Review: 2.21 Over There – Part 1


Welcome to the FB review of Fringe season 2 episode 21 – “Over There – Part 1“. 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: For the purposes of clarity, at times, I refer to the alternate Olivia, Astrid, Broyles, Walter, Elizabeth and Charlie as: Altlivia, Altstrid, Broylnate, Walternate, Eliznate and Charlnate.

THE GOOD

  • The Mythology threw up some cool things in this episode, from Walternate’s plans to build a weapon to destroy ‘our’ side, to Peter apparently being the ‘battery’ which will power the weapon, to the reveal that ZFT has been published in the alternate universe. These are just a few of the mythological elements that gave the episode context and intrigue.
  • Cortexiphan Reunion. It was a bit clunky and contrived in places (more on that later) but I appreciate having this story thread brought front and center. Having the Cortexiphan Kids combine their powers to travel to the Other Side was an acceptable way around avoiding using the Door and causing further damage to the universe. I like the idea that they were able to work together to achieve something that was both natural and unnatural.
  • Alternate Universe (AU) Fringe Division. Oh my! They put our lot to shame, what with their limitless resources, organization and armed squads ready to roll at the drop of a hat. In all seriousness they provided useful insight on the Other Side and it was interesting to see that their scientific and militaristic approach is a direct reflection of the struggles their world is facing, even though they didn’t quite know the true nature of what they were fighting against. It was also fun watching the banter between the Team AU Fringe Division.
  • It was fascinating to experience the Other Side up close and personal and get a better sense of how the Multiverse throws up inherent constants and slanted variations on the characters and settings we have come to  know. Unlike “Brown Betty” were not viewing these characters through the eyes of Walter (or ARE we?), but from a different vantage point. This is what I love about the alternate reality theme, the characters get to look into the mirror and see everything they are and everything they can be.
  • The Stakes. The episode gave us a better sense of the motivations of Walternate and what the stakes are. And make no mistake those stakes are high. This is potentially a fitting story arc with which to catapult us into next season.
  • Peter and Eliznate. Beautiful. Heart-wrenching. I’m so happy for both of them. Peter even showed a bit of emotion and the world didn’t collapse. The only down side is that I forgot Peter was even part of the show until we saw him wake up. I’m like: “Oh yeah, we’re here because of Peter!”. :)

THE BAD

  • The episode wasn’t as cohesive as I would have liked. It felt a bit mechanical in places, particularly with the sudden and convenient use of the Cortexiphan kids who, as it happens, have been awake for some time and doing just fine. There was a lack of breathing space in the narrative causing some character motivations and reactions to get lost along the way.
  • The James Heath Situation. Where do I begin? I don’t think they did a great job in clarifying that Heath died shortly after the team crossed over. I was initially confused because we see him run to hide with the others and the next thing we know he’s lying on the floor dead. It came across to me like a deceptive device to shroud the opening scene in mystery for as long as possible. I love mystery but this one came over a bit flakey. I would have felt better had we seen Olivia and the others leave him behind instead of making it look like he went with them. And why did Heath bring money with him? Dude really wasn’t given the heads-up on what this journey entailed, was he. It was all a bit messy and ended up being distracting.
  • Alternate Olivia (I’ll call her Altlivia). While I appreciate the purpose of polarising her with Olivia, I was left lukewarm by the depiction I saw. Torv rocked it, but that wig has to go. But it’s more than that – she seemed too forced, too self-aware. These are the attributes I have problems with – not the fact that she was less compassionate or layered than our Liv. I actually appreciate seeing an alternate version of Olivia who is vastly different because it’s interesting to see where their fault lines join up. But I was left somewhat stranded by this portrayal. Why did they choose this portrayal? I’m open to her changing my mind next week though.
  • I Was A Cortexi-fan. While I enjoyed the fact that four of them came together in the episode, it was way less momentus than it should have been. Several of their interactions and responses to Walter and the situation in general felt hollow. Although they served their purpose (and what a tragic purpose) it feels to me like a lot of the good work done to develop them up in previous episodes has been undone by the fact they were just along for a ride that didn’t do enough to harness them. I really hope the damage is not irreparable as far as that storyline goes, because, y’know, “Bad Dreams” is only like one of my favorite Fringe episodes ever.
  • Character Motivations felt unnatural. Why wasn’t Walter more of a mess when he realised Peter had not only gone back to the alternate universe, but had chosen to do it without so much as a second thought? Let’s not forget this was a man who had been crying in the Cheerios a few hours earlier. Then there’s Peter – despite the fact that he’s hurting, wouldn’t he want a few hours to think through his decision to go ‘home’? These are just two examples of the characters acting a bit out of character in order to facilitate the needs of the narrative. I realise that dire situations can cause different reactions, but I felt that on this occasion several character moments where under or over-cooked due to the weight of the narrative and its need to move things from A to Z within a limited period of time.
  • Some emotional elements were sacrificed. For instance, we didn’t experience Peter travelling back to the AU with Walternate. I couldn’t believe it! That would have been such an epic moment, instead we get CCTV footage. I get that they may have been hamstrung by the very specific way they wanted to tell the story with that nonlinear start to the episode but I think they really missed a trick in not giving us that emotional pay-off between Peter and Walternate. I can’t believe we never got to hear Peter’s immediate response upon seeing his father travel across universes to find him. I can’t believe we never got to look into Peter’s eyes or hear Walternate persuade him to come home. This would have been a great opportunity to get inside Peter’s head (‘Northwest‘ wasn’t enough) as well as Walternate’s. Now, perhaps we’ll get a flashback next week or something, so I’ll leave the door ajar on my judgement, but I’m not holding my breath because it didn’t look like they’re going to come back to it. What. A. Shame.
  • The idea that Walter is able to survive a gunshot wound for 5 or 6 hours without treatment (I’m guessing) is a bit much. Am I to believe that he’d been stumbling around for hours with blood spilling from his gut and he didn’t even try to treat it? Speaking of which, why didn’t he bring a first aid kit or supplies? Yet he always remembers his coat. This contrivance is made all the more stark by the fact that Lane conveniently died within 30 seconds of being shot. And I gotta love how Walter collapses right outside of a hospital – because, that wasn’t convenient at all. That scene really bugged me. I’m going to pretend it never existed. What scene? See, it doesn’t exist. Lalalalala.

UNRESOLVED MYSTERIES

  • In“Grey Matters”, Newton told Walter that The Blight had caused the grass and trees on the Other Side to die. Yet we saw enough greenery to suggest that this isn’t quite the case. Is the a retcon or do they have artificial plant life? Perhaps the decay has only affected certain areas – or hasn’t taken the full effect that Newton suggested?
  • Why did Clarke and Lane’s bodies disappear after she fire-balled agent Lee? Was it just because they were at the source of the inferno?
  • Who is Altlivia’s lover man? Where is he going after tonight? Why do they have the same tattoos, and what do they mean?
  • How does Walternate expect Peter to power the weapon? Is Peter an energy amplifier or a battery of some sort, as past episodes have alluded? If this is the case, what is the science behind it? How did Walternate get the designs from Bell? How will this weapon end the world?

ANSWERS

  • Olivia confirmed that her mother is dead.
  • Broylnate is still married.
  • As suspected, Walter’s agreement with September was to never let Peter return to the Other Side, other wise he would be responsible for the end of the world (according to Walter). This is the warning September referred to at the end of “Brown Betty”.
  • Nina claims that the weapon is Bell’s technology but was not built by him. How can she be so sure he didn’t build it in the alternate universe?
  • Bell has crossed back and forth (emphasis on the back and forth), but inexplicably, Massive Dynamic have no record so don’t know exactly how he did it.
  • Brandon posits that Bell has crossed back and forth so many times that his molecules have become unstable. Walter suggests this is why Bell has not returned – because he’s afraid he will die.
  • Walter says that creating another Door to the Other Side could instantly shatter both worlds. (Um, Newton. Hello?).
  • AU Fringe Division’s primary focus is natural and environmental disasters (holes in the fabric of the universe) that began in 1995 with the Zero Event at Reiden Lake. This correlates with the year and the place where Walter’s crossed over to kidnap Peter.
  • The ZFT Manuscript got published on the Other Side, in 1985 1995, by Walternate.
  • Elizabeth from our side was a vegetarian.
  • Peter confirms that some of his confusion over his childhood stems from the fact that he thought he had imagined some of his earlier experiences on the Other Side.
  • Agent Lee seemed to know Nick Lane – probably the alternate version.
  • Unlike Olivia, Altlivia can’t stand alcohol. *hiccup*

FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • I liked the alternate intro titles. I didn’t expect them – perhaps because I didn’t anticipate the episode to start out on the Other Side. I’ll be prepared next time. :)
  • Let me just say, it was great to see Charlie (Charlnate) again. He may not be the Charlie we came to know but there’s an inherent connection which runs through all of the alternates. Speaking of which, it was a nice to touch to have Charlnate also suffer from worm (or rather, arachnid) infestation – paralleling Charlie’s close encounter with Puff the Magic Dragon from episode 1.16 “Unleashed”.

Charlnate: “As long as it’s not bugs”

Altlivia: “bugs like you”

Me: “We all do!”

  • This episode gave us further confirmation that Olivia’s glimpse into the Other Side back in season 1’s “Road Not Taken” was accurate. Charlnate has a scar and Boston was in “lock down”. It also crystallizes the idea that Olivia was perceiving herself in that reality – and not necessarily embodying (or living through) Altlivia. With that in mind, the sheer accuracy of Olivia’s perception is frightening.
  • It was interesting to discover that Fringe Division (or at least Altlivia, Charlnate and Lincoln Lee) were not aware of the true nature of the  decay, believing it was caused by environmental factors.
  • Broylnate has a way cooler office than Broyles’ rent-a-room. And they say the grass isn’t greener on the other side. Pfft. Oh, wait..they have a Blight, right?
  • Altlivia:

“Can you tell me what you saw? Even small things could be important”

  1. Is this line also a nod-nod, wink-wink from the writers? Can we rest easy in the knowledge that our attention to detail is not in vein? I’d like to think so.

  • Broylnate’s wedding band was such a small detail but it’s interesting in light of Broyles being divorced because he put his job before family life. Does this therefore inform us that when push comes to shove, Broylnate is less dedicated to his job than Broyles? If so, how does this variation affect the broader picture? Does having close contact with his family make Broylnate less willing to put his life on the line? Does Broyles’ detachment from his family make him more determined to look after his team and treat them as his family? I think these are just some of the compelling questions offered by this tidbit.
  • Ah, a world where Astrid (let’s call her Altstrid) is actually an agent and not a nanny/baby-sitter/terrible baby-sitter. She was one of the most striking variations on an established character. I could still see traces of ‘our’ Astrid there but largely she was far more lifeless, weary and mechanical. Her eyes seemed to glow/reflect when calculating the quarantine radius which makes me wonder if she’s had something done to her to make her “special”. The glow seemed to happen when she was at her most anxious, tying into theme of fear, particularly in regards to Cortexiphan. It seemed as though her ‘calculations’ also involved perceiving the future, kinda like an Observer.’ Oh and her snarky “Calculating!” line was great. Because that’s what you say when someone asks you for your recommendation. “Roco, is Glee any good?”. “Calculating!”. :)
  • Broylnate throws us a bone:

“We can’t have another Boston”

  1. A nod to the quarantined Boston Olivia saw glimpses of when she glimpsed into the Other Side in 1.19. I can’t believe how calm Lee and Altlivia where though. I don’t get why they would have to sacrifice their own lives. I guess this helps explain their mindsets though – they live in a world where they are largely desensitized. Their rather jokey attitude is probably an off-set of this. You can either be glum, or you can take the edge off life.
  • While the depiction of Altlivia didn’t land very well with me, I did appreciate the room to compare the two Olivias. Altlivia is very different from Olivia and this makes her interesting right off the bat because there’s so much we don’t know about her (not that we actually know a great deal about Olivia!). So for me it was kinda fun trying to piece together the connections between two versions of the same person to find out just how interwoven they are. On the surface I found few inherent qualities (aside from the obvious – occupation, etc). Altlivia is extremely laid back and has a man. I’d also say she lacks the empathy of Olivia, but is very happy-go-lucky. A far cry from Olivia who is somewhat of a tragic character – not a victim, but a sad, searching, selfless character nonetheless.

