Review: 2.01 A New Day In The Old Town

Fringe Review - A New Day In The Old Town

Welcome to the FB review of the Fringe season 2 premiere – A New Day In The Old Town. In this review I present my honest opinions on both the good and the bad aspects of the episode. I also take a look at the resolved mysteries and open questions, before sharing my remaining thoughts on the aspects which may have been overlooked.

The Good

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's SUPER DUNHAM!

  1. The opening was fantastic, one of the best to date. I love the fact that we picked up right where we left off, giving us that immediate continuity. Amy Jessup’s introduction was well handled, her questioning helping to illustrate the other side of the table that the Bishop’s now find themselves on. They are now the ones with the secrets and seem to be taking ownership of them. Walter’s fiddling around in the car was typical, but as I mentioned in my in the Things I learned from the Sneak Peek, he seemed to pick-up on the fact that Olivia had gone somewhere else (from experience, perhaps?). And of course, let’s not forget the introduction of the new villain and Olivia’s arrival back into her old town – it was stunning and unexpected.
  2. Walter and Peter saying ‘goodbye’ to Olivia. I especially loved the way Walter called her “Olive” – reverting back to the father-figure I suspect he once played – a nice touch. Peter’s reaction was interesting too (although I wasn’t entirely convinced until the later scene, just before she woke up).
  3. Amy relating pattern cases to Biblical text was interesting to say the least. I’ve always enjoyed when Fringe becomes more spiritually inclined and I’m really pleased that they’ve given Amy a ‘hook’ into the  mythology of the show. It also begs the question of God in the Multiverse. Where is Fringe going with this? Is it possible to have a benevolent creator and multiple instances of ourselves? Could be fascinating!
  4. I loved the sub-plot with Olivia being unable to load her gun – I probably found it more engrossing than it was meant to be! Initially I couldn’t figure out why? Sure, she’s an FBI agent and her gun is part of her identity – without it she felt exposed, naked, unprotected. But it was more than that. Then I realised the reason I loved it so much was because of the story she told back in season 1 – when as a little girl she shot her step-father who was beating up her mother. It’s a more powerful story now that we’ve got to know her, it presents Olivia as a protector even in childhood – her role in this world cemented at such an early stage. So back to present day, and its a nice illustration of a moment when Olivia is not able to do what comes naturally – she’s just human, with flaws and faults and sometimes she breaks down. I think this was a nice example of the little things which made this episode so very informative.
  5. As I mentioned in my 6 Things I Discovered during The Season 2 Premiere article, I really liked the fact that the nurse/shapeshifter had tears in her eyes when interrogating Olivia. It made me more sympathetic towards them, and reminded me that they aren’t necessarily the “bad guys” here. I just wonder how I would have taken to that scene had the shapeshifter still had Luke Goss‘s identity – would I have felt quite so much sympathy towards them?

The Bad

Hi Peter, Greg broke up with me. Oh, and Olivia likes you.

  1. Rachel. Rachel, Rachel, Rachel – what are we to do with you? I just didn’t buy her reaction to Olivia’s impending “death”. People deal with traumatic situations differently – we each have our own individual coping mechanisms, and that’s fine and understandable. But Rachel has just (in the last 3 hours) found out her sister is going to die and she spends her time telling Peter that Olivia really liked him. Well thanks Rachel! It just goes to show that she knew all along how Olivia felt, yet still tried to mess around with her feelings (the “coffee” scene from season 1 sticks out in my mind – I knew Rachel heard Olivia’s snarky comment). As FlashWriter pointed out in the “Unleashed” Rewatch comments, there’s probably a silent rivalry between them, but for me it’s another mark against Rachel. Maybe I’m being harsh on her, perhaps I should applaud her for giving Peter that crumb of comfort, but her character really grates on me.
  2. I didn’t buy that Fringe Division were going to be shut down. It added some nice suspense and allowed us to see Phillip on the front line defending his troops, but the idea that they have not delivered any “usable evidence” is slightly absurd. What about Harris, or Loeb, or the various monster hybrids?
  3. I found it to be a pretty big leap that Amy and Peter should come to the conclusion that the shapeshifter was still trying to accomplish its goal because it is a “soldier” – since they always stay on mission (right, Jones?). While this was clearly true in this case, there was a sort of disconnect with the way in which they arrive at that conclusion and suddenly rush to protect Olivia. If anything wouldn’t they have been weary of the threat after finding the first deposed body?
  4. I realise that Olivia wasn’t quite feeling herself, but I found it a bit hard to believe that she would be so trusting with the ‘nurse’. I kept thinking: ‘Olivia’s just stringing her along and is going to whip out her gun any minute now!’, but she was totally oblivious, despite the nurse just stopping short of asking what it was like to be treated with Cortexiphan! I still enjoyed the scene but that took me out of it a little bit.
  5. This is probably the weakest element of the episode: How did shapeshifter-Charlie have enough time to kill real-Charlie, take his identity (we know this takes at least 30 seconds), drag the original body of the nurse from wherever it was hidden, put Charlie’s clothes on, hide real-Charlie’s dead body and put a few bullets in the dead nurse’s body for authenticity..all before Amy and Peter arrived on the scene? Sorry, but all of this would have taken a lot longer than the 20 or so seconds it took them to arrive. Even if the scene was cut for viewer benefit, there’s no way it would take Amy and Peter more than a couple of minutes (MAX) to get there. Love the episode, but this is the type of contrivance I wouldn’t expect from Fringe. I can buy alternate realities any day of the week, but this?

