Welcome to our Fringe review for chapter 3.19 – “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide”.
In this review we provide completely 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 with our final thoughts and episode rating.
- Serialized arcs. It feels so good to open on a storyline that picks up where the previous (Over Here) story left off. The show continues to be more involving, more connected because the case-of-the-week element has been slain by the overarching parallel story.
- Fringeception. I always said that Fringe was doing Inception before the Christopher Nolan blockbuster even landed last summer. Fringe delivered a literal illustration of this, but did so in a way that facilitated the immediate arc and brought with it some delightful moments and meaningful questions.
- Ani-mate: It was risky, but it worked. I appreciate the fortitude of not just taking Fringe into an animated world, but spending a fair old time between those brush strokes. While the animation had its wrinkles, it allowed the story, characters, actors, and presumably the budget, to go places and do things that otherwise wouldn’t have been as readily possible.
- LOL Before The Storm. Fair play, there were some funnies in this one. Heck, even Walter was on pretty good form – by his standards.
- The Walter/Bellie scenes. Their interactions filled in some of the emotional gaps and crystallized Walter’s state of heart. Like a thief in the night, he’s gradually tip-toeing his way back into my sympathies. Like I’ve said, I left the door open, just in case.
- Mind Games. I appreciate the way the ‘world of the mind’ is being brought forward as a ‘reality’ of its own. An impressionable, reflective, emotional realm where anything is possible. Including the ability to change that reality, to adjust the internal state in order to perceive the external through more positive shades. To see some of the things we’ve been talking about realized on-screen is really satisfying. As for the possibilities, they’re endlessly intriguing.
- Editing. Some of the cuts and transitions delivered additional PUNCH to affairs. They particularly helped sell the characters waking up from Olivia’s mind.
- Cliffhanger. Another crazy ending. These exclamation marks at the end of episodes are really effective.
- Tick Clock. The team apparently had a day to save Olivia? Now, I like the ticking-clock device – it creates tension – but I thought it could have been more fused more effectively. There was never really a great sense of having to beat the clock once they were inside Olivia’s mind. They had to stave off projections and such, but I would have liked more dramatic tension between the internal and external events.
- The animation had some downsides. It was jarring and jerky at times. The voices didn’t always coordinate with the character actions, and some of the meaning got lost between the lines.
- The ‘Bellivia’ arc didn’t really advance the overall story as much as I would have hoped. Olivia is pretty much back where she was prior to going down with the rumbles, Walter is pretty much where he was prior to his old pal showing up, and Peter is pretty much where he was. There has been some character development, new things set up and some cool areas explored, but this was more of a sideways excursion than a giant leap over a genuine obstacle.
- Bellie’s Motivations were not as strong as I would have liked. When you dabble with ambiguity you’re going toe a fine line with such things, and I can accept that. I love that Fringe is ramping up the ‘crazy’. However, once again we’re left with the impression that Bell is some kind of altruistic figure. That doesn’t wash with me. A character like Bell, who cheated death in the most intrusive way imaginable, doesn’t just change his mind and let it all go at the flick of a brush. And if he does, then I think there needs to be more illustration (no pun) of his monologue. Now, there were some wonderfully subtle moments in there that trace back to his shift (notably the pressure being applied by Peter), but we don’t really explore what ‘death’ was like, his initial intentions for returning, or his ultimate change in the depth that such a character and storyline needs for authenticity. I have to think they didn’t quite have enough time.
- Friends Apart. Bellie returns yet we don’t see him interact with his beloved Nina – not even in Oliviaville. I understand the possible constraints, but it feels like something is missing as a result.
- This episode took some shortcuts in regards to Peter ‘knowing the true Olivia’ all of a sudden. I can buy the idea because progress HAS been made of late, and I dig the notion that identifying the “real Olivia” inside of her own mind carries with it a different connotation. BUT, there were still some hurdles to be jumped before it became something authentic. Instead, we kinda ran around those hurdles – coerced into accepting that Peter knows Olivia just because he said so and ended up proving it with very little exploration of his supposed intuition.
- Merc’d Up. Olivia says she’s ready to move forward. Cool and all, but does that mean you’re not at all bothered by Peter and the Case of the Muuuurdered Shapeshifters? Even if she’s not bothered on ethical grounds (which breaks my robot heart, so it does), wouldn’t she at least be worried by the fact that her BF went all crazy and kept secrets from her? I’m just trying to help you build a solid foundation here, Liv.
