Fringe Review: 3.04 Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?

Welcome to our review for episode 4 of Fringe season 3 – “Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?”.

In this review 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.

You may want to check out our Fringe Unlocked article: Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep? as this review builds from and refers back to it.


  • Powerful Themes. Humanity, empathy, dreams, the soul, identity, family, love, individuality, betrayal, loyalty, God. These are just some of the resonating themes that the episode explored in the space of 42 immersive minutes.
  • The Ray Storyline. Ray gave us a fascinating look at a shapeshifter’s capacity to love, and in doing so allowed us to consider how far these emotions represent the defining aspect of the human condition and how far they symbolise a means of presenting an empathetic nature. In other words, what is real and what isn’t.
  • Altlivia undercover. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Altlivia duck and dive her way through this episode. The shifty eyes and the quick thinking were fun, while the quieter moments of conflict provided context. While I don’t agree with her actions, it was interesting to see her caught between her own feelings and the so-called requirements to do her job.
  • Anna Torv. I’m running out of superlatives. She seems to be very in-tune with this current storyline and her interpretation of emotional aspects seem to come from a very genuine place. I enjoyed the way she portrayed the multiple shades and dynamics of Altlivia, making the character emotionally closer to Olivia, while maintaining that strong distinction.
  • Sebastian Roche. He capped off a fantastic yet all-too-short arc with a portrayal that managed to capture the intriguing characteristics of a part human, part machine being.
  • The Visuals At times they they bled through the screen. The highlight was the final Altlivia/Newton face-off which managed to capture a million tiny yet telling expressions. I think I’ll have trouble getting Altlivia’s beady little eyes out of my head for quite some time. I actually found myself thinking of Rachael Rosen (not R@chel) in that scene. I wonder if that was the intent?
  • The Musical Composition. Fantastic and moving throughout. The music in the Newton death/Altlivia and Peter scene was especially memorable – filled with sorrow yet somehow uplifting. It reminded me in some ways of the elevator sequence from “What Lies Below”.


  • They Killed Newton! I am absolutely distraught. The passing of David Jones doesn’t even compare to this. I was hoping that instead of killing him, they’d have him make a conscious choice not to take the suicide chip. How awesome would it have been? While I appreciated getting a big dose of The Newt I honestly feel like there was so much more to learn. Does this mean that we’re also done with the shapeshifters now? Perhaps the writers feel that they need more space to bring Sam Weiss and other characters into the fold, but at the moment I’m genuinely disappointed to see the demise of the Mercury King. That said, what a way to go and what an awesome character he went on to become.
  • The Deed. I find it extremely disappointing that Altlivia and Peter slept together. I found the level of deceit, betrayal and ignorance from these two characters very distasteful. A necessary evil in terms of story, perhaps, but an ugly taste.
  • Peter and Walter. All that unresolved mess and not a hint of it in this episode? I’m not surprised though, I knew it would be a contrivance from the moment Peter hop-skipped and jumped his way out of Blight country.


  • How is Altlivia going to pull her mission off without Newton and his Intel?
  • Do the shapeshifters retain remnants of the people they have shifted into in the past? We know they retain their own memories and experiences while in those identities, but what about the inherent elements, the souls?
  • Why did Newton smile as he died?


  • Newton tried to retrieve Senator James Van Horn after he was injured in the crash because he knew that his identity as a shapeshifter would be revealed.
  • Van Horn provided Newton the information on Olivia Dunham and the Fringe Team seen in “The Box“.
  • The shapeshifter assumed Van Horn’s identity two years ago and has been collecting Intel on the Fringe Team ever since.
  • It appears that Newton’s head was in deep freeze for 4 years – the shapeshifter Ray Duffy hadn’t seen him in five years, and we know that Newton has been out of deep freeze for around 1 year.
  • Newton killed himself because he didn’t want to compromise the mission. By ingesting the suicide chip, he presumably wiped out all data from his memory unit.


  • I thought the opening scene with Peter and Altlivia talking about ‘transactional needs’ was a bit nauseating, but it performed its function. Despite being blind to his own situation (at least consciously), Peter makes some good observations about the human need to find the missing pieces from other people, which plays into one of the episode’s themes of the individual being part of something greater.
  • The opening also gave us our first true glimpse beneath the surface of Altlivia. I’m pleased we go to see her in an intimate moment of self conflict – one almost identical to Olivia’s bathroom sob in the premiere. Altlivia didn’t cry like her double, but it showed that she was struggling with the moral implications of her ‘romantic entanglement’. It’s a question of self respect and dignity and I’m glad that she at least found it difficult to cross that line. This little moment also helped illustrate that if you boil the two Olivias emotions down enough, they make similar emotional retreats. Altlivia may not be as in touch with her emotions as Olivia, but she has the capability.
  • Also, have to say, I’m so not feeling Peter after this scene. He comes across as a bit of a sleaze. He’s so full of himself that he can’t see that ‘Olivia’ is looking more than a bit uncomfortable. I’m sure people will find ways to defend him, but for me his attitude is a problem on many levels. And hows the research on the weapon going, Peter? Any progress? Thought not.
  • Oh my. The Senator Van Horn scene – cute, hilarious and tragic all at the same time! I’m pleased that they gave us this glimpse into Van Horn’s nature. He may be a shapeshifter but it was important that we saw his generosity and playfulness. What I took from that scene is that he likes humanity and understands how we work. You don’t show a shapeshifter doing something like that unless you want to illustrate his capacity for being human. The fact that he gave the girls a big tip made me smile because it’s exactly what a kind old grandpa would do. An old lemonade-swilling grandpa.
  • On the other side of the coin, I think the writers may have also wanted to make another point – Van Horn’s act of pure humanity essentially got him killed. He took his eye off the mission (literally, he was looking in the rear view) as he indulged in his adopted identity. This is an ongoing theme throughout the episode as we see both human characters and hybrids struggling to find the balance between their objectives and their emotions.
  • You have to feel sorry for Broyles though – it seems that all of his friends turn out to be traitors, douchebags or doomsday hybrids. First there was Mitchell Loeb, then everyone’s favorite Sanford Harris, and now James Van Horn. Next we’ll find out that Molebaby was his mail man.

  • Newton seemed much more intense in this episode. Seeing him clinically massacre innocent people sent a chill to the bone.
  • Good to see Newton display some ninja moves not seen since shapeshifter nurse escaped the bullet of Jessup in “New Day In The Old Town”. We know they’re agile, but there’s still no evidence to suggest that they’re super-quick, meaning the ‘Charlie: Furnace of Death’ situation remains a contrivance.
  • So Nina is seemingly OK with Bellie’s wish that Walter assume control of Massive Dynamic. I suspected as much from her reaction in “The Box”, but somewhere deep inside it must burn her, just a little. And while I’m all for Nina ‘believing’ in Walter’s intellect, I’m concerned by the ease with which she is happy to let the mad scientist run the joint. This is a man immoral in the extreme. He’s a perpetual danger to society and Nina needs to put some safeguards in place, and not go granting him complete access to the chocolate factory. I’m glad that Walter seems to be facing up to his responsibilities, but perhaps now more than ever he needs a counter-balance to keep him in check.

“Don’t worry, I do some of my finest work self medicated”

  • I have concerns that Peter would let him come to work in that state – and that Nina would all but laugh it off. And to think, the fates of two worlds could rest in this mans hands?

  • That said, Walter delivers an important line:

“The brain is consciousness..the mind is GOD!”

  • Interesting for several reasons. Firstly, it ties into the notion that consciousness is part of the human condition – clearly the shapshiters are conscious beings with the capacity to develop their own interior emotions, therefore are they part of this collective consciousness? Secondly, consciousness also relates to ‘wakefulness’ – which is a theme of the story that we’ve been tracking for a while now. What does it mean to be truly awake, and are our characters currently sleeping? Thirdly, Walter says that the mind is God. We know that Walter re-discovered God some time ago. How does this outlook reconcile with his previous spiritual statements?
  • For me it works fine, it just depends on how we want to interpret spirituality and consciousness. Walter is a scientist first and foremost, so it should be remembered that any view that he has on God will place importance on the mind and the idea that we are all connected through consciousness. It’s interesting to look at this viewpoint in light of his quest for forgiveness – essentially, Walter may not have been asking for forgiveness from one singular powerful being, but the forgiveness of the collective and ever expanding consciousness. This further plays into my theory that Walter somehow constructed Alistair Peck in order to self-engineer his own ‘white tulip’ to help him to move on. In light of recent episodes, this notion is becoming ever more possible.
  • This idea of the consciousness as God, whatever our spiritual beliefs, is surely interesting within the context of this multi-universe story. I often jokingly say that the ‘universe’ has a sense of humor or wrath when it comes to parallels, symbolism and punishment in this story, and actually, the writers may very well be going down that route.
  • Altlivia observes Newton’s ‘strength’:

“Look at that, it’s like he’s got no fear”

  • What I love about that line is that she’s absolutely right. But I also sense that her comment comes from a very real place – given her personal rivalry with Newton, it’s as though she feels threatened by the ‘advantages’ that his ‘programming’ as afforded him. While she’s becoming more and more conflicted with each passing day, Newton is unwavering. A being without fear – can he be considered human?
  • Broyles says that James Van Horn was a “good man”. This brings me to another point not touched on in a while – are people inherently good? At our base level, if you strip away our individual circumstances, are human beings all capable of goodness? Or, if you go the other way and put people in the most extreme of situations, are we really all bad? It’s nature vs nurture. My personal view is that we are all capable of goodness, inherently humans want to do good, but we are also all flawed, with the capacity for bad. But that’s the struggle, and it’s why redemption is such a wonderfully inspirational theme to explore in a story like this. Especially when you throw in so-called ‘non-human’ characters who are capable of acting better and worse than humans.
  • But my point here is that Broyles, perhaps naively, considers that Van Horn ‘was’ only a good man before this impostor took his identity. From the interactions we’ve had with shapeshifter Van Horn over the past couple of seasons, it’s not out of the question to say that the shapeshifter was also a good man. Well, aside from murdering the original Van Horn and planning the downfall of Over Here. :) But that’s the thing, as we see later on with Ray, it appears that the shapeshifters themselves (some of them at least) suffer from the same conflict of interests as the human characters. Van Horn seemed to enjoy aspects of his ‘human identity’, but he also had a job to do. Where does the line fall? It’s messy and its complicated, and I’m really pleased that the writing reflected that truth.

Agent: “So if it’s not a machine, it’s human?”

  • Interesting logic. Interesting because the Agent didn’t seem to consider the possibility that it could be both. The word that springs to mind when I think about this line is convergence and it goes back to something I mentioned in ‘Fringe Unlocked’ – perhaps being a hybrid is something more than human? Bellie had the unique perspective of having lived in two worlds, you could argue something similar for the shapeshifters and their dual genetic make-up.

Walter: “I’m a little envious that Bellie thought of it before I did”

  • The man is dead and Walter is still jealous? Seriously Walter, get a grip of yourself! Although as I said last season, I wouldn’t be surprised if the shapeshifters actually were Walter’s idea on some level.
  • Great callback:

Peter: “So assuming that you’re right, do you think that we could fix them?”

Walter: “Fix them? We could try!”

  • This is neat because it links back to Walter’s ‘first’ encounter with Newton in “Grey Matters” when he asked The Newt if he was going to fix him. That line always stuck out to me. There’s something about the word ‘fix’ when applied to humans that I find very tragic. To have it used in the other direction with the shapeshifters only serves to highlight just how narrow the gap is between these two forms of life.
  • Newton:

“Don’t worry, he’s been disabled, or as you people call it, he’s dead”

  • You people? Lol, Newton! In an episode that explores the closeness between humans and shapeshifters, he goes against the grain and places a river, nay, an ocean, between the two. Newton’s outlook is rude, and borders on human-phobic (is that a word? It is now). To put it in context, he’s what you might call extremely ‘patriotic’, he’s fighting for his world – a world that is essentially run by humans, yet he degrades the ‘humans’ with a tone that Altlivia must have found rather insulting. As I said earlier, I love the complexity of this scenario – we have two beings essentially fighting for the same thing, but they’re wired so differently that they simply clash.
  • But consider this – Newton was presumably programmed in a specific way – did Walternate prejudice him to loathe humans? Unlikely, since Newton has expressed great kindness to humans in the past. So his loathing seems to come from his commitment to his job and his opinion of Altlivia. For me, this is his nurture at work. Newton has learned this outlook through his own experiences rather than it being something he was ‘born’ with. While he may have been created with a base outlook (i.e. a love for ‘his’ world), his experiences in fighting the war and interacting with people have no doubt shaped him into the man he has become. I wonder how much Altlivia’s second-class citizen act towards him in “The Box” informed his opinions on her? I’d say a lot. And I love that, not because I agree with either of their short-sightedness, but because it actually tells us quite a bit about Newton and his ability to feel, even though he’s not consciously in-touch with his emotions.

  • Altlivia’s low opinion of Newton (and by extension, hybrids) may also inform us as to why she kept him out of the loop regarding her mission. Maybe Walternate didn’t want Newton to know, or perhaps Altlivia just wanted to pull rank on Newton after their tiff in “The Box”, but it definitely seems to have rubbed him up the wrong way. Just as interesting are the seeds that Newton planted in Altlivia’s mind – essentially telling her that she had to sleep with peter in order to completely gain Boy Wonder’s trust.

The Newt: “Maybe it’s because I’m looking in from the outside, but I’m willing to wager that somewhere..deep inside his brain, Peter Bishop senses that something is not quite right with you. That something has changed. That, you’re not HIS Olivia.”

  • Sickening behaviour from The Newt, but as I said before, he is highly perceptive and knows how to push her buttons, just as he does with “now I know how weak you are” Olivia.

“You’re in over your head, you’re not committed to this task, and because of that, you will fail

  • You. Will. Fail. I love this guy! He has officially replaced Jones as my favorite ‘villain’ on this show. Just the idea that a leading shapeshifter can get embroiled in personal squabbles amuses me so much. In truth, Newton does have a point – Altlivia is not as committed as he is, and isn’t that something? A shapeshifter is more prepared to do whatever it takes to save their world than a human from Over There is. What does this say about the humanity of these two characters? What does it say about the human relationship with technology? Can they survive without machines?

  • For me it says that as complicated as Newton really is, he has no trouble in seeing the world in red and blue. He is not conflicted by emotions when it comes to protecting his world. Whereas Altlivia, a woman who has no doubt had to fight to get where she is (although there might be more equality in the alternate universe), whose commitment and ability is being questioned by this sneering ‘vacuum cleaner’ (her words) who undermines her at every point. And to make matters worse, he’s suggesting that she bed Peter in order to prove herself! To be honest, he deserves a smack. (but make it gentle).
  • One thing which springs to mind is that maybe being human is not as ‘easy’ for Altlivia as it is for Newton. And I say that with the knowledge that Altlivia is supposed to be the happy-go-lucky version of Olivia. So it’s fascinating to see these dynamics at play and the ways in which humanity can be both a disadvantage and an advantage, depending upon your perspective and the situation at hand. The funny (or sad) thing is, Newton won his personal battle with Altlivia here. Just as he did with Olivia in “Grey Matters”, he wins his battles in the hearts and the minds of his opponents, which may well be a metaphor for this story at some point.
  • In “The Plateau”, Walternate gloats about his “bigger laboratory”, so I found it amusing that Walter would say, “no, my other lab” referring to his bigger and bolder Lab at Massive Dynamic. Little does he know that he’s still not the bigger Walter. 😉
  • Was it just me, or did they try to play around with the possibility of Astrid being a shapeshifter?

  • Oh how I laughed:

Altlivia: “It’s R@chel, I should take this”

Peter: “Tell her I said hai”

Altlivia: “HEH”

  • HEH indeed! Too funny. 😀 Gotta love Newton on the other end complaining about how many messages he had to leave.
  • And finally, here comes the big moment when Peter gathers his senses and is redeemed! He’s about to realize that Altlivia is not his Olivia. Boy Wonder is about to become Boy Wiser:

Peter: I found something

Altlivia: What is is?

Peter: It’s you..

  • YES! Go Peter! Oh, wait..

Peter: “ me..and Walter..and molebaby, and magic dragon..”

  • *SIGH*

  • The Ray Duffy story was heart-breaking. I love the fact that he came to love his human identity so much that he didn’t want to lose by shifting into another body. It reminded me of the 10th Doctor’s regeneration (in a figurative way). In the moments that we spent with Ray we learned that a shapeshifter can understand on some level what it means to be human, what it means to love.

Newton: “After this mission you take a new identity. And Ray, no traces left behind, nothing that can expose us”

  • Given that the shapeshifters were created to help the other side win the war, it’s interesting to see just how difficult this was for Ray to accept. It taps into the “allure” that Newton spoke of a couple of episodes back. I had wondered whether he had any grounds for saying this, and even though he still had trouble understanding Ray’s hesitation, we can see what he meant. The shapeshifters are perhaps just as fallible to the desires of the heart as humans are.
  • Walter’s ‘Van Horn empathy test’ and his explanation of how desire and love can become fixed in the shapeshifters ‘heart’:

“To succeed in its mission, it needed to play the role of a spouse, and pretending to have an emotional connection, caused a real one to form.”

