Fringe Review: 3.07 The Abducted


Welcome to our review for episode 7 of Fringe season 3 – “The Abducted”.

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.

THE GOOD

  • The Opening Scenes with the Candy Man and Max were great. Perhaps I’m just relieved that it didn’t look as awful as it did in the promo, but there was an intensity there that set the episode up nicely.
  • Many callbacks. Fringe has always self-referenced. For me, this speaks to the cyclical nature and ‘awareness’ of the story. As in life, we look for meaning in the world around us – things to make everything make sense. Referencing back to episodes such as “Earthling” and “Unleashed” (and others) in clever and meaningful ways creates connections in the mind. It informs us that the story-makers are in-tune with their own content and that our powers of observation are useful in interpreting the story.
  • Touching Moments. There were some really nice scenes in this episode. I enjoyed the relationships that Olivia forged with Broylnate and Chris, and it was great to see Super Henry return to assist Olivia in her adventure.
  • You Have a Message. The stand-out moment has to be the final scene with Peter receiving Olivia’s message. How I’d love to be a fly on the wall as the screen went black! It left the episode on a knife-edge and has me wondering what Peter first move will be. Will Boy Wonder roll over and go back to sleep, or will he FINALLY put the pieces together!? :o
  • The (continued) Humanizing of Walternate. Although he was also a bit of a monster in this episode, I can accept that decision because at least he’s becoming less one-dimensional, thus making him more believable.
  • Progression. The episode got us where we need to be and moved the necessary pieces into place for a potentially exciting mid-season.

THE BAD

  • Structure. I had a few problems with the way the episode was put together. At times it just didn’t mesh very well and felt disjointed to the point where it prevented certain scenes from being as satisfying as they could have been.
  • A and B Story. I found it a bit weird that Olivia was so absorbed in solving the Candy Man case considering the magnitude of her need to get home. I appreciate the thematics on display and the number of parallels, but I felt that there could have bit a bit more emotional interaction between the two. This might come back to the story structure and the fact that Olivia had to maintain her cover, but I feel that the previous Over There episodes have been more effective in this regard. I would have liked to have seen more continued awareness on Olivia’s part. Instead the stories felt a bit too separate.
  • Unsatisfying in places. Particularly the ‘twist’ with the reverend being ‘Candy Man Prime’, which felt rather clumsy. The way that Olivia came to the realization was unsatisfying to me, because unlike many of the clues that the universe usually delivers to her, this one felt way too random. Henry’s throwaway reference lacked the necessary ‘closeness’ to Candy Man Prime showing Wyatt how to regress-age. Sure, Wyatt may not have fit the experience profile, but did it need Henry’s comment to connect those dots? It just didn’t work, and having Olivia go back and forth like this reduced the magnitude of her epic NEED to go home. In this instance, I’d say that the ‘mythalone’ structure hindered the A story for the first time this season.
  • Under-drawn Villains. It seems to me that the Candy Men were plucked from the same character box as The Artist. Perhaps they were under-developed intentionally, to give air to Olivia’s story. But this didn’t help give that story the embellishment it needed to fully click. Fair enough, they were one-dimensional bad guys, I guess we’ll get some of those from time to time, but having two of them in the same episode didn’t work for me as well as it could have.
  • Mega Contrivances. Perhaps the most glaring was that Walternate’s stormtroopers realized that ‘someone’ had accessed the Lab, yet they didn’t actually do anything about it until Walternate got back to the Island (he was already on his way home). It could be argued that they couldn’t do anything sooner because Olivia had traveled for a minute or two to the other side. But what about the couple of minutes it took Olivia to adrena-nate and hop into the Bra & Panties Tank™? And why no remote shut down of the Lab equipment? I’m beginning to wonder how this man has the position of Secretary of Defence, given his lax security.

MYSTERIES

  • What will Peter do?

ANSWERS

  • Altlivia joined fringe Division less than two years ago.
  • Red Vines are new in the alternate universe. (Those poor people, they haven’t lived!)
  • Broylnate is a man of faith.
  • Wyatt Toomy created age regression serum by extracting hormones from kids’ spines.
  • Using his knowledge of science, the reverend discovered how to ‘heal’ his congregation by stealing youth from children.
  • In the alternate universe, the FBI hasn’t existed for over 10 years.
  • Ronald Reagan starred in Casablanca instead of Humphrey Bogart.

FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • I find it interesting when Fringe touches on spirituality, in part because it provides nice balance to the science element of the story. As I would expect, the further we delve, the more intertwined the two are. This episode wasted no time in reflecting on the nature of spirituality and faith and what they may mean in the big picture of the show:

“Through suffering comes redemption. From sorrow comes exultation. Through the pitch dark comes the cleansing fire. And through the fire we shall find the spring of new life.”

  • I like that. Our story has many damaged characters who are undergoing great suffering either through actions of their own, or others. For instance, I often speak about Walter’s need for redemption and how it disappoints me when he wastes his opportunities to take forward steps. The opening lines of the episode suggest that our heroes are indeed on these journeys of healing. As painful as it can be, this is an opportunity for them to renew themselves – to come full circle, or better yet, to break free from it.
  • Poor little Maxwell. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? The monster under the bed terrified the Cortexiphan out of me when I was a little Roco-tot. Back then, my defence mechanism was to sleep with the light on. Thankfully, Max doesn’t have to adopt such crude methods. Super Mom tells him to count to three and the monsters will be gone. …Yeah, and how’d that work out, Mom? Bang goes any trust Max will have in her growing up! :P
  • The abduction was creepy though. One of the things the Candy Man seems to represents is fear itself. An example of the things people project onto the world around them due to their childhood experiences or perceptions. Had Max ever seen a monster in his room before? Unless he spent some time down on Molebaby Farm, I doubt it. Yet he was terrified that one existed. That’s somewhat interesting because this season has focused quite a bit on pushing past fear and taking risks (for example, Walter ‘crossing the line’). How important is that fear in monitoring our decisions?
  • It’s interesting that counting to three only brought his fears closer to home. On some level this plays into the idea of belief, which takes on a central role in the episode.

  • HENRY! You may still be wearing the same shirt we last saw you in, but what the heck, give us a hug why dontcha! I love the fact that Olivia found him in the same spot where they originally met. She offers the buy him breakfast. Obviously he takes that offer up. What do you mean it’s 4pm?
  • Olivia doesn’t waste any time in seeking out a favor. I thought she could have at least had a muffin or two before revealing the true intent of her breakfast invitation. But if I had Projection Peter inside of me, I might want to be all PRONTO myself!

“I just need you to get me across the water.”

  • Henry has very much been her bridge over troubled waters, hasn’t he? And how fitting that our man of faith should return in this episode. Of course, ‘water’ here doesn’t just represent the stuff you drink, to my mind it also speaks of Olivia’s subconscious. A subconscious that is still heavily “patrolled”. Olivia may have realized who she really is, but it’s another thing to make it back to the other side.
  • It’s worth noticing that at this stage Olivia doesn’t feel comfortable telling Henry where she is from. Does she still have lingering doubts herself, or is she worried that he might lose faith in her if she told him? It’s understandable, sometimes what holds us back is not the belief we have in ourselves, but the faith (or lack of it) that others have in us. Sometimes we shy away from testing that faith.

“I need your help, Henry. Please will you help me?”

