2.19 Brown Betty


SINGING AND DANCING OCCURS WHEN WALTER EXPOLRES HIS MIND
ON AN ALL-NEW “FRINGE” THURSDAY, APRIL 29, ON FOX

While Walter deals with some very upsetting news, he tells Olivia’s niece, Ella (guest star Lily Pilblad), a fairy tale that includes musical performances by Olivia and Agent Broyles in the all-new “Brown Betty” episode of FRINGE airing Thursday, April 29 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (FR 2.19) (TV-14 L, V)

Cast: Anna Torv as Olivia Dunham; Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop; John Noble as Walter Bishop; Lance Reddick as Phillip Broyles; Blair Brown as Nina Sharp; Jasika Nicole as Astrid Farnsworth

Guest Cast: Ari Graynor as Rachel Dunham; Michael Cerveris as September; Lily Pilblad as Ella; Ryan McDonald as Brandon

“Brown Betty” Promo:

“Brown Betty” – Interview with the cast:

[AOL Television]

2.19 "Brown Betty" Rating

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Comments

  1. hal says

    i knew it was called Brown Bettie because it would be the name of the weed Walter smokes! haha.. yes, i figured something out before anyone else. i win! ;)

    Like: Thumb up 0

  2. bdp says

    I have to say, I thought they did a great job adding in a dab of music without letting it overwhelm the story at all. Honestly I actually like the episode a lot, it was a really good way showing how Walter is coping with what is happening as well as Ella doing a great job at shining a light on the way we all feel/hope the ending is really going to play out vs. how Walter fears it will.

    And then of course as a way to make up for the kind of recap-ish episode that they gave us they put in that awesome Observer scene at the end. I did not see that coming at all and the whole Walter “forgetting their deal” thing just peaked my interest so much when I didn’t think Fringe could peak it more than it already has.

    Oh and of course there was the fact that Anna Torv looked absolutely amazing throughout this episode and Ella was adorable/funny/a perfect complement to Walter as well.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  3. Audrey says

    That was nothing i had expected.Well, Fringe is always surprising. But i totally get how Walter see’s it that way. Peter left with a secret and Walter’s love, and Walter felt like he would die if he didn’t get Peter back! And Peter saying he doesn’t know who he is; it was brilliant. It’s just the little subliminal messages that let you know. Never in a million years, would I create something as brilliant as that. Well done and bravo cast and crew! Well done J.J Abrams! (:

    Like: Thumb up 1

  4. Frobozz says

    Against my better judgement, my wife forced me to watch.

    And it was every bit as awful and pointless as I imagined it would be. Thanks Fox, for wasting an ENTIRE episode on complete and utter garbage. There wasn’t one redeeming thing about this total waste of an hour. After the forced 6-week nonsense hiatus, we lost a whole episode to promote “Glee”. And it was awful, completely awful.

    Move over “The No Brainer,” we’ve got a new low score. Kurtzman & Orci…DON’T let this happen again. The next time a Fox exec wanders in with a great promotional idea for someone else’s stupid juvenile show, kindly kick them in the ass and slam the door.

    Sheesh. Maybe next season we can dispense with the idiotic filler crap.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  5. Sean says

    That was fantastic. I can already tell from the poll that some weren’t as impressed, but I really enjoyed the depth of Walter’s story, how I could easily draw the parallel between his narrative and the overall Fringe plot-which still managed some progression!

    Also, an insight into Walter’s “mental lab” was fascinating!

    Like: Thumb up 0

  6. Jbou says

    unacceptable.

    I appreciate the insight into walter’s head, but the only appropriate singing in the whole show was broyles….for all other characters, it seemed awkward and out of place.

    worst fringe ever. by far. bar none.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  7. fedorafadares says

    Well, I took quite a bit from the episode. For one, Peter was “born with” something important…valuable. The metaphor was a heart, but could something biological be part of a power source (a la Nina’s battery for her arm that was stolen in one episode)? Could Peter’s blood be the source of Cortexiphan?

    Yes, the dramatic interpretation was that Walter’s heart was broken without his son, but I think we should pay attention to what was actually said and shown.

    Also, the Observers have been typically portrayed as a benign force, but in this episode, they are agressive in capturing and attempting to kill Olivia and attacking Peter. At the end of the episode, one implies a threat when he says Walter doesn’t remember his warning.

    Astrid, or Ethel in this episode, warns Olivia she’s always “looking for something that doesn’t exist,” does this mean that some or all of our Olivia’s quest is a fool’s errand? One big red herring?

    And I think we’ll see that this episode foreshadows future events. Will Olivia really be in a position to save Peter and will barely succeed? Will she have to shut off his light box? (sounds funny!) And will Peter ultimately share whatever special “thing” he has with both universes, creating stability.

    I think this was a unique episode that showed motivations and hints into future events. Well done, show!

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

      I saw a lot of what you are saying. I’ve always thought that there is something big drawing energy and Peter is at the heart of it. Or Peter’s heart is at the heart of it, maybe from this episode. I know they always like to throw in the Wizard of Oz references, maybe Peter is the tin man… And what was all the stuff about stealing children’s dreams? Maybe that plays a bigger part in it all than we originally thought. I also was thinking maybe Peter was sick as a boy because he was the one they were using to make Cortexiphan and that is what Walter almost can’t live with himself for doing. He always said the trials in Jacksonville were Belly’s idea. And wouldn’t Peter have been about 5 or 6 during that time?? He would have been there too.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  8. Anjali says

    I thought it was really good.. considering everything, it was very well done. Anna was really really good!!!!!

    Like: Thumb up 0

  9. Ughhh says

    OMG….I really think Fringe almost jumped the shark. Not what I want or need to spend an hour of my time…..no Fringe fanatic will be pleased. Did the writers need a vacation?

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Mike says

      I totally agree. I’m now waiting for the future episode when they think it’ll be a hoot for Walter to jump over a shark with a motorcycle. Worst. Episode. Ever.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  10. Page 48 says

    Momentum Deferred once again.

    “Fringe” was on a rare consecutive-episode-roll, but “Brown Betty” was like the television equivalent of erectile dysfunction. This was a cold shower in the middle of a hot date. I get that Walter’s got himself a mess of them Post-Peter Blues but a 43 minute drug-induced pity-party full of old cars and bad hair won’t bring him back (or do anything for the credibility of the show).

    FOX had their little theme night and burned off an episode, now it’s time to send Ella to her room and get back to business.

    Like: Thumb up 0

      • Belly says

        What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

        Like: Thumb up 0

  11. Audrey says

    I agree. but i also think this was pretty well made. if they wanted to do something theatrical, they could’ve made some other fricken show like “Glee”. Fringe fans want THE REAL Fringe and not some musical. we want the strange mysteries, the “Peter” story-line, Cortexiphan kids, and NOT a spotted Gene. if we wanted to watch such an utter disaster, we would turn in for Glee.

    But then again, it did somewhat explain a bit about what Walter thinks in his ‘high’ mind. About Peter running away and other stuff that ties in with it. This episode was OKAY for me. I thought it was nice how they explained it, but Fringe fans want a REAL Fringe episode, not a MUSICAL.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  12. MRG says

    I agree with fedorafadres…the episode wasn’t all that bad. I think we need to really look deeper into the episode and examine Walter’s story. I would bet that hidden deep within the story is valuable information about backstory that we have been speculating on. For one, suggesting a romantic relationship between Nina and Bell. And little Ella pretty much dispelled any doubts we had about a relationship between Rachel and Peter. Furthermore, isn’t it funny how it was Ella’s ending in which Olivia and Peter ended up together? Kids can pick up on a lot of things, and maybe she has picked up on how Olivia really feels about Peter. I also agree that Walter may know at least in his subconscious what is so “special” about Peter.

    I am not saying it was the best Fringe episode ever, but if we believe in the Fringe writers, then we need to believe in them all the way. Lets go with them on this journey into Walter’s grief stricken, drug addled brain and try and glean the clues they may have left. :)

    Like: Thumb up 0

  13. mlj102 says

    I guess I should have known that this would be the kind of episode that would polarize the fans: I imagine people will either love it, or they’ll hate it. Personally, I’m leaning more towards the “love it” side. Yes, there were awkward moments. I didn’t particularly care for all of the musical aspects. But I didn’t find it extremely negative, either. Given the fact that it was coming from Walter’s drugged up mind, it fit. As he explained at the beginning, his parents — particularly his mother — loved the detective, musical type of stories. That’s the kind of story he was familiar with and could come up with.

