After rediscovering the Pilot, we head once more unto the breach! Our aim is to make new discoveries and forge fresh connections as we tackle “The Same Old Story” – or, as I am now calling it: “Love Blinds”.
- Loraine Daisy’s faux name was Amber. Would you look at that – another early “yellow” reference.
- The actions of Christopher Penrose – or, as I’m now unofficially calling him: Pituitary Perv, puts a new twist on the ethics of cloning. It’s not just a case of right or wrong, but on how the human need to survive is translated by those we clone.
- It’s interesting to look back at the Oversight Committee in light of what we now know and suspect. Nina all but ridiculed the selection of his new team, while Broyles was quick to defend them (because that’s what family do). As I (and some of you) suggested in the Pilot rewatch, it’s clear that Broyles and Nina knew the importance of our odd little family unit. Their public opposition is a case of vested interests personal philosophies. The key for Broyles is that he had found his leverage – his Golden Ticket, and Nina knew it.
- Broyles had theorized that Walter’s work was at the root of the Pattern. Again, this implies that Broyles had a handle on Walter’s past, but it’s also interesting to retrospectively compare Walter’s role in the Pattern to the cracks he put in the fabric of the universe. Both storylines are interchangeable, if not one in the same, but it’s funny how the Pattern, as we knew it, has drifted from center stage.
- Broyles reminds Nina that Walter was never convicted of killing Carla Warren. Good point Big Philly. Good point indeed.
- In case we need more evidence that Broyles knew more than he let on – did you see his smile when Nina asked him what he was thinking by recruiting Olivia Dunham!? That, ladies and gentlefolk, was the smile of a cat who had got the cream with cherries on top! Broyles never smiles without the aid of a reverse empath, so that really hit home. I’d love to know how much direction Reddick was given on how to play that moment. But damn, if there was still any doubt, that’s the Storage Facility mystery closed and padlocked as far as I’m concerned.
- The Olivia montage: Man, Scotty boy sure did leave behind a trail of UNSOLVED cases, didn’t he!
- Is it just me, or did Broyles greet Peter with knowing eyes?
- Ah, so Olivia has actually spoken more than two words to Astrid over the course of 43 episodes. Observe it well folks, this is rare footage!
- Olivia’s little torchlight. I WANT ONE!! It would come in handy during my…investigations into…stuff.
- Oh yes, I remember now – Olivia and John had previously hunted Pituitary Perv (or one of his siblings) some 12 years ago. This gives Olivia another ‘unwitting’ post-clinical trails connection to William Bell. As I’ve said before, it’s as though the universe has guided her towards her destiny.
- Pituitary Perv was effectively removing a piece of his victims brains – sound familiar?
- Now, Peter and I don’t always see eye to eye. In fact, sometimes I think he’s from another planet. But I had to laugh our loud at his “Magical Man baby” line! Not bad, Boy Wonder, not bad.
- Charlie really is in the dark at this stage isn’t he.
- This may not have been intentional, but it’s interesting how the bridge was the last image that Pituitary Chick saw before her death – representing the spiritual ‘crossing over’, and blah.
- Claus tells Peter that “no one in power should ever learn what (Walter) knows”. How’s Secretary of Defense of the slightly ahead alternate earth suit you? Powerful enough?
- Walter asks Peter: “When was it you lost your imagination, son?” Oh, I don’t know WALTER, perhaps it was when you ripped him from his mother’s arms, or told him creepy mantras to make him forget things!? Just a hunch though, dude, just a hunch.
- Olivia says: “I don’t usually lose control“. This seems to foreshadow Olivia’s ability and gives us retrospective insight into how she’s instinctively managed to control her powers (emotions) for so long.
- I’d actually forgotten that Olivia DID follow-up on John’s suggestion by asking Broyles why he sent her to the storage facility. In fact, she did EXACTLY what John suggested and ASKED HERSELF – by way of a dream. Her powers manifesting in a bid to help her unlock the mysteries. Not that she got an answer, but it’s fascinating to see what the writers actually did here – assuming they meant it, which would be rude of me not to.
- Sticking with the dream for a moment, I also found it interesting that Olivia put herself in the Loraine’s position by envisaging herself pregnant with a Magical Man Baby. Early powers of perception, dreams taking over, or just a meaningless dream? You know what I think. What do you think?
- Nina said: “I’ve lost people close to me”. Would this be anyone we know, Nina? Peter, perhaps? Or maybe Carla?
- “A woman of your talents“ – oh Nina, you crafty devil! You were telling us all along that Olivia had abilities weren’t you. I can’t remember if I picked up on this before – I feel that I may have, but either way, it’s worth highlighting just how subtle these crafty writers can be. You’ve all witnessed it now, so bear that in mind.
- The episode makes it clear (to me) that both Broyles and Nina were vying for Olivia’s loyalty. I think that’s an important word, because it’s exactly what Broyles gets once Olivia tells him the truth about Nina’s job offer. I love that interaction and Livvy’s little joke about a pay rise. I think it was the moment I became an underground Broyles and Olivia shipper.
- I wonder: would Olivia have been better off taking up Nina’s offer and joining Massive Dynamic? By “better off”, I mean, would she have found the answers she was looking for sooner? Bearing in mind that, like Broyles, Nina knew about Olivia’s connections to Bell and Walter – would Red Top have come clean early on, or would she have just kept the intrepid one under her wing until something forced her hand – like Jones stealing the energy cell? I guess we’ll never know, but rest assured that somewhere, in a reality not too far from here, Olivia made that choice to join Massive Dynamic – and all of us blogged about it and wondered what would have happened had she stayed with Team Broyles. Ahh, the roads not taken.
