Welcome to the rewatch for episode 20 of Fringe season 2 – “Northwest Passage”. Join as we stop off from a piece of Krista’s sweet pecan pie before heading to the other side with Walternate.
We have renamed this episode: Transmission.
Newly Observed Perspectives
- If you’ve been tracking the sleep references with us along the way, this episode should be like candy to you. Were all, or some, of the events happening in Peter’s head? I said it at the time, and I’ll say it again:
Are things really as they appear, or is there an extra level of something involving dreams and consciousness bubbling under the surface of the show?
- That’s not to say that I think Peter was necessarily hallucinating. I think there’s a difference between what Peter experienced and agent Mathis’ theory.
- One way that I like to look at the events in this episode is that they were manifested by Peter himself, due to his sleep deprived state and his recent disconnection with his adopted universe. I could see how such an experience could play havoc with his ability, just as being frightened would activate Olivia. And as we know, there is an unspoken element to this story that involves the sleep/waking state. Alternatively, the events could be explained by Newton doing something to disorientate Peter. We know that they sent him some kind of transmission – I can’t imagine this was included for no good reason on the writers part. Did they do something to his perception? Did they transmit code to his subconscious mind that will unlock at some point in the future (a pre-emptive plan by Walternate)? Were they preparing the coordinates for his journey back to the other side? Were they attempting to download information from Peter’s mind ahead of the journey? I think all of these ideas are possible, although I think that this episode was intentionally ambiguous.
- I still find the ending to this episode extremely powerful and satisfying. Peter has to fall asleep to fully wake up. It’s almost as though he had been in an interim state of mind since realizing the truth about his origins. And Newton, what can I say about The Newt? He is the personification of cool. And then the entrance of Walternate – still a bit early for my liking but necessary given the ultimate direction of the season. And I’m glad they didn’t have Peter say, “Daaaad?”, because you know that LOST (RIP, my sweet) would have.
Best retrospective performer: Joshua Jackson
Best retrospective moment: Peter sleeping/meeting The Newt’s gun/meeting Walternate.
Retrospective episode rating: 6/10
Next rewatch episode – 2.21 “Over There – Part 1” – TBA.