  • But I did detect a semblance of Olivia beneath Altliv’s surface. I saw a flicker of doubt when agent Lee quipped that her boyfriend was only with her for her money. It’s not much to go on but I almost get the sense that Altlivia is living in a dream world (I don’t necessarily mean that literally) – it seems as though it wouldn’t take much to shatter this facade and awaken her to the central core of who “Olivia” is. Or perhaps it’s the other way around – maybe Olivia is the slanted take on the character? That’s not to say they can’t be exclusive outcomes, as that seems to be the main idea, but I find it interesting to consider all the possibilities given that the lens has been pulled back in recent episodes.
  • So what happened to take Altlivia down this different path? Obviously her environment was different – the result of growing up in a slightly different world as well as her more immediate influences. Perhaps she had a better childhood – I’m guessing she wasn’t Cortexiphaned (although she might well be, we’ll have to see with that one). Maybe she doesn’t have R*chel for a sister? This makes me feel more sympathetic to Olivia. She didn’t have to be this way, she diidn’t have to be damaged – life could have been different for her. That said, if things had been different then she wouldn’t be the person she is today – and let’s face it, the Dunhamnator is pretty awesome. Sure, she may give Astrid the stink-eye from time to time, but she’s brave, empathetic and strong – a great role model for Ella and a gate-keeper in the making. I like Olivia more than I do Altlivia (in this brief glimpse), so it’s worth reiterating what Lane said: “fate can be tricky”. At the end of the day who knows how interwoven these different iterations of the characters are – perhaps there is some grand plan that is far bigger than the more immediate us vs them saga?
  • Altlivia:

“They heard a tearing sound and saw a blue flash through the window”

  1. YES! :P We were right to pay attention. (although I feel we got conclusive proof a good few episodes ago). Nonetheless this is more evidence that the blue flashes do hold significance other than Bad Robot’s love for lens flares. :) Also, on the tearing sound – how descriptive. It really conveys the image of mother nature giving birth.
  • Altlivia smiles a heck of a lot. If we watched Fringe in the alternate universe, those who criticize Olivia not smiling enough wouldn’t have any problem. Personally, I wouldn’t swap our Olivia for the world. Does that make me as bad as Walter? Quick, someone send me a white tulip!

  • I’m really glad that Walternate gave Peter the choice over whether or not to go back with him, instead of bundling him to the back of a van and teleporting his ass out of there. It’s more than Walter ever did. So instantly that put me on a good footing with Walternate. Again, I wish we got more on their interactions, I would have loved to have seen the emotion on Peter’s face when he made that decision. Instead it came over as slightly mechanical. I still cannot believe we probably wont ever get to see those first minutes of father meeting son.
  • Can we assume that Walternate’s method for travelling back to the Other Side with Peter is the same – or similar – method William Bell used to yank Olivia to the alternate universe in the season 1 finale?
  • While I wasn’t happy with some of the character motivations, at least we can count on Olivia to remain consistent in some respects. *glug*. From the past couple of episodes we can establish that Peter turns to pie and Olivia to the bottle, in times of crisis. I feel I know them so well.
  • Isn’t it  a funny coincidence how Walter and Olivia’s thought patterns kinda converged when they realised Peter may be in danger. Then again, perhaps we need to reconsider the nature of coincidences and what purpose they actually serve. On the same token the nature of freewill also has to be re-examined. The Observers are not supposed to get involved yet they do when it suits them. They may only be dropping breadcrumbs here and clues there but they are shaping people’s future actions. Perhaps they felt it OK to intervene because they perceived Walter ‘naturally’ coming to the conclusion that there was something he had to remember so decided expedite that process? Coming back to that coincidence thing again, it turns out that perhaps it wasn’t so much coincidence, but an outside observer influencing events without directly influencing them. Again, I think this raises an interesting perspective on coincidence and its potential purpose in making people think they is no grand influence at work.
  • I love the scene where Olivia demands that Walter think of a way to get Peter back. Walter was mumbling something about Peter’s freewill and Olivia just bangs on that table “WALTER!”. Love it. I have to say, I’m glad that Olivia was the driving force in trying to get Peter back – had it been Walter it wouldn’t have sat very well with me at all. That man has put enough dents into Peter’s freewill, the last thing I wanted to see is him blindly putting a crowbar through the cracks in mother nature to get ‘his’ son back. Sure, they did go to the Other Side, but not in that context. It was Olivia who realised the need to warn Peter about what he might be responsible for, and in spite of skirting with contrivance, this works neatly within the context of the episode and what mama Peter says to her son later (more on that in a bit). In my view, the idea of getting Peter ‘back’  is secondary. It’s not about that – it’s about giving the boy the choice and allowing him to be responsible for the consequences of what he could be involved in. We don’t want another Walter on our hands, do we.
  • There are times when I love Broyles. Like every minute of every day. This was another time:

Random MD guard: “Sorry sir we can’t let you go in there”

The Broylnator: “Don’t even think about it!”

  1. That’s right, punk, you better not think about laying your hands on Broyles or Dunham or Walter. Big boys rolling though! :)
  • The Broyles/Nina face-off was interesting. I guess there’ll be no more booty calls for a while? I liked the fact that Nina said “how dare you!” – she was hurt by Broyles’ accusations that she was developing weapons for the Other Side. It’s not often that we see Nina wounded. I love that it was Olivia who had to be the peace maker, taking a less accusatory approach and appealing to Nina’s better senses by straight out telling her that “Peter’s in danger”.

  • I also found this short exchange interesting:

Nina: “Dear God. What side is this?”

Walter: “Does it matter?”

  1. Interesting choice to make Nina reference “God”. I know it’s something people say but coming from Science’s Iron Fist, it stood out to me. Probably of more immediate significance is the idea that it doesn’t matter what side the weapon is on. But does this infer that Nina was asking because she knows that if it’s activated on the Other Side it will bring about our destruction – and vice versa? Which in turn would put Walter in somewhat of a good light considering he was more concerned that it was going to be used at all and less worried for his own mortality. Like I’ve been saying, I find it difficult to accept the idea that one world deserves to survive over the other. Can’t we all just get along? I guess the point is that there are literally some things that can’t be undone, the degradation has already set in. But do we really believe that both worlds would die if nothing is done to save either? Perhaps we should let fate decide? I don’t really buy into that but it’s a peaceful option.
  • Thank goodness Brandon toned it down a few notches in this episode. People seem to like him but he’s never done much for me – far too hokie for my taste (although he was better in Brown Betty).
  • Olivia over-cooked her “I can’t control it, not on my own” speech. It was way too forced, purely serving to set up Walter’s idea on combining the Cortexi-powers, rather than giving us an authentic insight into Olivia’s desperation. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of the Cortexi-brats working together to achieve great feats, but parts of it were a bit mechanical in execution.
  • I’m not sure the time was right for a Walter tangent, given that his son was about to be responsible for the RIP of the world, but he gave us one anyway:

“You know, Bellie and I always agreed that primal part of the brain which allows us to cross universes is also responsible for a host of paranormal activities. Pyrokinesis, Telepathy, Thought Control”

  • This actually turned out to be one of the most interesting nuggets from the episode. Unlocking the imagination of children has long been promoted as the objective of Walter and Bell’s early experiments, recently the primal element has been growing in  importance. There’s probably not much difference between the two, since primal means beginning, but it ties into the idea that fear can activate certain predisposed individuals. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it interests me that the ‘beginning state’ of mankind is still the most sought after. People like Bell and Walter figured that while they couldn’t replicate Gods work (and lets be clear, Walter believes in God, so I think it’s fine to view God as an important player in this story), they were able to unlock what he had hidden. The question is, why do children have access to these abilities – and why are they unable to use them without science? Is this part of being “natural and unnatural”?
  • Walter’s next line actually suggests that it’s not only children, but all of mankind who once had access to these abilities:

“..we all had these abilities. until there was a moment in history when something was done to us and it was shut down”

  • This is a bit of foreshadowing in my view. Although It’s worth speculating why children were spared – why did this supposed ‘moment’ in history leave children with access to these abilities and not adults? Is it because adults become corrupted through experience and would abuse these gifts – as we’ve seen, ironically, with Walter and Bell. Also, what WAS this MOMENT and when/why did it happen?
  • I also find it worth mentioning the contempt with which Walter speaks of this deprivation. Because he wouldn’t know anything about taking something away from someone, would he. Dude is a contradiction, but I guess that’s part of his appeal.
  • His next words lose him all credibility:

“I suspect aliens”

  1. So let’s do the reverse and take his words very seriously. I suspect Walter is on to something. Whether it’s little green men with six fingers, or beings resembling ourselves, I don’t think this show can ignore the idea of aliens. It just depends on what your definition of aliens is. Technically, the alters are “aliens”. Peter is an “alien”. The word alien literally means “anyone who does not belong in the environment in which they are found”.

  • So there’s now only just over a dozen Cortexiphan kids unaccounted for? I guess they really wanted to whittle down those numbers because a few episodes ago there were 30-something unaccounted for. I’m finding it hard to swallow the idea that Olivia wouldn’t have been informed of these developments. I know it’s Massive Dynamic that we’re dealing with but shouldn’t Broyles have told Olivia that her pal Nick Lane was out of that coma? I thought the idea of him finding love in another Cortexiphan subject was cliched and not realised very well. As soon as I saw the chocolate strawberry scene I thought “Uh-oh, that’s the end of this pair!”. As for James Heath, well I’ve touched on this already, but for whatever reason his character just didn’t fit. He displayed some of the angst I expected a Cortexiphan subject to have towards Walter, but the narrative and perhaps even the performance didn’t land very well. It felt clunky.

“I know you, you’re the man who experimented on us. I could kill you were you stand”

  1. Someone tell me why this man is only now finding out who experimented on him? Wouldn’t he have asked this question while training at X-Men class? And while I liked the scene with Walter apologising to them, I kept wondering how they could go to war for this man on the drop of a dime. Lane and Clarke had found love, would they really risk losing that – even for the world – after everything they’d been through? Then there’s the idea that they were doing this the protect the universe. Although that worked on some levels, it was a bit contrived, in truth they were doing it to help Walter get Peter back. I have a problem with that because as poetic as it was it punctured the episode slightly. I’m sorry, but however positively they may now look on their ‘gifts’, they wouldn’t just be able to forget and forgive so quickly. It doesn’t take away from what Walter took away from them. The saving the universe aspect was also diminished by the very fact that Nick placed rescuing Peter as his primary goal in all of this. I don’t mean to be a harsh but Lane was better when he was pied-piping people off buildings.

Walter: “Horrible as it is to say. Today, is the day for which you were created”

  • I really thought Heath was gonna smack Walter when he said that. It’s things like this that make me dislike Walter. How dare he, it was unnecessary to talk to them as though their only purpose in life is to guard the Gate. I get the element of fate in all of this, believe me I do, but hearing Walter talk as if he were God doesn’t help his case.

Walter: “Well, if none of you are going to kill me. I think I’ll go have a bit of a cry”

  1. Self pity will get you nowhere Walter. I’m all for your redemption but they’re the ones that should be crying, not you. Take it like a man. You did this. You.
  • Again, in many ways I liked this scene – it WAS necessary – but at the same time I wish it could have been portrayed differently. The Cortexiphan kids came out looking weak and lacking in self worth. I understand Olivia’s ‘acceptance’ a bit more because she cares about Peter and has had longer to come to terms with the Walter situation – but the rest of them should have showed more.

