Fringe Review: 3.13 Immortality


Welcome to our review for episode 13 of Fringe season 3 – “Immortality”.

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.

THE GOOD

  • Walternate. Some really good stuff with Walternate in this one. We’re finally delving into his psyche, finding out where his limits are, and more to the point, what defines them. He was a shining light in the episode, and Reiko brought out a rarely seen side.
  • Hey U. It was good to see the alternate universe again. At the very least it always provides a nice visual change, and seeing the little differences between the two worlds is fun and often informative.
  • Love Bites. I may not be a fan of the current direction, but having gone there with Peter and Altlivia, I feel that the writers needed to be consistent regarding Altlivia also having genuine feelings for Peter. That was confirmed in this episode, thus providing added context to “Entrada”.
  • Subject Me To It. It was good to get a heads-up on the other side’s progress with Cortexiphan. A short yet useful scene.
  • Hope. Despite the inherent flaws in the Spawn of Petah storyline, I can certainly see interesting possibilities ahead. It just depends on what the powers that be do next.

THE BAD

  • Contrived. Probably one of the most contrived episodes of Fringe in a long time. Pieces were moved from A to B in a way that was transparent and convenient. A bug infestation episode in which Altlivia finds out she’s pregnant? Really? I love that Fringe reflects its inherent messages in on itself in every episode – that’s not to be overlooked – but I don’t want that to become an excuse for convenient plotting.
  • Sensationalism. The idea that the battle hardened Altlivia could mistake a touch of morning sickness for something eating its way out from inside her, is, frank-ly, a bit much. The episode played for sensationalism. It was so over the top that I just couldn’t buy into it.
  • Miss Alone. Aside from some good Walternate stuff, this episode didn’t need to last 42 minutes. The final couple of scenes told the audience all they needed to know, which is disappointing really.
  • Myth Alone. I would say this is the worst “mythalone” that we’ve had since the stand alone episodes where fused with the overarching mythology. “White Tulip” and “The Plateau” are examples of good mytholones. Both carried meaningful elements that felt satisfying or interesting. “Immortality” contained neither the weight nor the Fringe authenticity that I would hope to see. It was mythalone-lite, and coming on the heels of “Concentrate..”, it would be a concern if the writers are trying to water things down when it’s already been proven that the story responds best to main arc character-driven mythology.
  • Altlivia. Another opportunity missed to embellish her as a realized character in her own right. We barely got any insight into how she feels about the alternate universe, Broynate’s death, and so on. She took turns in this episode that further depreciated the character. I just can’t take her seriously. I’d love this to be intentional and lead into some grand statement on the AU, but I’m not confident that this is the reason.
  • Let’s Be Frank. He’s a plot device to rival Peter. Stories are made up of plot devices, but when you can see the ‘strings’ it’s harder to buy into the mechanics. Instead of being a meaningful character, he’s the faux-emotional beacon for the audience. Sorry Frank, but clearly you are no substitute for the real thing.
  • Disappointed that no-one seems to be missing Broylnate. I can live with the fact that he gets no RIP because it’s a plot point that might prove interesting later on. But I would have liked more from the people he worked so hard to protect. We got a little bit, but not nearly enough. I guess that might be a commentary on life in the AU, but I wouldn’t chalk it up to that. The story just had bigger fish to fry.
  • Pregnant Flaws. The decision to make Altlivia pregnant. It really does feel like a risk. While the clues have been building up over recent episodes, the reveal and the execution was one of the clumsiest, over-dramatic events I’ve seen in Fringestory. It’s almost as though the story itself didn’t agree with what was developing and tried to deliver sabotage proceedings. I love the romanticism in Fringe, some of the storytelling is sensational, but this pregnancy thing is so far removed from the Fringe I know.

BIG MYSTERIES

  • What will little Peter/Peterette be called?
  • How will Peter take the news? How will Olivia?
  • Will Walternate cross the line and use Cortexiphan on children in the end?
  • Will he use Lil’ Peter/Peterette as a bargaining chip for Peter’s return?

BIG ANSWERS

  • The official story on Broylnate is that he’s ‘missing’.
  • Lincoln is the new Fringe Division boss.
  • Sheep died out in 2001 in the alternate universe.
  • Bug Guy was trying to recreate the skelter beetle (they died out with the sheep) to produce a vaccine for the avian flu.
  • The piece of the Machine that Altlivia stole from the other side in “Entrada” is now in Walternate’s possession, having been sent over. It is fully functional and will be integrated into the Machine.
  • Of the 10 subjects tested with Cortexiphan in Walternate’s trials, 9 died within 30 minutes of being injected. The other displayed telekinetic abilities, but died shortly after.
  • Altlivia is pregnant with Peter’s child.

FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • Nice opening shot of the zeppelin. The sight and sound seems more foreign to Altliva than it did a few months back.
  • The Guess Who? game with Frank got real tired real quick, especially because I know that Altlivia’s not quite as invested in their relationship as he is. Poor guy. Foolish guy – as we’d soon find out, but poor guy.
  • And, of course, the feigned “I don’t recognize you” plays into the the prominent identity theme.

  • The villain-of-the-week (aka Armand Silva, or Bug Guy) makes his introduction: “Everyone talks about the weather and nobody does anything about it”. In other words, he’s proactive.
  • His unsuspecting victim asks if he’s stranded too, to which he responds: “I’m waiting on someone who got delayed” – that someone being himself; his own name in the history books.
  • His story was mildly interesting, but as I said earlier it lacked real weight. Every scientist introduced in the story is a substitute for Walter and/or Walternate in some sense, so I think the character needed to be more compelling to make a significant impact. Instead, he’s just a guy who was on the brink of changing the world until the world changed up on him. Boo-hoo.
  • While I definitely appreciate the theme of leaving something behind – and suspect it to have broader connotations for the season – the idea of Bug Guy immortalizing himself just wasn’t compelling or sympathetic in this instance.
  • Frank asks Altlivia if she’s alright – she doesn’t seem like herself. At least he notices – another blow into the heart of Peter! :o That being said, he didn’t exactly notice that his Olivia had been replaced either. It’s a shame they haven’t given us insight into how Altlivia feels about this. Even if though she has feelings for Peter, wouldn’t it affect her on some level, given that she has attachments to Frank? I guess we’re supposed to believe that she doesn’t care, but I don’t buy that based on what we’ve previously seen.
  • Anyway, I’m surprised Frank buys her deflections so easily. She claims that everything’s a little overwhelming since Broylnate went missing. That’s right Altliv, use faux concern about Broylnate to cover up the fact that you had an affair with another man. Making matters worse, we see that she’s been fantasizing over Peter’s picture while Frank was away.

  • Her duplicity was difficult to watch – partly because they made Frank so oblivious to Altlivia’s shady behaviour. But Frank’s horny and accepts Altlivia’s invitation to get some.
  • Frank tells Altlivia that he’s missed watching her get dressed in the morning. He enjoys it very much because always get dressed by the mirror, meaning that there’s two of her. Frank enjoys it very much. He suggests that they get away over the weekend.

  • Poor Charlnate having to confront a buggy case with his..condition.
  • He teases Lincoln about his new position as team leader. There appears to be little change in the dynamic – will that change over time?
  • Can we mention Broylnate? Desperately sorry for him and his family. He was not only executed, but he died doing something extremely heroic and hardly anyone knows the truth. I guess there’s an ‘immortality’ tie-in there.
  • How can Walternate live with himself after ordering the execution of his friend? I guess he saw it as treachery – helping the perceived enemy to escape. Yet, he was planning to send Olivia back to the other side alive before Brandonate had his ‘bright idea’. Anyway, I hope Diane knows the truth, or that somehow Olivia can tell her how incredibly brave her guy was.

  • For me, the best moments of this episode involved Walternate. First up, he examines the piece of the Machine that Altlivia obtained with contained glee. But Brandonate has bigger news. Those Cortexiphan experiments have yielded results.

Brandonate: “This subject was given his second dose of the day. 43 minutes later, this happened..”

Walternate: “Crossed over?”

Brandonate: “No..”

  • Walternate watches open-mouthed as the subject displays telekinetic abilities. On the video, ‘Subject 10′ explains that he’s “just thinking it, and it’s happening”, which is good insight into how the abilities work and congruent with the story’s notion on thoughts influencing reality.
  • Interesting that the first question on Walternate’s mind was whether he had crossed over. That’s what he’s most invested in. If he could yield one thing from Cortexiphan, it would probably be to enable humans to cross between realities without suffering adverse affects. While that might render his dear old shapeshifters obsolete, it once again suggests something about his plans. It’s not just about the Machine.
  • Does he want to bring Peter back to the Red universe? That seems likely, for obvious reasons. Does he hope to use Cortexiphan to do it? Possibly. Though could there be a larger goal beyond that? If the Machine can create (and destroy), perhaps Cortexiphan could act as some kind of fail-safe – a means to travel to something created, or away from something destroyed?
  • At any rate, I kinda get the impression that until this point Walternate had assumed that Cortexiphan unlocks the same abilities in each person. Olivia’s ability (at least, her more prominent talent) is to see and travel between realities, but I feel it’s important to remember that all of the original Cortexitots were apparently predisposed to something.
  • Are their abilities derived from something natural within - or were their talents crafted, moulded? It’s interesting to speculate because while there’s evidence for the former (including the fact that Simon developed “unintended” mind-reading skills), there’s also the notion that these abilities were nurtured to some degree. So perhaps it’s a bit of both, inherent ability, and, in some cases, nurture?
  • My main point here is that Walternate now has an array of new possibilities open to him. That being said, he might not have the time to nurture these abilities (the universe collapsing and all), and more to the point he’s unwilling to cross a moral line.

  • Perhaps the most interesting detail to come from the episode – and what a detail. I’ve hoped for more insight into Walternate’s character and we definitely got that in this episode.
  • He’s not concerned by the fact that Subject 10 (and 9 others) have died as a result of his experiments. Like Bug Guy he sees them as necessary casualties. Yet, the moment (the ever twisted) Brandonate suggests experimenting on children, he’s totally aghast:

Brandon: “Age. This subject was the youngest of the group which would make sense given your notion that the human brain is infinitely capable at birth. We simply need younger subjects, I think that children..

