FRINGE Review: 3.19 Lysergic Acid Diethylamide


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.

THE GOOD

  • 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.

THE BAD

  • 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.

BIG MYSTERIES

  • 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?

BIG ANSWERS

  • 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.

FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • 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. :o 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”

  • 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.

FINAL THOUGHT

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

Fringe Bloggers

You can find all of our Fringe reviews here, while our Episode Observations can be discovered here.

Comments

  1. Still Real1 ! says

    Bravo , really very nice review as usual Roco . :)

    But i have a comment about Nina , Olivia was hiding and did all that things in her mind to protect herself , Nina is one of these lines , when Peter told Nina that they are looking for Olivia .. Nina said oh yeah ! .. so Nina was defending Olivia as how Olivia want . :) i don’t know but that’s can comes goes .

    Other things , I don’t think that Bell is gone , i was waiting you to put the pic from “Os” where Olivia was facing the window and we could see Bell taking over her and with Olivia facing the window in her kitchen , from “Os” we can see all Olivia’s face , but from this episode we can see half face of Olivia .. which let me think that Bell is not gone and he is still there in Olivia’s body .

    As for the X man , Olivia has a photograph memory , if he was from her memory or from Fauxlivia memory she will know him , but if he was from bell’s soul no she is not going to know him . As he maybe from her childhood ? …..

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  2. says

    I’ve been wondering if Walter had a hand in Bellies demise. He did drop that vacuum tube for which there was no replacement. “Damn my hands” he cried or something to that effect. They had to rig a replacement that apparently was not good enough. Did Walter subconsciously let slip that tube or was it an innocent, albeit untimely, accident?

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  3. KLA says

    Great review Rocco.

    Interesting that you think Peter was conerned about what might be in Olivia’s mind. Perhaps he was afraid that her connection to him was less than his to hers, or something else. Also, very interesting thought that Mr. X may be a memory from Fauxlivia, so maybe she is in danger of getting the axe instead Olivia (which would almost be ok with me).

    And, I agree with you that Walter showed little concern for Olivia, but a lot for Bell. In fact, that was quite glaring. I almost feel like some McCutcheon scotch right about now (althoug my thoughts go to Desmond when I think of it).

    If they do not revisit Peter’s shapeshifter Darth Peter days I will be real disappointed. I’ll give the writers the benefit of the doubt, but dammit, they better not just let that go. While Peter is totally complicit, Walter was in on it too, so there needs to be something said about it. And, if Walter failed to get the location of the “key,” then thanks for nothing for putting us through that.

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    • Grace says

      Try as I may, KLA, I can’t see the issue re the SS killings the way you and Roco do:

      (1) Olivia effectively articulated her mindset with respect to the killing of SS’s when she said to Broyles, something to the effect of “who besides us would have a reason to kill a SS?” Clearly she would see Peter as one of the “us” she was referencing.

      (2) Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Olivia herself ever saw a SS she didn’t try to kill. In “THe Man From The Other Side” she even shot the SS at the bridge who “seemingly” posed no apparent threat to her. He was just standing there in front of her. I don’t recall any outcry at her actions at the time. No doubt most of us would argue that her actions were justified “under the circumstances’.
      Given Peter’s articulated angst with respect to his perceived fate vis-a-vis the BBM and his role in the endtime prophesy, it seems to me that rather than condemn him, Olivia would find his reaction at least understandable if not entirely justifiable.

      (3) In fairness to both Peter and Olivia, they never had the benefit of watching “Do SS Dream of Electric Sheep?”. For the most part, their SS experiences lean more torward subscribing to “the only good SS is a dead SS” . Walter, himself guilty of attacking a SS, seemed horrified, but it was clear that the object of his concern was Peter and not the SS. In other words because to him what he witnessed was clearly out of character for Peter.

      Now, with respect to Peter’s having keep the secret from her:

      (1) Peter essentially said that he felt so uniquely alone with respect to his nightmare of a destiny that he didn’t feel that he could trust anyone else to understand. On reflection however, he realized that he did in fact TRUST HER. That was totally believable to me because we had just witnessed his epiphany moment at the end of Os.

      Frankly, rather than being upset with him,as you suggest, I believe Olivia would empathize with him. First of all because it wasn’t that long ago that she angst over a secret about him that she was privy to. Secondly because unlike herself, he was willing to risk the possibilty of losing her as a result of telling her the truth. Have to love someone that has that much faith in you! (Quite unlike Altlivia,BTW. When she found herself walking in those shoes, she failed to pass the “smell test”. Specifically, even while she “claimed” to have fallen in love with him, she failed to prove it BY TRUSTING HIM WITH THE TRUTH.)

