Review: 2.16 Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver


Welcome to the FB review of the Fringe season 2 episode 16 – “Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver“. In this review I present my honest opinions on both the good and bad aspects of the episode. I also take a look at the answers and unresolved mysteries, before sharing my thoughts on other aspects which may have been overlooked.

THE GOOD

  • Overarching mythology. It was great to see the central storyline continue in what could easily have been a typical procedural installment. Unlike last season’s “Inner Child”, for example, the B-story was actually tied to the main story, helping to advance Olivia’s journey in the process. The episode also featured that much needed thing called ‘continuity’, picking up nicely from where the previous episode left off and delivering numerous callbacks to past events and characters. If this is an example of the “mythalones“, then with 5-8 episodes of this ilk per season (alongside the myth-heavy) the producers may just have found their formula.
  • Sam Weiss. If Fringe lives through its characters and mythology then it needs intriguing recurring characters to help them on their journey. Sam Weiss is the embodiment of intriguing so I was more than pleased to see him return. I love the fact that Olivia addressed his absence, saying: “It’s been a while”. Indeed, Dunham, indeed! It’s frustrating when an interesting character is introduced and then disappears for ages without any mention of them. This was particularly the case with Sam because the writers did some really interesting things with him earlier in the season. He delivered more cryptic tidbits in this episode to raise his stock further, and I for one hope we don’t have to wait another 12+ episodes to see him again. I mean, he’s Olivia’s drinking buddy now and you can’t tell me she wont be having another drink for that long. Any excuse for the Weiss one is most welcome.
  • Head Game. It was fascinating to get inside the heads of Olivia and Walter. We got to see their dirty secret play out in compelling fashion, with Olivia ultimately being the one choosing to bury the truth from Peter while Walter grew a backbone. I just loved this. It touches on some of our discussions on the morality of the situation while giving us another aspect to deal with – the fact that Olivia, as much as she wants to do the “right thing”, doesn’t want to lose Peter for her own sake. Selfish? Perhaps, but I find that to be a very believable motivation and it’s miles better than a bubblegum romance between Olivia and Peter – this is a very murky yet very understandable human action. (even though I’m not entirely happy with how shady Olivia now looks in light of Walter’s timely change of heart). Once again we are seeing the consequences take center stage and through that we get to know the characters a little bit more. We are left to interpret their struggles, considerations and subsequent decisions, and I find this really interesting.
  • The Context of “Goodness”. The idea that Olivia is a “good person” was an interesting nugget. Yes, it was a bit forced, but since it came from Sam I’ll accept that he has a good grasp of human nature. Plus, thinking about it, I also believe that Olivia is essentially good (being a victim and protector she’s certainly not portrayed as a “bad” person). On it’s own, this statement from the writers on Olivia’s character (as I consider it to be) is interesting because it adds another dimension to her struggle and ultimate choice in the episode. But we also get the rather bold statement that Walter is a “great man” – giving us contrasting notions on the idea of ‘good’. Is it possible for Olivia and Walter to both represent ‘good’? Of course, it’s all about perspective and that perspective is based upon a person’s world view. While I can accept the evidence on Olivia being a good person, I find it far more difficult to reason that Walter is a great man – even in scientific terms. As Carla said in 2.15 “Peter”; science cannot be pursued without morality. Walter has not only let himself down as a human being, but his science was immoral to say the least. However, by the end of this episode Olivia seems to move further away from her ‘good center’, while Walter makes a choice which is truly “great”. It’s wonderful to explore these shifting character motivations and to witness the way these triggers are directly influenced by the choices and actions of other people. I can’t help think that Walter’s mindset was propelled somewhat by Olivia becoming complicit in his dirty lie, and that Olivia’s good intent was bent by Walter’s notion that some truths are better left untold. Fantastic stuff and long may it continue (not the lie, necessarily, but the character focus).

  • Day 3. One of my ongoing gripes with the format of this show is that everything is always wrapped up in the space of 24 hours. A spaceship could land on Fringe Division HQ and the whole thing would be gift wrapped and solved by the end of ‘day 1′. Therefore, I was really pleased that this episode took place over 3 days in the world of the show! I also thought it worked pretty well as it gave writers room to tell a convincing emotional story without having to worry about cramming everything into 24 hours. In my opinion, it’s more difficult to deliver those broad emotional strokes as effectively when a character’s mindset doesn’t have the time to change realistically (2.15 “Peter” was another good example of making an episode span several days, if not weeks, even though it wasn’t explicitly illustrated).
  • Nina. Red Hair. Olivia. In the same room. Twisty. One-up. Punchline. What more do you want? :)

THE BAD

  • Walter’s arrival at the idea that James Heath was exchanging energy with his victims to delay the progression of his own illness was a bit of a reach. He was right, of course, but he seemed to pluck the idea out of thin air. I can accept this story contrivance but it did take me out of the episode for a bit.
  • The thing about what Walter and Olivia had “discussed”. It looks like after the lights went out on 2.15 “Peter” there was an extra scene where Olivia took another swig of her booze and agreed that they shouldn’t tell Peter the truth. Fair enough, but I got the impression from Walter’s “I always knew that one day I would pay the price for my deception” talk that he was definitely going to tell Peter soon. Which is why it was strange to see him begin this episode, seemingly, without the same intent. Perhaps they didn’t iron out the time-frame, but Walter could have provided a bit more clarification on exactly what was agreed off camera in last week’s episode. Again, not a major quibble as it can work itself out, it’s just that I found it distracting, in this instance, having to second guess what I thought was already established.
  • I thought Olivia was a bit slow in realising that the connection between Heath’s victims was the Cortexiphan trials, especially after she somehow knew Timothy Ober’s middle name but couldn’t figure out how. Surely her first thought would be the Jacksonville trials? Minor story contrivance, I guess.
  • Broyles’ Office. Dude needs an office, and not the make-shift hole he has now, but the super-cool one from season 1. You know, the one that wasn’t ashamed to have wide camera shots taken of it? Sure, it was a camera whore but it was one heck of an interior. Minor complaint, but the boss man deserves the best.
  • Although we got some nice details on the Cortexiphan kids, it would have been a good opportunity to explore them in a bit more detail. Not a major complaint because I’m sure they’re saving this for later.

UNRESOLVED MYSTERIES

  • Was Intrepus involved in Heath’s activation, at all, or was that just a nice reference?
  • Who was behind Heath’s activation? Was it the same person pulling the strings behind the Nick Lane and Nancy Lewis activation, as Broyles suspects?

ANSWERS

  • Olivia moved around a lot, although we kinda knew that.
  • Heath’s energy exchange could only work on other Cortexiphan children.
  • Heath’s ‘activation’ failed, worsening his illness – an “unfortunate side effect”.
  • According to Broyles, there are over 40 Cortexiphan kids still out there (Jacksonville and Ohio trials).

FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • As I watched the opening scene I thought how similar it was to another opening from last season – 1.06 “The Cure“, and would you know it, that episode was actually referenced through the Intrepus mention. I think it was the diner setting and the offer of soup that did it. I wonder if this was intentional on the part of the writing?
  • Nice continuity in Heath and Miranda Greene, et al, having trouble remembering the other Cortexiphan kids/clinical trials, just as Olivia and Nick Lane have displayed. “I think they meant us to forget”. Does the fact that Greene remembered one boy – Lloyd Becker, suggest that she was paired with him in the buddy system, like how Olivia was paired with Nick Lane? I also found it strange how Olivia didn’t seem to remember any of the other kids, even after seeing the height chart in Jacksonville, yet Greene and Lane were able to remember at least one other child.
  • Sam to Olivia:

“Can you pass me a nut”. (Olivia obliges)

  1. I just knew that Olivia would instinctively choose the right type of nut, echoing my belief that she has an innate ability to make the right choices (for the most part anyway). An more radical notion would be that on some level her choices become reality – causing whatever Weiss as fixing to require that kind of bolt. I think such a concept would come into play late in the series run, if at all.
  • It was good to see Livvy smiling in this episode. Thanks Sam, you cryptic bugger, she needed that. I noticed that Olivia has now accepted Sam’s mystical ability, actively seeking him out at 6 AM in the morning and openly admitting that she’s there to find out what “happens next“. That’s nice character development as it shows that Olivia is moving past the doubt that she had when she first met the Weiss one.

  • Some of Sam’s best lines:

“When you’ve been up all night, time is just a matter of semantics”

  1. In my view he’s basically saying that time is relative (perhaps even happening all at once). Although the alternate universe concept has taken center stage, I have long believed that time is also a big component of the Fringe mythology.

“What’s up Buttercup”

  1. There you go again, Sam, making people smile. :D

Olivia: “I always thought you’d make a better detective”

Sam: “I may not be the gumshoe you are but I’ve got some skills”

  1. What are Sam’s “skills” exactly? In this episode he came across as knowing yet seemed to imply that Olivia had superseded his level. I guess I’ll stick to my belief that he’s more of a guide or mentor than a Jedi. Still, fascinating character.

“I detected that you needed company”

  1. He may not have meant that literally, but I think he did. Say, you don’t have a magic window, do you, Sam?

“That would explain the uniform – bland clothes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in a primary color. Because..it’s more than a job to you, you’re a soldier, protector”

  1. Sam’s so observant, he could be an audience member!

“You’re a good person. One of the few I know. If you agreed to keep this secret I’m sure you had a good reason”

  1. Sam’s deeeeep release of breath before he said that line was interesting. It was as though he was taking the weight of Olivia’s shoulders for her just by doing that. I also like the way he got her to directly think about WHY she was keeping the secret. Compare “good reason” with “good person” and I have to say, I’m not convinced by Olivia’s ultimate decision to conceal the truth. Sorry Liv, I have your back, but lying to Peter goes against your moral code, which probably makes her almost as culpable as Walter, because at least it wasn’t against Walter’s ethics to adhere to the boundaries of Mother Nature. It just feels a bit crappy that Olivia comes out of the episode with less dignity than Walter.

  • Walter:

“When you open your mind to the impossible. Sometimes you find the truth”

  1. This is very similar to the line he said in 1.21 Unearthed: “Please allow me a moment to entertain my fantasies. They often lead to a truth”
  • Walter:

“I was thinking of taking Peter there. He used to love salt water taffy as a child”

  1. Which Peter are you thinking of, Walter?
  • In previous episodes we learned that the Cortexiphan kids were designed to protect our world. In particular, we discover that Olivia’s protective nature is one of the attributes which set her apart, as mentioned by Nick lane in Bad Dreams“you were always the strong one”. In this episode, we also discover that Greene “had a thing about protecting people who couldn’t protect themselves” and seemingly Lloyd Becker was in the army. This goes back to my thought about Olivia’s (and the other kids) path being somewhat fated. In my view it’s no accident that she’s an FBI agent working for Fringe Division. Clearly there is some innate force influencing their choices even though they are not completely aware of what it is that has made them this way. Another interesting aspect is the idea that (according to Walter) the Cortexiphan kids were not just enhanced by the trials, but that they were chosen because they had been “predisposed” to something. I REALLY want to know what that something is.
  • The episode was marked by the fact that, in Olivia’s mind, even the prospect of a serial killer being on the loose took a back seat to the Peter secret. Here is a classic example:

Astrid: “There’s more than 50 Neil Wilson’s in the tri state area. Do you want me to run them down?”