Walternate: “No”

Brandonate: “Sir, we may be close”

Walternate: “No children, that is not an option, we have to try something else”

  • Finally we have a line that Big W. isn’t willing to cross. It’s amazing how quickly his eyes welled up as he realized what he was being confronted with (though I suspect, given his genius, the same answer must have previously crossed his mind, before he buried it deep within).
  • This is where the Bug Guy storyline supports the main story. Walternate is so close, but to get to his dream he has to cross a few lines. Ah, there it is.

  • His reaction was the one I was looking for. Anything else would make him an even bigger hypocrite than he already is. He’s experienced what it’s like to lose a child and it’s not something he wants to put other parents through. But it’s more complicated and selfish than that. He doesn’t want that blood on his hands. After all, he’s supposed to be the antithesis of Walter’s ‘Candy Man’.
  • So how is it that this man can be so callous in the extreme with an entire universe, and even his own ‘subjects’, yet draw the line when it comes to children? It’s perspective. As we’ve seen with Walter, Walternate can only truly relate when he’s confronted with a scenario that reflects his major hang-up. For Walter, it’s a father losing a son. For Walternate, it’s a child being taken from a father. Two sides of the same feather.
  • I think this is one of the ‘truths’ that Fringe has put forward – Not to get all melodramatic, but it’s easier to watch or judge struggles from afar, yet the moment it’s on our doorstep it suddenly gets personal. People are often insular. But it’s also why there’s a hopefulness in humanity – if only we could relate on a broader scale, we’d balance the scales.
  • And to be fair, that’s why humans are so interesting. We each have our own stories and perspectives. More than that, we each have duality – the subtleties that define us, the fine lines that make us both capable and incapable.
  • For me, it’s not a case of good or bad. It’s a case of what would need to happen to cause this character to change? This may be why I’m often perceived as being hard on Walter. Because on a character level, it would be huge for him to consider the world beyond Peter and to apologize to Walternate. For Walternate, the key is for him to forgive and to let Peter choose his own life. Two sides of the same feather.

  • Looks like Charlnate has himself an admirer.

“Maybe you just need someone to scratch it?”

  • Yikes. Back away slowly, Chaz.
  • A bit weird to see Frank at Fringe Division. But whatever, we’ll get to that. He asks Altstrid: “where do I get one of you?”. She seems to take offense, and no wonder, given that he’s essentially treating her like a machine. “One of you” – yeah, even Petah wouldn’t be dumb enough to say that to a woman. Would he?
  • Fringe has always been good using underlying themes to bring the surface story to a nice gentle boil. But I feel like this episode poured the soup over the head. It’s a fine line, but along with the general hammering throughout, Charlnate’s: “So they look the same, but they’re not the same?” comment was a bit much.

Frank “What changed?”

Altstrid: “Why don’t you just ask”

Altstrid: “When you don’t know the answer to something you ask someone who does”

  • It really is amazing how fine that line is. And while there’s nothing really wrong with it, for whatever reason it just landed between my eyes a little bit.

Frank “I don’t know what they pay you here, but I definitely need you in my life”

  • This time Altstrid looks pleased with his comment, since he treated her more as an individual rather than coffee machine or batched good. Her expression seems that of someone who hasn’t been complimented in a long while – nice touch. I wonder what ‘calculations’ she’s done on their chances of hooking up?
  • But it’s as though they are already setting Frank up for a new romantic liaison in light of what was to come at the end of the episode. It’s a cushion I didn’t need. It’s overly sentimental and it’s not a consolation to think that he might still find love with Altstrid.

  • OK. Really weird moment. For some inexplicable reason, Frank tells Lincoln that he’s going to propose to Altlivia. There is so much wrong with this picture. First, Lincoln getting comfy in our dear Broylnate’s office. How dare he adjust the height of the chair! In honor of Broylnate, the chair should remain at the height big Philly left it. To be fair, Lincoln did look a touch uncomfortable.
  • More to the point, I just don’t see how Frank would confide in Lincoln. Whether or not he knows that Lincoln has to hawts for Altlivia, he’s not a character I would personally trust with that information, nor do I detect that they have that kind of relationship – given Linc’s comments about him in “Over There – Part 1″. It was just so plot device-y.
  • Of course, Lincoln being Lincoln he immediately tells Altlivia – which was mildly funny, I must admit.
  • Altlivia’s reaction was weird though. It’s difficult to place this character. We’re supposed to get that she’s conflicted – happy about getting some bling on her finger, yet confused because she has feelings for Boy Wonder. Which is fine, but I wasn’t overly intrigued by this reaction. I guess one of her problems is that it’s not easy to care about her as a character. She wasn’t realized early on and so any redeeming fragments are difficult to buy into.

  • Bug Guy has his next victim. Luckily he crashed his car in an isolated area and in such a specific way that the bugs fall from of his cavity like Corn Flakes from a box. Very convenient. Such a considerate victim.
  • Some nice character detail with Lincoln feeling inadequate, comparing himself negatively to Broylnate who he’s sure would see something he’s not. I like the idea, although I found it rather empty. It was Lincoln telling the audience that he’s inferior rather than the audience seeing it for themselves.
  • Evidence of Lincoln’s inferiority – getting caught in the freezer room – came after he hit us over the head with it. So I found those character insights to be a bit of a mixed bag.

  • I loved the next scene for several reasons. One of the detractions of the alternate universe this season has been the absence of Eliznate. It didn’t make much sense. Whether it was because Orla Brady was unavailable or the producers didn’t feel that the character was needed within the spectrum of the stories they were telling. I thought they could have at least had a phone conversation between her and Walternate, or show her picture on his desk – or something.
  • So to discover that they are no longer together – or that he is seeing someone else – made a whole heap of sense. Though it does make me wonder whether Peter picked up on that when he stopped by for a bacon sandwich in “Over There”? Did Eliznate and Walternate decide to play happy families just for Peter’s sake (i.e. their own sake)? Not sure, though again, it might explain why we didn’t see Walternate at the house.
  • I find this interesting because it might provide useful insight into the the role blame played in their fractured relationship once Peter was kidnapped.
  • After all, we’ve spent the best part of this season dissecting whether a person should be able to recognize the soul, the unique spark, in the people they love. So what does it mean for Walternate that Eliznate essentially allowed his doppelganger to take their child away to another universe? We have got to get more on this because it’s simply yummy and tragic like a gigantic bowl of ice-cream.
  • Back to the present. Reiko couldn’t be more different from Eliznate. At least that’s what I gathered. She’s a signed up Walternate flag-waver, someone who doesn’t doubt him even for a second. You might recall that one of Walter’s big issues was Elizabeth doubting him. In the episode “Peter“, he told both Elizabeth and Eliznate not to doubt him. Eliznate responded as though this was something Walternate himself would often ask of her. So we can see why Walternate has found solace in his dear Reiko.

  • She gives him something that Eliznate couldn’t. Absolute trust, total faith, and the emotional warmth and encouragement to persevere. It’s a neat and tidy way of re-establishing the themes of the season, particularly the idea that any relationship is (on some level) about an exchange of needs. This is something his son is trying to work out right now – which Olivia makes him feel better about himself? The ‘better’ version or the more damaged version? I don’t believe it’s always a simple choice because it depends on what fits better. It’s not just about how a person makes you feel, it’s about how you make them feel. I guess, this is Peter’s excuse for ignoring his spidey-sense. Though again, I find Peter’s argument to be flawed given the context.
  • Walternate explains his dilemma to Reiko. He asks if it makes him weak, which is such a fascinating thing for Walternate, of all people, to say. I love this, because I take it as being a relatively new experience for him. He’s so used to being ‘strong’ that this sudden morality reflex is foreign to him. It’s not so much a ‘weakness’ that Walternate is experiencing, it’s human emotion – a reflection of what he’s covered up inside. He simply can’t hurt children.
  • Back in “The Abducted“, I mentioned how the low kidnapping rate, brought about by Walternate, was essentially an extension of his personal hang-ups. We can now see more evidence of that. In fact, the more of the alternate universe that we see, the more we see it to be a reflection on his own internal function. At least in my view.
  • I’ve spoken on many occasions about The Blight being a metaphor for his heart, but it doesn’t stop there. People put their imprint on the things they touch, and Walternate is such a big part of the Red universe, given his position within the story and his role as secretary of Defense, that it’s as though we are (largely) looking into his subconscious whenever we visit Over There. It permeates, it dominates.
  • And let’s get it straight, it’s exactly the same for the other side (perhaps both sides) with Olivia, Walter and Peter. We’ve spoken about it for years, but the deeper we go the more apparent it becomes.

  • Reiko tells Walternate that he’s not weak, that the cracks in his armour make him the “most brilliant man I’ve ever known, and the fact you beat yourself up over these decisions, that’s what makes me sure of your strength”.
  • Firstly, Joan Chen is brilliant here. The way they wrote her character is also fantastic. I’m intrigued by Reiko’s perspective on Walternate – as I said, she’s a signed up member. She’s only sees the good in him, which I’m sure many will scoff at, but it’s not really for us to judge (aside from the fact we’re witnessing a story play out! :) ).
  • But put it this way, I can completely buy the idea that she sees him with such a warm glow. Maybe it’s because Walternate has my sympathy, though I believe it’s more to do with the idea that I’m a believer in the value of perspective. Furthermore, there’s the consideration of how well do we truly know anyone? I mean, those nooks and crannies run deep.
  • It’s also interesting to note that Walternate and Reiko have had similar discussions in the past. He’s beaten himself up over his decisions before – again, we last got a good sense of this in “Amber” and then “The Abduction” in his scenes with Broylnate.
  • Furthermore, something I’ve been meaning to say in these reviews regarding my perceived ‘harshness’ towards Peter, is the fact that unlike Olivia or even Walternate(!), Boy Wonder doesn’t seem to show much remorse for his harmful actions. I think that’s something to be said about his character, which is fine, everyone is different. But this is partly why Peter suffers as a under-realized character – there’s little emotional movement, even though there’s clearly a lot going on under the surface.
  • I actually think this is somewhat intentional on the part of the writing and perhaps the delivery. Or let’s say, it has become intentional. Being kidnapped and taken to an alternate universe, witnessing both parents lose their minds, that must take its toll. But that being said, could Peter be realized more effectively as a character? Absolutely.