  • Maybe I’m getting soft, but I find that really endearing. I don’t think I’ve said “please” before “help me” since I was like, in the womb. Poor Livvy!
  • I’m intrigued by Henry’s motivation here. Again we can trace it back to their connection – that common ground which they experienced in In “Olivia“. Henry knows what it’s like to not have people believe in him. And he knows the value of having just one person take a chance on him. It emphasizes that understanding and compassion can come from perspective – from sharing similar experiences, or through having the capacity to understand our fellow humans from another angle.
  • And I love how not a single mouthful of breakfast was had in this here breakfast scene (aside from one sip of tea). Maybe I have problems, but if someone invites me to breakfast, I expect to have bacon sandwiches (of the kind Peter’s mother would be proud), muffins, coffee and pancakes! Bless Henry, I guess he had to dine alone. And I don’t think Olivia paid. Oops.

  • VERY interesting detail. Kidnappings are considered ‘Fringe cases’ in the AU purely because of Walternate’s personal experience with having his son abducted. Has there been a more intriguing insight into Walternate’s character this season? It further tells us that he’s personalized EVERYTHING, and that he’s hell-bent on not letting history repeat itself. Which is a good thing, you could say. But it’s also slightly worrying to me as a citizen in the alternate universe, because it suggests that he might be overly leading with his heart instead of his head.
  • In the context of the situation this tells us a lot about Walternate’s mindset. It’s all about him. Which it is, but other people are involved too – about 16 billion of them. We want leaders to lead, but at what cost? At the price of allocating government resources to areas that don’t require that level of focus? (only 1% of kidnappings are Fringe cases according to Charlnate). I’m worried about Walternate. So calm and contained yet he is visibly broken. Walter didn’t just shatter the fabric of his universe – as always, that is just a metaphor to describe the underlying message.
  • Olivia believes that, “it’s not a waste”. She’s seen the situation from both sides and the devastation that kidnappings can cause to families and entire worlds. In a way, she’s right, and Walternate is no different from anyone else in that he’s protective of the things he holds dear. He’s shaped by his experiences. In a story that reveals repeating patterns on a regular basis, why shouldn’t Walternate go to great lengths to ensure that lightening doesn’t strike twice? And that’s the logic, flawed or otherwise.
  • Speaking of repeating events, how much do the events in this episode mirror those from the body of the show? Very much. I’ll probably touch on that more in the Observations, but it continues to show how the past experiences of our characters reflect on the world around them. In recent weeks I’ve spoken about the two universes travelling in similar inward circles, and since the alternate universe scenario can be viewed as a metaphor, I find that to be useful in examining what this story actually means on a deeper level.
  • Here are words I never thought I’d hear again:

“It’s the Candy Man”

  • Yes, it seems the writers really weren’t kidding with that episode. All the clues the Fringe are in there, folks. We already know how the story will end. How? Why, with TWO endings, of course! (Actually, I wouldn’t put that past them).
  • And of course, the Candy Man also reminds me of the terrible “The Artist” – a man who didn’t deserve the prefix “The”, or the word “Artist”. Thankfully, the Candy Man wasn’t quite as badly drawn as that guy, although I do have issues with his character.
  • An interesting Walternate/Broylnate moment:

“Fringe Division was created to investigate tragedies of an unimaginable scale. You and I both know that there is no crime more heinous than the theft of a child.”

  • An key moment because in an instant it explained the strong sense of friendship and admiration that I had detected between Walternate and Broylnate in previous episodes. Both of these men have experienced the theft of a child, they both share that common ground. But dig a little deeper and it’s noticeable that both men deal with this experience differently. Both relatively closed off, but they seem to internalize it in different ways. Broylnate is committed at most costs. Walternate is hell-bent at any cost.
  • I have to note Walternate’s possible manipulation here:

“There’s no shame in letting it fall to another desk if it’s too….personal.”

  • Notice that infernal eye-twitch as he says it. Broylnate pours his juice into Walternate’s cup:

“It’s been four years since the Candy Man took my son. Four years since I heard him laugh. Watched him play outside with his sister. He had my son for two days, when I got him back he weren’t a little boy anymore. If there’s anyone you want on this case, it’s me.”

  • So what change does he undergo to take him from this to where he ends up at the end of the episode, helping Olivia? We’ll come to that, but Walternate has just made Broynate think that it’s his case – just as he made Olivia believe that she was Altlivia. A useful tidbit on his character. He may not be a lover of war, but he is an expert at hearts and minds.

“You’ll be happy to know we made a breakthrough. We found something in her brain chemistry. Something unique. If it’s what enables her to cross between worlds, you’ll have your team back soon.”

  • Can we hold ya to that, Walty? Something about the way he said it made me think that he doesn’t expect to get Alt-O back at all. Or that he thinks there’s a good chance they wont.

“I know what it’s like to lose a son, and even when they come back the damage is irreparable”

  • This is interesting because it tells us that Walternate possibly feels disappointed or let down by Peter’s decision to return back to the other side with the man who stole him. Perhaps a better word would be hurt. But it’s more than that, “irreparable” speaks volumes and implies that on some level he has given up hope of ever having a fully realized relationship with Peter.
  • So what does this mean for Walternate’s motivation? While I do not doubt for a second that Walternate loves Peter and wouldn’t do anything to harm him, there is a very fine line between love and hate. Will it make his decisions over the Vacuum that bit easier? The fact that Walternate sees Peter (and by Peter I mean the boy and their relationship) as ‘beyond repair’, is one of the most intriguing comments he’s made.
  • Walter not only stole his son, he turned him into ‘damaged goods’. Of course, this is murky territory, but from Walternate’s perspective, Walter has turned Boy Wonder against him. I feel desperately sorry for Walternate. I sense that he may have needed that offer of a chat more than Broylnate. Walternate’s first plea for help?
  • Olivia is very forthright in her persistence to interview Christopher Broyles. A trait perhaps lacking in Altlivia on the other side, particularly when dealing with Walter – buying him cakes, while Olivia once ripped him to shreds in a cake shop. Oh yeah, I noticed. That’s not to say that I don’t think Altlivia is proactive in her own way. In her own surroundings I think she’s very ballsy, but she approaches it from a different direction. Two sides of the same coin.
  • I admired Broyles for being protective over his son. What father wouldn’t? But it plays into the commonly held idea that people can sometimes be too close to see the truth. Broylnate was unable – or unwilling – to see that Chris was actually more capable than he gave him credit for. We’ve seen similar ideas explored between Walter and Peter in the past, so it was useful to see it play out here.
  • I also found Olivia’s tug-of-war in trying to get Broylnate to see a bigger picture somewhat similar to Broyles trying to persuade her to join his team in the way-back episode we call the Pilot. It’s not exactly the same thing, but the dynamic played similarly for me.

“..going over the details again, and again, forcing him to relive it when all he wanted to do was forget. And for what? I didn’t solve the case. And I didn’t help my little boy sleep at night.”

  • Wow. Quite a few things going on there. We’re reminded of the significance of ‘forgetting’. Memory is a major theme of the show and we’re constantly being reminded ourselves of dynamic between forgetting and remembering – or in other words, the state of being asleep and awake. Once again this is Fringe layering its story with a butter knife.
  • His words also take us back to “Earthling“, and the way that  Broyles was so hung up about solving the case that wrecked his marriage and lost him his family. Broylnate is not so unfortunate but the thread is there. Like all of our Parallels, they are joined by similar strands – scenarios caused by the intrinsic vibrations that echo throughout both worlds.

  • Lance Reddick gives this version of Broyles a fleeting moment of emotion that I can’t readily recall seeing in Broyles Over Here. What does this mean, what is being implied here? Could just be the actor doing what the hell ever feels right, but even so, his interpretation is worth thinking about since he is the one playing these two characters.
  • Maybe the fact that Broylnate still has so much to hold on to makes him slightly ‘weaker’, more vulnerable, than the Over Here Broyles? That would make sense to me.
  • And you’ve gotta love how Olivia reflects that emotion right back at him as if he were looking in the mirror. Olivia is emphasizing with this Broylnate. Perhaps because of her relationship with her Broyles, or maybe because she connects with Broylnate’s pain. Again, common ground.