Olivia: “Ah no, I’m pretty sure he gave her a fake name anyway”

  1. LOL! I don’t think I’ve ever heard Olivia basically say “nah, don’t bother” before. Astrid must have thought it was her Birthday. :) It just goes to show that our odd little family unit is becoming just as, if not more, important as protecting the universe.
  • Astrid:

“Walter, don’t mix up the spoons”

  1. Yeah, Walter. Be sure not to mix those SPOONS. You wouldn’t want to confuse the memory of one SPOON with that of another SPOON which you lost to illness many years ago, would you? *wink*
  • Olivia:

“If it were the other way around I would want him to tell me”

  1. That’s pretty much what I thought. Which is why her ultimate decision sticks in the throat somewhat. Seriously, Liv, it’s a slippery slope and I think it’s high time you got off Mount Walter.
  • Is it just me, or did Olivia look like she was enjoying making Walter squirm just a little too much? ;) And if looks could kill, someone would have to steal a replacement Walter from another universe. Yikes!
  • I like that Broyles asked Olivia “what are you seeing?” instead of “what are you thinking”. Ties into the perception theme.

  • I’m glad Olivia and Peter’s near kiss in Jacksonville was addressed, and I’m also glad that Peter agrees that it was “crazy”. Although “contrived” is probably the word he was looking for. I also liked how Peter’s talk about not wanting anything to jeopardize their ‘odd little family unit’ was a major contributing factor in Olivia making her decision to bury the truth from him.
  • The energy exchange between Heath and his victims mirrored the mass for mass/energy concept explained in “Jacksonville”. This reminds me of season 1 where Fringe would spend a lot of time adding layers to the same concepts.
  • Did Olivia always live in that apartment? And those boxes, they weren’t there in last week’s episode. And Where’s Ella and her mother? Do they even live in this Universe any more?
  • I loved the fight scene between Olivia and Heath. The whole build up was great too, even if Olivia loses points for not sticking the guy up. Then, after hitting dude over the head with the lamp stand she really should have gone for the GUN and the OPEN doorway, away from immediate danger. I guess we wouldn’t have had the cute Candlestick reference or speed dial scene, but still, safety first.
  • Heath saying: “I didn’t want this. I didn’t want to hurt anyone”, echoes Nick Lane: “I have to die or I will keep hurting people. We weren’t meant for this..”. All-round douchebag, Sanford Harris, hired Isaac Winters to activate Nancy Lewis and Nick Lane, but who activated James Heath? More to the point, who is the puppet master in all of this? I’m inclined to say Bell or even Nina, but they both have mitigating. So perhaps it’s someone unexpected like Olivia’s uncle, who would presumably have known about the clinical trails in J-Town.
  • Heath:

“I think, had that man not come to see me, I would have died the way I was supposed to..and my sister would still be alive”

  1. Just an interesting line that was well delivered and nicely filmed.
  • Good to know that Rachel is No.1 on Olivia’s speed dial. Personally, I’d put the Indian Takeout guy above her – I mean, what’s more useful, a good meal (to wash down the booze) or Rachel? Get it right, Livvy! :P
  • Olivia is about to tell Peter the truth about his origins and then she looks at him; so content and, well, alive, and decides to just say “thanks for coming”. Which, to my mind, is Olivia saying: “thank you for coming to our universe and being by my side, I don’t know what I’d do without you” (you get the idea) – her final realisation that she couldn’t tell Peter the truth, not just for Walter’s sake, but for her own.

FINAL THOUGHT

Walter: “..The truth is, I’ve done enough damage..and it’s time to start to put things right, whatever the consequences. And that starts with telling Peter the truth. I have to tell him who he really is”.

It’s a shame that Walter had to cause Olivia skew her morals before he reached his decision, but yeah, do the right thing Walt, and do it soon! In the meantime, I’ll be hiding behind the sofa when the Fringe hits the fan. Good luck!

Best Moment: Olivia telling Walter that she thinks they shouldn’t tell Peter the truth and Walter deciding not to accept her offer to keep Pandora’s box closed.

Best Performer: Anna Torv

If you enjoyed OITLWTR, you’ll like: “Of Human Action”, “The Road Not Taken”

Episode Rating: 8.5/10

Comments

  1. Jake says

    Great review as always. One thing that I think you’ve missed though is the Sam Weiss “I’m older than I look” and “I’m taller than I look” lines. I know they appear throw away right now, but the producers have hinted that there’s more to Mr Weiss than we’re being allowed to know at the moment, and I think the age line might be quite revealing in the future.

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    • Anjali says

      I agree Jake. And after Olivia went to find her list, Sam says ‘What did I say?’. This may just be me, but I feel he said that ‘I’m taller than I look’ purposely in order to clue in Olivia about the list she wrote.

      There is so much more to Sam than meets the eye.

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      • says

        Agreed. I mean his whole ‘therapy’ was based on perception – he kept perceiving which of Olivia’s buttons needed to be pushed and would push them.

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    • says

      Hi Jake,

      I haven’t missed it, I’m just saving it for Fringe Observations as it seemed more appropriate there. I agree that it’s far from being throw away line.

      Thanks for the comments!

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    • LizW65 says

      I just had an interesting thought about this: as “Sam Weiss” is clearly a Jewish name, could he have been a concentration camp inmate who was experimented upon by the “ageless” Nazi from “The Bishop Revival”?

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      • says

        I had the same thought, as did my friend Lola!!!! It would either mean that Sam and the Nazi are of the same ‘nature’ or ‘species’, or that they both are taking the same pills or treatment that keeps them young…

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  2. Aly says

    Excellent review, Roco! :)

    There’s so much I could say, but one minor thing that I was surprised about is the lack of realization Olivia, Peter, or anyone else had over the danger Olivia was obviously in, since she was a Cortexiphan child too. She was just as susceptible to Heath’s “cancerous touch,” and I’m disappointed that no one showed any concern over this until Heath confronted her… :/

    Also, I am slightly bothered by the unexplained absence of Rachel and Ella as well! I’m not the biggest fan of Rachel, but some reasoning behind where her and her daughter are would be nice… Also, this may be extremely obvious, but why are there boxes scattered around Olivia’s flat? :)

    Where’s Rachel and Ella?
    I’m surprised that neither Olivia or Peter realized the danger she is in

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    • Anjali says

      Didn’t Rachel say that she went apartment hunting with Ella on Season 1? So maybe they moved into their own place in Boston.

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      • Aly says

        I considered that too! :) I don’t know, it’s not very important, but I just wish there had been a little more clarification..

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        • says

          It was addressed in Season 1 – Rachel said she was moving out. What I wish was addressed was Olivia’s move, since her apartment is so different now.

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  3. MikeMike says

    I am not sure that Sam Weiss is going to end up being a good guy. After all, Nina sent Olivia to him. It would be easy for Nina to be pulling the strings here.

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    • Jodie says

      I’m glad that I’m not the only person who wonders about Sam Weiss. I’ve always had the impression that Nina was trying to control Olivia through Sam Weiss. Sam knows more than he is letting on. I don’t get the feeling that his remarks about Olivia’s choice of clothing and that she is a soldier are observations. I think that he knows about the Cortexiphan trials. I think that he is working for Nina. I’m not saying that he is necessarily a “bad” guy, but I question how he has been put into a position of trust in regards to Olivia. That being said, I get the impression that he makes his own mind up, so even if Nina intends to manipulate Olivia through Sam, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to go all Nina’s way.

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  4. Anjali says

    Great review Roco… as always.

    But I have to point one thing out, as this has been bugging me.

    Walter says that he never kept a list of the cortexiphan kids, but in ‘Jacksonville’, he went into a room to take out Olivia’s file… there were so many boxes there! What about those?? I am sure that something must have been there.

    Was this a mistake in the writer’s part? Or did Walter simply forget? Or was it only Olivia’s files in there?

    Also, as they didn’t know who were part of the cortexiphan trials, how did Broyles pull out a number to Nina? Did they only have the number of kids on record, and not the names?

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    • says

      Hi Anjali,

      Good point. I take a lot of what Walter says with a pinch of salt due to his memory issues/propensity to cover the truth, so I think he must have always had a list somewhere.

      As for Broyles pulling out the number of Cortexiphan kids, I had assumed that Nina knew the number from last season’s 1.14, as she was the one who confirmed to Olivia how many trials there were. I guess the number of kids was fairly common knowledge within Fringe Division, or perhaps they worked it out from the information they have gained since?

      Thanks for sharing!

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        • Joe Curwen says

          Whoa! Is that fake website made by Bad Robot????

          If it is, it contains major spoilers! I’m not even sure it can be discussed in the spoiler section, but if it can and the site is legitimate, then there is a lot to discuss about it.

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          • LizW65 says

            How does that photo contain major spoilers? I’m not trying to be argumentative, but all I see is a bunch of numbers and a handprint.

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            • Joe Curwen says

              I researched this and feel certain that it is a fake and not made by the producers. No spoilers.

              But if it the document were real, the letters and numbers refer to initials of the Cortixikids and when they were given the drug. The important spoiler would have been that the first kid given the drug had the initials “PB” (Peter Bishop). You also see where Peter wrote his name and put his handprint on it; I think we are supposed to believe that this is why Walter (or Walternate) kept the document.

              One thing I did find clever about the web site: in French, the word “fou” means crazy, but it is also the word the French use for a bishop (the chess piece). Too bad it’s all a fake, I like the idea of a show planting web sites out there as a fan extra.

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  5. Page 48 says

    Roco said: “Overarching mythology. It was great to see the central storyline continue in what could easily have been a typical procedural installment.”…..yupper, it was the standalone that wasn’t, and it worked. Good back-to-back episodes, all too often a rarity for “Fringe”. Too bad they don’t do this all season.

    For my money, I see a more believable bond forming between Olivia and Weiss than I ever saw between her and Charlie, at least far as the latter was portrayed onscreen. That said, I still miss Charlie.

    I wish we could have been a fly on the wall for Nina’s talk with Olivia regarding why Peter should not be told the truth about his origins. Obviously very persuasive.

    It sure looked to me like Olivia has moved. I don’t recall her ever using anything other than her front door before. I certainly don’t remember her exiting her apartment into a hallway.

