Review: 2.14 Jacksonville


Welcome to the FB review of the Fringe season 2 episode 14 – “Jacksonville“. In this review I present my honest opinions on both the good and bad aspects of the episode. I also take a look at the answers and unresolved mysteries, before sharing my thoughts on other aspects which may have been overlooked.

THE GOOD

  • Big points for getting back to the overarching story and main mythology. It was reintroduced well with an opening scene – from the alternate reality, no less – which has to be one of the most freaky that Fringe has mustered to date. I enjoyed learning more about the Blight and finding out about the ‘balancing act’ – plus it’s good to know that Newton and his gang haven’t fallen off the face of the earth whilst our team have been busy wasting time in Edina and the like.
  • Riding the emotions with Olivia as she delved back into her past was a great experience. The episode managed to make the journey fun even though it was riddled with pain and resentment. I also appreciated the character development, and the explanation for her lack of super powers – I can accept that they’ve been held back through her increasing desensitization of the world around her.
  • Broyles’ office! I neglected to mention it in my previous review, so I was glad to see it make another return following its 12 week hiatus. I think Broyles was also happy to get off those park benches and into an office with a roof (it’s cold in Bost..Vancouver). I am a bit disappointed that the office doesn’t even remotely resemble the one he had back in season 1, but hey, maybe it got sucked into the alternate reality and replaced with this one. Oddly, that’s not so crazy now.
  • Fringe throws up some great ethical and moral conflicts. None has been more interesting to me over the past 35 or so episodes than Olivia’s journey and how it conflicts with what Walter and William Bell did to her. It was really pleasing to see more of her back-story addressed in the episode. It brings me back to Grey Mattersand makes me wonder – if she had the chance again to let Newton go over saving Walter..would she? Man, I love the Fringe carousel!
  • The episode was beautifully filmed and skillfully directed. I don’t think there has been a more delicious-looking episode all season. The forest dreamscape was particularly eye-catching, with its day turning to night, wind howling and freaky-eyed Olive providing an excellent metaphor for Olivia’s past and present issues. Much like What Lies Below“, some of the directorial choices were brilliant, adding to the sense of unease, anger and displacement running throughout the episode.

THE BAD

  • Olivia seeing Peter ‘glimmer’ was somewhat predictable. I wouldn’t say this was ‘bad’, but I wish it wasn’t so telegraphed. About 10 minutes into the episode I felt it was obvious that the episode would end with Olivia seeing that Peter was from the alternate reality. Although storytelling relies on big cliffhangers, as good as it was, I feel that the episode was perhaps constructed too tightly around the singular end-reveal, making some of the scenes that led up to it a little less powerful than they could have been.
  • Catching up casual viewers dumbs the show down for loyal watchers. This is a tough one because obviously there has to be a balance between making the show accessible whilst keeping the characters believable. But I have to say, it felt really odd hearing Olivia reiterate Newton’s objective and details of her meeting with Bell. Shouldn’t Peter and Walter already know that? Why did she have to tell them as if it was the first time? It makes the characters less authentic when they recap known information in the episode – isn’t that what the “previously on..” is for?
  • Character Motivations. I found Olivia’s desperation to find the soon-to-be-merged building not in-keeping with her lack of interest in The Door for the previous 3 episodes. It’s a consequence of the current standalone/serial ratio that character motivations are coming across somewhat wishy-washy. Look at how determined Olivia was in this episode – that’s the Olivia I know, someone who would turn the world upside down in order to find answers – and what questions are more tantalizing than those from her past and the alternate universe saga? Which is why it’s difficult to believe that she wouldn’t even mention the alternate universe or Newton in the standalone episodes. The irony comes from the fact that nothing made that more apparent than “Jacksonville” – a mythology-return to overarching storyline episode. I don’t think the powers that be can have it both ways – certainly not if they want to fulfill the show’s potential in the long run. The characters on this show are amongst the best on TV, but the lack of consistency thrown up by too many stand-alone episodes is creating a disconnect between the main storyline and character motivations. I believe that changing the format to one or two standalone episodes every 5 or 6 serial episodes would soon solve that problem.
  • The Journey back to Jacksonville could have delivered more. It was good – great in places – don’t get me wrong, but I would have liked to have seen more considering this is the birthplace of so much of the Fringe mythology. Aside from the dreamscape we only saw one location, and Olivia’s journey ‘home’ wasn’t made to feel as epic as it should have. Not a major complaint though, I suspect we’ll revisit Jacksonville at some point.
  • The ‘will they, wont they’ moment between Olivia and Peter was cliched. I thought it was really unnecessary and I’m genuinely surprised that the powers that be would go down this route at this time and in this manner. Let’s get this straight – Olivia and Peter had way more romantic chemistry last season than has been shown this season. Sure, looking back at the previous episode, the writers injected slight foreshadowing when Walter tried to play match-maker, and at the beginning of this episode when Olivia and Peter were unusually playful with one another on the phone. But is this really enough development to bring them to the point where they would have kissed? Would they have really taken time-out from trying to save the people in the building to (almost) play tongue hockey? I just don’t buy it on a story level. It cheapened the episode somewhat because I felt like the writers had abandoned the careful character development they had laid down in previous episodes. I do get why they did it – it’s the “winter finale” and I imagine that someone in the ‘relationship control department’ demanded it. :P They also needed a way to illustrate present day Olivia‘s one and only fear – falling in love again after being burned by John Scott, whilst building up Olivia’s investment in “Petah” to charge the final scene. So I get it. Really I do. But was it organic? Nope. Did it feel right? Nope. Did I like it? Nope.
  • It was a shame we didn’t actually see the building disappear but I guess that’s the budget restriction for you.

UNRESOLVED MYSTERIES

  • How does William Bell’s method of transporting Olivia to the alternate universe in the season 1 finale reconcile with the ‘universe balancing act’? We can infer that Bell used a different system, since an alter-Olivia didn’t come colliding back through the windscreen..our Olivia did. Perhaps that’s why Bell needed to send Olivia back within a strict time-period – maybe the universe would have sought balance had he not sent her back when he did? Then there’s Bell himself..and Peter – both in their unnatural worlds – did the universe balance them out, or was a loophole found?
  • 5-20-10” why does Walter always use same combination for his Cortexiphan secrets, and what is the significance? Could it be a date, perhaps? Maybe it will come into play during the season finale, which is on May 20th, 2010?
  • Will Olivia be the one to tell Peter that he’s from the alternate universe?

ANSWERS

  • We already knew that the alternate universe is suffering from something called “The Blight” – adverse effects (seemingly environmental) caused by Walter opening the door between worlds when he went over to get Peter. We further learned that real coffee is in short supply (in “Grey Matters”, Newton told us that the trees/plants have long died on his side) and that micro-quakes in unusual areas (such as New York) are also an offset.
  • We already knew from the season 1 finale (newspaper on Bell’s desk) that the White House was hit instead of the Twin Towers in the alternate universe’s 9/11 attacks, but we find out that like “over here”, their Pentagon was the other target. (we might have already known about the Pentagon – I’ll confirm when I have time to look back over our archives).
  • Richard Nixon made it onto the dollar coin and double decker cars are all the rage in the alternate universe.
  • Olivia joins Theresa and Astrid in knowing that Peter is from the alternate universe. (OK, Astrid doesn’t know for sure, but she knows Walter is hiding something about Peter).
  • 25 years ago (1985) Walter and Bell sent a car to the alternate universe as part of their experiments. Consequently a car from “over there” arrived over here. Walter mentioned that this wasn’t the first time they had done this (though presumably it was just before he stole Peter from the alternate universe after his Peter died). One year before that Olivia was able to see objects from the other side during the Cortexiphan trials.
  • As we’ve previously speculated, the Universe seeks balance.
  • Walter and Bell experimented on 30 children with Cortexiphan. Olivia was the first to identify objects that were from the other-side.
  • The first time Olivia saw the other-side she started a fire with her mind – the results of which we originally saw in episode 1.19 1.17 (got my episode numbers mixed up, thanks mlj in the comments for letting me know).

FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • My alarm bells always ring when the show makes reference to God or Mother Nature, even when it seems like a throw away line. So I found it interesting when Walter basically said that the merger between the two universes is not what he’d consider to be in God’s rulebook. This further alludes to the order of things and man playing God, which is hardly a new theme but I do enjoy the way Fringe approaches the subject.
  • Walter closing the eyes the Ted Pratchet’s seemed very poignant somehow – a semblance of humanity afforded to something so unnatural.
  • Astrid:

“Walter I don’t think I can do this..I’ve seen some pretty disturbing things in my time working with you, but this? I can’t do”

  1. Bless Astrid, there are limits even to her willingness to help out. Anything but Moths and stomach-faces and she’s good.
  • The weekly allusion to Peter being from the other reality:

Astrid: “So as far as his wife will ever know, he just disappeared? That  is so sad”

Walter: “Yes it is”

  1. The guilt on Walter’s face said it all. I wonder whether alter-Walter has any idea that is counterpart was behind his son’s disappearance? Before this episode I would have thought he did, but who knows.

  • Walter finding his old spectacles was interesting. It was like he had recaptured a piece of his lost youth. Most of his memories have been painful ones, but putting on his old specs seemed like a mostly pleasant experience. I think this tells us something about Walter – as guilty has he feels for what he’s done in the past, a part of him misses his old self.
  • I found this convo note-worthy:

Olivia: “There’s just nothing that’s familiar”

Peter: “Maybe that’s a good thing”

  1. Interesting that Peter should say that. It works on a few levels, but I wonder if it will play into Peter’s eventual forgiveness of Walter for taking him from the alternate reality? (should such a thing happen). Maybe he will discover that coming over to an unfamiliar world was the best thing for him – although it doesn’t excuse Walter’s actions, or his continued lies – which is seeming more and more like self preservation rather than for Peter’s own good. Seriously dude, tell the boy the truth!

  • I absolutely LOVED Olivia’s reaction upon waking from her dreamscape-thingy:

Olivia: “What the hell is wrong with you!? ..you did this to little children”

Walter: “..We should get to work”

  1. Wow Walter, you don’t even want to address the issue? :( As I touched on above, there’s definitely been a visible shift in him over the past few episodes. I wouldn’t say his guilt is lessening, but I sense he’s more at peace with his past actions than he used to be. Compare his above response to the crippled mess he was when Olivia tore him to ribbons at the end of “Road Not Taken”. Not to mention the previous episode when we saw him intentionally murder a man (albeit a Nazi), and the week before that when he chose to bury the truth about Peter instead of opening up to Astrid, despite how influential she was in saving Boy Wonder. Bit by bit, Walter seems to be reforming into the man he used to be – it’s as if Newton reconnecting his old brain pieces in 2.10 created a spark.
  • I get the sense that one of the objects Olivia was supposed to identify as being from the other-side was the scary as hell doll (seriously, that thing was freeeeaky!) – perhaps we’ll see it again in a flashback?
  • Hehe:

Walter: “Anything?”

Olivia: “Nothing. Now what? Shall we find some more kids to scare?” *snark* *snark* :P

  • I find it poignant that the thing Olivia is so angry about is the very thing that allowed her to save the people in the building. As I’ve mentioned previously, Cortexiphan has shaped her as a person and allows her to perform well in her job. How Olivia reconciles that conflict will play an important role in the future of the show.
  • NINA!!!! That is all. :D
  • Walter tells Olivia that he was trying to help her become more than she was. Olivia questions whether that was what he was really doing, and suggests that he was looking for answers he had no business searching for. Gosh, can Olivia be any more awesome?
  • Peter sure was quiet throughout this episode, especially during the Jacksonville scenes. I feel this was intentional on the part of the writing. Perhaps to keep the focus on Olivia, but also because he’s somewhat conflicted – he clearly has issues with what his father did, but he also wants to protect him. Silence was probably the best option he had without looking like he was taking sides.
  • The score during the dreamscape and burned-out room scenes was fabulous – the violins adding to the sad, searching and sombre journey that Olivia found herself on. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that the composer might just have a future in this business..(wink, wink)
  • I liked this exchange between Olivia and Broyles:

Olivia: “The conspiracy nuts are going to have a field day”

Broyles: “Be surprised what you can make the general public believe.

  1. I might be going out on a limb again, but I think the writers are conspiracy theorists. ;) It comes across as one of those lines where the writers are not so much speaking at the audience, but to them. It works well because it explains that there was a cover story, and because I can actually buy into the idea that people would believe such a story (although what they told the hotel manager is anyone’s guess!)
  • This episode got me thinking – effectively Olivia played a part in Walter being able to get Peter from the alternate universe. Whichever way we look at it, she was involved – albeit unintentionally – as her ability to see through to the other-side must surely have helped Walter succeed in his task. (Olive first identified objects from the alternate universe in 1984, Peter1 died in 1985).
  • I’m going to be really pedantic and ask – shouldn’t the arm of alter-Jones have arrived on our side, what with the ‘universe seeking balance’ and all? Then there’s half of the truck that Jones allowed over, and the limbs of various others that got severed in the season 1 finale. Just saying..

FINAL THOUGHT

I’ve always loved the symmetrical nature of this show and the way in which cause and effect is used as an ironic yet pivotal story element. The biggest example of which probably came last season when Olivia’s ability – given to her by William Bell, was the very thing which enabled her to cross over to the alternate reality and fulfil her ambition to meet with him. We saw another epic example in this episode when Olivia uses her Bish-Bell given ability to see the glimmer and save countless lives. It’s not only an inspirational story device but allows Walter (and Bell, to a lesser extent) to remain somewhat sympathetic characters (even though their morals are badly skewed).

Olivia’s contempt for Walter is completely founded, and I’m so proud of the way she reacted to him – to be honest, it’s long overdue. But how culpable are Walter and Bell for doing what they did? My knee jerk reaction is that they deserve everything they get for experimenting on children. But the context is so layered that we can’t afford to view things in black and white. If Walter is to be believed, he felt that our world needed protecting from destruction – the signs of which we see playing out in this episode. He further believed that only the minds of children were capable of sustaining our natural ability – something that was given to us by God or by chance, but something given to us nonetheless. So in some ways their motivations can be defended – it may even have been more irresponsible not to have taken action. But what I would say is where were the parents in all of this? We know that Olivia had a mother, step-father and an uncle, so surely they would have had to have agreed to any Cortexiphan trials? They also have to share some of the blame for Olivia’s scars, but I wonder if she sees it like that?

I guess my point is, that whatever decision Walter and Bell made it would have been a bad one. This is brilliantly summed up by the excellent Broyles:

“There are times when the only choices you have left are bad ones”

I love Broyles for saying that – not because it excuses immoral acts, but because it gives those immoral acts context, and explains why the villain of our show (Walter) is also the hero of our show.

So, whilst I will continue to question why our world deserves to survive over the alternate universe, and why 30 children were given abilities they never asked for, and why Peter was abducted when he was not the one to lose a father – I am at least grateful that we have a show that is prepared to pose extremely difficult questions, give them context, and offer hope and meaning for our heroes.

8 weeks you say? Are we there yet?..

Best Moment: Olivia walking in on Walter watching the old video of Olive during the Cortexiphan trials, and the conversation that followed.

Best Performer: Anna Torv

If you enjoyed Jacksonville, you’ll like: Ability, Bad Dreams, The Road Not Taken, ..More Than One of Everything, ..New Day in the Old Town, Momentum Deferred.

Episode Rating: 9/10

Comments

  1. Anjali says

    I didnt think the P/O scene was cliched. It would have been cliched if they HAD kissed. and judging by the ending, I doubt they will till season 3. (oh please god, let there be a season 3).

    I am a P/O fan, but like you said I don’t want them to speed it up… just let it take its time. However, I didn’t think that scene was rushed at all.

    Anna Torv was incredible!! She has such great expressions and it was the bet episode for her in my opinion. I would put it in the same category as ‘Bad Dreams’.

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  2. Anjali says

    Oh I forgot to mention, I don’t think the whole “I’m afraid to fall in love again” was what triggered her ability. I think it was ‘failure to rescue all those people’. And of course, I’m sure that Peter had some part in helping her with that.

    Eg: In Ability, as soon as he re-appeared, the lights started to disappear. We don’t know for sure, but I have this inkling that Peter does have some sort of connection with Olivia.

