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!

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