Fringe Review: 3.02 The Box

Welcome to our review for episode 2 of Fringe season 3 – “The Box”.

In this review we don’t hold back – we give an honest opinion on the good and not so good aspects of the episode. We find out what answers were provided and what mysteries remain locked away. 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.


  • Newton and Altlivia Dynamics. I loved the scenes between Altlivia and Newton, there were some real moments of gold between them, with Newton showing more compassion and foresight than the ‘human’ Altlivia, who pulls rank when she realizes that she might be slipping under the illusion of her new reality. What is particularly great about their dynamic is that it mirrors the rivalry that Newton has with Olivia. It’s an nice little parallel that invites us to ask further questions of the inherent nature of the two Olivias, and indeed, that of Newton. Are some people born to rub others up the wrong way? What is it about Newton’s ability to swiftly identify the ‘weaknesses’ of both Olivias like a shark to blood? Interesting stuff.
  • The Mythology. Perhaps even more so than last week, I thought the mythology was engaging and gave me a lot to think about. I liked the use of the box as a metaphor and the ways in which it plays into the overarching story. The fact that we are not done with it by the end of the 42 minutes was cause enough for celebration for those jaded by the open/shut cases of the past.
  • Context. After last week’s episode in the alternate universe it was good to touch base with those Over Here. While I did miss Olivia in this episode, I’m digging the ‘pendulum’ episode structure as it gives both universes more context in terms of the overall story.
  • Anna Torv. I completely buy Altlivia as a character in her own right. John Noble has a serious contender this season.


  • Guys, This Is Not Our Livia. Last week I was worried by what looked like the team being totally oblivious to the fact that Olivia is acting really really really different than normal. Sure, love can alter perception and escaping from the alt-reality could unlock previously dormant aspects of a person’s character, but for me, the team have to be really gullible to buy that this is their girl. I find this particularly hard to swallow since they actually know about the doubles on the other side. Had they not ventured there in the season 2 finale, I could perhaps accept their lack of awareness more, but Walter, Broyles, Astrid, and especially Boy Wonder, are completely unquestioning of the visible change that ‘Olivia’s has seemingly undergone. While might be a necessary contrivance, I think more could be done to ensure that the team don’t look like they left their brains in the alternate reality.
  • The Altlivia/Peter situation. It’s funny how last week – an episode barely featuring Peter – I was closer to buying the idea of Peter and Olivia being together. The fact is, whenever I’m reminded of just how little romantic chemistry Peter has with either Olivia, the more I realize that while the ideas being implemented are resonating, the actual characterization of this ‘love’ just doesn’t hold weight. They are just not love material in my eyes. Go back to standing 4 paces behind Olivia and maybe help her turn a few out lights, Peter – that was a more believable relationship.
  • Contrivances and Cut Corners. Why did Altlivia yelp “Petah!?” when she saw him through the spyhole? Why didn’t she pretend that she wasn’t in? (he even offered to come back later!). And then when she notices the pool of blood, why does she jump him like a wild mongoose? Did she expect to straddle the boy to sleep or something? But what I found really jarring is the fact that they didn’t show how, exactly, Altlivia managed to get Peter out of her apartment without him seeing the massive puddle of blood that seemed to be developing voyeur tendencies. Because, you know, it means that the entire scene was more about having them kiss for the faux tension, rather than follow through with the consequences of Altlivia’s skulduggery. It wasn’t quite a Charlie ‘Furnace of Death’ moment, but it brought it all flashing back with fire and brimstone. I also found it contrived that for some reason the box didn’t close when Peter retrieved it. What broke it exactly – Eric’s exploding head?
  • For an installment about a mysterious box I found it ironic yet disappointing that one of the episode’s biggest reveals was ruined by the cat being let out of the Massive Dynamic bag several weeks before the episode aired. This ruined the Walter/Massive Dynamic reveal for me.
  • Horrifying signs that Walter was becoming the caricature of old.
  • Not enough tension amongst our team considering they know that the end of the world could be around the corner. It’s somewhat surprising that they’d be bothering with a case that they didn’t already know, or believe, to be related to the alternate universe. They lucked out this time because the alternate universe drama came to them (thanks Newton!), but if a Molebaby turned up would it be really wise to deploy time and resources, Broyles?


  • Where and when does the Doomsday machine come from? Why does it have component pieces buried Over Here?
  • Why did Walternate want Peter to find the Doomsday component part?
  • What ‘work’ does Walternate want Altlivia to do on Walter?


  • Newton has been ‘Over Here’ since Altlivia was in high school – up to 18 years ago (approx). While Newton’s arrival may have been a measure of retaliation by Walternate, it should be noted that, if Rebecca Kibner is to be believed, people from the other side were spotted Over Here as early as 1979 (approx).
  • Newton likes music – He grooves to Bono, but prefers music from his own side. Bono is not a famous music artist Over There.
  • Walter, Peter and Altlivia have been back for two days. This suggests that the events Over Here are indeed happening parallel to the events Over There. The previous episode implied that Olivia had been captured 2 days ago.
  • The frequency from the opened box emitted an ultra sonic wave that induced a vegetative trance to those in its vicinity.


  • An episode about a desirable object buried underground and no Molebaby? What kind of madness is this!
  • With this episode being titled “The Box”, it’s not surprising that there were some obvious analogies to other box stories, including Pandora’s Box and “The Box” (movie). What I took away from this is that on a larger level the box represents choice and mankind’s curiosity causing people doing things that they shouldn’t. This idea has several layers which bleed over into the episode. It all plays into the idea of not crossing the line – a prominent theme of what I believe to be Walter’s sad regression.
  • I thought it was a fitting analogy for the wide-spread devastation that Walter’s one act of opening the box, AKA kidnapping Peter, had on an entire world. For me, this leads onto the notion of consequence and the idea that every self-interested or negative action has an almost self-initiated ‘Payback Machine’ which hurts not just the wrong-doer, but society at large. The implication being that it is this negative cycle which determines the fate of humanity. People blame God or bad luck, but what if all the ills in the world(s) are a direct consequence of our collective bad choices, perpetuated by more bad choices?
  • Again, we can see this in our story, with Walter disregarding the ‘rules’ of the universe by crossing the void to kidnap Peter – an act which brought him self loathing and the loathing of those around him. An act which has brought an entire universe to the brink of destruction. An act which activated the icy hand of revenge through Walternate’s attempts to destroy Walter’s world – a bad choice propagated by a bad choice.
  • So if you take this viewpoint it you could say that it’s left to the younger generation, armed with wisdom, to be different. To make the right and moral choices, to break the cycle. This is partly why I was so disappointed last season when Olivia decided to collude with Walter by lying to Peter. Not just because it harmed the integrity of her character, but because it was the wrong thing to do. It was a lie driven by self-interest. And guess what, this bad choice led to Peter going to the other side, which led to Olivia getting trapped there – boxed in by the memories of another. Of course, there are many other spiritual or metaphorical ways that you can look at it, but I found it interesting to approach it from this standpoint.
  • What is interesting now, is the fact that Peter wants to understand the device so that he can use it for good. This represents the ‘hope’ that remains in Pandora’s box. But to heal both worlds, will ‘the line’ have to be crossed once more? And if the box, on a broader scale, represents the secrets of the universe – this would suggest that whoever designed the ‘laws’ wanted realities to be separate for a reason. Is this all a test for humanity?

  • The Newton/Altlivia scenes were great. We got some good answers and some really interesting character insights. And while Altlivia’s tattoo will no longer be a problem as far as any neck massages from Peter goes, does this mean that the tattoo itself was never really all that important? Personally, I still think that the symbol has meaning that will surface at some point.
  • I’ve always found Newton and the shapeshifters engaging. It’s interesting that the show has decided to keep us guessing as to whether Newton himself is a shapeshifter or a human. I’ve said a lot about that already, but I continue to be fascinated by this guy. He’s always been Mr. Cool, but he was even looser in this episode. It’s was interesting to find out that he likes music, even if the music Over Here isn’t exactly to his high standards. It makes me wonder why that is – is it a prejudice on his part, or just personal taste? He’s very ‘patriotic’, and I think this bothers Altlivia to a degree. In her arrogance she seems to view him as an underling – a second class citizen, perhaps due to him being a shapeshifter, maybe due to the mercury in his blood, or possibly because she doesn’t like the way he undermines her. Let’s not forget that in her world, she’s a hero.

Altlivia: “Well, he’s easy on the eyes”

Newton: “Careful. Their side may be alluring, but don’t be taken in by it – they started the war..remember?

  • Newton latches onto Altlivia’s comment and possibly takes it out of context. Is this because he senses that she’s falling for Peter, or the Over Here world in general? Has Newton fallen fate of the Over Here allure himself, or does he know people/shapeshifters who have? Perhaps even more interestingly – is there really such a pull which causes people from the other side to gravitate towards the Over Here world?

  • A random thought. A very common occurrence is nature is the spiral. Does this spiral represent an even bigger spiral which joins the Multiverse, intrinsically luring other universes into one another – in a spiritual sense of not a real one?
  • That said, the idea of something ‘on the other side’ being exotic is not a new one. So while I’m intrigued by the possible underlying context, I’m also happy to take Newton’s words of advice at face value.
  • I’m also intrigued by Newton’s patriotism because it’s something that several of us picked up on last season, particularly in the episode “Grey Matters”. He says that the Over Here world are the evil-doers, the deceivers – the force of his words hit their mark. What interests me is whether he genuinely believes in what he is saying? Is Newton programmed to take this hard-line viewpoint? Or is he basing his views on his own experience and outlook?
  • In regards to Newton’s human, or otherwise, status – if a shapeshifter or hybrid, can experience what it’s like to be human? If they can truly know and show compassion, does that make then human? That said, being human depends on what our definition of human is. Another way to examine what it means to be human is to look at the soul – does Newton have a soul? Was he given one by Walternate? Is it our place to give entities souls?
  • Going back to Newton’s line, I love how he says “remember?”, as if Altlivia has forgotten what side she’s fighting for. This also plays into the memory issues that Olivia is currently struggling with on the other side. I’ve always wondered what makes Newton so grounded – is it his memories that have kept his perspective intact after all these years on ‘foreign’ soil?
  • And should we be worried by his rather blinkered outlook? Because, as much as I swoon over The Newt, I do have some concerns about his red and blue distinction between Over Here and Over There. From my perspective, it’s not an us vs them war – it’s never that simple, or at least it shouldn’t be. What we are seeing is not only a self-manifested war, but mankind fighting against themselves on every level or metaphor you want to imagine, top to bottom.
  • I just find these little glimmers into Newton interesting as they help build up a picture of his perspective on life. It’s clear that human or not, he also has shades of duality. He’s fiercely loyal – at least on the surface, but as we witnessed last season, he’s often far more compassionate than the human characters on the show. There is one moment that brought this idea back to the forefront – it came as Altlivia asked whether he used his own men (shapeshifters) for the box retrieval job. Newton says:

“No, I don’t want to burn my resources”

  • Newton didn’t want to send his own men to their death. He hired Over Here humans instead, knowing that they would open the box and die. This is useful to me because I previously commented on the lack of camaraderie amongst the shapeshifters – when one of them dies there’s no closing of the eyelids, let alone an RIP testimonial. However, what Newton (who seems to be different from his men in this regard) displays here is a sense of compassion – at least to his own ‘kind’. Maybe you could argue that it was a strategic decision because Walternate can only send over so many shapeshifters. But I prefer to look at it the other way and speculate that Newton is not without the ability to access a core part of what it means to be human. Of course, I’m saying all of this while at the same time Newton essentially killed a bunch of Over Here people, so you’ll have to take that with a pinch of salt. But that said, he is a soldier – and he displayed more courtesy to Eric than Altlivia did when she assassinated Box Man.
  • Finally, I did like how he went along with Altlivia’s power move. You can see that it burned him, but he knows that before all is said and done Altlivia will probably need him to take charge. And that handshake from Walternate last season now has even more power. I still want to know whether The Newt has dreams and aspirations of his own though.