  • The brilliant Reiko is playful with Walternate – she knows how to make him tick. He tells her “I wish I had the same faith”, and then he allows us deeper into his world:

“I’m afraid I failed, Reiko. Peter was here. He was here of his own choosing, because he needs to be. And I lost him. I underestimated his attachments Over There. I hadn’t factored-in the girl

  • It’s almost at odds that a scene like this should be in this episode. There’s so much good character stuff there – Walternate admitting failure, reminding us that Peter chose to come back with him, suggesting that he needed to be back home. These are all important considerations, factors that make up the melting pot that is his mind.
  • He essentially lost his son twice over. It’s something that Walter didn’t let happen to himself when he stole Peter.
  • Yet Walternate admits that he didn’t see the bigger picture – how could he? He didn’t know that Olivia would have such a huge bearing the sequence of events. This in turn reminds me of Milo, or better yet, the Observers and their ability to see the different scenarios based on the possible choices. I think the writers were trying to make that point with this line, or perhaps the story just found a natural connection. Who knows? (The Shadow knows).
  • Either way, it works beautifully and brings the notion of ‘probability’ closer to home. We all make calculations based on our perceptions. The more pieces of the puzzle we have, the greater our ability to see the whole picture.

  • Reiko reassures Walternate that he’ll get Peter back. He asks how she can be sure. She asks whether he trusts her.

Walternate: “More than anyone”

Reiko: “Well then, trust my perspective on this. I know you Walter. I’ve seen your determination. Your will. I don’t have a single doubt in my mind that you’ll find an answer. You always do”

  • Lovely stuff. The idea that knowing a person (or a situation, if you want to take it meta) completely, gives you the necessary perspective to know what they’re capable of. Equally though, she’s giving Walternate what he needs at the particular moment. Which is why it’s so easy to buy them as a couple. For me, this is a wonderful scene with two quality performances.
  • I should mention, it will be interesting to know whether Walternate is going behind Eliznate’s back. Given the hotel setting, it’s possible. More on that if and when.
  • I don’t know if it happened to anyone else, but it did cross my mind whether Reiko was a shapeshifter. Yikes! ;)

  • Oh Frank. I’m really not sure what to do with you. Instead of waiting until the weekend and sparing us all, he proposes to Altlivia. Couldn’t he see that she was in a rush? It just didn’t make sense to me. I can only put it down to the fact that it was plot contrived. The duplicitous Altlivia says “yes”, as butter melts in her mouth.
  • Altlivia and Linc go in search of Bug Guy. Linc makes a school-boy error and gets trapped in a freezer. Oh that’s such a Broylnate thing to do, Linc. Altlivia gets freaked out and falls through the floor – I kid you not, the universe has literally had enough of her lying ass. And this is where the story really begins to unravel.
  • In the next scene we’re made to believe that Bug Guy infected Altlivia with bugs, and I’m like really worried because if there’s one person in that room who doesn’t deserve to be bugged-out, it’s our Altliv! He gets out the camera to go with the handcuffs, as Altlivia has flashbacks from that time with Peter in the blue universe.
  • But of course, it’s all contrived. Altlivia has the nerve to offer Bug Guy a morality speech. He rattles on about the world, “this decaying madness” (nice line) robbing him of his legacy. Again, a nice idea but it lacks emotional gravity.
  • Lincoln escapes the freezer room thanks to some ingenuity and a canister. He’s really going places. Somewhat surprisingly, his ear-piece still works.

  • Bug Guy rather conveniently only needs one more human host to bring the queen beetle to term. Altlivia thinks he’s impregnated with her a baby beetle and some faux drama ensues. Lincoln arrives, with a deep desire to kill Bug Guy. I’m not sure why he’s so Killzone? Sure, he trapped you and the woman you have the hawts for, but wouldn’t you want the guy alive? Again, faux drama.
  • The super-fast backup arrives, and Frank is with them. So THAT’S why he was at Fringe Division earlier. Again, I’m seeing more strings than in the “Marionette” episode.
  • Lincoln continues to be overly hostile to help sell the reveal that Bug Guy actually infected himself. This might be viewed as a heroic act on his part, I don’t see it that way. It was all about his name being immortalized – he said as much himself throughout the episode, and his last breath to Lincoln confirms the root of his motivation.
  • It could be argued that there’s nothing wrong in wanting to be remembered, but when you’re killing people in the process – people who didn’t even sign up for his experiments – well, that’s going beyond what even Walternate is doing with his Cortexiphan trials. Although, I’m hardly letting him off the hook either.

  • So, Frank is about to stick a needle in Altlivia’s belly, when EMT Dude tells him to stop because he sees something kicking. “What do you mean, stop? I gotta save my bride!” thinks Frank. Then he realizes:

“The picture on the sonogram. You’re not infected. You’re pregnant”

  • Oh Fringe. You actually went there. :o
  • I’ll be honest, it was a car wreck to watch. So OTT. If the Sam Weiss ‘revelation’ from the previous episode was tough to swallow, this one stuck in the throat.
  • I always try to look beneath the story to see why characters and plots behave the way they do. This one is just disappointing because it was totally unnecessary. I warned against the Olivia/Peter romantic arc to begin with, and it’s developments like this that remind me why I was against it. Suddenly Fringe is less cool.
  • Here’s the thing, Fringe has always been a romantic story, in my view. In its writing, the characters, messages and the thematic nature of things. The father/son love story was the one. It made the show so distinctive, even for those who didn’t really understand that they were watching a love story.
  • This latest detour is similar to why the LOST series finale caused such an out-roar in the fanbase – years of careful storytelling unhinged by a commercial, poppy revelation that felt like an easy way out. And yes, LOST is immortal, but it undersold itself at the last.

  • Altlivia explained the convenience of her morning sickness/bug infection threat to Frank.
  • Frank stands there like a plum, and asks: “How far along are yer?”
  • Alt-lie-via smiles at him, “Frank..”.

Frank: “Liv, how long have you been preggo?”

Altlivia: “..Six weeks”

  • Frank considers calling up Altstrid to calculate the math for him, but he just about gets that he can’t be the father.”
  • He undermines himself by asking, “are you in love with him, the father?” Oh Frank, is that really your first concern?
  • And you know, I’ve probably ground a few people’s gears with my insistence that Altlivia has feelings for Petah, but I feel for those who were surprised by her answer. Or non answer, as it were.

Frank: “That’s all I needed to know”

  • Please gather your self-respect at the door, Frank. All the best, thanks for turning up this week.
  • I’m being a bit hard on Frank. I know it’s not his fault, and to be fair it’s not out of the question for him to ask whether or not Altlivia loves the father. My main problem stems from the fact that he’s even more of a plot device than Robot Peter. The writers can’t service all the characters into full-blown entities, but I’m disappointed with the way he’s been used. Gone are those mystical tattoo days! Speaking of which, he might want to have his removed. Newton?

Out-Livia: “Frank..”

To Be Frank: “You..we’re gonna marry meh”

  • Thanks for the reminder. She was, wasn’t she? Gosh, what a witch. And she didn’t shed a solitary tear? I guess we’re supposed to hate Altlivia instead of explore her as a character in her own right? That’s also disappointing, but there you go, the road is long and winding.
  • A variation on the Newton Death/Petelivia Sex music plays, but not even that can make me sympathetic towards Altlivia. But I don’t hate her. And I find that interesting, because it tells me that I’m just not invested in the character – she’s not real to me (in a story sense, please). Whereas someone like Walter, though I loathe him, it’s important that I feel strongly about the man, because it tells me that somewhere in my robotic heart, I still tick for him. I guess there is e-p-o-h for the two of us?
  • And hey, I still find Altlivia interesting – just less interesting or relevant than I did before. Like, 90% less.
  • On his way back from rocking Reiko’s world, Walternate receives a call from the ever-creative Brandonate, who informs him that he might have another way to bring Peter back from the AU. It’s unclear whether he’s referring to Altlivia’s pregnancy, but the last scene would tend to suggest that is what he has in mind.
  • Altlivia arrives home to her apartment, and all of the stuffs is in boxes. I guess Frank is moving out and taking all his stuffs with him. Even the crow picture? Even the crow picture. :(

  • Knock Knock. Who’s there? Walternate. Walternate Who? Walter don’t hate the fact that you’re pregnant! (Ding Ding).
  • Another good Big W. scene. Walternate looks like the cat who’s got Gene’s cream. Suddenly Altlivia is a lot more valuable to him.

“I heard the news. About your pregnancy. It’s all over the radio ga ga. Don’t worry, your position within Fringe Division will remain intact. You’ll have whatever resources you need. After all, you are the mutha of my future robot grandchild”. (he literally bares his teeth, ladies and gentlemen).

  • Altlivia nods, almost appreciatively.

Altlivia: “I guess there’s an upside then. Unlimited resources you say? I want U2 from the other universe brought over here right now!”

Walternate: “Done, my dear”

Altlivia: Liberty Island. Mine?

Walternate: “I signed the papers yesterday, princess”

Altlivia: “And I want the other Olivia’s Northwestern T-shirt”

Walternate: “Why, it’s already on its way, my sweet”

Altlivia: “And I want to name the child..Walter, after you, sir”

Walternate: *faints*

FINAL THOUGHT

Well that was a bit bonkers, wasn’t it? At times I wasn’t quite sure whether someone had slipped me the old “brown betty”, because that was quite a trip. I’m not going to butter it up, by now long-time readers will know the kind of Fringe I think works best. Clearly the story has gone down a bit of a mangled path – but I’ve always treated this as a journey – through the good and the bad.

I think there’s enough backstory and set-up for interesting developments to emerge from this. Will this episode live long in the memory? Ironically “Immortality” wont (aside from the fuzzy outline of Baby Wonder haunting my every nightmare). But this baby is all of ours now. It’s up to us to raise it, because sure as hell Altlivia and Petah are gonna need our help.

Oh Fringe.

Best Performer: John Noble

Best Line: “I’m afraid I failed, Reiko. Peter was here. He was here of his own choosing, because he needs to be. And I lost him. I underestimated his attachments Over There. I hadn’t factored-in the girl”Walternate to Reiko.

Best Moment: The Walternate/Reiko scene.

