Fringe Review: 3.01 Olivia


Welcome to our review for episode 1 of Fringe season 3 – “Olivia”.

In this review we take a completely honest look at the good and not so good aspects of the episode. We find out what answers were provided and what mysteries remain unresolved. We take an in-depth look at the other aspects of the episode that made an impression on us, before rounding off the review with our final thoughts and episode rating.

THE GOOD

  • New Characters to Play With. The worlds of Fringe have opened up in more ways than one – we now have so many more interesting and relevant characters to explore these worlds through. Dr. Anderson helped set a tone of unease –  outwardly pleasant, her mouth fixed in a perpetual smile, yet there’s something quite frightening about her. Henry I warmed to very quickly – he brought a lot of heart and truth, and I totally bought his motivation for helping Olivia. I never thought I’d ever be able to watch Brandon for more than 10 seconds at a time, but please give me more Brandonate! He may be gullible but displayed subtle nuances that make this version much more interesting to me than his double. Finally, Marilyn gave me enough in that scene with Olivia to leave me intrigued by a mother/daughter story that could potentially rival the father/son journey. Can we keep them? Please?
  • Humor and Compassion. I enjoyed the camaraderie and banter between Lincoln Lee and Charlnate Francis, it gave me deeper understanding of who they are and why I should care about them. I was also touched by their compassion for Olivia. While the possibility that this is not their Olivia should have entered their minds, it was nice to see some warmth extended her way. Alternate Fringe Division are not as odd a family unit as their doubles on the other side, but they do have their own quirks that make me rather like them.
  • Structure and Pacing: I thought the decision to focus the majority of the episode on the alternate universe was the right one. So much so that I’m not sure that switching back and forth between worlds in the same episode would have given us the necessary depth needed to explore the other side. As it was I was treated to a thoroughly satisfying journey through the eyes of two Olivias that took the story to some really fascinating places while asking many interesting questions. The pacing and plotting of the episode was also exceptional. Barely a single scene was wasted and every character expression, twitch, and flicker seemed to reveal something of note. I also appreciated the level of restraint that was employed with both the direction and musical composition – allowing the episode a level of authenticity.
  • Concept Building: The episode built on the pre-existing themes of memory, duality and nature/nurture in clever and intriguing ways that kept me engaged and challenged throughout. I applaud the fact that the show has added further depth and resonance to some already fantastic concepts, while literally and figuratively taking them into new dimensions. The decision to fuse Altlivia’s memories into Olivia was inspired and lends the story open to even richer possibilities.
  • Investment in the Alternate Universe: One of my hopes for this season was for the other side and its residents to be embellished and realized into entities in their own right. I’m not as interested in a clichéd portrayal of the ‘bad guys’, because it would do disservice to the world of the show and the reality it strives to reflect. I wanted something that felt real – a world filled with people who have their own complexities, a world I could relate to on some level. I was thrilled to find myself genuinely caring for the characters in the alternate universe. For the most part, I found them to be believable within their settings, many of them just caught up in something that they have little control over – even Walternate (a figure who I just cannot hate) seemed driven by something that I cold tap into.
  • Mythology Through Character: I found both extremely satisfying.

THE BAD

  • Olivia’s Escape. So, Walternate has a high priority prisoner, someone who can move through universes, no-less – and he has what, 3 maybe 4 guards on patrol – and none on the door where Olivia was being treated? No wild dogs? No rabid Wolverines? No Molebabies waiting to pounce? And what do his Stormtroopers do as Olivia is making a break for the elevator? (an elevator, that for whatever reason, wasn’t put on lockdown) – they shoot at her with bullets. Really guys, you want to kill your best hope of winning this war? Have a word, Walternate! While I accept that Olivia had to escape at some point, I found Walternate’s security measures to be unbecoming of someone in his position.
  • Some Contrivances. I thought Olivia should have at least expressed some expectation that the opera house would be heavily patrolled. More to the point, I was surprised that Walternate didn’t have the authorities on high-alert, informing them that Olivia/Altlivia needed to be taken into custody. I guess he didn’t want to make her assimilation public in case the treatment worked, but after apprehending Team Cortexiphan last season I expected better.
  • No Out-livia? I have a very hard time believing that two supposed geniuses – plus Broyles and Astrid, who are no slouches in that department, could believe that Altlivia is their Olivia. From the glimpse we saw, I just don’t think Altlivia’s doing a particularly good job at concealing her ruse. Olivia may have been morphing into Altlivia on the other side, but blondie practically has a sticker on her forehead that reads: “Not Olivia, Stupid!“. For someone who unerringly captured Olivia in one word last season, Peter thinks this cheerful beam of light is the “haunted” one that he’s came back for? That’s right Peter, it must be the affect that you have on women. Pfft! I mean, you’re good, but you’re not that good. Hopefully future episodes will give me more reason to buy into Altlivia’s cover but at the moment this is a major contrivance that feels so out of whack with the rest of the story.
  • The kiss. Look, I have nothing against tongue hockey and I recommend it to everyone as a healthy and rewarding sport, but there was something just too awkward about seeing Peter plant one on Altliv. Maybe it’s because our girl is trapped on the other side, or perhaps it’s because it seemed like they were trying too hard to make a point. I felt that Peter was sticking his tongue down my throat – that’s how in my face it was! And I have a horrible feeling that this was the first of much more canoodling between these two. Maybe when we focus on that side things we will gain more context, but for me it was easily the worst moment of this episode.
  • Unrealistic. Peter and Walter seemed way to friendly with one another considering the discoveries that were recently made. Perhaps being with ‘Olivia’ is covering over Peter’s resentment for now, but even so, I still find the whole ‘together again’ act problematic.

UNEXPLAINED MYSTERIES

  • What does Altlivia’s tattoo mean?
  • What is Altlivia’s exact mission?
  • Why doesn’t Walternate want to fill Broyles in on his plans for the two Olivias?

ANSWERS

  • Unless I missed something, Lincoln implies that the events in this episode take place 2 days after Olivia was captured and 3 days after he got Clarked. (if that’s the case then add ‘Charlie’s full head of hair’, that he seems to have magically acquired in that time, to the contrivances above).
  • Walternate doesn’t know how Olivia is able to move through universes. This suggests that they don’t have Cortexiphan, or a similar drug, in the alternate universe, and offers more insight into why he went down the shapeshifter route.
  • Lincoln Lee can remain out of the hyperbaric chamber for 8 hours at a time.
  • As Bellie claimed last season, it appears as though Massive Dynamic do not exist on the other side.

FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • That opening scene brought into the open something I have been speculating about for some time now – the idea of constructing a fantasy so believable that it becomes reality to the person who created it:

“Olivia. What is happening to you, given the nature of your job – the upsetting events that you come in contact with on a regular basis, coupled with the injury to your head, it’s not surprising, your mind has created this…fantasy. A means of processing the trauma.”

  • What intrigues me about this is whether the writers are double–bluffing us by taking one of the shows underlying themes and placing it out in the open in a way that negates the need to question the reality of certain events? Personally, I think it’s about levels. As Olivia tells Dr. Anderson, “this is not a fantasy”. And we can vouch for her because we’ve experienced what she’s experienced and travelled through universes with her. But that’s not to say there isn’t a question mark over the actual reality of what we’re seeing play out in both universes. Who’s to say that these events, these complicated and far-reaching events, are not the inner workings of something much deeper?

  • Morality vs Necessity – what is acceptable in the most drastic of circumstances? These two warring concepts were examined early on when Brandonate informed Walternate that giving Olivia another dose of treatment (aka Altlivia’s memories) could kill her. Walternate’s response was resolute: “try again please”. But it was not a hateful response. I was relieved, but also intrigued because not only did he explain his reasoning to Brandonate, but on some level, I could understand it:

“You and I know something, that many lives and many more dollars have been spent to keep secret. That we..are..at war. At war with another universe, populated by creatures who damaged the very fabric of reality. All around us our world is under attack. Somehow this girl came here. Somehow she is equipped to move through universes. We need her to help us understand this skill. Because if we can do it..we can win this war. And if not..soon there will be nothing left to protect. *offers Brandonate a flicker of a smile* ..Let’s try again.”

  • I don’t know about you, but I’m struggling not to see his point. I’m struggling not to see his motivation. That doesn’t mean I agree with what he’s doing, or his methods – far, far from it. But we are a complicated species and within what he says – and the way in which he says it – is something that lends itself to my sympathy. I would love to know what places John Noble goes to in his mind to convey moments like this.
  • Walternate fails the morality test hands down – my investment is with Olivia, and seeing her shattered and bruised only strengthens that bond, but no-one says we can’t also feel a sense of agony for this complicated old wartime leader and his decaying world. I’m not quite torn because I never understood the us vs them ethos, but I find myself wishing that these two sides could sit down over a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich and talk things through – maybe put a few great minds together. Sadly, Peter didn’t think that was a viable option when he scuttled back to the world he had given the finger hours earlier.
  • I liked this little line from Olivia:

“Is it dinner already?”

  • The question of time, and how much of it has past since she was captured makes this a useful line. It also plays into her ability to adapt to new surroundings, while highlighting the displacement that one would most likely feel in a place like that. It’s also good to know that the Dunhamnator was at  least being fed and watered on a regular basis. ;)
  • Olivia watches the keypad. Walternate’s Stormtrooper doesn’t know how badly he’s going to regret that moment.

  • The treatment scene was hard to watch – seeing those needles going into Dunham was almost as horrific as that spinal tap from Mitchell Loeb. During our rewatch, I mentioned Olivia’s capability in these situations, and although it took her a lot longer this time to escape, it’s interesting to once again see just how deceptive Dunham can be. Though I’d prefer to say that Brandonate was just a bit gullible. But hey, at least he showed some humanity, and those little flickers are worth noting on a character level.
  • Olivia jabs Brandonate with a dose of the treatment – does that mean he now has a little Altliv inside him, so to speak? Should I expect him to dye his hair red in the upcoming episodes?
  • We learned that Altlivia is an expert markswoman, but like Olivia, she seems to be a born survivor:

“I think from what I know of Olivia Dunham, she’s the one person I know of who could survive.”

  • And isn’t that interesting, to consider what this survival driven by? Are people really born survivors or is it something we learn out of necessity? Both alternatives pose interesting questions of both Olivias, and people in general.
  • The more we find out about Altlivia, the more we discover that she is exceptional at what she does. Like, truly exceptional. What I’m intrigued by are her flaws, her insecurities, the aspects of her character that she would like to be different. The story is now set up to really give us these insights (through both Olivias) to better understand what it truly means to be Olivia Dunham. For me, that’s a lot of what this season is about – exploring the question of how far human beings are defined by their experiences and whether we are who we are for a reason, or if there is a choice in the matter.