      (2) And finally in Peter’s defense: It is clear from the episodes’ timeline that the entire process took days and not months.

      And finally with respect to Walter. Olivia of all people would understand Walter feeling that it was “not HIS secret to tell “.

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      • Lindsay says

        Well said Grace. I think people forget that we as the audience have seen a different side to the shapeshifters that our Fringe team have not.

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  4. Page 48 says

    “although I don’t buy that Peter can suddenly spot himself the ultimate Olivia”

    True enough. That was the one moment in the episode that stood out to me as utterly cringe-worthy. The mind of Olivia may be ready to give Peter that much credit, but I’m not there yet.

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    • FinChase says

      Yes, that was my thought too. And I agree with Roco that Projection Olivia was far more believable than AltLivia ever was. She at least got the details right, such as wearing her lapels on the inside of her jacket.

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      • Oscar says

        … Well, there is at least ONE great difference between the kind of relation Peter and Olivia shared when Peter didn’t spot the switch, and the one they share now… ;-) You could call it “the power of (not platonic) love…

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      • hello says

        “although I don’t buy that Peter can suddenly spot himself the ultimate Olivia”
        how suddenly ?
        well!
        first of all : fool me once shame on you , fool me twice shame on me .
        no offense but I would like to know what did you expected more ? I can imagine if peter did not recognise her this time the massive assaults he would get. and I think the whole Idea of noticing the differences is a poor one , and in reallity , I don’t think there is such thing , to see someone through their eyes , so far from being believable , though it was the writers main interest , thus , Peter was determinated to know the “right eyes” , as impossible as it seems , people were like ” he should have noticed that”, and “Peter doesn’t know her” , ok fair enough , so Peter’s character had finally (after two seasons and a half) built a relationship , not only with altrivia , but even with olivia , she forgave him and they slept together , and alowed him finally to know her , for me it’s more than plausible for him to recognize her more right now, and it’s been proved all along the episode , starting with him guiding william and walter through olivia’s brain . after all , and wether we want to admit it or not, Peter is the only one that was trying to know Olivia better from the very beginning and as far as he was allowed to , don’t forget what he said in OT part2 , before his experience with altrivia that gave him even more material to differentiate between the two , yes he failed, but aren’t our failures the hardest ways to learn new lessons ? , plus he got the chance to again , see the differences when Olivia got back and finally the relationship with her .
        yes, his “knowing her” progress was invisible to the viewers , but this certainly doesn’t mean there was no progress.
        and glad they finaly ended this “knowing the eyes” because it was , for me, far away from being considered a 1% fringy thingy.

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        • Owl says

          Ditto Sofia! Thanks for saying this. I was thinking myself that Peter would be hyper-conscious of looking for the “real” Olivia from now on. Maybe especially as he was in a series of tests in her mind. Good defense.

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  5. FinChase says

    One of the things that struck me about Olivia’s awakening was how peaceful she seemed. I don’t think we’ve seen her this at peace and unburdened since the end of “The Transformation”. When you think about it, perhaps it’s not that surprising. In both stories she had unwelcome intruders in her mind, and in both cases she was able to draw upon her inner resources to resolve the arc. I could even believe that she was indeed ready to move on. She was even eating!

    In fact, this would have been a far more appropriate moment for for Olivia and Peter to have consumated their relationship, rather than “6B”. I think if it had happened now, much of the “this all rushed and not believable” feeling would be gone.

    Of course, the little nonchalant bombshell Olivia then dropped about her “assassin” might have killed the mood just a bit.

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  6. Dylan says

    Best entire sequence in my opinion was man x, peter, and walter; their little confrontation and the fall from the zeppelin.

    Doubt they could have done that live-action with what remains of their budget.

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  7. kidentropia says

    Great review, man. Perhaps you´ve thought of it already, but i´m gonna suggest it anyways: what about a series summary or, rather, a review of the story so far, after seaosn 3 ends? I think it´s a good moment to take into consideration all the events that have taken place since the fatidic Glatterflug Flight 627 up until now, with the appropriate and necessary chronological deviations. I guess most people will agree that right now we´re at a crucial moment in the story. It´s good to be ready for what´s coming next.

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  8. Alaina says

    * 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?

