Welcome to our review for episode 6 of Fringe season 3 – “6955kHz”.
In this review we give an honest opinion on the good and not so good aspects of the episode. We identify the answers that were provided and the mysteries that 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.
- Change of Pace. There was a different dynamic in that the audience wasn’t clued in on exactly what Altlivia was up to until later in the episode. I think both ways can work, but this was a nice change of pace.
- Mythology. It’s always welcome as far as I’m concerned. I was pleased to receive big dose of it with the number stations and more on the First People. I thought it was interesting and well delivered. Perhaps most importantly, it fused both of the parallel storylines together and gives the Over Here story extra momentum going into the midway point of the season.
- Nina. Leave it to Cheshire Cat to be the first person Over Here to notice something different about Olivia without immediately casting it aside. Whats more, it’s just a general joy to have Nina in an episode – she was at her sparkling best and had the desired impact on Walter.
- Score In Places. I liked the variations in the Newton Death music. I also felt that the music helped enhance certain moments, giving them just the right amount of flavor.
- Peter Doesn’t Know. Let me be clear, this is a positive by default. Had Peter secretly known about Altlivia posing as his Olivia, it would have made things a lot worse. In truth, I never did understand why so many people thought this to be the case? Either way, we can put that idea to bed with a glass of hot milk and a bedtime story.
- Somewhat Forced. I’m not sure I buy Walter’s inability to figure out that the numbers related to coordinates. Couldn’t he have guessed? Perhaps there was a bit of subconscious unwillingness on his part to pursue the answer? Still, Astrid’s moment in the spotlight felt just a bit forced. If they continue to do something with it (the potential is there) then I’ll possibly retract this criticism. I’m all for more Astrid, but I want it to feel more natural. Points for continuity, but it didn’t hit that sweet spot.
- Bowels and Motion. One too many Walter ‘intestine’ jokes, I think. Astrid’s faux ‘shock-horror’ reactions are also becoming a bit trite.
- Anguish. In watching this episode it seems to me that Altlivia’s ‘anguish’ over the morality of what she’s been tasked to do should have been more evident a bit earlier – before Newton said all of those mean things to her. A lot of the things he spoke about where more visible in this episode. Which may serve to prove that Newton was just highly perceptive, bringing her deep-lying doubts to the surface (something I do believe), but I still think that a bit more shading earlier on would have made her conflict seem more organically derived from her character, rather than the words on the page. Not a major complaint though, I just feel it could be stronger.
- Internal Altlivia. I would still like more from Altlivia internally. We’re slowly getting there, but one of my hopes was for her actions to come from an organic place. I’m not sure we see enough of her personal outlook to say that we’re there yet, though I do appreciate that part of the conceit is that she’s isolated right now. Thing is, so is Olivia, but there’s more internal exploration through various means. I accept that the two characters are performing different functions right now, but I do hope that before all is said and done we really get to zero-in on who Altlivia is. She likes music, great – but what does she think about xyz? Share your mind, Altliv.
- Slow Start. I felt that the episode started off quite slowly. Perhaps the pacing wasn’t the best, although I took of a note of that fact that it did get progressively more engaging.
- Hired Help. I would have liked to have seen more with Shapeshifter Joseph. Perhaps he served his purpose, but we’re aren’t half going through shapeshifters like jam doughnuts. A minor complaint, but if you give me an Alias legend and I’m bound to want more like Oliver Twist in a cake factory.
- How did Walternate find out about the numbers?
- Who is Seamus Wiles?
- What happened to the First People?
- Are the First People (or their descendants) still among us?
- Is Sam Weiss a First People person?
- What is the relationship between the Observers and the First People? (and Peter, for that matter).
- On which earth did the First People live, given that the clue was originally embedded in the Over There title sequence? Did they have access to both?
- Did the First People create the multiverse with their
- In Fringe mythology, how does God and spirituality fit in with the First People?
- Did the First People hide pieces of the device in both universes as an extra safeguard against it being found and assembled? Why didn’t they just destroy it? Did they want it to be used by the right people?
- Does Walternate still need Peter to power the machine, or can the machine work without Peter once all the parts are assembled?
- What does “Phase II” involve?
- Nina says that the number station codes were first discovered more than 70 years ago (though obviously the transmission is much older).
