FRINGE Review: 3.20 6:02 AM EST


Welcome to our Fringe review for chapter 3.20 – “6:02 AM EST.

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

  • It’s great to come back to the main story arc and return to the essential pages of this novel. The mini ‘Bellvia’ arc was fun, mythological, and gave us the Man X mystery – but ultimately it didn’t really do all that much in terms of plot or character progression.
  • The effects of the Boom-Boom-Machine (BBM). It was always going to be interesting to see what the BBM did once it was triggered. Perhaps not as jaw-dropping as it could have been, but  it was an incremental illustration of the the power it yields. With the Machine now activated, the story has no choice but to claw forward.
  • Peter being called upon to face his fate. I thought this was interesting and packed a couple of surprising turns.
  • Walter in the chapel. This contained some nice follow-through from Walter’s story archive and brought the character forward a few steps. Since the dawn of time I’ve wanted Walter to be more selfless, so I found it extremely interesting and satisfying to see him reach a point where he’s putting other people first. This is why you focus on long-form stories, because it’s about the journey of characters. It was also a very convincing portrayal by John Noble, who also delivered a strong Walternate performance on the flip-side.
  • It’s always good to see Sam. He had some interesting moments which will surely gather momentum in the next episode.
  • Which brings me to the fact that this episode will indeed carry over into the next one. More of that continuity and serialization I’ve been talking about. And this time we’re directly addressing the main story so it’s even more rewarding and meaningful.

THE BAD

  • See no BBM. Given the magnitude of the event, it was somewhat disappointing to not actually see the Over There BBM being activated. I can understand not showing it for budgetary and episode  structure reasons, but some explanation of the process would have been welcome.
  • I was unconvinced by some of the character motivations. Walternate, Lincoln, and a certain redhead assassin spring to mind. The BBM wasn’t the only plot device at work.
  • Altlivia. It’s too big a leap for me to believe that she suddenly cares enough about the other side to behave the way she did in this episode. She may be a newly crowned mother but I didn’t find the exploration of her motivations very convincing. If anything, I found her mindset a little confusing.
  • I found the episode a bit uneven. I don’t think the ‘Bellivia’ arc helped (although it was fun). It felt like the characters were suddenly rushing into position when they had plenty of time to prepare for the little matter of the APOCALYPSE. The lack of amber is almost unforgivable on Nina’s part and came across somewhat contrived.
  • It’s disappointing that Olivia never really got the chance to keep her promise to Broylnate. While I’m sure she will do her best to save both universes, she has been forced into action rather than proactively following through on her word. It’s perhaps unfair to expect so much from her, especially after all she has been through – but this is our go-getter, our story chaser, our heroine. I don’t believe this is a statement against her character, rather her through line just got muddied along the way. Which is a shame, because ‘action’ and ‘reaction’ has different connotations. We’ll see how it all plays out though.

BIG MYSTERIES

  • Walternate used baby Henry’s DNA to activate the BBM – but how?
  • Did the Observer deem the BBM activation important enough to observe?
  • Why precisely did the Over Here BBM wake up once the Over There BBM was activated – particularly given that the opposite (presumably) didn’t happen when Peter triggered the Over Here BBM in “Reciprocity”?
  • Why did the BBM reject Peter?
  • Assuming that a person isn’t controlling the BBM, what is guiding its action? If it’s operating on its own accord, how is the degradation appropriated?

BIG ANSWERS

  • Confirmation that Walternate used the DNA of Peter’s child to activate the Machine. They stripped out Altlivia’s chromosomes, leaving them with half of Peter’s genetic profile – enough to activate the BBM.
  • Sam Weiss is genuinely concerned at the consequences of the BBM being activated.
  • Altlivia named her child ‘Henry’ after Henry Higgins who delivered the child.
  • Baby Henry is 3 weeks old as of this episode.
  • William Bell introduced Nina to Sam Weiss. Bellie had great confidence in Sam and advised Nina to trust him implicitly. She consulted with him from time-to-time when Bellie went missing.
  • Sam told Nina not to divulge information about to BBM to anyone or she would never see or hear from him again.
  • Nina has also has the Russian version of the First People’s book in her possession.

FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • We open with confirmation that Walternate retrieved baby Henry’s blood sample (DNA) in “Bloodline” so he could activate the BBM. Brandonate was not secretly working against him. This played out as I thought it would.
  • Knowing Walternate as I do, I was confident that he would find a way to activate the BBM using baby Henry’s DNA. It was interesting to hear Brandonate say they ‘stripped out’ Altlivia’s chromosomes.
  • I find it interesting to look at that phrasing in the context of Altlivia’s ‘redundancy’ coupled with Walternate’s decision to keep her in play. Will there come a point where she’s obsolete?
  • Bradonate says he’s proud to be a part of saving their universe, even though history may not recognize their efforts. While this guy has a morality vacuum, I continue to be intrigued by his enthusiasm – one that is offset by Walternate’s blend of determination and deep awareness of the consequences that await them:

Walternate: “Oppenheimer saved us too, but at what cost? He couldn’t bear the nightmares, the screams of all the innocents he’d killed. “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”. Only in our case, that really is true. We destroy their world to save ours. May God have mercy on us”

  • Very useful to see Walternate’s conscience in action. He then hands the blood vial back to Brandonate, as if teaching the young scientist a lesson – a reminder that every action has a direct and equal consequence.
  • Walternate is such an interesting character. He’s unflinching, yet he knows the ‘rules’ of nature. He knows this isn’t a heroes parade, but a decision that will likely destroy him. He asks God to have mercy on them for going ahead with an extremely negative action. All of this not long before Walter has his own meeting with God, asking for mercy, for protection.
  • Freewill? Design? Entanglement. An illustration of how man’s greatest enemy is himself? When you involve God, the notion of a creator, these questions become more pertinent.
  • I find it huge to discover that Walternate still places value in the idea of ‘God’, to the point where he would essentially ask for forgiveness. This from a man who not long ago reminded Brandonate that he’s still a scientist, that his Lab is the world.  This from a man who I sense felt let down by the fact that God didn’t prevent his son from being kidnapped.
  • So it’s useful to see that this man, who took it upon himself to bring balance back to ‘nature’, actually has some sense of his place. Yet, he also feels justified in what he’s about to do. This isn’t a down on his knees, pleading for God’s mercy, display. No, it’s almost a courtesy call.
  • And the impact of his action are swift in arriving. Animals are always the first to notice something bad is coming. I thought the sheep would arrange themselves in a Fibonacci Spiral, though that may have been too on the nose – as they say in noseville.
  • The power of the BBM is devastating as it rips through the poor farmers. Where was I at 6:02 AM EST? Luckily, I wasn’t down at the dang farm!

  • Sam Weiss looks very troubled when we first see him here. More troubled than we’ve previously seen him, and this is before he even notices his balls knocking together. I like the idea that the bowling balls are more than just bowling balls. They’re essentially a measuring device, early warning system. OK, they might not be, but I like the idea.
  • Sam takes a deep breath before inspecting the Kinetic Balls (or Newton’s Cradle). The last time I remember him inhale/exhale so visibly, was when he told Olivia that she was a good person. This might just be Kevin Corrigan‘s interpretation of the moment, but it would be interesting if the two gestures relate on some level.
  • Sam’s concerns are deepened once the balls start swinging, confirming that something was triggered in the alternate universe – for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
  • Cut to the hope of morning. Olivia feels optimistic about life. I found the scene a bit contrived, but it’s there to contrast with the subsequent doom of the Boom-Boom. I also wonder whether the activation of the BBM added a little extra tint to the sunrise, which would make Olivia’s comment even more ironic.
  • Walter theorizes that a vortex ate the sheep and farm boys, and says that his worst fears have been realized. I found Peter’s questioning a bit odd. He seems surprised, as though such a thing was unlikely. It wasn’t too long ago that they thought the Blight was having a party in apartment 6B.