  • This exchange caught my attention:

Lane “Man, that’s not the same guy I remember”

Heath: “He’s exactly the same”

  1. I appreciate that, at least, because it reinforced the fact that we each see things differently, even if our experiences are similar. It also poses a question as to whether or not Walter HAS really changed. Sure, he’s good at crying these days, but as I said the other week – does he still have some of the old Walter in him? I think that terrified little girl from the previous episode would say that he does.
  • Heath asks Broyles for a night off before they go save two worlds. Olivia persuades him with a nod. I’m like, “no, no you can’t Heath. This is serious shizz. We can’t have you wasting your energy dipping strawberries into chocolate, Lane. As delicious as that may be, we need to conserve that imagination of yours!”. I know, I’d make a terrible Broyles/Olivia, but if they’d listened to me the Cortexi-three might still be alive right now. Just saying is all.
  • I do love ambiguous lines:

Heath (after healing sick girl) “I was never lucky, you know. Sometimes people need some good luck. Tonight I guess that’s me”

  1. Was Heath telling the girl that he was bringing her luck, or that he was ‘lucky’? Anyway, I liked the sentiment and it’s good to have LUCK brought into focus. In trying to understand Heath’s mindset, I guess he’s also dismissing the idea of FATE (which Lane later attributes being a factor) by putting his current upturn in fortunes down to luck, random chance. Even though I wanted more from these guys, this is an interesting character nugget. And let’s not forget this man was a killer, so the idea of him going around healing people is somewhat a redemptive turn.
  • If we were in any doubt as to Walter’s state of mind the image of him sniffing Peter’s boxers would clear that up. It was a nice contrast to how the others spent their last night on before the trip to the Other Side – Olivia with a bottle of gin (what? did we not see that?), Heath healing the sick, and Lane and Clarke getting their freak on. Poor Walter. It’s moments like this that I feel sorry for him. I also found his “please God” to be another insight into his spirituality and desperation. It was out of his hands, he knew it. He was about to use science to cross over to the Other Side, but perhaps only God can bring Peter back to him.

  • I appreciated Olivia’s little moment with Ella. She woke Ella up early for a change – at least the lil’ one had a taste of her own medicine. I was really glad for this scene, it was important to see Olivia acknowledge that this could be her last moments on our side. What she was about to attempt was literally out of this world and it helped me buy into the idea that she had so much at stake – her own life, her desire to find Peter, the Universe, and the possibility of never seeing Ella and Ella’s mother again.
  • I also enjoyed the continuity – in “Unearthed” we found out that Olivia’s mother was religious and that Olivia didn’t understand how her mom could place her faith in God. So it’s interesting to see that Olivia might be coming around to her mom’s way of thinking by giving her the cross to Ella:

“My mother, your grandmother gave it to me before she died. She told me that it would keep me safe. So now I’m giving it to you”

  • There were so many levels to this that appealed to me. We have the idea that despite not fully believing in God, Olivia’s journey to this point has given her a greater appreciation of the IDEA of faith and how important it can be for some people. There’s also the sense that Olivia feels that she no longer needs protecting, or that Ella needs it more than she does. Then there’s the idea that Olivia believes she might die on this “trip”, so like her mother before her, she’s giving the necklace to the closest thing she has to a daughter. Bearing in mind Ella is oblivious to what Olivia is really saying to her. Again, small moment but this was handled much better than some of the larger parts of the episode and I have to wonder why that is.
  • And things really picked up when R*chel showed her face, putting to bed any lingering hope thoughts that she may have kicked the bucket it in Walter’s fairytale. Good to see her though, always a pleasure.

R*chel: “think you’ll be home for dinner, because I could really do with Spag Bol. Perhaps you could have it ready for me by 6? BTW, I’m off to Disney World tomorrow, I’ve left Ellen some marbles for pocket money.”

  • LOL R*chel, can’t believe you said that. Also, R*ch, when your sister gives you a hug like THAT, you surely have to know something is up! I expect it from Ella, she’s like 2 years old, or something.
  • And did you see R*chel’s face when Ella showed her the necklace Olivia gave her? My word, I detected more than a little hostility there. This actually makes R*chel a bit more interesting. Didn’t she know that Mama Dunham preferred Olivia over her? Anyway, see ya next season, R*ch, don’t forget to water Ella. :P

  • I almost chocked on my popcorn when Olivia told Broyles that she trusts Bell. WHAT!? Olivia, you’re shattering my world view here, what do you mean you “trust him”? Where did that come from? Plot contrivance? Out of character reaction? Which is it, because I know you can’t be that naive. Can you? Bell may turn out to be working for ‘our’ best interests, but  regardless, you can’t tell me that he’s trustworthy. He’s not. He steals people’s brains and puts them in other people, for heavens sake! Olivia, I’ll put this down to blind faith and pretend those words never came out of your mouth. Trust Bell, indeed. Pfft.
  • Walter:

“Remember your shakespear dear. All the world is a stage. Or in this case, both worlds”

  1. In a week when I question the realiability of the Fringe narrator, I wonder, could this be a clue that the events we are seeing (and have seen) are not completely as they appear? Is it all a stage? I suspect there’s another layer to this story that we are not yet fully aware of.
  • Lane:

“Maybe you did damage us, but maybe you made us special”

  1. Go wash your mouth out with soap! That is just such an unrealistic thing to say. Walter violated you. He took away your childhood, damaged your adulthood and caused you to kill hundreds of people along the way. What is “special” about that? Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve oft-commented on Olivia’s inability to see the irony in her ability to help others thanks to Walter/Bell, but Olivia has not relieved Walter of all his crimes in a heartbeat. Maybe love went to his head? I’m not saying he should have held a grudge forever, but for me it’s unrealistic to ignore the damage that Walter has caused. In time, maybe, but not after a few hours.
  • On the other hand it does show huge understanding from Lane. There’s nothing more perspective shifting than someone showing you kindness after you have wronged them. In this regard, Lane deserves credit for being able to look on the bright side. I hope Walter remembers the sacrifice he and the others made for him – ultimately they were just tools who fell long before the war had even started.
  • Crossing to the AU was better on second watch. I really should have noticed that Broyles had disappeared. I still find it weird that their powers should turn on them or be rendered useless. Except Olive, or so it appeared. What is her power anyway? It seems like a combination of abilities.
  • Interesting that ZFT got published on the Other Side and that Walternate wrote it to cover up the truth about the “natural decay of [their] world”. The question of why? interests me – WHY would Walternate want to hide the truth about the existence of an alternate universe, and what impact did this have on the course of events? Did he believe the knowledge of this other world would destabilise his world? Did he keep it secret for his own ends, giving him time to plan his counter-move? It’s notable that he’s moved from science to military. Did losing Peter to his alternate self cause him to ditch the science in favour of a more militaristic ethos? I think we could answer “YES” to most of these questions, but again, I’m not sure that I like them painting Walternate as the “bad guy” in all of this. I hope they broaden his character over time.
  • The notion of good and bad is given more depth in the scene with Peter and his mother. She essentially tells him that he has to be responsible for his decisions, both the good and the bad. This is a healthy way to look at things as suggests that whatever the circumstances, the right choice must be made. It would appear that Walternate, though a victim in all of this, has ambitions of aggression and revenge. He’s apparently prepatred to use his son as a weapon to destroy our side, which makes him less sympathetic than he probably should be.

“As you know, I am not a lover of war. They must be found, and they must be found quickly”

  • Peter’s reunion with his biological mother was one of the stand–out moments. I like how both characters played it – Peter bursting to give his mom a hug and Eliznate respectful of his situation but clearly overjoyed to have her son back. Her reaction was perhaps a bit more considered than Peter’s because it had already been 3 days since he came back, but it was great to see her trying to establish her boundaries with him, mindful not to call Walternate his father and asking him if he still liked bacon. And finally we see some emotion from Peter. I have to say,they sold that scene to me, and did they ever do a good job on Orla Brady!
  • I also found it believable that Eliznate would be curious about her alter and whether she took good care of Peter. Reading between the lines I also sensed that she was asking whether his mother from the other side was a better mom than she had been. Peter’s response is interesting, he informs her that she committed suicide and that she was very sad. He blames himself as he looks for Eliznate to tell him he is not to blame, which she duly does like any good mother would. I just love how quickly Eliznate is being mother once again. I am reminded of how loving she was towards him in “Peter” and how they appeared to be closer than Peter and Walternate. It makes sense that Peter would reach out for reassurance – and for the first time for as long as I can remember, Peter is in the child role. Because even in those “Peter” flashbacks he seemed older than his years, reassuring Eliznate that he ‘wasn’t scared’ of dying, and giving her his lucky coin.
  • It was great seeing the Other Side. I was hoping for more signs of decay and excess but I guess that’s not the story they wanted to tell in the finale. To be fair we did get some good illustrations of just how different (and similar) things are over there. I loved hooded Olivia though – that was a nice touch.

  • RIP Nick Lane. You could light up a room with joy and bring gloom to a balloon party. You had a scar in the shape of a “2”. You liked Lady Gaga. You called Olivia “Olive” – Aw. You found love and forgave Walter. You risked it all, Lane. You will be missed. Rest in peace.
  • RIP Sally Clark. I didn’t know you very well, but you could create fireballs with your mind. How cool is that!? You were smoking in the literal sense. You saw a cabbage patch doll. You died.
  • RIP James Heath. In the theatre. On the Other Side.
  • Altlivia shoots at Walter and doesn’t bother chasing after him. So not our Olivia! She seemed mesmerized by the sight of him though.
  • It looks like Peter is considering helping Walternate to use the weapon. I’m not sure that he knows all of the details yet, but it was interesting to see him thoughtfully reading the schematics. I doubt he’ll go through with it. Walternate could lose his son again over this.

  • Why didn’t Olivia just go to Massive Dynamic instead of Altlivia’s house? I guess she was curious but it felt like a weird priority. It was hilarious to see Bell scare the living daylights out of her though. That man loves stepping out from the shadows, doesn’t he.

“My dear Olivia, I know you have good reason not to trust me, but I’m afraid you’re gonna have to”

  • Yeah, because when someone tells you that you can’t trust them but you’re going to have to trust them, that’s reason to trust them. Bell is quite the character!

FINAL THOUGHT

I thought Over There Part 1 was a very entertaining 42 minutes of television. I particularly enjoyed seeing the characters in their smaller moments as some of the more epic moments felt lacking or contrived. That said I’m trying to view this episode as a set-up to next week. We’re over there now and we’re beginning to understand the motivations and landscape of the Other Side.

I’m hoping for more Peter, and a Walter/Bell and Walter/Walternate face off. And would it be greedy of me to ask for some Olivia on Olivia action? Olivia was star struck on two occasions when seeing her double. We need more on that.

Best Moment: Peter and Eliznate meeting for the first time in years and re-establishing boundaries.

Best Performer: Orla Brady

If you enjoyed “Over There – Part 1″, you’ll like: “Road Not Taken”, “There’s More Than One Of Everything”, “Momentum Deferred”, “Peter”, “The Man From The Other Side”

Episode Rating: 8.5/10

Comments

  1. Anjali says

    “And did you see R*chel’s face when Ella showed her the necklace Olivia gave her? My word, I detected more than a little hostility there”

    Actually Roco, what I got from that scene, was that Rachel had an inkling that something was wrong with Olivia, because when she saw the necklace around Ella, it seemed as if she was wondering why Olivia would give Ella that unless she knew she wouldn’t be coming back.
    I did not detect any hostility from her.

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    • David Gravell says

      That exactly what I saw.

      You seem like you could be a little prejudice against Rachel Roco, what’s she done to bother you so much?

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        • mlj102 says

          Ha! That was great!

          Hey… Wait a minute… You might be on to something with that: maybe Rachel has been working for Massive Dynamic all this time. Bring on the suspense! :)

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    • Page 48 says

      Anjali, that was my take on Rachel’s reaction as well. To me it looked like, “OMG, she’s giving the family heirlooms away AND hugging me, what kind of trouble is she in?”

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    • FinChase says

      Yes, that was my take on the scene as well. I thought Ari Graynor played it really well, too.

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    • JS says

      Yep. Same here. Rachel is concerned about why Olivia would give Ella their mother’s necklace – something which Olivia valued very much. I didn’t see any hostility or jealousy there.

      Quit being so hard on Rachel, Roco! :P

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        • Hatch says

          Yeah, Rachel knew something was up. She asked Olivia if she was alright during the hug, then she REALLY got the hint when Ella showed her the necklace. I don’t see the big deal about her.

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          • jinx1764 says

            I got the same impression, Rachel’s concerned not jealous. She knows somethings up and Olivia is hiding the truth.

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            • says

              With that in mind, I would have liked her to call Olivia back into the house and ask her what was wrong. I mean, if she was that concerned that her sis was in trouble.

