Welcome to the FB review of the Fringe season 2 episode 15 – “Peter“. 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.
Note: As always, this review is written before reading any other thoughts on the episode, if I change my view on anything, I’ll post it in the comments. This particular review is quite long, you might need a beverage and a snack. Also, for the purposes of this review, where necessary I use the term “Peternate” to refer to the alternate universe Peter, and “Peter” to describe Walter’s original son.
- Back to back mythology. Oh how I’ve waited for Fringe to deliver 2 mythology episodes in a row! Not since the tail-end of season 1 have we seen such consistency. After Olivia’s discovery in “Jacksonville” it was great to dive into the backstory of the Bishops. What I particularly liked was the fact that we not only received answers, but those answers were delivered in a way that satisfied (for the most part) and raised even more questions to move the story along. Fringe has rarely felt so juicy.
- I really dug the 1980s retro intro and location titles. The intro took me completely by surprise but I really should have known Bad Robot would do something so inspired. Looking at some of the scientific fields that appeared, it struck me how each of them have been achieved in some form or another – Nanotechnology (in its infancy), Virtual reality, Invisibility, etc. In the 80s these were still possibilities, now they’re our reality. It’s amazing really. In turn this adds context to the scientific fields we see on the normal intro – for the most part they are possibilities which are only theoretically achievable: Suspended Animation, Astral Projection, Parallel Universes, etc. Of course we know this, but I thought it was a really cool way to illustrate how the boundaries are constantly being pushed back by science and human endeavor.
- Bishop Vs Bell. William Bell may not have appeared in this episode but I enjoyed seeing evidence of Walter’s contempt for his former Lab partner. The extra details on William’s character, such as the idea that he was only interested in “the wealth, power and legend of William Bell”, is pretty scathing and darn right interesting! It gives us better understanding as to why these two men may have branched out into their separate paths. The fact that William didn’t attend Peter’s funeral is also a note-worthy issue and seemed to validate Walter’s resentment towards him. I also found it interesting seeing Nina as the ‘go-between'; loyal to William, but clearly sympathetic towards Walter. When I add all of this to key things we already know – such as William removing Walter’s brain pieces in “Grey Matters”, I begin to further question just how altruistic William really is. “Sure Willy, you just want to keep the Door a secret, right? Woops, somehow you’ve ended up Over There!”
- Retro-spective. It was a treat to see the younger versions of the Walters and Nina, and in some respects, the Peters and the Observers. The latter group obviously don’t appear to age, but September, in particular, conveyed a sense of naivety which I thought was a good piece of character shading. His mistake, of course, foreshadows August who seems to devolve from his assured clarity in the 80s to an emotional wreck some 25 years later. It’s interesting to see the contrast in these two characters. I thought the actor who played young Peter did a good job and is the spit of Joshua Jackson – great casting. I loved seeing the steadfast Nina and the ‘Godless’ Walter. Present-day Nina seems to have retained some of the ‘kindness’ that she had back then (we still see it in flashes) but also seems more maniacal, and dare I say mechanical. While Walter’s edges have softened as he’s developed more humanity. Also, props to the make-up department and the actors themselves for conveying a sense of youth – it was a lot more convincing than I could have hoped.
- Carla Warren: The Lab assistant who Walter is said to have killed in a fire and the daughter of Jessica Warren, who visited Walter in episode 1.12 “The No Brainer”. This was one of those satisfying times when you’re rewarded as a loyal viewer of Fringe. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about her at first but she really grew on me. I liked her duality – deeply religious yet also a woman of science. She came across balanced with a quiet enigmatic quality. She was also the voice of reason, and I like that. I’m really interested to see how she died and whether it was really Walter’s fault. I suspect not. I suspect he was sent to St. Claire’s (partly) under false pretenses.
- For me personally, the concept of being able to look through to the alternate reality, which exists within our own world, is fascinating. It’s something I’ve believed for a while, so I’m pleased to see it continued to be realised in such mesmeric fashion.
- Peter. Watching this episode I was taken by the fact that both Peters had accepted that they were going to die. Not only that, they were brave beyond their years, comforting their parents and telling them “I’m not scared”. How unhinging it must be for a parent to hear their child say something like that. We’ve often commented on the ‘reversed father/son role’ between Peter and Walter and we see how even as a kid Peter was, in some ways, playing the role of the parent. For a man like Walter, used to pushing the boundaries to solve problems, there was a real weight to his struggle to save his son, no doubt enhanced by the endless foreshadowing delivered over the past season and a half.