- Ruiners. The final promo for this episode went against Mystery Box convention by revealing what Bellie looked like inside Olivia’s mind. That took some of the wind out of the reveal for me. Sure, I theorized that Bellie would return animated, but the reveal is the experience. I just don’t want Fringe to bend over and pull its pants down before we’ve even courted the episode. It’s a slippery slope.
- Who is Man X?
- What happened to William Bell? Is he gone for good this time?
- What were Bellie’s original intentions? He never intended to perma-die back in 2.22, so what did he hope to achieve before he changed his mind?
- What will a new ‘fearless’ Olivia bring?
- Bellie used Soul Magnets on rats 30 years ago as preparation for his entry into Olivia. The rats lasted 2 weeks before the hosts consciousness got lost.
- According to Bellie, the brain can only accommodate two consciousness for a certain period of time, after which one gets lost forever.
- Olivia became lost in her own subconscious because she was unhinged by Bellie’s entry into her mind. This triggered the murkier elements of her subconscious to manifest, causing it to turn on her (and anyone who entered).
- Olivia was able to return because she faced her fears and Bellie relinquished.
- Olivia believes Man X is the person who’s going to kill her.
- I always knew Walter would find a way to put that diabolical halo on Olivia’s head this season.
- Good to see Astrid giving as good as she gets in the ‘mispronounce your name game’, calling Walter “Wally” after he called her “Astro” for the 500th time. Suck it up, Walter. You know you had it coming!
- Nice to see Peter’s concern for Olivia. In sharp contrast to Walter, whose main concern was getting Bellie safely into a new host. This disappointed me since he and Bellie have done so much damage to Olivia. The least they could do would be to put her first.
- To be fair to Bellie, it seems as though his conscience was stirred by Peter’s continued concern. Though it would have been nice to get more explanation for his eventual shift. I’m guessing there wasn’t space to include it in the episode.
- However, there was a real sense of how the character dynamics have shifted when Astrid apologizes to Peter after the plan to bring Olivia back fails. They’re a couple now, so the emotional outpouring gets directed to Peter, the conduit of love.
- Although Bellie has Walter pulling for him, he is very much the outsider – no-one else wants him there. However, it’s difficult for me to feel too sorry for him because he’s essentially violating Olivia’s body once again. Peter is right to question his motives, after all, he promised that he’d be gone in 48 hours.
- This draws a curious response from ‘Bellivia’ who seems surprised (perhaps disappointed) that Peter is calling for him to die. Interesting that the writers should essentially repeat the conversation from “Stowaway“. Presumably to clarify the possible options and consequences, but it also tells us something about Bellie’s mindset – a man who has cheated death isn’t going to accept his fate easily. Or so it seemed.
- Interestingly, Peter’s insinuations appear to trigger Olivia up from her subconscious. I’d like to think that Peter putting a few dents in Bellie’s ego enabled Olivia to emerge through the cracks.
- With all Walter’s medical experience, I found it somewhat strange that Olivia should be taken to hospital – after all, would the medical staff there have a better grasp on how to save Olivia (and Bell) than Walter would? Of course, it was all a bit of a contrivance (hence my spidey sense going off in the first place), because all it led to was Walter telling the nurses that they were putting ‘Bellivia’ in more danger, and a cool cue-to-title sequence with ‘Bellivia’ telling the nurse that charging him would “kill me and the young woman I’m living inside of”.
- Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a very nice way to bring on the keys, but it’s also interesting how these things are dramatically structured.
- And let’s not forget the smaller details; Peter correcting the EMT on exactly how long Bellivia had been seizing, and Walter pointing out that Bellie is anemic. Peter tells Walter that they have to try something, which is a line very familiar in the Peter box of freewill over fate.
- Broyles was well within his rights to have some hard words for Bellie. I found the stowaway’s explanation about the rats to be a bit weak. Rats do not a Dunhamnator make, so I’m not sure why he believed the two week time-span would be the same for Olivia. All rats have to worry about is where their next piece of cheese is coming from and how to avoid the trap laid down by the woman who lives in the shoe. Olivia has the weight of the universe in her mind!
- That said, it says something about the boundaries that are being pushed with this very happening and Bellie’s desire to live. We’re talking experimental science meets great stakes. Now, I would have expected Bellie to trial the experiments on humans, but perhaps the writers didn’t want to give us another reason to dislike Bellie, given what was to come?