              But in retrospect I agree, she probably planned to speak to her about it over dinner that night. She may have to wait a while though..

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                • says

                  True, but speaking purely from a character point of view, it would have been nice to have seen more effort from Ella’s mom, considering this was her opportunity to show Livvy some love.

                  I guess it boils down to the side of Ella’s mom the writers decide to show us.

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          • jinx1764 says

            Overall I really like this episode and enjoyed the look into the alternate, at last! I really liked how it started off in the alternate world then took us back 36 hours to explain how the team got there. And I wasn’t confused at all regarding Heath’s death or how he was lying on the floor. At first I assumed the team must have already left the building but when they showed the later version of them hiding in the balcony I quickly figured out that Heath must quickly and they had to hide because of the rapid Fringe response.

            -Too bad no one thought to tell the kids to refrain from using their powers before any transdimenstional flights. :o( I’m glad they got to wake up and be useful but I wish they had gotten a bit more screen time. But I agree I don’t want Fringe turning into Xmen lite.

            -I really believe that the video of Peter leaving was fake or at least only partially real. There’s just no way the Peter we’ve come to know, even the hurt and angry Peter, would just leave everyone behind without a twinge. I just don’t buy it. I think the writer’s are holding back wanting the viewers to be shocked along with Olivia and Walter into thinking that Peter just split. I think Walternate altered the video to show just what he wanted it show to keep anyone from following Peter. And it would have worked if the Observers hadn’t left a clue! Besides, we may have only just met Walternate but he’s already shown that he’s more than willing to withhold vital bits of info to manipulate the situation to his purposes; and flat out lie!

            -I think the extra video that Fox is showing after Part 2 this Thursday is the conversation between Walternate and Peter in his hotel room. (I hope, I hope, I hope!)

            -Yeah, and where are the shapeshifters now?????? Did Newton stay in our world? Did he go back home? If his big mission was to get Peter why would he stay in our world??? Of course I’m assuming getting Peter was his only mission, I suspect not.

            -Still thinking about those slanted lights on all the medical equipment around Peter’s bed when he woke up. Shapeshifter nearby? Is his mom really his mom?

            -I liked Altlivia ok, she was fun and easy going and obviously more well adjusted but still not our awesome olivia. She’s a crack shot, too! She hit a running Walter, very impressive shot! Got a bad feeling about a girl fight between them. Our Olivia will totally be able to kick her ass but will she be willing? She knows more of the truth and won’t want to really hurt her. Altlivia is being lied to and willing be very willing to kill her.

            -The banter between the Fringer crew was very natural and calm. A crew that is used to working together in dire circumstances will use black humor to deal with serious but usual issues. Just wait until this team learns the awful truth and you’ll see them close ranks and drop the serious mask.

            -I’m ok with Rachel, ever since they’ve killed off any possibiliby of her and Peter I’ve been good with her as a loving but clueless sister. Remember having Olivia as a sister probably is no picnic either.

            -I didn’t think Walter collapsing in front of an ER as contraived. Walter was likely attempting to find his way to help the entire time he was bleeding. And we don’t know exactly how long he was bleeding but assuming he was shot at 4pm and sunset is approx the same time as it is during central time here approx 7:30 that would put it at 3.5 hour+. Depending on what was damaging in his body he could possibly live for that long after a shooting. He appeared to have been shot in the lower left abd. Other than the intenstines there’s nothing vital in that area. The kidneys are higher, the liver is upper right and all of the other vital organs sit inside the ribcage or just below it at the diaphragm. He’s two main risks at that point are hemmorragic shock from bleeding out (which he mumbles) and septic shock (from the intestinal contents).

            -The human body is very tough and has numerous ways to combat injury in order to stave off death as long as no vital organ such as the heart/brain has been terminally damaged. An adult male in good health can have as much as a gallon of blood in his system and as long as the bleeding is slow (such as venous and not arterial which it looked to be) then he can lose several pints of blood before risk of death. So overall I didn’t find that senario to be unlikely.

            -I do, however, I agree with you that they sure didn’t plan very well in the supply dept or unloading any identifying objects. Why don’t we just bring a neon sign with us and not bother with ANY support like a backpack full of water or powerbars or medical kits or or your daily dose of allegra or anything freaking useful!

            -While on that note what’s with olivia wearing the short jacket for the first that TOTALLY exposes her gun??? I mean hello? Let’s just take a stroll into unknown enemy territory with a hand gun straped to your waist. We have gun laws in our world so that wouldn’t be suspicious or anything. Now would be the time to wear your trench coat!

            -Totally loved the reunion between Peter and his mother, assuming it is his mother, lol! Still waiting on that one. Peter does look calmer than the last episode and he seems to be feeling more emotion so it’ll be interesting to see what he does we he see Walternate again and if he see olivia and Walter (he’d better!)

            -I just really hope he doesn’t totally buy into this machine. The old Peter wouldn’t be that trusting but he’s been really shaken and maybe drugged with something so I just don’t know what the hell he’s going to do. I do believe that whatever the true Peter is won’t be revealed until he meets Olivia again. I think they’re touchstones for each other. Whatever he feels and whatever may have been done to him by Walternate will be undone by Olivia.

            -Can’t wait to see what the Nick/Lincoln connection is but I’m sure that isn’t until next season.

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            • Paulina says

              Got a bad feeling about a girl fight between them. Our Olivia will totally be able to kick her ass but will she be willing? She knows more of the truth and won’t want to really hurt her. Altlivia is being lied to and willing be very willing to kill her.

              This is a really good point. Our Olivia definitely knows more of what’s going on whereas Altlivia is more of the super-soldier that the ZFT talks about.

              Why don’t we just bring a neon sign with us and not bother with ANY support like a backpack full of water or powerbars or medical kits or or your daily dose of allegra or anything freaking useful!

              Hah, this made me laugh! Too true…I didn’t think about that exactly, but now that you mention it, they could’ve thought about bringing stuff like that.

              The gun thing also REALLY bothered me. This is a place where you have to give the bus driver your “Show Me” just to use public transportation…you think they’d have stricter gun laws and she’d need to show that she was authorized to carry one or something.

              I just really hope he doesn’t totally buy into this machine. The old Peter wouldn’t be that trusting but he’s been really shaken and maybe drugged with something so I just don’t know what the hell he’s going to do. I do believe that whatever the true Peter is won’t be revealed until he meets Olivia again. I think they’re touchstones for each other. Whatever he feels and whatever may have been done to him by Walternate will be undone by Olivia.

              I don’t think he does. I still trust that Peter’s a genius above all else, and won’t let his emotions let him keep his guard down. I feel that the looks Joshua Jackson gave us when Peter was looking at the schematics suggest that Peter knows more than he’s letting on. Maybe he’s willing to give Walternate some benefit of the doubt, but I don’t think he can forget what Newton and the shapeshifters did on our side — the cases he’s encountered.

              I agree that Peter’s motivations/intentions won’t be revealed until he’s reunited with Olivia, because despite her lying to him, I think a big part of him still trusts her. And they are definitely “touchstones” for each other (love that wording). They’re key to unlocking each other’s abilities as seen very early on in Ability with the lights, Bad Dreams with him just holding her hand, the almost-kiss scene in Jacksonville too even.

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    • anita says

      Agree completely, Anjali.
      Roco… excellent analysis. I loved kick-ass Olivinate. I agree that although both versions of Olivia are polar opposites, both somehow give the impression that they hanker for, or wish to be more like their unknown self… and as you said, it feels like it wouldn’t take much.
      *tatoo – felt that was a postcard to an upcoming event where our Olivia will try to impersonate Olivinate… the tatoo(and perhaps the drinking) being her ultimate undoing, or the way we tell them apart?
      *AU-crew not knowing the true genesis of the rip in universe – could this be a plot contrivance set up for later… the truth being the catalyst that gets both crews working together for good of both Uni’s?
      *Terrible use of the 3 Cort kids. Contrivance and waste!
      *Still think dreaded-rach’s kid is Olivia’s, and perhaps the significance of X has something to do with giving up her kid.
      *Still think the Walter’s swapped with the Peter’s, and our Walter IS Peternates Dad.(see mothernate’s look thru window in ‘Peter’- and size/shape of the “window” in each Universes – and Our Walter supposedly broke his, yet it’s intact in ‘Peter’ – and I’m thinking that in our Walter’s explanation/story to Olivia in ‘Peter’ he was telling the story from his (Walternates) perspective. And also why the episode intro- where he shows AU to military is sperated from the show actual.
      *”That’s why you were created” line… goes to my theory that the cort kids are the first batch of genetically engineered kids-this includes Peternate – which is why he was “genetically” sick!
      wonder if the other cort kids were military brats also?

      THERE IS SOMETHING VERY WEIRD ABOUT “PETER” EPISODE… I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS… BUT MY THEORY WOULD MAKE SENSE OF it.

      ANYHOW, although the writing is still sooooooooooooo thin, and the contrivances are heavy, i fundamentally enjoy the concept and the characters, for the most part… rach ex.

      OH – AND OF COURSE IT WAS THE ALIENS. ISN’T IT ALWAYS. blame us….

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      • says

        anita,

        I like the way you put that – “hanker” – Olivia certainly seemed to envy her alterself’s ‘freedom’ in those fleeting seconds. It will be interesting to see how they rub together when they eventually meet.

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    • says

      Anjali,

      Yeah, I may have had a mental block. She does that to me sometimes. I agree that concern is the most likely interpretation.

      I still find her lack of reaction to the hug ridiculous though.

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  2. Anjali says

    And I also have to add that, I do prefer our Olivia any day. Though it was great to see Alt-Livia and her carefree nature, it made me respect our Olivia more.

    She has so much weight on her shoulders. She has family, her job, life (ok, maybe not much of a life) on our side, and she put all of that away just to risk going there to get Peter back. She really is a super-woman, a soldier.

    Regarding her abilities, we see Nick, Sally, James all not being able to use their abilities when they cross over. Which makes me wonder, maybe Olivia’s ability is not to just travel between both worlds. Because when you think about it, all the other cortexiphan kids were able to cross over too; they were using their cortexi-minds to do that while helping Olivia. So I’m thinking that like the others, Olivia does have a ‘proper’ ability too. I’m thinking maybe since she’s the strong one, she has all (pyrokinesis, telepathy etc) of them within her; she just doesn’t know it yet.

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    • FinChase says

      I’ve thought the same thing, that we have not seen Olivia’s full ability yet. I’m really hoping that we do. Will it be something that will allow her to counter whatever Peter is supposed to do? I also wouldn’t be surprised if she can cross over on her own, now that she knows how.

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      • Elaine says

        That’s the impression I get as well. We’ve seen some of Olivia’s abilities demonstrated throughout the series in a way. Walter may have given us a clue in his speech that all humans had the ability of telekinesis (sp?), thought control, pyrokinesis, telepathy…and Olivia’s displayed at least a few of these already. Pyrokinesis as a child when she lite up that room. Telepathy with the mini observer (presumedly) from Inner Child. She shared some type of link with Nick Lane, and remained inherently uneffected by his abilities unlike others. Naturally, she has no idea how to control any of these abilities, because they haven’t presented themselves so specifically like the others; and I also think there’s still a level of disbelief that she even posseses any particular ability.

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        • FinChase says

          “I also think there’s still a level of disbelief that she even posseses any particular ability.”

          I like the way you phrase that. Yes, I think that while Olivia has accepted that she has been changed by this drug forever, she still doesn’t want it. She only tries to use the powers when she has no other choice. I think there is a still a part of her that wishes that she could “just go back to before.”

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          • Paulina says

            Yes, I think that while Olivia has accepted that she has been changed by this drug forever, she still doesn’t want it. She only tries to use the powers when she has no other choice. I think there is a still a part of her that wishes that she could “just go back to before.”

            Yes, this goes wonderfully with her statement to her young self Olive in the Jacksonville episode when she was under that “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.”

            And it helps explain the “I can’t do it, not on my own” speech we got in this ep at MD that Roco noted was a bit overcooked. Maybe it just felt overcooked because Olivia really refuses to believe in her own abilities, to believe she’s “special” and harness her powers! For all we know, maybe she can control it — go over to the other side on her own — more than she thinks.

