Review: 2.19 Brown Betty


Welcome to the FB review of Fringe season 2 episode 19 – “Brown Betty“. 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: In some instances I use the term “Waltercal” (as in Walter/Musical Episode) to help distinguish between the Walter from the musical fairytale and Walter the narrator.

THE GOOD

  • The tone and feel of the episode was different from what I’ve come to expect from Fringe, but it wasn’t too different. The storyline and themes were explored, if not continued, and the characters resembled their original counterparts. This really helped me to accept the episode for what it was. The integrity of the show also remains intact – I’m not quite sure how, but they pulled it off. Disaster averted.
  • There was far less singing than I expected! For whatever reason – possibly because it was described as a “musical episode” – I was expecting almost every scene to be crammed full of song and dance. That was far from being the case, as the songs were interspersed responsibly throughout the narrative.
  • I like how the characters were all slightly twisted and heightened versions of who we know them to be. Olivia was still an agent of sorts, Broyles a bossman who knows more than he lets on, Nina an untrustworthy iron maiden with a penchant for Olivia, Peter an enigma with a heart (literally), and Walter a wizard who is both the hero and the villain of the piece. It was a really absorbing interpretation of the world of the show, and informed me on the state of what goes on inside Walter’s mind. If this is how he sees the world, then I need a prescription of whatever he’s taking.
  • The episode was a lot more useful than I expected it to be. It was as though the writers used this opportunity to reference previous episodes, while adding some extra brush strokes to the characters, giving us extra insight into who they are, inherently. That’s one of the useful things I’ve found about the alternate universe storyline – that we can see exactly who these people are through multiple dimensions (for example, both Peters being “brave” in the face of death). These constants, though tweaked, slanted or heightened, represent the core of our characters, and I found that this musical interpretation also served as a useful tool in that regard.

THE BAD

  • I would still have preferred a normal episode of Fringe. The musical element worked a lot better than I feared it wouldn’t, but the general idea might have served even better as a bonus episode, perhaps for the DVD, than an episode building towards the climatic end of the second season.
  • This is probably a bit of an obvious statement considering this was a musical episode, but I thought that the ending – especially Ella’s interpretation – was a bit contrived. I liked the symbolism in Peter splitting the heart in two and all, but as endings go Ella needs to work on hers. ;)
  • I know that this is episode represented a heightened interpretation based on a heightened world, but the idea of Walter stealing dreams from children sent my Sappydar sky rocketing. Again, I totally get the parallels to the Cortexiphan/alt. universe storyline, and on some level I very much appreciated them, but like I said, it was a bit too sappy for my taste. “He steals childrens dreams”. How Jackson said that with a straight face, I’ll never know. “and he replaces them with nightmares”. Ok, you can stop now, Peter. “that’s what this is, a pattern of destruction”. Oh heck. “Of damaged kids..shattered innocents”. Enough, already!
  • The glass heart thing – as good as I thought the metaphor it was – did get a bit preposterous at times. I mean, if Peter/Walter can survive on Duracell batteries, what do they need the heart for? And wouldn’t they only be half alive if they split it in two? Now I’m no gumshoe, but I suspect Walter might have been engaging in drug activity before imagining this story. Call it a hunch.

WHAT WE LEARNED

This episode served as a useful exploration into how Walter perceives his friends, family and those he comes into contact with. Here are some of my findings based on Walter’s interpretations of these people.

  • Olivia believes in love. Great love – in Walter’s opinion. He believes that she is a protector who also needs protecting. He also sees her as someone with hidden desires – “dancing”. He wants Peter to be the one to do the hot shuffle with her.
  • Walter believes Massive Dynamic to be an underhand organization, describing them as “a vile firm that never missed an opportunity to exploit the little guy, profiteering off the creativity of others”. Walter is clearly personalising his experience and memories of Massive Dynamic and the way William Bell seemingly shafted him and his ideas, taking them corporate and cutting out his brain pieces while he rotted in St. Claire’s.
  • Walter sees himself (or would like to) as a good person – someone has spent his life mending things, bringing joy and happiness to make the world a better place. In context, Walter aspires to be that person – someone who has invented everything that is wondrous in the world. Ultimately though, he also sees himself as being deeply flawed and inherently dangerous. Yet redeemable.
  • Walter sees Astrid as being a person with the patience of a saint, and equally caring. Someone who is perhaps too accommodating for her own good (“because that’s just the kind of girl you are”), and someone who doesn’t switch her phone off in a job interview. Tsk.
  • Walter sees Broyles as a cool cat with a cool hat. He believes that he knows more than he lets on, but that ultimately he has good intentions and wants to protect ‘all of his agents’ from the even ‘bigger boys’.
  • Walter sees September as someone who is wary of letting his emotions interfere with his job. He sees the Observers – at least some of them – as able to be bought.
  • Walter believes that Nina is untrustworthy. He seems to think that she has had intimate relations with Bell at some point. Don’t tell Broyles.
  • Walter believes that Bell wants to return home.
  • Walter doesn’t see Peter as his own son, but has ‘grown to love him as his own’. So much so that his own life is intrinsically linked to Peter’s heart. He fears that Peter will take his heart away and Olivia with him.
  • Walter believes that he will die from a broken heart if Peter doesn’t return.

UNRESOLVED

  • Did Olivia’s wound from September’s laser gun heal because it was supposed to, or does it allude more to Olivia’s own ability to ‘self protect’? Possibly a bit of both?
  • Does Peter really have something inside him that will become important in the future of the show, or should we only take the glass heart as a metaphor for Peter’s importance in the ‘Two Worlds’ storyline?
  • Who was September speaking to at the end? What probable outcomes is he perceiving?
  • If Rachel dies for real, will Olivia have to babysit more often?

ANSWERS

  • Elizabeth used to read stories to young Peter. Walter was always too busy inventing rainbows working.
  • Walter’s mom used to read to him as a boy. I think this is the first time (or one of the first) that we’ve heard her referenced in the show. Walter was also the victim of bullying.

FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • They didn’t actually show Walter administering the narcotics – presumably FOX didn’t want to risk being inundated with complaints of how Walter’s a bad role model for kids (Ella didn’t seem to mind). What a funny way to begin the episode, it set the stage perfectly – puff, puff. Don’t do drugz kidz.
  • Walter labelling everything in his lab as his way of dealing with his missing son was a very Walterish thing to do. “A well ordered house, is the sign of a well ordered mind”. (episode 2.18).
  • I love Astrid being there for Walter in his hour of need. She’s like his little rock of hope:

“It’s important to take control of one’s life”

“Walter, Peter is going to come back. He just needs some time. But he will come back”

  1. Aww, can we all just give it up for Astrid.
  • “Hey Dunham, what could possibly be more important than finding Peter? Oh, you’ve brought the adorable Ella with you. Peter. Peter who?” In all seriousness, it was a bit weird. My feelings about Rachel and her parenting skills have been made known on numerous occasions, so I’m hardly surprised that she’s scooted off to Chi Town and dumped Ella on Olivia. Not only has Peter disappeared (and shouldn’t Rachel care about that, considering their flirting last season?) but Olivia doesn’t get much time off and the last thing she needs is to babysit that bundle of energy. Seriously, Rachel has problems. I guess it’s good to see the writers keeping Rachel in character though, as I had complained about Olivia’s out of character actions over the past couple of episodes.
  • I had to LOL at Ella calling Walter “Uncle Walter”. Even funnier was the fact that he didn’t know who the heck she was: “Who’s that?” (asks Walter, some 10 hours later :) )

“It’s Ella Walter. Rachel’s daughter. Rachel’s Olivia’s sister”. That’s not exactly something Olivia wants to be reminded about too often.

  • The funny moments kept coming as Olivia gave Astrid another of her trademark dirty looks when the lab assistant invited Ella to gorge on sweets. Aunt Liv wasn’t too happy with Astrid for a moment or two: “But she’ll ruin her appetite, we’re having Mc Donald’s for dinner!”. What do you mean she didn’t say that?
  • Is it just me, or were these opening few minutes some of the funniest we’ve seen on the show? Walter mistakenly thinking that Olivia was asking him to look after Stella, and his explanation that he’s too far into “Phase One” to look after anyone else, tickled me silly.

“Walter just smoked something called “Brown Betty”. LOL at Olivia’s face! Seriously, if we’re going to do musical and possibly animated episodes, we might as well just have an episode containing Olivia’s expressions. They’re killer. Literally.

  • Is this like the 3rd or 4th time we’ve seen the Operation game referenced in the show now? This was probably the most effective use of the game as Walter desperately extracts Cavity Sam’s heart by any means possible. (“you’re not supposed to touch the sides”). A clear metaphor for the episode, and the Peter storyline. In fact the episode has several moments like this, another being Walter saying that he never meant for Rachel to get harmed. This ties into Walter’s propensity to ‘unintentionally’ put people in harms way in his restless pursuit to get what he wants.
  • Ella:

“all you’ve done is eat all of my snacks and talk about weird stuff”

  1. What is it with characters in Bad Robot shows? They all seem to take ownership over things that don’t belong to them. If you watch Lost you’ll know what I mean, and Ella is no different. I blame Rachel.
  • Good to see continuity – even in Walter’s imagination Olivia likes her drink.

  • It looks like the writers have all but quashed any idea of Rachel and Peter getting together:

Ella: “My mom doesn’t love Peter”

  1. OK writers, I’ll accept this as your house-cleaning on the matter and we can now put that one to bed. So to speak. But what does Ella know, she’s about, what, 3 years old or something. :)
  • Walter’s Wacky World was seemingly set in the 40s with technology from that era, yet it also contained modern technology, such as mobile phones and computers. Somehow this ‘hybrid’ landscape doesn’t seem too out of place from the main worlds of the show, which also feature their own cross-pollination of the old and the new.
  • I loved this exchange:

Ella: “That’s not how it goes, she can’t be dead”

Walter: “Why not?”

Astrid: “Probably because it’s her mother, Walter”

Ella: “No, that’s not it..”

