Welcome to our review for episode 8 of Fringe season 3 – “Entrada”.
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.
- Serialization and Continuity. I love that this episode picked up right where “The Abducted” left off. So rarely do we see this level of serialization where a cliffhanger is seamlessly rescued by a helicopter pilot with a strong arm. In truth, there was no other way to open the episode that would have landed the required punch, but you know, crazy things happen when trying to stave off the standalone beast of beastville. Anyway, good to see and hopefully we’ll get more continuity like this in future.
- Thematic storytelling. I enjoyed the way the alternate universe story manifested itself in the Blue Universe (and vice-versa). It’s been more prevalent in recent episodes, partly because the story wants to find balance, but there’s also a level of detail that blends so well with the culmination of Olivia’s return home. It works for me on many levels and I think it helps make the story meaningful even for those who don’t necessarily realize what’s going on under the bonnet.
- Themes. I responded to the themes of the episode, particularly the idea of hope and sacrifice and they way they plugged into Olivia’s journey home.
- Visuals. I thought some of the visuals were stunning, particularly the ariel shots of the city and the transitions between universes. Really well done.
- Broylnate. Really glad to see the character being developed and explored. I thought he gave us some valuable insights into the Over There capacity for humanity, and how saving the things one holds dear can be done by plugging into something more hopeful. Given his position in Walternate’s assembly and the love he had for his family, his sacrifice was an admirable one.
- Murkier Moments. I enjoyed the murkier moments of the episode – Olivia’s markings and her operation made me feel uncomfortable, but it brought the show back to the edge, making Olivia’s survival that bit more rewarding. I only wish they could have given it more breath.
- The Return. Though not as slick as it might have been, I thought Olivia’s return home was well-earned and meaningful. It feels like she’s been to hell and back, and I’m pleased that she now sees both worlds as her personal responsibility. It’s not just about a boy, it’s about keeping her word.
- Olivia making yet another escape requires Walternate to be dumb. As much as I wanted Olivia to get home, it’s incredibly contrived that he wouldn’t place tighter security measures after being burned on so many occasions. He’s supposed to be the secretary of defense, yet his facility could pass for the house made of straw from that children’s tale.
- Weight Loss. The episode didn’t quite deliver the weight that its themes and action points threatened. There was a lack of embellishment in several key areas, particularly the alternate universe story. I put this down to shuttling back and forth between universes in the same episode. Though I wouldn’t change it, I think it drained some of the momentum from the episode, and I can see why the producers decided to go with the more marinating ‘alternating universe structure’ prior to this episode.
- Walter. In gaining Walternate (albeit still under-developed), we seem to have lost Walter. At times he reminds me of season 1 Walter – and that’s not really a good thing. I appreciate that lunacy is part of his character, but there were times in the episode where it was just a touch overcooked. Like a cake that’s been left in the oven for too long. Outside of that he’s become fairly bland.
- The one piece of the Vacuum Walternate needed, was a piece we didn’t see the team obtain. Not a major criticism, but it might have carried more force had this mysterious item been explicitly introduced beforehand. I have more problem with Altlivia waiting until now to steal the item – was Walternate keeping her in the field for scraps? Given the stakes, I find that unrealistic on his part. Then again, this is a man who’s idea of security is to empty the Bra & Panties Tank™ while leaving Cortexiphan samples lying around.
- Altlivia. Is she a deeply complicated character, or under-developed? It’s probably a bit of both, at least in theory. I can certainly appreciate her complexity because there has to be a quite a bit going on underneath her skin, but I also think the character lacks the necessary shading that would have made her more believable as a realized entity. We’ve only really seen beyond her curtains in that washroom scene and when Newton destroyed her in the Battle of Newt. Other than that, it’s difficult to connect with her thought processes or feel for her emotionally because the foundations are made of straw. So while I really enjoy the character, I had hoped she’d become more than a device by now.
- Harmonic Rod Transfer. Neat idea, but why didn’t Walternate think of this before he tried the steel bridge method in 2.18? And what of the universes needing to be in sync for safer transfer? The methods of travel, and their seemingly lessening implications are already somewhat contrived. I also doubt that Walternate would have been able to get Broylnate back to New York (from Boston) in the, what, 10 or so minutes between Olivia’s return home and Altlivia’s extraction. Not to mention implanting him with harmonic rods and going choppy-chop on his limbs to balance out the mass (though Mother Universe may have seen to that part). Maybe some of the problems can be reasoned away with enough thought, but it still seams rather messy to me. Travel between worlds ain’t what it used to be!