- I found it a bit convenient that “at this point” Bellie was the only thing keeping Olivia’s body alive. Perhaps Walter and Bellie based this opinion on the seizures or those amazing rat experiments, but it caused my eyebrow to rise higher than a Bellivia Special. It can work, but it felt wishy-washy.
- It was really good to see Walter and Bellie in a room just riffing off ideas. It’s a shame we couldn’t see more of that over the course of the story thus far.
- Equally as useful was the little scene between Peter and Astrid. Peter doesn’t trust Bellie’s motives – and I don’t blame him. He points to the idea that you don’t create a company like Massive Dynamic without having an ego. As well as this being the perfect episode in which to drop terms like “ego”, it’s an interesting perspective that is hard to argue with. I like the fact that we have someone seriously questioning Bellie. Peter’s cynicism is welcome here.
- Astrid is acting as the counterweight, almost disbelieving that this man she doesn’t even know, who has occupied the body of her female hero, would have any ill intent. We really need to get inside Astrid’s head one of these days because her thinking needs greater context. Aside from dramatic reasons, perhaps she’s taking this stance because she’s close friends with Walter who is all about Bellie right now. That makes sense to me so I’ll roll with it.
- Peter spells it out:
“On a list of accomplishments for William Bell, cheating death would rank number 1”
- Although the Bellie story-path is a bit messy, he’s actually done quite well by Peter – from what we’ve seen in the story. I guess we get a sense of this later, but it would have been interesting to see them together under less intrusive circumstances.
- The idea to put Bellie in a computer was hardly surprising to me since I figured that would be a possible option (especially giving the way he was eyeing up the BBM drawing a couple back). But in the cold light of day it’s amazing that the show is actually realizing (or playing with) some of the wilder ideas seeded in chapters past. This is why I wouldn’t be surprised if one day Bellie returns as Gene. Udder no circumstance will I write anything off!
- Good to see Walter reference Olivia’s dreamstate with agent Scott as being something of a precursor to the current situation.
- I do love the idea of going into Olivia’s mind though. As we’ve mentioned before, the alternate universe itself can essentially be viewed as a projection – a construct based on perceptual memory and raw emotions. So it’s little wonder that the ‘heightened’ world inside Olivia’s mind is very similar to the ‘real world’.
- Indeed, it’s how she sees (feels about) the world and the people in it. I would imagine that this ‘world’ is actually comprised of electrical impulses but it’s projected as a construct to tell the story, and because constructs inform the way people feel about situations and scenarios – which is why dreams mirror reality. And in some cases, vice-versa.
- Very interesting that Walter gives Peter the mantle of being the guide into Olivia’s mind. So often Walter is the voice that has guided us and Olivia through dreamscapes and down memory lane – now it’s Peter’s turn to take the sword.
- I could be mistaken, but I think I heard Walter actually gave Astrid the P-word. I think he said “please” at the end of a sentence. 😮 Looks like our little man is finally growing up!
- I think it would be quite interesting to see what a Fringe script looks like. Not just for the spoken dialogue, but the descriptions and notes on how a scene should be conveyed. Of course, what we see is also influenced by the actors interpretations of those descriptions.
- It’s such a small thing, but Peter taking the LSD sugar cube, feeling it in his hands and observing it’s corners from a measured distance. It reminded me of what one might do with a totem if they were preparing to memorize their bearings between realities.
- In contrast, Bellivia just sticks the thing in her mouth. Obviously it informs us about the respective characters and their feelings towards the situation, but I like these small details.
- Peter wants to save Olivia more than anyone in that Lab, and yet this brings with it a certain trepidation. Something is working for me on the Peter front. Though this has very much been a season in which Olivia has been the HERO, Peter is becoming a more nuanced character than he was in the past. I’m not basing this on one sugar cube, of course, but in general – our Boy Wonder is powering up.
- I liked this:
Peter: “It’s not me I’m worried about. I’m pretty sure there’s a good reason why we can’t enter each-others minds. What if we kick something lose in there”
- First, you have to love the reference to Peter’s penchant for kicking down doors! Second, this is a link back to the time Olivia found out what Peter was thinking, thanks to Simon, her old Cortexi-chum.