- The structure and pacing of this episode were spot on. Walter recounting the events surrounding Peters sickness and abduction was a great way to deliver that story. Thematically it worked and emotionally it compelled. You have to remember that Walter has only recently pieced together these memories himself, so it was like a collective sense of discovery between Walter, Olivia, and us – the audience. We’re all in on it now, we all know the central details. Except Peter. (Ok, and Broyles and Astrid, but you get my point). This was such a slow episode and I could have had a problem with that, but you know, it was like reading a good book by the fireplace on a cold winters evening while eating marshmallows – it was time well spent.
- Narrow Focus. I would have liked to have found out a bit more about Walter’s motivations back in the 80s. We got a little insight into his plan to “change the world”, but how so? What in particular did he want to change? We know that he wanted to bring us “up to speed” with the alternate universe, but skewed ethics aside, I would have liked to get a better hold on his ideals, his view on humanity, etc. To be fair, there wasn’t much room to explore that aspect of Walter’s (or indeed Elizabeth’s) character in this episode, but it would have been nice to have had a bit more character shading. Perhaps next time?
- Unobservant Walternate. Really? It’s a bit much for me to believe that Walternate, with all his knowledge and experience, would assume that the cure had failed when he had not observed it properly. (I also love how his team of workers were conveniently missing at that time). I mean, it’s only your kid’s life on the line here, dude! I know that September interrupted him and that it was apparently in Walternate’s nature to ‘never look back’, but this part of the plot didn’t land as well as the rest of the story.
- September’s “error” could have been explained a bit better, I think.
- Walter realising that Walternate wasn’t using random methods to create the cure seemed a bit weak, it was just thrown in there and we had to take Walter’s word for it because..well, just because.
- Walter’s reasoning for taking Peternate was a bit messy to say the least. So he broke the vial containing the cure – why not just leave a note for Walternate with the formula instead of bringing Peternate back with him? I accept that for story purposes Peternate needed to get over to our side somehow. I also realise that once Walter saw Peternate his motivations may have shifted, but since they went to great lengths to say that Walter fully intended to bring Peter back before he saw Elizabeth’s reaction, it just seems a bit contrived.
- Over the years, has the technological gap between our side and the alternate universe widened or become smaller?
- Was William Bell really in Europe, or was he in the alternate universe. Perhaps the alternate universe Europe?
- So, did Peter and Olivia ever go on that date? I’ve waited 2 whole months to find out.
- In “Jacksonville” we learned about the “mass for mass” effect. With that in mind, what balanced out Peternate when Walter brought him over to our side? Did the dead Peter from our world get transported to the over side as a result? Or are the mechanics of this type of inter-dimensional travel different from what we saw in the “Jacksonville” ‘building scenario’?
- In season 1 episode 4, “The Arrival“, Walter told Peter that when he was sick, he tried to save him by reaching back in time and bringing physicist Alfred Gross back with him to cure Peter. He also said that Peter was dying from a rare strain of “bird flu”. Now that we’ve seen the general events surround both Peters sickness, where do these stories stand? Did Walter make them up, or did it happen differently than he remembers?
- Since we now know that BOTH Peters were sick, why doesn’t Peternate remember being sick? Or his lucky coin and a ton of other details? Did he forget? Have portions of his memory removed? Or, has he repressed the knowledge that he’s not from our world in a similar way to how Olivia seemingly blocked out her painful past?
- Did Walter get the design for The Door from the alternate universe? If so, is he inaccurate in believing that he was the first (aside from the Observers) to travel between worlds?
- How do the Observers travel between universes?
- Why did September allow Peternate to stay with Walter even after he had been cured? Was it irrelevant where he grew up as long as he lived, meaning that Walter and Elizabeth’s choice to keep him was theirs to make and not September’s concern?
- Why is Peternate “important”? Moreover, why specifically Peternate and not Walter’s original Peter?
- As we have previously speculated, the Observers can travel between universes.
- Walter and William created a Window that could look into the alternate reality by capturing errant photons from the other universe. This enabled them to monitor scientific developments in the ‘slightly ahead’ universe and steal concepts, ideas and knowledge from them, such as the mobile phone Walter presented to the military. It’s likely that many of Walter’s creations are not completely his own work.
- We knew this, but it’s worth reiterating; the alternate universe is advanced in “some areas” – not all.
- In the 80s, Walter suggested that our side was 30 years behind the alternate universe. Although Walter was estimating, it could be seen as a clue that our side is slowly closing the technological gap, since we’ve had digital phones for a while now – Walter’s prediction was that we’d have them by 2015.
