Welcome to the rewatch for episode 11 of Fringe season 2 – “Johari Window”. In this rewatch we put on our perception goggles in a bid to see Edina with new eyes.
We have renamed this episode: Eye See U..
Newly Observed Perspectives
- Well, this is not my favorite episode ever, although it does further establish the important perception theme before the mythology cranks up.
- In rewatching this episode I basically looked at the town of Edina in two ways. The first was to consider it as a representation of the alternate universe – a world that is right in front of our eyes, but the truth of which is invisible without the depth of perception needed to see reality for what it is. This plays into my second perspective – in considering how seeing something for what it is impacts upon our humanity, on some level. We see this theme all throughout the story, whether it’s with the Edina folks, Walter stealing Peter, Olivia shielding the truth, Peter finding out the truth. It’s nothing we didn’t already learn, but for all this episode’s faults, it does help to contextualize the bigger picture of the story in a useful way.
- Another aspect that I want to take away from this episode is the idea that although perception has so much importance, could there be something else beyond what we’re capable of seeing that has even greater importance? I think we see signs of this with Walter and Broyles, who agree to preserve the Edinans secret, letting them live out there lives in peace. You could call it humanity, and perhaps this humanity is informed by what we see, but I also think it has to come from somewhere else. Thing is, even when perception is accurate, it is still open to so many different perspectives, while the ability to do right by another human being, well, that path seems to rest on more solid ground. I’d like to think that it’s something that everyone at their absolute core can tap into. I guess another way to look at it would be to consider that perception (on a personal and wider level) is open to error and misuse, unless we know how to use it. I kinda dig perception as a power, and it probably has something to do with why I consider Olivia to be our eyes through the story.
- One final point before I hit the highway out of Edina. The morality of the Edina folk is also questioned in this episode. They are not a blameless bunch, for sure. But since this episode served as an framework for the alternate universe, it’s perhaps worth noting the way in which the Edinans felt justified in protecting themselves from any perceived threat to their community. We’re seeing a similar thing play out with Walternate and his First and ‘Second’ Waves. By the end of this episode it took the act of the intentionally named rose to sacrifice one of her own and bring about peace between the two sides. I wonder whether the war between the two universes will require the act of an Olive branch to bring about similar peace? Who knows.
Best retrospective performer: John Noble
Best retrospective moment: Broyles agreeing to keep the Edinans secret.
Retrospective episode rating: 2/10
Next rewatch episode – 2.12 “What Lies Below” – TBA.