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            • FinChase says

              I didn’t really agree that the speech was overcooked; I thought it was in line with Olivia’s reaction each time the Cortexiphan trials and her abilities are brought up. In “Jacksonville”, when Walter says he needs to take her back to Jacksonville, you can see in her face how much she hates this idea.

              I really think that Olivia, as the strongest of the Cortexiphan children, has the ability to cross over on her own. She just doesn’t believe this yet, but I think the time is fast approaching that she will be forced to try it, and I think she’ll succeed.

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        • Paulina says

          and I also think there’s still a level of disbelief that she even posseses any particular ability.

          This is a great insight. It reminds me of Ability and her refusal to accept that she was special in anyway, and even though she’s come to realize that she does indeed have certain abilities…she still won’t fully accept them and perhaps a level of belief/faith in her abilities is key to unlocking them.

          This also kind of reminds me of Peter’s “I’ve never seen anyone do the things that you do” and why the writers have stressed the importance of the P/O relationship in unlocking each other’s abilities (Bell’s “You’ll need him by your side” comment etc.) Peter has the faith in Olivia that she doesn’t have in herself. He believed that she had done something incredible in Ability (when he’d been such a disbeliever in all the Fringe stuff before) and then the Jacksonville statement, etc.

          I don’t know, but I think you hit on something really crucial there with the importance of belief.

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    • FinChase says

      Oh, and I totally agree about preferring our Olivia! I enjoy meeting AltLiv; she’s sort of fun, and it’s great to see Anna Torv get to play a lighter character. But it’s Olivia that I’m invested in. I’ll follow her.

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      • Paulina says

        But it’s Olivia that I’m invested in. I’ll follow her.

        Definitely, our Olivia’s passion inspires loyalty in others. She’s a real natural-born leader. In contrast, haven’t seen Altlivia display those particular qualities. In fact, Altlivia doesn’t seem to be particularly “special” but just a regular agent under Captain Lincoln Lee which I found really interesting.

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    • says


      “Regarding her abilities, we see Nick, Sally, James all not being able to use their abilities when they cross over. Which makes me wonder, maybe Olivia’s ability is not to just travel between both worlds. Because when you think about it, all the other cortexiphan kids were able to cross over too; they were using their cortexi-minds to do that while helping Olivia. So I’m thinking that like the others, Olivia does have a ‘proper’ ability too. I’m thinking maybe since she’s the strong one, she has all (pyrokinesis, telepathy etc) of them within her; she just doesn’t know it yet.”

      Anjali,

      I agree. That’s been my thinking for a while now. We’ve seen her deactivate lights with her mind – though Peter may have helped – this was no doubt a marker to a ‘larger’ ability, if you will. Just as seeing the Glimmer is an offset of her being able to see into the alternate universe. Then there’s the fire-starting when she was little. She protected herself while the rest of the room was charred to a crisp. Not forgetting ‘Brenner’, who supposedly disappeared during the incident. Did Olive teleport/transport Brenner some place else, to another universe, perhaps? So yep, she can certainly do more than travel to the Other Side. Being “the strongest” it would seem likely that she can tap into a few abilities – perhaps all of them?

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      • fedorafadares says

        I’m guessing Olivia is omni-powerful, too. Look at the other cortexiphan kids’ abilities and you’ll realize we’ve seen hints that Olivia’s capable of them, too:

        Firestarter — as a child
        Empath — she’s able to influence others into taking action
        Healer — she “healed” Peter in the musical episode (speculative, since the episode was fantasy, but isn’t this ALL speculative? :))

        She’s crossed between universes without disintegrating, she’s jumped from fire escapes and not been injured. I’ll be interested to see what the other two cortexiphan kids that MD is holding are capable of to see if Olivia’s shown those abilities, too.

        What else does she do? What else DOESN’T she do?

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  3. Anjali says

    “And would it be greedy of me to ask for some Olivia on Olivia action?”

    Next week, Roco. Next week. :)

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  4. David Gravell says

    In“Grey Matters”, Newton told Walter that The Blight had caused the grass and trees on the Other Side to die. Yet we saw enough greenery to suggest that this isn’t quite the case. Is the a retcon or do they have artificial plant life? Perhaps the decay has only affected certain areas – or hasn’t taken the full effect that Newton suggested

    Could it be that Newton is from the future where The Blight is even worse? He could be Bell’s son, I still think he looks too much like him to be coincidence.
    The Other Side didn’t seem to have any shapeshifters amongst their advanced technology, maybe they’re from the future.

    It also crystallizes the idea that Olivia was perceiving herself in that reality – and not necessarily embodying (or living through) Altlivia.

    Maybe she saw The Other Side at moments where she was in the exact same place as Altlivia? In which case did Altlivia see our side?

    I’m really glad that Walternate gave Peter the choice over whether or not to go back with him, instead of bundling him to the back of a van and teleporting his ass out of there. It’s more than Walter ever did.

    But do you reckon if Peter said no Walternate would have just been fine with it, after all the trouble he went to? He seems to need him for the weapon and I have a feeling he would have brought Peter kicking and screaming had he said no.

    ..we all had these abilities. until there was a moment in history when something was done to us and it was shut down

    This, combined with the children aspect of it, very much reminds me of His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, where children are innocent from sin and adults are not, not since Eve took the forbidden fruit in Eden. It even has adults who are doing horrible things to children to try and keep them in that state. If you swap powers for innocence it fits pretty well. I think we’ll find that the tempting and corruption from genesis may be a metaphor for the loss of powers.

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    • says

      David,

      I agree that it’s possible that Newton could be from the future, or a third universe, even. Although that might infer that in those moments of asking him “how are things on your side?” that Walter knew Newton wasn’t from present day Other Side. Or Newton misinterpreted Walter’s question. I would still go with the idea that Newton just didn’t give a completely accurate picture of the Blight, but I agree there are other possibilities.

      I don’t think Walternate would have been happy had Peter not decided to go back with him, but I have to take his gesture at face value. He may have kidnapped Peter had the ‘important one’ dug his heels in, although I like to think he would have tried to persuade him instead. That said, I think Walternate was aware that the lure of being reunited with Eliznate was too much for Peter to turn down. He’s a smart man, he would have come with a plan, and several back-up plans.

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  5. says

    Good thoughts as always. I too was very disappointed that we didn’t get to see the connection between Peter and Waternate when they first met.
    I believe that maybe Peter’s quick rush to go over was based on trying to stop “the coming war”. But at least we had a great connection with Mum. I think both actors hit it. I hope we see more of Peter in the next eppy, and he will rise in three days, well we only have one more show for the season and it needs more Peter thank you. Regarding the weapon we saw at the end with Waternate and his asking Peter to work on it, by the way if you hadn’t seen your kid in almost 25 years would you want to spend some time with him, but back to my point it looks to me that it’s possible Peter working on the weapon connects him to the weapon. I still think Peter was genetically engineered. He’s been lying dormant and maybe the drugs that he was given because he crossed over weren’t for that at all but drugs to activate him, like cortexifan activated Olivia. It was a good show but I was looking for a little more power.

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    • says

      Jean,

      The fact that Walternate wasn’t doting over Peternate bothers me too. I convinced myself that he spent many hours by his bedside while he was a asleep for 3 days, but it’s still a bit strange that we didn’t see them together in this episode.

      That said, perhaps this gives us vital insight into Walternate? As a child, Peternate was always closer to his mom (IMO) and somewhat distrustful of Walter (could he have been distrustful of Walternate too?). So maybe while he loves his son enough to travel to another universe to find him, Walternate has learned to shield his emotions? Perhaps he doesn’t want to get too close to Peternate in case he loses him again? Maybe Peternate is a means to an end – not because he doesn’t love him, but because he has a grander plan that involves returning those missing years back to all of them so they can start again without any of this ever happening? Making these present moments inconsequential? I doubt that’s the case, but I feel it’s worth considering whether Walternate has other objectives other than to simply destroy the Other Side.

      I agree – I’ve always felt that Peter was modified in some way, whether that was the result of crossing over, September’s touch, Walter’s experiments or even Walternate’s experiments, or something else.

      He definitely appears to have awakened on several levels, his ‘consciousness ripped open’, if you will.

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  6. Inkblood says

    First off, I saw the letterson the paper with the drawing of Peter and the fire eyes. I noticed the DNA amino acids around the drawing; AATCCCTA, and so on. Is this the basic coding for Peter’s DNA? or, going along with my inner shipper, is it the DNA of the demon spawn (lol) of Olivia and Peter?
    Dun, dun, dun….

    Red intro:
    We should stick with that from now on! The red just gave the intro a sharp, fresh look.
    Cortexiphan Reunion:
    All my favorite cortexiphan kids(except Liv) died! Nick was the cutest, and they shot him. :-(

    Alternate Frigne (AU) Division.
    OMTL I loved the tables w/ the computers! That tech is available today but it’s WAAAYYY too expensive. And Altstrid’s hat! I loved it. I’ve got to get one!

    the Other Side;
    I loved the cards, but they reminded me of The BarCode Rebellion(if you haven’t read that series, you have not lived). Their side seems so much better then ours, but our side has the greener grass. :-)

    The James Heath Situation:
    That made me sad. he cured people the night before and it cost him his life.

    “Torv rocked it, but that wig has to go. But it’s more than that – she seemed too forced, too self-aware. These are the attributes I have problems with – not the fact that she was less compassionate or layered than our Liv. I actually appreciate seeing an alternate version of Olivia who is vastly different because it’s interesting to see where their fault lines join up. But I was left somewhat stranded by this portrayal. Why did they choose this portrayal? I’m open to her changing my mind next week though. ”
    Ok, for one, I loved the wig. It gave her spunk. Altivia, though she had spunk,. was really fake to me. Too confidant. Too peppy. Too stupid! i mean, Olivia is smart. her investigative skills are awesome. Altivia makes me wonder why she got this assignment. She figures things out only after people have explained it and she shows little respect to anyone. Maybe I’m being too harsh…
    “Altlivia smiles a heck of a lot.”
    She does. it’s scary.

    “Let me just say, it was great to see Charlie (Charlnate) again. He may not be the Charlie we came to know but there’s an inherent connection which runs through all of the alternates. Speaking of which, it was a nice to touch to have Charlnate also suffer from worm (or rather, arachnid) infestation – paralleling Charlie’s close encounter with Puff the Magic Dragon from episode 1.16 “Unleashed”. ”

    ♪♪Puff the magic dragon
    Lived by the sea
    Bit Charlnate in the bum
    And gave him worms, not diesease!♪♪
    Sorry about that, the song just came to me. :-) Scarlie/ Chalnate was wonderful to have back, I missed him and his dynamic with liv.
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Random MD guard: “Sorry sir we can’t let you go in there”
    The Broylnator: “Don’t even think about it!”

    Me and my mom were laughing really hard when that happened. Broyles went into ROIDRAGE mode and Nina’s usual crap was not on his list of things to tolerate.

    “Thank goodness Brandon toned it down a few notches in this episode. People seem to like him but he’s never done much for me – far too hokie for my taste”
    I love Brandon! Yeah, he’s a little quirky, but he means well. i don’t understand why Nina had to dismiss him before talking with the group.

    “I know it’s Massive Dynamic that we’re dealing with but shouldn’t Broyles have told Olivia that her pal Nick Lane was out of that coma? I thought the idea of him finding love in another Cortexiphan subject was cliched and not realised very well. As soon as I saw the chocolate strawberry scene I thought “Uh-oh, that’s the end of this pair!”. ”

    ‘Olive!’
    *intense laughter*
    My inner shipper jumped to life when I saw this scene! Oh, the pure joy on Nick’s face when olivia walked in! I had hope!…and then what’s-her-name is like, “Good job, baby.” I was like “”aw man…”

    “Well, if none of you are going to kill me. I think I’ll go have a bit of a cry”
    me and mom went “oh, poor Walter.” WE felt for him, if no one else did.

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    • says

      Inkblood,

      Good point, how did Altliva get this job? We know she’s a good shot, if not necessarily a great investigator. Hopefully there’s a compelling backstory that will flesh her out a little better as we continue to explore the Other Side.