    I think if any Fringe fan can look past the seemingly odd parts in the episode, they will realize that the meaning of the story actually goes very deep. I was constantly taking down notes of various themes or significant quotes and I’m looking forward to watching the episode again so that I can get a better grasp of the many things this episode conveyed. I think there’s a lot there for us to dissect and analyze. I’m sure this episode is full of clues to the actual story of Fringe. I think all those who are saying this episode was a waste or that it did absolutely nothing for the whole story, are very wrong and they completely missed the whole point of the episode. Yes, there were unusual aspects to it and there was a different sort of humor. But there was so much more than that. I really think they did a great job with this episode and that it was a brilliant metaphor for each of the characters and what they’re experiencing and I’m looking forward to many amazing discussions that are likely to result from this episode.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • bdp says

      mlj, I’m really glad to read what you wrote. I have actually been waiting to see what you thought, since usually I agree with you, I was interested to see how you felt about this particular episode. Mainly, again because I agree, that it would be essential love/hate episode. And I am glad to see that we agreed, I thought it was a very good episode not just because I thought it was actually entertaining but mainly because there were a lot of things they had in the episode that you needed to pay attention to in order to realize the big underlying meaning behind it. I think it was definitely a great job by the writers to make this episode completely relevant to what is going on and what is yet to happen even through a “musical” episode.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • mlj102 says

        Thanks for your positive comment, bdp! I am glad that we agree about this episode. I just finished watching it again and, again, I’m amazed at just how much meaning they packed into that story. Even the musical aspect of it got better the second time around. I was especially impressed with the way they picked songs that were very relevant to the story and the show. The lyrics to the Head Over Heels song fit in very nicely, what with the whole line about “Don’t take my heart, don’t break my heart, don’t throw it away.” which is essentially what the message of the story was. And Olivia singing “For Once in my Life”? I can’t think of a song that would be a more appropriate theme song for her. I mean, seriously — it describes her life perfectly and is especially significant considering her current situation. She puts her heart out there, comes to trust and rely on someone, which gives her the strength to cope with all the crazy things she is faced with, and she thinks she won’t have to be alone again — just to find herself heartbroken once more. And I was also really impressed with the performances by Lance Reddick and Jasika Nicole — really great voices! And even the corpses singing, while certainly disturbing, was incredibly entertaining. Wasn’t Nina supposed to sing? They must have cut that one (which is actually probably a good thing, since I really have a hard time picturing her singing to Olivia, though I do hope it will be on the DVD as a deleted scene…).

        I don’t want to say too much before Roco’s official review comes out (I’m curious to find out if he liked it or was disappointed…), but there’s a lot of good stuff in this episode. Personally, I consider it to be a success. Yes, this episode was different, and I certainly wouldn’t want every episode to be done like this, but as a one time thing, I really enjoyed it.

        Like: Thumb up 0

        • LMH says

          Ditto. I think this was VERY off-beat and such a departure for Fringe that it was bound to throw people off balance. This is admittedly a very strange show, and this episode took that to the next level in a very creative way. Just about every line was dripping with some reference or goodie, and the continuity (despite seeming like such a departure from the story) was pretty impressive. Clues about Peter, very intriguing. My mind was racing the whole time to put little pieces together and construct theories as to how they might foreshadow what might happen next= That is what I love most about Fringe, that engagement and this episode was definitely effective in that sense. I had many “ooh!” moments watching all those hints get thrown around. Olivia’s song was a very nice moment in my view, very explicit about how Peter is NEEDED and not just emotionally, which will be big in the next episode I believe. *SPOILER?* I think Newton might try to recruit him and I’m not the first to suggest that. Try to bring him to the other side knowing that our team really needs him to succeed.

          Plus the end brought us back to “normal” Fringeland, with September making a very interesting call to his people about his “warning.”
          My only issue: wish Lance Reddick sang a tiny bit longer, I wanted to really see his piano skills. Oh and no Peter playing piano, though we did get “Do you like Jazz?” ; )

          Like: Thumb up 0

          • mlj102 says

            “I think Newton might try to recruit him and I’m not the first to suggest that. Try to bring him to the other side knowing that our team really needs him to succeed.”

            Actually, this episode made me think that it’s not necessarily that Newton is going to try and recruit him, but more that he is somehow necessary to opening the door. So, not so much that Newton will be thinking “Let’s get him on our side so that they have a harder time stopping me.” but more of “We need him in order to open the door.”

            When Nina talks to William Bell through the window, she gives him the good news that they found the glass heart — that Peter has it. Bell then says that “By utilizing the heart’s power, we’ll be able to create a stable door between universes.” That really stood out to me. Creating a stable door is exactly what Newton is trying to do. In Walter’s story, something Peter has — his glass heart — is essential to opening that stable door. So it could be that there’s something Peter has in real life — something about him — that Newton and the shapeshifters need before they can open the door. So I don’t view it so much as Newton trying to recruit Peter as it will be Newton apprehending Peter so he can use him to open the stable door because he needs him.

            Like: Thumb up 0

        • pugui says

          I always enjoy reading your comments on the episodes! I agree wholeheartedly that this episode goes very deep into the show’s themes and that hidden beneath all the singing corpses and fedora hats there were a lot of clues.
          They made great use of all their voices and gave us a very entertaining episode.
          I love how the writers can still surprise me this way and hope they keep doing that for as long as the show lives.

          Like: Thumb up 0

          • bdp says

            I totally agree with all of you. I’m really looking forward to re-watching the episode again later today to try and pick up on every little subtle reference or clue they put in there, since there were so many. And I’m definitely on the same page about the songs as well. I was very impressed that they managed to pick songs that were not only very relevant to the episode but to the overall fringe mythology too, especially with Peter being “special”.

            Like: Thumb up 0

  14. 7063keisha says

    i kinda liked the episode it wasnt all that horrible and wasnt that great either but i’ll have to go towards the great side because it was good better that i expected at least there wasnt that much singing like in a real musical where they sing almost every second and i also think that there might be evidence in the episode that might explain somethings in past episodes or show clues about what future episodes are gonna be like.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  15. Ariel says

    Personally, I loved it, every part of it. I think there may be some very important clues to several Fringe plots in it.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  16. MikeMike says

    Stupid, stupid, stupid, dumb, asinine, ridiculous, dumb, fart-in-the-fridge, waste of time, waste of episode, utter useless garbage, a big fat poop pile, no good, no bueno, stupid, dumb, unacceptable piece of cow dung.

    If I wasn’t a Fringe fan and I stumbled on to this one, I’d gladly stumble away again.

    Worst F***ing episode ever, if this is the crap they are going to put out they should have rerun mole-boy.

    TOTAL C_R_A_P with a small sprinkling of Puke on the top.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  17. Elaine says

    My retarded sister screwed around with the recording, so, my DVR picked up three minutes into the episode! Ugggh!

    Anyway, the episode was as delightful as I hoped it would be with a great deal of subtext that should give us plenty to try and dissect. Using Walter’s smoke hazed mind to convey a story to young Ella was brilliant. There wasn’t too much singing, and what we did get was nicely done. Was it me, or did I miss the one where Nina Sharp sang? Torv does have quite a nice voice; so does Jasika, although, I had the idea that it wouldn’t be so high. Not sure why though. Of course, John Noble and Lance’s voices were quite delightful as well. Walter singing ‘Tears For Fears’ really cracked me up, as did the singing corpses.

    The whole metaphor regarding the heart was well done too. The fragile, figurative heart being stolen, given and broken was a nice parallel to what’s going on with our characters emotionally. Loved all the little touches in recalling items and ideas from previous episodes. Brandon…enough said. ;-) The mixture of technology and more analog equipments. And I loved the way they worked Bell into the episode via animation and Walter’s window.

    I was quite pleased with the writers efforts here, because I don’t think it lost any momentum as we head into the final three hours of the season…especially when you consider the final scene of September speaking with whomever about Peter not returning home with Walter and being concerned. Me thinks the deal between Walter and September regarding Peter either had a time limit or certain dangers if he didn’t remain in this universe. Of course, that’s all just a guess, and I’m likely to be proven wrong soon enough.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Bishop Takes Queen says

      I wonder what the significance of Peter splitting his heart is…does it mean that half of his heart belongs to his mother in his home universe, and the other half belongs to Walter/Olivia here in their universe?

      Or was it just a happy way for Walter & Peter to share “love” for one another?

      Or both?

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • mlj102 says

        In my opinion, “splitting his heart” in the story had become the only way both he and Walter could live. Peter had volunteered to give his heart to Walter in order to make him a better person. Walter had explained to Olivia that he’d had a bad heart, but with Peter’s heart, he became better. Peter had seen the good in Walter, and was willing to die so that Walter could be a better person. But after Peter discovered all the bad Walter had been responsible for, he took his heart back. They both needed it, so splitting it was the only solution.

        Putting this into terms of what’s actually going on, essentially we have Walter, who was a crazy, selfish, arrogant scientist, but that changed when Peter got him out of St. Claire’s. Because Peter was ultimately willing to give Walter another chance and to love him as his father, Walter changed — he became a better person. As the episode pointed out, he is capable of much good. But when Peter learned the truth about what Walter had done to him, he was hurt and he took his heart back and left. Now, Walter feels he can’t go on without Peter and all that Peter helped him to be, but Peter is no longer willing to trust Walter and turn his heart over to him. As Walter’s ending shows, Walter’s biggest fear is that Peter has left for good. He will never return and will never be willing to trust him with his heart again. But Ella’s ending gave the alternative resolution to things when Peter decided to give Walter another chance. By sharing the heart, they could both live and be happy again and “make lots of goodness.” I thought it was a really, really effective way of portraying the current circumstances, Walter’s fears, and how things do still stand a chance of ending “Happily Ever After.”