- Walternate is responsible for the pulse signal that erased people’s memories. He wanted to protect the code (update to clarify: from random Joe’s). Walternate knew what the numbers meant (and wanted Team Fringe to find the locations).
- The numbers transmission existed before the invention of the radio. Spooky.
- The numbers represent a coordinate system. They indicate latitude and longitude locations – specific places on earth where pieces of the weapon device (the vacuum) are hidden.
- The First People book was published by Seamus Wiles in 1897. The First People pre-date Adam and Eve and the dinosaurs. They were the first humans to evolve on this planet. These cats were highly technologically advanced.
- The First People measured time and months with drastically different numbers of days in them. For instance, the numbers of days in some of their months include: 12, 34, 17, 9, 15, 8, 42, 40, 27.
- Avocado, cucumber and cheese – Walter’s recipe for the best sandwich for clarity of thought.
- There are 37 more locations – presumably 37 more pieces of the weapon/vacuum to find.
- This episode’s ‘previously on’ is one of my favorites of the season so far simply because they used the gorgeous music that accompanied Newton’s death. I call them the strings from heaven.
- Nice opener, plenty mysterious with numbers that erased the mind. Walternate’s version of memory removal.
- So, they did it. I was disgusted by Altlivia and Peter’s *ahem* coming together at the end of the previous Over Here episode, so I entered this one with some trepidation. Thankfully we weren’t treated to any more sexy-time, but I was repulsed by the sight of Peter bringing Altlivia breakfast in (Olivia’s) bed. She screws you and your chosen world over, and you make her scrambled eggs and coffee? Open your eyes, Petah! She deserved burned toast and water, at best. To top it off Peter actually took a bow – Cringe!
Altlivia: “What did I do to get so lucky?”
Peter: “Nothing, it’s just for being you”
- Peter’s hole is now so deep he’s come out the other side. Those words are very similar to the ones he said to Olivia after she saved his butt in “What Lies Below”. I loved Peter for saying that to Livvy – who doesn’t want to be thanked just for being themselves? So I loathed him for rendering those words all but meaningless – Olivia is so special to him that he doesn’t even realize that she’s gone. But we already knew that.
- And while I’m on the subject, should we start drawing up a list of the great crimes committed in Olivia’s home? Let’s see:
- R@chel’s cooking.
- Blood splattering.
- Transactional intercourse performed in Olivia’s bed.
- Crumbs and goodness knows what else on Olivia’s sheets.
- Anything I’ve missed out? I swear, that Altlivia has no respect! There will be no bigger casualty of war than that apartment.
- The first thing Olivia should do when she returns home on her bolt of lightening is to kick Peter where the Cortexiphan doesn’t shine and give Altlivia a bill for a new abode.
- It’s not that I begrudge Peter happiness. But it’s a happiness built on my investment of a story that is being used in contrived fashion. My fear is that once the dust has settled, the next goal will be to find a way to bring Peter and Olivia back together romantically – because they are made for each other, right? That doesn’t work for me because it’s not realistic, even in the world of this show. That said, if the current storyline serves to end the Peter/Olivia romance once and for all, then it may have served a necessary evil.
- It’s funny seeing Altlivia show her first real twinge of moral guilt because Peter is being so sweet to her. As I mentioned above, this should have come a bit earlier, and it’s just weird because someone making her breakfast and buying her U2 concert tickets obviously touches her humanity more than spraying some innocent dude’s brain all over Olivia’s apartment. I guess it’s about erosion, as Newton noted, things are gradually starting to make her question her loyalty.
- And I like that – it shows that she’s ‘human’ despite going to that cold, lifeless place to have sex with Peter. But I’m not sure I like the kind of ‘human’ she is. To think that Olivia would have turned out like her if her path had been different. I guess this is why the choices we make are so important. They define who we are when all is said and done.
- Walter. Is he still trying to deny his and Peter’s role in all of this? I thought we’d moved on from that, Walter? I know that some folks disagree with me on this, but I find this behaviour to be cowardly. You can’t take from the Magical Multiverse Spring if you’re not prepared to suffer the consequences – just read any story, like ever created, to find that out. Walter is uniquely positioned to do something positive to save both worlds, instead he wants to protect his own heart by blocking Peter’s attempts to investigate the weapon. For all his ills, at least Boy Wonder is trying to fight the ‘good fight’. Granted, Walter eventually sees the light, but I’m far from confident that he’s ready to be the positive influence that the situation calls for.