Olivia: “I’m sure that you did your best. But if I spoke to him, maybe I could get more out of him”

Broylnate: “I’m his father”

Olivia: “Perhaps that’s the problem?”

  • This drew a fantastic response from Broylnate – he intended to protect what little childhood his son has left. I liked that because it made sense – a simple, primal objective of any father is to protect their young. It also contrasts with Olivia’s situation – she had no childhood. Or if she did, she can barely remember it as being a happy one. Who was there to protect Livvy’s childhood? Where Mother Dunham when Olive needed her? Does this explain why Olivia is not so hung up on fostering a meaningful relationship with Altlivia’s mother?
  • Though she had good intentions, I did think Olivia was also a bit cruel in this scene – and she can be at times. The timing of this is pretty ironic, given recent conversations. ;)

  • Anyway, I think a key point from this scene is that whether she realized it or not, Olivia tried to get Broylnate to see the bigger picture of sacrifice and the way in which it can set one free. This idea is cranked up in the very next scene where we get the despicable Candy Man repeating his prayer to Maxwell:

“Through suffering comes redemption, through sorrow comes exaltation. Through the pitch dark comes the cleansing fire. And through the fire we can find the spring of new life.”

  • Something so beautiful mangled by a very evil man. His mantra is meaningless to the boy, and only serves his own delusions, in my opinion. What was so special about him that he could just pluck away the boy’s youth like pears from a tree? What redemption was the boy receiving out of this? I get the idea of sacrifice, but I don’t prescribe to his garbled outlook. While I have my problems with under-drawn characters, I think it’s safe to say that Candy Man is one we can all sharpen our boots for.
  • I also find the arrival of the Candy Man quite timely, given that a couple of episodes ago I said of Walternate: “Oh the masks people wear.” Because, of course, Candy Man is also a metaphor for Walter.
  • I often talk about the story events representing the problems that the characters are trying to solve through constructed means. Though this comment from Broylnate is no doubt unintentional, it does kinda describe the value of self-healing adventures:

“Do you think he’ll try to come back here?”

“No, this is just for my peace of mind”

  • Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic ;) ..but I found it really touching that Diane asked if Broylnate had eaten yet. The way she did it, tenderly touching his stomach – and then fetching him a beer. I just think it’s really neat to see small, but meaningful compassion in a show like this. It told us a lot about their relationship and reminds us that Broyles doesn’t have this in his life. (although he does have Nina to perk him up).

Diane: “I always liked Olivia. She seems very smart.”

  • Bearing in mind she’s talking about Altlivia, and we have another string to add to the ball.

Diane: “He’s a strong boy, Phillip. Strong enough to talk about it, even if you’re not.”

  • A character flaw, perhaps? I find this worth mentioning, because in the previous episode we had Walter projecting his fears and insecurities on to Peter and therefore inhibiting Boy Wonder’s own growth. Here we see that again, this time with the idea that Broylnate’s own ‘weakness’ (and I say that respectfully) placing a cap on his son’s development. In an episode largely about childhood and the lasting affects, this is a powerful message.
  • How far do we protect our children? How much of our own anxieties do we unintentionally project onto them? How much does this take away from their futures? I imagine it’s a tricky one – on the one hand there’s the danger of not doing enough, coupled with the danger of over-doing it. As always with this story, it plays by the internal logic of balance.

  • It was wonderful to meet Chris. He was exactly the OPPOSITE of how his father described him. So full of life, so youthful and optimistic. I’m sure that this was intentional on the part of the writing, and it did good on illustrating the things I mentioned above.
  • The Candy Man wasn’t the only ‘two person act’ in this episode, nor are the themes only alluding to the two universes. We’re also dealing with PERCEPTION, particularly emphasized with Chris being two different people. The broken child that Broylnate saw him as, and the beam of energy that Olivia (and the audience, I’m sure) perceived. Do we always see other people accurately? How do we know, unless we’re able to be completely objective.
  • I also thought it was an interesting detail to make Chris blind as a result of the Candy Man’s theft. Yes, it tells us something about what was taken from Chris, and the different way that he sees the world. But we should also remember that eyes are THE WINDOWS to the soul. Therefore, it further informs us on Broylnate’s inability to see into the internal infrastructure of his son. Broylnate saw him as being more fragile than he actually was, his perception obscured by his own fears and disappointments.
  • I love it. Chris asks Olivia whether she really saved a bunch of kids from a Class III Vortex. Olivia says that she was just doing her job. Given that Chris is referring to a different Olivia, it’s worth considering the way in which Olivia finds this answer. Does she base, “just doing my job” on her perception of Altlivia? Or does she base it on how she sees herself? While this is such a small detail, I find it to be a useful consideration. It’s not so much the answer that’s important, but the way she conveys it. For what it’s worth, I think she’s describing herself. Saving people is Olivia’s job – she sees it as her responsibility. Altlivia, though similar, comes from a slightly different direction.
  • Olivia asks Chris if he wants to talk somewhere else: “Where’s your favorite place to go?” The very next scene his wish has been granted as they appear by the lake of his memories. Obviously that’s not how it actually happened :) But that’s how it played to me. I’m not sure if that was the intent (probably not), but a lot of focus has been placed on hoping and dreaming lately – from Peter’s “I gotta believe there’s a better way/there’s always hope”, to the snow globe imagery, to Olivia compelling herself back to her original universe. Maybe it’s just a feeling the creators want to convey, but I continue to wonder about the real nature of this vacuum of ours.
  • From the sublime..to the ridonkulous:

“The Candy Man’s had the boy for 36 hours”

  • LOL Walternate! Something about the way he said that totally took me out of the scene. After this episode, I never want to hear the words Candy and Man used in the same sentence. Unless someone is saying, “Hey, you want some candy, man?”.
  • Walternate also crosses my line marked “Do not dare hurt Olivia”:

Broylnate: “What about this Olivia?”

Walternate: “..I don’t believe we’ll be needing her anymore”

  • Don’t even go there, Walternate.

  • Touching scene between Chris and Olivia:

Chris: “My dad says that I need to forget about what happened.”

Olivia: “Oof. But it’s hard to forget isn’t it? I can imagine what it must have been like for you. How scared you must have been, how much you must have wanted to get back to your family and friends.”

  • Olivia should indeed know, her own ability to remember has kept her in the game. And yet, so much of her childhood remains locked away.
  • One of the things I liked about this scene was Olivia’s ability to understand how a child’s mind works. She is able to get the truth from Chris using intuition. But then, she’s displayed child-like qualities with both Ella and the Observerkid.

“He said if I told anyone about him, he’d come back. He said this time, he’d hurt my mom.”

  • This is a reminder that while much of the focus goes on adults protecting children, often children also do whatever they can to protect the adults. This has been seen throughout the series, not just with Chris, but also with young Olivia’s status as ‘gate-keeper’ and the brave young Peters who, on their death beds, had the awareness and maturity to give their parents a lasting message of comfort. And of course, we see a similar dynamic today with Peter and Walter’s child/parent roles being reversed. Therein lies another aspect to the ‘childhood abduction’ theme.
  • Lincoln says that every time a new Fringe event happens a new church pops up. This is an intriguing little line because it’s another example of the almost inherent need for balance. In times of crisis people seek solutions – “through suffering comes redemption”. While no-one wants to suffer, overcoming obstacles can be viewed as redemptive and freeing.