- I maintain that Olivia’s path since then has been a bit odd – finding out that Peter still has feelings for Altlivia, for instance, shouldn’t have taken her to Peter’s bed in the space of two episodes (it was clearly rushed, they wanted to get to point B to do what they’re doing now). But it’s interesting that Peter is now faced with a similar dilemma – does he really want to know what lurks in Olivia’s mind?
- So it’s not just about his fear of losing Olivia, it’s about what he may find in her head. Before this episode aired, I was hoping for some character complexity, so I was pleased to see it manifesting here.
- I think it’s a very real and understandable concern. I think it would be interesting if Peter sees Olivia differently after the trip to O-Town. This doesn’t have to have negative connotations. For instance, rolling around in her mind should make Peter more understanding or appreciative of Olivia.
- Astrid tells Peter that he’s probably Olivia’s only hope. No pressure then Pete!
- Always good to get some Peter/Broyles interaction – the: “you’re bald/I think he’s an Observer”, insert was funny all right. Loved Broyles’ response to a tripped out Peter. That’s why you must come to the party early, Broyles. Then you wont get lost, dear.
- This may have also been a poke at some of the early theories that Broyles was an Observer. I’m not sure such notions ever gathered real steam but they were out there back in the day.
- As for why the team are conducting dangerous mind-fusing experiments without Broyles knowing about or approving it? Well, you’ll have to ask Broyles. No wonder he needs Dunham back, she’s his eyes and hairs.
- Loved the initial step into Olivia’s mind, the techniques used to illustrate the sudden WHOOSH were very well done. How Walter ended up on top of the bus is worth asking – I guess he’s our version of Kate from LOST. Actually, it says something about Walter’s ability to get ‘carried away’ with his ideas. While Peter is able to adjust to the foreign terrain very quickly indeed – and pop his collar too.
- It interesting to explore how much freewill our adventurers had over their surroundings. Olivia’s mind is the architect, however their individual feelings are there own.
Walter: “..everything is a product of Olivia’s subconscious. My feelings are most definitely real”
- It was really insightful to see Olivia equip her projections in Cortexi-wear. It was a nice mythology callback while also echoing the rules of the construct.
- I had hoped that Walter would gain some perspective from visiting inside Olivia’s mind, so it was pleasing to see him take note of her internal infrastructure and essentially blame himself and Bell for “designing her this way’.
- Provocative wording which seemed to take Peter by surprise. I’m not sure why. I’ve always believed that the Cortexikids were essentially ‘re-created’ during Bell and Walter’s years of playing ‘god’. She’s both “natural and unnatural”. That being said, it lines up for Peter to question notions of fate and predetermination, which is why this short scene is effective.
- The SOS was another nice touch, though I’m surprised Walter didn’t suspect it might be Bellie-Bo-Peep and not Olivia in the Twin Towers.
- Broyles going all LSD was pretty hilarious (although it bordered on overkill at times). It provided a sweet moment with Broyles pointing out the spirals on the Red Vines. We talk about the potential significance of spirals and cycles in Fringe on a near episodic basis, so longtime adventurers will know why I find it to be a clever insert.
- It’s also just cool to give the licorice a backstory (yikes, I actually said that – licorice has a backstory) – a new perspective with which to view it from. Kinda like the bell that Bellie gave Nina before anyone knew what it did.
- So, are we to assume that Broyles touched the LSD and then licked his fingers for some inexplicable reason? I’m hoping that they’re going for the less contrived notion that he absorbed it through his skin. Even so, I struggle to see Broyles doing a spot of cleaning. He’s impeccable, but Broyles wiping down tables? And without the diligent Astrid noticing!!?? OK, perhaps not as impossible at it seems. 😉
- Walter recognizes Olivia’s step-father after all these years, yet he didn’t remember Olivia until months after she got him out of St. Claire’s. I guess the sink has been unblocked since then. I buy it anyway, confronting her stepfather was one of the better things that he did in the way back years so I’d imagine that he’d hold onto that face (before slapping it repeatedly for harming our Olive).
- The Projection Swarm was fantastic – Inception eat yer heart out!
- I also love the way this was turned on its head in the next scene; instead of the projecticons being suspicious of our boys, Peter’s eyes narrow at the vibes emanating from Nina. Her attempt to kill Walter reinforcing the idea that although Olivia might seem more at ease with her these days, she doesn’t trust her as far as she could throw her. (although Imagine she could throw her pretty far).
