Fringe Episode 3.03 The Plateau


TIMING IS CRITICAL WHEN DEADLY FRINGE EVENTS OCCUR OVER THERE
ON AN ALL-NEW “FRINGE” THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, ON FOX

IN THIS CASE, timing..is everything as a series of anomalous events lead the Fringe Division to investigate deadly incidents with unimaginable coincidences. As the freaky crimes continue to occur, the team is in a race against time to protect potential victims. Meanwhile, Secretary Bishop shares his strategic plan with Colonel Broyles as Olivia grapples with a heart-stopping vision in the all-new “The Plateau” episode of FRINGE airing Thursday, Oct. 7 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (FR-3.03) (TV-14 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: Kirk Acevedo as Charlie Francis; Ryan James McDonald as Alt Brandon; Michael Eklund as Milo; Philip Winchester as Frank Stanton; Seth Gabel as Lincoln Lee; Malcolm Stewart as Dr. Levin; Kacey Rohl as Madeline

Noble Intentions – The Box

The Weapon

[via]

3.03 "The Plateau" Episode Rating

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  1. says

    That was awesome. I never knew how much better Rain Man would have been if Dustin Hoffman used his powers for evil.

    Lot of contenders for Fringie of the week. Charlie, Altstrid, Olivia, and the part of Olivia’s mind that looks like Peter all had their moments.

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  2. bdp says

    A Lot of great moments with Olivia seeming to remember who she really is throughout the entire episode but also a lot of great insight into who Altlivia is. I continue to love Scarlie (I loved Charlie too and miss him so no big surprise there) and Lee and their interaction with Altlivia, who seems WAY more likable than as the secret agent in the Over Here episodes, but I can understand the fact that here she’s in enemy territory so the likable side doesn’t really get the chance to come out much.

    Also LOVED the scene with Walternate and Peter’s clothes, that was, in my opinion, a huge step in making us understand Walternate, something they’ve had trouble doing with Altlivia on our side. Although his “I’m still a scientist” comment gave me a chill, something was severely sketchy and off about that.

    Glad to see Scarlie being the person who has doubts about Olivia (especially while Lee claims to know Altliv so well, kind of like Peter in a way…both clearly blinded by love in certain aspects). Scarlie knows what he’s talking about and I don’t for one second think that he just let that incident of ignoring the oxygen protocol go, I think he just played it off for Liv, he definitely still has his doubt which are probably even stronger now.

    And as for that last scene: that was truly amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. I’m a shipper so obviously I’m a bit biased but I think there wasn’t any reason to dislike it, shipper or not, it ties in greatly with the shows theme of shared memories and it was amazing to see our Liv break back out all of the sudden. I do miss her SO much.

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    • Page 48 says

      “Glad to see Scarlie being the person who has doubts about Olivia”

      I was going make that same point. I think it’s only right that Charlienate is the one with suspicions. I look at it as sort of a partial payment of the debt owed to our Charlie and his fandom as a result of his untimely (and regrettably off-camera) death.

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      • BklynBetty says

        It’s also just interesting to see since it was Charlie that wasn’t Charlie in S2.
        Also, for someone who feels ‘obsolete” Alt-Charlie sure does catch on quick!

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        • BklynBetty says

          “Scarlie knows what he’s talking about and I don’t for one second think that he just let that incident of ignoring the oxygen protocol go, I think he just played it off for Liv, he definitely still has his doubt which are probably even stronger now.”

          I totally agree – the way he told her to “push the button” on the oxygen inhaler – like explaining it to someone who has never used one before.

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    • mlj102 says

      “Glad to see Scarlie being the person who has doubts about Olivia (especially while Lee claims to know Altliv so well, kind of like Peter in a way…both clearly blinded by love in certain aspects).”

      See, I don’t think you can compare Lincoln vs. Peter. For one, there’s a big difference in that Olivia has alternate Olivia’s memories, so she’s not just acting, but she truly is alternate Olivia, save for the few random moments where things just aren’t quite right for her. It’s not like alternate Olivia who is pretending to be our Olivia, but there are clearly little mannerisms and aspects of her personality that just aren’t in line with who Olivia is. She’s doing a decent job considering, but it’s much more obvious that she’s not our Olivia, than it is that Olivia isn’t alternate Olivia. And I think Lincoln isn’t convinced that she might not be the Olivia he knows because he’s in denial and because he never interacted with our Olivia. He doesn’t understand how or why it should be anyone different than who she appears to be. His scenario is much more believable to me than Peter’s. If you ask me, Peter should be much more suspicious. If alternate Charlie has doubts, then Peter should certainly have doubts. The whole excuse of him being distracted or having no reason to suspect anything just isn’t believable enough for me. There should be at least some amount of doubt.

      Sorry. Rant over.

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      • SF says

        Please keep ranting! then I’m not the only one!!! lol, seriously, Fin is getting sick of hearing me rant about how can Peter and Walter not suspect something about Olivia not being back, that it’s AltLiv, by now, never mind Astrid and Broyles. I mean, Olivia mentions music for the first time EVER, and Peter only says, “that’s new”?

        “It’s not like alternate Olivia who is pretending to be our Olivia, but there are clearly little mannerisms and aspects of her personality that just aren’t in line with who Olivia is. She’s doing a decent job considering, but it’s much more obvious that she’s not our Olivia, than it is that Olivia isn’t alternate Olivia.”

        Exactly. AltLiv gives so much away, but no one is watching. They don’t suspect, and yet I do find it hard that these slip-ups, which are noticeable, aren’t making any of them twitch a little. I like that Charlienate over here is twitching, even with our Olivia who does have the real memories of AltLiv’s! it makes sense. I am trying to buy into the theory that Walter is grieved by Bell’s death, and Peter is – still somewhat in a daze with everything that’s happened? but like Roco says (and we all know), they know the altworld exists, they’ve been there, and Peter knew within moments that AltLiv wasn’t Olivia. Just by her eyes, her expression, he should know that his Olivia didn’t come back with them. No matter how happy our Olivia is, she will still be a little haunted.

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        • mlj102 says

          I tend to get a bit carried away when talking about something where I have a strong opinion, and this particular matter is one of those things that I really feel strongly about. So I’m glad you don’t mind my rants… And since you don’t mind, I’ll continue. :)

          Like you, I’m not suggesting that they should have already concluded that it isn’t their Olivia who came back with them. But at the very least there should be some doubt, some moments where we see them questioning her. And it wouldn’t take much to satisfy me in those regards — with alternate Charlie, it was just a few comments, a few strange facial expressions, but that was enough to be believable. If they could just carry that over to our side and show Peter or Walter or someone else close to Olivia questioning alternate Olivia, it would go a long way to improving matters!

          To be fair, I’ll admit that there is still the small possibility that they’re going the route of “Peter was aware of the differences, so he decided to play along, so he never let it show that he was suspicious” and if that’s what they do, then I’ll forgive them. But the whole idea of alternate Olivia being over there and Peter is completely unaware and deceived just doesn’t work for me. Even with all of the excuses I’ve come across, it’s not enough for me to believe it. So I’m hoping and crossing my fingers that they don’t make a big mess out of this one…

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          • bdp says

            Just to go back to my original comment for a second, I didn’t mean that although I understand Peter’s distraction, that I’m ok with the fact that nobody, especially Peter, has even some much as mentioned any skepticism about Altlivia. It bugs me too and I do think that there should at least be some doubts, as both of you mentioned there are obvious ticks and comments that Peter and all of them should be picking up on. All I really meant by it was that If Alt-Charlie can pick up on these moments where our Olivia seems to break through, then you would think Lincoln would be able to pick up on it too. So I can see some similarities between Lincoln and Peter. That said, yes Peter should absolutely be picking up on it way more than Lincoln and I definitely give Lincoln the benefit of that doubt of not catching on yet.

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            • ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

              es, there should be doubts about Altlivia, no matter if Peter is distracted!!!!! I mean Walter was suspicious in the hospital room Over There, so I would think he would still be awfully suspicious of every little thing Olivia does wrong… This deception better not go on any longer!!!!!!!

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              • SF says

                I know! Why doesn’t he check – ask her? Why do they assume the right Olivia came back with them, especially if she isn’t acting normal? Oh yes, this is something I could go on ranting about!!!

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  3. LizW65 says

    Okay, did anyone else think that Milo was turning into an Observer? I first had this thought when he began speaking his sister’s lines along with her, and the fact that he could predict multiple probabilities all at once really brought it home for me.

    One thing I didn’t understand: Were Walternate and Brandonate responsible for Olivia hallucinating Walter and Peter to try and get her to cross universes? And if that is their plan, than why go to all the trouble of convincing her she is Alt-Olivia instead of just letting her escape and try to find her own way back home? What was Brandonate doing with Peter’s clothes? Maybe someone can explain this, as it was the one thing about the ep that I didn’t get at all.

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      • says

        That occurred to me too (me three?) We don’t exactly know where Observers come from, but becoming brilliant beyond the possibility of social function does seem to be part of it. See also the boy in “Inner Child.”

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    • mlj102 says

      Like many others, I also made the connection between Milo and the Observers. As well as the whole ability to calculate probabilities and say what she was going to say before she said it, there was also the fact that he was so rational that he had moved past feeling and emotion, much like the Observers. As we saw in August, when emotion becomes part of the equation, you’re no longer impartial. Milo eventually got to the point where he moved beyond emotional attachments. I think that’s an important Observer trait.

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    • Pam says

      No, I don’t think Walternate or Brandonate were responsible for Olive’s hallucinations. Just letting her escape would not do – because they want to learn the ability from her – not just tag along when she escapes. So, that teaching of the ability (assuming she can even voluntarily control it, much less give it to them) would come only if she was a willing participant and that is what they are trying to do here.

      Brandonate needed something from the other side for his “opening the door” experiment and that is why he used peter’s clothes. I did love the way John Noble conveyed Walternate’s longing and affection for his son in that one single look! Amazing actor – where is the Emmy???

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    • loveit says

      Actually, Milo made me think of Alt-Astrid. Especially in the last scene, where he is staring at the computer screen of data and calculating possible outcomes…

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  4. LMH says

    Wonderful ep, and extremely suspensive. Now that was a mythalone! There is so much to latch onto in this one. Roco will have a field day with the observations!

    Man was I proud of altCharlie, I feel really close to him already. My love of our Charlie has easily been projected onto this one (which is interesting in itself).

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    • says

      I feel the same. I was always found of Charlie 1.0 and am glad to have him around again. Not to mention that he is the only person, Over Here, Over There, or anywhere to just ask a simple “what if” question. He not only questioned it, he skipped the bull and gave Olivia his own test. [slow hand clap for Charlie]

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    • Pwnsauce says

      I felt it was more of a standalone than mythology related, but it was different because it was a standalone in the AU, so we keep learning things about Over There, like how writing is obsolete. I definitely think Charlie knows something is up. I was disappointed that there wasn’t that much Broyles or Walternate, so now I’m gonna have to wait two weeks for that.
      7/10 for me

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      • mlj102 says

        I guess I shouldn’t remind you that, after next week, Fringe will be interrupted by baseball… so you (along with the rest of us) will be waiting a bit longer than two weeks to return Over There. It’s not going to be pleasant, at all.