  • I don’t have too much to say on William Bell leaving Massive Dynamic for Walter. I think the possibilities are sensational (Walter reclaiming his ‘Prometheus’), but it was spoiled for me by one of the pre-season interviews that disregarding the principles of the Mystery Box, so the impact wasn’t nearly as huge as it should have been. I liked the scene between Nina and Walter though, and seeing her reaction to the gift that Bell left her was a rare humanizing moment. I’ve always thought of her as Bell’s right hand woman, so it was nice to see that he saw them as being one another’s right hands.
  • Oh Walter:

“I’m trying to make chocolate milk. Or rather, I’m trying to make the cow make chocolate milk.”

  • Speaking of wacky things, Walter’s return to Massive Dynamic momentarily reminded me of Charlie walking through Willy Wonker’s Chocolate Factory.
  • I know that Walter was trying to distract himself with the cow – he’d rather ignore the very real threat of the Weapon because he doesn’t want more guilt or responsibility. But I’m sorry, Walter, as Peter later says, you have to take responsibility for your actions. Don’t bring Oppenheimer into this and start pointing fingers. It’s moments like these that make the distance between Walternate and Walter extremely small. In fact, that might be doing old Walternate a disservice! At least he doesn’t have to make fart jokes to make me feel sorry for him.
  • I see nothing brave or admirable in Walter’s ‘ignore it’ stance. I’m not saying that he should “cross the line” and cause more devastation. Fact is, the line was crossed about 10 miles back. If he doesn’t try to find a peaceful solution to the problems he helped triggered then who will? From my perspective, Walter is continuing the cycle of ‘the box’ – he’s thinking about his own interests. He’s got ‘his’ boy and now wants to remain in his sheltered little box of a reality. As much as Boy Wonder is still wearing tights, he at least showed a bit of fortitude in this episode. Perhaps it goes back to curiosity, and perhaps he may be tempted to cross the line at some point, but at least he’s trying to clean up the mess that his fathers have made. Shame he didn’t do that on the other side, mind, but better late than never.
  • Altlivia smiles and says “Hi!” to Astrid. Has Olivia ever said “Hi” to Astrid, let alone smiled at her? Poor Astrid, just when she thinks that Olivia is starting to like her.

  • Nice ‘save’ Petah:

Altlivia: “What you didn’t like the red hair?”

Peter: “Well I’ve always preferred blondes. But you did make a very sexay redhead.”

*a bead of sweat forms on his forehead*

  • That guy. Does he even know what he’s saying anymore? Seriously, how deep do you want your hole, Peter?
  • “The more I think about being Over There, the less real it seems” – This ties into what I’ve been saying about the alternate reality being like a dream in it’s own right.
  • Bell’s last will and testimony was a tender affair. I particularly liked the message that he left Walter as it serves as the ‘chapter of ethics’ to his ‘don’t be afraid to cross the line’ note:

“Walter, we gather knowledge faster than we gather wisdom. By now I trust you have ample reserves of both. I hope you’ve forgiven me.”

  • The distinction between (if not fusion of) knowledge and wisdom is an important one. Interesting that Bell hopes for Walter’s forgiveness, especially in light of Walter’s own struggles in that department. If there’s an afterlife in Fringe, I wonder where Bellie is? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him reanimate as a robot or some other electrical device. :)
  • I wondered whether Nina would be jealous by Walter’s acquiring of Massive Dynamic. She didn’t look angered, more unsure. Poor woman, instead of overseeing advancements in time-travel, she’ll be overseeing chocolate-making cows.
  • Despite my dislike for Walter in this episode, I’m glad that he didn’t jump at the chance to ‘cross the line’ either.
  • There needed to be a bit more context as to his and Bell’s rotating views on the ethics of science, and thankfully this episode gave us a bit of that. It’s still not a perfect fit, given what we know, but this does help illustrate how the two men propelled each other forward into new territories of exploration. Walter’s initial measure and Bell’s early adventure flip-flopped to the point where they ended up with slightly different perspectives.
  • As for Astrid’s litle pep talk – sorry, don’t buy it. Peter doesn’t ‘have’ to understand anything. It’s been two days. Having made the rather absurd decision to return, give the boy time and space. I’m surprised he can even stand to be in the same room as Walter, let alone understand why he did what he did. Astrid may be loyal (to Walter) but she’s clearly not seeing the bigger picture here. That said, this is the same girl who didn’t seem bothered for very long after he stabbed her in the neck.
  • Just like Olivia in the previous episode, Altlivia talks to herself: “You have photographic memory, how am I going to do that?” I can’t recall Olivia speaking to herself before, so to have it effectively happen twice in the space of two episodes is an interesting narrative choice. It’s as though they are speaking to their collective iterations across the multiverse. It’s probably just to help viewers get their bearings.

  • Now here’s my biggest problem with Walter in this episode. It comes in this conversation with Peter (I wont quote all of it, just the main part):

Walter: “When I saw that you were dying too, and that I was the only one who could save you..”

Peter: “You kidnapped me, Walter. You took me from my family, from my world.”

Walter: “I didn’t plan to..that was not my intention. I love you, Peter. And if I had to make the choice all over again, I am not sure that I’d be strong enough to act differently

  • During the summer (it might have been the rewatch), I said that Walter’s one redeeming factor may come if (or rather when) he is presented with a similar choice as the one he faced when he decided to kidnap Peter. So hearing him all but admit that he would probably do the same thing again, particularly in light of the box symbolism of this episode, I find that pretty disturbing, and it’s a huge blow to my ability to like the character. That being said, he does cite a lack of ‘strength’ and not wisdom as being his potential downfall, so I do still have some sympathy with him in that regard. I also accept the fact that he now knows that what he did was wrong. But ultimately it’s about choices, and today I am far from convinced that Walter would be able to break free of the cycle and make that change.
  • Altlivia goes down a few pegs by killing Box Man. Newton shows some faux compassion, but on this occasion it seems he was more interested in pushing Altlivias buttons while perhaps making a deeper point. Altliv doesn’t let him down as she dispatches Box Man with a token “sorry” – which he couldn’t even hear, as if somehow that is going to save her from whatever consequence the universe will eventually send her way. I’ve spoken a lot about the nature and nurture of the two Olivias and the ways in which they are the same and different. This is one of the differences between them – we haven’t seen Olivia murder someone in such cold blood before, but like I’ve said in the past, Olivia can be wild when she wants to be. She’s Dunhamnated enough people in her time, including her step dad, and to a lesser degree, Walter. But is Olivia capable of Altlivia’s level of disconnect? I’d say yes – under the ‘right’ circumstances, but naturally..emotionally, it would be much harder for her to reach such extremes. With that in mind, it’s not about nurture vs nature – it’s more about degrees of both. And again, it comes back to choosing and breaking the cycle.

  • And Peter – a booty call, really? Don’t pretend that you went to Dunham’s just to let off steam about Walter. I’ve got my eye on you, and truth be told, I don’t think you could handle the Dunhamnator. :)
  • Peter issues perspective:

Altlivia: “We all know how hard this has been on your Peter.”

Peter: “No, you have no idea, I saw what Walter did. I saw the quarantine zones. I saw all the damage that he causes, he destroyed their world, My world.”

  • Altlivia defends Walter – something Olivia herself would do. Of course, for Altlivia it’s all an act – or is it? I ask the question, but I think it might be a bit of both. She’s obviously there to do a mission and she doesn’t want her world destroyed and all, but as Newton hinted, there may be something about her perspective that’s not completely red. I actually think this would make for a rather balanced individual if she weren’t so murderous. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to take a step back to see where Peter and Altlivia’s viewpoints converge. I’d be interested in find out more about her outlook and what her attraction is with Over Here, if indeed there is one. And has she even met R@chel and Ella yet? Listen Altliv, the only thing you need to know about Olivia’s sister is that she can boil up a pot of water like a champ. I trust Newton has told you that?
  • As I mentioned earlier, I do like the fact that Peter is..wait for it..taking charge. It may be a season later than promised but it looks like he may be getting there. The idea of Peter fighting his ‘fate’ is a big concept that ties right into my slant on the box and what it represents on its deepest level. Can he alter his path, or has it been predetermined in some overarching way since birth, or before he was even conceived? Is fate-fighting a concept only realized in an alternate universe, where different choices culminate in different paths, or can this Peter become more than the machine that his future currently reflects?

Peter: “Am I supposed to destroy worlds too? Because I’ll be honest with you, I don’t want to turn out like Walter.”

  • It’s moments like these when I think that Peter could make a late charge for my affections. He’s not quite lost that Plot Device Petah vibe, but he does display some admirable qualities when he can be bothered.

Altlivia: “Petah, the truth is, I’m scared too”

  • LOL! So NOT scared. Peter really should have twigged at this point. I mean, when Olivia says she’s scared, she means it, because either Peter’s glimmering or a building is about to arrive from the alternate universe. All joking aside, this crystallizes one of the current differences between the two Dunhams – Olivia has a fervent fear center, while Altlivia doesn’t so much as bat her eyelids at the prospect of being quarantined – in fact it amuses her. Which is what you’d expect since her job and her world are kind of extreme like that.
  • “The last few weeks have been hard on all of us” – Altlivia has done her research, thanks Newt.
  • As for the device, why did Walternate want Peter to find it? Will its allure somehow enable him to control or influence Peter from the other side?
  • Newton seems to know a thing or two about human nature, and even throws in a ‘mystery box’ reference (although obviously it pre-dates JJ. Abrams’ famed metaphor):

“What’s this?”

“It’s a box”

“What’s in it?”

“As with most things in life, the reality would pale in comparison with one’s imagination, and er, isn’t it better to wonder?”