  • Threatening Henry’s family was a bit mean, Livvy! I realize she was in a tight spot, and I realize it may not have completely been her talking, but if we’re going to pull the Walternates of this world up for their unsanitary acts, I think it’s only fair that we pull Olivia up for this, however badly she needed to get away.
  • I mentioned that Olivia can be very deceptive when she wants to be, but she can also be extremely convincing when telling the truth. We recently saw an example of this when she persuaded Peter to come back to the other side with her, and I could swear the following quote is the moment when Henry starts to believe that Olivia is the real deal:

“I’m not who they say I am!”

  • He saw something in her face. Or perhaps he felt something. It’s later revealed that he can relate to Olivia due to his own personal experiences in the past, and it’s this perspective that narrows the gap between them. Like-minds gravitate towards one other and want to help each other understand their difficulties. I feel that this is what we see in this episode between my new new favourite duo, Olivia and Henry. They should have a spin-off – ‘He drives the taxi. She kicks the ass.’
  • How did Olivia plan on getting home? Did she really think she was just going to stroll into the opera house and imagine her way back to Kansas? While that’s not out of the question – I guess going back would require a similar method (and less energy due to the open crack) as getting there, I’m surprised that she didn’t seem to consider that it would be heavily patrolled by Walternate’s Stormtroopers, or already quarantined. This was a bit of a contrivance but I’m willing to let it slide because at least they had Olivia address the issue.
  • The Amber lockdown was an insightful moment though – the CGI could have been better but they did a good job considering they have a TV budget to play with. But more than that it was a nice little glimpse into the politics and nuances of this world. The anti-amber demonstration is an idea that I found very easy to buy into. Moments like this really help to illustrate that no matter the universe, humans share so many of the same characteristics. At the end of the day it really is about human nature and realizing that the dividing line between people – be they separated by oceans, borders or universes – really is quite small.
  • We didn’t get much on Altstrid in this episode, but we got enough for now. She’s all about probability – imagine living life by numbers. Hmm, maybe she’s not so strange after all. I’m interested in the “11% chance” that Olivia would return to attack, and the possibility that in one universe out there she did just that. She rolled back to Liberty Island and let loose a can of whoop-ass on poor old Walternate, mounting him from behind and strangling him with his own tie, as he whispers with his final breath..“daughter?..”. Wait, what?
  • Olivia tells Henry that Peter is her ‘someone’ – the reason she’s there. She described his as a ‘colleague’ to Dr. Anderson, for obvious (and not so obvious) reasons. I just like the idea that she chose to show a more truthful side of herself to someone she connected with.

  • The most tragic scene of this episode for me came when Olivia broke down and cried in the toilet. This has to be one of the Dunhamnator’s lowest ebbs – it was so tragic that they couldn’t actually show her crying for fear that it would cause all the moisture in our bodies to come gushing out of our eye sockets, leaving us a sheath of our former selves. In all seriousness, it was extremely effective and the temptation must have been to show Olivia’s sobbing. (Or perhaps that wasn’t a hard decision, it would be interesting to find out on a DVD commentary or something).
  • Is the first time that Olivia has cried since Walter closed the blinds on her? In trying to ascertain what tipped her over the edge, it was probably seeing the tattoo on her neck – a mark of intrusion. She must have felt violated, and perhaps worse, she must have felt like she no longer had her own identity. Coupled, of course, with everything else.
  • Sally Clark really did a number on poor old Lincoln, didn’t she! Props to the special effects department.
  • I also have a feeling that Lincoln might have a thing for Altlivia. He was so invested in helping her despite his condition, coupled with his snarky comment about Frank in the season finale. Speaking of Frank, he actually seems as though he genuinely cares for Altlivia, so perhaps Lincoln was wrong about him?
  • When Olivia started blasting Stormtroopers from a thousand yards, I momentarily thought it might be her abilities kicking in, then I remembered Dr. Anderson’s photo of expert markswoman, Altlivia, and that Walternate’s plan was kicking in. (though technically you could argue that her emotions/ability helped transfer these memories).

  • It makes me wonder who decided to spare Charlnate? Was it mostly Olivia or Altlivia? Who’s nature/nurture was most in control at that point?
  • Olivia confirms that she’s not a hell of shot. While I think she’s still better than she gives herself credit for (I know a couple of shapeshifters who would agree), she has had a few hairy moments with Peter’s head. That boy is lucky to still be alive.
  • Is there really only one person at Fringe Division who could make a shot like that? I mean, it was a cracking shot, but perhaps Broyles needs to get more of his troops in for a bit of extra target practice if no-one else is even capable of shooting straight.
  • It’s quite fun spotting the differences between Olivia and Altlivia. It must be a blast for Anna Torv to play. It just begs the question, how would you potray a different version of yourself? It might not be that hard a question to answer since we all have different sides to characters – different shades and textures to our personalities depending on our mood, surroundings and needs. It’s funny because these are the kinds of things I hoped ‘Dollhouse’ would explore, and though it certainly did that to an extent, I’m connecting far more with the Fringe approach.

  • For me, the most inspirational moment came in the scene between Olivia and Henry. I found the words and the delivery really powerful:

“A few years ago I was in a bad way. I couldn’t pull myself out. But inside I knew I was somebody else, and there was only one person who believed that. Jasmine. She saw the man I knew I was. She was the only one.”

  • What I like about that is that we don’t even have to know what it has that Henry is specifically talking about. You can just connect with it because it translates to everyone who’s ever been doubted or written off when inside you know different. This is Henry relating to Olivia’s struggle to find herself. Jasmine and Henry also represent Olivia and Peter. Olivia sees who Peter really is, and Peter (when he can be bothered) understands Olivia better than most. I wish that the season two finale could have had this kind of resonance with me personally, because I can hook into this idea a lot better thanks to Henry. It’s not that the “you belong with me” moment is not without merit – it’s just about perspective, and the writers gave me enough in this episode to understand why I should want Olivia and Peter to get together. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not buying a hat just yet, and hold on to your ‘something blue’, but I’m a strong believer in the idea that “sometimes you just gotta believe in what you can’t see.” I hope that somewhere inside, Olivia holds on to these words, because she’s going to need them if she’s to find her way out of Altlivia.
  • It’s also interesting to consider whether a part of Henry’s message hit home to the Altlivia part of Olivia (if you get me)? If Olivia can get where he’s coming from, surely it must be possible (especially under the circumstances) for those words to have meaning to something in Altlivia’s life? Perhaps in regards to her mother, or even Frank? It just makes me wonder what happened to make Altlivia the way that she is.
  • From the looks of things we’ll be seeing Henry again – he’s intrigued and emotionally invested in Olivia. Join the club!
  • Altlivia’s mom calls her Olivie. Olivia responds: “mom?” Again I ask, how much of this response is driven by Olivia and how much from ‘Altlivia’? It could be both, and in truth, I think it is, as we see fragments of Olivia reappear as she begins to freak out.
  • It’s also interesting to look at that scene from Marilyn’s perspective – she has no idea this isn’t her daughter. But does it matter – the truth, that is? I ask because it also brings us back to the Walter/Peter storyline, and the foundations on which love and reality is built. From my point of view the truth does matter, but it takes different shapes when you begin to boil down the concept of reality. In truth, reality is just a perspective.

  • Either way, Olivia needed that hug and she willingly accepted it. Who wouldn’t, in her shoes? I guess moments like this will only help her to understand Walter’s act of kidnapping Peter a little bit more. Or perhaps it wont – maybe she’ll further confirm to herself that there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed – that however near you get to it, you musn’t cross certain boundaries? I like this idea because it shows that life isn’t red or blue, it’s everything in between.
  • “Safe house” – I guess even Altlivia needs her sanctuary in times of distress. Nice little character nugget.
  • It was easy to get lost in this episode – not in a confusing way, but in terms wanting to investigate the blurring realities. I totally bought Olivia and Altlivia as characters through this singular lens. What gives it more pop is the fact that this approach explored a different kind of duality from the one we saw in the season finale, when we met Altlivia for the first time. On both occasions the same actress is playing the two characters, but it’s the different approaches to the melding of realities that I found intriguing.
  • Brandonate:

“The adrenaline triggered our Olivia’s B memory Lymphocytes. It carried the memories across the blood-brain barrier and successfully transferred the memories, which means for all intents and purposes…she is our Olivia now.”

  • As I watched Olivia sitting in the car, I couldn’t help but wonder whether she is perhaps not as lost in there as they think? Could it be that Olivia is pulling the biggest ruse since Big Eddie pretended to exist? There’s that look in her eyes that makes me wonder. Then there’s Olivia’s ability to deceive that I mentioned earlier. Not to mention Lincoln’s earlier line: “She’s good at disguises”. Olivia…is that you?
  • I respect Broylnate for telling Walternate that he needs to know what his plans are for Olivia and Altlivia. Like Broyles, he’s in the business of protecting his agents. Funnily enough, I thought this was one of Walternate’s more shady moments. He must have something to hide – something that Broyles obviously wouldn’t like if he knew.
  • Oh, and Broylnate. Congrats on the office. Gotta tell you man, you don’t know how good you got it. ;)
  • I’m so glad that Congress Dude had trouble understanding why Peter came back from the alternate universe when he could have done something over there to prevent the war. That makes me feel a bit better knowing that someone in the show is questioning Peter’s premature hop-skip and jump.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I thought this was an excellent way to begin the next chapter in this story. It had almost everything you’d want from a premiere and delivered one or two more surprises along the way. I loved the characterizations, themes, mythology, and the way in which it opens the story up for so many exciting possibilities going forward.

This episode was titled “Olivia”, in truth, it could have been called “Olivias”, because we got to explore both in very interesting ways.

One final thought: Walternate may have won Olivia’s mind, but can he win her heart?

Best Performer: Anna Torv

Best Line: “Sometimes you got to believe in what you can’t see.” – Henry

Best Moments: Olivia’s gradual decent into Altlivia.

Episode Rating 9.5/10

You can find all of our reviews here. Our episode Observations can be found here.

Comments

  1. Lala says

    Totally not in agreement that the AltLivia-impostor subplot is a “major contrivance.” Take a look at the bit where Walter clearly noticed something was off about AltLivia’s comment about his shoes, for example. He obviously NOTICED something, but CHOSE not to care.

    The same is psychologically true of anyone who has their own reasons for choosing not to think about things they might notice – or ascribing other causes for what they do notice. Peter could easily convince himself that any change in “Olivia”‘s demeanor has to do with her being in love with him – and with everything else that’s been going on in his life (finding out the truth, etc) she’s probably a joy to him that he cares not to examine further.

