Review: 2.04 Momentum Deferred


Fringe Review - 2.04 Momentum Deferred

Welcome to the FB review of the Fringe season 2 episode 4 – Momentum Deferred. 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 answers and unresolved mysteries, before sharing my thoughts on other aspects which may have been overlooked.

THE GOOD

Ace in the pack

  • Kirk Acevedo. If you’re gonna go out, then you might as well go out on top of your game. I’ve been impressed by Acevedo’s work this season. I’m not sure whether it’s the shift in his storyline or because he’s upped his form, but this is the actor I thought we’d have in season 1. What really caught my eye is how convincing he was as the shapeshifter, coupled with those fantastic expressions of  pain, suffering, regret and preparedness. He was fantastic, soulful and damn, I’m gonna miss our boy!
  • Subtext. I was really entertained by the underlying stories in this episode – particularly involving Olivia the soldier and the shapeshifting soldiers. We are not only looking at parallels in terms of worlds, but also possible foreshadowing. The shapeshifters are the first wave from the other side..soldiers created to save the day, possibly with ‘good intentions’ (it’s all relative, as they say). These are the same reasons William Bell gives Olivia as to why he did treated her with Cortexiphan. Evil Charlie and his band of brothers are precursor’s and might tell us something about future Olivia’s mindset. It’s brilliant stuff.
  • The overarching storyline. Fringe is best when tackling the central storyline. There’s greater value, progression, excitement and continuity (for the most part) attached to episodes like “Momentum Deferred”. I don’t expect every episode to be as full-on as this one (I liked Fracture, and consider that to be a good way to do a stand-alone). But I really wish that the powers that be would stop trying to cater for the casual viewers as much as they are, and make the show for the people who really care about it. I know that not every fan loves serialized episodes as much as I do, but I think that most us have the same 6-7 central storyline episodes listed amongst the our favourites. There is value in the stand-alone’s, but in my opinion, the writers need to make a decision – do them better (like Fracture) or don’t do them as often.
  • Olivia Progression. I feared that we’d see little of the progression that Olivia had made under Sam Weiss’ tutulage. I was therefore pleased to see Olivia’s reaction when she had jarring memories of the other side, recoiling slightly, but otherwise taking them in her stride. If Olivia really is the “strongest” of all the children, then what she’s going through must very difficult. I continue to appreciate the little details that they add to her character. It really is a journey with her, and like I’ve said many times before – I’m on board.
  • Rebecca. Here’s the thing, I’m slightly conflicted about this because at first I found her introduction to be pointless and contrived (the way her drug-state coincided, or triggered, Olivia’s own memory flux, for example). Then they saved it with her being able to see that Peter was from another reality (I suspect she was going to tell him earlier, but the LSD kicked in). In retrospect, I also thought Theresa Russell did a good job – she was believable as a free-spirit (if that’s the term), had good chemistry with John Noble and the character is one of the few people who has shown Walter such outward compassion. This brought about an interesting, awkward yet excitable side to Walter. A side which brought a few smiles, but more importantly revealed one of his character flaws – that he is still a selfish father. His lack of consideration for Peter’s feelings in light of how Peter feels about his mother was a reminder of just how far the Bishop’s have yet to go. To his credit, Peter showed greater maturity and consideration – sucking up his angst and giving Walter the permission to get some (“he said yes!” lol). Seriously, that must have been a very difficult thing for Peter to do. What I liked about this side-plot was that it came after the pair had made arrangements to get separate rooms. They are both gaining their independence. Last week Walter was hurt by Peter’s desire to have his own space, this week the shoe is on the other foot. It’s brilliant, it’s complicated, it’s subtle. So yeah, thanks Rebecca.
  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again for this episode – I love the the cinematography this season. From the camera angles, to the lighting, to the techniques used to portray different emotions or states, it’s all been very well done.
  • William Bell & Olivia / Nimoy & Torv. I loved finding out more about Bell. I thought he had the presence needed for such a heavyweight character, giving us plenty of answers but leaving us with a raft of questions. As usual, Olivia held her own. I particularly loved the wealth of emotions that she went through before being yanked out of the window. Despite a few fumbled lines, I thought Nimoy was very convincing as the mystical father figure. He conveyed a sense of warmth, but there were hints of something not so altruistic. I also thought Torv was excellent. She is great at switching between emotions. My only slight complaint with this scene is the way the beginning didn’t quite match-up with what we saw in the season 1 finale (i.e. Bell never said “Oliviaaaa”). I guess the scene being a memory is their escape route.