  • I like this. It also plays into Altlivia’s conflict of having to play out a role she might actually be developing a hankering for, but one that is also beginning to impinge upon her own moral code. But more powerful to me is the way it speaks of Walter’s love for Peter. Since the first season when we discovered that Peter was stolen from an alternate universe, I’ve wondered whether Walter really loves Peter as much as he did his original son. By illustrating how the shapeshifters can develop feelings through identifying with a role, it offers an example of how it is ‘possible’ for Walter to love Peter as much as his biological son. The father/son relationship is itself a role designed for nurture and protection. While he may or may not love Peter in the same way as his original, it shows that it’s possible to love something or someone who fills that gap. In many ways it’s impossible to untangle the love he has for the two Peters – especially not after all this time.
  • With this train of thought, it’s interesting to consider that the shapeshifters (those of them who develop emotions) are essentially acknowledging that on some level that they are missing something, and that by doing so they are able to let those feelings become real. And for me, that’s the other level to this story – what is real and what isn’t? How do they know for absolute certainty that the love they have for someone is real? I’d say it’s a question that can be answered using experience. If they’re capable of experiencing something, then surely it’s real to them. Of course there are levels to it and sometimes reality can be deceptive (*ahem* Peter), but if we truly believe something to be real, then no-one else can say that it isn’t. Consciousness cannot be denied and reality is subjective for the individual.

  • Man, the second scene with Ray where he’s essentially saying goodbye to his family is killer. The look he gives his shapeshifting device is one of bleak disdain. It’s clear that he doesn’t want to let go of this life that he’s become so fond of. You can almost see the internal battle playing out in his subconscious – shapeshifters have a subconscious, right? Speaking of which, Ray’s last words to his son are some of the most powerful this season:

Ray: “Hey Buddy, what are you still doing up?”

Son: “I didn’t sound the monster alarm, but I think he’s here”

Ray: “Where?”

Son: “Under the bed”

Ray: “You know, sometimes, monsters aren’t all that bad. Sometimes, if you get to spend some time with them, they can be very surprising. They can be, um, incredibly sweet, and pure, and capable of great great love. And then, one of them might actually become your very best friend”

Son: “But you’re my best friend”

*The silence..the violins..the emotional anguish*

Ray: “…yeah that’s right”

Son: “You going to work?”

Ray: “Yeah..”

*child grabs fathers hand*

Son: “Come check on me when you get back?”

Ray: “I will”

  • Wow. There’s so much to love about that scene. There’s a hint of menace because we know something that the little kid doesn’t, but the purity of Ray’s love for his son comes shining through. The ‘monster under the bed’ trope was a clever device because it echoes Olivia’s fear – an emotional response which has been surprisingly helpful to unlocking her ability. And so we have it with Ray, who plays the role of the ‘monster’ in this scene. It’s heart-breaking that he sees himself in this light – he knows that if his son knew the truth about him, he might not  love him for who he is. And yet the monster is also the hero, because it’s he who is capable of great great love. It’s the so-called monster who becomes the best friend, the ally who has raised this very human child through the formative years of his life. The monster is not such a monster. This may be a self-idealized portrayal that Ray is giving, but it’s an incredibly important one because this is how he sees himself. I find this to be a very useful for working out this character.
  • And as I type this, I can’t help but be drawn to the comparison of ‘the monster’ and the subconscious. Olivia is currently being kept afloat by her ‘monster – the unformed beast within that terrifies her but also represents her inner most self – her best friend, if you will. Likewise, my mind is cast back to Walternate’s descriptions of the people Over Here as “monsters under our skin” and the ways in which this war is not a battle of us vs them, but an internal battle of the self. For me, this show is very much becoming about the hero within. I’m not sure if the writers intended these parallels (and granted it’s open to interpretation), but that’s where it’s resonating with me.

  • But going back to Ray, I like to think that in that moment when his son grabbed his hand, that was the instant he realized his worth. Because as much as being human comes from within, I think it doesn’t hurt to have that love reciprocated when it’s most needed.
  • And without wanting to put a downer on Ray’s experience of the human condition, I have to wonder whether he was being entirely fair to these people? I mean, he may have developed real feelings for them, but he’s essentially deceiving them (and killed their loved one). I’ve given Walter a hard time for his deception over Peter, so I have to ask these same questions of Ray. In many ways Newton is right in his stance because because at least he’s not playing on peoples emotions like Ray and Van Horn. But then this is just another example of the human heart.
  • I liked the Patricia/Van Horn scene. She showed just enough emotion to make me believe that she could come face to face with the shapeshifter who killed her husband. She also helped Peter out a bit in the fact that even she wasn’t aware of her own mole.

Patricia: “I’m sorry I didn’t know you were gone. I don’t know how I didn’t would have known, I know you would have.”

  • I still feel that Peter’s ignorance of the Altlivia situation is worse though, because Altlivia is doing a pretty rotten job at acting like Olivia. That said, I don’t find the idea of someone not knowing that their loved one has been replaced impossible. It’s a creepy notion that plays right into the show’s themes of people and emotions becoming obsolete. As an aside it’s interesting to note that Patricia asks for Van Horn’s forgiveness, she blames herself believing that he would have known. Would he?

Astrid: “Look! Animal cookies. You love these”

Walter: “No! BELLIE loved them. I occasionally eat them to honor him, that is all”

  • Lol, Walter, so you don’t pour liquor on the ground then? It’s possibly contrived that the animal biscuits just so happened to remind Walter of where the shapeshifters memory unit would be, but I’m happy to put it down to our much talked about ‘cosmic guide of the universe’ assisting him.

“Oh, don’t eat my pudding”

  • Yuck? Maybe I’m imagining things, but isn’t there a similar scene in the Fringe Universe?
  • A bit of faux-tension there with Walter coming close to being shapeshifted. Thank goodness that Ray wanted to keep his identity.
  • Policeman or not, with Ray being able to stroll up to the 23rd floor, I take it they don’t have much security at Massive Dynamic? Seriously Nina, I thought you’d have sentient robots patrolling every floor.

  • I can’t work out if Peter is silly or just really slow on the uptake.

Peter: “Maybe [Patricia] did notice? She just made excuses to herself not to deal with it, or she came up with ways to explain it to herself. Kinda like I’ve been doing with you”

Altlivia: “Say what?”

Peter: “Yeah..with all the little differences ever since you got back from the other side. You did tell me that your experiences on the other side changed you, but ever since you got back it’s like. It’s like you’re a completely different person

*Olivia does ALL of the tell-tale signs that guilty people do*

Peter: “You seem less burdened, you’re more patient with Walter.

  • He gets points for considering the possibility that Patricia could conceivably have known that Van Horn was replaced and made excuses to herself. I’m fine with that because we’ve seen how powerful the subconscious can be. But he loses all points for saying that he’s been doing the same thing with Altlivia, yet failing dismally to make the connection! As I touched on earlier, in many ways this actually makes his ignorance even worse.

Peter: “Don’t get me wrong, I like it the change is good”

  • AHA! Is Peter saying in a roundabout way that he prefers ‘Olivia’ like this? That he prefers Altlivia over Olivia? Perhaps it another example of the complexity of the human heart – we want what we want but if we could just make this tweak here and this adjustment there, ‘then it would be perfect, honest’. As much as I loathe Peter for constantly disrespecting Olivia and HER worth, he is an example of how people often want to change other people. I haven’t forgotten his ‘I like your hair bettah’ remark either, so I’m not just basing my opinion on this one conversation. It just seems to me that he likes both Olivias to varying degrees, but would love a merger of some sort. Ah well, at least he hasn’t slept with Altlivia yet. Thank God for small mercies, huh!
  • Oh Astrid, you do make me laugh with your totally incompetent Walter-sitting skills. Is this like the 20th time already?:

Altlivia: “Where’s Walter?”

Astrid: ” I don’t know, he said he’d be right back”

  • Haha! The look on Altlivia and Peter’s faces. Astrid has her plate of food, who gives a damn about Walter. :)

  • Who gives a damn indeed, because Walter just keeps on plummeting in my book. I’m not happy that he stabbed Ray. I’m sure that most people will claim that he had no choice, but there’s always a choice. It seems that Walter just doesn’t consider the “tin cans” to be truly human, so viciously stabbing one of them doesn’t matter, right Walt? Now maybe he thought Ray was going to kill him (though clearly Ray didn’t even after he was attacked), but does that really lessen Walter’s act? For someone so worried about ‘Gods forgiveness’, he has a funny way of showing it. The only thing I’m holding on to is the possibility that Walter knew that stabbing Ray wouldn’t kill him, that he just wanted to slow him down enough and escape with the disk.

“Ownership has its privileges”

  • Yes, and God help us all, Walter.
  • Throughout this episode I kept wondering why Newton chose Ray for the mission to retrieve the data disk. It seemed like such a specific choice when he could have used one of his other men in high-ranking positions with less attachments. His final scene with Ray doesn’t quite explain that but it shows a interesting distinction between Newton and this particular shapeshifter.

Newton: “I saw it but I couldn’t understand it. I do now, it’s them”

Ray: “I got the disk, I found a way”

  • However much I sympathized with Ray, it strikes me that he wanted to have his cake and eat it. It’s a theme of the episode – Ray, Van Horn, even Peter – they each want the best of both worlds.
  • And did Ray really think that not shifting was an option? Walter and Massive Dynamic CCTV would have been able to ID him.

Newton: “now it’s time to move on”

Ray: “no, this is my life”

Newton: “And now you’ll have another life, just like you had another one before”

  • The struggle here is captivating. On the one hand there’s Newton’s broad almost inconsequential view of life. He sees it as a passage, a collection of meaningless identities serving the ultimate goal. Whereas Ray not only loves being human, he loves this specific human life. He’s made a choice. Out of all the identities he has assumed in his time, it’s this one that fits the best, it’s this one that he identifies with. I find that very realistic.

The Newt: “This is simply a way station for you, a stop along the way. It’s what we do, it’s what we’re made for

  • I think this is one of my favorite quotes from the show so far. It speaks of transition – and what is it Bellie said about that being the hardest part? But it also speaks of destiny. Newton is utterly convinced of their purpose. Here’s this human-mechano hybrid who’s been known to question human-authority, yet he’s completely in love with his human-created programming. Is this acceptance, naivety or does Newton’s outlook apply to all living beings, and not just shapeshifters? It’s interesting to consider that we are all made for this purpose – to live out our lives and to be at peace with it when it’s time to move on to the next stage – the next life. In many ways, I think Newton has a very good point. And that’s what I love about the shapeshifter storyline, it’s a reflection of the transiency of human identity and it contains spiritual connotations which I find interesting. With that in mind, perhaps humans are more like shapeshifters, than the other way around?

Ray: “No, no, no. They mean so much to me, and I have come to mean so much to them. How can you ask me to give them up?”

  • If this review wasn’t so long already, I’d dig into that, but you know what I love the about this part? That Newton pauses for a long time and thinks about it. He actually comes to understand that it’s too big an ask for a conscious being let go of such bonds. To me, that’s a very human consideration. His next move was less so as he blows his brains out. Ray was obsolete.
  • It would be useful to know how the script asked Sebastian Roche to play this moment, but his face after killing Ray was a picture of befuddlement – as though he had just experienced a twinge of something new to him.
  • It’s worth pointing out that for whatever reason, Newton didn’t kill the family. What informed this decision?
  • Gotta love Altlivia’s crappy shooting, considering she’s actually an expert shot and could have nailed Newton in the head if she wanted. Funny thing is, not even Olivia would have shot so woefully. Peter, you awake?
  • The ‘Fringe 2 Fast, 2 Furious’ scene was exhilarating. Is it wrong that I wanted Newton to escape? 😉

  • How creepy was it when Newton grasped Altlivia’s hand? In trying to interpret what that meant, I came to the conclusion that his rather mechanical stare was his way of reminding Altlivia that she couldn’t have done all of this without him. And perhaps a hint of ‘you know what you have to do next’.
  • And now for my favorite scene. Newton’s total dedication to the mission puts Altlivia to shame, and they both know it.

Newton: “Is the Van Horn disk secure?”

Altlivia: “It is”

*Her voice wavers and her eyes look freakishly beady.*

Newton: “You’re going to have a very difficult time without me, you know”

Altlivia: “Well, there are plenty of machines here. I can befriend a vacuum cleaner”

*Newton laughs as he sees right through her*

Newton: “You’re very at that”

Altlivia: “At what?”

Newton: “At continuing to try to convince yourself that you don’t care. But you do care, don’t you? Every night, when your head hits the pillow, in the last moments before you go to sleep, your emotions betray you, and you question your ability to pull this off. Words like, insecurity, self-respect, they haunt you. They form a line that you’re unwilling to cross. And that will lead to your undoing. But I suppose that’s not my problem anymore.”

  • I said earlier that Newton had already won his personal battle with Altlivia, so this was merely damage limitation on her part, but she failed, dismally. What I particularly loved about this scene is that is further narrowed the gap between Olivia and Altlivia. Though we speculated that she had her own emotional reservoir, we began the season with Altlivia as the less haunted version of Olivia. As she walked away from Newton’s cell, his words not only haunted her, they manifested themselves into action.
  • His words were so clinical, so unemotional, and yet he was talking about very human matters. The idea that Altlivia’s emotions betray her is fascinating because it suggests that her subconscious is perhaps not her greatest friend at the moment. The ‘Inner Altlivia’ is not in harmony with what this mission may require her to do. So once again we have an internal battle with the self, and it’s these words which provoked her to cross her own moral code. It’s worth considering whether Newton really wanted Altlivia to fail, or his words were designed to ensure that she did whatever it took to keep her cover to help Over There win the war. Knowing Newton as I do, I wouldn’t put it past him.
  • You may also notice a faint recurring theme with Newton – a whiff of self-importance. Where did this come from? Thing is, this trait isn’t driven by pure emotion, he’s not burdened by the fact that his efforts are not appreciated – instead he uses it as a weapon against Altlivia.

  • And what of Newton and his suicide? Perhaps the most haunting moment on Fringe thus far. As I watched a shapeshifter die it dawned upon me that I found it more powerful than any of the human deaths that we’ve seen on the show. What did it for me was the struggle that came after the acceptance. Did Newton experience fear in those convulsing moments? And then as he lay there, mercury dripping from his ear, he simply smiled. Iconic imagery leaving us to ponder its meaning.
  • Obviously it was meant to signify his success at triggering action in Altlivia. But on a deeper level, who knows what he saw. Maybe he was only just waking up? Perhaps his death activated something – a ‘thank you’ – that Walternate had included in his programming? I’d like to think that he had acquired some kind of confirmation of his own worth as a conscious being. Ultimately though, the smile tells me he was at peace with himself. That in some way he was right, this body was only a stop on the journey to something much bigger. He had fused with this force through understanding and experiencing what it means to be alive in his own way. Although what of the consequences for his actions? He is after all a conscious being.
  • It’s sad though – to think that most of the people in the alternate universe will not even realize the sacrifices that he made for them. He didn’t seem to mind though – as far as he was concerned, he just wanted to perform his function. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. I appreciated that about him – he was a believer in something bigger than himself. And perhaps that’s what the smile was about – maybe in those final moments he knows that his efforts were not in vein.
  • RIP Newton. You said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. You amused and intrigued me in equal measure. You taunted Olivia – that made me sad. You teased Peter in the woods – that made me glad. You were proud of who you were. You were the villain we were crying out for, but in many ways you are also a hero to the alternate universe. Shapeshifter, human, closet electric sheep dreamer, you were loyal to the end. Farewell my Newtyness. I pour a bottle of mercury juice on the ground in your honor.

  • As for Faultlivia. I know that her actions were in some ways inspired by Newton, but that’s no excuse. I am saddened by her choice to sleep with Peter, knowing that she has a man on the other side waiting for her. How could she? And for the record, I don’t buy Newton’s insinuation that she had to do this – it was an option sure, but by no means a necessity. If she can do this, what wont she do? And as for Peter, he has doubts about ‘Olivia’ and yet he still thinks with his pants? It’s not unbelievable by any means, but it’s very disappointing.
  • The irony is that Altlivia acted more like a perceived shapeshifter than a shapeshifter. She went to that cold, lifeless place and performed an act that emotionally disagreed with her. I think she’ll struggle to find herself again after this. She may find that she’s lost more than her integrity. I’m just being honest with where I am with her at the moment.
  • I couldn’t see Olivia doing something like this. I feel so sorry for her over there on the other side with Projection Peter kicking around in her head. There’s surely no way back (for her and Boy Wonder) from this. As she restores her natural hair color, she needs to also wash that man right out of her hair. 😉


A fantastically intoxicating exploration into the themes and ideas that drive this story. My hope going into this episode was that they would do it justice. They did more than that, they honored Philip K. Dick’s vision and put a Fringe stamp all over it.

As for the question: Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep? While I have concerns with the idea of man playing God, my take away is that shapeshifters can certainly experience what it is like to be human. And while there are echoes of a cautionary tale in this story, there’s also hope in the fact that the inevitable convergence of man and machine will not leave us without the ability to dream and aspire, to connect and love.

Best Performer: Anna Torv (honorable mention Sebastian Roche).

Best Line: “Well, there are plenty of machines here. I can befriend a vacuum cleaner” – absolutely classic.

Saddest Moment: Newton’s death. :( (Peter/Altliv I’d put in the ‘sick’ category).

Episode Rating 9.5/10

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


  1. matt says

    I think Nina is in control and runs things still but Walter has vito power and access to anything he wants. I mean, Bell owned the company while Nina was in charge and he wasn’t even around for who knows how long, it’s like the Queen having a prime minister who actually do everything except be the queen

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  2. Karo says

    Awesome review Roco, as always.
    I share everything you said on the Fauxlivia/Peter front. Everything.

    And you made me realise that the writers dedicated a whole scene (the first one) to Peter skill at reading other people. How is that for irony. Guy knows everything about body language and stuff, but can’t figure out that the women sitting in from of him is drinking water.

    Meh. I hate how they pretty much destroyed Peter’s character in 2 little episodes. This is so disappointing.

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    • says

      “How is that for irony. Guy knows everything about body language and stuff, but can’t figure out that the women sitting in from of him is drinking water.”

      I hear you Karo – It’s one thing after the next, and I’m not sure how Peter’s gonna come back from this one.

      I’m hoping that this is his lowest turn and it’s uphill from here, but I’m not optimistic.