“Faith, that’s what will heal this wounded world”

  • Naturally, faith could be argued to be the counter-balance to science. Science has left a trail of devastation throughout the chapters of Fringe. While I have my own personal views, it’s interesting to ask what is being implied here in the context of the story. Is it really enough just to have faith? Or does both science and faith need to be combined? Perhaps it’s also important to realize when to leave things in the hands fate?
  • It seems a bit strange that Faux Reverend would lead the team right to his pupil’s door. I guess he gave Wyatt Toomy the heads-up? Creep.
  • As well as being a total fraud – healing his congregation through the enforced ‘sacrifice’ of children, he was also petty. He actually kept his promise to Chris by coming after him again. Obviously there’s a lot of full circle here, but he actually believes he’s doing God’s work? To make matters worse, he uses the ‘greater good’s’ better half ‘the common good’ as his justification.
  • Gotta love Captain Broyles. He got his resolution, one that would obviously forge his bond with Olivia and acknowledge the sacrifice she made for his son. Although I have problems with the way it was structured, the message is no less important. Olivia has the capacity to give of herself to others, even when her own need is incredibly great. Anyone still wondering why I have serious issues with Walter need only examine that quality.
  • One thing I’ve been wondering is the trade-off between Olivia and Altlivia’s memories now that the Dunhamnator appears to be back int he driving seat. Personally I believe that there will always be a bit of Alt-Liv in Olivia as a result of this experience. And this episode seems to hint at that, since she’s still very much acting, walking and talking with some of Altlivia’s nuances. Will this wear off in time? Perhaps, but I don’t think it will go away entirely. Olivia’s self-healing (because that’s what this whole experience represents to me) will surely help make her even more equipped for the battles ahead.

Broylnate: “You know who you are, don’t you?”

Olivia: “What happens now?”

Broylnate: “Now..I’m going home”

  • If this moment seemed to carry an extra weight, it’s probably because it’s the inverse of Broylnate’s message to Olivia in “Amber 31422″. And what a fantastic moment it was too, with Olivia appearing to vanish into thin air.
  • I enjoyed the send-off between Olivia and Henry, even if it was a little abbreviated. She’s right, he did more than just get her a boat, he believed in her. This theme was also explored in the episode “Peter” with Walter asking both Elizabeth’s not to doubt him. Olivia is now able to tell Henry the truth: “I’m from a parallel universe” – this sets her free.
  • I really enjoyed the intensity of Olivia passing on the message to the gift shop lady. Although I have to wonder what, exactly, Olivia was planning to do otherwise? Did she think the adrenaline would hold her in play for long enough for her to contact the Bishop Boys? And why didn’t she just use the phone?
  • Walternate’s face! He looked like he had gotten a whiff of one of Walter’s specials. A look of utter contempt. He only has himself to blame though, you can’t leave Bra & Panties Tanks™ lying around like that. Seriously.
  • The sight of those two snuggled up in Olivia’s bed made me ill. I’m surprised they didn’t have the popcorn out. Has Altlivia forgotten about Frank? Shouldn’t Peter be working around the clock on the Vacuum pieces? After all, it’s only two universes at stake.
  • “Well aren’t all the best love stories tragedies?” – Don’t tempt me, Petah.
  • The scene’s redemption, though, came with the gift shop lady delivering Olivia’s message:

“Is this Petah Bishop? I’m, like, calling from New York. I know this is going to sound craaazy, but I just saw a woman disappear in front of my eyes! Her name was Olivia. She has a message for you: Get out of my dang bed you gullible b******! She’s trapped in the other universe.”

  • Firstly, well done gift shop lady! I apologize for the subsequent loss of your mind, but well done you. Have a snow globe. Secondly, Petah’s face! I can just imagine the thoughts going through his mind at that point, something like:

“Olivia? But she’s right here with me. And we just made sweet, sweet love to U2. No, it can’t be. Am I dreaming? I’d know if Olivia’s was trapped in the AU because I have an IQ over 3.7. Ah, it must just be a prank caller. I’ll sleep on it and…ZZZzzzzzz”

And tomorrow, the Boy Wonders…

FINAL THOUGHT

A good episode that did what it needed to do without really reaching the heights. Perhaps the most disjointed episode of the season so far, but the level of meaning embedded into this installment gave it depth. Wonderful final scene that surely represents the awakening of Peter, setting things up nicely as we move towards the mid-point of the season.

Best Performer: Anna Torv.

Best Line“I know what it’s like to lose a son, and even when they come back the damage is irreparable” – Walternate.

Best Moment: Olivia’s message to Peter.

Episode Rating 7.5/10

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

Comments

  1. runthegamut says

    Love the review, as always. I thought this was such a slow episode, but I blame the promos for that. I think I would have been okay going in if they hadn’t focused so much on the last 15 minutes.

    It’s disappointing how dark the screen caps of the last scene are. Same with any clips of it. I wanted to see Peter’s face again, but no such luck.

    On Walternate’s “irreparable damage” line: I figured he was referring to the time lost that can never be regained. I didn’t see that as a slight on Peter himself. Even if he had stayed and they’d forged some sort of relationship, they have still lost 25 years. I don’t think Broyles getting his son back literally damaged was supposed to be a parallel, but I could be wrong.

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  2. Laura says

    “She has a message for you: Get out of my dang bed you gullible b******! She’s trapped in the other universe.”
    AHAHAHAHAHAHAH that was reeeeeeally fun ,Roco !!!!
    After the bad news today (see friday graveyard et similia), I think we needed it !!!!!

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  3. Isa says

    Great review, as usual, but I’m a bit disappointed with your rating. I thought this was a fantastic episode, it didn’t feel disjointed at any moment. I would rate this as height as “Olivia”, for me the two best episodes of this season of great episodes.

    “Olivia says that she was just doing her job. Given that Chris is referring to a different Olivia, it’s worth considering the way in which Olivia finds this answer. Does she base, “just doing my job” on her perception of Altlivia? Or does she base it on how she sees herself? While this is such a small detail, I find it to be a useful consideration. It’s not so much the answer that’s important, but the way she conveys it. For what it’s worth, I think she’s describing herself. Saving people is Olivia’s job – she sees it as her responsibility. Altlivia, though similar, comes from a slightly different direction.”

    Small moment, but I so agree with this. I thinks this is very telling of how Olivia sees herself.

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  4. MFC says

    Excellent review. This stuff keeps getting better and better. These reviews are actually the second thing I wait the most for, after the episodes themselves, every week. This should be mandatory complementary reading to the viewing of each episode!

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  5. Alexia says

    When you talked About Broylesnate quote about not helping Chris sleep at night…Why did you write “sleep” in blue letters and “awake” in red???
    Is it supposed to be a universe-color reference??

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  6. Anjali says

    Excellent review Roco.
    I hope that ‘Petah’ does indeed ‘wake up’ and finally puts the pieces together.
    Best part of the episode: When Olivia fails to cross over permanently and the look of disgust on Walternate’s face. That scene was brilliantly shot and directed.

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  7. Isa says

    Did anyone also notice that the doll at the villain’s apartment was similar to that creepy doll from the Jacksonville episode? The one which could possible be from the AU?

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  8. Peppymint says

    This may be a stupid question but if Olivia crossed over why are they able to pull her back? Or is there some sort of minimum time that she needs to be on the other side before she is considered permanently there?

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    • Pam says

      I think Olivia is still not fully realized in her powers (she still needs the tank to cross over) – which she will eventually, while they keep her in captivity, I hope – and that is why she wasn’t able to stay put in her own universe. I said this before in another post as well, but, I think the reason they pulled back Olivia is because Olivia can open the door and cross over, but, she still doesn’t know how to close the door behind her – which is really enormous brain power to stop or manipulate other people from accessing this universe. I think she will eventually get there – and Walternate’s scare tactics are going to bring out Olive in all her fire spewing, reality ripping glory!