Unresolved Mysteries

"FB, here's your blue lights"

  • Why didn’t Walter try one of his experiments on Olivia when he found out she would die? All he did was shine a light in her eyes. I thought he’d at least break out the halo contraption, or something. Of course we know why, but it’s something the Fringe writers will have to contend with every time something is conveniently overlooked and not addressed in the episode.
  • What happened during Olivia’s meeting with Bell? What is hidden? Where is it hidden? How did she come crashing back like that?
  • Where did Amy get the FBI code to access Fringe Division’s file?
  • What makes the Selectric 251 typewriter able to communicate between realities? Is it made specifically for this purpose, or does it function in this way because it isn’t from “Over Here”? If it’s the later, perhaps the same could apply to people.
  • Who was the shapeshifter communicating with? Who gave him the orders? How did they know Dunham was still alive if they’re on the ‘other side’?

Closed Mysteries

  • The shapeshifter copied people’s identity, leaving the original body behind.

Fringe Thoughts

  • I found it interesting that they chose Blair Brown to narrate the recapitulate at the beginning. Was this just a matter of convenience, or does it imply something about how we should view Nina’s role in the show?
  • I thought it was particularly poignant that Peter’s birthday should come the day after Walter stood at the grave of his original son.
  • As I’ve speculated in the past, I believe that Peter has abilities – whether he has a sort of empathetic skill or the ability to ‘will things to happen’ is up for debate. But I have a feeling he helped to revive Olivia. The Greek and the reference to his mother also deserves further exploration as this wasn’t a meaningless connection, in my opinion.
  • Interestingly Olivia remembers that something was trying to stop her from meeting Bell. How would she know this when we clearly see Olivia meeting Bell without the shapeshifter intercepting her? Perhaps Bell told her?
  • Amy tells Peter “I think I’ve been waiting for you people my whole life”. Could just be a throw-away comment, but I think it may hold further weight as we discover more about her.
  • Peter to Amy: “you’re coming up on your last chance to turn back” – I get the feeling this is the writers talking to their newbie viewers.
  • Phillip’s previous team was called the “X-Designation” (Thanks to Luana in the comments for the correction). Phillip used to be a colonel.
  • Amy’s father was a soldier – more military connections for our Fringies.
  • The shapeshifter didn’t seem to be affected by the two bullets Amy put in its back (not to mention the 2-4 from Charlie). Do they have a higher tolerance to pain? Clearly they can leap out of buildings without any problem. Funny, because they appeared so ‘human’ prior to those two moments. (well, apart from the face-crushing).
  • I guess the shapeshifter is stuck with Charlie’s identity for a while, seeing as the ‘mouth-plug’ is conveniently “broken” and in the hands of the US Govt. Maybe he’ll try to get new orders through the looking glass?

Final Thought

"You can shapeshift. I can breath FIRE!"

Goodbye Charlie. You were moody and often cynical, but you loved speaking into the radio and had excellent taste in hats. Most of all, you were there for Olivia – you gave her advice and backed her up, even when you thought she was out of her mind. You were a good friend and a fine agent. God speed.

Best Moment: The opening scene. They’ll have to go some to top that.

Best Performer: Joshua Jackson

Episode Rating: 9/10


  1. Peewee says

    I think the whole Olivia/William Bell exchange will be played out in the next few episodes so its exactly a unresolved mystery just one that isn’t until future episodes.

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  2. says

    Great review.

    I loved this episode, missed Fringe like hell and I agree that the shapeshifter would have to have super velocity to transform into Charlie, change clothes, hide the body and get the nurse´s body in that little amount of time. Where were the nurse´s body anyway? In his pocket?

    Does anyone else saw that the shapeshifter´s second victim (Luke Goss) was watching X Files? I´m not entirely sure that it was really Davuid Duchonovich and a Gillian´s Anderson head that I saw, but I think it was a little homage for the show. And, in the same subject, I don´t think that X Designation is the name of Broyles old team, I think the senator mentioned the old designation X that used to be used in the FBI to categorize marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena.

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    • says

      Where were the nurse´s body anyway? In his pocket?

      😀 haha!

      Does anyone else saw that the shapeshifter´s second victim (Luke Goss) was watching X Files? I´m not entirely sure that it was really Davuid Duchonovich and a Gillian´s Anderson head that I saw, but I think it was a little homage for the show.

      I enjoyed the shout-out. A nice subtle hat-tip.

      I don´t think that X Designation is the name of Broyles old team, I think the senator mentioned the old designation X that used to be used in the FBI to categorize marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena.

      Ah yes, you’re quite right. I’ve edited it out in the post – thanks!

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  3. Ric says

    Thanks! Nice and thorough as always.
    Not as much an unsolved mystery- but a very interesting part of the storyline- I’m looking forward to more romance between Broyles and Sharp. I was completely surprised by that. Almost just as much as had it been Astrid and the cow kissing.

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    • says

      I’m looking forward to more romance between Broyles and Sharp.