        Like: Thumb up 0

        • SF says

          I loved this episode. I’m really impressed with the heart symbol and what the writers did with it, as well as your analysis of what it means for the characters, mlj102.

          I agree with all the ones who wrote in saying this was a better episode than expected, that it managed to move the plot along even as it gave us a recap of the show in such a stylish, fun way! I too think Olivia’s song was especially appropriate. I’ll never listen to the name Candyman again in the same way – now it’s tied with Walter forever in my mind, and not all in a good way! Walter stealing kids’ dreams – what a powerful way to show what cortexiphan did in the ‘real’ world of Fringe, and Peter absolutely correct – all those kids have been damaged by Walter.

          I love the noir, Anna as PI – she was good, Ella was fun! and Astrid does have a really good voice. I like her closeness with Olivia too.

          Best of all, I love the Peter and Olivia scenes at the end. They were perfectly written and acted, especially as Olivia is trying to get the first connection out and her hand is shaking, so he touches her, telling her to calm down, she can do it – a direct link to Bad Dreams and the connection between them. I like the reference to the broken heart Olivia is trying to get over, and how Peter and she just connect almost instantly. We finally get to see some of that chemistry again between them!

          I also agree with LMH who said that we are about to see how Peter is needed in the Fringe team, and not just emotionally. I thought this was quite a brilliant episode, from the sets (anyone else see “The Glass Key” poster on the wall?) to how they mixed cell phones in with the 30′s feel.

          And what are we to make of the Observers now? even Walter isn’t sure if they are good or bad.

          Like: Thumb up 1

          • says

            Thank you, SF! I have a small TV so it was hard for me to read the poster, but I thought it might be the Brian Donlevy 1940s film, The Glass Key, so thank you for confirming that.

            I thought this was especially well written, and since ALL of this series is well written, that is a top compliment.

            Especially clever and original to mix decades, that is to show some 1940s clothes and hair styles, some 1950s cars, and telephones from both 1940s AND nowadays. Really fun and unusual.

            I think the people above who hate this episode are not very smart, and/or they just don’t “get” what the writers were doing.

            Everyone who sang was great, and Astrid and Broyles are very professonally-trained-sounding. Lovely, everyone! Brilliant episode.

            Like: Thumb up 0

    • LizW65 says

      “Me thinks the deal between Walter and September regarding Peter either had a time limit or certain dangers if he didn’t remain in this universe.”

      I’ve thought for a while now that Walter cut a deal with September allowing Peter to remain in this universe for a finite amount of time–possible the date of 5/20/10 is when he’s supposed to return to the other universe for good or something catastrophic will happen?

      Like: Thumb up 0

  18. Bishop Takes Queen says

    I was in the cautiously optimistic camp for this episode, just because I love all things Fringe, and this turned out to be a ho-hum affair. I liked it, but I found myself being very bored for most of the episode. I know once I rewatch it that I’ll pick up on more important bits & pieces, but I just didn’t feel engaged. I was hoping for more of an actual film noir feel from the 40s, but the cell phones, computers, and especially the goofy talk about Walter developing hugs, candy, etc made this kind of an overall headscratcher.

    It was certainly more entertaining than some of the dull monster-of-the-week affairs in the past (“The No Brainer” and “Unleashed” spring to mind), but to me this story lacked any real significant developments (and at least those 2 eps I just mentioned had character developments). It doesn’t help this episode either that it followed probably the best string of episodes yet in the series.

    “Brown Betty” was nowhere near as bad as some of the more harsh reviews here in the comments seem to indicate, but it also was not as good as I had hoped. Oh well. Onto the remaining 3.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  19. Elaine says

    If there’s one complaint about the episode is it wasn’t done in true noir, black and white style. I think that would have really added to the tone of the episode.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • JS says

      Yes, that’s what was missing for me too. Otherwise, I really liked it!

      Then again, I like going off the beaten path every once and a while, so my opinion is somewhat biased. haha

      Like: Thumb up 0

  20. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    Yes, me too! When I saw the last promo in black and white I was SOOOO excited!! i didn’t think the bright colors from the first set of promo shots was a good feel for the episode, but the black and white would have been classy and gone with the theme of everything being a bit dreary right now…

    Like: Thumb up 0

  21. Dragonneyes says

    “I think all those who are saying this episode was a waste or that it did absolutely nothing for the whole story, are very wrong and they completely missed the whole point of the episode.”

    Yes, yes, and yes. Fringe has always been a bit quirky in its humor, a bit “not-serious-in-a-deadly-serious-way” and I think this show simply took it to the far end of that spectrum. Episodes like this make both for deeper, less in-your-face — and we all KNOW the writers have been so guilty of slapping us around with the same information again and again and again — mytharc and an entertaining single episode, all in one package. Some of the most classic X-Files did just this! (Triangle? Jose Chung’s?)

    Bell and Nina? Vicious Observers? “Forgetting the deal”? There’s more than enough candy in here for any hardcore Fringe fan — if you’re not seeing it, you must’ve gotten used to being spoon-fed information back in the episodes when the writers and producers were still trying to cater to that casual fan. ;)

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • LMH says

      Thanks for that. Big X-Files fan and “Triangle” is one of my absolute favorites, along with “Bad Blood” (doesn’t get sillier than that). I see how Triangle is similar to the kind of thing Fringe has done here, and in the end I think in taking the series as a whole someday we will look back and say, “you know that was kinda nice,” especially when the clues get fleshed out. But no hope for people who don’t like singing, rainbows, and the candy man.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  22. Mochi says

    Was I entertained? Yes. Was it important to the series? No. Was it a waste of time? Yeah, but was I entertained? Yes. Walter with the bong was worth it. Broyles singing Stevie Winwood was worth it. And I absolutely loved the little doors that opened up to show their hearts-batteries-wiring. Let’s move on…

    Like: Thumb up 0

  23. boredphdstudent says

    I prefer metaphors in literature by acclaimed authors. For those who appreciated the episode and believe they can derive literary meaning- I hope the writers don’t let you down in the episodes to come.

    I found the logic is fundamentally flawed: that Walter’s narrative — while blitzed non the less — could provide any insights to plot or character development other than his own. Usually I find the incorporation of his drug use as exceptionally humorous and am left wondering how much marijuana was smoked in order to come up with this episode, as this would be the only excuse. If all this show has to offer is AP high school level literary insights, I’m out…

    And MLJ102- what are you doing taking down notes on a prime time television show?!? Their are thousands of brilliant authors with the most inquisitive of metaphors. TV is for entertainment, and I watch it to take a break from all the damn reading I have to do in grad school. I was not entertained.

    Agree that black and white would have helped. Also agree that the whole stealing sunshine and rainbows nonsense was crap. I can even relate to the, oh so eloquent MikeMike.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • mlj102 says

      Well, I guess we’re just opposite. I read books for entertainment and typically don’t take many notes on the books I read for fun. But one of the reasons I like Fringe so much is because I feel it is a show that emphasizes rather pertinent themes, things that, I feel, apply to life, and it makes me think. Technically TV shows are also written by talented authors, we just see it acted out rather than reading it. I believe that many times those authors of TV shows incorporate “inquisitive metaphors” just like the authors of books. I guess it’s all a matter of what you choose to think about, and what you do purely for entertainment.

      As for the idea Walter presented in his story about inventing rainbows and hugs, there’s no need to take it so literally. Telling a story to a young child, you’re going to use things they can relate with — in this case, hugs and smiles and other happy things. It wouldn’t have meant much to Ella if he talked about how Walter made the world a better place with all sorts of science experiments and mathematical knowledge. It was a literary device for the purpose of his story, which he used to convey the idea to Ella that Walter in the story was trying to make the world a better place. You sound like a person who spends a great deal of time studying books and stories, so certainly you should be able to understand that concept.

      I’m sorry that you didn’t like the episode, but that doesn’t mean that everyone feels the same way as you do. And just because someone likes the episode or can find applicable metaphors in it doesn’t mean they’re less educated than you are. There’s no need to bash on those who did enjoy the episode.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • LMH says

        I think all the “rainbows and crap” really added to a sense of who Walter wishes he could be, someone who used his incredible gifts to bring joy to CHILDREN when what he has actually done is bring them fear, pain and even destruction, STEALING THEIR DREAMS. That line was gold. He’s altered memories and taken Peter’s dreams, but he’s crushed their dreams for life and their childhoods.

        Like: Thumb up 0

          • SF says

            I just have to add that I’ve been writing notes to myself from almost the very beginning of watching Fringe – trying to keep timelines, events, clues, straight! This is the only show that has made me think so much, and keep puzzling and going back to rewatch episodes when we get new information, to see how it fits (and it always does), and what I missed and what I was right about. And it’s fun to do this! not work at all.