  1. Haha, tell it like it is, Stella! :P

  • While the following from Broyles is in reference to the events in Walter’s mind, I wonder whether it should be applied to the broader story:

“..one thing we both know, Dunham – death seems to follow you around”

  1. Notice how Olivia absorbs a few seconds before asking Broyles to explain his point. She knows exactly what he means because she’s been thinking the same thing for a while. The line caught my attention because Olivia is so often portrayed as the protector, the bringer of peace (Olivia means Olive Tree in Latin, which is a symbol of peace). So it’s interesting to consider Olivia’s impact on the world around her in a slightly different light – in that, in some way she is also responsible for the bad things that happen. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the kind of ‘responsibility’ that is a direct consequence of the things Walter and William did to her and the other children in those clinical trials. And let’s not forget that Olivia, though strong, is also emotional and takes things to heart – she’s bound to examine her own part in anything that goes wrong (letting Newton escape in exchange for Walter’s life, for instance). For me, this makes sense as I often see Olivia’s journey and The Pattern (or whatever the team are reacting to) as being interwoven.
  • The part where Broyles tells Olivia to “leave things to the big boys”. Great line, but I found Olivia’s reaction to be a bit weird. I get that she palmed Broyles off so that she could continue to poke her nose into the case, but it didn’t quite work for me as it deflated the entire scene. Not sure if it came out quite as the writers had intended?
  • This story that Walter concocted is really intriguing – as the producers have said, it holds a mirror up to what is going on inside his head. And I found it interesting that, in some ways, the story represented a counter-balance to what actually happened between Walter and Peter. Walter initially presents Peter as being the “bad guy” – the one who stole his heart, when in truth we know that Walter is the one who is the villain, the one who stole Peter from his home. Of course, the episode gradually comes to that truth, but nonetheless I found it telling that Walter would even dare to paint Peter as the antagonist, fairytale or no fairytale. It’s almost as though Walter is so broken up by what he’s done to Peter that he turned the tables around in his mind to reveal that he too has been hurt by what has transpired. After all, his son has deserted him. That has got to hurt underneath all of the the guilt and sorrow. I’m not sure if the writers wanted to get this idea across, or whether it just boils down to the narrative that they chose to unfold the story with, but I found it insightful.
  • The singing corpses were great. Walter’s response was better:

“Why not bring a little life to the dead, I say”.

  1. LOL! And I’ve seen Olivia give this expression on more than one occasion.
  • The idea that Walter invented “hugs” is both absurd and tragic at the same time. There’s just something not quite right with someone who claims to have invented the hug, and it speaks volumes for Walter’s sense of loss and his own need to be loved. In fact that’s it. This episode really informed me that Walter wants to be loved. Contrast this with the pre-Reiden lake Walter who was, by all accounts, a “slave driver”.
  • For a show that deals heavy with perception, it’s interesting to use Waltercal as a gauge for both how Walter sees himself, and who he aspires to be . The Waltercal character, for me, represented both of these things – throughout the narrative, Walter depicts Waltercal as a crook but also someone who has brought so much good to the world. But clearly a lot of this perceived ‘goodness’ is not a realistic because it is counter-balanced by his deception and the trail of dead bodies that lie in his wake. But it can serve as aspirations for the kind of person Walter wants to become. I just found it really interesting to take Waltercal at face value, but to also see the narrative as describing someone who neither Walter or Waltercal are, but both want to be. For a musical episode that’s a lot of detail, unless, of course, I’m interpreting things that weren’t intended by the writers. Who knows.

  • Again, I was intrigued by Walter’s description of the heart – “a power source but capable of many wondrous things”. It’s worth noting that Walter first describes its logical (scientific, if you will) function, before hinting at why it’s really special. “Many wondrous things” is an interesting choice of words because it describes the heart without really describing it. It’s similar to faith, or love, in that sense – how you can understand what it means too have it, but not quite know how to explain it. My next thought was, ‘if the heart is so wondrous, what must it be like to not have one’ – and this is exactly Waltercal’s predicament. Like so many things, we don’t appreciate them until they’re gone. Or maybe we do, but to experience that absence is a whole new reality.
  • Now perhaps it’s just me, but there’s something about this quest for a “glass” heart (note: not a real one) that captivates my imagination. It really is fairytale stuff, and within that context lies deep metaphors that are difficult to pin down. Perhaps it’s that the heart is made of glass, therefore illustrating it’s fragility and tendency to shatter quite easily. Or maybe it’s the mirrored quality of humanity replacing organs and tissue with inanimate objects that continue to supersede nature. Or possibly, it’s just the idea of Walter doing almost anything to steal someone else’s heart because his own one was “bad” (this is probably the closest we’ve seen Walter come to saying that he’s a bad person). Whatever it is, this fantastical idea somehow seems so natural.
  • On some level, I got the sense that Walter was questioning Peter’s morality through Waltercal. “The heart is priceless, who knows what somebody would pay for it” – the suggestion being that Peter would sell it for a quick buck (like he did with his books). Again, this could just be the cloak and dagger nature of the narrative, but it’s notable that Walter doesn’t shy away from muddying Peter’s root nature. Of course, Walter’s perception is soon transitioned through Waltercal and the events in the episode, but I find it interesting to examine the level of subjectivity in this story. Personally, I’m fascinated by the idea that this story isn’t all sunshine and light, that there ARE things about Peter that Walter doesn’t necessarily like – because that’s more real to me than them hugging it up all the time. These are two men with real issues that they are working through. Yes, they love each other as much as is humanly possible, but within that there are still issues to be resolved and boundaries to be readjusted. This is probably why I disliked Ella’s ending so much – I hope Peter forgives Walter, but if it’s all forgotten in a few episodes or seasons then I’ll call foul.
  • Walter:

“I have so much good left to do. If I die I’ll never get to finish any of them. All of my ideas, they will all die with me”

  1. This echoes Walter’s quest for redemption and his belief in his own good nature. Again, I question the lengths that Waltercal was prepared to go to in order to get ‘his’ heart. What does this say about Walter? Is this lack of regard for the consequences of his actions more descriptive of Past Walter, or does Present Day Walter still have ‘it’ in him?
  • Weird how Dunham let a strange man stab her in the chest without even trying to struggle. This isn’t the Liv I know.

  • September:

“Don’t stick your heart out where it doesn’t belong”

  1. Interesting, bearing in mind this is coming from the imagination of Walter Bishop. Could this, I wonder, be in reference to Olivia interfering and pressurising Walter to tell Peter the truth about his origins, or is it just a comment on Olivia’s character in general? I guess it works both ways.
  • There were a couple of instances throughout the story were Olivia was sarcastic. Which is great, because it implies that normal Olivia has a bit of that in her, which is something I’ve thought for a while – certainly with her facial expressions.
  • I’ve mentioned before how Olivia has hardly said two words to Astrid in their entire time working together for Fringe Division. Well, in this episode they had a lot of interaction. Shame it only took place in Never Never Land. D’oh!

  • RIP Rachel. You were a mother and a sister. You could boil a pot of pasta, while your child’s brains were being fried by a computer programme, better than any one I have ever seen. You went on numerous excursions which required you to dump your child on hard-working Olivia. You liked Peter and Peter liked you. You both momentarily flirted. Every time I hear Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” I now think of you. Thanks for that Rachel. Not that I listen to “Single Ladies” often, but the video is pretty good. Rachel, your name began with “R”, you and I should have seen eye to eye. You had annoying friends and brought them into our lives. Your child is as bright as a button (are you sure she’s not Olivia’s?), and for that Mother Nature deserves credit. Rachel, you will be sorely missed. This blog will not be the same witho… “Oh crap, what do you mean you only died in Walter’s head?” *sigh*.
  • Brandon working at the patent office was a nice touch. I’ve never been blown away by Brandon, to be honest, but I liked him here.
  • Nina called September’s weapon the “Quantum Laser”, which surely harks back to the Observer weapons in the normal show. Does this give us a clue as to the nature of his gear? I’ve long considered quantum theory as being a part of their make-up. We’ll see.
  • Nina calls the Observers, “the Watchers”, a nice spin on their name which seems more fitting for that era.
  • Ella becomes the audience:

Ella: “She was lying..Nina Sharp, she was lying wasn’t she?”

Walter: “What makes you thunk that?”

Ella “I don’t know, I just don’t trust her”

Walter: “Smart girl”

  • I suspect, Walter then morphed into the writers, with his: “you’re getting ahead of the narrative, but you’re thinking along the right lines”.
  • I didn’t think I’d be saying this, but the episode featured some of the best emotional beats of the season. The scene where Olivia tells Peter that she likes to dance is so splendidly searching and uplifting. Just look at the emotions that slide across her face in the space of about 5 seconds:

“I’d take you though”

“you would? Why’s that?”

“..it seems like it would be fun. You look like a good dancer”

(Olivia melts…before catching herself…and hardens once more. Peter’s almost too good to be true, right, plus she wants to find out if he’s for real).

  • The alternate reality in this world that Walter has imagined is, as far as I can tell, computerised. This is illustrated through William Bell being on the Other Side and animated, and with Peter being born with a motorised glass heart.
  • It’s amazing how much Olivia softens over the course of the episode. Peter brings out a different side in her – the side of love. *world melts into a puddle of Cortexiphaned goo*
  • Peter: “It must be nice to know who you are, to know your place in the world”. Jackson is starting to get inside Peter’s head. The past couple of episodes is the most convincing I’ve seen him for a while.
  • The scene were Peter ‘dies’ is like the missing narrative on why Olivia decided to join Walter in burying the truth about Peter’s origins – ‘she has only just discovered him, she can’t afford to lose him now’. Also, a word of Torv’s singing. I thought it was  unexpectedly beautiful. The dramatic context and the score definitely contributed, but the performance (and I’m talking about the emotion) was spot on. I know that the idea of singing someone back to life is sappy, but looking past all that it was a really good moment.

  • Her reaction once “PETA!” breathed life back into his battery powered lungs was also great. She was so caught up, so invested that she then had to catch herself a little bit and remember that she doesn’t really know this guy – even though she really does in so many ways. Again, maybe it’s me, but I really dug her performance.
  • Walter’s rendition of “The Candy Man” was seriously creepy and slightly psychotic. The fact that he saw himself as a ‘candy man’ – was disconcerting considering all the kids he had ‘damaged’. That he continues to recite the song after Peter has walked off with his heart saying “there’s some things you can’t undo”, was also very sad indeed. It was like he was still hanging on to the faint hopes of redemption (‘making the world better’) but knew that he’d die before he even got the chance.
  • As I mentioned earlier, I found Ella’s ending to be contrived, but I liked the sentiment – the idea that Walter asked for another chance, saying he could ‘fix the damage’ he’d done, rather than saying he could ‘make up for it’. To me ‘fixing’ something conveys a more genuine intent than ‘making up’ for something. Because you can’t ever make up for stealing a child from his parents. But maybe, just maybe you can fix some of the pain. Maybe there’s not much different there, but to me fixing something seems a lot more sincere.
  • I’m slightly perturbed. In my review for the previous episode I said that the true measure of how “special” Peter was, might come down to whether or not he forgives Walter. Then in this episode we see Peter taking his “special heart” and forgiving Walter. Am I scared that I’m tapping into something I shouldn’t be – the Ghost Network, perhaps? Well, this is Fringe and strange coincidences happen, I guess.
  • Considering all of this came from the mind of Walter, he is one very perceptive cat. It’s amazing how much he takes in about others and himself. Just something to remember going forward.
  • A quick word on Ella. Nice girl. If hear ‘why don’t you tell me a story?’ one more time I’ll scream like a little girl who has had her dreams stolen by Walter Bishop. My point, though, this is this: Ella seems so full of life, so happy and, well, normal. Seeing her like this made me once again wonder what Olivia was like as a child. I imagine she was much more quiet, introverted and weary. Strong, yes, but damaged. I just find the contrast between Ella and my perception of a far more ‘mystical’ Olive worth mentioning, since who knows when we’ll see Ella again. I can’t wait to find out more about Olivia’s past – perhaps in season 3?

