Fringe Rewatch: 1.10 O Down


Welcome our retrospective rewatch for episode 10 of season 1, “Safe”. Below the jump we strangle new perspectives from the episode while believing that people really can walk through walls!

This is an episode we have cheekily retitled O Down, due to Walter’s work coming full circle to bite him on the ass, and Olivia ending the episode down and (not quite) out.

Newly Observed Perspectives

  • Working with Loeb sure is an occupational hazard. And I wonder what wifey was doing while he was robbing banks?
  • “What we perceive as solid matter, is mostly empty space.” Walter’s explanation, along with the visual of Loeb and his boys passing through walls, is another good base for understanding the concept of the alternate universe being all around us. His prop demonstration with the rice and vibrations is also a useful precursor for the way in which Newton brings Walternate across from the alternate universe in TMFTOS.
  • How cute. Olivia’s nickname in school was Han (Solo). It’s a very small detail but it informed us early on that she was a fairly lonely child. Was this a direct consequence of her clinical trials? Man, that abuse really shaped her path. I’m surprised Walter can even look her in the eye, to be honest. I guess it boils down to what one deems acceptable when faced with potential global destruction. Bell and Walter believed they were ‘preparing’ these kids for the greater good. But is child abuse EVER acceptable, like EVER? I just can’t justify what they did by saying it was OK. Questions need to be pursued in season 3!
  • And Olivia went to boarding school? Did her mom ever see her? Seriously, she allows her daughter to wind up in unethical testing and then slings her off to boarding school. Gee, thanks Mom! (BTW, nothing wrong with boarding school, but this picture of Olivia’s childhood is cause for concern, given the experiments). To be fair to Mom, perhaps she thought boarding school was the best place for the little Dunhamnator, if she was living with Father Fists at the time.
  • “Are you trippin’ agent Dunham?” Still so funny, mostly because you can tell that AT wanted to burst out laughing!
  • I have to wonder whether Walter agreeing to send Olivia back into the Bra & Panties Tank in the previous episode just exacerbated her memory issues? Would she have confused John Scott’s memories with her own had she not taken another dip? I guess it ties in with what Walter said about flushing those memories out of her mind – this was part of that process. Although I don’t know why Walter was so surprised when she told him about her John Scott confusion. One could be forgiven for thinking that “The Dreamscape” never happened in his world.
  • So Olivia can drink Peter under the table. Poor Peter, will he ever beat Olivia at anything?
  • Fun little conversation, considering their smooch in 2.22:

Peter: “Brother?”

Olivia: “Yeah, it kinda works better that way”

You tell him, sister! Just a shame it didn’t last.

  • Peter stops Olivia counting cards just before she reaches the 8th card. One of the subtler ‘number 8′ references in the series – unintentional or otherwise.
  • Olivia: “I’m sure that if I was a child today I’d be diagnosed with something.” Oh Olivia, if only you knew that you already had Waltermessedupmylifeitis. :(
  • I find it hard to believe that Peter, with his supposedly high IQ, wouldn’t know the Fibonacci sequence. This is another one of those moments where Peter’s lack of knowledge is purely used as a device to service the next plot.
  • What with red being the thematic marker for the alternate universe and perhaps memory, it’s interesting to see several moments of realization being served with red imagery. Walter remembering that the safety deposit boxes belonged to him, whilst wearing a red robe, being one of them.
  • I love the look on Walter’s face as Peter grabs him by the sleeve like he’s the boss of him. Walter looks like he’s about to lay the smack down on Peter’s ass. And don’t think he doesn’t have it in him!
  • The bad old days, when Astrid’s character was almost relegated to brushing Gene’s teeth. That girl’s a trooper.
  • Loeb tells his man “don’t pry into things you couldn’t possibly understand.” I’m like “he’s just walked through walls, is teleportation such a big leap?”
  • Peter: “You’re a tough guy, I’m a tough guy..” Haha, Peter, now you are bending reality too far!
  • Ah, the birth (from our point of view) of Peter’s coin trick. I still want to know where Walter’s memory of Peter almost dying from “hepia” (rare form of bird flu) as a boy came from. We know that both Petelings were sick with a genetic disease, so did the writers retcon the bird flu detail, or did Peter suffer another illness after Walter abducted him from the other side? Perhaps Walter con-structed this idea in order to stave off his guilt, so much so that he thought the hepia really happened? That wouldn’t be the most satisfactory or plausible answer though.