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    • Jodie says

      And let’s not forget that Peter brought Olivia back from the dead in 2.02. William Bell already told us that Olivia can’t save the world without Peter.

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    • says

      Anjali – interesting. I agree with your perspective somewhat, although I also think Olivia’s activation could have been a mixture of both. If she was activated purely on the prospect of failing to save those people, I think the scene would have played out slightly different, as in Peter wouldn’t have been the focus immediately before she sees the glimmer.

      As both yourself and Jodie say, Peter probably had a hand in helping her, as he most likely has done before.

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  3. mlj102 says

    Quick comment:

    “The first time Olivia saw the other-side she started a fire with her mind – the results of which we originally saw in episode 1.19.”

    We actually saw the results of that (I assume you are referring to the video tape of young Olive after the fire) in episode 1.17, Bad Dreams.

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  4. says

    Not sure if anyone mentioned it, forgive me if i didd’t see it, but right at the very beginning the location says MANHATAN….not MANHATTAN

    Other side minus one T ?

    Either that or the editor for the show just really screwed up

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    • Anjali says

      ‘Manhatan’ depicts the alternate universe.

      Very clever from the writers. One thing that I love about the show is that it is so detail oriented.

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  5. Fringefan1991 says

    I really enjoyed the scene where Peter and Walter went to help MD figure out what building was going to get pulled over to the other side. It was great to see Brandon lost. It was also great to see him critiqued by Walter and Peter for eliminating the three loft buildings so readily. Something about Brandon has always made me want to see him on the receiving end of some criticism. Great review all around.

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  6. mlj102 says

    Okay, here’s my full comment. In general, another great review, Roco. I always look forward to seeing what you have to say about each episode. The following are some of the thoughts I had while reading your review this time:

    It seems like most of your complaints from this episode are a result of your belief that there should be more mythology episodes and less stand alones. I think you make some good points, but those things really don’t bother me as much as they seem to bother you. I really think Fringe has done a great job of balancing the show and making it accessible, while still intriguing and deep for the fans who look for those things. That said, I do agree that it’s somewhat distracting when they have to review things that have already been discovered in order to make it more understandable to those who may not have seen everything. But I think they’re getting better with that – there was a lot of review in Bound and A New Day. This episode seemed to tone that down a bit. So I think they’re getting better at that.

    I had been wondering what your reaction would be to the whole development between Peter and Olivia. I’m a bit surprised that you didn’t like it and felt it was clichéd. I’ve read several reviews of the episode and even people who don’t want them together seem to agree that the way it was shown in this episode actually worked. I felt that it fit the story and I thought they handled that development very well. Like you pointed out, it was an important factor in the story as a whole (Olivia being able to access her ability, greater power behind her seeing Peter glimmer). I didn’t see it as clichéd or rushed. And, contrary to your opinion, I think they have subtly advanced the relationship between those two over the course of this season. I feel there have been numerous occasions in which we’ve seen them open up to each other and confide in each other and become more comfortable around one another. The first season was still getting to know each other. This season has felt more like now they are becoming more dependent on one another and they’re learning to trust one another, which shows how their relationship has become deeper.

    There have been different opinions regarding what finally triggered Olivia’s cortexiphan abilities. Some people seem to think it was her fear of failure and being helpless to prevent the building from disappearing, killing countless people in the process. Others seem to think it was fear of acknowledging her feelings for Peter and possibly starting a relationship again, after what happened the last time with John. Personally, I think it’s a combination of the two. I certainly think the inevitability of what was about to happen with the building played a big part in it and it really did scare her. Approaching Peter and acknowledging her fear was a big step because, unlike most times, she didn’t ignore her feelings. She didn’t brush those feelings aside, or channel them into anger or focus like she usually does. Then, add to that her apprehension over where things were going with Peter, and I think that added to the fear. I agree that falling in love again does scare her. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve never seen her more vulnerable than at that moment.

    I found this interview today on hulu, where Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman discuss various aspects of Jacksonville, including that moment with Peter and Olivia. Among other things, they said that, “in allowing herself to be vulnerable to Peter and the possibility of that relationship, which is clearly developing, it triggered the heightened emotional state that she needed for the cortexiphan to kick in.” Additionally, they pointed out that having Olivia feel something she hasn’t felt before was pretty much the key to the whole episode. So I think it’s safe to say that that moment with Peter was a huge factor in triggering her ability.

    You mentioned the weekly allusion to Peter being from the other reality. While the one you mentioned is certainly pointing at that, there was a moment for me that I felt was more direct than that one. It’s when they were talking about Walter and William’s experiment with the car and Peter said how the first time is always sloppy, and Walter countered by saying that it was hardly the first time. To me, that was a direct reference to the fact that they had taken Peter prior to that experiment.

    Speaking of the past, I think you have the timeline slightly messed up. From what I understand, the cortexiphan experiments went through 1983. You mention several times that those were in 1984, but I don’t think that’s right. Everything I can think of points to 1983. In Ability, Nina says that Bell abandoned his research on Cortexiphan in 1983. In this episode, the box of files Walter selected to look through was labeled 1983. So while Walter said that the experiments were 26 years ago, I think that, they may have made that calculation based on the episode being filmed in 2009, rather than airing in 2010. Then Walter went to the other reality and took Peter in 1985. And the car, which you put at being in 1985, I believe was actually in 1986. Walter says the car experiment happened “almost 25 years ago” which I interpret as less than 25 years, putting it at 1986 or 1987. Confirming this, Walter specifically mentions later in the conversation that it was in 1986. So that would put the experiment with the car after Walter replaced Peter, assuming he was able to replace Peter right after he died. But if that’s the case, it would seem that Walter and William still had a lot more they were trying to learn and accomplish since they were still experimenting with the process of opening a stable door after replacing Peter.

    It actually makes me wonder why they were concerned with the cortexiphan experiments and “preparing the children” before they’d even made the trip over to the alternate reality. What reason did they have for feeling the children needed to be prepared at that time? Many people have speculated that Walter taking Peter is what lead to this war between realities. But if that’s true, why were they preparing children one to two years before that even happened?

    Along the same lines, you mentioned that, while what Walter and William did by experimenting on children was certainly wrong, it is somewhat justifiable when you consider that they were trying to prepare the children and protect them from the events that are now starting to take place. But I have to wonder, why did they feel that was necessary? What reason did they have for feeling that the children would need these abilities back then? I can’t help but wonder if Walter and William are responsible for what is taking place. Whether that’s because they stole Peter, or because they opened the door between the two realities, or something else entirely, it seems that they set these events in motion. Thus, one could argue that if they hadn’t done whatever they’d done, there would be no need for the children to need those abilities, and the experiments would have been unnecessary. Therefore, Olivia’s statement that they were searching for answers that they shouldn’t have been asking in the first place, is likely quite accurate. If they hadn’t been asking those questions, then whatever they did to create the threat wouldn’t have happened, and they wouldn’t have needed to prepare the children. If they were responsible for creating the need in the first place, I believe that would significantly diminish the argument that their motivations for experimenting on the children was justified.

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    • Mary says

      Wow, mlj102, that was some serious research! I didn’t miss the line about the first time being “sloppy” but “not always”, but I just couldn’t piece it all together to make sense. So thank you! And tying Olivia’s line about “questions you shouldn’t have been asking” into that brings it all together.

      I was also surprised about the suddenness of the Peter/Olivia moment, and although I’m all for it (yay!), I’m still trying to work out why it was the catalyst for Olivia’s ‘seeing’. We’ve seen her ability come into play before only when Peter is with her, in Ability, and he’s the one to wake her from her Other World Coma when he says her name in New Day In The Old Town. I assume there is something more than romance there, but what is it and why is it? Don’t tell me it’s just good timing on Peter’s part!

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      • mlj102 says

        Thanks for your comment, Mary. Sometimes I wonder if I’m a bit too dedicated to this show and researching it… :) I’m glad that my comment was able to help clarify some things for you.

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    • says

      Great thoughts mlj!