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  7. kittyofdoom says

    Roco, I really must know why you dislike Rachel (‘R*chel’) so. I’ve never considered her anything but a slightly flighty younger sibling to Olivia’s older sibling, and at least she makes sure Ella brushes her teeth? Clearly Olivia loves her, and clearly she loves Olivia – it’s not really Rachel’s fault if Olivia never tells her anything about her job and thus she innocently asks if Olivia will be home for dinner. Olivia also strikes me as someone who has a hard time saying no, so when Rachel calls asking if Olivia can take Ella for the weekend, I feel that it would be completely in character for Olivia to go, “Sure, no problem,” and not betray that she has something going on at work. C’mon, Rachel’s not that bad.

    Walter: “Well, if none of you are going to kill me. I think I’ll go have a bit of a cry”

    Really? Self-pity? That wasn’t how I took it, not from Walter – he’s lived with the guilt of having taken Peter and he clearly felt terrible on the handful of occasions that Olivia has been angry with him for his experiments on children. Perhaps he needed a bit of a cry solely because of the way things turned out; I think it’s fair to say that he never intended to rip holes in the universe or mess up the adult lives of the children on whom he experimented. Tears of regret, and tears because of his grief at losing his son a second time, in exactly the way he dreaded.

    However, you have my complete agreement regarding the unfortunate treatment of the Cortexiphan kids. My own personal disappointment in that area is chiefly about Nick (I agree with you completely, Inkblood – darn! The inner shipper was thwarted!) and his random girlfriend and untimely death. I wouldn’t have minded his power sticking around a little, even. It’s not cliche like pyrokinesis; I’ve never seen a ‘reverse empath’ before. I was waiting with bated breath for some interaction with Olivia after his warm, “Olive!” greeting, and never got it, and now never shall. Sniffle.

    One last thing – I also disagree with you regarding the characterization of Altlivia. She’s a sassy, kickbutt FBI chick, and thank goodness our Olivia is so different from her, but our Olivia also underwent severe childhood trauma and her behavior is consistent with that. It can be surmised that Altlivia lacks the same traumatic experiences and thus has remained fairly shallow, and fairly normal. I felt that the comparison between her and Olivia served very well to illuminate that our Olivia is sad and arguably broken, but deep.

    Despite agreeing with you in only 25% of this post, love the reviews. Keep ‘em coming.

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    • mlj102 says

      Regarding Rachel:

      Personally, I’ve never had much of a problem with her, though I’ve gotten used to most people having a dislike for her. Of course, I’m not a huge fan of her character, either, and I will admit that Roco and others have rubbed off on me slightly with their opinion.

      For example, there’s no way any close sister would have missed the change in Olivia when she was saying goodbye to Rachel. She could have pressed Olivia a bit more about what was bothering her. Of course Olivia’s not going to open up to Rachel if Rachel continues to be the oblivious, carefree sister that she seems to be. Sure, she asked Olivia if anything was wrong, but when Olivia said things were fine, she just accepted that, despite the obvious signs that all was not well. If I were Olivia, I wouldn’t be confiding in Rachel, either — Rachel has given her no reason to do so, so it kind of is Rachel’s fault that Olivia doesn’t tell her anything. She doesn’t seem to try. And even if Olivia wasn’t going to tell her anything, Rachel could have at least said some words of encouragement or support, or at least told her that she loves her, anything other than simply shaking her head and laughing. She just doesn’t seem very good at sensing Olivia’s mood and helping to meet her needs. Again, I don’t really have anything against Rachel, but at the same time, I can see how she can be annoying to some, and she really is a bit of a lame sister if you think about it.

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      • FinChase says

        I agree with most of your comments about Rachel, but to be fair, when she has asked Olivia questions, such as in “Bound” or “Inner Child”, Olivia brushes the questions aside or answers things like, “I wouldn’t know what to tell you, and if I did, it would be a felony.” That’s pretty off-putting.

        I love Olivia, but I can’t help but think she would be pretty hard to live up to for a younger sister. I agree with you about the words of encouragement; that would have been nice to hear.

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    • says

      kittyofdoom,

      She makes sure Ella brushes her teeth but doesn’t care when her brains are almost fried by a computer programme. :)

      Perhaps Olivia could be more firm with her, but doesn’t a relationship work both ways? Shouldn’t R*chel realize that her poor sister is knackered? It’s not as though Olivia is that good at hiding her exhaustion. As far as I’m aware R*chel doesn’t work, so why should Liv be looking after her child at the drop of a dime? Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a general statement but one aimed squarely at R*chel and the way I perceive her attitude.

      I have to agree with mlj in that R*chel doesn’t do enough to warrant Olivia’s trust.

      To be fair, I can be a bit harsh on her. Perhaps the Lowatus will make my heart for her grow fonder. In fact, I’m sure it will!

      Regarding Walter. No doubt he didn’t intend to rip holes in the universe, but he surely must have thought it possible. That said, it’s not so much Walter’s past crimes that I have a problem within this context – but his more recent deception and continuation of the lie. I agree that he has shed tears of guilt and regret and sorrow, but in this instance he came across as a bit self-pitying to me. If he wasn’t, why would he tell everyone that he was going to have a cry, why not just keep that to himself? I just think he wanted some sympathy from the people he had violated as children. I’m not saying this makes Walter a bad person (the wanting sympathy bit) but I’m not comfortable with him making the Cortexi-tots feel like the aggressors in all this, when they’re the victims rightfully asking questions of why Walter did this to them.

      I know..Nick’s departure is so sad. Hopefully his alternate is still amongst the living!

      Re: Altlivia. I don’t have a problem with her being vastly different – I’d expect nothing less. It’s just that this particular portrayal didn’t land very well with me. I felt they could have made the contrast stronger. That said, I’m not casting her through the tear in the universe just yet – she wasn’t that bad.

      No problem, we can’t agree on everything all of the time. Good discussing with ya! Thanks.

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      • kittyofdoom says

        You know it’s Fringe when your reaction to a character death is, “Darn, ___’s dead. But there’s still his alternate self!” :P

        I think that by the end of the Lowatus we’ll all be willing to mob a passing bald man in a hat. Anyway, definitely see your viewpoint on this stuff. Thanks for the response. :D

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  8. JS says

    “In “Grey Matters”, Newton told Walter that The Blight had caused the grass and trees on the Other Side to die. Yet we saw enough greenery to suggest that this isn’t quite the case. Is the a retcon or do they have artificial plant life? Perhaps the decay has only affected certain areas – or hasn’t taken the full effect that Newton suggested?”

    I think Newton was talking about the Boston area, specifically. This ep, they were in New York. I also recall Broyles saying something like, “we don’t want another Boston.” Could also be why the AU Fringe Division seems to be located in NYC instead of Boston.

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    • says

      JS,

      I could certainly accept that as an answer. Within the context of their conversation it does seem likely that The Newt was referring to Boston.

      Nice thinking.

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  9. Page 48 says

    No bout a doubt it, Altlivia’s hair was brutal. I’d rather see her go skinhead like Charlienate (that 90’s Sinead look). I’m putting in a call to wardrobe.

    I don’t see any way that the Peter we know today takes part in the war against our side. His only motivation would be to exact revenge against Walter. He has more human attachments on our side than he does on his birth-side. Sure, he’s likely pissed at Olivia, but Olivia, at worst, conspired to keep him in the dark about his origins for a few weeks. He may have every right to shake his finger at her, but let’s face it, he’s got a thing for Liv that will eventually override his anger.

    Knowing what Peter knows now, he has no doubt softened his stance against the AU, but I still don’t see him harbouring a grudge against this side. Having allegiances now to both sides, Peter may even emerge as a voice of reason and could conceivably play a pivotal role in bringing the two sides (maybe even the two Walters) together to bring about a solution to the problems plaguing the AU. It certainly seems that up until now there hasn’t been a whole helluva lot of dialogue between the parallel universes. I don’t see Peter Bishop voluntarily becoming the villain in this piece.

    How do you do battle with your alter-self? Or, if I’m Olivia, can I shoot Charlienate? There’s a difference between gunning down shapeshifter Charlie and Charlie’s real alternate. Could she gun down Ellanate’s Aunt Olivia? I can’t picture one of these Fringe Divisions engaging in the reckless destruction of the other simply because the Secretary dictates it. Is the Secretary acting in the best interest of the AU or is he out to make Walter pay? These people really need to put down their weapons and talk to each other. They may even find they have a common interest. Who knows, they may even end up working together to “save two worlds”. Heath would have wanted it that way.

    By the time this series is over, how many different ways will there be to cross over?

    Roco, at least we got CCTV coverage of Walternate whisking Peter away. It doesn’t seem like much but that’s more attention than Charlie’s death received. I thought for sure we would see a main character’s demise in a flashback or on surveillance footage at some point, but….

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    • JS says

      “No bout a doubt it, Altlivia’s hair was brutal. I’d rather see her go skinhead like Charlienate (that 90’s Sinead look). I’m putting in a call to wardrobe.”

      Whaaat?? You’re crazy! But then again, I happened to like the strawberry blonde with, yes, “fringes” (i.e. – bangs). heheheh

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    • says

      Page,

      True. Though Olivia deceived him for a while (and I’m still not completely happy with her role in all of that) in the grand scheme of things it was only for a few weeks and doesn’t deserve retribution of the deathly kind.

      I imagine Peter’s next move will give us a good insight into his nature. I also can’t imagine that he’ll be so hell-bent that he’d want to knowingly destroy a world that has been a home to him for so many years.

      You make a very good point in Peter’s ability to be a peace-maker of sorts. Maybe he can be the one to talk some sense into Walternate and anyone else with destructive intent. Because really, how could Peter live in the same world as a man who uses him to destroy the place he’s come to call home (assuming that is Walternate’s full intent).

      Re: Crossing over. I predict the next method to consist of sprinkling fairy dust into a pot of feathers. It’s economical and wont result in quarantine.

      Ah, don’t remind me of Charlie’s ‘death’. Such an untidy moment that I thought was all a bad dream. You’re right though, at least we got actual footage instead of a note from Walternate saying “Ha-Ha!”.

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  10. Fringefan1991 says

    Walter’s speech about how all of humanity once had abilities and then subsequently lost those abilities made me think of the “First People” tag in the intro. It could be possible the first people–which I take to mean the first Universe–still have their abilities. This is something that will be explored in later seasons I believe.

    This also ties into fate vs freewill. Perhaps we lost our abilities because our ancestors choose to abuse their powers or the powers were taken away simply because the multiverse had to balance itself out.

    If Walter’s cortexifan trials lead to an unnatural way to reawaken our dormant abilities then perhaps Peter’s hinted at abilities are natural. I think it would be a great symmetry to have Peter (naturally aquired gifts) and Olivia (unnaturally aquired gifts) working together because it would tie into the larger theme of the role faith (God) and Science (tech.) play in our lives.

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  11. says

    I loved this episode and your review Roco. Here are some of my thoughts ( and maybe you will hit on some of these in your observations which is maybe where they belong but I just can’t wait until Monday!)

    “Can you tell me what you saw? Even small things could be important”

    This line, along with a couple of other references to details in the show makes me think that they REALLY want us to dig into the details on this show. A few that I think may be noteworthy…

    Trees: I know this seems like an unlikely thing to be looking at but we’ve heard about the blight killing the trees, we’ve had many episodes showing trees and forests, Olivia and Walter move into the trees and hide behind them, and while Broyles and Olivia are walking down the hall to the cortixiphan kids the hallway is lined with pictures of trees. Also when the 3 alt-fringers meet with Walternate, there is a huge tree right in the background. I have no idea what the significance is, but I have to think there’s something there.

    Paisley: Another weird one, but Olivia’s sheets when she is talking to Ella are paisley, and Elizanate’s shirt was paisley (and blue!).

    Looker: When they were deciding to go to quarentine or not Broyles called for a looker and alter-Astrid showed up. He calls her agent farnsworth and she recites his name and rank like it would show up on a spreadsheet. Apparently there are other Lookers and they obviously deal with data but possibly mix it with a psychic ability?