  • Nina’s reaction is also a bit weird. I think the dramatic tension didn’t quite hit the mark. She’s too hyper. Sure, the BBM has turned on, but I can’t recall her being this flappable when it activated in “Reciprocity”.
  • I think the problem isn’t helped by the fact that the team have been sitting on their bottoms for most of the season. They’re really not very proactive when it comes to the BBM, or tying up lose ends like Peter Mercing the shapeshifters as a result of his symbiotic BBM connection.
  • That aside, it’s interesting that the ‘Blue BBM’ should activate as a result of the ‘Red BBM’ turning on. Not surprising, given the reciprocity of the two universes, but interesting. Especially given that only half of Peter’s DNA profile was used to trigger the Red BBM.
  • Peter suddenly feels inadequate when he realises his Machine BBM’d up without him. Oh, NOW you want to go inside the BBM, Peter? ;)
  • Walter puts two and two together and figures that the vortex was caused by the activation of the Blue BBM. He says, “if it’s the end of the world, this is just the beginning”
  • But how do you define ‘beginning’, Walter? Technically, the beginning could apply to when you snuck over and stole Peter from his own universe. Or when September foolishly interrupted Walternate just as he was about to discover the cure for Peter. I know what he means, of course, but the word “beginning” in Fringe is worth a raised eyebrow.
  • What is interesting though is that Walter doesn’t assume that the world will end in the blink of an eye, he seems to believe it will be a somewhat drawn out process. I guess he knows about the 6 year plan?

  • Peter talks about his BBM complex. He just can’t get his head around the fact that something else turned her on. He probably should have considered this possibility before. It’s not like I begrudge him or Olivia happiness, but they had plenty of time to do more as far as investigating the BBM is concerned. It seems like they put themselves first.
  • Given that two worlds are at stake and that they even had a prophecy drawing to guide them (accurate or otherwise), they’ve been a touch selfish. And goodness knows Broylnate died for a good cause, right Liv? :o Otherwise dude could have spent more time with the wife and kids and made the most of whatever time his world had left.
  • When it’s the end of the world its fine to enjoy every last second of it, but those that can do something about it really NEED to do something about it. Of course, we have to suspend disbelief here and there because we’re watching a serialized story and not a movie, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an issue.
  • Walter now figures that the Red BBM was at fault for the vortex because it shares a magnetic field similar to the Magic Typewriter Altlivia used to communicate to the other side. He believes the events will increase exponentially.
  • He then says that Walternate has won. Is this a game to you Walter? I guess on some level it is. His struggle to be the equal of his equal is a very competitive perspective.  I have a problem with that, in some ways, because it suggests that Walter is looking at the situation too narrowly. But on the other-hand it reflects the personal responsibility that Walter feels towards the situation.
  • What I will take issue with is his ability to throw the towel in quicker than a tower thrower. Seriously, Walter!

  • Aw, look at Baby Henry. Little does he know that his DNA has just pooped on an entire universe. It’s actually an interesting situation. Walternate – who I presume didn’t want to take Peter’s blood when he had the chance out of some choice-principle – had no qualms violating any choice that Baby Henry (or his mother) had over the use of his DNA.
  • Perhaps he felt justified in that he had saved the child from VPE, and that the manner in which the blood was obtained was a natural one that he merely took advantage of? Has Walternate thrown himself off his own moral high ground? Has he crossed his own lines about not experimenting on children? I think there’s two very weighty arguments to such a debate, but ultimately I do feel that he has created a scenario to minimize his perception of his own hypocrisy.
  • And to be fair, Walter has done the same thing over the decades, justifying situations based on circumstance and ignorance. Removing pieces of his brain so he wouldn’t remember what a monster he was. Doing whatever it took to fill his heart because he wanted to save the boy, because he didn’t want to hurt the universe by taking him back. How convenient.
  • I continue to have greater sympathy for Walternate though – let’s remember that he’s essentially flying solo, with only the warped Brandonate by his side (and Reiko in his bed).
  • Though I do still speculate that Brandonate is a foil to keep Walternate afloat. He needs Brandonate to be as vial and ruthless as he is, because he himself is unable (unwilling) to be play that role. In that sense, Brandonate is a frickin’ projection.
  • I’m not feeling Altlivia and her involvement here. I’ve found her interesting throughout, but she’s never convinced me as being a fully realized character. (“Bloodline” was perhaps the closest she’s come). She’s a mother now, but what does that mean?
  • Apparently, it means she sees the world with new eyes and suddenly cares for the universe she actively plotted to destroy. I’m also for redemption songs but this one lacks a few notes.
  • BUT, she does score some points for calling baby Henry a “nugget”. LOL, Altliv, he REALLY IS!
  • She also says “I love you”, which was nice, but pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things. I love Henry’s red hat but that doesn’t make me deep and all. I just happen to like Red, OK?

  • The BBM’s roar is a class nine event. Scratch that, it’s a class TEN event. This should tell us something about just how much energy that bad girl is giving off.
  • Walternate and Brandonate had hoped that environmental degradation levels on their side would begin to improve almost immediately. Walternate then says, “reversing this many years of damage will take longer than a few hours”. This at least implies that there’s more than a bloodthirsty lust for revenge on Walternate’s tongue, which is more in-keeping with his overall arc.
  • The next scene I found a bit incongruent. Altlivia, bless her, is aghast that Walternate would trigger the BBM and potentially kill the people Over There. I guess she also underwent an accelerated morality bone in “Bloodline”, because this surely can’t be the Altlivia we grew up on! Characters change, but this struck me as a plot-driven adjustment for bright eyes. I’ll just accept that she’s a plotty character, although I expect more from her for some reason.
  • And I know there’s the Peter factor, but that strikes me as flaky.
  • Walternate response also surprised me somewhat. I can understand that he wants to protect his world, even at (or especially at) the expense of the other side, but the whole thing about destroying Peter in the process also felt rather out of place. Almost as though the story didn’t have room to make the character motivations consistent.
  • The general idea seems to be that because Cortexiphan has failed on adults (and he wasn’t willing to use it on children), he’s accepted that he wont be able to get Peter back – so he’s given him up and offset this anguish with the love and devotion to his Peter II (baby Henry).
  • It just about works for me, but given that his entire mission was just as much about getting Peter back as it was saving his world (and I do believe both objectives were almost equal), it seems weird to have him ‘suddenly’ arrive at this decision. We’re left to swallow it like hard candy, so from my perspective it doesn’t digest as sweetly as it could.
  • Still, earlier in the season I did suggest that Walternate had essentially given up on Peter when he used the world “irreparable”, so there are some seeds there. I just wanted to see more of that character journey, but I’ll take what I can get.

  • I have to come back to Walternate’s wording though, as it’s very interesting:

“Peter chose to leave. He chose his allegiance. I chose to give up my son, so that you could keep yours”

  • Obviously the buzz word there is “chose”. This word has followed Walternate around since the back-end of last season. This is a father who feels hurt by Peter’s ‘choice’. Don’t be fooled by the harshness of his tone – moments before he says these words he looks visibly hurt and pained. But like his avatar, Amber, he encases it and hardens his emotions.
  • And I don’t necessarily pin the blame on Walternate either. I’ve always said that Peter was far too quick to run back into Walter’s arms. Boy Wonder has to take a measure of responsibility for what has transpired. Ironically, there was “another way” that only Altlivia (in the story) has thought of.
  • Meanwhile, Walter is afraid to act. Let’s not worry though, Bellie said that whatever choice he makes will be the right one. Walter cooks bacon while naked? It’s a just decision, let the man cook!
  • Good to see Olivia’s experience with the anomalies on the other side affording the team knowledge on how to go about establishing an early warning system. Again, I’m not sure why this wasn’t followed through after the events of “6B”, but my name isn’t Broyles, Walter, Olivia, or Boy Wonder.
  • Olivia tells Peter “there’s gotta be a way to stop the Machine”. On some level I think they both knew that Peter was going inside the BBM. The unspoken ‘goodbye, hope to see ya later’.