- Altlivia back to work the very next day. Really? No portable drip or longing for bacon? “Just like nothing ever happened,” indeed! I appreciate the level of duality with that line, and the fact that there wasn’t enough time to really show her recovery process in this episode, it just doesn’t sit well with me. By not touching on the ‘recovery’ and by not having solid pre-established foundations for safe travel without the universes being in sync, it undermines the story somewhat. And she was far too smug for my liking – didn’t she recently show concern at shapeshifter Joe’s willingness to harm more people? What happened to that Altlivia?
- What is the function of Walternate’s all-important device?
- How did Walternate transfer Broylnate to the other side New York, when he was in Boston?
- Who will run AU Fringe Division now that Broylnate is RIP?
- Will Peter tell Olivia the truth?
- Will Altlivia tell Frank the truth?
- What will Walternate do with the Cortexiphan?
- Altlivia managed to remain undercover for 8 weeks.
- The Store Owner Guy was promised he would get the use of his legs back in return for his services to the other side.
- 17 pieces of the Vacuum device have been recovered so far.
- Altlivia’s primary objective involved retrieving an important piece of the device that Walternate had been unable to find on the other side.
- It would appear that there are two vacuums – one scattered across each universe. Walternate was unable to find a specific piece on his side, so he tasked Altlivia to find it Over Here – which she duly did. The other scenario is that there is one vacuum, possibly constructed through other parts, with Walternate still needing the piece that he could only obtain from Over Here.
- The typewriter that communicates between universes is a “quantum entangled telegraph” – according to Walter.
- Olivia was able to cross back over to her side permanently because she injected herself with the Cortexiphan that Walternate had produced from her own chemistry. The familiarity of the Bra & Panties Tank™ and the absolute need to make it happen may have also helped.
- It would seem that Walternate planted the harmonic rods originally intended for Olivia into Broylnate and ‘activated’ the transfer to extract Altlivia and send Broylnate to the other side in her place. Olivia ultimately crossed over ‘naturally’ so didn’t require Mother Universe to clean up behind her with a ‘mass for mass’.
- It seems likely that Broylnate was murdered prior to transfer as gun shots were heard and what looks like a bullet hole can be seen in his head when he arrives Over Here.
- Very interesting. So not only did the episode pick up right where “The Abducted” so masterfully left off, but we got a bit of overlay in there too. Perhaps this has happened in the past, but I can’t readily recall it happening outside of “White Tulip” or the ‘previously ons’.
- While this was no doubt employed to contextualize the scene (and help newer viewers), it also plays into the circular nature of this story, where themes, messages, and now scenes come right back around like a BOOMerang.
- This entire scene was extremely well crafted. Peter’s gradual realization projecting all over his haunted features. And then..and then, Boy Wonder plays it off by deflecting Altlivia’s curiosity with “unprecedented savings” – words preserved through time like some kind of sticky amber. You’re a banker all right, Peter.
- To be fair, I didn’t have a major problem with Peter’s response here. It was all too soon. He had just heard that the woman he was sleeping next to was stuck in the other universe. Madness! “Let me contemplate on it for, oh I don’t know, two whole hours!”. This is why ‘Proactive Peter’ died in 2.01, folks. 😉
- But fair play to him, he eventually rouses enough fortitude to go and have a sneak around Altlivia’s stuff. And finally, we get to see Peter in his underpants. I’m sure this is what we all signed up for!
- I enjoyed seeing Olivia’s little black book. The Joe’s Pizza thing was a nice touch. And the pictures of Peter and Altlivia confirmed what I suspected – they really do have feelings for one another. Contrived or otherwise, that’s one of the implications to come from this little switcheroo. What’s interesting is that Peter, who has Giftshop Lady’s (GSL) message ringing in his ears, still finds the time to tenderly look over the memories.
- It’s as though he’s unable to let go even though he knows it’s just a matter of time before the Cortexi hits the phan. I guess letting go is hard under any circumstance. I mean, “why can’t she just be Olivia. It was all so perfect.” Right?
- And while I have a problem with that, it makes sense on some murky level. And I appreciate it, because if the story is going to go in that direction, then we do need to understand why Peter might be harbouring affection for what was, for all intents and purposes, a fantasy.
- Speaking of which. I think I’ve sussed Peter out – he delivers when he’s being either very emotional or very sinister. There’s not much in-between with him, and while that’s a problem for the 99% of the time when he’s not either of those things, it was interesting to see him tap into his sinister side here.
- Good on him for catching Craftylocks out with the Greek phrase that bonds him and Olivia. Although it also serves to highlight the contrivance of the situation – has there not been another such occasion where Altlivia wouldn’t know something that only Olivia would? Of course there has, but whatever, let’s roll.
Peter: “It means be a better man than your father”
- I love how the strings descend like thunder, carrying Peter’s emotional!response. And a smile..a maniacal smile that was all TEETH and no sweetness. Oh, the masks people wear. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to fool Altlivia, who saw right through him. This wasn’t a ‘purple tuxedo’ moment.