    I thought Peter was a little out of character this week, especially in his unusually good-natured interaction with Walter, as if it was his assignment this week to add to Walter’s already considerable feelings of guilt at this crucial time of decision for Walter and Olivia.

    I want to drink whiskey and play board games with Olivia late at night. I really do.

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    • says

      Hey Page,

      I see what you’re saying. Sam, despite his cryptic ways, seems very natural around Olivia (perhaps it’s the drinking sessions or the playfulness). Not that Charlie wasn’t, but there’s a different energy forming between Sam and Liv. I like where it’s heading at present.

      Re: Peter. Yep, they definitely cranked up the ‘Peter: Perfect Son, Able Partner’ meter to play on Liv and Walter’s guilt! :) I’ve never seen him put his arms around Walter with quite as much affection.

      I imagine alcoholic beverages, board games and Dunham would be a fun night in, or morning. Endless drinking. :)

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      • says

        Peter’s behavior makes sense though, if you look at the progress he has made in the last year and a half, as well as the events in ‘Jacksonville’ – going through such pressure and succeeding does wonders to relationships :)

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  6. Meow says

    (“If it were the other way around I would want him to tell me”

    That’s pretty much what I thought. Which is why her ultimate decision sticks in the throat somewhat. Seriously, Liv, it’s a slippery slope and I think it’s high time you got off Mount Walter.)

    I disagree. After considering what Peter had to say about wanting to keep the family unity together, I really don’t think he would have wanted Olivia to tell him. I think he would have agreed with Olivia and wanted to /not/ have known about it. Before this episode and what Peter said, I probably would have agreed with you about it being right to tell Peter. But now, I think it’s even more ambiguous as to what is really /right/ to do so I just don’t think that Olivia’s decision at the end deserves to be bashed. She’s neither right nor wrong and I don’t think /anyone/ deserves the right to judge her decisions as definitively moral or not.
    On another note, I’m sort of glad/surprised at Walter’s decision at the end. I mean, regardless of whether it is right to tell him, I think that it is Walter’s place to do the telling, simply because he was the one who created the situation in the first place.

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    • says

      Hi Meow,

      I wouldn’t say I’m ‘bashing’ Olivia’s decisions, I just disagree with them and have given reasons why.

      I have to disagree with the idea that just because Peter said he ‘doesn’t want anything to get in the way of their family unit’, it doesn’t that he wouldn’t want to know the truth, or that he doesn’t deserve the truth. Peter is speaking honestly, but without the full picture, so I find it to be a misjudgement from Olivia to use that as justification for her deceit.

      I do agree that it’s not an easy decision to make, which is why I found her struggle so believable. But she said it herself: “If it was the other way around, I would want him to tell me”. For me, that says it all. And I think the clincher is the fact (or rather, my belief) that she ultimately decided to bury the truth, not purely for Peter’s sake – but for her own. She doesn’t want to lose him and that motivating factor, while powerful, is also doing a disservice to Peter and the trust that he has in her. I just don’t think that lies do any good – like a cancer, it will eat her alive from the inside.

      As for what Peter wants – ignorance can be bliss, but the truth can also set you free. In my opinion he deserves to know that he could still have his real mother and father out there. He deserves to know why he has always been searching for something most of his life. He deserves to know that the people he’s come to call his family are every bit his family, regardless of blood connection. If they continue to lie to him then the consequences could be bigger than they would if they just tell him what they know. Trouble is, consequences are coming, and Peter also has to deal with them, but that’s what family is all about.

      Just my opinion, but I have to stand by it! :)

      On a side note, I agree with you that it should ideally be Walter’s place to tell Peter the truth. Now that he’s developed a backbone, hopefully Olivia wont have to step in!

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      • bdp says

        I’ve been waiting to weigh in on my agreement that it was hard to swallow Olivia’s decision not to tell Peter the truth. I mean I get it and I agree with you Roco in that it’s too bad it took Walter so long to realize the right thing to do and in turn made Olivia realize how she couldn’t take the risk of losing Peter. But as Meow said, there’s no way to be able to judge a decision like that, although it may be the right thing to tell Peter, there is no way that could be an easy decision for Olivia to make, especially with all the things she’s been through and the people she has lost over the series.

        And by the way, Roco, when you said Olivia’s decision was a “disservice” to Peter, I immediately was brought back to Peter and Olivia’s argument in the car in “The No Brainer” about whether or not Peter should let Walter talk to Carla’s mother. I think it shows such a great contrast being that in that conversation Olivia was very adamant about shielding Walter from the truth being the worst thing Peter could do. Yet when the tables are turned and it’s Olivia needing to make a sure where she may lose someone she cares about, she can’t bring herself to take her own advice.

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      • mlj102 says

        So, as I was reading through the first part of your comment, Roco, I actually thought, “True, but ignorance is bliss.” Then I got to the end of your comment where you addressed that and said that, while that’s true, the truth can also set you free and I thought, “Darn it — he’s right!” :)

        But I think it’s important to realize that Peter REALLY doesn’t want to jeopardize his newly established family, despite what he does or doesn’t know. It’s important to him. I think that, for quite possibly the first time ever in his life, he’s actually, truly happy. He has people he cares about who care about him, and he’s actively working towards a greater cause. As has been pointed out in other comments, we’ve even seen how that has begun to change his actions as he’s become more cheerful, more affectionate towards Walter, etc. While he deserves to know the truth, and while the truth can set all of them free, I have to wonder if, after he knows the truth, he’s going to wish he never found out and that he could have kept things like they were. Peter truly cares about Walter and Olivia and all that he’s doing, and because of that, I think that things will ultimately be resolved and will be better for knowing the truth. And yet, especially where Walter is concerned, it’s going to take a lot of work. It’s not going to be easy for him to forgive Walter and I have to wonder if they’ll ever be able to make it back to the point they’re at now. Will he ever be able to look at Walter the same way again? It’s going to be really hard to truly forgive Walter and not hold this against him and to be able to trust him again. And during that time, I’m not so sure Peter will like that his happy life has been turned upside down and that he’s lost everything he cared about. So, in those regards, I think that, even though Peter didn’t know the full picture when he said that, it doesn’t change the fact that he doesn’t want anything to jeopardize his family. Thus, Olivia using that as a reason to keep the secret would still be justifiable.

        bdp: Great comment! I agree with all that you said. You mentioned the similarity to The No-Brainer and how Olivia was encouraging Peter to tell Walter the truth and I have to say that I also made that connection. Though I made it earlier when Olivia had confronted Walter in the lab, and Walter was saying, essentially how Peter wouldn’t be able to handle it, and I thought how similar that was to how Peter felt Walter wasn’t prepared to face Jessica Warren. It’s interesting how the roles changed there. And what you pointed out about how Olivia has now found herself on the other side of things and being unwilling to tell the truth, is exactly what bothers me about her choice. It’s the inconsistency. However, it’s important to remember that these are two very different situations. In the No-Brainer, it was less threatening, in my opinion. And Olivia had a point when she said that Walter needed to be able to get closure by confronting the past. But in that case, it was a matter of addressing past mistakes. But in this case, it’s uncovering a past secret. In my opinion, the one with Peter is a much bigger deal with far greater consequences. However, the similarities are definitely there.

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        • bdp says

          mlj: I definitely agree that the situations are extremely different that’s why I can at least understand where Olivia is coming from with her even though the inconsistency bothers me as well. Like you said, for Walter talking to Jessica Warren could result in closure and it could have resulted poorly but I agree the situation with Peter has a much larger potential outcome. Not only is the difference between Walter’s past mistake and the secret of Peter’s past huge, but I definitely feel that the negative outcome that could come from Peter learning the truth clearly surpasses the possible negative result that could have come in The No-Brainer.

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        • bdp says

          mlj: Thanks! I definitely agree that the situations are extremely different that’s why I can at least understand where Olivia is coming from with her even though the inconsistency bothers me as well. Like you said, for Walter talking to Jessica Warren could result in closure and it could have resulted poorly but I agree the situation with Peter has a much larger potential outcome. Not only is the difference between Walter’s past mistake and the secret of Peter’s past huge, but I definitely feel that the negative outcome that could come from Peter learning the truth clearly surpasses the possible negative result that could have come in The No-Brainer.

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      • FlashWriter says

        Ah, yes Roco. The truth will set you free. But first it will make you miserable. (That was on a poster I saw once and that addition has always stuck with me.) I can’t think of a more applicable situation than the one we have with Peter. I still can’t shake the feeling that Olivia was just telling Walter that she wasn’t going to tell Peter just to use a little reverse psychology on him. Maybe try a little Sam Weiss-inspired strategy. Just a thought…

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  7. Xochitl says

    Excelent review rocco! as Jake pointed out that line that sam delivered scream weirdness, maybe is that they just transmited here the episode about Richar in “lost” but could sam be our Richard? I just don’t think that it will be that simple as him being a cortexiphan kid.

    It’s nice to know that I’m advancing in my observartions, I noticed all the same things about the cortexiphan kids that you did, you always surprise me with all your observations.

    I liked the episode a lot, I know it could have been better but I liked that they finally looked the word continuity in the dictionary and stick to that definition.

    Now, I’m still a bit fuzzy on why olivia is making this silly choice, I agree with you rocco, she should have told him, it seems like the episode should have been names “excuses”, olivia seemed to been looking for them everywhere! despite that, all the pictures and things that are being released give me the weird sensation that peter might forgive olivia sooner than I thought or maybe even forgive her completely just for the sake of the war, I still undecided.

    Now, In a shippy note, and please everyone comment on this, was peter really that regretful of what almost happened or was he giving her a way out? i mean, we don’t even know if the “not date” happened at all after olivia saw the glimmer, and when I watched the preview last week my first feeling was that we (shippers) had been used, we went on and on on justifying that almost-kiss and now peter is taking it back? I don’t know if it is the writers, was that their original intention or what?

    I was reading the preview for the next episode I think, and it says that Peter is going to reveal some family secret to Olivia, it made me remember something Joshua Jackson said on an interview, that we were going to see why Peter was so broken and that it had to do with her mother, could the secret go around those lines? which takes me to my other thought, I’m starting to wonder if the man behind the curtain is not the “woman” behind the curtain, like Elizabeth being the one behind this, I know it sounds to far fetched, I know, it just and idea, the line Broyles delivered “there is only one walter bishop” on Grey matter even made me think that maybe walter is death on the other side, which i know is even more far fetched than anything. Just rambling here.

    Nice as always Rocco! :)

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    • says

      Hey Xochitl,

      The episode could indeed have been titled “excuses”. :) Olivia really had to grapple with her conscience in this one.

      I’m not sure Peter was that regretful. I think he just sensed that something was bothering Olivia and assumed that it was their near-kiss. As you said, I think he was offering her an easy-out, being the good friend that he is. ;) I also found it interesting to watch Olivia’s reaction – she definitely seemed pleased that Peter hadn’t forgotten about the kiss..or perhaps, relived that he was on the wrong trail regarding the main reason for her troubles?