  • Walter considers the possibility of encasing the Blue BBM in lead – this was a nice insight into Walter’s mind playing catch-up with the other side, who made a similar consideration hours earlier. While Peter utters his trademark line, “we both know there’s another way”.
  • He spent a season running away from his ‘fate’, only to be coerced into the BBM anyway. I knew he would take that step. This turn of events is also interesting because it offers additional perspective on the prophesy drawing. Walter’s right, “we don’t know what it means”.
  • Peter concedes that “somehow that machine was made for me”. I’ve been waiting for someone to come right out and say it. For me, the question has always been ‘what came first – the BBM or Peter? Peter seems to believe that he came first – though it may depend on how we perceive time.
  • Walter figures that this was part of the Observers experiment – “give him the keys and save the girl” – preparing Walter to let Peter go when the time came. By creating a scenario where Walter proved to himself that he could sacrifice Peter for the common good, this in itself affected a change. It opened a door in Walter’s outlook. It’s a crafty piece of manipulation by the Observers, though whether it’s as altruistic as it seems probably depends on their ultimate goal.
  • And Walter may later question whether this really was the intended moment of sacrifice, given that things didn’t pan out as he expected.
  • It’s a touching moment between father and son. The way I look at the situation, as a whole, it’s a very entangled way of solving a problem by creating a problem.
  • Even though Peter is not sacrificed by the episode’s end, it’s important that Walter understood the nature of sacrifice.

  • It was also touching to see Peter embrace his fate, to accept the BBM as being his very purpose in life, and then to ask Walter to essentially, potentially, help him die. When I think of all that Walter has done to keep him alive (however immoral), it creates a moment forged on a the arc of authenticity.
  • Such bravery and pain. Triggered by the boy’s biological father on the other side. Triggered by the boy’s decision not to understand that father. Triggered by Walter’s decision to steal a boy. Triggered by the human heart and soul needing both redemption and forgiveness. Can someone stop pulling the damn trigger!
  • Nina really is underprepared for all of this isn’t she. Not enough amber? Really Nina? What use is Massive Dynamic if you can’t whip up amber like chocolate? Of course, she trusted Sam Weiss, and in doing so didn’t believe it would come to this since Peter had chosen Olivia. Still a contrivance, but given the context of what went before it’s difficult to iron out.
  • While I’m sure Nina didn’t get where she is by believing everything she was told, it does give me a new perspective on the “Don’t trust Sam Weiss” clue that was planted on Walternate’s chalkboard at the end of season 2. Perhaps that early warning system (from the elusive Fringe narrator?) doesn’t point to the devilish properties of Sam Weiss, rather the fact that he is fallible, and would misjudge the situation?
  • Until we see the next episode, I think it’s certainly a viable interpretation – even though the clue itself doesn’t do much for us, or the characters who weren’t aware of the anagrammed message in the first place. We’ll see though.
  • I thought Nina was a bit too smug when telling Olivia that she’d already met her mystery man – Sam Weiss. This is the same woman who was flapping about anxiously a moment earlier. There’s a time and a place for smugness, Nina. This ain’t one of them!

  • Sam’s looking more and more concerned as he calculates the fate of the universe, or something. Either way, it’s bad for Blue – and maybe Red too.
  • I do like this though – we’re seeing the weight of responsibility that Sam has been guarding on his old shoulders. Whether or not we can trust him, it’s clear that he’s being authentic in these moments. He didn’t expect things to turn out like this. It would appear that he doesn’t have the sight to see over into the alternate universe. Perhaps this places him somewhat below the Observers on the ‘Mystical Entities’ totem pole? This reminds me of when he told Olivia that she had gone beyond his realm of expertize. Dude wasn’t kidding! But anagrams? He’s your man.
  • A nice scene between Mother and baby, but my emotions wont be twisted. Again, I believe Altlivia loves baby Henry, but I don’t believe that the love of her child/being a mother would suddenly make her care about the universe she fought against. Certainly not enough to leave (dare we say, sacrifice) her own child to go back to the other side and ask Peter to speak to daddy. It just makes very little sense from her perspective.
  • I’d almost buy it if Altlivia was a crazy projection in Olivia’s mind or something (and don’t rule that out). And Lincolnate babysitting? Linc, do you think Broylnate would babysit?
  • The logical person to babysit would be Mother Dunham. It’s easier to use Lincoln because Seth Gabel is pretty much a regular, but it seems a wee bit contrived. And is Altlivia taking advantage Lincolnate’s devotion, given that she knows he loves her?
  • Given that it crossed Altlivia’s mind to travel to the other side to get Peter to convince his father to turn off the BBM, why doesn’t Peter consider going over there to do exactly that? (they’re called PEACE talks, Peter!). It’s risky, but so is climbing inside of a BBM that might destroy one – or both universes.

  • As for the DoD break-in. I can accept that Altlivia would have increased access because she’s the mother of Walternate’s grandchild. But these ‘escape scenes’ don’t really hit the spot for me.
  • Altlivia suddenly reverts back to the character that talks out of the side of her mouth – while also sounding a bit like Bellie?
  • I’m glad for more information on the technology that Walternate used to cross over to get Peter, but I found it strange that Altlivia didn’t seem to have a problem with these risks. She’s a mother, right? On one hand we’re supposed to believe that being a mother changed her, but in the very next hand we’re seeing her taking nonsensical risks. Motivations can be splintered, but it didn’t quite work for me.
  • I can only reason that Altlivia didn’t know the extent of the risks she was preparing to face. Perhaps she was unaware that Walternate would have died had Newton not been on the other side to nurse him back to health. Maybe she believed the spirit of Newton would come to her aid?
  • At least Bradonate’s not as foolish as I feared. For a guy so proud to be a part of saving his universe I thought he gave up the technology very easily. I was glad when it turned out to be a trick.
  • What is difficult to justify was Altlivia’s decision to knock Brandonate out cold. I’ll be the first to say that dude had it coming in general, but shouldn’t you have asked him for the instruction manual first, Altliv?
  • It’s apparent that this was a very half-baked plan that was lucky to have gotten as far as it did. And once again the DoD is the least secure place in Walternateville. I found it hilarious watching Altlivia trying to activate the ‘Go There’ technology when she didn’t even know the first thing about it. I thought she was going to resort to shaking it at one point!
  • Interesting moment when Broyles asks Walter what he “as a father” thinks of Peter going into the BBM. It was nice to see Broyles take it down to the personal level of fatherhood. Being a father himself it makes sense for him to consider what this must be like for Walter. As lovely as it was, I also found it strange that Broyles would ask. Would he have ordered Peter to step down if Walter gave him enough cause?
  • It’s one of those moments that doesn’t quite land right. I like that Broyles and Walter are connecting in this way, but let’s not forget that Broyles is the head of Fringe Division and has the safety of an entire world to think of, not just the personal heart-strings of Walter Bishop.
  • Now, perhaps Broyles was just showing Walter some love, or simply trying to get his perspective so he can better understand the situation and use the information accordingly. Perhaps, but that’s not really how it played. It played more like a scene designed to give us insight into Walter’s thoughts. He was speaking to the audience, not Broyles. Which is fine, it just played too thinly.
  • Anyway, it was nice to hear Walter confess that he doesn’t want Peter to suffer. He had accepted that Peter might die but as a last request he didn’t want his boy to endure pain. Suffering does have a specific negative context. ‘Death’ (certainly on “Fringe”) carries a different, more peaceful, weight. Though perhaps Bellie’s soul magnets have gone to my head.
  • Speaking of Peter, he looked pretty cheesy in the X-Man MD suit. Interesting that he didn’t want Olivia to know what he was about to do. As I suggested earlier, I think they both kinda knew.
  • Still, he wants her to know this other big important thing: just in case the BBM BBQ’s him. “just tell her that….”
  • That WHAT? That you left the cooker on? What, Petah, tell us! Another reason to roll my eyes at Astrid. Seriously, I know you’re feeling delicate, dear, but perhaps you should have jotted that message down..just in case.
  • It was touching though. Astrid, offering hope. Walter, offering precaution. Broyles, offering luck. Three gifts and Peter only has a snarky remark:

“If this works, and I save both universes, I want you to consider me officially retired”

  • Oh Peter, you and your snarky snarks. And thanks for REMINDING  me that you’re also trying to save BOTH Universes.
  • And the cuddle between Astrid and Peter was rather sweet. “We’ll be waiting for you”. Aw!
  • Walter just about tops it with his “I was never good at letting you go”. A great line that sweeps through the pages of three chapters. But it’s the way he said “you” that gave it an extra kick. I’m not sure how intentional the phrasing was, but it was nicely weighted.