    LOL! :) This eulogy for Bell made my night! Hilarious!

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  9. Ariel says

    “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.”
    I had just kinda assumed that Broyles had eaten one of the sugar cubes, thinking them to be regular old sugar cubes? I was out of the room for a few seconds of the scene and I haven’t had a chance to re-watch it yet, so there might have been something else said or done that would make this not work.

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  10. Walternate says

    Great review Roco, as usual. Pretty much defined everything I thought about the episode. Definitely a bold move. Honestly, I think I look forward to your reviews more than the actual episodes.

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  11. LSD says

    I have to say, I am a tad bit disappointed that during the lose-ups on Peter Bishop and Broyles, they were not depicted to have dilated pupils as they should have been considering they have taken huge amounts of drugs. It is not important, but I am just disappointed that the small details were not considered.

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  12. mlj102 says

    “This episode took some shortcuts in regards to Peter ‘knowing the true Olivia’ all of a sudden.”

    It’s probably just me, but I thought it worked. See, I have this theory — and you’ll likely disagree — but my theory is that there was always a part of Peter that knew alternate Olivia wasn’t his Olivia. Peter has known Olivia for a long time. Over the seasons, he has shown that he is familiar with her quirks and her unique tendencies. That’s why it was (and still is) so hard for me to accept that he couldn’t see that alternate Olivia wasn’t her. But I think a large part of that was that he simply ignored his own misgivings. He wanted it to be her. He had wanted that sort of relationship with her for a long time and he finally had it. It was easier for him to just accept that. I think that idea was highlighted in Do Shapeshifters Dream and by Newton. He knew something wasn’t right with her, but he chose to ignore that. It also seemed to be a focus in Subject 13, which showed how Peter, who initially had a very keen sense of what was how it should be and what wasn’t, came to doubt his own intuition. And we saw that again in this episode, when he and Bell arrived at Olivia’s home, and he hesitated. He doubted himself. All along, he had been so sure of where they were going, until the moment of truth. But this time, he chose to trust his instincts. And that made it so that, when he was confronted with the decoy Olivia, he was able to see that it wasn’t her, and to trust his own perception. And that is a progression I can accept.

    No, I agree that there hasn’t been enough time to show that Peter has suddenly come to know Olivia perfectly since the truth of the switch was revealed. But I don’t think that’s what we were meant to believe. Like I said, Peter has known Olivia extremely well for a long time — this wasn’t a development over a few short episodes. I choose to see it more as a progression where Peter learned to trust himself. And if I’m right, I think it’s significant that this episode showed both Peter and Olivia learning to overcome something in themselves that has been holding them back.

    “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!”

    I was quite fond of that moment. Walter never fails to get her name wrong at least once each episode, and that has been one of my favorite ongoing jokes in the show. So I thought it was fitting for them to build on that idea by having Astrid show Walter how it feels. That definitely earned her a few points in my book!

    “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 bothered me, as well. Walter has shown quite a bit of fondness and concern for Olivia over the years, but it bugged me how that suddenly seemed to fly out the window when it became a matter of Olivia vs. Bell. I know that Walter has a special connection with Bell, but that doesn’t excuse him neglecting Olivia in the way he’s done ever since Bell showed up. Walter seemed like he could care less about what happened to Olivia, or what all this meant to her. I found that attitude to be particularly disturbing, especially since Bell shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

    “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.”

    I think Astrid is just one of those kinds of people who feels the need to always be optimistic and believe that things aren’t as bad as they seem. She gives people the benefit of the doubt (which is a good thing, but also a bad thing as it often gets her in trouble…). She had to believe that Bell wouldn’t risk Olivia’s life like Peter was suggesting. She had to believe that Olivia would be all right. Just like she believes in Walter. Just like she believed that Peter wouldn’t be gone forever when he ran away last season. Astrid is always the voice of hope. I wonder if that means something…

    “First, you have to love the reference to Peter’s penchant for kicking down doors!”

    I had thought how it was odd that Peter didn’t automatically kick down the door to Bell’s office or the door to the engine room of the zeppelin while in Olivia’s mind… Your reasoning here is as good an explanation as any!

    “He’s impeccable, but Broyles wiping down tables? And without the diligent Astrid noticing!!?? OK, perhaps not as impossible at it seems.”