- Sure, Olivia’s mind is a place of self-sabotage in general, but I also think this is how she sees Nina. I’m so glad they made Nina hit the side of the shaft as she fell. That was an unnecessarily neat detail. Still love you Ninakins. :p
Walter: “She tried to kill us. Why is everyone trying to kill us. I don’t like this place”
- This place? Let it be known that not everyone gets invited into Olivia’s mind. Be grateful and stop your complaining!
Walter: “Be careful Peter, we don’t know what her mind has put on the other side of this door, we should be ready for anything”
- Animated Bellie took some getting used to, but I figured we’d see AniBellie.
- So Bellie lied to get them to rescue him. I guess it was the logical thing to seek a ‘safe haven’. Why was he a cartoon? Well, it certainly helps tell the story in ways that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, but it also makes sense for him to appear differently since he’s essentially a ‘ghost in the machine‘ anyway. And one who has designs on finding refuge in a computer. And let’s not forget Olivia was hiding in her ‘inner child’, so to speak. Kids like cartoons.
- Why Peter and Walter turned animated is another question. I like the thought that they became toons because Bell threw the question back at them, as though incepting the idea in the minds, instantly causing it to take hold. I don’t think that’s what they were going with, but it crossed my mind like a red balloon.
- I’m at ease with the explanation offered by Bellie and Walter as to why Olivia’s mind was attacking them. Essentially she became confused when Bell’s mind entered hers, causing her fears to subconsciously manifest and attack while she retreated. Given what we know about Olivia and the mind, it makes sense. We know how protective it is – episodes like “Momentum Deferred” and those from the first half of season 3 deliver good explanations on that.
- Perhaps too protective. These are the internal consequences of Olivia always being “the strong one”.
- I liked Bellie’s line:
“There’s an entire world out there with no rhyme or reason..”
- Given what is happening in the ‘external’ storyline the same sentiment can be applied there – perhaps even more so if one of the worlds is destroyed.
- I had to raise another eyebrow at Bellie drinking alcohol in Olivia’s mind. I guess she has it on tap in there, but I wouldn’t think it would do much for Bellie.
- Good to see Lance Reddick getting to show more range than he’s usually afforded on the show. There must be some hilarious outtakes from this episode. Astrid is indeed a lamb for looking after them all. It must have been weird for her having to babysit her boss. She’s used to him being so in control of his faculties. With that in mind, I like the way it was played with Astrid being so gentle and patient, but not overly nannying like she would be with Walter.
- My, my, what to say about Broyles line:
“It’s infinite. You don’t see that? I didn’t see that. It followed me..death. I saw death, all of it. And it was me.”
- The mad ramblings of a high man? Not a chance, I took this as a very poignant message. Broyles is tapping into something, perhaps a certain truth about time and its “infinite” properties. I would say that he’s getting a glimpse the ‘true nature of time’ – as happening all at once; hence seeing death following him.
- He could mean his own death – one he couldn’t see in his normal linear perspective, but which became clear to him during his LSD experience. He could be referring to Broylnate (RIP). Or he could mean the end of things as we know it, and the creation of something new. Will Broyles be responsible for something huge in the ‘future’?
- So touching the way he asked Astrid to hold his hand. This is Broyles we’re talking about – our fearless commander – needing the hand of the groups ‘weakest’ member. He seemed to draw some strength from it though, and I wonder if this will come back in some context? How nice the way she cupped his giant hand with two of hers.
- The journey to Jacksonville in search of Olivia was filled with interesting moments. Though how convenient there was an airship ready and waiting to take them there. I guess the rhyme and reason of this world allows for such latitude, as does the idea of the subconscious clues that one leaves behind.
- I’m glad we saw something from Olivia’s alternate universe experience. That would have shaped her, so it makes sense for something like a zeppelin to become lodged in her mind.
- The Zombie Brandon’s (that’s what I’m calling them, even if they weren’t supposed to be him) were so randomly weird. I thought I was watching an animated episode of The Walking Dead for a moment. I chalk it up to Bellie’s earlier comment about the unpredictability of Olivia’s mind. Though it might also stem from how she sees Brandonate and the scientists who have sought to invade her flesh. Alternatively, perhaps Brandon will die, only to rise as a zombie?
- And can we chalk this up as a Boy Wonder action scene? He did kinda fly to grab the ladder. Kinda.