- What with all the shenanigans of the past season, I had almost forgotten that Walter nearly revealed the truth about Peter’s medical history to Olivia. Walter’s memory is interesting because he recaptures details from his past, only to forget again. Perhaps he decided to block the Peter kidnapping out, even though he subconsciously tries to tell him the truth over the course of two seasons? Alternatively, he might only remember that he did something, and not the full details. I’m happy with either of those explanations, but I didn’t recall Walter looking quite so SINISTER in this scene! And this is the man we all love? How!?
- I do love Walter in the final scene – so fragile and confused. The man can’t even be sure of his own son’s voice. Peter singing “Row Your Boat” as the scene transitions to the sleeping clones – the words “LIFE IS BUT A DREAM” delivering the message. The same old perspective that I like to take away from this, is the comparison between Peter and the clones. At this stage, both believe in their own existence, their own perception of the world around them. But both are living in a dream world (I mean that figuratively, while leaving room for the literal interpretation) where their reality is only a sheath to be shed.
Mysteries & Answers
- What happened to Broyles’ previous team?
- My Opinion: They were eaten by Molebabies. It was a brave death.
- Who were the other people at the Oversight Committee?
- My Opinion: Just random shirts, presumably representing other companies/individuals with “clearance”.
- Why did Massive Dynamic want to clone soldiers?
- My Opinion: More hints are given in 2.07, but have you seen the shapeshifters? If there’s a war coming they could be our first line of defence. That must have been Bell’s thinking.
- Olivia’s dream – Whaaaa?
- My Opinion: I’ve posted my views on this above.
- Who deleted Peter’s medical history from Walter’s file?
- My Opinion: It’s an interesting question. I’d probably go for Bellie, Nina or even Walter himself – you know, before he went all ‘St. Claire’s’.
New Clues & Observations
- Loraine’s faux name was Amber – in retrospect this is probably a clue for the next episode (“The Ghost Network”), which features our first look at the Amber Toxin.
- Pituitary Perv took Loraine to the “Scarlet Red Motel” – that’s a new one for the “red” box.
- Peter tells Walter he can “bring anything mechanical back to life”: Though this is not a new observation, and I’m loathe to go over old ground, I think this is one that is worth highlighting again – in light of Peter being able to operate the “Peter Place Hand Here” Weapon.
- Claus to Peter: “This didn’t seem like the America I remembered from when I was a boy”. This could be an early clue for Peter’s alternate universe origins. Also, notice Claus’ ‘double-take’ at Peter. It’s almost as though he realizes the context of what he’s saying. I’m not sure whether the double-look was in the script or just something the actor improvised with. Either way, it works in retrospect.
- Olivia pregnant by John Scott / Past Pregnancy. We saw ‘Broyles’ ask Olivia whether she had been “safe” during her and John’s squeaky bed sessions, and in an upcoming episode Olivia’s womb is further put under the spotlight. Then there’s all the subtle (and perhaps non-existent) hints that Ella is in fact Olivia’s. To be honest, it looks like the writers planted this seed, just in case, but decided not to water it.
DREAMS & SLEEP
- Olivia: “Your phone was off the hook”
- Peter: “That’s because I didn’t want to be woken up“.
- Walter unable to get to sleep without someone singing him “Row your boat”.
- Olivia to Peter: “I feel like I’ve been asleep for the past year“.
- Olivia: “He’d give them a muscle paralyzer, they’d be awake, but unable to move”.
- Olivia’s dream: I’ve spoken about this above, but in addition, notice that Olivia’s dream pre-empts Nina’s not so subtle suggestion that Olivia and John were in a relationship. (In her dream ‘Broyles’ asks Olivia if she was “safe”).
- Walter: “You’re awake, Peter. Me too. I was trying to lull myself to sleep“.
- Peter: “…You think you can do that in your head?”
GOD / FAITH
- Walter to Peter: “FAITH! Never a bad thing to have”.
- Walter offers Olivia a clue: “..trying to maintain that distinction between God’s domain and our own“.
Diary: Evidence of Narrator
- The episode seems to contain a rather neutral narrative standpoint – except, perhaps, during Olivia’s dream and Walter’s remembering of Peter’s medical history. If Walter is the narrator he may well be unreliable. Broyles and Nina’s potential role in the narration needs to be observed. The question of life being a dream also caught the attention of my NarraDar. Conclusion – the narrator’s clues should be taken on board but filtered by a keen eye. Shall remain ever watchful. Until next time.
- “..That was his mistake. But he was blinded… Because he loved me. He loved me..”
Best Retrospective Performance: Lance Reddick
Favorite Retrospective Moment: The reveal of the clones in Massive Dynamic sleeping chambers.
Retrospective Episode Rating: 6/10
[Update] Oops! Almost forgot: Next Rewatch Episode – 1.03 “The Ghost Network”, Sunday, July 25th, 2010.
If you have any comments on the above rewatch, or you have your own rewatch thoughts and observations, feel free to share them in the comments below. While I have personally chosen to tackle new perspectives, feel free to approach this rewatch in whichever way you want.