FINAL THOUGHT

Let me just say that I was not expecting to like this episode and I have no reason for talking it up when I am inherently in tune with the mystery and mythology of the show. I have little time for Glee and I’m not crazy about musicals. But I thought that this episode of Fringe was worthy of my time and attention. I enjoyed it. I did not think I’d be writing these words. I didn’t think I’d have much to say except “on to the next one”, but I am actually looking forward to rewatching this episode again at some point.

Perhaps someone put something in my coffee, or maybe it’s the fact that it wasn’t terrible that surprised me. But actually, I think it’s more than that. I think that the humor appealed to me and the narrative didn’t put me out of joint. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how or why something works, it only matters that it worked. (I know, this coming from the guy who has just written a 15,000 word review of the episode, trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t! :) ).

I have to commend all involved for pulling this one off. No, I wont be signing up to Glee Weekly anytime soon, and no, the episode wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and no, I don’t want to see Fringe become a carousel of TV genres (or Glee’s shoe-shine boy – nothing wrong with shoe-shining, but Glee can do its own in future). But I have been reminded of one thing – ‘open your mind to the impossible’.

Best moment: Olivia ‘fixing’ Peter.

Best performer: John Noble

If you enjoyed “Brown Betty”, you’ll like: “Brown Betty”.

Episode rating: 7.5/10

Comments

  1. Anjali says

    Wohoooo!! Glad to see you came around Roco! :)

    I really really liked this episode. I thought the writers did an excellent job. So many references back to Season 1, Anna Torv’s splendid (as always… that woman is brilliant) acting, the singing corpses, “It’s a hug, of course” (LOL, that got me in splits), the references to Peter’s ‘heart’ throughout the episode.

    Good stuff.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      Anjali,

      I think this episode shocked me as much as anyone. I’m really pleased I enjoyed it as much as I did. Glad to see you enjoyed it too. :)

      You’re right to point out the huge number of references in this episode. I’ve always loved the self referential nature of this show and “Brown Betty” didn’t disappoint in that regard!

      Like: Thumb up 0

  2. modulegirl says

    Roco, wonderful, insightful review as always.

    The first thing I took from the episode came from the double ending. I think Walter does not see himself as worthy of being forgiven. That’s why his ending was so bleak. It allowed for no pity on Peter’s part, no measure of understanding, no possibility of love lingering in Peter’s heart that would allow a son to forgive a father who, though he has caused great harm not least upon his own son, so obviously loves him. And Ella was right, Walter’s ending was too bleak, but hers reflected the sensibility of a child who looks for and expects a “happily ever after” in all her stories. So her ending *was* too sappy, but I would never expect it to be the ending the show-runners foresee. I think the truth will be nearer to a middle between the two extremes. Peter will return and there will be eventual forgiveness (begrudgingly bestowed I’ll warrant) but things between father and son will be far from back to normal if ever at all.

    Also, Peter is thirty-two years old. When will they stop referring to him as “the boy”?

    (I’m heavily under the influence of David Tennant’s “Hamlet” performance as I write this, so please forgive any floridness of language:-)

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • says

      modulegirl,

      Great points. I agree that by the end of the episode Walter doesn’t believe that Peter will have it in him to forgive Walter any time soon. As you point out, there’s an absence of understanding on Peter’s part, and equally Walter can understand that. I do believe that Walter sees himself as redeemable (and on some level I think that he believes in his own worth) and that he can make up for the harm that he’s caused, but he also thinks that Peter wont share that belief.

      I like your point about Ella. I hadn’t really given as much thought to the context of her ending, and how through the eyes of a child such bleakness is not even a consideration. This all seems to tie back to the idea that children have ‘limitless’ imaginations with the capacity to perceive more possibilities than their elder counterparts. No doubt this gives us some more insight into Cortexiphan and why it is that it only worked on children.

      With this in mind, I definitely have a greater appreciation of Ella’s ending now. I maintain that I still don’t necessarily like the ‘mechanics’, in terms of how it landed (i.e. Peter forgiving Walter so easily, Olivia and Peter dancing), but it does reinforce that duality that permeates the show, as well as giving Walter the hope that he so badly needs to cling on to.

      Thanks for sharing your views!

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  3. pugui says

    I can’t tell you how glad I am to hear you liked the episode and to read such a thoughtful review. A lot of people truly didn’t seem to get it, which is just a shame.
    I know it seemed to come at a bad time, but Fringe is already sort of notorious in that regard!

    One of the things I really enjoyed was Olivia’s journey through the episode. In the end she finds her place beside Peter. Of course this is how Walter sees it, but I think this is why Olivia couldn’t let Peter go, she finds it very important to have Peter by her side (like Uncle Belly said to her once). Gate and gatekeeper? Hmm…

    Olivia’s small yet heartfelt song went a long way making me forgive the absence of a proper Olivia & Peter scene before he disappeared.
    For the longest time I didn’t like Olivia’s character that much, but this whole season and specially this episode have really made me appreciate and care for Olivia Dunham. Anna’s acting just keeps getting better and better. The whole cast seemed to step up their game this last few episodes, perhaps John Noble is rubbing off on them.
    I should also give special props to Joshua Jackson for making me “melt into a puddle of Cortexiphaned goo”. Kid’s charisma is out of this universe.

    “Sometimes it doesn’t matter how or why something works, it only matters that it worked.”

    AMEN!

    Best moment: Olivia ‘fixing’ Peter.

    Why is it that Peter always needs *fixing*, like he’s a machine or something?

    Great review as always!

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    • says

      pugui,

      You make an excellent point about Olivia’s journey through the episode – it really was a journey.

      Throughout the episode I had to keep reminding myself that the actions of the characters are based on Walter’s perspective (aside from Ella’s ending), and it’s really interesting to see that Walter also understands why Olivia can’t afford to let Peter go. It’s fascinating to think that all of this time Walter has not only been processing his own motivations, but also that of Olivia.

      And it’s interesting that you should mention Bellie – why is it that he knows that Olivia needs Peter by her side? Hmm…

      Thanks for sharing your views!

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  4. Karo says

    I didn’t know what to expect from this episode, but as a hard fan, i really enjoyed it.
    So i’m glad you did too.

    To really enjoy this ep, you had to actually make an effort to understand what the writers were doing there, all the symbolism, details, references they put in the script for us fans to catch. I thought it was cleverly written and very well done.

    Too bad so many people out there just don’t get it. In my mind, if you like Fringe and it’s mythology, you had to appreciate the effort. I think we’ll have a nice time watching this ep again after the Finale or in season 3, because hints were everywhere.

    Again, i really enjoyed your review and the Rachel paragraph is priceless!

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    • says

      Karo,

      The writers and everyone involved certainly deserve credit for implementing so much symbolism and detail into the episode. One of the many things that I feared going into the episode was that it wouldn’t take itself seriously, therefore damaging the show’s reputation. It was relieving to discover that not only did they take it seriously, but the humor worked and didn’t feel out of place (although I appreciate that this didn’t work for everyone).

      Haha, glad you liked the Rachel eulogy – I couldn’t go without giving her a mention. ;)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I’m glad you enjoyed the ep.

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  5. Karo says

    I didn’t know what to expect from this episode, but as a hard fan, i really enjoyed it.
    So i’m glad you did too.

    To really enjoy this ep, you had to actually make an effort to understand what the writers were doing there, all the symbolism, details, references they put in the script for us fans to catch. I thought it was cleverly written and very well done.

    Too bad so many people out there just don’t get it. In my mind, if you like Fringe and it’s mythology, you had to appreciate the effort. I think we’ll have a nice time watching this ep again after the Finale or in season 3, because hints were everywhere.

    Again, i really enjoyed your review and the Rachel paragraph is priceless!

    [i]There were a couple of instances throughout the story were Olivia was sarcastic. Which is great, because it implies that normal Olivia has a bit of that in her[/i]

    Yup. Sarcastic and badass. Sometimes I miss the old Olivia from season 1, like in the episode Bound, when she’s interrogating Loeb and she’s so badass….”You’re looking at her”…….It was nice to see a little of that attitude in Brown Betty (especially in her first scene with Rachel).

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  6. FinChase says

    I approached this episode with a great deal of trepidation, so I was pleasantly surprised. It was certainly entertaining, and more significant than I expected. I’m a fan of Anna Torv’s, so I was delighted with her performance. I’d like to have heard Lance Reddick sing that entire song; he’s got a really nice voice. I loved seeing Olivia and Astrid interacting more. One of my hopes for next season is that we get an episode where Olivia and Astrid go out an investigate a case together.

    I must say, though, that I’m relieved that the threatened song from Nina to Olivia did not materialize. I don’t have enough alcohol in my house to see me through that experience!

    Now I realize that this was strictly Walter’s perception, but I thought it was interesting that in the fight scene, it appeared that Olivia was able to fire the Observer’s weapon. Previously, only Peter had been able to do so, and I have wondered if this meant he was somehow related to the Observers. Now I wonder if Walter’s knows something else about Olivia that he hasn’t shared with her yet.

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    • says

      FinChase,

      Great catch on Olivia being able to fire the Observers weapon. It’s definitely worth considering what this means in terms of the broader story. Perhaps Fringe Division should dig Donald’s gun out from storage and let Dunham loose on it?

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      • Jodie says

        Your right, the gun wasn’t a laser, and Olivia and the observer both had their hands on the gun when Olivia “shot” it. She never shot the gun by herself.

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  7. mlj102 says

    Ella’s ending — But what you’re talking about is exactly why I loved it. It was just the kind of perfect, innocent outlook a child would have in finding a solution to that kind of dilemma. And I think there’s a lot we can learn from children and their perspective of the world. Walter clearly sees this situation as hopeless — Peter has reclaimed his heart and left for good and, consequently, Walter’s devastated. He can’t see any way for there to be a happy ending. Yet Ella’s ending provides hope that a happy ending is still possible and that Peter and Walter will find a way to make things work between them again. That’s an ending that Walter just can’t believe could possibly happen. The idea of splitting the heart and it still working is rather fantastical, but isn’t that what the whole episode/story was? The idea of literally removing your heart and giving it to another person is crazy. But neither that or the ending Ella came up with was meant to be taken so literally, but rather to be looked at for what it represented. And essentially Ella’s ending showed that there is still reason to believe that Peter will return and share his heart with Walter. (Having just read the rest of the review where you mentioned that part of what you disliked about Ella’s ending is that it made things a little too perfect, a little too quickly, I can understand what you’re saying. But, again, that is to be expected for a story of this sort. For Fringe itself, I doubt the writers are going to resolve the rift between Walter and Peter in a quick or easy manner.)

