Synopsis: Olivia, Walter and Peter are called in to investigate the death of a car salesman who was found in a pool of “goo,” exactly like another man across the country. When Walter discovers that the “goo” is brain matter, the trio tries to figure out how the killer can liquefy human brains. As the deaths pile up, the investigation reveals a common thread linking the victims together in an unthinkable manner. Meanwhile, Olivia is horrified when the case places a loved one in harm’s way.
Below the jump I share my new observations and perspectives, and take a quick look at the unresolved and closed mysteries from “The No Brainer”.
New Observations & Perspectives
1.) Both Olivia and Rachel remember their childhood together. Nothing too strange in that, except we know that Olivia was once ‘Olive’ who probably spent a great deal of time in William Bell’s clinical trials. I guess the Olive we saw on the tape in “Bad Dreams” was about 5 or 6 years old, so perhaps Rachel was too young, or not even born when Olivia was Cortexiphaned? Either way, it will be interesting to see whether Rachel recalls anything odd about Olivia as a child, or whether Rachel herself is a Cortexiphan kid.
2.) I’m enjoying watching Sanford Harris during these rewatches a lot more than I did the first time around. I was particularly intrigued by his determination to obstruct Olivia’s investigation into the computer virus – which, on the face of it, was a non-pattern event. Knowing what we do about his later arc, I would expect him to be more than happy to let Olivia chase her tail with a dead-end case, instead of digging into the bigger conspiracy-related stuff that is eventually his downfall. In this respect, seeing him scurry around like a squirrel who had lost his stash-o’-nuts was interesting.
On second thoughts, maybe it was about control. Keeping Dunham on a tight leash might have been more important to him and his objectives, regardless of the case she was working on? I guess we know who won this round.
3.) I love how Rachel was more interested in flirting with Peter than she was over the health of her child. When Olivia busts the door down and frantically asks if Ella is OK, you kinda HAVE to listen, Rach.
Then she really makes a push for that mother of the year award by basically saying that she would ask what happened to Ella, but she’s worried that she wont like the answer – UM, if there’s a chance that your child has been hypnotized by a computer programme, shouldn’t you get to the very bottom of it? I guess Olivia got all of the ‘question machine’ genes.
4.) Where Olivia has faith in Walter, Peter only sees potential failure . We saw it in Equation and it was present again in this episode. It was great to see Olivia open Peter’s eyes to the capability of his father. He complains about being a “baby-sitter”, yet he wraps his father up in cotton wool. Thing is, it’s totally understandable. It was warming to see Peter protect his father so fiercely from potential threats to his mental stability before removing his training wheels – it’s been said many times by myself and others, but they really have come a long way.
A quick word on Walter – yet again he showed that he is able to flick the lights on when dealing with matters of the heart. This level of clarity and sensibility is only otherwise seen when he’s pursuing science.
5.) The end scene still holds up. Peter’s line about never really having his father has grown in importance and irony since the January airing of this episode. Olivia’s role in bringing the modern-day Bishop’s together shouldn’t be underplayed – Peter realises that, yet he still took a moment to scope out the younger, more accessible model (it’s all in the mirco-seconds!) – I guess it would have been rude not to. Olivia’s reaction is fantastic – she looks like she’s been hit with a giant feather duster (“blue, not pink!”) – Anna Torv is good at those quizzical, befuddled expressions.
I’m actually surprised that Olivia didn’t see the Peter/Rachel attraction coming! I kept thinking, is Olivia worried that Peter isn’t the right guy for Rachel, or that Rachel isn’t the right girl for Peter? Knowing Rachel as she does, I think it’s mostly the latter.
1.) How did Dempsey know what effect his computer virus would have if he had never seen it himself? It’s a bit like an artist painting a master-piece blindfolded. Possible, but an explanation would have been nice.
2.) Why did Walter order the baboon seminal? It doesn’t have anything to do with Gene, does it?
3.) We have a potentially great scene between Walter and ‘mother lab assistant’ but we don’t even get to see it, or hear it mentioned in future episodes (darn you, episodic!). I’d very much like to know what was said. Also, how did she know that Walter was out of the institution? Probably not important, but I do wonder if she’s really on the up and up.
1.) Brian Dempsey targeted people (or their family members) who had wronged him in the past. Ella was targeted because she’s related to Olivia, who was leading the investigation.
Best Performer: Joshua Jackson
Best Moment: Peter looking through the car window – the glass streaked with the reflective quality of rain, upon realising the parallels between Luke Dempsey’s protection of his father and his own desire to shield Walter.
Retrospective Rating: 5.5/10
You can find our original posts for The No Brainer here.