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    • says

      This, to me, is the biggest flaw in this storyline so far. They (the writers) haven’t given us a very good reason for why they can bring her back so easily. She must be in both places at once for them to be able to pull her back out of the tank. I’d very much like to see this explained more.

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      • Isa says

        Maybe the tank is not supposed to allow her to cross over completely. I mean, would Walternate allow her to go in there (in the other episodes) if he knew she could escape? Or maybe Olivia doesn’t have control over everything, turning the cross over very unstable and making it easier for the guys to bring her back again.
        Anyway, I really hope we can see Olivia gaining control over her abilities, so she can cross over on her own. This season has been fantastic, but the “trapped in AU – my alternate version stole my life” thing is becoming a bit tiring already. I’m dying to see Walter-Peter-Olivia together again.

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        • Pwnsauce says

          It seems like ‘The Road Not Taken’ when Olivia was seemingly in two universes at once. This is quite a mystery to me as well.

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  9. aci79 says

    I enjoyed the episode with all of its intense moments, both from the case and the developing backstory. I love the respect and understanding that has developed between Olivia and Alt-Broyles. What a way to gain an ally in another universe. I always admire how a supposedly emotionally detached character of Olivia can always be so charming and so great with children. It is difficult for me to compare Olivia and Altlivia in various circumstances due to the fact that I haven’t seen Altlivia as herself in a day-to-day interactions except being deceiving and manipulating during her undercover work. I can only assume. Just by seeing Olivia in action as herselt in the Alt-Universe should be a great indication on how the two Universes can combine all of their skills and resources and work together to find a solution to this madness. Wishful thinking right? I won’t forget the two priceless expressions of Walternate and Peter at the end.

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  10. says

    I like that you connected all the way back to the pastry shop with this.

    Also glad you mentioned Diane Broyles comment about Altlivia’s good character.

    I think Colonel Broyles had always been concerned for Olivia from the moment he was asked to integrate her into the team. He tests the Secretary every time by asking when he is going to get his Olivia Dunham back. He’s just not prepared to opening defy his boss. Makes me wonder if he will cultivate a different relationship with his Olivia if it all ends well for them.

    I agree the best is yet to come, the way this episode is set up. I hope for it to have the same energy as the season premiere.

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    • matt says

      I agree especially with your last little paragraph. The best is definitely yet to come! (If Olivia figures out her ‘powers’? think explosion that burned lincoln x dunhamnator!)

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  11. Count Screwloose says

    Considering the hat tips FRINGE likes to make to Children’s Literature, I’d be very surprised if starting the story in the bedroom of a boy named Max wasn’t an intentional wink to Maurice Sendak’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE.

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  12. Sanj says

    The episode was -okay-, but only just okay for me. The biggest letdown was the fact that once again Olivia failed to return to the other side. This plot point is really dragging on too long in my opinion. The same is true of alt-Olivia on our side…it’s dragging on too long. She’s practically wearing a neon sign that says “I’m an evil doppleganger” and no one has noticed? What about Ella and Rachel? You’d think Alt-livia, having lost her sister and niece on her side, would have formed a rapport with the ones on our side.

    I wonder how many more episodes of Olivia trapped on the other side we’ll have to put up with..hopefully the next one will be the last.

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      • annon says

        Yes, I also agree. While the whole concept has been great, they have dragged it out for too long. In doing that, plus the time Fringe has been bumped for other things, any suspense that they had with the switch scenerio has been diminished. Hopefully, the next one will be the last and then the show can concentrate on other parts of the mythology which so far they haven’t explored/or has been pushed to the side.

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    • AnOlive says

      I love the storyline, and I hate it that it will end soon and we will be back to the tiring peter walter story . so boring and once again the risk that Olivia will be on the side, it would be an insult to Anna Torv.

      I do hope that the Pinkner and Wyman keep their promise and that we will see Alt_livia complete and Olivia gaining an new perspective. For to long Olivia was neglected as a character, and we still know nothing about her, so I want to see that.

      I had expected more of the mother daughter story in the altuniverse, one of the things I am disappointed in, the other was peterguy overthere.

      So I hope there will be more Overthere and Alt Liv and development from Our Olivia, this was supposed to be the season of Olivia, it is her turn now, and Anna Torv’s.

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  13. AstralCar says

    Great review as usual! I just wanted to point out that Ronald Reagan did not necessarily star in Casablanca in the Other Universe. Altlivia may have been simply mixing up notions she learned about our own Universe, confusing Reagan and Bogart. She did not seem aware of any alternate version of Casablanca at all.

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  14. Karo says

    Only 7.5?

    Wow, this was a total 9 for me, so much stuff to love in this episode. Personnally, I don’t care about the little contrivances here and there, as long as the episode delivers on other levels like emotions, intensity, characters interaction, continuity, etc. And this one did in a great way. Loved having Olivia and her cleverness back, the kids actors were superb, the score in the lab scene was brilliant, the end scene was powerful, i don’t know, i just REALLY liked it! :)

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    • FinChase says

      I commented to a friend the other night when we re-watched the episode that the music during the lab scene was wonderful.

      I agree with your other points, too.

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  15. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    “A and B Story. I found it a bit weird that Olivia was so absorbed in solving the Candy Man case considering the magnitude of her need to get home.”

    On the other hand I found that to be very in line with Olivia’s character that yes, she is also missing her family and friends (as she hints at with Chris, like she can only bring down her walls with a child), but she is sooo involved in protecting others that she forgoes her own wants and needs, just as Olivia has done for the last 2+ years…

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  16. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    “It’s interesting that counting to three only brought his fears closer to home. On some level this plays into the idea of belief, which takes on a central role in the episode.”

    I also thought this was interesting, but I’m looking at it from another angle. If as a child, I came to my mom with this problem (as I did many times), she would have instructed me to close my eyes and say a prayer. Would that have affected the outcome? Seeing as how Toomey thought he was doing God’s will, had he heard a prayer come off the little boy’s lips instead of just 1-2-3 would it have affected the outcome?

    I just thought it was interesting.

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  17. Alex says

    Little Chris was the highlight of this episode for me. What an adorable and talented little actor! It was also good to see our Olivia’s natural ability to talk well with younger people.

    But as much as I like Henry, I felt like he was a little pointless in this episode. His impression in “Olivia” was wonderful, but his involvement in this episode felt really half-assed. I thought if they ever brought him back they’d expand on what happened to his daughter – maybe she’s stuck in amber somewhere?

    The last few moments were great. Olivia being dragged out of the tank screaming broke my heart, and Peter’s face? Omgosh!!!

    One last note: Thanks goodness Ronald Reagan wasn’t in Casablanca

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  18. Maira says

    I laughed so much at this part: “I’d know if Olivia’s was trapped in the AU because I have an IQ over 3.7″ So true! It’s ridiculously obvious by now!

    And about the fact that all kidnappings are Fringe cases, I think that tells nothing about Walternate! This is just the only way that the writers could have Fringe Division on a simple kidnapping case.

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    • says

      “This is just the only way that the writers could have Fringe Division on a simple kidnapping case.”

      I agree, but I think the writers always look for ways to slip in important character details where they can. That’s why the story carries so much weight, because it’s character, character, character, wherever possible. :) If there’s a nook or a cranny, there’s room to embellish it with character detail. Of course, it can also work the other way – story can come from character. It just depends which direction the approach it from.

      Also, I think it most definitely tells us ‘something’ about Walternate.