    “OK writers, I’ll accept this as your house-cleaning on the matter and we can now put that one to bed. So to speak. But what does Ella know, she’s about, what, 3 years old or something.”

    But she’s also a very perceptive 3 year old (well, older than 3, but I’ll go with what you say) — after all, she could plainly see that Nina was someone not to be trusted. Why not be able to be aware of her mother’s feelings for Peter in the same kind of way?

    Walter portraying Peter as a bad guy: I took this as a way of showing that Peter is often misunderstood and what people say about him doesn’t actually reflect who he is. For all that Peter puts on a tough face, has done criminal things, doesn’t seem to care about anything that doesn’t benefit him, etc., the last not quite two seasons have shown that that’s really not the real Peter at all. So I think that was just depicted in Walter’s story, that everyone Olivia talked to claimed Peter was this terrible, dangerous person, but after she met him herself, she realized that really wasn’t the truth at all.

    I absolutely loved your eulogy to Rachel! That was good. I can’t wait to see what kind of tribute you give to her if she really does die at some point in the future…

    “No, I wont be signing up to Glee Weekly anytime soon”

    But… but… you’re still planning on GleeBloggers, right?

    “If you enjoyed “Brown Betty”, you’ll like: “Brown Betty”.”

    I have been wondering what exactly you would include in this section of your review. I like what you came up with. :)

    I think it’s hilarious that you didn’t expect to like this episode and you’re trying to pinpoint exactly what worked for you. And I’m glad that, despite your reservations, you found it to be rather successful. I agree that, for most people, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I don’t think there was anyone who heard about the musical episode and thought “What an awesome idea! That’s perfect for Fringe” because it really does seem like an odd combination. But despite that, I really think it worked, though, like you, I couldn’t exactly say why it worked. For me, I think a lot of it is that there were so many underlying themes in this episode, so much meaning to discover, which allows us to understand the characters and the story better. I loved the humor, the tone of the episode, and all of the significant things it included.

    There is so much I could say about this episode, and I really don’t want to turn this into a huge novel, so I’ll try to be selective.

    I thought Walter did a great job at depicting Olivia in his story. That poor girl has been hurt more times than anyone really deserves. I really, really loved the scene between Olivia and “Esther” in the aftermath of Olivia being attacked by the Watcher. First, we had Esther cleaning the wound and apologizing that it hurt, but Olivia brushed that aside, sarcastically saying that it was fine and to keep doing it. Now, I could be reading too much into this, but that exchange made me think how, of course no one in their right mind would keep asking to be subjected to pain, and yet, in a way, that’s exactly what Olivia does. She gets hurt, she heals, but inevitably she puts herself in a position where it’s likely she’s going to get hurt again, almost as if saying “it’s great, keep doing it.” I thought that was an interesting part of Olivia’s character to point out, if that was indeed their intention with that exchange.

    Then the conversation moves on to the point where Olivia defends why she still believes in love: “That’s not true. I’m not looking for someone who’s gonna give his heart to the world.” I thought it was interesting that she acknowledged that finding such a person wasn’t practical, yet she found Peter who had been willing to give his heart to Walter. Now, granted that’s not quite the same thing, but I did think it was an interesting parallel between what she had said and what Peter had been willing to do. In a way she had found someone who was willing to do even more than she’d expected. Then she went on to explain how “somewhere in the universe” there has to be someone who’s willing to take care of her. It made me think how significant that word choice was, in that, in the real Fringe world, Olivia may have found that person in Peter and yet, ironically, he doesn’t technically belong in this universe. Isn’t that just her luck?

    So then there’s the part where Esther points out that Olivia’s wound is healing. You touched on this briefly, but that stood out to me as significant. I don’t know if it’s simply a way of Walter’s story illustrating the way Olivia is able to heal from the pain and hurt she experiences emotionally, or if it’s more an indication that there’s something special about Olivia that gives her an added advantage, makes her stronger than the average person, even protects her. It was interesting that Olivia pointed out that the wound she’d received was the same as what killed Rachel. So had the Watcher simply decided not to kill Olivia for whatever reason, or was it a case where the wound should have killed her, but something about her protected her and allowed her to survive it? Or was it just for the purposes of Walter’s story?

    I also really liked Olivia’s response to Peter’s question about why she wanted to be a detective, that she always knew that she was meant to care for people. This reminded me of the scene in Ghost Network when Peter and Olivia return to his old house and he asks her how she came to be an FBI agent. In that instance, she simply says that she knew that’s what she wanted to do since she was little. While, of course, this is all subject to Walter’s interpretation of things, I thought it was an interesting way to expand upon that idea and to give greater depth into what brought Olivia to be where she is now and why she is willing to do all that she does.

    I thought Walter’s depiction of Nina in this episode was very telling. Just like in real life, she was manipulative and expert at hiding information and she had an excuse for everything. But what I really liked was when Nina confronts Olivia in the boat and tells her that she regrets Olivia being in her present condition, but that she’d warned her, and Olivia didn’t listen. Comparing that to things in the actual show, I have to wonder if that’s Nina’s perspective on things in her actual interaction with Olivia. She has warned Olivia on numerous occasions, and it would not surprise me to see something similar to this happen sometime in the future if Olivia happens to stumble onto things that Nina doesn’t want her involved in.

    Speaking of Nina, what do you think about the way it was hinted that Bell and Nina were at some point romantically involved? I have suspected this for awhile, so I found it interesting that Walter seems to believe that they are/were a couple.

    Also, in her conversation with Bell, he mentions that Peter’s glass heart is what is necessary in order for them to open a stable door between the universes. Could it be that there is something about Peter that is required for anyone trying to open a stable door?

    I love how Esther was applying for a job at a mental hospital. Clearly Walter thinks she’s well suited for that kind of job. I also thought it was amusing the way he gave her a very odd sort of humor and even depicted her as somewhat ditzy, yet loveable. I really liked seeing his view of Astrid.

    I thought it was intriguing that the Watcher told Olivia that he was a man that didn’t let his feelings get him into trouble. I wonder if the Observers somehow trained themselves to ignore their feelings.

    The Observer mentions to his unknown contact that Walter doesn’t remember his warning. Some have speculated that this warning is when he told Walter that “the boy is important and must live” but I don’t really see that as a warning — more of an explanation. I don’t think we know what this warning is, though I wonder if Walter subconsciously remembers this warning. Actually, I wouldn’t put it past the writers of this episode to have alluded to this warning in Walter’s story. I wonder if it has something to do with the beacon — could the beacon be some sort of message? Or is it more of a locator, as seen in the way it seemed to lead the Watchers to Olivia and Peter. And, speaking of the beacon, did Walter have some role in developing the beacon, as was suggested in his story?

    Okay, I think I might be starting to get into the topics that you’re likely to cover in the Observations for this episode, so I guess I’ll stop there. As always, thanks for the wonderful review!

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    • says

      mlj,

      Love reading your thoughts – I don’t always get to reply, nor do we always agree, but you make some excellent contributions!

      Re: Ella’s ending. I have come around slightly, and I agree with you, modulegirl and others that her ending isn’t as bad if you look at the sentiment behind it. My main problem with it is that, compared to the rest of the episode, I don’t think it landed as ‘sweetly’ as it could. It also came across contrived to me, in part because it lacked the weight and consideration that I would have preferred. That said, the simplicity of Ella’s ending was significant in terms of children being able to see outcomes that adults might overlook. So in that sense, I can definitely appreciate the ending, along with the ‘hopeful’ significance that you mention.

      Oh, I agree that Ella is probably right about her mother not being in love with Peter, my comment was more of a joke than anything. Although I do think that it’s possible that a parent could hide their feelings (especially romantic feelings) from a child. Although we are talking about Rachel here. If I had a problem with that scene it’s that Ella came across as a little too ‘knowing’ for her own good. But again, I agree, in the context of Fringe Rachel and Peter are a no go! :)

      Nice point about Walter’s perspective on Peter. I agree with you, that in some ways this was Walter’s way of illustrating that ‘not everything was as it seemed’ with Peter – that he wasn’t half as bad as people made out. Although I do stand by my view that Walter also used this as an opportunity to illustrate that Peter had hurt him too. We’ve seen in the past that Walter doesn’t necessarily agree with Peter’s pre-FD lifestyle, and I think this was also present, to a degree, in his fairy tale. But I do accept your point as also being viable.

      Don’t get my hopes up mlj! Rachel will surely make it ’til the end. :P

      Oh indeed, GleeBloggers.com is a go. I’m already half way through compiling my S1 Gleeservations as we speak. I think I may have spotted a blue light in one episode. ;)

      You said it, mlj. I think the underlying themes and the meaning was so ripe in this episode. While I wouldn’t want the show to do something like this again any time soon (unless it’s a bonus episode/DVD extra/mobisode), I’m glad to have been pleasantly surprised in this way.

      Nice catch on Olivia not being phased about being subjected to more pain – it right in line with her character. She sticks her heart and everything else out on the line.

      I think the fact that Olivia’s wound healed was all of the things you mentioned. I keep thinking back to the fact that she’s been described as a ‘gate-keeper’, the strongest of all the children prepared by Bishop and Bell, and the idea that she was predisposed. This “predisposed” part has always intrigued me because to me it suggests that even before Cortexiphan she was special, or ‘strong’ in some way. Now that I’ve had a bit longer to think about it, in the context of the episode, I don’t think that Gemini wanted to kill her, at that stage. But on the same token, I also believe that she self-healed (perhaps quicker than a normal person would have).

      Great catch on the echoes of Olivia always knowing what she wanted to do. To me it makes sense that Walter would also make this interpretation, because he was the one (along with Bell) who prepared her. For a while now I’ve felt that much of her sense of freewill (i.e. choice of career), is actually part of a design, part of the preparation.

      Re Bell and Nina’s possible romance – I think I had suspected as much in the early days, but the Broyles/Nina thing may have thrown me off a bit. It’s interesting, but not surprising. There’s so much we don’t know about Nina, but in some ways I get the sense that she admires Bell (and Walter for that matter), and that equally he admires and has come to depend on her (after all, she’s basically holding down the fort). That said, I think it crossed my mind at one point that Nina was against Bell, but that was pretty much put to bed by the S1 finale. I do agree with you though, it’s interesting that Walter suspects them to be (or have been) a couple. I wonder if Walter approves or not? I guess he has more important matters on his plate, but at one point this may have caused him some distress?

      Great points as always mlj, always a pleasure to find out your take on the episodes/events, you always bring so much to the table. Thanks for sharing!