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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      • mlj102 says

        “I also found it interesting to watch Olivia’s reaction – she definitely seemed pleased that Peter hadn’t forgotten about the kiss..or perhaps, relived that he was on the wrong trail regarding the main reason for her troubles?”

        When I watch that scene, it’s almost as if there’s a small amount of amusement in her reaction, as if she’s thinking something along the lines of “That’s what you think this is all about? If only it were that simple!”

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  8. Rafael T says

    Uhm…
    We are not even sure Olivia is on the “good” side in all this. How can we say she´s a good person?

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    • says

      Rafael,

      I agree that good/bad is difficult to measure. What I would say is that Olivia comes across as being a ‘good person’, with good intentions. She’s done little to suggest that she’s what we’d generally call a ‘bad person’.

      I don’t think Olivia has chosen a “side” yet. But it may come to be that she is fighting on the wrong side, we’ll have to wait for more information on that front. It could even be that both sides are wrong. I guess the true test of “goodness” comes in when faced with the harshest, most difficult of decisions which push one’s humanity to the very limit.

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  9. mlj102 says

    “It’s frustrating when an interesting character is introduced and then disappears for ages without any mention of them. This was particularly the case with Sam because the writers did some really interesting things with him earlier in the season.”

    Yes, it would be nice to see Sam more often, but if you think about it, his main purpose was to help Olivia with the consequences and side effects from having crossed to the other side. After she moved past the worst part of that, there really was no need for Sam to be around. So while he’s a fascinating character and it would be nice to see him quite regularly, we have to remember his role and that he’s not going to show up without something to prompt it. Besides that, I think part of what makes a character like Sam so fascinating is that he is so mysterious and so random and there is a lot we don’t know about him. If we saw him all the time, it would start to take away from that.

    “However, by the end of this episode Olivia seems to move further away from her ‘good center’,”

    Actually, that’s up for debate. Remember that when Sam told Olivia she was a good person, it was in regards to her concern about keeping the secret. He told her that, because she’s a good person, if she agreed to keep this secret, she must have had a good reason. Nothing changed from the time Sam said that, to the end. She simply managed to confirm her choice to keep the secret. So if she could be considered a good person while keeping the secret at the beginning of the episode, then she should still be considered a good person when choosing to keep the secret at the end of the episode.

    The condition, as Sam mentioned, is that she has to have a good reason. And I think, to a certain extent, she does. As she explained to Walter, some truths can do more harm than good. Olivia had the unfortunate “privilege” of being forced to determine if this was one of those things. And she wrestled with that the whole episode. She was constantly weighing the pros and cons, contemplating why she should keep the secret, and why she shouldn’t keep the secret. But, in the end, she was able to conclude that this was one of those truths that would do more harm than good and, consequently, shouldn’t be shared.

    I guess now’s as good a time as any to share my feelings regarding Olivia’s choice to keep the secret. Personally, I’m not happy with this particular development. I’ve mentioned several times on here that I felt Olivia would feel obligated to tell Peter the truth (and we certainly saw that in this episode as she did feel she owed it to him and she needed to tell him) and that she would continue to fight Walter over this and insist that Peter be told the truth, regardless of what his reactions will be. Olivia’s discussion with Walter in the lab where she mentioned several reasons why they should tell him the truth fit perfectly with my theories of the situation. So it doesn’t sit so well with me that she ultimately decided that the secret should be kept. It felt inconsistent, even forced. I don’t like that it puts her essentially on the same level as Walter — keeping the secret because of her own selfish desire not to lose Peter. It’s made even worse by Walter’s sudden change of heart that Peter should be told the truth. It made Olivia seem somewhat shallow at that moment, advocating that it was right to keep the secret, when Walter was suddenly insisting that he needed to start undoing the damage he’s done by telling the truth. I’m hoping that her decision to keep the secret was largely motivated by the fact that Walter didn’t want to tell Peter yet, but now that he has changed his mind and decided that Peter should be told the truth, she will support that and continue to encourage Walter to be honest with Peter. Walter may have decided that Peter needs to be told the truth, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be any easier for him to actually bring himself to tell him. Hopefully Olivia will be instrumental in giving Walter the courage to tell Peter (although, I must say, I still have a bad feeling that Peter’s going to find out before Walter manages to gather the courage to approach Peter and tell him the truth — and that’s going to make things a lot worse).

    However, while I may not like the fact that Olivia has decided that keeping the secret is the best thing, the fact is that’s what happened. And, if you think about it, there are some legitimate reasons to back up her decision.

    First, and you mentioned this briefly at the end of your review, I think that her discussion with Peter, when they both agreed that they don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the family unit they’ve managed to establish, largely influenced her decision. From that discussion, she was able to see where they both stand in regards to the issue. She doesn’t want to do anything to ruin the family they’ve established, and telling Peter the truth would quite certainly jeopardize the family. And, in addition to her own personal desire to keep the family intact, she knows that Peter doesn’t want to ruin the family they have, either. And she also knows that if he knows the truth, he’s not going to react well. He’ll react based on his anger and frustration and he’ll forget about that desire to keep the family intact. So by choosing to keep the secret, she’s helping both her and Peter keep the unofficial promise they made to not doing anything to jeopardize the family. In a way, she’s actually fulfilling her obligation to Peter by doing her part in keeping the family intact.

    Another thing that I think influenced her decision is the fact that Peter has become a very important person in her life. That was emphasized many times this episode. Sam Weiss mentioned that Olivia likely had/has a hard time forming relationships — which we know to be true. Then consider that, in the last year, Olivia has lost both John and Charlie — two of the people closest to her — that’s rough! In the midst of that, she’s managed to develop a strong relationship with Peter, which has been a great strength during these difficult times. After losing John and Charlie, I can’t blame her for being scared to lose Peter as well. Even Nina was able to see that — I think she hit very close to home when she told Olivia that she’s “fairly certain that you’re not prepared to lose him.” I think that was hard for Olivia because Nina openly addressed feelings that I think Olivia herself isn’t comfortable acknowledging or admitting. But the events in this episode just served to confirm that — all culminating in the climax where Olivia was in danger and she called Peter. Afterwards, when Peter was asking why she called him instead of Broyles, I think she realized just how much she has come to rely on him. She cares for him deeply, and she needs him around — whether it’s to have him as a partner in solving these cases, or just to have someone to make her smile during difficult times, or someone she can talk to about what’s on her mind, or someone she can count on to come to her rescue — she needs him.

    Related to that, as I said, she clearly cares for Peter a great deal. And I think she’s hesitant to do something that she knows will hurt him. It will hurt him in the way he thinks about himself, it will hurt him as he questions his loyalties, it will hurt him in that it will cause him to doubt every relationship he has in his life. Based on all that, it seems like nothing but bad would come from telling him the truth. Sure, she and Walter would be able to be at ease, and they would all be comforted in knowing that their relationships were based on honesty — but what good will that be if those relationships are destroyed as a result of the truth? So, other than the fact that he would know the truth, it really seems like there isn’t anything good that would come from Peter knowing the truth. Is it worth it to tell the truth when it can cause so much harm to everything around you?

    I think the thing that separates Olivia from Walter in this matter is that Olivia means well. She is trying to do what is good for not only herself, but for Peter, Walter, and Fringe Division as a whole. Walter, on the other hand, was likely thinking only of himself when he chose to keep the truth a secret from Peter. He (and Elizabeth) didn’t want to lose Peter again. So he kept Peter over here. And, because of that personal, selfish reason, he chose to keep that secret from Peter. And that choice, ultimately did Peter more harm than good, until now they’re at the point where actually telling him the truth will cause damage to his life. Walter consciously chose to make these actions and to keep this secret. Poor Olivia, on the other hand, was helpless in the matter. She had no choice when it came to becoming a part of the secret. And now she’s just trying to do the best possible thing for all involved. Certainly I would hope that, once Peter learns the truth, he will acknowledge the difficult choice Olivia was faced with and how much she struggled with it, and that he will take that into account when he reacts to the news. If he really takes the time to think about it at all, he will see how she was placed in a very difficult position and she was just trying to do the best she could.

    “Then, after hitting dude over the head with the lamp stand she really should have gone for the GUN and the OPEN doorway,”

    I thought that, at first, too. But the more I thought about it, I realized that, in order for her to get to the gun or the doorway, she would have to get past Heath. And we saw that he may have been down, but he certainly wasn’t out, and trying to move past him might have been dangerous and too risky. All he had to do was touch her skin and she would get the deadly cancer. It’s not like she could just punch him out if he happened to attack her while she was trying to move past him to get her gun. That being the case, I think the smartest, safest move was for her to do what she did — try and get help and try to find something else to defend herself without having to attempt to get past Heath.

    “And Where’s Ella and her mother?”

    What, are we not saying her name anymore? Oh, wait, never mind — you did mention her by name later in the review. :)

    I was quite pleased to see that the things in your “bad” category were all rather trivial, insignificant things. Personally, while this episode didn’t have the feel of “best Fringe episode ever” it certainly was a wonderful, enjoyable episode, and I personally couldn’t find anything to really complain about, so I was curious what you would find.

    You didn’t do your typical thing of discussing the meaning of the episode title — I was looking forward to that. I understand the obvious Clue reference. And I understand using Olivia. But why “in the lab” and why “with the revolver”? Were those just arbitrary choices, or did something significant happen in the lab? Is there some symbolism to be found here? Or is it just a cute, clever Clue reference?

    Page 48: “I thought Peter was a little out of character this week, especially in his unusually good-natured interaction with Walter”

    I thought he seemed unnaturally cheerful, as well. But perhaps instead of being out of character, it’s more a development of his character. The more time goes by, the more he is settling into his new lifestyle and the more he’s finding and accepting that he does like having Walter in his life. I think it’s just showing how their relationship is continuing to develop.

    Xochitl: “was peter really that regretful of what almost happened or was he giving her a way out”

    Do I think Peter regrets the fact that they almost kissed? Not really. I viewed it more as him feeling that maybe Olivia regretted it, so he was trying to address that and make sure that there were no lingering tensions between them. So, yes, I think he said what he said more for her benefit. Personally, I think it’s still quite clear that he has feelings for her. I mean, he was rather pleased/flattered that he was the one she thought to call and that he’s high up on her speed dial list. That’s not the kind of reaction I would expect from a good friend or “brother” type person. Of course, that could just be me. Do I think that Peter might feel that their almost kiss may have been too soon or influenced by what happened in Jacksonville? Yes. It’s not unreasonable to think that the whole reason they almost kissed was because of the emotion and the tension surrounding the Jacksonville trip, and that, consequently, if they had kissed, it would have been too soon for both of them to feel comfortable with. Do I think that the producers/writers are trying to back away from a Peter/Olivia relationship? No. I think they’re doing just what they said they were going to do with this relationship — take it slow and make sure that, if it happens, it has been earned.