THE BAD

m_thebad

  • Continuity & details. The episode reveals that it has been 6 weeks since Olivia returned from the other side (1.01), yet she asks Phillip about the conversion device they found a few weeks ago. Maybe I’m being overly picky, but in my world a few weeks means 3, not a month and a half. There were also a few other continuity issues such as Bell’s office miraculously changing since we last saw it in More Than One.
  • Peter knows it all. Really? I let it slide last week but I’m having a problem buying the idea that Peter knows the answer to everything. Including shapeshifting technology. Peter’s ‘resourcefulness’ is constantly hinted at but is nowhere near as believable as, say, Olivia having abilities. The problem is slightly lessened by the fact the writers used Phillip to poke fun at the convenience of Peter’s knowledge, but how often can they go on doing that without adding substance to Peter’s prowess?
  • Lack of follow-up. I was hoping that the writers would use this episode to explain how on earth Evil Charlie managed to perform miracles by taking on original Charlie’s shape, getting dressed in his clothes, hiding the body, rustling up the abandoned nurses body and dressing her, in the space of 30 or so seconds. I would have settled for almost any explanation..even super-speed, or something..anything. But nothing. Nada. The thing is, I understand – they needed to make it fit because it is actually a delicious storyline (the whole Evil Charlie thing), but in forcing it, they left the curtain wide open and we got a glimpse of the man standing behind it. Thing is, they could have thought their way out of this, and who knows, maybe they still can? But for now, it’s still a plot hole and an opportunity missed.
  • Why didn’t they suspect Charlie!?? This was probably the weakest aspect of the episode. When Walter revealed that the dead shapeshifter from New Day wasn’t wasn’t in fact a shapeshifter, I fully expected Olivia, Peter, Walter and Astrid to all realise that the most likely person the shapeshifter could be was..CHARLIE! Especially, since they also found the broken conversion device at the scene. There are a lot of brains in that Lab but they all seemed to check into lala land. I had a real problem with this because it sucked me out of the episode for a good few minutes. If the shapeshifter was supposedly killed by Charlie, then I’m sorry, but after Walter’s ‘good news’ there’s only one person said shapeshifter could be. He was the only one at the scene! Really bad moment. I know it was one of those story-telling contrivances, but this one was too glaring. The characters are more intelligent than that and so are the bulk of the viewing audience who do notice things like this and rightfully question them. Also, as for the real-time rendering, nice touch but I’m struggling to work out how Olivia didn’t notice that it was Charlie’s image straight away?
  • Evil Charlie doesn’t think ahead. What I found hard to believe is that Evil Charlie would leave it til’ the last minute before stocking up on some mercury juice. Dude knows that he needs it (lots of it) to survive over here in that body, and yet he waits until he’s at deaths door before getting his fix? Again, I know it was one of those moments to heighten the tension (and it worked, to be fair. Acevedo nailed that scene in the car), but I wish they could figure out more believable ways to induce tension into scenes.
  • Massive Dynamic employee Brendan. What a douche. I’m putting him in the “bad” section, not because I don’t want to see more personality from MD employees, but because he was bad. Seriously, why hasn’t Nina ripped his still-beating heart out with her robotic arm yet?

UNRESOLVED MYSTERIES

Anyone got an aspirin?

  • Perhaps I’m being picky, but since this episode mentioned it, how exactly the Evil Charlie’s transformation device break? After all, he was able to use it one more time after he killed Charlie. I’m not sure what he did to cause it to break after the initial struggle? Seems a plot contrivance.
  • How did the head of the shapeshifters leader become detached? Who decapitated him? Why did they put it on ice? What does his symbol mean? How long have the shapeshifters been amongst us?
  • How did Bell know what Peter’s mom used to say to him – “let him be a better man than his father”? What role did Bell play in Peter’s life (I assume he knew both of them)? What role in the battle does Bell envisage for Peter?
  • Can Bell be trusted? What are his real motives? Who started the war?

ANSWERS

What, all this way and no present?