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          • Ann_Louise says

            “Wonderful ep, and extremely suspensive. Now that was a mythalone!”

            ITA – if they can do this kind of episode Over Here, my concern over over-serializing Fringe will be totally gone. It had a good MOTW (who reminded me of the sad-sack guy from Power Hungry) with just enough tie-in to the overall story to keep things moving. I could show this episode to my brother to show him that he can start watching this show and not be totally confused.

            I didn’t realize how important Charlie was to the Fringe fabric until he was gone. Seeing AltCharlie and Lincoln – please take them with you when you come back to our coffee and avacado filled paradise, Olivia!

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        • FinChase says

          I heard that in the alt-universe they don’t have hiatus. Just remember to use your oxygen and keep watching!

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  5. Anjali says

    That was just…

    OMG!!! What a freaking amazing episode!!!!
    I can’t get over the writing. Great stuff. Anna – splendid as always.

    ‘Real is just a matter of perception’ – LOVE this quote!!!

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  6. LMH says

    I just noticed something. While Fringe Division is going to the crime scene in the back of the van, Charlie (dosing himself for bugs) mentions that ” the watchers” ran the probabilities (of the accidents). I connected this with Astrid. But this seems oddly similar to what Milo was doing. The obvious similarities between Milo and what we know to be Observer-like behavior was intriguing, but I was wondering if it might be a misdirect. The clinic running the drug trials altered this man with disabilities and created this ability (both are similar in a way to Astrid’s situation, emotional disability but special abilities with calculations related to human action). We’ve encountered the term “The Watchers” in Brown Betty as a reference to the Observers. What connections if any are being made in this episode between the two? Are Watchers a particular type of persons that function Over There much the same way Observers do here? I find it interesting that watchers get involved over there (as Observers do here) while Observers have not really actively manipulated events while on the other side (besides September’s mistake) like they do here. They seem to just watch movies with slushos in hand for the most part.
    I’m just blurting these out quickly via type so, thoughts?

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    • jophan says

      It was “lookers”, not “watchers”. We knew that Altstrid isn’t the only one from OT1, when AltBroyles asked for one by category rather than for her by name.

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      • LMH says

        “Lookers” yes, you are right. I didn’t remember the correct term, but I think it still holds as a category of people who are like the Observers yet different.

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  7. says

    ‘Real is just a matter of perception’ – LOVE this quote!!!

    It’s the line I wish had been in the finale of Lost. (yeah, still bitter about that one.)

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  8. Anita says

    I’m still pretty much freaking out. I keep thinking it’s not possible for Fringe to outdo itself but it has consistently done so week after week. How is that even possible?!!

    The Glyph word was BREACH. AMBER ALERT BREACH? For some reason that reminded me of Ourlivia not following protocol and taking her oxygen, but it could be referring to something else.

    Is Milo one of the “First People” we keep hearing about? Maybe a precursor to the Observers? Man…so much to mull over and so little time to re-watch. ;)

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    • Anjali says

      Regarding BREACH, I was thinking of:

      Olivia trying to break out of Alt-liv’s memories.
      The breach in protocol.
      Peter’s breach into Olivia’s subconscious.

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  9. FinChase says

    Wow, this was a good episode! IMO, so much better than last week’s episode, and only a step behind “Olivia”. I don’t know if it’s the fact that we have a much more likable AltLivia/Olivia incarnation here or whether the writers are just so much more fired up by “over there” that they are writing better stories, but the first two episodes over there have knocked it out of the park.

    I wonder if a part of Olivia responded to Milo’s story in that he was treated with experimental drugs. I don’t think AltLivia would have but we know it would resonate with our Olivia.

    I wonder if the little tidbit that AltLivia and Rachel fought over everything growing up was a little nod to Roco and this blog? Although I must say that my sister and I fought over everything growing up too and we weren’t even that close in age. It just happens with sisters. I wonder if that was AltLivia or Olivia responding, or both?

    There are so many reflections and wonderful moments in this episode, but my favorite occurred when Olivia (I don’t know what we should call her at the moment, so I’m sticking with who I know she really is) said her sister had passed away, and she looked into the beveled mirror and we saw two pairs of eyes looking back at us. That was brilliant! I think we saw the pain from both Olivias at that moment.

    It was interesting that Milo unerringly went after Olivia, ignoring Charlie completely. He obviously perceived her as a definite threat to him. Again, I wonder if he would have perceived AltLivia that way. One that we saw in the finale and in last week’s episode, AltLivia doesn’t make connections the way Olivia does. Lincoln seems to be the person on the alt-Fringe team who does that. I will be watching for more signs that Olivia is taking over that role from him. I think we saw a bit of it tonight.

    Did anyone catch the homeless guy at the beginning of the episode. It said he was a war veteran, and I thought it saw Aruba war, but I’m not sure. Did anyone get a better look?

    Tonight was the first time we saw a bit of humanity from Walternate. I know Roco has stated he has seen it before now, but it has completely eluded me. He’s still got a long way to go to redeem himself, though; that little line about just having a bigger laboratory now was particularly chilling.

    We got to see/learn a lot more about the alt-universe now. They don’t write, apparently, but use some sort of digital interface. I wonder if the ear cuff they wear might serve as a recording device as well as a really cool cell phone. The part with the oxygen alerts was really quite scary. Obviously Walternate was not exaggerating about the damage to their world.

    This was just a really great episode. I wish we were staying Over There next week.

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    • FinChase says

      Also, I forgot to mention, I wonder what other people Brandonate has tested the experiment he is working on? Could they have captured other Cortexiphan subjects and brought them over? Also, does anyone else think that an AU version of the bra-and-panty tank is about to make an appearance?

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      • Steffi says

        I wonder if a part of Olivia responded to Milo’s story in that he was treated with experimental drugs. I don’t think AltLivia would have but we know it would resonate with our Olivia.

        I wondered that, too! And I think it did.
        However, I noticed something else. I’m not good at interpreting things and this might be a stretch but what I noticed instantly were the names of the brother and the sister, Milo and Madeline which instantly let me think of the (yellow) M&Ms in “Inner Child” which then again reminded Olivia of medicine.

        There are so many reflections and wonderful moments in this episode, but my favorite occurred when Olivia (I don’t know what we should call her at the moment, so I’m sticking with who I know she really is) said her sister had passed away, and she looked into the beveled mirror and we saw two pairs of eyes looking back at us. That was brilliant! I think we saw the pain from both Olivias at that moment.

        I agree, this was beautifully shot.

        Also, I forgot to mention, I wonder what other people Brandonate has tested the experiment he is working on? Could they have captured other Cortexiphan subjects and brought them over?
        I don’t know. I find it hard to believe though. Unless they tell us in the next episode over here that other Cortexiphan Kids have gone missing. I’m sure if that were the case Our Fringe Division would be informed immediately.

        Also, does anyone else think that an AU version of the bra-and-panty tank is about to make an appearance?

        “Sensory Deprivation Tank. Wait… Sensory Deprivation Tank. The Tank?” <- These were actually my initial thoughts. And I'd love to see the Over There version of the tank anytime soon.

        I liked the episode. I particularly liked all the little flickers we got from Ourlivia in Altlivia. It's good to know that bits of Ourlivia are still in Altlivia's memories.
        I'm so glad that Scarlie doubts if it's really their Olivia. I loved Charlie in the first season and was upset by his death. It's the nicer to see Scarlie now and I believe that he is the first who will actually believe when Olivia says that she's not who she is. Kirk Acevedo should get back his main part.
        And I, too, think that Milo's behavior was very Observer-like. Although I think that it has nothing to do with the "First People" (didn't the writer explicitely say that the Observers are NOT the first people?).

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        • FinChase says

          “Milo and Madeline which instantly let me think of the (yellow) M&Ms in “Inner Child” which then again reminded Olivia of medicine.”

          Great point! That never occurred to me. Olivia seemed somewhat struck by those names, didn’t she? Didn’t she comment that they were like a cartoon?

          I agree that it’s wonderful to see Scarlie have a few doubts. He’s having the doubts that Peter should be having. Lincoln we can excuse to some extent because he didn’t encounter our Olivia before his accident, as Scarlie did. I also wonder if Scarlie will eventually help Olivia, when everything is revealed. Right now he’s thinking imposter and infiltrator, but what will he think when he realizes that in fact, she is the one who has been infiltrated, and by his own people?

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          • BklynBetty says

            “Milo and Madeline which instantly let me think of the (yellow) M&Ms in “Inner Child” which then again reminded Olivia of medicine.”

            Great point! That never occurred to me. Olivia seemed somewhat struck by those names, didn’t she? Didn’t she comment that they were like a cartoon?

            I don’t know if this means anything, but i am pretty sure that Olivia said it reminded her of a children’s book, and that the Obit under William Bell was for an author of children’s books.

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    • Page 48 says

      I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the 2 better-by-far episodes (so far) are the Over There episodes. Less Walter + more Ourlivia is bound to = better television.

      Just look at what we don’t have to endure when we watch Over There episodes: fart jokes, food gags, penis chat, boring bodies-back-to-the-lab autopsies, all the nonsense that makes Walter look so annoyingly cartoonish on a weekly basis. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Charlienate is Over There, either. We can’t underestimate the popularity of Agent Francis.

      I think it’s also pretty evident that the writers are just plain having fun playing in their new sandbox (the AU).

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      • FinChase says

        LOL! I was going to be nice and not say what I was really thinking: That a little Peter and Walter go a long way as far as I’m concerned!

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    • SF says

      Yes, it was Aruba War that the homeless man was a veteran of.

      “There are so many reflections and wonderful moments in this episode, but my favorite occurred when Olivia (I don’t know what we should call her at the moment, so I’m sticking with who I know she really is) said her sister had passed away, and she looked into the beveled mirror and we saw two pairs of eyes looking back at us. That was brilliant! I think we saw the pain from both Olivias at that moment.”
      I was noticing them too. There were quite a few! I did think though, that when Olivia was looking in the mirror after talking about Rachel passing away, that it was like she paused, and I wondered – is she wondering why this doesn’t feel quite right to say? did just for a moment Olivia come through and say Rachel isn’t dead? I didnt’ see doubt in AltLiv’s eyes, it was more surprise, like she felt a flicker of something inside her when she said Rachel was dead. It’s interesting what these mirror shots are revealing to us about the characters, isn’t it?

      “that little line about just having a bigger laboratory now was particularly chilling.” It was, wasn’t it? Any good will he had incurred by showing a moment of pain missing Peter, vanished again. Evil Walter, that’s who he is in my mind.

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      • FinChase says

        ” did think though, that when Olivia was looking in the mirror after talking about Rachel passing away, that it was like she paused, and I wondered – is she wondering why this doesn’t feel quite right to say? ”

        Yes, that occurred to me too. Somewhere underneath she knows her sister is alive. It’s little human conflicts like this that keeps our Olivia from disappearing.