            And boredphdstudent, I have a degree in English literature and there is nothing wrong with the literary allusions in this show, or this episode! How about we do the Candyman theme, as in the urban legend of candyman, and compare to the song lyrics, and see how both fit Walter’s story perfectly? Sorry, but ever since we saw the novel Land of Laughs in ‘Ability’, this has been a pretty special show that has high marks for storytelling, and leaving plenty of clues and breadcrumbs along the way. Not many shows can match Fringe for it’s depth and consistency.

            Like: Thumb up 0

  24. eveybane says

    It’s funny how the votes for “Worst Ever Fringe Episode” and “Best Ever Fringe Episode” are nearly tied. =P

    Like: Thumb up 0

  25. Jacksonheights says

    I don’t think we know what the warning was that September gave to Walter about Peter. In the previous episode about august, Walter meets august in the diner and says “your friend [September) and I had a deal.” any thoughts as to what that deal may be?

    Like: Thumb up 0

  26. LizW65 says

    I’m not really sure how to vote on this one as it was so off the beaten path, but by and large, I enjoyed it–some things felt awkward and forced, but others worked quite well and I found myself engaged by the story. I missed a few details as the broadcast was affected by atmospheric conditions, but here are a few random observations:
    * I’m glad the writers haven’t forgotten Big Eddie. I still hope to see more on that story line in the future.
    * Interesting that the Observers were cast as hired thugs in the story, whereas their usual M.O. is to remain neutral–perhaps Walter is ambivalent about their real motives?
    * Peter’s comment about Walter “taking children’s dreams and turning them to nightmares” is likely a reference to the Cortexiphan trials and how they destroyed so many of the children involved.
    * Rachel was killed. Forshadowing?
    * The game of Operation as a metaphor for the series as a whole–the team digs around inside people to gain insight and hopefully doesn’t do too much damage as a result.
    * Olivia replacing the batteries in Peter’s chest reminded me of a similar scene from “Iron Man” with Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow.
    * “Heart of Glass” brings to mind the Debbie Harry song, although nobody sang that one…
    * Confirmation of a possible romantic/sexual relationship between Nina and Bell?
    * September’s final cryptic line–what “warning” has Walter ignored?
    * A nice little nod to “The Princess Bride” with Ella’s continued interruptions and the “true love” reference.
    * Walter as Willy Wonka: in many ways they are similar–both charming eccentrics who have created amazing things, but who have a dark and dangerous side. And “candyman” was Sixties slang for one who dispenses psychedelics.
    * I’m pretty sure we got our very first reference to Walter’s mother in this episode, no?
    * The trailers for next week look intriguing. It appears that Broyles is instrumental in helping Peter drop off the grid–but what are his motives for doing so? I’ve always suspected that man knows far more than he’s letting on…

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • SF says

      ooh, I forgot that about candyman and psychedelics. good catch, LizW65. I mentioned some other ones in another comment I just made. Didn’t catch The Princess Bride reference, I should have,I’ve seen it enough times! We agree on the cortexiphan children being the ones whose dreams Walter has stolen. Did you notice that Astrid/Esther is applying to work in a mental institution when we meet her? I love her ‘patience and love’ answers, which are exactly what she needs for Walter!

      Like: Thumb up 0

  27. Lauren says

    I liked parts of this episode a lot, but overall it didn’t quite come together for me. Torv’s song was beautiful though – it’s really hard to sing and put that much emotion behind your words at the same time. I have to admit the line about stealing children’s dreams made me snort just a bit – the delivery was superb.

    I’m assuming the Observer’s warning has to do with returning Peter to the alt-universe, which presumably will happen on 5/20/2010. Or, I could go out on a limb and say that the deal was alt-Peter was allowed to live here if our Walter would eventually pay back his debt by going to the alt-universe himself.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  28. Elaine says

    I’m assuming the Observer’s warning has to do with returning Peter to the alt-universe, which presumably will happen on 5/20/2010.

    I’ve been thinking along the same line. Haven’t quite worked out the significance of it, but I found it interesting that the beacon made an appearance in reference to locating Peter, and it was Peter who eventually led John Mosely to discovering it during the ‘The Arrival’.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  29. Matt says

    It was not at all what I expected. I thought it was great and fit well with the story for the following reasons.

    1. This is Walter’s story about OUR characters. One important thing to remember is that this wasn’t some random story that had to be made (which…it sort of was) but they made it something for us as fans to enjoy and still find things … See Morein. With that, we saw how Walter sees those around him. High respect for Olivia as a super detective, Astrid as the brains and the one who can fix anything when Olivia can’t, Peter as the misunderstood but still slightly dangerous one, etc etc etc. It was very interesting to see how he views the characters and how they interacted because I think there were instances that gave us clues about certain other things.

    Such as when Nina calls Bell “my love.” It was subtle but I thought it told us something, something that Walter knows about them but we haven’t been told yet. There is also the Observers. Seems that Walter thinks they can be dangerous.

    2. The episode developed Walters character more. Yes, this wasn’t an episode like usual that we get this huge revelation and the character develops weeks ahead of the episode within the hour, but we still see how heartbroken Walter is and we also see Astrid there for him, bringing a kinship and connection between them.

    3. They added subtle little quirks from the past – like the strange, bomb shaped orb thing or Olivia in the tank. Peter was usually the one to help her when she was in the tank or the first to get her out. Interesting that shes drowning in there and peter is the one who saves her.

    A lot of people were complaining about this episode and in my opinion, it was because they already made up there mind not to give them a chance cause they were pissed that Fox said their shows needed musical numbers to celebrate the success of Glee. While I was skeptical, I do enjoy the theater very much and, in my mind, this is one of – if not THEE – best show on TV right now, with fantastic writing. I gave it a chance and after the first musical number (Walter singing and Ella and Astrid looking at him like a mad man), I was hooked. I knew it would be a great episode.

    And anyone who watched it that didn’t like it can’t even tell me that the singing corpses wasn’t one of the funniest moments we’ve had in Fringe this season. I think it was a great episode and fit with the storyline. It ended with the observer talking about how Peter hadn’t returned. I couldn’t tell if they were worried because we know Peter is important or if they were worried that Walter would go find him (which he isn’t supposed to do…which they hinted at as well in the conversation). There was still mystery in the ending. I can’t wait for the next couple of episodes.

    Again, Yes – this was not the type of episode we are used to and episodes that don’t give us a lot of answers or add to the mystery seem to be ones that aren’t the most liked, but I think that’s unfair a bit. I can admit, that I also like the episodes that move the overall plot forward more than the ones that just solve the case, but I remembered what the producers said about this episode before it aired. This is Walter’s view and we are going to get insight into how Walter views the people in his life, and that’s exactly what we got, plus the end with the observer actually does add to the plot a little bit. I don’t know, I think when it was called the musical episode, it was unfairly written off by people who made up their mind already. I think it deserved a chance, and while some of the singing moments were slightly awkward, I still felt the episode as a whole was well done and entertaining. The producers also said that Fox didn’t make them do it, at least that’s what I gather from what was written above. They could of said no thanks we’re not going to, and instead decided they wanted to put the episode in and add it to the season.

    I’m pumped for the next couple of episodes. It’s going to be great.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • mlj102 says

      Awesome comment, Matt!

      “A lot of people were complaining about this episode and in my opinion, it was because they already made up there mind not to give them a chance cause they were pissed that Fox said their shows needed musical numbers to celebrate the success of Glee.”

      I wasn’t going to say it, but since you brought it up, I’ll say that I completely agree. I think anyone who went into it with an open mind will at least be willing to acknowledge that the episode had good parts and was significant, even if they didn’t completely love it, while those who had already decided this was a terrible waste of an episode and that they wouldn’t like it, felt like that’s exactly what they got. It’s a shame, really.

      “And anyone who watched it that didn’t like it can’t even tell me that the singing corpses wasn’t one of the funniest moments we’ve had in Fringe this season.”

      Well, I liked the episode, but I also found the singing corpses to be incredibly funny. Odd? Most definitely? But I can’t deny the humor in the situation and it definitely made me laugh.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  30. LizW65 says

    One other thing–despite some viewers’ complaints that this episode was pointless filler, I think it may well take the award for sheer number of easter eggs and subtle and not-so-subtle references to the show’s mythology.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  31. Lauren says

    Yes – singing corpses. I snorted at that part too. The imagination of a crazy man knows no limits.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  32. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. says

    I liked Brown Betty better than I thought I would. The opening of the show with Walter and his BB was too funny. Torv song was very sweet I’ve listen to it over and over again. Singing corpses sucked!