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      • Emily says

        You know, it could be that Peter is conning Altivia right back. If this was the case, I for one would give him a gold star.

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  3. matt says

    also, i think it was olivia’s numerous messages newton was complaining about since she was so worried about van horn’s waking up and he not being able to reach newt and tell him

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  4. matt says

    and something else I can’t seem to be able to connect is why shape-shifter-charlie was in his body for too long and was beginning to need to change, while newt and ray are not affected by this. are there different levels of shape shifter or is it a plot hole?

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    • TootsieRoll says

      It’s the same with me. It completely confuses me that Van Horn could stay in his body for two years and Charlie couldn’t stay in his body for what one maybe two months. Did he go around buying slushy cups and filling them with mercury; like Charlie did for two years so that he could stay in his body, or was he an advanced shapeshifter model or something like that?

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      • Page 48 says

        Nor was Shapeshifter Charlie able to slip perfectly into Charlie’s identity the way that Van Horn and Ray apparently were able to assume their victim’s identities. I haven’t seen those episodes for a while, but I seem to recall that he was a bit awkward in his attempt to pass as Charlie. But then again, as in the Van Horn and Ray cases, no one close to him seemed to notice.

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        • BklynBetty says

          Regarding – slipping into people’s identities with ease – i am just going to throw out the possibility that the sleeper-shifters had intel on the people they were to shift into. I wouldn’t know from where as Newton was still ‘on ice’ i believe when the Senator was killed, but maybe they watched them for a while – whereas the Evil Charlie shifter was rolling with the punches and didn’t know too much about him. His real mission, after all, was to kill Olivia. It would make sense though that once he had infiltrated TPTB would want him to remain there to collect any information he could.

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    • FinChase says

      Shapeshifter Charlie seemed to be damaged. When he went to see Typewriter Guy, he was sort of hunched over, like he was in pain. I think Charlie managed to shoot the shapeshifter nurse and the injuries were still there, unhealed after he shifted. Plus, he didn’t have his mysteriously damaged device. Maybe that’s part of what helps a shapeshifter heal and maintain shape.

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      • Jase says

        I thought I had missed something, so I am glad others are wondering this same thing. To me, this is a fairly large plot hole if that is what it is. I hope we get an explanation. I have a feeling that we won’t get one though as the shape shifters seem to be being phased out of the plot. Fringe just bent the rules again to suit the plot, like they did with the Charlie shape shifter in the first place. I’d buy any of the explanations given — different model, damaged, no device — just for some sort of continuity.

        I love this show, but for a series that pays such close attention to detail, they seem to let a few biggies thru the cracks…

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  5. Anjali says

    “And finally, here comes the big moment when Peter gathers his senses and is redeemed!”

    Haha Roco. The whole sequence that followed got me in hysterics for a whole minute!! I look forward to your humor every week!!

    Great review!!

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  6. Fran says

    “It’s the so-called monster who becomes the best friend, the ally who has raised this very human child through the formative years of his life. The monster is not such a monster. ”

    I think I saw this opinion somewhere but I was wondering your thoughts on this Roco. In Ray’s speech couldn’t it also be interpreted as the “over there” opinion that “over here” are the monsters. He at one point in time believed that we were the monsters, and through the emotional connections he made with his “family” realized that “monsters” are not so scary, and ultimately could become your best friend.

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    • Isa says

      Yeah, that was my interpretation also. Ray thought that he would come here and find monsters, but in reality he found his best friends.

      I wonder if this may also happen to Altlivia.

      Another great, great example of how brilliant the writing is so far this season.

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      • SF says

        “Yeah, that was my interpretation also. Ray thought that he would come here and find monsters, but in reality he found his best friends.

        I wonder if this may also happen to Altlivia.”

        Yes, that was what my mind jumped to during the episode too – that Ray was voicing what we hope AltLiv, and eventually Linc/Broylnate/Charlienate will discover – that over here, are not monsters, but best friends. That the universes are not enemies, and there is no plot to destroy anyone – well, Walternate is plotting to destroy Walter and the world also, but other than that, no one else at the everyday level in either world even knows of the existence of the other world. I love how monsters are used in Fringe over and over to scare, and to find courage and love, all of which this episode have.

        Ray and Newton fascinated me because Ray knew he was a monster – not human, had killed people – and then he found grace in coming to love and be loved by humans. Are all the shapeshifters changed eventually by contact with humans? As you point out, Roco, Newton leaves Ray’s family alive – and why? Because Ray loved them enough that he changed, he became more than a shapeshifter on mission? Of everyone in this episode, Ray is the real hero because he discovers what he won’t lose, and he won’t cross the line and lose them. That is when he became more ‘human’ (and don’t I hear a lot of echoes from science fiction shows and books in this!), at least imo. Maybe for his 16 years over here, Newton was being gradually changed too by his contact with our world (despite warning AltLiv about it), and when he saw Ray stop and say no, Newton didn’t kill his family. Maybe that was when he knew that the shapeshifters’ time was up. That the senator’s death had driven a hole in the shapeshifters infiltrating the government on our side, and so they weren’t of use any more, really. I’m just guessing of course, but it explains why he didn’t kill Ray’s family, why he crashed the car, instead of escaping (and I’m with you Roco, I really wanted him to get away too.) The time has come for people to fight the war, the shapeshifters had done their job. What do you think?

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        • BklynBetty says

          “Ray is the real hero because he discovers what he won’t lose, and he won’t cross the line and lose them. That is when he became more ‘human’.”

          I think that this is a Really great thought given the amount of ‘line-crossing’ that’s been going on Over Here. To have the character with the most ‘fixed’ center be Ray the Sleeper-shifter – he is a hero of sorts and he compares favorably against Altlivia, Peter and all of our other line-crossing friends.

          I also thought his line about his ‘family’ meaning so much to him was very interesting. His wording was a little clumsy and maybe a little naive sounding? He didn’t/wouldn’t use the word ‘love’. Could it be that our ‘hero’-shifter was drawing a line in the sand for something he didn’t (couldn’t? hadn’t yet?) quite process, or didn’t realize he could understand? Does he Know that he loves?

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    • says


      For me it holds more power in the sense that Ray is presenting himself as the ‘monster’, because of the intimacy of his delivery and the fact that he uses words like “you” and “your”, but I definitely agree that it also holds power in the ‘Walternate’ sense of the phrase. I think I touched on it above, but essentially I feel that Walternate is badly mistaken about who the so-called ‘monsters’ are.

      It’s great that we can extract different interpretations from one powerful scene. I think that’s what partly gives it power – the ambiguity.

      Great stuff!

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  7. Isa says

    Great review and great episode! How awesome is season 3 so far? And how good is Anna Torv at playing two versions of the same character? To say she’s been fantastic is an understatement.

    About Peter-Altlivia-Olivia, I love how tragic this chain of events is:

    – Olivia decides not to tell Peter the truth about him.

    – Peter finds he’s from the other side and cross to AU.

    – Olivia decides to go after Peter on the other side. She finds him and tells him “he belongs with her”.

    – Peter decides to go back, potentially because of what Olivia said to him.

    – Olivia is trapped on the other side and is replaced over here by Altlivia.

    – Peter doesn’t realise is Altlivia, though he admits she’s acting like a “completly different person”.

    – Olivia is given Altlivia’s memories. She struggles to stay Olivia and the thing that may help her the memory of Peter.

    – Peter dismiss his own instinct and sleeps with Altlivia.

    – Olivia is broken and forgotten on the other side…

    It’s just brilliant.

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    • Anjali says

      It is, isn’t it?

      I feel the writing is fantastic this season (although I hated the ending.. oh Peter, you blind blind boy) and will only get better once Olivia comes back!

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    • Aaronia says

      Now that you put it this way it reminds me of the Swan Lake. So, it’s just such a classical tragic story.

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  8. Page 48 says

    Roco: “As for Faultlivia. I know that her actions were in some ways inspired by Newton, but that’s no excuse. I am saddened by her choice to sleep with Peter, knowing that she has a man on the other side waiting for her. How could she? And for the record, I don’t buy Newton’s insinuation that she had to do this – it was an option sure, but by no means a necessity. If she can do this, what wont she do?

    Let’s not forget that she’s already splashed some hearing impaired guy’s brains all over Olivia’s kitchen, and let him bleed out all over Livvie’s spotless bathroom floor.

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    • Page 48 says

      While we’re on the subject of Altlivia’s choices, what would her fanboys, Charlienate and Lincoln, (who both have her placed high atop the proverbial alt-pedestal) think if they could look through one of Walter’s magic windows and see her soiling herself with such unsavory acts as murder and ‘sexpionage’. Would they admire her all the more for her dedication to the “defense” of their side, or would they begin to wonder if they really ever knew her at all?

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    • says


      Good point. Clearly she’s already crossed several lines already. Both actions were in some way inspired (or at least hastened) by Newton. Is she really that malleable?

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  9. Cherioki says

    With the whole Peter-Olivia-Altlivia thing, I can’t help but to think the writers are setting up a story arc where Peter completely loses it. In which Olivia and Peter reunite, Olivia doesn’t forgive Peter for doing the deed with her evil twin, Peter then becomes emotionally and mentally unstable, this triggers Peter to power up the doom’s day machine and do God’s knows what with it. It’s all over I tell ya!

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  10. LizW65 says

    “If she can do this, what wont she do?”
    Kind of echoes the Massive Dynamic byline, doesn’t it? What do we do? Whant DON’T we do?

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  11. FinChase says

    Great review!

    I have to admit that I’ve never been as big a fan of Newton as you are; to me he’s never been a patch on Jones. However, I will miss him, and I hate that Fringe has burned through yet another villain.

    When I watched the scene with Ray and his “son”, my thoughts immediately went to the scene with Walternate describing people from our universe as “monsters in our skin.” I still wish they’d use that as a title for an episode.

    As for AltLivia, as Page 48 noted, she’s already killed a man in cold blood. It’s somewhat interesting that most people (and the Fringe writers, for that matter) are implying that sleeping with Peter was when she crossed a moral line. I still maintain, however, that if you watch “The Box” closely, you can see that this action, again goaded by Newton, was very difficult for her. I was really hoping that we’d see some sign that this was weighing on her conscience, so it’s disappointing that the TPTB decided to move us into soap opera land instead. Nonetheless, I am glad that they showed some internal struggle for her, that all this is hard for her. I hope they explore this further, and not take us down some tedious “love triangle” story.

    I really feel like the writers are missing a great opportunity with AltLivia to let us see our world through her eyes. Thanks to the Over There episodes, we know that coffee and avocados and probably many other edibles are very scarce. What does AltLivia think when she goes to a supermarket and sees all of the things her world lacks displayed in gaudy excess? Is she bitter about this? Does it fuel her anger and reinforce her determination to complete her mission? What happens if someone hands her a pen and asks her to write something down? Why haven’t we seen her struggle with her lack of “Olivia-knowledge”, such as Olivia’s personal passwords and PINs? Even with AltLivia’s memories in her head, Olivia didn’t know about the new code required for the alt-Fringe division’s phone system or a big one like oxygen protocol. And most of all, where are Rachel and Ella? All summer we’ve speculated on how AltLivia would respond at meeting her dead sister’s double and the niece that never existed in her universe. This would have to be an experience that would shake AltLivia to the core. If they don’t show us this, I’ll feel like we’ve been cheated out of a huge payoff.

    Peter, Peter, Peter. He actually gained a little ground with me in the season 2 finale when he recognized the differences between the two Olivias, and perfectly captured the essence of our Olivia with one word. But now it’s one step forward, 25 steps backwards. I don’t see how he’s ever going to rebound from this one. Personally I’m hoping Olivia brings Frank back with her or else goes looking for his double Over Here. He seems like a really good guy.

    8.5/10 for me

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    • SF says

      I like how you brought up the groceries, and pen, and the PINS, too! Nice point about how our Olivia even with AltLiv’s memories didn’t know about the amber alert, whereas AltLiv doesn’t seem to be stumbling or remarking on anything on our side that we would expect her too, like the abundance of foods that they don’t have over there. While I think it’s a secondary interest, I do think showing if this is turning AltLiv against our world because we have so much, or that she is realizing most of the world has no idea another universe exists so there is no overt ‘war’ going on with her world so we arent’ a threat – this I think would be important for showing how our world is affecting her. How does she cope without having a “show Me” card for everything? What about our guns, which are so far behind their pulsars?

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    • fringefan2009 says

      Hi Fin Chase,

      You made some very good points, especially the part regarding everyone focused on Altivia sleeping with Peter, but killing someone in cold blood is so much worse. Granted, isn’t that the moral delimma with most soldiers? In her mind, she is there to save her world from these monsters from trying to destroy it. So, one life, and sleeping with someone is not really much of a sacrifice on her part. I think the writers, however, are missing a great opportunity to humanize Altivia. This might have something to do with the fact that is a alone in foreign territory. We all behave differently when placed in stressful situations. Now, Peter, yeah, what can I say. All I’m saying is, that in the next scene, he better be stopping that little sex act and say something to the effect of “I gotta go…emergency.” and run out crying. Cuz, I’ve seen people change, but unless they’ve had a stroke or something, they don’t usually change that much overnight. The fact that she is totally uninterested in helping solve the case. Citing clearance restrictions for the senators wife. Come on! This is the chick that broke like every protocol for John Scott, or whatever case she is working to find out the truth. She walked into a girls wake to rummage through her stuff for information. Peter, wake up dude! Granted, he could be in denial, because from what we’ve seen, once a hybrid takes over, the host is dead. His first instinct would probably be that she is a machine, not the other Olivia.

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    • says

      Thanks for sharing Fin, lots of good points there.

      Picking up on Altlivia’s morality – it’s definitely interesting to consider which act is worse. I think she’d consider sleeping with Peter to be a bigger breach of her moral code because it’s such a personal and intimate act. Her day job entails her to carry a gun and possibly shoot people, but sleeping with the potential enemy? The thought probably makes her skin crawl.

      I agree though, she had already crossed the line, and sleeping with Boy Wonder (if she went through with it) only made things worse. And what would Walternate say if he knew? Is this what he wanted? Hmm..

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      • Alex says

        I just had a really creepy thought….

        What if Altliv gets pregant?

        *sound of a million P/O shipper hearts breaking*

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        • FinChase says

          No, that wasn’t the sound of a million P/O shipper hearts breaking. It was the sound of me losing my lunch! Reminds me of the old Carol Burnett Show soap opera spoof: “As the Stomach Turns.” :)

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      • FinChase says

        Yes, the fact that is so much more intimate probably does make it seem worse to AltLivia. To be honest, it probably would be for me also. She essentially sold herself for the sake of her mission, and that’s hard for anyone to swallow, especially someone like AltLivia who is, I would guess, rather proud. I hope they show a “morning after” scene.

        As for Walternate, I think he hit upon the idea when he realized that Peter was attracted to Olivia–both Olivias–so perhaps this was in his mind. He might see it as a way to eventually tie Peter to the alternate universe.

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  12. Alex says

    I feel sorry for Altliv, but i don’t feel like the writers are humanising her as much as they could be – still early though. I felt bad for her all through the episode, from when she had her little bathroom freakout after Peter’s accidental sex hint (which told her the relationship was coming up to that line) to all of Newton’s taunts. Her voice cracked a little when she said (paraphrasing) “What makes you think I don’t already have Peter’s trust?”, to which Newton only torments her, saying she needs to do more if she’s going to succeed. His mentions in the prison about the divide between her confident self and her insecurities was interesting, but i don’t think we’ve seen enough of her fear for us to really sympathise with her yet. After all, much like our Olivia, the weight of her universes survival rests almost solely on her – that’s a lot of pressure to handle. When she walked away from his cell, she looked troubled to me – like this whole time Newton had been telling her to sleep with Peter and she’d finally realised she couldn’t run from it anymore.

    Does nobody remember that she has a boyfriend on the other side who loves her enough to buy her avocados? : ( I don’t care how evil you think she is, cheating on your boyfriend for the sake of a mission can’t be easy for anyone. Even if she could justify it to herself at the time, saying the mission was going to save her world and the lives of everyone she loved (including, ironically, the lover she’s betraying), I bet she felt some major guilt the next morning.

    But i think unless the writer’s show us that bitter aftertaste, all those P/O shippers will have a really hard time ever sympathising with her after this. Also, Petah is partly to blame here – he suspected that something was wrong and he still slept with her? Come on, Petah! But yeah, he’ll never forgive himself once he finds out. And poor Ourlivia, enduring hell in another universe only to come home to this *sigh*

    Awesome episode!!!

    ps. RIP Newton. We will miss you terribly. Can’t wait to see which three-named villain replaces you! : )

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    • Ann_Louise says

      “Does nobody remember that she has a boyfriend on the other side who loves her enough to buy her avocados?”

      Ah, yes. “Poor Frank” is that poor sap’s name. AltLivia’s willingness to prostitute herself for “the mission” says so much about how totalitarian Over There really is. The will of the Leader (Walternate), the well-being of the group (or a world) has so much more importance than one measly little conscience.

      But if Aeryn and John Crichton were able to survive a similar situation on Farscape, I still have hope for Peter and Olivia!

      Now that Newton is dead, can we have the Over There version of Mr. Jones build his own dimension-buster? Please?

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  13. SF says

    Roco, what a fabulous review. I really enjoyed reading it, and I thought your points were excellent and well-made.

    I’m so thrilled that you’ve perfectly caught how I feel about Peter and AltLiv ‘doing the deed’. ‘Disappointed’. As I mentioned on the post for this episode, I’d been dreading this since last season’s ender – so almost 5 months of anxiety and P/O shipper torture, to discover that when it does happen for them, as many commentators have said, it seems seedy and sad. If it was meant to show what happens when a character crosses the line against what they feel, then I think when the fall-out happens, it’s going to be spectacular for both AltLIv and Peter.