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  10. Shayne says

    This may end up making my top five favorite episodes. Really enjoyed this one. One thing that jumped out at me: Our Walter stole Peter from the alterverse. Walternate has stolen Olivia from our universe. Walter, in either verse, certainly isn’t afraid of crossing the line.

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  11. Count Screwloose says

    I don’t think the writers were trying to connect Milo to The Observers directly, but rather suggest that their abilities are similar, i.e., they can see every possible universe (the totality of every different decision ever made) simultaneously, every timeline, every action. It ties in neatly with Walter’s lectures on co-existing timelines as well as this particular season’s emphasis on the consequences of choice.

    It also ties in with what I really think is going on this season. I haven’t worked it all out, but see what you think.

    Let’s assume that The Observers were able to see a huge catastrophe looming in the distance for Mankind. Let’s assume further that the only way to hold it at bay was to split this reality in half and that this was done before humans appeared and with the help of what is being referred to as “old tech,” the so-called “Doomsday Machine.”

    Still with me?

    The device’s true purpose was to split reality. So the important thing then becomes never to let the two halves become whole again. The precautions include leaving important pieces of the device on both sides and making a human being an indispensible part of it.

    In other words, this whole business of only one universe surviving in the same space is so much hooey, designed to frighten away anyone who would be curious about testing the theory. The truth is that they can coexist, but if they were to do so, the horrible threat foreseen by The Observers would come to pass. 

    Which is where I think we’re headed. The machine will be activated and Over Here and Over There will merge once more. (Perhaps this was even what David Robert Jones was truly aiming at.) It’s why we’ll spend this season watching characters we thought of as being opposites slowly become more and more like each other. Both Olivias will become one. Our healthy world will help even out the distress suffered by the other. Not much of this will matter, however, as our reality and every other possible reality will be facing the greatest threat they have ever known.

    Walter Bishop.

    The Secretary who is once again concentrating on the scientist part of himself and the Scientist who has been given the keys to the world’s greatest weapons manufacturer will meet in the middle and become something unimaginable, something that threatens the survival of humanity, if not reality itself. He will become that thing he feared so much he had William Bell hide parts of his brain from him. It’s why he scattered so much of his work. He will be the thing The Observers saw in Mankind’s future and desperately tried to stop.

    Maybe. Needs work, but I think there may be something to it.

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  12. matt says

    killing off charlie was definitely tptb’s way of connecting us emotionally to over there

    they brought in scarlie right when ya started to miss charlie and then hit us with this awesome episode humaninizing both him and walternate

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  13. matt says

    and milos abi.lities being similar to the observers, but otherwise unrelated, gave us perspective where the observers are concerned and a way to understand how to see things the way they do to a lesser degree

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  14. matt says

    also, i think the observer and the first people (sam weiss, other old people who dont look their age?) who do not experience time the way we do limited humanity with the concept of time in general which is responsible for our limitation through experience

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  15. SF says

    This was a fantastic episode. There is so much to love about it, so much to rave about: more Linc, more Charlienate, more Over There, our Olivia back – even if underneath AltLiv, she was there in her eyes sometimes. It was an amazing performance by Anna Torv. It was AltLiv in the episode, with bits of Olivia peeking through. I could feel Olivia, even if it was AltLiv in her life.

    I have to say though, that the ending was so powerful. I find it so ironic that Olivia’s mind is showing Peter telling her the very same things he should have been told by Walter after he was kidnapped: remember who you are, remember where you come from. I love that he says reality is a matter of perception!!!!! Especially given NWP and the crack line, a really great reference to Peter’s own state of mind too. I really enjoyed the resonance too, that Peter is the one who brought her there (to bring him home), and so it’s Peter who comes to her in her mind, to remind her of who she really is, and to hang on to what she loves so she can find her way to reality again. If reality is a matter of perception, and cortexiphan works on perception, will cortexiphan be what helps her to override the memory graft? in just a few minutes of dialogue and really good acting from both Anna and Joshua in that scene, it was like everything up to now in Fringe, encapsulated in those few lines of dialogue. One of the best episodes of Fringe.

    And that’s not even including the lovely romantic kiss! Or Walternate saying creepily he is using ‘a bigger lab’, and seeing the camaraderie and friendship among the three of Fringe Division. This was such an enjoyable episode. I thought showing what playing with perception, with abilities in a mind, and an experiment that they were able to cure most participants in, and restore back to their original state after, very interesting – a good science company, for a change! And I felt sad because Bell and Walter didn’t put the cortexitots back to their original state, they just made them forget the experiment and their perceptive abilities and training. An interesting comparison between the old experiment, and what the altuniverse is currently doing (well, one company, anyway).

    This episode has everything in it that I love about Fringe, except it was missing more Walter and Peter! I do miss our Walter, and it was good to see that moment of him smiling at her – really, this episode had almost every character revealing so much with so few, or no, words, and the moment with Walter was one of those moments. If that’s how Olivia sees Walter, then we know that deep underneath, she does care for him, and she does know that he is trying to make amends for what he did to her. That she sees he’s capable of it shows how much faith Olivia has in the people around her too, just as AltLiv has a very strong connection to her team. I really liked how AltLiv and Charlienate were walking in synchronicity at the scene at Hotel Patricia.

    The music at the final scene too, as Peter talks to Olivia – very different, and haunting. It almost sounded like something from Dune (the movie).

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  16. mlj102 says

    FinChase: “Wow, this was a good episode! IMO, so much better than last week’s episode, and only a step behind “Olivia”. I don’t know if it’s the fact that we have a much more likable AltLivia/Olivia incarnation here or whether the writers are just so much more fired up by “over there” that they are writing better stories, but the first two episodes over there have knocked it out of the park.”

    Well said, and I completely agree! I absolutely loved this episode. Last week left me feeling empty and frustrated and I never felt like I became absorbed in the events taking place or invested in anything going on. But this one? I felt like I was on the edge of my seat from the opening scene. If there is one word I could use to describe this episode, it would be “fascinating”. I was completely intrigued by everything going on. The case was brilliant. I loved the whole idea of one simple, seemingly insignificant thing leading to something bigger, which escalated until something huge happened. I love how that ties into the theme of choices and consequences and how our choices largely make up who we become. Similarly, I loved the theme of distraction and how it was people being distracted that led to those accidents. The people on our side are distracted. What’s going to happen while they’re busy being distracted? This episode left me with so much to think about!

    I loved seeing the alternate Fringe team. Alternate Astrid was so much fun to watch. It was so neat watching her calculating the possibilities and insisting there was a 0.000 probability that someone could be making all that happen. I loved the discussion between Lincoln and alternate Charlie about Olivia. I love the whole dynamic between those two and Olivia. I even find myself liking Frank. He’s a pretty nice, considerate guy. I find I feel kind of sorry for him that his real girlfriend is busy on our side pursuing a fake relationship with someone else. Poor guy.

    I thought it was brilliant how they went the route of showing our Olivia manifesting herself through representations of the people she knows on our side. I loved the scene at the end, with Peter essentially voicing her thoughts and her reasoning and our suppressed Olivia and explaining what had happened while she chased Milo and why she lived. That explanation was absolutely perfect and I thought it was an amazing way to connect those two aspects of the story in this episode.

    Honestly, it just doesn’t get much better than this, in my opinion. I only hope that the over here episodes will take some lessons from the over there episodes and will do a better, more convincing job at addressing the deeper story.

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  17. SF says

    “I loved the scene at the end, with Peter essentially voicing her thoughts and her reasoning and our suppressed Olivia and explaining what had happened while she chased Milo and why she lived. That explanation was absolutely perfect and I thought it was an amazing way to connect those two aspects of the story in this episode.”

    It’s only now, reading your comment mlj, that I realized that Peter wasn’t explaining it to the audience why she survived the audience, he is explaining it to her – essentially, Olivia is telling her Altself why she survived – because she didn’t know why she missed the alert. The scene is even better written than I originally thought!

    I agree with everything you said – very well put, about this episode, and about the previous episode, which I was reluctant to admit didn’t hold my attention as deeply as I wanted it to. This episode – and as FinChase said, the “Olivia” episode also – are much, much stronger than last week’s one. I can’t put my finger on why, if the difference is how the story is being told. Over here in the AltWorld, we are with our Olivia, feeling her fight to surface, and everything is fraught with expectation and tenseness. Over in our world, AltLiv is removed from the people around her – is relating on false pretenses, and there is a coolness about last week’s episode that is replaced by warmth in this week’s.

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  18. number six says

    Walternate, you magnificent genius! I absolutely loved John Noble in this episode. His performance made The Plateau for me. Not that the episode was bad, quite the opposite, I loved it, not as much as The Box, but close. He really needs an Emmy, because, as much as I love him as Walter, I’m enjoying him almost as much as Walternate. Is there anything this man can’t do?

    Did I spy some pain from him, when he was talking about Peter’s clothes?

    I’m sorry to say that any sympathy I’m feeling for the alternate universe comes from Lincoln, Charlie and Astrid (and not from Altlivia, who just makes me cringe). The three of them were great, particularly Charlie. I loved that the head trauma, that Olivia gave him last season, wasn’t forgotten. Although, to be fair, Olivia was the one, that said she wasn’t their Olivia in the first place. His paranoia was justified and I liked how he questioned her, until he was convinced of her identity. And he also saved the day. Go Charlie!

    Milo reminded me of Altstrid with his ability to calculate variables. He also seemed to have thought-reading abilities like the Observers, but I think he was just calculating variables about, what his sister would say, rather than reading her thoughts. He also reminded me of Walter in St. Claire’s with that nervous tick in his hand. Really creepy and really well done.

    As for Olivia, I think that, besides the incident with the oxygen, what proved to me, that she is still in there, was her inability to shoot Milo. I doubt that Altlivia would have spared him at all. Now that she’s hallucinating Walter and Peter, I hope that the Altlivia in her will keep this to herself. If Walternate knows she’s starting to remember, who she is, she won’t be safe. Not that she’s safe now that Walternate wants to put her in a tank with water.

    Next week’s episode looks amazing!

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    • mlj102 says

      “He also seemed to have thought-reading abilities like the Observers, but I think he was just calculating variables about, what his sister would say, rather than reading her thoughts.”

      Actually, I think that’s how the Observers do it. I always thought that it was something more involved than “simply” reading the person’s thoughts, but that it was more like being able to predict what they would say. So in my opinion, this was simply providing an explanation for how the Observers are able to do that. Which I think is really neat. It makes more sense than just “the Observers are able to read minds.” Just my opinion, of course. :)

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  19. says

    Wow! What a fantastic episode! :D
    It was exciting from beginning to end. I am thrilled with this high quality entertainment, really. Compliments to TPTB, staff, crew and cast.

    Let’s recap some things:

    - The Watcher. I observed him during the scene on the bridge, he was tanding there on the left in two seperate shots.

    - The horse. Can anybody refor the the toy horse that was so obvious in two scenes? Mythology anyone?

    - The 6 small paintings on the wall in his sisters house. Tulip, butterfly, tulip and butterfly, tulip, butterfly. Now, we knów two symbols very well…

    - Red, blue and yellow colors nicely disperced across the entire episode, well done.