Episode Rating: 6.5/10

Comments

  1. CH says

    im not gonna lie, the Walternate/Reiko scene kinda freaked me out a bit. mainly cause Walternate’s so old and she looked not so old but also because he’s married….and about Altlivia i have three words: Baby Mama Drama, and although i don’t like it now i still can’t wait to see how the Fringe writers write thier way out of this…

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        • KLA says

          The worst part of the Walternate scene for me was the fact that he was in a bathrobe. I was so scared that Joan Chen was going to take it off of him.

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          • Fringie6989 says

            Oh my gosh that was what I was thinking too. She just kept caressing him over and over again, I thought I was going to gag right there in front of the tv. Its bad when I prefer seeing Walter with his pants down then Walternate with his legs showing. I am just so grateful that was all we saw…

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            • says

              Walter with his pants down vs Walternate with his legs showing. That made me laugh so much. Thankfully I did not suffer any psychological trauma from the event.

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        • svnsilver says

          Walternate scene didn’t feel necessary. And it came right after, he surprised us by drawing a line our Walter didn’t. I’m sure there are reasons behind it, but it feels like it should have came later, with some hints on why he might be doing this. As is we know knowing about Walternate and Elizanate.

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          • Owl says

            Actually, I appreciated the scene with Reiko and Walternate only in that it gave him moments of being unsure of himself and vulnerable, which lends better to the theory of him not being a totally robotic monster, bent on revenge. And I found it surprising he wouldn’t experiment on children, but welcome. Hope it lasts! It made him more tolerable to watch, after the way he treated Olivia and Broylenate. I just wish there was more information about Eliznate and Elizabeth; hopefully there will be more in the future. Wonder if Altlivia’s mom will get more involved in this storyline?

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          • svnsilver says

            What you state was a positive of the scene, for me it was just hard to focus on what was being said because of some young thing waiting for him in bed.

            The scene was very good for what the script had to say in it, just very confusing. And as I read elsewhere it almost seems like Walternate was talking to himself, which added creepiness factor. Or maybe he’s known this person for a long long time.. hmm

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  2. Inter-dimensional Dave says

    I’m realy hoping that Altlivia will investigate Broylnates “disapperance”. But the storylines are getting pretty crowded so I don’t have high hopes. Still, you’d think, if anything, it would motivate her to defect to the Blue universe.

    If Altlivia has Peter’s child and it is a girl how about Petite or Petal for a nickname?

    Remember last week when Walter wondered aloud, “Who would want to murder (kill?) a scientist?” We got our answer this week, how about Bug Guy as a candidate?

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  3. FringeFriday says

    I am dissapointed about how Broylnates dissapearance is getting swept under the carpet due to the “important” storyline. The whole episode was so rushed and forced… Don’t get me wrong, I liked the episode, but they could have left the bug story aside and focused on Altivia’s life over there. There was too much info in the episode- Frank’s return, proposal, Lincoln’s new job, dead sheep, Walternate’s mistress, Corthexifan trials, pregnancy and so on… and I guess that is only because they would need another season on Over There episodes to get to know the Over There characters…. but as Fringe is more focused on Overe Here, it kinda gets lost somewhere.

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  4. Frobz says

    So a thought on Walternate and his girlfriend…given that Walter was terrified of “what he was becoming” and willingly lobotomized himself to stop it, are we seeing that perhaps he didn’t NEED to? That all Walter needed was someone to love, a proper counterpart to temper “what he was becoming?”

    With the exception of “Peter,” our Walter has been rather nasty in his references to his wife (especially when it comes to Peter). If Walter had his Reiko would he have needed to take out chunks of his brain?

    If a fully-cranially-competent Walter has limits he won’t cross where our grey-matter-deficient Walter will, perhaps Walter did not succeed in stopping himself from becoming a monster.

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    • Pam says

      Interesting thought, but, I think, first of all that having someone to love didn’t stop Walternate from becoming a monster – he has a ruthless hate for anything to do with the alterverse i.e our universe. He has only said no to experimenting on children – which is a normal decency that we would expect from anybody. Not that it didn’t surprise me and I do agree that my respect for Walternate (which was abyssmal) went up a notch with that.
      Our Walter would say no to experimenting on Children too, if someone asked him now – maybe it is a perspective that age gives you! Having said that, I think the choice to incapacitate himself was a very hard and brave one and Walter has to be appreciated for that, no matter what. Although Walternate can claim a little sympathy because he was a victim in the whole scenario, I do think (like Alt-livia), that Walter is on the whole a much kinder person. So, I am not sure it is right to compare Walternate’s choice to Walter’s and judge them for it, when they were actually presented with the choice under totally different circumstances.

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  5. real1 says

    Why i feel that i am the only one who’s thinking that Fauxlivia is in deep love with Frank and her silent isn’t mean that she is in love with PB ? she was undercover and she can’t say that to Frank because it was her mission .. and she is really loving Frank .. and i can see that we will see him again … after all .. she was still wearing the ring .

    Fauxlivia isn’t better than Olivia , Olivia was trapped .. almost killed .. and they were going to send her back as a body … they were going to do an autopsy for her alive …. I can’t compare that with what Fauxlivia is going throooo because what Fauxlivia is going throooo no any where from Olivia .

    Olivia was happy to be home and she was smiling and did put an excuses for every one for not knowing her … but what did hunt her that Peter didn’t feel for her as how she is feeling for him and that Fauxlivia success with her mission and if they killed Olivia no one will notice that she is not there , while Fauxlivia is back home as a hero nothing did change on her , Walternat send Frank out the town and didn’t spend time with Olivia to see any difference , so even if she has any feeling for PB .. I think she is in deep love with Frank and PB is just a sweet memory for her .

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    • real1 says

      Of course this sweet memory changed into nightmare .. she’s pregnant and not from Frank , I don’t think that she is happy with this .

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  6. says

    First of all, let me say that I am knee-deep in sick over this pregancy storyline. Why are they wasting our time on this garbage? No one seems to like the path the show has taken, and you’re absolutely right, Roco; these are the same folks who brought us the trainwreck that Lost turned into. Ugh. Dispose of the baby, get back into the VASTLY more interesting Peter/Walter relationship, and start unraveling The Pattern (remember that?).

    Second, I would honestly rather watch a show about Peter, Lincoln, and Charlie by themselves. Not to insult my gender, but does every guy have to be attracted to the one prominent female character? Olivia has Frank, Lincoln, and Charlie falling all over themselves for her, and it’s exhausting. As a loyal viewer, I don’t want to see any of this. Just because there is a lady on the team does not mean that you need to make her the object of every other character’s affection.

    Third, I really love Fringe, I do. Mostly. Personally, I prefer the father/son interaction and the crime busting over anything to do with Olivia (she’s good in small doses). I’m truly hoping the writers stop pulling stories out of their asses and recover the season from the direction it’s heading. I’ve heard a lot of “YOU JUST HAVE TO TRUST THE WRITERS HURP DURP”, and I’m sick of it. I don’t trust them. We’re nearly 3 seasons down and we haven’t heard anything more from Big Eddie? The super-interesting Peter storyline of finding out where he’s really from devolved into some garbage that’s now all about Olivia? They so built up Nick Lane’s character only to turn him into some driveling lovesick puppy over the fire girl? Lame.

    So there’s my rant. Hopefully 6B will be worth watching. Who knows.

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      • JM says

        I agree i think they should have an episode focused on peter and walter and have olivia in the background for a bit does any1 else feel like they are being forgotten and total plot devices especially peter…. please fringe make him less pathetic PLEASE, give him a mug so he can break more peoples fingers!!!!! PLEASE

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      • Bishop Takes Queen says

        Rachel, I concur with most of your sentiments. I miss the feel of Season 1 and early Season 2, when everything was more unknown and I was left pondering the mysteries of the Fringe Universe. The glimpses of the AU, the unrevealed motivations of guys like Jones & Newton, etc.

        This season has really devolved into soap opera-ish melodrama. The intriguing relationship between P&O, which was only hinted at in episodes, has turned into an annoyance. And don’t even get me started on this pregnancy. It manages to be both cringeworthy and unintentionally hilarious.

        I also don’t care about the characters of the AU. Not one bit. I invested much into the regular universe in Seasons 1 & 2, and I think this “experiment” with the AU has not paid off. I also think Lincoln is one of the worst characters on the show – I mean, is he supposed to be charming and humrorous? He really seems immature and more of a love-struck puppy than PB. Why are the men in this show all this way? I’d never looked at it that way until you mentioned it. (I also agree with you on the “overkill” of all things Olivia…I like the character, a lot, but good grief.)

        My hardcore faithfulness to the series has dwindled considerably this season. Really, the episodes so far have been less interesting to me and there is no emotional resonance. I’m sad about this, but I will not give up hope. I just don’t possess the same zeal that I had before when anticipating new episodes.

        All of my rant is just my opinion – I’m not stating anything as fact or looking to sway the opinions of others.

        I just prefer Season 1 (even if it was uneven) and most of Season 2 over anything so far from Season 3. I do not like this soap opera crap whatsoever.

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        • says

          The only aspects of the AU I like, are Lincoln (sorry, he cracks me up, and it’ll be interesting to see how he knew Nick), and the excuse to have more Charlie. Getting rid of Charlie killed a lot of the heart of the show for me, and I guess they kind of figured they screwed up and brought him “back”.

          Other than that, yeah, I have no attachment to the AU. It was a lot cooler when they were an idea, and were shrouded in secrecy and mystery. Not to go back to the Lost well, but The Others were so much scarier when they were an idea – before they were revealed to be a bunch of boring normal people.

          I want to like Fringe the way I used to. As the post-hiatus episode was approaching this season, I was on the edge-of-my-seat excited for it. The other day I literally thought to myself, “Oh, it’s Friday. Fringe is on. Cool.”

          This is no way to retain viewers, guys.

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      • Lila says

        I completely agree with your comment, except the second part, I really like Olivia and her storyline but I do agree that the other charactes should have more focus as well ( for example, wouldn’t it be lovely to get to know Astrid better?).
        And yeah, I don’t think anyone liked the pregnancy story! I think the writers are trying WAY to hard to put “different” situations in the show and are going way too far. What upsets me the most is that, it ruined everything. I mean, just think about it, there’s simply no chance that Peter and Olivia will ever get together now, Peter’s life is over, Olivia’s life will be sad forever, Walter will have to endure the sittuation…. Everything that I wanted to see happening, and that was developed for 3 seasons was thrown away.
        If it’s interesting? Sure it is! If I like it? No.
        Thank God we still have the father/son relationship issue to save the show.
        And like Rocco said, I can’t feel sorry for AltLivia in any way! And I don’t think she deserves to be with Peter. Although the writers intention was for us to see her as a person, who deserves as much happiness as Olivia does, I don’t think I’ll ever see her this way.
        In the other hand, Walternate is one character that I don’t want to see having what he wants, but that I wish could be happy with his son, and Walter with his own son. I do feel very sorry for him, and this was the episode that made me like him.