- I do love this quote though:
“Fine! If you end up breaking the universe, this time it’s on your head!”
- It’s a really simple way of describing the situation. It also reveals both Walter’s immature state of mind and his fear – he doesn’t want the blame. He’s suffered decades of guilt for what he did, he knows that the next time will probably kill him. And he’s projecting that on Peter because losing Boy Wonder is what terrifies him. It’s just a shame that Walter is being so incredibly selfish in his little glass house.
- Number Stations:
Nina: “Nobody knows what they are, or even where they come from. As far as anyone knows, they’re artificially generated voices reading streams of random numbers in a wide variety of languages”
- Walter gives the back of Peter’s head a deep and meaningful look as Nina plays the number station recording. We’ll get on to the First People in a moment, but could Peter be one of them? Although that look may just be Walter worrying about the implications of Peter pursuing another dangerous activity.
- Massive Dynamic has a child development center? Yikes, parents. Yikes.
- Take a bow Nina! I think Red Riding Hood is on the path to realizing that Grandma is not Grandma. Certainly, she’s noticed that something is seriously different – which, considering the amount of time she’s spent in Altlivia’s company compared to Peter, Walter, et al, is impressive. Although I’m weary of handing out such accolades when the standards of perception set by our team are so low. That said, it’s not like Altlivia hasn’t dropped bigger clues than the one Nina digests like she’s just swallowed a giant grapefruit. So well done Nina for at least noticing and for making Altlivia sweat by challenging her over it.
- Nina’s right. Olivia is far more forthright with Walter – and Lord knows he needs a kick up his backside from time to time. Olivia keeps everyone on the road to progression, this is why she is our protagonist. I’ve said it before, but since nothing has changed in 6 episodes, I’ll continue to say it – how have Walter and Peter not noticed that ‘Olivia’ has changed so dramatically? Aside from being a contrivance (and please, it really is a contrivance), are they too close to see the truth? Are they both comforted by the ignorance which soothes them? Is there a part of them (some deep and murky part) that doesn’t want Olivia back?
- I wouldn’t like to think the last one is true (and I don’t, in broad terms), but you have to think that there is something about this particular Olivia that fulfills their needs and requirements. The subconscious is muddy terrain, for sure.
- Anyway, back to carrot-top – it will be interesting to see if these seeds percolate enough for her to do something about it. And why isn’t she more involved in analyzing the Weapon piece they recovered in “The Box”? It’s a bit contrived in that Nina is the go-to-girl for most of the rare technology in the show, yet not the most important device ever. Lest we forget, Walter owns Massive Dynamic now. Although this is a very distrustful Walter.
- Walter’s theft of Peter’s soundboard continues to show him up as the biggest hypocrite since time began. It’s OK for him to take risks in the name of science, but apparently it’s not for Peter. Perhaps it’s a parent/child thing, but as Nina later points out, this unique situation requires Walter to grow a damned backbone and offer Peter the wisdom that he’ll surely need.
- Peter doesn’t have to make the same mistakes that Walter did – I think it was Olivia in the first season who pointed out that Peter should have more faith in Walter. Peter has gone on to show Walter that faith in bucket-loads simply by returning from Wonderland, now it’s time for Walter to pay it forward.
- I was so thrilled to see a Prometheus reference (probably coincidence, but I’ll take what I can get):
“What’s to understand? You’re playing with fire”
- Says Walter while self-medicating. You’d think spending some time on the other side would make him more self-aware, instead he’s gone inwards! I may be giving him a hard time of late, but we each come into the story from a certain point-of-view – let’s just say Walter and I share different perspectives which have reached dividing-point. It takes more than a few ‘bowel movement’ broadcasts for me to like the man.
- Peter on the other hand grew in this episode (the ‘breakfast in bed’ debacle, aside):
“Walter, when I touched that device on the other side. It came alive in my hands. Like it responded directly to me. How can you expect me to ignore that?”
- For a moment I thought he was talking about Altlivia – I had to stop myself in mid-hurl. Not a nice experience. But I loved what Peter said here – I like it when he travels to his emotional well and comes back with a pale of water. Peter is being as fair as he can here – how can Walter expect him to ignore his fate? Peter is connected to this device and for him to walk away from it – good or bad – would be unthinkable, and irresponsible at that. It’s just a shame we didn’t get to hear Walter’s response (THANKS, Astrid!), but I sense that Peter made something of a break-through.