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  19. pacey bishop says

    It’s funny how FAITH and HOPE have been more explicitly explored in the episodes lately, and how FAITH is more often than not being said in the episodes from over there. Over there, apparently there are new religions rising everytime there’s a new fringe event, over here Faith is being very much questioned and sometimes people even ignore it and run away from it, kind of like Walter does/has done. Over there, correct me if I’m wrong, but Walternate is a man of Faith, isn’t he? Broylnate is a man of Faith. Faith is everywhere, be it Faith in a person or something.

    I started paying attention to this when Peter said “there’s HOPE.” and Olivia has also said that, didn’t she? Hope. I can’t remember it, but has anyone else over there ever mention the word Hope at all? It’s like the world over there is so broken that Hope is almost non-existent and they rely on Faith. That says a lot about both worlds, because Hope and Faith have a lot of things in common, but sometimes they lead to different things. For example, the destruction of one world, or the survival of both?

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  20. mlj102 says

    I’m absent for one day, and suddenly I’m extremely behind on all the latest news and speculation. I guess I’ll start catching up here…

    In general, another fantastic review, Roco. You found some really great connections and underlying themes that I hadn’t even considered. This review has definitely helped me to view certain aspects of this episode in different ways.

    “It’s understandable, sometimes what holds us back is not the belief we have in ourselves, but the faith (or lack of it) that others have in us.”

    I don’t really have anything to add to this one, but I just really like how you pointed this out. I think that’s a really neat observation, especially considering how much this episode focused on belief, particularly believing in other people.

    “Though she had good intentions, I did think Olivia was also a bit cruel in this scene – and she can be at times. The timing of this is pretty ironic, given recent conversations.”

    Subtle; really subtle… I’ve got to hand it to you with that one, Roco… that was nicely played. :)

    But really, I just don’t understand that interpretation. Sure, she was direct and persistent, but I wouldn’t call that “cruel”. Actually, I was pretty proud of Olivia for standing her ground. That’s one of the things that makes her so good at what she does — she doesn’t shy away from something when she knows it’s a necessary thing that has to be done. And even though she was a bit blunt in pointing out the true reality of things to him (and, face it, the truth hurts sometimes), she also used tact. She was still respectful and sympathetic, while not letting him off the hook. Someone needed to call him out on that, and I thought she handled the situation brilliantly.

    “Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic”

    I think that may be one of your most amusing comments to date! You, a hopeless romantic? I am not convinced!

    “Diane: “I always liked Olivia. She seems very smart.””

    I really liked that indirect way of supporting alternate Olivia. It’s rather ironic that I feel more sympathy for her when she’s not actually there. I feel like I get to know her better in the over there episodes when I see how those who know her talk about her and how they support our Olivia, thinking she’s their Olivia. Now if they could only have given that much development to her character when the episode actually focused on her, I might be a bit more open towards her.

    “It was wonderful to meet Chris. He was exactly the OPPOSITE of how his father described him.”

    Initially I had seen this as a sort of plot flaw or contrivance and it really bugged me that Chris was really nothing like how Broyles described him… But after reading your interpretation of it, it makes a lot more sense and I can see how that was actually something they intentionally wanted to convey. Thanks for pointing that out. It suggests that Broyles is the one more damaged by the experience and that he’s the one who can’t move past it — like he’s the one suffering, though he’s projecting that onto his son.

    Just a couple other thoughts of my own:

    You mentioned the idea of sacrifice a few times in your review and I wanted to add on that a little bit. I thought this was a great theme that tied the episode together, from the corrupted sacrifice mentioned by the kidnapper, to the pure, genuine sacrifice given by Olivia to help alternate Broyles solve the case. One thing I didn’t see you mention that I wanted to point out was when the reverend was looking for Chris and he mentioned that “We all have to make sacrifices for the common good.” It made me think about the various sacrifices we’ve seen characters in the show make and I think it added significance to those acts. However, I also felt that it highlighted how a key aspect of sacrifice is that it has to be voluntary, and the “sacrifice” that the children were being forced to make was not a sacrifice because it was being forced upon them. Therefore it was an unreasonable expectation to expect them to be willing to go along with what they were doing to them. It goes to show how twisted and inaccurate the reverend’s beliefs and teachings really were. Though somewhat based in true concepts, they were missing key points that made what they did completely invalid.

    As far as science and religion go, I enjoyed the way they showed how the two work together, along with the suggestion that it might be a combination of the two that is necessary to save the world. There’s been a lot of focus in Fringe how science in and of itself is neutral, and it’s how it is used that determines if it’s good or bad. I think this episode also showed religion or faith in that same way. If you look at faith, generally it is a good thing. However, there are certain people, like the “reverend” who use a form of corrupted religion, or they do things claiming it’s in the name of religion, but it’s completely evil. I’m interested to see how they expand upon this in the future as I really think we’re going to need to see Religion and Science come together in order for things to be healed.

    I also found myself making certain parallels between the “reverend” and Walter. Both of them lost someone close to them and they suffered because of that. Initially, I will admit, I believed the reverend and I thought it was a neat contrast that while Walter couldn’t accept his loss and he abandoned faith and trusted in science and ultimately went crazy, the reverend turned to faith and found healing in that. But then it was revealed that all that was a lie. And I was somewhat disappointed by that. But then I realized that it only furthered the parallel between Walter and the reverend in the way they both chose to cope with their loss and how their choices had drastic consequences for them, as well as for many people around them. I wonder if we’ll ever see anyone who experiences great loss, but copes with it in a way that they don’t end up hurting others? Or for a show that highlights the great lengths people will go to for the ones they love, will we ever see that?

    It was interesting for me to watch this episode and to consider how Olivia’s perspective has changed now that she’s aware of who she is. In many ways, she still seemed to be acting similar to how she has in past episodes while believing she was alternate Olivia, yet still slightly off as part of the real her would come to the surface from time to time. So I had to remind myself that now she knows the bigger picture. Consequently, it was neat to think about how that has changed her view of things. I think she was particularly committed to this case because it involved alternate Broyles and his son and even though it wasn’t her Broyles, I still think she felt a certain loyalty to help him resolve that case. I wonder what she must have thought as she met alternate Diane, knowing that on her side, Diane and Broyles were divorced. I wonder what it was like for her to see alternate Broyles’ family life given what she knows of our Broyles. I just thought that was all very interesting to think about.

    I loved the last ten minutes or so of this episode and I felt they were extremely packed full of significance and allusion. I was thrilled that Olivia’s message got through to Peter. Somehow I had expected there would have to be something more concrete and definitive to prove to him that she was his Olivia, and yet, this completely worked. It made sense that all he needed was to hear someone report that Olivia had a message for him and that she was trapped in the other universe. It’s nice to see him finally open his eyes to what’s been right in front of him all along, and I hope to see him begin to redeem himself in the next episode.

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    • says

      “Subtle; really subtle… I’ve got to hand it to you with that one, Roco… that was nicely played.”

      Why thank you. ;)

      “But really, I just don’t understand that interpretation. Sure, she was direct and persistent, but I wouldn’t call that “cruel”. Actually, I was pretty proud of Olivia for standing her ground. That’s one of the things that makes her so good at what she does — she doesn’t shy away from something when she knows it’s a necessary thing that has to be done. And even though she was a bit blunt in pointing out the true reality of things to him (and, face it, the truth hurts sometimes), she also used tact. She was still respectful and sympathetic, while not letting him off the hook. Someone needed to call him out on that, and I thought she handled the situation brilliantly.”