  • It’s interesting to note that Newton looks behind him as he walks away – he knows that the curious Eric will open the box and that it will kill him, and he seems to show just a hint of…pity.
  • Exploding head! Ah, the pitfalls of too much curiosity and poor dental work.
  • Considering the nature of her job back home and the importance of her mission Over Here, Altlivia risking life and limb to save Peter (aka keeping the mission on course) is not that surprising.
  • Broyles’ reassuring words gives Walter the push he needed to head for the line – this time, hopefully, armed with wisdom and a moral compass. Better make it two.
  • “Begin Work On Dr. Bishop”. Bloody hell Altliv, you gonna seduce him too? I’m surprised Walternate didn’t call him “That Kiddie Stealing Monster Under My Skin”. Gotta say, I continue to LOVE Altlivia’s now trademark ‘lookey up with glee and menace’ at the end of an episode. It almost rivals Olivia’s ‘lookey over the shoulder’ trait.
  • I missed Olivia more in this episode than I did Walter and Peter in the previous episode. Interesting.


This was a good introduction to the current affairs of Over Here – a big step up from last season’s equivalent in both tone and relevance. I guess this one goes down as a ‘mythalone’, which continues to prove that this show needs more than standalone elements to make it tick.

For me this wasn’t as good as the great “Olivia”, and I’d very much like to have the two Bishops re-test for their IQ, because if they believe that they’re with Olivia then Over Here is in serious trouble.

Poor Olivia – leader, warrior, forged in the rings of Saturn, travelled the universe for her man..forgotten in both realities. If you don’t know her now Peter, you’ll never know her. But then, I always said you weren’t suited.

This episode was titled “The Box”, and you can’t argue with that. As an alternative, I’d call it: “The Cube”. a reality far, far away..

Best Performer: Anna Torv

Best Line: “Isn’t it better to wonder?” – Newton

Best Moments: Newton questioning whether Altlivia is slipping under the influence of Over Here.

Episode Rating 8/10

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


    • tb says

      What does that even mean and why bother to share it?
      Right, wrong, or whatever Roco at least bothers to think before he speaks.

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  1. Anjali says

    “I’d very much like to have the two Bishops re-test for their IQ, because if they believe that they’re with Olivia then Over Here is in serious trouble.”


    ” If you don’t know her now Peter, you’ll never know her. But then, I always said you weren’t suited.”

    Aww… c’mon Roco. We don’t have to go that far :)

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  2. Gabriella says

    Was I the only one who noticed that when the deaf guy noticed ‘Altivia’ outside of his apartment, he wrote down her name after he heard her say “Dunham” on the phone? That seems like the most obvious mistake, maybe I missed something.

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    • Alex says

      I’ve noticed that too! I gave it a little thought and came to the conclusion that he read her lips. They were *quite* far from each other, but that’s the only plausible explanation 😀

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        • Ari says

          its not too far for him to read. i have a deaf friend who was born deaf and never learned sign language, who are very adept at reading lips, even when looking at you profile-ways and from quite a distance.

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  3. Catherine says

    Roco, your Olivia bias rivals my Peter bias. 😀
    Opposing universes, I guess. I always did prefer the color red.

    I didn’t care for “The Box” as much when I watched it live last Thursday night. Today, I watched it online at FOX, and enjoyed it profusely. Some great performances by all actors.

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  4. Cortexifan says

    Roco, great review. You said you’ve never heard Olivia talk to herself.
    She did one time in “Olivia with the revolver in the lab”. She sat at her table asking herself what she was missing.

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  5. charliefan19 says

    Oh my. I simply love your reviews!!! :) Thanks so much!

    I gotta say, I love Peter almost as much as you love Olivia. But he is not impressing me right now…I mean, REALLY Peter!!! No red flags whatsoever?? (And how the heck did he not notice the blood flood coming under the door?? Puh-leeeeez.) The person I was holding out the most hope for, actually, was Broyles, but no. Not a single raised eyebrow. Nothing. Season 2 explored a deeper, more caring relationship between the two of them. can’t he tell that something’s up with Dunham?? :/ aarg.

    Intrigue ~ Newton is awesome. And…he is suddenly more attractive. Hmm. And I want to know what was in Nina’s envelope…

    Oh, and this episode was disturbing and kinda gross at times! I had to cover my eyes when Walter licked that stuff off his tie. Bleah!!! 😛 Oh, and I screamed out loud when Eric’s head blew up. And Alt-Liv shot that poor man!!! It made me angry…

    That’s all. I’m done. :)

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    • Catherine says

      On rewatch, I didn’t think that Bolivia gave herself away at all around Peter. The only real anomalies where that she didn’t drink with Peter and that she didn’t call him to check out the deaf guy’s apartment. Now, in the bar, Peter was downing the booze pretty fast himself, and “Olivia” explained that having just met her double two days previously had made her question her worldview, her choices. And her explanation for not calling Peter to check out the apartment- it was a big day for Walter/you didn’t want to babysit/and if I called you, you’d come running- was quite reasonable, although not the truth.

      Honestly, the only reason some fans think it’s so obvious Bolivia isn’t “our Olivia” and “duh, Peter, Walter, Astrid, Broyles, why are you so dense?” is because we’ve “seen behind the curtain” already. (I could never watch the Wizard of Oz with the same sense of wonder again after I knew that the wizard was a fraud. 😀 Likewise, have you ever watched the movie “The Sixth Sense” with someone who doesn’t know the ending?) 😀

      Is it really reasonable to think that Peter, who in the last month has 1) discovered that he was kidnapped from the alternate universe and everything he thought he knew about himself for his thirty-two years is a lie or a distortion 2) was decieved by his father, his surrogate father, his partner/friend, and his dead surrogate mother 3) saw the death and destruction caused by Walter’s crossing over to save him. 4) understands that there’s a war coming and he’s Peter of Troy. 5) has seen a picture of himself strapped to a doomsday machine with fire shooting out of his eyes, and parts of said machine is showing up over here. 6) is “handcuffed” to a mad scientist who stole him from an alternate universe, making him buy cocoa beans so Walter can make Gene give chocolate milk. (:D Ah, I love Walter.) and 7) has one person right now to turn to for solice, Bolivia. So, really, all these things considered, he’s dim not to figure out that this is Bolivia/not Olivia in two days. Please, give the guy a break!

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        • charliefan19 says

          I don’t disagree with you…good points. I understand. I’m just saying…if you went to the AU and met the other Olivia, wouldn’t you just doublecheck to make sure it’s really her? Or at least have some paranoid suspicions, if not necessarily justified? That’s all.

          Oh and Catherine…The Sixth Sense is one of my favorite movies ever. :)

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      • fringefan2009 says

        Agreed, and very well said. I think it’s a lot more difficult to figure out that Bolivia is a fraud rather than Charlie, because essentially Bolivia and Olivia are the same person. The only thing I would say is not necessarily a give away, but it’s hard to buy that our Olivia would want to make out during the conversation her and Peter were having.

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  6. Cabesin says

    My theory about the box is that the doomsday machine was created by the observers or the ones that created them. Why theres pieces in our side? Thats obvious, everything that exist in our side exists on them except that for different causes of fate they have ended up in different situations. So if theres a box here, theres a box there but maybe the one there was destroyed by the different actions taken on the other universe.
    What J.J. taught us from Lost is that we have to look back to the first episodes, “The Amber protocol” do you remember the bus with people inside? And what about “THE BEACON” maybe that cylinder is a part of the machine, and September was making sure that it didn’t fall in the wrong hands.

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  7. runthegamut says

    “And then when she notices the pool of blood, why does she jump him like a wild mongoose? Did she expect to straddle the boy to sleep or something? ”

    I think she knew about how long she had to stall him. She knew Newton would activate the box and they would be called in. And she had to make sure he didn’t turn his head. But I agree, I have no idea how he didn’t notice the blood on the way out, and it was contrived for dramatic tension.

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  8. Bety says

    Great review as always, Roco!

    Just saying that I think the show has reached a point where is impossible to have standalone episodes like there were before, with no connection with the mithology of the show. Thank God the producers gave us a fantastic end of second season that now we can expect for more than an ordinary episode every week.

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  9. runpaceyrun says

    I dont understand the bias against Peter. I adore him…..and hey, his character can only be developed by the writers and at the moment they arent giving him too much. It isnt his fault! The producers did say that a lot more will be revealed about Peter by the end of this season. So whilst Olivia is on her kickass journey back to where she rightfully belongs, you cant have Peter also taking a major story line as well. It would be too overwhelming. I would hope that as Olivia gets closer to being back here, Peters story / journey will pick up the pace.
    No matter what happens i simply appreciate this show for what it is. Its truely OUTSTANDING and BRILLIANT….with fabulous actors, a very creative and SENSATIONAL writing team and i love every second of it! I have never loved a tv show so much in my entire life……and trust me …..ive watched a lot of tv. Cant wait to have MORE Peter screen time! And yes i am biased too! (my user name prooves it).

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    • runpaceyrun says

      Forgot to mention that i too do not think that Peter and Olivia need to be linked romantically. I do think they have chemistry BUT i think its work related chemistry. I like the rapport they have when they work together……they make me laugh… they bounce off each other……and they genuinely care for each other. But here’s my dilemma….whilst i do not want want them to be romantically linked, i also do not want them hooking up with anyone else either. That just wouldnt be right!

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      • Alexia says

        I totally agree
        It feels so wrong seeing them(even with Altliv) together,I just want them to be there for each other,to be friends.The kind of relationship she had with Charlie…

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  10. Matt says

    To jump into the Peter conversation, my only problem really is that Peter is being way to nice to Walter. Yeah sure, he says a quip here or there about frustration with Walter but he should still be steaming in my opinion. I understand Walter being a broken man and that makes sense, but I just feel like Peter could give Walter more of the cold shoulder. Why not leave him in Astrid’s hands more (like going to Massive Dynamic? For a guy you don’t like, you sure are there for him!)

    I guess it doesn’t fully make sense to me…maybe future episodes will help me out with that.

    Speaking of Astrid though – I felt like she is questioning of Altlivia. In the lab, I thought I saw her curiosity towards Altlivia perk up at one point. Maybe I am wrong but definitely thought I saw this look on her face that seemed to show her pondering what was up with “Olivia”. I have a feeling like Astrid may be the first one to discover Altlivia.

    Lastly, to defend Peter a bit, I do agree with many people that it’s pretty crazy he can’t recognize it’s not our Olivia, but I know people who have embarrassingly confused twins. That, added with his puppy-love eyes and the chance to get Dunhamnated (I couldn’t help but throw that in there…admit it, you smiled a bit) are throwing him off balance. As Barney Stinson would tell us, he can’t see the crazy eyes. He’s blinded. It’s going to take time before he realizes and I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.

