1.10 “Safe” Review

The Good

  1. The opening sequence with Loeb and his men walking through the vault walls. Yet again Fringe scores a win for an intense and well made opening.
  2. Recurring. Old faces Loeb and Jones return to give Fringe the more “serial” feel that it cries out for. Both characters gave the episode more depth and purpose. Jones could well turn out to be the “Henry Gale” of Fringe.
  3. Peter back with the ‘A Team’ where he belongs. Tell Tess that he belongs with his daddy.
  4. Olivia and Peter chemistry. There were some seriously great vibes between these two during the bar scene. Lord knows Olivia needs some healing and I think peter could be the one to provide it. But we don’t want it to happen anytime soon. Let it simmer and slow burn. 
  5. Charlie said a funny. How awesome was Charlie’s “Is he stoned?” response to Walter’s even better ramble about time-travel and “imagining yourself then, imagining yourself now”.  
  6. Teleportation. Some fans have been b*tchin’ about the teleportation plot saying that it wasn’t explained well or realistic enough. Seriously, did these people ever moan this much when Scotty beamed them up, or when Ben turned the wheel? People need to remember that Fringe is entertainment, and that we clearly haven’t seen the last of Walter’s little time-travel gizmo. Personally, I enjoyed the teleportation of Mr. Jones and loved the fact that time-travel was alluded to. This show will hopefully go on for years, imagine if Lost had revealed every little detail in it’s first season!? Mystery frickin box, people!
  7. Nina Sharp in a state of worry and concern. We love Nina, she’s like our version of Walter’s “supplements”. She perks us up just thinking about her cheery smile and red hair. Seriously, I want her hair. But it was great to see her a bit agitated in this episode – “we’re up against highly motivated individuals” – yeah, and then she’s in merry London for something important. YES! Fringe truly went international in this episode and we have more clues as to the high stakes for the various factions.
  8. Olivia in peril. Yes! Finally there are consequences for running head-first into potential danger alone. Whilst we sincerely hope that Olivia is OK, it’s about time that she was on the receiving end of a foot chase (albeit one that only covered 4 yards. Pretty weak actually, but she probably had heels on).
  9. A well written and directed episode that brought several strands together, whilst giving us even more questions. This is not a bad thing, have you seen the state of TV-land recently? Thank heavens for Fringe, thank heavens for Bad Robot! Hail, hail!

The Bad

  1. What has happened to Phillip Broyles? Perhaps they’re down-playing his role for the time being, but I was led to believe that Lance Reddick’s character would be more meaty than the one he has portrayed on Lost? This man is surely being under utilized?
  2. Arghhhhhh-strid. Dear, sweet Astrid, how we have waited patiently for you to do something other than watch Sponge bob, order take-aways, come up with random cryptology skills and stroke Gene (good God, did that really happen?). We’ve watched in horror as you’ve allowed Walter to get away with attacking you. We’ve looked on with admiration as you’ve diligently stuck to the task of doing NOTHING for 10 episodes (seriously, I want a job like that). We’ve observed with amusement, as you’ve failed to slap the man who constantly massacres your name. And yet there’s something about you, some undeniable quality that keeps you under our protective wing. Like a little Chicklet we want to feed you with larger scripts and juicier worms. Astrid. Frustratingly, we like you. And therein lies the contradiction, and your umpteenth appearance in our “Bad” list.
  3. Peter’s good but that good? We’ve been led to believe that he read people, that’s marvelous! But is he really so good as to know that wall-phase-lackeyhad radiation poisoning, just from seeing the trembling of his hand? Maybe (if he was paying attention during “The Cure”), but it seems a bit convenient that he can get people to confess when actual FBI agents stand around floundering. Remember Steig? Peter broke him in a heartbeat.
  4. Charlie. Worst. Field. Assist. Ever. OK, so he’s not Olivia’s nanny, but he is her partner. When has he ever pulled his weight in that relationship? He’s good on the therapists couch, but out on the field? Charlie sucks. He can wail into that radio all day long, but at the end of the day this is yet another occasion where he’s failed to help Olivia with the ‘bad guy’ situation. He’s either too late, off screen somewhere, or rolling around town with his army FBI agents. Which brings me to..
  5. Olivia baby, we’re glad that you’ve learnt the hard way not to go it alone, but seriously, why go it alone? Where were all of those FBI agents? Why were you isolated? 
  6. Repetition and clarity. The John Scott/Olivia thing is becoming a bit confusing. Not because we’re slow, but because it seems like the characters forget the discussions that they’ve had in previous episodes. Why is Walter slightly surprised that Olivia is remembering some of John Scott’s memories? Is it because Walter himself is forgetful? Because if it is, that’s OK. But if we’re doing this for the benefit of casual viewers: Meh. (This is really our way of saying we want the show to become more serialized. Please? With butterscotch pudding on top?).
  7. The fact that we have to wait 7 weeks for the next fantastic installment. What? No Mobisodes? You’re just gonna leave us at Christmas? Only kidding, merry Christmas to all at Fringe and to all at Fringe a happy new year. :)

Overall episode rating 9.5/10 [based on previous episodes. Best episode so far, with huge potential for the remainder of the season]


  1. Brenna says

    Love your reviews, but two things:
    Didn’t Peter already know that the robber’s were radioactive? It wouldn’t be that difficult for him then to put the pieces together and see that someone who likely had radiation poisoning and was showing symptoms of radiation poisoning actually had radiation poisoning….
    Also, I agree with you that there are certain conversations that seem to be happening a few times (for the benefit of the casual viewer, which is annoying and I am so right there with you on the show being better if it were serialized), but this seemed to be specifically about her confusing her own memories with John Scott’s, rather than just remembering them.
    Just thought I’d offer my two cents

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  2. Peanut says

    As far as I know, there has never been an explanation of how Olivia could interact with John Scott in a dream state—something that Walter repeatedly has insisted is not possible. Then again, how many people has Wally done “synaptic transfer system” (the shared dream-state) experiments on—evidently, only ONE TIME previously, in which he “extracted” information from a corpse (before Walter’s time in St. Claire’s) as mentioned in the pilot episode. Olivia got John Scott’s memories BEFORE he died, when he was in a medically induced coma (if he really did die—what happened to his body, last seen at MD?). Walter must think that Olivia’s memories & John’s memories were parallel, separate streams of thought. The fact that she was confusing John’s memories with her own would indicate that his memories were infiltrating her memories—this memory crossover is apparently what Walter was questioning, I think. Walter is basing his conclusions on the limited amount of information that he has from the previous experiment–on a corpse, not a living human–& his 1976 hypothesis of how the process works, but Olivia is relating what has ACTUALLY happened to her. It’s also possible that her natural abilities, enhanced by the cortexiphan, affected the process—but Walter, strangely, doesn’t even seem to consider that possibility.

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    • Pierce says

      I think that’s because he hadn’t yet remembered that he and Bell were the ones who gave Olivia that ability with the Cortexiphan trials. I think that’s the trick with Walter’s memory, especially early on. He didn’t recall a lot of things until a particular situation arose.

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      • Peanut says

        A plausible explanation. I’ve always wondered how much Walter recalled of the experiments–& when. Certainly, you’d think that Olivia, with the firestarter thing & seeing the other side, would have been memorable! Must be something of a plot device. Walter can recall a hypothesis from 1976 but not the apparently lengthy cortexiphan trials?

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