    “I think she’ll struggle to find herself again after this. She may find that she’s lost more than her integrity. I’m just being honest with where I am with her at the moment.”………
    “I couldn’t see Olivia doing something like this.”

    FinChase and I were talking about this offline, and I said I didn’t think she could. Olivia wouldn’t let herself be put in this kind of situation – she’d find a way out and around it, because that is who she is. She has a very strong sense of justice, is very clear and straightforward in her thinking. I know everyone points to her deciding to not tell Peter the truth and how that wasn’t ‘honest’, but I also point to her tossing and turning, and realizing she couldn’t lose him. I’m still not saying it’s a right decision she made, I”m just saying if she was so upset over a decision about whether to tell a friend something about them, how on earth could she go so far as to betray someone she loved by sleeping with someone else? It seems to me Olivia wouldn’t. She wouldn’t do it. I’m glad we agree, Roco! Fin didn’t agree with me.

    “For me, this show is very much becoming about the hero within.”

    This is what I think many of our characters are on the road to discovering, too – the hero within. That when they cross their line – or come up to their line – do they cross it? Or not? that’s when they discover who they are, what kind of hero they are really, inside themselves. Only Ray and Newton know what Ray discovered about himself, but that love he felt changed his ‘life’ (do shapeshifters live?), and the family’s he invaded, possibly for the better. All he knew, was that he couldn’t leave them, couldn’t be a shapeshifter any more if it meant killing people. What an extraordinary discovery. Along the lines of Walter’s “The mind is God” – consciousness is God. As you say, awake. Once again we find that what was awoken can’t be put to sleep again ( words from S1). Ray didn’t want to go back to what once was. I find this moving and hopeful. It shows to me that the shapeshifters might have had something implanted in them by Bell, that might be triggered by proximity to humans – something that makes them want to be like humans, in the end. Or, it could be as simple as, consciousness, once awoken, doesn’t want to go to sleep again. That’s a beautiful thought, isn’t it?

    Olivia is really discovering who she is now that she’s almost lost herself; I think Peter is still wandering around in the landscape of NWP and has to awaken his hero within; Walter is dosing himself to ignore that which he knows (ie something is different about Olivia!) – who knows where his hero within is. Maybe it’s the same with their alternates too: AltLIv is losing herself while over here – in order to find her hero within, what she believes to be true, she has to lose her way in order to find herself; Walternate is lost in rage and loss. Only Broylnate shows the possiblity (though the others might in proximity to Olivia) of waking up to the potential of thinking for himself regarding the two Olivias. Does being a hero within mean one has to be awake? I think so, certainly Fringe is showing what not being awake to what is really right and wrong, is doing to our characters.

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    • FinChase says

      “It seems to me Olivia wouldn’t. She wouldn’t do it. I’m glad we agree, Roco! Fin didn’t agree with me.”

      SF, I never said I didn’t agree with you. I simply raised the question of how far Olivia herself would go in order to survive. This harks back to Roco’s excellent “Olivia” review where he noted that both Olivias seem to be born survivors, and also his note about how deceptive she can be. Look how far she’ll go to escape: Pretending weakness, illness, pleading, attempting to befriend her captors–we’ve seen her do all of these when she had to. Who’s to say that if the stakes were high enough, she would not use every means at her disposal?

      However, as a matter of fact, I do not think that Olivia would cross that particular moral line, although I believe she might move closer to it than we think. There is almost a purity to Olivia’s character that is quite unique. I’ve called her Fringe’s White Knight before, and I think that is who she is meant to be: Sans peur et sans reproche. That was what was so troubling about her decision to not tell Peter in “O.ITL.WTR”: It was the first time she had gotten any tarnish on her armor.

      I like your thought that by losing herself that AltLivia may eventually find herself. I’ve been disappointed by what they’ve done with her character in having her kill the deaf man. When you take someone’s life, you’ve taken everything that person is or could be. To my mind, this is a much harder action for her to attempt to rebound from. We are all responsible for own actions, and ultimately, AltLivia must be responsible for her action here, but I do believe that she would not have taken that step if Newton had not goaded her into it. I am uncertain whether he did this because he wanted to make sure she was fully committed to her mission or because he enjoyed stripping away a layer of her humanity because he didn’t like her, but it was quite deliberately done.

      I re-watched the episode again last night, and I took note of what Roco describes as AltLivia’s “freakishly beady eyes” in that scene in the prison. Beady is not normally a word I would use to describe someone with such large eyes as Anna Torv, but there was a strange, hawkish quality to her gaze then. Great lighting effect there as well as acting. I find myself quite haunted by the memory of AltLivia’s bleak face as she walked away from Newton’s cell, passing through pool after pool of harsh overhead lighting. I got the strong sense that a part of her had just died inside. As Roco says, Newton’s victory over her was complete.

      I know the Emmy-nominating committee will probably not take any more notice of Anna Torv’s work this season than they did of John Noble’s last year, but they really should. I was always impressed with her work on the show, but she’s really taken things to a whole new level. To my mind, this has always been her show, but now it’s even more so.

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      • SF says

        Hi Fin: I’ve gone back and checked, and we agree now that Olivia would have a problem doing what AltLiv did – and I like how you call her pure, which i think is a quality Olivia has, that I’m not sure AltLiv does. What I meant was, you think Olivia could come much closer to crossing that line and sleeping with the enemy in order to survive, whereas I think she would get herself out of the situation first.

        “AltLivia must be responsible for her action here, but I do believe that she would not have taken that step if Newton had not goaded her into it.”

        I have been thinking about this point too, and i wondered if his words pushed her to act sooner – that she was hesitating, not sure if she had to go through with sleeping with him in order to convince him she was the right Olivia, and then his words convinced her to rush forward. Both AltLiv and Olivia showed remarkable openness to injury from his words. What was it about him that got to both versions of her? Was it because he was the robot soldier that Olivia unconsciously feels she is trained to be (thanks to the experiment), while AltLiv dresses in battle fatigues, an open soldier’s outfit – mimicking her father who was in the military? Was he in the military on both worlds? I wonder if Newton reminded them of him, somehow, with his talk of the mission and not letting emotions get in the way. I don’t want to go into daddy issues as we don’t know enough about Olivia’s or AltLiv’s dad to really guess yet, it just seems to me that Newton had a way of getting under their skin and I’m curious why he has that effect when Olivia (and I’m guessing AltLiv who seems a little tougher than Olivia in regards to people’s opinions of her) lets her own sense of justice guide her more than what anyone says. What do you think? I like the idea of Olivia as a white knight, too. Interesting image of her!

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    • says

      “Once again we find that what was awoken can’t be put to sleep again”

      Excellent points all round, SF. I particularly like what you said above. It’s a running theme on the show and it’s as true for Ray as it is for most of our other characters who have experienced an awakening.

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      • SF says

        LOL! thanks Roco, and would you be meaning Peter in mentioning ‘most characters who have experienced an awakening’, that he is one who hasn’t fully awoken yet? I don’t think he has, myself. And Walter, who is awake, keeps trying to put himself back to sleep. So this is interesting – I’ve never considered the characters who are awake and don’t want to be, or the ones who are trying to awaken and can’t, quite (which would be Peter, imo). What do you think it means that Peter, who has the most to gain and lose from being awoken to the truth, keeps not dealing with it? I wonder what he is afraid of – that he will have to grow up? Take responsibility? Or, are we expecting too much from Peter still, and he has to grow into that image Olivia has of him in her mind?

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        • number six says

          “and he has to grow into that image Olivia has of him in her mind?”
          I hope the writers don’t change Peter into that. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy that image she has of him, because I find it hilariously over the top. It’s what she wants to see in him and there is nothing wrong with that, but but that’s not him.

          Peter is doing the same with Olivia. He wants her to be happier and less burdened, and really, unless one is a sadist, that’s what everyone wants for their loved ones. But that’s not Olivia.

          They are idealizing each other way too much, but that’s coming to an end very soon.

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  14. Aaronia says

    Well, I’ve been thinking out lots of possibilities to go with Peter and Altlivia, trying to find some interesting story that could justify their deed. And I guess there are some good chances out there… that I hope might be explored.

    Anyway, I wanted to share a wild idea that came to me. Imagine that Altliv gets pregnant and finally gives the child to grandpa Walternate to care for, when she finally comes back with Frank. Then Walternate accepts the child and forgives both Universes for the loss of his Peter, and we have a happy end.

    Olivia and Peter would then get together eventually and have their own child, and he would get to be the exact alternate character of Walternate’s baby. So that Peter doesn’t have to feel bad about his missing child. Unless he wants to go “Walter” and kidnap Walternate’s kid all over again. (Hence the maternal advice: be a better man than your father).

    And then, the idea came to me, that perhaps even Walternate sent Altlivia to Peter with just that idea, to get a little Peter, all just new for him. And that would be why Newton kept pushing Altliv in that direction.

    I know it’s too soap-operish, but it sounds fun… maybe for next musical episode.

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  15. says

    Roco, I think you are totally wrong in your interpretation of our Walter. He is a good man. He had Bellie remove 3 parts of his brain so he wouldn’t become what he saw he was becoming.

    Peter, peter, peter….I am so disappointed in you. “Like your when you were on the Other Side changed you…like, your a totally different person…ah he he he (Valley Girl talk).” yeah, like going over to the Other Side for two days (at most) would change Olivia that much. It would totally lift the burden she carries for other people…and the world. Nah, I don’t think so.

    And, when the real Olivia returns, she’ll have to deal with betrayal by the one figure of her subconscious mind who gave her a beautiful kiss (I thought it was better than the one in last season’s finale), and who will guide her ultimately to the way home. I’ll bet she’ll be devastated beyond belief. I know I would.

    Because she’ll see it as the same betrayal as John Scott did to her in Season 1. “Real is a matter of perception.” “You can’t forget this [then kiss].”

    I really have grown to HATE Fauxlivia.

    Newton — please come back!

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    • says

      ooops..I forgot to add that Peter is the only one who is in the position to recognize Fauxlivia…the real Olivia *bluffed* him to get him to leave Iraq, this Fauxlivia can’t *bluff* Peter. Unless he’s just thinking with his “dick”.

      But still that wouldn’t be right either. The only way I can see is if they got back, Walter got taken home by Astrid, Peter took Olivia home, and they slept together then (at a vulnerable time for who Peter who think was Olivia). Then they say, “We have to take a step back.” Then, Peter catches on and keeps “dating” but not “sleeping” with Bolivia, watching her every move.

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    • says

      “Roco, I think you are totally wrong in your interpretation of our Walter. He is a good man. He had Bellie remove 3 parts of his brain so he wouldn’t become what he saw he was becoming.”


      Well that’s an argument filled with reason and context. You sure proved me wrong. 😉

      You can believe that Walter is a good man if that’s what you believe. Me? I don’t think ‘good people’ stab people, abduct their children, experiment on tots, cause incredible devastation to an entire world and then fail to learn from those mistakes under the self-interested veil of ‘love’. I could go on and on.

      I fail to see how cutting pieces from his brain makes him a good man. There may have been a trace altruism in that act, but I’m not too quick to overlook the fact that removing those memories from his brain enabled him to forget most of the damage and devastation he caused. You say selfless, I say selfish. You say good man, I say a very flawed, dangerous and selfish man who is not irredeemable but has a lot to do.

      But again, you’re entitled to interpret Walter however you want. I just think you’re viewing him too narrowly. 😉

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      • Emily says

        I half agree with you, Roco. Walter is by no means a saint. However, I do believe that having William Bell remove portions of his brain warrants him some credit; after all, we have seen the in tact and ruthless version of Walter in the form of Walternate. At this point, Walternate seems to have fewer redeeming qualities than Walter. Walter “crossed the line” to save the other Peter, but unintentionally started a war; Walternate, on the other hand, is fueling this war with a seemingly irrevocable drive to win no matter what, which even involves using his own son to power a doomsday device.
        Here’s where I do agree with you. Walter does have a long way to go on his road to redemption. Walter was wrong to abduct Peter; he must face these consequences. Walter experimented on children; he has to face these consequences too. Overall, it would be unjust for Walter to end up happy, but when the time comes for him to finally face what he’s done, I think we’ll find that while his intentions were always selfish, he never meant the harm he caused.
        And as for Walter’s most recent crime, stabbing the shapeshifter? I don’t really think is an act that should be condemned as you have done. Walter must have known the man was a shapeshifter, and that stabbing him would not kill him. It isn’t like Walter did this with a completely malicious intent, either; didn’t you see his face when he picked up the knife? After all, Walter was just trying to obtain the data device, not just stand there like a defenseless old man.
        As always, Walter continues to work for the greater good. But then again, no matter what he’s working for, one day he’ll have to pay the price.

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        • says


          I’m not sure Walter’s brain snipping act deserves as much credit as many seem to think. At this point it totally depends on which direction the writers want to take it, but for me his act seems less than heroic.

          If we are to consider Walter’s act as a pure act of altruism, then surely we must also reconsider the harshness with which we judge Walternate – a man who for whatever reason didn’t have the foresight to remove his pain and anguish with a surgical knife.

          Personally, I think the ‘ruthless version of Walter’ is Walter and not necessarily Walternate. I get what you’re saying and we’re dealing with fine lines, but Walter is quite capable of filling that role in his own right – it’s just that his circumstances are different, more cosy.

          Can we really look so fondly upon Walter when not only does he have Walternate’s son to stabilize him, but he wrecked Walternate’s world and triggered his revenge? It seems a bit unfair to me.

          While I agree with you on Walter’s road to redemption, we also have to judge him on the here and now. And it’s only a couple of episodes ago that he all but admitted that he’d repeat his actions all over again. That’s a big problem for me, as it should be for anyone on planet earth who would have a problem with one man sacrificing their lives and loved ones to mend his own broken heart. That’s what it boils down to for me, and until Walter makes some positive changes I’ll struggle to see him in such good light.

          I did see Walter’s face when stabbing the shifter, but if someone stabbed me while uttering the words “sorry” I’d still be mightily miffed. :) Indeed, didn’t Altlivia get a hard time for doing something similar to Box Man a couple of episodes ago? Just saying is all.

          And has Walter ‘always’ worked for the ‘greater good’? I’m not so sure that is the case unless the greater good involves hiding from his responsibilities and kidnapping children that don’t belong to him. Who’s to say that Walternate cannot claim to be working for the ‘greater good’, protecting his world against a world which corrupted his? Personally I think that phrase has long been misused by those acting under the pretence of ‘great’ and ‘good’.

          All I’m doing is pulling back the lens. Like you, my hope is for Walter to redeem himself, and also for Walternate to put down his weapons. I’d like nothing more than a big Walter on Walternate hug. But this is where we are currently at in the journey – neither side right, neither side completely without perceived just cause. It’s fascinating, but I think it’s important to extract the full story from the story.

          Good talking to ya.

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  16. Kill Granny says

    I think Newton’s suicide was unnecessary. His incarceration could have lead up to a future episode where other Shapeshifter soldiers assemble to break their leader out of prison.

    Doesn’t look like that will be happening so I take some comfort in the fact that he is after all, part machine and like most machines, they can be fixed. Hopefully Newton will be back. If not, maybe we’ll see Sebastian on an episode of Hell’s Kitchen facing HIS Doppelgänger.

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  17. Matt-ernate says

    Since there is another Matt on the boards, maybe I should change mine. I’m going with Matt-ernate for now. Anyways…

    Great review. To touch on something though –

    I disagree with your critique of Walter’s actions with Ray. Walter is in his current state, a fragile being. I think I speak appropriately when I say that. When I saw that scene, I saw a very scared man trying to protect himself, his friends and his work. Even with the screen cap that you put up, you can see it in Walter’s face (kudos John Noble for being an amazing actor) that he is really struggling with what he’s about to do, but I think he does it out of a fear and self-preservation. I don’t think he wanted to hurt Ray, one (perhaps), for fear that he was human but also because of his spiritual conflict for forgiveness, simply seeing the shapeshifters as machines more than man, doesn’t take away the idea that they still are some part man and ultimately a creation that he is both envious of and jealous of. I actually think Walter was wise in what he thought he was doing and was doing it with Noble intentions (slight pun intended after I realized what I wrote…haha) That’s just my thoughts.

    Also – I liked your idea of if the soul and how experiences transfer over to the shapeshifters. For me, I more or less considered how the information is transferred over (not the mechanics but more the information itself). What all is transferred? If they are able to fully become the person they’re shifting into, then isn’t it possible that their experiences with their beliefs and feelings would transfer too? Is it possible that the information of emotion and belief can be boiled down to some kind of a pattern or patch of data that the shifter is able to understand those emotions over time? I don’t know, just a thought.

    I really liked this episode. I was really happy with this one after my concerns about “over here” which I expressed last time. Although my one problem was that there was no Post-Both-My-Dads-Are-Insane Peter moments. They’re really not digging into any conflict that SHOULD still be there between Peter and Walter and that’s bothering me more than how he can’t see that Altlivia isn’t his girl (though I like how the show justifies it each time…even Frank doesn’t see that Olivia isn’t his girl – and I’ve seen plenty of friends date some people they didn’t think were bad for them…but we all could see what was really going on with the “blinded by puppy love” phase that I’m throwing Peter into) I think Peter’s intellect in that situation is actually getting ahead of him, a pride that says he’s better and smarter than the congressmans wife so he would know if this wasn’t his girl, not just noticing the differences that have come about. I wonder if he battles with it in his head but convinces himself he’s smart enough to figure it out and would have by now, thus bringing his own downfall and blindness. Okay – went way off topic

    So yeah, I am surprised they haven’t dealt with Peter and Walter – though I’ve found more resolution there from other peoples comments last time I mentioned this and looking back into Season 2. Peter clearly cares about being on the team (ie: Northwest Passage…he picks up a case when he’s trying to get away from the team for a while…) and I think there is some resolution in the fact that Walter crosses over TWICE to save him. While Peter might not have full resolution with him, his connection to his work (just as Walter/Walternate are connected to their work and feel as such) and Walter’s coming over to save peter twice. So…i’m giving a little more leeway there for the moment but it still bugs me.