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    • Page 48 says

      “my only problem really is that Peter is being way to nice to Walter”

      Peter is alive because Walter “crossed the line”. Alive is good. Peter can be as pissed off as he wants to be, but he also needs to man up and see the bigger picture. He’s been reunited with Mom and Dad and he caught the first train back to Over Here.

      Maybe it’s time the brooding Peternate visited Peter’s grave so that he can ponder what his quality of life would be like today without Walter’s (possibly heroic?) intervention. If Peter finds himself on the receiving end of Olivia’s affections, he needs to remind himself that that doesn’t happen without Walter.

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    • number six says

      Yes, maybe Peter is too nice to Walter, but see how he’s only agreeable with Walter in the work environment. As Peter told Altlivia, he can barely look at Walter, but that doesn’t mean, that Peter wants to be far away from him, either. I think that Peter, as much as he still loves Walter, has set the limits of their relationship. He’s the caretaker and colleague, but not his son and, as long as Walter doesn’t forget those limits, everything will be ok. Of course, Walter will forget himself and there will be fights, but right now, there is no point in making things difficult for Walter and for himself, when so much is going on.

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  11. Jodie says

    “During the summer (it might have been the rewatch), I said that Walter’s one redeeming factor may come if (or rather when) he is presented with a similar choice as the one he faced when he decided to kidnap Peter. So hearing him all but admit that he would probably do the same thing again, particularly in light of the box symbolism of this episode, I find that pretty disturbing, and it’s a huge blow to my ability to like the character.”

    Roco, I guess that I look at this scene between Walter and Peter very differently. It does all come down to a matter of personal history, I guess. I’ve had people that I love tell me that if they could go back in time that they would change what they did, but those statements to me all sounded hollow. It cost them nothing to say those words to me, and in the end, it turned out to mean nothing. Those words were lies: you can’t go back and change anything. What struck me about Walter’s apology to Peter was it’s truthfulness. He recognizes the pain that he caused, but he also realizes who he is and what his faults are: he stands before the “son” that he loves naked and vulnerable. He asks for forgiveness. How could he say that he would not do the same thing he did 23 years before? He loves Peter. He should have taken him back, but he could not do it. All he can honestly say now is that it was wrong, and he hopes that he can make amends. You’ve asked many times in your prior posts if Walter loves this Peter as much as he loved his son, and I think that you’ve got your answer: yes. The reason that I have hope for Walter is that he sees himself clearly, warts and all. He didn’t lie to Peter and tell him that he would have done things differently if he could, that would have been the easy way out.

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      • Ann_Louise says

        I saw it very differently from Roco. Instead of being a negative blow, Walter’s statement indicates to me that he’s a very flawed person who is smart enough to know how flawed they are. Would he like to say he’d “do the right thing” if given the chance? Sure, who wouldn’t like to think they’d be that strong. But Walter knows his weaknesses, and now knows (thanks to Walternate) what he could turn into.

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        • mlj102 says

          I might be opening a can of worms by responding to this topic, but here goes:

          See, I would like to view it that way, but the part that holds me back from being able to see the positive side of Walter’s speech is the part when he says that he knows what he did was “terribly wrong” and he shouldn’t have “crossed the line.” Yet despite that, he doesn’t know if he would be able to do differently if given the choice again? To me, that tells me that he still has much to learn, that he isn’t completely sorry for what he did.

          I just can’t feel as forgiving towards someone who knows that what he did was completely wrong, yet would still do the same thing. That’s contradictory. To me, that indicates that he’s not necessarily as sorry as he says he is. If he truly regretted his actions and thought they were as wrong as he says they were, then he would try to do differently. It’s not a matter of Walter being honest with Peter, or a matter of what he’s capable of or how strong he is; it’s a matter of what’s right and what’s wrong.

          For example, lets say that you steal a candy bar from a store, and later you come to the conclusion that it was wrong to steal the candy bar, and you apologize, but you still claim that you would steal it again if given the choice again, because you love the candy bar so much that you simply wouldn’t be strong enough to resist the temptation. Sure, you’re being honest and truthful in what you’re saying, but I don’t think that’s the kind of attitude of someone who’s truly sorry for what they did. If you know it’s wrong, then you will make the choice not to do it, despite how much you want it.

          Now, I know that is an extremely simple example in comparison with the Walter/Peter situation, but its close enough to make my point. Just because you’re being honest, doesn’t make it all right. Are you really sorry for what you’ve done if you would still do it again? I can say I know something I did was wrong as much as I want, but should I be taken seriously if I also claim I would do that same wrong thing again if given the right circumstances? Yes, part of being human is being weak, and making mistakes, but that’s no excuse for willingly doing something you know and admit is wrong. If you’re truly sorry, you will resolve not to repeat the same mistake. And maybe you’ll fall short and make the same mistake again, but the point is to do everything you possibly can do to avoid making that same mistake. But I don’t get that impression from Walter.

          Walter has seen the consequences of his actions, none of which are insignificant. Yet he would still be willing to ignore all that and do it all over again, despite the damage he’s caused? Even if you overlook the whole part of how much he loved Peter and couldn’t let him die, the least he could do would be to say he’d be able to not kidnap Peter if given the choice again. There was no way to justify that he kept Peter except for the fact that he couldn’t let him go again. And that’s just not right. I sympathize for the position Walter was in, but I can’t necessarily be forgiving of his actions when that is still his attitude.

          It was also mentioned further down in the comments that it’s possible that not everything is all Walter’s fault. Personally, I don’t want that to be the case. They’ve established very clearly that it’s theoretically possible for one person crossing over to cause all that damage, as well as the fact that Walter was well aware of the risks when he crossed over. Not to sound harsh, but I think Walter deserves every bit of guilt he has felt in the aftermath of his actions. Of course I also believe that despite all that he caused, he can still be forgiven and learn from those experiences. But it just wouldn’t feel right if they suddenly “redeemed” Walter to a certain extent by revealing that it wasn’t all due to him crossing over, after all.

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          • Jodie says

            MLJ, Of course, your right, Walter’s speech to Peter would mean nothing if he continues on his reckless course of action. If you ask forgiveness, but then continue doing the same things over and over again, then you are not redeemed. We’ve seen Walter begin to take steps toward accepting responsibility for his actions way back in S1 (“Unleashed”) and he continued in “Johari Window” and “The Bishop Revival.” Walter can’t go back to change anything: he took Peter, he cured Peter, and he kept Peter. Saying that he would do it all differently if he had the chance is just a cheap shot. It means nothing. All he can do is go forward and prove to Peter that he will try to change. I think that what Walter is asking Peter to do is to give him that opportunity – time to prove that he has changed. If Walter continues to act irresponsibly, then Peter will not forgive him. Peter shouldn’t. My purpose with the statement that I made above was to point out that simply to dismiss Walter’s apology because he didn’t say that he would do things differently was really missing the point. Walter is wise enough to know that saving Peter was just too big a deal.

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            • number six says

              Saying that he would do it all differently if he had the chance is just a cheap shot. It means nothing.
              And it would be a lie. Remember that he wrote in White Tuilp, that there was nothing he wouldn’t do for Peter. I love Walter’s honesty here. Saying that he wouldn’t make the same choice would have been a shallow attempt to make himself look good, without actually doing anything to redeem himself.

              When it comes to Peter, Walter is selfish and weak, so maybe he will never redeem himself in that respect, but that doesn’t make me love him less, quite the opposite. Walter is one of my favorite characters ever and it’s not because his nature is to be good or brave or do the right thing. He’s the most human, compelling and multidimensional characters on TV and I hope they don’t change him much for the sake of making him a good person or redemption.

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  12. mlj102 says

    Roco, I may not always agree with the stance you take on certain issues, but I do love your reviews. I think it’s really great how you don’t shy away from pointing out the things you saw that you really disliked, but you also manage to find some really positive things to discuss, too. It always makes me look at the episode in a new way. I definitely think your reviews are some of the best, most substantial ones out there.

    “What is particularly great about their dynamic is that it mirrors the rivalry that Newton has with Olivia.”

    I hadn’t thought about that, but I really like that observation. I wonder if part of the contempt Newton has for alternate Olivia is based on his previous experiences with our Olivia… or maybe it’s the other way around. Did Newton even know alternate Olivia before she showed up over on our side?

    “The fact is, whenever I’m reminded of just how little romantic chemistry Peter has with either Olivia, the more I realize…the actual characterization of this ‘love’ just doesn’t hold weight.”

    I think that’s the case right now because it’s not the right Olivia. Alternate Olivia just isn’t the same as our Olivia, so to have her and Peter in a relationship when they certainly haven’t done anything to earn it and Peter thinks it’s the other Olivia, of course it’s going to feel off and not right. I don’t think we can judge the Peter/Olivia relationship based on what we see between Peter/alternate Olivia. Honestly, I don’t see all that “instinctive attraction” Josh Jackson has been going on and on about.

    “An episode about a desirable object buried underground and no Molebaby? What kind of madness is this!”

    You just couldn’t help yourself, could you? At least molebaby was there in memory… that’s got to count for something, right? You know, you keep talking about molebaby like this, I think TPTB are bound to come up with a “return of molebaby” episode, just for you…

    “This is partly why I was so disappointed last season when Olivia decided to collude with Walter by lying to Peter. Not just because it harmed the integrity of her character, but because it was the wrong thing to do. It was a lie driven by self-interest.”

    Can you truly say with certainty that not telling Peter the truth was the wrong thing for Olivia to do? I agree that she owed him the truth and that I would have preferred to have her tell him the truth. But she was in a very difficult situation there… One could say that she was in a position where “the only choices she had left were bad ones.” Who’s to say that it wouldn’t have been “wrong” if she’d went ahead and told Peter the truth? In some ways, I believe that would have been the right thing for her to do, but in other ways, I think it could be considered wrong. We saw how difficult it was for her to make that decision. I don’t know if I can think of another time when she was that consumed by something and that torn between what to do. She truly had to fight to make that choice, and even then, she wasn’t happy. And given her position, I think that whatever choice she made, she wouldn’t have been happy.

    I also have to say that I disagree with your point that her decision to keep the secret was driven by her own self-interest. You seem to have decided that that conclusion was confirmed in Over There, when she told Peter he had to come back because he belonged with her. But I don’t think those two topics are necessarily related. When she told him he belonged with her, she wasn’t justifying why she kept the secret, but she was telling him why he should come back. She was making an argument that he DID belong on one of the sides. I think that’s a different issue from why she should or shouldn’t tell Peter the truth. Certainly, I think her self-interest and her fear of losing Peter was part of her choice to keep the secret — that may have even been the deciding factor for her. But I think it’s ultimately unfair to claim that her decision was a completely selfish one. I have no doubt that she considered many other issues in making that decision. I’m not saying Olivia is without fault, but I do think she deserves a bit of slack, especially in this instance. I think she did the best she could have after finding herself in that difficult position.