- I was overjoyed to see Alias favorite Marshall Flinkman (Kevin Weisman) play the role of the latest shapeshifting antagonist Joseph Feller! In the first season of Alias I found him rather annoying, but from the second season onwards he found his groove and was consistently one of the best things about the show. How glad I am to have him be a permanent part of FRINGE! He is staying, ..right?
- I found it interesting that his eyes were different colors – it’s not completely uncommon, but it’s a note-worthy detail that it’s found in a shapeshifter. Of course, we didn’t necessarily know that he was a shapeshifter at first. I had feared that the writers had sidelined them with the death of Newton and the other two in DSDOES?. I thought it was likely that he was a Shifter, but not having that revealed until the mercury splash played differently in my mind than it probably would have if we’d known from the outset.
- Walter’s sentimental scene with Becky was simple but nicely played, touching heavily on the theme of memory – a big part of the previous episode and the story in general. It was interesting to see Walter associate himself with Becky’s lack of association with those she formerly loved. It made me consider whether love can really be disintegrated at the flick of a switch? Obviously people can fall out of love, or learn to loathe someone over time, but does losing one’s memory take away the emotional context of that affection? Does the capacity to love rely entirely on the ability to remember – or is there something else that forges an everlasting connection in the grand scheme of things? Who knows, but I’d like to believe that somethings go beyond our ability to understand them in this life, and that the connections we make while we’re here are important in our progression. You can stop the violins now.
- You know, I may loathe Walter right now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t admire the words that sometimes come out of his mouth:
“The human brain is a miracle. Our most resilient organ. The storage unit for everything you’ve ever known, or seen, or felt. It’s all still in there, whether or not you’re conscious of that.”
- YES Walter! Perhaps our mindsets are not so opposed after all? “It’s all still in there” – isn’t that a wonderful description? It reminds me of the First People and the possible clue that was dropped last season about ‘aliens’ switching off our powers. After the season 2 finale, several of us attributed this in relation to these mythical First People, and with all that was implied in this episode, we may have been on to something.
- I think I’ll call Peter ‘one step forward, two steps back’, from now on. He doesn’t find it weird that Olivia doesn’t remember Edward Markham – who the hell forgets Edward Markham!!??
- Walter disarms Altlivia slightly, without even trying. He gets her to say, “I’m sorry, Walter” – and a part of me (the easily-led part) kinda believes her. Of course, we shouldn’t forget that she’s not the Wicked Witch – she is capable of feeling sympathy. She’s been tasked with one heck of a difficult mission, and she’s the type who is so ballsy that she doesn’t want to ask questions – she’s not Broylnate. Perhaps this comes from feeling like she has something to prove? As Newton said though, she’s been compromised.
- And I don’t have a problem with that in and of itself – she should be feeling the weight of what she’s doing. Staying on mission, keeping that focus when relationships are involved must be hard. Encouragingly (if you can use that word with her), it seems that breaching her morals in DSDOES? may have triggered a built-in empathy mechanism. Or perhaps Petah’s just that great a lover? Teeheehee.
- I’m loving the mythology. We know that the numbers were initiated by the First People (of whom, Sam Weiss could well be one) to record where they buried the Weapon – otherwise known as the vacuum that can “create and destroy life”.
- What’s up with Nina addressing Astrid with such enthusiasm? I recall the first time they met – carrot-top gave her a much colder greeting.
- Nina and Walter’s stroll down memory lane was quite interesting. So, Nina was a bit of a wild child in her youth, huh? Not surprising, you can see the cheeky in her. Walter continued to show a lack of self-awareness:
“I don’t know what happened to this generation”
- Erm, YOU happened, Walter! 😛 In all seriousness, he should get off his high throne. He says that this generation lacks courage and that in his time they went against the grain of what they were told. Yeah, and how did that work out for everyone,Walt? Thing is each generation is affected by the actions of the ones before. Perhaps what Walter interprets as a lack of courage, is in fact greater wisdom? (generally speaking). I mean, what does he want, exactly? It’s fine for him to sit in his glass house throwing stones but the moment Peter wants to do something about the weapon, he actively tries to stop him. You can’t have your cake and eat it. Pass down some wisdom instead of dumping on Peter’s parade.
