Fringe Review: 3.11 Reciprocity

Welcome to our review for episode 11 of Fringe season 3 – “Reciprocity”.

In this review we provide honest opinions on the good and the bad 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 other aspects of the episode that made an impression on us, before rounding off the review with our final thoughts and episode rating.

Contains one or two “Blade Runner” movie spoilers.


  • Up a notch. OK, that’s more like it. I’ve been saying that I wanted more pro-activity from the team regarding the Vacuum and the war, so credit where credit’s due.
  • Peter “The Machine” Bishop. Yikes! They’re really going for it. I’m really intrigued by the direction of Peter’s relationship with the weapon. I particularly like the idea that the Vacuum has a will or influence of its own. This development could be the making of Peter as a more proactive and interesting ‘character’.
  • Shapeshifters. After Do Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep? I quietly feared that we’d seen the end our beloved hybrids, that they were being phased out of the story. I should not have feared. The Shapeshifters are persistent if nothing else, and I was pleased that “Reciprocity” extended their story while informing Peter’s latest career move as a machine hunter who himself questions whether he is a machine. It’s really quite clever, particularly given the nods to Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick‘s original work.
  • Character Boom. Some nice character stuff in this episode. Useful insights on Olivia, Walter, Nina, and of course, Peter. And as ‘triangles’ go, this puts the LOST triangle to shame. I’m not saying that I’m all ‘caught up in it’, but it doesn’t make me want to tear my eyes out and set them on fire..just yet.
  • Hidden. Some nice storytelling and direction in the way Peter held information from both the characters and the audience. It was touch and go, but I think it ultimately worked well for the story.
  • The Overall Mythology was good – Shapeshifters, First People, The Machine. We got some useful tidbits on each, nudging the story forward while leaving us with a more tasty morsels.


  • Some Moles Do Have ‘Em. I like the idea of the mole, I just didn’t much like lack of gravity that went with the reveal. Massive Dynamic discover they have a spy in their ranks and we don’t even get a Nina freak out moment? Come on, give me something.
  • Grow Me. I found it a bit contrived that Walter can simply regrow his brain. That really seemed to come out of left field, despite the seeds being planted in the previous episode. Next they’ll be telling us that Peter is actually a plant that Walter watered every day until he grew into a real boy. (actually, that sounds pretty plausible).
  • The Pacing could have been a little more..invigorating.
  • Love Me Some Nina, but she didn’t quite feel integrated. I would love for her to be in the show more often to reduce the slight disconnect I have when my favorite iron-fisted maiden makes an appearance.
  • No Livia. I felt that Olivia acted somewhat out of character on a couple of occasions. Nothing overly terrible, but it jarred me a touch.
  • Airy. Something about this episode gave it an airy feel. It dealt with some pretty heavy issues, but in some ways it lacked true gravity. The weight of the episode doesn’t quite land where it should. I think it would have been great to have more build up to both Peter and Olivia’s respective changes. Aside from that the visuals looked somewhat bland.
  • Altlivia’s Diary. Perversely interesting, but I almost vomited. Furthermore, I’m not sure it does the character any real favors. She seems even more cartoony than I’d like her to be. I understand the reasoning, but I’m not sure it was overly necessary or believable that she would keep a diary, under those circumstances. Sure, she felt alone, but I don’t quite buy the diary or its tone.


  • Just how far were Peter’s actions influenced by the Vacuum?
  • How much does Nina really know about the Vacuum and the First People?
  • Why (specifically) was William Bell searching for First People books?


  • Massive Dynamic has constructed the Vacuum from the parts identified in “6955kHz“. This confirms that there are now two Vacuums, one in each universe.
  • Massive Dynamic tried a dozen different power sources on the weapon before Peter simply had to look at it.
  • Altlivia used a U2 song lyric to encrypt her computer. Bless.
  • Peter is responsible for the deaths of the shapeshifters. The suggestion is that the Vacuum is changing him.
  • Massive Dynamic now have three more copies of the First People’s book. Each of them in different languages, written by different authors, and published within two years of each other. They’re pretty much the same word-for-word.
  • A couple of years back, William Bell started searching for copies of the First People’s book in far flung places.
  • One of the First People books retrieved by Massive Dynamic is titled in Spanish: ‘LA PRIMERA GENTE‘ (The First People).


  • Now that’s a vehicle carrying some pedigree. Who wouldn’t love to be a fly on the steering wheel. Are we there yet? Shut it, Walter!
  • Good to see Nina back in the fold. And wearing clothes from the future too.
  • I’m surprised it took Fringe Division so long to break the encryption on Altlivia’s computer. That’s why Peter’s on the team, folks. Though if they didn’t get rid of Amy Jessup it would have been decrypted within 8 seconds. That’s what’s Jess-up.
  • Unsatisfied with calling his equal “Walternate”, Walter now has a pet name for Altlivia – “Fauxlivia”, otherwise known as Fox Livia to Peter, and Foe Livia to Olivia. Nina gets it and swiftly moves on.

  • The team stand transfixed at the sight of the BOOM-BOOM-MACHINE (BBM). Interesting to see their different reactions. Walter looks worried, but slightly in awe. Peter seems almost pleased to see it. Olivia, bless her cotton socks, looks terrified, and gulps:

“It’s bigger than I imagined”

Peter: “That’s what she said.”

Olivia: “I’ve got a tiny imagination. Don’t flatter yourself”

Peter: “Still, it’s just big enough to destroy a couple of universes”

  • I wonder..just how small did Olivia imagine it would be? She’s seen the diagrams depicting its scale in relation to Peter. Why would she think it was smaller? I can understand what she means though. It was also a nice set up for Peter to remind us that this shiny device has multiversal consequences.
  • As an aside, I wonder if there’s any hidden meaning in the use of the word “imagine” in the context of the Vacuum? Just something I’ve been wondering for a while now regarding ‘how’ it actually works. We’ll see though.
  • The collective brains of Nasa, the CIA, Massive Dynamic, et al can’t figure out how the thing works. Don’t they know Peter has an IQ of 190? Why wasn’t he brought in sooner? It’s not like a piece of the Vacuum responded to him on the other side or anything.
  • Walter’s all suspicious of the new guy, James Falcon. Has he learned from the Altlivia situation or are these more underlying issues with people who match his intellect? In any case, it helps set up some decent tension.
  • It was also interesting to watch Falcon throughout the episode given that he’s one of Walternate’s spies. It was fairly obvious from early on, but the approach played the drama in interesting ways.
  • We have this question over the machine’s power source – the piece Altlivia stole, or Peter? Either, or?

  • The BBM heaves to life and Peter’s nose starts bleeding.

Falcon: “It’s like..something triggered it.”

Peter: “Something did trigger it..ME”

  • SEMI-BOOM! Peter is almost mesmerized by the machine. Though I wonder, would he have been so sure that he triggered the BBM had his nose not started bleeding? I ask because I wonder whether he felt anything? The BBM has a deep relationship with Peter, but does he feel its pull, its influence, in a physical way, or is it more of a psychological connection that they have? Perhaps both, maybe something else entirely?
  • There’s also the question of how much the BBM is influencing Peter, and how much Peter is influencing the BBM? Perhaps a third question would concern to what extent Peter allowing the BBM to slide through the cracks of his mind, his morality?

  • Later, Peter quietly puts down his kill bag and heads to the fridge for a glass of milk. He remembers that he almost died last time he drank the stuff and fixes himself a peanut and jelly sandwich instead. He’s worked up an appetite, OK.
  • I felt quite sorry for Peter for some reason. Strange. I can watch the man get his ass whooped by the Observer and not flinch, yet give me Peter making lonely meals and I feel bad for him.
  • Walter enters the situation. Peter’s brow furrows deeply, and he lies to his father. The ease of that lie is interesting. This is a man I commended for coming clean to Olivia about his dirty secret, and yet a couple of weeks later he’s telling bare faced lies. Are some truths harder to admit than others? Either way, the fact that he lied about it will later reveal the truth of his own morality.

Peter: “I couldn’t sleep”

Walter: “I thought I heard the door?”

Peter: “You must have been dreaming”

  • More dream and sleep references. Walter says that he wasn’t sleeping either. He’s been reading up on The First People by that classic author, Seamus Wiles (I have every book he’s ever written).
  • At which point did the BBM start affecting Peter? Was it from the moment he gave it a high clasp on the other side, or when he triggered it in this episode? The implication seems to be that it started back in “Over Here” but took hold when he glimpsed it in this episode. Though the part he touched was for the other BBM.
  • Peter says that he doesn’t believe his sleepless nights have anything to do with the BBM because he knows himself better than anyone. Plus, he really wants to get his sandwich-on.

Walter: “The First People’s book. I’ve read it cover to cover a dozen times. There’s nothing to suggest how that device works, or how it’s connected to you”

Peter: “Walter. Stop, please. I want answers too. And I know you want to help me, but I don’t think you can this time”

  • Doesn’t that just make your heart bleed? Peter is just shutting down all over the place. It’s as though admitting that he keeps people at arms length in the previous episode has made it a reality in this. Does Peter really feel this alone in his struggle, or does he just want to do things his way?
  • It’s interesting how the actions of others can influence people’s attitudes. Olivia left him crippled in the garden, Altlivia used him (to some extent, at least). It’s like Peter has come to a decision about the hopelessness of striving for anything good in his life. I think it’s important to remember that before Olivia confessed her undying love to him, he was a broken man. Shattered and incomplete. Who knows what his outlook, his destiny, would have been like had Olivia not believed in his purpose by her side?
  • Was this part of the natural course of events? Perhaps, kinda? We know that the Observers were sweating on getting Peter back to the blue universe, so perhaps ‘natural course’ wouldn’t quite be the right word. But it worked, and the timing was great. Now Peter has not only lost Olivia, he’s lost her twice over and has to live with the guilt of not knowing ‘his’ woman like he should, of being the one to crush her optimistic little heart. OUCHIE x2!
  • So forgive Peter if he’s not exactly the life of the party. He’s too busy being the life of the machine.