    “The distinction between (if not fusion of) knowledge and wisdom is an important one. Interesting that Bell hopes for Walter’s forgiveness, especially in light of Walter’s own struggles in that department.”

    Two very good points. I too had picked up on that line about knowledge and wisdom and how there’s a distinction between the two. I think it’s particularly interesting in how it relates to Walter because I don’t think anyone doubts that he possesses a great deal of knowledge — he’s a brilliant scientist, after all. But just how wise is he? I believe wisdom comes from what you learn from all that knowledge and it’s shown in how you use that knowledge. That said, I think Walter has gained a great deal of wisdom, but I also think he still has a lot to learn.

    As for the forgiveness aspect, I agree that it’s an interesting shift in roles for Walter to be the one who needs to be willing to forgive, just as he has so desperately sought forgiveness for the things he acknowledges he has done wrong. I like that they have put him so he can see both perspectives of that particular issue, and I think it shows very well how those who seek forgiveness in their own lives need to first be willing to extend that forgiveness to those around them. In Bishop Revival, Walter was very upset that Peter had sold his books, and despite Peter’s sincere apology, he refused to forgive him until he had time to heal from the hurt Peter had caused him, and until Peter had earned that forgiveness by doing all he could to make up for what he’d done. I think it’s going to be the same thing now that Walter desires Peter’s forgiveness: it’s going to take time for Peter to recover from the knowledge of what Walter did, and Walter is going to have to earn it. As Peter said, it would have been very simple for him to tell Walter that everything was all right and for them to move on. But that would be dishonest because he’s not able to move past it yet… That’s going to take more time.

    “Poor woman, instead of overseeing advancements in time-travel, she’ll be overseeing chocolate-making cows.”

    Classic example of your humor at its best!

    “Now here’s my biggest problem with Walter in this episode. It comes in this conversation with Peter”

    That scene was also my biggest objection towards Walter in this episode. But for me, it came slightly earlier when Walter said, “I always told Belly that we couldn’t cross over, that it was far too dangerous. When I saw that you were dying too, and that I was the only one who could save you…” That whole concept really rubbed me the wrong way. I understand that he only wanted to save Peter from dying, and he had good intentions and all. But he was also extremely selfish and arrogant in what he did, ignoring all the risks, crossing to the other side, then bringing Peter back here, and ultimately choosing to keep him, lying to alternate Elizabeth in the process. But his little speech there paints himself in the best possible way. It was all Belly’s fault for always encouraging him to cross over. He had resisted that temptation before, but this time he couldn’t. He only wanted to save Peter’s life. He has conveniently left out anything that indicates just how stubborn he was when he decided to cross over. While thoughtful, it was also a very selfish act, ignoring the well-being of everyone else except for how much HE needed his alternate son to survive. And that was very irresponsible of him. So it really bugged me when he was saying all that and defending his actions, and I was actually quite glad that Peter called him out on that.

    “But Is Olivia capable of Altlivia’s level of disconnect? I’d say yes – under the ‘right’ circumstances, but naturally..emotionally, it would be much harder for her to reach such extremes.”

    You think? I disagree. Sure, Olivia can threaten people and can be very persuasive when it comes to getting the cooperation she needs. But I think she draws the line at killing someone. Especially an innocent person. If the roles were reversed and she were told to kill someone from the other side just because they happened to see too much, or be in the wrong place at the wrong time, I don’t think she could go through with it. I think of Bad Dreams, and how she was in a situation where there were several lives at stake, and she had Nick Lane specifically asking her to kill him, but she couldn’t do it. If she couldn’t kill Nick in that situation, I don’t think there’s any way she could kill a person in the way alternate Olivia did in this episode.

    “Altlivia defends Walter – something Olivia herself would do.”

    I really liked that little conversation. There was something very ironic in the way that Peter was telling her about how she had no idea what things were like on the other side and what Walter did to that side when he crossed over, when in reality, she likely knows much better than he does just what the consequences were for Walter’s actions. And in that moment, one could say she was almost forced into looking at the situation from the other perspective. Considering all that Walternate has drilled into her regarding our side and how we’re monsters and can’t be trusted and such, it was very interesting to hear her defend Walter and say how he couldn’t have known what would happen. I wonder if she really thought about what she was saying there. Did she truly believe what she was saying?

    “I mean, when Olivia says she’s scared, she means it, because either Peter’s glimmering or a building is about to arrive from the alternate universe.”

    Well said! Honestly, that moment alone should have been more than enough reason for Peter to doubt that she is really our Olivia. As you say, Peter has seen Olivia when she’s scared and completely vulnerable, and when you compare those moments to the way alternate Olivia said that right there, it made her comment about being scared seem almost laughable. But she didn’t stop there. She continued to send off red flags by going on about “distractions” and “temporary fixes.” And those concepts are very unlike Olivia. She doesn’t believe in ignoring the problem or pretending it doesn’t exist — she faces her problems head on and solves them. And Peter knows that. So that scene alone is enough to make me feel like he has no reason to not be at least suspicious of alternate Olivia.

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  13. number six says

    I have seen a few complaints on Walter being over the top and I agree to some extent. He told a couple of unnecessary jokes too many, but they didn’t bug me much. This has been done in the past, too. Whenever his relationship with Peter is strained or is in danger, he reverts to his crazier state. I also thought that the Olivianess in “Olivia” was way over the top, both in writing and in acting, to the point of being distracting, but I understand, why they did it… and it worked.

    Other than the one-dimensionality of Altlivia, which I hope will be solved in future episodes, I have no major complaints. She just needs to stop smirking like an idiot and I won’t even care if she kills in cold blood again. Just stop the smugness. We get it, she’s not gloomy. So Peter’s choice is between cold but happy or cold and gloomy? Oy!

    I was prepared to rag on our team for not noticing Altlivia’s strange behavior, but I can’t, because Peter did notice. He has no reason yet to make the conclusion, that this is not his Olivia, but he’s noticing the evidence and that’s good enough for me… for now. The most telling difference, the “I’m scared” line was duly noted, judging by the cold look he gave her. But I won’t hold him to the standards of a viewer, that knows that they made a switch in the finale, because that would be unfair. And I won’t hold him to the standards of 2 lines of him noticing differences between the Olivias, because they were written, before they decided on the format of S3.

    Right now Peter has too many issues to focus on, so Altlivia will have it easier to fool him. Let’s not forget that he only has her to talk to, since he can’t trust Walter, who, in my opinion, is the most important person in his life. It’s a recipe for disaster, because he’ll blame himself if she manages to deceive him. Which is unfair, because he would be the victim here. But what about Broyles and Walter? I think it will all depend on the time she spends over here, the longer Altlivia stays, the more clues she’ll drop here and there. It’s been just 2 days and they’re all still dealing with the fact, that Walternate plans to destroy our universe, but Broyles should notice something soon enough, he doesn’t have the excuse of being in love.

    As for the seduction scene, besides Altlivia’s stupid decision to let Peter in, I liked it. Yes, it was hot, but for the wrong reasons: 2 pretty people making out. But it proved Joshua Jackson wrong, because his chemistry with Olivia is far greater, they don’t need to kiss, they just need to look at each other and sparks fly. That doesn’t mean I want Olivia with Peter yet, because, as I’ve said in previous posts, I think her depressing personality would bring him down eventually, which I’d hate, and because she hasn’t sold me her being in love with Peter yet.

    Newton was the highlight of the Altlivia/Newton scenes for me. Something tells me that there will be a power struggle between those two. I expect Newton to lose, but if he’s killed off, I hope it’s in style.

    Walter is still blaming others for his own decisions, first it was Elizabeth and now it’s William Bell. I love it, because this is his character. He’s still deflecting responsibility, but the fact that a simple apology is not enough for Peter to forgive him, will make Walter realize that he has work to fix the damage he’s done to Peter, to Olivia and to the alternate universe.

    I loved Astrid prodding Walter to go beyond his fear and face Peter. She will probably be his only moral support now that he doesn’t have Peter. She didn’t see the consequences of Walter’s kidnapping, so it’s easier for her to dismiss them, as she is speaking from ignorance. However, I think Walter needs someone, that is not involved in the emotional mess, that is the Walter/Peter relationship.

    Peter is understandably not ready to listen to Walter yet and I love him for it. That was a wonderfully acted scene by both actors, they really bring the best off each other.

    As superb as John Noble’s acting was, my favorite characters in this episode were Peter and Newton by far.


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    • mlj102 says

      “That doesn’t mean I want Olivia with Peter yet, because, as I’ve said in previous posts, I think her depressing personality would bring him down eventually”

      I’m sorry, but I have to completely disagree with this statement. Olivia may not be as cheerful and bubbly as alternate Olivia is, but she is not depressing. Poor word choice, in my opinion. Depressing would be for someone like Eeyore — always looking for and expecting the worst, always pointing out the things that go wrong, always a sort of wet blanket. And that is not Olivia. Quite the opposite, I think Olivia is a person with a lot of hope. She believes she can defeat the awful things that she is faced with. She believes there is a reason to keep trying. A depressing person wouldn’t have any reason to keep trying like that. Depressing also seems to indicate that she’s focused only on herself, but that’s not the case, either. Olivia is constantly thinking of the well-being of others around her over her own needs. Olivia’s been through a lot, and she is serious, but she’s not depressing.

      “We get it, she’s not gloomy. So Peter’s choice is between cold but happy or cold and gloomy?”

      Similar idea here. I think it’s a bit harsh to describe Olivia as cold and gloomy. Olivia is perfectly capable of being happy, light-hearted, laughing at a joke, even making a joke herself. She’s just not as “in your face” about it as alternate Olivia is. Given what she’s experienced and what she’s up against in practically every episode, it would actually bother me to see her as relaxed and carefree and happy as alternate Olivia is. That kind of attitude would seem to indicate that she takes her job lightly and that she is not really concerned with what’s going on. I like that Olivia’s attitude reflects the seriousness of what she’s doing. It shows that she takes her job seriously and she is determined. And I think it’s pretty shortsighted or narrowminded (not trying to be insulting or rude by saying that) to describe Olivia as simply depressing and gloomy, because she’s so much more than that. That would be like saying Peter is nothing more than a sarcastic babysitter, or Walter is only crazy.

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      • number six says

        I used depressing as synonym of gloomy, but I accept your correction. In that sense, she’s not depressing.

        As for the second part, I’m informed by what has been shown in the show. If she looks gloomy most of the time, I’ll describe her as gloomy. I never said she didn’t have her reasons, because that would be untrue and I never said she’s incapable of being lighthearted, because the pilot episode showed the opposite. However, I doubt that, at this point, Olivia would be good for Peter, not because she lacks qualities (please!), but because he mostly knows her serious side and her issues. As the last episode showed, after 2 years, he doesn’t know, what music she likes. And I can’t stress this enough, as trivial as it looks, it’s an important detail, because that’s one of the first things you know about a friend or even a colleague. The lighthearted part, the little fun things have to be there or the relationship becomes a black hole. At this point, I have no idea if she would bring some “light” into their relationship. Who knows? Maybe Peter will become more like her, when he discovers he’s been betrayed again, but I would hate this.