Best retrospective performer: Anna Torv

Best retrospective moment: Although the scene was quite ropey in places, the visuals of Loeb and his team walking through the bank wall was pretty impressive.

Retrospective episode rating: 7/10

Useful Links

Next rewatch epsiode – 1.11 “Bound” – TBA.

Comments

  1. jophan says

    I wonder if Olivia’s boarding school was after/in response to the shooting of her stepfather. We don’t know if her mother was divorced or widowed from the marriage to her father; perhaps he got custody for a time after the shooting, but then was stationed somewhere she couldn’t come? All pure speculation, but there should be a reason.

    I can forgive Peter forgetting the Fibonacci sequence simply because, unless you’re deep into that kind of math, it just seems to be kind of a cool thing, but not really memorable.

    Another speculation: the Hepia infection was a carrier virus for genetic engineering, side effects from which caused the genetic illness. I think Peter had to be engineered to match the specs of the Wave Sink, and someone in the know did the same to Walter’s boy. William Bell, who seemed to know too much about the other side early? (He did introduce Walter to his wife; who did the same for Walternate if Bell’s counterpart had died?) Walternate, wanting Walter’s (ineffectual, as it turned out) help in combating the side effects? Walter himself, making the fatal result the prime driver toward insanity?

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  2. Pwnsauce says

    I’ve always really liked this episode. Definitely one of my favorites from S1. Roco you missed when Walter tells Peter “you have no idea what you’re capable of” while they’re in the hardware store. It also follows with how Peter triggers Walter’s memory of where he hid the Diz-ray in Providence. I think this episode was trying to tell us that Walter subconsciously knows lots and lots of important information pertaining to the overall mythology of the show, and Peter’s importance. -I just wrote all that and looked back at the last year’s rewatch, and I see you covered all that, but now with the Doomsday Device, Peter’s abilities have an even stronger significance.
    I’m surprised you only gave it a 7/10. I’d probably go with about 8.5/10 for myself.

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    • LMH says

      “You have no idea what you’re capable of.” Fantastic line.

      Do I need to rewatch this episode again? I thought Olivia’s Han Solo nickname, not having a best friend, and boarding school (as well as being in the Marines with Lugo) were John Scott’s memories. All those came in quick succession in an early conversation prior to Olivia’s realization that she was remembering John’s memories, while the mention of her “best friends’ license plate number (right?) in college” came after she had the realization. I assumed then that she was remembering her own memory there given that it occurred after her awareness was sparked and the context of the conversation involved other uniquely Olivia memories: of the ability she has with memorizing numbers (like her abilities in “concentration” and recognizing patterns).

      I also assumed Peter did know the Fibonacci sequence since he recognized them and stated “I know those numbers.” He took them to Walter to see if there was some significance. If he didn’t explicitly remember the name of the sequence he still had the mental acuity to know they were an important string of numbers. I suck at anything with numbers so kudos Peter!

      Also, I think the bar scene with the “brother sister” banter was more of a hint in the direction of Peter and Olivia eventually having a thing for each other anyway. Seemed clear from the very beginning at least on Peter’s end, always trying to get that girl to drink with him!

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      • FinChase says

        “I thought Olivia’s Han Solo nickname, not having a best friend, and boarding school (as well as being in the Marines with Lugo) were John Scott’s memories. All those came in quick succession in an early conversation prior to Olivia’s realization that she was remembering John’s memories, while the mention of her “best friends’ license plate number (right?) in college” came after she had the realization. I assumed then that she was remembering her own memory there given that it occurred after her awareness was sparked and the context of the conversation involved other uniquely Olivia memories: of the ability she has with memorizing numbers (like her abilities in “concentration” and recognizing patterns).”

        These do seem like different memories, don’t they? In the first, she said “boarding school”, while in the second she said “high school.” Now, I suppose they could be technically the same thing, but it seems odd that she would use different language to describe them. And of course, there is the best friend business. We know from the previous episode that prior to being swept up in the Fringe world, Olivia had friends with whom she apparently sometimes spent time. However, one thing that argues against your theory that these were John’s memories: She mentions her sister for the first time.