- Peter’s illness was “genetic, savage and wasting”. Peternate also had the same/similar illness.
- In witnessing a “significant moment” (as the Observers have done throughout histories) in which Walternate discovered the cure for Peternate, September also made an error as his appearance in the Lab distracted Walternate from realising that he had found the cure. This mistake changed reality, as Peternate would now die. The Observers realised that they couldn’t let Peternate die because of his overriding “importance”, so they perceived the future possibilities and saw that this new course of events would present further opportunities to ensure that Peternate got his cure and survived. This opportunity arrived in the shape of Walter witnessing the cure, prompting him to travel to the alternate universe to ultimately bring Peternate back with him. Septembers “fix” came when the cosmic forces of the universe (or physics) contrived to break the ice as Walter and Peternate came over from the other side. September dived into Reiden lake and saved them both, delivering Walter the message that Peternate was important and needed to live. In simple terms, Peternate wasn’t supposed to die (until September’s mistake changed his fate), so September restored balance by averting Peternate’s new found path to death and saving his life.
- Walter crossed over to the alternate universe by creating a wormhole using Casimir Effect.
- By crossing over the the alternate universe, Walter shattered the fundamental constants of nature. Walter believes that this was the first time that someone had travelled between the two universes, providing the ‘first of many cracks in a pattern of cracks’.
- Nina lost her arm in a rather comical attempt to stop Walter from crossing over to the alternate universe (as the portal closed, arm went bye-bye), and not by Cancer, as she told Olivia back in the Pilot episode.
- As I speculated during the season 1 finale rewatch, Walter brought Peter over from Reiden Lake. The same lake where David Jones attempted to cross over in “There’s More Than One of Everything”.
- Elizabeth was seemingly complicit in keeping Peternate, even though she knew that he belonged to his parents in the alternate reality.
- Apparently, Walter intended to take Peternate back to his original parents in the alternate universe, until he realised that neither he or Elizabeth could bear to lose him again.
- Walter explaining heady concepts to the military:
“As scientists we must embrace every possibility. No limitations. No boundaries. There is no reason for them.”
- This intent strikes right into the heart of Fringe and it’s take on actions vs consequences. Behind the love and devotion for his dying son, this is the kind of fervor that led Walter to break the rules of nature. Walter has come a long way since then but I have to wonder whether he’d do it all over again if he were to once more lose his son.
- Walter says there’s “no reason” for limitations and boundaries – that’s bold statement. What’s disconcerting is that he’s not so much saying that the boundaries should be broken; he’s saying that it’s all a mindset, that they don’t exist, that they’re an illusion. While he may be right in some ways – physical boundaries are an illusion; we’ve seen people walk through walls at the right frequency and cross through to other words, but perhaps these possibilities were hidden for a reason? Perhaps ‘illusions’ serve a very real purpose in keeping the grand system of realities in order?
- In the 80s, Walter was clearly not man of faith. Today, he’s not only open to faith, but he’s said that he depends upon it at times. What changed? I sense it was losing Peter, his wife, or perhaps even Carla, which triggered his turnaround.
- Walter explaining the mobile phone to military:
“It’s digital. Not analogue”.
- I find it interesting that analogue technology is still so prevalent in the present-day mythology of the Fringe. What is it about analogue that the show is trying to tell us? Is it purely for espionage avoision purposes, or is there more to it?
- I like the following exchange – it’s an effective way to illustrate the political climate of the time and the quirks of the “quite” similar alternate universe.
Military Dude: “Dr. Bishop. Is this Russian technology?”
Walter: “No it is not. It is quite American”
- Walter explaining The Window:
“The Window essentially stretches the membrane between our worlds”.
This isn’t the first time such a description has been used in the show, but other than describing the “line in the sand”, it also conveys (to me) a sense of nature being alive, violated by those who dare the breach. Like I’ve said before, whenever Mother Nature is brought into this I pay attention.
- Clearly the writers of this episode watched Johari Window:
Walter: “[the alternate universe is] at all times, right in front of our eyes. We just can’t see it”.
In all seriousness, it’s nice to know that Johari contributed to some foreshadowing. It’s not as though it was unexpected (pretty much every episode of Fringe contains some important foreshadowing), but it’s good to see it realised in this way.