  • The shapeshifters are a highly advanced technology – mechano-organic hybrid soilders – part human, part machine. They ingest (and possibly produce) mercury which helps them to maintain shapes. Walter found 47% mercury in the blood of one of the dead shapeshifters.
  • The shapeshifters conversion device is ID-locked, meaning that they can only work on the assigned owner. Evil Charlie’s device was broken so he was stuck inside Charlie’s body as he wasn’t given “extraction”. The shapeshifters main mission was to find the head of their leader. The shapeshifters are able to cross over safely due to their design. The shapeshifters are called “the first wave”.
  • Due to Walter’s past experiments, Rebecca developed the ability to see beyond the limits of her vision..to recognize “people that didn’t belong”. She noticed a glow, or aura around them. Towards the end of the episode, she notices this glow around Peter, because as we already know, Peter is from another reality. Interestingly, Rebecca decides not to to mention it to Peter, which is understandable. But she doesn’t appear to raise the issue with Walter, either.
  • William Bell confirms that HE brought Olivia over to the other side, rather than Olivia somehow causing herself to cross over. He describes the method as “crude”.
  • Has a year really passed in the Fringeverse since episode 1.01? Olivia seems to think so, as she tells Bell that she’s been trying to meet with him for “over a year”.
  • During her meeting with Bell, Olivia suffered disorientation from “time-slips” – different periods of time converging on one. Bell reveals that it also happened to him when he first came to that world.
  • Bell confirms that he is indeed OUR William Bell. There had been some speculation that this might be a version of Bell from another reality. He also confirms that he is stuck on that side and can not (or will not?) go back yet, possibly ever. Bell goes on to say that to his knowledge, no more than 5 people have crossed over from over here to over there and lived to tell the tale.
  • Bell instructed Olivia to find the head of the shifters leader before they find him (although he didn’t explicitly tell her the location of the head – he merely wrote the location on a piece of paper, presumably for her own protection). Apparently their leader is able to open the doorway between universes – (that probably means more than two).
  • Olivia’s ‘Greek message’ to Peter when she comes to in the hospital bed in episode 1.01 – “Let him be a better man than his father”, was an instruction given to her by Bell. He knew that Peter would know what it meant.
  • Bell’s “a storm is coming” or the “last great storm” refers to the inevitable collision between worlds, in which only one world will remain. Similar rhetoric can be seen throughout the ZFT excerpts.

FRINGE THOUGHTS

Wont give me a gun? FINE, I'll make one

  • Olivia makes an interesting point when she suggests that the shapeshifter would have killed her a long time ago if he wanted her dead. While we know that he was trying to get information from her, it does hint that for whatever reason, the shapeshifter didn’t want to kill Olivia. We saw signs of this with the nurse-shapeshifter in 1.01, who was on the verge of tears when she realised she would have to kill Olivia. It does seem that the shapeshifters take on more than the identity of the person they transform into, thus the nurse had compassion and Evil Charlie possibly had a semblance of the love for Olivia that original Charlie had. This could explain how Evil Charlie managed to deceive Mrs. Charlie (and Olivia) for 6 weeks without her realising she was sleeping with a stranger.
  • Another interesting tidbit – the shapeshifters are not necessarily head over heels with their ‘creators’. The newly introduced shifter ironically calls them “sweethearts”, further highlighting the fact that they are SOLDIERS. As we know, soldiers follow orders, they are sent to fight, but that doesn’t mean they believe in who or what they are fighting for. We really have a broader sense of who they are now.
  • So the shapeshifters are hybrids – only part human. But they are part HUMAN, right? That’s important, because that makes me see them as human. I’m just interested in where the writers will go with this.
  • Am I imagining it, or is Peter making a lot of references to Olivia being the one who carries the gun, recently? I wonder why the writers are making Peter drag this issue up? Are they trying to remind us that Peter is still a civilian, or that he’s very much vulnerable, and that we should be less worried about Olivia’s safety and more concerned for Peter’s? Or maybe Peter just REALLY wants a gun? I don’t know, but I have to think that every out-of-place comment is there for a reason.
  • Nina’s had a haircut. Aww!
  • Bell tells Olivia that most people who cross dimensions are torn apart. This ties into what I speculated the other week, when comparing David Jones’ attempt to cross over. Surely he would have been ripped to shreds had he made it? Unless his transformed state would have helped him to survive the ordeal?
  • Walter seems to distance himself from Bell’s clinical trials, but evidently Bell views it as a joint project.
  • Walter tells Rebbeca that the bus leaves every half hour, and he only has 14 minutes to walk to the stop. Well, catch the next bus..or the one after that, or the one after that. Lol!
  • It was good to see Walter apologise to Rebecca for taking advantage of her. It seems that both Walter and Bell came face to face with their pasts in this episode. Obviously intentional. Where Bell stands with Olivia is still very much unresolved..she might never forgive him, or she might yet appreciate what he was trying to do. Whereas Rebecca clearly holds no grudges against Walter, in fact, she thanked him (and really wanted to thank him some more). Of course there’s a difference between Olivia and Rebecca’s situation – Rebecca wasn’t a child when she was experimented on, and she gave consent. Nevertheless, I find it interesting reading between the lines with what the writers might be saying regarding the culpability of the two men.