  • Anyway, where were we? Ah yes. Peter tells a worried Walter: “you can’t protect me from everything”. He says it with love and warmth, and passes Dad a sandwich filled with love and warmth, otherwise known as peanut butter and jelly. Some sad music, Walter’s eye glistens.
  • The next day Peter goes for a brain scan. He looks lifeless. Walter isn’t happy and bitches about his being put through unnecessary risks (Heh). Falcon explains that “every human being gives off a unique electromagnetic signature,” and that he’s testing to see whether it was Peter’s signature that triggered the Boom-Boom. Walter feels patronized and considers firing Falcon’s ass. He very much doubts that this has anything to do with electromagnomics!
  • Walternate must know this too. So it raises the question as to what Falcon was trying to find out by putting Peter through the scan? Perhaps Walternate’s knowledge of the BBM supersedes that of Walter’s? Wouldn’t be surprising given that he’s had longer to play around with his own Boom-Boom on the other side.

  • Interesting to see that there’s still a chain of command at Massive Dynamic. Walter may own the company, but Nina still hires and fires with that iron first of hers. Walter decides to try his luck with another request:

Walter: “I want to see [Bellie’s] research to know what he did to me – to regrow my brain cells”

Nina: “Walter that’s more than 15 years ago”

Walter: “I’m not whole Nina. If I’m to figure out how Peter is connected to the Boom-Boom-Machine, I have to get smarter. It’s the only way I’ll be able to help my son”

Nina: “Yes. I’ll get on it right away”

  • I both like and dislike this. I think it’s contrived and a bit of a cheat to say that Walter can simply ‘regrow’ his brain post-“Grey Matters”. Perhaps it’s the method I have a problem with, rather than the idea itself? I appreciate the continuity of this quest, but it feels a bit wonky to me.
  • That being said, I liked some of the delivery and the sentiment behind it. Walter’s “I’m not whole, Nina” was remarkably touching. It reminded me of when he asked The Newt, “Are you trying to fix me?” There something about this drive, this need to become whole that really lifts the story.
  • I also like how it parallels Peter’s situation with embracing his BBM destiny. In many ways, perhaps Peter is not whole without his Boom-Boom?

  • And a word for Nina. I enjoyed the way she responded when Walter mentioned his son. She really cares for Boy Wonder, doesn’t she?
  • Olivia enters the situation and gives Peter her very ‘Olivia’, “Hey”. Peter beams. He’s glad that she could make it. He even busts a Boy Wonder-esque joke:

Peter: “I think I’ll use my new-found superpowers to make this machine levitate”

Olivia: “Ooh, now that would be impressive”

  • They’re back ladies and gents!
  • Something inside Olivia has shifted (and it’s not a baybee!):

Olivia: “Listen, I tried to call you last night and you didn’t pick up. Who were you with? Tell me. TELLS ME!”

Peter: “Uhh-yeah. Walter was being Walter, because he is Walter. I had to go for a walk. They don’t call me Boy Wanderer for nothing. I’m trying the single game for a while. Don’t fret your Dunham heart out”

  • Shapeshifter Falcon somehow detects that Peter is worried, and tells him to relax, the scanner wont hurt him.

Peter: “Sorry doc, you’ll forgive me if I’m a little bit leery of machines right about now”

  • Irony-Hoo! Even now it’s quite clear that Peter knows Falcon’s a shapeshifter – you can see the loathing in Peter’s eyes. A loathing perhaps last seen when he discovered he was from the alternate universe.
  • Peter enters the machine. Something tells me this wont be the last machine he enters before all is said and done.
  • A man finds a dead shapeshifter in a fountain. Who could have done such a thing? Olivia suspects Walternate, for some reason. I guess it’s because everything is his fault, isn’t it? He may have his finger on the Big Red Boom Button (BRBB), but he’s not heartless. He wouldn’t just KILL his own soldiers. Colonel Broyles was a mistake. Honest.
  • Olivia suggests that Walternate has sent over a cleaner (not a vacuum cleaner, Liv?) to wipe out all of his shapeshifters before the Fringe Team find out what they know.
  • Broyles pays Astrid a visit. “Agent Brooyles?” She says. “For what do I owe this pleasure?” Broyles tells her that he could use her skills. He wants her to look through Altlivia’s diary while trying not to read all the juicy details. “It’s X-rated stuff”, he says. “I love deets!” Astrid screams. “I’ll be discreet,” she lies.
  • I love Broyles for wanting to protect Olivia (and Peter). He’s more than a boss..he’s a friend, an ally. I wish we had more Olivia and Broyles scenes because they have an really good dynamic. “I just want to go back to before” / “Dunham, I don’t think you can”. Ah, memory lane.

  • Walter and Falcon continue their squawking. It’s only a small thing, but I liked the little embellishment given to the previously explored notion that shapeshifters are not quite as in touch with emotions as humans. Walter is going all parental about Peter’s safety, while Falcon thinks any notion to pull the boy out over an elevated heart-rate is “ridiculous”. Now, perhaps Walter is over-reacting, but I like the human vs machine perspectives being explored.
  • Peter’s increased heart-rate is interesting though. Falcon is now not so sure that it’s nerves. So what is it – is the machine powered by his heart? Oh “Brown Betty“, wont you stop, already?
  • Walter grinds on me a bit with his constant Peter this, Peter that attitude. Though I do wonder how much almost losing his son in “The Firefly” is fueling his angst. I have no doubt that he’d be deeply worried regardless, but after such a huge moment for Walter in willingly sacrificing his son, I’m looking for evidence on how this has impacted him. We saw something shift inside Walter, so is he now over-compensating for a decision which, in the cold-light of day, must be causing him some distress?
  • However altruistic an act that was, he essentially sent his son to die. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising him for something that I feel he needed to do (given the context of the situation), but this is Walter we’re talking about – it’s gonna cost him emotionally, don’t you think?
  • To be honest, I think that he might be over-compensating here slightly – trying to make it up to Peter in some subconscious way.

Broyles: “Suppose Walternate knew we were getting close to identifying the list of shapeshifters on that drive”

Olivia: “How would he know that?”

Broyles: “Because someone on our side may have told him”

  • Wait for it..

Olivia: “We’ve got a Molebaby!”

  • LOLS! Oh Olivia, you do make me chuckle. You said Molebaby, right? He’ll be stoked that he got an in-show reference.
  • The idea that they have a mole should really be of no surprise. Basically all of Broyles’ buddies have turned out to be moles – the Loebs, Agent Harassment, Senator Van Kampff. And do we need to mention Shapeshifter Charlie? Altlivia?
  • Did you know that William Bell designed an unbeatable lie detector machine? Don’t lie! Massive Dynamic whip it out to test for human moles (shapeshifters would be given away by any blood tests). Nina still speaks about Bellie with such pride and admiration:

Nina: “William designed it, it measures the slightest shift in facial muscles, which allows us a link to stress and a particular emotion. [referring to the test subject] His facial expressions tell us that his stress is not connected to feelings of guilt or shame”

  • Walter wishes he thought of it. Heck, he probably did. Peter taps into his inner machine and lays into poor Nina:

Peter: “Do you actually want to catch this molebaby, Nina?”

Nina: “Oh no you didn’t!”

  • Sadly, he did. It’s interesting, because again I ask whether this is Peter or the BBM talking. I suspect that the BBM brings to the surface the inner thoughts and feelings – for me that would be interesting because we’d be dabbling in the murky pool that is the subconscious.
  • I’ve previously speculated whether the machine’s true power is some kind of wish fulfillment device that brings to life the will of its master/puppet. Bringing whole new meaning to: “If you can dream a better world, you can make a better world”.
  • Nina gives Walter the GROW ME brain serums that Bellie developed, but warns he could go ape if he uses the wrong serum. Walter cares not and begins sniffing the first sample.

Nina: “Walter!?”

Walter: “Don’t worry I’ve snorted worse. A few good whiffs and my brain should be able to regrow its missing parts”

  • Nina says that she’s worried about Peter, and suggests that he should see someone.

“There are people that are trained to help

  • I’m thinking..SAM WEISS?
  • Walter taps into his ego:

“Nina he’s my son, I’m the one that needs to help him”

  • Fathers always know best, right?

  • Olivia sees that Petah is hurting. This perhaps allows her to subconsciously shift and see things with less fury. She thinks that Peter is protecting her by blocking her from reading Altlivia’s files. I think she’s being a bit too generous. Peter is protecting Peter, first and foremost. Nevertheless, Peter opens up like a book:

Peter: “Olivia, I’ve conned people, and I know what I would have written about them. She must have thought that I was a fool. And I don’t want you to see me like that”

  • Like father like son. Petah Pride is back in action! Though I don’t think we can be too hard on him here. Why would he want Olivia to see him as a fool? But the bigger point for me is that he mistakenly thinks that Altlivia has a negative take on him. (DUDE, SHE PACKED THE PHOTOS OF BOTH OF YOU). He’s underestimating her feelings towards him, and I think he’s doing it as a defensive mechanism. No-one wants to feel like a fool, least not twice over.
  • As I’ve said before, it will be interesting to see how Peter’s outlook on Altlivia changes once he discovers that she actually likes the way he brings he breakfast in bed.
  • Furthermore, this tells us something else about Peter. He’s projecting his own moral code on the universe. He’s reciprocating (DING DING) his own past actions. Clearly, he doesn’t know Altlivia well enough – or rather, he’s not allowing himself to think the best of her.
  • But Olivia knows better – she figures that Altlivia wouldn’t see Peter negatively because she herself doesn’t. Though their lives have taken different paths, the two Dunhams both relate in similar ways.

  • Moving on, Olivia suggests that Falcon should do the test. Peter knows that he’s already killed him. Big drama scene ensues, and Falcon is found in a puddle of his own mercury, trapped in an endless dream. Another one of Altlivia’s contacts bytes the dust.
  • Can I just say: Thank you Walter for giving yourself an IQ test, your intellect has certainly come under the spotlight this season. I feel so much better now.
  • Olivia exasperates, “It feels like every time we learn something new, we’re still a step behind”. Didn’t Peter say something similar in the previous episode? Peter knows that he must keep things this way.

  • An intriguing little character moment. Walter asks Astrid what Altlivia had to say about him in her file. Walter actually cares what other Olivia thinks of him. Why could that be? I wondered. My perspective is that Walter quite likes Altlivia (hey, she brought him CAKES), and he wants that to be reciprocated. It’s perfectly natural – if you like someone, you want them to like you back. It’s to the credit of the writing that they find time for these incredibly small, yet meaningful character moments.
  • And in case you were wondering, Altlivia liked Walter back. “she thought that you were kind, and brilliant,” says Astrid. Walter is no doubt pleased, and hearing this reaffirms his opinion of Altlivia.
  • More Triangle soup:

Olivia: “The last few weeks have been hard for me, I’ve been so focused on what the other Olivia did to me, that I just haven’t thought about what she did to you. And I want you to know that I’m sorry and I get it now. The good news is that she’s gone. I know it doesn’t feel like that at the moment, but, she is gone. And, we can get past it”.