        I also hope 6B is worth watching (Fringe will always be my favorite series on Tv after all)

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    • real1 says

      the “pilot” was clear enough that Fringe is about Olivia’s character and how she was able to bring peter back from Iraq and how to force him to work with his father and how she was dealing with Walter as a scientist genus and smart man , and how she was willing to let Peter to see that his father isn’t a monster , So I can’t say that Fringe is about father/son relation and ignoring the big role of Olivia in it .

      After all .. we don’t even know how Walter did discover that there is an other universe ? how he couldn’t save his Peter ? and why he did choose to take red-Peter with him instead to leave a letter for Walternat about how he can save his son .

      I think we need many answers ..

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  7. anon says

    I think that Fauxlivia has stronger feeling for Peter than she ever had for Frank because of what happened in “Olivia” the season 3 premiere. She’s in the cab with Henry and Fauxlivia’s memories are starting to take over and he asks her about her guy again and she says rather jovially/dismissively “Frank?” before Henry reminds her she had said his name was Peter and she gets quiet, introspective and scared.
    I know this was Olivia talking but I think the memories and attitudes about Frank that got implanted into her from Fauxlivia showed it was more of a shallow relationship. Based on that I could totally believe she’d respond to the depth of emotion she was getting from Peter when she infiltrated that relationship.

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  8. come says

    “Furthermore, something I’ve been meaning to say in these reviews regarding my perceived ‘harshness’ towards Peter, is the fact that unlike Olivia or even Walternate(!), Boy Wonder doesn’t seem to show much remorse for his harmful actions. I think that’s something to be said about his character, which is fine, everyone is different. But this is partly why Peter suffers as a under-realized character – there’s little emotional movement, even though there’s clearly a lot going on under the surface.”

    I don’t think it takes you more than “the pilot” episode to realize that peter’s character is not actually an emotion-showing one , I totally don’t agree with the fact that this is not a good thing , there are many people that ,merely, don’t feel like sharing emotional stuff , and it’s mostly because of the tough life they’ve been through , we all know that peter had dammaged memories ,awful past, disorientated familly, ….. well and much more ,and yet he doesn’t seem to be reacting emotionally , but if you try to discover deeply the character , his reactions his glances, his ANGER that it’s a clear translation of an inner emotional crisis , you’re gonna be seeing a lot more about him, and not to forget that is such an ambgus, twisted character that representes the characterization of an ordinary, smart person that reacts all by his own and that doesn’t let people get much info about hm to get to know him , even his whole life essues are delivered to us in such a sloooow rate , and he him self assured that to olivia in firefly….
    I understand you need more emotions on the surface , many people appreciate to see tv characters showing everyting , but even if it’s harder but it’s very entertaining to get to see a character and to understand his feelings/suffering without him exposing that (whitch is somehow became boring TO me) , only by a couple of facial expressions that are delivered quit perfectly and in a genius way by the actor himself ….
    Also we saw some of peter’s vulenerable moments that assued us that he’s the way I described (_guilt_grey matters, _emotions_the man from the other side, over there 1 2, …..)
    and It’s funny I HONESTLY thought you would be the first one notice that not showing emotional peter is the perfect way to innerly express a bigger grief , I said that because I saw the way you analyze characters whitch is quit wonderful , but in peter’s part you seem to see only what a majority of people see, I don’t blame you for that I’m just expressing what is great about this character which is more complicated then how many people see it

    I hope you understand my opinion and sorry for the language

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  9. Peanut says

    I enjoyed your review, Roco, and, unfortunately, I think that I agree with EVERYTHING you said. I view this as a subpar episode of Fringe.

    It’s a good thing that I started getting queasy (maybe it’s a beetle infestation?) with the Buddha-killing book episode, which continued in the following episode with what Roco termed Fauxlivia’s “Dear Diary.” Therefore, I was more prepared for, as someone termed it, the “BundleOfDoom” revelation—although I had my suspicions about this plot turn as far back as “Entrada.”

    And yes, there is in my mind the ending of “Lost.” I don’t want “Fringe” to go that route of an ending that leaves so many questions hanging.

    If the writers are trying to make the audience care more about the Alternate Olivia, they did not succeed with me. I find the murderous Fauxlivia to be smarmy, maudlin, and hypocritical. When she hopped right into bed with PoorShirtlessFrank almost immediately and agreed to marry him while supposedly loving Peter, that sent my “ew” factor gauge in the upward direction.

    No objection to Over-There episodes per se because I have previously enjoyed them. This one was short on plot—bugs again, really? It’s good to see Scarlie. I like Lincoln, but what is he doing running a highly classified office—was it even 60 seconds before he blabbed Frank’s secret about proposing to Faux?

    Perhaps the most interesting part of the episode may be the cure for the illness that the bug guy was working on. I don’t know if the illness that Peter suffered from as a child has ever really been clearly identified. I know that sometimes it was said to be genetic and at other times was supposed to be a form of the bird flu. Possibly bug guy’s cure might have some future relevance to Peter’s illness?

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    • Page 48 says

      “No objection to Over-There episodes per se because I have previously enjoyed them.”

      Previous Over There episodes featured at least Olivia, if not other characters from Over Here. This one featured nobody from Over Here and did little to address the real story, which rendered it pretty much a throw-away episode, way too reminiscent of Season One (read: not a good thing).

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    • SF says

      “Perhaps the most interesting part of the episode may be the cure for the illness that the bug guy was working on. I don’t know if the illness that Peter suffered from as a child has ever really been clearly identified. I know that sometimes it was said to be genetic and at other times was supposed to be a form of the bird flu. Possibly bug guy’s cure might have some future relevance to Peter’s illness?”

      Good catch, Peanut! I kept feeling something niggle at my mind about the bird flu, but it didn’t click with Peter’s possible illness as a child. Wow! wouldn’t that be cool, that another scientist comes up with the cure for Peter? It makes me wonder what Walter has been doing all this time – except, Peter was cured, already. In the episode “Peter”. The thing that bothers me is that they keep hinting something is still wrong with Peter (Bell to Peter: “You’re holding out better than I expected.” Peter: “What’s a little universe-hopping between friends?” Bell: “That’s not what I meant.”) What did he mean? Walter’s first move is to check Peter’s eyes, after a 18 year absence! Something this wrong with Peter, could this also be what baby Peterette will be a cure for? As well as bridging the two universes?

      “I find the murderous Fauxlivia to be smarmy, maudlin, and hypocritical. When she hopped right into bed with PoorShirtlessFrank almost immediately and agreed to marry him while supposedly loving Peter, that sent my “ew” factor gauge in the upward direction.”

      I hate that it’s AltLiv pregnant and not our Olivia! I just can’t believe that AltLiv loves Peter more than Olivia does, they didn’t have much time together and she was lying to him the whole time!!! That’s what bothers me, is that AltLIv is lying to everyone – Peter, Frank, the team, and yes that’s part of the hazard of undercover mission work, but it’s her body that gives her away, not her desire to tell the truth. Counter her with Olivia, who sweats and agonizes over not telling Peter one thing. I could like Altliv if given half a chance, but she hasn’t been likeable from the very start. I know the writers are showing the differences between the two characters, but I think it’s time we got to see what AltLiv feels, and Peter too. I really don’t like that they use this to bring Peter back Over There, rather than Peter simply trying to find a way to save both universes as he’s already said he wants to. I think Fringe didn’t need this extra story, and it doesn’t resonate with me and I’m sad because in most episodes there usually is something to resonate with. I am really sad because they are leaving Olivia even further out in the cold. The character who loses John in the very first episode, is going to be left alone again. That’s what makes me tear up these days! the more Altliv gets, the more I want Olivia to have it – Peter, the baby, these are things I thought she would get far ahead in the future. I feel like that’s been stolen by AltLiv – and it’s hardly her fault, really. It’s the writers, so I really hope they are setting us up for payoff in future episodes.

      I said before, and I still say: I really, really don’t like that Peter’s choice of which universe to save comes down to who he loves. He has to find a way to save both.

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  10. becca says

    Hi Roco,

    I recently discovered this website and have been reading a lot of the reviews and they are excellent. I find I don’t always agree with you – but even when I don’t your positions are interesting. Plus you’re pretty much the only person I’ve found on the wide wide world of web that shares my perspective on Peter, the problems with his character, and the issues with his current behaviour.

    Once again, great review for a less than stellar episode (WHY BABIES, WHY, WHY).

    The only thing I would like to add to the discussion is to comment on Altlivia. I think I’m mostly alone in finding her…not *well* realised, but certainly better realised than most feel she is. In some ways I’m reminded of season one, when I was convinced that Olivia was deeply complex rather than wooden, because I saw a lot going on under the surface in Anna Torv. I know you’re the last person I need to convince of the fantasticness of either Olivia or Torv’s approach to playing her, and I may well be misreading the intent of the producers (and certainly wouldn’t argue that the writing has served Altlivia as well as it should have).

    That said, I saw a lot of conflict and uncertainty in her in this episode. She felt, to me, as though she were desperately attempting to get her life back on track by willing herself back into it and trying to deny the emotional turmoil under the surface.

    (As an aside, I wonder if she knows Olivia was brainwashed into thinking she was her; if she I imagine it would lessen the hurt of no one noticing she was gone, but bring up other feelings of someone else having access to her memories).

    To mirror your statement on Walter and Walternate and the nature of Walter’s moral line *still* being a selfish one – which is a brilliant observation – when I was watching, I thought it was a fantastic way to make him seem simultaneously morally superior to Walter in certain ways while still actually being firmly rooted in an established single-minded perspective; shame it was the only impressive moment in the episode – I guess I think that Olivia and Altlivia are both characters who shut down their emotions – Olivia behind a mask of professionalism, and Altlivia behind a mask of cheery bravado and a gusty swagger.