      I agree with much of what you say about the Olivia and Peter thing, but I don’t think it was very natural – at least not as natural as I would have liked it to have been. Last season they at least went out for drinks and sat on benches together – this season they’ve barely had that type of connection. If anything, I’d say it has been more of a brother/sister relationship, which I thought was a good direction for the show to take. And then there’s the Rachel thing..did we ever find out what happened between Peter and Rach? It’s not a big thing, but they didn’t exactly close that issue.

      You mentioned the weekly allusion to Peter being from the other reality. While the one you mentioned is certainly pointing at that, there was a moment for me that I felt was more direct than that one. It’s when they were talking about Walter and William’s experiment with the car and Peter said how the first time is always sloppy, and Walter countered by saying that it was hardly the first time. To me, that was a direct reference to the fact that they had taken Peter prior to that experiment.

      Nice catch. I agree it’s another allusion to Peter/alt reality. I mentioned it in the “Fringe Answers” section, but it makes me wonder – what were Walter and Bell trying to achieve if the car experiment came after abducting Peter? Were they trying to find a slightly different way to move things between universes? Was the first Doorway not as “stable” as we’ve been led to believe? Because as far was know, Walter physically crossed over to the alt. reality to get Peter (“Dream Logic”). Hmm..

      Re my 1984 reference – I didn’t have time to check the time-line, but it came from Walter saying that Olivia first saw things from the other-side: “26 years ago when you were a little girl”. As you mention, he’s most likely referring to 1983 when the trials were abandoned.

      Along the same lines, you mentioned that, while what Walter and William did by experimenting on children was certainly wrong, it is somewhat justifiable when you consider that they were trying to prepare the children and protect them from the events that are now starting to take place. But I have to wonder, why did they feel that was necessary? What reason did they have for feeling that the children would need these abilities back then? I can’t help but wonder if Walter and William are responsible for what is taking place. Whether that’s because they stole Peter, or because they opened the door between the two realities, or something else entirely, it seems that they set these events in motion. Thus, one could argue that if they hadn’t done whatever they’d done, there would be no need for the children to need those abilities, and the experiments would have been unnecessary. Therefore, Olivia’s statement that they were searching for answers that they shouldn’t have been asking in the first place, is likely quite accurate. If they hadn’t been asking those questions, then whatever they did to create the threat wouldn’t have happened, and they wouldn’t have needed to prepare the children. If they were responsible for creating the need in the first place, I believe that would significantly diminish the argument that their motivations for experimenting on the children was justified

      I agree that Olivia’s statement is accurate, but I just think it’s predicated on the fact that there is a problem between the two worlds. As you suggest, the problem could well have been caused, or faciliated by Bell and Bish themselves. But we can infer that there was at least something going on before Walter crossed over to take Peter/the Corexiphan trials – otherwise there would presumably be no need for the Observers prior to that one act, if it was the first time anyone had travelled between worlds (although time-travel, should the producers go down that road, might undo some of that logic).

      I’d hate it to seem like I’m defending Bell/Bishop. I just think that once they had made the decision to prepare people from our world, it kinda had to be children because only their minds were open enough for Cortexiphan to work. I still have trouble with their logic and their actions, but I have to repeat what Broyles said:

      “There are times when the only choices you have left are bad ones”

      I think the acid test comes by analyzing just how bad the opposing options were. At the moment they looked bad..what will be interesting, as you mentioned, is whether or not Bell/Bishop triggered all of this, or whether they were reacting to something that was already underway, and not of their doing.

      Anyway, excellent thoughts all round, mlj – we don’t agree on every aspect of the show, but it’s good to be challenged with a different slant or perspective. ;)

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      • mlj102 says

        “I agree with much of what you say about the Olivia and Peter thing, but I don’t think it was very natural – at least not as natural as I would have liked it to have been. Last season they at least went out for drinks and sat on benches together – this season they’ve barely had that type of connection. If anything, I’d say it has been more of a brother/sister relationship, which I thought was a good direction for the show to take. And then there’s the Rachel thing..did we ever find out what happened between Peter and Rach? It’s not a big thing, but they didn’t exactly close that issue.”

        It’s ironic because I see their relationship completely opposite: Season 1 came across more brother/sister, while this season feels like it has deepened that relationship and set it up more in a romantic direction. I just look at their interactions this season and I get the impression that they have come to rely on each other, confide in each other, and to care about each other in a way that suggests they see each other as more than just a good friend. That being the case, it seemed very natural to me that, in that moment, she would go to him, and he would try to calm her down and comfort her, and, in that condition, it could progress further.

        As for Rachel, the funny thing is that I never saw any huge relationship between her and Peter. It seemed pretty clear that she liked him, but I never got the feeling that he returned those feelings. It seemed like he was open to the possibility and willing to get to know her, but it never went anywhere. I certainly don’t think they were ever in a dating relationship of any sort.

        I like the idea of Peter and Olivia as a couple — certainly more than I like the possibility of them bringing in outside characters to serve as love interests for either one of them. That said, I’m in no hurry to have them become a couple. And I don’t want that relationship to become a big focus in the show. I think it would have to be done in a way that was gradual and fit with the characters. And, so far, I think they’ve done a pretty good job at that…

        “but it makes me wonder – what were Walter and Bell trying to achieve if the car experiment came after abducting Peter? Were they trying to find a slightly different way to move things between universes? Was the first Doorway not as “stable” as we’ve been led to believe? Because as far was know, Walter physically crossed over to the alt. reality to get Peter (“Dream Logic”). Hmm..”

        I’ve wondered the same thing. Which is part of why I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we find out that they had been experimenting with this door long before Walter opened the door when he went to go get Peter, as well as for some time after he got Peter. I thought it was very significant in Grey Matters when we find out that it wasn’t until Walter had already been in St. Claire’s for several years that William Bell went to retrieve and hide Walter’s memories of creating the door. If he felt it would be a danger, why not hide those memories earlier? It suggests that they were still using those memories up to that point, and that something happened to cause Bell to feel it was necessary to hide the memories. I imagine that there is much more to this story than what we’ve seen so far.

        “I’d hate it to seem like I’m defending Bell/Bishop. I just think that once they had made the decision to prepare people from our world, it kinda had to be children because only their minds were open enough for Cortexiphan to work.”

        Oh, I understand the reasoning behind why they did what they did. And it does appear that, as awful as it was, it was necessary and justified to a certain degree. However, I’m simply saying that I’m not completely convinced that they’re as innocent and honorable as they claim to be. I don’t think they were simply responding to a threat. It would not surprise me at all if their early experiments are what created the threat in the first place. I agree with what Olivia told Bell when she met with him: “I don’t trust you, Doctor Bell… Your company has been involved in, if not directly responsible for, some of the most horrific things that I have ever seen, to say nothing of the fact that you just yanked me into a parallel universe to warn me about an inter-dimensional war that I believe you are responsible for starting.” And if Bell started it, it’s likely that Walter was also a part of that. And if that’s the case, then there is less sympathy for them and their actions are less justified since, if it hadn’t been for their experiments in the first place, it wouldn’t have been necessary to prepare and protect the children.

        I’m glad I can provide a challenge for you every now and then. I quite enjoy the discussions that take place here. And it’s always fascinating to read your take on things.

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        • MRG says

          Hey mlj-

          interesting some of the things you mention in your comments about the door and war and such…in fact I think just the other day I posted a few thoughts on the clues comments section about these issues. I don’t know if you had a chance to read them, and since they may fit in with this thread I wanted to post them here. I hope that’s not poor blog-posting ettiquitte. But here it is….:

          mlj-“but it makes me wonder – what were Walter and Bell trying to achieve if the car experiment came after abducting Peter? ….. Which is part of why I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we find out that they had been experimenting with this door long before Walter opened the door when he went to go get Peter,”

          I like the idea on othe posts that Olivia helped bring Peter over somehow, although there is conjecture that the only reason they were creating soldiers in the first place was they already knew about the impending war which would occur BECAUSE they brought Peter over….. I don’t know. There seems to be a lot unknown about the timeline and how many times they went over before bringing Peter back.

          When describing the car, walter says “it was hardly the first time” leading some to believe Peter was the first time. But I don’t know, most scientists I know don’t practice the first time with humans. Small inanimate objects, then large inanimate objects, then animals, then humans. :)would walter really risk hurting Peter with an unknown portal jump?