      Same here! I’m surprised that quite a few aren’t feeling it, but I’m interested in learning more about their past.

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  4. jkyarr says

    Here are a few more gems from the show (I’ve already watched it 3 times!)

    Observer sighting: 00:26 – 00:28 crossing street from right to left

    είναι ένας καλύτερος άνθρωπος από τον πατέρα σου
    Na einai kalitero anthropo apo ton patera tou
    be a better man than your father
    Did Olivia channel Pete’s dead mother or was she programmed to bring back that message by Peter’s real mother in the alterverse?

    Glyph word: TOWER

    Bible scriptures from our new agent friend:
    Luke 21:10
    1 John 4:1
    Revelation 4:1
    Revelation 19:18
    Revelation 19:20

    Typeset Antiques was the name on the shop window where the alteragent / facewalker inquired about the Selectric 251. The street number on the shop door was 649.

    I found Charlie’s “storytime” with Olivia in the hospital to be a little out of place. I’m forecasting that it will be a plot device used to unveil the facewalker as a fake.

    While examining the “wet anus” corpse in the lab not only does Walter eat licorice with biofluids from the cadaver all over his gloved hands, he even dips his bloody hand in the custard. Makes me wonder if they’re all gonna catch something from it in a future episode?

    Theres a patch on Peter’s black jacket. Upper right arm. Either has the year 03 or 06 or 08 on it and appears to say TRIUMPH at the bottom. Can anyone place this patch? Know what its from?

    There were 11 seconds from the time Charlie fired shots at the facewalker until Agent whats-her-chops and Peter had a visual on the facewalker and dead nurse.

    Green Scene (see my comment April 22, 2009 at 1:47 pm) was the hospital basement.

    I didn’t notice any particular “color pattern” for this episode although I noted that there was a sequence of colors in olivia’s hospital room -BGYYRR The licorice in Walter’s hand during the autopsy was of course Red (a color I’d clearly associate with Walter based on the series so far). And there was a yellow capped lamp on the shelf in Typeset Antiques that stood out.

    Anyone want to bet that the hidden item that all the alters are after and that Bell instructed Olivia to bring back to the alterverse for him was his typewriter?

    Lastly and possibly of no significance whatsoever, can anyone identify what blossoms & greenery were in the floral arrangement Peter brought Olivia at the hospital? They were predominantly yellow (oops pete!) with white and just a shred of purple and then there was the greenery. No idea if any of those plant names matter one bit. Just thought I’d throw that in there for the florists who watch the show.

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    • says

      Glyph word: TOWER

      Thanks for that – good to know they’re still continuing with the code (probably more relevant to the last episode, but I guess “grave” had to take that slot).

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      • Anna says

        I wonder if the glyph word might be a reference to Steven King’s ‘The dark Tower’ which J.J. Abrams is a big fan of. (There are a lot of parallels between this books and Fringe, too.)

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  5. Page 48 says

    Random thoughts:

    The typewriter, which could easily be on loan from “Warehouse 13″, operates independently from it’s reflection in the mirror. The keys in the mirrored image depress as it conjures up a message from beyond, but the keys on the real deal do not depress, even as it types.

    Trivia: the first Senator chiding Broyles for his lack of productivity is Kenneth Taylor. a name made famous in 1980 after the conclusion of the American hostage taking fiasco in Iran.

    I think Asterix manages to save the custard before Walter contaminated it, although it may have caught some spray when she smacked his hand. I’d think twice about eating it.

    It’s beyond convenient that Jessup produced a folded paper with a password granting access to ridiculously top secret computer files. Should she not at least trip an alarm when she signs in? She wasn’t signing into her Mom’s Hotmail account using her dog’s name as a password, this was heavy duty national security stuff that she had no business seeing and she just pulls a password out of her pocket?? Yeah, right.

    I’m inclined to agree with jkyarr that Charlie’s monologue about getting shot in the chest will play a part in Evil Charlie’s downfall. Why else would writers bore the crap out of us with that story? Evil Francie’s downfall was coffee flavoured iced cream. Evil Charlie will probably slip up on something just as simple, after all, what does he even know about the real Charlie?

    Trivia: Olivia’s nurse was played by Simone Kessell, a New Zealander, which means that she, Anna Torv, John Noble, and Luke Goss were all faking American accents.

    Opinion: As a regular character, if not a primary one, Charlie Francis should not have been killed off-screen. At the very least, a flashback is required at some point to clarify the details of his death.

    Changing filming locations has given Harvard a whole new look.

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    • says

      Opinion: As a regular character, if not a primary one, Charlie Francis should not have been killed off-screen. At the very least, a flashback is required at some point to clarify the details of his death.

      Yeah, I found that pretty strange. They’re probably saving that for when/if shapeshifter-Charlie dies? Probably wont hold as much impact as our-Charlie dying on-screen though.

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    • says

      I’m inclined to agree with jkyarr that Charlie’s monologue about getting shot in the chest will play a part in Evil Charlie’s downfall. Why else would writers bore the crap out of us with that story? Evil Francie’s downfall was coffee flavoured iced cream. Evil Charlie will probably slip up on something just as simple, after all, what does he even know about the real Charlie?

      Just picking up on this.