    When faced with a situation in which she is out of her depth and doesn’t know how to respond, Altlivia has a terrible tendency to overcommit. We saw it in her relationship with Newton, killing the deaf guy, sleeping with Peter, and now she’s repeating her pattern.

    Anyway, as I said, amazing reviews; here’s hoping the next episode gives you something of a higher standard to work with.

    Thanks again.

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    • KLA says

      Becca- Godd reminder about whether Fauxlivia knew that she was so easily replaced, other than a quick look by Charlie. They totally glossed over that, and I wonder how that would make her fee. Perhpas when she finds out she will get some perseptive about how those on the other side felt like.

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      • Owl says

        I’m also kind of hoping that Olivia having access to Altlivia’s memories will somehow help her in the future. Don’t know how, but I’m hoping the writers will include that in future episodes, because i do believe at some point that Olivia and AltLivia will end up together in the same place again. Those kinds of stories of the AU I found really, really interesting.

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  11. Dac says

    - “If the Sam Weiss ‘revelation’ from the previous episode was tough to swallow, this one stuck in the throat.” SO true.

    – “I warned against the Olivia/Peter romantic arc to begin with, and it’s developments like this that remind me why I was against it. Suddenly Fringe is less cool.” Totally agree.

    – “Here’s the thing, Fringe has always been a romantic story, in my view… The father/son love story was the one. It made the show so distinctive, even for those who didn’t really understand that they were watching a love story.” I agree 100% again.

    Walternate was totally creepy in that last scene. It made me think of Little Red Riding Hood. While I am not a fan of the mini-peter storyline… it will be interesting to see what Walternate plans to do with it.

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  12. lilli says

    can I slightly disagree with you, Roco?
    Actually, this was the first time I actually felt empathy with Altlivia. She was on a mission, she accomplished, and got screwed up in the process. Comes home, she’s awfully confused on waht she feels and yet she can’t talk to anyone. Obviously she smiles at work, she always does. No need to look weirder than she already does. And then Frank asks her to marry him. What would you have done?Istinctively, she says yes. She’s having doubts, but her careless nature tells her not to worry, all normal after an undercover mission. C’mon, she won’t see him anymore, and she’s not even sure of what she feels. Then, the bomb. Pregnant. Anyone would be shocked by something like that. And she is. And finally, she is really alone.
    Was there no depth?I felt her confusion, her happiness to be back with her friends and her final loneliness. I believe this is a very good character. And for the first time, I genuinelly felt for her.
    And I know I wasn’t the only one ;)

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    • Isa says

      lilli, I completly agree with you on this. You summarized pretty well how I feel. :)

      I genuinely care for Fauxlivia and I think this episode showed us a character and not a plot device for the first time since Faux was introduced.

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      • Owl says

        I agree with you, lilli. I don’t think her reaction was surprising or shocking… talk about confused and alone. And I too felt empathy for her and her position. And I have a feeling I’ll be rooting for her to figure a way to get away from Walternate and Brandonate in the future.

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  13. Angel says

    If Walternate cares about children, then why the need to kill AltBroyles? I know cortex-experiment wise, he doesn’t want to cross the line using kids but AltBroyles has a son which is similar to him — this time a son lost his father.

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    • Peanut says

      Before VeryBadBrandon wanted to turn Olivia into porkchops, Walternate was supposedly just going to swap her for Fauxlivia anyway–so what had changed that he needed to go to such lengths to recapture Olivia? If VeryBadBrandon wanted to do an autopsy, he could have done one on James Heath, the Cortexican who died right after the crossover–the Fringe team was in the theater with that body; presumably Sally & Nick’s bodies were charred when Sally went firestarter on Lincoln so I’m not sure that those bodies would have been helpful for Walternate’s purposes.

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      • Peanut says

        And think about this. Somebody pointed this out. Who was the person Over Here who first saw Broylesnate’s body after the swap for Fauxlivia? What if that had been porkchopped Olivia? Walternate would have taken a chance on subjecting Peter to THAT?!

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      • Peanut says

        If an exchange of mass was all that was required, Walternate could have sent a bag of sand back in exchange for Fauxlivia–a human being wasn’t even necessary.

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  14. KLA says

    Great review as always Roco. I am also disappointed on where things are going, but will reserve my final judgment until the end of the season.

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  15. Jen says

    If Alstrid and Frank hook up Over There, what are the chances that our Astrid will meet up with Over Here Frank?

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  16. Jeff says

    Best way to ruin a show is add a baby. Fringe just “jumped the shark”. What’s next? Walternate adopts a blonde kids with glasses, or a huge vacation to Hawaii where Astrids finds a tiki idol and bad things start to happen to everyone. Or Peter, at the start of next season, is in the shower and this season is all a dream.

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  17. Pamela says

    Excellent episode. Brilliant writing. Anticipating this story arc.

    – “I warned against the Olivia/Peter romantic arc to begin with, and it’s developments like this that remind me why I was against it. Suddenly Fringe is less cool.” Totally disagree. If anything this arc will allow the characters to evolve more and open up yet more possibilities.

    – “Here’s the thing, Fringe has always been a romantic story, in my view… The father/son love story was the one. It made the show so distinctive, even for those who didn’t really understand that they were watching a love story.” The father/son relationship is only one relationship. Yes, it is a very important relationship and one that makes the show compelling, but you cannot base a show on one relationship. It’s not realistic. There would be no room for character growth. It would be one dimensional (haha) and boring. Peter and Olivia have always had a connection, which would and has carryover into an Alt!Liv connection.

    – “battle hardened Altlivia” That description made me laugh out loud. I see our Olivia as more battle hardened than Alt!Liv. Like Olivia said “she still has her mother” that makes her an only child and a mama’s girl. :)

    – “Disappointed that no-one seems to be missing Broylnate.” The man has been gone 6 weeks. That’s a long time. I don’t see how crying and memorializing his office will further the storyline.

    -This episode made me have more empathy for the other side and characters. Yes, even Alt!Liv.

    -I really enjoy the camaraderie amongst the alt crew. I love Lincoln’s character. I wish they had more alternate universe episodes.

    -Fringe is far from a soap opera. If our Olivia would’ve gotten knocked up by Walternate and Broylenate and Astrid, etc, etc…I think you are getting my point. To dismiss it as a soap opera at the beginning of a story arc that hasn’t even had a resolution is somewhat…inflexible? I laugh too at people calling the show/storyline a cliche. Oh yes because we always have shows where the guy knocks up the girl in the parallel universe. *sarcasm*

    -I’m really excited to see what’s next & looking forward to it. My mind is open. Although, if Peter plugs up the ‘hole’ between worlds with a big concrete cork, I’ll be disappointed. :)

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  18. Pierce says

    Altlivia. Another opportunity missed to embellish her as a realized character in her own right. We barely got any insight into how she feels about the alternate universe, Broynate’s death, and so on. She took turns in this episode that further depreciated the character. I just can’t take her seriously. I’d love this to be intentional and lead into some grand statement on the AU, but I’m not confident that this is the reason.

    I’ve been vascilating between the writers intentionally leaving the other Olivia as an emotionally shallow version of our Olivia just so they can now infuse her character with more depth, or they honestly believed by making her emotionally conflicted over Peter and Frank to end up pregnant and dumped would garner enough sympathy so she’d resonate with the audience. After the astonishing clumsy reveal in this episode, I’m still unsure what their intentions are, but like the bolded portion of your statement, I find it impossible to take her character seriously.

    I’ve felt like if this is going to be a character we can at least relate to even if we didn’t like,/i> her all that much, it had to go deeper than her love interests in either universe. I don’t care that she’s knocked up and alone, or that she developed feelings for Peter along the way. I do care that this is going to impact and complicate Peter and Olivia’s relationship even more. I had hoped she’d come across as more than a very thin plot device…but unfortunately she doesn’t and neither does this pregnancy storyline.

    That being said, I’m willing to see where the writers take it. I would like to believe that despite how tragically they handled the pregnancy reveal (man, that was terrible), it does have a grander purpose beyond Peter’s love life. I also pray along the way they begin to give the audience some insight into the other Olivia’s character. What she’s thinking, how she feels…even what she wants. Something to ground this character or at least give us a reason to care.

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  19. loveit says

    When Walternate admits that he didn’t “factor in the girl” – this tells me that he now knows and understands how important Olivia is to his own son and yet he was willing to turn her into porkchops just to make Brandonate happy? Nice. I can definitely feel the love there.

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  20. Ben says

    I didn’t enjoy this episode nearly as much as “Concentrate…” I’ll defend the lack of response to Broylnate’s absence, though. They don’t want to grieve for Broyles. They don’t want to admit that he won’t be back. On some level they believe that if they just go about their business he’ll return to his awesome office. Or at least they want to think that.

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  21. Kira says

    I agree that they ruined Frank’s character. >_<

    On another thought…I wonder…
    If Walter, with Bell's help extracted 'something' in some way from Blue Peter's (brain) as embryo or a very little child, that gave them access to the knowledge even the window itself to the other universe. Walternate did the same with Red Peter.

    It could explain (at least to me) why Peter seems so hollow, so un-earthed.

    However Walter & Bell were successful, and Blue Peter died because Walter couldn't replace or recreate that 'something' in him.
    On the other side Walternate, tried to find a window, a way to open a door to others universes and failed. Maybe because of the different process, Red Peter had better chances of survival.

    So, Walternate's cure makes of Peter an uniquely living being, because, after the 'removal' of 'something' it was 'recreated' sucessfully, but it's no the same as the original (or it is).

    And so, a baby by-product of such a person, will represent a better/less risky oportunity for Walternate's purposes.

    Anyway, we'll see…. =)

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  22. mlj102 says

    Wow. I don’t think there has ever been an episode in which we have had such contrasting opinions and reactions. Northwest Passage comes close. But this one still surpasses that one. Pretty much everything you didn’t like about this episode is exactly what I liked, and the things you loved and raved about are the things that I couldn’t stand. This isn’t going to be pretty.

    For example, you included Walternate on the “good” list while you put Altlivia on the “bad” list. While I am far from supporting Altlivia, I felt like they did a pretty good job with her in this episode. They actually succeeded in making me start to relate to her, just a little bit. And that’s no small task, as I have become quite hardened against her. But seeing her life start to fall apart around her, and her reaction to what was happening was a move in the right direction. No, it certainly wasn’t an Olivia moment like in Marionette, but it did serve its purpose to add a little bit of depth to Altlivia. I could see her despair as, one by one, all the things that were “right” in her life were taken away from her. And while it seemed only fitting that, after what she did to our Olivia, she should have to suffer some of the consequences herself, the parallels between the two situations made me feel even slightly sorry for her. While they could have done better with that, I thought they did a decent job of it.