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      • mlj102 says

        “I don’t always get to reply, nor do we always agree”

        Seriously, Roco, I’m just impressed that you reply as much as you do. I don’t know how you keep up with it all. That said, I appreciate that you take the time to respond to as many people as you possibly can. It’s yet one more reason why this site is so great. And no, we don’t always agree, however, it surprises me just how often I find I completely agree with everything you say.

        “Oh, I agree that Ella is probably right about her mother not being in love with Peter, my comment was more of a joke than anything.”

        My fault — I recognized that you were teasing in your comment, and my response was meant to be joking as well, though after reading it again, I realize that it didn’t come through as intended. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

        “Oh indeed, GleeBloggers.com is a go. I’m already half way through compiling my S1 Gleeservations as we speak. I think I may have spotted a blue light in one episode.”

        TOO funny! Seriously — Gleeservations made me laugh out loud. I can almost picture it now… I can’t wait for the big debut of GleeBloggers! This is going to be epic! :) Thanks for the laughs!

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  8. Jbou says

    “Now I’m no gumshoe, but I suspect Walter might have been engaging in drug activity before imagining this story. Call it a hunch.”

    episode opens on walter ripping a bong

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  9. says

    I see eye to eye with you, Roco. Must be the name.

    I loved the contrast between Walter’s fantasy world and the dire reality of their search for Peter. Going from Peter and Olivia dancing in a colorful, musical world, to Olivia (seemingly distressed) reporting back to Walter that her leads didn’t pan out… It was a brutal snap back to reality. I loved it.

    This whole time I had been thinking that they needed Peter back because Newton was going to get him, but maybe it has more to do with what will happen to Walter if they never rejoin forces? Some source mentioned Walter being threatened with going back to St. Claire’s… is that what happens if his legal guardian is no longer with him?

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    • says

      Haha Rachel, it really must be the name. It’s only the OTHER Rachel that I have problems with. You know the one..Ella’s mother. :P

      Brilliant point. The contrast between Walter’s world and his reality is something that I wasn’t really aware of on a conscious level, but like you say, it really helped sell the atmosphere of the episode.

      I think Walter may indeed have to go back to St. Claire’s if Peter isn’t around. I imagine that Peter has to sign in with St. Claire’s on a regular basis to prove that Walter has the fit and proper care that he needs (just a hunch). Although perhaps Broyles could pull some strings if ever it came down to Peter not coming back for a long period of time. I don’t think that will happen, but surely Broyles has some clout, right?

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  10. Iván says

    Nice elements, nice metaphors, but still it is the worst episode of Fringe that i see. Fringe is science fiction, drama, even comedy in some points, but not a musical.

    Fox gives the order of a musical week, but not necessary to make a musical episode, they just want to fit a musical theme; remember how fringe do it in the season 1 with the “Simpsons Week”, in the episode with the mind control kid (S01E12).

    In my opinion, it was a error explore the mind of Walter with this; they need to remember this is not time to try to make the show more versatile, if they don´t find a way, the will loose more viewers and we one of the best shows.

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  11. Mochi says

    Tears for Fears, Traffic, A Chorus Line, Stevie Wonder, Bong, Booze, Hats. Seems rather perfect to me.

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  12. anita says

    Yeah… I dunno about this one. Loved your review though. One thing I’m still stuck on is the idea that Stella-ella is really Olivia’s kid… and this episode went further toward that theory. Rachel-iscal was an actor, a pretender, and pretending to be in love with Peter_Olivia’s/Olivia-iscal potential lover to be_ as Rachel is pretending to be Ella mother. And also Olivia seemed uncomfortable with Astrid’s explanation of who Ella was. Something is not sitting right with me still. And you might be right… Rachel-sical dying might be foreshadowing.

    Let’s hope so. She’s so thick, so affected, shallow, etc.

    I think performance of the night was Ester Figglesworth… showed great range, really got the whole “old school” accent and manner down, showing she’d be great on Broadway! Perhaps the most authentic performance. Shows she is underutilized on the show in general.

    She must really need this job…

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    • says

      anita,

      You raise an interesting point in that Rachel was an actor – perhaps we do need to examine that a bit further in relation to Ella. Just what is Walter’s mind trying to tell him in that regard?..

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  13. anita says

    Oh, and have to say it would have been nice to see Sam. He is one of the most intriguing characters, unusual, not cliche’ (rachael); on the show.

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  14. anita says

    Maybe Ella’s ending was showing that a happy ending is childish thinking, and that Walter isn’t the child we think he is, that he gets it. He gets that there is no quick fix, or perfect ending, and we see that he will be okay anyway.

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  15. TFT says

    Great review!

    Now, can someone explain to me what the observer meant at the ending? What warning did he give Walter and in which episode. I’m a little lost there.

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    • says

      Hey TFT,

      I’d say that the warning has been hinted at in previous episodes – particularly, 1.04 and 2.15 (to an extent), but we don’t know the exact details, other than the fact that Peter is important, and presumably he must remain in this universe, or something like that. I’m guessing a lot more was said off screen (between Walter and September) in the intervening years, regarding the details of their arrangement. I imagine that September is perceiving some negative outcomes which are a direct consequence of Peter finding out the truth about his origins. It will be interesting to see whether or not he intervenes again..

      I’m sure there’s a lot more to this, but those are some of my more immediate thoughts on the matter.

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  16. FringeFan2009 says

    Hey Roco, awesome review. I was really looking forward to see what you thought about the episode, cuz I really didn’t have a lot of opinions after I watched it, which was really weird. Very good interpretation of the episode. Great to see Ella again. I sure hope that Rachael dying in this episode isn’t foreshadowing to her dying for real. I don’t know how much more Olivia can take. I don’t like Rachael just like everyone else, but I kind of see her as Olivia’s rock to normacy. I know that sounds weird. Even though Rach sucks as a sister, it’s still her teather a pretty normal “american” life.

    I absolutely loved the costume, set design on this episode. It was just really fun to watch.

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    • says

      Hi FringeFan09,

      I agree, it was good to see Ella again, she seems even more energetic than ever! At least we know that Rachel has been feeding her.

      Good point, I guess Rachel dying would impact upon Olivia in a negative way. And like you said, she is in some ways Liv’s tether to normalcy. I GUESS I’d be willing to put up with her for another few episodes.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  17. Danielle says

    He steals childrens dreams and he replaces them with nightmares,” Just reminded me of how Peter always had nightmares as a kid of Walter taking him. He stole Peternate’s dreams and replaced them with nightmares of being kidnapped. Just a thought.
    When Olivia’s showing Walter she saw the Beacon, the page in Walter’s book before the Beacon has a drawing of a couple bald guys on.
    As ridiculous as this sounds, here’s my theory.
    In The Arrival, the Beacon tunneled right underground, and in Inner Child, a little Observer (presumably) was found underground. What if the Observers somehow traveled by Beacon?
    Both the Observers (again, presumably) and the Beacon were found in story-Walters book, so what if he somehow invented both?
    Not very likely, but it somehow makes sense to me.

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  18. Inkblood says

    I loved this episode!

    “If Rachel dies for real, will Olivia have to babysit more often?”
    Um…why are we planning Rachel’s death? I think that Rachel would leave it in her will the Olivia get her daugther and not her ex.

    “Also, a word of Torv’s singing. I thought it was unexpectedly beautiful. The dramatic context and the score definitely contributed, but the performance (and I’m talking about the emotion) was spot on.”
    Her voice was a bit reedy, slipping in and out of song and speech. But you’re right about the emotion; very well done. I was kind of expecting her to kiss him and bring him back to life, like a fairytale, but no such luck. :-D

    “OK writers, I’ll accept this as your house-cleaning on the matter and we can now put that one to bed. So to speak. But what does Ella know, she’s about, what, 3 years old or something.”
    Yes! I was glad the whole Peter-Rachel romance was killed. Ella is very observent (did I spell that right?) and I noticed she didn’t object to the Peter-Olivia romance being told.Oh, and I’m sure she’s a little older then 3, Roco.

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    • mlj102 says

      “Ella is very observent (did I spell that right?)”

      Since you specifically asked, I’ll point out that it’s actually “observant”… but you were close enough so that I’m sure everyone knows what you meant. :)

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    • says

      Inkblood,

      I guess that her death in this episode could be foreshadowing. But you’re right, we probably shouldn’t make any plans just yet.

      True, Ella probably is more 3 1/2 than 3.

      :)

      Glad you enjoyed the episode too.

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      • mlj102 says

        First off, I realize the whole thing with Ella’s age is a joke, but I did want to mention that, actually, as far as the show is concerned, she’s only about five years old. Which is a bit odd considering that the actress playing her is 10 years old. I don’t quite understand why they chose to have such a gap between the character’s age and the actress’ age because every time I see Ella, I just can’t picture her being four or five years old. It’s just one of those few things about the show that has me genuinely puzzled…

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        • Inkblood says

          Yeah , i was thinking “she’s at least 8 years old.”
          I have a lil sis who is 9 years old. The epic of contrast actress and character is puzzling.

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          • LizW65 says

            Ella’s age was established as four in Season One, so presumably she’s supposed to be five now. I thought the actress looked older than the character, but I had no idea she was THAT much older! I suppose it’s difficult to find a very young child who can handle memorizing lines, let alone working the long hours that a TV show requires (which is why identical twins are often cast as young children.) If the show continues for a few more years (fingers crossed) they’ll have to write Ella out or come up with something drastic as she’ll be hitting puberty!

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            • Tasha says

              I alwys think kids on tv look wrong age. They have 10 year olds that look about 6 and vise versa. Or they have 20 somethings playing 16 year olds.

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  19. LizW65 says

    Excellent review, Roco. One thing that really stands out for me is this: despite (or perhaps because of) the wildly differing reactions to this episode, it has inspired more conversation and theorizing than any other thus far–at least since I’ve been following this website. That, to me, means it has succeeded.

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    • says

      Liz,

      You’re right, this episode seems to have really polarized opinion! I didn’t know what people thought of the episode until I posted my review, but it was great reading through the episode thread afterwards, and it seems indicative of the general consensus.

      I also count this episode as a success – I think it could have been positioned better, but I think we got away with it! :)

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  20. Martin says

    Didn’t like the throw back episode. Took away from the trill factor the show has and shows why it will never live up to a show like the X files. Horrible television.

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    • xochitl says

      I used to be a huge fan of X files, I still respect what they were, and yes Fringe would look as something similar, but really? X files had worse episodes (Hollywood A.D., The unnatural, Agua mala, the one with the trees? Hollywood A. D.?) and weirdest (Triangle, Bad Blood) and the end pretty much ruined the whole thing.

      I respect what you say, but it doesn’t have to live up to X files, this has a name for itself.