  • Hm. Not sure I buy that. It seems more plot derived than something the ‘Olivia’ I know would say. This is the same Olivia who said, “she taken everything!” a short while ago. I’m not saying Olivia wouldn’t be able to move past it, clearly something has shifted, but I don’t buy that she would be so presumptuous to think that Altlivia meant nothing to Peter, or that her legacy would wither away. Not in the space of three short weeks.
  • Nevertheless Peter soaks it up and gives Olivia something back in return – appreciation, a sign that her words have healed him ever so slightly. Dunham feels better about herself. Maybe we can move on? She wonders.

  • Peter goes off to do more killing. What I find interesting about his next kill was that there seemed to be a conscious writing effort to change  the female shapeshifter shift into a male before Peter did his thing. Perhaps it was coincidence, but I’m guessing not. Sure, seeing the transformation process again carried its own interest, but I do think there was a conscious effort not to have Peter kill a ‘woman’.

Broyles: “Don’t move”

Brandon: “Should I swallow?”

  • Yes Brandon, please swallow. No-one wants to see you talk with your mouth full of crap.
  • Good to have some more Olivia/Astrid action. That argument they had over those sparkly shoes has finally been buried.

Olivia: “I’m not just another set of eyes. We’re the same. The other Olivia and me. I should be able to think the same way, so maybe I’m going to be able to find a pattern”

  • Walter breaks out the whipped cream. Nina rings his bell. “I was just thinking about you,” he muses. And who can blame him? Nina has all the men (and women) running around after her. Nina’s looking for Peter “The Machine” Bishop. Walter gets suspicious over Peter’s whereabouts and goes looking in the boy’s room (never a good idea), which for some reason is not locked.

  • Peter’s room is a TREASURE TROVE of MYTHOLOGY PORN. First People, the Vacuum locations, shapeshifter identities. The boy has been busy. I take it all back, Peter, you are more retroactively proactive than I gave you credit for. I should never have doubted you. I am…at your command oh ‘child of the machine’.
  • Walter realizes that he has his own android hunter on his hands, as we see Peter looking all mean and moody in the Killmobile preparing for his next victim.

  • Olivia goes all Dear Diary as she accepts that her and Altlivia have the hawts for the same guy:

Olivia: “It’s strange, but at moments when I’m with PBie, I find myself forgetting what I’m here for. PBie’s different than I expected him to PBie. A sincerity behind his eyes, a deep seated goodness. It’s hard not to get caught up in it. Not to get caught him”

  • Tell me about it, I’m constantly getting caught..up in ‘PBie’. Olivia rationalises that if she can see PBie in such affectionate light, then of COURSE her double from another mother would too. “we’re the same, she would see what I see”. To PBie or not to PBie, that is my question.
  • Olivia breaks Altlivia’s secret code, “Olive”, to figure out her shapeshifter contacts. Their ability to think alike comes in handy for Olivia, and perhaps foreshadows more of same in future.

  • The best part of the episode, for me. Peter botches attempt at killing the shapeshifter. There’s another Blade Runner nod with the fact that he mistook the lifeless mannequin for a shapeshifter. I liked the fact that ShiftaLot was smart enough to do that, jumping Peter from behind:

ShiftaLot:”Hello my friend, I was expecting you”

  • He wants to know how Peter found him and confirms our suspicions:

ShiftaLot: “You might think that we’re not allowed to kill you, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t hurt you”

  • Nice to have that confirmed, though it would be interesting to know whether Walternate specifically gave the shapeshifters the green light to torture Peter if necessary, or whether it’s a loophole ShiftaLot was prepared to take advantage of.

ShiftaLot: “We can get everything we need from you, even if you only have nine fingers..or, one eye”

  • Interesting use of the word “we” and “need”. Does he include Walternate in that? If so, it might suggest that he primarily wants Peter alive to operate the BBM. I believe that Walternate does love his son, but how far is he prepared to go to unleash the BBM?
  • I don’t think he’d want Peter dead, but then we could have another Walter scenario on how hands – is Walternate prepared to risk the life of two universes, for his son. It’s a reversal that could come into play. We should perhaps also bear in mind that ‘life and death’ may carry a different connotation once the BBM is activated. Heck, perhaps he’s confident that the Observers (who whoever) wont let Peter die, thus lessening how careful he feels he has to be.

  • Walter enters, distracting ShiftaLot, allowing Peter to dispatch himself another non-human. And it’s this that I find so intriguing on a character level. Now, a lot of people disagreed with my view that Walter was wrong to stab shapeshifter Ray back in DSSDOES?. Many didn’t see much wrong with what Walter did. Which is totally fair enough, we each have different perspectives. Yet here, we see that Walter himself is aghast at Peter’s actions.
  • Indeed, the story is confirming that this is an issue that shouldn’t be swept under the carpet. That’s not to say there’s not more than one viewpoint to be had, but you wouldn’t have thought that was the case given the way Walter’s stabby-stab-stab was generally glossed over.
  • Peter mercilessly rips open the shapeshifter, removing his data disk, as Walter watches on in horror. His own brutality reciprocated in the image of his son.

Peter: “I have to know what they know, Walter. I’m tired of being reactive”

Walter: “Son, this isn’t you.. you can’t..”

Peter: “They’re soldiers, Walter. They’re here to kill us. Besides, they’re not even human..and I’m not doing anything wrong”

[Peter pops a final cap in the shapeshifter, ending his daze]

  • Let’s see: “they’re not human..not doing anything wrong”. For me that’s the crux of it, and on both counts I’d disagree with Peter. Whether we consider them to be human or not, they ARE conscious beings. Part-human conscious beings. I think it’s a slippery slope the day we start to view life with such prejudice. To slaughter something because it’s perceived to be less than ourselves is not just a brutal act, it’s a commentary on society – on history.
  • His argument (rather rationale) that they’re soldiers and here to kill them, doesn’t make it much better. So what, this places him one ledge above Altlivia has her ruthless murder of Box Man. But this is the same Peter who not so long ago melted hearts when he said, “I gotta believe there’s a better way”. A better way, Peter, a BETTAH WAY. Can we not go back to before?
  • As for the idea that he wasn’t doing anything wrong, as Walter points out, he lied about it. He hid his actions from his family and friends, so somewhere inside himself he knew that his actions where wrong. I’m really glad this issue is being raised again, as I think it was one of the most interesting things to register from DSSDOES?. I’m also pleased that Walter is now able to see his previous actions through external eyes.

“Then why didn’t you tell us. If you weren’t doing anything wrong, then why didn’t you tell us?”

  • Walter believes that Peter’s actions are the result of the machine. While I can see that, I continue to speculate where the demarcation line resides. How much of this is actually Peter’s internal will? I suspect that quite a bit of it has to be.
  • Though it’s fascinating to think that Peter is not just powering the machine, the machine is also powering him. There are many ways to look at it, each clicking the concept into gear from a different direction.
  • This is a good plot development, and it’s interesting that Peter and Walter one again have secrets that Olivia isn’t aware of. I would hope that Walter spills the beans, as I’m not sure that Peter has it in him right now. Keeping this from Olivia and Broyles is not the way to go about things. To complicate matters we have Walter’s perpetual drive to be the one to protect his son. Is he going to do anything to go against that? He was able to encourage him to spill regarding Altlivia, but this is different since Peter himself is unwilling and seems possessed by this device that has terrified Walter all season long.

  • You gotta feel for Olive. Just when she finds the capacity to place her trust in Peter once more, he lets her down. As I said, I just don’t know if Peter is the one for her. Machine or no machine, there’s always some excuse. Healthy relationships cannot be built on the foundations of lies.

Olivia: “Peter, I read her file, and you should know that you have noting to be embarrassed about. Two whole minutes is like so insane, I cannot tell you.”

  • That is pretty huge. Olivia didn’t have to do that, but she wants PBie to be comfortable within himself. You could argue that she’s doing Altlivia a solid, and while that may be true in a roundabout way, I also think this is Olivia’s way of saying that she would never see him see him as a fool either. Peter appreciates the gesture, but the look in his eye once Olivia turns her back tells it’s own story. What evil lurks in the heart of men?

Walter: “I think I know what’s happening to you. Every relationship is reciprocal, Peter. When you touch something, it touches you. You’re changing, son. When you touched the machine, it changed you, it weaponized you”

  • Intriguingly, Peter asks Walter: “what do we do now?” Is this his plea for help? I would be interested to know whether Peter consciously feels the pull of the machine, because he doesn’t give much away. Not sure if the actor is doing this intentionally, but it’s interesting to see this contained emotion. There’s almost a tinge of resentment in his eyes, as if he’s saying “this is the destiny that you have helped shape”. It’s as though Peter, like his biological father, it seems, has lost hope.
  • Somebody activate the machine, because I think PBie has just gotten interesting!

  • Brandon discovers three more copies of the First People’s book. Long and short, they all say the same thing.

Nina: “And..what do you make of it? A civilization that existed millions of years before the dinosaurs?”

Brandon: “The planet has been spinning for 5 billion years. We’ve only been around for the past 250,000. There were six major extinction events before we even crawled out of the slime, so who’s to say that one of them didn’t wipe out a great civilisation”.

  • Well, the Vacuum does have the power to both create and destroy. Nina’s reaction is curious, it’s as though she knows more than she’s letting on – Blair Brown certainly plays it that way intentionally. Given that Nina knows Sam Weiss, perhaps that should be of no surprise.

Brandon: “There’s another thing. When we put the word out that we were looking for copies of the book, we found out we weren’t the only ones. A few years ago somebody started a similar search”

Nina: “Who?”

Brandon: “William Bell”

Nina: “Ah”

  • Intwisting! I take it Nina didn’t necessarily know that, given her reaction? It does make sense that Bellie would have wanted copies of the book, given that Walternate’s version of the Vacuum is apparently based on his design.
  • I always found that curious, since the Vacuum was created by the First People – so perhaps Walternate’s weapon has some customizations added to it? Either way it’s interesting to consider what Bell was looking for specifically.

