Olivia didn't give him that message in this timeline and as a result, he is seeking hope elsewhere.  Maybe Jones promised him that his help would serve the greater good somehow.

- AltOlivia thinks that Lincoln might on to something with his claim that there might be a traitor in their mist. I thought that the conversation between AltOlivia and AltLincoln was cute, especially when she was playfully criticizing Lincoln’s hair. AltOlivia and AltLincoln are very similar, happy people which is why they fit very well together whereas the Lincoln and Olivia in our universe don’t really jive well together, in my opinion. I think that this difference is a testament to the fantastic acting by Anna Torv and Seth Gabel. Seriously, there is no show like Fringe that makes such good use of the actors that they have.

- I cannot tell you how happy I am to see David Robert Jones. Jared Harris plays him so incredibly well. I found it interesting how he described his creations with such love and adoration. The woman that he was looking at had been an accountant before her transformation and Jones states that she was dead before and now, as a shapeshifter, she’s alive again and is special and perfect. This scene reminds me the experiments that were done on Olivia and how they were done in an attempt to make these kids special. It’s also interesting how he says “I suppose this is what it’s like to have a love as a parent does.” He says this in front of AltOlivia who we know had a child in the previous timeline. There is no indication that she took his statement and internalized it in any way and so I assume that Henry didn’t bleed through much like how Peter bled through for Walter and Olivia. After this conversation, Jones says so wonderfully, “take me to your leader.”  Just as in the old timeline, he willingly turns himself in.  There are reasons for why he does this, reasons that I'll go into later. 

- The confrontation between Lincoln and Peter is interesting in many ways. I sympathize with Lincoln and his need to get answers to avenge his partners death, but I also sympathize with Peter. I’m glad that he finally spoke up and told Lincoln that he’s scared and that he urgently needs to get home since he fears that with every second that he spends here, those he loves drift farther and farther away from him. Although Lincoln lost a partner, Peter lost a universe. All throughout this episode, Lincoln seemed a little bit on the edge in this episode and wanting to poke his nose in everything. Even Peter tells him that if he wants to ensure peace between both sides, the last thing that he should do is stick around for the interrogation and tell Walternate how to do his job. Peter seems to have a good understanding of the level of authority that exists in the Fringe division while Lincoln does not. While interrogating Peter during the episode Novation, if you remember, he spoke over Broyles about what needs to get done and here, he is speaking over AltBroyles and Walternate when they are discussing their plans to let Jones go. While Peter is calm and collected, Lincoln has some nervous energy about him and seems very paranoid. I also found it strange that Lincoln (a non-fringe agent) is figuring certain things out (there might be a traitor in their mist and that Jones must have known the frequency of the tracer that they used) that the other, more experienced, fringe agents haven't noticed.  Does he know more than he is letting on?  Going back to his scene with Peter, I just thought that there was a nice contrast between the two men. Joshua Jackson played this scene very well. It always amazes me how Peter can confess to being scared, but at the same time, still look so strong and capable. You always see only the surface of what he is feeling. He controls his emotions so well that you never really see how deep they go. But since he is actually voicing his fear (which is rare for him), you can guess that his fear must be enormous.

- Olivia gave Astrid a sample of blood. I initially assumed that it was her own blood, but after rewatching the episode, it’s most likely the observer’s blood since she asked Astrid to let her know if anything cames up, like “a name or genetic marker.” So, did the observer leave some of his blood behind on the chair that he was sitting on?  This scene was a cause of great excitement for me since it means that we'll be hopefully learning more about the observers this season (as the creators promised).  Also, the fact that this scene came right after a scene with Walternate really allowed me to see how different the two men are and to really appreciate John Noble’s acting.