Peter: “This time you have to.”

Walter: “Son….”

Peter: “…I know”

  • There are times when it doesn’t need to be said. Walter’s craving for choc pudding can wait ’til lunch.

  • Peter turns to face the Machine like a man and then walks towards it with a purpose and a swagger. His eyes never leave the shiny panels of the BBM. The diabolical contraption sneers at his confidence. Peter clenches his teeth, then his fists. He hovers forward as if to display his craft, then stands eye to BBM eye with the device to end all devices.

Peter: “Why did you make me kill those shapeshifters? Why!??”

BBM: Huh? It was what you wanted. I was enjoying my 6 bajillion year hibernation and then YOU come along with your deep rooted desires. And yeah, I know that you still have feelings for the other Olivia. Prepare to meet your end”

Peter: NEVAAAH!

  • Peter reaches out to touch the BBM but gets instantly repelled backwards, his head crashing down onto the ground below. Round II goes to the BBM.
  • All joking aside, it was a very interesting moment. Why did the BBM repel Peter? Does it have a consciousness of its own? Is it because Walternate turned on his BBM first? Is the prophecy wrong? Did someone change things? Did Peter’s consciousness jump into the Machine?
  • Seems that for some, the prophecy isn’t worth the paper its written on.
  • Astrid tells Olivia that the BBM tried to protect itself. Very interesting language, which I think we’re supposed to take as being what the BBM did. I wonder if my crackpot theory edges closer?
  • Walter’s meeting with God was one of the episode’s stand-out moments. He begins by saying he doesn’t know his way around here, yet he soon settles.

“I have no other place to turn”

  • He’s come a long way for a man who once threw God out of his Lab.
  • Fascinatingly, Walter asks God about the white tulip sign he asked for and duly received:

“I asked you for a sign, and you sent it to me. White tulip, and I was so grateful. Since then, in moments of deep despair, I have found solace in believing that you have forgiven me”

  • Walter, of course has no conscious recollection of the fact that Alistair Peck sent Walter the white tulip because he told the time-traveller his secret request. Again, I don’t believe this necessarily lessens the sign, because who’s to say that Peck (or Walter himself, in some time-bendy fashion) wasn’t a means for God to give Walter the forgiveness he sought? Science or faith, it’s just a matter of perspective, I feel.
  • The question for me is not whether or not God was involved, it’s how Walter used this Power-Up. It seems that he found strength through it, which is good, though he did delay in telling Peter the truth about his origins. He only responded because he had to, because Peter found out another way.
  • That said, Walter has begun to make the necessary changes. And let’s be honest, change is difficult. It’s interesting to note that Walter turns his back on God and walks away. Although he’s grateful, it pains him to think that he let Peter go for what could end up being no great reward.

“I was willing to let Peter die. I’ve changed. That should matter.”

  • God doesn’t respond. Walter, sensing that he’s yet to find the core of God’s plan, tries another approach:

“God. I know my crimes are unforgivable. But punish me. Do what you want to me. But I beg you. Spare our world.”

  • A very moving scene. To see Walter remonstrate with God – to go from broken, to aggrieved, to remorseful, to willing. It’s a moment that feels warranted and authentic. Another important step on Walter’s path to redemption.
  • What I particularly liked was that it wasn’t a “blah, blah, blah, please save us all” type moment. Walter being Walter, and a father who had just sacrificed his son, was frustrated with God. Yes, he knew his place beneath God’s wisdom, but he was confused. He wanted God to know that he had changed, because he felt that somehow God might have missed those episodes. And ultimately, I think he realized that he might not have been asking for the right thing.
  • This is all interpretation, of course. It’s interpretation in the way it’s written, performed, and received. But this is what I liked about the moment – ultimately underscored by something I’ve been willing Walter to do for a long time – to look outside of himself AND his boy. This is such a monumental moment for Walter that I almost can’t believe he did it.
  • Olivia’s grief was also somewhat touching. Just when she had found happiness, the BBM button was pushed. She notices the rusty light outside, calling back to the earlier scene in the morning. From sunrise, to sundown. The BBM is not just ‘calling’ Peter, but also Olivia.
  • Sam’s investigations have obviously led him to seek Olivia’s help. Whether she can trust him with the BBM is another matter. As I speculated earlier, there may be two kinds of ‘trust’ involved here.
  • Sam tells Olivia that they don’t have enough time. By the way his hair is graying, I think he has less time than the collective “we”.
  • How cyclical. Altlivia ends up in the same cage where Walternate once (several times) put Olivia. Walternate says he knows this must be hard for her. Altlivia smiles, and says “oh, you don’t know anything about me”.
  • Well, he knows your womb extensively. Which is shocking, but true. It’s the typical Altlivia remark that doesn’t hold much water. Perhaps she believes there are some hidden facets to her personality that he doesn’t know about. But in context, are you saying that this isn’t hard for you, Altliv?
  • Walternate says they’re more alike then she thinks, which is an interesting perspective. I love the fact that Walternate is making these observations, probably forged from the pillow of his dreams. Altlivia tries to take the high ground:

“I don’t understand how killing billions of people could possibly be in the interests of the greater good”

  • I’ve already said my piece on this, but I do wonder where she gets off? Has she been mind-wiped, causing her to forget her part in all of this?
  • Walternate’s comeback is sublime though:

“That’s because you still have the luxury of your ideals. I have to be pragmatic.”

  • Is that what it’s all about? Are ideals a “luxury”? Not that I particularly agree with Walternate – he’s made a choice – but this does help us to further understand him.
  • Interesting that he decides to keep Altlivia in play – albeit it where he can see her..and where she can probably escape two minutes later!

FINAL THOUGHT

6:02 AM EST felt very much like a set-up episode at the start of a trilogy. Not as coherent or polished as, say “Bloodline”, but the shine came in the form of the emotional engagement towards the end, when I was reminded just how invested I am to our strange little family unit.

Get well soon Peter, you’ve survived everything else.

Best Performer: John Noble.

Best Line: “Do what you want to me. But I beg you. Spare our world” – Walter to God.

Best Moment: Walter’s audience with God.

Episode Rating: 8/10

Fringe Bloggers

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

Comments

  1. Walternate says

    Amazing review, as usual. As for the Altlivia thing, I think she genuinely loves Peter, and I think to that extent she is using her quest to cross over to our side so she can prevent the death of the man she loves. That said, I don’t see why she would risk sacrificing her child for that. It really does seem out of place.

    I also agree with your comments on the Walter talking to God scene. Walter has come a long way the “There’s only room for one god in this lab, and it’s not yours” Walter we saw in episode 2×15, “Peter.” I was very pleased with scene. Very moving, especially the ‘spare our world’ bit. We’ve seen Walter crying and depressed before, but this was a whole new level.

    In regards to Nina being more freaked out about the BBM activating than she was in “Reciprocity,” I think that’s just because as Peter said, he was “200 miles away.” That would make me act a bit crazy too.

    And onto the Peter rejection – I honestly think the machine on our side rejected Peter because he’s not our Peter. He’s from the other side. I think each Peter is supposed to work with the machine from their own respective universes. I think the reason it reacted to Peter in “Reciprocity” is because it was one of the Peters. But therein lies the problem for our side, because our Peter is dead. And since the Peter we know and love can’t stop the machine, we’re screwed.

    But it was a great review and a great episode. Can’t wait from tomorrow’s. Bound to be interesting.

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    • charliefan19 says

      Walternate, I agree about Peter being rejected by the machine…it’s not HIS machine. I think Peter is meant to control the one on the other side. :)

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        • Pam says

          No…I don’t think so, if Henry’s DNA, which is only half of Peter’s can do the trick, it doesn’t matter whether it is this Peter or the dead Peter – because, if just DNA can do it, both Peters have the same DNA!

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          • Walternate says

            You are right. They have the same DNA, but Henry is from the other side as well. I think the machine can tell the difference, kinda like Olivia’s glimmer

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    • says

      “As for the Altlivia thing, I think she genuinely loves Peter, and I think to that extent she is using her quest to cross over to our side so she can prevent the death of the man she loves. That said, I don’t see why she would risk sacrificing her child for that. It really does seem out of place.”