      Interesting. So are we to assume that the best (only?) way to kill a shapeshifter is with a bullet through the chest? I’ll need to check where Amy shot Evil Nurse as she leapt from the window (back of the shoulder, if memory serves). Hmm..

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    • Page 48 says

      For those who missed out on the awesomeness of Evil Francie’s downfall.

      Evil Charlie WILL slip up. It’s just a matter of what havoc he can unleash between now and that moment when Olivia has her aha moment (I’m sure the honours will go to Olivia, as would only be fitting)

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  6. Ellen says

    I also disliked the timeframe of the shapeshifter and Charlie, but hope that’ll factor into the shapeshifter’s eventual unmasking.

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  7. mlj102 says

    I really enjoyed watching this episode! I especially love that we now have new things to analyze and watch. I love the season 1 episodes, but I was ready for something new! And while I agree that this episode had its faults, I felt that it was a spectacular start to the season. Just a warning, a lot happened in this episode and I have a lot to say, so this is going to be long.

    First, just a few comments in response to your review:

    You’re the only person I’ve seen so far who is excited about them connecting the Fringe cases to religion. Everywhere else I’ve read people really seem to think it’s a bad idea and that they hope they don’t dwell on that too much. I personally don’t understand why people are so opposed to it. I think it could be an interesting way to view the events. I was quite impressed with the several Biblical links Agent Jessup was able to make – I hadn’t realized there were that many! I’m excited to see where it goes.

    I like your explanation for the sub-plot with Olivia and her gun. I hadn’t quite realized the significance of it, but your pointing out the story from when she was a child really makes sense and made me rethink that storyline in a new way. So thanks for that!

    You really dislike Rachel, don’t you? I see how she can be annoying at times, but I really don’t get the same negative feelings towards her that most people seem to have in any scene that involves her. Personally, I didn’t find anything wrong with the way Rachel handled the situation. I thought that it was really considerate of her to recognize that Peter was mourning for Olivia and to make that effort to comfort him. But I will admit that that does make her previous obvious attempts at flirting with Peter more inappropriate considering that she could see that there was something, however small, between the two of them. Yeah, I can see that silent rivalry going on…

    I actually thought it was rather realistic for Fringe Division to be in danger of being shut down. Yeah, they’d found a couple of traitors and such, but really a lot of their cases are left with question marks. And I think the average viewer might consider it a glaring flaw in the show that they’re allowed to carry on and investigate whatever they want at whatever the cost without any questions asked. I thought it was fitting that we see a little resistance and skepticism begin to stand in their way.

    I also have to disagree with you about your point of it being odd that Olivia was so willing to trust the nurse. I don’t think she had any indication that the person chasing her was a shapeshifter, so she really had no reason to suspect her nurse of anything wrong. I imagine she had been alone with the nurse on several other occasions since she’d woken up and obviously there was nothing to be concerned about then. And the nurse’s questions were rather mild and to be expected, though I do admit she got to be rather forceful by the end. That said, I had been hoping that Olivia would somehow catch on and realize that the nurse wasn’t someone she should be trusting. That scene was interesting because I felt so conflicted: on the one hand, I really wanted Olivia to remember and you could tell that she was trying so hard. But on the other hand I just wanted to yell at her to stop because she was unknowingly telling important information to the enemy. I expect we’re going to be feeling that a lot more given that the shapeshifter now looks like one of the people Olivia trusts most. And, even though Olivia didn’t realize the nurse was the person who was after her until she was trying to kill her, I was sure proud of Olivia for fighting back! Given what she’d been through, she really was in no condition to put up much of a fight, but she really made the shapeshifter have to work for it. I was very impressed and quite proud of Olivia.

    Yeah, the whole time issue with the shapeshifter was certainly the weakest part of the episode. But personally, I’m willing to overlook it, given that the rest of the episode was really incredible.

    As for the question of “why didn’t Walter try an experiment on Olivia” I imagine that Walter knows enough to know when someone is really dead and that there’s no chance. With all that Walter can do, he’s never pretended he can reverse death. That’s what I found so interesting about the whole situation. From the minute they heard about Olivia from the doctor, Walter was in denial about Olivia’s condition. But upon looking at her himself, he came to the same conclusions. That being the case, she must’ve really been in bad shape that even Walter was ultimately convinced there was no hope. So that makes it even more of a miracle that she did wake up again. I also thought it was neat to look at the way Walter reacted in light of his past experience from when Peter had died. I imagine that at that time, when Peter died, he had shown the same refusal to accept the facts. And I imagine he likely tried several things to bring him back (which is probably why Walter knew there was no point in trying to do anything to Olivia – he knew that at that stage, there really was nothing he could do). As another note, I thought that Walter’s reaction to Olivia’s “death” was made even more significant considering that he really hadn’t seen her since she had confronted him in the diner. So heartbreaking! I know some people have mentioned that Olivia’s “death” lacked any sort of impact because they knew she wasn’t really dead (with the internet and spoilers and all, we would have known long ago if she wasn’t coming back this season). But for me, it didn’t matter so much that I knew she wasn’t dead as it did that Peter and Walter and everyone else thought she was dead and had no reason to think differently. For me, that made that whole storyline very powerful and emotional. The scene where Walter examined her and decided that she really was dead was heartbreaking. And the scene where Rachel told Peter that Olivia had really liked him was really significant to me because, up until that point, Peter had been putting on a really brave, strong face about it all. But after Rachel said that, you could see how all his defenses sort of crumbled and he showed just how much he’d been affected by Olivia’s “death”. I just thought both actors gave really great performances.