  • One of the things I felt this episode lacked was an internal monologue for Peter. I was glad to get the above introspective shot as it provides a silent tether to his internal conflict. Funny how one solitary shot can provide so much framing.

[“What am machine?”]

[“That, dear boy, is something you can only find the answer to within. And if you see that Buddha on the road, stomp him]

  • And by the way, sleep tight tonight, Walter. Sleep really tight.


“Reciprocity”. Another good and useful episode that lived up to its title. Both mythology and character touched my heart. And my heart..touched them back, so to speak.

Best Performer: Joshua Jackson.

Best Line“You’re changing, son. When you touched the machine, it changed you, it weaponized you” – Walter to PBie.

Best Moment: Peter’s showdown with the final shapeshifter and the subsequent morality discussion with Walter.

Episode Rating: 8/10

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


  1. cortexifan says

    how do you do it?
    You reviews are amazing? Great inside.
    This episode felt like we were getting “one million new answers and one million and one new questions”! I’ve seen it 4 or 5 times already and am still trying to sort everything out.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  2. Page 48 says

    Not very sporting of Petah to gouge the data disk out of the last shapeshifter BEFORE taking 2 seconds to kill him. Not that there’s anything ‘wrong’ with that.

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    • ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

      I also thought that was kinda brutal, but maybe it was payback for fooling him with the dummy and threatening him?

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  3. Isa says

    Thanks for the review, Rocco! My only problem with this episode is that I still can’t see how Peter killed Dr. Falcon since Peter was at the MD the whole time. And it did bother me Peter lying to Olivia… :(

    The path looks darker and darker to our Fringe Team. Can’t wait for the next episode. And I feel strangely missing Fauxlivia. I so want Petah and Olive to see her again. It’s going to be amazing if it happens.

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  4. says

    I can see you had fun with this one, Roco. Some very funny parts! I’m with you in that Walter’s constant Peter this and Peter that is getting irritating. It’s interesting how his life has completely shifted. When Peter was young Walter had not time for him and only wanted to work. And now he can only think of Peter in all things and uses his work mainly for the purposes of helping his son.

    “She thinks that Peter is protecting her by blocking her from reading Altlivia’s files. I think she’s being a bit too generous. Peter is protecting Peter, first and foremost.” To me, this part came off as a complete lie from Peter to Olivia. He had already killed at least one shapeshifter which means he has already seen Altlivia’s notes because he’d already cracked her code. So he knows what’s in those files and what she wrote. He wrongfully assumes that telling Olivia this will make her not look at the notes. Whether he doesn’t want her to see that he and Altlivia had real feelings for each other or more sinisterly, that he didn’t want her to figure out the code before he could kill all the shapeshifters off, is something that’s hard to tell.

    I like Walter and I like Nina, but I am so not prepared for them to be knocking boots anytime soon! What was with Walter’s delighted whip cream licking conversation with Nina?! It totally gave me shivers, and not the good kind. Stand down, Walter, stand down!!

    “Now, a lot of people disagreed with my view that Walter was wrong to stab shapeshifter Ray back in DSSDOES?. Many didn’t see much wrong with what Walter did. Which is totally fair enough, we each have different perspectives. Yet here, we see that Walter himself is aghast at Peter’s actions.” You always make such good points but I have to disagree with you on this one. There is a huge difference between being scared for your life and rashly stabbing someone and ruthlessly hunting someone down, mutilating them and THEN killing them while they helplessly watch you do it! I’m not saying what Walter tried to do to Ray was right but it doesn’t even come close to Peter’s current death spree. I do, however, agree with you regarding the awesome conversation about morality. If nothing else, it totally highlights the drastic change in Peter. He is most definitley being changed. He looked downright creepy in that last brooding shot.

    I loved this episode because I totally didn’t expect Peter as the shapeshifter killer! I was worried that he was just going to be this sappy puppy. This is going to make his journey so much more interesting!

    Like: Thumb up 1

    • ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

      On 2nd viewing, I also thought it was a lie that Peter told Olivia, he HAD to know what was in those files!! I think he was playing with her emotions and using his “poor me” status to manipulate her and throw suspicion away from himself. Wow.

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  5. J. says

    Just a quick comment:

    Why has no one instituted regular Three Holes in The Palate security checks yet?! No worries, an isolated corn field and tens of hapless scientists will surely protect the Machine of Multiversal Destruction from any sort of shapeshifterly infiltration!

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  6. coolfringepuff says

    It totally blown me away with the Reciprocity episode. I really never thought of Peter as the bad guy. Seeing him as the one who killed and hunted the shapeshifters down makes me look at him in a totally different way. Is he changing for a better Peter or for a disastrous Peter that’s going to destroy either one of the universe. Perhaps this is what The Observers’ meant when September said ‘When the time comes, he will be willing to let him go.’ SO, maybe when the time does comes, Peter will fulfill his destiny in destroying the universe/universes or maybe after destroying it, the original and lovable Peter would comes back and re-create a new universe?

    The thing that bothers me the most is Peter is lying to Olivia just like what John Scott did. Peter should just be extremely glad that Olivia forgave him despite him not knowing she’s not her at all. Why would he lie to Olivia for killing the shapeshifters? Why can’t he just share the information with the Fringe team? Does he has a better technology than Massive Dynamics to crack the code to get the infos from the shapeshifters data device??? And besides, how does he even know to crack the code using ‘OLIVE’. He doesn’t even know Olivia that well to differentiate her to Fauxlivia but he knew about ‘OLIVE’? It’s really kind of a bizarre and rushing kinda plot to the end. Because out of no where, Olivia thought of Olive. Why Olive? And not Livvy? Or Liv? Why all of a sudden Olivia get the intuition that it’s Olive. Where’s the logic in it?

    Perhaps Peter changing for a drastic move is due to the over-arching plot in the next couple of episodes. I’m really hoping for that because if it’s not it…Gosh, I’m really flushing Peter out from the toilet bowl~

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    • Peanut says

      Surely an agent named Olivia, & nicknamed Olive (which her mother was still calling her!), would have a better code (Security 101—don’t base a code or password on your name) than “Olive”? If Fauxlivia revealed that Olive was her nickname to Peter, that was a “loose lips, sink ships” mistake because, for all she knew, Over-Here Olivia may have never been called that & may have been nicknamed something else entirely, maybe “Sweet Pea” or something else not connected to her name. Fauxlivia could have been tripped up because of that. Maybe she thought that Peter, despite his high IQ, was so sunk in love that he would never notice if she made a mistake—& guess that she had some reason to think that. It makes more sense that Olivia could figure it out–AltMom Dunham did call Olivia (who she thought was Fauxlivia) “Olive.”

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  7. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    Awesome review, thanks for getting it out so quick, I think it really says a lot about the quality of this episode!!

    Here’s one of the thoughts I had during this episode.

    Walter: “I think I know what’s happening to you. Every relationship is reciprocal, Peter. When you touch something, it touches you.

    When I heard Walter say this, I immediately thought of Peter & Alt-Liv’s relationship. They had spent 8 weeks “getting to know each other”—she was deceitful the whole time, being secretive and going around killing people, living a double life.

    And now, Peter is going around killing shapeshifters in cold-blood and what he said to Walter about it was like a mirror of Alt-Livia’s views of the shapeshifters–that they are machines and not human. That was just not something I would expect Peter to say!! And now he’s going around being deceitful and secretive and living a double-life–just like Alt-Livia.

    Talk about reciprocity!!

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    • Ari says

      What a great observation! It fits in very well with Roco’s point that perhaps the machine is bringing up subconscious desires, or rage.

      I think one of the most telling lines in the episode was when Peter told Olivia that he had conned people before and he knew that to be conned was to be made a fool of. I do think that at this point Peter is trying to manipulate Olivia away from the source material, but I don’t think it’s a complete lie. It mirrors what Walter said to Astrid in this episode and what Olivia said to Peter in Marionette. Walter asks Astrid what Altlivia thought of him and, unlike Roco, I don’t think it was because he liked her and wanted to be liked in return. Walter, since Altlivia’s unveiling, has been extremely self-conscious of his failings vis a vis Walternate and would naturally be worried about what a stranger would have to say on the subject. I think it’s a natural reaction to being spied on, just as Olivia asked who knew about Peter and Altlivia’s relationship. It’s the private being made public without consent and one’s failings and personality being left open for judgement by the “enemy”. There is a lot of ego at work there from Walter, Olivia, and Peter. And in Peter’s case, rage at being made a pawn, passive, being seen as less intelligent, easily fooled (all the things WE have been saying about him), essentially being seen as weak. Naturally he would want to respond against that – a response magnified by the Vacuum. And so he takes on the actions of the one who caused this blow to the ego – lying, manipulating, destroying the other side.

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        • Ari says

          I don’t think he is consciously trying to hurt her – I mean, I do think that what he told her about not wanting her to think he was a fool was true (because regardless of what Altlivia wrote, it will never make up for the fact that HE didn’t figure it out). However, I think perhaps the fact that she looks (is) identical to Altlivia might make lying to her easier, if he is trying to work out his anger at Altlivia. Also, I don’t think it is all that uncommon to be angry at the people who make you feel guilty. It might not be nice, it might not be conscious, but Peter has had a lot of feelings to deal with lately (regarding Walter, Walternate, etc.) that he doesn’t seem to be addressing at all. Maybe having to deal with Olivia’s righteous anger was a bit too much for him to take without an emotional response in return.

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          • jophan says

            “but Peter has had a lot of feelings to deal with lately (regarding Walter, Walternate, etc.) that he doesn’t seem to be addressing at all.”
            Exactly. It ties in with Walter’s response to Nina:
            “Nina he’s my son, I’m the one that needs to help him”
            Nina should have come back with “No, he’s not.” Just because Peter’s letting Walter call him “son” again without snapping back doesn’t mean there isn’t still some resentment and anger.

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      • lizw65 says

        Sorry, should have been a bit more specific there. What I meant was, I too had the idea that Peter’s exposure to Alt-Liv might have made him a bit colder and more ruthless in his outlook without his even being aware of it–possibly that was part of her mission, to “turn” him, or at least attempt to do so.