    Earrings as rank: Broyles, Lee, and Charlie all had rings on their ears in different locations, which I am assuming relate to rank. Couldn’t see if Altlivia had one as her hair was down. Not sure if this is significant or not.

    CCTV footage: Did anyone else notice that whenever Walternate or Peter were speaking, we couldn’t actually see them on the screen? The camera would be on Walter whenever they spoke. This tells me that there is something up with that footage. We may yet get to see the real reunion.

    Orchids: What’s with all the orchids in Elizanate’s house? It bordered on an obsession.

    Bell: At the end he says that Walter is in trouble. Which Walter is he referring to?? dun dun dun!!!

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    • Anjali says

      Bell: At the end he says that Walter is in trouble. Which Walter is he referring to?? dun dun dun!!!

      OUR Walter. I’m convinced Bell is on OUR side.

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    • mlj102 says

      With the earrings, I was under the impression that those were earpieces for their communications… I don’t know if the position is anything more than personal preference. But it could be.

      As for the trees, I agree that they have been featuring those too much for it to just be a coincidence. Although it’s going to be a tricky one to follow because trees are not uncommon, and I don’t think we should start documenting every tree that is in the background or what not, because trees make good scenery and odds are a tree is often just a tree.

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      • jinx1764 says

        I was thinking the same thinking. Some type of communication device which was totally cool looking. I wonder if they get good reception?

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    • says

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Schwakamole.

      I touch on some of these aspects in the Observations for this ep, although you did notice things that I didn’t connect with.

      Again, thanks for the share!

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  12. mlj102 says

    I hope everyone’s ready for my response, because this one has turned out even longer than I thought it would be:

    “The James Heath Situation”

    Really? Before reading your review, I tried to guess what things would make it on your bad list, and this never even crossed my mind because I never saw it as contrived. We knew from the opening scene that Heath died because we saw him, so in my mind it wasn’t even a concern when we saw the events actually play out. I suppose it all could have been done slightly better, but messy and distracting? Not at all, in my opinion.

    “Alternate Olivia”

    I didn’t expect to like her, so I was surprised that I did. Don’t get me wrong — I’m definitely more attached to our Olivia , and she will always be my favorite — but I just found alternate Olivia to be more likeable than I thought she would be. She was definitely different, but I could also see enough of our Olivia in there. I could see how, at her core, she was still the same person: driven, committed, capable, etc. But she also emphasized qualities that our Olivia struggles with: confidence, the ability to be easy going, more social, etc. I can see how it can be viewed as a bit over the top, but it didn’t strike me as too much. Especially since the others on the team were equally as sarcastic and easy going. To me it came across more like what you described in your “good” category: “the characters get to look into the mirror and see everything they are and everything they can be” That’s exactly what I saw with Olivia. It was fascinating to watch our Olivia watch alternate Olivia, and to recognize those fundamental differences and similarities. It was a strong contrast, but I didn’t feel like it was “forced.” I’m not exactly sure what kind of portrayal you would prefer…

    Cortexiphan Kids:

    I agree that they could have done so much more with this story — they could have had a whole episode focused on them waking up and learning their abilities. But at the same time, I kind of liked the surprise. I hadn’t expected that they would already be awake and mastering their abilities. It was a nice twist for me. And I liked seeing the contrast between the times we’d last seen them, and what we saw when we first saw them again here. I didn’t see their role as undoing what was established with them earlier. Yes, they could have made more of it, but I didn’t feel it was going backwards for them. It showed that, while they were learning to master their abilities, they really were far from where they should have been, and there is lots of room to grow. And just because these three are gone doesn’t mean there isn’t room to introduce more Cortexiphan Kids and to explore various things with them. I felt that it was an adequate progression and conclusion for the story of Nick and James.

    “I think they really missed a trick in not giving us that emotional pay-off between Peter and Walternate. I can’t believe we never got to hear Peter’s immediate response upon seeing his father travel across universes to find him. I can’t believe we never got to look into Peter’s eyes or hear Walternate persuade him to come home. This would have been a great opportunity to get inside Peter’s head”

    I agree — I think they missed out on some really wonderful things with that. This is only what they’ve been building up to all season, and I feel a little cheated out of everything surrounding Peter and the consequences from him learning the truth. Personally, I would have loved it if Peter’s Passage (I love that name you gave the episode) had started with Peter encountering Walternate, and then they used the episode to show Peter struggling with his decision, ultimately choosing to go over, and then how they went over, maybe ending with them arriving over there, giving just a glimpse of the other side to set up for this week. Then this episode still could have started with Walter watching the video, and seeing his reaction to Peter’s decision to go back over there. The final scene was the best part of Peter’s Passage, and it’s a shame that they didn’t even build off of that.

    Concerning the Blight: We have no way of knowing how long Newton had been a head stored in a cryogenic facility. And, considering his mission, I doubt he took the time to ask the other shapeshifters about the condition of the trees over there. So it could just be that his information was outdated and, with their advanced technology, they managed to restore a good deal of the plant life. I also maintain my theory that the Blight didn’t necessarily kill all the trees and grass in the whole United States…

    Additional questions of my own:

    How did Walternate and Peter travel back over there so easily?
    How did Lincoln know Nick Lane? Speaking of Lincoln, who is his father? They made enough of a point to emphasize that, so it seems like a significant detail. And for a guy who seems so important or significant over there, it makes me wonder what the Lincoln on our side is doing.

    “Walter says that creating another Door to the Other Side could instantly shatter both worlds. (Um, Newton. Hello?).”

    I think he means another door exactly like his first door — the door he put together when he went to get Peter. Newton’s door was different — it was based on Walter’s later attempts to open a door. Actually, I think the concern of Walter’s door shattering both worlds if used again is a good explanation for why no one else has used that relatively simple way of traveling to the other side. It may be simple, but it seems to have drastic consequences on both sides. That would also explain why Walter and Bell were continuing to experiment with sending objects over to the other side and opening doors (which we know was done in 1986 and later) if Walter had already successfully opened a door and crossed over. That’s been bugging me for awhile and this explanation clears up a lot, in my opinion.

    “The ZFT Manuscript got published on the Other Side, in 1985″

    Actually, I believe it was 1995…

    “Elizabeth from our side was a vegetarian.”

    For some reason this just made me laugh. It just seems to be of very little relevance. You’ve listed all these things about opening doors to the other side and ZFT and warnings from the Observers, and then we have Elizabeth was a vegetarian. That’s good to know and I’m sure it’s going to be a crucial piece of information as the show continues! :)

    “And they say the grass isn’t greener on the other side. Pfft. Oh, wait..they have a Blight, right?”

    This kind of humor is one of the things that I absolutely love about your reviews. That was a good one! Thanks for the laugh.

    “Does this therefore inform us that when push comes to shove, Broylnate is less dedicated to his job than Broyles?”

    I think you can be dedicated to your job without sacrificing those you love. I think it simply shows that either alternate Broyles didn’t have that case, or he reacted differently to it. He can still be dedicated to his job without being obsessed with a certain case and letting it ruin his family… Maybe it’s simply showing that alternate Broyles is better at prioritizing. However, I do like all the questions you mentioned and I think they still apply, even with my slightly different view of it.

    ““Roco, is Glee any good?”. “Calculating!”.”

    Another great one in this review! Are you still calculating? Because I can’t wait to hear what answer you come up with. Don’t leave me hanging…

    “From the past couple of episodes we can establish that Peter turns to pie and Olivia to the bottle, in times of crisis.”

    Hey — don’t forget that Peter was quick to find his own bottle after he was told Olivia was as good as dead. Olivia’s not the only one who goes that route… :) And don’t forget that you can always count on Walter to go for the drugs.

    “So there’s now only just over a dozen Cortexiphan kids unaccounted for?”

    According to who? I must have missed a direct reference in this episode to a certain number of Cortexiphan Kids still unaccounted for, because I’m still going on the idea of more than 30 out there. Now I feel like I have to rewatch…

    “Lane and Clarke had found love, would they really risk losing that – even for the world – after everything they’d been through?”

    I can’t say anything for Sally, but Nick made it quite clear in Bad Dreams that he was waiting for the war. He knew it was what he was meant to do and had accepted that. So it doesn’t surprise me that he was instantly willing to risk it when the opportunity finally came. And it’s likely that Sally went along with it because she would go wherever he went.

    “And things really picked up when R*chel showed her face, putting to bed any lingering (hope) thoughts that she may have kicked the bucket it in Walter’s fairytale. Good to see her though, always a pleasure.”

    Somehow I just knew you would have some choice words regarding Rachel in this episode… and you didn’t disappoint. I can always count on you to bring on the Rachel love. And, based on the comments, it looks like you outdid yourself this time, what with most people commenting on your attitude towards Rachel… you might want to tone it down a bit next time… :)

    “I almost chocked on my popcorn when Olivia told Broyles that she trusts Bell.”

    Nice one. I think I mentioned this in the discussion comments somewhere, but I think it’s a combination of Olivia’s need to feel like there’s someone in a position of authority who she can trust, as well as the fact that she’s managed to come to terms with his role up to this point. I think she views Bell in much the same way she views Walter. She’s bitter about what they did to her, but she’s also willing to believe that maybe they are doing what they’re doing for understandable reasons. Up to this point, Bell hasn’t disappointed her in what he warned her about when he brought her over there. His methods may not be the greatest, but he does appear to have the best interests of our side in mind, at least for now. And Olivia has to trust in that right now.

    Peter and alternate Elizabeth:

    I also loved the reunion between those two. I thought it was a very fitting way of resolving their unexpected goodbye 25 years ago. That scene in “Peter” was very powerful to me, so I was glad that they allowed that same emotion to continue with their reunion. I found everything about their interactions to be very fitting and satisfying.

    Love the eulogies. Those were a nice touch that I hadn’t expected in the review. Did Harris get a eulogy? Now I have to go check…

    “Why didn’t Olivia just go to Massive Dynamic instead of Altlivia’s house?”

    I think she’s scared to go there. I think she would consider that to be the equivalent of walking right into the hands of the people who are, as far as she’s concerned, her enemy. She had every reason to believe Bell had betrayed them — why would she go find him? It made sense to me that she would seek out herself. She had seen alternate Olivia and she likely thought that, if she could talk to her, she could explain what her purpose was and maybe she would find an ally in her alternate self. I actually thought it made a lot of sense. She was essentially abandoned over there and didn’t know who to turn to — her alternate self was the closest person she could think of who might be an ally. Yes, as far as she was concerned, alternate Olivia was also an enemy, but she was essentially surrounded by enemies. Alternate Olivia was a logical choice of one of those enemies who she might be able to talk to and trust.

    “Episode Rating: 8.5/10″

    Say what? This completely baffles me — I just don’t get it. No, this episode wasn’t perfect, but I would give it at least a 9, if not 9.5. Again, I understand and respect that these are your rating systems, so you can rate it whatever you want, but I just don’t see how the bad parts of this episode were bad enough to bring it down that “low.” I guess what gets me the most is that it’s only half a point higher than Peter’s Passage. Seriously. That episode had good parts in it, but for the most part, it was a disappointment to me. It felt full of contrivances, the case was handled in a way that still has people scratching their heads and trying to figure out what actually happened, the emotion was almost non-existent, and it failed to deliver on so many levels. But it still earned a high score of 8. Then you have this episode, which was strong, full of continuity and mythology, an amazing look at the other side, great emotion, significant developments and meaningful themes, and so much more, and yet it only gets an 8.5? I’m sorry, but those episodes are almost polar opposites, in my opinion, so it just makes no sense to have them separated by only half a point… I guess we’ll have to keep waiting for an episode that we can agree on. That said, I really enjoyed reading your review and I think you did an exceptionally good job with this one. Thank you!

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    • says

      Regarding Olivia going to Alt-olivia’s place, I don’t think she went there to find an ally. She didn’t look like she was even contemplating going up to see her. I think she went into detective mode, and alt-Olivia is the one she felt she could most figure out and predict her next move. She likely feels she needs to learn more about the other side and exactly what their motives are and following herself around would be the most logical thing – plus she’d be able to get a peek at what her life might have been. I didn’t for once think she was going there for an ally, especially considering that Alt-Olivia was shooting at her earlier.