    - Green. Again we see green at Olivia’s residence in the kitchen. Green. I say: third reality. And why not? It worked great in the dream sequences in ‘Inception’. I think the writers will move into the same depth/levels/realities slowly, maybe around the end of S3, but hints are here, not olny the color green.

    - P3ter and Walt3r. We’ve seen them. Olivia’s seen them. Even kissed with P3ter in the end. I use the number 3 to distinct them clearly from Peternate, Walter & Walternate. Tie them in with the color green and you have a huge setup for the third reality. Whát they (P3ter & Walt3rnate) are? Think of them as “shadows from the future”; an event horizon to become, or: things that will be/happen. Mark my words for S4. I’ll go even this far by saying that the amber accidents are caused by P3ter and that hé is in fact the weapon in practice, blaming the blue squad we fondly know as Olivia (at this moment Altlivia), Peternate and Walter. 2 dogs fight over a bone, the third takes it and is gone. To catch a phrase.

    - The arguement between Lincoln and Charlie over whó knows Altlivia(Olivia for now) better. Great fun.

    - 2 special people for the price of one episode. Milo compared to Altstrid. Very impressive. Also, the way that Milo watched/observed some scenes and the way they made it visible how his brain calculated all the odds was fantastic material.

    - The third episode involving a pen. ep.1 regarding the not functioning pen and Peternate offering to fix it. ep.2 was the writing on the door “the pen is mightier”. And now blue pens. Blue. Is the third reality explicitly using the wrong color, so that the best know reality (which is blue) gets the blame on purpose by the red reality? But still: watch next week for another pen clue…

    - Fringie of the week? I’m not sure yet. First, i’m going to watch it for a third time over, this episode is Fringe at it’s best. I’ll think i’ll give it to P3ter for now, since nobody did expect to see him this episode. Powerful stuff here.

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    • LizW65 says

      “The horse. Can anybody refor the the toy horse that was so obvious in two scenes? Mythology anyone?”

      There was the riding stable where Nina and Peter spent so much of their time together, back in the day. Could be a hint that we’re about to get more of that story in the next episode.

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  20. Elaine says

    Wow, what a bizarre and thrilling episode. My initial thoughts about it were pretty rudimentary. The consequences of human experimentation. Olivia and Milo being the walking, talking, odds defying example of such. While Milo’s mind dejected all emotion, Olivia’s further experimentation continues to evoke her emotional connections…thus the reason she saw Peter and Walter at various moments. Then Peter working as her subconscious to remind her that the choices she made during her chase, and why throughout the investigation her mind manifested the connection she has to the two of them didn’t come from Altlivia’s training, it came from Oliva’s gut instinct…to keep running. The kiss was simply reinforcing that emotional connection she needs to hold on to in order for Olivia to find her way back to the surface.

    Like everyone else, I really enjoyed seeing Olivia and Charlie working together again. I so very much miss Charlie’s character…how protective and gentle he was of our Olivia. I never factored (ha!) in that it would be Charlie who would have the most misgivings that Olivia wasn’t their Livy. Of course, he has more reason to be suspicious with Olivia being locked away with no one being able to visit her for what appeared to be a month according to what he mentioned about having to put in an access code to obtain information from their work stations. (This whole time difference between universes is really screwing with my head.) LOL.

    I also liked Olivia interaction with Lincoln. It made me sad a bit because I realize how despite the far grimer circumstances that effect the altverse, there’s a loose, more carefree interaction between this Fringe team than ours. Olivia is so emotionally burdened and closed off, she doesn’t allow herself to relax very often, which is heartbreaking.

    Alt/Astrid is also an interesting one to encounter. So different from our Astrid. There’s such an indifference to how she deals with those around her although they appear to depend heavily on her calculations.

    There was also that look Olivia gave Broyles as she settled into her chair. It was a look of….recognition? Yes, Altlivia would recognize him, but so would our Olivia, and that seemed to be the person trying to figure out that this isn’t how she normally interacts with her Broyles. He’s far more personable (now) with her, and this Broyles was decidedly standoffish…if that makes sense.

    Anyway, great episode. Nice compliment to the previous two. Can’t wait until next week!

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  21. jade86 says

    Awesome episode! Interesting both the case of the day and Olivia’s visions. That Milo remimds me the observers, because he reads mind and he’s able to see the future events.
    Oh god i loved the final scene with olivia and peter!!!! Anna and Josh were great!! Now, about the visions, according to me the moments in which Olivia sees Walter and Peter are not casual. Olivia sees Walter in the hospital (she probably connected walter to st.claire) and sees Peter instead while her, charlie and lincoln were analyzing the pen! According to me is not a case, I have this feeling!
    If peter is somehow the key like the pen, maybe there’s a connection!

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    • LizW65 says

      “Oh god i loved the final scene with olivia and peter!!!! Anna and Josh were great!!”

      Yeah, everyone keeps bringing that scene up. I think there was far more of an emotional connection between the two characters than we’ve felt so far from Peter and Alt-Liv, which is why it makes such an impact (even though it wasn’t really Peter, it was just Olivia’s subconscious prodding her in the right direction.)

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      • LizW65 says

        Interestingly, this scene is getting a bit of negative heat on another discussion forum; the consensus seems to be that Josh Jackson was clumsily shoehorned into the episode for contractual reasons. (Not that I agree, but I always like to hear dissenting opinions.)

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        • annon says

          Oh, don’t agree about that. Only because I thought the words he spoke were very poignant to the episode. Those sort of words to me certainly don’t scream after thought to me.

          Wow, I’m perplexed.

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        • Pwnsauce says

          I thought the visions were good, but the one at the end with Peter was too long. I dunno, I just didn’t feel like Peter should have been in those episodes. I doubt it was contractual reasons, but I think the writers wanted viewers that love Joshua Jackson to not be deprived of him for a whole two weeks, so that they didn’t lose people.

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          • Catherine says

            I think the Olivia/Peter scene was not an after thought or an attempt to appease Joshua Jackson fans at all. It moves the mythology plot forward. It let’s us know that Walternate has NOT yet “won” over Olivia; she still has those connections to her real self (Peter, Walter, and her sister). It was a short scene to heighten suspense: How will she regain her identity? Will alt-Broyles or Walternate learn that she’s not reached that “plateau” that Walternate spoke about, where she completely becomes Bolivia?

            As a Joshua Jackson fan, however, it WAS good to see Peter. ;D But, if I need a fix just for a fix sake, I’ll stick in “Bishop Revival” from season two. Next week looks good. :D Previews of Walter, stoned, freaking out the scientists of Massive Dynamic made me chuckle.

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      • LBJ says

        The reason I loved the final scene so much was because it almost perfectly mirrored the scene from season 1 episode 5 with Olivia and John Scott (or her mind’s projection of John.) Another great example of Fringe’s cyclical
        nature.

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    • says

      @jade86: Milo may look like he’s observing like the Watchers, but he can’t see the future like the Watchers. He only calculates every option and then can pretty much predict what will happen. But he certainly cannot predict or see the future. He’s shown that in the last scenes, when Olivia got to him and he was very surprised.

      Sweet Watchers are made of completely other stuff ;)

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    • number six says

      Oh god i loved the final scene with olivia and peter!!!! Anna and Josh were great!!
      Totally! Olivia hallucinated the most effective way to call back her own self and fight the Altlivia memories.

      And on a shallow note, way to speak in a sexy sultry voice, Peter! *g*

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  22. Bishop Takes Queen says

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned it yet…why did Peter’s speech to Olivia at the end of the episode feature a different voice when he says:

    “It’s the same reason you think you’re seeing me now.”

    All throughout his talk, he sounds like Peter except for that line, which has a distinctly different voice. Am I the only one who noticed?

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    • says

      Not only had a different voice, he also looked different; more hostile in a way. Hence my prediction: P3ter. The ‘third’ version from a third reality, causing the red and blue squads to fight out the war he started, so his reality will survive without any damage. P3ter and Walt3r.

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      • Bishop Takes Queen says

        Interesting theory…I have also thought about the possibilities of other universes as well. Surely Walter’s snatching of Peter is not the sole reason for all of the problems “over there.” I suspect another universe is involved as well (or the first people are repsonsible).

        But “his” voice is so different when he says that particular line, that I first thought either someone (a rogue observer perhaps?) was manipulating Olivia through her memory, or that maybe it was an audio glitch – but something that unsubtle seemed to be of importance, especially since the line is delivered without showing Peter, and the pause beforehand allows you to notice the stark contrast in voice.

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        • Catherine says

          I don’t suspect that any more universe-type realities will be introduced in Fringe. The writing/plot development/character development for two universes is challenging enough. Three universes would make Fringe as confusing as, well, LOST.

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    • LMH says

      Certain areas have experienced degradation due to holes in the fabric of that universe cause by Walter’s crossing over. Some areas just aren’t dangerous enough for the drastic quarantine measures, so I guess they put up signs where people need extra oxygen, etc.

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  23. Aaronia says

    Hi, I’m writing here for the first time, after reading almost the whole blog for the last week. It’s awsome, thanks to all contributors.

    I just wanted to bring up that “Peter” in Altverse is doing a similar role as dead “John Scott” appearing to Olivia during the first season. It’s like a symptome of some buried memories in her. It’s very convenient that Olivia already learned how to deal with that kind of thing, and I believe her next experience in Alt-Brandon’s sensory deprivation tank is going to help her make the necessary connections.

    The parallel is awesome, in that old time she lost her boyfriend and was beginning a new life in Fringe; now she has lost even more (herself, her home) but the loss of her “love” is going to be the link that she needs to make.

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    • LMH says

      Yes, don’t you just love the parallelism? One of the best (and my favorite) elements in the writing of Fringe, parallels and symmetry all around.

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      • runthegamut says

        A disturbing alternative is that the tank will help her purge those memories, just like they did in season 1. I don’t think that’s likely, but if we’re really going for cyclical here, that’s what might happen.

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        • mlj102 says

          But if that’s the case (which I agree is certainly a possibility I could see them doing) then wouldn’t it purge the foreign memories, which are alternate Olivia’s memories?

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  24. Ann_Louise says

    “And on a shallow note, way to speak in a sexy sultry voice, Peter! *g*”

    Very much so! I loved the contrast between the relationships Peter and Olivia have in the two worlds. The imaginary kiss between OurLivia and Peter felt much more “real” than the heavy-breathing shenanigans between Peter and AltLivia. IMO, that because the connection between OurLivia and Peter is more than just physical attraction (while there is that element), while the interaction between AltLivia and Peter seems to be almost entirely sexual (not that there’s anything wrong with that….). Olivia’s almost-smile after their kiss was both touching and heartbreaking.

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    • SF says

      “Olivia’s almost-smile after their kiss was both touching and heartbreaking.”
      Yes, it was. Beautiful moment. I hope Roco can see that she does love him (or care for him deeply) now! lol

      Good points here about the differences between Peter and the two Olivia’s. I do love that tone of voice of Peter’s – and yes, Joshua Jackson does look different in this episode, because this is how Olivia sees him. A little darker, more intense, and yes, sexy. What an interesting way to show us what her perceptions see of him. I didn’t make the connection to John Scott, but of course it is exactly the same – we see both of these men she loves, through her mind, her perceptions. I like the parallelisms too.