- I’m pleased that Walter approached Bellie about his ‘sacrifice’ back in “Over There”:
“I should have known you had no intentions of dying that day. As long as I’ve known you you’ve hated goodbyes”
- It suddenly makes the whole thing a bit more palatable. Having Walter address his friend’s ‘death’ just makes Bellie’s arc seem a bit more natural than it otherwise appeared to. It further opens up a fascinating concept of Walter having to deal with mortality. We’ve seen him grapple with the loss of William throughout the season, of course, but now it’s even more stark because William is here, in front of eyes, flesh and code.
Walter: “I need you William. I don’t know what to do..about Peter, about the Machine. About what’s waiting for him..for the world, because of what we did”
- The dialogue is so sincere that it’s easy to forget we’re looking at animated characters. Not that animation hasn’t delivered emotion before (we’ve all seen Toy Story), but to capture a pure moment this soon into the Aniworld says something about these characters and the journey they are on.
Bellie: “When we were young, and foolish, with too much power, and too many dreams that no-one could stand in the way of. We needed each other.”
Walter: “I don’t understand”
Bellie: “We needed each other then to check and balance.”
Walter: “And now?”
Bellie: “Now, you possess the wisdom of humility. We didn’t back then. The decisions you make will be the right ones. The directions you choose to take, will be just”
- This is probably as close as we’ll get to an apology from Bellie. It’s sobering to hear him admit they were reckless, but to also imply that their duality enabled them to limit that recklessness.
- I get the sense that Bellie believes that it was inevitable to some degree. He’s a man who buys into the notion of fate – the likely course of events, if not a predetermined path. He can see the value of this test of life – perhaps the great experiment of them all? Walter’s experience is an asset, he holds the weapon of wisdom. It’s something I’ve been crying out for Walter to use, and this is the context with which Bellie implored his old friend to take once more to the line.
- I’ve had my frustrations with Walter, but I’ve always wanted him to change for the better. I’m interested to see how he does it, but I also accept that he’s going to fall back on occasion – that’s life and it’s storytelling. He’s at a point now where he has a chance to to both win and lose at the same time.
- Bellie believes Walter will make the right and just choices. Interesting, because he’s empowering Walter but he’s also a man of fate. In many ways fate vs freewill becomes a moot point. Whether an outcome is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, that may always boil down to perspective.
- How interesting that the saboteur (I’ll call him Man X) was locked inside the “engine room”.
- Interesting that he should want to know Peter’s name, as though he knows they’ll be crossing paths in the future. It’s possible that Olivia’s mind is breathing life into this character. A person she seemingly hasn’t met yet. I’m guessing she gets a glimpse of the future at some point? Perhaps her ability to perceive and bend reality is in operation – in the engine room of her mind. Did Peter kick something loose?
- Maybe he’s not a projection at all?
- Another possibility is that Man X is someone from Altlivia’s mind. After all, her memories were fused into Olivia earlier in the season – it’s unlikely they would have all been flushed out.
- I’ve already posted lots more thoughts on Man X over at Seriable, so I’ll just link to it for now.
- Walter’s ‘death’ and subsequent awakening was a wonderful homage to LOST.
- Having just escaped ‘death’ himself, it was nice to see Walter realize his bearings, grateful to be “back” and then disappointed to be “back”. Again, little things but nicely played.
- Bellie mentions it for the briefest moment. He says that Walter knows “there’s no time to come back”. I really wanted to get a sense of what time was like in Olivia’s mind in comparison to the ‘outside world’. They probably didn’t have the space to make a bigger deal out of it but I think it would have been a cool element to explore.
- Once out of Olivia’s mind, Walter is busy working on the computer to receive Bellie’s consciousness. I guess Astrid hadn’t quite gotten around to it yet, what with holding Broylsie’s hand and reading him a bedtime story.
- Oh, wait. Broyles is awake and he’s seeing a bird perched on Walter’s shoulder. And who knew that Broyles tweeted?
- I do wonder how much stock to put into this moment. Because, well, Broyles is seeing an animated critter. Is this the type of world he was experiencing earlier, or something new? I wonder, because it could be argued (if you’re really high) that Walter brought elements from Olivia’s mind back with him. I actually think that could work on a similar level to Olivia’s manifesting events in “Subject 13”.
- I never thought I’d see Bellie riding on the back of Peter. I think he was enjoying it a bit too much. But then, one can never get enough of a good thing. Enjoy yourself, old chap!
