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.

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