- Walter said that he always knew that one day he’d have to pay the price for his deception. What gave him that impression? For all he knew he may not have ever seen Peternate again once he got locked up in St. Claire’s. Did he see the future to know that events would lead to Peternate finding out (he did know “someone would come, eventually”), or is this a reference to Karma, God, the after life? Walter’s talk is that of a man who fears punishment – a far cry from the 80s Walter who mocked the ‘God’s domain’.
- I also have to point out the echoes to the previous episode where we saw the RULES of the Multiverse with the “mass for mass” balancing effect. In other words; what goes around, comes around!
- *Walter God Reference Alert! Walter God Reference Alert!*:
“..He was. God help me. He was”.
- As I’ve always said, whenever God is mentioned in this show I try to see if there’s any deep foreshadowing. For a show so ingrained in science and technology, the fact that God is such a key player (in my opinion) is most interesting to me. Perhaps this is part of the reason why I’m so intrigued with Carla, and that cute chick who vanished into thin-air after episode 2.02. What’s her name again?
- Watching the two Peters in the flashback, I got the impression that Original Peter was closer to his father, while Peternate had a closer bond with his mother. The coin trick seemed to bring home this idea for me. Perhaps that’s not actually what the writers intended, but I kinda hope it is as I find it fascinating to consider the slight degree of difference between the emotional bonds in both worlds. In other words, are we bound by fate or by free-will? What is the overriding influence, the governing force in the Multiverse? Is it all random, luck of the draw, or is there a reason why we venture down one path and many paths at the same time? I want to know: Is there a design?
- This brings me again to Peters sickness. It was an interesting choice to make them BOTH sick. What instantly sprung to mind is that the writers are trying to convey the idea that throughout the Multiverse we are inherently the same; that there are some constants in our make-up that define who we are. This idea has been present in the show from the moment the alternate reality was confirmed, but I felt that the genetic sickness suffered by both Peters was a really effective way to get us to think about the nature of humanity. If we are influenced and shaped by our surroundings and experiences, then isn’t it interesting that in the Multiverse there is a kind of ‘elastic’ keeping our core elements chugging along the same trajectory. Perhaps I’m reading too much into the role of fate/freewill but given the Observers are interfering when they deem it important, I feel it’s something worth keeping in mind. Oh, and let me just say this: Peter is inherently brave. Perhaps we can read something into that message?
- Both Walters to Both Elizabeths:
“I need you not to doubt me”
- A very important line, it tells us a lot about Walter and perhaps gives us extra insight into why peoples (especially Peter’s) perception of him is so important.
- I never thought I’d say this, Peter, but you made my heart melt, just a little bit:
Peter: “I want you to have it, lucky silver dollar. If I die..it’s OK. I’m not scared”
Peter: “Wake me for dinner. I don’t want to miss it”
- *Peter dies in his fathers arms on an empty stomach*. Can I get an a tissue for like the entire viewing audience please? So sad..so sad.
- Now I’m not saying that this changes the morality of what Walter did, but having Peter die..in his arms, I imagine that’s another level of devastation. Speaking of fate and freewill as I was earlier, it’s also worth mentioning how outcomes play a role in triggering actions. You can make a choice in, say, 10 years time, but that choice was effectively hard-coded into you 10 years earlier when something significant happened to shift your perspective. To my mind the outcome of Peter dying in his arms, was the moment Walter’s path was set. Perhaps, in this way, freewill becomes fate. I just find that insanely interesting.
- How sad was it that not many people turned out for Peter’s funeral. Yet those who were there – including Nina and Carla, loved him so much. Perhaps the turnout was small because Walter and Elizabeth kept him “so well”?
- Walter talking to Jessica Warren in 1.12:
“She was..a wonderful girl. What I remember..is her smile. She had a wonderful smile”
- Walter’s right, wonderful smile.
- In my season 1 finale rewatch, I said the following in relation to Nina’s relationship with Peter:
“Whereas with Peter she’s playful, almost admiring. She really is a bizarre woman. Isn’t she great!”
- This latest episode helped to explain why she’s so fascinated with Peter. In “The Cure” she said they spent time together horsing around, now we can believe her.
- One of the aspects of Peter’s death and subsequent kidnap that has long piqued my interest is the idea that Walter (and perhaps Elizabeth) are/were in love with the ghost of their Peter, and not necessarily Peternate. It’s a hard thing to even consider, because they may have grown to love Peternate for his own unique characteristics, but can you really love a mirrored version of someone you really loved? What I get from this is that everyone has needs motivated by love or self worth. As we saw with Walter, losing his son took away both those things from him and triggered wants; less crucial for survival but predicated on the things that made him tick. For me, this cyclical concept once again boils down to fate and freewill. Does life have a preferred pattern? Our are choices set in stone? In terms of the mythology of this show, I would answer “yes” and “no” respectively, to an extent.