        Right now, I’m not convinced they would work as a couple. And believe me, I want to be convinced of the contrary, because I think they are wonderful characters and they would be great together with a little tweaking (on certain aspects of him, too, mind you, like his tendency to run away).

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  14. LizW65 says

    “Walter, Peter and Altlivia have been back for two days. This suggests that the events Over Here are indeed happening parallel to the events Over There. The previous episode implied that Olivia had been captured 2 days ago.”

    Gotta disagree with this one. I think it’s clear that a LOT more time has passed in the AU than Over Here. Did you see the needle tracks on Olivia’s arms? It’s clear she’s been there for a while–unless they’ve been injecting her about a dozen times a day, at which point they might as well just insert an IV and be done with it. Also, her remark, “Is it dinner time yet?” suggests she’s been there long enough to settle into a familiar routine.

    Random idea here: during the scene at the bar, when Peter tells Alt-Liv the following: “The more I think about being over there, the less real it seems. But you, you still feel real,” could this possibly be his indirect way of telling her that he already KNOWS she’s the alternate Olivia? (i.e. the only “real” thing to have come out of the AU.) It just seems so oddly worded, the more I think about it…I mean, why tell somebody that she “feels” real? Why not say, “You ARE real?” Thoughts?

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    • mlj102 says

      “could this possibly be his indirect way of telling her that he already KNOWS she’s the alternate Olivia? (i.e. the only “real” thing to have come out of the AU.) It just seems so oddly worded, the more I think about it…I mean, why tell somebody that she “feels” real? Why not say, “You ARE real?” Thoughts?”

      I really like where you’re going with this. I agree that it seems odd for him to say she still feels real when, as far as he knows, she’s always been real. He’s talking about things from the other side seeming less real to him, so it is a reasonable step to think he’s saying that she’s one thing from the other side that still seems real, implying that he knows that she’s actually from Over There.

      On the other hand, it could be that he’s referring to the experience on the other side as a whole that is starting to feel less real. Like it’s one of those experiences that, after it has happened, it almost feels more like a dream than something that could have possibly really happened. If that’s what he’s saying there, then his comment about her still feeling real is more normal because he’s saying that everything that happened over there seems less real, yet them being together, which she initiated while they were on the other side, still seems real, which serves as his remaining proof that the experience over there was real, even though it doesn’t necessarily still feel real. Did that make sense?

      I do like your interpretation, though, and I hope that it’s right. I think it would be neat if they ultimately reveal that Peter suspects all along that it’s not the right Olivia. I think that could be a neat twist and the kind of thing that makes us want to rewatch all the episodes again and we see it from a very different perspective.

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  15. says

    Has anyone seen my colleague-Observer in this episode? Have looked twice, maybe he’s still ‘over there’… I’ll give him a call (dial RED-RED-RED-GREEN).

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    • Andyy says

      He can be seen entering the station just when Newton leaves it (after he left the box with Eric).

      So I would suspect, that observers are immun against the sound emissions of the box. And personally I think Peter is immun, too. He can operate the machine, so why should the sound kill him? And after seeing Altlivia risking her own life to save him, I don’t think, that she would take any risk in letting him work on it, if it’s dangerous for him. They need him to operate the doomsday machine.

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  16. Emily says

    i can completely understand why the bishops don’t suspect anything about Olivia. For them, it wouldn’t make sense that the olivia’s were switched; they thought that Bell was with her the whole time in Over There, Part 2. They didn’t know he got knocked out, and therefore they believe that there wasn’t even an oppurtunity that the Olivias were switched. As for the change in Olivia’s personality, I thought that Alt-ivia gave Peter a plausible enough explanation during the bar scene.
    Also, I have a hard time understanding why you prefer Olivia so much over Walter and Peter. To be honest, in order to fully enjoy the show, you have to want them to be all together. If I picked favorites in Fringe, I wouldn’t enjoy it as much; after all, it is a “family drama”.
    And for the record, I Peter and (our) Olivia are my favorite couple on TV. I know that they were great as friends, but really, the best romances come from the best friendships.
    Overall, I thought this episode was excellent. It set up situations that, as the season progresses, will bring the characters’ actions and emotions into a new light, and bring up new oppurtunites. Walter now has a great resource, Massive Dynamic. Astrid is becoming a greater friend to Walter, someone he can rely on when he doesn’t have Peter. Peter is going to feel incredibly guilty when he does find out he’s been with the wrong Olivia, which might set us up for a wonderful reunion.

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  17. Elaine says

    “Guys, This Is Not Our Livia.”

    Forgive my sarcasm, but, You don’t say?

    When was it decided that otherwise smart, strong characters aren’t supposed to have weaknesses, or moments when the obvious (from the audiences perspective) isn’t so obvious right away? I consider these characters to be fully realized. Some better than others, yes, but as fully realized characters, they have flaws and shortcomings. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve yet to see Altivia behave in a way that’s so far out of character for Olivia that any of them would be second guessing that she isn’t whom she claims to be. That being said, we have seen our characters, Peter primarily question Altlivia’s behavior a bit. Given that her excuses were plausible, I can see how the jump from, ‘She’s acting a bit different to—holy chocolate milk producing cow, we brought back the wrong Olivia!’ would be a large one for any of them to make…at this point.

    “The Altlivia/Peter situation.”

    I hope I’m understanding you correctly when you say you’re just not feeling the sexual chemistry between the actors thus the characters too as being your reason for not liking their romantic pairing. That I can appreciate…even agree with to a certain extent, because I personally don’t feel they have the most undeniable romantic/sexual chemistry on either front. However, I do feel they have enough to make the attraction and the foward progression of a romantic relationship believable. The whole Olivia switcheroo aside, I’m looking foward to seeing how our Olivia and Peter interact with one another once her alternate is discovered and they’re reunited. Will Peter carry a great deal of guilt for not noticing realizing he’s been drawing closer to the wrong woman? Will Olivia be in such a psychological state she’s even more withdrawn than she’s been in the past after her experience in the altverse? Will Peter feel torn between his feelings for both women, and maybe, if Olivia returns still carrying aspects of her dopplegangers behavior and mannerisms with her, will he be unprepared on how to deal with her? Or will he be so immersed in the doomsday device, he’ll shut her out?

    “So hearing him all but admit that he would probably do the same thing again, particularly in light of the box symbolism of this episode, I find that pretty disturbing, and it’s a huge blow to my ability to like the character. That being said, he does cite a lack of ‘strength’ and not wisdom as being his potential downfall, so I do still have some sympathy with him in that regard. I also accept the fact that he now knows that what he did was wrong. But ultimately it’s about choices, and today I am far from convinced that Walter would be able to break free of the cycle and make that change.”

    But isn’t this exactly what makes watching Walter’s journey all the more relatable and enjoyable?

    Walter is deeply flawed. We’ve known that from the beginning of the series. His guilt over taking Peter, his arrogance and disregard for the consequences in doing so have haunted him throughout. The effects of his actions are still resonating throughout two universes. We’ve watched him regress at moments, as well as take huge steps foward, but seeking redemption for ones past actions isn’t a paint by the numbers situation. We’re not meant to like everything they say or do in getting there.

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve felt no particular compulsion to judge any of the characters actions. Maybe that comes from doing so in watching ‘Lost’, which eventually led to be holding a disdain towards some of the characters and the writers alike. I may not always agree with what they do, but I try to keep it in perspective of the story that’s being told.

    Looking foward to reading your Observations for ‘The Box’.

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  18. YourPique says

    Short comment – after Olivia gives Aspirin the out-of-place “hi,” Walter asks if she needs anything from the market.

    Imagine watching one of your longtime heros act like a child all of a sudden – this must be what it’s like for Bolivia to see our Walter. The look that she gives him after that question is completely “are you for real??”

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    • FinChase says

      I noticed that look too! She was really startled. Her reaction reminded me of some of Olivia’s from the first season before she started learning how to “take” Walter’s weird behavior.

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  19. BklynBetty says

    Hi Fringeblogger regulars – I’m pretty new here – and actually to blogging/commenting in general – so, I don’t exactly know what I’m doing, but I thought i would give it a try because I really love this show and have been really dependent on this site since I found it (which was only 2 weeks ago give or take). If my etiquette is off in any way – please, let me know!

    I’m not sure who suggested it – but someone speculated that the Observers may have hidden pieces of ‘The Machine’ on ‘Our’ Side. Given that they allowed themselves to interfere by making Walter promise to never let Peter return to ‘his’ side, and then following this up by leaving the prophecy for Olivia – it’s obvious that they appear to have an interest in stopping the prophecy of the machine from coming true. Could they have hidden it? But, how was it found then?

    Do they have a ‘window’ into our Universe like Walter did? Is Altivia their “window”? Do they want to watch Peter recreate the machine one piece at a time so that they can recreate it on their side? Since they now know that he won’t do their work for them on their side? if that’s true – then, is their an entire machine hidden on Our side?

    Second- In defense of the Peter/Olivia relationship:

    The practical reasons.
    Olivia. Olivia is all about her devotion to her work. It’s very difficult to meet people when you work 80 hours weeks, are ‘on-call’ so to speak 24 hours a day. Her closest relationships have all been work-related – with the possible exception of Ella (who is kind of her escape from FD). Her relationship with Rachel is somewhat distant, if only because Olivia doesn’t spend as much time with her (Lord knows even when Olivis IS home half the time Rachel seems to be mysteriously or conveniently ‘away’) and can’t talk to her about most of things that she sees every day. She already has the precedent of having been romantically involved with her former partner, John Scott.

    Peter. Peter has spent most if not all of his adult life running. He has, presumably, never stayed in one place long enough to really become involved in someone else’ life. Suddenly he sees Olivia everyday. They are thrown together in a situation which, at least at first, he feels compelled to be in and cannot run from. He cannot help but become involved in her life and her work.

    The Personal Reasons.
    I am of the opinion that beyond shared musical tastes and whatnot, fundamentally we gravitate towards people from whom we (consciously or subconsciously *need* something from.
    I think that Peter represents Safety and Reassurance. he is always making comments about how ‘she isn’t alone in this’ or ‘who takes care of you’. He’s protective over her. It’s his protectiveness that allows her to feel her vulnerability. In this sense, she *needs* him in a very real way in order to feel fear and to activate her ability. It isn’t enough that he is there to ‘translate’ Walter-speak – she needs to be close to him. Perhaps, she knows this on an sub-conscious level.
    Also, he maintains his humor – which can usually make her smile (the notable exception being the episode which referenced her step-father), and serves as a compliment to her seriousness.
    To Peter Olivia is an extension of his new found ‘Stability’. She is become family and that is what Little Peter has wanted for as long as he can remember. After getting over his initial urge to run, his instinct is to hold onto that as tightly as he can, and that may naturally spill over into romantic feelings. Her selflessness and passion inspires him and represents those aspects of himself that he largely repressed as a con-man who always looks out for himself first.