    Nicely done — that was subtle! But I liked it…

    I’m impressed. That was a high rating for this episode, especially coming from you. I figured you would like it, but I didn’t expect it would be that much! You never cease to surprise me…

    Best caption goes to the DunhamCats — that was very clever! Though there were a lot of good ones to choose from this review! :)

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    • g33k says

      I’m totally in agreement with you regarding Peter noticing the real Olivia being appropriately done. In the end I think that moment was more about Peter’s character growth and trusting his instincts than it was about Peter being able to detect who Olivia was in her eyes.
      Considering so much of the relationship between the three main characters is based on a tenuous trust because of Walter’s past mistakes, I think it was interesting to see trusting one’s own instincts being brought forward in the story as well. I think his early conversations with Altlivia in DSDOES about her being different were the seed to try to get the audience to understand that.

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  13. Fring3Fri3nd says

    Great insight Roco San, like Brown Betty – I am watching this episode intensly to see where the next season is heading – I think we will find X-Man in the Red Verse he seems to be fated to run into Olivia – And I am looking forward to her locking him up before he kills her.

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  14. Anne Sophie says

    Another great review! Definitely in agreement with you on the episode’s highlights, and flaws. But overall, an outstanding accomplishment.

    I too missed a Nina/Bellivia encounter, as I pointed out before; if they were so close, why did the whole Fringe team spend 2/3 days with him, but Nina was nowhere to be seen? Does not make sence, even if Bell was ‘bad at goodbyes’…

    And I also agree with the abovementioned comment by Real1; I’ve heard a lot of people say that Nina tried to kill Walter and Peter, and therefore it means Olivia still doesn’t trust her. But Walter and Peter were obviously looking for Olivia, and so Nina functioned as one of Olivia’s guardians/defense mechanisms.

    As for Walter’s glaring lack of concern for Olivia’s wellbeing, I think that when Bell is around, Walter somehow feels even more insecure (inferior even) about his own intellect; when Bell is around, Walter is reminded of how much he needs him and wants him there. I think Walter therefore has a very selfish focus on Bell, which also kind of balances out the rest, since none of the others were concerned about Bell, and solely focussed on getting Olivia back in one piece.

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    • Still Real1 ! says

      Olivia is not doubting Nina in my opinion , Olivia was open with Nina about her feelings and Nina did advice Olivia to go and talk with Peter , so when Peter said to Nina that they are looking for Olivia … Nina doesn’t want them to find her because she want to protect Olivia as how Olivia was wanting …. but Peter was smart to figure that Nina wants to kill them .

      At Bell’s office , Bell said I just saw Nina and told her where I am … :hmm: which make me thinking that Nina wants to protect Bell too or .. Olivia’s think that Nina will sacrifice Olivia to let Bell survive in her .. but I don’t think so because Olivia wasn’t informing that Bell’s soul in her yet … which let me more to go with the idea that Nina is one of the defense lines for Olivia .

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  15. Oscar says

    Really a great review!

    One more question: couldn’t Man X simply be a projection of Olivia’s idea/fear of Death? After all, she has a dangerous job, and during these three years mysteries and dangers were continually growing around her and the people she cares for… she must have thought to the possibility of dying. Maybe Man X is just the hypostasis of such a thought.

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    • nathan says

      It’s almost as if she has accepted her path, not fully realising what it is. Something has happened – she’s glimpsed at something as a whole – and now has a certain peace (?) acceptance.

      It was disconcerting.

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  16. dALTnielle says

    Another great review Roco and bless you.
    Since Peter realized that the Olivia he first encountered wasn’t the real one, I kept trying to understand how come now he can see it all of a sudden, but failed to see it for 8 weeks when Altlivia was here. I don’t think that is just because they are together and considering he was fooled once, now he learned his lesson. I strongly agree with mlj102 as he said it better than I would have ever been able to express it: this was about Peter learning to trust his instincts. He knew Altlivia wasn’t Olivia, he could see it in her eyes, in the way she was acting, he made observations about these things, but he didn’t trust himself, he just let it go, because he was finally happy. But now he trusts himself and his instincts.

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  17. Escher says

    What if Baby “accelerated growth” Peter kept on accelerating while we weren’t looking. He might be about Mister X’s age by now. Maybe he is actually Mister P.

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    • Red licorice says

      Exactly what I was thinking! Maybe the reason why “Mister X” didn’t actually kill neither Walter nor Peter is that he’s related to them!! And I think the “X” on the shirt indicates that we don’t know yet the baby’s name!
      I think it’s rather useless a baby at this time of the story, so I’m pretty sure we’ll get to see Baby “Oliver” (?) grow very fast over these last three episodes of the season!!!