      I hear you – that’s one of my problems with her actions. Would she really risk never seeing Baba Henry again for Peter?

      Her plan to bring Peter back with her is not inconceivable in itself, but I just find this character turn difficult to believe, coupled with her spiel about the innocents on the other side. It’s all too convenient. It might have worked for me if given more time to broaden the character and strengthen her arc.

      “I honestly think the machine on our side rejected Peter because he’s not our Peter. He’s from the other side.”

      That’s a good shout. Certainly possible!

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  2. charliefan19 says

    Roco!!!!! I’ve been waiting and waiting… :) Thanks for the review!!

    I had a problem with Alt-Liv suddenly caring. I had an ever bigger problem with Lincoln babysitting. :P I almost expected Alt-Liv to give him a smooch…ick.

    I loved it when Walter went to the chapel. I’ve been waiting for a scene like that since White Tulip :) Thanks for your insight. I loved what you said about how he has come a long way from the man he used to be…a man who kicked God out of his lab. Redemption is a theme I have felt all through the Fringe journey. It has been my favorite element that makes the show human and not just some crazy show where people cough up slugs or shapeshifter embryos gross us out… It’s awesome.

    Can’t wait to see what happens next! Unfortunately I saw a spoiler clip…but I’ll be good until tomorrow night. I can’t wait to see what happens when Peter wakes up!

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    • Dylan says

      I was spoiled after I watched the episode’s scene-maker.

      Warning to others; don’t watch this episode’s scene-maker!

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    • says

      “Redemption is a theme I have felt all through the Fringe journey. It has been my favorite element that makes the show human and not just some crazy show where people cough up slugs or shapeshifter embryos gross us out… It’s awesome.”

      Hey charliefan. Very well said! It’s these earned human moments that allow the story to move in from the fringe and transcend to a deeper level.

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  3. Dylan says

    Thank you, Roco.

    I’m glad you too highlighted the many narrative holes in the second half of the season. It’s a shame given how well the first half operated.

    Fingers crossed, however, that this finale will more than make up for it.

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    • says

      “I’m glad you too highlighted the many narrative holes in the second half of the season. It’s a shame given how well the first half operated.”

      No problem. I think it’s worthwhile putting a finger in some of the story-holes. It makes the genuinely great moments all the greater and worthwhile.

      Like you, I’m hopeful that the final couple of episodes will continue to recent upwards trend.

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  4. Nico says

    I just really hope that Bell’s take-over of Olivia comes into play somehow in the finale, because if not, that whole arc was completely pointless. I’m kind of amazed the writers didn’t think to have Walter or anyone for that matter, ask Bell some of the more obvious questions, like “how do you know so much about the machine and why do you know Sam Weiss and why are you looking for the First People books?” It just seems like the writers got wrapped up in the idea of Bell inhabiting Olivia that they forgot to make it meaningful to the season arc. I really hope that they make up for it in the last two episodes but if they don’t its definitely going to stand out as a glaring mark on the season as a whole.

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    • says

      I hear you, Nico.

      It was a definitely detour, in my view – dare I say stalling for the finale eps. I think there might have been some good reasons for it, but ultimately I feel a bit more could have come from it in terms of the overarching story and character development.

      I don’t have a big problem with it because it was a mini serialized arc and contained some superb moments and one super episode (for me, at least). I guess it was this or three pure-bred mythalones.

      But other than Man X and some of the thematic ideas put forward in 3.19, I’m not sure that too much will come of it directly. We might see Bellie again in some form, but it probably wont be dependent on the Bellivia-arc.

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  5. Pam says

    Wonderful Review, as usual, Roco! Here are some comments, I’d like to add….

    “Aw, look at Baby Henry. Little does he know that his DNA has just pooped on an entire universe.”

    Hilarious! Only you can do it, Roco!

    “Walternate – who I presume didn’t want to take Peter’s blood when he had the chance out of some choice-principle – had no qualms violating any choice that Baby Henry (or his mother) had over the use of his DNA.”

    I think Walternate had no reason to believe that Peter would trash all his (Walternate) life’s work in the trash and return back to his kidnapper. He must have expected to become a Hero in the boy’s eyes, but, he didn’t even get a proper goodbye in return!

    “I don’t believe that the love of her child/being a mother would suddenly make her care about the universe she fought against. Certainly not enough to leave (dare we say, sacrifice) her own child to go back to the other side and ask Peter to speak to daddy. It just makes very little sense from her perspective”

    But, Altliv is a hero in her own right too – remember the children she saved from the bus? And, pulling Linc’s ass out of a vortex? Saving Peter’s ass from the train? By nature, she needs very little provocation to play hero! And, let us not forget that she is now in love with Peter – maybe, this is a way for her to get Peter to think she is not a bad girl after all!

    “Lincolnate babysitting? Linc, do you think Broylnate would babysit? The logical person to babysit would be Mother Dunham. It’s easier to use Lincoln because Seth Gabel is pretty much a regular, but it seems a wee bit contrived. And is Altlivia taking advantage Lincolnate’s devotion, given that she knows he loves her?”

    That is possible too! But, I think Altliv is not too selfish, when it comes to her friends. So, it could be just that she wants to keep Linc out of trouble.

    “Still, he wants her to know this other big important thing: just in case the BBM BBQ’s him. “just tell her that….”
    That WHAT? That you left the cooker on? What, Petah, tell us!”

    Roco! That is just too funny!

    Overall, great review and gives me a different perspective on the episode, too!

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    • says

      “I think Walternate had no reason to believe that Peter would trash all his (Walternate) life’s work in the trash and return back to his kidnapper. He must have expected to become a Hero in the boy’s eyes, but, he didn’t even get a proper goodbye in return!”

      That’s a good point Pam. There’s been plenty over the course of the season to imply that Walternate feels let down by Peter (and I can’t blame him on that), so I think your suggestion holds a lot of weight in terms of his actions before and after Peter returned to Walter.

      “But, Altliv is a hero in her own right too – remember the children she saved from the bus? And, pulling Linc’s ass out of a vortex? Saving Peter’s ass from the train? By nature, she needs very little provocation to play hero! And, let us not forget that she is now in love with Peter – maybe, this is a way for her to get Peter to think she is not a bad girl after all!”

      True, she is ballsy, and a hero to those who have a very specific view of ‘heroism’. That said, my problem is not so much with her bravery (per se), but more to do with the risk she took in leaving Henry and the way her motivations were conveyed.

      The way I see it, they tried to do several things in one episode alone – make us buy into the idea that Henry has changed Altlivia, have her risk losing Henry, imply that she would risk losing Henry to save the world she went beyond the call of booty to destroy, have her conveniently ‘forget’ her part in Walternate’s plans, reinforce the idea that she loves Peter – and by doing so negate the idea that she was trying to save the Blue ‘universe’, etc.

      I just find that too much, too soon, and with little exploration of the character. The end result for me is Altlivia becoming more of a plot device than ever. Which is fine in some respects, but I get the sense that they want her to be more than just a plot device.

      You do raise some excellent points though, and I appreciate the mention about Altlivia being something a hero in her world. That’s an ingredient worth adding to the soup.

      Thanks for sharing your mind!

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  6. says

    Thanks for the wonderful review, really well done!

    I had no trouble with the altlivia arc and her jumping in feet first to save the blue world. I think she is a loyal person and had no trouble supporting Walternate’s plan of sending her to the other side, because she saw it as critical to saving her world.

    But when Walternate showed that it was not simply about saving their world, rather about killing BILLIONS of people, she was not all-in anymore. She felt compelled to do something to avoid such as fate. Wouldn’t we question it if she didn’t?

    And leveraging Lincolnate as the babysitter also made perfect sense. To use her mom would have required an excuse; there wasn’t one that would work, given the nature of the risk she was involved in. I guess the other alternative would have been to have Henry stay with her regular babysitter, who knows. But using her mom would never have worked.

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    • says

      Altlivia anointed Lincoln to look after Baby Henry because she doesn’t trust or want Walter to take him. Lincoln … Godfather or Guardian ? Take your pick … He would never let anything bad happen to Henry.

