Welcome to the rewatch for episode 3 of Fringe season 2 – “Fracture”. Join us as we pick up the pieces from the Molebaby encounter and glean new perspectives from Sam Weiss’ magic balls of intrigue.
We have renamed this episode: Toy Soldiers And Broken Parts.
Newly Observed Perspectives
- At Sam’s bowling alley, Olivia is sitting on a red chair, with a gray chair either side of her. An indication that she is making the transition from a recruit (the “black and gray” clothing) to an alternate universe fighting warrior? Or a random circumstance that happens to fit a certain logic? Take your pick or pick your take.
- More sleep references, this time from Weiss: “Are you sleeping at night?” No Samuel, she hasn’t slept since encountering Puff The Magic Dragon down in the sewers. And now she sleeps with her light on. Please help her.
- I’m reminded that this episode did a good job at exploring Olivia’s trauma after her visit to the other side – the trembling hands, the hobbling around on that Jedi stick, the red-tinted flashbacks. Good to see, although I would probably have liked to have seen a bit more of it before the giant RESET button was pushed.
- The manner in which Olivia found the vials was slightly contrived, but lessened by the underlying idea that her mind was working under the surface, guiding her to the clues.
- I still want to know why Colonel destroyed the couriers information rather than analyzing it. Seems a bit foolish to me.
- More sleep references:
“Parts of your brain are still asleep, but once they wake up, all that memory will get flushed down.”
- A battle is being fought in Olivia’s mind between the parts that want to remember and the parts that gone into a self-imposed sleep so that she remains safe. Both sides mean well.
- It’s probably weiss to pay attention to any perception reference delivered by Sam. Here he’s essentially alluding to the fact that there’s more to Olivia than meets the eye, as he measures her hand:
“Seven and 1/4 inches. Hmm.
Nothing, your hands just seem smaller to me”
- We could also look at this from another angle, with the idea that there’s more to Weiss than meets the eye – which we know. But it’s still interesting to see Weiss essentially make a comment about perception and how it distorts reality (or reveals the truth) depending on your viewpoint. Then there’s the idea that by getting Olivia to feel small, he’s retracting her mind, getting it to reach down to her inner child, who seems to be under some duress. This also corroborates Weiss’ earlier comment about getting Olivia to keep score at the kids bowling session. The things that Weiss says might not make much sense on the surface, but he’s communicating with the Inner Olivia, if you get my drift. Either way, whatever Weiss did, he fixed her. Or rather, started the rebuilding process.
- Colonel Gordon may have been crazy (he blew people up, after all), but he hit on some things that we know to be true. I’ll quote him and Broyles:
“Meanwhile we go through our lives unaware. The enemy is among us and nobody is doing anything about it. We don’t have any idea the end is coming. So we had to take matters into our own hands. We had to send them a message”
“What was in the briefcase?”
“They told you I was crazy didn’t they. The Pentagon. They told you I had a psychiatric break. I told them what I’m telling you. That they are here – collecting data, making observations. That’s what’s in the briefcase. They’ve been planning for war. And they’ve been passing information via courier, right under our noses.”
Who are they?”
“We don’t know who they are. But I can tell you what they want. They want to exterminate us, so they’re studying us, our culture, our technology, our science. And they plan to use it against us. One way or another, we’ll find out who they are. But by then, I suppose it wont really matter. because whatever is in those cases, is going to destroy us all”
I’m not sure it does much good to analyze that. I’m not sure that the writers didn’t change their minds along the way as to who they believed Gordon was referring to. At the time Gordon’s claim was made to seem directed towards the Observers (although that may have been intentional misdirection). Now, with the second season completed, it has probably swung more in Walternate and the alternate universe’s direction. Since we know that Walternate has been preparing for war, and gathering data through spies and whatnot. Obviously Gordon himself didn’t know exactly who this ‘great threat’ was – he was right about certain things, but whether the Observers are threats or benign reality defenders, well, it looks like the latter. Though it would be interesting to explore the actual motives of the Observers and who or what their actions are ultimately serving. I mean, science is neutral in this show, but it also has a way of serving those who have it.
Best retrospective performer: Anna Torv
Best retrospective moment: For all its faults, the end scene.
Retrospective episode rating: 7/10
Next rewatch episode – 2.04 “Momentum Deferred” – TBA.