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      • FinChase says

        Yes, the John Scott parallels are definitely there. Perhaps we should have seen it coming. Underneath this is still Olivia, and this is how her mind works things out. I love the idea that this earlier experience may actually be making her stronger and more able to resist the long-term effect that Walternate plans for her. I’ll bet this info isn’t in Newton’s research!

        SF: “What an interesting way to show us what her perceptions see of him.”

        As we have discussed offline, this also serves to make the real Peter look even worse. Her mind is struggling to keep a toehold on reality and manifests him as her anchor to that reality, while he can’t even tell the difference between Olivia and her very different double!

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  25. says

    This was so much fun to watch! I just got done and will need to watch it again tonight. I think part of what we’re all enjoying here is just the sense of newness of the other universe. We’re keeping our eyes peeled for things like the “Aruba vet”. Also, they are showing the other universe with a lot of daylight, lots of outside shots. In contrast, much of last week’s episode took place at night and inside (basements!) and it gave it a darker feel as a whole. And we’re very familiar with the blue universe and the only real change is Altlivia, which is a very big change mind you, but we’re the only ones who know about it.

    Everyone has left great comments and theories. I wanted to point out that her visions were not the only thing keeping her now-subconscious-other-self alive. She is making all kinds of connections that Olivia usually makes. She linked the 3 victims through a somewhat obscure path which was totally an Olivia thing. She spotted Milo on the BRIDGE. Now, to be honest, we really don’t know how good of an agent Altlivia is, but from what we’ve seen during the last episode, she doesn’t seem to connect all the dots super well. And all three agents were wondering why this was a fringe case because it didn’t center on an environmental anomoly so this tells me that they don’t usually take on cases like this so Altlivia shouldn’t really have a lot of experience with finding patterns and connecting the dots. So the fact that Olivia-as-Altlivia was doing this was, to me anyway, a distinct showing of Olivia breaking through the surface of Altlivia.

    I agree with many that it was fun to see Alstrid work. She’s a testy little thing, isn’t she?! Which makes it all the more funny thinking back to the last episode when Altlivia says hi to our warm and bubbly Astrid. I’m sure that was sort of mind-blowing for Altlivia! And did anyone else notice Olivia-as-Altlivia smiling/smirking at Alstrid? Do they think it’s some sort of game to get her all worked up? That didn’t sit well with me.

    Frank: Does anyone else get the distinct impression that poor Frank is in love but Altlivia just isn’t in that same frame of mind? In “Olivia”, when Henry (I want to see more Henry!!) asks her about her guy, she flippantly laughs, “Yeah, Frank” and then remembers it’s Peter she loves? That right there gave me the impression that Frank is Altlivia’s passing fancy – not a true love. And then in this episode, poor Frank is so kind and warm and very obviously in love but when he declares this to Olivia-as-Altlivia (sorry, it’s tough keeping all these characters straight) she most definitely doesn’t say it back. In fact, it felt to me like maybe that was the first time she’d heard that from him and she was at a loss as to what to say back. So with that in mind, when Peter shows up, it seems all that much more poignant.

    Other things of note: With all their medical advances, they still haven’t found a vaccine for small pox? Seems odd. Now that Milo can only talk in machine and is devoid of all emotion, shouldn’t he be let go? I mean his killing spree was based on emotion, not on logic. So he should be good now, right? :) Leaf glyph on the lamp behind Olivia in Maddie’s living room. With all the boxes pointed out in the last episode I immediately noticed the bright red box in Broylnate’s office. The lack of pens makes sense. If they have the blight killing all the trees then they wouldn’t have the resources to continue making paper so they are a paperless society as a whole..Which falls in with the whole timeline…Olivia said she hadn’t seen one since preschool which would be about the same time that Walter opened the door which started all the problems. Nice tie in.

    I also loved the scene of Walternate spying Peter’s clothes and crumbling a bit which paralleled so nicely when Walter smelled Peter’s clothes after he’d gone with Walternate. Very well done!

    And I totally agree that the bra-and-panties tank it going to totally switch on Olivia and bring the Dunhamnator back in full force. Can’t wait to hear what you write in your review and observations Roco!! I’ll be waiting on pins and needles.

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    • Jodie says

      “And did anyone else notice Olivia-as-Altlivia smiling/smirking at Alstrid? Do they think it’s some sort of game to get her all worked up?”

      I’ve noticed many times where Altivia is rather “smirky.” At first I thought that she was just hardened by what she has experienced in the AU, but for all of her happy-go-lucky attitude, now I think that she has a bit of a mean streak to her. And I also noticed her stand-offish attitude toward Frank. He seems more attached to Altivia than she is to him.

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    • says

      “Frank: Does anyone else get the distinct impression that poor Frank is in love but Altlivia just isn’t in that same frame of mind? In “Olivia”, when Henry (I want to see more Henry!!) asks her about her guy, she flippantly laughs, “Yeah, Frank” and then remembers it’s Peter she loves? That right there gave me the impression that Frank is Altlivia’s passing fancy – not a true love”

      I felt the same way. Altlivia seems to like “distractions” more then talking. She doesn’t come across as a very deep or thoughtful person. Altlivia is all business, whereas Olivia feels things (intensly!).

      With that said, Frank also kinda came across as, well, as a brown noser. Something about the way he insisted on Olivia/Altlivia telling Broylenate about seeing things makes me feel like he does what he’s told without question. Could it be possible that Frank could be the person to drop the dime on Olivia/Altlivia once Olivia (so confusing) resurfaces? What if Frank reports Liv’s sightings to Walternate or Broylenate, but it’s Lincoln and Scharlie that come to her rescue.

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      • mlj102 says

        RoSull: “She doesn’t come across as a very deep or thoughtful person. Altlivia is all business, whereas Olivia feels things (intensly!).”

        I think it’s kind of ironic that you say that because, on the surface, it’s quite opposite. Being less burdened and haunted than Olivia is, alternate Olivia tends to freely express herself more than our Olivia. She smiles, she jokes, and in general, she shows more emotion and is less businesslike than our Olivia. She’s more carefree. On the other hand, I couldn’t tell you how many comments I’ve seen where people complain about Olivia because she’s too serious, too dull, and never shows any emotion. While I completely disagree with that argument (as you said, Olivia feels things very intensely), it’s true that she keeps her emotions to herself. She fights to keep them controlled. So I just think it’s rather amusing that you claim that Olivia is the one who has so much emotion while alternate Olivia is the one who’s not very deep or thoughtful.

        As for my opinion, I agree with you about our Olivia, but I’m not so sure about alternate Olivia. True, so far this season we’ve seen a very “business” side to her. She has a mission and she is very focused on doing what needs to be done to fulfill it. And while I’m not completely fond of alternate Olivia at this point, I’m not giving up on her yet, either. We’ve still seen a very limited side to her, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that future episodes will do a better job at exploring her and will show that she is a deeper character with more emotion and feeling than we’ve seen so far. For what it’s worth, what we saw of alternate Olivia in the finale certainly seemed to show a deeper, more well-rounded character than we saw in The Box.

        Schwakamole: “Does anyone else get the distinct impression that poor Frank is in love but Altlivia just isn’t in that same frame of mind?”

        To be honest, not really. I can see what you’re saying, but I disagree. Yes, it bothers me that she seems to find it to be so easy to “forget” Frank and she wastes no time in seducing Peter. But if she considers that to be part of her mission, I can see how she could do that without feeling like it’s cheating on Frank. I don’t agree, but I can see how someone might have that opinion.

        But that issue aside, I do think she cares about Frank a great deal. I get the impression that they’ve been a couple for some time now, and I wouldn’t expect her to stick around with him for a long time if she viewed it more as a fling or a “passing fancy”. Looking at Over There, she seemed to be very much in love with him and I didn’t get the feeling that she took their relationship lightly. The scene in the taxi cab, I thought that she seemed to think of Frank very fondly when she responded to Henry’s question. As for their interactions in this episode, I also noticed that Olivia seemed rather distant, and almost uncommitted to the relationship, but I actually interpreted that more as, subconsciously, our Olivia knew that something wasn’t right and that she didn’t really love Frank, so she was the one holding back. I noticed how they didn’t kiss at all in this episode (except for a quick kiss on the cheek at the end), which, considering how affectionate they were in Over There, that seems a bit out of character for alternate Olivia. So I think our Olivia is having some amount of influence on how alternate Olivia acts and how she is coming across.

        And can I just say how grateful I am that they’re not going the route of showing Olivia and Frank in an intense relationship, kissing and such? The way they’re forcing the whole Peter/alternate Olivia relationship is more than I care for as it is, and I find it rather irritating. So as far as I’m concerned, there’s certainly no need to add Olivia/Frank into the mix. I really have no desire to see our Olivia in the middle of a relationship with a man she really has no feelings for.

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        • says

          Mlj, I see your point, but I guess we just see this one differently. Not even factoring in that she is having to be intimate with Peter for her job, I still think that Frank is the one who cares more. In the 3 or 4 scenes we’ve seen him in, he has essentially lavished love on Altlivia. In the finale he gave her a massage and left food for her with a little note before he left. In “Olivia” he was devastated by what was going on with her and in this episode he’s cooking dinner for her and showing genuine concern for her. She on the otherhand has done nothing for him. It seems like a very one-sided relationship to me. True, they do seem like an established couple, they’re even living together. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the relationship isn’t unbalanced.

          But I totally agree with you in being grateful that they are not having Olivia and Frank “hooking up” so to speak. Maybe it is Olivia who is putting up some subconscious stop signs when it comes to Frank but I am grateful that we don’t have to cringe whenever they touch.

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          • BklynBetty says

            MLJ and Schwakamole –

            I actually agree with both of you. I think that the Olivia/Frank relationship is somewhat unbalanced – And that it is Ourlivia’s instinct that something is ‘off’ at play.
            It isn’t necessarily that I think that Altlivia doesn’t love Frank – but, it certainly does seem that he is the ‘care-taker’ / nurturer in their relationship. On her side, however, it seems like a happy, playful, good-natured, and untested kind of love. She accepts his tokens (back-rubs and dinners), but then doesn’t really want to discuss work with him. Apparently, his work takes him away a lot and she doesn’t really seem to mind. Honestly, it reminds me a bit of the dynamic between Ourlivia and Rachel. Great roomies.
            Maybe as a ‘soldier’, as someone who faces the threat of death by amber on a regular basis, instead of holding her relationships closer, she keeps them at a bit of a distance – knowing they could be separated at any moment. She lives in the present, and is not one for achy, painful, soul-mate type love.