    Walternate, on the other hand, failed to develop in the way I think he was intended to. The opening, where he refused to experiment on children was a big reveal that I really liked. It was extremely telling that he draws the line at experimenting on children. Talk about a huge contrast between the two Walters. And, given what we know about how dedicated Walternate is to doing what he needs to do to fight against Over Here, it was extremely significant that there was something he wouldn’t do to achieve that goal. That was a huge development that held a lot of meaning for me. But everything after that — especially the Reiko scene — just didn’t work for me. More on that later.

    While the pregnancy story worked better for me than I had expected it to, I agree that the reveal of that development was a bit overdramatic. Altlivia suddenly gets violently sick and we’re all (overjoyed) concerned that she might be infected, but instead she finds out she’s pregnant. Really? A bit over dramatic much? Yeah. There had to have been a better way they could have dropped that one on us. But despite the sloppy delivery of the reveal, the news itself wasn’t as terrible as I’d expected. And maybe that’s because I was relatively prepared for it. But more than that, as far as Over There is concerned, I’m actually quite intrigued by it. I’m interested to see what happens now. I don’t like what it means for Peter, I’m not looking forward to seeing Olivia’s reaction, and I don’t see how Peter and Olivia could ever possibly recover from that one. But Over There, I find it quite intriguing. We’ve already seen how it has ruined her relationship with Frank. How is she going to explain it to her mother and Lincoln and Charlie? How does she feel about being pregnant? We know alternate Rachel died in childbirth… Is Altlivia at risk? What does a baby mean for all of Walternate’s plans? I’m interested to see further fall out from this Over There.

    “The Guess Who? game with Frank got real tired real quick”

    Actually, I quite liked it. It was a different side to Altlivia, and I found it appropriately ironic and fitting considering how they had been apart much longer than Frank realized. There was a deeper meaning to that whole interaction that I found added further significance and development.

    “Yet, he was planning to send Olivia back to the other side alive before Brandonate had his ‘bright idea’.”

    That’s actually one thing about Entrada that I never bought. Up to that point, Walternate had never shown any concern for Olivia and had made it completely clear that she was dispensable. So it made no sense to me that suddenly he was planning on sending her merrily on her way back to her universe until alternate Brandon introduced the idea that changed his mind. It seemed inconsistent.

    “Interesting that the first question on Walternate’s mind was whether he had crossed over. That’s what he’s most invested in.”

    Well, that and the fact that he has no reason to expect anything else to happen. As far as he’s concerned, the purpose of the chemical they discovered in Olivia was to allow her to cross between universes. He has no idea that it produces a whole variety of results. It has been neat to see Walternate discovering Cortexiphan. As things are now, he has no understanding of the theory behind the Cortexiphan. He’s only aware of one of the many results of Cortexiphan. And I was relieved that they remained true to what has been established regarding Cortexiphan only being effective for children.

    “It’s a fine line, but along with the general hammering throughout, Charlnate’s: “So they look the same, but they’re not the same?” comment was a bit much.”

    I’m usually pretty quick to pick up on lines like that with double meaning, but this one completely slipped past me. For that reason, I didn’t consider it over the top at all. And I liked that whole “ask again” connection with last episode. It was there enough to continue the theme, but it didn’t feel like it was over done at all.

    “In the episode “Peter“, he told both Elizabeth and Eliznate not to doubt him. Eliznate responded as though this was something Walternate himself would often ask of her”

    But both Elizabeth and alternate Elizabeth responded by not doubting him. If it was a common occurrence for her to doubt him, I would have expected more resistance rather than acceptance. From my perspective, alternate Elizabeth did the opposite of what you’re suggesting. She did give Walternate complete trust and faith. She gave him her son. Yes, she had been unable to detect the differences between the two Walters, but she did trust him completely. How does that suggest that that was lacking in their relationship?

    “Best Moment: The Walternate/Reiko scene.”

    Oh you didn’t just go there. We’ve had our differences before, but I didn’t see this coming. For you to like the scene is bad enough, but to list it as the best moment? That’s just too much for me. To be fair, I loved what was said about Walternate in this scene. It provided substantial insight into his character and it humanized him more than we’ve seen yet. But its the way it was presented that I couldn’t stand. I felt like I couldn’t fully appreciate what was being said about Walternate because the scene itself completely took me out of the moment. I couldn’t be invested in it because it was so unexpected, unestablished, and uncomfortable. Who is this woman who Walternate supposedly trusts so much? Who is the woman who can claim to know Walternate so completely? These questions were not intriguing, they were frustrating. The playfulness that you mentioned only made it worse. It was like she wasn’t really listening or taking it seriously, but only trying to distract him — and that concept of distraction and pretending your troubles don’t exist was one of the themes I really disliked from The Box.

    I can accept that people Walter’s age have romantic feelings, too. That’s not what I found awkward about the scene. And while I can accept that the consequences of “Peter” and losing him could have separated alternate Elizabeth and Walternate, that doesn’t change the fact that I hated this scene in the episode. It was the whole concept of Walternate in an intimate moment with someone who was not his wife who we’d never even met before. And this apparently wasn’t some sort of one time fling, but we’re meant to believe it’s part of a strong, long term relationship. It felt forced and uncomfortable. It lacked emotional impact for me because I didn’t know who the woman was that he obviously trusted so much. Everything about the way that scene progressed pulled me out of the moment and it prevented me from being able to really appreciate the insight into Walternate’s character. I didn’t like it at all.

    “Equally though, she’s giving Walternate what he needs at the particular moment. Which is why it’s so easy to buy them as a couple.”

    This just confirmed for me that we apparently have very different ideas of what is necessary for a couple to be believable. I despised the Reiko/Walternate interaction 100% and do not buy them as a couple at all. On the other hand, I can completely buy Peter and Olivia as a couple based on what we’ve seen develop between them over 2+ years. It works for me. But apparently you are the opposite as you can barely tolerate Peter and Olivia and you consider it a contrivance while Walternate/Reiko was something you could accept after one small scene. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to reconcile after this one…

    “Who knows?”

    I bet Molebaby knows!

    “So OTT”

    I’m usually pretty good at figuring these out, but this makes two weeks in a row you’ve used this abbreviation, and I’m clueless regarding what it stands for… Help?

    In general, I felt like this was a good episode, but lacking in a compelling story. Honestly, I had been hoping for something a little bit more from an Over There story. I feel like it has been pretty well established that Fringe cases Over There are slightly different than what they are Over Here. They’re more than just investigating strange occurrences — they’re investigating the things that are damaging their universe — the holes in their universe. How do resurrected bugs fit that category? While I am not against the standalone case format by any means, I feel like there are more substantial, more compelling things they could explore with the other side, and instead we got this episode that could just as easily have been something that happened Over Here. Consequently, it felt like a bit of a standstill sort of episode. It was still a good episode, just not as good as I felt it could have been.

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    • jonnE says

      I agree with you on the reiko/walternate scene. We had no previous development of Reiko’s character, and therefore no way to associate any relevance to the on-screen conversation/action between them.
      I love fringe, but the third season has really started to distance me.
      While it is clear that many of “the pattern” events seem to be derived from (or directly from) “over there” technology (amber, etc), the series has not ascribed any meaning to “the pattern” outside of season 1. If the series completely forgoes the pattern (which began the series with a bang and made it so intriguing), it might be the biggest letdown since …insert your peeved tv letdown here.
      The story did make advances toward giving the story a more well rounded tone in season 2. Now it just seems like a runaway bus (full of cortexiphan kids) fitted with a turbo engine headed straight for cancellation
      And while I get that most of the show’s intrigue rests in the unkown, continuity between seasons is what makes up good storytelling.
      Jon’s questions of the week
      (again) who/what is the north woods group?
      Are the writers from season 1 still on the show?
      Were the wrist chips from season one an early version of shapeshifter devices?
      Why has our story become derailed?
      What are we failing to see or understand as viewers?

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      • jophan says

        It’s always interesting to compare Roco’s and mlj’s views.

        I’m more with mlj on Fauxlivia. The playful reunion made plenty of sense to me; she’s trying to re-start her normal life. (Though the folder at home with Peter’s photo was awkward; she should have put it away before. Like, the day she came home.) In the end, I did sympathize. Alone except for Walternate’s hovering, she’ll have to stonewall her mother and friends because of security. Enforced isolation will have its effect on her.

        Alt-Broyles is certainly not forgotten, but how are they supposed to react? He’s missing and the leads have been exhausted, as far as anyone knows except Walternate and the tactical team that killed him. It’s frustrating for the Fringe team, but it’s a cold case now; we’ve missed the days/weeks where it was a top priority. I’d bet the location where the car was found is nowhere near where he died.

        As for the Walternate/Reiko scene, I’m in between. The fact that Walternate was absent from Elizabeth’s house while Peter was there led me to expect an estrangement. A long term mistress is no surprise, so I had no problem with being dropped into the relationship. Reiko herself gave me the feeling that she’s manipulating Walternate, but maybe it’s just that her kind of doting grates. (I didn’t see the locale as a hotel, more an upscale apartment building. But that’s opinion.)

        I agree with Roco that the strings were far too apparent this time. After the first two, the AU episodes have had somewhat clunky plots (obvious analogy of switched twins, let’s put Broylesnate in Olivia’s debt, vivisection!) but this was the worst of them.

        Oh, and Lincoln better not get Broylesnate’s desk permanently. He’s too immature.

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  23. Jane says

    Maybe if we have some more over there episodes the Broylesnate absence will be best focused… And I agree with almost everything in Roco´s review…
    I feel that Peter´s character has been cracked down on with all of this Altlivia stuff… I feel sorry for the boy and all what has happened to him through his life but still I think he was lack of malice with the switching story…
    Maybe Walternate and Eliznate are separated… maybe they have a cordial relationship because it looks like he lives with Reiko good and long—who knows…
    I also feel sorry for Frank…I think he didn´t deserve what Altlivia did to him but is good to know he moved on (I hope Olivia does the same for her good)…
    Will Walternate send a shapeshifter to tell Peter the good news??? I hope the shapeshifter do its job before Peter kills it!!!
    Now what will happen with the Vaccum device? It looks like Walternate knows for sure it can work with Peter as its trigger… I still wonder how it works… and as Walternate now has a grandchild will he be willingly to sacrifice his son for the greater good… to destroy blue world???
    i am very disgusted with the baby idea and I hope that writers use this silly plot in a very twisted way… but really twisted way!!!