    I think their attraction is based on their respective fundamental characters. To trust and to ‘love’ someone you don’t need to know about their musical tastes, you need to know what *kind* of person they really are, at the core.
    Their ‘chemistry’ has always been more apparent in the smaller moments. One of my favorites is in ‘What Lies Below’ when Peter is softly confronting Olivia about not calling Rachel. The way he looks at her and Olivia’s evasiveness under his gaze appears to me to be a very loaded moment – his admiration is very apparent. Every time I watch that scene and Peter says, “I thought that was the point of having people you care about in your life; to have someone to talk to when you’re scared.” I feel like her unstated response is, “That’s what you are for”. But, that could just be me. :)

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    • number six says

      Very nicely put, thank you!

      Commenting on the Observers question, they can move between universes, so they don’t need a window.

      Altlivia doesn’t have the ability to move between universes like Olivia and I doubt the Observers are interested in her.

      It’s possible that the Observers have hidden pieces of the machine, since their non-interference policy has been broken before, but I don’t think they did. Peter is important to them (Olivia and Walter, too), but I don’t know if it’s only because of the machine or if their interest goes beyond that.

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    • pumpkin says

      Welcome to Fringe! I like your reasoning on the Olive/Peter relationship and this site really is the best – it helps me to uncover the story and characters in a way i never would have otherwise. Thanks Roco :)

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      • BklynBetty says

        Thank you both for the comments and the welcome!

        This site is great, from Roco on down and definitely challenges me to delve more deeply into the symbolism and philosophy of the show. Having all these differing perspectives has made being a Fringe fan an infinitely more rewarding experience! And it helps pass the days from one Thursday to another, although it may damage my productivity levels 😉

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    • jade86 says

      “I’m not sure who suggested it – but someone speculated that the Observers may have hidden pieces of ‘The Machine’ on ‘Our’ Side. Given that they allowed themselves to interfere by making Walter promise to never let Peter return to ‘his’ side, and then following this up by leaving the prophecy for Olivia – it’s obvious that they appear to have an interest in stopping the prophecy of the machine from coming true. Could they have hidden it? But, how was it found then?”

      If the Observers have hidden the peaces of the machine, probably because their interest is to protect the prophecy because they knew that walternate wants the machine to destroy our universe but the prophecy have other positive meanings. So they have to protect the prophecy and peter too.

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      • Ann_Louise says

        Hello Bklyn Betty!

        I can’t decide if it’s the Observers or the First People who left the machinery Over Here. IIRC, the Observers aren’t the First People (?), but we’ve seen them on the show. If the Machine is, as Walternate says “very old tech” I’m leaning towards the First People sprikling Machine parts across dimensions.

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  20. aci79 says

    “It’s interesting that the show has decided to keep us guessing as to whether Newton himself is a shapeshifter or a human.” – Roco

    I thought they defined him as a shapeshifter when they re-attached his head to a body. Unless you can have mercury in your body without being a shapeshifter, especially that he hasn’t changed apperance since we’ve known him. I’m very interested in knowing more about the shapeshifter and/or other similar technology that the other side have; how Newton knows so much about everything and how he became/chosen to be somewhat a leader. Or did I miss that in past episodes?

    Somehow, I am still not 100% convinced that Walter’s Sole Action is what caused the destructions on the other side. Why is the other side in worse condition than over here? They somehow are so much more knowledgeable about what is going on in comparison to our government over here.

    If Walternate was never interrupted by the Observer and was able to heal Peter, would Walter still cross over and take Peter?

    Maybe he does need to redeem himself for what he has done, and it aggrevates me that he always refer every experiments as “Bellie’s”, it was Bellie’s idea, Bellie did this, Bellie did that. But he does have selective memory loss from some part of his brain being taken out of his head. With what he has left, I think he should be focusing on experiments that may help with the bigger picture “the universes conflict”, the other side has definitely been working very hard at it. Before he becomes older and crazier.

    Walter, Peter and supposedly Olivia have seen the other side and why are we still moving so slow with things? Then.. Olivia isn’t obssessed with figuring things out any longer, taking the back seat, it is just unreal. She’s acting like Peter’s girlfriend instead of the lead FBI Agent. She came to the lab just to pick up Peter to go to the bar? They need to wake up soon and realize that things just ain’t right!! They just got back? What? The other side is certainly not wasting their time. The real Olivia has been drugged, interrogated, chased, shooting and explosions. I thought everything was pretty intense on this side until I see what’s up on the other side.

    C’mon guys, lets get into MD and use their resources to figure this whole thing out. Maybe if everyone put their mind together you can find another way around the end of the world.

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    • Ann_Louise says

      “Somehow, I am still not 100% convinced that Walter’s Sole Action is what caused the destructions on the other side.”

      ITA! Personally, I would love it (plot-wise) if the damage caused Over There is due partially to Walter’s crossing over at Raiden Lake, and also due to Walternate’s reaction. Is Over There more fragile, and is damaged when it’s residents cross dimensions? Personally, I’d like that more than It’s All Walter’s Fault.

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      • fringefan2009 says

        That’s an interesting theory. What if Walter did take Peter, and it resulted in some consequences, but it was Walternate’s retaliation that caused a greater problem. Walternate, shifts all the blame to Walter.

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  21. Ann_Louise says

    As usual Roco, the amount of detail and analysis in your review is great. While I do disagree with your views on certain characters (cough*Walter*cough), you present your views concisely. Thank you again.

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  22. Rich says

    Roco, has anyone contemplated the notion that the car accident in which Alternate Bell died was actually the car that emerged from the alternate universe when Bell and Walter sent their car over? Is it possible that Alt-Bell is fused into the statue outside the lab at Harvard?

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  23. jrich says

    anybody notice that the homeless guy from the train station somehow wandered down the track after opening the box and killing everyone on the platform?
    but if he hadnt opened it before goin down the track, then the range of the box was able to kill everyone on the platform anyway. so how did the fringe team not DIE? ):D

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  24. kittyofdoom says

    No one’s mentioned this so I’m wondering if I’m just missing an obvious point, but couldn’t there be a complete version of the Machine Over Here as well as Over There? Why would it exist in only one universe? Or would that make it way too coincidental that the piece they just found is one of the ones missing from Over There?

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      • Catherine says

        Yes, I’m a bit confused about the “machine.” At first, in “Over There,” I thought that William Bell had created the thing and “programmed it” (for lack of a better word at the moment) to Peter’s genetic code. “The Box,” however, made me think that there are two machines (one in each universe), and that the “First People” (whoever they are) developed it. (That would be “old tech” all right.) But how in the world would “First People” have Peter’s genetic code? Hmmm, quite a conundrum.

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        • number six says

          If I remember correctly, Nina said that the machine in the drawing was William’s design, but he never built it. I think that’s rather odd.

          But how in the world would “First People” have Peter’s genetic code?
          I can’t wait till this is explained.

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  25. BklynBetty says

    * How accurate is Walter’s memory/re-telling of the events surrounding Peter’s kidnapping when Olivia is surprised to learn that Walter nicknamed his Double, Walternate? Shouldn’t she already know this – like we do – from the episode, “Peter”? Is this evidence that the Fringe narrator (whoever it is) is not as reliable as they seem? There are several other simple explanations, but I find the idea intriguing nonetheless. (Roco’s review of Over There Part 2)

    I was just re-watching – and Olivia also forgets that William Bell didn’t open MD in the AU. I checked the scene in OTpt2 at the AU KFC (so many letters!), and she was sitting right there when Bell tells Walter that he didn’t, and yet she looks for it in ‘Olivia’. Her forgetting once strikes a discordant note – but, forgetting a detail like that twice?
    Can it be a mistake Twice(!) on the part of the writers? Or is there something else going on here? I know that the second time she was juiced up on fake memories and adrenaline, but the first instance definitely predated that.

    Sorry that this post isn’t about ‘The Box’, but I was wondering if anyone else had noticed the two instances taken together or if I am tilting at windmills?

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    • number six says

      Yeah, I noticed this. It was very strange, but maybe Olivia thought Altnina could have founded a similar company over there. Other than this, I got nothing.

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  26. Kate says

    Great review, but I’m not sure I agree with you about Walter and what he says to Peter. I think that it’s a step forward for him to recognize that he would make that choice again. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it shows he genuinely cares about Peter and wouldn’t want to see him suffer no matter the reality.

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    • Catherine says

      Indeed, love is a powerful emotion…and the love of a parent for his/her child, more powerful still. I would move heaven and earth, if possible, to save my son. Walter, I think, can’t separate the two Peters easily. They are both his sons now. I totally understand Walter when he says that he doubts that he’d be strong enough to act differently even understanding the consequences of his crossing over. Not evil, human.

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      • BklynBetty says

        I agree. And, to say that he would not have done it, would be to say if he had to do it all over again he would have let Peter die – which, whatever Peter is going through – you don’t want to hear that the father you have known most of your life has now thinks that he should have let you die – and there’s no way Walter could bring himself to say that or mean it at any rate. It would have been disingenuous.

        Or is it that he shouldn’t have taken him.
        Or is it that he hastened the decay of the AU.

        Even if Walter had returned Peter after curing him, the damage to that world would already have been done – and perhaps made worse by a second crossing over.
        Peter feels bad about the state of the AU – but, he never says, ‘you should have let me die.” He says, ‘you took me from my family, from my home…” But, he never actually says ‘you should have returned me’ because that would be an implicit acceptance of Walter’s crossing over to save his life (and all the damage that it caused). Peter is angry – but, he can’t quite say that he regrets being alive anymore than Walter can regret saving him.

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  27. matt says

    As far as I can remember Olivia has talked to herself in small bouts throughout the show hasn’t she?

    Also, It seems I am in the third universe holding a Walter bias (hey maybe there’s something there? three leads, three universes? one colour for each?)

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    • Ann_Louise says

      Red = Peter “Over There”
      Blue = Walter “Over Here”
      Yellow = Olivia “The Bridge” – between these two worlds?

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      • BklynBetty says

        I love that meaning for yellow! Maybe – maybe, in the AU yellow also represents characters that will be sympathetic to and help Our Olivia. Henry drives a yellow cab, and even though the front door to ‘Mom’s’ house is red – the inside is painted yellow (although, what it means that she had initially wanted to paint it blue – i don’t know).

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  28. Melissa says

    Don’t they need Peter Over There? Ya know, to turn on their machine? She probably has direct orders to keep him alive.