- I also wonder whether some of the later antagonism between Walter and Peternate was the result of Walter realising that he didn’t quite feel the same way about Peternate as he did about Peter? We know that he spent quite a lot of time away from home – are those the actions of a man so grateful for a ‘second chance’ with a version of his son? I’m not judging him, I’m just asking.
- William was in Berlin. Apparently. What is it with him and Germany? And let’s not forget The Bishops German ties. This is going somewhere, I’d bet Deutsche Marks on it.
- Elizabeth questions whether they gave Peter a good life. Walter rejects the idea that they didn’t, saying they did “The best we could. We dealt with what we were given”. Walter continues, “..he knew he was loved..*tears swell his eyes*..didn’t he?”
- This endless search for reassurance must be common, but to see Walter’s self doubt rise above his once solid surface was heart-breaking. And I should probably reiterate one of the most revealing lines of the season (for me, at least): “We did the best with what we were given”. Whether Walter’s attributing luck or a benevolent force for their struggles, it somehow zeroes in on a key factor of life – dealing with our unique set of circumstances, large or small, and trying to do the best that we can. Perhaps Walter’s using this as an excuse – he clearly doubts that they DID do the best by Peter, but either way that line carried real weight.
- Walter to Elizabeth upon showing her Peternate through the Window:
“Somewhere Peter will grow up, somewhere he will lead a proper life, somewhere he will be happy. it’s just not here, and we must take comfort in this”
- Another line that carried significance. I mentioned at the end of the season 1 finale how the Multiverse offers hope – the possibility that in bad times, comfort can be drawn from the idea that things may be better on the other side of the curtain. But how realistic is that? Sure, the grass might be greener for their doubles, but from Elizabeth’s point of view she’s not connected to the other side. That’s why this is so interesting – as viewers we struggle to invest in characters and concepts that aren’t relatable. So imagine how difficult it must be to invest in the idea that, in theory, Peter is going to live a better life, only elsewhere. It’s interesting to watch Elizabeth’s reactions upon seeing Peternate, it really illustrates how the way in which we see the world is often very subjective and, well, selfish. My question is the same as it was since last season: is their some intrinsic relationship between our characters and their doubles that we don’t yet know about? There has to be, right?
- A cheeky part of me also wonders whether Walter only showed Elizabeth Peternate because he KNEW full well that she wouldn’t let Peternate go if he somehow managed to find a way to bring him over. Thus giving him the ready made excuse that he ‘fully intended’ to return Peter. Just putting it out there, this is, after all, a man who kidnapped is own son and lied about it.
- This probably isn’t true, but I like to believe that one of the underlying idea’s is that Walternate’s failure to observe the experiment (cure) at all times caused the results to change (i.e. missing the positive result). This ties in with my Observer theory, Quantum Theory, and the idea that observations change reality. In other words, if a plum falls in the garden, does it really fall if you don’t see it?
- Walter referring to Walternate:
“He’s just like me. I wouldn’t look back and neither would he”
- Sums up Walter’s early character and perhaps explains why he was able to steal Peternate and lie about it for so long. Guess what Walter: time to look back.
- Just one of the reasons I developed a fondness for Carla.
“I may go to Church every Sunday Walter, but I also have three degrees in theoretical physics and I am telling you, you cannot do this”.
- She has a point, Walter:
“For the sake of one life, you will destroy the world”
- A quote which cuts to the heart of the matter. It turns out it’s not as simple as that, however, as the Observers believed that Peter needed to survive. That said, September appeared to act based upon the action he perceived Walter taking. At the end of the day it was still essentially Walter’s decision to do what he did. Peter being important is beside the point as Walter was only thinking of himself and not the timeline, or whatever. Kinda like August in 2.08, only he wasn’t quite as reckless.
- Nina seemed to suggest that William wouldn’t approve of Walter finding a way to cross over to the other side. Interesting, considering William later crossed over to the other side! On the same note, Walter suggested that William was the one who encouraged him to take such risks. Given what we know about William, the thought of him pushing Walter down this path is very intriguing. If Peter’s illness wasn’t genetic I might suggest that William somehow made Peter sick so that Walter “had to find a way” to cross over.