    Like: Thumb up 0

  33. says

    Absolutely loved this episode. But I was a little disappointed that there was hardly any singing. I thought this was supposed to be a musical episode. Because I feel that the whole idea could have been greatly expanded upon, with reprises and stuff, and I think that most of the songs were taken from other sources. It would have been good to hear some original Fringe songs. The sogns were all very short as well, though I suppose they only had 43ish minutes. My favourite bits:
    - Walter’s lab being filled with lots of wierd gadgets.
    - The way Walter had invented Rainbows and hugs and such things and the way he had got those ideas.
    - The fantastic moment with the singing corpses.
    - The moment when Peter leaves Walter and Walter sings a sad Reprise of The Candyman, as the camera pans out, showing him alone.

    Also, loved the bit with September at the end.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  34. andrewsauer says

    I was really skeptical of this episode but the second Walter ripped that bong and put on ’roundabout’ i knew fringe wouldn’t disappoint.Everybody is complaining that the episode was stupid filler but that wasn’t the case at all. I think we can take a lot away from this episode.
    The most interesting thing to me was the convo between Nina and Bell (which surprisingly didn’t take place on some outdated analogue equipment). The way they talked about Peter made it seem like he might be the key to opening a permanent or more stable doorway between worlds. He is a child of both worlds and is possibly the first event that started the Pattern (haven’t heard that term in a while) This would make sense because as we know Bell dubbed Olivia gatekeeper and told her to keep Peter by her side because she needs him. This would also explain why the Observers think Peter is important and why Newton is looking for him in the next episode (that teaser was rad).
    Also notable was the way Walter portrayed the Observers. Not only as hired goons but as Massive Dynamics hired goons. There’s so much depth to this episode I can’t wait to do a re-watch. Plus the music was barely even in factor, i don’t think a single song went over a minute.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  35. Stefan says

    So this is what they call a musical episode nowadays? To earn that title weird and cliché music in the background is not enough. And these were the most missplaced singing numbers I’ve ever seen.
    Too make it short I’m going to say what I liked about the episode (writing down what I didn’t like would take hours):
    - Design of the heart
    - Ella
    - Esther Fricklesworth or whatever the name was made me laugh
    - Anna Torv’s outfit at Peter’s

    I willing to bet that we can still smell some Brown Betty in the writers room.
    My Rating: 2 (actually voted 3 before I began thinking) – At least they tried, even if they failed catastrophically in my taste.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Elaine says

      Esther Fricklesworth or whatever the name was made me laugh

      That and the fact that she was looking for another job because Olivia hadn’t paid her in six months. Poor Esther/Astrid underappreciated and underpaid in both both worlds.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  36. MikeMike says

    For the record, I do believe that there were some clues in this episode, my complaint is not about that. My complaint is that clues can be given in a normally structure episode. My other issue is that this episode couldn’t decide if it was a musical or not. There were several occasions where singing could’ve been inserted that it was not. It was more like a half-assed musical episode.

    I walked away shaking my head thinking, this could have easily been done in 12 minutes.

    I know that my opinion does not represent anyone on this board. Like I said before, I don’t think the risk\reward of doing an episode like this leaned enough to the “reward” side to take a chance. And I feel like this was a waste of an episode.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  37. says

    Just a quick thing I remembered I noticed:
    Did any other Abrams fans think that the “Glass Heart” resembled the “Rambaldi Heart” from Alias? It certainy reminded me of it anyway.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Page 48 says

      I immediately thought of the Di Regno heart from the Season 2 finale, “The Telling”. I think that’s the one you’re referring to.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • says

        Yeah, thats what I meant (I just checked Alias Wiki and confirmed it). I have only watched the first 3 series so far, and only once each, apart from the audio commentaries. I think that Fringe is much more similar to Alias than LOST has ever been. I wonder if a deeper/analogical connection could be made between the two hearts?

        Like: Thumb up 0

  38. pugui says

    I can’t lie, I loved Brown Betty. It was clever, original and fun. It also gave us a great insight into the mind of Walter and even a fairy tale ending courtesy of little Ella.
    The mixture of Noir, fairy tale and musical styles and all the different references from The Wizard of Oz, to Chinatown, to even Marvel Comics by calling the Observers “Watchers”, seemed to come together very well. I think the writers did a great job of giving us a skewed type of refresher combined with sprinkles of romance between our two leads all thanks to Walter’s dreams and fears.

    The singing was not over done and I got a kick listening to Lance’s beautiful voice. And while Jasika neither impressed nor disappoint, Anna shone and completely sold her heartbroken rendition of “For Once In My Life”. She reminded me that those two, weather romantically involved or not, always share a wonderful chemistry.

    Maybe you have to like musicals to really appreciate the work on this episode but I for one do appreciate it, more than that I loved it. This show to me is more than just the mythology, or the science fiction, it is about the characters journeys.

    Of course September was there at the very end to remind us that things are about to get really bad, but this was a nice breather that I am sure people watching the DVDs later on will appreciate. (or perhaps skip through!)

    Like: Thumb up 0

  39. Elaine says

    Olivia replacing the batteries in Peter’s chest reminded me of a similar scene from “Iron Man” with Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow.

    Me too, but it also reminded me of ‘Bad Dreams’ when Peter grasps Olivia’s hands to steady them (at Walter’s knowing insistance) and get her to calm down so she could do what she needed to do. I really liked the intimacy of that scene. Something about Olivia kneeling before Peter, being barefoot and vulnerable seconds after taking and landing a blows to a bunch of armed men.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • LMH says

      Yeah, the two people in the room with me wouldn’t shut up about how they were “copying Iron Man.” So annoying. I haven’t seen Iron Man, but I kept saying it was probably more a reference to the Wizard of Oz theme.
      Bad Dreams was the first thing that came to my mind too. That scene and her song were lovely.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • LizW65 says

        Iron Man wears actual armor; Peter wears metaphorical “armor” of sarcasm, jokes, and seeming indifference to others…but despite the similarities I don’t think the scene was a ripoff from the film either. And I saw some role-reversal in that scene–usually Peter is the one to awaken or “activate” Olivia with his touch; this time she did the same for him, which could suggest that in the future he will need her as much as she needs him for both to fully realize their potential.

        Like: Thumb up 0

        • mlj102 says

          Getting a little off topic here, but I wanted to say that I really loved how they portrayed things between Peter and Olivia. First, we have Olivia end up in a situation where she’s about to die and, of all people, Peter is the one who comes to her rescue. It’s very significant that he saved her — in many ways in the actual show, Peter has saved her. Then we get a role reversal when Peter was dying and Olivia needed to look past her fears and save him. And when she got scared, he provided the assurance that she could do it. I thought it was a great way of showing how they need each other. In many ways in the show, they “save” each other and they rely on each other. And being separated as they are now, they are both vulnerable (as shown by Olivia’s reaction when she thought he was dead). I thought that was a very important concept that they emphasized in Walter’s story.

          Like: Thumb up 0

          • bdp says

            I think that was one of the better scenes in the episode. As always Josh and Anna acted it brilliantly, and Olivia’s broken song was amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. But overall I agree that the scene was extremely important to their relationship on the show, which as we have to come see, relationships are extremely central to this show. They both need each other obviously and I think it’s a foreshadowing of how even more important they are going to become to each other. Not to mention the two scenes of them saving each other really did a wonderful job of summing up how much they care for each other and have progressed over the two seasons. Even though I am one of the people that sees a romantic pairing between them, either way, I doubt anyone can argue that the two don’t love each other, doesn’t have to be romantic though.

            Like: Thumb up 0

          • SF says

            You’re right – interesting point – he saves her, as he’s always done. I like how you put the song analogy and what we know about Olivia, and what Walter knows (or thinks she can anyway) she has to do: he can’t fix Peter, only Olivia can. Good point about how they need each other now,too. Which maybe they are going to find out more about in the coming episodes. i think this scene, and Brown Betty as a whole, has lots of easter eggs and hints for the future.

            Like: Thumb up 0

    • SF says

      I caught that too! And couldn’t you just feel how shy she was, about going into his heart, and he knew she could do it? Her song was heartbreaking as she sings it and she comes to the end – he won’t leave her – all I could think was oh she just left him (in the real Fringe world by betraying him) – and she needs him. We still don’t know how – not sure Olivia knows how yet – but this episode gave us some hints, didn’t it? and some clues…..It was such a romantic scene in many ways, intimate – you’re right. I’ve spent all day thinking about it. It was like the whole episode was building up to it, because if Olivia can’t fix Peter, that’s the end of the story right there. I confess, I cried when I thought he was dead! Fringe gets to me, these two characters get to me.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  40. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    I guess we found out the significance of the number ’147′–it’s the number of Cortexiphan children in the trial. But isn’t it funny that its an odd number? Weren’t they buddied up? I think the hidden member of the trials is Peter. Whether he was the original or the end recipient.

    I LOVED the moment that Olivia sang to Peter. It was so heartbreakingly beautiful. It said what a show’s worth of dialogue couldn’t do.

    Wasn’t it highly ironic that Walter killed off Rachel? If he wants Peter and Olivia together, Peter’s little crush on Rachel might be a problem. Although I think Peter was doing that to make Olivia jealous or get any emotion out of her because she is so walled off to him sometimes.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  41. Elaine says

    Of course September was there at the very end to remind us that things are about to get really bad…

    It really did sober up the episode, didn’t it?

