Producers on Jacksonville ‘Secrets’, 2.14 Ratings, Science of Fringe

Last week Fringe went out with a bang as universes collided, revelations unfolded and a drinks date was dramatically canceled. (well, it was, wasn’t it?). The mythology-heavy, character driven “Jacksonville” is definitely one of our highlights of the season so far, making the 2 month Lowatus even harder.

After the jump, Fringe executive producers and writers, Jeff Pinkner and J.H Wyman, offer their interpretation of the episode in the latest “Fringe Secrets” video. Plus, we have the ratings news and the Popular Mechanics view on the science of Jacksonville’s ‘mass for mass’ plot device.

(mild spoiler warning: Personally I don’t find the information in this video too spoilery, although the producers do offer one or two interpretations which may not have been clear in the episode, so continue at your own discretion).

Among the topics they discuss are; the balance between universes, Newton’s plan, “5-20-10”, Activating Olivia, the future of Olivia & Peter and the glimmer.


Ratings for Jacksonville were down on the previous week, scoring 7.395 million viewers and a 2.6 rating, although this time we were up against a full broadcast, making it more impressive in comparison to some of the pre-2010 numbers:

The ratings situation certainly isn’t perfect, but I think we can take some comfort in how things have improved over the past few weeks. Hopefully “Jacksonville” will give viewers food for thought when deciding what to watch on Thursday nights – as I suspect “Grey Matters” did before the previous Lowatus.

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Popular Mechanics take a look at the science of Fringe‘s alternate reality:

In [last] week’s “Jacksonville,” a building damaged by one of a series of tremors occurring in Manhattan has more than just a few cracked ceiling panels. The Fringe team arrives in the city just in time to discover that something has scrambled the atoms of the building along with everything and everyone inside.

It’s a gruesome scene with bodies strewn about, but it’s the fact that the dead have literally been fused together that really makes the case bizarre. What would provide a source of energy so powerful that it could alter the state of the atoms in the room?

According to Walter Bishop, a rip between the barriers of two parallel universes could do just that. Everyone is stunned (aside from Olivia Dunham, who as a child was experimented on by Walter and partner Dr. William Bell). During her tests, Olivia was the only child able to identify objects from “the other side.” And though the team races to repeat experiments that caused Olivia’s childhood “seeing” ability, somewhere, another building in Manhattan is set to disappear to the other side.

Continue reading here.

Fringe returns with the remainder of season 2 from April 1st, after its winter Lowatus. In the meantime, you can catch the most recent Fringe episodes on Hulu for free. (US restriction)


  1. Aly says

    I wish I knew the answer to the math problem they explained, I don’t know the Lost numbers they were talking about.
    It’s really disheartening that JJ Abrams is even thinking about ending the season this early.

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  2. jkyarr says

    It seems obvious to me after watching the Jeff Pinkner and J.H Wyman interview that Walter and Olivia collude to hide Peter’s origin. :-( That’s disappointing, but not at all an unforeseen plot mechanism… But it breaks my suspension of disbelief and sets a much more contrived feel to Olivia’s emotional state than, as a viewer, feels authentic. Thats my take on it anyhow. It’s much more of a “this only happens in the movies” moment than an authentic human moment…

    If any of that proves to be true at all…

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    • mlj102 says

      I agree that they seem to suggest that Olivia and Walter come to some sort of agreement to keep the secret, and I also agree that I don’t like them taking it in that direction because I feel like that would be out of line for Olivia’s character.

      That said, I’m willing to hold off judgment until we actually see how it plays out (assuming that is, in fact, what ends up happening). There is a possibility that they have come up with a legitimate reason for her to keep the secret — some fact we don’t know about yet. Personally, I can’t think of anything that I would consider a valid reason for keeping the secret, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way for them to include that twist and have it make sense.

      In the interview, they do say that the way Olivia and Walter agree to deal with the situation is really interesting and will intrigue the fans. So that suggests there is some sort of unexpected element to the whole thing, as well as that they reach some sort of compromise — maybe Olivia is able to get him to agree to tell Peter, but not until a certain point in the future?

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  3. Elaine says

    Could be, but even if there isn’t some plot twist yet to be revealed on why Olivia agrees to Walter’s request, I can’t really be disappointed in her deciding to remain hush on that information. First off, how do you even approach that topic? It’s such a skull hump piece of knowledge which is highly combustible for so many reasons. Secondly, all things considered, it’s not really her place, it’s Walter’s.

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    • mlj102 says

      I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but, while I agree that it is Walter’s secret to tell, things have changed now that Olivia has unwillingly found herself aware of the secret. Now that she knows, it’s as if she has a responsibility to tell him the truth. He deserves to know, and can she, like Walter, willingly withhold that truth from him? If Walter’s not willing to take responsibility for his actions and tell Peter the truth, then I think Olivia should step up and do that.

      I agree, though — it is a particularly tough situation to approach. How do you tell someone — especially someone you care about — that they’re actually from a different reality? I have to feel bad for Olivia being put in this particular situation… not pleasant at all!

      As a side note, I’m completely shocked with how close the poll has been this whole time… I knew it would be split, but I didn’t expect it to be this close!

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