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    • says

      Great comment. I also connected reciprocity to the Peter/Altlivia relationship. I think just as Olivia got Peter to come back to her side in Over There, Altlivia was also conducting a little recruiting session during her weeks on this side. Remember the discussion of “what would you do” as they watched the first pieces of the machine being hoisted out of the ground in 6955kHz?
      Once Peter was duped, she lowered the boom on him, saying the mission became “something more.” Peter gets a face full of guilty pie from Olivia in Marionette. So when he sees the machine, finally, all he can perceive is a deadly weapon that he’s somehow to blame for powering.
      Since perception is reality on Fringe, this is what changes Peter. He believes he is bad, so he acts accordingly. He definitely begins to mirror the actions and demeanor of Altlivia (the MoleMama). At the end, I was reminded of that restaurant scene where Altlivia questioned her own morals as she stared herself down in a mirror. “I shouldn’t have ordered that second piece of cheesecake!”
      I am on Nina’s side in urging Peter to get some help. Either read that Buddha book again, or (much better) get to the bowling alley Yoda STAT.
      If Olivia can see past her visions of the Perfect Projection Peter, she will see he needs help and take him to Sam. I ordinarily don’t think Sam exists outside Olivia’s mind, but for this scenario I would give all that up.

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  8. Fringie6989 says

    Wow what a surprise to have the review so quickly! Once again, amazing observations, Roco! My head is still spinning from Friday night…just trying to make sense of it. Joshua Jackson was SO good in this episode!! So many new questions though…I agree with what you said about it being Peter’s own thoughts and/or emotions being brought into a more dominant view because of the machine. I only hope that Peter will find a way to let his good nature overrule his bad nature. This episode sent chills up my spine the entire time. I am just so sad that Olivia is starting to reach out and that is when Peter starts keeping stuff from her. I loved Peter for telling her the truth about Fauxlivia even when it was so painful for him. I hope Peter comes to his senses quickly, because Olivia is going to reach a point where she can no longer find a way to trust him. Also, I worry about Walter carrying another secret about Peter. Is it Friday yet?!?!?

    Like: Thumb up 0

  9. runpaceyrun says

    Roco, im with you here. I have my suspicions as to just how much influence the ‘vacuum’ has over Peter. In my opinion the ‘vacuum’ has had little influence over him. The decisions he made were made by him and him alone. Considering the emphasis placed on his favourite book in ‘The Firefly’…’If you Meet Buddah on the Road, Kill Him’….i think this may point to a change in Peter. He explains to Olivia that the book is his favourite because its all about ‘finding answers inside yourself’. And because he wants answers as to what the vacuum is and what his relationship to it is…he decided that HE needed to take ‘proactive’ action (his words) rather than working alongside others and waiting for answers. The answers that he wants will come from inside him……probably both literally and figuratively.
    It was interesting to see that right from the beginning of Reciprocity we see Peter lie. For those that i watched with…we were all saying to ourselves..’whats going on here, why is he lying?’ It was an introduction to Dark Peter right up front and it made our watching slightly more uncomfortable. We saw the looks, listened to the lies and were absolutely astonished when we saw Peter come out of the shadows and shoot the shapeshifter. Never saw that one coming. I will admit that my jaw dropped to the floor….im sure i stopped breathing for a few moments….and because i was so shocked…i burst into tears a little while later…..and i am not exaggerating. When Reciprocity finished i sat on the couch for 40 minutes and did not say a word. Cried, yes……but my head was spinning.
    This is why i love this show so much. Just when you think you have some kind of handle on where you think we are headed…bam, out of left field comes a curve ball to alter your (my) perceptions. I know some other Fringe fans said they figured out that it was Peter very early on….so perhaps i will just have to accept the fact that because i am so invested in this show and the characters that i can be blinded as to what is coming up. I dont mind though……i was blown away by my reaction….and i hope the writers and producers of the show apprecite the fact that they can have this effect on some viewers.
    I will say though, that i really have a sense of foreboding about what is to come next. I dont think that the lying, deceptive Peter is going to disappear any time soon. Which has me worried. I am worried for Walter, his sanity and safety. I am fearful for Peter…and fearful OF him. Im not worried about Olivia’s safety though…cant explain that one! But i am concerned that whatever happens between Olivia and Peter from now on will be built on lies.
    But thats just how it has to play out. Our 3 central characters seem to mend and build relationships with each other only to have a wedge of some sort inserted to splinter it apart. Thus having to start again. At the moment we see Olivia and Peter on the road to recovery……but a wedge looms in the distance…and that wedge would be Peter himself (imo). And Walter and Peter have become really close but i think they may be driven apart by what is to come. Again, Peter would be the wedge here too.
    I really hope that i am wrong because whilst i love all the characters in Fringe (except Alt-liv, Brandonate and Walternate) my absolute favourite is Peter. This episode really altered my perceptions of him…or maybe just realigned them. Dont get me wrong…he’s still my favourite….but boy am i a little weary of him now.
    Just a final note….i have ordered the book ‘If You See the Buddah on the Road, Kill Him!’….and am now more than just a little concerned as to the effect it will have on me! Just eactly what answers will i find within? Scary!

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  10. sileowyn says

    How wonderful to be able to read your review with my first coffee of the week (I write from Paris, France), Roco! I agree with most of your observations by the way, and your insistence on Peter’s despair got me thinking. It’s true that he suddenly particularly haggard in some of the shots and I’m wondering whether something happened in the previous episode in between the moment when the Observer shot at him and the moment when Olivia arrived. A number of people noticed that he fell on one corner of the roof and was found moments later, still half unconscious, on the other side of it. Could it be that the Observer took him on a little trip into the future? Could it be that what Peter learnt there was responsible for the drastic change we witnessed in “Reciprocity”? Like the fact that he indeed is some kind of android, which would mean that the sudden loathing he feels for sentient machines, shapeshifters for instance, is in fact directed at himself? So that he really is killing himself everytime he dispatches one?

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    • runpaceyrun says

      sileowyn….now you’ve got me thinking. I know there was a reason why the scene with Peter on the rooftop was flipped (but i havent got a clue what that would be) ……and the answer you’ve suggested is an interesting one. Very insightful.
      And as for your comment about the sudden self loathing that Peter feels for machines, shapeshifters etc… wow….that is an excellent one also. You’ve really got me thinking now. Thankyou

      Like: Thumb up 0

    • loveit says

      That’s a fantastic observation and I think that you just may be on to something. Bon travail, maintenant je dois regarder a nouveau! (Je doit practiquer mon francais aussi 😉

      Like: Thumb up 0

    • ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

      Very interesting, I hadn’t thought of that….but it sounds really awesome and twisted!!

      Like: Thumb up 0

  11. lilli says

    hi guys!didn’t you see a little of Anakin turning into Darth Vader in the image of Peter looking out of the window with red circles around his eyes, pale as death?I thought it could have been an interesting reference. In both cases, fear is the trigger, and the love of a girl is the only, yet useless, hope.

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  12. jonnE says

    gotta disagree about the machine changing peter…I could be wrong, but i
    still think the milk is causing him to think like walternate, albeit on a subconscious level. The milk must play a role, as noted by its prominence and obvious display when walter put it into the refrigerator in “firefly”.
    I don’t think the milk would have killed walter, i think that was a conscious mislead by the writers.
    Peter had to ingest the milk….where else have we seen fringe characters ingest something, have a seizure, and then come back from it changed in some way?
    I think that peter has control over the machine and not vice versa.
    I’m again pointing to the fact that altlivia was sent to dispose of the shapeshifters as part of the larger plan, just as peter is doing now.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  13. Blind says

    “I’ve previously speculated whether the machine’s true power is some kind of wish fulfillment device that brings to life the will of its master/puppet. Bringing whole new meaning to: “If you can dream a better world, you can make a better world”.”

    This reminds me of the movie “the 5th element” where the 5th element is confronted w/ the dispairity of humanty and the choice to either save it or let it be destroyed. Ultimatly it is for love (not unlike how Olivia got Peter to come back Over Here) that the 5th element chooses to save humanty/Earth. With Peter “going to the Dark Side” it’s scary to think of what his dream’s may include and what his dream of a better world will be when he finally gets into the BBM.
    Another thought is on Peter’s behaviour and Walters longing to become whole. It is very possible that the milk/medicine that Peter took in Firefly may be what triggered him to “go to the Dark Side.” Peter’s behaviour may be a mirror showing Walter what he would look like if he is “whole”. Any way it goes there is a lot of possible development. We may find that Walter eventually finds that the way he is now is better than the way he was. Also we would see that Peter forshadowed the effects of Walters experiment by saying in Firefly “I don’t want you to hurt yourself”

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  14. T says

    Correct me if I am wrong but shouldn’t there be one more “Big Mystery?”

    What did Peter find on the last shape shifter data device?

    He told Walter that he didn’t find anything on the previous devices and that the last one was his last chance. I need to watch it again but I don’t think we found out if there was any usefull information on the device or not.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Robert says

      Well, the episode ended with Peter finding the last disc. So we will not find out what it contains until in two weeks (next episode seems to be case-of-the-week in the other universe).

      Like: Thumb up 0

  15. yis says

    Agree with Altivia writing a diary being almost unbelievable, what is she 13? It would be more believable if it was like a Logbook, no personal things

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    • real1 says

      What if all her writing was just a fake and to build up her relation with Peter and district him jut in case ?

      and am also surprised that she didn’t write about Broyles and Astrid … and OLIVIA the woman which she was acting as if she is her ???

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    • Blind says

      Think of Dana Skully. She always wrote a “log” much like Patric Steward did as Captain Picard. People who work for government organizations are usually previous military and they are trained to constantly record information for their reports. For all we know the reports she was creating were “mission based” she just so happened to include personal details in her writings. It’s not too unbelievable because, think of it, she had no one to talk to except a bunch of machines (shape shifters) which she obviously considered disposable via knocking out of a window and delivering a lethal dose of whatever to Newton.

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      • Robert says

        Good point, but Fauxlivia acted professional until the end. I´m not really convinced that she developed feelings for Peter. Maybe this was rather a last resort for the case that her cover was blown – i.e. making it harder for Peter to view her as the evil traitor.

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  16. fedorafadares says

    What bothereed me even moree than the cheesy “dear diary, pb is dreamy…” was how Olivia said (repeatedly since she’s been back) how ALIKE she and Fauxlivia are.