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      • jophan says

        “I thought Olivia’s Han Solo nickname, not having a best friend, and boarding school … were John Scott’s memories.”
        An interesting concept. I’m not sure that I go for it. I thought Scott’s memories were triggered by the sight of Lugo, and these references came before they reached the safe lobby. But we’ll either learn more later or not.

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        • LizW65 says

          “I thought Olivia’s Han Solo nickname, not having a best friend, and boarding school … were John Scott’s memories.”

          Interesting…that would explain the apparent continuity error when she says she had no best friend–and moments later in the same episode rattles off her best friend’s locker combination. It also suggests that Olivia is instinctively drawn to men not unlike herself–introverted and a bit obsessive (not merely that she has a pattern of falling for her work partners, which comes off as slightly shallow, IMO.)

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  3. Pwnsauce says

    “I also assumed Peter did know the Fibonacci sequence since he recognized them and stated “I know those numbers.”

    He knew them because Walter recited the Fibonacci sequence every night before he went to bed.

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    • LMH says

      See I didn’t remember that, I hadn’t watched this one recently. The mismatch of Olivia’s memories is what stuck out.

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  4. number six says

    This episode is really fun. Mitchell Loeb and Mr. Jones are back doing their crazy things, as usual. It’s possible that Loeb and his merry band of robbers could have used a more conventional and effective method to steal Walter’s “DizRay”, but such a cool device needs special treatment, I guess.

    - Walter:

    After the hardware store scene and trying to be a good encouraging father: “Almost there son. Get ready! I know you can do it. Nice catch, well done!” Too funny.

    “You have no idea what you’re capable of, Peter.”
    Will Walter ever tell him or will Peter have to discover it for himself as usual?

    The rice and toys demonstration. Pure win.

    “Do you 2 want to use the room?”
    Look at Olivia’s face. Of course, she does!

    “I was under a great deal of stress at the time. It was before the accident in the lab… I was convinced I was being followed. Someone was watching my every move.”
    Who was following him? The Observer? Shapeshifters?

    “You nearly died when you were a boy…”
    Walter’s memory is a mystery to me. I don’t think that story he told Peter is meant to be completely true. Maybe the writers hadn’t decided at that point, what the Walter/Peter storyline would be. What’s interesting to me is that, as soon as Peter does his coin trick, Walter feels compelled to talk about it and true enough, this Peter nearly died, when he was a boy.

    - Peter:

    At the hardware store: “…it renders any fatherly judgments you may have of me – moot… Are we clear?” I love Peter’s rants in general, but this one is amazing.

    Don’t challenge Olivia for drinks, Peter! I have no evidence that she would drink him under a table, but something tells me her liver is Cortexiphan-protected.

    That card trick was pretty great.

    I don’t have much of a problem with Peter knowing or not the Fibonacci sequence or his genius, or Walter’s for that matter, coming and going, as both can be justified (unconventional education and memory loss). Maybe he did know and he was just trying to jog Walter’s memory. Maybe Walter was right and he should have stayed in college.

    “Hey, Walter. If you were gonna rent a safety deposit box in Providence, what bank would you use?”
    There we have our smart boy back again :D

    “This will either work or it won’t. Either way, it’s only two minutes of your time.”
    And sure enough, in precisely 120 seconds he gets all the information from Ryan Eastwick. Awesome!

    They should have used a left-handed stand-in for the coin trick. Obviously, that wasn’t Joshua Jackson.

    - Olivia:

    Who had a best friend in high school? Olivia? John Scott?

    You impressed Peter with your alcohol ingestion skills, Olivia. Be proud of yourself.

    Nice card trick and awesome memory.

    “Walter, not everybody knows the Fibonacci Sequence.”
    Aaawww! Look at her defending her future boyfriend. No wonder she was itching to get rid of John Scott.

    She’s the worst interrogator ever. She should let Peter do that job every single time.

    Going to Little Hill without backup was really stupid of her. Luckily, her abductors are even dumber, so she escapes soon enough.

    - Astrid:

    “Miss, I’m going to repeat the demonstration with the rice. Would you care to watch?” “Nope!”
    I love her so much.

    My rating: 8.5/10.

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