    So we know that Olivia is supposed to find something that is hidden, but we don’t know what and we don’t know where. Another question, though, is what does the shapeshifter know. Is it a situation where the shapeshifter knows what and where it is and is supposed to be guarding it, or is it something that the shapeshifter is looking for as well, and it’s going to be a race to see who can find it first?

    You asked how the people on the other side knew that Olivia wasn’t dead and that the meeting had occurred: I think it’s pretty simple. They were in the same reality as William Bell so they must have received word that she had managed to get there after all. Plus, Olivia says she knew someone was chasing her – maybe before she left, there had been someone over there who had been after her.

    Other comments:

    Like many others, I loved the way Olivia came back into our reality. It’s certainly going to be interesting to find out why she returned that way. But that was seriously brilliant – what a way to make an entrance and start off the season! Seriously, I don’t think anyone has ever seen anything like that before and I don’t think anyone was expecting that to happen. It’s a great way to leave an impression as it’s the kind of thing that people aren’t going to forget anytime soon.

    So Olivia wasn’t featured a whole ton in this episode, but the few scenes she was in were all very important and powerful scenes. Anna Torv certainly did a phenomenal job acting those scenes — she was so convincing and conveyed all the emotions of urgency and fear and confusion so well! Honestly, it didn’t really bother me that she was only in a few scenes because the quality of the scenes she was in was exceptional.

    Thoughts on the Shapeshifter: I really liked the whole shapeshifting device. I don’t know why, but I guess I had just automatically assumed when I knew this episode involved shapeshifters, that it would just be some natural ability that the shapeshifter had. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually through some crazy device that it was possible for the shapeshifter to look like someone else. I thought that was a really neat way of approaching it. But there are certainly a lot of mysteries around the shapeshifter, such as how the shapeshifter can be like spiderman and jump from great heights and not be hurt or get shot and not be affected. Perhaps they’re side effects that come from using the device (kind of like how Jones was no longer affected by bullets after going through the transporter). And I wonder if there was a reason the shapeshifter chose the specific guy to change into after the car crash. It just seemed to me like he was moving about with a purpose – like he was specifically looking for that building and that person. If there was meaning behind that choice, I wonder what it was.

    I also really liked the opening scene with Peter and Walter in the store. I thought that did a great job of showing just how their relationship has changed in the last year. I mean, Peter was actually happy! Even though he was chastising Walter, you could tell it was in good humor. I really liked that. And the birthday scene at the end was really great, too. So funny to see Astrid, Walter and Gene wearing their party hats.

    The scene where Olivia woke up was great. Like many others, I’m of the opinion that Peter had somehow done something that caused her to wake up. It’s just too much to be a coincidence. Everyone was sure that there was no hope for her and that she was dead. But by some chance, the minute Peter is in the same room as her, she suddenly wakes up. I don’t think that Peter has some ability to raise the dead or anything, but Olivia wasn’t completely dead. And I think there’s a special connection between the two of them which might factor in to things as well. The greek completely surprised me and I was glad they explained that at the end of the episode. It’s another thing that I think was too random to be a coincidence – what are the odds that when she suddenly wakes up, she’s going to say an obscure greek phrase that happens to have huge significance to Peter? So then the question is, how did she know to say that? Some have speculated that she might have met Peter’s mother in the other universe and his mother had told her to tell him that. I think that is certainly a possibility. Another idea would be that if there is some connection between her and Peter, she might have somehow unknowingly caught on to that phrase when he was with her before she woke up. I hope they’ll explain that.

    So in the scene where Olivia had first regained consciousness and she was really scared and her heart rate was getting out of control and all, am I the only one who had expected her to calm down when Peter touched her? There’s just been a lot of speculation that, for whatever reason, Peter has a calming effect on her and so I had been expecting her to calm down in that scene and it didn’t happen. I was kind of disappointed about that…

    I was glad that Olivia and Charlie had one more scene together while Charlie was still Charlie. I really liked Charlie and really liked the friendship the two of them had. It was so good for Olivia to have someone who she could talk to and confide in and who supported her the way Charlie did. I will be sad that that won’t be on the show anymore. And it’s cruel that now that relationship has completely flipped around and now Olivia can’t trust him at all. It’s going to be simply heartbreaking when she learns the truth about that.

    I loved that they’ve continued the ongoing joke of Walter not remembering Astrid’s name. That’s one of my favorite recurring jokes of all time and I look forward to finding out what he’s going to call her next.

    In the house where they find the first body, there seemed to be a lot of antique telephones. I wonder if that’s at all important. Perhaps that has something to do with why the shapeshifter chose that particular guy to change into. I just found it odd that this episode featured a house with a lot of old style telephones, as well as a store with old fashioned typewriters. Are they connected somehow?

    Scene with Nina and Broyles: even though I knew it was coming, it still surprised me. Seriously, I am anxious to find out what the history is between them!