          Furthermore, about the whole invention of the door anyway….Is it expressly stated that no door existed before Walter and Bell created one?

          after reading through the posts it appears most of us are working on the assumption that Walter opened the portal between the two worlds to get Peter. But upon re-watching ability, I was intrigued by this passage Walter read from the ZFT with more of the transcript taken from one of Roco’s old posts:
          “The unknown truth is that the means to crossover have already been
          discovered — by beings much like us, but whose history is slightly ahead of our own. These beings are not of our world as such, and as such should be treated as enemies. Were it possible to negotiate..so but this is not possible because they..”

          Is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling this refers to the Observers? that also puts the whole “we fix the mistakes of our own doing” statement in a whole new light. Maybe this is all been said before, so sorry if its a repeat, and I don’t know if it really changes anything except that maybe Walter isn’t quite the bad guy we make him out to be.

          thoughts?

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          • mlj102 says

            MRG — I remember reading this comment and thinking you made some interesting points, but I didn’t want to repeat myself too much. However, looking at it again, I think there are some things I could add…

            Like you said, the timeline is complicated. I’m hoping (and expecting) that the next episode will clear up a lot of the confusion. We know for sure that the Cortexiphan trials were performed in the early 1980’s (according to Nina, 1981 through 1983) though they could have lasted longer. So it seems clear that Walter and William were preparing for a war and experimenting with the alternate reality rather early on. We also know that the original Peter died in 1985. I have always assumed that Walter would have replaced Peter shortly after his death. I don’t know, I just have a hard time thinking that he would have let much time pass after Peter’s death. So it’s possible that he didn’t get Peter until 1986, and the experiments with the car were actually leading up to that act, but for some reason I really doubt that’s the case.

            However, since we know Walter and William were experimenting with the alternate universe back when they were running Cortexiphan experiments, I think it’s safe to say they did start by bringing over small objects — the 16 objects in the classroom. Although I’m curious how they managed to retrieve those objects… Then when Peter died, Walter brought Peter over. I agree that it seems like a risk, but you have to remember, Walter was clearly desperate. I doubt he cared what the risks were — he would rather take those risks than not have his son. But that still leaves the question of why Bell and Bishop were still experimenting with the car after they got Peter. The only explanation I can think of is that they were trying to perfect the door somehow. That, or else my theory that he replaced Peter shortly after the death is wrong, and the car experiment was actually done in preparation for opening the door when he got Peter.

            As for the cause of the war, it really seems like they’re setting things up to reveal that Walter taking Peter is the very thing that started the war. I’m fine with that whole concept, but it doesn’t make sense with what we know of the Cortexiphan trials. There would be absolutely no reason for Bell and Bishop to be experimenting on children, claiming it was for their protection and to prepare them, if the thing that initiates the war hadn’t even happened yet. There would have been no reason for them to even predict that a war would happen at that time if that’s what started it. So if they do go the route of Walter taking Peter started the war, it pretty much suggests that Walter and William were experimenting on those children out of pure speculation and with no immediate threat — which, in my opinion, would significantly lower the argument that they were justified in experimenting on children because they felt it was their responsibility to prepare the children.

            As for the door itself, no it is not ever said that Walter was the first one to come up with a door to the other side. However, it would seem that there is something very special about his door. There are clearly other methods for getting from one side to the other: The shapeshifters are able to come over here, Bell was able to take Olivia over there, Jones managed to open a sort of door. Yet Newton wants (needs?) Walter’s door. Makes me wonder why…

            I agree that the excerpt from ZFT sounds like it could be referring to the Observers. However, I still have a hard time viewing the Observers as the bad guys. For one, they just don’t seem hostile. They are, of course, impartial, and if they think something happened that shouldn’t have happened, then they would try to fix it. So maybe something was supposed to happen that would have led to the world being destroyed, but somehow that thing didn’t happen, so the world survived, so now they’re trying to fix it so the world is destroyed after all? If that even makes sense, I just can’t see that being the case. It seems to me that the Observers are trying to help us, to prevent something bad from happening. Kind of like in There’s More Than One of Everything, when the Observer took Walter to the beach house so he could find the plug and stop Jones from going over to the other side. We don’t know what would have happened if Jones had succeeded, but I imagine it would have been bad, so it seems the Observers were trying to help us prevent that. It’s hard to know exactly what the Observers motivations and intentions are… I just really have a hard time seeing them as enemies or preparing for our destruction.

            I’m kind of getting off topic here, but there’s another thought I wanted to add. We know from August that the Observers “interfered before” — which I assume they’re referring to when the Observer saved Walter and Peter — in order to correct a mistake of their own making. A lot of people have speculated that the mistake they made was that they somehow caused original Peter’s death, or that they were referring to something else they did that involved Peter and Walter. However, I was watching The Arrival the other day, and I had an idea. The Arrival was all about this mysterious beacon and that the Observers needed it to be protected for a certain amount of time. But they couldn’t interfere — they couldn’t touch it. So they had no way of preventing Rogue from getting the beacon. When Walter tells Peter about the accident and how the Observer saved them, he says that the Observer made it clear that one day he would need Walter to return the favor. And Walter knew that protecting the beacon was that favor. So Walter was able to do what the Observers couldn’t do — and that’s all because the Observer saved Walter and Peter all those years before. So that made me think that maybe the mistake they needed to correct actually had something to do with the beacon/Rogue. Maybe they had done something that put the beacon in jeopardy or caused Rogue to want to sabotage it. And since they needed it to be safe, but they couldn’t protect it themselves, they interfered and saved Walter and Peter so that, when the time came, Walter would be able to help them and protect the beacon. I don’t know — there are still a lot of questions surrounding the beacon and Rogue, but it’s a possibility. I certainly think there’s more behind that story of Rogue and the beacon than we found out in that episode. And I hope they will revisit those things in future episodes…

            Anyway, I think I started rambling there. If anyone actually read all of that, and if it actually makes sense, then I’ll be impressed… :)

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            • MRG says

              mlj- no, your comments made a lot of sense, and cleared up the timeline for me! And I really like your thoughts about the observers, the beacon and the rouge. (soulds like a great episode title right? ;) )

              The only thing I would say is just because ZFT suggests the observers are the ‘enemy’, it doesn’t mean they are. I don’t really think they are either; I just don’t know where they figure in. oh, btw, when was Peter and walter’s car accident in relation to this timeline?

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              • mlj102 says

                I like your possible episode title — I think you should submit it to the producers for consideration! :)

                It will be interesting to find out just where the Observers fit in to this whole story…

                You make a good point about asking where the car accident fits in to the timeline. That’s a tough one because we aren’t given any specific indication to when that was. All we know is it was on Thanksgiving. My personal opinion is that it happened directly after Walter brought Peter from the other side. It would make sense if Walter was driving home with Peter and he lost control of the car due to some side effect of traveling to the other side. Somewhat confirming that theory, the promo for the next episode appears to show that accident. I definitely think that Peter being taken and the car accident where the Observer saves them are connected.

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  7. Elaine says

    mlj, I think I look foward to your replies to Roco’s wonderful reviews as much as the actual reviews. ;-)

    I’m too tired to get into it now, besides, I want to re-watch the episode before commenting properly, but I did want to say that I agree with mlj about the Peter/Olivia near kiss. I’m not a supporter of a romance between them, but I’m not entirely against it either. However, I felt that the writers have done a marvelous job moving their relationship foward, deepening it where the moment in this episode wasn’t jarring. There has always been an unacknowledged attraction, and under the circumstances where I believe it’s safe to say Peter may have felt the best way to comfort Olivia was in attempting to do something he’s likely wanted to do for a while now, but the situation never really presented itself. The irony of it all was that in their willingness to acknowledge that attraction has now led to something that is going to cause a divide.

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    • mlj102 says

      Wow, Elaine! Thanks so much for the compliment — that means a lot to me! I often feel bad that my comments turn out to be so incredibly long, and I often wonder if anyone even bothers to read through them. So I’m really glad that you enjoy reading my “mini-novels”. :)

      You also have some really good insights into things and I enjoy reading your take on things. I think you described the Peter/Olivia relationship really well in your last comment, and I completely agree with what you said!