            Incidentally, can you imagine Ourlivia going on a mission and not letting Peter know? I know that frank knowing that Altlivia was really Ourlivia would totally gum up the works – but, i also don’t know that Altlivia knows that was the plan. I mean, she knew she was to infiltrate the enemy – but, did she know right off that they were gonna stick Ourlivia in her bed, so to speak instead of keeping her locked up and questioning her? It seems like her knowing that would be a potential distraction to her on her mission. I think it would speak volumes about her character if she Knew that the ‘monster’ who is ‘nothing like her’ was sitting at her desk in FD, confiding in her boyfriend, and hugging her mother, and continues to smirk and flirt her way through our universe as a replacement Olivia? Then again, maybe she doesn’t know that she’s also been replaced.

            Also – AltNina? The writers went out of their way to let us know that AltBell was killed in an accident as a young man. Is there to be no mention of such an interesting and important character as Nina having or not having an alternate? Would Bell not have checked for her in all his time Over There (kept tabs on her)? Maybe its nothing, or maybe they’re saving her for later?

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            • Jodie says

              “Also – AltNina? The writers went out of their way to let us know that AltBell was killed in an accident as a young man. Is there to be no mention of such an interesting and important character as Nina having or not having an alternate? Would Bell not have checked for her in all his time Over There (kept tabs on her)?”

              I still think that our Nina might turn out to be from the AU. I find it very interesting that there has been no explanation about the alternate Nina.

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              • BklynBetty says

                “I still think that our Nina might turn out to be from the AU.”

                Interesting. So, that instead of William Bell ‘borrowing’ the technology from the AU to construct her prosthetic – it was made Over There because she is *from* OT. There are TWO separate stories of how Nina lost her arm – maybe they are Both true? The one we know only from Walter’s Flashback, yes? The Nina we know has never confirmed it. (Please correct me if i am wrong i am working off of my memory here)
                AlterNina – developed cancer in the same arm that was exposed to God-knows-what when Nina tried to stop Walter from crossing over, suffering the after-effects, like exposure to radiation can lead to cancer years later – Bell tells her to get that arm looked at because he knows the intrinsic connection between the versions, thus “literally saving her life”? An echo of the trauma experienced by Nina1.
                This might also explain the strange undercurrent between Nina and Peter. The weirdness that has caused some to speculate whether its actually maternal in nature. Maybe, she knew him before he came here.

                Well, Jodie – you have certainly got me thinking about this!

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      • fringefan2009 says

        Hi Rosull,

        I didn’t feel that Frank was a brown-noser from what we saw. I just felt that he cared about his girlfriend, whom just recovered from a serious head injury. I just think that he cares for her, and he knows that she’s going to try to be tough, and not report it, in which case she could get hurt.

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    • SF says

      “She is making all kinds of connections that Olivia usually makes. She linked the 3 victims through a somewhat obscure path which was totally an Olivia thing.”

      I thought so too, Schwakamole. That was very definitely an Olivia way of connecting hard to find dots…..what we don’t know, is if AltLiv does the same thing. Certainly Charlienate didn’t react to her doing it, so AltLIv do something similar. The odd thing is, we haven’t seen much of it from her (AltLiv) on our side – I really think AltLIv is holding back from our team, from participating in the cases – more observing than anything, whereas here we see Olivia-as-AltLiv going all out to solve the case, the way she normally would.

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      • says

        Yes, Altlivia might have this same patterning ability that Olivia has but we definitely haven’t seen it. I guess in “The Box” she was holding back so that she didn’t look like she knew too much about the case. But when she was investigating the deaf man’s apartment, it was Peter who pointed out that someone else was living there and THEN she said that she had noticed that too. Now, I realize that might be a fairly obvious clue that even I might be able to figure out, but it just seems like she waits for others to discover things. Even Scarlie commented on Altlivia having a mind-meld with Lincoln. Maybe she rides on his coattails? I guess we don’t know for sure. But my impression since we’ve met Altlivia is that she has channeled her abilities into her physical abilities (marksmanship, possibly swimming) while Olivia has more mental capabilities. Just my impression. It will be good to see next week how Altlivia works.

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  26. says

    Wow. Awesome episode. Renews my faith in Fringe. I forgot how integral to the show solving a good sci fi mystery is. Seems like we haven’t had a really juicy “case” since “White Tulip.” I happen to think the procedural element is one the show does well actually.

    Love Alt-Charlie. You remember how much of a part of Fringe’s appeal the character of Charlie Francis is. Such a good contrast to the others.

    Coming full circle on the sensory deprivation tank from Season One is very cool, as is the less nurturing attitude towards the same idea that Walternate has.

    Love the off hand way the details of the AU are dribbled out without awkward exposition.

    I thought this episode had the best of Season One and the best of Season Two all in one. Great mythology. Great case. Great episode.

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  27. Hatch says

    When imaginary Peter dropped the line “Reality is a matter of perception,” I literally started laughing. Especially considering the title of next week’s episode – either Roco is really synchronized (so to speak) with the writers’ brains, or the writers are reading the blog. Probably both.

    I freakin’ LOVE how they’re bringing it back to the beginning with the sensory deprivation tank.

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  28. says

    It took Walternate until 2010 to come up with something that Walter and Bellie came up with in their basement laboratory in the 1970′s. Wow.

    I’ll bet that Walternate is so arrogant that he hadn’t even considered things like the Cortexepin trials (which is why Olivia cab cross over), and putting Olivia in the tank will actually backfire on him.

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    • Catherine says

      If they didn’t have the Cortexephin trials “Over There,” then why did they have the case with the twin “fire starters” in season one? That has baffled me. Remember during that case when Olivia crossed over to the Alt-FBI office, the phone changed to red, and Alt-Charlie showed our Olivia the picture of the charred twins? On our side, only one girl got fried, and the other one was kidnapped from her apartment by the pain in the butt superior who hated Olivia. Didn’t that Fringe event occur because the girls had been treated with Cortexephin as children? She later helped Oliva and Walter cross over in last year’s season finale.

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      • BklynBetty says

        OK – this has bothered me too and I am trying to work it out pretty much as I am typing – so, i apologize if this is a little incoherent.

        What Olivia ‘saw’ then – was a glimpse into the AU – but, not a full crossing over. She saw enough to realize that things were ‘different’ – ie. Broyles office was rearranged, etc. However, they were still all wearing suits – which they actually Don’t in the “real” AU, Boston looked more like it was on fire or under attack, then encased in Amber (as we see is the case when Walter and Bell go to Harvard).
        I think that she was seeking answers in a place she didn’t even know she could access – but that her ‘perceptions’ were being translated through the ‘familiar’. Unable to process Amber Encasement, but instinctively Knowing that Boston was being destroyed she visualized it happening in a manner which she could easily grasp. She see’s them wearing suits in an FBI office that resembles her own – with phones that look like ours instead of those video screen things that actually exist Over There and the case report that Alt-Charlie hands to her is PAPER. Obviously, i don’t think that all those technical upgrades and wardrobe changes occurred in a one year span.

        (Then again, I suppose it could be that she was seeing yet another Universe – but, i like the perception idea more, and it has been stated already here that a third Universe would be WAY too confusing.)

        Okay, so that’s the general idea. The twins are a little more confused. She needed to see them, so she did. Which is to say that she needed to see all the possibilities, and with her cortexifan kicking in – what better way to “see” the different possibilities than to ACTUALLY SEE THEM? In another universe the two of them might have been heading to the hospital together – so they were. I’m not even sure that that case Did happen Over There. Trippy, right?

        Did that make any sense???

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  29. Ann_Louise says

    “…putting Olivia in the tank will actually backfire on him.”

    I noticed that too on another forum – having seen how the tank has helped Olivia communicate with John Scott and then deal with his memories. It would be great to see the tank help Olivia come back to herself instead of helping Walternate’s plans.

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    • Catherine says

      Yes, I too am wondering it the tank isn’t going to backfire on Walternate, who, I think, believes that Olivia has reached the “plateau” where she has become Bolivia. From the “visions” of Peter and Walter in “The Plateau” we know that that hasn’t happened, at least not yet. As Walternate hopes, the tank may help her cross over, but it may also (as some of you have mentioned) help her purge Bolivia’s memories and recover her own. Neither of which, I’d think, would actually benefit Walternate in the long run. I mean, if Olivia learns to cross over, won’t her next words be, “Bye, suckers?” Click your ruby slippers, Olivia, and repeat after me, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” :D I am enjoying seeing the Alternate Fringe team, Walternate, and the Alternate Universe, but I don’t want “our” Olivia to stay there too long.

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      • mlj102 says

        “I mean, if Olivia learns to cross over, won’t her next words be, “Bye, suckers?””

        I think that’s the reason Walternate felt it necessary to go to all the trouble of convincing Olivia that she’s over there Olivia. If he tried to figure out Olivia’s ability while she still believed she’s from over here and is desperate to return over here, then his experimenting won’t do him much good because as soon as she was able to cross over, she would, and she’d be gone. But if she thinks she belongs over there, then she should be willing to submit to whatever experiments they ask of her, and if she manages to cross over, she’ll think she’s on some mission for over there, and she’ll ultimately feel it necessary to return. At least I think that’s his plan. But I’m hoping that by the time that happens, she’ll get to the point where our Olivia is dominant enough that she knows and remembers where she belongs, and she’ll turn against Walternate.

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      • fedorafadares says

        I’m excited, but actually a bit apprehensive about Olivia reentering the tank. After her “trips” to visit John Scott, she asked Walter to put her in the tank one more time and he said no — it would’ve been too dangerous to do that again. Even the last time she went in, Walter stressed that his voice was her tether to reality and if she dropped it, she’d be lost.

        It makes me wonder about where, exactly, she went to meet John Scott — was it an actual “world” or was it a dream-state? Interesting!

        On the other hand, wouldn’t it be awesome if Olivia returned to our side in consciousness AND body and ended up locked in the tank on our side???

        That’d scare the chocolate milk out of Gene!

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        • LizW65 says

          “On the other hand, wouldn’t it be awesome if Olivia returned to our side in consciousness AND body and ended up locked in the tank on our side???”

          Oh, that would be great! And it would tie in really well with the scene in “Brown Betty” in which Peter rescues Olivia from a locked crate that has been dropped into the river.

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          • fedorafadares says

            Nice! I, personally, liked “Brown Betty” and the call-backs to that episode are neat. We’ve seen the weird laser pen, had allusions to Peter’s failing health…A watery rescue would be awesome!

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        • SF says

          “I’m excited, but actually a bit apprehensive about Olivia reentering the tank. After her “trips” to visit John Scott, she asked Walter to put her in the tank one more time and he said no — it would’ve been too dangerous to do that again. Even the last time she went in, Walter stressed that his voice was her tether to reality and if she dropped it, she’d be lost.”

          That was my fear too when I heard Walternate mention the tank! They don’t know (and don’t care) how often Olivia has already been in it. Wouldn’t it be awful if they put Olivia in it, and she lost her connection to both realities? because of course her tether has always been Walter’s voice. Of course, if Walternate is a proper scientist and does be her guide while in the tank, then what if being back in the tank, makes both Olivia and AltLiv’s consciousness lose their sense of reality? And Olivia vanishes within and AltLIv does root in Olivia because Walternate’s voice tells her she is AltLiv? Would he, if he wanted her to cross over? Or would he encourage AltLiv to use her ‘hidden’ abilities? Imagine if he says, “Imagine there is another universe just like this one, and over there you have the ability to travel between worlds. Imagine reaching over there and touching your other self’s mind.” Which is actually buried within Olivia. Would she break through, only to find herself in the isolation tank, with the voice of the man she trusts under those conditions telling her who she is? Would Our Olivia be lost forever then? Just when I thought I couldn’t worry about these characters even more, Fringe writers find a way to up the anxiety levels!!