    I wonder how Olivia and the others will find out about Charlie not being Charlie. Will the shapeshifter make some mistake or not remember something that he’s supposed to know, or something along those lines? Or will he blow his cover when he tries to kill Olivia again? Or will it be something else entirely?

    Other questions:

    Did Walter do something to the car that brought Olivia back, or was it simply a coincidence that she returned right at that moment? I agree, Walter definitely seemed to figure out what was going on at that moment. But did he do something to bring her back? And if not, what did cause her to come back like that? Maybe it was because she was being chased, so she couldn’t come back in a simple way like when she left? Perhaps that would explain how she knew someone was chasing her and had been trying to prevent her meeting with William Bell.

    Why did Broyles insist that Agent Jessup sign a report that he knew full well wasn’t accurate? Was it because he didn’t want her involved in Fringe Division? Or was it because he knew that Fringe Division was under close scrutiny at the time and he didn’t want this added into that? Or was it some other reason? I just felt it was rather odd.

    Agent Jessup really did put a lot on the line by choosing to continue looking into the case. I wonder what prompted her to take that leap – not many people would do that.

    Who was the owner of the typewriter store and how did he get involved with helping the shapeshifter and others like him? And what had been happening six years ago when there had been more of them? There’s definitely more to that story and I’m hoping we find out about it soon.

    There was some really interesting lighting throughout this episode: In the hospital when Walter was examining Olivia, the room they were in had a blue type of lighting that really stood out to me. Then in the house of the first victim, it was very yellow. And both the basement to the hospital and the typewriter room had a green tone to it. Is that at all significant?

    And of course I was thrilled that there were several reflections in this episode: when Walter was breaking into Olivia’s car, his reflection was shown really clearly in the window. When the shapeshifter changed shapes the first time, he frequently was looking in a mirror in the room. In the scene where Walter examined Olivia, it shows Peter watching from the other room and you could see Walter and Olivia’s reflection in the window. And then of course there was also the typewriter and the mirror showing the alternate typewriter. Yeah, I loved how they portrayed that. To me it was more evidence that they do intentionally show some of these reflections as a way of hinting at the other realities.

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    • says

      You really dislike Rachel, don’t you? I see how she can be annoying at times, but I really don’t get the same negative feelings towards her that most people seem to have in any scene that involves her. Personally, I didn’t find anything wrong with the way Rachel handled the situation. I thought that it was really considerate of her to recognize that Peter was mourning for Olivia and to make that effort to comfort him.

      Yeah, maybe I’m being a bit harsh on her there. I just felt as though there should have been a lot ‘more’ before she got to that point. In the context of the scene, I would have liked to have seen Rachel’s own personal sadness at losing her big sis. I needed to believe that Rachel actually loves Olivia and would be affected by her death. Instead, Rachel’s gesture felt a bit empty to me. I got the feeling she wouldn’t have had much trouble getting over it had Olivia died. That said, I do accept that they might have wanted to shorten the scene and so got straight to the point.

      I also have to disagree with you about your point of it being odd that Olivia was so willing to trust the nurse. I don’t think she had any indication that the person chasing her was a shapeshifter, so she really had no reason to suspect her nurse of anything wrong. I imagine she had been alone with the nurse on several other occasions since she’d woken up and obviously there was nothing to be concerned about then.

      Good points. It was just strange because we rarely see Olivia so open and unaware of herself, particularly around strangers. The nurses face was a dead giveaway – Olivia may not have known about the shapeshifter, but ‘normal’ people are equally as capable (ala Samantha Loeb). So while I liked that scene, I was also distracted by how unguarded O was.

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  8. says

    The best explanation on how the shape-shifter had time to change … well, he obviously has super strength, why not super speed? Makes him pretty formidable! What CAN these guys do?!

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    • says

      It’s possible. When ‘she’ jumped out of the window, the frame seemed to speed up a little bit (I’ll have to rewatch that scene to confirm). That said, the SS would have to be as fast as The Flash to get all of thay done before our team arrived on the scene.

      I also find it odd that it left the device for Peter to find. Very lax.

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      • mlj102 says

        I didn’t find it odd at all that the shapeshifter left the device for Peter to find. Actually, I felt that it helped make the situation even more convincing. If the shapeshifter had kept the device hidden, that could have lead to Peter and others having an early suspicion that perhaps Charlie wasn’t Charlie and the shapeshifter wasn’t dead. But by having the device on the ground with the supposed shapeshifter, it made it look more authentic, like the nurse really was the shapeshifter.

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        • says

          Nice perspective on an otherwise contrived plot-point. It does seem like that’s what the writers were going for. (as well as giving Peter a reason to ‘surprise’ Phillip on the Capitol steps – his second surprise of that day).

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  9. CHRIS says


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  10. says

    the phones on the wall probably refer to Bell (another Bell) being its inventor.
    on another note am i the only one to be bothered with the distance between NY and Boston? when Peter learns of Olivia’s accident they are grocery shopping in Boston right? so unless Jessup managed to stop the trafic for several hours, it simply doesn’t add up. same when he’s at the hospital with Olivia in NY and then back to the lab and to NY and to the lab for his birthday. or the are all as fast as shapeshifter Charlie.

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  11. Sirra says

    I really liked this episode – the opening sequence was *awesome*.