    Like: Thumb up 0

  42. LMH says

    I just started to watch the episode again since I have a little downtime and this line really sticks out as a little wink from the writers on how closely we should pay attention to this seemingly silly little tale:

    Ella: “…my mom doesn’t love Peter.”
    Walter: “Course not, It’s just a story.
    But, as with all good stories, things aren’t always as they seem

    Love it.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • mlj102 says

      I also picked up on that line. I think it fits both with how Walter’s story is more than just a random story, as well as for the story of Fringe as a whole. As Walter said, in ALL good stories, things aren’t always what they seem. I think anyone on this site would agree that Fringe fits in the category of a good story. So, just like things weren’t exactly what they seemed to be in Walter’s story (with the case not being what it seemed, as well as it being a larger metaphor for all the Fringe characters), things may not be what they seem in Fringe. There may be things that have happened so far that we think we understand and we know what’s going on, but as the story continues, we’ll realize we didn’t have all the information and it’s not what we thought it was.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  43. LMH says

    Oh and forgot to mention before, all of the focus on “glass heart,” “The Glass Man” poster and all of the glass objects the camera focuses on in the episode remind me of the importance of eyeglasses and looking through glass, windows, etc., that have been pointed out before.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  44. FlashWriter says

    First, let me preface this by saying that I saw “Avatar” for the first time Sunday night and I’m still—five days latter—really wasted. It was a film that was so tightly written you could almost play a tune on the storyline. It was a film that knew exactly where it was going, knew the characters, but most of all it knew what it WAS.

    So maybe I’m not straight enough to write about this episode because, maybe, I’m allowing an unfair comparison to creep into what I’m feeling for “Fringe” right now…but I gotta say it:

    I really, really wanted this to work.

    It didn’t.

    For me, it just plain crashed and burned.

    I won’t talk about how I think it should have been shot—suffice it to say that I liked the promo far better than I liked the episode.

    I would very much like to know who thought of this and how they sold it to the network. I’d like to talk to whoever it was because, when it comes to marketing, they are frakin’ geniuses. I would very much like to have been a spider under the table when they walked into Abrams’ office and sold him the GREAT IDEA. He does have some say in this…doesn’t he? Hmmm. Maybe not. Now THAT thought scares me more than anything else.

    But in any undertaking like this you’ve got to ask the basic question: WAS IT ENTERTAINING? No, for me it was not. I didn’t see the show I’ve come to love. I don’t know what this was, but it wasn’t FRINGE. I’m sorry, but if I have to sit down and take notes on an episode, then that’s not entertainment (not that I haven’t ever done it, I have a pretty funny story about me sitting in a theatre in Framingham, Mass. one snowy day taking notes on “Endless Love”—but I digress).

    I’ve got to say that I’m starting to have problems with this show when one main character is using drugs (and that drug use is becoming increasingly visible) and another one seeming to be a borderline alcoholic. Don’t get me wrong, John Noble has turned in incredible performances—performances that deserve an Emmy and this performance was no exception. Anna Torv has as well (not so much this season–with one major exception, but I still think the Academy owes her for last). My rule number one in writing characters for episodic television: you MUST like the principle characters. (I’m forced to admit that my love for both Olivia and Walter is beginning to wear a little thin.)

    But in this episode neither AT or JN seem very comfortable in their characters. Especially Anna. She looked incredible (loved the hair), but the song? I’m sorry, but for me the number just went splat (somebody should have gotten a hook), as did John’s. More about Anna’s performance latter on.

    Again, I don’t think anybody from the network brass, through the entire production staff knew what this damn episode was supposed to BE. If we wanted to do a film noir piece, then fine. Let’s do a film noir piece. Let’s do it all out. Let’s watch “Casablanca” thirty times then go write a script. Do we want a musical? Fine, let’s watch “42nd Street” until the Sun comes up, write the script and go get some release forms for the songs. But, God-All-Mighty, DON’T try to mix the two. DON’T try to do “film half-noir” with some half-assed song arrangements sung by actors who aren’t singers.

    (Another aside here: I must give kudos to Jasika Nicole for being a wonderful light in a really terrible episode. She has a great voice and actually sold the “I Need A Job” number. Just goes to show that you actually need some experience for this kind of work. She made Astrid’s affection for Walter—despite everything—wonderful to watch. And, while I’m at it, I gotta say that Lance Reddick also lit me up with his number, even though his character also seemed so forced in the rest of the episode that it took away from his performance.)

    I mustn’t forget Joshua Jackson in all of this. He really should share the spotlight with Jasika Nicole and take a bow. Joshua seemed the least uncomfortable, his character actually fit and he made the most of it. His performance was great and exceeded expectations. Go figure.

    I guess the big tomato gets thrown at Anna Torv. I was so hoping to see something a little more than her usual stony face. I thought this would be THE episode where we might see something more from her than we have virtually all season long. I don’t know if it’s the directing or just what, but a little Lauren Bacall could have worked in this ep. Getting back to my buzz on “Avatar”, I think that Ms. Torv should talk with Zoe Saldana (Neytiri) about how to project emotion through facial expressions. Yes, I know all about Olivia’s character and how she feels in that she has to control herself and blah blah blah. But frankly at this stage in the proceedings, I’d like to see a little of her pain—even a little pain would do (“Jacksonville” being a big exception). Paraphrasing “Avatar”, I just can’t see her, and I haven’t been able to for most of this season.

    Well, I better take an ax to this thing and cut it off. After we got renewed for season 3 I breathed a real sigh and relaxed a bit. Maybe everyone else did too.

    One final note: “Glee”. That show is doing more and more things right these days. The last episode was just plain good—it’s becoming a weekly musical with music that’s done incredibly well, with a cast having Broadway experience. At least they know what the show is and what it’s trying to do. I’m wondering if “Fringe” really does.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • mlj102 says

      FlashWriter —

      I’ve been curious to find out how you felt about this episode and I’m sorry to hear you were disappointed. Of course, coming off of watching Avatar, I think anything would be likely to be seen as a disappointment. Might I suggest you watch it a second time? Once you have a general feeling for the type of episode it is and you know what to expect, I think it comes across better.

      “I didn’t see the show I’ve come to love. I don’t know what this was, but it wasn’t FRINGE.”

      It was a different Fringe, definitely, but it was still enough of the Fringe I love for me to be okay with that. The characters were still there and I think the episode gave a lot of insight into all of the characters. So while it may not have been presented in typical Fringe style, it still worked for me.

      “I think that Ms. Torv should talk with Zoe Saldana (Neytiri) about how to project emotion through facial expressions.”

      This comment really surprises me. Really. Because I have been continually amazed all season by Anna Torv’s acting and how incredibly talented she is, especially when it comes to conveying so much emotion simply through her facial expressions. And I’ve noticed that a lot more this season than I did last season. So, personally, I just don’t understand what you’re saying about her acting not being up to the level it was last season. As for seeing her pain this episode, I’m not quite sure when you were expecting to see it. We hardly saw real Olivia at all in the episode, but when she was there, I could see her pain. And story Olivia wasn’t supposed to show the kind of pain our Olivia is experiencing right now. I thought Anna Torv did a really great job showing story Olivia as different (the older time period) but at the same time, still Olivia — determined, competent, and good, but also lost, alone, and vulnerable. I’m not sure what you could have found wrong with her performance…

      “At least they know what the show is and what it’s trying to do. I’m wondering if “Fringe” really does.”

      This comment made me think of American Idol. I don’t really watch it much anymore, but I remember seasons where the judges would tell a certain contestant that the contestant needed to find out who they were and stick to that, but then if there was a contestant who did do that, they would criticize them for being repetitive and boring. For example, say there was a person who was a country singer: If they sang week after week, adapting songs to sound country, the judges would criticize that contestant for not branching out, for being boring. But if one week that country singer took on a complete rock and roll song, the judges would criticize them for not being true to their style and not doing what they do best. It was like they couldn’t win. My point with sharing that is that you have to have a mix. You have to be able to take on different styles while making it your own. If Fringe were to do the same thing, week after week, people would start calling it boring and predictable. But just because, every now and then, Fringe will try something a little out of the ordinary and a little different from the usual Fringe we get, it doesn’t mean that they don’t know the kind of show they want to be. It simply means they’re trying new things and adding some variety. And I think Fringe did succeed in making this their own. They successfully incorporated it into the story, they made it meaningful, and they gave it that quality that Fringe is so good at including in all of their episodes.

      I understand that this episode isn’t going to work for everyone. And, like I said, I definitely wouldn’t want Fringe to take on this style every week. But for a one time thing, I could appreciate it. I thought it was a nice change of pace, an important look into how Walter views things, some great symbolism, valuable insight into the characters, and some really wonderful writing and acting.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • FlashWriter says

        MLJ,
        Yeah. You’re right, maybe I should watch it again when I’m more sober. :) I think that, despite myself, I built up a certain set of expectations and hardly any of them were met. Thus, my comments.