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          • FinChase says

            SF: “And Olivia vanishes within and AltLIv does root in Olivia because Walternate’s voice tells her she is AltLiv?”

            Ok, you’re freaking me out, my friend! I don’t know that Walter is her only tether to reality. He was the tether at that time. I’m sure Astrid could have done it just as well. It just needed someone she could focus on.

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            • SF says

              It was whenever she goes into the tank – Walter’s voice guides her through, is her tether to reality. So if she is in the tank and hears Walter’s/Walternate’s voice, she’s going to trust it absolutely to guide her to safety.

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  30. SF says

    Ok, can anyone answer this: how does Milo know the bricks are going to fall from the forklift? It definitely looks like some kind of foresight, precognition, predicting a small part of the future – but how can he see to the construction site to know the bricks will fall?

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    • Catherine says

      The drug treatments that Milo received continually increased his intellect by, dare I say, quantum leaps. At the end of the episode, he could only communicate with a computer. My understanding is that Milo would calculate probablity statistics (like alternate Astrid, but at an even higher level). He was able to begin a change of reactions, and, using his cognitive “superman” abilities, determine the outcome. In Fringe terms: Milo was special. He calculated: Olivia and Alt-Charlie arrive at the hotel; they see him; he runs; they chase him into an oxygen deprived zone; Olivia sees the flashing sign warning her to use oxygen; she stops (which startles the forklift operator and causes him to “slam brakes”?); Oliva pauses to use oxygen; the cement blocks fall on her and crush her to death. BUT, our Olivia wasn’t conditioned to respond as calculated by Milo to the flashing low oxygen sign, because, as “Peter” told her, she isn’t from here. So, one link in Milo’s probablility calculations chain was off and Olivia survived….and busted Milo.

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      • Catherine says

        Oh, and the fact that Olivia still retains enough of “herself,” to react in the chase with Milo as Olivia and not as Bolivia, is further evidence that she did not reach “The Plateau” that Walternate hoped that she would.

        Fringe, Thinking Cap TV
        LOL

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        • jophan says

          I think SF’s point was, having seen the forklift in advance, how did Milo know it was going to tip the load off accidentally, and how did he know exactly where? Was there a pothole or something, or did he see the load was improperly balanced?

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          • Jodie says

            I think that the forklift driver would see Olivia stopping briefly to use her oxygen canister, then the driver slams on the brakes to avoid hitting her, and that action then topples the cement bricks.

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          • Catherine says

            Milo didn’t “know”; it was a statistical probability that the forklift operator would stop suddenly to avoid hitting Olivia, and, a statistical probability that the cement blocks would tumble off and crush her.
            I’ve read some other Fringe blogs now; and wow, there was a lot in that episode! Note: the social isolation/moral detachment of excessively high intellect being alluded to here. Both Milo and Walternate are willing to kill people to protect “their reality.” Both Milo and Walternate are socially isolated by their extreme intellects. The toy horse is Milo’s connection (although, now a lost connection) to his more human, emotional self; whereas, Peter’s clothes is Walternate’s connection to what should be or might have been his more human, emotional self.

            Look at Walter! Although much of his childlikeness comes from his drug abuse, his mental breakdown, and parts of his brain/memories being removed; he stole Peter. (i.e., Walter stole Walternate’s toy horse), and no one wears his emotions on his sleeve more than our Walter.

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            • SF says

              I appreciate all your answers! I’m still having a problem visualizing how the driver sees Olivia and stops so suddenly – wouldn’t he have seen Milo first run by, and be stopping? My question is along the lines of what jophan said: how did Milo know the stack of bricks would fall? How could he know they wouldn’t be balanced properly on the lift? Everything else about the scene I totally understand and am in awe of how he ‘know’s, sees, predicts – it’s awesome (except that he uses it to kill people). I’m going to have to watch the scene really carefully – I’ve watched the episode three times now, and I can’t see why it’s right there it all happens – though I will take all your thoughts into consideration while I rewatch it. Thanks!

              Or – this just occurred to me – did Milo watch them loading the forklift truck moments before we see him, so that he knew it was unbalanced before he did his prediction thing that would lead to Olivia being underneath it? That makes much more sense. I’ll rewatch the scene anyway!

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              • Catherine says

                SF, I definitely think that Milo knew the construction scene beforehand. That’s why he chose that hotel, I think. Here’s how I handle some of the stuff I don’t get about an episode: it’s Fringe…sometimes you just have to go with it. :D Still, if you figure anything out during rewatch, let us know. :)

                Fringe needs to make sense on some level; but, I’m willing to suspend reason for the fun of the ride sometimes.

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                • SF says

                  Catherine, this was just an oddity for me how he knew about the bricks. I’m a wee bit obsessed with Fringe, and have an ongoing list of unanswered questions, and links to dates, etc, because I love this show and love trying to figure it out. It’s like a huge puzzle for me. When I rewatch this (because I will at least twice more before next week’s episode because it is such a good one), I’m going to see if I’ve missed something in the scene. It doesn’t distract from my loving this show.

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  31. fringefan2009 says

    Man, that was such a fantastic episode. I think that the writers have finally found their pace in incorporating independent story lines with the mythology. Also, the characters are likable, believable, and I’m really starting to care about them. I have to say, all around great acting, especially by Anna Torv, and that last scene with Peter really did resonate with me. It is a creative means in which her mind was manifesting her subconscience. Nice. Also, I love how we are learning more and more about the alternate universe, like how they no longer have pens there. I think it’s fun, and there are no limits to where the writers can go with this alternate universe. This is definitely the best show on TV hands down!

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  32. LizW65 says

    I read this on another site and found it so interesting I had to cut and paste it:
    I think I know how Charlie, and Lincoln are gonna figure out that Fauxlivia is faux, and it is totally gonna tie into her boyfriend career.
    “Anna Torv (the actress) was born in 1978. I will assume her character is similar in age to the actress. IN our world (blue world) smallpox was basically eradicated by the early 1970′s. Childhood inoculation against it was discontinued in 1972. The real Olivia is not protected against it, and as soon as her BF returns from Texas, I am betting she will contract the disease, wheras, Fauxlivia was probably vaccinated years ago, when she started dating a specialist in the virus!!”

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      • runthegamut says

        Not according to imdb. They have her birthday as April 15, 1978 and Josh’s as June 11, 1978, so she is slightly older.

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        • Catherine says

          Josh, Anna, and Jasika (as well as their characters) are all close to the same age (early thirties).

          But I don’t know about Walter. They make Walter and Walternate greyer than John, don’t they? John Noble is in his early sixties. Is Walter the same age?

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          • runthegamut says

            In the pilot, they said Walter was born in 1946. John Noble was born in 1948, so pretty close. But that brings up the question of later seeing the headstone of Walter’s father, died in 1944. No explanation for that yet.
            I don’t know about Astrid, but I do know Olivia and Peter are supposed to be the same age, both born in 1978, so the same age as the actors.

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            • Catherine says

              Thanks for the info., “run.” In “Bishop Revival,” Walter said that the dates on his father, Robert Bishop, coming to America from Germany were falsified to cover for his being a spy for the Allies during World War II. Maybe his death date is false too?

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            • mlj102 says

              “I don’t know about Astrid, but I do know Olivia and Peter are supposed to be the same age, both born in 1978″

              I had always assumed that as well, but we actually find out differently in The Box. If it’s to be believed, when alternate Olivia is looking at Olivia’s file, it lists her birthday as being “10-12-79″. I always figured it had to be in October or November, because that’s around the time that The Cure aired, but I thought it was 1978… but apparently they’re saying it’s 1979… Go figure…

              As for Astrid, I’ve always placed her as slightly younger than Peter and Olivia… mid to late twenties, meaning she was born in the early 80′s, is my guess… But from what I know, nothing has actually been established to confirm her age.

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              • runthegamut says

                That’s weird. I thought they pretty well established the cortexiphan trials in Jaxonville happened in 1981 on 3 year olds.

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                • FinChase says

                  In “Ability”, Olivia stated that in 1981 she was three living in Jacksonville. I think she’d have to have been born in 1978 for that to be true.

                  It could be a little in-joke. If you look out on the internet, depending on the website, Anna Torv’s birthday is listed as 1978 or 1979, and sometimes it’s April and other times it is in June.

                  As you say, it’s weird. Fringe is doing a lot of weird things with time right now.

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  33. FinChase says

    I’ve had a couple of ideas about what might happen. They’ve mentioned the isolation tank, so I’m assuming they are planning on putting Olivia into the alt-universe version of the bra-and-panty tank, as Roco calls. Maybe they’ll at least give her a wetsuit over there. They hope this will trigger her abilities, but I think it’s also likely that it will trigger other things Walternate doesn’t plan on, not least of which would be Olivia fully awakening to herself.

    I can see two possible scenarios occurring:

    1) Our Olivia is put into the isolation tank by Walternate and she mentally reaches across the universe and connects with AltLivia. I think she’s already done that in “The Road Not Taken”, and these conditions would be even more extreme, possibly making the connection even stronger. She could then see through AltLivia’s eyes and know what is going on, perhaps even influence her actions and perceptions.
    2) If the first scenario occurs, then the second is definitely a possibility: That it will be Olivia herself who tells Peter and Walter what has happened. If she manages to flash over or at least influence AltLivia enough to control her, she could be the one to tell Peter, “Wake up, stupid! You left me in the alt-universe!”

    I’m really beginning to believe that Peter and Walter, in spite of their much-vaunted IQs, aren’t going to see what’s right in front of them. Maybe the IQ is even part of the problem, in that they aren’t listening to their instincts. That’s one of the things that Olivia always brought to the table; she is very instinctive. Unless I see some evidence of awakening suspicions in next week’s episode, I’m going to assume that Peter and Walter are going to be fooled until someone tells them what’s going on. It will probably be someone like Sam Weiss or September or Ella who clues them in, but I find the idea of it being Olivia herself who finds a way to contact and tell them to be particularly satisfying.

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    • SF says

      “I’m really beginning to believe that Peter and Walter, in spite of their much-vaunted IQs, aren’t going to see what’s right in front of them. Maybe the IQ is even part of the problem, in that they aren’t listening to their instincts. That’s one of the things that Olivia always brought to the table; she is very instinctive.”

      Good point about their instincts, Fin. The higher the intellect, like MIlo illustrates, the more danger that the instincts are overruled and/or ignored. We could also see this in light of this episode, in that Milo assumed Olivia would care about herself more that she would stop to take the oxygen, when Olivia’s drive is to catch the man, no matter the danger to herself. Her instincts fooled his mind. Even Charlnate alluded to this when he said that she (meaning AltLiv) was foolhardy and it had happened before. In acting on her instincts, maybe Olivia was closer to AltLiv also in that moment than at any other time. So either version would have defeated Milo in this chase.