    Great episode nonetheless.

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    • says

      “I disagree with your critique of Walter’s actions with Ray. Walter is in his current state, a fragile being. I think I speak appropriately when I say that. When I saw that scene, I saw a very scared man trying to protect himself, his friends and his work. Even with the screen cap that you put up, you can see it in Walter’s face (kudos John Noble for being an amazing actor) that he is really struggling with what he’s about to do, but I think he does it out of a fear and self-preservation. I don’t think he wanted to hurt Ray, one (perhaps), for fear that he was human but also because of his spiritual conflict for forgiveness, simply seeing the shapeshifters as machines more than man, doesn’t take away the idea that they still are some part man and ultimately a creation that he is both envious of and jealous of. I actually think Walter was wise in what he thought he was doing and was doing it with Noble intentions (slight pun intended after I realized what I wrote…haha) That’s just my thoughts.”

      Matt-ernate (nice!),

      You make good points. I should explain though – I agree that Walter struggled with the decision to stab Ray, and John Noble made that overly clear with his facial expressions. But does that change the fact that he stabbed Ray? Nope.

      He’s asked for the forgiveness of God and since then he’s continued to undermine the ‘second chance’ that he’s been given (leaving aside the possibility of the white tulip being self-engineered for a moment). These acts together culminate in a man who is unable to break the cycle.

      No-one said it would be easy for him. In fact, if it were easy then he wouldn’t have to struggle with his decisions. But acting out of “fear” and “self preservation” is exactly his problem. It’s what led him to steal Peter and corrupt the alternate universe. It’s what led him to experiment on children – many of them now in an early grave. Self preservation can surely no-longer be used as a viable excuse for someone like Walter – he has to be better than this.

      I agree that he was in a difficult situation, and I thought that went without saying, but repeated acts of violence is not going to redeem the character. Again, you raise good points, and I’m not trying to stick the knife into Walter. :) I’m simply being honest with where I am with the character at this particular time. To skirt over an act of sheer aggression just because it’s our ‘lovable’ Walter would be to miss the point, in my opinion.

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  18. nathan says

    I really love reading your reviews. There was something that pricked my interest. The amount of drugs Walter takes -LSD etc – I’ve read and watched a documentary on ‘theorists/scientists etc’ who took a lot of lsd, and they tried to tie those acts with the inspiration behind many of other things we enjoy today – like the internet.

    Drug experimentation, especially psychotropics – I have always felt to be very in-line with that era and very much in character for Walter. I must go find that article I read – was fascinating to read.!

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  19. Azazel says

    I think that Ray was an allusion to Altlivia. Was what she did with Peter really that bad? You can bet, dollars to donuts that Olivia has shagged Altlivia’s man, not that that is her bad, she wasn’t in her right mind. However, there really isn’t a home for Altlivia to to home to, she has been replaced, upgraded as far as Walternate is concerned. So like Ray, Altlivia is OBSOLETE, the main emotion I see in her is TERROR, real terror for the first time in her life.

    Think about it. Olivia has assumed Altlivia’s role in the Red Universe, she has become a carbon based shapeshifter. Altlivia is scared to death. Every second could be her last. Her only hope is to bond with Peter. Peter, no one else, is her ticket to survival.

    And as for Peter, spend time around anyone who is (A) good at pick up and (B) really intelligent, and your will see these exact mistakes happening. Newt was right, you have to be on the outside to have the PERSPECTIVE that you need to see that Altivia is from the red universe. Plus, but the time it all is done and over with, maybe he can have both Olivia’s? It would be like dating twins…You gotta smile at that one, I bet even the show’s writers didn’t consider that possibility.

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  20. number six says

    I loved how Newton understood human emotion better than most people and yet he kept himself detached from such “weaknesses”. He was a soldier to the end and Walternate will miss him. That triumphant smile in his last few seconds was chilling. I don’t think it was only, because he had successfully manipulated Altivia, but because he had succeeded in every mission he had, until he was caught. He was a great character and I think the writers did him justice with his death scene.

    As for Altlivia, well, I would have felt more for her if she had shown any qualms about executing an innocent human being. That line should have been harder to cross, than cheating on his boyfriend. As it is, I’m not surprised she decided to deceive and abuse another human being, because she had to prove a point.

    I found the idea of the shapeshifters being able to have emotions and wanting to hold on to them fascinating. But as much as I sympathize with them, let’s not forget, that they killed the people, they were impersonating. I found Ray compelling and heartbreaking, but when Newton killed him, I felt sorrier for the wife and the kid than for Ray. I hope they didn’t get to know, that the man, they lived with, killed the man they loved and impersonated him for so many years. Mrs. Van Horn heartbreak illustrated the consequences very well, it’s not only that you lose your loved one, the betrayal has too many layers and the self-beating is unavoidable.

    Which takes me to the part I enjoyed the most. Peter and his apparent ignorance. Apparent being the key word here. I’m loving the suspense of not knowing if he knows or not. I keep looking at him, searching for clues and he gives as many reasons to think he knows as to the contrary. They kept reminding us, how good Peter is at reading people with that awesome display in the restaurant and about his conman past. However, they also gave us reasons, as to why Peter would only know the truth subconsciously . Whatever they do in future episodes will make this one better or worse, depending on what they do with Peter. Personally, I’d prefer it if he knows, because it would take the “rape” out of the equation and that’s, what it’s making the sex scene even more disgusting for me.

    “As much as I loathe Peter for constantly disrespecting Olivia and HER worth.”

    When exactly did he do that? I missed it completely.

    Walter has somehow regressed to S1 Walter, which amuses me, but it also worries me. He said that line, he usually mentioned back then about feeling envious of such or such achievement. Now that he’s in charge of MD, he could do so much harm. I don’t know if I’m fearful or hopeful about that possibility.

    Peter’s warmth and care for Walter was another highlight for me. The way he freaked out about Walter being in danger and the way he took care of him highlighted why they are the heart of the show. I know this warmth will come and go, but I’m happy to see, that his issues with Walter aren’t continued at work. Maybe we’ll get a scene with them having a personal conversation, that clears up, where they really stand relationship-wise. I have a pretty good idea, what they’re doing with this relationship, but they still have to make it clear within the show.

    Peter’s love for Walter, though heartwarming, also highlighted Peter’s lack of love for Olivia (Fauxlivia here). Why is he behaving so differently with her? I know that Walter is the most important person in his life, but he also cares for Olivia. So why have his loving looks and concern for her disappeared? It’s very strange, but I find it fascinating.

    This was by far the best episode in and already great S3. I loved it!

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    • Hatch says

      Re: “executing an innocent human being”

      Didn’t the guy help assault and tie up an innocent family who was eventually killed?

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      • number six says

        Yes, he did. He wasn’t hired, but his cousin brought him with them to steal the box. What does that have to do with Altlivia murdering him? He took the box to the authorities, at least, that’s what he thought.

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        • Hatch says

          My point is simply that he’s not totally “innocent.” Yeah, it was still a horrible thing for Altlivia to do, but just trying to put it in a little perspective.

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    • Lalla says

      I really love reading your comments, number six! :) I always find myself agreeing with you… especially on the Walter/Peter part. :)

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      • SF says

        “but I’m happy to see, that his issues with Walter aren’t continued at work. Maybe we’ll get a scene with them having a personal conversation, that clears up, where they really stand relationship-wise. I have a pretty good idea, what they’re doing with this relationship, but they still have to make it clear within the show.”

        Number Six, I’d really like it if they showed Walter and Peter struggling with this. Walter did an awful thing, a terrible act, and then compounded it by lying to Peter his whole life and telling Peter that his subconscious was a lie (the bad dreams peter kept having,that Walter told him to not pay attention to). I would expect them to have problems talking to one another, even being in the same room, because Peter should feel like he is starting over in his life now. I can understand that he can forgive Walter, and I expect him too, but I’d expect a few good arguments and doors slamming and cold stares over meals, first. Really cold silences, and I’d like to know if Peter feels bad for running out on Eliznate now, too.

        I really like all that you say, you have very good points also. Nothing is simple on Fringe, so I wouldn’t expect Peter and Walter’s relationship to go back to the way it was. It can’t. They can care, of course, but I want to see them learn how to care for one another, again.

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        • number six says

          I know what you mean, SF, and I suspect, that you will get arguments, as soon as Peter can talk about it. There was no argument in The Box, because he can’t talk about personal issues with Walter yet. What was the first thing he did after that? Run to who he thinks is his Olivia to talk about it and vent a little.

          In the last episode he was enjoying working with Walter and he freaked out understandably at the thought of Walter being in danger and yet, he was having dinner alone in a bar, because a personal environment is too much for him.

          He won’t be able to avoid a confrontation forever, though. I’m sure it’s bound to happen sooner or later. It remains to be seen, how ugly it will be.

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  21. MP says

    The writers have really developed Anna torv’s characters but it seems to me the effort has totally drained them so that they don’t give a shit about Peter. Seriously, are we supposed to believe that a super genius would behave like this? A very perceptive man who can’t see past the worst cover I have ever seen? It is all too contrived in order to give Altiva more time on this side.

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    • annon says

      Thankyou. They basically have rewritten his character this season just to fit into the Olivia story they are telling. All the things we were told Peter could do in previous seasons, all of sudden he doesn’t do them anymore. Peter is only a character used for contrivance purposes. Otherwise, they don’t give a shit about him.

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  22. Alter-Matt says

    Well, I just re-watched the season finale of season 1, and Walter mentions that he and Belly used to experiment being under the influence of LSD, Walter then mentions that while being under, Both He and Belly saw glimpses of the other side. So yeah, Since Walter was high in this episode and noticed something within Alt-livia’s hair suggest to me to that it will be Walter than will discover the identity of Alt-livia.

    Someone may have already mentioned this, so sorry if this is just a repost.

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  23. LizW65 says

    “Which takes me to the part I enjoyed the most. Peter and his apparent ignorance. Apparent being the key word here. I’m loving the suspense of not knowing if he knows or not…”

    Just a hunch, but I suspect that the writers didn’t tip off Jackson as to whether Peter guessed the truth or not, so he would continue to play the role ambiguously and keep us, the audience, wondering as well.

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  24. Isa says

    Is Anna Torv wearing a blonde wig while portraying Altlivia? If that’s the case, it’s amazing the level of details Fringe provides us.

    I really hope Altlivia can do some good the next Over Here episode. I mean, we saw her kill a deaf guy and we saw her betraying her boyfriend/husband. It must have something good about her, since she is just another version of Olivia. I would be pleased if in the next episode Altlivia does something that turns out to be pivotal to the case the Fringe Team will be investigating. I wanna see her fully committed to becoming part of our team.

    And I hope in the future we can saw Altlivia going back to the Other Side and having to deal with her choices Over Here, especially regarding to Frank.

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  25. LizW65 says

    “Is Anna Torv wearing a blonde wig while portraying Altlivia? If that’s the case, it’s amazing the level of details Fringe provides us.”

    I believe she has colored her own hair a more golden shade of blonde, and is still wearing a red wig while playing Olivia in the AU.

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    • Isa says

      Look how weird and unnatural Altlivia’s hair looks in the picture just after “Fringe Thoughts” in this review.

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      • LMH says

        It is Anna’s hair, and as much as I liked the more natural blonde/highlighted look original to our Liv, the think it is a nice piece of detail as it shows the audience that Altivia is trying to play the physical look of Olivia (the superficial aspects) by dyeing her hair blonde, presuming that our Olivia would want her hair back. She fails as our Liv for one wouldn’t wear makeup in the way she does, and probably would have just let the auburn Altivia hair color fade out since she doesn’t care too much about her appearance (not that she needs to). The most she’s done is look in the mirror and pull her hair out of a pony tail for her big Peter date. On the other side, our dear Liv is just letting her hair get blonder despite being almost drowned in Altivia’s memories and everyday life.

        And as silly as it might seem, I don’t think we are digging too much into the hair colors since it is obviously an important symbol of both Olivias’ identities and their transformations as has been pointed out here before.

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        • Isa says

          It does sounds silly, but in fact it’s a great metaphor for both Olivias. It also very telling that Walter saw something suspicious regarding Altlivia’s hair, which may leading him to find this is the wrong Olivia.

          I also like this whole hair thing because it goes back to what Peter said when he first met Altlivia in the season 2 finale.

          It’s fascinating that these two Olivias have swichted places and are trying to deal with their new identities where they don’t belong with people they don’t know, but their natures it’s “finding the crack” hehehe

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  26. Isa says

    Something that just crossed my mind and I’m not really sure where should I post it, but anyway: I would love to see Olivia being able to control her abilities and cross over to our side on her own, I mean she’s the strongest one… Then, she finds Altlivia and Peter on her own bed (hahaha). Drama bla bla bla… Olivia has to prove she’s the real Olivia, there’s a big face off between Altliva and Olivia. Finally, Altlivia is captured and locked down. Our team doesn’t know what to do with her. On the other side, the Fringe division has lost Olivia/Altlivia, so they have to cross to our side in order to find her! 😀

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  27. Mr. Wizard says

    Question: If Newton bled mecury does that mean he, too, was a shape shifter? Assuming Newton was indeed a shapeshifter, whose memory disk is stored in their a$$, how did Newton, who was once just a frozen head, retain his memories and knowledge after just his head was re-attached to anothers body? That does not make sense to me.

    Lastly, Can the “this universe” Fringe team harvest disks from past shapeshifters bodies (I.E. Dead Charlie) and at least, examine them and find out how they work and maybe, possibly, retrieve bits and pieces of useful data?

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    • LMH says

      Very good point. I’d say given that Newton’s head was recovered by shapeshifting agents from the other side (2.04) they presumably were able to reprogram him (he also obviously had close enough ties as Walternate’s AIC on this side to have the master work his magic on him again, at least through the shapeshifters who recovered him). They could have reprogrammed him with the knowledge, memories, and will necessary to complete the mission for which he was created (easily if all they needed was another ‘copy’ of the Newton chip and a ‘blank’ shapeshifting body). As Peter in 2.20 and the events in 2.10 pointed out those from the other side are highly skilled at memory implantation and manipulation.

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      • LMH says

        Oh and to address your other questions, I am wondering if the information is destroyed once the shapeshifter finally “dies” completely. (Reminiscent of Nina’s attempts to keep the info from John Scott’s glass hand disk viable for extraction by keeping John in a pretty-much-dead-but-suspended state because the info will die with him. The worry with Van Horn was that the ‘tin can’ was still kicking and able to provide information if Walter was able to ‘fix’ it (to full enough function for it to report that info) or to find the still ticking memory disk. Newton’s suicide chip could have killed the info simply by causing all function to cease. If this is the case, then the Charlie-shapeshifting body would not have retained such traces.

        As an aside, God knows where that body is now. They can’t have buried it in Charlie’s grave could they? Still don’t know what the hell they told his wife! His day of death was recorded on the gravestone as the day Livy shot him and not the true date of his demise.

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        • BklynBetty says

          I assumed, in Newton’s case anyway, that the chip which he ingested contained a computer virus designed to wipe his ‘memory’ and attack his power supply – the human equivalent of a cyanide pill – so that he couldn’t give anything away with his ‘death’.

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    • Mr. Wizard says

      Even a dead harddrive (or a dead Newton) can have data extracted from it? … Heck, I’ve exteacted data from a dead harddrive in this Universe … but even in the Fringe reality it has occured … I cannot remember the episode but there was a harddrive that got fried really-really bad but Peter knew someone who was able to retrieve the data from even that badly damaged device … Back to the memories of Newton … If they could upload his memories into another host then his frozen head would really have been unnecessary? Maybe he was an earlier version, 1.0, of the shapeshifters…

      All that aside, as I have sat here at work being ever productive and mulling all this Fringi-ness … That silly little smile of Newtons in his death scene makes me wonder if he had or has found a way to “duplicate” himself somehow…Kinda like one Mr. Smith of the Matrix movies did? That would provide an interesting and plausable Fringy twist. One other observation … currently we are LED to believe that Peter and Altivia have done the deed … in reality the producers have left us hanging … Our last scene is of Peter and Altivia through the curtains and the rest is really left for us to imagine (assume) what has occured when, in fact, we cannot be certain that anything took place beyond that which we know to have occured or saw … there may be coitus-interruptus (hopefully) by a phone call for some recently occured Fringe event? One can hope.

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    • fringefan2009 says

      Hmmm…I wonder if Newton was the first hybrid, but not necessarily a shapeshifter. It seems as though he is in charge of managing them. Maybe when they created him, they did not have the technology to keep him alive at the time, hence the reason why he was frozen, but as the technology matured and evolved, then they came here to look for him, to unfreeze him. But…being the oldest…and having been here the longest gave him a very important advantage to the shapeshifters, thus, his value to the secretary. Don’t know, just a thought.

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      • LMH says

        I want to see somebody mop up the mercury and have him replicate up out of it Alex Mack-style. In truth, I would like to think of the shapeshifters as more human and able to die and stay dead, with all internally stored memory dying with them. As for computers, it’s Fringe so however the memory disappears or remains is left up to whatever rules the writer’s want to establish (if they have) the show.

        I still think the comment by Broyles in 1.07, right before Mitchell Loeb collapsed, asking about the weight discrepancy in the shipment is about Newton’s head. The shipment gained 7 pounds in Germany (of all places). “What the hell weighs 7 pounds?” A head can weigh around that much, usually 8+ or more but his would have been drained of fluid, etc.

        I want to know more history about Newton, who cut his head off, his past with Walter, etc. And I always assumed Newton was among the first if not the first shapeshifter, and was part of the first generation if there are multiple cohorts. Maybe we will see differences b/w more advanced versions and those we’ve seen so far in the near future.