Altlivia: “I failed the test, didn’t I?”
- Let’s face it, you only failed because GSL had the presence of mind to make that call. You shouldn’t feel too bad, Bono can wait. I like that Altlivia was curious enough to want to know what the phrase meant. I don’t like Peter’s response – far too jolly and jovial all things considered. Seriously dude, your ‘suspicions’ have been confirmed and you’re trying to be smart?
- Now for the moment from the promo that raised red flags:
Peter: “How’d you do it – how’d you replace our Olivia?”
- That’s not Peter talking – that’s Petah PRIDE talking. I’m sorry, but THAT’S the FIRST question he asks? Nothing about Olivia’s well-being or whether she was hurt in any way, just something that tends to his pride at being duped? Wow, Peter.
- While I’m not sure I completely buy Altlivia for the reasons outlined earlier, I find her immensely enjoyable to watch. I loved how she controlled this confrontation with a mixture of menace, regret and naughtiness.
Altlivia: “I can’t give you the answers”
Peter: “This from the woman standing in front of me with pyjamas, who shared the same bed with me. I guess answers is where you draw the line”
- Thwack! Funny how he didn’t have a problem with her openness until his perception was altered. That being said, he’s right – Altlivia’s morals are as loose as Peter’s IQ score. But it’s clear that she accepted what she had to do a good few weeks ago. Just as Newton won the battle of Dunham long before his death, Altlivia made her mind up as she walked away from Newton’s mercury flooding cell. Along the way she has developed feelings for Peter – call it a holiday romance – but at the end of the day, her world comes first.
- Which is why Peter’s well-deserved jibe cut through her but it didn’t cause her to bleed. Watch her reaction – she took it like a Dunhamnator, she crumbled but reformed almost instantly as she hands Peter ‘the one she made earlier’ kit.
- Both characters are concerned with death – or rather, the idea of the other one killing them:
Peter: “So, is this gonna kill me?”
Altlivia: “You gonna come after me? You gonna kill me?“
- Again, Altlivia is great to watch. Her first question is delivered with a hint of playfulness – or as I said earlier, naughtiness. It’s a game to her, at least, that’s partly how she’s rationalized her relationship with Peter in order to pull off her mission. Her second question is wrought with fear and realization – she has feelings for Peter, and I detect that she’s not entirely comfortable with the idea of being hated by those she cares about. Newton can hate her because he was a “vacuum cleaner”, as far as she was concerned. But Boy Wonder? He has more suction power, and the thought alone fuels this fear more than the fear of death itself.
- Peter’s response flies out the traps like a badger with its tail on fire:
Peter: “No, I’m gonna get answers. And if I find out that you did anything to Olivia, then I’m gonna kill you.”
- Sorry Peter, but I just don’t believe you. Not because you’re not capable, but because you’re in love with this chick – who, as it turns out, kinda digs you too.
- Peter injects himself rather quickly for someone who wants answers. It’s almost as though he wants to go back to sleep! Because, of course, he’d like to. And what a fantastically creepy way to wrap the scene with Peter caught between being awake and asleep – a perfect metaphor for this Boy Wonder. Altlivia is somewhat brave to put down her gun, but I appreciated her telling Peter that she’s ‘sorry, but she had to’. Because reading between the lines, that’s what I interpreted.
- Speaking of between the lines:
“Cover Blown. Extraction Needed”
- LOL at those very to the point sentences.
- I was disappointed by the general reaction of the team to the reveal, not just because they had a mole in their camp for 2 months, but also because their Olivia was still missing in another dimension. Their level of concern didn’t match the extent of their relationships with Olivia. And I guess this means that Nina didn’t suspect Altlivia enough to take it any further. Don’t worry Nina, you did more than most.
Peter: “So how do we get over there, Walter?”
Walter: “Crossing over is out of the question..not without Olivia’s help”
- Yeah, unless it’s your son who is over there on his own accord. Isn’t that right Walter? Still, he deserves a margin of credit for not repeating mistakes of old.
- Gosh, this is comedy gold:
Broyles: “Peter, you said she administered the paralytic at 2:15am. Now what were you doing here at 2:15am?
- Says Broyles in his most curious voice ever. Of course, perpetual liar Walter tries to cover for Peter, but at least Peter had the guts to fess up.
Peter: “Since we came back from over there, Olivia and I became something more than friends”
Broyles: “I see..”
- LOL at Broyles face! Also worth noting that Peter calls Altlivia “Olivia”. Which is her name, of course, but he could have called her “temptress” or “witch”. Then again, he’s not his father.
- Altlivia taking Peter’s computer by mistake is a touch contrived, but I guess in the heat of the moment I can buy her not double-checking.