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  18. Frobz says

    The two things that stood out for me:

    -Peter’s “we might kick something loose” comment, followed by the appearance of Mr. X. Where did X go? He parachuted out…is he going to pull an Agent Smith and “take over” someone in the real world? Or was someone else jacked in to Olivia’s consciousness? Remember, X sabotaged the blimp. He was a player, not an actor. Or perhaps…perhaps X is a stowaway in someone else’s consciousness (probably not Bell or Olivia so…Peter or Walter?)

    -Walter’s comment about the cortexifan kids having been “designed that way.” (followed by Peter’s “…what?”) Remember back to the Season 2 finale when Walter and Bell remark that Olivia was their greatest creation? Is there some darker skeleton in the closet about the cortexiphan kids we haven’t seen yet? We already know from “Human Nature” that Massive Dynamic was growing/cloning irritating psychic teenagers.

    Random elements: the family at Olivia’s table…was that her real father? What’s the significance of Xmas? Is there any significance to the “X” on Mr. X’s shirt?

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    • JoA says

      If Mr. X is real, then I agree with what others have mentioned about Olivia maybe seeing into the future or she’s known this guy from her past and he’s a locked up memory. Otherwise, the man could be just symbolic of implanted suggestion or memory or some embedded programming. Olivia said that the man was going to “kill” her. Could he be just a “kill switch” that gives whomever a backdoor into Cortexiphan kids in order to gain control over them. One of those people could be…say…William Bell?

      I could wonder if Peter may have been right about Bell and about his cheating death and maybe sacrificing Olivia so that he could live. Maybe Bell’s speech and check’s and balances made him think not to “kill” Olivia. And just because Bellie simply “went away”, does that mean he is truly gone? I mean he was inside of Olivia before and was not “called forth”. We know the tones activated his consciousness. Is he still around but back in a dormant state?

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  19. becca says

    I agree very much about the fact that Peter’s ability to identify Olivia feeling unearned. The annoying thing is, I actually think it makes complete sense in terms of his conman skills at predicting a person’s tactics and his knowledge of Olivia as a person and her recent history. He predicts her behaviour and where she will hide. It makes sense to me he will also be able to predict not only that she would lay a final “trap” for people looking for her, but also the nature of that trap – specifically when he’s the one looking; he knows how much it hurt her that he failed the test the first time around.

    But that’s the problem – being able to tell the truth from the fake because you can identify that you are probably being tricked, is very different from genuinely being able to recognise that spark of individuality. And the problem is, I think, that the episode left me feeling I was supposed to read into that moment that Peter has grown beyond his early season inability to tell the difference, when I have not seen anything change that would explain that, rather than telling me he’s an extraordinarily intelligent man who isn’t going to fall for the same trick twice.

    Put bluntly, was he recognising the trick or the woman? And which did the show want us to believe?

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    • Owl says

      Interesting thought. I hadn’t considered that his background would have made him predisposed to recognize tricks, and that might be what the writers wanted us to notice. Thanks for bringing that up.

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  20. Tenison says

    I gotta say, I just can’t believe William’s return to life was so… bad used. We didn’t see the resolution of the shapeshifter’s disc problematic, we didn’t see him talking with Nina and we just have more questions about his person. Therefore, I think his energy is still out there, in somewhere, looking for someway to get a body again.

    Oh man, I hope so much that Over Here Lee die, just to Walter put soul magnets in his vains and ring Bell’s Bell trying to bring William to live again *crossing fingers* – I don’t know if this is inteligible, but I’m trying ^^

    About Peter, well, I agree with the perspective that he learnt the lesson. After the Olivias switch I belive he started to notice every single detail he could about her personality. More: in my opinion, after the 6B events they told to each other whatever they could to know how to understand them.

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  21. says

    When Walter was falling from the Zepplin it looked to me like he was falling right into Reiden Lake. Anyone else? And when Man X was locked in the engine room with all those chains it made no sense whatsoever to me that the key was hanging right there. So Man X couldn’t have locked himself in there, so he was put there, but whoever put him there wanted him to be found and released at some point. Hmmm….

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    • KLA says

      Interesting thoughts Schwakamole. I also wondered about the convenience of the key hanging there too.

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      • Still Real1 ! says

        And the first one who was entering the Zepplin is BELL . so maybe Bell who did it and let Peter to free him or to kick him .