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    • Sofia says

      I think this is simple: Grandma or babysitter don’t have a gun in their holster. Altlivia did know that for to go in her mission without to many worries, just with a strong guardian tanking care of her son. And Lincoln is training, armed and deeply in love with her, so she knows he’ll give his life to protect Henry…

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    • says

      “She felt compelled to do something to avoid such as fate. Wouldn’t we question it if she didn’t?”

      Interesting question. I think it largely depends on how an alternative version of this episode would have been conveyed. There’s no doubt that I questioned her actions when she was murdering Blueville people and going beyond the call to ensure their downfall. So it’s not a given that I would question her actions if she remained loyal to Walternate’s cause. If anything that would at least be more consistent with the character I believe we’ve come to know.

      I would also say that Altlivia knew well enough what Walternate’s plans were – I think her wonderfully crafted discussion with Peter in “6955kHz” illustrated that she knew the potential consequences of her actions.

      Perhaps the writers are trying to wiggle the character through line a bit, but I would have liked to have seen greater exploration to make this character change more believable for me.

      That said, it really is all down to perspective and I can see why not everyone would have trouble with the Altlivia arc.

      “And leveraging Lincolnate as the babysitter also made perfect sense. To use her mom would have required an excuse; there wasn’t one that would work, given the nature of the risk she was involved in. I guess the other alternative would have been to have Henry stay with her regular babysitter, who knows. But using her mom would never have worked.”

      I’m not sure. Didn’t she ask Linconate to take Baba Henners around to her mother’s if he didn’t hear from her by the morning? I think she could just as easily left the baby directly with the grandma. That would have played better for me. I just struggle to see the FD head changing diapers. :)

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      • says

        Well Roco you are absolutely right that regardless of whether we buy the arc of Altlivia or not, the writers did accomplish the change in her actions with incredible speed! The expedited change does at a minimum make us question her internal motivations.

        The speed by which she went from total devotion to red world and Walternate to being willing to risk her life does give us whiplash! It reminds me of the speed by which George Lucas had Anakin go from Jedi devotee to worshipping at the Emperor’s feet and becoming Darth Vader….that too was very very fast, if only to meet the timelines of the 2 hour movie.

        My guess is that the writers need Altlivia to take these actions so that they can accomplish another goal….perhaps to get her thrown into the holding cell, providing the impetus for altLincoln and altCharlie to get engaged, break her out and be prepared to assist as Peter or Olivia or both come from the blue world to try to shut down the BBM with their help.

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  7. deneph says

    Great review, much appreciated!

    Best performance – Baby Henry

    I think Faux did fall in love with Peter and that was what caused her to want to go to the other universe. She could have just wanted him back in their universe to spare his life. If she can save the other universe as well, why not? But she could at least save Peter.
    And I suspect that goop the Walter put on Peter’s hand may have been a cause the BBM kicked him to the curb. I can’t remember exactly what was said about it but didn’t it discharge something or another. He did it to keep Peter from burning but maybe it reacted with what was going on in the machine. Maybe Peter needed that static electricy or what not.

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  8. KLA says

    Great review Rocco. I would love to look inside your brain one day and see the machine that spits out this incredible stuff!!!! Is there a BBM in there, or some kind of projection?? But, I digress.

    Good point about Peter trying to go into the machine instead of going to the other side to talk to daddy-o. Maybe he did not want to be asleep for 3 days again with an IV with red stuff going into him.

    And yes, I agree that it was a bit contrived that Fauxlivia so easily left Henry. Now perhaps she could have gotten a message over there via a shapeshifter, but after what she did to him, did she really think that Peter would listen to her, much less go back with her to talk to daddy?? Perhaps if she told him about Henry. But, I mean Peter could not just call him on the phone, and I am not sure if the typewriter is working.

    As for Ms. Nina, she was a bit too panicked for me, but it is what it is.

    Where the hell is Elizabeth????? That is so wrong for her not to see her grandson, and especially given that she truly loves Peter and would NEVER give him up.

    Can’t wait for tomorrow!!

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    • says

      “I would love to look inside your brain one day and see the machine that spits out this incredible stuff!!!! Is there a BBM in there, or some kind of projection?? But, I digress.”

      It’s an animated BBM. :)

      “Maybe he did not want to be asleep for 3 days again with an IV with red stuff going into him.”

      Ha! Heaven knows he’s slept enough over the past 2 and a bit seasons.

      “Where the hell is Elizabeth????? That is so wrong for her not to see her grandson, and especially given that she truly loves Peter and would NEVER give him up.”

      Agreed.

      I think it’s purely because of the difficulties getting Orla Brady in for episodes were they feel they don’t absolutely need her. They’ve written a pretty good explanation with the Walternate/Reiko situation, which gives us some sense of where their relationship is. I guess Walternate hasn’t felt compelled enough to tell her that she has a grandson.

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  9. says

    ” He needs Brandonate to be as vial and ruthless as he is, because he himself is unable (unwilling) to be play that role. In that sense, Brandonate is a frickin’ projection.”

    Brandongate is Walternate’s triggerman.

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  10. FringeGeek says

    Excellent review as always but I wanted to comment on something I wanted your opinion on.

    Walter puts some kind of gel on Peter’s hands before attempts to step into the BBM. Obviously he gets shocked when he put his hand on it. I was wondering if this was coincidence or maybe it was Walter knowing that it would shock Peter and not kill him, proving as much as he admits it to himself he isn’t ready to let Peter go.

    Of course it wouldn’t be the first time Walter tried to play G-d.

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    • Jenn says

      I wondered the same thing! If maybe the machine was “upset” because of the gel on his hands. If it wasn’t significant in some way, it was a pretty random thing to write in the script.

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    • Sofia says

      I think the gel was for to avoid bruises and not to burn his skin in consequence of the shock. Walter said that it was a conductor gel

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      • Owl says

        I think it’s like the kind of gel they use with manual defibrillators, to help the electricity conduct through the heart.

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    • Pam says

      Remember Walter says “He doesn’t want Peter to suffer?!!!” – he is ready to let Peter go but, he is just trying to help Peter in whatever small way that he can to make it easier – it is just a father’s love. If at all the gel is the reason Peter got thrown out, I am pretty sure Walter didn’t do it deliberately.

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    • says

      “Walter puts some kind of gel on Peter’s hands before attempts to step into the BBM. Obviously he gets shocked when he put his hand on it. I was wondering if this was coincidence or maybe it was Walter knowing that it would shock Peter and not kill him, proving as much as he admits it to himself he isn’t ready to let Peter go.”

      I think it was a just character moment, designed to inform us about Walter’s parental love for Peter. I read it as Walter being the typical ‘embarrassing’ parent, putting the gel on Peter’s hands so he wouldn’t burn, even though he knew that the gel would be pretty much useless against the might of the BBM. (though sometime’s a parents fussiness does save the day).

      For me, he was trying to feel useful, and probably just wanted an excuse to touch his son’s hands, to reciprocate the undying love that he has for Peter in what turned out to an awkward, yet important moment for him personally – a “goodbye, I love you”.

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  11. Jenn says

    Those bowling balls knocking together reminded me of the two snowglobes that Nina knocked together, representing the two universes. When Nina smashed them together hard, one of them broke and the other remained. The bowling balls just barely starting to knock seemed like a foreshadowing of the two universes crashing together, with only one left standing.

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  12. mlj102 says

    “Why did the BBM reject Peter?”

    My wild and completely random theory is that it had something to do with the fact that Olivia wasn’t there. I have no idea how BBM would know that she wasn’t there, but her absence from that scene was far too noticeable to be insignificant. She should have been there for that moment: to say goodbye, to support Peter, to witness this attempt to save their world… These are all things that she is fully invested in. Yet when the time came, she was nowhere to be found. And maybe it didn’t bother anyone else, but it bothered me. It felt like a crucial piece of the puzzle was missing. But maybe that was done intentionally by the writers. Maybe the fact that she wasn’t there had something to do with the BBM backfiring against Peter. Maybe somehow they were supposed to confront it together. As usual, I’m probably completely wrong, but that was the theory I came up with after watching the episode.