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  24. says

    I agree with most of the comments above.
    Watching this episode is like waiting for ‘X-Files 3′, where Dana Scully and Fox Mulder finally ‘do it’.
    Certainly not the best episode, and i don’t know if it was even ‘good’. Let’s keep it at ‘okay’ and give it 6/10, for trying to be a Fringe episode.
    Altlivia pregnant from Peter, why? Why soil one of the best tv-series in this century with lovechild-plots? Why?

    Please, go back to the core of mysteries to be solved, arc stuff and great mythology. ‘Immortality’ gave two hints in this episode, one being the title.
    If this will be the level of storytelling for Fringe, i fear for the future.

    Bring back (another) Bell, stirr up the war by activating machines, let shapeshifters timetravel to replace important persons so that the Observers no longer can observe, but have to choose sides, deviding them into camps (i.e. universes), heck: even throw in duplicate Observers (remember: there’s more than one of everything) to mislead Walter and other Observers and the viewing public, but don’t do this kind of storytelling in Fringe again. Ever. It makes the cortexiphan stink…

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    • Michael says

      I prefer when the case of the week is profound and well developed (storywise and dramatic wise for the characters). It was well done in The Plateau, Do shapeshirter dream…, Firefly, The box, etc. But badly done in this episode.

      I don’t care either for the romance plotline. As said in the article. Sam Weiss revelation that after everything is done the fate of the universe rest in Peter’s choice of woman and state of mind was tough to swallow. Now this whole romance plotline is getting really ridiculous.

      It was ok in Entrada and the following episode but now it’s taking over the whole Fringe storyline. It’s too much. I’m hopefull that the writers already had planned to move away from this ridiculous storyline and get back into the mythology.

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    • Annette says

      This is a sad idea, but one wonders why the baby was brought into the mix if not to bring the child abduction plot line around full circle. Bad Brandon will inject the baby with cortexiphan (sp?). Peter will take the child to the other universe – no matter the cost. Sigh…

      And how did that little tadpole survive the bug killing poison Frank injected into AltLivia? And morning sickness brought on by the fall!?

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      • FringeFriday says

        Frank didn’t inject anything into Altivia… he was stopped by the guy with the computer thingy in his hand showing him the fetus.

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        • Owl says

          And I think they said she had “adrenalin-induced” morning sickness. Interesting that adrenalin induces things in both Olivia and AltLivia that they normally don’t do or have control over.

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  25. says

    “After all, you are the mutha of my future robot grandchild”. (he literally bares his teeth, ladies and gentlemen).

    Roco, this immediately made me think of The Cheshire Cat in “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.” Oh my, what a mischievous grin indeed ! Props again to the insightful analysis of this episode.

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  26. lizw65 says

    “Back to the present. Reiko couldn’t be more different from Eliznate. At least that’s what I gathered. She’s a signed up Walternate flag-waver, someone who doesn’t doubt him even for a second.”

    See, Roco, I didn’t take this away from the scene at all. From the little we saw of Reiko, I saw someone who was controlling and manipulative, who clearly called the shots in that relationship and who, in fact, seemed to have some inside knowledge of future events, (or was at least able to predict to a degree how events would fall out.) I mentioned in another post that Reiko reminded me of Nina Sharpe in this world. This was a woman who knew more than she was telling, and I hope she wasn’t a one-shot, as I found her motives confusing and intriguing.

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    • Michael says

      It’s a quite a possibility that Reiko is being controlling and manipulative as well as being submissive and in awe of Walternate power. One thing that point to the former is when Walternate says to Reiko that he have complete confidence her. More than anybody else. Which is a bit much for a whore or a mistress. This open up the possibility that he could be manipulated by her.

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      • says

        Calling Reiko a whore is a bit much. She has way to much class for that description. I view her more as a courtesan, a concubine, the mistress of a man in power. Think, Camilla and Charles, because she was the mistress of the man who would be king one day. And look what happened to her,(sorry, only example that popped into my head. No disrespect to the monarchy.) Or could Reiko be Walternate’s yes-woman, or a possible sycophant even, trying to gain self-serving favour from the powerful Walternate.

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  27. megan says

    Shame they couldn’t find a better use for Frank. I liked him since he was first intoduced! This episode was alright, look forward to next week though. It looks as though we finally get back to the meat of the story!

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  28. robyn says

    ”the universe has literally had enough of her lying ass” :D

    Fantastic, and not to mention hilariously written review. I definitely wonder what the plans of the writers are by throwing..of all things, a baby in the mix..as someone said above, Fringe has perhaps jumped the shark… I hope they don’t leave this plotline hanging till the next three? episodes. I’m glad we atleast see some emotion out of Altlivia..

    I agree we need to see more of her..if she is going to be someone that Peter is going to choose over our Olivia..then the wrters will need to give us more of a reason other than the baby.

    I really wonder if she’ll try to abort the child?? Its unlikely, but would be interesting.

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  29. jonnE says

    I agree with you on the reiko/walternate scene. We had no previous development of Reiko’s character, and therefore no way to associate any relevance to the on-screen conversation/action between them.
    I love fringe, but the third season has really started to distance me.
    While it is clear that many of “the pattern” events seem to be derived from (or directly from) “over there” technology (amber, etc), the series has not ascribed any meaning to “the pattern” outside of season 1. If the series completely forgoes the pattern (which began the series with a bang and made it so intriguing), it might be the biggest letdown since …insert your peeved tv letdown here.
    The story did make advances toward giving the story a more well rounded tone in season 2. Now it just seems like a runaway bus (full of cortexiphan kids) fitted with a turbo engine headed straight for cancellation
    And while I get that most of the show’s intrigue rests in the unkown, continuity between seasons is what makes up good storytelling.
    Jon’s questions of the week
    (again) who/what is the north woods group?
    Are the writers from season 1 still on the show?
    Were the wrist chips from season one an early version of shapeshifter devices?
    Why has our story become derailed?
    What are we failing to see or understand as viewers?

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  30. charliefan19 says

    Fringe…how…could..you…do…this…to…me. I hate this episode sooo much. I hated the Bug Guy. Alt-Liv is, like Roco said, a “witch.” Poor Frank. Poor Our-livia. I did NOT enjoy the Walternate/Reiko scene one bit. Fringe is now less cool imho and I am incredibly annoyed. Turning into a stupid soap opera!! :P “You’re pregnant!!! Gasp!!!” @_@ arrrgh.

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  31. says

    3rd week in a row now I’ve given the same score (well I gave it 6 because we don’t get .5’s on the forum) agree with the review. One concern from viewing the promo last week was the cortexifan working on an adult, which the show resolved well by having him die shortly after getting his ability. Walternate was the highlight proving to me yet again he’s not totally evil with his refusal to test on children. The swooning bug doctor with Charlie was fun. Plus points for seeing Anna in her bra, just that cheap soap tactic of finding out she’s expecting felt badly done, that said I’m sure the writers have an agenda behind babygate more than as a trap to get Peter back on side.

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  32. rose says

    This is actually the first episode that made feel sick to my stomach. All the bugs were so gross. I was watching it in HD that I get free for life with DISH Network as an employee/customer and that surely was not something I wanted to see in a better picture. I kind of felt bad for Altivia for once. I use to think she was just an evil person, but this episode showed a different side of her. I definitely like the other universe a lot better.

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  33. Laura says

    “I don’t know if it happened to anyone else, but it did cross my mind whether Reiko was a shapeshifter. ”
    Good point. That was my first thought, even I strongly hope she’s human, given the importance this character had (in the episode) in discovering more about the “big bad” Walternate. He’s still wearing the wedding ring: this supports the idea of him having an affair, for “some reasons” he didn’t leave Eliznate.
    Come on guys, the episode what not THAT bad.
    There have been billions of posts about the audience drop this week, and who is to blame for this. Let’s give it a break, please. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a fan of the pregnancy arc. Not at all. But I’m still sure it will bring something good anyway.
    It was clear for me F-Oliva is not so happy about the baby news. She wanted to have a normal life, with Frank and (some day, mybe) HIS babies, and now, the pregnancy. Altough, I wasn’t totally able to undestand her reaction to Walternate’s visit. it was like she shifted from human being to soldier in a couple of seconds. This character has always been like this: when you can say “hey maybe there’s something else beyond”, then she comes up with some soldier crap. Going back to the (sigh) pregnancy stuff, I would like to say to the cast: PLEASE DO NOT GIVE TOO MUCH AWAY. FINGE DOES NOT NEED SPOILERS. Of course this particular case is different, as September himself started the “discussion” here. But it happened quite ofter in the past,and IMHO it’s not good for the show .

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  34. Peanut says

    I wouldn’t think that universe hopping for humans is that routine for Over There. In fact, the use of the harmonic rods must have been a relatively new method that is still being refined. Walternate’s trip (the first using that method?) required an entire bridge to be transported while the transportation of Fauxlivia was a much more precise event. My point is that the method is still somewhat experimental so you’d think that Fauxlivia would have been given a thorough physical after she returned to the AU from Over Here, at which time her pregnancy should have been detected.

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  35. Cerulean says

    Dear Fringe Producers,
    Please make a hilarious “Fringe themed” commercial about the importance of condoms. After all nothing is worse than getting your almost-girlfriend’s doppleganger-from-another-universe-who-is-also-a-spy-and-may-or-may-not-be-falling-for-you pregnant.
    Please and thank you!

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  36. David says

    What is the scene with Walternate and Reiko was from the third universe? The yellow one? It was so at odds with the rest of the episode. I also felt that in Ep15 Altolivia was going between not only two universes but three. Perhaps the Walter at the end of the episode who makes the phone call is actually the Walter from the third universe.

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  37. Tash says

    well it ain’t gonna be allowed just to be a normal baby its gonna have to save teh entire universe or be able to shoot fire from its eyes or some shite like that

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