- Peter recounting the time Olivia told him that she wishes she could just be normal and the last time she felt that way, was interesting. This conversation supposedly happened off-screen so I’ll have to take Peter’s word for it. I’d like to know when she told Peter these inner most feelings? I’m guessing it was recently (like, around the time of “6B”), because I’m not sure she’d spill those beans prior to that. And since Bellie arrived in “Os” there’s only a small window.
- I’m making a mountain out of it but I thought I would since Peter looks like he’s standing on top of one.
- I liked the story though. The idea of Olivia projecting herself as a child, back when she last felt safe, makes sense. It’s actually very similar her dreamscape from “Jacksonville“, only now it’s Peter coming to save that little girl and not the Dunhamnator. At least initially.
- I liked the idea of the red door, as we know that’s a significant color both in Fringe the mythos and personally to Olivia – who has absolutely nothing against the color.
- I enjoyed seeing Peter’s absolute certainty that the door hadn’t been painted over, splintered with doubt as to whether she was inside.
- This is a fantastic line:
“I’ve taken us so far off course”
- I don’t even need to say anything.
- Bellie points out, “you should have thought of that back at the zeppelin”, and waits as Peter sees what’s behind door number 8.
- It’s OliviYEAAH!
- But wait..it’s not her, it’s only a projection. Little Olivia has set a trap for potential wrongdoers.
- I thought that was clever of lil’ Olive, although I don’t buy that Peter can suddenly spot himself the ultimate Olivia. I accept his progress over the past couple of episodes, but to believe that he only has to look at ‘Olivia’ to know that it’s not her? That’s a big leap. The recent past is still too near. ‘Redeeming’ the character without having him work for it is problematic.
- Of course, we’re inside Olivia’s mind here so there some latitude. It works better for me if I take it to the level of their subconscious connection. It still seems as though they’re building Peter up a bit too quickly given that we’re only a handful of episodes on from “I thought she was you..”, but I get it. Projection Olivia does a far bettah job of acting like the real Olivia than Altlivia ever did, but OK, Peter.
- What makes me laugh is that he slays the dragon of Projection Olivia but is then surprised to find out that Olivia is the little girl at the table. So I guess we’re back at square one, Peter? You don’t know her at all! 😉
- The switch back to Ani-view was jarring but also very dramatic. How Olivia’s hand slipped from Peter’s only the gods of animation know, but props to Peter for saving her. Let it be known that Peter saved Olivia!
- I loved his desire to “go back” upon waking up. It was palpable. A marked contrast to Walter’s tepid frustration. Peter was so close and shares a different relationship with Olivia. “I lost her..I lost her”. Hearts break.
- Walter’s faith in Bellie was something worth observing. And I’ve got to say, Bellie moves remarkably fast for someone who’s been around the block as long as he has. Olive could barely keep up! Must be all those Red Vines. They’ll rot your teeth but will make you run faster than a Bad Robot through a cornfield.
- Olivia could have ran when Bell tripped over his own run faster stripes, but she did what Dunhamnippers do. She held her ground and gave the most iconic gesture I’ve seen for a while. She gave the projecticons the “No More” hand. She put five on it and told them to fall back.
“..I’m not afraid of you”
- Before morphing into the Dunhamnator, beguiling in animated awesomeness!
- I can’t really imagine ‘Realivia’ striking that pose, but it works perfectly in animated style when commanding projecticons. That said, what I’d give to see Real-O strike the pose at some point in the future. It’s a peace pose, but a threatening one.
- It’s notable that Olivia ‘saved’ Bellie; she protected the man who “designed” her, and in turn saved herself. What I think the writers were really going for was the mutual pay-off with Olivia finding the strength Bellie always believed she had and Bellie gaining a measure of redemption. “It’ll come back around”.
- Bellie explains:
“You should have been safe inside your mind. Except it’s you..and you have never felt safe. You are your own enemy Olivia. You took the opportunity to let your fears overwhelm you. But you just fought back. In the end, you are as strong as Walter and I always believed your were. And now, you know it too.”
- Again, that works for me. Olivia is very much her own worst enemy, but as we see she also has everything she needs in her locker. But it’s one thing thinking it and another thing believing. Bellies experiment, for all its ills and discombobulated motivations, helped take Olivia to the next level.
- It’s not that she was weak before (although The Newt – RIP – might beg to differ) but it’s all part of her journey. The qualities she has as a protector, as a selfless being, are not to be overlooked or sneered at. I don’t think those attributes will disappear, but it’s about being able to fuse those ‘strengths’ with the belief in her ability will only help Olivia in the next stage. She now carries TWO Seriable Swords!