      I imagine we will all have a great time next time Roco decides to do another rewatch…

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      • Elaine says

        Indeed! ;-) I can’t wait! Speaking of. I just finished re-watching ‘The Same Old Story’, and made a connection to the final scene of ‘Jacksonville’ to the one where Walter asks Olivia to keep the information about Peter’s medical history between just between them, and his asking her not to tell Peter about not being from this universe. In ‘TSOS’, Olivia tells Walter the only information that was in Peter’s medical records was his date of birth. I assume Walter thought it included the truth about Peter, which is plain odd under the circumstances. If the clip from the producers about ‘Jacksonville’ is anything to go by, Walter and Olivia will decide to keep the truth from Peter, bringing that initial conversation full circle. So to speak.

        Btw, it is amazing to go back and watch those first few episodes with a different perspective. Everything we’ve come to understand, expect and appreciate about these characters is established very early on.

        So, are we doing a marathon or what, Roco? ;-)

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        • says

          Fantastic catch Elaine – thanks for sharing. It’s all beginning to come together isn’t it. :)

          As for the marathon, I wasn’t planning to do a rewatch at this stage, but at the same time I wouldn’t mind hosting one if there is enough people interested. I could certainly create the blogposts for each episode so that people can share their thoughts with one another. I guess we could put it to a poll or something. I’ll have a think..

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          • Alina says

            mlj102, Elaine, Roco- reading all of your fascinating comments on this past episode has been so interesting! And I am all game for a Fringe rewatch if it happens. :)

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  8. Alina says

    What a wonderful review to cap off the “winter season” of Fringe! :) You made so many great observations, and I enjoyed reading your insights. However, one thing in particular especially stood out to me: I do agree that Walter was surprisingly less understanding and sensitive about Olivia’s anger towards what he’s done to her, but I do think he feels the guilt to a large extent. The scene you mentioned as the best in this episode, when Olivia finds Walter watching her three year-old self during the drug trials, confirmed to me that Walter indeed feels deeply sorry for what he did to her, regardless of his other firm belief that the trials needed to be done.

    Also, I am almost certain that in some way or another, Peter will not find out that he’s from the alternate universe until the season finale (or maybe the episode before that). It just seems like something the writers of the show woud do. But I would LOVE to proven wrong there. My ideal storyline for the first few upcoming episodes would be for Olivia to tell Peter the truth, and then for the rest of this season to take off from there.

    Anyways, I just wanted to mention those two things, but I seriously loved your insightful review for this episode! April just can’t come fast enough!

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    • says

      Alina – I agree. Walter definitely still feels guilty for what he did. That scene is a good example of both Walter’s guilt and his forthrightness (BTW, how creepy did Walter look, hunched on that little chair, as Olivia entered the room!). I guess it’s only natural that he’d develop a bit of resilience when faced with contempt from Olivia, even if he does still feel terrible about what he did.

      On a story level I think it would be mind-blowing if Olivia was the one to tell Peter the truth. On a father/son investment level, I’d love for it to be Walter. Which surely means it’s going to be Astrid who does the deed! :)

      Thanks for your kind words, btw.

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      • mlj102 says

        “On a story level I think it would be mind-blowing if Olivia was the one to tell Peter the truth. On a father/son investment level, I’d love for it to be Walter. Which surely means it’s going to be Astrid who does the deed!”

        Roco: If I could nominate a “Best Quote of the Week” from the comments section, it would be this one! That one seriously made me laugh out loud! Thanks for that!

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  9. charliefan19 says

    Some thoughts from the charliefan…

    This episode was really good – dug into Olivia’s past and her abilities, which I’ve been waiting for like crazy!

    The whole daycare/drug testing idea was creepy just when we first learned about it, but actually seeing it (the covered lab equipment, eek!) along with the perfect music was just eerie. The forest scene was scary too…the dark, the monster-ish sounds, the adorable little girl (who we of course all knew was “Olive”) who suddenly disappears and then has freaky blue eyes…AAAGH!!! “Oliviaaaaaaa…” Yikes. (Scariest of all was probably the doll, haha) And was I the only one who was disappointed that Nick’s (“Bad Dreams”) name wasn’t seen next to the giraffe growth chart?

    Olivia sitting in the “safe” spot of the fire-blackened room was excellent. Very poignant and still scary. I was glad to see more of her hostile side shown towards Walter – it’s more realistic for her to be cold and snarky to him; in some episodes wince 1.19 she has, in some she hasn’t.

    I am not a fan of a Peter/Olivia relationship, so that dampened the episode a little for me. I would have to think that this might put a damper on their relationship (on Olivia’s side, anyway). How do you get past that, mentally? Her knowing when poor Peter remains clueless? (and why does Walter want Olivia to be with Peter? Did he WANT her to know the truth about his son? Walter already is low on brownie points with Liv; the story of how he stole his child from Over There probably won’t elevate her approval level of him.

    There, I’m done. :) Thanks for the insights!

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    • says

      charliefan, what you said is interesting – Why DOES Walter want Peter to be with Olivia so bad? Is it as innocent as it looks, or does he believe that Peter will need Olivia by his side?

      I guess it depends on how much weight Walter – the character- intended when he said that Dunham ‘can see right through him’.

      Re: Olivia getting past what she knows about Peter. Good question. I think Olivia with deal with it as she deals with most things – she’ll do the right thing as best she can. I don’t think she’ll tell Peter straight away, but you’re right, it will put a dampner on things, at least initially.

      I must say, I’m very disappointed in Walter for putting Olivia in this position. In his defence he doesn’t have much choice – which goes back to what Broyles said to Olivia – but at the same time he could have told Peter the truth weeks ago. All I know is that it’s going to be explosive! :)

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  10. says

    Great review, and some great comments, too! I spent a long time writing mine – which was 7 pages long! – and yet you have given me quite some food for thought. I’m off to ruminate now, in true geek style :P

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  11. nessa says

    Seriously guys, I couldn’t have a life if J. J. Abrams keep writing tv series like this one.. LOL

    Thanks for the great review, but I couldn’t agree with your opinion about the P/O relationship. I think they have a great romance chemistry, they just realized that yesterday nite at 2.14

    I really hope the conflict of “want-to-tell-Peter-or-not-want-to-tell” arised and things get interesting ahead.. Urgghhhh could April come faster? sob..

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    • says

      nessa – I’ll be interested to see how they handle things from here. As much as I didn’t quite buy into the idea, it could end up being a crucial move from the writers depending on how it sets up the rest of the season. I just wish it could have felt more natural, but again, we’ll see. :)

      Thanks!

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      • Alina says

        I have to agree with you, Roco- although I happen to be a fan of Olivia and Peter’s newfound romantic relationship, the scene did not feel as natural as I wished it to be. However, I just can’t place my finger on exactly why I feel this way. I’m thinking if the scene was filmed differently, it would have turned out better, but I’m just not sure…

        And nessa, I totally agree with you- waiting until April for a new episode is pure agony! Maybe I should finally start watching Lost to kill the time… ;)

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  12. says

    Walter said that Cortexiphan is triggered by fear, anger and love. Olivia was frightened when she saw the building shimmer, but she wasn’t angry or afraid when she saw Peter shimmer. Just a shippy thought xD Also – why didn’t she see Peter shimmer when she WAS afraid?
    Did anyone spot all the glyphs on the nursery wall, outside?

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  13. Sean says

    dani, i thought that once her ability was again unlocked (through being scared) it remained unlocked, hence why she saw peter that way?

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  14. says

    Good review. I think the almost kiss scene had a natural awkwardness of the characters in their stressful situation at the time. Olivia is opening up to trust Peter, feeling something romantic for the first time since John Scott, admitting she’s not perfect as a “guardian of the gate”. Peter has a calming, focusing and healing affect on her in various past episodes.
    Peter, who was always out for himself has learned, thru caring for Walter, that he can care about Olivia too. He was almost as jacked up as Walter was before the “just drinks” date night. He changed into a v-neck sweater and everything! Olivia even got out of the blacks and greys for once.
    I agree with some of the other comments regarding why Bell and Bishop needed to develop cortexiphan kids. I think the theft of Peter came after they had already meddled in alt universe technology (perhaps the source of Bell’s later success with MD). The previews of the next episode seem to suggest taking Peter caused the last great storm, however. So I’m anxious to meet Mrs. Bishop, the lab assistant and pre-bionic Nina.