    I mean, is she trying to convince herself of their alike-ness? From what I’ve seen since the season 2 finale, the Olivias are quite different. Did Olivia learn nothing from her Over There II encounter with her double? “You have to trust me, I’m you” nearly got her killed by Fauxlivia. Fauxlivia didn’t seem to think a lot of her now-deceased sister. She seems to think an awful lot of herself. They are different.

    Granted, for the sake of the story, Olivia had to claim they think alike, make sense of things the same way, but I don’t see any evidence of that. It feels contrived. I think any woman entering a “romantic” relationship with a great guy who clearly is into you would see the “kindness in his eyes.” (blech!)

    I think Olivia trying to relate to here double is a too-noble mistake. Although I’m sure Olivia’s generosity if spirit is what will eventually save the day. For now, though, I wish the writers would let up on the “she is me” of it all.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Blind says

      It’s probably highlighting that fact that even though they are two separate people and they have and do make different choices it’s what’s “under the hood” that’s important. They think similarly. This may be an evidence of the connection to our doubles and the diary spells it out very well. Let us also consider the side effects of Olivia being implanted with the personality and memories of Fauxlivia. She may still have all that stuff in her. We haven’t yet learned the extent of the fallout from that experiment. I can say that I’m sure Olivia is ever changed by what they implanted in her the question is how much.

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    • real1 says

      I agree 100% , they are different and i was surprised by Olivia … could Peter is changing our Olivia too ???????

      Could Olivia be in love with 2 men in the same time ????? didn’t Olivia ask her sister Rachelle how she can date 2 men in the same time ? …. Olivia couldn’t do that … so if Fauxlivia is seeing what Olivia is seeing in Peter that doesn’t mean both are the same .. and Olivia continue that Peter is a great man so any one can see that in him .

      I still would like to believe that what Fauxlivia wrote is fake just to ruin the relation between Olivia and Peter even more .

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  17. Mtm says

    I love this dark, mysterious Peter. I think it has been hinted all along that he has it in his nature but it hasn’t been shown as clearly as now. The poor guy has had so many traumatic events happening to him that his top layer of “goodness” is finally wearing thin and his instinctual self is emerging. He is in a survival mode now, which makes him rely only on himself and to do whatever it takes to find answers. I find it curious though as I see him also as a person who has lost all hope and who sees his future so bleak that he has tossed all moral concerns overboard. I’m very much looking forward to see how deep this Peter will sink and why.

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  18. says

    Spot on I gave it an 8 also. Over the last few days thinking about it since airing, I feel more like Reciprocity was an episode thats heading the series and story towards a goal, more than throwing us deeper into confusion like I’ve felt a few of the last few episodes have done. Not saying it didn’t give us anything new to puzzle over main thing was the Belly/MD book gathering years earlier.

    The idea of an over night brain regeneration proccess wouldn’t be so out of the question, the other side fixed scars almost instantly and other medical procedures that side are far in advance of ours, who knows what Belly got from his many crossings. Even if it doesn’t work for our cowardly lion Walter least we got his Monkey gag 😀

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  19. Peanut says

    Roco has often spoken of the theme of crossing the line in Fringe. In this episode, Peter crossed lots of lines including becoming a vigilante. Cold-bloodedly destroying sentient beings risks your own soul in the process, whether they are shapeshifters or not. I’m with Roco on that point.

    Peter manned up & told Olivia the truth about his relationship with Fauxlivia but now has abandoned honesty as the best policy; I don’t see how lying to Olivia is going to end well. Is Peter now viewing Olivia with contempt because she is not seeing through his deception? Bell said that Olivia would need Peter by her side for the coming storm—but I don’t think that this is the version of Peter that he meant (Projection Peter—are you still available?).

    I think that there are definite parallels to the earlier episode “What Lies Below,” 2.12, with Peter’s “psychic nosebleed” & a virus that had a personality like the Bowflex of Death may have.

    Is Fauxlivia gone? Olivia says that twice in this episode, so I doubt it (ding, dong, the witch is dead?). Just because a person is physically gone does not mean that there are no lingering feelings & ramifications, & it would be my guess that Fauxlivia, physically present or not, still has a role to play in the love triangle. If Peter knew that Fauxlivia was called Olive, she must have shared genuine & fairly personal information about her background with him. It is not Astrid who is “Ostrich,” it is Olivia who has her head buried in the sand. (Olivia, you’re in the FBI. You can find ShirtlessFrank if there’s one on this side; and Over Here’s Lincoln Lee is slated to make an appearance soon—you might want to give him a chance. If not, Lucas is still probably waiting for you in Germany.)

    We have begun a bad prose arc. Last week there was that dang refrigerator-magnet wisdom, Buddha-killing book. If that book helped Peter find himself, I prefer the “lost” version of Peter. Now in this episode, we have Fauxlivia’s diary. I’m not a fan of “Kum Ba Yah” Olivia who is relating so much to her rival & also apparently enjoys equally vapid prose. What happened to our Dunhamnator (maybe she has been switched out with a sentimental robot?)?

    Note to Head Nerd Brandon: Life existed on Earth before the dinosaurs. Life forms ancestral to human beings may have originated in the primordial ooze (now doesn’t that sound better than slime?), but we (human beings) did not crawl out of the slime (unless that’s where those “Jersey Shore” people came from?). I could go on, but I need to stop ranting. I’m not a scientist, but I have some fractional knowledge of human evolution.

    Nina needs to upgrade security at MD. Falcon would be the second shapeshifter to gain access to an MD facility.

    Love naughty Walter with the whipped cream. Guess I must be a W/N shipper.

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    • real1 says

      “”Peter manned up & told Olivia the truth about his relationship with Fauxlivia but now has abandoned honesty as the best policy; I don’t see how lying to Olivia is going to end well. Is Peter now viewing Olivia with contempt because she is not seeing through his deception? Bell said that Olivia would need Peter by her side for the coming storm—but I don’t think that this is the version of Peter that he meant (Projection Peter—are you still available?). “””

      So true so true !
      I agree with every word . :)

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    • says

      If Peter and Olivia ever do hook up, maybe some sexual roleplaying may help them through the rough spots, because you get to be anyone you want to be. And that is a lot of people in bed. Wishfull thinking !

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    • Ari says

      I’m so with you about the diary. I was horrified, and then equally horrified (if not more so) that Olivia would openly claim to feel the same way! But then again, perhaps that’s me projecting onto Olivia. I seem to remember many a moment in season one (the John Scott fiasco or blurting out about her stepfather) as being a bit more touchy feely than I would like from her. We can either say they are plot points, or that she is a very odd mix of emotionally vulnerable and open about it while still pushing forward like a hellhound.

      After this episode my first thought was Lincoln needs to make an appearance asap. Someone needs to treat Olivia with some respect, maybe show Peter how it’s done.

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      • Peanut says

        Olivia has a very small circle of individuals that she trusts. For those people, however, she would do just about anything & is also exceptionally emotionally vulnerable to them, including Peter. The scenes that you mention did not bother me. She has been dragging around the stepfather baggage since the age of nine. She sets impossibly high standards for herself & still perceives herself as weak for not finishing off the stepfather—and then she gets an annual reminder from him to rub salt in the wound. The John Scott situation was boyfriend-partner dies & is thought to be a traitor—and he was one of those individuals that she was vulnerable to. Certainly, some writing was structured to portray that she was tough but had feelings. The scene that bothered me was in Over There—Part II; I just didn’t see the Olivia in the next episode (“Olivia,” 3.01) breaking out of Walternate’s facility as the same one at the end of the second season who cried & screamed & pounded on the glass, pleading to Walternate to be let out of her cell. Not the same Olivia as in “Bound,” (1.11) either—in which she rescues herself. Really, she’s not getting much help from the Fringe team—even had to rescue herself from Over There. Good thing that she’s self-reliant!

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  20. Fringefan2009 says

    Wow roco, this review was awesome. The episode was awesome! It will be interesting to see Peters development, and to see how the writers will explain it.

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  21. J. says

    Hello! I recently became addicted to Fringe (WHY IS IT ONLY MONDAY) and even more recently to this blog. I just wanted to say that Roco is amazing, and that the discussions on his posts are equally mind-blowing. Bravo to all of you!

    I have mixed feelings about Reciprocity. If Firefly was a little slow, this episode felt a little rushed. I enjoyed it overall, but in retrospect, some things came up:

    1. Security in the Fringe universe blows. (I remember yelling “Check his mouth! Check his mouth! at the screen during the season 2 opener, when Charlie got shapeshiftered.)

    2. The Petah to Darth Peter transformation. I agree with Roco in the ‘airiness’ of this episode due to the lack of on-screen Peter processing the changes the Vacuum have had on him (or any of his daddies- and Olivias- issues. The poor boy definitely needs a therapist). I think the Vacuum has a great deal to do with his new state of mind – if his War Room is any indication, Peter has been at least mildly proactive in the recent weeks. But all the shapeshifter killings happened within 2 days or so, very quickly, and only after the encounter with the Vacuum. I guess you could argue he just cracked the Olive code, but it seems the encounter with the Vacuum flipped a switch because Peter hasn’t done much else (of a violent nature) prior to this. Or even looked so angry. Peter was very snippy and secretive this episode, also out of character for him. You could argue this is his underlying character (that hasn’t been mentioned since early season 1), but I’m doubtful. I think it’s the Vacuum – a reciprocal flipping of violent switches. A very mechanical response… because I didn’t see Peter’s slide down into the dark side at all. He just… changed. Even the way he smiled at Dr. Falcon on the way out of MD was all teeth (and we never did hear what his scan showed. That’s not the same as bloodwork and an EEG).

    Also, has he ever been so disinterested in a crime scene? He was all, “Nothing to see here at Dr. Falcon’s!”, and then turned away from where Olivia was examining the jimmied window.

    3. Oliva. I found her apology to Peter kind of out of character. It was nice, but kind of awkward. I do think Peter’s response was genuine. (I don’t know about his initial and final Petah Pride moments, though.) I also found her reading Fauxlivia’s journal a little strange – she was very smiley as she read Fauxlivia’s reminiscences about PBie. Didn’t Fauxlivia take everything? Isn’t her affection for PBie also poisoning Olivia’s feelings about Peter? Then why so happy? The Olive thing was a little out of the blue, too.