      Oh, I was proud of her too – kinda. But I still think it was cruel to push a man over a subject that was clearly very raw to him. I’m not saying this isn’t a useful trait to have, but she can be very ruthless at getting what she wants, can our Dunhamnator.

      I don’t think B’nate needed “calling out” as such. Sure, he needed a change of perspective, but he didn’t have any ill intent. As we know, Olivia is not perfect herself and though her approach often yields results she must be careful not to go to step all over hearts. Doing whatever you have to do to get results is…well, kinda what old Alt-liv is doing right now. Different situation, sure, but it only needs a few degrees.

      “I think that may be one of your most amusing comments to date! You, a hopeless romantic? I am not convinced!”

      You mean my un-dying love for R@chel hasn’t convinced you already?

      “I really liked that indirect way of supporting alternate Olivia. It’s rather ironic that I feel more sympathy for her when she’s not actually there. I feel like I get to know her better in the over there episodes when I see how those who know her talk about her and how they support our Olivia, thinking she’s their Olivia. Now if they could only have given that much development to her character when the episode actually focused on her, I might be a bit more open towards her.”

      Yes, definitely very interesting. I kinda feel the same with Peter. I prefer him when he’s merely a projection or a fragment of memory.

      “However, I also felt that it highlighted how a key aspect of sacrifice is that it has to be voluntary, and the “sacrifice” that the children were being forced to make was not a sacrifice because it was being forced upon them. Therefore it was an unreasonable expectation to expect them to be willing to go along with what they were doing to them. It goes to show how twisted and inaccurate the reverend’s beliefs and teachings really were. Though somewhat based in true concepts, they were missing key points that made what they did completely invalid.”

      Well said.

      “I wonder what it was like for her to see alternate Broyles’ family life given what she knows of our Broyles. I just thought that was all very interesting to think about.”

      Indeed. It must be a very useful tool to have – to see others as they can’t see themselves. Does it make her more understanding or more critical? Does she use it to help change people or does it cause her to accept people for the way that they are in this life?

      It’s interesting, to see iterations of people and to experience their source
      code.

      “I was thrilled that Olivia’s message got through to Peter. Somehow I had expected there would have to be something more concrete and definitive to prove to him that she was his Olivia, and yet, this completely worked.”

      You mean other than the pair of them standing side by side carrying sledgehammers? :)

      Nah, I agree, it was was done well and well done.

      Thanks for sharing your mind!

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      • mlj102 says

        “Doing whatever you have to do to get results is…well, kinda what old Alt-liv is doing right now.”

        That’s a valid point, and I’ll agree that there is a fine line between Olivia’s approach and alternate Olivia’s approach. But the difference is that our Olivia did what she did because it was a necessary evil — ultimately, she did what needed to be done to help alternate Broyles. In this particular instance, it was alternate Broyles’ own personal insecurity that was preventing him from getting to the bottom of the case. Though painful, she was doing him a favor. By not letting alternate Broyles continue to take the safe, easy route, she was able to help him conquer one of his personal demons. Alternate Olivia, on the other hand is being manipulative and heartless, going to whatever lengths necessary to help her own world. She doesn’t care who she has to hurt to do it. It’s a very different motivation, with a very different tone behind it. But, as you said, though completely different, it’s only a slight adjustment between the two approaches, emphasizing the way the two sides are the same… with subtle differences.

        “You mean my un-dying love for R@chel hasn’t convinced you already?”

        Ha! :) Not quite… somehow your “undying love” for Rachel just doesn’t convey the message of “hopeless romantic” to me. There’s just something missing from that one… You’ll have to do better than that to convince me!

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        • says

          “But the difference is that our Olivia did what she did because it was a necessary evil — ultimately, she did what needed to be done to help alternate Broyles. In this particular instance, it was alternate Broyles’ own personal insecurity that was preventing him from getting to the bottom of the case. Though painful, she was doing him a favor. By not letting alternate Broyles continue to take the safe, easy route, she was able to help him conquer one of his personal demons. Alternate Olivia, on the other hand is being manipulative and heartless, going to whatever lengths necessary to help her own world. She doesn’t care who she has to hurt to do it. It’s a very different motivation, with a very different tone behind it. But, as you said, though completely different, it’s only a slight adjustment between the two approaches, emphasizing the way the two sides are the same… with subtle differences.”

          I agree there’s a difference there, and I appreciate you fleshing out your views. Just to be clear, I’m not saying that Olivia is a ‘bad person’ – heck, she was forged in the rings of Saturn, for goodness sake! :) But by calling it a “necessary evil”, isn’t that saying that what she did was “evil”. Necessary, but evil?

          Sure, Altlivia’s motivation comes from a different place, but all I’m saying is that Olivia also has the capacity. It’s there. Thankfully it has risen too far above ripping shreds out of a mentally fragile Walter and the odd foe or two. But in the wrong environment, under the right circumstances..how far would Olivia go? I think it’s a question worth asking. I think one of the purposes of the AU storyline is to see how far the edges meet and how much overlap exists between doubles.

          While I stand by everything I’ve had to say about Altlivia this season, I also caution judging her too negatively in relation to Olivia. From my point of view, to render Altlivia as a hopeless entity (for example) is also to make a statement on Olivia, to some degree. She’s the ‘Bad Twin’ but it could be argued that her goal in saving her world is bigger than what it usually takes for Olivia to crush a man.

          That being said, I do place value in a person’s motivation – their intentions are a useful gauge. I just believe that a well-intended person can still do immense damage if they chase results without being aware of the human cost. Olivia got results..this time. What if she hadn’t? What if Chris had been taken by Candy Man? I’m glad that Olivia is the way that she is, but it’s interesting to examine her as a complete character.

          I’m not sure we necessarily disagree on the Olivia/Altlivia scale. I think we’re just approaching it from different roads, which is pretty cool.

          “Ha! Not quite… somehow your “undying love” for Rachel just doesn’t convey the message of “hopeless romantic” to me. There’s just something missing from that one… You’ll have to do better than that to convince me!”
          Then I shall double my efforts!

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  21. sarma says

    well, this is my first comment here and I’d like to add two thing to “Answers”:

    1- Yes, Ronald Reagan starred in Casablanca instead of Humphrey Bogart in the alternate universe because it was the late president who was supposed to play as “Rick” at first! (as well as another actress instead of Bergman who I don’t recall her name)
    and we know where does the parallel world come from: possibilities which didn’t happen. Fantastic!
    2- The guy on the radio speaks about an agreement between three (and not two) major parties on population control. ( Tee party is the third one there? :D )

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    • LizW65 says

      Wiki has this to say on the subject: “Several rumors and misconceptions have grown up around the film, one being that Ronald Reagan was originally chosen to play Rick. This originates in a press release issued by the studio early on in the film’s development, but by that time the studio already knew that he was due to go work for the army, and he was never seriously considered…”
      So presumably in the AU Reagan never went into the army and did the film instead, which may have been far less of a hit there than here. And it appears that Bogart didn’t have much of a career in the AU, if any, as we learned in the Amber episode, Cary Grant played Sam Spade in “The Maltese Falcon”, and Alt-Liv didn’t seem to recognize him at at all. The AU seems to have got kind of short-changed in the pop-culture area, doesn’t it? No Bogart, no U2, and Eric Stolz in “Back to the Future” that we know of so far. I wonder if Pete Best stayed on as the Beatles’ drummer?

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      • Anita says

        Maybe that’s why Altlivia was so excited to read up on all that pop culture; we’ve got it so much better Over Here!! ;)

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  22. Anne says

    Great review Roco, as usual!