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  21. says

    Didn’t like the episode…And I’m a HUGE shipper. It wasn’t… Fringe-y like the others were. The singing corpses were a joke and when Olivia was singing, the timing was bad. I mean, C’mon, “I’m singong because I think Peter is dead”! That’s pretty stupid…Not much of a musical if you ask me.

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    • Inkblood says

      YES!!! Finally, a fellow shipper!
      It’s nice to know you’re not alone!!

      I do have to agree that the romance was a bit over-played. The corpses were just creeptastic, and most people don’t sit by dead people and sing them to life.
      But this is Walter’s mind.
      Welcome to the darkside (we do have cookies :-) )

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  22. pugui says

    Small things I noticed re-watching the episode.

    *I thought it was interesting how the small doors to Peter’s heart looked more like a small gate.

    *Walter’s book! So many cool things in there!
    He seemed to want to invent a permanent smile, sounds cute. But to comic book fans it may also resemble The Joker’s trademarked killing method (they even put a clown right next to it!), it just seemed a bit creepy for me.
    Also on the beacon page you can read the words: “Iridium Capsule: Teleportation Portal (s?)” I could also make out the words “signals to the brain”.

    *Any theories as to why Nina called September’s character Mr. Gemini?

    *I think someone already mentioned it but there were a lot of different types of wood mentioned through the episode.

    *So apparently Walter knows about Big Eddie?

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    • mlj102 says

      “I thought it was interesting how the small doors to Peter’s heart looked more like a small gate.”

      I noticed that too and, actually, I was intrigued by the way the door to Peter’s heart differed from the door to Walter’s heart. I’m not sure what the significance may be, though I expect Roco will mention that in his Observations (is it too much to hope those get posted today? Pretty please? :) )

      “Any theories as to why Nina called September’s character Mr. Gemini?”

      As LizW65 pointed out, my first thought was of the constellation, Gemini, which is of a set of twins from Greek Mythology. This could refer to the way everyone has a double on the other side (except, of course, Peter) or the way the Observers technically all look alike — bald, pale, the suits and hats, etc. (Though, personally I think the myth of the Gemini twins fits more with Peter’s story, as one twin was mortal and dies. But there has to be a reason why September was called Gemini in Walter’s story, right?)

      “So apparently Walter knows about Big Eddie?”

      And he also apparently knows about Olivia’s map of the pattern events, even though he wasn’t at all involved in that. Maybe Olivia showed it to Walter and Peter after they all returned from Reiden Lake…

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  23. LizW65 says

    “*I thought it was interesting how the small doors to Peter’s heart looked more like a small gate.”
    So did I; perhaps his destiny is to be a gatekeeper–not unlike his namesake.:)

    “*Any theories as to why Nina called September’s character Mr. Gemini?”
    No idea, but I did wonder about this. Gemini is the astrological sign of the Twins; possibly it ties in with there being “more than one of everything”?

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    • Vsxe says

      I think the writers were making a parallel of September as one of the twelve months and geminis one of the twelve zodiac signs ;)

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  24. SF says

    I loved this episode, so I am really thrilled you did too, Roco. I’m delighted at the careful attention you paid to the episode. I love how you caught Olivia changes of expressions over the dance exchange, and later when she’s singing to him. I thought that song is beautiful in the way she chose to sing it, and every time she sings “I’m not alone anymore” I have to swallow to stop from crying. You’re right, that’s why she chose not tell Peter about where he’s from, and I didn’t realize how much it was bothering me until my friend asked me why I didn’t like “Olivia.In the Lab. with the Revolver.” more, since it’s a myth episode and I prefer them more usually than standalones. I have been struggling with Olivia’s decision not to tell Peter. I think it was a good move on the writers, now her character has some gray in it, she was so black and white before (which is why it was so easy to like her). Seeing her struggle with love and the truth – it was all brought out when she is fixing his heart, and then singing to him. Even it’s through Walter’s eyes, it had the sense of truth about it, her performance, and how they almost instantly understand one another. I love that Walter sees what I’ve always seen about Peter and Olivia! And I think I can understand better how desperate she is to not lose someone else, again.

    As for the episode – I loved it. I’m so relieved there wasn’t too much singing, I’m not much of a musical movie person…but I could have listened to Reddick and Nicole sing a little more! They were lovely surprises….the decor, the mystery, the noir combined with the science/tech items, was fun. This episode was pure pleasure to watch. It had a beginning, middle and end, sandwiched between the real world glimpses of Fringe as they try to find Peter. There were tidbits of info scattered all through the episode in the best Fringe way, and as you said, Roco, we got to see our characters revealed just a little bit differently – the same, yet different. Like yet another alt-universe glimpse, only in Walter’s mind this time.

    It was a trip, and I’m glad they made it. It also gave us time to see how Walter and Olivia are coping with Peter’s absence – and not very well, I might add. Walter’s going to start slipping under his grief, and Olivia is looking more desperate and more panicked every time she comes in with a no. She looks like she’s barely holding it together too.

    And I have to say I love your RIP Rachel!!!

    Ella: I disagree with how you think her ending is contrived. It’s like the difference between the noir ending Walter envisions, because he has no hope left, and Ella, who knows what all children know and adults forget: the heart is big enough. It takes a very special person to be able to forgive, and Ella reminds everyone that Peter does have a miracle heart, after all.

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    • says

      SF,

      I really enjoyed reading your thoughts.

      Just picking up on what you said about Walter slipping under his grief – I agree, although he got a happy ending in this episode, I think (hope) that there are still a few more stages of recovery to go through yet (for story reasons). And you’re right about Olivia, when she returned to the Lab she looked really worried – almost ignoring Ella as she gave Walter the “no luck” signal.

      Re: Ella’s ending. I can definitely see why her ending might not be as bad as I thought. I can see how it works on several levels, although for me there are a few things getting in the way of the message. Again, I appreciate the intent, I just wish it carried more weight. That said, I would have been more worried had this been Walter’s ending!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  25. Con says

    I thought the “Walter steals kids’ dreams” was another callback to a previous episode: “Dream Logic”, where the doctor became addicted to stealing dreams through the implanted computer chips.

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  26. Kady Boner says

    The 40′s style “musical” is the death knell for Fringe…what writers, producers, etc. do to shows that they have no good ideas for – that or they fired the regular writers. They made the show a joke!

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  27. Joe Curwen says

    Great review Roco, I enjoyed reading it as always.

    I do disagree with you about what you thought Walter believed about himself. You said, “Walter sees himself (or would like to) as a good person – someone has spent his life mending things, bringing joy and happiness to make the world a better place. In context, Walter aspires to be that person – someone who has invented everything that is wondrous in the world. Ultimately though, he also sees himself as being deeply flawed and inherently dangerous. Yet redeemable.”

    I think his narrative showed that he didn’t invent anything. Everything he made was stolen and in taking credit for it, he lied to Peter. He was willing to let Peter die so that he could live. His motive for doing this was to get love and adoration for “his” inventions, but he was willing to hurt children to get it. All of this corresponds closely to what we saw Walter do in the episode “Peter”. And at the end of Walter’s story, he decides that he *can’t* be redeemed.

    Interestingly, your point about Massive Dynamic ties into this: “Walter believes Massive Dynamic to be…“a vile firm that never missed an opportunity to exploit the little guy, profiteering off the creativity of others”.” When you think about it, didn’t Walter do exactly the same thing, in stealing the ideas of children?

    Just as Walter is the root of all the killing and mayhem of the Pattern, he was behind everything bad in this episode too, in his own mind. This was fair and accurate, really. It was Ella who leapt past that and realized that redemption is always possible as long as there is life left.


    Joe

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    • mlj102 says

      “And at the end of Walter’s story, he decides that he *can’t* be redeemed.”

      I don’t think that’s true. The whole time he claims that he can improve, he can make up for his mistakes, he can bring about much good — in short, he can be redeemed. The end of his story simply shows how he believes Peter will decide (or, has decided) that Walter can’t be redeemed. There’s a difference. Walter’s greatest fear seems to be that Peter won’t be willing to give him another chance, and in his opinion, without Peter, he won’t be able to keep doing the good he’s been doing, it would be as if he were dead.

      The whole thing I took from Walter’s story about Walter himself is that Walter has always had good intentions. He views his work as trying to bring good things into the world. But, as we saw in his story, he doesn’t always go about the best way in discovering that good. His inventions were wondrous, but they came at a high cost of hurting the lives of children. I thought it was very significant the way Walter explained to Olivia that he’d had a bad heart, but then Peter chose to give his heart to Walter because of all the good he could do with it.

      Essentially, that’s what we’ve seen up to this point in the series. Peter grudgingly gave Walter a second chance, perhaps because somewhere in the back of his mind, he believed Walter could do some good. And that completely changed Walter. He’s no longer the same person he was before. Yes, he still makes mistakes, but he’s also more thoughtful, more concerned with doing the right thing. Peter has helped Walter become a better man. But once Peter learned the truth behind Walter’s work — specifically what he’d done to him — he got angry and took his heart back and left, leaving Walter a broken person, sad and unable to keep going without his “son.”

      So, ultimately, I agree more with Roco’s assessment of how Walter views himself. I think he truly believes he has tried to make the world a better place with his work, and that with Peter’s help, he can continue to improve and be able to do those good things he wants to do. But he fears that he has lost Peter for good and that Peter will never be able to forgive him.

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    • says

      Hey Joe,

      Interesting perspective, although I would disagree. I think that Walter did invent some of his own things. Sure, he may have stolen some of his ideas and inventions, but he’s a scientist who had to get to the cutting edge somehow. Prior to inventing the Door, or the Window, I believe that Walter invented many things of his own. I think the message behind Walter being willing to let Peter die in the fairy tale, was that his act in taking him from the alternate universe was a selfish one, borne out of loss and despair. He wanted to save Peternate, but a key motivator was that he couldn’t bare to loss his son ‘again’. Perhaps this is why he depicted the story in this way.

      I agree that he wanted people to like his inventions, but I believe this is a metaphor for Walter’s belief that he needs to make up for the bad things that he has done. He believes that he can use science for good – to actually carry out the good intent that he may have always had, but this time ensure that he does things the right way, while allowing others to also see the good in him through these acts. Personally, I appreciate this aspect of Walter’s character – he knows that intentions are only worth so much, he wants the chance to reclaim his science and to use it for ‘good’.

      I’m not too sure that we can take Walter stealing ideas from children too literally, in this instance. While he must certainly have gained insight through them (Olive being able to see things on the Other Side, for instance), I think that it refers more to Walter experimenting on children and damaging them (Green, Lane, Heath, Dunham, Peternate etc) – taking away their childhood. Walter knew the capabilities of these children and their limitless potential, but in a sense he also put them in harms way.

      While I agree that Waltercal was at the root of most of the bad things in this episode, I think that we also have to remember that he is responsible for bringing Peter and Olivia together – in this episode and in the show in general.