    It’s kind of like why people wonder how a wife could not have realized that her husband was molesting her child. When so much evidence might have been before her. She does not realize it because she does not WANT to draw those sorts of conclusions about things she may have noticed. Happens in real life all the time.

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    • says

      To your first point, I agree Walter picked up on “something”. However, if [we are to believe] he had no cause for suspecting that it wasn’t Olivia, it was easy for him to push it aside.

      I feel like “time” is a fluid word on this show. We really don’t know how long Altlivia has been Over Here. It has been implied that there is a difference between the universes. My guess is that weeks Over There, is mere days Over Here. This could account for the lack of suspicious or “red flags” about Altlivia. However, just as I felt at the end of S2; someone (ANYONE) had better start questioning if Olivia is “our Olivia”.

      I am going to allow a certain level of latitude for the deception if say, our guys have only been back for a couple of days. Let’s say during that time Peter, Walter, and Altlivia had little to no direct contact because of all the debriefings and whatnot. If this were the case, then okay, I’ll go there. To the contrary, if episode 2 establishes that more time has passed and that there was even more interaction with Broyles and Astrid…I’ll call SHENANIGANS!

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    • Kate says

      I don’t know. I agree that Walter noticed something off, but I’m not sure if I agree with your reasons why he ignored it. I’m not saying it isn’t possible that he’s choosing not to care, I’m just saying there’s other possibilities out there. Maybe he’s hoping to foster loyalty to this side in Altivia? It’s possible, especially when you take into account Walternate and Walter are different versions of the same person. Any ideas that Walternate has Walter might come up with as well.

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  2. Anjali says

    This episode was so great! I was completely invested in Olivia’s journey right to the very end. There wasn’t a single dull moment.

    I’m still a little unsure whether all of alt-livia’s memories have passed on to our leading lady. Some say that she could be faking it. But I don’t think so. Having her think she’s alt-livia makes for great story telling, and I’m very curious to see how the writers are going to resolve this.

    Hats off to Mr. Pinkner and Mr. Wyman for an excellent script. Also to Mr. Chapelle – The scene where Olivia breaks down was beautifully shot.

    And as always, Anna was fantastic!!!

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  3. Sean says

    Very good review, and I certainly agree on the main points. But I wanted to bring to your attention a small nuance. That is, when Walternate said “Let’s try again.” I had a sudden flashback to good old Jonesy, and his “Try again please.”

    I still think there was more to him than we know.

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  4. Cindy says

    I’m surprised you didn’t make a mention of the frequency of the red lights throughout the episode. They are almost always seen crossing over Olivia’s face just as she seem to have “inherited” a bit of Alt-Olivia’s memory.

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    • FinChase says

      I noticed those too. In fact, I was making some screen captures earlier this evening and I was struck by the number of shots I was able to get where Olivia’s face was either bathed by reddish light or else blue lights where flashing over her.

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      • QuoteGirl says

        I thought that was definitely going to be brought up as well.

        The red lights I think are indicators of when Olivia is Altlivia, or recalling her memories/experiences.

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  5. Ann_Louise says

    “No Out-livia? I have a very hard time believing that two supposed geniuses – plus Broyles and Astrid, who are no slouches in that department, could believe that Altlivia is their Olivia.”

    That’s what is bothering me about the dual storylines, as well as “Olivia” was executed. I will be tense during every Altivia scene with our gang, since as a viewer I know she’s working against them. Unlike the truth about Peter’s origins, this season’s secret is a very real threat to Walter, Peter – to everyone we’ve been watching every week. I guess that’s a tribute to TPTB on Fringe.

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  6. Alex says

    Wonderful episode, but i felt there were a couple of flaws. Firstly, Scarlie’s hair???? Second, I felt that Olivia seemed a little too trusting – she told Henry immediately about her situation, she tells Lincoln and her mother she’s not who they think she is, etc. Wouldn’t it have been easier and safer just to trust no-one or play along just enough to gain some footing and try to blast your way home? I dunno… Oh, and the escape scene was WAY too reminiscent of “Bound”.

    Lincoln – great effects, production team! We salute you. Also, based on that scene outside the restroom i got the feeling there’s some definite history/unrequited attraction between Lincoln and Altliv

    Olivia’s transformation into ALtliv was tragic, but deliciously unexpected. We have TWO ALTLIV’S NOW???? I hope our Olivia’s side resurfaces and we get to see peices of her again, i already miss her. But don’t get me wrong, I’m intrigued by Altliv’s comraderie with Scarlie and Lincoln – i love that she’s this gutsy, spunky, “one of the guys” kinda girl. That being said, for someone who’s “good at disguises” she’s doing a crap job of assimilating into our side. And Petah, you may look suave and sophisticated in that suit, but your lines are cheesy as hell and you are COMPLETELY CLUELESS!!! OK, I get it, you think she’s happy because you’re together, but there’s a point where it’s just too good to be true, my friend.

    The scene with Mum? What a whirlwind! I can see that it took something heartwrenchingly emotional for Olivia to finally surrender her mind to AltLiv’s identity. Having emotion/fear be the final push (as with Cortexiphan and the glimmer) would have worked much better than Brandonate’s dodgy adrenaline excuse! It’s understandable, though. If you saw someone you lost in a dream and they were telling you it was real, wouldn’t you want sooooo badly to believe them? *sigh* Poor Liv.

    Best thing about the episode: Henry. All I got from his final speech in the taxi was a massive load of Bubble flashbacks from The Wire : ) Andre Royo is a gem. Like Martha Plimpton’s Mathis was in Northwest Passage, he’s a character who plays a small part and yet goes so deep that you feel like he’s integral to the show and has been there all along. Wonderful, wonderful job, Bubbles. We Wire fans miss you! Sounds like good ol’ Jasmine’s been helping you stay clean and keep the devil way down in the hole, lol.

    I can’t believe we have to wait two weeks to see what happens to this side again. This seasons going to be tricky like that. The cliffhangers will be unbearable.

    That being said, this season looks like it’s gonna be a hell of a ride. Here we go!!! : )

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    • mlj102 says

      “Second, I felt that Olivia seemed a little too trusting – she told Henry immediately about her situation, she tells Lincoln and her mother she’s not who they think she is, etc. Wouldn’t it have been easier and safer just to trust no-one or play along just enough to gain some footing and try to blast your way home? I dunno…”

      True, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. With Henry, she had to hope that she could trust him. Besides that, I really think that being honest with him was the best way to gain his trust. Keeping quiet or lying and giving some random excuse would have only kept herself distant and would have made him suspicious and unwilling to have an open mind towards her. By choosing to tell him the truth and be honest about her experience and her feelings, she made it possible for him to sympathize for her and to trust her. And it was a very “Olivia” way of approaching the situation.

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    • SF says

      “Olivia’s transformation into ALtliv was tragic, but deliciously unexpected. We have TWO ALTLIV’S NOW???? I hope our Olivia’s side resurfaces and we get to see peices of her again, i already miss her.”

      Nicely put! I miss Olivia too! I was devastated when she ‘disappeared’, and it was such a terrible thing to do to our heroine who had fought so hard to keep herself intact, through the past two seasons. Brilliant storyline and acting by AT. I”m eager to see how Olivia comes back – in pieces, like you say, or “leaking through” like my friend FinChase says.

      “But don’t get me wrong, I’m intrigued by Altliv’s comraderie with Scarlie and Lincoln – i love that she’s this gutsy, spunky, “one of the guys” kinda girl. That being said, for someone who’s “good at disguises” she’s doing a crap job of assimilating into our side.”

      I really enjoyed how close the alt-team were. I don’t know that Linc has a thing for AltLiv, but I can see that after facing the amber situations for two years, they depend completely on one another. I really like the alt-team, so here’s hoping our Olivia finds a way to keep both universes going!

      “And Petah, you may look suave and sophisticated in that suit, but your lines are cheesy as hell and you are COMPLETELY CLUELESS!!! OK, I get it, you think she’s happy because you’re together, but there’s a point where it’s just too good to be true, my friend.”

      Isn’t he just clueless? I was shocked and disappointed that he is so unaware that that’s not his haunted Olivia with him. I do think that Walter suspects something, but he looks like he’s lost confidence somehow, and I wonder if he is afraid to say anything in case he loses Peter again. But still, I agree, Peter should have picked up on something by now about AltLIv, since he was so fast to do so in the season ender! Come on Peter – wake up! – Hmm, I wonder if this is a clue to a theme for him again?

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  7. Elaine says

    No Out-livia? I have a very hard time believing that two supposed geniuses – plus Broyles and Astrid, who are no slouches in that department, could believe that Altlivia is their Olivia. From the glimpse we saw, I just don’t think Altlivia’s doing a particularly good job at concealing her ruse. Olivia may have been morphing into Altlivia on the other side, but blondie practically has a sticker on her forehead that reads: “Not Olivia, Stupid!“.

    Because she made one comment regarding Walter’s shoes?

    Roco, you’ll have to help me understand how after just a glimpse, as you stated, you feel the entire team (whom we haven’t seen Altlivia interact with yet) are supposed to know that’s not our Olivia.

    You would agree, I’m sure, that if Altivia is anything like our Olivia, then she is capable, and able to think on feet. She is, as you mention in this review an exceptional agent, as is our Olivia. Lincoln stated she’s good at disguises, so, would that not count towards how she’s able to maintain her cover amongst this group? I would also imagine she went about the business of educating herself regarding Olivia and our team immediately. If she’s to successfully pull her assignment off, she would have to.

    Look, I can appreciate not caring for this storyline, but I think it’s a tad early to call foul on the writers making our team look foolish for not being quicker on the uptake, when the truth is, they have no reason to suspect they didn’t return from another universe with the person they were supposed to…as far as we know.

    That being said, I do wholeheartedly agree with you about the Walter/Peter /Olivia scene. The whole thing felt needless and out of place. The majority of the episode was ‘over there’, and I think that’s where it should have stayed.

    “You and I know something, that many lives and many more dollars have been spent to keep secret. That we..are..at war. At war with another universe, populated by creatures who damaged the very fabric of reality. All around us our world is under attack. Somehow this girl came here. Somehow she is equipped to move through universes. We need her to help us understand this skill. Because if we can do it..we can win this war. And if not..soon there will be nothing left to protect. *offers Brandonate a flicker of a smile* ..Let’s try again.”

    I really liked Walternate’s response to Bradonate’s misgivings about performing the treatment on Olivia again. It really humanized the character, because who can’t relate to the truth of what he’s saying? We’ve seen some of the destruction within the narration, and we were horrified by what we’ve seen. It made this war all the more personal, and necessary…at least as he sees thing for his world.