- Walter suggests that William is a showman, that he’s not as intelligent as people think. This plays into the idea that William has profited off the back of Walter’s rise and fall. It also adds sharp contrast to the image of Bell comforting Walter has he prepared to remove his memories in 2.10. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, is “Bellie” the Man Behind the Curtain in all of this – nudging people down paths (or through windscreens) and pulling strings to fit his own ends?
- Given the hints that Elizabeth is dead I wonder if the alternate Elizabeth (Peternate’s real mom) is still alive and whether Walter will one day fulfill his promise by bringing Peternate back to her?
- Alternate Elizabeth appeared to sense that all was not as it seemed as Walter walked away with Peternate in his arms. By the way, didn’t she ask why he wasn’t taking the car?
- It seems as though the manner of Nina’s decapitation meant that the arm had to be mechanical – “[William] has some thoughts on Nina’s arm”. Also, although Nina’s story about Cancer being the cause of losing her arm was a lie, I wonder if losing her arm to such large amounts of energy caused some kind of cancerous onset? Just a wild thought, perhaps some of what she said was true?
- Walter’s response to Peternate saying that he’s not his father: “Of course I am. Who else would I be? And I’m going to make you all better”. That’s correct phrasing, of course, but I wonder whether it’s also an intentional nod to the fact that there’s more than one of everything? As I mentioned above, how can we measure our relationship to our doubles, can we look at them as extensions of ourselves, or mutually exclusive entities who just happen to share similar traits and experiences?
“You must fix him”
- Intentional wording there – “fix him”. It’s so emotionally detached, as if Peter is a machine, possibly giving us more insight into the Observers outlook on humanity.
“The boy is important. He has to live”
- Why? What is so special about Peter other than the fact he can kick down doors and pick locks? In all seriousness there’s two things which spring to mind:
A. Peter was seemingly important BEFORE Walter took him from the other side and not as a result of taking him.
B. With that in mind, I have to reach back into my Fringe Drawer of Cracked Pots and suggest that Peter is actually an Observer child, or a hybrid of some kind. This could mean that he wasn’t really Walternate’s in the first place. Or perhaps he’ll go on to do something important, which in turn makes him important? Just throwing a couple of ideas out there, it’s surely one of the most interesting questions to date in Fringe. And don’t call me surely!
- Walter’s excuse:
“The way she looked at him. I saw her, what I feared most in myself when I saw him..that I couldn’t lose him again”
By the way, how feral was that look on Elizabeth’s face when she held Peternate?
- Walter to Olivia:
“You can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child”
- On its on it’s a moving line, at the hands of John Noble and Giacchino score it’s a cocktail of weeping sadness. Olivia played her part too, I love the way she seemed to harden ever so slightly as she eased back into her seat. In that moment she had Walter’s justification for taking Peter, and I just wonder whether the presumptuousness of Walter put up a few roadblocks to Olivia’s compassion. I mean, for all Walter knows, she MIGHT know what it’s like to lose a child, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that one comes back into play at some point.
Is it better to not have temptation at all than to succumb to it? The overriding message from this episode for me is that no matter how much wealth, power, or knowledge you have, there are consequences if you cross the line. Which makes sense because that’s why the line is there. We all know where the line is even though – like the alternate reality – we can’t see it. But it’s there in our conscience and I love the way this episode illustrated the comfort and pain provided by hard science when combined with fragile human emotion. The two are often disparate, but as this episode showed, we’re becoming more dependant on science not only to function, but to gain second chances.
Walter basically cheated. He cheated Mother Nature, God (whether or not he believed in him, he was aware of him and that says a lot in my book), Peternate’s parents, Peternate, and perhaps most of all, Peter by replacing his memory before his body was barely in the ground. People die every day – what gave Walter the right to be the exception? I’m not being heartless, I’m simply being as objective.
At the end of “Jacksonville” my affection towards Walter had cooled somewhat. I’ll admit that I was disgusted by his snivelling request that Olivia keep quiet about Peter’s origins. The fact that he got found out rather than offering the truth disappointed me. But then I look at Walter in this episode – all that he’s been through and how far he’s come, and I realise that if science is able to offer us second chances, surely humanity can also offer forgiveness? I’m not comfortable with Walter – I’m not sure I’ll ever be. But I’m fully behind his rehabilitation, and I really hope that Peter can find it in himself to forgive his father.
Best Moment: Walter lying to Peternate and Elizabeth as he took the boy away. The level of deception there is chilling.
Best Performer: John Noble
If you enjoyed “Peter”, you’ll like: “The Arrival”, “Bad Dreams”, “There’s More Than One Of Everything”
Episode Rating: 9/10