- I’ve long wondered what Store Owner Guy (SOG) had been waiting for. When we first met him through ‘Evil Charlie’ (the shapeshifter) I thought he had a ticket to the other side promised to him in return for his services. But it turns out he wants his legs back. Simple, slightly underwhelming, but it’s a pretty solid reveal given the scientific breakthroughs Over There. That being said, his: “I’m not waiting forever” cry from back in season 2 doesn’t quite carry the threat-level it once did.
SOG: “Your kind, isn’t so good at keeping promises. But I guess you’ve got it all under control”
- Your kind? Really? And no, she doesn’t have it under control. To borrow a phrase from one of our old pals, “she’s in over her head”. Gosh, I miss Newton so much that I’ll borrow his phrase again later.
- It was interesting seeing Walternate and Brandonate discuss how to extract Altlivia. Narrowing the field by doing a harmonic Olivia for Olivia swap is a simple yet good idea. My main problem is that it seemed as though it was the first time they had had such discussions. It also carries some contrivances.
- I was also intrigued and heartened by Walternate’s desire to get Altlivia back. I had wondered how important she’d be to him once her mission was over, so it was pleasing to see that he still valued her. Of course, that value may be because of the information she holds, and because the plot required Altlivia to return.
- That being said, it was telling that it was Brandonate who suggested they kill Olivia and use her organs for study. Absolutely appalling – and this from a man who showed hints of compassion at the start of the season. How can this be? Is it a character contrivance or are we just seeing the overriding attributes of his character? I’m willing to think it’s the latter.
- Either way, it does perhaps tell us that killing Olivia never really entered Walternate’s mind. Cool, but it doesn’t take away the fact that he went with Brandonate’s idea. War or no war, this is no way to treat another human-being. I realize that their world is crumbling – heck, my sympathy lies snugly in their bosom, but this was not a necessary act. They had what they wanted, yet they wanted to bleed the Dunhamnator dry?
- And isn’t that ironic. In a season where we’ve examined Olivia’s DNA and what it means to be a unique individual, Walternate attempts to put her under the knife to study her parts.
Walternate: “Someone helped her get past our patrols onto this island. Whoever the traitor is they don’t understand the cause. To save our world from destruction, our people, our families. I know you know this as well as I do, Phillip.”
- How fantastic is that? The very man who helped her, knows as well as Walternate does just how important it is for them to stop Olivia. For me, not only is this a golden moment, but it turns Walternate’s approach to the problem inside out. Because, if Broylnate understands as well as he does, yet he helps the so-called enemy, then perhaps this suggests that Walternate’s Way is not the only. It will be useful to see whether Broylnate’s actions cause even the tiniest shift within Walternate.
- So why is it that these two men cut from similar cloths are acting so differently in this situation? As I suggested in my “The Abducted” review, it may come down to perspective. There’s nothing more perspective-shifting than someone you consider to be your opponent doing something incredibly sweet for you. Especially when their act comes not from self-interest, but through pure, instinctive goodness on their part. Broylnate sampled this in “The Abducted”, and I keep thinking that if only Walternate could get a cup of love or a hug from Mother, both sides would have a better chance. He needs something to alter his world view.
- And that’s not to take anything away from Broylnate. It also takes a level of compassion to allow yourself to be affected. Just look at Peter, for example, who knew something was different about ‘Olivia’ yet did squat all about it. Here we see Broylnate not only question his part in Walternate’s agenda, but he does something about it. He boils himself down until he finds the truth within. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
- It interesting though, watching Broyles wear a mask as Walternate rambled on like a blinkered old man. I thought he displayed his conflicting emotions a bit too much on the surface, and I thought Walternate may have detected his part in assisting Olivia. But I guess, like Nina, his suspicions were not quite strong enough to warrant action.
- Olivia gets dragged kicking and screaming to the doll factory just as Broynate is passing by. Very convenient!
- So, Walter had another hit of the ol’ Brown Betty? Ah, how comforting. All we need now is Ella to rewrite his ending for him. One that doesn’t include gorging himself on cakes that Altlivia bought him while calling her a “temptress”. Hypocrite, much? Anyway, I somehow sensed those boxes of sugary gifts would come back into play.
Walter: “She used my stomach, to get through to my heart”
- And his internal guide (or that hit of Brown Betty) reveals itself in the form of a clue:
Astrid: “Hey Walter, didn’t she tell you she always brought these back when she went to the federal building. This bakery is in the Bronx. Why would she go there?”
- I’m glad my question about the typewriter was answered. Altlivia does have to wait, sometimes long periods, for Walternate to respond. It was a bit foolish for Altlivia to leave Peter’s computer lying around though. Looks like someone’s getting “sloppy”.