    The most tragic scene of this episode for me came when Olivia broke down and cried in the toilet. This has to be one of the Dunhamnator’s lowest ebbs – it was so tragic that they couldn’t actually show her crying for fear that it would cause all the moisture in our bodies to come gushing out of our eye sockets, leaving us a sheath of our former selves. In all seriousness, it was extremely effective and the temptation must have been to show Olivia’s sobbing. (Or perhaps that wasn’t a hard decision, it would be interesting to find out on a DVD commentary or something).

    Wasn’t it well done? I found myself saying, “Oh, Olivia.” during the scene. It just broke my heart to see her so broken.

    Great review as always. Roco.

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    • SF says

      Me too. It broke my heart to see her broken and crying like that, in that terrible bathroom. What a place and what a way to lose yourself. I really like the points being raised by this show, and by Roco, about the nature of reality. If Olivia remembers herself without a tattoo, and she has one, is she crazy? Has she imagined her self as NotLiv (Olivia)? What a terrifying moment for her, lost in a world that thinks she is someone else she has no memory of, but who has the same people in her life. Now she’s even more broken and haunted, and I love Olivia even more. I think AltLiv is interesting, but it’s Olivia I care about. I really think we will see sparks or flashes of her fighting back through AltLiv, and it will be interesting if those are through blue light flashes across her face too. I like how Roco phrases it too, “Olivia’s descent into AltLiv.” Like fragments of AltLiv are characteristics of Olivia’s own that she has repressed. It’s going to be very interesting if Olivia can ever go back to her full self, or if this breaking of her will mean that parts of AltLiv will always be in her now too (when she comes back).

      There is so much to think about in this episode!

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  8. LayBackEnjoy says

    Interesting point of view Roco, I love to read your reviews. It’s funny how simply you don’t like the idea of a romantic enviorment between Olivia and Peter.
    Ok, Did anyone notice how Olivia shot to the agents’s guns in the gas station? I think it wasn’t just the final shot they (Wlaternate and Broyles) were analizing. She made three shots there and every single one of them were amazing.
    And also you could see from that point how Bolivia’s memories start to affect our Olivia, just look how she holds her gun.

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    • Page 48 says

      “She made three shots there and every single one of them were amazing.”

      Which raises the question, when Alt-Livia took the shot at Walter last season, was she really trying to ice him or just slow him down?

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  9. says

    Great episode! I agree with most of your points here, Roco.

    One question, however: was there an Observer appearance to be found? I’ve watched the episode twice now and haven’t seen one… if there truly is no observer, that’d be a sad first for Fringe.

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    • QuoteGirl says

      He’s walking on the sidewalk when Olivia is in the “We Have A Dream” park. He’s there a quick second, so you got to keep a really sharp eye out for him. (And no, I didn’t find him myself.)

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    • Cindy says

      Unfortunately, if you don’t have HDTV, he doesn’t appear on the screen. The same image I’ve seen had been adjusted for 4:3. So no observer sighting.

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    • LBJ says

      There’s actually two sightings in this one: the other is when the opera house gets ambered, the observer is standing in the crowd. It’s hard to spot, but confirmed by behind- the- scene pictures.

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  10. says

    Roco, great review and I agree with your 9.5 rating. I was totally absorbed the entire time. About the amount of time passing, I truly think that time moves differently over there. The writers are just not that dumb to go from a bald Scarlie to a full-head-of-hair Scarlie in 3 days. Also, think of the timing of Olivia’s escape. When the guard came in to get her, she said, “Is it dinner already?” or something to that effect. Which would say to me that it is earlier than dinnertime since this is a surprise to her. So I’m thinking 3 or 4 in the afternoon. She makes her escape (quite quickly I might add) and it’s nighttime (and it’s not winter). The next time we see her in Henry’s cab she’s soaking wet and it’s bright daylight outside and all the shops are open. Now, they have indicated that it would be shocking that someone could even make it accross because of the currents but are we to think that Olivia took 12 hours or so to swim across?? And still be able to function? Also, they make a point of telling us how long it would take to get to Terrytown – 40 minutes. No big deal to Olivia but Henry was majorly pissed about it. Is 40 minutes to them like 3 hours to us?? Anyone know what a $300 fare translates to time (I don’t, I’m really wondering.) Are they technologicially advanced simply because time moves faster over there? I just think the writers are wanting us to be scratching our heads but in the middle of the season we’re going to be going…”oh, now that’s what that was all about”.

    Okay, enough about that. If anyone has read my posts before they know that I’m all over the time stuff. Other than that, I am most intrigued about Olivia becoming Altlivia…or is she really?! I’m thinking that she’s been incarcerated for anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks (my speculation), she’s just had a harrowing escape, swam all night, has run all day, and just saw her dead mom. This woman is tired and emotionally spent! And she’s feeling alone and abandonded. I definitely think Altlivia’s memories are coming to the surface but I don’t believe that they have overtaken who she is. John Scott’s memories were in her but they didn’t overtake her for more than a moment here and there. And yet, that experience may have taught her how to access the invading memories when she needs them. She’s just seen what looks like her mother, she’s tired and alone and is longing for a safehouse. I’m thinking she is using Altlivia’s memories to buy her some time and regroup. Since the memories are there inside of her, she can use all the little quirks…the raised eyebrow to Scarlie, the joking manner, etc….to make them all believe she’s “gone over”. Olivia is going to do some infiltrating of her own!

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    • Tenison says

      First of all, I need to say that I’m brazilian and not too good with english, so forgive me if I write something wrong or if you don’t understand me.

      Now, your theory about the difference of time moving is very interesting – though i believe that the recovery of Lee’s skin in three days is possible with Over There technology, I mean, we never know what expect of Fringe. In TMFTOS Brandon says that in “a parallel universe time would be slightly outta sync”. So, you could be right.

      And I really really hope that Olivia is just pretending to be Altlivia. I didn’t think in the infiltrating possibility, I was more like “maybe she’s just tired of running and decided to accept Altlivia memories”.

      But if Olivia’s mind has been taken by Altlivia’s memories, I’m prepared to see the red scenes from the start of second season again.

      And Rocco, congrats for everything! The blog, your incredible posts and etc. You’re amazing *-* And all of your impressions just makes me want more and more of Fringe. Thank you! Oh, one suggestion: why don’t make a post about the new alternative universe opening? And loggical about the Over Here opening next week ;D

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  11. Anita says

    I have heard the criticism of that last scene in our world before, and this is what I have to say.

    The final scene was actually my favourite in the entire episode. I have such a love-hate relationship with that kiss, I can’t even begin to explain it. The whole time you are watching the scene you feel like something is off – for many of the reasons mentioned, such as Altlivia’s odd remarks and behaviour or the seemingly fine Walter-Peter relationship – but if you look closer you can tell that they are setting up the next episode rather well.

    FOX commercials keep on calling the second episode a “continuation of the season premiere” which is why I think the final scene is so important. It lends a sense of continuity while also raising flags. How could they not know it’s Altlivia? I think that’s the exact reaction they want you to have, because I am almost certain that will be explored in the next episode. That’s the whole point! Same with the Walter-Peter relationship. Right now it’s almost as if the relationship has been put in stasis, but I’m sure there will be some sort of “trigger” in the future that will cause buried feelings to surface. Not to mention that Walter was rather awkward around Peter, even in those short few seconds. And the kiss was a perfect addition because it felt so wrong to see it! It was the cherry on top to make sure that unsettling feeling stayed with the audience long after the episode ended. Brilliant.

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    • SF says

      Oh, good point! Because that entire last scene is unsettling, isn’t it? Everything seems to be wrong somehow, from Peter saying ‘I know a trick” to fix the pen, to his wearing a white suit – white!! he really stands out in a crowd now, like he’s ‘shining’ or attracting the light as well as giving it off – another reminder of his ‘halo’ from the poster, as well as his mood, I know. And the whole Bolivia-Walter exchange is so unsettling! Olivia would never talk about shoes! ever!!! and I think Walter knows. This look crossed his face, and he hurried off away from her, and when he talks about dinner, he says he’s hungry, but gives Olivia a look as he explains it, exactly like he would to a stranger who didn’t know him well. Not like he would say to Olivia who has known him for two years now as an adult. Yes, while it was shocking coming on Olivia’s losing her battle to be herself, it is also unsettling and it is staying in our minds! Nicely said, Anita.

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  12. Page 48 says

    “Threatening Henry’s family was a bit mean, Livvy!”

    Sure, it was a bit mean of Olivia to threaten Henry’s family, but she needed Henry to get focused in a hurry, and she was actually quite playful with him minutes later when suggesting he might want to get his Typhus shot taken care of. I know our Olivia would never have followed through on a threat like that and I like to think that the same would be true of Alt-Livia.

    Unless I missed something, Lincoln implies that the events in this episode take place 2 days after Olivia was captured and 3 days after he got Clarked.

    The length of time since Olivia’s capture seems a little vague. To me, the conversation btw. Charlienate and Lincoln implies that its been longer than 2 or 3 days. For instance, Charlienate says: “You know Olivia, she’s strong. Physically, she’s doing a lot better, but they’re saying she had a complete psychotic breakdown”. To me, that strongly implies that more than a few days have passed. But then what to make of Lincoln’s chocolate ice cream 3 days ago statement?

    “It makes me wonder who decided to spare Charlnate? Was it mostly Olivia or Altlivia?”

    I don’t think either of the Olivias would have taken Charlienate out. Olivia wasn’t the least bit rough with Lincoln after she took his gun and locked him up. I don’t think there’s any chance she would take a shot at Charlienate (or vice versa), and I doubt that Alt-Livia would, since they’re friends. Although the fate of the two men who drew their weapons on Olivia is unclear, I think it’s reasonable to assume that she merely incapacitated them, expert sharpshooter that she is…now. Olivia knows there isn’t any war going on. She can’t even talk about two universes without people thinking she’s crazy, so how could there be a war? Our Olivia isn’t going to shoot anyone who doesn’t need shooting. We can’t be so sure about Alt-Livia’s level of commitment to the war scenario, though, because she’s been spoon fed Walternate’s rhetoric. I don’t trust Alt-Livia at this point, but I have faith that there is enough Olivia in her that she will begin to put the pieces together and think for herself. Prior to that awakening, she could break a few eggs Over Here, though.

    This transferring of memories seemed to be a Hail Mary strategy, put in play when they decided to switch Olivias. They had no idea whether or not it would work or what it would take to trigger the transfer of memories. They were really just experimenting on poor Olivia, not that she isn’t used to it by now.

    Did they just happen to have Alt-Livia’s memories on file? Do they have all of Fringe Division’s memories on file? If so, would they have to update memories daily or weekly? When did Alt-Livia ‘donate’ her memories to Brandonate? Before she met Olivia? After it was decided to switch the Olivias?