      When all is said and done, perhaps this will be a big factor in healing those wounds which are no doubt very raw right now.

      That’s my view anyway – It might not be the ‘right’ interpretation, but I have to stand by it for now.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  28. FinChase says

    “Did Olivia’s wound from September’s laser gun heal because it was supposed to, or does it allude more to Olivia’s own ability to ‘self protect’? Possibly a bit of both?”

    I’ve been thinking more about this and wondering if you are really on to something here. Ever since the season premiere I’ve been wondering how Olivia survived her trip back from the other side. The woman was thrown head first through a windshield and bounced on the pavement like a rubber ball. It’s a miracle she was killed outright, much less awakened from a coma with relatively minor injuries, considering. While I don’t consider William Bell to be a great source for the truth, I don’t see what he had to gain by lying when he told Olivia that people who try to cross dimensions are usually torn apart without her “natural talent.” He emphasized the word “talent”. He obviously knew the trip back wasn’t going to be very pleasant for her when he told her to stand because it would be less painful that way. I think he knew somehow that she would be able to survive the journey and the rough re-entry, that she had something special that would protect her just enough. What I’m not sure of is if Peter was required as part of the “cure”. She seemed to wake up for him and him alone. Was it because of Peter’s gift, or was it because the last thing Olivia heard was Bell giving her a message for Peter. After all, Olivia’s a soldier and she was sort of given a mission.

    Was this “talent” part of the Cortexiphan trials? Do all the Cortexiphan children have this talent? If so, it doesn’t protect them against self-combustion (Susan Pratt) or deadly energy exchanges (James Heath).

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  29. Litso says

    Still watching the episode (finally). Not really digging the singing, but I cannot believe how hot Olivia is looking <3

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  30. Count Screwloose says

    Torv kept reminding me of the German chanteuse Ute Lemper. I kept waiting for her to break into “Mack The Knife.”

    Oh, and I think I caught The Observer in this one.

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  31. Elaine says

    The episode was a lot more useful than I expected it to be.

    I’ve been roaming around various blogs and forums regarding this episode, and the reaction has been the polorized one I had expected: People either loved it or they hated it. Interestingly enough, those who didn’t like it have given no more concrete a reason why than those who did in understanding exactly why it worked.

    Needless to say, I was very curious to know how you felt about the episode given your earliar apprehensions. I’m thrilled to discover that you did indeed enjoy it, and saw past the whimsical, even silly nature of the episode to the deeper meaning the writers did a great job in conveying about our characters…especially Walter’s current (albeit drug induced) mental and emotional state.

    In considering the theme of the episode, I keep thinking about the initial working title “Overture”. An overture is basically a musical introduction into a narrative. It sets the tone of the story. So, I wonder if the episode was the writers “musical” introduction to the final three episodes of the season (and the beginning of S3) as a way to prepare the audience to pay more attention to the details, or not to make any assumptions about things (like the Observers being benign) or to be ever more alert to Nina Sharps and William Bell’s duplicity in this whole affair.

    The scene were Peter ‘dies’ is like the missing narrative on why Olivia decided to join Walter in burying the truth about Peter’s origins – ‘she has only just discovered him, she can’t afford to lose him now’. Also, a word of Torv’s singing. I thought it was unexpectedly beautiful. The dramatic context and the score definitely contributed, but the performance (and I’m talking about the emotion) was spot on. I know that the idea of singing someone back to life is sappy, but looking past all that it was a really good moment.

    Knowing that Torv would be singing in this episode, I was still taken off guard when she did. I enjoyed her rendition of ‘For Once In My Life’ for the same reasons as you. It was lovely and heartbreaking all at once…and for just those few seconds, the writers and Torv’s performance managed to breech the walls of their own story where she was still the 1940′s P.I. whimsical version of Olivia in Walter’s head, but she was very much present day, reality version Olivia who is just discovering who and what Peter means to her–and the fear she holds of losing him. Beautifually done.

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    • mlj102 says

      “and for just those few seconds, the writers and Torv’s performance managed to breech the walls of their own story where she was still the 1940’s P.I. whimsical version of Olivia in Walter’s head, but she was very much present day, reality version Olivia who is just discovering who and what Peter means to her–and the fear she holds of losing him. Beautifually done.”

      I don’t typically comment just to say “I agree” but that’s essentially what I’m going to do here. I really love what you said in this comment and I think you highlighted exactly why that scene held so much meaning for most people. Like you, though I had known beforehand that she would be singing, I completely forgot during the episode so when she suddenly started singing I was a little bewildered and, truthfully, I wasn’t sure I liked it. It kind of annoyed me that she wasn’t fully singing, but rather it was a mix of singing/speaking. But as the scene progressed, I realized how appropriate it was for her to be singing in that way, and I also realized how much the lyrics of the song applied to her. And, of course, the acting by Anna Torv was phenomenal (although, I have to imagine it was one of her more challenging scenes, to just sit there and sing this love song to Peter who appears dead…) For me, it added a whole new dimension to Olivia and the current circumstances with Peter. Really, really great scene, and I completely agree with everything you said about it!

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  32. LizW65 says

    For some reason I keep thinking back to episode 3 of Season 1, in which Peter asks Olivia if she’d like to hear some jazz, and then plays “Someone To Watch Over Me”. Although we didn’t hear any lyrics in that particular rendition, several of Olivia’s lines in “Brown Betty” seemed to echo them thematically:

    “There’s a somebody I’m longing to see
    I hope that he turns out to be
    Someone who’ll watch over me

    I’m a little lamb who’s lost in a wood
    I know I could always be good
    To someone who’ll watch over me

    Although he may not the man some
    girls think of as handsome
    to my heart he carries the key…”

    Interesting that the writers chose that particular song so early on in the series.

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    • FinChase says

      I’ve been thinking of that song, especially since I recently rewatched “The Ghost Network”. I had been thinking the lines were appropriate for Olivia since she watches over the team, but you’re right, they also apply to her another way.

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  33. Gillian says

    Was it co-incidental that the mental hospital where Ester /Astrid went for her job interview was the Massive Dynamic offices?

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    • Inkblood says

      Me no tink so.
      Once again, we are in Walter’s head. These two are closely tied in his head.

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  34. MikeMike says

    I now think that Peter really did raise Olivia from the dead after her car accident which was hinted at when Peter busted open the box she was about to drowned in and saver her.

    I think that Walter does remember the agreement referenced by the observer at the end, I think the agreement may be that Walter dies if he loses Peter which is hinted at when Musical-Walter believes that he will died without Peter

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    • Inkblood says

      “I now think that Peter really did raise Olivia from the dead after her car accident”

      How so? He didn’t do anything; her brain just took awhile to reboot and hide any dangerous materials. I don’t think Peter had anything to do with that.

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      • Jodie says

        Peter was touching Olivia when she woke up. Just like he was when Walter asked him to calm Olivia down in “Bad Dreams” and just like he was when he activated Olivia’s ability in “Jacksonville.” There is a connection between the two of them that the writers have shown us over and over again.

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  35. weber says

    Hahaha! As you always do, Roco, this is amazing. I loved your comments and your style of writting. I loved this episode, ’twas awesome, the only thing that bothered me was the fact that they only said “Oh, we’re looking for Peter, don’t worry”. I know the writers had to intruduce us in the “Walter world”, but I really think they could have been more specific about Peter’s location, or Walter’s concience of this.

    I liked the “marihuana” thing, but I felt very uncomfortable with Ella hanging around and Walter in “Phase One” (or “First Phase”, I don’t know… XD)… I really loved Ella and Walter’s conversation. Ella feeding Gene and the licorice sticks were very cute, and the end… Well, I liked Ella’s end.

    I know this episode was a little bit of “cliché”, as we say in my country, but it was a great way to see Walter’s mind. I hope Peter will give half of his “crystal heart” to Walter, and they will be happily ever after…

    Well, this is my opinion (with a lot of mistakes, XD). It was great read you, blessings to you!!!!!

    Oh! One more thing: singing corps rocks!!!! ;)

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    • Inkblood says

      Which country you from? They say it in mine, too!(lol)

      singing corpses will forever haunt my Fringe-y dreams. Thanks a lot, Walter.

      I agree on the whole Peter thing, too. They could have at least shown us a little clip of Peter angsting in some ghetto somewhere (or wherever he is O_o).

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      • weber says

        Hahahaha! Thanks for your corrections, Inkblood!!! (lol)

        Am from Latinamerica, that’s all what I can tell you, ‘cuz I’m a minor and couldn’t say much about me… But I’m glad someone here speaks spanish too!!!!!!

        Blessings to you!!!! Bye!!!

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  36. ghostjon says

    hey did anyone notice gene in waltercal universe? i notice something about it, or Roco is reserving that for the easter egg post?

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  37. MERLIN says

    I WANT A SQUARE PHONE, – VERY CLASSY – NOT THE PAST, PHONES AND ALIENS – NOT THE FUTURE, OLD GARB –

    A CLOUD FALLS

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  38. PrimulaBlue says

    Love your reviews, Roco.

    Surprised you missed something on the “romantic” lines for Olivia:

    In the scene with Astrid, Astrid is quite cynical about the true love she accuses Olivia of chasing, but Olivia shows her true romanticism by stating that there has to be “someone in the universe” (a deliberate turn of phrase) for her:

    - “Not someone who gives his heart to the world” – Peter protects his heart, but only gives it away to those he loves.

    - “keep me warm when I get cold” – When Peter pulls her from the water, he immediately wraps her in a blanket and then gives her a hot shower.

    - “feed me when I’m hungry” – Before Peter answers her questions, he offers her breakfast and coffee.

    - “and maybe, on occasion, take me dancing” – And Peter, who doesn’t like to dance, offers to dance with her because it would be fun.

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    • Inkblood says

      WOW! I totally missed that! Good job. So, i guess, this is Walter’s way of saying Peter is everything she ever wanted?

      Oh, that makes me think of a song, Happy Ending by Avril Lavigne. Lyrics warning: one tiny bad word, not a happy song.

      Sorry. I’m rambling, aren’t I?

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  39. fedorafadares says

    Roco, thanks for all your hard work. You really enhance watching “Fringe.” Thank you.

    Did anyone notice the odd engraving on the inside of Walter-cal’s heart door? It looked a bit like a clock, pointing to 5 o’clock, but it could also mean something else. Wasn’t there a board game of some sort in an earlier episode that depicted some sort of wheel?

    Peter’s heart was held by a gate — is he a gate keeper?!

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  40. Jacksonheights says

    One more day until Thursday and the best part is I hope no one will sing. Been waiting 2 weeks for this.

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  41. xochitl says

    I so wanted to say this, I really liked it! I wanted it to be this good, and yes, in my point of view, they pull it off.