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        • Tenison says

          I don’t think Bell had enough time to do that, but I’m not excluding his participation in the “Man X” mystery or origin.

          Schwakamole, I thought it the same, about the Reiden Lake. Maybe its meaning is just alusive. Like Peter thought that falling inside the lake would lead you back home, when Walter felt in it he was brought back to our reality, and out of Olivia’s mind.

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  22. Aaronia says

    I think Olivia might know already about how all of them die (you know, as implied by the phrase “The day we died”: someone who remembers their own death): she gets killed by Mister X, Walter falls (from a bus?, from a zeppelin?), Peter gets killed by a car (as it almost happened in “The Firefly”). It might have to do with Time Travel, as I suggested somewhere else.

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  23. Sssssssssssss... says

    Has anyone spotted the Observer in this episode, or did Peter correctly spot Broyles as the Observer?

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    • Red licorice says

      The Observer can be seen at the beginning of the episode, when they rush Bellivia through the E.R.

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  24. lilli says

    ROCO, I want to ask you something. When Walter says “She was designed like this”…do you think that he’s hinting at the fact that the Cortexikids were genetically designed?

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    • says

      lilli: it’s interesting to look at it that way. I took it primarily as a reference to Cortexiphan and the methods applied in the trials essentially ‘re-designing’ the subjects, if you will. Making them both “natural and unnatural” within the context of what we’ve previously been told.

      Though it’s possible that there could be a further truth behind their origins. This might tie into their supposed “predisposition”.

      That said, if Walter believes they are genetically engineered, it begs the question as to why he hasn’t told anyone by now? Walter being Walter this could be explained. It’s interesting to speculate.

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      • lilli says

        thank you for your answer!In fact, it would be very strange if this had not come out earlier, but it could be part of Walter’s erased memory. And it would definitely play a role in the concept of fate that hunts so much Bell and Peter. If the Cortexikids were designed, why did Wally&Bellie create them like this?Did they intended them to be warriors since the start?And why if the alternate universe was not perceived as dangerous back then?
        Plus….what if there was always intended to be a “guardian” of the machine(BBM)?What if someone else,like the First People,moved W&B to create the Cortexitrials to achieve the creation of someone (Olivia)who would bind Peter to one of the universes or both…a sort of safety device?Sorry for the long mind trip, probably some LSD reached me as well from the screen!! ;D

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        • Oscar says

          Lilli, this is a really intriguing hypothesis…

          After all, we know Walter has a passion for genetic engineering… [Spoiler removed - as per spoiler rules] We can now even presume that Walter in some way inserted First People DNA in Peter’s one (who, if not a First People or at least a “partial” one, could use a First People’s device that responds to specific DNA sequences?) and in so doing, most likely, caused his illness (that was “genetic” as well as “devastating”). And we know that Peter and Olivia are almost same age, and that Walter followed Olivia’s growth for years… So, it wouldn’t be utterly unlikely that Walter had played with DNA engineering in other cases beyond Peter. This doesn’t mean he inserted First People DNA in others – after all, Peter is “uniquely” fitted to the BBM – but he could have genetically designed other children…

          We’ve only to wait and see…

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  25. Peanut says

    Roco, I think that you outdid yourself in this review—lots of pithy & amusing comments.

    I enjoyed the episode including the animation. It was good to have Nimoy voicing Bell although Anna Torv did so much to embody Bell/Nimoy’s mannerisms and speech patterns.

    One thing that I don’t recall anyone commenting on—in this episode, the universes are MERGED in “Oliviaville”—some kind of foreshadowing? The zeppelin is from Over There while Jacksonville is, as far as we know, significant only to Over-Here Olivia. I was a bit disappointed that Henry wasn’t driving the cab, by the way. Then the twin towers are still standing, definitely an Over-There landmark. Except possibly for Mr. X, the recognizable people, such as Nina & Olivia’s family, are the Over-Here versions.

    When the light shatters before Bellivia collapses, is that because of Olivia/Peter?

    Olivia, rather than being afraid, has been sometimes reckless in risking her life for her job so I do not consider Olivia as someone who needs to overcome her fears. In fact, Walter remarked in “Jacksonville” that the problem was that the Cortexiphan wasn’t working because she wasn’t afraid anymore. Little Olive already confronted her stepfather, shooting him when she was nine years old—hardly the act of a fearful child. Perhaps the distinction is her insecurity regarding her personal life, but that’s not the way that her fear was presented.