    Just a little thing I’ve noticed. When Altliv and Peter are in bed at the end, did you notice Altliv is wrapped in the RED blanket while Peter is wearing a BLUE shirt ? The beginning of the end ;)

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  23. TomC says

    This was the first episode i have screeched at my tv while watching…. over the candy-man you say, NO when olivia was going home. I was so excited i felt like i was 10 again on christmas morn!!
    BUT then there was ol’tubby-cleaner-lady to ruin the day. If only she had waddled a bit quicker and unlocked those doors. I think they were a metaphor and if olivia got through them she would’ve been back to our side (i haven’t read the posts above so this might have been already said??).

    Good to see our Livvy back. I knew as soon as charlnate said don’t speak to broylesnate it was obvious she would…… nate. Ive missed you, dont leave me again!!!
    My thoughts are now, will broylesnate help her get home – i think he will.
    AND, how will peter react? keep it shady then explode like a mentalist on crack when the time is right!!

    Now for a 2 WEEK BREAK (here in UK anyway)!!!! DAMN YOU FOX… DAMN YOU!!!! i hate these stoopid ‘lets not put on the show for a week or 2 then show 2 more then another break because its fun…. NO ITS NOT STOP IT!!!

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  24. Irishbird says

    I’m a little behind on my viewing on this side of the atlantic but the excitement that was coming my way from all you guys was fantastic. Loving your work Roco, it makes the time lag this side bearable.

    What can i say about this episode other than yet again one hell of a great instalment. Didn’t move us forward in the mythology but it did get us one step closer to our girl coming home. And from what i have seen of the writing so far this season there is no sign that this show has reached it’s plateau – surely FOX execs must see that!!

    So good to see our Olivia back in true investigative form and showing those AU boys how it’s done on our side. Wish there had been more interaction though between Olivia and Henry, though I was not dissappointed by how they developed her relationship with Broylesnate.

    Have to admit, I did think going back to Liberty Lab was a mistake for our Liv, especially when we know from Over There Part 2 that there is a perfectly good usable lab in Harvard with it’s very own B&P Tank™ just lying around going to rust.

    The look on Walternate’s face when they pulled Olivia from the tank – priceless. It proved to me, however menacing it was, that he knew he had under estimated Olivia, both her strength of character and determination.

    Also loved Peter’s wake up call. Oh peter, peter, peter what is a boy wonder to do when it has to be spelt out to you by the gift shop lady. Though the way everyone was going with this story line, I was beginning to think Gene would be the 1st to notice!!

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    • says

      Cheers Irishbird. Enjoyed reading your thoughts. I was also beginning to wonder whether old Gene was the most perceptive member of our gang!

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  25. Charlotte says

    Great review Roco, as usual. Thanks!

    I have some comments about what you say of walternate though, because I don’t quite agree. You write: “Kidnappings are considered ‘Fringe cases’ in the AU purely because of Walternate’s personal experience with having his son abducted. (…) It further tells us that he’s personalized EVERYTHING (…) But it’s also slightly worrying to me as a citizen in the alternate universe, because it suggests that he might be overly leading with his heart instead of his head. In the context of the situation this tells us a lot about Walternate’s mindset. It’s all about him. Which it is, but other people are involved too – about 16 billion of them. We want leaders to lead, but at what cost? At the price of allocating government resources to areas that don’t require that level of focus? (only 1% of kidnappings are Fringe cases according to Charlnate)”

    Honestly, as a citizen of the alternate universe, I find a lot more to be worried about than Walternate “overly leading with his heart instead of his head” and government wrongly allocating resources. When you think of it:
    1. Walternate seems to have very limited respect for the lives of the citizens of his own country/universe. Didn’t Newton take orders from him to bring that building from alternate New York to ‘our’ New York in “Jacksonville”? What with the quarantine that probably followed etc? How many deaths is Walternate responsible for in his own world?
    2. The regime in the alternate universe seems nothing short of totalitarian: you need to have your show-me ID with you at all times (ref the billboard in the petrol station in “Olivia”), you need it to take public transportation (“Over there part 1″ and “Olivia”), there are cameras everywhere (that’s how they spot Olivia and co going back to the Opera House in OT 2), etc. Citizens of the AU can be tracked wherever they go. Also, still in OT 2, Bell says that Fringe Division are monitoring all communications. Doesn’t feel like a free country to me.
    3. Walternate is lying to the public about the causes of his world’s decay and about the effect of amber on people. How’s that supposed to be good politics?
    4. In the episode “Amber”, the bank-robber-twin tells his brother that if Fringe Division find out that he escaped from the amber, they’ll take him and do tests and experiments on him for the rest of his life. Sounds like East Germany to me.
    5. Walternate seems to be just as amoral with regards to scientific experiments as Walter, but with a more sinister twist: after all, he tells Brandon that ‘I am still a scientist, Brandon. I just have a much larger laboratory’ in “The Plateau.”

    I’d also like to add a few comments on the above:
    - All citizens in the AU can be tracked at any time. Interestingly, kidnapped people can precisely not be tracked. As a side question, who was kindnapped in the 1% of cases when the kidnapping was a Fringe event?
    - One could explain the surveillance measures by the fact that this universe is at war, like some sort of Mega-PatriotAct. But the public isn’t even aware that there’s a war allegedly going on. How’s that supposed to add up?
    - Am I the only one to see the irony of having Nixon on a silver dollar in a universe where all communications are being tapped by a government agency?
    - As I recall it in the season 1 “Pilot” Broyles says: ‘They’re calling these events The Pattern. As if someone out there is experimenting, only the whole world is their lab.’ Is this a hint at a connection between Walternate and ZFT (the group on our side)?

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  26. Peter Bishop Must Die. says

    My older brother has watched exactly ONE episode of Fringe (‘Bad Dreams’).

    One night he walked into the room where I was watching “6955 kHz.” Now he knew nothing about the alternate universe or the Olivia/Altlivia switch. And yet he took one look at Bolivia and said, “She looks different. What happened to her?” To which I responded, and I quote, “OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOSH, PETER!”

    Just thought I’d share.

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    • Monne says

      Which of course would have nothing to do with the new fringe Olivia was sporting, nor the new shade of blonde, right?

      Of course not!
      Because then, you couldn’t take it out on Peter! :)

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  27. Peanut says

    Is that some of that rare coffee they’re drinking? Olivia & Henry have cups in front of them at the café, & Lincoln brings Olivia a hot beverage at the office.

    … and Scarlie’s giving orders for bagging & tagging—just like Charlie did.

    … and Olivia barges into Broylesnate’s office just as she does with Broyles. Wait—maybe that’s why Broyles is so rarely in his office—he’s tired of Olivia’s unannounced visits.

    Roco points out the passage in which Broylesnate—after he discovers that Olivia’s remembered her true identity—tells Olivia that he’s going home, with the unspoken message being that she can also go “home.” Earlier in the episode, Olivia turns down an invitation from Lincoln to join him & Scarlie for a beer (evidently, he’s not remembering that Fauxlivia doesn’t drink—or maybe “Fauxlivia” has suddenly developed a taste for alcohol since Olivia crossed over?). Olivia turns down the invitation, saying that she is going “home” instead—but Lincoln has no idea just how far away that home is.

    Peter misses another opportunity to detect Fauxlivia when she doesn’t know that Bogart starred in “Casablanca.” She says that she is kidding about Ronald Reagan being the star, & then guesses the wrong ending for the movie—& Peter doesn’t pick up on that. This is supposed to be the Olivia who has a photographic memory? The one who could name the directors to two different versions of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”?

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  28. AG says

    Has anyone notice when Olivia was glancing the kidnapped boy’s room, she had her eyes fixed on a children’s book called “Burlap Bear goes to the woods”? She used to read this book to her niece Ella over here.

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