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  28. Rich says

    Do you think its the same person killing people with cars?


    Car crash – Alistair Peck
    Car crash – Senator James Van Horn

    Anyone think of any more do-ins by car crashes.

    I know the one with Olivia when she came back from the AU meeting with Bell, but that was a little different.

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    • FinChase says

      I was also certainly reminded of the crash that killed Alistair Peck and his fiancee. In fact, wasn’t that a pickup also? Probably just a coincidence, but interesting. It was certainly startling. I showed the episode to my sister the other day, and it had not been spoiled for her by previews, so when it occurred she nearly jumped out of her skin.

      The only other crash I can think of was John Scott’s in the pilot, but that was sort self-inflicted.

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      • LMH says

        I think both of those crashes were similar in the way the cinematography was done, the level of tension, and the impact (pun intended!) they had. Both scenes made me gasp. Very powerful device, and it think it more adequately captures the violence inherent in car accidents than scenes shot from the exterior of two cars smashing into each other and seeing them fly or crumple. You’re p.o.v. is from within the car as if you were sitting in it with the victim(s). The writers like to do parallel scenes and the White Tulip one was very effective, so I wonder if they just wanted to repeat it.

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    • fedorafadares says

      car crash = alter william bell
      car crash = lie about elizabeth bishop’s death, which was suicide, maybe/
      car crash = olivia on the first trip to see bell

      Maybe the motto should be “Find the Crash!”

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      • LMH says

        Also the same lie was given about Tyler Carson’s mom no? Connections or are cars just deathtraps and easy scapegoats in the Fringeverse? How about a rogue observer who goes around trying to alter events in both universes by murdering people via automobile? Stranger things have…no actually not really.
        Cars, cars, cars. Eureka! All those shameless Ford product placements finally make sense now! Just kidding. I love you Ford and your amazing vehicles. Feel free to continue contributing to the Fringe budget. Fringe does have a lot of car-related scenes but so does every other show about cops, FBI and lots of action. The difference with Fringe is all these small references that seem innocuous (so far). Intentional or unintentional? I guess we’ll see.

        BTW, nice recap there fedorafadares. Forgot AltBell and Liz.

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  29. Jodie says

    Roco, There as two main aspects of this review that I strongly disagree with you.

    The first is I’m really having a hard time understanding how you’ve interpreted Altivia’s motives or even Altivia for that matter. I feel that what we’ve seen of Altivia is a great glimpse of the “road not taken”: Altivia is Olivia if Olivia had not experienced all her childhood trauma (cortexiphan trials and the stepfather drama). Early experiences that changed her, that made her “haunted.” I see Altivia as a clearly driven individual: she is willing to do anything to win. She is cocky, ambitious, and so competitive that she is willing to compromise her mission because she can’t stand the fact that Newton is actually a better agent than she is. (I feel that’s what all that chest pounding she did with Newton was all about. And Newton understood this which is why he goaded her so much.) The only emotion I see Altivia displaying is fear: She’s afraid that she won’t be able to pull this mission off. I don’t see her having any moral qualms. She volunteered for this mission, and will push herself to do what needs to be done. You really think that she cares whether she is being unfaithful to her boyfriend? She’s using sex to cement her hold over Peter, and somehow you’ve decided that Peter is the bad guy here. Are you kidding? She killed the deaf guy in “The Box.” A man who had gotten in over his head and thought that he was bringing in evidence to the police. Clearly, this woman has no problem doing whatever it takes to get the job done. She is a spy. I’m not saying that I think that she is evil – she is doing this for her people, but to feel sorry for her as if she is a victim or to compare what she is going through to what Olivia is going though is simply ridiculous. And to vilify Peter in this situation is mystifying.

    The second disagreement is over the notion that Peter should be able to see through Altivia’s performance. You said “I still feel that Peter’s ignorance of the Altlivia situation is worse though, because Altlivia is doing a pretty rotten job at acting like Olivia. That said, I don’t find the idea of someone not knowing that their loved one has been replaced impossible. It’s a creepy notion that plays right into the show’s themes of people and emotions becoming obsolete.” I think that Altivia has began to nail down her performance of Olivia’s characterizations in this second “over here” episode. She is becoming more subtle even as we see Altivia react and shift to the events in this episode that come close to revealing that she is an impostor. I’m not seeing as many smirky looks or the over the top gleeful expressions that I saw in “The Box.” And I ask why is it ok for Patricia Van Horn to be fooled by an impostor of a man that she has clearly been with for decades while it isn’t ok for Peter to be fooled. Has it been a week so far? He sees the differences, but he is trying to make excuses for them. She is, at the moment, the only thing that he has to cling to. His life has changed radically as of late. It has been, what, maybe a month since he realized that he was kidnapped? And did you not notice that things aren’t alright between Walter and Peter? He works with Walter to focus him when needed, but he isn’t spending much time other than that. He was even eating dinner in a bar, and it is very obvious that Walter is going to Astrid for his emotional needs.

    I’m having a lot of fun trying to figure out whether Peter knows or doesn’t know. The writer’s are clearly playing with this aspect, and the fact that you apparently haven’t seen this (or are choosing to ignore it) is rather frustrating to me. The long pause in Van Horn’s office when Peter finds Van Horn’s secret stash of Fringe info, the weird scene in the cafeteria when Peter tells Altivia that she is like another person, how about how Peter is always making sure they stay on mission after Altivia has clearly sabotaged progress on the case (his using the image recognition software to identify Ray and his pointedly getting in the driver’s seat and chasing Newton down after Altivia “misses” shooting Newton – the only time Peter has ever driven when on assignment with Olivia was in “Midnight” (he wanted to turn on the siren) or when Olivia was recovering from her injuries.

    And please don’t tell me that your only disappointed in the lack of Peter character development by the writer’s. That somehow Peter isn’t acting like he should be acting. I’ve read a lot of comments on this by many people: Peter should be able to see through Altivia. “Isn’t this what Peter is good at?” But in many ways, Peter can be quite blind. You’ve pointed out yourself (many times, I may add) that Peter is sleepwalking through his life and that he runs away from difficulties. Isn’t he doing this very thing right now with not seeing Altivia? This is very Peterlike behavior. Peter has wanted this relationship with Olivia for so long that he is WILLING Altivia to be Olivia. He is ignoring all the danger signs that he clearly admits that he sees. If it turns out that the writers do want Peter to be duped, then he is behaving as Peter has behaved before. I’ll admit that this storyline has a limited time period, but I was relieved to find out that so little time has passed on the show. It is much more believable to me that a week as gone by instead of weeks passing and no one catching on.

    I usually really enjoy your reviews and observations, and I do appreciate all the work that you clearly put into this site. All of your efforts have enhanced my enjoyment of this show, but I’ve got to say that I think that your bias towards Peter and your great love of Anna Torv ( I know, Anna is beautiful, and she is really doing a wonderful job this season…) is causing you to ignore important aspects of this show. But, all kidding aside, I’ve found myself commenting too often on Peter simply because I don’t feel that you spend enough time and effort analyzing this part of the show. I have said this before (as have others), but I really wish that you’d put your considerable powers of observation toward seeing Peter’s character more fully. Please. Really.

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    • says


      I take it you’re a Peter fan? Let me explain.

      I don’t believe I said that Peter was the “bad guy”. I’ve placed blame on both Altlivia and Peter for their respective crimes. And I don’t believe I said that Altlivia is a “victim” either.

      I think I’ve spent more than enough time and effort analyzing Peter. Perhaps you just fail to see it? Thing is, you’re not going to get cotton candy views on Peter here – I give you my honest opinion and I back it up with context. So when I do give Peter the thumbs up, you can at least know that I mean it. For now he’s mostly a plot device, and a bit of a silly boy.

      As for the comment about Anna Torv’s looks. Really? :) I don’t base my opinions on the looks of actors. But surely you knew that.

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      • Jodie says


        I’m not expecting a cotton candy view on Peter, but a balanced one that is at the least willing to look at him as a whole character. I am a Peter fan, but I’m also an Olivia fan, a Walter fan, a Nina fan… I’m sorry if I’ve stepped on your toes with this, I’m just not seeing your willingness to see Peter fairly. The writer’s have used Olivia as a plot device this season. I’m not sure why she didn’t just jump over to our side as soon as she woke up after that explosion. Being able to cross over is what she is supposed to do, right? But the writer’s wanted her to stay on that side for the story and this ability was somehow overlooked. Your right, Peter has been used a a convenient plot device too many times, but as I pointed out above, it isn’t out of character for him to ignore things that are right in front of his face.

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        • says


          I’m also a Peter fan. I’m his biggest supporter and his harshest critic. Just don’t quote me on that. :)

          In all seriousness, I’m more than happy with the level of balance that I give Peter. Our perspectives are different and that’s a beautiful thing.

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  30. Jam says

    By the way, amazing review too
    I just disagree about Newtons dead.
    Believe me, this guy is going to come back, soon.

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  31. Hygoniz says

    Thank you for all these amazing observations.
    I’ve been reading your reviews for some time now, & it has helped me alot in finding out the true essence of this wonderful show.

    Regrading Walter’s comment, “Mind is God”, I believe his previous spiritual ‘awakening’ we that witnessed in “White tulip”, actually never happened for him, as Alister travelled back to save his life, hence we saw Walter only receiving the Tulip postcard a year later; which means the conversation between the two never happened, in Walter’s perception at least.
    But if we consider your theory, that Walter constructed his forgiveness, then this works.

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  32. kittyofdoom says

    Wow, I’m shocked that you scored this episode on par with the brilliance that is Over There part 2 and ABOVE an episode like Jacksonville.

    It just really did not do it for me. The whole episode felt disjointed and lacking continuity. I don’t feel any affection toward Altlivia at all, and Peter’s lack of perceptiveness is becoming a serious irritant to me. There was also hardly any Peter/Walter tension, the way there SHOULD be. The only character whose performance I was satisfied with was Newton’s.

    I probably would have given it 6/10, if that.

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      • LMH says

        What does a username have to do with it? It’s an honest reflection of what someone thought worked and what didn’t in the episode.

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  33. Elaine says

    “Who gives a damn indeed, because Walter just keeps on plummeting in my book. I’m not happy that he stabbed Ray. I’m sure that most people will claim that he had no choice, but there’s always a choice. It seems that Walter just doesn’t consider the “tin cans” to be truly human, so viciously stabbing one of them doesn’t matter, right Walt? Now maybe he thought Ray was going to kill him (though clearly Ray didn’t even after he was attacked), but does that really lessen Walter’s act? For someone so worried about ‘Gods forgiveness’, he has a funny way of showing it. The only thing I’m holding on to is the possibility that Walter knew that stabbing Ray wouldn’t kill him, that he just wanted to slow him down enough and escape with the disk.”

    Well, I give a damn.

    I had to read this part a few times to see if you were being serious or not, and I can only conclude that this was stated as tongue and cheek. I’m unsure what’s gotten so stuck in your claw regarding Walter, but you’ve been awfully critical of him of late in situations that haven’t been warranted, imo.

    Unlike the audience, Walter wasn’t privy to Ray’s a crisis of humanity and identity in retrieving that disk from Van Horn. Sure, he could have stood there with his hands raised while Ray retrieved that disk, or he could have attempted to stop a guy who just shot a security guard in the head outside of his lab as he did. Whether it was to slow him down long enought o escape or to kill him, as much as I liked Ray and was saddened by his demise, I had no qualms with what Walter tried to do in trying to safeguard a vital piece of information, but also in an effort to protect himself from a shapeshifter, which he was unable to do the last time he encountered one.

    I’m also unclear what you mean by this: “As much as I loathe Peter for constantly disrespecting Olivia and HER worth,” and “Also, have to say, I’m so not feeling Peter after this scene. He comes across as a bit of a sleaze. He’s so full of himself that he can’t see that ‘Olivia’ is looking more than a bit uncomfortable. I’m sure people will find ways to defend him, but for me his attitude is a problem on many levels. And hows the research on the weapon going, Peter? Any progress? Thought not.”

    I’m sorry, but what? How has Peter been disrespectful of Olivia’s worth or a sleaze towards the other Olivia? It’s pretty obvious, imo, that you don’t care for any of Peter’s current storylines, and have less regard for the Peter/Olivia relationship in any context, but like your harshness towards Walter, it just comes across as unwarranted or without much validity. Perhaps with more insight as to why you feel the way you do if you care to share, because right now it’s befuddling.

    That being said, the other day I mentioned my disappointment in Peter not seeing that Altlivia isn’t his Olivia. It was extremely obvious this particular episode, and it really disappointed me on two levels. One, that she was doing such a terrible job or impersonating Olivia…something I had hopes she would be able to do more convincingly, especially given that we saw Altlivia educating herself about Olivia, and two, Peter was missing some huge, waving red flags. With a few days to ponder on where I believe we’re meant to understand Peter’s mindset is at, I can at least appreciate his path of least resistance subconsciously believing Altlivia is his Liv. Like he told her, he likes the changes. She’s more patient with Walter. How much of a relief that must be with his own sorted relationship with Walter right now? She’s less burdened and emotionally closed off. Again, what a relief to be able to unwind and relax around her without feeling he’s crossing an unprofessional line. He can kiss, hug hold hands with her. Tease and play as they couple watch…much of which is intitiated by her. After two years of keeping any attraction he had for her in check, it’s must be the equivalent of Walter getting the keys to MD…very much a kid in a brand new sandbox.

    However, I really enjoyed your take on the complexity of being human and the shapeshifters forming attachments and how that compromised their programming. The invisible lines that were crossed in this episode, even with Newton, who despite his detachment, seemed to be driven to an extent by resentment for how Altlivia looked down on what he was. If that isn’t a human emotion, I don’t know what is.

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    • says

      “Unlike the audience, Walter wasn’t privy to Ray’s a crisis of humanity and identity in retrieving that disk from Van Horn. Sure, he could have stood there with his hands raised while Ray retrieved that disk, or he could have attempted to stop a guy who just shot a security guard in the head outside of his lab as he did.”

      At the end of the day it boils down to whether or not we think that stabbing someone is a positive act for someone like Walter – a man who has already done so much damage. Looking in objectively as we are, I’m of the opinion that it’s not a good act. And it’s another act in a long line of destructive acts that his has inflicted upon others. Sweep it under the carpet if you want, but it would be interesting to see if you would be quite so pro-blade if Ray had stabbed Walter in retribution.

      “Perhaps with more insight as to why you feel the way you do if you care to share, because right now it’s befuddling.”

      More insight? Maybe next week. 😉

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      • Elaine says

        In general, I don’t believe anyone believes stabbing someone is a positive act for anyone, but neither is shooting a man in the head to retrieve an information disk a good thing either. But would I have been mortified if Ray had stabbed Walter, you better believe, and I would have wanted the mercury spewing tin can to be taken down. I liked Ray and all, but uh, there’s not a rug big enough to pull off that comparison. But I think you already know that.

        And I still ask, what should Walter have done in that instance…nothing? Simply remained still while Ray took what he wanted with no attempt to stop him? This wasn’t a situation where Walter was ignoring the true dangers of opening up a wormhole into another universe or abducting a child from said universe, or experimenting on small children in the name of science or his perceived notion of making those children more than they were. This also wasn’t a situation where Walter was grappling with morality or ethics where forgiveness or redemption were being requested. He was confronted by a shapeshifting soldier that had just committed murder outside his lab, and was living the life of a man he had murdered years priopr. By all means, let’s extend Ray the shapeshifter every courtesy.

        And since we’re on the subject of Walter’s redemption, how exactly does he obtain that in your opinion with no allowances for never making another mistake? No road to redemption or forgiveness is ever smooth. And for all that dramatically appeasing, who would want it to be? Walter acted out of what he saw as a threat to his life. Just as he was speaking a truth in ‘The Box’ in regards to not knowing if he would be strong enough not to do what he did in saving Peter’s life the first time? That doesn’t mean Walter feels no remorse for what he did, or that he’s unaware of what effect his actions had before, or that he’s oblivious to that now, he’s saying that he doesn’t know if he’s strong enough not to act in the same way as he did before…but hopes that he is. That’s human, that’s honest

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        • says

          “But would I have been mortified if Ray had stabbed Walter, you better believe, and I would have wanted the mercury spewing tin can to be taken down. I liked Ray and all, but uh, there’s not a rug big enough to pull off that comparison. But I think you already know that.”

          Certainly I didn’t know you’d go all “mercury spewing tin can”. I find that interesting. Clearly we don’t share the same outlook. I don’t believe the comparison (morally speaking) is as big as you make out. Looks like we’ll have to agree to disagree.

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  34. Lila says

    About the “Walter shooting Ray” thing, when I read you review Rocco it took me back to when Olivia was telling Peter that he had no choice but to shoot the guy…. I guess the same applies to Walter and that’s why it didn’t disappoint me. If he didn’t stab Ray he woul propably die, and Ray was willing to kill him (or at least at Walter’s point of view).
    As for the Peter being blind to the situation… I don’t know and I think that none of us really know what to say about until we see what will happen. What makes me disappointed is that once he himself said that Olivia was so different, so much that I can’t stand watching that scene again (which was one of my favorites P/O moments sadly), without wanting to throw a brick at Peter’s head.
    Let’s wait and trust the writers to come up with a good solution!

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    • Lila says

      Fogot to say! ^^’ I remembered that at comic-con Anna said that the difference betwen both Olivias ways of doing things was tha “While Olivia wants to be the best, Altlivia just wants to win”, and that’s a big difference. It means (at least I think) that Altlivia won’t accept defeat by any means, so she will do what she needs to win, therefore being underestimated makes her want to prove that nothing will stop her. While Olivia, by being th best, wouldn’t do such things.