- A nice scene with Broylnate and the AUians on the 20th anniversary of the East River Vortex. Very poignant, and it played into Broylnate’s decision to go check on Olivia. He knew that Walternate’s policy wrong, but he needed a reason to make a stand. She tells him that he just wanted to make himself feel more comfortable, and while that’s true, I do believe he was searching for a reason. Sometimes it can be difficult to stand up for what you know is right out of fear of being wrong. And of course, he had his entire world at stake. How could he put the promises of one woman over that?
- He could do it because he’s someone who believes in something beyond the physical. We know that he’s a man of faith and that detail in the previous episode helps explain his inclination. Perhaps it’s also this hopefulness that makes him different from Walternate? In my previous review I pondered whether Walternate had given up on repairing his relationship wit Peter. It seems that this idea might not be too far from the mark, as there does appear to be hope missing from his agenda. Sure, he may see merit in his methods, but I’d question whether that really is hope, or just the act of doing ‘something’, the act of fulfilling a need, the act of getting even. We’ll see.
- Anyway, love this scene. Love how deeply intense Livvy is here. Also, can we give her a badge with the word: “Awesome”? She only went and asked how Christopher was. Seriously, she’s about to be sliced and diced like a Joe’s pizza and the woman has the kindness to ask after others? And Peter didn’t realize she was gone? Really?
Olivia: “They’re going to cut out my brain and study it. Please help me, if you can get me out of here I can get myself home”
Broylnate: “I can’t, my world is dying because of what your side is doing to us. If I help you escape..”
Olivia: “No, despite what you think, my universe is not at war with yours. This all began because a man came over here to save a boy, and 25 years later I came back to save that same boy. But if you let me die, then we will strike back and we will fight. But if you let me go, both universes can survive. There must be another way. I promise you I will find it”
- Loving the cyclical nature of the story in unbridled action! Olivia’s impassioned plea was incredibly moving – only did I leave the spiral when she started talking about her universe striking back. Not sure I quite buy the idea that Over Here has the ability to fight – heck, they can barely contain molebabies! And who knows what the situation is post-Van Horn. Perhaps Olivia was just saying that to sway Broylnate – it was slightly manipulative, but she knows how to get through to him because he’s similar to her Broyles.
- The other thing that keeps hitting me is the idea Broylnate genuinely believes that Olivia’s universe is at war with his. Again, while he’s clearly been sipping too much of the Walternate juice, I do kinda think that he was looking for Olivia to dispel his lingering fears.
Broylnate: “And if you’re lying? You’d say anything right now because your life depends on it. But what if your side has every intention of our destruction – am I just supposed to HOPE that you’re telling the truth?”
Olivia: “If you don’t trust me, then there is no hope”
- Beautiful. Can we seal this in an air-tight container? The power comes from the words, the way they are put together, the meaning behind them, but also the pay-off. This hope thing we keep hearing about carries so much weight in this story. And personally, I love the idea that the capacity to have hope can lead to positive solutions. It’s also amazing to see that Broylnate doesn’t have the cynicism that one might expect him to have considering the nature of his job.
- Speaking of hope, how hopeless did Olivia look once Broylnate said “I’m sorry”? It wasn’t anger or disappointment, it was broken hope. Where does one go from there?
- Broylnate continues to seek the push he needs:
Broylnate: “..who am I to play God with other peoples lives? Who am I to make that choice?”
Diane: “Twenty years ago I knew that you were the right man to protect our world. After all these years, I never stopped believing that. I think this world..is in as much pain as it can stand. We need to restore hope“
- There’s a lot going on there – Broylnate’s reluctance to play God is interesting and contrasts with Walter past and Walternate present. His self-doubt is revealing – he does this job not because he wants to be a hero, but because he wants to protect people. There’s a difference, and it’s a strand also seen in Olivia.
- I also love Diane in this; she not only gives her man the support he needs, but she reads what he’s projecting – and delivers him the gift of his own truth in a quite beautiful way. That’s a healthy marriage right there. (Well it was, until her got Walternated).
- The notion that the world as a collective – almost human entity – is in as much pain as it can stand, is very moving. The idea that they need to restore hope also tells us that for many people Over There it has been lost. By taking us down to this perspective, I think the writers emphasized both the measure of Broylnate’s upcoming sacrifice and the believability of it. Because when hope is lost, the first thing you need in order to get back on the ladder..is hope.
- Interesting to see Broyles trying to instill a measure of hope within Peter. I wasn’t impressed by Boy Wonder’s bluntness, but then his pride has been bruised.
- Olivia on the operating table – how terrifying and synthetic. I had no idea they were already making ‘Dunham Dolls’. The markings on her skin like a map indicating buried devices. But the parallels don’t stop there. Olivia’s stasis mirrors Peter’s earlier paralysis. The directing here is very effective, though I do wish we got to experience a bit more of this scene.