        Which I’ll stand with, by-the-way. If I pick up a Stephen King novel I know pretty much what I’m going to get (this was especially true with the Dark Tower series). That’s WHY I pick them up. Kinda like, “I’ll take two pounds of Stephen King, please.” Which is not to say I haven’t picked up some real klunkers. I think TV series are pretty much the same. Should they try experiments? Absolutely.

        I don’t mind experiments. But, IMHO, this wasn’t even a good one. Yes, there were bright spots in the darkness, but I just didn’t like the approach. For whatever reason, it just seemed very awkward.

        About Ms. Torv. Anna’s character Olivia works for me, but, so far, she only works in a certain, somewhat limited space. As this episode seemed to indicate, if we take her out of that space, I start getting bothered with things that never bothered me before. I had the exact same problem with Leonard Nemoy’s Spock. As long as you kept him in space, on the Enterprise Spock was fantastic. Take him to planetfall and well, not so much. I think we have seen some very good, possibly even great, work from Anna involving pain and emotion and everything I want to see. But there has always been a flip side where I really feel a disconnect from her. Sorry to say that this was one of those episodes.

        Your comments, as always, are very welcome and very helpful. I will take your advice and watch it again. There’s nothing more I would like to do than eat my words.
        :)

        Like: Thumb up 0

        • SF says

          Well, flashwriter, your comment is interesting in that you say Olivia is being portrayed like Spock,and you say Spock was only good on the Enterprise! I’m not sure how you can say that, since some of the funniest scenes are Spock trying to blend in and not be noticed…..it didn’t matter where you put Spock, the character was always alive, and the same for Olivia. If you remember your PI literature, the PI is supposed to be gruff, alcoholic, disappointed in love, world-weary. I thought Anna did all that with Olivia’s character, and Olivia still kept – hoping. That is one of the many features I like about Olivia, that even when things are darkest, she simply doesn’t give up. It was pretty good writing and acting, IMHO. I had no problems believing in her as a female PI, and the same with most of the characters. I thought it was a delightful play on who they are in the real Fringe world, and gave us another sideways glimpse into them – did you catch the hint that Broyles either knows about something illegal done in the past, or was involved in it, that Olivia uses to get him to help her? That Bell called Nina ‘his love’? There is so much in this episode – many of the posters above have listed them – I think agree, don’t compare this to Avatar! that’s not really fair to either.

          Like: Thumb up 0

          • SF says

            what I also really meant to say was, how could you say Olivia doesn’t show emotion? In the real world of the lab, she’s almost in a panic every time we see her, as time goes by without Peter. In Walter’s story, we see her fall in love within minutes of talking to Peter. She doesn’t need to do Bacall, she’s her own person, and she took on the Observers in men’s pyjamas and made it look easy! and she looked good in them. She does more with her eyes and quirk of her mouth than most actresses today. Kind of unfair to compare her to Spock, though i get that you mean they are both controlling their emotions. It as a point of pride for Spock to not show any, whereas for Olivia, she shows emotion all the time! In a very quiet way, subtle, but it’s there.

            Like: Thumb up 0

          • FlashWriter says

            I really wasn’t comparing it to Avatar. Really really really. I’m just trying to explain my state of mind.

            Like: Thumb up 0

            • FlashWriter says

              Oh, and SF. I’m not saying she’s being portrayed as Spock. I was drawing a parallel to my reactions to him. I’ve said elsewhere that Star Trek and specifically Nimoy’s Spock changed my life. That’s how much I adored him. Yet, there’s this parallel I feel toward their characters. I’m not stating it as a universal fact, it’s merely my opinion. Maybe Olivia will change my life too. Who knows?

              Like: Thumb up 0

        • mlj102 says

          It’s the subtle things Olivia (Anna Torv) does that continue to amaze me week after week. John Noble seems to get a lot of attention and praise regarding his acting (and for good reason — he does such an incredible job with the character) but somehow my attention is always drawn to Anna Torv. No matter what scene she’s in, no matter how simple her role is, she always has such a presence. She conveys so much emotion in a simple facial expression. And it has so much power! And she just seems to keep getting better and better with each episode. She makes Olivia as a character feel real and she makes me feel what Olivia would be feeling. I could go through every episode from this season and find examples of what I’m talking about, but I won’t do that because I think that would make for an incredibly long comment, and I think everyone understands what I’m talking about. I think she is very good at adjusting her acting to the various circumstances Olivia finds herself in and whatever the tone for a scene may be, and she can do all the various emotions — perplexed, overcome with grief, delighted, amused… I think the closest I’ve come to being disappointed with Anna Torv’s portrayal of Olivia was in The Man from the Other Side when she told Walter that Peter was gone. The emotion I have come to expect from her, even when she is protecting herself, just wasn’t there. But even then, I don’t blame Anna Torv — I think that, for whatever reason, she was told to act the scene in that way. But other than that, I couldn’t be happier with Anna Torv’s acting this season.

          So, FlashWriter, I’m sorry, but I still don’t understand what exactly has caused you to feel her acting isn’t as strong as it was last season. I can’t say I have felt the same “disconnect” that you said you occasionally feel.

          I hope you will enjoy the episode more when you watch it again. There really was some fabulous acting and so much meaning to take from the events in the episode. I will be crossing my fingers that you do indeed “eat your words”!

          Like: Thumb up 0

          • Anjali says

            I agree with you mlj102!

            Anna’s acting has been brilliant this season. One thing that I absolutely admire about her acting skills is her expressions. It’s the small nuances that just draw you in. She has a very expressive face!!!

            Her singing the song to Peter.. Wow. Her mannerisms, and her facial expression during that moment… wonderful stuff. Great work by Anna!

            Like: Thumb up 0

  45. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    Well, in my opinion, Avatar wasn’t as great as you made it out to be, Flashwriter, sure it looked great but it was the same old story, put thru the Bedazzler (ie in 3D). But I digress…

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • FlashWriter says

      There are times that you have to look with different eyes, ABR. Sometimes you’ve got to watch the edges of the screen. It’s not JUST the story. It’s the unbelievable art of it. The realization that nothing you saw was real. Camera angles that could never be achieved before. The incredible detail of every shot. Every frame was like a painting. Motion capture that was a light years ahead of anything I’ve ever seen. Music so beautiful that it became the heart of the movie. …and the fact that I bought it totally. And that world was so damn beautiful (not to mention Neytiri was just…well, she lived for me). For the length of that movie, I was on Pandora. I was just as much an Avatar as Jake was. Then there was the story. Look deeper, ABR. There was so much underneath every scene. Every spoken line. I just can’t wait to go back. Now, where’s that Blu-Ray disk…

      :)

      Like: Thumb up 0

  46. CrazyLady25 says

    “boredphdstudent — I prefer metaphors in literature by acclaimed authors. For those who appreciated the episode and believe they can derive literary meaning- I hope the writers don’t let you down in the episodes to come.

    I found the logic is fundamentally flawed: that Walter’s narrative — while blitzed non the less — could provide any insights to plot or character development other than his own. Usually I find the incorporation of his drug use as exceptionally humorous and am left wondering how much marijuana was smoked in order to come up with this episode, as this would be the only excuse. If all this show has to offer is AP high school level literary insights, I’m out…

    And MLJ102- what are you doing taking down notes on a prime time television show?!? Their are thousands of brilliant authors with the most inquisitive of metaphors. TV is for entertainment, and I watch it to take a break from all the damn reading I have to do in grad school. I was not entertained.

    Agree that black and white would have helped. Also agree that the whole stealing sunshine and rainbows nonsense was crap. I can even relate to the, oh so eloquent MikeMike.”

    okay, boredphdstudent, i am absolutely going to blast you here. The thought that only books contain metaphors is so wrong it absolutely proves you have an arrogance about literary works which has caused you to look at things in a very scewed way.

    just to say who I am: I have a twin sister who has a PhD. She is going to Univ. of Nebraska in the fall to help them start a forensics program. I have a degree from Georgia Tech in Architecture. We have a Mom who taught us to read when we were 3. She is the best reading teacher I have ever met. So, we both read at PhD level. In other words, there is nothing that we cannot read and pull out the deeper meaning in the words.

    When I was in architecture school, the Professors, Architects every one, on several of our projects introduced written work, some of which was “literature”, some of which were articles/books written by famous architects. I always did well on these projects because I could go back and forth between the written work and what we were creating.

    Take a popular movie: “How to Train Your Dragon”. My whole family went to see it, and then I took my 13-year old son back to see it again because of the meaning behind it. My son got it. I would ask you to see the movie and come tell us what the metaphorical meaning of the “story” was.

    You see, TV is the same as books, “stories”. As long as their have been people, they have told stories to their children.

    Did you know that “Homer”, who supposedly wrote the “Illiad” and “The Odessy”, may actually have been “stories” that were compiled from “stories” sung by Greek bards?

    See, I still read PhD level books, but the one that I recommend most for students to learn how to write is the Middle School book “Dragonsong” by Anne McCaffrey. It contains everything you need: a beginning, a middle, and an end; with several plot twist along the way.