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    • says

      I hear you, Lila, but from my perspective there’s always a choice. Choosing to act violently towards another being doesn’t strike me as a positive action for someone who evidently believes in God, and punishment, and forgiveness.

      Then there’s the fact that Ray didn’t take similar retribution. What does this tell us about the humanity of Walter? It kinda puts it to shame just a little.

      I haven’t given up on Walter, but since we try to examine character on FB, I think it’s worth our consideration. Not his most heinous act ever given all that he’s done, but still another test that he’s failed! 😮

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      • Hatch says

        “Then there’s the fact that Ray didn’t take similar retribution.”

        True, but he sent Walter slamming into a wall, which for all Ray knows could have killed him.

        Oh, and there’s the little fact that he had just murdered some poor security guard, who likely had a family and child that he cared about as well. A family he didn’t have to kill his way into.

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  35. YourPique says

    I’ll keep it short and sweet…have we considered the idea the Altlivia was not 100% dedicated to her mission when she slept with Peter and has actually started to fall for him?

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    • says

      I’m with you on that thought. To me, after their dinner in the restaurant, she didn’t give off a I’m-disgusted-with-myself vibe. To me she seemed to be torn by her feelings for Peter. And then when Walter is talking about shapeshifter Van Horn and how his “pretending to be in love caused it to happen” the camera was on Altlivia as he said that. Which to me sends the message that they want us to think that is happening with her as well in regards to Peter. And at the end just before they are about to make the bed creak, she opens the door and says that she had lied to him. Which, frankly, I’m surprised no one has really talked about! Lied about what??!! I think she is kind of giving up at that moment and is conceding that she’s been lying to him all along. I’ve said before that I don’t think she had a super deep relationship with Poor Frank so she may be open to looking else where. And here she is, alone in a foreign world, up to now she’s been antagonized every step of the way by the one who is supposed to be helping her and she’s spending all her free time with a good-looking, intelligent, caring guy who’s definitely very into her. It wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to think that she is falling for Petah.

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      • Anjali says

        The only reason I don’t buy into the ‘altlivia falling in love with Peter’ theory is that she doesn’t even know him. They’ve been back… what, a week? Okay okay. I’ll give them a month. :)

        Sorry, but if the writers are going in this direction, they need to make it believable that Altliv does have feelings for Peter.

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      • Anjali says

        The ‘I lied to you’ indicates that she lied about wanting to talk to Peter. Remember the text she sent…??

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        • runthegamut says

          Yes, but like so much on Fringe, it could have a layered meaning. That could be an all-encompassing-yet-non-condemning confession for her.

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  36. loveit says

    I just saw this on another forum so I can’t take credit but I thought it was sorta brilliant. They pointed out that if Peter and Olivia are doing the same thing – pushing out what they know is true b/c they don’t want to face reality. The myth is easier – Olivia believing that she is her Alter and Peter doing the exact opposite. Although I am personally not convinced that Peter doesn’t know it’s Alt-Liv; he just seems to act “off” lately around Liv…and not in a puppy-luv kinda way…

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  37. says

    One little thing I noticed which I don’t think anyone else has pointed out yet is that when Peter is trying to get into MD’s system it says Access Denied in RED. To me this is like his subconscious telling him something very important. She’s from the AU…Access Denied! Silly probably but it stuck out to me. Did they just put that in to show us how much access Walter now has? Seems like maybe that scene was in there for a different reason.

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  38. says

    Oh and I must say, Roco, that it is so nice to see you commenting to other’s comments. I know that you must be writing non-stop these days with all the balls you have in the air. But this place just isn’t the same when you’re not popping in with your two cents here and there. I love your reviews but really like seeing you comment even more.

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  39. mlj102 says

    It’s only been a day since this review was posted, yet I already feel late to the party. But, if no one minds, I’ll still go ahead and post my thoughts and responses to various topics:

    “I’m pleased we go to see her in an intimate moment of self conflict – one almost identical to Olivia’s bathroom sob in the premiere. Altlivia didn’t cry like her double, but it showed that she was struggling with the moral implications of her ‘romantic entanglement’. It’s a question of self respect and dignity and I’m glad that she at least found it difficult to cross that line.”

    I too felt it was a significant moment, and I appreciated seeing that vulnerable side to alternate Olivia. But it didn’t have nearly the same emotional impact for me as the scene with our Olivia had. Additionally, while I was glad they showed that side of her, it bothers me that we’re not seeing more of it. I think I could understand her better and sympathize with her more if we saw more of HER, not simply her putting on an act and pretending to be all tough and in control, happy and in love, etc. It seems like the only times we see her happy and fun are when she’s putting on an act to distract Peter and the others. It feels fake. So I don’t like it and I don’t like her. I wish we could see her be herself and genuinely happy. What is she like? What does she think and feel? What makes her smile?

    Similarly, as has been mentioned already, I wish we could see more of her adjusting to the differences over here. There was a little of that in the Box, but I wanted so much more of that kind of thing. She has got to be continually amazed and even baffled by what she has found over here, from cell phones and pens, to people and places, not to mention all of the things that this side lacks that are commonplace over there. Yet instead we’ve seen her smoothly fall into place here and adopt all the customs and adapt to all the different technologies and mannerisms. I feel like they’ve kind of missed out on an opportunity to show that. And by showing that, I think they would have been able to portray her as more of a real person that we could connect to and care about.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do sympathize for her, but I’m still not sold on her character. This episode did make me warm up a little bit more towards her. I actually feel a bit sorry for her, being placed in this kind of situation where she almost can’t win. She’s alone, and she’s starting to question the mission she’s been sent on. That’s got to be tough. But I just need to see more of that to really connect with her and to feel invested in her.

    “On the other side of the coin, I think the writers may have also wanted to make another point – Van Horn’s act of pure humanity essentially got him killed. He took his eye off the mission (literally, he was looking in the rear view) as he indulged in his adopted identity. This is an ongoing theme throughout the episode as we see both human characters and hybrids struggling to find the balance between their objectives and their emotions.”

    I really, really like how you pointed this out; I hadn’t thought of that on my own, but it’s a great observation. I particularly like how it goes along with what was shown in The Box and The Plateau regarding distraction and how that leads to accidents. And it also ties in nicely to the theme of emotion that was shown in this episode. I thought it was brilliant the way they addressed that, showing how emotions and your personal attachment to those you care about can be the most important and most valuable thing to you (shown by Ray and how much he grew to care about his family). This has also been brought up a lot in regards to Olivia and how much she is willing to fight for those she loves and what she feels is right.

    Contrast that with Newton’s perspective that emotions cloud your judgment and prevent you from being able to succeed in your mission. This is shown by how Newton just couldn’t understand or accept that Ray would be so attached to his family that he would hesitate in pursuing his mission. I think it’s so interesting that Newton just doesn’t see that. To him, emotions are a nuisance, an obstacle, and a weakness. As you said, speaking of Newton, “He is not conflicted by emotions when it comes to protecting his world.” It’s so true. He can do whatever his mission requires because he doesn’t have to question himself. He’s not held back by his attachment to others or his moral objections to what he has to do. All he cares about is his mission and fulfilling it at all costs. In a way, it seems to be rather freeing or liberating to not have all those emotions holding you back and making things confusing, complicated, and clouding your perspective. But what an empty life that must be. Despite the benefits Newton has from not being tied down by his emotions, I’m not sure that it’s the best way to go…

    “And so we have it with Ray, who plays the role of the ‘monster’ in this scene.”

    As others have suggested, I was more of the opinion that this scene was more set up to show how Ray had come to realize that those over here weren’t the monsters he’d been led to believe that they were. And I think that’s a really powerful realization for him to make. I think that, as a shapeshifter, he must have had it drilled into him that everyone over here was a monster who couldn’t be trusted. Maybe that idea was even part of his programming. Yet as he spent time over here, he was ultimately able to conclude that that wasn’t the case. The monsters weren’t as bad as they’d been made out to be. I viewed that scene as his way of expressing what he’d slowly been realizing during his time over here, that the monsters weren’t all that bad. He cared about them deeply. And, personally, I find that idea of him moving beyond that natural prejudice to be far more compelling and powerful than the opposite perspective of him viewing himself as a sort of monster. However, I do appreciate you sharing that point of view as I hadn’t thought of it much in that way.

    “For me, this show is very much becoming about the hero within.”

    What happened to that line from one of the previews for Season 3 where Olivia says something like “The difference between a hero and a coward: they’re both scared, it’s what a person does that makes him a hero.”? I hope it’s not a cut line because I really want to see that line in context.

    “AHA! Is Peter saying in a roundabout way that he prefers ‘Olivia’ like this? That he prefers Altlivia over Olivia?”

    In my opinion, no. I think that was his way of covering himself. He knows better than to say the kinds of things that could be considered offensive to the woman he loves. If this was really Olivia and he’d been talking about how much she’d changed and wasn’t the same person anymore, it’s very likely she could take that personally and be hurt by him saying that. It was quick thinking on his part to cover himself by saying that he liked the change. Personally, he might like aspects of the change, but in a lot of ways, I think he’s still processing it, as it is so drastically different from our Olivia in so many ways.

    “Now maybe he thought Ray was going to kill him (though clearly Ray didn’t even after he was attacked)”

    Actually, that’s what I considered to be one of the biggest contrivances in this episode. From what I see when Peter arrives in the Massive Dynamic lab, it looks like Ray did kill the others who were there (the security guard), yet not Walter? It seems a bit convenient that he was content to simply injure Walter and run away. And I don’t view that as Ray having had compassion on Walter, either. I view it more as “Walter can’t die” so of course Ray isn’t going to kill him.

    Additionally, while I seem to share your opinion of Walter regarding his mistakes and how he still has a ways to go before he will redeem himself for all he’s done, I disagree with your assessment of his actions in stabbing Ray. Personally, I was quite proud of him when he did that. It was a bold act of self defense as well as attempting to prevent Ray from obtaining the disc. Peter would have done it. Olivia would have done it. Even Astrid might have been able to do it (though more than likely she would have stood there with wide eyes until Ray knocked her out… but that’s just Astrid). I just think it was a natural reaction towards having a hostile person burst into the room pointing a gun at you, then proceeding to extract the very thing you have been attempting to find. Who wouldn’t try to defend themselves and try to prevent the “bad guy” from getting away? And I don’t feel like his past mistakes and his desire for redemption should be any reason to prevent him from doing what was necessary to prevent Ray from escaping in this instance.

    You pointed out that alternate Olivia did something similar in The Box: I completely disagree and consider the two situations to be completely different. The deaf man was no threat to her. He brought her information, wasn’t trying to take it away. He approached her in a very trusting way, wasn’t threatening to hurt or kill her. But she stood behind him and pulled the trigger and killed him. On the other hand, Walter was directly attacked and threatened by Ray, and Ray was attempting to get away with something that contained valuable information for the Fringe Team. Wasn’t it Walter’s duty to attempt to stop him, even if it required deadly force? How is it any different from when an armed robber enters a jewelry store, takes all the valuables, and goes to make his escape, but is stopped when a security guard shoots him? Or even if it’s a random customer in the store who happens to have a gun and uses it to apprehend the robber. Is that wrong?

    Ray was not an innocent victim in this instance. What would you have suggested Walter do? Try to talk Ray out of it? Try to make a deal with him? Simply stand and watch while Ray takes the disc and runs? I just don’t see how there was any other way to stop Ray other than through the use of physical force.

    (By the way, just finished reading all of the most recent comments and noticed that Elaine made many of the same points on this topic as I did… I guess I could just say “I agree with Elaine” and make my comment just a tiny bit shorter, but since I’ve already written this, I’ll keep it in, just for fun…)

    “Ray was obsolete.”

    Was he obsolete, or was it more that he was malfunctioning? That’s how I viewed it. Ray was no longer focused on his mission. He had been corrupted by his emotions, which were preventing him from doing what he was made to do. Thus the only way for Newton to handle the situation was to “deactivate” him — to kill him. He was no longer of any use.

    There is so much more I had planned that I could say about this episode, but this comment is already so long that I’m afraid to say anything else. So, in closing, I just wanted to quickly touch on what I’ve seen in a few comments where people have been suggesting that Roco has become slightly harsh, to put it mildly, in his reviews, particularly in his criticism and opinions towards Walter and Peter. I agree that it does seem that Roco is giving more negative reviews towards these characters and is rather limited in the positive praise he gives them, but I don’t think it’s uncalled for. Personally, I find I really rather agree with Roco’s assessment towards Walter and Peter. I like their characters, but I don’t feel like they are living up to their full potential, and in some instances, I find myself rather annoyed by things they do. I find that it’s an honest interpretation of the characters and their actions. And I think that’s refreshing. It would be too easy to just give a biased, and, might I add, superficial interpretation of the characters, where Walter is just a lovable scientist who is always justified in what he does, and Peter is just a victim and can’t be blamed for things he does. But I don’t think that would be accurate. And before anyone says that he never says anything bad about Olivia, that’s not true. There are many times he has called her “cold” or “selfish” because of things she has done. While I don’t always agree with Roco, I do find his reviews to be quite possibly the most honest and balanced reviews there are.

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    • number six says

      “Actually, that’s what I considered to be one of the biggest contrivances in this episode. From what I see when Peter arrives in the Massive Dynamic lab, it looks like Ray did kill the others who were there (the security guard), yet not Walter? It seems a bit convenient that he was content to simply injure Walter and run away. And I don’t view that as Ray having had compassion on Walter, either. I view it more as “Walter can’t die” so of course Ray isn’t going to kill him.”

      I think the shapeshifters have direct orders from Walternate not to kill Walter. It is true, that Newton poisoned him in Grey Matters, but I’m not so sure if it would have been fatal or if he knew very well, that Olivia would save him. If Walternate wanted him dead, he would be dead. Walternate must want him alive for some reason.

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  40. Pac says

    I am just wondering what’s with the lemon thingie… The girls gave a lemonade to the Senator, and then Walter mentions that Altlivia’s hair shines like “lemon diamonds” I guess it’s just the writers teasing us.

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  41. Count Screwloose says

    This was what I like to call a sledgehammer episode. The writers bludgeoned the audience with the “message” with as blunt an instrument as possible until their foreheads were bloodied.

    The “Monsters” speech was incredibly ham-handed and made you want to yell at the set “We get it, we get it!” Surely there was a subtler way to get the point across, but perhaps not in 42 minutes. If you have any doubt as to the point the show is trying to make, get hold of the old Twilight Zone episode “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street.”

    If that wasn’t bad enough, the evil Olivia did everything but twirl her moustache and tie someone to a train track. The only reason she isn’t in handcuffs must be because the rest of the crew has gone deaf, dumb, and blind.

    The best part was Walter’s acid freak out (“Is it hot in here?”), by itself worth the price of admission.

    I’m not at all sorry to see Newton go as he seemed very much a wasted opportunity as a character. The writers never really seemed to know what to do with him. He seemed to be there mainly because they had to replace David Robert Jones, who was far more memorable and interesting. So on to the next David Bowie pseudonym with fingers crossed.

    I do remain, convinced, however, that the show is gradually moving towards a reconciliation, quite literally, of the two realities, not a war or an act of destruction. Note that Walternate always speaks in terms of “healing.” He may be very well aware of what the machine does (perfectly synchronizes the worlds into one without alternate heads showing up in their stomachs) and is far more interested in the healing such a thing woould accomplish.

    Whether or not he knows that this will also create the unstoppable Walter Bishop amalgam the machine was designed to prevent (in my theory) remains to be seen. I’m surprised I haven’t seen more people consider this possibility.

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  42. Lalla says

    After reading so many comments it surprises me that what bothered me the most about AltLivia in this episode was the way she felt no empathy toward Newton. Like she tought he was just a waste of space… go figure why it bothered me so much. I think even Newton found it totally natural… 😛

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  43. Xochitl says

    I was really looking forward to this one, I knew you would have a field day with it Rocco,
    the layers of themes was just impressive.

    I’m sad for Netwon too, but I’m getting used to TPTB to kill major characters at any given
    point of the story, and I was expecting something big since it was chapter 47, the same
    time last year they killed Charlie, so, but I don’t think it is the last time we see

    Now, as I have said before I am a shipper so those last 30 seconds well… I have been
    trying to keep and open mind towards Alt!livia (and honestly, maybe I have never even
    gave her a fair chance) but that was just unforgivable, I knew Newton was pushing her on
    that direction, but at the end she made the choice and I think that no matter what she does
    on the future I don’t think I can get to like her. I think this is the choice that makes her
    cross the line and not liking the deaf guy at “the box” just because it is a lot more
    personal, as some had already said she is a soldier at a war and shes is ready to kill
    people for what she believes to be the right side, but actually sleeping with another man
    while she loves Frank? it is a lot worse.Would Olivia had done the same thing on her
    place? NO! I can feel it in my bones, she would not do it, yes, I know she lied to Peter,
    but that was the only choice I had seen her made out of love, not even saving Walter at
    Grey’s matter (I still think that was like 90% duty), but as Finchase said she might get
    a lot closer to crossing a line that we might think she is capable of.

    I don’t like olivia being copared with alt!livia just because I don’t thinkg alt!livia
    deserves a lot of consideration, yes, I know her world is falling apart and she has to face
    that everyday, and the rest of the planet! and as much as it would seem right now like she
    had the fate of both worlds in her hands, she really doesn’t, Olivia does, Olivia had gone
    through so much more and she got into this not really knowing what what going to happen,
    Alt!lvia (as far as we know) knows about the war and is a willing participant,
    brainwashed or not she has made the choice to be here, Walter made Olivia’s choice for her.

    Also, someone mentioned Alt!Livia getting pregnant, and yes it sounds a little like a soap
    opera (I would know about that) BUT, and I know this is not what WAlternate send her here
    for, but if she were to have a child from Peter it would be kind of useful to Walternate
    in terms of the machine, it activates with Peter’s DNA, and Walternate can be very, very
    patient, but I don’t believe the writers are going there.