- Super Broylnate to the rescue – POW! And the man had the grace to only tranq Brandonate.
Olivia: “You came back for me”
Broylnate: “Don’t thank me yet I have to give you adrenaline”
Olivia: “No wait, please don….”
- Comedy gold in moments of incredible tension. Love it!
- And of course Walternate hasn’t changed the security codes. Because once bitten, twice never shy. At least he had the wherewithal to empty the Bra & Panties Tank™.
- Ever the gentleman, Broylnate hands Olivia a hanky. Can we get this man a medal, or something? Maybe a statue?
- Things Altlivia will miss about Over Here: The coffee. That’s right, they don’t make ’em like that over there.
- So glad they squeezed in another shapeshifter moment:
Shapeshifter Luke: “Y’know, I sometimes dream about it. The other side. Sadly, for my kind, coming here is a one way ticket.”
- This is great because I’m certainly not done with the shifties – my well is in need of mercury. It’s interesting to know that this particular shapeshifter dreams of a home that seems less of a home to him than Over Here. Though less fervent than Newton, Luke seems to accept his purpose in life. But I like the fact that he’s curious enough to wonder.
Altlivia: “I thought your kind didn’t care?”
- Clearly, Miss Altliv hasn’t met enough shapeshifters. It’s her ignorance that disappoints me more than anything. It’s bone-headed. But perhaps she also needs to get out there and get to really know these ‘vacuum cleaners’, as she loves to call them. Because the same thing could be said of her – “Oh, look. She’s screwed Peter over, and she doesn’t care!” But we know that isn’t quite true.
Shapeshifter Luke: “Eight identities in the last five years. But, this has been my favorite. I seem to be a big hit with the ladies.”
- Like Ray, Luke has come to like the skin he’s currently in. It’s a shapeshifter thing, but it’s also a human thing – how many people learn to truly love themselves once they’ve found the people, places, things, or state of soul that just seems to fit. So you can see how finding the right identity is a take on the human condition. Again, masterfully done – sneaking in more of the good stuff while we’re drunk on miniature harmonic rods.
- And Peter murders a shapeshifter – I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the over here tree in that regard. If Luke were human, would he have killed him?
- Altlivia’s reaction was priceless. While she’s a character of contrivance, I’m starting to understand her as a person who is just wired a little bit differently. She’s highly motivated in the extreme, but she accepts that failure can be around the corner at any moment. And though it’s not been as clearly mapped from A to Z, we saw evidence of this in Over There – Part 1, when she basically grinned at the prospect of getting quarantined. Is this kind of preparedness indicative of the ‘hopelessness’ of her world?
- At any rate, there’s also the idea that she genuinely loves Boy Wonder. And I’ll go along with that despite it being more of a plot thing than an actually explored development.
- Peter’s little ‘evil whisper’ may have made him feel better but by caressing Altlivia’s face in the same way he once did Olivia’s he just makes himself look worse, in my eyes. He’s trying to be mean but he’s also showing tenderness? Did he get a kick out of it? I think so. That being said, this confirms my belief that Peter does have strong feelings towards Altlivia – a part of him wants to believe that her feelings for him were real, and even now he’s still searching. What’s a boy to do?
- Because let’s face it, it’s impossible to just switch feelings off like that. Although I wonder sometimes, I think it’s safe to say that Peter is not a robot. Olivia took him to a certain place, but Altlivia took him further. Thunder and anger will form, but as he’s shown with Walter, you can’t just render those emotional experiences meaningless. They’ll be with Peter forever, they’ll shape his outlook, they’ll affect him negatively or positively. They key for his own sake, is whether or not he believes that Altlivia is telling the truth about her feelings. And of course, how the re-entry of Olivia changes things.
- It’s all too easy (and contrived) to think that they’ll pick up where they left off. “You belong with me,” becomes, “but you f****** slept with HER!”. Sorry, but there’s very little way back from that. Not only will Olivia be hurt (regardless of whether Peter knew or not, fact is he SHOULD have known!), but how will her pride ever allow her to let her guard down around him again? The one person she trusted ended up breaking her little heart into a thousand little pieces. While she was over there projecting Peter, fighting not only for the two universes but their multiverse of love, he was over here believing that a copy/paste was her. Is Olivia so easy to duplicate, Peter?
- And it’s not just Olivia. Peter’s heart is split in two. He went there with Olivia over the course of two years. It took Altlivia two months. Sure, she piggybacked on the foundations that had been set up, but Peter can’t ignore the connection, the feelings that he experienced with Altlivia. There’s something about this version of Olivia that appeals to him. Is it because she’s less broken? Is it because she’s more accepting and less haunted? Is it, Peter, is it? Peter has a lot of soul searching to do before he even attempts to get back in the saddle with Olivia.