    The only excuse I can come up with (and it’s admittedly flimsy) for Alt-Livia’s cheerful banter with Walter is that she is attempting to leverage their new relationship (he could soon be her father-in-law) to gain a sort of access to Walter that wasn’t available before. I think she either doesn’t have a clue how to be like Olivia (which seems like the ONLY plausible explanation to me), or she was just floating a trial balloon to see if she can manipulate Walter in some sinister way.

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  13. AM says

    The way that she talks to Walter is “down”. I think she sees him as a bumbling old fool. She may know that he is smart but I think she believes that she can mess with him. Watch out lady! When Walter knows who you are, he wont be so cute.

    I think Peter is being an idiot… He should know Olivia wouldn’t be so PDA about their relationship.

    I am sure these are the kinds of emotion the writers want out of us, but please don’t torture us too long!

    Over all though, I loved the episode!

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  14. kittyofdoom says

    I don’t agree about Walternate’s surprising lack of security. Judging by the interaction between him and Brandon about the adrenaline and lymphocytes and whatnot, he INTENDED for Olivia to escape, and the plan worked.

    As far as whether Olivia is faking or whether she IS, for all intents and purposes, Altlivia, I definitely saw a moment (and the recent interview with Anna supports this) when she was hugging Mommy where the expression on her face was just utter exhaustion, and I think she decided that it was too hard to keep fighting. I think she’s decided to let this be true for her, for now. However, I don’t think the real Olivia will stay buried for long.

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  15. number six says

    As good as it was, mainly due to good acting, this episode made it clear, that our Bishops make the show for me. My attention was divided between the show and my wish for having them back. There was lots of good stuff, but it lacked the “Fringe feel”. I hope this is resolved in future episodes over there.

    The good:

    – It was great to see Olivia being resourceful as always, facing difficulty and never giving up. Well, almost never. I think Altlivia’s personality taking over was really well done. I believe Olivia willingly gave in, because she wanted to have Altlivia’s happy life and mother. This means she willingly forgot about her family over here, but it makes sense, it’s easier for her to live over there as Altlivia, without the stress of being constantly on the run. She won’t be looking for a way home, because she doesn’t really want to, but I think she also needs a break. When she’s ready, Olivia will take over. As heartbreaking as it was, I’m worried for now, because I’m convinced that Olivia will be back, when she wants to.

    – The secondary characters: Altcharlie (I actually like him better than Charlie) and Lincoln, both loyal to Altlivia and likable. Henry was the heart of the episode, I hope this is not the last time we see of him, he’d enhance my enjoyment of the episodes over there. I liked what I saw of Broyles. I wonder if he’ll help Olivia eventually or if he’ll remain loyal to his world. The glimpse we had of Alstrid was too short, but I find her intriguing.

    – The last scene. It felt suitably awkward. I loved how Peter wasn’t able to gain the trust of that government official. Our Fringe division hasn’t won any points for their last adventures, so I don’t expect Broyles getting a better office any time soon.
    After only 2 days and probably not having seen each other that much or at all, I don’t expect Walter and Peter to notice just yet, what we know, but it should happen really soon to be realistic.
    As for Peter and Walter, it was obvious, judging by the long look Peter gave Walter, that there is an undercurrent there. I suppose they are friendly, but there will be lots of limits.

    – The kiss. At least, Peter managed to sell, that he’s in love with Olivia, cheesy as he is. It is meant to make you uncomfortable, because he’s not kissing the right person. But his face, oh dear, he’s so happy to be with “Olivia”! Poor Peter, first betrayed by Walter and Olivia and then by their alternate versions. I also liked Altlivia’s disgusted face, when Peter kissed her.

    The bad:

    – The pacing: Way too slow for a season opener.

    – Olivia’s escape. It was Bound revisited with less logic. Altbrandon didn’t have any reason to unstrap her and that place was seriously understaffed.

    – Walternate: While John Noble did a great job, with what he was given, I’m disappointed that we only saw him scheming and looking smug, when he realized his plan was working. I understand his motives, but they need to develop him beyond the villain, we’ve seen so far. I hope we’ll get much more of him in the episodes over there. Particularly, I want to see him interacting with Elizabeth.

    – Olivia talking about Peter. Could she be more detached and uninterested?

    – Altlivia. Please, writers make her more competent if we have to believe, that our team won’t discover her true identity soon, ok?

    8/10

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  16. mlj102 says

    I very much enjoyed reading your review for this episode — it’s so nice to have new material to analyze and discuss!

    “there was something just too awkward about seeing Peter plant one on Altliv.”

    Personally, I think it was meant to come across that way. I’ve seen some interviews or some reviews that mention that alternate Olivia and Peter have an immediate, strong chemistry together, but I just don’t feel it. It’s strange because even though she looks just like our Olivia, it isn’t Olivia, so seeing them together just seems not right. There’s something very odd about it. Call me a romantic, but from my opinion of the first two seasons, Peter and Olivia are meant to be together. So knowing that Peter is kissing someone who isn’t Olivia, but he thinks it’s Olivia, is awkward and unpleasant.

    Regarding the bad things you took away from the final scene showing over here: I feel like that scene was too short to be able to accurately make any conclusions about the relationships between our main three and how they’re pulling that off… but I do share your concerns and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about that. In fact, I’m afraid that I’m more concerned for next week’s episode than I am excited for it. I’ve mentioned it elsewhere on this site, but this particular point is going to be a very tricky balance. And if they don’t have a good way to make it believable, it will be very distracting and the kind of thing that will really bother fans of the show. You say it’s the worst moment of the episode for you and the biggest contrivance so far, and I think it could be the worst aspect of the season if they don’t have a good way to address it. So I’m trying to optimistically trust they’ll be able to pull it off…

    “Threatening Henry’s family was a bit mean, Livvy!”

    I knew you were going to say something about that. I agree that it was a bit cruel, but it is also understandable. At that point, she had no idea what kind of person Henry was. She was desperate and she needed some way to keep Henry willing to do what she said. Besides, we all know that those were empty threats. If Henry had left or told the authorities about her, she wouldn’t have gone after his family. And while I essentially agree with you about Walternate not necessarily being evil, I’m not sure I could say the same that that kind of situation involving him would be empty threats… So I’m not quite sure you can compare it in that way.

    “Did she really think she was just going to stroll into the opera house and imagine her way back to Kansas?”

    I understand what you’re saying, but I think she thought she could get home that way because it was her best chance. She’s alone over there and, despite all the things you mentioned of why she should have doubted she could get home by walking into the theater, it was the best hope she had. She came over that way, so of course she would conclude that her best way to get back is from that same place. What other choice did she have?

    “The most tragic scene of this episode for me came when Olivia broke down and cried in the toilet.”

    That scene was extremely well done. I thought it was a very interesting and unique way to approach that moment. It’s rather common to have a show do a scene where one of the characters is in a difficult situation and they break down crying. And while that’s still emotional, I thought it was far more effective of them to not show her at that moment. It’s not very often you have a show that creates a scene where you hear the person crying, but you can’t actually see them. And that really enhanced the moment for me. It made it feel like a very private moment, as well as more realistic. She’d been putting on her tough face ever since she escaped, so it was reasonable that she would need to take a moment to let down her walls and to vent all that pressure and emotion she must certainly be feeling. And she had to take advantage of the short opportunity she had, which, in her case, turned out to be in a dirty old gas station restroom. That scene was brilliant.

    Regarding Walternate keeping alternate Broyles in the dark: I found it a sort of poetic justice, even though it’s alternate Broyles, not our Broyles, that he was demanding to know more, but Walternate was withholding that information from him. Kind of serves him right (assuming he’s like our Broyles) for keeping Olivia in the dark so many times.

    This truly was a fantastic episode. I loved the themes. I was invested in the story and the journey that was taking place. The interactions between Olivia and Henry were wonderful. It was really neat to see the progression between them, the way Henry came to be on her side and to support her the more time they spent together. I love that he believes her and, now that alternate Olivia’s memories are the dominant ones in her, he’s the one who knows who she is. I also thought they did a really great job showing her go from being determined and sure of who she was, to alternate Olivia’s memories slowly beginning to manifest themselves and to take control. It was heartbreaking to watch and I can’t stand the thought of our Olivia being lost, even if it is only partially or temporarily. The scene between Olivia and her alternate mother was incredibly well done. It was intense and emotional and completely believable. Wonderful acting from both actresses! I loved this episode and I can’t wait until we return to that story in two weeks!

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    • Angela says

      I agree with everything you said!! Spot on!!

      I’m a huge romantic too, so when the Altliv/Peter kiss happened, I was weirded out and screaming at the screen (“Get your lips OFF her Peter!”) Oddly enough though, it also made me a little excited. Now that we know Olivia is stranded over there, chances are good (and hopeful) that our dream-team’s gonna have to cross-over to rescue her… which means it’s only a matter of time before Altliv is ousted as a fraud, and we get a REALLY angry Peter, who doesn’t take betrayal well. And now, with Olivia acquiring Alt’s memories on the other side, *someone’s* will have to snap her out of it… and if not Olivia herself, than who better than that “special someone”?? So much yummy potential, lol.

      So even if things get steamy between Altliv/Peter, I’ll just look away, and keep believing that the universe (all of them, lol) have a way of making things right… ^_^

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      • SF says

        LOL! I am with you on this one, I can’t decide if I’m delighted to see Peter look so happy even if he hasn’t spotted fake Olivia yet, and we were given a chance to see how happy he could be with Olivia…..but all along, I kept shouting inside me, “It’s the wrong Olivia! Nooo! don’t kiss her!” There’s Olivia, crossing worlds for him, and he’s clueless when he shouldn’t be. It really ratched up the tension for me, I’ll say that! And really made it clear that it’s Olivia and Peter who belong together. So thinking about it, maybe this ‘tacked’ on ending is smarter than I first thought it was.

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  17. matt says

    Judging by the whole adrenalin thang, maybe Walternate “secretly” wanted Olivia to escape and be tracked and set it up behind brandonat/his people’s backs?

    I agree on the kiss being the worst part, but I also have yet to rewatch it… I bet Peter is pissed at Walter but is trying to cover it up by deeply investing emotionally in Olive maybe?

    regarding Bell/Massive Dynamic over there, I think it exists but has a different name, likely the company name on the Zeppelins, and is also run by Nina (or doesn’t exist and their DOD island science team lead by brandonate is our MassDyn)

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    • jophan says

      I don’t have a problem with Massive Dynamic not existing on the other side because it was built using a variety of technologies copied from there. The wide scope of MDs “achievements” probably came from dozens of different AU companies.

      Olivia was already pretty confused if she thought she could get help from Alt-Nina. I guess she thought she was also associated with Bell, but there was no grounds for that.