    I’m not sure how to interpret Nina’s behavior in Olivia’s mind. Olivia’s mind was perceiving Walter & Peter as hostile invaders so it could be that Nina was protecting Olivia. (I also wonder why Olivia’s stepfather would have been trying to protect Olivia, evidently Olivia’s decision?) I also thought that Nina could have been protecting Bell from Walter & Peter (or “Waltoon” & “Petoon” as someone has dubbed them—guess that would make Bell “Belltoon”).

    This past weekend I was out of town & watching “Fringe” on the motel television (& I certainly missed my HDTV). The television must have been on the verge of expiring. The colors were so far off that I got the Smurf version of Fringe, with blue people. In a show such as “Fringe,” with colors being of such importance, this problem was frustrating. When Peter & Bell look for the red door in Olivia’s version of Jacksonville, the colors were backwards with all of the doors EXCEPT Olivia’s being red—Olivia’s door on my television looked green. I’ll have to watch the episode for a third time to recalibrate my color perception.

    Speaking of colors, the red stuff is not really licorice (the black stuff), which has the distinctive licorice or anise taste.

    Then we had the dramatic conclusion of the episode in which Olivia is actually seen eating something for the first time in two years or something like that. Oh, & Mr. X is probably going to kill her.

    I wondered, as someone previously mentioned, if Mr. X might be Robert Bishop? The image on his t-shirt looks like a variation of a maltese or an iron cross to me & made me think of Germany (the cross canted to take on an “X” shape instead of a cross shape). Are the writers using the “X” to symbolize an organization with religious or military ties? He’s on a zeppelin, which also has a German association. Mr. X also reminded me of the “rogue Observer”–maybe an indication that alt-ZFT is soon to emerge?

    How did Mr. X get in Olivia’s mind? Did she see the future? Another possibility—her mind has been shared/invaded by others who may have known Mr. X—maybe Mr. X is an artifact from the memory of one of the others who have been in her mind (John Scott, Fauxlivia, or Bellie). I also wonder with Walter & Peter in her mind—could she have picked up something from their memories? There is also the possibility that Mr. X is a manifestation of Olivia’s subconscious; Bell did make the remark that Olivia is her own worst enemy.

    What happened to Astrid’s line in one of the previews “and you were worried?” (said apparently to Peter)? I do not recall her saying this line in the actual episode.

    We still don’t know what’s with that dang peacoat! And what about Peter’s shades when he arrives in O-town? Why was he wearing them? Then why did he take them off?

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    • says

      Excellent stuff Peanut, always enjoyable to read your thoughts.

      “When the light shatters before Bellivia collapses, is that because of Olivia/Peter?”

      I took it to be the result of Olivia returning (albeit briefly). Walter spoke about the brain’s electrical charges – I feel this was a dramatic way to illustrate that.

      It was also similar to the ‘thunder storm’ that guided Olivia out of her subconscious towards the end. Both scenarios represented Olivia ‘waking up’.

      “I also wonder why Olivia’s stepfather would have been trying to protect Olivia, evidently Olivia’s decision?”

      Interesting – I didn’t perceive it that way. Bad Daddy seemed like a hostile projection all-round. I’d say he was trying to harm the Bishops because they were intruding on Olivia’s mind. (‘he’ may also have sensed their connection to Olivia). However, her mind had also turned on Olivia – her negative emotions running rampant. So I’d say that Bad Daddy was also trying to harm Olivia, which is why he and the Projecticons chased her towards the end.

      “I wondered, as someone previously mentioned, if Mr. X might be Robert Bishop?”

      Interesting. Though wouldn’t Walter recognize his own father?

      “He’s on a zeppelin, which also has a German association.”

      That’s a interesting catch. Might have some relevance beyond the AU reference.

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  26. Vini says

    Bell is obviously not dead, i think the only purpose for his possesion of Olivia’s body was to give Peter the soul magnets so that he couse use the Machine , which was accomplished at the end of stowaway, so he had no more reason to stay in her body, but Olivia wouldn’t let him out because subconsciously she knew what he wanted to do. He realized that he had to “convince” Olivia that he was not a bad guy so she would let him go, he waited until her conscience was in danger to pretend to be the hero who sacrificed himself to save her and thus olivia let her guard down and let him go. Now it’s only a matter of time before the soul magnets inside Peter are activated. Bell is probably the end villain of the show.

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