FINAL THOUGHT

He is a war is coming, not a WALL!!

Momentum Deferred is possibly the strongest episode of the season so far, and is up there with the best of season 1 (although I really have a soft spot for Arrival and Ability). It had just about everything; stunning visuals, good story-telling, excellent performances, crazy-ass flashbacks, mythology and a major character death (albeit deferred from 1.01). It’s the sort of episode that makes you want to look-up who wrote and directed it (for the record it was directed by Joe Chappelle and written by Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller).

As I mentioned above, I will miss Charlie..evil or otherwise, he was pretty darn awesome in season 2.

The title of the episode relates to Olivia’s return from her meeting with Bell. But I think it could also relate to the writers giving us payback after a couple of the more stand-alone episodes in Desirable Objects and Fracture. Or perhaps it alludes to the next big dose of serialized goodness being deferred until a few episodes down the line? As Walter used to say, stand-alone episodes are a bitch.

Best Moment: The entire William Bell / Olivia meeting and Rebecca noticing the glow around Peter.

Best Performer: Kirk Acevedo

Episode Rating: 9.1/10

Comments

  1. mlj102 says

    “While we know that he was trying to get information from her, it does hint that for whatever reason, the shapeshifter didn’t want to kill Olivia. We saw signs of this with the nurse-shapeshifter in 1.01, who was on the verge of tears when she realised she would have to kill Olivia.”

    I actually disagree with this point. All it seems to say to me is that shapeshifter Charlie couldn’t act on his orders to kill Olivia until he had first “helped her remember”.

    One thing that stood out to me during the fight scene between Olivia and shapeshifter Charlie was the approach that shapeshifter Charlie took towards killing Olivia. He obviously had access to a gun — we saw him shoot the innocent man who happened to notice what was going on. One way or another, he was going to kill Olivia — that was part of his mission and, after Olivia realized who he was, part of his survival as well. But for some reason, he chose a very physical and violent way of killing her — beat her up and strangle her. The instant he saw that she knew the truth (or at any point during that scene), he could have easily pulled out his gun and shot her and he would have been done with his mission. But he went with another way of killing her — a way that took more time and more effort and was more risky. The only explanation I can see for that is that he wanted to kill her and wanted to hurt her and draw it out to be longer so that she suffered. Strangling someone seems like it would be much more personal and requires more rage and personal effort. It was as if he took pleasure in finally being able to kill her and he wanted her to feel it. He had no mercy. I saw absolutely no signs of remorse or hesitation.

    Like: Thumb up 1

    • says

      Sorry, let me clarify what I meant: I know that he had orders to follow (as outlined in his conversations with the other side), but I also felt that was reluctant to kill Olivia, especially in the instances I mentioned in the review.

      I have to disagree with your view on the shapeshifter wanting to cause Olivia maximum pain – I think his method of killing her was a story-telling contrivance and not a sign that he had “no mercy”. That’s one thing I was going to mention in my review – that it was a bit silly of him to grapple with her when he could have shot her. You could be right, of course, but I definitely think that it was just for the impact of the scene. If he shot her the scene would have lasted no more than 10 seconds, max.

      I agree that strangling her was much more personal – but I think they did that for the impact of having “Charlie” with his hands around Liv’s neck (both for Olivia and for the audience).

      It’s good to have other perspectives on this though.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • mlj102 says

        I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one, because I never got the impression that the shapeshifter was ever reluctant to kill her. I just saw rage and anger and hatred the whole time. And even if it was just a story telling contrivance, the fact is that that’s how the scene played out. That being the case, we can interpret it based on how it played out, which would make it appear that the shapeshifter had no mercy and wanted her to suffer.

        Moving on to another comment:

        “My only slight complaint with this scene is the way the beginning didn’t quite match-up with what we saw in the season 1 finale (i.e. Bell never said “Oliviaaaa”).”

        I re-watched the ending of More Than One and I got the impression that the memory from this episode picked up exactly where the scene in the finale left off: with Olivia looking out the window and realizing where she is. In which case there would be no inconsistencies between the two scenes because they would be completely separate from each other — not overlapping at all. However, I was disappointed that it looks like there were several parts of that scene that we saw in previews which were cut out from the final scene that aired (such as when Bell reaches out and touches Olivia’s cheek, or when he says something about how it’s odd to think this view no longer exists on your side). Hopefully such deleted segments will be included in the DVD extras.