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      • Elaine says

        But it was a logical guess on her part, because she, like Walter assumed Bell had built a ‘MD’ in that universe, too.

        Like you, I thought the writers choice for their not being a ‘MD’ was brilliant. Seeing Olivia standing in what was essentially a park…people going about their affairs–picnicing on the open grounds, riding bikes, flying kites (I’m taking liberties here) felt like such irony. When we see ‘MD’ it’s such a menacing, dominating presence. A dark tower where secrets and lies dwell. Quite the contrast.

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  18. matt says

    I also wonder whether or not the alternate universe is a mental construct like the flash sideways land in LOST, the only difference being Walter figured out how to travel there (if you can dream a better world you can build it – or travel between them)?

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  19. matt says

    AND I think Olivia might be faking too. I think when she realized “I’m stuck here” she also realized what she had to do: pretend and use mom as cover

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  20. fedorafadares says

    I’ve been thinking about the point where Olivia tells AltMother, “My mother died when I was 14.”

    It seems like a pretty deliberate thing to say and it got me thinking of the timeline of Fringe and a weird connection.

    Could Carla Warren be Olivia’s mother?

    Olivia is around 30 years old, I presume. Carla Warren died an estimated, what — 18 years ago? I remember in the episode “Peter,” Walter’s lab assistant was wearing a cross like the one Olivia gave Ella.

    Did Olivia think her mother worked for a toothpaste company, like Peter did of Walter? Is this a connection Walter lost with part of his brain?

    Would this link cheapen the story somehow?

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    • LizW65 says

      Hmm. It fits with the timeline, but recall that Olivia recognized her mother from the photo in Alt-Liv’s apartment in the Season 2 finale (so it wasn’t just Alt-Liv’s memory of Mom taking over in the Season 3 opener) and she clearly was nothing like the actress who played Carla Warren.

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      • fedorafadares says

        I think maybe I hadn’t had enough coffee this morning — I had completely forgotten that we’ve now SEEN AltMother. Nevermind! :)

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  21. LizW65 says

    “Olivia may have been morphing into Altlivia on the other side, but blondie practically has a sticker on her forehead that reads: “Not Olivia, Stupid!“.”

    Having re-watched the scene in question, I repectfully disagree with this one.
    (a) The team was still being de-briefed, which suggests very little time has passed Over Here–probably no more than a few days (I believe several weeks to a month may have already gone by Over There, Lee’s ice cream comment notwithstanding) and this may well have been the first time the team was all together again after returning to this universe.
    (b) Olivia has already dyed her hair back to its original blond, symbolically rejecting the alternate universe and her deception there.
    (c) As another poster mentioned, people will believe what they WANT to believe, often in the face of major evidence–and the Bishops may put Olivia’s cheerfulness down to relief at being back on familiar turf, or reaction to the stress of crossing from one universe to another. For the moment, they have no reason to believe that anyone other than the Olivia they know and love has returned. Also, contrary to popular belief, our Olivia IS quite capable of smiling and joking around–she just doesn’t do it as often as her otherworldly counterpart.
    (d) Agent Lee mentioned in an offhanded way that Alt-Liv is “good at disguises”, and as we all know, offhand remarks on this show frequently turn out to be major Chekhov’s Guns. Give the woman a little time, okay?! :D
    (e) This is just me, but I’m still hoping that Ella will be the one to out Alt-Liv. It would provide a nice parallel to young Peter instinctively knowing that Walter was not his father.

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    • Elaine says

      Oh, that would be an excellent parallel!

      For a moment, I can imagine that Altlivia is caught up in the moment of meeting Ella, her expression and reactions a combination of her thinking about what could have been had her Rachel and Ella had survived. For all intents and purposes it is a lovely moment of emotions in a flux just to have Ella say something like, “You’re not my aunt.” That would be brilliant.

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      • LizW65 says

        Oh, yeah and…
        (f) Remember, folks, we’re looking at the situation from something of a position of omnicience–we all KNOW about the Olivia switcheroo, so we’re watching Alt-Liv’s every movement for those telltale signs that will give her away. Walter and Peter are not.

        I agree, sooner or later all the little things will undoubtedly start to add up in ways that just can’t be ignored, and then the Bishops may look back on the situation and say, “I can’t believe I didn’t realize that…”
        But for now, as far as they’re concerned, everything is back to normal–well, as close to normal as anything gets in the Fringe world, anyhow.

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      • BklynBetty says

        If Peter’s instinctive notion at in ‘Peter’ that Our Walter was not his ‘real’ father- then perhaps it will be Ella that discovers Altlivia. This would tap into the idea that children are more perceptive than adults unaltered by Cortexiphan or acid or the whole fun, trippy, pyschotropic spectrum. And, i think it would create another symmetry.
        Of course if that were to end up being the case, would Ella’s perception then then detract from Peter’s ‘specialness’.

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    • FinChase says

      Very good points. I also caught that “good at disguises” remark and think it should be remembered. Another thing that should be kept in mind is that for all his vaunted ability to read people, Olivia has always been able to bluff Peter whenever she needed to. It’s possible that AltLivia shares this ability; I still think the two women share more similarities than differences.

      I did think the little scene between Walter and AltLivia was interesting. She definitely seemed to view him with some amusement. I think she was comparing him to the Walter Bishop from her world who is powerful, together and polished. Let’s face it: Our Walter is a bit shabby and eccentric. Even during the “Peter” episode he looked shabbier and less successful than Walternate. I think at the moment she doesn’t consider him much of a threat. But as AltLivia discovered during her fight with Olivia when she took her eyes off of her for a second, it just doesn’t do to underestimate one’s opponent.

      Regarding the kiss, I think it was supposed to feel wrong and set off our alarm bells. I also watched AltLivia closely. It seemed to me that she accepted the kiss but wasn’t really involved with it. Maybe that’s her way of “staying true” to Frank. Did she roll her eyes slightly when they turned away? Sometimes I think she did and other times I’m not sure. And as far as Peter goes, well, he’s not thinking with his brain at all at the moment.

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      • SF says

        Hey Fin, I agree with your point that it was supposed to feel wrong – mlj brought it up too, and I think both of you are right. I’ll have to rewatch the episode with this in mind for the ending now! It makes sense – what seems normal, isn’t really when we look closely at the picture. That’s another Fringe theme isn’t it, that things aren’t what they seem to be. Though, Peter does look awfully relaxed and happy, so I do think he is being blissful and clueless. I do think Walter suspects, like I said to mlj also.

        I like your point also, FinChase, about the differences between the two Walters and how AltLiv is treating our Walter. He does come off as shabby, and very old and less confident, very much, than Walternate, doesn’t he? But I wouldn’t take a bet on which one was crazier!! My money’s on our Walter for being the saner one! It’s AltLiv’s undoing if she underestimates him. Yes, I’m anxiously counting down to the second episode in less than 2 days now!!!

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  22. mlj102 says

    Number six: “I believe Olivia willingly gave in, because she wanted to have Altlivia’s happy life and mother. This means she willingly forgot about her family over here, but it makes sense, it’s easier for her to live over there as Altlivia, without the stress of being constantly on the run. She won’t be looking for a way home, because she doesn’t really want to”

    I disagree. I do think Olivia finally reached a point where she stopped fighting against alternate Olivia’s memories, but I don’t think it was because that life was “easier” or more appealing to her. I think it’s because she knew she had reached a point where all of her attempts to escape had failed and it was inevitable that they would capture her again. She’d run out of options and had to accept the fact that she wasn’t going to find a way home. Without that hope to fuel her, she lost her reason to fight against those memories. As you said, she was exhausted — the way she practically crumbled into her alternate mother’s arms says a lot about her state of mind right then — and she just couldn’t bring herself to keep fighting. Who can blame her? But I don’t think she chose alternate Olivia’s life over her own life. She wouldn’t do that.

    It’s also been mentioned by several people that perhaps Walternate allowed Olivia to escape. I’ll admit that’s a possibility, but I just don’t see it. There’s no way he could have orchestrated all that, and Walternate’s a man of control He doesn’t fully know what Olivia is capable of or if she’d be able to return to the other side if she escaped. I don’t think he would risk losing her by allowing her to escape just in case that would allow the procedure to work. The security may have been light at the facility, and I’m willing to consider that a slight contrivance, but as far as I’m concerned, Olivia surprised Walternate and she legitimately escaped all on her own.

    And while I’m on the subject, alternate Brandon suggested that the treatments worked because of the adrenaline from her escape. While that certainly may have played a role, I think more of it was due to the fact that she was out of that dark, empty prison and instead being surrounded by familiar things to speak to her senses and draw out those memories. I believe that’s a much more stimulating environment to bring out new or repressed memories than the dark place she was being kept in.

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    • FinChase says

      MLJ: “But I don’t think she chose alternate Olivia’s life over her own life. She wouldn’t do that.”

      You make excellent points. She is totally exhausted, mentally worn down, but she kept fighting until the end. Meeting her alt-mother was the coup de grace. I think without consciously knowing it, she’s looking for a place to be safe and to re-charge. She’s taking shelter from the storm, but it won’t last because it’s not her life. Olivia is too strong a personality to stay buried for long. At the moment she’s lost in her own skin, but not for long. I think she’ll begin to emerge first in her dreams, and then start breaking through in her waking hours. It will be fascinating to watch Torv play this.

      Yes, the escape was perhaps a little contrived, but despite the questions that have been raised over time, I think enough time has passed that the guards and scientists had become complacent. I was astonished that they only sent one guard to take Olivia from her cell. I was thinking, “Do you not know who you’re dealing with there?” But Olivia seemed passive and unresisting. I did think it was interesting that during her interview with the psychiatrist they had her in restraints, red restraints, indicating that she had not always been so quiescent. But most of all, I just enjoyed the escape. I’ve always loved “Bound”, and this was definitely reminiscent of that episode. Underestimate Olivia at your own peril.

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      • SF says

        FinChase: that would be cool if Olivia started to emerge in her own dreams! Very twisted and Fringe, and like a hall of mirrors: Olivia lost in the memories of not-her, dreaming her way back and not-her fighting to keep her sanity. And who’s the best one to help her through? Walter. Only he knows what it’s like to question your own mind. And oh, does this remind me of Bad Dreams now, when Peter says, “it must be so difficult to not be able to trust your own mind.” Little did anyone know then, that worse was to come for Olivia, and she really is in a place where there are two sets of memories fighting to exist, and she has to trust in what she can’t see, to find her way home. I like this thought from Henry, I think he will help her find her way back to herself too. He was the last one to see Olivia as herself, so he is kind of like her keeper of the memories for her over there.