    But it was the MOST ANNOYING episode I’ve ever seen – I am definitely used to better science from Fringe than I saw this episode. I’m talking about the scenes in the hospital when Olivia’s dead. Rachel says she had a living will – no life support and implies that they’re turning it off in the morning. Olivia’s not ON life support – even if they’d done a super quick defibrillator insertion, she’s still not ventilated – what are they planning to turn off?! Her doctor says they couldn’t restore any brain function – spontaneous breathing is a brain function, genius.

    I’m confused. It seems like rather a big oops moment. For instance, when Walter examines Olivia’s pupil response, there’s a flat-line monitor over his left shoulder. My first thought was this was an EKG and she’s dead dead, not brain dead, but I’m thinking now it was probably supposed to be an EEG.

    I am medical – but did anyone else think it was stupid that she’s supposedly suffered major head trauma but isn’t intubated and ventilated when they want to turn off her life support?

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    • says

      that was totally ridiculous i agree!
      i’m not medical and i jumped from my chair shouting at the screen. and later the doc says she’s agitated and that Peter needs to stop to talk to her but there’s not indication on the “machine” either: it show a 72 heart beat which is totally fine…

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  12. Patty says

    Thank you for such due diligence in your review. I was wondering about the logistics of Charlie’s ‘body snatching’ as well. The shape-shifter would have had to put the nurses clothes back on her dead body before shooting her, another step to this impossible feat. I get frustrated when characters are written and portrayed as highly intelligent and yet they fail to do something as basic as check everyone’s mouth for puncture holes. Did anyone else get the x-file references? There was a TV screen with Fox Mulder and a scene from the x-files playing in the background in the apartment where the first shape shifting occurred and then the ‘Senate’ Committee referred to an x-file.

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  13. Patty says

    a few questions. is it possible that the device broke when the shape-shifter was in his hurry to get everything done, and he left it there knowing they would try to fix it? He may not know how to fix it and so he wants them to do it. I thought it was strange that Peter told Olivia that the Fringe program was still being funded when we don’t actually see that happen. Peter’s character seemed different after the shape shifter scene. He was more assertive and more insistent. His whole affect was changed. It made me uncomfortable. Anyone else notice this?

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  14. Patty says

    I’m a little out of my league, being a new Fringe blog reader, but has anyone explored weather Nina Sharp might be Peter’s mother?

    From Fringepedia:
    In The Cure, Nina told Peter Bishop that she knew him when he was a small boy, that she and his father, Walter, were once quite close and that she and Peter spent time together at the equestrian center where they were sitting.

    I also wonder about Massive Dynamics involvement with the shape-shifters.

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  15. Takinou says

    I completely agree that Olivia’s hands shaking was made to look significant. My theory is that it was not the shock but some side-effect of the fact that she crossed to the other universe and back to ours. Johnes had a similar problem when he traveled through space and it also made me think of Nina Sharp’s hand.

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  16. Jayce says

    Who does Astrid work for? I had thought it was the FBI. But she was hanging around Walter’s lab, even after the supposed disbanding of Fringe Division, as though everything was peachy. You would think she’d be notified of reassignment. Who does she report to then? Broyles? I guess that would make some sense anyway.

    I love this show, but I do think they get sloppy from time to time. Either with the science (Olivia on “life support”, but not really), easy plot contrivances (the Charlie/Shapeshifter quick switcheroo), or just plain non-sensical story elements (where exactly DID the shapeshifter get the nurse’s body from??? — it would have been more believable if the shapeshifter had somehow reconfigured “real Charlie’s” face to look like the nurse.) I just wish they would tighten things up a bit in that regard. Have a “reality checker”, if you will. You don’t see these kind of flubs on Lost because I think they have someone working on that show who does just that!

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    • Jayce says

      I do watch Lost. And you must have missed the part where I said that I love THIS SHOW. Sorry to level criticism and want Fringe to be the best it can be. My bad — forgot about all the fanboys on the internet who don’t know how to think. I thought the fans on this site were better than that too. Nevermind. This show is perfect…

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    • says

      @ Peewee: To be fair, Jayce is entitled to present an opinion on the show – including the good and/or the bad.

      There are some excellent views and opinions in this thread which should keep us all thinking until Thursday!

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  17. Ric says

    Last far-fetched explanation for the Charlie-nurse time schedule thing.
    There are 2 shifteroo-devices!
    Charlie and the dead nurse are realy Charlie and pretend-to-be-shot-Shifty. After Peter and Jessup leave with the broken device- Shifty kills Charlie and shifts using a second device.

    …naaah… never mind.

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  18. yvaine says

    Hey, Roco, great review! I really find Rachel annoying now. She used to be just this mild nuisance, but… yeah, she’s really annoying now. Glad I’m not the only one who’s not liking her… hey, could you perhaps be turning into a Benchwarmer now, Roco? 😛 (Kidding, kidding.) And I wonder why she had to tell Peter that Olivia liked him.

    Do you think we’ve possibly seen more than one alterverse now? One with the hotel where Olivia was supposed to meet Nina but she wasn’t there. And then she jumped to another where she ended up with Bell in the WTC?

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    • says

      Hey yvaine! Nah, I’ll never be a benchwarmer 😛 but yeah, Rachel is annoying – at least Harris made me him.