    Rafael T. “We are not even sure Olivia is on the “good” side in all this. How can we say she´s a good person?”

    As the producers have said, good and bad are all really a matter of perspective. It’s all relative. The point is that Olivia has good motives. I certainly don’t think anyone can doubt that Olivia is trying to save lives and to prevent lots of death and destruction. Roco also explained it very well in his review when he said “being a victim and protector she’s certainly not portrayed as a “bad” person” So while we may not be able to be sure which side is “good” and which side is “bad” I think it’s safe to say that Olivia is a good person and is someone who is striving to do what is right.

    As always, thanks for the wonderful review, Roco!

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    • LizW65 says

      mlj wrote: “Do I think that the producers/writers are trying to back away from a Peter/Olivia relationship? No. I think they’re doing just what they said they were going to do with this relationship — take it slow and make sure that, if it happens, it has been earned.”

      Actually, it DOES sound as if the producers are backing away from a romantic relationship, as per the link to an interview I posted in the “six steps to earning it” thread the other day.

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      • Elaine says

        I think they reaffirmed what they’ve been saying all along…any romantic relationship between Peter and Olivia will have to be earned. However, like any other self-respecting story creator, they’re not going to marry the idea or box themselves in to having to deliver a romantic relationship between the two if that’s not where the characters or the story ultimately takes them due to fan insistence.

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        • mlj102 says

          I agree with Elaine’s assessment. I’ve read that interview and, for the most part, it just sounds like they’re continuing to emphasize what they’ve said before about needing to earn the relationship — they mentioned that twice in the interview.

          I suppose the part you’re mostly referring to is when they said, “That doesn’t mean that they don’t harbor feelings for each other. They might just not be romantic feelings.” But, like Elaine pointed out, I think this is just their way of saying that nothing is set in stone. There is no guarantee that they will one day be in a relationship — and they’re not going to say that the feelings they have are indeed romantic until the characters have reached a point where that has been earned. At this point, they’re still only in the process of getting there and they’re just going to take it one step at a time. So while they said that their feelings for each other may not be romantic feelings, they also never said that they aren’t romantic feelings, either.

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    • Page 48 says

      mlj102 wrote: “I thought he seemed unnaturally cheerful, as well. But perhaps instead of being out of character, it’s more a development of his character. The more time goes by, the more he is settling into his new lifestyle and the more he’s finding and accepting that he does like having Walter in his life. I think it’s just showing how their relationship is continuing to develop. ”

      Well, you may be right, but I would be more likely to buy into the character development angle if Peter hadn’t chosen THIS potentially life-altering episode to engage in some decidedly uncharacteristic PDA action with Walter in the lab. My dark side thinks it was more a case of the writers wanting to raise the dramatic stakes by letting us watch Walter squirm as he contemplated the disruptive consequences of Olivia’s planned confession to Peter.

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    • FringeFan2009 says

      Hey Rocco, great review as always! Mlj love reading ur analysis too!
      I have to say that I disagree with the masses on this one.
      You took the words out of my mouth with the statement below…
      ” Based on all that, it seems like nothing but bad would come from telling him the truth. Sure, she and Walter would be able to be at ease, and they would all be comforted in knowing that their relationships were based on honesty — but what good will that be if those relationships are destroyed as a result of the truth? So, other than the fact that he would know the truth, it really seems like there isn’t anything good that would come from Peter knowing the truth. Is it worth it to tell the truth when it can cause so much harm to everything around you?

      I think the thing that separates Olivia from Walter in this matter is that Olivia means well. She is trying to do what is good for not only herself, but for Peter, Walter, and Fringe Division as a whole. Walter, on the other hand, was likely thinking only of himself when he chose to keep the truth a secret from Peter. He (and Elizabeth) didn’t want to lose Peter again. So he kept Peter over here. And, because of that personal, selfish reason, he chose to keep that secret from Peter. And that choice, ultimately did Peter more harm than good, until now they’re at the point where actually telling him the truth will cause damage to his life. Walter consciously chose to make these actions and to keep this secret. Poor Olivia, on the other hand, was helpless in the matter. She had no choice when it came to becoming a part of the secret. And now she’s just trying to do the best possible thing for all involved.”

      I think that the issue that we are confronted with is totally different from the issue that Peter had with Carla’s mom. I guess this can be referred to as situational ethics. In that case, this woman was trying to talk to Walter to get a sense of closure. Walter was in a mental institution for 17 years because of this girls death and her mom just wants to talk to him to find out what happened. Peter’s decision not to tell Walter was purely selfish because not wanting to tell Walter has a direct impact to other people. Right now, it is assumed that Peter knows nothing. If no one tells him and he doesn’t find out, then, as of now, there really aren’t any consequences, except for of course, his real family losing him. This is the real tragedy of this situation, not the fact that Peter doesn’t know, but that his family is missing him. Although Walter did save his life, it has been mentioned from others on this blog that Walter could have simply sent Walternate a message giving him the information that he needed. Now if we were working on the assumption that Peter will find out at some point, then yes, she should totally tell him. Olivia doesn’t know that Rebecca knew that Peter was from the other side, at least it was not mentioned. Peter is finally happy now, for once in his life, and she tell him something that will potentially ruin his life, just so that she can feel better about herself? I would have considered her more selfish if she did tell Peter, than not. She actually put her ethics on the side for his sake. There are other things on the line too, like the potential for our universe to collide with another and cease to exist! Peter is an important part of the team, and the stakes are too high. I’m sure that Olivia considered this also. I think that ultimately Walter made the decision to tell Peter because he knew that it couldn’t be kept a secret forever, especially now that Olivia knows. He is wedging his bets that if he can tell Peter on his own terms, he would have a better chance at keeping Peter than if someone else “anyone else” tells him. I don’t think that Walter is a good person per say…I think that he has good moments where he reflects, but those moments are far from continuous, nor do I think that those moments drive him to make good decisions. Olivia, on the other hand has sacrificed so much. I found her struggle to be very believable and kudos to the writers and cast for an excellent execution.

      Now, I do have to make note of the Olivia/Nina scene as all sorts of awesome. I think that Olivia is great at reading a persons character and she was trying to “play” Nina into giving her more information regarding Peter’s origins, as Walter’s version may be skewed. Granted, Nina turned the tables on her, and wagered with Olivia’s relationship with Peter. I think that statement totally caught Olivia by surprise. Although, it is true, I don’t think it is the only reason. I think that she didn’t rebuttal because she was caught off guard and didn’t have the time to react. Nice move Nina! Of course, the worst outcome of this is that if Peter doesn’t find out, Nina will always have something on Olivia to use against her. Bad move Livi! Nina never misses an opportunity to gain the upper hand an any situation (Reference: Nina negotiates terms with Peter to give him information that would drive her competitor into ground in “The Cure”. Talk about having her cake and eating it too!)

      Sorry, for going on for so long…
      I think that the writers did a great job with the main characters in this episode. It’s not the best episode, but I really enjoyed it. The only complaint I have is Heath’s motivation behind the killings. He mentioned that the first 2 or so times was an accident. Maybe I just didn’t understand it. From what I can see, when he transferred his cancer to other cortexiphan people it made him better for a short period of time. It didn’t seem like he was a bad person, why did he keep seeking out Cortexiphan people to kill them? He knew afterwards that the man that came to see him was bad news, and he knew that he killed his sister, and he thinks he should have died? So why keep going around killing people? Doesn’t make sense to me?

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  10. edgesight says

    No one noticed the Clue weapons hidden in the episode or are we waiting for the Observations article? I posted it in the other 2.16 article but no one replied.

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  11. Rafael T says

    Thanks for responding, Rocco and mlj102 (wow, you wrote a lot!).

    That was just a thought. But the sides aren´t really defined yet, in Fringe, although maybe the whole Fringe division is what we can call ‘good people’.

    Edgesight: come again?

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    • edgesight says

      If Roco doesn’t put them in the Observation article for this episode, i’ll put a post to point out where all the Clue game murder weapons are hidden in the episode. Rope, Dagger, Lead Pipe, Wrench, Revolver, and Candlestick.

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    • mlj102 says

      “Thanks for responding, Rocco and mlj102 (wow, you wrote a lot!)”

      *Hides face shamefully* I know, right? It’s rather pitiful… I never intend to write so much, I just start writing, and before I know it, it’s like I’ve written a novel! I seriously commend anyone who actually sits down to read my gigantic comments.

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      • FlashWriter says

        Your comments are always very welcome and very thought provoking and sometimes downright educational. I know that several times you’ve really lit that light–you know, the one that’s over the heads of cartoon characters when they’ve “seen the light” (and which isn’t over my head but IN my head, which is really difficult to deal with sometime :) ). Be that as it may, you’ve made my journey with “Fringe” more enjoyable with your insights. Keep it up.

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        • mlj102 says

          Sahar and FlashWriter — Thank you for your kind words! It really is reassuring to know that my comments are more than just annoying, long things that take forever for people to scroll past! :)

          In turn, I appreciate and benefit from all the comments everyone else makes here — it’s often the things that others mention that spark whatever I say on a subject. I really love a lot of the discussions that we manage to have here and it certainly adds to the enjoyment of the show as a whole.

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  12. charliefan19 says

    Like I said before…not my favorite episode, even though there were so many positives to it. To me, Sam steals the show every time he’s in it (which is not often enough!!!) Looking forward to your fringe Observations about him. :)

    I actually agreed with Olivia’s decision to “bury the truth” just not with her reasons. I think Nina is right, Olivia doesn’t want to lose him. (and I don’t think Liv really believed that Peter would take it as well as she suggested to Walter) Nothing against Olivia, but I think she chose to keep quiet for her personal feelings, and reassurance from Yoda, Samwise Gamgee, Sam Weiss, etc.

    I wasn’t expecting Walter to -like you said, Roco – grow a backbone. His decision to break the truth to Peter was surprising, but awesome to see. I’ve always felt that the truth should come from Walter. (but that’s just me)

    Sam is my fave extra character of season 2 thus far…”What’s up, Buttercup?” LOL! :D

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  13. Elaine says

    Sam’s deeeeep release of breath before he said that line was interesting. It was as though he was taking the weight of Olivia’s shoulders for her just by doing that. I also like the way he got her to directly think about WHY she was keeping the secret. Compare “good reason” with “good person” and I have to say, I’m not convinced by Olivia’s ultimate decision to conceal the truth. Sorry Liv, I have your back, but lying to Peter goes against your moral code, which probably makes her almost as culpable as Walter, because at least it wasn’t against Walter’s ethics to adhere to the boundaries of Mother Nature. It just feels a bit crappy that Olivia comes out of the episode with less dignity than Walter.