        Now if only we could get Peter finding out about the crack to let the light in……I do like how Fringe refers to itself over and over again in different ways. It’s so rich in meaning, in life, it’s really incredible.

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        • says

          Like the observers said, “It’s too bad things are going to get so hard for her.” If she has truly been overtaken by the Altlivia memories, then yes, it will be a very hard struggle for her to get back. I am sure she will definitely question her sanity more than once. And I’m wondering if they are going to have Olivia turn to God this season – especially if Henry is the one helping her. He had a cross hanging from his mirror and when she went into the bathroom to have a cry, he leaned over his hood and started praying. And it makes me wondering if Altlivia believes in God. Would Olivia’s (as Altlivia) experience of those feelings of faith be a comfort to her that she will decide to invest in once she’s back to herself? (That was a convoluted sentence, I hope it came out right.)

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  23. says

    Lee’s ice cream comment: Maybe he was only apprised of the situation 3 days ago? I mean, he’s in the hospital, maybe he was just eating ice cream watching TV when Scharlie popped in and gave him an update. I could believe that. Especially if we are assuming that it has been weeks Over There.

    Ugh! That kiss: I was never a Peter/Olivia shipper anyway, so it made my skin crawl that much more. I think I said something during the S2 finale two-parter about Peter just wanting to make a connection with someone. Poor guy has lost 2 sets of parents. He has no real or maybe it’s emotional ties to either universe. Then there is Olivia. I think maybe he just really wants something real, something to ground him. Little does he know (or does he?) that it is Altlivia. However, for the time being he is going to take what he can get. Much like our Olivia MAY have done Over There. Accepting the cards your dealt doesn’t mean you’ve completely surrendered to the circumstances. For this very reason, is why I am hoping that our Olivia is still present though it appears Altlivia’s memories are primary.

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  24. Bishop Takes Queen says

    I’m confused about the timeframe as well for the period from S2 finale up to S3 premiere. I need to watch the episode again to try and solidify my stance.

    But I believe that if it has only been 3 days, then Charlie’s hair growing back isn’t that big of a leap in logic – especially if you can accept that Lincoln’s flesh grew back in the same time span. They have advanced tech “over there,” afterall…as I said in another blog post: charlie used some advanced rogaine. Haha.

    As for the episodes – lots of great comments here. I’m equally anxious to see this play out, but right now I’m in the camp that believes Altliv assimilated way too easily. How can Walter pick out Olivia’s nuances in the S2 finale (when she gets him from the hospital), while he’s unable to notice anything in the behavior of Altliv? And Peter spent 2 years eyeballing every move of Olivia…and now he’s clueless?

    And TPTB, please no more torturing Olivia in this series. It’s only been 2 seasons (not to mention her personal history), and this woman has been through so much trauma, both mental & physical. Her breakdown in the bathroom stall was tough on me, and I’m a child of 80s Schwarzenegger flicks!

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    • says

      ” How can Walter pick out Olivia’s nuances in the S2 finale (when she gets him from the hospital), while he’s unable to notice anything in the behavior of Altliv? And Peter spent 2 years eyeballing every move of Olivia…and now he’s clueless?”

      Yes!!! I think many of us are being forgiving of
      this plot point because it’s only episode 1.
      However, it cannot be ignored and Rocco said it
      himself, we are dealing with geniuses. Something
      like a switch-a-roo is to be expected. Right?
      These people have dealt with all kinds of other
      worldly intrusions and yet they just accept what
      they see?!
      I guess I just want to believe so much. The writers have to stretch this out some way. They’ve just established the Bishops with such a healthy amount of skepticism in the past. Surely they wouldn’t write them so gullible now.

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      • number six says

        We have to remember, that the producers just had a couple of episodes with Olivia over there, so the Bishops or someone else would have discovered Altlivia quite soon. That would have been consistent with the S2 finale, where Walter and particularly Peter were quick to tell the nuances. Then they decided to stretch Olivia’s stay there to explore that universe. Unless they realize soon, that she’s not the right one, but conceal it to spy on her, while they set up a rescue mission, the producers will sacrifice the characters of the whole team over here to serve the plot. I’m resigned to the latter frustrating possibility.

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  25. Darth Kate says

    I still want to know how Lincoln recognized Nick Lane on that bridge in “over there part 1.” But on this topic, i know that at this point there seems to be an overwhelming desire among fans for someone on our side to question whether Altlivia is the right one, but i wonder if we would feel the same if they had waited to reveal the switch to us until later in the season. What if we were just as clueless and peter and co.? It would have been interesting to see if we would pick up on it immediately or if we would remain just as clueless as our heroes. No matter how obvious Altlivia may be to us who know the truth, peter and the others have discover and then accept the fact that one of their own is an impostor without being directly shown like we have been. it’s going to be especially difficult for peter to accept since he’s been making out with her every chance he gets :(

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    • LizW65 says

      “…i wonder if we would feel the same if they had waited to reveal the switch to us until later in the season. What if we were just as clueless and peter and co.? It would have been interesting to see if we would pick up on it immediately or if we would remain just as clueless as our heroes…”

      Thank you! That’s exactly what I was trying to get at in an earlier post and you said it so much better.

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  26. sileowyn says

    About Lee’s comment: didn’t Altlivia mention something about Lee being fine after he spent 3 weeks (or was it three months?) in a “nanite chamber” when she told Frank that he had been badly burnt? Maybe Lee was kept in a coma during the first, most painful part of the rejuvenation process, so that it feels that only 3 days have elapsed since he had that ice cream, while a few weeks have in reality.

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  27. Jodie says

    “Walternate doesn’t know how Olivia is able to move through universes. This suggests that they don’t have Cortexiphan, or a similar drug, in the alternate universe, and offers more insight into why he went down the shapeshifter route.”

    If it turns out that they don’t have cortexiphan in the AU, then what exactly was going on with the charred twins from “The Road Not Taken?” It just seems like too much of a coincidence for our twins being given cortexiphan and turned into fire starters, yet their twins to have been given it. What happened then in the AU? Were they “hit by a small meteor” as Peter suggested could have happened on our side? I guess that the creative team changed their minds and decided to go in a different direction. I hate inconsistencies.

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    • Elaine says

      Perhaps it was a matter of coincidence. The city of Boston in the altverse was on high alert, as we discover in the episodes, so, maybe the charred twins came from some sort of blast, or as Peter suggested meteorite. I’m guessing.

      “You and I know something, that many lives and many more dollars have been spent to keep secret. That we..are..at war.

      I’ve been thinking about this portion of Walternate’s comments to Brandonate, and it’s led me to question a few things that would be remiss on the writers part if they don’t address this topic again.

      S1 introduced the characters and audience alike to “The Pattern” of scientific events where we were led to believe that cells of various nefarious groups were preparing for a war between universes. Other than Jones and his mysterious group, we learned very little about who “they” are, and how they’re preparing our universe for this impending war.

      If many dollars and lives have been spent on the other side, can we assume the same has taken place in this universe? Can we assume that Nina Sharp and Massive Dynamic has been perpetuating these global events in preparation? If not, then who is the faction out there activating Cortexiphan children? Whom are they connected to? The government? The military? CIA? Is the government simply looking for the Fringe team to provide results on stopping whatever threat is out there, or looking for a way to invade the alternate universe to continue to take advantage of their advanced technology? We certainly can’t assume they know nothing of this alternate world, because high ranking officials have literally seen it by means of Walter over twenty years ago.

      There appears to be a whole other aspect of this story that’s being glossed over currently. An aspect of the story that, imo, is critical to the Fringe team even existing, and partial reason this story is even being told.

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      • Jodie says

        We’ve certainly been given hints that both the military and CIA are both aware of the AU. And it’s been implied that Fringe division has stepped on these other agencies toes in the past and present. I certainly hope that we will see these topics fully explored in future episodes because by only showing us how the AU government is actively fighting this war only makes them appear more sinister and makes this side appear as victims (which I don’t think that we are).

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        • Elaine says

          No, I don’t believe we are either. Hopefully, in that exploration, we learn more about Broyles and Nina too. I would imagine they could do an entire episode on Nina alone, and we still would only scratch the surface of what she knows, what her agenda is about, and what ties she has to the government herself.

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          • FinChase says

            Yes, I’d love to see more of Nina, as well as meeting her alternate. Wouldn’t it be wild if somehow Nina’s arm that was cut off in Walter’s portal had fused itself to her alternate, like the two Ted Pratchetts fusing together? I know, it’s far-fetched, but wouldn’t it be deliciously creepy?

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  28. techman9 says

    I don’t know if anybody noticed, before the beginning of the show they had to of the glee girls summarizing it. Apparently, the official names for the characters are Fauxlivia, Repeter and of course Walternate.

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  29. Ann_Louise says

    “When did Alt-Livia ‘donate’ her memories to Brandonate? Before she met Olivia? After it was decided to switch the Olivias?”

    That could be part of the “Agent Dunham, may I ask you a favor….” scene after Peter met Altivia in Walternate’s office. Walternate may not have had a flull-blown plan, but we have seen that he is a master of the backup plan. If the shapeshifters had reported about Olivia to him via typewriter, getting his own agent Over There could’ve been percolating in his devious mind for some time.

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  30. Alison says

    I loved this episode! Who else totally guessed that they were trying to make Olivia believe that she was Altlivia? I did a little victory dance in my seat when I found out that I was right. I watched the season premiere with my sister and my best friend. We all really enjoyed it! Can’t wait for the continuation of what will most likely be an excellent season!

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  31. Ann_Louise says

    “Regarding the kiss, I think it was supposed to feel wrong and set off our alarm bells. I also watched AltLivia closely. It seemed to me that she accepted the kiss but wasn’t really involved with it. Maybe that’s her way of “staying true” to Frank. Did she roll her eyes slightly when they turned away?”

    Ick – I don’t want to watch that bit again, but if Altlivia rolled her eyes – she may be underestimating everyone Over Here. She just heard about the “monsters” from Walternate, so I’m a bit suprised that Altliv would drink the Kool-aid so completely.
    Lincoln and AltCharlie, even AltBroyles seem to be pretty balanced people who have their own minds, and would go where the evidence led them. The fact that everyone we’ve seen Over There except for Walternate appeared to be a pretty fair counterpart to their double leads me to think that they – AltFringe Division – will play a big role in getting Olivia home once they realize the truth and/or standing up to Walternate. I for one would love to see AltCharlie play a big role in this.

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  32. Sanj says

    Good episode, good start to a new season.

    Thoughts: Walter is on to Altlivia. On a re-watch he totally acknowledged with one statement that Altlivia was not the real Olivia. But, I think he’ll keep that to himself for a while the same way he kept the origin of the shapeshifters (Bell) to himself.

    I, for one, look forward to Altlivia’s smug expression being wiped off her face somehow.