- Now, I’ve never bought that they were right for one another and maybe the writers are not going for the cliched love story. So what we have here is a chance to be real about it. Olivia deserves to be loved, but Peter has so far shown that he can’t love her in the way that she needs. I’d say she needs someone who can bring her out of herself and reflect all of her goodness, but also someone who loves and appreciates the fact that she’s just a little bit broken. It may sound morbid, but actually I think it’s quite the opposite. You can’t pick and choose which aspects of a person you love, it’s all or nothing, surely.
- This isn’t to rag on Peter. He’s nearly that guy – and maybe Olivia will think that after all she’s been through, nearly is good enough. But..he didn’t know you were even gone, Livvy. He didn’t miss your two fisted-ness. He didn’t wonder why you weren’t drinking yourself stupid. He didn’t remember that you have an amazing memory. He didn’t notice that suddenly your eyes had more sparkle while your soul had less fire. He didn’t realize that you stopped protecting others in the way that you used to. He stopped noticing these little things that make up everything that you are. Sorry Pete, but it’s true.
- Now I actually feel sorry for Peter. Clearly he’s also a victim here. But I don’t think we can reward stupidity. Maybe that’s harsh, but I’ve never left my love in an alternate universe. I’m afraid Peter has to take this one like a man. He’s hurting too, but as I’ve said since this storyline developed, he should have known. Just make up your mind which Dunham Doll you really want, Peter.
- As for Altlivia. What can I say? Does she even remember who Frank is. You know, avocado man? I found it interesting that she packed the snaps of her and Peter to take back home. I think she’s a disgrace, to be honest. As I intimated in earlier reviews, out of all the shapeshifters we’ve seen this season, she is the character with the most identities, the most masks. She’s the candy woman and she’ll rot your teeth and grin at you while your in the dentist’s chair.
- Also, props on the ‘Newton death music’ over that scene, very effective at bookending the Peter/Altlivia fling (if indeed it is over). Oh, and it’s a nice reminder that the Newt was right – she was indeed in over her head. 😉
- Back to the other side, and I really like the fact that Olivia uses her own Cortexiphan to help her return home. It has the same kind of significance as when her abilities enabled her to cross universes to meet her ‘maker’, William Bell. It’s about reclamation and empowerment, and using the things done to you in positive ways. Bravo, Liv.
Broylnate: “I’ve seen war, but if what you’re saying is true, in the end I have to believe in hope. Please make this worth it”
- Very poignant stuff from Broylnate. Because, in the end, surely we are all defined by those fleeting moments that reveal our core nature. Perhaps it’s not so much a case of how we get to those places, but that we get there when all is said and done.
- Sometimes, the road travelled just doesn’t feel right, and I think this is where Broylnate is coming from – he’s seen the same old story play out time and time again. He knows that he’s about something else. And in the end, he did the right thing, he listened to his heart. The rest is out of his hands – that’s faith right there.
- Olivia’s glorious return home was filled with weight, water and meaning. Interesting that there was no shimmer-shimmer this time, just a snap back to reality, oops there goes gravity. Classic Fringe.
- So sad to see that Broylnate’s sacrifice cost him his life. Walternate is a monster for ordering his death (I assume that’s what happened considering the bullet hole in his skull). Seeing Broyles look down on his alter-self carried a truckload of weight. I imagine he must have wondered what his life was like on the other side. It must have made him think about his own mortality, and whether he too will fall victim to the same fate?
- This experience could fundamentally change the way that Broyles thinks, feels and experiences life. Broyles knows that his double died making the ultimate sacrifice to help TWO universes survive. It must be his responsibility to be as good a man as he was – he’s not far off. I also loved his momentary hesitation when closing Broylnate’s eyes – in every way, it’s as though he was putting a part of himself to SLEEP forever.
- RIP Broylnate. You wore tight shirts because you could. You had an office, unlike Broyles. You rocked baseball caps like a champ. You protected your world and protected Olivia. We are all grateful. You were married. You didn’t let the job break that. You saved your son by allowing yourself to see him differently. You didn’t eat breakfast. You questioned Walternate. You had faith. You believed that one person could make a difference. Master. Commander. Captain. Colonel. Rest in peace, never in pieces.
- Nice little scene between the Store Owner and The Librarian. Though shouldn’t SOG be in custody? They just let him go, really? That being said, I appreciated the bit of back-story we got on him. The fact that he’s been sick his entire life explains his motivation for helping the other side in return for his legs back. I think he was also convincing himself that he had just cause. The idea that his childhood fears gripped him in adulthood, and that they were the final thing standing between him being able to walk again, was also somewhat interesting.