      I think it’s possible that we’ve seen more than two universes – as you mention, it’s likely that Olivia actually passed through several on her way to meeting Belly. Then there’s the reality from TRNT (which may or may not be the same world where Belly is hiding). And the Observers world (assuming they’re not from “over here”, which seems likely).

      Eitherway though, I do believe that the show will open up to more than two realities, though they may restrict the primary focus to two or three in the long-run for story-telling purposes.

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  19. yvaine says

    p.s. I also thought Jessup would annoy me, but she’s okay so far. More than I can say for Rachel…. (sorry, forgot to put that in my previous comment. Don’t mean to spam. 😀 )

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  20. says

    Just rewatched this episode, to kill time :)
    Things that come to mind:

    1. why is the shapeshifter bleeding blood in the car? We find out he is a shapeshifter after he gets himself a victim in the apartment, but clearly he is bleeding normal blood.

    2. Agent Jessup is just there. As if we’ve known her from before episodes. The part she plays in this episode clearly feels like she’s one of the regular cast. Given that fact: A). she’s from ‘Over There’ and just like Altlivia later in the season, she works for Walternate on a mission. B). she is an operative for the rogue Observer(s). she is from a third party that has knowledge of other universes and needs to infiltrate. Remember: just thoughts as i rewatch the episode.

    3. In the Fringe title theme we see the words “Parallel universes”. This being Fringe, the last letter emphasizes that there is more than one parallel universe, confirming Septembers line that “there is more than one of everything”.

    4. Olivia’s head brace in the hospital is blue and yellow. Is this Olivia from the yellow verse???

    5. Broyles is putting weight in convincing agent Jessup that what she’s seen is nothing else than a normal traffic accident. Why is Broyles covering this up with that much an effort? Is he affraid for infiltration from the outside (other verses) into the Fringe division?

    6. Bar being shot in the scene with Broyles and Peter is The Irish Heather in Vancouver.

    7. Jessup unfolds a paper with the number 112885627. This gives her access to the classified files from the FBI/Fringe. Who gave it to her?

    8. When Olivia wakes up, she speeks in Greek and then doesn’t know where she is. She knows whó she is, but not where and immediately wants to see Peter. If this is another version of our Olive, it is logical that she doesn’t know whére she is. She jumped between verses and probably is so affraid, that Peter is her only beacon of peace and trust. This clearly is nót our Olive.

    9. In the car, agent Jessup asks Peter what the Fringe division is and does. Wait! Fringe division? Could it be we are in another universe? And Olive (#8) is our Olive, but when the car crashed, she crashed into another universe aswel?

    10. In this episode, the shapeshifter does not get rid of his originals (3 times). Why?

    11. The Selectric 251 does not excist. It is actually a Selectric II used on the show, and thus the story in the typewriterstore.

    12. The light in the typewriterroom is yellow. Is this a sign that we are watching another verse?

    13. In Walters lab, on the video, a girl under influence of drugs, speaks of “[…] the man with the machine […] the 3 nails coming about […] he’s a soldier from somewhere else, it looks like here but it’s not here […] he’s from another universe […] he pushes up the machine in the mouth and then he changes […] they can look any of us “. Clearly talking about shapeshifters, being soldiers.

    14. The ‘X’ designation being mentioned. The same ‘X’ as was on the man’s shirt in S3E19.

    15. The intimate kiss between Broyles and Nina! ???… There is much more going on between these 2, already since S1E01.

    16. In the hospital, Olivia can’t remember what she was doing before the accident. She remembers driving, and meeting someone. We now know it was Bell in the red verse. But what has the Greek phrase to do with that?

    17. Olivia tells the shapeshifter nurse that something is hidden. The nurse confirms that. Does the shapeshifter at that point know where the BBM parts are in our universe? How long do they (the shapeshifters) know that? Are they working for Walternate?

    18. What device is agent Jessup talking into? In her palm? What’s that?

    19. Why burn Charlie in the incinerator first and leave the nurse like the first 2 victims? Why did the Charlie shapeshifter leave his device on the floor? I would think, first hide the technology. By finding it, both agent Jessup and Peternate would have been suspicious, certainly after seeing the video from the girl in Walters lab.

    20. Olivia can’t remember speaking the Greek when she woke up first time in the hospital. She can’t even speak Greek. Is this another Olivia, again?

    21. The Greek meant “be a better man than your father”. Olivia spoke it to Peternate. He has to be a better man than his father, Walternate. Eventually he chose our (blue) side.

    22. How did Olivia know the rumour that Fringe was being shut down?

    23. In the final scene, agent Jessup types on her computer and compares some Fringe files to the book of Revelation from the Bible.
    They are:

    Luke 21:10 – Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution.
    Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

    John 4:1 – On Denying the Incarnation.
    Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    Revelations 4:1 – The Throne in Heaven.
    After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

    Revelations 19:18 – The Heavenly Warrior Defeats the Beast.
    And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”

    Revelation 19:20 – Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

    24. Olivia’s face after she reloads the gun in the hospital. A soldier, ready for combat?

    These are my thoughts. Just thoughts, nothing more or less. But rewatching earlier episodes helps to shape the future and direction Fringe is moving in to.

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