    “And I don’t necessarily pin the blame on Walternate either. I’ve always said that Peter was far too quick to run back into Walter’s arms. Boy Wonder has to take a measure of responsibility for what has transpired.”

    I know you’re irritated that Peter left Over There so quickly, but I think it’s taking it a bit too far to claim that Peter carries a measure of the responsibility for what has happened because of his choice to return over here. We can’t possibly know what would have happened had he chosen differently. There’s no way to know that staying Over There longer would have stopped Walternate from carrying out his plans. Walternate was building the machine long before Peter returned Over There, so I think it’s safe to say he had every intention of using it and following through with it. How did Peter’s choice to return over here contribute to that course of events? I just think it’s unfair and shortsighted to claim that Peter was in any way responsible for Walternate’s actions to activate the machine.

    I suppose that came across a bit forceful… I’m not trying to be disrespectful, it’s just that that comment really surprised me and I completely disagreed with it. But, as always, I enjoyed reading your review and getting your perspective on things. I’m glad you weren’t on the farm when the vortex appeared… what would we possibly do if you went missing?

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    • Still Real1 ! says

      First it’s Awesome review Roco as usual .

      I agree Mlj102 , the machine rejected Peter because Olivia wasn’t there , and maybe the machine did react to Peter in ep11 just because Olivia was stand there with him but the machine caused Peter to bleed because Peter and Olivia weren’t together yet .

      BBM is in the blue side , Peter is from the red side , i agree with Astrid that the BBM was protecting itself from Peter , BBM in blue will not let Peter to enter without the gatekeeper which is Olivia .

      Sam said the machine can be used as weapon to destroy or to create , So the machine without Peter and Olivia it will destroy , but the machine with both of them will create . which make sense IMO .

      Am just as you liking to do theory :)

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    • FinChase says

      “My wild and completely random theory is that it had something to do with the fact that Olivia wasn’t there.”

      That’s a very interesting idea. It’s long been discussed/believed that Peter somehow activates Olivia’s, but perhaps she does the same thing for him. It would make them truly interdependent on one another. I’ve know idea whether this is true, but it’s certainly interesting to consider.

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    • Pam says

      That is really a great theory! I think there must be some truth in it. Actually, I was thinking that the machine didn’t let Peter in because the originally activated BBM is the Red one and the blue one is simply reacting to the Red, due to quantum entanglement. Now, if this is true, Peter has to stop the red BBM and not the blue one. And, for that he may need Olivia. In Olivia’s absence, he can’t near the blue one which is in a reaction phase.

      And, I think it is also possible that if our side had not built the BBM, maybe the red one would have sucked up resources from blue-verse and healed the red-verse already; but, since there is a BBM on this side, it kind of neutralizes the effect of the red BBM.

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    • says

      “My wild and completely random theory is that it had something to do with the fact that Olivia wasn’t there”

      Interesting shout. It’s certainly possible. Somewhat evoking memories of “Ability”.

      “I know you’re irritated that Peter left Over There so quickly, but I think it’s taking it a bit too far to claim that Peter carries a measure of the responsibility for what has happened because of his choice to return over here. We can’t possibly know what would have happened had he chosen differently. There’s no way to know that staying Over There longer would have stopped Walternate from carrying out his plans. Walternate was building the machine long before Peter returned Over There, so I think it’s safe to say he had every intention of using it and following through with it. How did Peter’s choice to return over here contribute to that course of events? I just think it’s unfair and shortsighted to claim that Peter was in any way responsible for Walternate’s actions to activate the machine.”

      Hmm. I don’t think it’s shortsighted at all. It’s merely a perspective. One that I think carries weight.

      I’m not saying Peter is completely to blame – hopefully my commentary over the seasons has demonstrated that. However, I do believe he carries a ‘measure’ of responsibility.

      As Walternate’s son and child of Over There, I think that he owed it to those people, to himself – and indeed, the people of both worlds – to try to understand, and if not understand, then try to reason with Walternate.

      I think, since the story has allowed us deeper inside Walternate’s turmoil and anguish, that we are being invited to ask questions of Peter, and all of the characters. So I can’t accept your claim of shortsightedness. I merely have a different viewpoint.

      Regarding how Peter’s decision to return contributed to this course of events? I think we’ve seen how every action has a consequence, however small or seemingly insignificant.

      For me, Peter’s decision to return was one of the most important choices in the story to date. Did he mean it to come to this? I doubt it. Could he have acted more appropriately, given the stakes? I believe so – all day long, I believe so. :)

      By not talking to Walternate, I feel he has lost the single best chance of averting disaster. Cutting him off and essentially disowning him has solidified Walternate’s resolve – to the point where he’s pushed the BBM button with Peter still Over There. For a guy all about finding ‘another way’, I think he’s overlooked the most obvious.

      But again, I will come back to my belief that his act of returning was a contrivance to serve the plot. He had just found out that Walter had stolen him from his real parents and lied about it, conditioned him. He left his mother without saying goodbye. He left some good bacon. Yet he returned to Walter, and barely a mention of it since?

      Walternate is an aggressor in many respects, but it’s so very entangled that to point the blame solely at him would only be seeing one side of the story, in my view.

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      • justin says

        Hmm. I had never really given much thought to Peter trying to convince Walternate to join team “Save Both Universes”. I’d say a main reason we didn’t get that is that without that main conflict, we sort of wouldn’t have a show. Do you really want Fringe to just become a bunch of scientists doing experiments to find a way to fix the cracks in the universes without any conflict?

        Still, I think Peters choice can be justified within the reality of the show. Put yourself in his shoes. He just found out maybe a couple weeks ago that his world isn’t really his world, and his father isn’t really his father. He abandons the closest thing he’s had to a family in his adult life, only to run into his real father who gives him a chance to return to his real world. There, he finds out his dad is working to destroy the only universe he has any memory of, and kill everyone he has ever known. Then the girl who has pretty much become his best friend (who else would qualify?) shows up out of nowhere and basically says she misses him and wants to jump his bones. His mind has got to be completely reeling at this point; I wouldn’t really expect him to have the state of mind to make a pro and con list. His decision makes perfect sense to me given the circumstances.

        Besides, there’s no guarantee that he could convince Walternate to stop his plans, and from what we know of him, I don’t really think he’d be able to.

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    • Grace says

      MLJ, I LOVE your theory about Olivia and the BBM!! (I guess in part because Olivia is my favorite character.) Still, I can’t reconcile it with the following:

      (1) If we believe that the Observers possess higher or inside knowledge is “true”…they say “the boy is significant” and have been totally silent regarding Olivia’s role or significance. (Bell himself clearly defined her role as the Guardian of our world’s door between the the universes and her specific assignment as that of finding and preventing SS Newton from opening that door.) Nothing that links her to the BBM operations.

      (2) If the Blueverse Peter was necessary to power Blueverse BBM then why didn’t the Observers intervene to save HIM?

      (3) In “Peter”, August told September that he would have an opportunity to “FIX” the mess he had just created by his inopportune visit to Walternate’s lab. THAT MEANS THAT THE OBSERVERS SAW REDVERSE PETER AND BLUEVERSE BBM AS A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE.

      (4) The Observers warned Walter AGAINST permitting Peter to return to the Redverse. THEREFORE IT STANDS TO REASON THAT THE OBSERVERS MUST NOT HAVE EXPECTED PETER TO BE THE ONE TO OPERATE THE REDVERSE BBM.

      While it is true that Walternate may not have foreseen Peter’s return to the Blueverse, it is inconceivable to me that he would not at the very least, have anticipated the possibility of Peter’s reluctance if not outright refusal to participate in the Blueverse’s destruction. THEREFORE I AM CONVINCED THAT WALTERNATE WOULD HAVE MADE PROVISION FOR JUST SUCH A CONTINGENCY, IN THE EVENT THAT HE COULD NOT OVERCOME PETER’S RELUCTANCE OR REFUSAL.

      THEREFORE, my theory is that Walter very cunningly caused the unsuspecting Peter to come in contact with the Redverse BBM power source in order to thus insure Peter’s irreversible bonding to the Redverse BBM. I believe that that is the reason why our BBM gave Peter a bloody nose on their first encounter and why it so violently fended him off this last time. Our BBM now associates Peter with the Redverse BBM.