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    • says

      LHeditorsdesk – fair point about Peter’s calming side. Although it’s not so much the fact that they came together that I have a problem with, it’s more the timing and the way it was done (Olivia – for once – just gave up, and Peter also stopped trying).

      Though granted, stressful situations can provoke underlying emotions in people so I take that onboard.

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  15. Stefan says

    About the Olivia-Peter thing:
    If Olivia would have been scared when she went into the room, she would already have Peter seen glimmer. So my suggestion is that Olivia went scared not because she realized she won’t save those people, but maybe of the possibilty of hooking up with Peter.
    Regarding her actions at the end of the episode, could it be possible that she either got her self-consciousness back or she is splitted about herself beeing ready for a new relationship.
    (Sorry if this was mentioned before – just hadn’t the time to read through the commentaries)
    I loved the scene – even it was cliché. And anyway didn’t they already did fringy flirt scenes in the pilot?

    By the way: Time from the “car accident” (the altercar) to Walter going to the asylum: 8 Years.
    Wouldn’t that make Olivia about 12 or 13 when Walter went to the Asylum (3 or 4 + 1 + 8)?

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    • Elaine says

      I’ve been thinking about this too. I found it interesting that Olivia seeks Peter out in that scene almost like she’s trying to establish context for what she’s feeling. She was afraid before she walked into that room, and I believe on some level previously unacknowledged Olivia has come to depend on Peter being an anchor emotionally for her. Over the course of the season, we’ve seen these three steps foward, two back, one foward and two back again not in your typical flirty, wink-wink manner…but in a your not in this alone type of way.

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    • says

      Rahil – Nice catch! Considering they weren’t opposed to putting contact lenses in little Olive’s eyes in the final forest shot, it must be intentional..right?

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    • says

      edgesight – Sorry for not replying sooner: yeah, the episode had already aired so it wouldn’t have been considered a spoiler.

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  16. Bety says

    I guess Olivia did not notice the glimmer on Peter because she hadn’t realized yet that she was scared. And when she did so, she went to check out the soon-to-disappear building, leaving Peter on MD.

    I think the P/O scene itself was not so natural, dispite the light flirting, but seeing Olivia seeking some confort with Peter was good because now she knows she’s not at all alone (really, I always thought she felt and wanted to be alone after all that happened with John Scott and afterwards with Charlie’s death).

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    • Bety says

      Forgot this:

      In the end, when she saw the glimmer (her shocked face was great!) and with Walter’s request, I wondered what she is going to do now. Will she tell Peter? Will she keep the secret? I agree with Roco, Peter needs to know the truth. I don’t think he’s going to forgive Walter… not at first. “/

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      • LizW65 says

        My guess is that she will hold out for at least another episode before requesting re-assignment out of the Fringe Division (of course Broyles won’t let her go, but she may well convince herself that she wants nothing more to do with the Bishops and can better focus on her work in some other capacity.)

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      • says

        Bety – yeah, it’s gonna take a while before he can get past that, I’d think. And then there’s Olivia..and Astrid. If they hold out on him, will he be able to forgive them? What reason would he have for sticking around any longer? ..Poor Peter.

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        • Alina says

          I feel bad for Olivia (and Astrid) too though! Neither of them could help finding out the truth about Peter, especially Olivia. But unless April 1st’s episode convinces me otherwise, I believe Olivia should tell Peter the truth as soon as possible… I really would hate to see their relationship break apart over this unmerciful dilemma (Peter and Walter’s future-feud over this issue is inevitable; I just hope Peter doesn’t get angry at Olivia and/or Astrid as well…).

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  17. Jkyarr says

    Quote from review: “How does William Bell’s method of transporting Olivia to the alternate universe in the season 1 finale reconcile with the ‘universe balancing act’? We can infer that Bell used a different system, since an alter-Olivia didn’t come colliding back through the windscreen..our Olivia did. Perhaps that’s why Bell needed to send Olivia back within a strict time-period – maybe the universe would have sought balance had he not sent her back when he did? Then there’s Bell himself..and Peter – both in their unnatural worlds – did the universe balance them out, or was a loophole found?”

    My unsubstantiated theory:

    When Alter-Peter came through, Peter’s mom was sent to the other side. (although the equal mass thing becomes a problem for this theory). Also when Bell went over to the other side, Alter-Walter (whom we’ve seen on this side in at least two episodes) got brought to the fringeverse.

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    • says

      jkyarr – I’m tempted to agree with you about having seen Alter-Walter on our side two times already. I assume you’re referring to the photos from 2.03 and the asylum in 1.08?

      However, I have a sneaking suspicion that Walter’s St. Claire’s “visitor” could have been his subconscious mind. Then again, it could have been a projection of Alter-Walter.

      Either way, interesting suggestions, there’s plenty to think about there.

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  18. FringeFan2009 says

    In regards to P/O scene. I have to agree to say that I didn’t like it, but I have to say it the situation didn’t seem to forced to me. I don’t think that the scene would have happened if Olivia was thinking rationally. It was because she was emotionally compromised that she let that happen. The reason why the scene felt a little uncomfortable or unnatural is due to the fact that Peter wasn’t emotionally compromised. He seemed a little too at ease with the situation. I think I would have believed it more if he wasn’t so happy looking. For example, she walks in, tells him how she’s feeling, he gets a pained look on his face, proceeds to hug her, then the almost kiss happens. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

    As far as why Bell/Walter decided to do what they did? Didn’t Olivia kind of address this issue in Momentum Deferred? Bell say’s something like, “you may not like me, but you must admit that I have more of an insight to what will happen.” I’m sorry, I didn’t get that episode recorded so I’m doing this from a very bad memory.

    By the way, Roco and mlj102, I love reading your reviews and comments. I’ve had no access to the internet since last Friday and I was miserable:(

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    • mlj102 says

      Hi FringeFan! I’d been wondering where you disappeared to — glad to hear you have internet access again!

      Regarding your comment about William Bell: He told Olivia that she didn’t have to trust him or like him, but she “can’t deny that [he has] a unique perspective, shaped by having lived in two worlds. [He] know[s] the difference a wrong choice can make…or a right one.” I think that’s the comment you were referring to. So I don’t think it applies much to the issue of why Walter and William did what they did, but it is a significant quote — that whole scene was extremely significant. In fact, it’s interesting to go back and look at it again, ten episodes later.

      For example, he also says, “In any search for knowledge, there are always unintended consequences — victims, you might say.” I thought that was an interesting insight into his view of things — almost as if he feels like the pursuit of science takes number one priority, and if people get hurt in the process, it’s for a worthy cause. This could support my theory that Walter and William unintentionally did something early on in the course of their experiments that started this whole war between realities. It also applies quite well to what Olivia told Walter, that he had been “searching for answers to questions that [he] shouldn’t have been asking in the first place.” It sounds like that’s what William Bell was/is doing — his search for knowledge may have had bigger consequences than we yet realize.

      At another point in that scene, William Bell tells Olivia that, “I’ve seen history repeat itself enough times to know a war is coming. Just as we predicted, Walter and I, years ago…” This makes it sound that he and Walter didn’t know for sure that a war was starting, but that he and Walter had predicted that a war was coming. It suggests that there were no signs of a war, no reason to believe there would be a war, but for some reason they believed there would be a war. If that’s the case, how did they make that prediction? What reasons did they have for predicting that a war would happen? Perhaps they had done something that they feared would result in a war. It almost makes it sound like they had no reason to believe there would be any sort of conflict, but for whatever reason, they predicted that it would happen, and that’s why they started treating the children with Cortexiphan.

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      • FringeFan2009 says

        Ah yeah, that was the quote, geez I butchered that one. You pointed out another great quote. From this quote, I have come to the conclusion that both Bell and Walter are both mad scientist. I’m waiting for Frankenstein to emerge:)

        “In any search for knowledge, there are always unintended consequences — victims, you might say.” I thought that was an interesting insight into his view of things — almost as if he feels like the pursuit of science takes number one priority, and if people get hurt in the process, it’s for a worthy cause. This could support my theory that Walter and William unintentionally did something early on in the course of their experiments that started this whole war between realities. It also applies quite well to what Olivia told Walter, that he had been “searching for answers to questions that [he] shouldn’t have been asking in the first place.” It sounds like that’s what William Bell was/is doing — his search for knowledge may have had bigger consequences than we yet realize.”