        Like: Thumb up 0

  2. says

    I’m getting a little bit tired of always being on the verge of knowing something important about Peter, and then having it be brushed off by a character. I know that they’re trying to tell us that there’s something special about him, but at this point, WE GET IT. Tell us what it is already!

    Shows like Lost can do this because they have so many little mysteries to deal with. I don’t feel like Fringe has enough to pull this off every week, and also… It’s not Lost. Let it be its own show, and tell us what’s going on with our characters once in a while.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  3. Melissa says

    One thing I loved… Walter’s becoming aware (or maybe he always was, now he’s just recognizing it) of the wrong in what he did. He truly apologizes, pointing out why it was wrong, which means that he understands. He’s not just the ‘science man’ anymore.
    On the other hand, Bell thinks all those people he hurt are just bad things that happened for the greater good. He looked at Olivia so proud. How is she not a victim? Just because she is strong doesn’t mean she feels no pain.
    Plus, I find it strange that he wanted Olivia to tell Peter ‘to be a better man than his father’. Perhaps Bell is expecting him to be on his side when the Belly/Walter face off happens?

    Like: Thumb up 0

  4. says

    I’m with you Rachel..enough beating around the bush already. But in all fairness this is JJ Abrams and he does have a nack of keeping you waiting and quessing. I still say Walter and Bell gentically engineered Peter, reference to “The Same Old Story” the first season when Walter talks about Peter’s health records, to used Peter’s DNA to made cortexiphan for the coming war and in turn that killed “our” Peter, made him weak. Is that out there, hmmmm.

    A few thoughts……………
    The mention of a gun…maybe Peter is hinting because he’d like to be licensed to carry one. Hello Olivia!!!!! To be perfectly honest, doing the work he does with the FBI, and working with Olivia it would make sense if he had one. It’s kind of silly he doesn’t. I think with his past he probably would know how to handle it. So take the FBI training.

    When Nina was talking to Olivia about the two worlds, she did say “if our two worlds” which leads me to what I’ve believed Nina is from the other side. Was it Cancer that took her arm or was it more like what happend to Jones. Not a clear crossing over….a thought.

    Peter knowing about the device wasn’t a real stretch, he is smart and that’s a given (Hi Rachel)….. he “thought” maybe the device could possible hold information of the last person, a theory.

    I’m soooooo glad Kirk was able to show his true talent, I thought he did an outstanding job. I am personally going to miss Charlie.

    I do realize to some degree they like the shows to be independent, but sometimes I wish they’d take a little time to carry somethings overs. LIKE OLIVIA DOESN’T HAVE HER CANE ANYMORE. Peter looked at her walking when they were at the crime scene in Medford, but beyond that nothing was mentioned about it on any level, it’s me I quess. I also concur about the Charlie storyline, if Peter’s theory was right and Nina’s crew believed the same thing why couldn’t these smart minds put two and two together and at least suspect bad Charlie. He could of been on the run with them trying to find him. Have Charlie come after Olivia and Rebecca see him and say “he doesn’t belong” with the computer imagine to back it up.

    “Your going to need Peter by your side”

    YES with “Yes” My favorite Yes song and so appropriate being about a chess game and all.

    But as always Fringe is still ashow that make you think and for me that is entertainment.

    Take Care
    Jean :~)

    Like: Thumb up 0

  5. LadyCroft1 says

    I really wish people would back off Peter knowing everything. With all the experiments that Walter did on Peter maybe he enhanced Peter’s knowledge and maybe that’s why William told Olivia to keep Peter close. Maybe William and Walter “prepared” Peter for the war coming with the power of knowledge. We see people with all these “out-there” abilities but yet Peter gets the most criticism for it. it makes no sense.

    Not sure how Olivia turning off lights with only her mind or her going into an alternate reality can be more realistic than Peter actually being smart.

    Um, Rachel, this is not for our benefit, this is for Peter’s. He doesn’t know what he is capable of. Also, this is only the 4th episode and frankly, if they tell us what is special about peter then what else is there?

    Like: Thumb up 1

  6. Page 48 says

    It seems that a head shot is the only thing that will take a shapeshifter down for the count. That may want to go in an FBI memo.

    I hope that alter-Charlie will be back, since that would seem to be KA’s only chance of returning to the show. I thought for sure that we would see some surveillance footage or a flashback showing Charlie’s final moments, but it seems that that scene will be left to viewers’ imaginations.

    Agent Jessup seems to have faded to black. Maybe she’s behind the scenes cloning Olivia’s hard drive or selling FBI passwords to the Russians.