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  33. says

    I agree that Olivia sobbing behind the door in the bathroom was the most heartbreaking piece.

    BUT, I do have ONE BIG PROBLEM with the Olivia/Altlivia switcheroo, probably because the people are all MEN, was the KISS.

    There is NO WAY Altlivia/Olivia would have the same kiss!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And Petah is so frelling dumb!!!!!!!!! Yeah, olivia would just get hot and heavy; essentially saying, “Yeah, let’s go for it!”

    Peter would have to go slow with Olivia, particularly because he SAW her love, John, die.

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  34. mrg says

    Finally! new episodes, and new details to dissect! Everyone’s comments are great, and I do agree that it was a great episode, with mich needed character introduction and setting up the season in alternate universe, but it did feel a bit slow paced and yet unsettling all at the same time. Whether that’s because of how episodes like this sometimes play out or if we were meant to feel like Olivia felt…I’m not sure.

    The one big beef I have with the episode is the whole memory B lymphocyte thing. Especially dissapointing because even though the science presented in this show isn’t always completely spot on, its never so blatently inaccurate and wrong!!!! I suspend a lot of disbelief when believeing the science of the show, but it always seems to be based in possibility at least, far-fetched maybe, but still a possibility. Even the Casimir effect Walter used to explain the portal into the alternate universe was believable to some exent! But come on, memory B lymphocytes don’t carry memories, they carry antibodies. which don’t transmit memories. Besides, B cells can’t cross the blood brain barrier. Especially not because of adrenaline. I know its not important, not really…its just a contrivance to explain how olivia becomes altlivia. But in a top notch Sci-fi show, where they pride themselves on being scientifically possible, I was more than a little dissapointed. okay, now that I have that off my chest a few things…

    i think the white stuff in the syringe that olivia jabbed into Brandonate’s neck was an anesthetic. Not memory-juice. And did anyone notice the memory-juice was red? The stuff that Peter was getting in his arm when he woke up at Mom and dadernate’s house in the alternate universe for the first time was red as well??? I remember at the time wondering what he was getting. So if it was memory juice….then whos? any thoughts????

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  35. Stefan says

    The pacing of this one was really special, but a slow one for a season opener grows just fine in my garden.
    I personally had absolutly no problem with that kiss.
    Also, Roco, one of my old friends from school went from closed-up always-a-bit-depresed to live’s-great-and-I-love-everybody-in-mine as soon as she had a serious girlfriend – so just wanna say that kind of stuff really happens. And I saw a lot of that in how Peter now sees what he believes is Olivia.
    Anyway good episode, I gave it an 8. It feels good to have Fringe back on the two-sided tracks.

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    • BklynBetty says

      “…one of my old friends from school went from closed-up always-a-bit-depresed to live’s-great-and-I-love-everybody-in-mine as soon as she had a serious girlfriend – so just wanna say that kind of stuff really happens. And I saw a lot of that in how Peter now sees what he believes is Olivia.”

      I take this point – however, Peter just spent weeks disconnected from everyone and both realities. While, i believe that he is desperate to feel connected, and especially to Olivia – I just don’t believe that he would engage with her on such a shallow level as to notice nothing amiss. In fact, shallow engagement, i think mostly just serves to remind you that you are *lacking* a deeper connection. And while I do believe that Peter forgave Olivia as he described her with what i have to call a growing sense of loss to Altlivia in the season 2 finale – I can’t believe that he would simply let the matter (of her secrecy as regards his origins) simply drop. If he wants to feel a genuine connection to her, then trust factors in. My problem with the kiss – from Peter’s point of view is that it appears so casual. A kiss with no emotional build-up. A kiss like they had already kissed a dozen times already. And though they definitely feel for each other, perhaps already in love – they have not yet achieved that level of intimacy that such a casual kiss implies.
      Peter has been hurt, he has been betrayed, he has been lied to – I simply don’t buy that he would not try to address this with Olivia (Altlivia) – she is supposed to help him heal. Even if all he says is, “I know why you did it,” or something. Something to acknowledge the fact and the forgiveness and to see her response; thereby REALLY putting Altlivia in the hot-seat for a quick on her feet appropriate emotional response. If she had managed this – then the kiss would make some kind of sense from His perspective at least, and would allow us, the viewers, to refrain from thinking that he is just an unobservant jerk.

      I really think that the show, the viewers and Josh Jackson are being sadly let down by the writers continued marginalization (NWP notwithstanding) of Peter’s character. And I am afraid that the episodes in the Altaverse are a way too convenient way of omitting and glossing over important moments that are supposedly happening on ‘our’ side of the cheesecloth.

      Okay – that was a mouthful. I am new here and just catching up on the reviews – but, i wanted to thank Roco and you all for helping me to view this show on so many more levels than i was before I found you.

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  36. says

    Dr. Anderson is a very intriguing and menacing character. That actress was on Millennium years ago as a lap-dancer with the bad luck/judgment to fall in love with a demon. Anyway, I don’t know what the producers’ plans are for her, but I’d love to see her again.

    And, maybe nanites can help hair grow faster? :)

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  37. Dr. Granger says

    So guys, I know the season has just began, but there are many people here where I live saying that Fringe is almost canceled. I can’t understand why. Does anyone have something to tell me about it, just to calm me down a bit? ._.

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  38. Xochitl says

    Nice review as always Rocco!

    You don’t like Peter and Olivia together, do you?

    i see why a lot of people could see that last scene as werid and maybe out of place, but if they hand’t showed our side at least that way I think everybody would be asking “where are our guys?” so,. I also noticed that stamp over alt!livia’s head, BUT (and believe me, I hate Peter right now) the guy is in love, he has no reason to believe he brought the wrong version of the woman he has loved for a good year back home, Olivia (our olivia) gave him all reason to believe she is in love too, the mand has the right to be blind for a while, now, if the case is that it has been not two days (and it cannot be just two days) since all the other stuffed happened, then or olivia is a ver good actress or he is definetly stupid. And the kiss feeling weird? it might be alt!livia feeling weird or Joshua and Anna not feeling totally comfortable with the scene, mostly Joshua.

    i think I liiked the better that they didn’t show olivia crying, I don’t know why but it felt right somehow, and I totally agree, that scene when you can see the needle mark on olivia’s arms, for real, it was the only part of the episode when I was so close to crying; the escene with mama dunham broke my heart, poor olivia, for real how much can that woman stand?

    like you rocco, I can’t stop myself from feeling good about these guys, we knew it, at least about lee, charlie and broylinate, they are fighthing because they believe this is the right way, I agree with Walter, so much that is scary, but like you I would also them to sit down and have a cup of tea (or coffee) if they want an discuss this, because it seems to me, and this is very early in the season to consider myself right, that Walter wants more than right, he is using that as an excuse to get revenge for what has been done to him, I get it, he is angry and maybe he even has the right to, but, I don’t know, I just know that I already love the other guys.

    The last scene where we can see olivia sit in the car, that look remineded me too much about that look Peter gave olivia on “The man from the other side” I don’t think olivia buys it, I believe she just knows that right now where she was standing it was better to play along than to keep fighting, she would only end up at the cell again with no mean to talk to anybody or get help, or maybe even communicate with the other side (far fetched, I know) I feel she is just biding her time.

    8.5/10, a bit slow for my taste, and for all the spoilers I kinda imagine what was going to happen, that would teach me. ;)

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  39. YourPique says

    No comments on the colors? Bolivia’s mom’s door is red. But Bolivia suggested to her mother the color YELLOW to paint the wall? Maybe there is a 3rd universe – and Bolivia was switched with 3rdlivia at some early point? (Oddly enough, Bolvia’s mom wanted BLUE – maybe the mothers were switched too?)

    I think it will be very interesting to see both Olivia’s (potentially) pretending to be the other. I personally think that our Olivia has not completely been wiped clean of Over Here – but is only acting.

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  40. aci79 says

    Is it just me or do you guys think that there is an awkward moment between Alternate Olivia and Walter when she asked him about his shoes, but Walter is just into his own world to notice it. And the way she was looking at him.. he amuses her as if she was seeing a childish Walter for the first time in comparison to her Boss Walternate on the other side. I guess it is easier to look at the subtle differences betwen the two Olivias by looking in from the outside than being in it.

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  41. LizW65 says

    A couple of things:

    I was reading the posts in another forum, and someone pointed out that the cabdriver’s full name is Henry HIGGINS–just like the professor in Pygmalion/My Fair Lady who bets he can turn a cockney flower girl into a grand lady. Maybe he’s actually part of Walternate’s scheme to turn Olivia into someone she isn’t?

    Another post from the same forum jogged my memory about something else that I thought about when I first watched the ep and then dismissed as just TOO weird:
    When we first saw the tattoo on Olivia’s neck, my first thought was that the writers had REALLY screwed with us and pulled a double switcheroo; that the Olivias were right back in the universes they belonged in, and that their memories had somehow become reversed so they just THOUGHT they were each other. Anyone else think this? Crazy, I know, and Walternate’s subsequent actions seem to contradict it, but that would have been wild if they’d actually pulled it off.

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    • FinChase says

      “Another post from the same forum jogged my memory about something else that I thought about when I first watched the ep and then dismissed as just TOO weird:
      When we first saw the tattoo on Olivia’s neck, my first thought was that the writers had REALLY screwed with us and pulled a double switcheroo; that the Olivias were right back in the universes they belonged in, and that their memories had somehow become reversed so they just THOUGHT they were each other. Anyone else think this? Crazy, I know, and Walternate’s subsequent actions seem to contradict it, but that would have been wild if they’d actually pulled it off.”

      Well, here’s something to really mess with your mind: What if AltLiv has gotten rid of her tattoo now? Surely they’ve told her via the magic mirror that our Olivia did not have a tattoo originally.

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      • fedorafadares says

        You’re not alone in thinking this. Something about Olivia’s reaction when she discovers the tattoo in the cab was intriguing.

        It would be a mindblowing twist and I think that by the time Fringe is done, the writers will have treated us to some grand deception (i.e., the whole alternate universe is a construct of Walter or Olivia’s mind; that all the worlds are a stage of Massive Dynamics or the Observers.)

        Maybe we’re paranoid, maybe over thinking things — or maybe we’re just imaginative!

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  42. Raisa says

    I wonder if Walternate’s plan to use Altlivia’s memories in Olivia’s mind will be spoiled by something he might not have accounted for; Olivia’s dyed red hair is going to start growing back into her own blonde color and the roots are going to start showing in a few weeks. I really doubt that he would have considered having to knock her out every few weeks to have the roots touched up without her knowledge. Seriously, it could be something that simple that clues Olivia in to remember who she really is and how she got there, when she sees the blonde hair growing back.

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