    Get your mind off literature as the only thing that is good.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  47. LMH says

    I’m sorry, but I get annoyed by comments that Anna does a bad job as Olivia because she’s not expressive enough. Though this is not much of a problem here, people elsewhere seem to comment on it too often. I really think that 1) people forget that’s the way the character is written (so that means you don’t like who Olivia is) 2) we expect females to be more openly emotional. The fact that the two male leads are very openly emotional (yes Peter too) and the female lead is very stoic goes against our (largely subconscious) expectations. I am thankful for the character of Olivia, it is so damn refreshing. I’m not saying being emotional is bad, not at all, but I love how unique and complex she is. Great women have many interesting layers, and Livy is quite an onion!
    I LOVED Anna in this, I thought the scene fixing Peter’s heart and her song were very strong performances. I look forward to more little flashes of emotion in Olivia’s characteristically nuanced expressions! She doesn’t need to cry, that’s what the whiskey’s for lol.
    Did a good job with the American accent in this one too, only slipped out with the word “glass” when she was tied up.
    BTW don’t watch Fringe drunk, it does not work. Trust me ; )

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • SF says

      yes! great points, LMH! Olivia as an onion…..lol. She is refreshing, and I love her acting. She’s interesting to watch, and Olivia is completely believable as a character. Anna Torv has made Olivia’s tight emotions accessible to us in her facial expressions, especially her eyes and her mouth, and how she tilts her head.

      Like: Thumb up 0

    • LizW65 says

      I too get tired of frequently heard comments (not necessarily on this site, but on others) that Anna Torv is a wooden actress, that Josh Jackson has no personality, and that John Noble is “the only reason to watch Fringe.” Sure, he plays the most flamboyant character, while the rest of the cast is more restrained in their performances, but they all complement one another and there would be no show without them.

      One of the commentary tracks on the Season 1 DVDs (I forget which) mentions that Torv is playing a character who was so damaged as a child that she has trouble expressing any emotion at all, which I find very telling. It fits very well with my frequently expressed theory that both Olivia and Peter display many of the symptoms of delayed PTSD–difficulty with personal relationships, trust issues, a tendancy to internalize everything, borderline alcoholism, and so on.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  48. CrazyLady25 says

    Hey, did you notice the guns the “Watchers” used looked like they came from “Farscape”? That was, of course, totally coincidental, since nobody watched “Farscape”.

    Actually, I thought they missed a big opportunity to use “the watchers” as a part of the story by tying it in with Daniel 4:17 (when the watchers come down with a judgement based on what Nebachadnezzar had done). That totally could have been Walter subconsciously realizing there was something that he should have remembered; which would have tied in nicely with September at the end saying, “He has forgotten the deal we had about Peter.” I didn’t pick up on that in the earlier eps, but to me, that was the best part of the show.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  49. CrazyLady25 says

    Oh, and for the person who watched “Avatar” and thought it was the best thing ever because every thing was thought out– I think the “aliens” on Pandora were well thought out. The main character, who was there to take the place of his brother, wasn’t as well thought out.

    If the movie had opened up with him losing the use of his legs in the war, and trying to contact his brother to get the thing fixed, but not being able to get through in time, the “story” would have been more complete.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  50. Pakafloz says

    Do you remember “Unearthed” (1.21)?? it was an unaired episode from season 1. When I watched it, I could realize why it wasn’t in the “original” Season one. It wasn’t that good and it was out of the main story… Why I’m saying this? because this episode would be great as an “extra” during season 3 (as “unearthed” during season 2), not here, not now, that we’ve had some excellent episodes and the story was FINALLY taking it’s course. C’mon! It’s episode 19 of the second season! we need to continue the central story!
    I know we have to trust the writers, but if you make history, you will see that no more than 9 or 10 episodes of this season are central to the main story.
    I’m not saying this was a bad episode, I’m just saying that it wasn’t in the best time (almost finishing season 2), and after 3 REALLY GOOD episodes. I hope that the next episode may be as good as the last ones.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  51. February says

    Just a few things to say…

    Intially, I believed a musical episode was a bad idea, but after watching I don’t really think it was a musical episode.
    The songs were few and far between and when they did crop up they were, on the most part, well handed. An exception of this was Astrid’s interview, which seemed forced, as if they couldn’t find another way to showcase Nicole’s voice, which I admit is outstanding. The singing corpses didn’t fit with the flow of the episode.

    My musical highlights were Olivia’s tune to Peter and Broyles’ song. The musical elements weren’t perfect, but when they worked, they worked. I am the only one who thought the story would end with Walter singing, Peter joining in and the whole cast concluding the story with a performance of The Candyman?

    They were good things:
    *Observers=Months, Watchers=Star Signs
    *Were those new Observers? I mean, Watchers.
    *The fight scene with the Watchers.
    *The opening scene was good. Very good.
    *Reapperence of the beacon, finally. Who is it’s creator? Walter?
    *Taking a dive into Walter’s mind.
    *I found it interesting that Walter made himself one of the antagonists of his own story. Even he percieves himself as a bad man.
    *Alternate endings. This sparked thoughts of alternate universes.
    *Great callbacks. Objects and quotes from the past episodes.
    *Ella wants a happy ending (don’t we all) where as Walter believes things will end badly.
    *Rachel died. Yay. Died-ish. Still good.
    *Brandon! If only he could get a job at Massive Weird Logo.
    *John Noble was great, though Torv stood out this week.
    *The closing scene. Just amazing.
    *”In this story, things are not as they seem.”

    And the not so good:
    *Ella just annoys me.
    *Rachel is gone for the weekend. Nice cover, but just how long is this weekend, Liv?
    *Out of place awkwardness.
    *Singing corpses.
    *Glee. Need I say more?

    All in all, fine episode. Not the best, not the worst. Just fine.
    6.75/10

    Finally, this has been bothering me for weeks.
    Nina looked really young in ‘Peter’. I was impressed by the job the make up team had done.
    A week goes by, and in ‘Olivia…’ she looks different. Her face looks rounder, but less wrinkly. So has BB had some work done?

    Like: Thumb up 0

  52. Jimi says

    I must say I think this was a really great episode! The “singing corpses” bit was just brilliant!

    Like: Thumb up 0

  53. hal says

    I’ve never seen Glee. Not even a commercial. In fact, all I know is it has to do with some musical shit? Really, I don’t care.

    Something some people should realize:
    Writers often create a piece of work which they believe is final and should not be tampered with. But then editors and publishers(in this case Fox demanding certain episode parameters) will end up changing so many things the writer would be outraged.. but often this enhances the original work and they realize it was a good thing after all.

    I believe this to be the case with this episode. Now.. many people were outraged at first but it seems to have been a good thing after all (to those who aren’t going into a cynical fit about it, as if the show should be handed to them as THEY believe it’s meant to be. you might as well go watch some other shit).. Honestly.. is it so hard to just enjoy something the way it is? It’s just a fucking tv show after all.. it will never be as profound as you want it to be. Indeed, I thought it was heading in a much more profound direction at the beginning of season 1 but now I see it’s a much different show than I had originally imagined. I can accept this. I still enjoy each episode immensely. And this one was no exception.. It WAS different than I had imagined, much different.. but I wouldn’t have it any other way really.. It had some classic Walter hilarity.
    I’m no writer or director so what do i know anyway right
    It’s like people are still worried its gonna be cancelled.. relax and enjoy. There’s been so many mythology things happening, I’m not in any hurry for the season to conclude. the pacing is just right from this.
    I do believe this episode did have some profound leanings toward the nature of the human heart.. but they didn’t go off on any metaphysical tangents, this is up to our imagination. The furnace door to Peter’s heart was quite symbolic..

    Like: Thumb up 0

  54. audrey says

    An FBI agent who deals daily with highly classified intelligence being burdened with babysitting?? I’m so very glad they kept this episode parenthetically separate from the ongoing story. The networks, in their efforts to be cute, can really do some damage to the integrity of their own programs. It was wise to make this particular episode a “Stand-Alone”…revealing nothing that we didn’t already know.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  55. Kelly says

    Waste. Of. Time.

    Just when the series was getting really good. What’s the point of this?

    Like: Thumb up 0

  56. Cyric says

    Is there someone can tell me the singer and the name of the song which Walter singing in this episode? The lyris is “Something happens and I’m head over heels
    I never find out till I’m head over heels Something happens and I’m head over heels Don’t take my heart Don’t break my heart Don’t throw it away”. Thx a lot~

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • mlj102 says

      The group is Tears for Fears (I couldn’t tell you the name of the actual singer…) and the song is called Head Over Heels. Good song, though Walter’s version — specifically his dancing — was admittedly unusual. :)

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • Cyric says

        Yeah, I know it already when I google it’s lyrics, but have u ever listen the song? The song which Walter singing is like kind of Jazz or Blue, it’s not exactly the Tears for Fears’ version.

        Like: Thumb up 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>