    If I’m Olivia and I get a TM from Charlie that Nina is the shapeshifter, I’m gonna help myself to a peak at the final computer rendering being streamed to my cellphone. I may excuse myself from the room, since Nina knows it’s being streamed in real time, but a discreet private viewing would definitely be in order. There’s no way I get 2 strides outside of Nina’s office before I’m checking out the proof with my own eyes.

    Speaking of Nina’s office, I thought that her demonstration using the 2 glass globes was pretty crazy. Effective in illustrating her point, sure, but I think she has the vocabulary to spell out the consequences of the coming storm without actually smashing props on her desk. It looked like a high school physics experiment.

    This episode came much closer to achieving the potential that every episode of “Fringe” should display. I wish they would seize that momentum and build on it. Just for the hell of it.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      I would expect Nina to have a better explanation as well. You’d think they’d have some sort of animation explaining the process on the MD computers or something like that.

      Its one of those things that you think about, and it gets sillier the more you think about it. Why does she even have two identical snow globes? Is there a box of them sitting next to the desk in case she needs to demonstrate this principle? Whose cleaning that up? Isn’t her lap wet afterward?

      I found the whole “Nina is the shapeshifter” TM stupid. “How can we get Olivia in that alley?” “I don’t know. Let’s have Charlie text her with a lie. He’s evil.” Sloppy.

      But, overall, great episode. I’m sad this week will no doubt be a monster of the week.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • says

        I found the whole “Nina is the shapeshifter” TM stupid. “How can we get Olivia in that alley?” “I don’t know. Let’s have Charlie text her with a lie. He’s evil.” Sloppy.

        As much as I love how the whole thing went down, I must admit that the immediate lead up to it could have been better executed. I don’t buy that Olivia would actually believe that Nina was the shapeshifter AND let her out of her sight. She’d pull a gun on her like she did to poor ole’ Sam :P

        Still, I’ll let them off because I enjoyed the completion of the Charlie arc (much more satisfying than Jones’ hurried demise..).

        Like: Thumb up 0

  7. darry says

    “do them better (like Fracture) or don’t do them as often.”

    Exactly!!! Thanks for saying it. “Night of Desirable Objects” was absurd and IMO damaging to the overall quality of the series. The only redeemable parts of that episode (and others like it) are the portions that move the overall story along. Stick with what is great Fringe! We love it!

    Like: Thumb up 0

  8. FlashWriter says

    Wow, this episode has been so completely analyzed that I almost don’t have anything new to say. First of all, Roco, I don’t know how you see these details. Reading your blog gives me twice the enjoyment from the series than I would normally get. But let me throw in my 11 cents anyway.

    After Olivia drank Walter’s flatworm concoction nobody mentioned anything about it after. So much was going on. But the fact remains that it wasn’t until after Olivia downed it that things really started to come together for her. I’m rather prone to credit Walter (at least partially) with her regaining much of those “other side” memories. Good ole Walter does it again.

    Also, let’s not forget that Walter remembered Astrid’s name. I’m trying to remember if he did that in a normal lab setting, but I don’t think he ever has. Which, again, brings me to Jasika Nicole’s woefully, almost painfully limited screen time. But once again, she made so much out of that limited time. I’m really becoming a fan of hers. Her “Bishop’s Deli” remark was delivered with such finesse, it just cracked me up. Then, latter in the episode, when Olivia collapsed in the lab, she looked absolutely horrified. Her addition to each scene she’s in is so subtle, yet so very necessary.

    As I’m writing this, I’ve got my trusty Sennheiser 100 headphones on and I’m listening to the soundtrack, and I’ve gotta say that this episode has one fantastic soundtrack-incredible work by the sound department. And, of course, there’s the music (which hasn’t worked for me this season until this episode). The fight in the alley works on two levels, sound effects and music. Fantastic. Fantastic. (and for good measure) Fantastic.

    Now about Bell. I really don’t think he’s working for either world. I think he’s trying to save the members of each universe from themselves. He may be a very soot-smeared “good guy” (well, maybe an “OK Guy”), but I think he is working on the side of what I always call the “moral center of the universe”. Time will tell about that, but Leonard Nimoy was so fantastic in that scene. I must mention, once again, Anna Torv’s incredible work here. There aren’t too many actors around who can run with Nimoy in a scene like this, but she did and really sold the scene. It was what I’ve been waiting for. It hit the nail on the head. Her lecture to Bell and attitude were pitch-perfect.