- While I want Walter to be braver in solving the problems faced by both worlds, he cannot expect people to live out his dreams while he self-medicates himself into ignorance. Be a man Walter. Better yet, be a father and a mentor. The world needs you – you can make all of this better by answering the call. All you need do is one great thing.
- A very telling quote here:
“If only one world can survive, then it stands to reason that Walternate will use Peter to ensure that it’s his world that does”
- I sense that Walter is so certain of this because it’s also what he would do. While it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to speculate that Walternate might have the best intentions for Over Here, I think that it does project something about Walter’s own outlook. I’m glad Nina told Walter that the Peter Prophesy is, “a drawing, not destiny”. In a story that asks us to consider ‘the road not taken’, I think it’s important to remember the possibilities.
“One of the things I have most admired about you is your optimism. Don’t become a fatalist now.”
- GOSH, can we have Nina in every episode please? Every story needs a benchwarming oracle with red hair and an iron fist. Nina just articulated what I’ve been saying all season (albeit in more fan-girl fashion) – and I did love the way that Blair Brown delivered that moment. Totally believable that these two have such a long and varied history. Breakthrough #2 for Walter achieved.
- The First People were wiped out of the historical record by some kind of devastating..Event. How did Seamus Wiles know about them – again, perhaps he’s actually Sam Weiss?
“They were apparently, very technologically advanced. They discovered the vacuum”
- Before displaying appalling memory (ding, ding, ding!), Altlivia gets in her now customary vacuum cleaner joke. Props for that. Also funny because I mentioned the universe not ‘operating in a vacuum’ in our previous episode review. Coincidence, but the context wasn’t far off:
“A vacuum as in the source of all creation and destruction”
- We know they’re connected somehow – but how connected are the Observers to the First People? Could they be the First People themselves, or are they avatars or hybrid droids of these mythical ancients? I think any of those options are possible. It’s also worth looking at the numbers: 12, 34, 17, 9, 15, 8, 42, 40. It could be argued that August and September – the eighth and ninth months in our calendar – are referenced here. Could this tell us how many Observers there are?
“An ancient people who evolved before the dinosaurs just vanished without a trace?”
- I’m not sure why Astrid finds this so hard to believe (although I guess there has to be a voice of cynicism somewhere), but if Sam Weiss is a First Peoplette, that could make him somewhat like the Doctor – the last of his kind.
“They were a people of great technological prowess who made the ultimate discovery – a mechanism known to them as the vacuum – containing at once both the power to create, and to destroy.”
- Walter relates the vacuum to the big bang – the thing that some people believe started it all, and the possible premise behind the multiverse.
“It’s a secret worth protecting”
- Annnnnd, in walks Altlivia. 😀
- Be weary of dames delivering boxes filled with sugary gifts, Walter.
- I seriously can’t believe that Astrid took a bite out of the sandwich after Walter’s bowel movement broadcast. I’m hoping this didn’t take place immediately afterwards, and that he washed his hands.
- Are we to assume that Astrid’s breath-through was the result of Walter’s ‘clarity of thought’ sandwich, or are the writers slowly revealing her to be a descendant of the First People? It’s worth mentioning that in an episode following Altstrid looking at a situation from a different angle, it was interesting to see Astrid undergo a similar shift. Oh that spiral keeps on twisting.
- It was useful to compare the dynamic between Altlivia and Shapeshifter Joseph in comparison to her spiky relationship with Newton. Joseph was more submissive than Newton and seemed to underestimate Team Fringe. Altlivia calls him “sloppy”, which I loved, because it goes to show how much she’s missing The Newt. (who – to be fair, made some glaring mistakes himself in his final days).
- The plan was for Joseph to use the cubes to put the team on the path so that they could find parts of the vacuum – I think I speculated that Walternate would find a way to control them from the other side – not exactly what I had in mind, but interesting nonetheless.
- I bought Altlivia’s unwillingness to hurt anymore people in the face of Josephs desire to upload another pulse, but clearly she’s a woman of many faces, and I’m not sure she knows what she wants right now. She’s developing feelings for Peter and perhaps the Over Here world by extension of it resembling her own, but obviously she doesn’t want to fail in her mission. She has her own world to survive. She has little choice, right?
Joseph: “What is it they say on this side? All’s fair in love and war? If they were in our shoes, they’d do exactly what we’re doing”
- He’s probably not wrong, but by basing outlook on what other people would do, only leads to trouble. That said, it’s not his decision to make – the problem is that Walternate’s heart is involved. The problems of his world are personal to him due to the Peter kidnapping, and there’s no doubt that this has impacted on his clarity. His methods.