    4. Fauxlivia. I cannot see Fauxlivia writing a diary while on a mission. This is a woman who grins at the prospect of being amber’ed. There is no touchy-feeliness there. Also, this is her mission report. Is she going to let Walternate know that she has feelings for PBie? The last thing Walternate needs is for some foolish notion of love to get in between Peter and his powering of the Vacuum. Imagine the influence she could have on Peter; it may be for good or bad and I doubt Walternate would want that kind of loose cannon around. I’d be more of a mind that it was a failsafe in case her report was compromised and found by the Over Here Fringe division, as a way to remind them that they liked her and accepted her for 2 months. It’s not so easy to kill someone you worked with and put your life on the line with.

    5. It’ll be Olivia’s turn this time to look into Peter’s eyes and know that he is not her Petah. I really, really hope she calls him on this very soon, or else I think Peter/Olivia may be lost. I think she did notice his Don’t You Say A Word stare at Walter that last scene, thankfully.

    Phew! Sorry, that was long-winded. Thanks for reading!

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    • says

      Is Olivia unaware of the change that has taken place in Peter, just like Peter was unconsciously blinded by Fauxlivia ? Oh man, I hope not. Her Peter is slipping away and she has got to acknowledge that something strange is happening, or she will be in the same boat as Peter. Double whammey !!

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      • says

        I actually think it will help Olivia to sympathize a bit with Peter if she becomes as blinded to his changes as he was to Altlivia’s. It could turn into a role reversal.

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  22. J. says

    PS. Oh, the First People thing bugs me enormously. My only explanation about how this supposed ancient people knew 1. that we use arabic numbers in a base 10 system, 2. modern languages, 3. modern cartography (the dinosaurs roamed on Pangea, the supercontinent!) and coordinate systems, etc. is that they viewed time on a Observer-like fluid state. Otherwise, the First People blow my mind as horribly as anticoagulants as a treatment for seizures do. So… either the Observers ARE the First People, or work(ed) for them.

    And remember, they only said that Peter is ‘important’, not ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Voldemort did great things – terrible, but great – so the same could apply to Peter.

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    • Robert says

      1. the base 10 system is quite convenient, and it is also relatively logical that we acquired it – humans have 10 fingers to count with, after all
      2. while languages change a lot over time in terms of pronounciation, grammar, new words for new things – there are linguists who examine these changes and are able to make sophisticated guesses what languages will sound like in the future. this is a bit far-fetched, though
      3. cartography can be predicted by thorough knowledge of geography. just like we can determine what pangea looked like, scientists living on pangea could have predicted what our continents will look like…

      and well, there are always the observers and their ability to travel through time, which would explain these issues at least as well

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    • Peanut says

      I’m puzzled by the Bowflex of Doom, which is a First People device. Nina, however, said that it was a William Bell design that was never built. Bell must have known about the FPs & copied the design?

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      • lizw65 says

        Maybe that was why he was buying up all those copies of the First People book–because he wanted to copy their tech? Just a thought.

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      • BklynBetty says

        Yes, that is interesting. Does that mean that the machine hidden in our Universe is the original? or the only one actually built by the FP? If so, why would William Bell – if he was on ‘Our Side’ provide the design schematics for Walternate?

        Regarding the book – IF Sam Weiss is a First Person and he wrote the book fairly recently – he might have ‘translated’ it for modern humanity. The question, again, is Why?

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        • Peanut says

          I think that there had to have been at least three devices originally (for the three universes?). When Walternate visited the device at the end of the second season, I believe that it was labelled wave sink device #3.

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          • BklynBetty says

            Then maybe William Bells research and design was to help ‘Over There’ assemble the device. I really, really want to know more about what William Bell was up to.

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  23. FinChase says

    Wonderful review, as always! They’re always worth the wait, but you made my dreary Monday brighter when I saw the review online this morning. :)

    I thought this was an interesting episode, although I doubt it will ever rank as one of my favorites. I didn’t see the “Peter-as-killer” twist happening, although I knew he was up to something shifty (no pun intended) when he lied to Walter about being out of the house. Frankly, I don’t think the writers prepared the ground well for this. This is the guy that talked about having hope a few weeks ago, and now he’s focused on extracting information by any means. I’m bothered by such trivialities as when did Peter decide on this course of action? Where did he get a gun and silencer so quickly? Wasn’t the first guy in New York? How did he fit killing Dr. Falcon into his busy schedule? Wasn’t he at Massive Dynamic and then with Walter and Olivia back at Harvard lab? Lately, they are going back and forth between Boston and New York like they are just running down the block. The storytelling was rather sloppy in this episode, and many things, such as Fauxlivia’s diary were pretty contrived.

    On the positive side, I’ll be interested to see what they do with this new, darker Peter. I disagree with Roco that Walter’s stabbing of the shapeshifter in DSSDOES was on the same level with Peter’s action: I think had some legitimate reasons to consider the cop/shapeshifter a threat; I’d probably have done the same thing in his place. But I definitely agree that even if they are man-made “creatures”, not fully human, they are still sentient beings, and I think we’ve been given enough evidence this season to see that life, as they know it anyway, matters to them. Peter was extremely cold-blooded and brutal in his killing, and I won’t forget this about him, any more than I will forget Fauxlivia killing the deaf man. Walter’s point that if Peter really feels he’s doing nothing wrong, why is hiding it was well-made. I really doubt Peter will want Olivia to know what he’s done.

    One last thought: I was interested that Olivia continues to acknowledge that she and Fauxlivia are alike. I thought after “Marionette” that Olivia would strive to distance herself from her alternate version, that she would never again say, “You’re me”, but she really can’t seem to do so. That connection, that “sameness” is there, and she is too fair and objective to deny it. I think the next meeting between those two will be very interesting. I think Olivia has a far greater insight into her double than Fauxlivia has into her.

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    • Peanut says

      The least Walter could do is buy some helicopters & jets with his MD money. That would at least make the 15-minute commutes between Boston & New York more plausible. Why is Fringe Division in Boston rather than NY anyway (especially when they don’t even shoot the series there)? Guess they love the quirky Harvard lab. They should all just take Gene & move to NY–surely there is an FBI office there. The hangar with the Bowflex of Doom was in a rural area that had to be miles from anywhere just as a precaution & certainly wasn’t near MD HQ in downtown NY so must have been miles even from there. Very implausible scenario for that first murder.

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    • Roneo says

      And perhaps Olivia is thinking deeply about herself and her own life, and by compairing with the other Olivia’s lightness, would evolve into someone with a happier future. I’m not saying that I don´t like Dunhamator; I adore her. But the girl needs some hapinness; and she is worth of it.

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    • fedorafadares says

      I like your idea that Olivia’s superior insight is what’s driving her to believe in her sameness with Fauxlivia. I think her insistence they are so alike is too deliberate and emphatic to mean nothing.

      At least I hope it means something constructive, since it’s a development I don’t care for.

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      • FinChase says

        Well, I don’t mind it so much since I’ve been fascinated from the beginning by the idea of exploring the connection between the doubles. We know (or at least we are pretty sure) that the two Olivias have led quite different lives, and yet their paths led them to the same place. They must share much that is alike, so I’ve always wanted to know who/what the “essential Olivia” is. One of my disappointments with the Fauxlivia story “over here” was that they did not explore this idea further through her eyes. I think it would have done much to humanize and develop her character if they had done so.

        You can expand this idea to all the alternates, just as easily. The two Broyles married the same woman in both universes, although the outcome was different. Both Walters married the same woman and became scientists who worked out of a lab in Harvard–at least for a time. How much is nature and how much is nurture? Only the two Astrids seem really far apart, and I think it would be interesting if they explored that further. Has Olivia told Astrid anything about her double?

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  24. Laura says

    I haven’t had th chance to see this ep until last night. I have to say i liked it much more than the previous one,likely because I’m somehow intrigued by dark sides myself. In fact, I believe everybody has his own dark side somewhere, ready to show up under certain circumstances.You should drive a car in my hometown for a while to easily discover your own 😉
    Speaking of which, I appreciated the nice parallel (black clothes included)with Star Wars, with Peter-Anakin turning slowly but surely into Vader.
    Peter is indeed lying over and over to Olivia and the other, as he perfectly knew what there was in Altlivia’s diary, albeit the reason its’ not quite clear even to himself.
    Last but notl east: did anyone noticed Broyles’ nearly car accident right before arriving to the last shape-shifter place? I was,ok, what’s going on (as in season 1 finale) . But you know, just a thought.

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    • Robert says

      Of course we noticed the near-accident. Peter also had one in the last episode. Actually, in Firefly there were even more car accidents – the one who killed Bobby in the past, the one with the police car (maybe more which I don´t remember). I think that these accidents are a metaphorical foreshadowing of the clash between the blue and red world.

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      • fedorafadares says

        This may sound like a crackpot theory, but in Firefly, I wondered if Peter himself stopped that truck from hitting him. Is his magical ability with mechanical things extending beyond his physical touch?

        Is it possible that Peter’s desire to delay Broyles from reaching the crime scene caused him to mentally drive a car into a near-miss with Broyles?

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        • Peanut says

          The Bowflex of Doom apparently responded to Peter at the MD facility–& Peter wasn’t even touching it–machine Vulcan mind-meld?

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        • lizw65 says

          “This may sound like a crackpot theory, but in Firefly, I wondered if Peter himself stopped that truck from hitting him. Is his magical ability with mechanical things extending beyond his physical touch?”

          That doesn’t sound crackpot at all–I thought the same thing, especially considering his one-hand-in-the-air posture. And don’t forget, in past episodes, he’s literally dodged bullets. Maybe the machine is amplifying and expanding on whatever abilities he’s had in the past.

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    • Hatch says

      Glad you brought up Broyles’ near-accident, as that really stood out to me. It totally reminded me (as others have said) of Olivia’s near-miss in “There’s More Than One of Everything,” which ended up being very significant – though I’m still confused about the logistics it.

      They spent too much time on it – “Dammit!” “You ok?” “Yeah…” – for it not to mean something.

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    • Peanut says

      Yeah, surely we ought to be seeing the Dunhamnator cuddling up with a bottle of scotch? Been through enough to drive her to drink if she wasn’t already inclined that way. Fauxlivia doesn’t drink–maybe Olivia’s still got that memory in her head?

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      • real1 says

        I hope that Olivia will stick to her words “she wasn’t me ” and ” she’s taken everything ” ……

        Olivia will become insane for a moment ….. but she will remain Dunhumator and kikass .