      I think that it must be so because I cannot otherwise account for Walternate’s present smugness. WHY IS HE NOT ANTICIPATING AN INSTANTANEOUS COUNTERATTACK FROM HIS SON AND THE BLUEVERSE BBM? I SUSPECT THAT IT IS BECAUSE WALTERNATE KNOWS THAT THE BLUEVERSE BBM WILL REPELL PETER.

      Sam Weiss said that having the BBM triggered in the Redverse was an anomaly. My take is that Peter and the BBM were suppose to work together NOT AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. Walternate cunningly insured otherwise.

      Your thoughts???????????

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  13. Frobz says

    I think we didn’t see the Red universe machine for a reason: we’re going to be shocked to see what is inside it when we do. How did he power it with a vial of blood when the machine needs a person inside it to “complete the circuit?”

    I think that someone has been dosed with the blood and is INSIDE the machine. A cadaver maybe? I think there will be side effects caused by the machine being run by only a Partial Peter and no guiding mind to drive it.

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  14. Peanut says

    Thanks for the review, Roco. I always appreciate & enjoy your comments.

    You know we’re in the Blue Universe when you see someone drinking coffee & throwing it out. I wanted to tell the sheep rancher that he should enjoy his coffee while he can because it might become scarce in the future & is already in short supply Over There. Now, of course, we know that it was his last coffee, period. I wonder if the writers have it in for sheep because the ones Over There died out from disease while the herd Over Here got caught up in the vortex. (Peter better stock up on pea coats, just in case there’s an upcoming wool shortage). Maybe the only place that we’ll see sheep in the future will be in our dreams?

    I know that the show is trying to save money on special effects (for example, Roco mentioned that we missed seeing the Over-There BBM powering up), but I really would like to have gotten some indication about what exactly getting vortexed means: are you torn apart, vaporized, etc.? Does anyone survive being vortexed? Are you (or your remains) transported to some other location on the planet or to another universe? At least, the show could throw out a few crumbs of information on the subject for the nonscientists among us. What does the thing look like? I only remember seeing the water vortex shown on television Over There, the scene where Broylesnate was in the bar on the anniversary of the first (major?) event Over There. In this episode, all we got were a bright light & afterwards a scorched patch of earth.

    In Olivia’s drive to New York, with an apparent strip of blight en route, I saw parallels to Bell & Walter’s drive, in the other direction, New York to Boston, in the AU, which was Walter’s first glimpse of the devastation that he had caused by taking Peter(nate). It was good to see Olivia more like herself in this episode, stomping around the MD offices. When Olivia takes Ninakins, as Roco calls her, to task about the amber shortage, however, Olivia seems to think that early warning isn’t useful. I thought that the major point was evacuation because once a person gets ambered, he or she is sort-of dead (suspended animation or something like that?). So amber should be the last resort?

    The Sharp One & The Wise One are worried. It can’t be a good sign to see Ninakins & Sam Weiss in a panic. I agree with Roco’s contention that Sam Weiss has been wrong in his assumptions but is not evil. Why did Sam Weiss keep the Newton’s cradle under lock & key, by the way?

    Sam is in Saratoga Springs viewing something that looks like the northern lights. Hope that nothing bad is going to happen in the area—the horse racing season begins there in July. Maybe Sam, the apocalypse detector, should have been watching the young lovers instead of getting depressed over possible universe-ending events.

    As far as I know, Fauxlivia doesn’t realize that the machine can also create as well as destroy. When she confronts Walternate on Liberty Island, the worst grandpa ever wants to know if she brought little Henry with her. Despite my reservations about Faux, I don’t think that she would take her child along to a Class-10 event & to the location where the activated BBM is being housed. Maybe Walternate thinks it’s never too soon to make the nugget Fringe tough.

    Faux does something good except that she should have clubbed VeryBadBrandon a bit harder with the pistol. And I bet that she defeats the flimsy defenses of Liberty Island, just as Olivia did, & gets herself free, possibly with the assistance of Linc & Scarlie, in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

    Where is Agent Amy Jessup? This episode was chock full of religious references. The plague of locusts is straight out of the prelude to the Israelite exodus from Egypt. Of course, there were the Walters—Walter in the chapel & Walternate still, I think, viewing himself as still the god of his laboratory—the world—while giving lip service in asking for God’s mercy regarding his actions. Walternate’s using the Oppenheimer quote also traces back to the source, the Bhagavad Gita, which is Hindu scripture, so that was also a religious reference. It makes me dislike Walternate more because he really does understand the consequences of his actions yet presses on anyway.

    Being in Olivia’s brain evidently turned Walter into a fan of the brown stuff too so he & Peter share a drink out of some dingy-looking glasses before Peter takes on the machine. Was this scene a communion reference (The Last Supper precedes the crucifixion)?

    The glyphs read “agent,” & there are several in this episode. Alistair Peck could be viewed as an agent of God in sending Walter the white tulip, Sam Weiss appears to be an agent of the First People, Olivia is an FBI agent & must be involved as an agent (of change) who is working with Sam Weiss to stop the BBM, etc. I would also characterize the Observers as agents although they were not actively involved in this episode. Possibly, Peter is an agent of the machine (or vice versa?).

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  15. g33k says

    Thank you for the review Roco! Always intriguing!

    I was wondering if Fauxlivia’s motivations could be based more on baby Henry then Peter. We know she still cares for Peter, but maybe in her head despite that she knows there is no way it could happen because he flat out told her he wants to kill her. However, maybe she sees her relationship with baby Henry in a different way because of this. As in, she doesn’t want Henry to grow up hating her for allowing his father to die.

    She already knows the pain of having the one she loves (probably true re Peter, even though it hasn’t been explicitly stated) hate her and she doesn’t want it to happen again.

    I think the above scenario is interesting, because if that is how it plays out, and Mr X does happen to be baby Henry, then we have a motivation for baby Henry wanting to kill Fauxlivia. The engine room of the Zeppelin in Olivia’s mind, could actually have been a metaphor for Fauxliva’s motivations, because the red Zeppelin was Olivia’s representation for Fauxlivia herself in Olivia’s head. Always there, always hovering and ready to be used. (like Faux’s sharpshooting skills)

    If Mr X is Henry, and her primary motivation now, him being hidden in the engine room of Fauxlivia would be appropriate symbolism imo.

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    • g33k says

      hm. The title of that Violet Sedan Chair song that was in the online extra scene/Ford Promo that Fringe released at the end of season 2… (trying to allude to it without spoiling it for anyone who doesn’t want to check) it makes me think I may be on to something with the red-Zeppelin-is-Fauxlivia-metaphor.

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  16. TomC says

    Not many left now and the UK is finally approaching the end.
    Must say i didn’t overly enjoy this episode, i found a lot of it didn’t gel together. I found the music more dramatic than the acting which i found threw me off a bit.
    The 10 minutes of Sam Weiss were the best bits for me.

    I came up with a theory last night to do with the peter/BBM relationship, it may get debunked in the next 2 episodes, but this is my thought for now…. and dont correct me with spoilers or i’ll hunt you down!!….. My theory is that it was Peters ‘Fate’ to die in all universes (the reason why september distracted walternate) and because he didn’t it makes him unique with a different energy to all other humans??

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    • Tash says

      Yeah i agree,i think he was meant to die and i think the world is trying to get rid of him with him jumping infront of cars and getting zapped by the machine of death. And ic he wasn’t meant to be alive then baby henry wont meant to be alive either which is gonna mess stuff up even more. But i dont think bolivias change of heart was to unexpected, you never know how people are gonna react til its actually happening. And you would have to be totally twisted to think that killing trillions and billions of people and animals and plants and a entire universe (so aliens are in for the chop too) is a answer to anything. Nothing noone does can justify that and if you had a chance to stop it you would.
      Personally i don’t think this episode was overly great because nothing much happened except for petef getting zappatillad and bolivias plan just failing. Its more of a start,yeah, but it would have been better if they had done a double whammy instead of us having to waut a week.
      And didmolivia just totally forget about the shapeshifter killing thing cos we never did see them do owt qith the decoder key.

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