    ~~~~

    I’m not sure it’s fair to hold Olivia to the same level of responsibility regarding the truth of Peter’s origins as Walter, when she was drawn into the consequences surrounding it by no fault of her own. The responsibility has always laid with Waler–and it continues to.

    As others have pointed out, Olivia has been burdened with this truth; thrust into an impossible position because she realizes just how damaging the truth will be to everyone involved. I also believe being confronted once again with the adverse, and unadvertised side effects of the Cortexiphan trials being prematurely activated, it solidified her decision to remain quiet about Peter. “Sometimes what we wake up, can’t be put back to sleep.” As she told Bell, “To say they’ve been permenantly damaged is an understatement.” She has had a front row seat on three different occasions, not including her own experiences to see how true those words are. Besides, I don’t see the writers having spent the entirety of this season building up to the reveal, ultimately letting the pay-off be as simplistic as Peter being angry and hurt for a few episodes just for everything to go back to being normal. I could be wrong, but, I’d venture to guess there’s going to be a twist thrown in regarding Peter’s reaction we don’t see coming before the season is out.

    So, to say Olivia was being selfish, or that deciding to remain quiet about Peter, despite her earlier protests in the episode shifts or compromises her moral code is, imo, being unfair. Because while the decision does include the risk of what she’d lose personally if she tells Peter, I believe Olivia made her decision based on so many other factors in serving a greater good.

    That being said, great review as always, Roco.

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    • Jodie says

      “So, to say Olivia was being selfish, or that deciding to remain quiet about Peter, despite her earlier protests in the episode shifts or compromises her moral code is, imo, being unfair.”

      I agree. I think that Olivia’s decision to tell or not to tell should be looked at in terms of rational versus emotional. Olivia isn’t making the correct choice, imo. I think that given Peter’s abilities at uncovering hidden information/motives in individuals, that it’s only a matter of time that he’ll figure out the truth. Rationally, it’s the wrong choice, but emotionally, it all makes sense. Olivia doesn’t connect with people. Her group of trusted friends is very small, and I understand completely her making an emotional choice to keep Peter with her. The writer’s did remind all of us (Olivia too) that Peter is a runner: while in the car discussing the kiss, he reminded her that this is the longest time that he’s been in one place for a while. Yes, she made the wrong decision, but the choice not to tell Peter the truth revealed her need for emotional attachments. Actually, I felt that her decision was much more “real” in showing her feeling for Peter and toward a possible romance than that contrived almost-kiss in “Jacksonville.” I guess, what I’m trying to say is that one of Olivia’s character flaws is that she is too rational, too unemotional. Maybe we’re all reacting so negatively to her decision because she is revealing that she is vulnerable. She is showing us that she does need support and that she is vulnerable. I liked seeing this struggle in her. For me, she seemed much more “real” and more human. Good character development.

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      • Elaine says

        This reminds me of what Broyles said to Olivia at the end of ‘Grey Matters’ about her decision to save Walter rather than apprehending Newton being a rational one, despite her belief she made a purely emotional choice. There are no accounting for emotions especially when all that’s left are bad choices. Again, I find it interesting this situation, like the one in ‘GM’ had a direct baring on the family unit that’s developed between she, Walter and Peter, and Olivia making a sacrifice, or going against what she feels is her better judgment to preserve it. Whatever her feelings towards Peter or anger/resentment due to Walter’s meddlings during her childhood, she’s accepted that she’s not willing to jeapordize what they’ve established. It’s important to her…and she cares more than she’s comfortable admitting.

        And I agree, her struggle throughout this episode felt more “real” than the near kiss with Peter during Jacksonville, because I believe that’s exactly how it was meant to come across. I know some felt the near kiss was contrived, but I thought it fit the circumstances not only for the story, but at this juncture of the series. We’re supposed to realize it was too soon…and that whether it happened or not, the aftermath would be awkwardness between them.

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      • mlj102 says

        Great comments, both Elaine and Jodie!

        I don’t know if I agree with the assessment that Olivia is too rational and too unemotional — I think Olivia functions with a mixture of being both rational and emotional. She is definitely a rational, logical person, doing what needs to be done and approaching it in a very practical way. But she is also very emotional, being willing to do things most rational people wouldn’t even consider simply because she is willing to do whatever it takes to solve a case and save lives. That’s emotion. As she told Broyles in Season 1, she brings emotion into her work — that’s how she is able to do her job and do it well.

        “Maybe we’re all reacting so negatively to her decision because she is revealing that she is vulnerable.”

        That’s an interesting thought. Personally, I don’t think I’m unhappy with her decision because it shows that she’s vulnerable — more, I think I’m just disappointed because it is something Peter deserves to know and he will eventually find out one way or another, so it’s better to just tell him. I’m disappointed because Olivia has always been a strong advocate of the truth, a strong believer in one’s responsibility to the truth. By having her decide that it’s okay to keep the secret, it goes against that. It’s as if she can completely support telling the truth at whatever costs when it’s someone else who has to choose to tell the truth, but if it’s something personal to her, it no longer applies. I don’t like the inconsistency. Of course, I understand her reasons and I’ve already written about them quite a bit. I’m still disappointed, but I can accept it without thinking worse of Olivia because I saw how much she struggled to come to that decision and I can see why she made that decision.

        Your comment also made me consider: what would I do if I were in Olivia’s position? Perspective really does play an important role in something like this. It’s all well and good for us to analyze the situation based on our outsider’s perspective, and think that Peter certainly deserves to know the truth and that Olivia should just go ahead and tell him, regardless of the consequences. But it’s a whole different story to actually be in that position. If I were in Olivia’s position and directly affected by how Peter will react to hearing the truth, I’m not so sure I would be able to risk it all and be willing to tell Peter the truth. There’s a lot on the line. I can see how she would think that this is one of those rare times when the truth really does more harm than good. I certainly don’t envy Olivia’s position and the way she was forced to decide whether or not she would keep this secret that she had nothing to do with in the first place.

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      • FlashWriter says

        …and yet I’m again reminded of the montage of her crying as if her heart had burst as she sat in the ambulence after John died. It was the place where I fell in love with her. When something like that happens I wonder what the extent of the damage is, because often it takes so long to find out. Olivia is strong, she’s intellegent, she’s both naturally and unnaturally gifted but I think we know enough about her now that we know she is also vulnerable. The whole contagious cancer thing was almost a physical manifestation of her vulnerability and why I was so caught up in the fight. For every strength there is a vulnerabilty and I think we, only now, are beginning to see what the Cortexaphan vulnerabilities are within Olivia. Lord knows we’ve seen what Cortexaphan has done to her classmates and I don’t think that she is immune, she’s just strong enough to control it, which has always been the downfall of her classmates.

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        • Elaine says

          So did I, Flashwriter, and pretty much made up my mind at that moment I’d follow Olivia wherever her character was taken…few to no questions asked.

          I think what made that scene all the more powerful was the following one where a dispondent Olivia is being driven along by Charlie who is trying to make some sense of this tragedy she’d just undergone. To soothe the heartache and shock she was obviously feeling. In that moment, Olivia determined she wasn’t going to be obselete…because like Broyles told her, she couldn’t go back to the way things were…she was awake.

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  14. says

    Great review, Roco! You brought us some excellent points. I’m happy that I am not the only person who refuses to write simple 1 page recaps – there is just so much material in each episode, so much food for thought, that it seems almost insulting to write only 1 page ;) Looking forward to your review for next week’s episode!

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  15. Emma says

    Wow, I’m new to this site, but that was a fantastic review of the episode!

    Just wondering- why didn’t Peter and co. realize the danger Olivia was in, since she was a Cortexiphan child?

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    • mlj102 says

      I think they were aware of the possible danger Olivia was in. For example, when Sam Weiss knocked on her door, before she knew it was Sam, she proceeded cautiously, picking up her gun, just in case. To me, that was showing that she was aware that she could be a target, and she was taking the necessary precautions to protect herself.

      That said, I do agree that they could have done something more to show/acknowledge the threat to Olivia once they realized Cortexiphan Kids were the target.

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      • Elaine says

        Yeah, like throwing in a line from Broyles saying he’d put protective detail on her place…something to indicate they were taking some precaution. It still would have worked with him getting past that detail since I believe they had not idea what he looked like.

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  16. eveybane says

    Maybe it’s just me, but I assumed that it was the emotional speech that the cancerous guy gave Olivia–that if he hadn’t been told about his childhood past and been activated (i.e., “Pandora’s box), all the suffering that he caused wouldn’t have happened–that ultimately made her rethink her decision to tell Peter. That’s not to say that her fear of losing Peter wasn’t a factor, as well. ;)

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    • Anjali says

      That’s a good point eveybane! Didn’t think of that. nice catch. yes, i think all these little things (Walter telling her not to, talk with Nina, Talk with Peter, cancer guy, her not wanting to lose peter) lead her to make that decision.

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  17. says

    Roco, I completely disagree with you on Olivia telling Peter that he was from the other side.

    It is NOT her place to reveal something like that to Peter.

    It is Walter’s place to do so. Walter brought him from the other side, and it is only because Walter is involved that Peter stayed (because he was family), and became part of Fringe Division.

    If Olivia came out and told Peter, the relationship between Walter and Peter would be ruined. Peter would bolt, and everyone would be the worse for it.

    That was the scenario in which Walter comes to visit Olivia in “Peter”. He recognizes he will have to tell Peter the truth, and wants to share how and why for Olivia’s sake. He is also acknowledging he will take responsibility and tell Peter the truth.

    kind of like in reality, my half-brother is a total jerk. He’s ten years younger than me, and I have hardly seen him. He got married 5 years ago, and his wife did not understand a couple of things about him. So, should I have pulled her aside and said, “You should not marry him. He has a mean streak, and he’s selfish.”

    No. I could not. It wasn’t my place.

    Now, 4 years ago, I went on a visit to see my twin sister. For the last day I would stay at my brother’s house. I thought I was tired, and I chalked the way I felt to that. Two days after I got home, I went into the hospital for six days.

    My ex-stepmother, my Aunt, both of my half-brothers, and his wife saw that something was wrong about the way I acted (physically wrong) but didn’t say anything. Would i have wanted them to say something? Absolutely.

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    • says

      CL25,

      While I essentially agree that it’s not Olivia’s place to tell Peter the truth, my disappointment comes from the fact that she is complicit in maintaining the lie. The fact that she was going to conceal the truth is quite a big character turn (for me) and where the bulk of my problem lies.

      It could be argued that she has a sense of ownership over what she knows about Peter, because she saw him glimmer with her own two eyes. Her genuine attachment to Peter and the fact that he trusts her, also means that she simply shouldn’t leave it to Walter to grow a backbone in his own fine time. Certainly it should – in an ideal world – be Walter who tells Peter, but with Walter floundering and appearing to want to bury the truth (prior to the final scene), Olivia’s ultimate decision to *never* tell Peter is somewhat disturbing.