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  29. says

    Everyone has left great comments and I don’t have too much to add. Although there were two more incidents I noticed where Altlivia slipped up and no one mentioned it. First, when they go to the house to investigate, while they are still upstairs, she says, “Where are the men that tied them up?” How did she know they were men or that there was more than one man? And, on a side note, I love her creeped out look when she first came upon that scene. I get the distinct impression that the OU Fringe team doesn’t investigate as many weird and gruesome events that the team over here does, apparently because this universe is the testing ground of that universe. So they don’t run into all the cool stuff that they do over hear on a daily basis.

    And the second slip is when Peter comes over right after she stupidly shot that guy. She tells him she’s just getting out of the shower. She comes back with wet hair but full make-up on? And speaking of makeup, hasn’t anyone noticed that she’s always got make-up on and never has her hair pulled back?? That’s not Olivia at all.

    But I have to say that Anna Torv is doing an amazing job of playing the two Olivias! I totally buy her as Altlivia from all the nuances, the way she talks, the way she walks (struts) into a room, her glances…it’s all so well done that I totally buy that this isn’t our Olivia. I wonder if the writers are going to have the two Olivias become so much alike that we won’t be able to tell them apart. Olivia has morphed into Altlivia and Altlivia is trying her best to be like Olivia. Could be an interesting storyline!

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    • number six says

      How did she know they were men or that there was more than one man?
      4 people had been tied up, so it’s logical that more than one person had done the job. It’s also a shorter way to ask than: Where are the men or women or where is the man or the woman…?

      hasn’t anyone noticed that she’s always got make-up on and never has her hair pulled back?? That’s not Olivia at all.
      Olivia does wear make up. The eyeliner is very noticeable in S2, but it is true, that it is more subtle than Altlivia’s. As for her hair, Olivia had her hair down for the most part of S1.

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      • says

        You’re right. I know that these are small things that could be explained away. But I just think they’re writing in a lot of inconsistencies so that the other characters will start to put together a pattern. All these little things can be pushed aside but when you hold them up side by side (as they did with that little video of Olivia and compare it to Altlivia) the differences are stark.

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        • number six says

          I agree with you, but then we are looking for differences, because we know the truth. The thing is that Peter is noticing the weirdness. It’s too soon and he’s too distracted by other things to connect the dots yet, but the differences are not unnoticed.

          Also, it’s been only two days, since they’ve been back. I know that for us it’s taking an eternity, because it’s weeks/months for us, but not for them.

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          • mlj102 says

            Personally, the fact that it has only been two days (supposedly) since their adventure on the other side, tells me that it should be even more obvious to Peter and the others that something isn’t right with Olivia. Alternate Olivia used the somewhat understandable excuse that being on the other side and meeting her double has caused her to rethink her life and to implement certain changes. But no one changes over night (or two nights or three nights), and certainly not in the drastic ways we’ve seen in how alternate Olivia is different from our Olivia. It’s just not practical. I could understand if Olivia met her double on the other side and it caused her to want to adjust the way she thinks or does things. But it wouldn’t be sudden and it wouldn’t touch on those fundamental aspects of who Olivia is. She wouldn’t just all of a sudden be carefree and bubbly and dancing and talking about distractions and temporary fixes. Those changes would be subtle and slow going.

            Also, if it’s only been two days, the difference should be very clear, much like we could immediately see the difference between alternate Olivia and our Olivia in the recording she was watching. Even if I was unaware of any switch, I would be able to tell from that one scene alone that we were dealing with two very different Olivias. Peter interacted with both Olivias — he was saw firsthand the ways in which they are different. And even if he’s not looking for differences like we are, he should see that the Olivia he’s been interacting with since they got back is a whole lot more like alternate Olivia than she’s like the Olivia he’s come to know and love over the past two years. Distractions or not, he went immediately from being with one Olivia to being with another Olivia, and those differences should be completely clear and not easily explained or dismissed. At the very least he should be extremely suspicious.

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            • says

              You are both right, I think. Yes, he is noticing the differences and just not connecting all the dots yet. Plus, he has been quite preoccupied what with being the powersource to the doomsday device, and all. But like you said, mlj the differences should be quite noticeable to everyone given that so short of time has passed. I think it will frustrate the viewers (especially the longtime fanbase) if they go too long without Peter, or anyone else for that matter, figuring out or at least highly suspecting the changes. I envision them having Peter looking at Altlivia from a distance with her in her “military” stance, hand clasping wrist in front of her, and him flashing back to her with red hair in over there in his apartment. And it will just hit him and all the pieces will fall into place. or not. :) Who knows what these writers will do. My hope, is that Sam is the one to figure it out.

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            • number six says

              But no one changes over night (or two nights or three nights), and certainly not in the drastic ways we’ve seen in how alternate Olivia is different from our Olivia. It’s just not practical. I could understand if Olivia met her double on the other side and it caused her to want to adjust the way she thinks or does things. But it wouldn’t be sudden and it wouldn’t touch on those fundamental aspects of who Olivia is. She wouldn’t just all of a sudden be carefree and bubbly and dancing and talking about distractions and temporary fixes. Those changes would be subtle and slow going.
              People do change overnight and drastically. It’s not like I’ve witnessed many cases, but they do happen and I’m including myself here. Whether those changes are long-lasting or not, it’s another matter. I’ve often compared this to the New Year’s resolutions, where people intend to change from their attitude to simply quit smoking. The usual thing is that, people commit to the changes fully, but as time goes by, those changes start to disappear, until they are no more. Sometime the changes stick, depending on the effort/reward ratio. Again, this is my experience, yours might be totally different, which shows that not everybody behaves the same way.

              Peter interacted with both Olivias — he was saw firsthand the ways in which they are different. And even if he’s not looking for differences like we are, he should see that the Olivia he’s been interacting with since they got back is a whole lot more like alternate Olivia than she’s like the Olivia he’s come to know and love over the past two years.
              How could he know, how alternate Olivia behaves? He only exchanged a couple of words with her. The only thing, that was really remarkable in their interactions was her line about being scared, which earned a hard look from him. Then Peter also has the problem, that he doesn’t know, how she behaves, when she’s happy and in a relationship. So, yes, he loves her, but between Altlivia’s excuse and his hope that she’s happy, because she loves him, I think it’s realistic, that he’s not connecting the dots yet. The same goes for the rest of the team. They should be suspicious of her soon, though. It will depend on how long they plan to stretch her stay over here.

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  30. Laura says

    Hi everybody,
    I watched the episode last night (watched it twice already), and I have to say…I missed “our” fringe team during the premiere. I really did.
    In my opinion the ep contains something really really good and, on the other hand, something really bad. I don’t know how to explain it better….
    For instance, Newton: brilliant character, he is able to suprise me every time. And all the dynamics developed around Bellie’s leaving will business. Good moments indeed (the hug between Nina and Walter had something special).
    What I didn’t like that much, was…ehm…Peter. I don’t know actually if is the character or the actor, but I think there’s something wrong with him. That’s it.
    Oh, and…..where the heck are the observers when people need them?? 😉
    I hope there will be more room for them in the next eps, over here or over there I don’t mind, it’s the same. I ‘m longing to see black hats around.
    I would have gone for a 9/10 …but hey…thank you as usual Roco!!

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  31. fedorafadares says

    Did anyone notice the tool Newton used to remove Altlivia’s tattoo: the weird laser knife from “Brown Betty.”


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  32. Hans says

    First post, but in terms of time moving differently on the other side… wouldn’t that mean people aged at a faster pace over there? then charlienate should look a lot older than regular charlie and the same goes for the olivias… or is there an alternate explanation?

    and so there is no alternate ella right? cause rachel died in the alternate universe… so extrapolating that, wouldn’t that mean there are a ton of people with no alternates? in fact, over time, that should quickly become the norm… i kinda think people who die on one side should die on the other and exceptions should be very rare, such as peter… but it doesn’t seem like that, with olivia having 2 family members who lived different lives… her mother died and sister lived and on the alternate side it was vice versa… any explanation for this?

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  33. says

    Just a few observations:

    1. Peter thinking Walter was responsible for the problems Over There:
    I thought it was Walternate trying to run experiments and creating weapons that was ruining his universe. Weren’t all the Fringe events that where happening on “our” side a result of things being done by either agents of Walternate, Massive Dynamics (at the behest of Bell) and things that happened Over There? After all, Walter has been institutionalized for several years and these problems were happening (which led to his release in the first place).

    2. In Episode 1, they made it sound like it was only a few days as the burned Agent Lee referred to how things were “normal” a day or two ago… yet Charlie had a full head of hair.

    3. Cringed at Walter licking brains/jam off his tie.

    4. Was Massive Dynamic working on a portal to Over There when Walter was peeking in during his walk to the will reading?

    5. Is Peter really Nina’s and Walter’s love child? Or some experiment Nina was responsible for (like the other children)… she seems too invested in him.

    6. I thought the weapon was designed by Bell and maybe he hid pieces Over Here to keep Walternate from completing it.

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  34. jacksonheights says

    Most posters are saying that the doomsday machine parts are scattered in both universes by either the Observers or the First People. I got the impression that Walternate placed parts here via Newton in order to get Peter interested in working on the machine on our side. Walternate knows that Peter will not willingly work for him, therefore this was an alternate way to get him to continue working on figuring out this machine. Newton knew where to find the piece because he placed it conveniently in Milton Ma and probably suspected that Peter and Alt Olivia would be called to investigate. In TMFOS Newtown triangulation device at the bank was able to burrow underground leaving a small trace. This seems like the most likely scenario.

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  35. fringefan2009 says

    All I can say is this, I’m so glad Fringe is back. My computer died and yesterday, after it was fixed, I watched both episodes. Overall, other than the craziness of the time inconsistencies, these great episodes. I do agree, on the for some reason, I really missed our Olivia in this episode, more than I missed Walter and Peter in the last. Got to say, that scene between Altivia and Newton was very memorable and entertaining. They really have to do something about the passage of time though. There is no way, all that happened in 2-3 days. Olivia wouldn’t have been in that condition unless she was in solitary for a while. She’s an FBI Agent for goodness sakes, she should be able to endure some torture and seclusion, whilst having minimum impact on her psyche. I can understand the drugs affecting her, but come on, it would still need time to take effect.

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  36. mlj102 says

    I just stumbled across this one in the comments:

    “FF grievance comment removed and consigned to Molebaby hell.”

    You make me laugh, Roco!

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  37. Peanut says

    I want to know why the Bishop boys are not living it up in penthouses in NYC (MD HQ) & Boston (Harvard lab) based on Walter’s inheritance of MD. This is also an opportunity to rectify what has been a glitch in the time-space continuum on the show in which New York & Boston have appeared to be only 15 minutes apart & apparently New York & Washington DC are also about that same distance from each other (tee hee). It must have really taken Bolivia ALL DAY to drive from Boston to New York, hang out at the typing store, buy Walter malasadas, & drive back—but nobody got suspicious? Now the boys can afford to have their own jet & helicopter & really could go back & forth more quickly & logically.

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