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      • Peanut says

        Actually, we ought to be seeing her guzzling whiskey with Sam Weiss. You’d think that she’d been needing a few sessions with him about now. He is slated to return so maybe we’ll see it then.

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          • Peanut says

            You’d think that he’d be “detecting” that she needs company. I really enjoyed the scene in a previous episode of their playing “Clue” together–while drinking scotch.

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            • Robert says

              Yeah, it´s been a long time that we saw Olivia drinking. And in the last episodes I can´t recall Walter doing ehm self-medication. I really hope they are not self-censoring elements which were glued to the characters in the past, but not really politically correct.

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  25. Megan says

    A good episode, though I liked last week’s better. Not sure how I feel about robot Peter…guess we’ll have to see. I too found Olivia reading Atlivia’s diary was weird. the fact the Atlivia had a ‘diary’ in the first place is kinda lame, though I think it was to over the mission. Lookin forward to next week.

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  26. Jimi says

    This was pretty cool: www. /photos/58994437@N02/5405485867/ (remove the spaces)
    Looks a lot like Olivia in the tank!

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  27. Olivia "Kickass" Dunham says

    I wanted to point something out that maybe wasn’t picked up before…and I totally missed it and now wonder if it something that has occurred in other episodes. The scene where Olivia and Broyles are investigating the fountain with the dead shape shifter, and there is police cars and cops everywhere…well there is this cop car behind teh yellow tape…and behind that cop car there appears to be the figure of an observer standing perfectly still!!! …granted it looks blurry but he seems to be wearing the all familiar hat….I got goosebumps when i saw that….

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  28. Jess says

    It’s driving me nuts…can anyone tell me who plays Dr. Falcon? Thank you so much…great review by the way!

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  29. J. says

    Hey, another thought.

    Peter’s notes on who the shapeshifters were left very carelessly on his desk. Then at the very end of the episode, he asks, “What do we do now, Walter?”

    Is this his cry for help for his sudden change in behaviour and moral code?

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    • Robert says

      Yes, Peter was quite sloppy with the killings. He did not hide the corpses, he did not clean up his blood from one scene, he left his notes almost like an invitation for Walter. Why? Maybe a cry for help. Maybe only a plot device to make it plausible that Walter confronts him at the end of the episode.

      By the way, I think it was out-of-character for Walter to follow Peter in the middle of the night, instead of waiting for him at home. Usually he needs someone to drive him from A to B, and he is not the kind of person who would break into appartments – so what the heck is he suddenly doing there?

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  30. fringeobsessed says

    ROCO, I want to thank you for inspiring me to re-watch ‘Blade Runner’ tonight followed by a re-watch of ‘Reciprocity.’ There are similarities between Decker and our Hoodie Peter. What was really eerie was something Decker, the Blade Runner cop, said near the beginning of the movie to justify his killing the half-human, half-machines. “I’d rather be a killer than a victim.” Whoa. Takes me back to the Peter/Walter conversation where Peter passionately tells Walter he’s tired of being reactive. Although Peter hasn’t said much yet about it, I think he’s also had it with being a victim practically his whole life. And, jmo, but Olivia’s saying she didn’t want to be with him anymore at the end of “Marionette” I think was the last straw. He had 1 true constant left, and as a result of being a victim yet again, he lost that. Then he started to get lost-inside himself.

    And “Peter’s room is a TREASURE TROVE of MYTHOLOGY PORN”? PRICELESS. :)

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  31. mlj102 says

    I’m a bit late to the party this week, but better late than never, right? Maybe? Anyway, here are some of my thoughts:

    “It seems more plot derived than something the ‘Olivia’ I know would say. This is the same Olivia who said, “she taken everything!” a short while ago. I’m not saying Olivia wouldn’t be able to move past it, clearly something has shifted, but I don’t buy that she would be so presumptuous to think that Altlivia meant nothing to Peter, or that her legacy would wither away. Not in the space of three short weeks.”

    I disagree. I felt like this is exactly the kind of thing I would expect Olivia to say. Deep down, part of what makes Olivia who she is, is that she is concerned with others. She is the kind of person who tries to be fair and to give people the benefit of the doubt. She believes in admitting to and taking responsibility for ones own choices. And while it was perfectly natural for her to focus on herself and how her life was violated by alternate Olivia, it only fits with those aspects of her character that she would ultimately start to look at things from the other person’s point of view. It’s exactly the kind of selfless action I would expect from her character. She has been given time to process what has happened and to consider the various consequences, so I think it’s not unreasonable for her to start viewing things a little less personally. Sure, she shouldn’t just suddenly be fine with everything, but I don’t think she is. She’s simply slightly more objective about the whole thing as she has had time to process it.

    Similarly, I don’t think her words were presumptuous. From the minute Olivia returned, Peter has insisted that his feelings were for Olivia, not alternate Olivia. Whether that’s true or not (I tend to lean towards true, though I know Roco disagrees), that’s what he has told her and has tried to prove to her. So why is it presumptuous for her to reflect that in what she says?

    As for the part about moving on, I will agree that I felt like she got to that point a bit faster than I’d expected. But I think this is one of those instances where what she said was inspired more by her HOPE that they would be able to move on than it was by a firm belief that they could move past recent events. When she said that, it almost sounded like it was as much for her benefit as it was for Peter’s. Right now she needs to believe that she might be able to reclaim those parts of her life that alternate Olivia stole.

    I had no problem with this development, though I do hope they don’t rush the resolution to this (of course Peter going all evil could certainly complicate matters). Ever since it became clear that they were going to have Peter not realize that he wasn’t with his Olivia, I have wanted to see Peter have to work to regain Olivia’s trust and to re-establish that relationship they once had. For the most part, he’s done a good job of that… but we need to see more of it. He needs to earn the trust Olivia is willing to give him. He needs to reciprocate her efforts to move past what has happened. I don’t want this to turn into yet one more instance where Olivia has to figure everything out, save the day, and be the one to fix what has been broken. Time for Peter to step up and set things right.

    “His argument (rather rationale) that they’re soldiers and here to kill them, doesn’t make it much better. So what, this places him one ledge above Altlivia has her ruthless murder of Box Man. But this is the same Peter who not so long ago melted hearts when he said, “I gotta believe there’s a better way”. A better way, Peter, a BETTAH WAY. Can we not go back to before?”

    Another thing that this reminded me of was what Peter told alternate Olivia in The Box: “Is that my destiny, my fate? Am I supposed to destroy worlds too? Because, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really want to turn out like Walter.” And yet despite that, that’s exactly where we saw him in this episode. And I don’t like it one bit. This whole dark Peter development just feels too sudden and too underdeveloped. It’s out of place based on everything else we’ve seen. They need to explain it better than what we got in this episode.

    As for the whole issue about Olivia continuing to claim that she and alternate Olivia are “the same” I don’t have a problem with it because she’s right. The alternates are not complete opposites. For the most part, they’re the same. They think the same way, approach things the same way… They just have different motivations and different goals. It’s those subtle differences that manifest in what they actually do and makes them appear so different. But when it comes down to the core characteristics, they’re very similar. And that’s what Olivia was pointing out here.

    I didn’t mind Alternate Olivia’s diary. In fact, I liked it because it felt like an honest insight into who she really is. The whole time she was Over Here, we never really saw her. We saw who she pretended to be. We saw her lying to the others. We saw her trying to be tough, and determined to succeed in her mission. But we never saw her. We didn’t see her vulnerability or her adjusting to the differences. It makes sense that, in her position, she would want to write her thoughts somewhere. She had to have someplace to share her real feelings about everything going on. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It was her computer and I doubt she ever intended those files to be turned into authorities or intercepted by those over here. I appreciated being able to see a bit of what alternate Olivia is really like once you get past all the lies and deception and covers. I think deep down she really isn’t that bad… but it’s just the way we’ve seen her that makes her out to be that way. I wish we could see more of that side to her. And I liked seeing Olivia’s reaction to that: how she could relate to what alternate Olivia was saying.

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    • real1 says

      I agree with most of your words , but I will disagree about Olivia and Fauxlivia are the same because they are not imo , both just look alike it doesn’t mean that they have any in common , just as how the twin in the amber did say bout his brother .

      Olivia has different point of view … at least she wants to heal both sides and Fauxlivia would like to heal her side , Fauxlivia can be with 2 men in the same time ( as Rachelle ) and Olivia couldn’t do that ( as how she said to her sister ) .

      Olivia can make deal with the enemy ( Olivia and Newton when she agreed to let him go and he will say to her how to save Walter ) , while Fauxlivia can’t make any deal with the enemy ( when Olivia did ask her to help her to find Peter and she conned Olivia ) .

      Olivia in ep9 was the same Olivia and she was right … Fauxlivia wasn’t her , but for now why Olivia is saying that she is the same with Fauxlivia .. I think Olivia is wanting to be more comfortable with the people around her so she is doing some excuses for them ….. no one did say it honestly to Olivia that she was right …. that Fauxlivia isn’t her … so she is acting as if it fine .. but deep down I doubt if she is comfortable with that regardless of her forgiveness for them all …… I think Olivia will broke again ……. and am afraid that we may see the dark side of Olivia ????

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  32. Alexia says

    Great episode!!!
    dear I say it was a Peter-centric one???
    because if it was,then it was much,much better than the last one.

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  33. Roger says

    Gotta say, the last conversation between Walter and Peter really made this new development fun for me. A character being manipulated, thinks he is doing the right thing and goes dark side isn’t new. But like with Sam Winchester or Anakin, I expected more back talk. Instead, Peter doesn’t disagree with Walter. He takes it in and just says “so what happens now” He doesn’t deny being influenced, doesn’t deny it changed him. Doesn’t neccesarily dislike it but mostly he just wants to know what happens next. kudos on that fringe writing crew

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  34. Tash says

    it annoyed me because when they all had there FBI jackets on some of the I’s had things on top and bottom like this: I
    but some were all straight like this:l
    i no im just weird but can’t they get there uniforms to coodinate
    and also do peanut butterra and jam sandwidchs really taste nice?
    seems weird to me
    but i dont like peanut butter on its own either

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  35. Mel says

    Plot Contrivance…why did Nina call the Bishop’s home number to schedule his upcoming tests? It has been well-established that Peter carries his cell phone regularly. Was Nina trying to point out Peter’s unexplained absences to Walter? He has, after all, fallen for the old “I’m an astral projection..” line from Peter.

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