Synopsis: While investigating a series of bank robberies, Olivia, Walter and Peter are shocked to find one of the suspects inexplicably trapped inside a vault wall as if it solidified around him. Walter realizes that the high-tech thieves have figured out a way to defy the law of physics and that, much to his dismay, the crooks are after something of his. As the ongoing investigation unfolds and the mystery deepens, the perilous situation climaxes when a member of the trio is ambushed.
I recall “Safe” as being one of those episodes where things began to ‘come together’. On second viewing I can still see its charm.
New observations, perspectives and whatnot below:
New Observations & Perspectives
1.) So we know that some of John’s memories crossed over into Olivia’s mind. But what I felt worked in this episode was the idea that Massive Dynamic needed those particular memories to give them the “advantage” over — I presume — Jones and his gang (unless Nina was referring to a different threat). I also find it kinda funny that Olivia had access to this crucial information without even knowing it – this mirrors Walter’s situation of having an extensive wealth of knowledge but not being able to access it on tap.
2.) Continuing on from the above — it’s possible that Nina would have known (or had some idea) that Jones was responsible for kidnapping Olivia, despite the ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ act to Phillip. Her anxiety over the “highly motivated people” coincided too snugly with Jones’ escape.
3.) I don’t quite get why Loeb thought his gang wouldn’t “understand” the contents of the box? It’s a teleportation device, what’s not to understand once you’ve walked through freakin’ walls!? Don’t get me wrong, there are levels of awe and wonder, but since Pandora wasn’t inside the box, I think they’re capable of wrapping their mind around the core basics.
(Slightly off-topic: when Chance Kelly looks inside the box, I wondered what direction he was given, and how he was told to play his look of ‘euphoria’? It wasn’t up there with Terry O’Quinn’s intriguing equivalent, but it made me wonder what made him choose that particular reaction to his character seeing the diz-ray.)
4.) Ryan Eastwick’s radiation induced hand trembling is very similar to the initial effects suffered by Jones (and Nina) in “Ability”. Seeing as walking through solid matter and teleportation both have negative consequences, I would expect there to also be consequences for crossing between realities. I guess we’ll eventually find out!
5.) Speaking of which, Walter said that when Peter was younger he developed a rare form of bird flu (hepia) that hadn’t been around for decades, but that he ‘suddenly’ got better. Could he have developed this illness by coming over to our reality? Or, could this have been HOW original Peter died? Perhaps Walter is confusing things, and it was actually his original son who caught hepia and actually died as a result? Maybe Walter ‘thinks’ that Peter ‘got better’ because he’s mixing up the reality of losing his son with gaining a new one from the other world?
6.) I liked watching Peter’s coin trick again – not just because the coin is a pretty powerful story-element in the season finale, but because the idea of making a coin disappear is an illusion, much like our perspective of a single reality.
7.) I always liked this line from Walter: “You’ve no idea what you’re capable of”. Now I know that Peter has a high IQ, but I don’t for one minute think that Walter’s “disappointment” in Peter is due to his nomad existence or his spurned educational opportunities. I get the impression that through the wire of Walter’s fuzzy recollection, he subconsciously knew — even at this stage — that Peter was out of this world.
8.) So let’s iron this out: Olivia’s condition escalated as she began to confuse John’s memories with her own (quite different to the physical manifestation guide she received in earlier episodes). I REALLY love how this married with the identity issues between Peter and Walter. It’s like, wow, no-one knows who the heck they really are and it’s great! (and, um, heartbreaking at the same time).
9.) Peter’s toys not actually being our Peter’s toys – I think I said this first time round, but again, this was nice foreshadowing to something being amiss.
1.) What was Nina doing in London? My guess would be that it was something to do with Jones, since he’s a Brit. It also seemed as though she got there pretty fast, but that could be due to how the episode was condensed.
Also (although this would be pointless unless returned to at a later date) was she in OUR London, or the OTHER London?
2.) Why did Eastwick come down with a bad dose of radiation poisoning? Didn’t we see him taking his shots and that was a lead in?
Maybe we just have to go along with it because they needed Peter to showcase his great people reading abilities?
3.) In the bar scene, Olivia says that she has a “thing for numbers” – whilst I can quite easily see this being true, I’m still left wondering whether this is her own skill, or part of John Scott’s memories?
4.) Okay, we’re all still waiting to know: just WHO is Peter’s “best friend”? I hope it’s not Peter (or worse, Tess)
1.) This initially bugged me – Jones offering his attorney, Kohl, a suit seemed like an odd gesture. But it actually makes sense, seeing as despite Kohl declining the offer, Jones takes the suit off his back (after murdering him) and wears it for his trip to Little Hill. That Jones, always thinking of others.
2.) (I’m not sure if this is a legitimate “closed mystery”, but if this is the answer then I’d be satisfied): So, Nina’s concern at the “race against highly motivated individuals” can perhaps be explained by Jones’ imminent jail-break (she must have heard the news about Walter’s stolen diz-ray parts) and his desire to kill her precious Bellie.
To my mind, this not only makes sense, but it salvages one of my few criticisms of the finale, in that Jones’ petty daddy issues (and I say that in the kindest way, as I like Jones) seemed a major detour from his ‘Olivia the gifted one’ obsession. If Nina was worried about Jones, It could be that Bellie/Nina were the one’s responsible for putting Jones in jail in the first place. Maybe Jones wanted Olivia so badly because he needed a way to cross over to the other reality to kill Bellie?
3.) “Little Hill” was indeed code for the coordinates to Little Hill field, where Jones would make his escape.
What I most loved about this episode was that it was rewarding - I know that’s a buzz word in Fringe circles right now, but it’s true, the mythology and character interactions from episode 1.07 was paid-off in fantastic fashion.
I also think that it was clever to introduce solid-matter-walking (I’m sure there’s a snappy technical term for that somewhere) and teleportation in the same episode – it allowed for heightened resonance and made the teleportation scene that much more..next level.
My lasting impression from the episode is something I will cherish, and it was part delivered through Peter’s magic trick, Raul’s wall integration and Jones’ badass escape – the idea that in this world (never mind the other) we have the ability to do anything..anything - from travelling through solid matter to copy/pasting ourselves to new destinations. If we can imagine it, then we can eventually find a way to make it reality.
But once such feats have been accomplished, comes the question of why? Why are these things even possible, and why were they hidden from us for so long? Is it chance that we unearth these possibilities – are we throwing Mother Earth a curve-ball..doing something unexpected, by “hacking” her illusory constraints and physical laws? Or is it all predetermined – are we supposed to utilise all that reality has to offer and to hell with the mystery box?
Just how Safe are the secrets?
Best Performer: Jared Harris
Best Moment: A flat-out draw between the walk-walking and teleportation scenes!
Retrospective Rating: 8.6/10
You can find our original “Safe” posts here.