    “The integrity of the show also remains intact – I’m not quite sure how, but they pulled it off. Disaster averted.”
    I’m so happy you say that! That was one of the first things I noticed, the characters are still them, they still have a case, Olivia is still Olivia, they didn’t make it overly femenine, just enough according to the epoch they were dealing with, they didn’t make her wear a skirt or an exhagerated make-up, her image after the shower is our Olivia, and what I love the most, they didn’t kiss! Even at Ella’s ending, that would have throw the whole thing out of the window. They kept the episode in the right dark lighting,not too colorful, maybe it worked because it was just kind of musical and because it used as much mythology as they could? it gave meaning, it would have been awful if they just press reset, as Rocco said, or do some random thing.

    “There was far less singing than I expected!” I think that for the most part we expected a more Buffy-like episode, full of signing and dancing, it would have make it look as a satire, fortunately it wasn’t the case, and the signing althought it looked out of the blue, maybe not so much for Lance Reddick, but only because they place him at a club, it was amazingly good, c’mon, it was a capella, I knew Lance and Jasika sang, but Anna Torv amaze me even more, she sounded so good! and the same amount of emotion she puts on her acting she did on her signing, her expression reflected what Anna always reflects as Olivia. I’m so glad they didn’t make Blair Brown sing, she had seriously lost that image of Nina, if they have Blair Brown signing, burn it! just for character’s sake. And for me, the song Olivia sang was everything she feels about Peter, friendship, company, he is her friend, with that song she said everything she will never tell Peter, but mostly, again I’m a shipper, for me it was a confirmation that Olivia loves Peter, or she is on the way to.

    I was kind of dissapointed with the credits, I really expected something like in Peter, but since this wasn’t the original idea of the writters it may due to that.

    The metaphor of the heart was very good: olivia and her broken heart over Jhon Scott, so I assume that the watchers didn’t take Olivia’s heart because she doesn’t have one anymore or because is broken? and was it healing because of the laser or because Olivia was about to cross paths with Peter?

    I liked Ella, her comments while entering the lab “It smells funny in here”, “Hi cow”, it was like a breeze of happines and normalicy in the chapter for our very anguish characters right now, because really, Walter is beyond cheering up now and Olivia is barely holding it, if her expressions were any indication. Does Ella have a crush on Peter? Even Ella knows that Nina lies!

    “but as endings go Ella needs to work on hers” c’mon Rocco, she is a kid, she wanted a happy ending, she still believes in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy and she really can’t see the entire picture, is what she perceives as a child, and I’m asumming Ella has already met Walter and Astrid before.

    “my mom is not in love with Peter” thanks for clarifyin that Ella, and yeah, Rachel parenting really sucks, well maybe she went to Chicago because she is in the middle of a divorce, whatever, I finally understad why you don’t like her Rocco, and I don’t have any special dislike for Rachel, but I imagine Roccowas celebrating when they killed her.

    I love it was uncle walter and not granpa walter, that would imply so many things, and I think Ella might need therapy after this.

    “Peter an enigma with a heart (literally),” finally! a perfecr description of Peter.

    “Walter doesn’t see Peter as his own son, but has ‘grown to love him as his own’” if this was all Walter, that would answer my question if Walter does see the difference between his son and Peter, he does, I found that good.

    “I’m slightly perturbed. In my review for the previous episode I said that the true measure of how “special” Peter was, might come down to whether or not he forgives Walter. Then in this episode we see Peter taking his “special heart” and forgiving Walter. Am I scared that I’m tapping into something I shouldn’t be – the Ghost Network, perhaps? Well, this is Fringe and strange coincidences happen, I guess.” No Rocco, that is what happens when you pay enough attention to what you are watching, you can actually predict accurately what is going to happen, now I think we might just have to call you Rocco Abrams.

    “If you enjoyed “Brown Betty”, you’ll like: “Brown Betty”.” thas was hilarious!

    The problem keeps being that wathever they would do after TMFTOS that wasn’t looking for Peter was going to be a waste of time, because it was so near to the season finale, so yes, although I like the episode, it would have been better I don’t know, instead of Earthling, dream logic? It would have been in a better position on the overall season. I have to say I like Glee, really, but I don’t have the DVD and I do own my Fringe DVD (the longest search I have done for anything in my life, I think, and I don’t even have any DVD for X files and I was a huge fan), and although I like Glee, Fox should have never done this! never! it compromises any show’s integrity and it is not supppoused to be like that, I imagine, or maybe is just wishful thinking, that there was a lot of blackmailing on Fox excutives part to pull this off, so guys, If you don’t like Glee I get it, but Glee is not to blame here, again, I’m not saying you go and watch Glee, NO!, musicals have this thing that or you love them or hate them and I respect that, but don’t attack Glee (pretty please? :)) and even if I like both shows it would have never occured to me to put them together because they don’t fit, I would say that FOX executives owe a big one to any show who agree to pull this off, BIG ONE.

    Now, I have a question for all those who didn’t like it, and I respect your opinion, you really didn’t like it or you just refuse to give it a chance because you think it was a waste of time? again I respect you, I just may want to make you think about it. What if it hadn’t had the music but the same plot in the same circunstances? Would you still believe it was ab ad episode? I mean, get into Walter’s head is alwas going to be interestng at least

    “There is so much I could say about this episode, and I really don’t want to turn this into a huge novel, so I’ll try to be selective” but mlj102, why? we love your novels :) (and I’m not being sarcastic :))

    “my first thought was of the constellation, Gemini, which is of a set of twins from Greek Mythology” I thought it was about zodiac signs, since they have the names of months, of course Gemini is not in september.

    “This could refer to the way everyone has a double on the other side (except, of course, Peter)” i just notice this after “Peter”, I might be wrong here but do I feel they are the only ones who doesn’t have a double, in Peter they are the same in ths side than in the other side, I’ve got the impression that there is only “one” group of observers for all the realities.

    And as far as crazy ideas go I would love to watch a whole episode of Astrid, Jasika deserves to shine more at some point, and it would be interesting to see Astrid in a different context, as well as make her interact more with Olivia, I’m feeling some people think that Olivia thinks less of Astrid. It would be nice to erase that notion.

    “Head over heels” don’t kill me for this please, but I was jumping, I had that song on my playlist call “FRINGE”, not because I was thinking on a musical episode, but because I always associate things with music and I have always associated this song with what Peter might feel for Olivia, I know too corny and too much feeling in it, but I feel like he is head over heels for Olivia since I believe his feelings had a lot to do with him making the desition to stay at the beginning of the season.

    Signing corpses? that was a big no no! Creepy!

    147 children? do we really have a number for cortexiphan kids?

    It scares me how much of the future this episode might have given us? Are the observers going to be bad? Is Olivia going to have to save Peter from his death?

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    • mlj102 says

      xochitl– Your replies to me are always so reassuring! Every time I write a long comment and I wonder if I should actually post it, I think “well, at least xochitl (and others) reads them!” :)

      ““my first thought was of the constellation, Gemini, which is of a set of twins from Greek Mythology” I thought it was about zodiac signs, since they have the names of months, of course Gemini is not in september.”

      We’re essentially talking about the same thing here — from what I understand, the zodiac signs are based on the constellations — whether you’re talking constellations or zodiac signs, Gemini refers to the twins…

      “I might be wrong here but do I feel they are the only ones who doesn’t have a double, in Peter they are the same in ths side than in the other side, I’ve got the impression that there is only “one” group of observers for all the realities.”

      Again, I think you misunderstood me — I agree that there is likely only one set of Observers for the two universes. What I was trying to say is that there is more than one Observer and, while they’re different people, they all have the same basic appearance — bald, pale skin, they don’t say much, they wear suits and hats, etc. They’re very uniform in their appearance, which is similar to the way twins look the same. Sorry for not being clear the first time I mentioned that.

      “I’m feeling some people think that Olivia thinks less of Astrid.”

      I’ve also noticed that people seem to think that, which surprises me because I’ve never gotten that impression. I’ll admit that Olivia and Astrid don’t have the same kind of relationship that exists between, say, Astrid and Walter, or Olivia and Peter, but those are special relationships, and just because Olivia and Astrid aren’t great friends doesn’t mean that Olivia has any sort of problems with Astrid or that she thinks of her in a negative way. Things have always been professional and courteous between them. Olivia just doesn’t have a lot of close friends or people she interacts with in a very personal way. I don’t think she treats Astrid any differently than she does Walter or anyone else in her life.

      “147 children? do we really have a number for cortexiphan kids?”

      I posted my opinion on this topic elsewhere… I think it was in the comments for the 2.20 promo. Needless to say, I’m not convinced that the number of pins was referring to Cortexiphan Kids (and if it was, we have no way of knowing that Walter’s mind provided the correct number). I’m still sticking with my theory of 47 Cortexiphan Kids.

      Great comment xochitl — thanks for sharing!

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      • weber says

        Hey…. Do you know? It’s true!!!! 147 cortexiphan kids… A “JJAbrams” number, but doesn’t matter… 147 cortexiphan kids… It was Walter’s mind…. did he remember that number??? Could he????? I dunno…. Maybe it was only for say the closer that was Peter of Walter, but, again, doesn’t matter!!!!!!

        Whatever it was, thank you very much!!

        Blessings to you!!!!

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      • Xochitl says

        “xochitl– Your replies to me are always so reassuring! Every time I write a long comment and I wonder if I should actually post it, I think “well, at least xochitl (and others) reads them!”

        How could I not?! I mean, really I expect Rocco’s reviews as much as yours, because sometimes they are completely opposite or completly matching, and both made me always rethink what my square mind thinks, so yes, please! I don’t care if it’s the size of a novel I want to read your comments. :)

        “Again, I think you misunderstood me — I agree that there is likely only one set of Observers for the two universes. What I was trying to say is that there is more than one Observer and, while they’re different people, they all have the same basic appearance — bald, pale skin, they don’t say much, they wear suits and hats, etc. They’re very uniform in their appearance, which is similar to the way twins look the same. Sorry for not being clear the first time I mentioned that”

        No, the one who is not explaining herself well it’s me, I was refering more like in general I have the impression that there is only “one” groups of observesr for all the realities, it’s a theory that came to my mind after Peter.

        And probably you are right with the 147 cortexiphan kids, either jacksonville or the other place Nina mentioned two episodes ago, they are simply too many, 47 sounds more like it, and more JJ

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  42. Tuulikki says

    The glass heart reminded me of a glass mountain, a relatively common idea in Polish fairy tales.

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  43. Tasha says

    Well you either love it or hate it – this episode is marmite!!!! And like marmite, i don’t love it or hate it. I thought it was okay. It was a bit of a laugh (espicially the singing) and i liked that it was a bit different but… they probably could have done a better episode considering all the shit going down.:)
    But hey ho i qquite liked it.

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