- It’s just a nice way to illustrate Olivia conquering her demons. In every way this story is very much like a self help manual for our characters. The problems and obstacles they encounter are not just strengthening their bonds, they’re helping them to solve problems and gain things like wisdom, humility, love, and perspective. As I’ve said before, there’s a ebb and flow – a “design” to it all. Without their negative experiences we wouldn’t have a story, but the characters also wouldn’t be able to change themselves or the situation for the better. They wouldn’t even know how.
- This is part of the reason why I continue to have sympathy for Walternate on the other side. He is a version of our Walter who is clearly the victim – almost out of necessity for Walter to find redemption (two pieces of the same heart) – and yet he doesn’t have the support systems that Walter has. He doesn’t have a wing-man to ‘balance and check’. To condemn Walternate is to condemn Walter. And I ain’t ready to give up on either of them yet.
Bellie:”Tell Walter that I knew, the dog wouldn’t hunt”.
- He knew the experiment would fail. How interesting though that he wanted Walter to know this. For a character who fought death in the rings of Saturn, I think it says something. He knows that memories are important. He wants his old friend to remember him as someone who, in the end, despite all his recklessness, did something good. Maybe this will inform Walter going forward? And perhaps, like Bellie, he will learn to let go when it matters most?
- So, Bellie’s second sacrifice, of sorts – the mechanics of which Olivia doesn’t have to understand. Her path awaits, Bellie has played his role. While his latest arc doesn’t quite land as succinctly as I think it probably should, let’s be fair, there’s always a risk when you create ambiguous/mysteries characters. Some latitude should be afforded.
- So..unless I’m jumping the gun ..RIP #2 William. You died on the stage of life. You beamed yourself up into a hottie. You gave Olivia bellyache. You wore a bra and panties, because you could. You liked it. You teased Peter about his fate. I liked you. You couldn’t be trusted around a cup o’ tea. I had coffee. You held up well in animation. You tripped over for no apparent reason. You helped Olivia out of limbo. You died. I think. RIP you crazy SOB. I’ll see Moo next season, yes?
- Olivia awakening was very different from that of the Bishops. It was as though she was coming out of a much-needed dream. Strangely, I really liked her little moment with Peter:
Peter: “What do you remember?”
Olivia: “I remember you”
- There’s something about the idea of remembering people from dreams that hits a certain note. I also think there’s power there because this episode comes after “Subject 13“, where we get confirmation that our orb-crossed lovers met (and indeed incepted one another) as children.
- There’s almost this sense that Olivia is saying she remembers Peter from her childhood. She’s not, of course, but the story’s emotional context is bleeding through the pages.
- My robot heart does go out to Walter. I would have liked for him to have shown more concern for Olivia throughout this arc, but I can understand his point of view. He’s off-balance without his Bellie and he’s facing his most important test yet. All the important tests are the hardest.
- I don’t think I’ve seen him look as alone as he did sitting in that dusty room. To feel something approaching whole again, only to have it ripped away in a beat? Would Computer Bellie have provided much comfort? Perhaps. It was something, at least. Poor Wally.
- And look at Astrid, all teary-eyed. Bless her. No, seriously, bless Astrid. She frustrates me at times, but while we were all down there in Olivia’s mind, she was up there making us sandwiches and preparing the kick.
- Meanwhile, back at Dunhamville:
- I was worried we’d get the melodrama but it was fairly restrained.
Peter: “Who is this guy, I saw him in your mind”
- Just don’t say that out in public, Pete!
- Olivia’s response was another crazy crunch of a cliffhanger:
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen him before, but I think he’s the man who’s going to kill me”
- That’s not the kind of sentence you usually say before chomping down on a piece of toast, but it works! Mmmmm..toast.
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide is a quite potent concoction. It’s one of the most daring episodes of Fringe to-date; one anchored by the characters and their relationships. Yes, the episode has it’s problems, as I’ve pointed out, but when you aim high sometimes you smash a hole in the ceiling. This is an episode that leaves me wondering: where next?
Best Performer: Joshua Jackson.
Best Line: “Now, you possess the wisdom of humility. We didn’t back then” – Bellie to Walter.
Best Moment: Olivia commanding the projecticons to stop.
Episode Rating: 9/10