      IMO, Olivia shouldn’t be thinking about how this will affect Olivia, or even how it will affect Walter. Her prime concern, in my view, should be how telling the truth or maintaining the lie will affect Peter (OK, and possibly the universe ;-)). If Peter bolts, then Peter bolts. He has every right to – that’s where the trust thing has to come into play. She will have to trust that Peter can make up his own mind and come to his own reasonable conclusions after the initial shock and resentment has worn off. She will have to trust that she did the best thing by him, and not the best thing for herself (which ties into my ‘6 Steps’ thing that I posted the other month). The worst thing that Olivia can do is to harbour this secret with Walter. When the truth comes out (and it always does), things will more than likely be a lot worse for everyone than if Olivia encourages Walter to tell Peter the truth.

      That she ultimately encouraged him to lie leaves a big question mark over her integrity, in my view. She may have the best intentions (although I sense that the final clincher was that she didn’t want to lose Peter herself), but she also said that if it was the other way around, she would want to know. For instance, take the whole Jacksonville trials and her forgotten childhood. Or even the John Scott scenario when Olivia thought he might have been using her. Or any number of other truths that Olivia so desperately wanted to get to the bottom of. She couldn’t stand to not know the truth. Look at how she tore Walter to ribbons in the coffee shop last season. That was her right, the truth was hard to take, but it also set her free to an extent (certainly when the alternative was ignorance). She needed to know who she was and why these things were done to her. If it was left to Walter (and not her own determination, investigative skills, fate), it’s likely that she would never have known. The same possibility awaited Peter.

      So while I agree that it should, ideally, be Walter who tells Peter the truth. If Walter’s going to take too long about it, then can Olivia afford not to say something? This is all irrelevant, of course, because Walter has finally put the wheels in motion, but prior to that last scene it seemed that Olivia was under the impression that the charade would continue indefinitely.

      Just my 8 cents. You raise some good points, but I have to stand by my guns with this one, even though we do essentially agree on who should tell Peter.

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  18. opicool says

    You know, what I also found very interesting was Olivia putting her hands to her chest when explaining to Walter the decision she had made:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Admin\My Documents\My Pictures\Fringe\Fringe216_800.jpg

    ^^(hopefully the link works, if not just copy and paste the link into your url bar?)

    I’ve hardly ever seen Olivia actually express herself through a physical action, so this was surprising and noteworthy to me. I was also intrigued that when Olivia noticed what she had done, she quickly put her hands back down in… alarm? embarrassment? surprise?

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    • mlj102 says

      I’m glad you pointed that out because that was something that really stood out to me, but I forgot to mention it. Like you, I thought that that action really said a lot about her state of mind and her feelings. It was a truly significant way of conveying just how much Olivia cares for Peter and how concerned she is about doing the right thing. This whole situation, this decision Olivia has had to make, it’s not just a superficial, trivial thing, but it’s something she feels very deeply. Personally, I felt that was one of the most revealing aspects of the whole episode.

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  19. Inter-dimensional Dave says

    Do you suppose the bowling alley that Sam Weiss was working on was the “Nick” Lane?

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  20. ninagotitright says

    she did not tell the truth because of her feelings for peter (thank you Nina, you’re my hero), not because of some “odd family unit” that peter invented just to give her some space thinking she is uncomfortable about the almost kiss but no where in that episode do we get the sense that the almost kiss is the reason she has been avoiding her… she was about to go on a date with him untill she aw the glimmer

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  21. ninagotitright says

    she did not tell the truth because of her feelings for peter (thank you Nina, you’re my hero), not because of some “odd family unit” that peter invented just to give her some space thinking she is uncomfortable about the almost kiss but no where in that episode do we get the sense that the almost kiss is the reason she has been avoiding him… she was about to go on a date with him untill she saw the glimmer

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  22. Xochitl says

    ELAINE and Mlj102:

    “I’m not sure it’s fair to hold Olivia to the same level of responsibility regarding
    the truth of Peter’s origins as Walter, when she was drawn into the consequences
    surrounding it by no fault of her own. The responsibility has always laid with
    Waler–and it continues to.”

    “In a way, she’s actually fulfilling her obligation to Peter by doing her
    part in keeping the family intact.”

    I definetely wiill not hold olivia to the same level or responsability
    of Walter, she didn’t do anything wrong on the actual fact (Peter’s
    abduction), BUT I’m still not convinced that she did it for what
    Peter said, again, for me Olivia was looking for excuses everywhere
    not to tell him, that Peter said “I don’t want to jeopardize that”
    wasn’t giving Olivia permission to hold the secret, she is doing it
    for her own reasons, she doesn’t want to lose him, as a friend, as
    a collegue, as an asset and as possible something more.

    I understand that, she lost Jhon and Charlie just in the last year, and what about
    her mother and father, she only has her sister and niece now and the
    impromptu family they have created, I get it, but it’s like she is not
    seeing far ahead, more like she doesn’t want to see it, she said to
    Walter “Once he knows the whole story. Walter, you saved his life.
    I’m sure that he will understand.” she knows, or feels, that Peter’s
    first instinct it going to be to run, to go and find answers, because
    is what she would do herself, she only delaying the reaction, and it
    would be a thousand times better if at least Peter found a bond to
    someone, Olivia, that someone didn’t lie to him and will at least make
    an effort to stay and save this family, I don’t think he is goning to
    do that now, Olivia and WAlter had just made it impossible.

    “So, to say Olivia was being selfish, or that deciding to remain quiet
    about Peter, despite her earlier protests in the episode shifts or
    compromises her moral code is, imo, being unfair. Because while
    the decision does include the risk of what she’d lose personally if
    she tells Peter, I believe Olivia made her decision based on so many
    other factors in serving a greater good.”

    “Poor Olivia, on the other hand, was helpless in the matter. She had no choice
    when it came to becoming a part of the secret”

    I want to agree with this, I really want, and I know desicions and life
    are not black and white, but you have principles, a moral, you have
    to stick to it, no matter the situation, and once Olivia said to Broyles
    that this was personal, and correct me if I’m wrong, this is ALWAYS
    personal to Olivia, everything, the war, her past, her relationships
    are always related to the origin of this, therefeore alwyas being personal
    to her, this is too, she made a personal choice, and she had the choice to
    keep the secret or tell Peter, we always have a choice,at some point
    I hope she will be honest with her real reasons, at least to herself.

    “Even Nina was able to see that — I think she hit very close to home when
    she told Olivia that she’s “fairly certain that you’re not prepared to
    lose him.” I think that was hard for Olivia because Nina openly addressed
    feelings that I think Olivia herself isn’t comfortable acknowledging or
    admitting.”

    “what would I do if I were in Olivia’s position?”

    Now, after all I wrote mlj102 came up with this question and quite franquily
    I felt like at the end you are right, if I were in Olivia’s position I
    would exactly the same she did, I wouldn’t tell him and drag it as much as I
    could even knowing the consequences, because olivia is emotional, she has
    grown so attached to him that she doesn’t want to loose him and I think I would
    feel the same, So, I still don’t agree with what she did but I understand
    why she did it,I just hope that Peter will see it too at some point and be able
    to past his anger, hopefully

    opicool said: “You know, what I also found very interesting was Olivia putting
    her hands to her chest when explaining to Walter the decision she had made.”

    I think that also had to do with my perception, that sign was like the universal
    sign for Olivia to say “I’m justifying my desicion, but I still know it’s not right.

    “Do I think that the producers/writers are trying to back away from a Peter/Olivia
    relationship? No. I think they’re doing just what they said they were going to do
    with this relationship — take it slow and make sure that, if it happens, it has been earned.”

    “However, like any other self-respecting story creator, they’re not
    going to marry the idea or box themselves in to having to deliver a romantic
    relationship between the two if that’s not where the characters or the story
    ultimately takes them due to fan insistence.”

    Thank you so much for adressing this, that part of the episode confused me a lot, Peter
    always does that to me, I thought I was so clear on how he feels about Olivia and he backing out
    was weird, I started to think “is he giving her a way out?” because it was what I expected from him,
    but, sometimes is very hard to be a shipper and watch those scenes and not misinterpret them to my
    romatnic view. I would be dissapointed if they don’t get together at some point precisely because
    of this,the direction they took for a second, and it’s okay that the writers don’t box themselves
    with this notion, as I said before, I don’t expect them to turn this
    into a sitcom or a romantic sci-fi show, but if they are going to back out at some point I expect
    them to do it with dignity, I justified that almost-kiss so much that when I saw the preview for
    this episode las week I felt used, they give us something and then back out, it makes a lot more
    sense if Peter was just giving her a way out.

    mlj102: “I seriously commend anyone who actually sits down to read my gigantic comments.” C’mon,
    how not read them, that’s part of the reason why I watch the episode and come right here, this blog
    give us the opportunity to see what others think and that’s amazing! :)

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    • mlj102 says

      “for me Olivia was looking for excuses everywhere not to tell him”

      I don’t think that’s true. I think Olivia was only concerned with making the best choice. That’s why she was so torn throughout this entire episode — she didn’t know what to do. The fact that she had agreed to keep the secret, then found herself questioning that decision seems to suggest that she didn’t want to keep the secret. Looking for an excuse to do something seems to imply that you’ve already made up your mind what you want to do, you just have to justify it to yourself. If that was the case with Olivia, the simple excuse would be that she’d already said she would keep the secret, so now it was out of her hands. That should have made her feel better. But, as we saw, that wasn’t the case. And I think that’s because it goes deeper than looking for excuses not to tell Peter. If anything, I think she was looking for an excuse to go against her agreement with Walter and be able to tell Peter. She looked like she desperately wanted to tell Peter the truth — she almost did tell him at the very end. If she had wanted an excuse not to tell Peter, she wouldn’t have come so close to telling him. I don’t know if I’m explaining myself very well, but I just never got the impression that she was looking for excuses not to tell him and to say that she was seems to trivialize the situation and her position.

      “she is doing it for her own reasons, she doesn’t want to lose him, as a friend, as a collegue, as an asset and as possible something more”

      Again, while I agree that she certainly did have her own reasons for not wanting to tell Peter, I honestly think that she was trying to do the best thing for everyone involved. Yes, she didn’t want to lose Peter, and that certainly played a big role in her decision, but I think she was also considering the many other people who would be affected if she told Peter. I think she wanted to do what was best for Peter (even if she did possibly misjudge what is best for him), for Walter, for Fringe Division, and for all the people who may need Fringe Division in the future. Olivia thought long and hard about this — it was constantly on her mind. If it were all for selfish reasons, I think it would have been a lot easier to come to a conclusion: she didn’t want to lose Peter, so don’t tell him. But there was a lot more to it than that and I think that it’s reasonable to think that she considered many other people as she debated what choice to make.