    About wonder boy, I have this tendency to hate Josh Jackson and defend Peter, so, while I
    hate Peter right now because I know that he knows and he still slept with her (which makes
    me question if he is really in love with olivia for who she is or for what she looks, would
    he take any version or what?) I think we should give him a break, let’s see, he spent huge
    part of his childhood with this crazy father, but still his father who he loves even if he
    denies it, and “his” mother kills herlsef, as an adult he doesn’t lead the best of lives,
    specially when it comes to form bonds with people, love, family, and then he is dragged into
    this relationship with his father and this woman, he comes to love olivia (I think) and
    have a relationship with his fahter (a weird one, but a relationship) and he finds this
    comfortable place where he actually wants to stay, and then all hell brakes lose and he
    learns he is not from this side, that his actual father is “weirder” than walter because he
    wants to used him to power up a machine, and let’s not forget that his mother is alive, but
    sitll he makes the choice to come back for what I think is mainly a woman, and right now he
    is just at this weird place where his destiny had come and slapped him in the face saying
    he is to power up a weapon to destroy both worls, that his father is not his father, Could
    we really ask him to deatl with more? I think he knows this is not olivia, and he is kind
    of ignoring it becaue it would be just too much and she is the woman he loves, a person who
    has remain constant in his life, who has seen a lot of sides to him, that has a pretty clear
    idea of the shaddy past and still crossed the unverse to get him back because she loves
    him, what I’m saying is that he just doesn’t want to complicate things more because he has
    already too much on his plate, he wants to go to before, we know he can’t, he knows it, and
    again, i still found horrible the choice he made, consiously or inconsciously I don’t care,
    But I’m willing to give him a break, he is going to have enough with dealing with what he
    just did and being confused, I also think this is part why he is being so nice to walter,
    Or that just might be mistake on the writers. I said this at some point last year, I felt
    like I didn’t know Peter at all, like nothing, zero, and now, despite he still being the
    means to an end I finally feel like I got into his head a bit.

    Now, my mind is spinning with the following, when Olivia comes back is she really going to
    be angry at all this? (they leaving her behind, peter sleeping with alt!livia) does she
    even have the right? Don’t kill me here, I’m not saying she is not suppoused to, I’m just
    confussed, essentially Walter and peter are making honest mistakes, not on purpose, yes
    very damaging but not on purpose, I’m asking this because I’m really fuzzy about that,
    I just keep thinking that Olivia is going to be more angry at the whole situation that at
    some point specifically, and I still can’t imagine how is she going to react when she
    finds about peter and alt!livia, of course this is going to shake things up, that’ the
    whole point, but for real, what is she going to think and feel about the whole thing?
    I still can’t answer that question, but please be free to correct on my mistake.

    And just a random thought while writing this, how old are you rocco? what did you study
    or read that mkaes you so good at this things? Now I’m wondering what shapped you.

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    • number six says

      “when Olivia comes back is she really going to be angry at all this? (they leaving her behind, peter sleeping with alt!livia) does she even have the right?”

      Not only do I think that she will be angry, but I think she has the right, even if we think it’s illogical of her (I’m not saying that it is). I think I like the possibility that she could not forgive him for the rest of the season or series.

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      • Xochitl says

        I’m there with you, I think I’m just trying to think how this is going to be, and for once I can’t see for sure how is olivia is going to react, I do believe she is going to be angry, but again, at peter? at walter? at the whole thing? just with the other side? it’s just confussing.

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        • number six says

          At Peter. The fact that he didn’t notice it wasn’t her and that the deed was done in her bedroom. Maybe she’ll throw in the cheesy line: “I would have known, it wasn’t you!”. And Peter will probably do the same with himself, including the cheesy line.

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          • Xochitl says

            again you are right, but the cheesy line would be totally in the right place at that point, I mean she would have known, and about her bedroom, i believ olivia is going to move pretty soon after she comes home, thank you for your opinion. :)

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  44. Grace says

    Hello, everyone. I’m new to this, but I was so impressed with the breath and depth of the observations that I just had to add my two cents worth: I noted that Peter was fully dressed in that final scene and that Altlivia had only removed her blouse. Compare that to the passionate bed scenes of Olivia & John Scott in S#1 and we would have to conclude that the purpose of the curtain/veil in this scene was solely to allow for the unobstructed flow of the audiences’ imagination. Because it certainly wasn’t there to protect audience sensibilities. Question: How will this scene end. Should we deduce from the fact that Peter is clothed and AltL is the one doing the mounting, that Peter is less than fully engaged here? What if anything, could be holding him back? To answer that we must consider the fact that in Ep 3:02 we saw him raise eyebrow, if not fully question observed differences in AltL’s behavior. Her excuses/reasons seemed plausible, or at least semi-plausible. So we angst over the question of whether Peter had bought into the lie. Ep 3:02 allegedly took place 2 days after their return from AU. Now here we are in Ep 3:04 (Day 4 ?, Day5 ? ) and the episode opens with Peter rather pointedly fishing around for some evidence of our Olivia’s well known and cortexiphan enhanced discernment and acute observational skills. However, AltL responses are pathetically off base. Peter then nonchalantly alludes to the next step in the natural flow of relationships. Pevishly watches her squirm and then pointedly excuses himself for the evening. The next day it becomes evident that he notices ALTL various attempts to impede, even sabotage the investigation but says nothing. Finally after one of AltL’s most UNcharaceristically-Olivia moves ( ie, the abrupt orchestrating, of all things, a dinner break right at the height of the critical investigation) Peter tells her that she seems like a totally different person. Again, after watching her squirm a little, he soothes things over by telling her that he likes the changes. For me, the suspense, the ambiguity is over. He knows. Peter knows for sure. Why not get on with it then and unmasks her? First because he knows that the switch was not our Olivia’s idea. In other words he knows that Walternate is behind the switch and at present Peter considers him both devious and ruthless. Therefore he can only surmise that if our Olivia is even alive, she is in harms way. Secondly, Peter knows that unmasking AltL will only precipitate Walternate’s backlash, both against Olivia and this side, at a time when he is yet unprepared to protect/save either. Consequently, Peter’s strategy can only be to continue playing the game in the hopes of (1) ascertaining Walternate’s plan (2) Buying time to re-construct that dreaded machine and (3) Hopefully win over AltL’s allegience altogether, or at the very least gleen enough from her to effectively foil Walternate’s efforts. Now, to accomplish all this effectively, he must both appear to be swept along by ALtL even while conversely rattling her self-confidence vis-a-vis her ever fraying “cover”. That is if he is to maintain credibility. With all that said, we revisit the final scene and the question of whether Peter will go all the way or not. We know he is a self-proclaimed “frustrated romantic”. However, even if as such he is able to reconcile himself to the “lie” that is AltL, he still has another hurdle to cross. Namely, he has just had enough time alone to have processed the events of the day. As such Peter must, at the very least, SUSPECT a possible link between AltL’s abrupt and uncharacteristic move for a dinner break and the Shapeshifter disc removal incident. And necessarily, by extention, a conspiratorial link to Newton. Inconceivable to me to believe otherwise. Furthermore, given the fact that the shapeshifter incident could (ostensibly) have resulted in loss of life or serious injury to Walter (not to mention all the universal implications), Peter must now, at the very least, entertain the very real possibility that he is in bed with “the enemy”. To date, the writters have provided no evidence that this frustrated romantic is quite THAT desperate for sex.

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    • BklynBetty says

      Thank You so much for that! I believe that was the most thorough argument in favor of Peter knowing that I have seen. I also noticed that Peter still had his clothes on, and, yes, some of the looks he gave her through the course of the episode could in no way be construed as ‘friendly’.

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    • Catherine says

      LOL. I thought that most every man was THAT desperate for sex. 😀 You definitely make good points for the Peter knows and is developing his own strategy plot line. I think this would be an interesting way to go too.

      But, on my second rewatch 😀 , Boy, did Peter look oblivious and happy as that woman grabbed him by the jacket and pulled him into her apartment.

      We shall see…come November. :( Too long.

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  45. MNTwinsFanID says

    Roco, I love your reviews and observations, as they help me see some of the things I don’t catch in more subtle episodes (and they’ve helped me spot the observer with more frequency-always a good thing), but on this one I do think you are being a little harsh. I’ve ran these down when I commented on the 3.04 recap post, so I’ll be a bit more brief with my Nixon half-dollar’s worth:

    1) Peter and Olivia. I’m still not convinced the “deal has been sealed” so to speak. In each Blue episode we’ve had Peter confront in his own way that Bolivia isn’t Olivia, each episode has had her try and distract him with sex. The first episode had them interrupted by a Broyles/Astrid call. Also this hammers home Peter’s ability to read people (1.01-Pilot, “I read people-it’s kinda what I do”) with the dinner scene. I firmly believe he’s playing a game/long con that only he knows the rules to. I also believe he absolutely knows it’s not Olivia, but isn’t yet sure if it’s Bolivia or a shapeshifter. Let’s not forget he wants the entire FBI and DOD tested just like they had done with Capitol Hill. I’m sure their little tryst will be broken up-either by Peter getting Bolivia in a compromising position, or by another Broyles/Astrid call about Newton lying in a pool of his own mercury. And if I’m wrong, we all knew it was coming-it was a necessary plot point, and since one of this episode’s themes was crossing lines, it fit right in there. As an aside-a little clarification-if you are a Peter/Olivia shipper, does that mean you do or don’t want the romantic intrest between the two? I don’t really have feelings either way, but it adds a fantastic plot layer to the show-especially since Olivia’s subconscious is currently manifesting itself as Peter while she’s trying to medicate herself into believing she’s really Bolivia.

    2) The great Walter debate. Walter stabbing Ray was a typical fight or flight reaction. And isn’t it possible he was actually trying to save the mission. Walter’s been much more Lucid (even on LSD) this season and in last season’s finale, quoting Oppenheimer, questioning his actions (and not sure if he’d do it differently), and coming to grips with exactly what he’s done to Red universe. Let’s not forget Bell’s last words (at least until this point-in the world of Fringe, who really knows if he’s gone-Nimoy’s retirement notwithstanding), “Don’t be afraid to cross the line.” He’s got a purpose now-to try and rectify what he did to Red universe, but to do it more organically than Walternate. Walternate sees black and white, us or them-Walter seems to be seeing shades of grey, can he repair Red universe without harming either-the Yellow road that’s been hinted at by you yourself, Roco. Put yourself in his shoes-he’s been tasked by the FBI to retrieve that memory unit, and it’s a matter of pride to him that he can do it. It helps Peter (who we know he sees as his son at this point-it’s obvious that his Peter and the Peter we know are the same person to him), it helps Olivia (whom I believe he views as a surrogate daughter of sorts (2.21-Over There, pt. II, Bell, “You and I have accomplished much together, Walter-but she may be our finest work,” Walter replies with a smile and an affirmative grunt/nod), and he’s deeply engaged in doing what it takes to please them. He’s seen Ray kill once to protect Ray’s identity, Ray wants to go home to his family, so that means Walter might have to die, too. Ray is in-between Walter and the door, so fight is his only option. Fairly cut and dried to me. I don’t see the malice in this act. I see survival.

    3) Walter and Peter. Their still dealing with it. Other than at crime scenes or the lab, have the Bishop’s been seen together? Peter leaves Walter with Bolivia while he’s being debriefed by the Senate committee. Peter acknowledges the only reason he goes home is to keep Walter from calling the emergency rooms. When Walter opens Bell’s safe deposit box, he goes to Astrid-not Peter. Peter is unconcerned about Walter being alone while he rummages Shapesenator Van Horn’s office. He’s not fixing turntables for Walter, he’s not placating Walter’s food cravings. Up until Peter finds Walter unconscious in his lab, he’s shown little concern for Walter. Give it time-right now Bad Robot wants us focused on Olivia and Bolivia-the Bishops will have their turn.

    I do love your site, Roco, and I know I’m nit-picking to a large extent, but then again, we’ve really only seen two episodes from each story-lots of time to prove me wrong! Cheers to your site and to your keen eye on all things Fringe.

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  46. heartoftherevolution says

    “That Newton pauses for a long time and thinks about it. He actually comes to understand that it’s too big an ask for a conscious being let go of such bonds. To me, that’s a very human consideration. His next move was less so as he blows his brains out. Ray was obsolete.”

    This gave me shivers down my spine. It reminds me a little too much of the original Twilight Zone TV show for comfort. Not to mention the whole dystopia genre in general.

    “Likewise, my mind is cast back to Walternate’s descriptions of the people Over Here as “monsters under our skin” and the ways in which this war is not a battle of us vs them, but an internal battle of the self. “

    Actually this was the first connection my mind made when I watched this episode. I didn’t think so much about Ray seeing himself as some kind of monster, but as him generally coming to reject that those on the other side are monsters. Looking directly at the quote:

    “Sometimes, monsters aren’t all that bad. Sometimes, if you get to spend some time with them, they can be very surprising. They can be, um, incredibly sweet, and pure, and capable of great great love.”

    I interpreted this as a direct statement about his son, rather than himself. Everyone from Over There who knows about Over Here and is tasked to stop them seems to buy into the mindset Walternate has given them: We’re nothing but monsters out to destroy them if they don’t kill us first. No doubt the Shapeshifters are given the same message. I saw this as Ray’s rejection of this premise. Clearly he’s come to realize that these ‘monsters’ are capable of love, and tenderness, and all the other positive human emotions right along with the bad. As his son’s childlike innocence and purity seems to have proven to him that there are indeed as many innocents on Our Side as Theirs; that our nature is not, as they’ve been lead to believe, purely evil. There are only people alike in either world.

    Which honestly puts all that much more agony in his own dilemma. Knowing that there are innocents on our side could only make his ultimate goal of the destruction of Over Here that much more painful, especially if he pictures his son. I image it would be hard to reconcile.

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  47. Fringe Wanderer says

    Stabbing of the shapeshifter scene. You missed a vital point I think. The stabbing was not important. The key scene was when Walter’s head was bashed on the beams. His brain was intentionally damaged when the 3 sections were removed. Does that bump on the head mean Walter’s brain is about to return in a big way? Is that what’s needed to help both universes and Olivia from the other Universe?

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  48. Xindilini says

    As she restores her natural hair color, she needs to also wash that man right out of her hair. 😉

    I love this. Nice way to compare to South Pacific. Now I can’t get that song out of my head.

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  49. Peanut says

    My interpretation is that Bolivia was leaving many messages for The Newt, not the other way around. She panicked because of the possibility that the senator might be revived & just kept calling him, not giving him a chance to respond. Of course, he could have been deliberately stalling to feed her anxiety? Etiquette lessons from a “vacuum cleaner”— Bolivia must have loved that!

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  50. mlj102 says

    You made a lot of points in this last comment, but I’m just going to focus on this one:

    “Walter was trying to tell him the truth–that he had taken a vial over, but it got broken by Nina Sharp grabbing him. So, he brought Peter back to this side, still intending to send him back (maybe 60%), until Elizabeth saw him. Then all the resistance he had melted away.”

    Personally, what Walter intended to do is beside the point and it carries little weight or redeeming value as far as I’m concerned. I’m not trying to be overly harsh, nor am I saying that Walter can’t be forgiven — I certainly believe in the power of forgiveness. But you have to earn it. For me, the key is remorse and change. I think he has done a lot to change and to pay for what he did, but I think he’s still in the process of getting there and he’s got a long way to go. And certain things he does are not reassuring me that he is fully committed to those changes. I understand that it isn’t a simple or easy road to overcoming those kinds of weaknesses. But I do expect more from Walter if he’s really sincere in that desire. But more often than not his actions seem to suggest that he’s clinging to those things rather than letting them go. So I can understand Roco’s disappointment and frustration on this matter.

    Back on topic, the argument that Walter never intended to kidnap Peter and do what he did has never sat well with me and I’ve always considered it rather superficial. What he INTENDED to do, while noble, doesn’t really matter and isn’t the issue. It’s what he ultimately DID that really matters. Sure, he didn’t mean to do any harm, but that doesn’t change the fact that he did do harm. In a lot of ways. And he wasn’t ignorant towards what he did. He knew that there was a good reason to expect extensive damage to result from crossing to the other side. He knew that he was kidnapping Peter when he chose to keep him. He knew that there would be consequences. But he didn’t care. The only thing that mattered to him, all he could see, was what he wanted: he couldn’t bear to see his alternate son die, he couldn’t bring himself to take Peter back. I’m not even convinced that he crossed over to save Peter for Peter’s benefit — I think he did it largely because HE couldn’t bear to lose his son again. And he CHOSE to do what he did, despite the consequences. I truly feel bad for him and how he lost his son. That’s a terrible grief for anyone to experience and I’m not trying to belittle that. But what he did in response to that grief, while good intentioned, was still uncalled for. And I just can’t bring myself to look past that when he continues to do things that are similar to that.

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  51. mlj102 says

    Weird… I’m not sure exactly what happened to the original comment I’d been replying to with my comment, but it’s not here anymore. Hopefully my response doesn’t feel too out of place now. ???

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  52. FinChase says

    I have the same issues with what Walter and Bell did to Olivia and the other Cortexiphan children. Yes, there were reasons for what they did, and they probably seemed like good reasons to them, although there are questions about the timing–it seems like they were actually preparing warriors for a preemptive strike. But what it finally boils down to is that they experimented on small children who were unable to consent to what was done to them. You can spin it any way you want, but to my mind, it will always be child abuse. One of the things that irritated me most about Peter and his “you’re different but like the changes” routine in this episode was when he commented that AltLivia was more patient with Walter. Excuse me? After what Walter did to her, the fact that Olivia can work with Walter, care for him, look after him as she does is frankly amazing. I don’t think I could do it if I were in her shoes.

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