    OK, now the “Big Goodbye”. John Noble has a way of reversing his emotional field so fast that I almost need a seat belt to watch him. He’s a first stringer because he deserves to be. His Rebbica Kibner goodbye speech was just so heart wrenching that, once again, I needed to wipe the tears away. Once again we see a man who is trying to make some kind of accommodation with his past. I think that we’re seeing someone who is still “waking up”, who can look back on that past with a certain detachment. Man, what a scene. While I’m here, I have to give a nod to Teresa Russell for a supper job portraying a “free spirit” latter on in life—a woman who I believe, was in love with Walter Bishop then and is still in love with him now. I hope we’ll see more of her and I think we will.

    One last thing is an aside to Roco. You made mention about the production values this year, specifically the cinematography. I’ve got to say that I, for one, haven’t been impressed. They’ve used more direct lighting on the interior shots and I think it makes those scenes look just too harsh. Especially in Walter’s lab. Where last year being in the lab felt comfortable-almost homelike—now there’s a certain dungeonesk quality when we’re there. Other scenes in the first four epsodes are so dark it’s actually hard to see what’s going on. Further, and I’m not sure if this is actually because of the lighting, filters used in the camera, or a different film base, but there is a bluer quality to the prints and I think it gives the show a colder look generally. (Maybe they’re doing this on purpose?)

    Now a few words about Set Design. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as good as last year. Going back to Walter’s lab, it simply looks smaller than it did. Combined with the lighting, it looks almost claustrophobic in there. Another example is the FBI office set which last year gave me the feeling of a going government concern. We saw interrogation rooms, and Broyles’ office set looked great looking out over the rest of the work area. It was completely believable. This year—nothin’. I can remember ONE interior scene in the first four episodes and it was, again, a very small conference room. Scenes that should be shot in Broyles’ office end up being shot (as in this episode) outside, on a park bench(?). (Let me get this straight: we have two FBI agents discussing details involving subjects that are classified “above Top Secret” out in the open, on a park bench. Right.) I think the Canadian production team needs to get on it and build an office set for Broyles. These scenes make it look like they were shooting around the fact that they’ve got extremely limited interior sets.

    I made many comments last year about the production quality of each episode, saying that most of them were theatrical quality work. This year—including this episode—it seems like I’m watching “Fringe-on a Budget”. None of these episodes are near the quality of last year—maybe “Momentum” being a bit better. To me, it looks like the state of the economy has reached the general production of the series. One take shots, sub-standard sets, as little EFX as you can get away with.

    End of diatribe. I still love the show. So there.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      Love the Astrid time. I’d love if they’d pull her out of the lab for the “Monster of the Week” episodes to make up for the lack of story-arc time. I could pretend I’m watching two different shows – “Fringe” and “The Adventures of Astrid Farnsworth.”

      Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      One last thing is an aside to Roco. You made mention about the production values this year, specifically the cinematography. I’ve got to say that I, for one, haven’t been impressed. They’ve used more direct lighting on the interior shots and I think it makes those scenes look just too harsh. Especially in Walter’s lab. Where last year being in the lab felt comfortable-almost homelike—now there’s a certain dungeonesk quality when we’re there. Other scenes in the first four epsodes are so dark it’s actually hard to see what’s going on. Further, and I’m not sure if this is actually because of the lighting, filters used in the camera, or a different film base, but there is a bluer quality to the prints and I think it gives the show a colder look generally. (Maybe they’re doing this on purpose?)

      Now a few words about Set Design. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as good as last year. Going back to Walter’s lab, it simply looks smaller than it did. Combined with the lighting, it looks almost claustrophobic in there. Another example is the FBI office set which last year gave me the feeling of a going government concern. We saw interrogation rooms, and Broyles’ office set looked great looking out over the rest of the work area. It was completely believable. This year—nothin’. I can remember ONE interior scene in the first four episodes and it was, again, a very small conference room. Scenes that should be shot in Broyles’ office end up being shot (as in this episode) outside, on a park bench(?). (Let me get this straight: we have two FBI agents discussing details involving subjects that are classified “above Top Secret” out in the open, on a park bench. Right.) I think the Canadian production team needs to get on it and build an office set for Broyles. These scenes make it look like they were shooting around the fact that they’ve got extremely limited interior sets.

      I made many comments last year about the production quality of each episode, saying that most of them were theatrical quality work. This year—including this episode—it seems like I’m watching “Fringe-on a Budget”. None of these episodes are near the quality of last year—maybe “Momentum” being a bit better. To me, it looks like the state of the economy has reached the general production of the series. One take shots, sub-standard sets, as little EFX as you can get away with.