      So now I wonder, since Olivia has found a way of dealing with Walter, I certainly think she can take on Walternate, although I’m not sure she is aware of how dangerous he really is. Will her instincts save her against his intellect?

      And, as you say, will Walter’s and Peter’s instincts finally speak loudly enough to warn them about AltLiv? As you know, I am ranting daily about how can they not know she’s not who she says she is…..

      It’s an interesting theory about whether being in the tank will awaken our Olivia and she is able to flash over to our side for a moment and warn Peter and Walter. I wrote above to another commentator about how concerned I am that Olivia might end up back in the tank – all my instincts are hoping she finds a way to not go back in the tank at all.

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      • mlj102 says

        “And, as you say, will Walter’s and Peter’s instincts finally speak loudly enough to warn them about AltLiv? As you know, I am ranting daily about how can they not know she’s not who she says she is…..”

        Since you brought it up again, I thought I would mention something I’ve been thinking about since this episode aired, but I haven’t seen anyone else mention it here.

        As has been discussed, a strong theme in The Box was that of distraction. Similarly, many have argued in Peter’s defense (as well as in behalf of the other Over Here characters, but I’m going to focus on Peter) that he should not be expected to notice the differences in alternate Olivia because he’s “distracted”. There are all sorts of things distracting Peter: he’s in love, he’s worried about the weapon and his role involving it, he’s shook up over the reveal of being from the other side, and he’s not sure what to do about Walter. While these are all valid points, I thought The Plateau took an interesting approach in addressing that argument.

        The accidents caused in this episode were essentially all the result of people being distracted so that they weren’t paying attention to what they should be doing, and they ended up causing the accident. In discussing the case with alternate Charlie, Lincoln asks, “Isn’t distraction the root of every accident?” It’s a valid point. And taking that into consideration, it makes me wonder what terrible accident is going to be the result of Peter and everyone else on our side being distracted. Honestly, we can defend their ignorance as much as we want by claiming that they’re simply distracted, but if they continue to be that distracted by other things in their lives, I’m afraid they could end up being responsible for causing something truly awful to happen. And if that happens, can we really justify it and say it’s all right because they were just distracted and they didn’t mean for it to happen?

        My point is that, sure, Peter’s distracted, and I can understand that. But he needs to pull it together and start seeing things for what they are. The sooner the better.

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        • FinChase says

          MLJ: “I’m afraid they could end up being responsible for causing something truly awful to happen. And if that happens, can we really justify it and say it’s all right because they were just distracted and they didn’t mean for it to happen?”

          Very good point! I don’t think we could forgive them in this case any more than we could forgive a surgeon who became distracted during a surgery and caused injury to the patient.

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        • SF says

          MLJ: I read your answer and I suddenly remember the biggest distraction of them all: when the Observer distracted Walternate in the lab, causing him to miss the cure for his son’s illness. That is the distraction that led to the greatest and terrible event so far in Fringe, because without it, none of the following would have happened. It’s like a non-accident result, because the cure was missed, but it lead to the same theme of disaster in the end – the monumental destruction of at least one universe. Distraction leads to all kinds of accidents. Excellent point, mlj. I’ll try to keep it in mind when it comes to Peter especially, though part of me rebels that he can’t tell that AltLiv throwing herself on him is something Olivia would never do, especially not to take his mind off the difficulty he is facing reconciling what he knows about his own world and what Walter did. Wasn’t that telling that AltLIv distracts him with a kiss? She doesn’t want to hear his doubts, because then he would become a person to her, someone she could see as not a monster, but as real, with feelings. And Peter doesn’t pick up that our Olivia would have listened to him all the way through, because that’s what she’s always done with him. He has got to know something is wrong! Darn! and I really tried to not rant again! lol

          It does get me to thinking too, if distraction leads to accidents, what will AltLIv’s distraction here with Peter lead to, in the coming episodes? this is a really interesting idea and I’m glad that you brought it up here again, mlj.

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          • FinChase says

            “Wasn’t that telling that AltLIv distracts him with a kiss? She doesn’t want to hear his doubts, because then he would become a person to her, someone she could see as not a monster, but as real, with feelings.”

            Well, it also had something to do with keeping him from seeing that big, spreading puddle of blood. Poor Olivia, if she ever gets back she’s going to have to have her wood floors refinished.

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            • SF says

              Oh I knew it was to distract from the blood too! but Peter doesn’t know it. He thinks (or will when he gets his brain back) it’s because Olivia suddenly didn’t want to talk about Walter and how Peter feels about the two universes.

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        • Bishop Takes Queen says

          I am still not buying that Peter & Walter (or to a lesser extent, Broyles & Astrid) are unable to pick up on Altliv’s deception. First of all, they know about the existence of dopplegangers from the other side. Second, they know about the existence of shapeshifters – and should be extra concerned considering they had the shapeshifter Charlie in their midst for so long.

          These things would have them all with a heightened sense of awareness, where any sort of discrepancy in Altliv’s impersonation would trigger their alarms.

          If Alt-Charlie can pick up on Olivia’s little quirks in the AU within a short amount of time (based on his brief & painful experience with Olivia in the S2 finale), then surely Walter, Peter, and the others could spot subtle differences in a woman they were around for 2 years. And Peter in particular knows Olivia really, really well…or at least he did in the past 2 seasons before plot contrivances made him a blind, clueless dolt. And how could Walter identify Olivia within seconds when she picked him up from the hospital last season? Now he is as blind & clueless as Peter as well?

          This is my major problem with S3 so far. I understand that things need to be a certain way to propel the story, but c’mon, give the audience some credit. And this show, with so much in the details of things, expects the viewers to accept a huge gaffe in character development all the sudden?

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          • jophan says

            “If Alt-Charlie can pick up on Olivia’s little quirks in the AU within a short amount of time (based on his brief & painful experience with Olivia in the S2 finale), then surely Walter, Peter, and the others could spot subtle differences in a woman they were around for 2 years.”
            Not really disagreeing that Peter’s being clueless (though he has a hell of a lot on his mind), but Alt-Charlie has a major advantage: knowing that a short time ago, Olivia was insisting she was not BOlivia. So he’s suspicious to begin with, and will therefore pick up on little things like her not knowing there’s a telephone code. But apparently her response to his feeler satisfied him, because her missing the Amber Diamond later didn’t raise more suspicion.

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      • FinChase says

        SF: “Even Charlnate alluded to this when he said that she (meaning AltLiv) was foolhardy and it had happened before. In acting on her instincts, maybe Olivia was closer to AltLiv also in that moment than at any other time. So either version would have defeated Milo in this chase. ”

        Oddly enough, I was thinking about this today, SF. Scarlie actually called her a “daredevil”, but it comes out to the same thing. He wasn’t surprised that she took chances, although apparently breaking prototocol was extreme. Hasn’t risk-taking always been one of Olivia’s hallmarks? As you say, this may be an area where the two Olivias are truly in sync. Last week we saw AltLiv leap off that platform to run and save Peter. While it may have been partially driven by self-interest to save her mission, it was still an enormous risk that could have easily cost her life, so I like to think that there was something else there too, perhaps a little bit of Olivia’s drive to save people.

        “So now I wonder, since Olivia has found a way of dealing with Walter, I certainly think she can take on Walternate, although I’m not sure she is aware of how dangerous he really is. Will her instincts save her against his intellect? ”

        I think the two situations are very different. Walter, for all the harm he has done to Olivia, doesn’t want to harm her now. I think he even loves her in his weird Walter way. Walternate, on the other hand, is whole different matter. I think he truly believes that Olivia and everyone from over here are monsters, some sort of obscene reflection of the people over there. It’s possible what you say, that her instincts may surprise him. I think he also hasn’t counted on the fact that in her own very quiet way, Olivia is quite charismatic. People end up wanting to believe her and help her, like Henry did. Linc and Scarlie are going to be exposed to her daily now, and this may influence them when they finally learn the truth.

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        • SF says

          And Broyles too, don’t forget – he is very loyal to ‘his’ Agent Olivia Dunham, but will he follow through on Walternate’s saying that if The Plateau doesn’t take hold in Olivia, she will be killed?

          I like your point that Olivia is charismatic – I agree, I think both Olivias are, though AltLIv is more openly charismatic while our Olivia is as you say, quietly charismatic. Look at Peter! Staying in one place for over two years now (well almost in the same place, NWP and crossing over to the other universe being exceptions…..and wanting to go to Mars…..) because he wants to help her. If you and Roco are both right in your speculation that Olivia can bend the world around her because of the cortexiphan trials, then I would expect to see something similar happen in the altuniverse with LInc, Charlnate, Broynate, etc – what we call her quiet charisma might also be her very nature changing the world around her.

          One other thing – Olivia isn’t very often distracted. She is almost like a bloodhound, never ever giving up until she reaches the target, whatever it may be. This strength of will, this tenacity, is what I hope will bring her back to us from being submerged in AltLiv’s memories. I wonder if AltLIv is this tenacious? What if AltLiv on our side is distracted – not being her usual self in the mysteries because part of her self, her memories, are implanted in our Olivia? I mean, how did Brandon get AltLiv’s memories, and are they copies of AltLIv’s memories? Or the real thing? If they are copies of her memories in Olivia, then she is fully herself. This also makes me realize that if AltLiv is as focused as Olivia, then we can expect her to follow through on whatever her plan/instructions are for our side. That’s scary too!

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  34. Xochitl says

    okay, I know everybody has already seen the episode but I just finished watching and that last scene killed me.

    Huge question, maybe someone else has already something, so sorry if I’m repeating, but do you think we are gonna see the tank again ?

    OMG! This is getting good.

    By the way, with the promo for next week, it’s a set up, I don’t think they are going to catch alt!livia now, I just hope those too don’t get to , you know, it would break my heart since I feel olivia finally saw the light.

    OMG I’m just jumping from excitment! :)

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    • FinChase says

      I think we are going to see an alt-universe version of the tank soon. Check above; there’s been a lot of discussion.

      Yes, it was a fantastic episode, wasn’t it? I think this episode will rank in my listing of the truly elite episodes of Fringe when all is said and done.

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  35. says

    I just did my rewatch and there were an awful lot of flowers in this episode. They even pointed out the daisies that the femal victim had just bought. There were vases of flowers in almost every place they went (apparently flowers are not too affected by the blight). There were flowers on the walls, on the pillow and on Madelyn’s blouse when they went to question her. And in the scene with Peter, he’s standing right next to a flower. A clue for the next episode perhaps?

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    • SF says

      What does the flower glyph mean in Fringe? Maybe that’s a clue to not only next episode, but also to something else in this episode too. Good point!

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      • fedorafadares says

        I think daisies symbolize Olivia somehow. The birthday card she gets from her nasty stepfather had daisies on it. In her dining room (where she clobbers cancer guy) there’s a huge print of a field of daisies. And I even think the season 1 DVDs show Olivia’s face behind the daisy glyph.

        Daisies symbolize purity, innocence and loyalty.

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