- Plus, I’m not sure that everyone Over Here (or Over There, for that matter) would take the same action – you just can’t generalize like that. There is, of course, a third way, and it’s slightly disappointing that Joseph would put shapeshifters back about 10 years. That said, I can’t be too hard on him, Ray and Van Horn didn’t exactly make a stand did they? They had their cake.
Altlivia: “They’re coming”
Joseph: “Where should I go? Do you have any information on my next mission?”
Altlivia: “Why yes, I do. You’re next mission, sir, will be to go SPLAT on that there concrete”
Joseph: “But I was in ALIAS”
Altlivia: “This is for Rambaldi!”
Joseph: “Baaaaaaad Gooooooobot!”
- Man, she’s as cold as ice that one. I know, I know, I’ve spent some of this review talking about ‘her human side’, but that’s the thing – she can tap into it, well done her for being as capable as a shapeshifter. But unfortunately, she proves herself to be deeply flawed. I had a go at Walter for stabbing Ray, so I have to call Altlivia out for her actions here. Yes, it’s complicated, when is it not? But her motivations are coming from a place I am not liking. At the end of the day, that’s what it boils down to. She doesn’t display admirable qualities often enough. That said, she’s brilliant to watch, isn’t she!
- I should also mention the possibility that Joseph agreed to his own murder. Look at how delighted Newton was to accept his suicide chip in the name of the mission. It’s probably more likely than not that Joseph went willingly. Though I suspect Altlivia would have murdered him anyway. It’s in her nurture.
- Also, how many death falls is that now? Off the top of my head I make it four, although there may be more.
- RIP joseph. What can I say? You were a treat in Alias. You were hat-tipped in “The Transformation”. And you died a spectacular death. Do shapeshifters dream of Milo Rambaldi?
- I’m glad that Peter checked for the storage unit, because that was the very thought on my mind as Joseph took his tumble. Question is, did Peter put his hand up Joseph’s whatchamacallit to get the disk? I’m sorry, but that’s what it looked like to me – and we know that they are located in the shapshifters bottoms. Crumbs, Peter. 😮
- Walter makes another bathroom joke. *sigh*
- Although I’m not convinced that Walter was so incapable of figuring out that the numbers were coordinates (really, Walter?), I do appreciate giving Astrid her moment in the spotlight. I also like the fact that the many underground references that we’ve been given since the first season have finally shown themselves to mean something – pointers that the ‘key to the universe’ is buried underground. Also makes me think about the Little Observer who was found underground – but I’ll leave that for the Observations column.
- Poor Peter, he’s so in love. He’s in love with a woman – possibly two, but he’s also in love with an idea.
“It’s the little things that make me irresistible”
- Did you think I’d make some cheap joke out of that? *tut* That would be far too easy – like taking candy from a baby, and Boy Wonder is going to need all of the sweets he can get after things turn sour. So no. I’ll pass, thanks.
- The final Altlivia/Peter chat was nice payoff. She’s looking for Peter to indirectly help make her mind up for her. It’s not uncommon – and we’ve seen it in the past on this show. But as well as being the cowards way out, I suspect that she’s genuinely trying to get some perspective. As I said, it must be hard for her – she’s out there on her own in ‘enemy territory’, essentially with only shapeshifters and an old typewriter to call upon. She had little time to prepare, and has no human contact that isn’t built on the foundation on lies. That’s tough on her – in many ways it’s no wonder she’s struggling. Back home she has her support systems – her mother, Frank, her friends and colleagues. Here, she’s a fish out of water, and although she has adapted better than realistically possible (again, contrivances), the writing is now beginning to zero in on her underlying dilemma.
“If you knew that only one of our worlds could survive, and it was up to you, and you alone to defend your side. You’d have no choice right? You would have to do what you have to do, no matter the cost – to protect..our world”
- This is a rare piece of honesty from Altlivia, even though she’s hiding behind a veil. And this is why I’m up and down with her. She’s callous and down right horrible at times, but she’s also bloody scared. She feels the WEIGHT of her world on her shoulders. She feels like she’s fighting for her universe without any help. So she’s naturally clung to the familiarity of our world, and perhaps this explains why she’s developing these attachments to Over Here and Peter – because they make a part of her feel like she’s not alone.