      Interesting points. I can see where you’re coming from regarding the lack of FBI interior shots – that’s something they’ll have to address if they want us to believe that Congress hasn’t dropped Fringe Division.

      On the general aesthetics and productions values, I really do think they’re a cut above the majority of season 1 (barring the top episodes like Arrival, Bad Dreams and More Than One, which I believe are just about on par). You’re right in that the season does have a different look and tone to it – I think that will be the case with each season of Fringe. But I’m really enjoying the ligting, camera angles and general cinematography – it seems more creative and expressive.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  9. Pedro says

    I thought this was the best episode this season, and I put it in the top five of the entire series. I agree with a lot of what has been said here. Basically, if all of the stand alone episodes were done as well as Fracture then I would not complain. Momentum really demonstrated how good this show is and will be if the writers will at least balance the stand-alones versus storyline episodes.

    One observation/question that I’d like to get your thoughts on.
    When ECharlie and Olivia are fighting she kills him in front of the picture of Van Gogh. I think it was night of desirable objects that he was standing in front of the same picture. When he was on the phone with Olivia. So am I understanding correctly that, that wall is outside of Massive Dynamics? If so, does that mean that the ECharlie had been hanging outside of Massive Dynamics just waiting for Olivia’s epiphany and if so can we draw the conclusion that the typewriter shop is near Massive Dynamics?

    It just occurred to me that Nina Sharp carries on the green and red color tradition with the red hair and green eyes.

    Rebecca “Kibner” didn’t Leonard Nimoy place a character with the last name Kibner in one of the Invasion of the Body Snatcher movies?

    I agree with some of you that it would be nice if the writers would throw us a substantial “what powers does peter have” bone.

    William Bell, I think he’s a SOB. He may end up being a good guy, but I think he’s an unapologetic SOB and it just shows that all good guys are not “good.”
    I find it hard to get passed the fact that he is the lovable Spock.

    I liked this episode so much that I can over look the unbelievable elements that Roco has already outlined.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      One observation/question that I’d like to get your thoughts on.
      When ECharlie and Olivia are fighting she kills him in front of the picture of Van Gogh. I think it was night of desirable objects that he was standing in front of the same picture. When he was on the phone with Olivia. So am I understanding correctly that, that wall is outside of Massive Dynamics? If so, does that mean that the ECharlie had been hanging outside of Massive Dynamics just waiting for Olivia’s epiphany and if so can we draw the conclusion that the typewriter shop is near Massive Dynamics?

      Very nice catch Pedro!

      I definitely think this should mean something – especially with the possibility that Evil Charlie had paid a visit to Nina Sharp in Desirable Objects moments before receiving the call from Olivia. However, I think that the powers that be were limited in their filming locations and needed a convenient (and striking) place for the Olivia/EC battle to go down.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  10. Pedro says

    observation
    On the wall when ECharlie and Olivia fight. When she is first knocked against the wall there is a sea horse glyph in plain view when she’s lying on the ground and if you look closely there is a Pi Frog Glyph there as well.

    When she kills ECharlie the shot pulls out and there is something written upper right of Van Gogh, but I can’t make it out, something about To… To Dream.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  11. Nick says

    So I am re-watching these old episodes and I just don’t get one thing…in the season 1 finale, Olivia seems to make the jump between worlds in an elevator – but Bell says to her “I pulled you out of a moving car.” And, indeed, she flies out the window of her car. So what did I miss? Was she never in the elevator…did she never wait for Nina at that cafe? Please help me understand.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • mlj102 says

      I agree that they left it as rather ambiguous regarding what happened in the elevator. Like you said, it’s pretty clear that she crossed over while she was in the car, but then what did happen in the elevator? There are several theories going around about what it could be — one of the biggest theories is that she crossed over to the other side in the car, and when she was in the elevator she was transported to the Twin Towers. I could see that as being the case, but I would imagine there would have been side effects if that had been what happened.

      I actually watched Momentum Deferred a little while ago and I had another theory. When I saw the elevator scene, I thought how it was actually quite similar to the moments she had when she remembered her meeting with William Bell — Bell described them as “time slips.” In the elevator, she seemed a little disoriented, events didn’t quite seem connected, there were momentary flashes where she was alone, then there were more people, then she was alone again; all of which are characteristic of the time slips she had during her time with Bell — it was like she would momentarily black out, there were holes in her memories, suddenly she found herself standing in a different part of the room, tea cup in hand, and not sure how she got there. So maybe the elevator was just another one of these time slips?

      Like: Thumb up 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>