- David Robert Jones does not look good. He has scars all over his face, his eyes are different colors and it seems to be a struggle for him to breathe. The actor was amazing in this interrogation scene. I especially loved it when he requested the retrieval of Brandonate’s disc, saying that sources have assured him that, via helicopter, the disc can be retrieved with 10 minutes with 2 minutes to spare. He also asks AltBroyles for some tea (my thoughts: “You heard the man, give him some tea!”). In one review that I read, the reviewer mentioned that Jones could have just sent a shapeshifter to retrieve the disc, but instead he wanted to communicate directly with the fringe team and mock and tease them a bit. We see him continue in this tactic throughout the episode. But, the one thing he didn’t count on during the interrogation was Peter. I enjoyed the scene between David Robert Jones and Peter. It’s always nice to see Peter interrogating someone since he’s so good at it which I assume is because, prior to joining the fringe division, he must have been on the other side of the table quiet a lot. I thought that it was hilarious how Peter came in with a cup of tea and when Jones inquires whether it was for him, Peter takes a sip out of it. Ouch, Burn!  Jones is subtly unsettled by the questions and comments that Peter throws his way and it’s interesting that his pulse begins to rise once Peter brings up his scars. The last time that we saw Jones was at the end of season 1, where after having crossed over only a couple of times, he was already bandaging himself up since he was on the brink of falling apart. In this timeline, he’s had a lot more time to cross over and has probably crossed over many more times compared to the old timeline. Yet, he appears much more intact. Peter inquires as to why this is. Could it be that Jones is using his shapeshifter technology on himself to keep himself together? Upon hearing from Peter about what happened to the old timeline version of Jones, Jones’ eyebrows go way up as if he is intrigued by what Peter is saying. And before, Peter can interrogate him further, he states that Peter is running out of time.  Is he referencing something else?  Jared Harris, the actor who plays Jones, has said in interviews that he is really interested in what crossing over does to the soul since it was alluded to in season 1 that crossing over damages the person in a way that is much worse than death.  I look forward to exploring this concept further.  I’m unsure regarding whether or not Jones truly knows Peter in this timeline and whether this is indeed a different version of him. Maybe he has the power to transcend timelines and he came to this timeline since his plans would be more easy to achieve (and maybe Olivia’s powers are more accessible to him in this timeline).  Jones is definitely one of those characters where not everything is as it seems.

- The scene at the hospital was very well done and I thought it was cool how when asked whether or not to give a girl a tetanus shot, the nurse said that it would be pointless since the girl wouldn’t make it (or something along those lines). The writing on this episode was absolutely fantastic and just sparkled.  The hand on the window was creepy and having the fringe team listen to the patients’ cries was another example of how Jones wants to tease and torture the fringe team. Using the threat of unleashing more terrorist attacks, the Fringe team had no choice but to release Jones. But, AltLincoln was smart and placed a tracker in Jones’ tea. When keeping watch on Jones, I thought that it was weird that Peter didn’t accompany them, but I guess that this is consistent with his desire to meddle as little as possible. This contrasts to Lincoln who wants to be at the forefront of every development. I thought that Jones’ plan to spread the tracker on the money that he distributed to the public as a way to confuse the Fringe team was weird. It was weird to me since I’ve never seen criminals use this kind of method to fool their opponents and quite frankly, if a scary man with scars on his face offered me money, I would be highly suspicious and I wouldn’t take it. And if you see that Jones is near the fountain and separated from the crowd of people, go there and look around. You just might find him even though you can’t track him anymore. The whole getaway wasn’t as clever as I thought it should have been. What was interesting was the fact that Broyles just stood by and let Jones get away, further confirming that he is in league with Jones. I just want to take this moment to say how pleased I am that Broyles has something to do this season since in the past, he’s been pretty flat and even the actor himself said that that from season 2 and onward, he lost a lot of the mystery that his character had in season 1. I hope that season 4 gives all the actors (especially the secondary characters) their time to shine.

- I thought that it was strange that Lincoln was asking AltOlivia about her relationship with AltLincoln. Does he hope to gather some clues as to whether or not a relationship with the Olivia that he knows is possible? He seems to be very genuine about his feelings for Olivia and so if this timeline is indeed Peter’s home and WHEN (NOT IF) Peter and Olivia get back together, Lincoln might get hurt and there will be a big mess that the show will have to clean up.  This definitely worries me.

- Walternate and Elizabeth’s interactions were wonderful to see. With the death of their son, they were probably able to achieve a sense of closure that wasn’t possible in the old timeline. But, I wonder how they found out that their Peter died after the event happened. Did Walter immediately cross over after Peter died and tell them? My guess would be no since after Peter’s death, the last thing he would want to do would be to cross over again. Thus, my guess would be that they were informed once the bridge was created. Then they must have lived 26 years wondering what happened to their son as opposed to knowing what happened and not being able to do anything about it (as in the old timeline). I would expect that either way, their marriage might have suffered some damage. It’s a big inconsistency, but I’m willing to push it aside for the moment in favor of appreciating how strong their marriage is in this timeline. Walternate says that he has looked at the blueprints, but he is unable to find a way in which the machine can be reconfigured to perform a different task (like what Peter said). This makes sense because he lacks the madness that the other Walter has, a madness that enables Walter to see things in different ways.

Part II coming soon!