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 child...to 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!

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