      “it would be a thousand times better if at least Peter found a bond to someone, Olivia, that someone didn’t lie to him and will at least make an effort to stay and save this family, I don’t think he is goning to do that now, Olivia and WAlter had just made it impossible”

      I wouldn’t say that Olivia and Walter made that impossible… though they certainly made it much more difficult. A lot of it really depends on HOW Peter finds out the truth and how severe his reaction is. I could see him going completely off the edge, feeling betrayed and absolutely furious, and unwilling to listen to what either of them have to say or to look at things from their perspective. However, for Olivia’s sake in particular, I could see him putting the pieces together, understanding why she has been acting the way she has been, and being willing to give her a chance to explain herself. He cares about her a great deal (which is not to say he doesn’t also care for Walter, but Olivia’s role in this and Walter’s role are on two very separate levels), and, depending on the severity of his reaction, I could see him sympathizing for the position she was in. I think that even in the midst of all his anger and all his hurt feelings, there will be a part of him that is reluctant to cut himself off completely from Walter and Olivia — despite his anger, I think he will not want to lose the family he has been a part of for the last year. Walter should get the full brunt of his anger, though Olivia might stand a chance at being able to get through to him and maintain some amount of a bond with him. But it all really depends on how events unfold.

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      • Xochitl says

        You see, that’s why I love your comments and replies, they are so enlighting, and usually I end up agreeing with you like now. :)

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  23. mlj102 says

    Okay, so, believe it or not, despite how long my main comment was, I realized I forgot to mention something. So I’m going to mention it now.

    In the main review, Roco compared the fact that Sam called Olivia a good person to the way the doctor at the morgue called Walter a great man. I had also found that interaction significant, though I focused on a slightly different aspect of it. I hadn’t made the connection between Walter being called a great man and Olivia being called a good person, but I focused more on the different perspectives of Walter: how some consider his work and style to be over the top and completely inappropriate and unethical, while others honor and respect what he does and how he does it. That was shown in the way that, as soon as he recognized Walter, this doctor wanted to thank him. Yet when Walter realized how this man knew him, his first reaction was to apologize for being a slave driver. And, no doubt, many of Walter’s former students likely agree with that assessment and resent Walter for being such a difficult teacher. But for this doctor, it was what he needed and, despite the fact that Walter was a difficult teacher, he was grateful to Walter for that and for being so inspirational. I think this shows how much of a person’s actions are subject to perspective.

    I also noticed this same theme in Momentum Deferred when we met Rebecca Kibner. At the end of the episode, Walter apologized to her, claiming that what he did to her was unacceptable. But she was quick to dismiss that, believing that what Walter did to her was a gift. So on the one hand, we’ve got one of Walter’s test subjects, Rebecca, who admired Walter for what he did and was grateful to him for it, while on the other hand we have another of his test subjects, Olivia, who is very bitter about what Walter did to her, and even resents him for it. While their individual situations do differ to a certain extent, the general concept is the same, making it largely a matter of perspective.

    I think this conveys the theme that a person’s weaknesses can also serve to be their greatest strengths, depending on how they are used and how they are viewed. There’s no question that Walter often takes things too far. He doesn’t consider the consequences of his actions and he often hurts people because of his one track mind and in the name of scientific progression. But, clearly, that same determination and focus can also provide many benefits. The trick is for him (and anyone, for that matter) to learn how to use those things so that they work for good, and to avoid them when they would lead to negative results. I just thought this was an interesting concept that they’ve introduced, that how we view a character really is very complex. It’s not all black and white. We can analyze Walter as a character and claim, for example, that he was a slave driver of a teacher, so consequently, he was a bad teacher. But for some people, that may be just what they need. So what initially appears to be a weakness, in certain situations, can actually be a strength. There are many ways of viewing a given situation, which results in a deeper level to the character in question, particularly to Walter’s character, and how we view him.

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  24. Gillian says

    I don’t have any problems with Olivia not telling Peter its Walter’s mess so Walter should be the one to clean it up.

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    • says

      Gillian,

      I agree that it’s Walter’s mess, but like the gaping hole between worlds, Walter’s mess has become more than just Walter’s mess.

      My problem with letting Walter clean up after himself is that I question his ability to do that without the adequate (outside) motivation. Things have come to a head so now he’s coming to the conclusion that Peter deserves to know the truth. But prior to that final scene, he seemed to want to bury that truth. And for how long? 25 years? 30? :)

      Olivia finding out has presented Walter with a great opportunity to do the ‘right thing’. He can now see the damage of his actions through new eyes. Damage which has seemingly moved Olivia further from her moral core than it has Walter, who probably sleeps at night after a song or two. But Walter’s opportunity has also tainted Olivia because he didn’t take that opportunity until Olivia all but corrupted herself.

      But back to your point – yes, there’s no doubt that Walter should clean up after himself, but he’s at the stage where he needs help to do that.

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    • Anjali says

      She was the one in ‘The Road not Taken’ – Season 1. The one who Sanford Harris was trying to activate. The one who’s sister blew herself.

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  25. Jaz says

    Wow guys! What a lot of clever comments! And your review Roco, was very interesting as always. I really liked this episode.

    Fringebloggers and Fringe-forum♥

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  26. Gillian says

    Rocco

    I agree that Walter only decided that Peter should be told when pressed by Olivia. Olivia’s motivation for not telling Peter is she is finally realising how much losing Peter will mean to her personally. Her confrontation with Nina totally made her realise that she has just as much to lose as Walter.

    I get the feeling that just when Walter has decided its time to confess all, that Peter will find out not from another source which will make the fallout for both Walter and Olivia even more tragic.

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    • says

      Gillian,

      It’s true that Olivia has just as much (or almost as much) to lose as Walter. For me this is one of the reasons this particular storyline is so compelling – it has high stakes, not just for Walter, but for Olivia and the mission she’s been tasked with.

      The prospect of Peter finding out the truth from another source is definitely a possibility. From a ‘story’ point of view I hope that’s the case. From the point of view of someone who wants Walter to redeem himself, I really hope he gets in there first! :)

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  27. Alerys says

    I never thought about olivias uncle being the one doing this; or maybe her step dad that dissapeared??? But it’s good sams back!!! He makes Olivia see the truth, he may not know anything, but he knows enough. He is like an oracle… But ……. Not really discriptive. I think that Olivia shouldn’t tell Peter, Walter should, but maybe Peter does know and that’s why he abandoned Walter for most of his life. But if he knew he would tell Walter, or maybe he wants to see him suffer like he suffered. -Fringe will always be a mystery.

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  28. SF says

    I’ve read all the comments and discussions and am really impressed with all the points made and covered. I just want to add that I think, in the end, Olivia was wrong to decide she would *never* tell him. What I do like is that it shows her and Walter talking to one another, and drawing closer together, developing a relationship on their own, albeit over a secret. I think the fact that she doesn’t turn away from Walter, doesn’t reject him for kidnapping Peter and lying/hiding the truth all these years, has shown Walter that maybe the truth can be told to Peter. I understand why Olivia has chosen not to tell Peter, the fear of losing him, but I think given how cortexiphan has erased her memory of her early childhood and she was never told about the experiments by her parents, that she would be even more insistent on telling Peter the truth. So her abrupt change shows how much fear is changing or altering her perceptions of what is good, now. I am one who thinks that Peter does care for her, and was giving her space, in that conversation in the car. At the end of the episode – thanks to Nina!, Olivia has realized how much she cares about Peter. I think that instinctive call she made to Peter to help her, reveals more about how deeply she trusts him now, and I like the commentator who said that she was saying more than just a simple thanks to Peter then! That phone call might be what helps Peter to come to trust her again, once he works through all the complexities of the betrayals.

    really good review of the episode!

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    • mlj102 says

      SF — great comment! Thanks for sharing! I especially liked this comment:

      “So her abrupt change shows how much fear is changing or altering her perceptions of what is good, now.”

      However, I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s altering her perception of what’s good, so much as I would say that it’s altering what she is willing to do. I think her standards and her values are still the same, but her fear is causing her to make exceptions in certain circumstances when she normally wouldn’t, such as this one. But maybe that’s what you were saying… Either way, I think that’s a really great observation!

      One other thing: you pointed out that sharing this secret seems to be strengthening the relationship between Walter and Olivia, and to a certain extent, I agree. Olivia is definitely responding to the whole situation a lot better than I expected her to. Honestly, I thought she would be furious with Walter, barely even communicating with him. So I’m glad that she has managed to look past her personal opinions of what Walter did, and acknowledge why he did it, and, as you said, she hasn’t completely rejected him.

      That said, I don’t think things are that great between them. I think their relationship is rather fragile at the moment and, in a lot of ways, I think she is making a special effort to be understanding of Walter simply because she does ultimately care about him, and she also cares about Peter and she knows how much Peter cares for Walter. But there’s still a certain amount of tension between them.

      Things were already rather strained between them ever since she learned about the Cortexiphan Trials. I think she holds a certain amount of resentment towards Walter because of his involvement in that and she hasn’t gotten over that. Then there are moments like The Bishop Revival when Walter killed Hoffman. She seemed very displeased by his actions and it appeared to alter the way she thinks of Walter. Then she finds out what he did with Peter, and it certainly doesn’t help matters any. It’s clear that she isn’t pleased with what Walter did, and I think she’s not quite sure how to act around him. I think she has distanced herself from him, put up a lot of walls between the two of them, and she is pretty much all business when she’s around him. She always seems very rigid whenever he’s nearby. Walter definitely is not on her list of favorite people and, in a lot of ways, I think he’s in a bit of a probationary condition as far as she’s concerned — she’s not going to have much patience with him. A lot depends on upcoming events and what he does — if he makes any further mistakes, she’s not going to be very understanding. Also, if it comes down between choosing sides in support of Peter or Walter, she has very little loyalty towards Walter and I think she would choose Peter without hesitation.

      That said, I do think that it is a good sign that she has been able to look past her personal feelings and maintain a working relationship with Walter — even support him as he works up the courage to tell Peter. It gives me hope that they will be able to ultimately get through this in one piece!

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  29. starg8fans says

    I know this is REALLY late, but I only discovered the show a couple of months ago, so I’m working my way through. And may I use this opportunity to say thank you for your excellent reviews. It adds so much to the enjoyment of the show to hear somebody else’s views on the episodes, especially since any sort of discussion has long come and gone.

    I have one comment to make regarding your observation:
    “All-round douchebag, Sanford Harris, hired Isaac Winters to activate Nancy Lewis and Nick Lane, but who activated James Heath?”
    I take it that it was Harris and Winters as well. Astrid said she’d found five similar deaths over the past 20 months, so that provides a time frame for when James Heath was ‘activated’. Given that each Fringe season covers roughly one year, that would put it in the first quarter of S1. Harris was still alive then.

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