- It was also interesting that he expected the ‘healing process’ to be more extensive than it actually was:
The Librarian: “Go ahead, try them out”
SOG: “That’s it?”
The Librarian: “Only one way to find out”
- But what is the price for selling your soul? I doubt, when all is said and done, that anything comes that easily. Not when his act was purely self-interested. He doesn’t care about the war or what delivering the device to the other side will do. He’s just glad that he got something back that mother nature, or fate, or whatever, deprived him.
- He’s just an example of the fact that there is always someone who is willing to risk the well-being of others for something they care about. He’s Walter without the use of his legs. Except, now he’s got them, of course. Can we blame him? Yes and no. Yes, because he’s a fool and has no idea what he’s done. No, because when temptation comes calling, how many of us can resist having a rub of the magic lamp? Doesn’t make it right though. Every action has a consequence.
- The Librarian himself is also an interesting character. I really enjoyed his small part and the way he looked at the device. Nicely played, hope we get to see him again.
- Aaaand, the Dunhamnator is back:
Olivia: “Petah” *smile smile*
- Naturally, Petah has mixed emotions. He’s happy to see Olivia alive, he has an awful weight on his shoulders, his ego’s been bruised, and he’s probably missing his other-flavored Dunham. Which order these conflicting emotions fall in is anyone’s guess – including Petah’s.
Peter: “I’m sorry, Olivia”
- I think we all are, Peter.
Olivia: “Don’t apologize”
- No, really, he must.
Olivia: “You were the only thing that got me through”
- Exsqueeze me? I know you’re feeling hazy, Liv, but have you forgotten your mind in the AU? What about Super Henry and Captain Broylnate? They not only helped you physically but they believed in your whimsical tales of parallel universes where the grass is green and molebabies frolic on little hills.
- I appreciate that she’s just being extra sweet to Peter – and that she’s assigning her love for him as the primary factor for making it out of Walternate’s Void, but even Projection Peter was HER subconscious. Peter did nothing except Altlivia. I know, I know, in time Olivia will surely come to learn that reality of the situation, but this notion of Peter as the hero undermines her own internal self, who she surely has to start recognizing as being her best little helper.
Oh Livia: “If it wasn’t for you I would never have made it back”
- Ugh! Projections come in all shapes and sizes, Liv. 😉 Heck, maybe you should buy Walter some cakes for your inner mind projecting as him for 2 seconds? Point is, I’m sure Olivia would have found a way back regardless. And let’s not forget it was Ella’s birthday that gave her the biggest kick to realize who she really was. I’m not denying that her love for Peter had a very important role to play, but if ever Boy Wonder didn’t deserve any credit, it’s right here, right now. I never thought I’d have to say this to her, but, WAKE UP OLIVIA!
Olivia: “You saved my life”
- Again, I think there’s a discussion to be had on the idea that people can save others without even knowing it. I can buy that, because it’s about ideas and perceptions, feelings and emotions – things that the subconscious latches on to when it’s in search for the missing pieces that can only be found in other people. There’s no denying that this is largely what love is about. And in that sense, Peter deserves a crown. But it’s made out of tinfoil because, a) he doesn’t know his own woman and, b) I’m not convinced that he actually loves Olivia more than her bubbly-doubly.
- But hey, I’m all for Olivia finding strength wherever she needs it. She’ll take what she can get, right? I just hope that with time, coffee, and a bottle of the strong stuff, she realizes that there were people who really helped her find her way home, not least herself.
- To close, as much as I’ve enjoyed having Dunham out-fox the old fox Over There, I’m pleased to have her back in her own surroundings. She’s a survivor is that one. And it’s somewhat comforting to know that there’s someone to put a rocket up Walter’s whatchamacallit when he gets silly and to keep the team focused on important issues rather than breakfast in bed. Welcome home Olivia. Rest now because tomorrow you might be hurling a few projectiles down the toilet. Literally.
I thought this was a very good episode that did well to juggle so many balls in the air before bringing Olivia home and concluding the first part of this season’s story. The stakes seem even higher now that Walternate has what he wants and Olivia has the chance to use her enhanced perspective to not only save her world, but to keep a promise. It’s possibly the most important shred from the episode for me, because if Olivia breaks that promise then the whole thing shatters with it.
It’s all personal on the Fringe.
As for the episode title – “Entrada” or Enter. As a retitle, I’d call it “Exit”, because as one returned, the other high-tailed it out. Mother Nature can sleep tonight.
Best Performer: Anna Torv.
Best Line: “I’ve seen war, but if what you’re saying is true, in the end I have to believe in hope. Please make this worth it” – Broylnate.
Best Moment: Olivia returning home like a wet straggly mermaid creature.
Episode Rating 8.5/10