So last week was all about Peter taking charge. He popped his collar and we duly tipped our hats. But we kinda missed our Olivia, all stuck in a bed and barely able to pick up her gun. I knew that inter-dimensional travel was dangerous, but I didn’t expect her to be such a wreck! With that in mind, I’ve decided to dedicate my ‘raw and immediate’ thoughts from the second episode of the new season of Fringe to agent Dunham.
So without further ado, here are the 6 Olivia-related Things I Learned From Night of Desirable Objects.
Olivia returned from the parallel Universe with her powers of observation heightened – her super hearing already helping to crack cases and solve crimes (if only she could hear Evil Charlie’s thoughts, huh). Coincidence? Not a chance – her entire journey (barring the odd detour) is part of the plan, she’s on the path laid out for her. The super hearing and impending headaches are par for the course – side-effects from the clinical trials which kept those childhood abilities locked away until the time was right. The fruit of Bell’s labor now coming home to harvest.
Yes, Olivia’s had it rough, but I sense that the hardest part is yet to come! Is she strong enough to mentally cope? Put it this way, she’s gonna need her family (and obviously I DON’T mean Rachel ).
2. Olivia is very much a student
I’ve always loved the relationship between Olivia and Nina. They remind me of Alice and the Cheshire Cat. Nina wants to help Olivia, but she doesn’t mind putting a few obstacles in her way first. She really gets off on it. Night of Desirable Objects helped push through another aspect of their relationship – one of master and prodigy – Olivia’s cane serving as an allusion to Nina’s own ‘handicap’, from which she has no doubt drawn enormous strength.
Nina certainly sees a bit of herself in Olivia, and Dunham can’t quite work out whether Nina friend or foe. My hunch is that the pair are more closely related than I would have thought likely prior to this season.
3.) Everyone loves Olivia (except you know who)
Everyone loves Olivia. Peter loves her, Walter loves her, Phillip loves her, Nina loves her. Just about the only person who doesn’t is Evil Charlie (and even ‘he’ found it a wrench to kill her in last week’s episode). But Olivia trusts him, completely. When they were having their conversation in the car, I was watching Olivia for her trademark ‘something’s not right with this dude’ expression. But there was nothing, only a slight clenching of the jaw which can be put down to her resistance to being dependent on another person.
Last week, I was unsure as to who would be the one to take down Evil Charlie – would it be Peter ‘taking charge’, or Walter having a pop? Nah, this episode told me that it will indeed be Olivia who will turn the lights out on her former partner, who’s not actually her former partner.
4.) The realisation of Charlie’s death will shape Olivia into a soldier or a warrior
Olivia may be a target but I don’t fear for her life – not one bit. Curiously, this inevitability doesn’t diminish the Charlie subplot in my eyes – it’s all about the journey and how they complete his arc. The most significant part of having Charlie not be Charlie is how this affects Olivia. Not only through losing her closest friend. Not just because she will feel responsible for leaving the ‘door’ open open returning. Not simply because she has been deceived. But by how she uses this experience going forward. Olivia is an emotional melting pot, so when this Charlie thing finally hits the fan..let’s just say that it could shape her outlook on this Universe battle thing. This will be good for some, and not so good for others..
5.) Olivia false advertised
Scenes that look cool on ‘sneak peeks‘ don’t always turn out that way. Olivia getting dragged through a grotty wall by a Mutant Ninja Mole-baby was one scene I had earmarked in my preconceived ideas of this episode. But in actual fact it was one of the weaker elements of Night of Desirable Objects. Seriously, Olivia being incapable of loading her bullets last week was much more exciting (I sincerely mean that).
6.) So far, Olivia is still the most desirable object in Fringe.
Peter got to drive and kick down a few doors, but Olivia – even when not feeling herself – is the driving force of the show. She’s a complicated bonfire of a character who has a knack for being able to do more when doing less. I don’t even think Walter can do that with such good effect. She may have hobbled and stumbled her way through Night of Desirable Objects, but her journey is so watchable. I’m invested, damn it. If we were in a battle with our parallels selves, I’d put my chips on Olivia to save the day (and Evil Olivia to be the end of us).
We’ll post our review for “Night of Desirable Objects” on Saturday.