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  19. Andie says

    im sorry…im a pretty new..with this season….but if the universe seeks balance…how can walter brough him over from the other side..i mean…what was the price to pay…

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  20. says

    Rocco – sorry, but Peter taking that opportunity to get a kiss is classic behavior for a man. It’s not wrong, by any means, but it is classic. When the man I eventually married took me out to a site we were working on (part of me studying architecture, we hadn’t even gone on a “date” yet), and we sat down on a “well”, he suggested that we pray. I obliged, because I love nature walks and prayer. So he took my hand and we prayed. Later, when we were going out for real, he told me the reason he suggested “prayer” was to hold my hand. Since it wasn’t a “date”; he was helping me with my project by driving me to the site, he had to “fudge” using prayer as the reason. I laughed hysterically when he told me what he had done, but we really did say a prayer.

    I just think that Peter, who it was obvious had a complete attraction to Olivia (which was returned by her flashing a look of jealousy when Peter called to talk to Rachel), saw that as an opportunity to comfort her, and “lessen” the blow that she would feel in 3o min. when the building disappeared from “our side” to “balance the equation” by transferring to “the other side”.

    I also believe the discrepancies between the 1st season and now comes from the creators of the show realizing they had to reduce it to just ONE alternate universe. Remember, in the 1st year, they developed the “idea” of soldiers coming from somewhere else, but not exclusively limited to TWO universes.

    I think we can extrapolate that from Walter’s earlier explanation of “multiple universes” that happen at certain points when you made a decision, which earlier sci-fi shows, “Star Trek:TNG” and “Stargate SG-1″ showed the effects of these multiple realities based on “choices” that were made.

    I have always thought this was an error because if you got a new reality by making different choices, then that would effect everybody with every major decision they made, until the result was an “infinite” number of realities based on decisions made by EVERY man, woman and child.

    This concept of having just “TWO” universes makes much more sense. It would also explain the Observer who said, “I have said to much,” and “There is more than one of everything.

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    • says

      CL25 – I agree that there was essentially nothing “wrong” with Peter’s opportunism, and I like your point about him ‘lessening the blow’. I just found the moment – and the way it played out in the context of the episode – to be slightly ackward and contrived. But I can definitely see how an emotional coming together like that would work in real life.

      I guess I may also have difficulty in seeing Olivia and Peter as a romantic pairing – are they even suited? That’s something I will give more thought towards.

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  21. Elaine says

    I guess I may also have difficulty in seeing Olivia and Peter as a romantic pairing – are they even suited? That’s something I will give more thought towards.

    ~~~~

    That is the question, isn’t it? I’ve mentioned in previous comments that I’m no advocate for the pairing, but I’m not against it happening either…in time. As far as them being suited for one another, I think it’s been obvious from the start that they are. They are uniquely different personalities, which has caused them to clash on issues they’re invested in. Yet they do compliment each other well, and seem very aware of what the other needs at either their most vunerable, or distressing moments.

    I re-watched ‘Jacksonville’ last night, and I was really struck at how quiet, yet consistently supportive Peter was towards Olivia during the entire episode–even when she lashed out at Walter. She needed him to be still and let her sort her way through years of repressed emotions, which he did. Like Olivia in ‘What Lies Below’, Peter was a rock for her throughout that entire ordeal by quietly standing off to the side, staying out of her way and just being who he is. I don’t believe it’s any coincedence that each emotional hurdle Olivia attempted to overcome, Peter was there. Silently standing by waiting for her to find something familiar about the classroom when they first went in. Easing down on the swingset beside her. Asking her if she was sure she wanted to go through with another Cortexiphan treatment before he hooked up her i.v. Coming to find her to see if she was okay when she re-entered that burnt room of forgotten memories, then where she finds him busying himself trying to free up room on MD’s main servers…which is where he stops what he’s doing to try and comfort her. I think the almost kiss came about for a few reasons. One, I think it was Peter wanting to express something he’s likely thought about and wanted to do for some time, and never had the courage, or the timing was right. Secondly, I believe he wanted to soothe Olivia’s fear, because I think it’s unsettling for him to see her so rattled and shakened in her own confidence to do her job and keep people safe.

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  22. weber12 says

    Ok.

    I’ve never written in this site and I don’t speak english, so I hope you will excuse me for my mistakes.

    And… this is very long to read, so I couldn’t read everything, and I don’t know (again) if anyone has said this before: Why do you think it was Peter that “lits” Olivia? He wasn’t, don’t you think? He was just close to her, she realized that she was afraid, and that’s just all. She was afraid BEFORE, when Peter stood before her, she said “Oh, I remembered, I’m scared!”… But, if I’m wrong, please, tell me.

    Thank you!!! This site is great! Blessings!!!!

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    • says

      Hi weber.

      While it could still go one of two ways, there is some evidence to suggest that Peter has the ability to trigger or unlock Olivia’s ability. For example, in episode 1.14 “Ability” when Olivia disabled the bomb. Was she able to do this because Peter came back for her and was amplifying her power? Then there’s the time that she woke up from hercoma (2.01) – did she awaken at that moment because Peter was close and about to kiss her? Who knows.

      Those are just a couple of examples. Personally, I think it’s very likely that both Olivia and Peter have abilities, and that they can affect each others power (both ways). Hopefully we’ll have more evidence coming our way in future episodes!

      Glad you like the site, let us know if you have anymore questions or thoughts.

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    • Angela says

      Personally, I didn’t think the P/O moment came out of left field at all. In fact, I thought it was a wonderful tie-in with the conversation Olivia and Peter had back in Season 2, Episode 4 (Momentum Deferred).

      Olivia: “Is this your way of trying to ask me if I’m scared?”
      Peter: “Of course not. I figure, if you’re scared, you’d tell me, right?”

      That’s better continuity than *other* episodes, lol. And what a beautiful way to approach her dual fears: of being unable to save everyone *and* opening her heart to Peter. I thought it was an exceptionally poignant moment… I’m surprised some people had a problem with it.

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  23. weber12 says

    Hey, Roco!

    Thanks for answering!!!!!! Yeah… I think also that ’twas Peter that awoke Olivia, and that he has abilities… I hope he has it, but I say that he wasn’t that “unlock” Olivia’s at THAT time, and I’ve been reading in all the sites that I could read that he did it!!! But, if he has some kind of skills, that could be why the Observer said that he is important… I don’t know!!!! :D

    Do you know? I’ve never thought that they could affect each others power. It’s a great idea!!!! Now I’m on that side!!! ;)

    Thanks for everything, Roco. Blessings!!!!

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    • says

      No problem weber!

      Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see which occasions – if any – Peter ‘unlocked’ Olivia’s ability. Perhaps we’ll get a better handle on it in future episodes?

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  24. TomC says

    FINALLY THE UK HAS CAUGHT UP!!!!!

    Great review and to me this is way up on the list of my favourite FRINGE episodes. Its great to get back to the mythology\’the pattern’ storyarc. Fingers crossed that the next ep answers some mythology questions and leaves some more unanswered (im pretty sure it will leave more questions than answers though)!!
    I have to agree with your point about more mythology ep’s needed, even changing it to having a couple of standalone then a mythology one would be better. Ignoring the mythology side for 4-5 ep’s really broke the bigger story up…. at least this ep made up for the gap. But i do find the bigger story overall better than the random monster\virus episodes (but i still love all fringe!!).

    Have to say though, you did miss possibly one of my most favourite lines that walter has had so far……
    PETER: “Walter, you have just won a all expenses paid trip to New York”
    WALTER: “Fantastic. I’ve never won anything before”
    It was in the very first scene. To me it proved the ‘childish’\naive side of Walter is still very strong as he believed it was actually a competition he had won. What stood out most in this scene was the look of joy in Walters face when peter told him, it was priceless.

    Roll on ep 15 next week!!!

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