- This is causing her to see things differently. This world could easily be hers. These people could easily be people she loves and cares about. She’s becoming more and more conscious of this fact, and though it’s ugly to watch in places, to some degree it needs to be that way. The problem again comes because it undoes some of the earlier character building for it to play out. I guess we’d call this an evoke of balance.
- All that said, I don’t agree with the direction that Altlivia comes from. She’s coming from a place (not a literal place) that finds it a to be a discovery that the ‘at any costs’ method might not actually be the way to go about things. I take this as a statement on her, rather than her world – because Over Here, Walter is exactly the same. So I think that is my problem with Altlivia – I adore the characterization and I’m glad she exists, but I don’t think I’d share a coffee with her. But that’s cool, I’ve got my Dunhamnator.
- And who, WHO, would have thought that Peter would rise up in my heart like Merlin on the back of a dragon? It’s moments like this where he makes my heart swell with pride:
“There are billions of innocent people over there. Just like here, with jobs, families, lives. I gotta believe there’s another way. And whatever my part in all of this is, I gotta believe there’s another way. And there’s always hope, right?”
- Beautifully written and wonderfully delivered by Joshua of Jackson. I’m calling this The Third Way. Because it intersects both Walternate and Walter’s ways of doing things. You may have noticed that I’ve often given Peter a hard time – and rightfully so, this is a marathon, not a race. But here he showed what he’s made of. He’s displaying the value of being ‘a child of two worlds'; of what it’s like to value all peoples regardless of what side of the line they happen to fall on. I hated the way he scuttled back Over Here without so much as a thank you ma’am, but a bit of nifty writing may well save the character yet. I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel this good about Peter again, so I’m going to lap it up. This is a man we can be proud of – perhaps better than both of his fathers. Certainly, we have hope.
- I should also mention Altlivia’s face while Peter was delivering his character statement. I could swear it pleased her to hear him take such a stance. Perhaps it strengthened something she had been struggling with inside, or maybe she’s just happy to know that she bedded a man who at the very least wouldn’t destroy her world given the opportunity. Either way, it’s really neat that they took the time to add this little detail to her character while boosting Peter into orbit.
- I love how Walter is fully on-board with assembling the vacuum by the end of the episode.
“Creation and destruction, I suppose we’ll have to hope for the former.”
- It’s good to have you back, Walter.
- I guess it’s time for “phase two“. Did Altlivia ever really ‘get to work on Dr. Bishop’, like she was instructed to? I do wonder though, does Walternate just happen to be sitting at his typewriter every time that Altlivia has updates for him? I guess he could have a portable version, or perhaps we have to assume that, on some days, she has to wait hours for his messages. My disbelief is happy to be suspended in this instance.
- And wait for it. Is she going to do it? It’s coming..it’s coming. YES, she did it again – that ‘lookey up with menace’ thing that I just love!
- The universe transition was nicely done. Although I thought Brandonate was pregnant by the way he was standing. Hands on hips and with an attitude. And as many of us suspected, Walternate has indeed figured out about Olivia’s Cortexiphan. He has no more need for her or the Bra & Panties Tank™ – which is quite a shame.
- The final part was well done, as Olivia’s inner voice in the form of Peter boomed in serious and furrowed fashion:
“You have to get out of here. You know why they canceled the last test don’t you? Whatever they needed from you they have it now. It’s not safe for you here anymore, Olivia. You have to go home to burn that bed, incinerate the carpets and Dunhamnate some ass.”
- Oh boy, when you put it like that Projection Peter..
As I noted above, this episode seemed to get better and better as it went along. It perhaps didn’t capture the vibrancy of some of the Over There episodes, but this was a worthy Fringestallment. My door is always open for mythology, and I’d rather Fringe continue to tell these rewarding stories than bend over to conform to the less bold and creative standards of others. Worlds are being constructed here – brick by brick, page by page, episode by episode. This is stuff that will last.
This wasn’t the greatest episode ever, and I still have problems with the contrivances, but the contrivances they have I can live with. (for now at least). 😉
Best Performer: Anna Torv.
Best Line: “I gotta believe there’s a better way. And there’s always hope, right?” – Peter.
Best Moment: Final Altlivia/Peter scene with the vacuum piece being excavated.
Episode Rating 8/10