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.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe I'm coming off as slightly too blunt, but this season has opened my eyes to how one-sided the relationship between Walter and Peter has always been. Peter took care of him, reined him in, whenever Walter got too wild with his experiments and loved him, in spite of every good reason he had to never speak to that man again. I cannot say Walter has ever been a positive influence for Peter. Other than saving his life in the original timeline, he contributed from very little to nothing to the well-being of the child he stole.

    Don't get me wrong, I used to love the dynamic they had. The way Peter responded to Walter's crazy humor with sarcasm and funny cutting remarks, sprinkled with heartwarming moments, used to be a highlight. I rooted for them to mend their relationship and I rooted for Peter to call him "dad".

    This season I don't want any of that. Walter is a caricature of his former self. He will get the gag of the week about food or bodily functions, possibly both. I can expect him saying something outrageous for laughs, but I can't expect anything that feels human from him anymore. 14 episodes in and there hasn't been a single reason, why I would want Peter to call that man "dad".

    You say they're doing a role reversal from their relationship in S1, but I can't accept that. Peter and Walter had a history that justified their behavior. There is nothing that justifies Walter's hatred for Peter this season. I want him far away from Peter. Walter can only do him harm.


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