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      • mlj102 says

        Interesting… I’ll admit that I could be completely wrong with that one, as they did leave her motivations rather ambiguous, but that was the first thought that crossed my mind when they showed Olivia outside watching. And I thought (and still think) it made a lot of sense and was the best course of action based on her current circumstances.

        When they showed Olivia at the end of the battle scene in the park, I thought she seemed completely lost: here she was in unfamiliar territory — enemy territory, according to Broyles — and everyone she came with has been killed or ran away. She’s alone — what can she possibly do? When we saw her looking up someone in the directory, my first thought was that she would look up the Bishops and try to find Peter, though I thought it would be rather risky of her to go directly to the source like that. But at this point, anything she does is going to be risky. So I was initially a bit surprised when they showed her at alternate Olivia’s apartment, but instantly I saw the logic behind it and I thought it was brilliant.

        I guess I just think that, if it was me personally in that kind of situation, I would feel like anything I did on my own would be a futile attempt — I would need some sort of back up or support if I was going to have any chance at success. Spying on the enemy would be rather pointless to me because, what difference could I make on my own? She would have to be thinking that, while her alternate was different, she would also be the same in a lot of ways, so maybe she could trust her. If you can’t defeat your enemy, try to reason with them. And alternate Olivia would be a good ally to have. She was obviously in a position of some influence over there, and our Olivia saw the strength of their Fringe Division and saw the resources they have. Again, if it were me, I would think that if I could get one of them on my side, if I could get them to understand, then I would have that support I lacked… I would have that added strength. But, of course, she saw that alternate Olivia wasn’t alone, which would make her change her mind about approaching her. So when we saw her, no, she didn’t look like she was contemplating going up to see her, because she realized alternate Olivia wasn’t alone. But I did think she looked almost disappointed, like she had been planning on going up there until she realized there was someone else with alternate Olivia.

        And even though alternate Olivia had shot at them, she really would be her best choice. She doesn’t know what alternate Olivia is like, but her observations might have told her that the other side isn’t necessarily evil, so she would have thought maybe she can talk to her alternate and explain. Maybe it wasn’t the greatest idea, but nothing in this whole situation has been a good idea — as she told Broyles, no, it’s not a good idea, but since there aren’t any better ideas, it’s really the only choice. Like I said, anything she does at this point is going to be risky, but it makes more sense to be looking for an ally rather than trying to do this all on your own.

        I just think that looking for some kind of ally would be the best course of action given the situation she was in, and it makes more sense than any other possibility. As I said, “spying on the enemy” and gathering information seems like it would be pointless considering she was alone and unable to do anything substantial. I can understand her being curious about the life of her alternate, but given everything that was at risk at the moment, I can hardly assume that would be a priority to her. I don’t know — I just think I would be looking for ways to get support or help in such foreign, threatening circumstances where so much is at risk, so I just assumed that’s what she would be doing. Of course, like I said, I could be completely wrong in this interpretation.

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        • Alexia says

          you’re into something here…..Like Broyles said in Jacksonville “sometimes the only choices we have left are the bad ones”. In this case,every choice/idea Olivia might take/have will be bad ones.

          Maybe we’re underestimating her:she is after all the girl that went to Iraq,and blackmailed a genius to check his mental unstabel father out of a mental institution “just” to save her partner. And all of it was her idea,a risky bad one,but it turned out well,didn’t it?

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        • Alexia says

          Of course it is a bad idea to go trying ‘negotiate’ with your alter-self.Even worse when they’ve tried to kill you earlier.

          But we can’t underestimate Olivia’s bad ideas,she is after all the one who went to Iraq and blackmailed a genius to check his mental unstable father out of a mental institution just to help her save her partner. I think that we all agree that it was a hell of a bad idea,and it turned out well,didn’t it?

          But this is different,and every idea she might have will probably be a bad one,but we can’t forget she’s Olivia Dunham,just look at all the things she have done since the pilot.
          She doesn’t always have the most brilliant ideas but they usually turn out pretty well.Only this time she’s over there,and let’s just say it make everything much more complicated. :D

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            • says

              You do make some very good points, mlj, and I can totally see where you’re coming from. It could very well be that she is looking for an ally. But that begs the question (to me anyway) why she didn’t go to Bell instead of alt-olivia, considering her new-found trust in him, and all. And I agree with you Alexia that our Olivia is a resourceful girl. She goes with her gut. She is always looking for more information, more answers. She can find associations that no one else can. Maybe it’s a little bit of both. She went to alt-olivia’s without really knowing her next course of action but that was at least a place to start. Either way, it looks like they don’t become buddy buddy based on the preview for next week. That will be something to see!

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              • FinChase says

                I’m sure Walter was not the only person who thought that Bell had betrayed them at the bridge. I think Olivia would have thought that too, so she’s not going to approach Bell, so he had to come find her.

                I think the idea of Olivia looking for an ally is a good one, with a little dash of morbid curiousity thrown in for good measure. Did you see her face when she saw AltLiv in the theatre? She was knocked sideways at the sight of her. If I were in Olivia’s shoes, I’d want to know more about my doppelganger.

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    • rosull says

      I also wanted to add to your ZFT year correction. I think Rocco got his years mixed. ZFT written by Walternate in 1995 and Reiden Lake event occurred in 1985.

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    • Kronos says

      “Why didn’t Olivia just go to Massive Dynamic instead of Altlivia’s house?”

      Unless Massive Dynamic is located in NYC on the Other Side, that simply wasn’t an option. At least on Our Side, MD is located in Boston. Then again, it looks like the Fringe division on the Other Side is headquartered in NYC, so maybe MD is located there too? Bell does have an office in one of the Trade towers over there (or had when Olivia got pulled over) so maybe MD is in NYC on the Other Side.

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      • mlj102 says

        Actually, Massive Dynamic over here IS in New York. So anytime Olivia goes to Massive Dynamic, she’s actually making a small trip in order to get there.

        As for over there, we have no way of knowing if there even is a Massive Dynamic on that side. However, I’m interpreting Roco’s comment as referring to why Olivia didn’t go to the World Trade Center towers in order to find Bell and, assuming Massive Dynamic does exist over there as well, it’s also safe to assume Bell would be running it, so his office would be at Massive Dynamic. Did that make any sense?

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        • Fred says

          Given MD’s significant presence in our uni, I was suprised I did not see at least some type of MD presence in the alt-uni.

          This gets back to the question of the alt- Bell and what he has been up to and how/if he has been interacting with our Bell.

          Perhaps he helped Walternate build the Peter device and is still helping Walternate?

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        • Kronos says

          Thanks for the clarification – I totally thought MD was in Boston. That giant glass building looks a lot like the John Hancock Tower, which is in Boston, so I kinda just put the two together. Guess I should have paid attention more in the early part of season 1.

          And yes, it did make sense. Thanks!

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        • LizW65 says

          “Actually, Massive Dynamic over here IS in New York. So anytime Olivia goes to Massive Dynamic, she’s actually making a small trip in order to get there.”

          Not such a small trip–even with no traffic (and trust me, there’s NEVER no traffic) it’s over four hours each way. I guess it’s kind of like the insta-travel that was such an integral part of The X-Files. :D

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          • FinChase says

            Yes, I’ve often chuckled at the ease with which Olivia gets back and forth to NYC. In “Momentum Deferred”, she went to New York to see Nina Sharp, returned, received her memory flood, and then BACK to NY to see Nina again and almost be killed by Shifty-Charlie–all in one day!

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    • FringeFan2009 says

      Roco, as usual thank you for the awesome review. I have to say that I totally agree with mlj on this one. Especially on the rating. I thought this episode, could totally be ranked as one of the best Fringe episodes of all times. It was just cool. I could elaborate, but sometimes it’s hard to define “cool” ;) And what are you talking about? I totally dug Altivia’s hair. I think that it went along with her personality! If there was a episode that was close to perfection, I would say it was this one. My only complaint was that they didn’t take any gear when going over to that side. No big guns, heck no food rations. If I was going to another universe in which I had no clue what it was like, I would be packing for a back packing trip. I wonder if Olivia went to try to find herself to get stuff. I would break in to my alter-self’s house to get stuff. I know everything fits and I would feel as guilty, cuz essentially I would be stealing from myself. By the way, I have to say that I really do look forward to both Roco and Mlj’s comments every week. You guys rock!!!!

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      • says

        FringeFan09,

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

        I agree that the episode was “cool” and I can see why many people rated it higher than I did. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it (8.5 is high for me), I just felt it could have been more compelling and effective and in key areas. That said, I appreciate the episode for what it did and it could easily go up a notch when I rewatch the episode. For now though, I stand by my 8.5.

        Don’t get me started on Walter and Co. failing to pack a bag. ..yet Heath brings his wallet! :)

        Cheers.

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    • says

      mlj,

      Thanks for sharing, let me respond to some of your comments:

      Re: Altlivia. I think I’d prefer a portrayal that was less hokie. It felt like they tried a bit too hard to make her as different as possible (while I certainly appreciate this, it just didn’t land as well as it maybe could have). I also didn’t think Torv did as good a job in playing her as she does Olivia, which is understandable. That said, I’m open to finding out more about The Dunhamnator 2 and haven’t ruled her out of my life just yet!

      Re: The Cortexikids. I agree that it was a nice surprise, but I really feel that there should have been more shading. To just interject them (ultimately for the purpose of dying) felt rather deflating. I think it’s partly because we’ve waited so long to hear back on Nick’s status that when we saw Heath join him in the ‘facility’ I thought they’d be in there for a while longer. Perhaps that’s my fault for coming to that conclusion. But I also feel that it’s a bit much to believe that in the few weeks that have passed since Heath was put in that coma, he’s up and about healing bunny rabbits and preparing to go to war for the man who violated him. Again, I feel there needed to be more character and plot development before they went through the breach. It seemed a bit random. Just my opinion, still love the Cortexi-arc, but man, it could have been a lot more effective.

      I agree with your suggestion on how this episode could have delivered a more resonating Peter/Walternate crossing over moment.

      I think travelling back is a lot easier. It looked like they used a similar-ish mechanism to the one Bell used on Olivia, although hopefully without the smashing through windscreens part. Hopefully.

      Oh, I totally agree that Walter was referring to his Door. But I find it a bit contrived to think that only Walter’s very effective and non-molecular destabilizing Door would shatter the universe if it were to be used again. Surely Newton’s rather crude door-building over the past few months has put a strain on Mother Nature’s fabric?

      I can accept Walter’s unwillingness as an explanation for why so few people have used his Door (because of the drastic consequences, which for whatever reason are worse than cruder Door building efforts), but how many people would refuse to use it if they knew how to build it? How many folks have Walter’s lessons on the consequences of universe-hopping from which to learn? Considering it’s apparently so simple to build, it seems odd that few people have been able to recreate it (as far as we know). I don’t know, the whole Door thing just seems a bit messy at this moment in time.

      He he! Well, Elizabeth being a veggie may very well turn out to be a key mystery of the show. Just you wait, 3 seasons from now you’ll be like, “SNAP!”

      ;)

      Re: Broylnate being married. I agree with what you say about still being dedicated to the job while having a family, and I like what you said about making different choices and perhaps being ‘better’ in some areas than our Broyles. That said, if the creators are going to show us a difference like this, I think it means something. What are they trying to convey? What early clues can we get about Broylnate that might give us insight into where this is all heading. Again, you make good points that also fall under this category.

      Re: Glee. Hold on, I may be able to give you an answer…. Nope, still CALCULATING! ;)

      True. Peter is also prone to a sip or two. Good memory, btw.

      Broyles tells Olivia there are still “over a dozen Cortexibrats unaccounted for” when they’re walking down the corridor of the Experimental Campus.

      Re: Nick sacrificing everything for war. While you’re right, he was aware that he was ‘created’ for that purpose, he didn’t seem very willing to commit to that purpose by the end of Bad Dreams when he asked Olive to kill him. I realise he may have been more willing had he been in control of his powers, but it still seemed weird to me that he would just go to war when he doesn’t really know what he’s fighting for. Olivia certainly doesn’t have those tendencies, so it’s not as though they’re innate qualities for a Cortexiphan subject. Perhaps with more embellishment and character development I could understand his motivations a bit more, but what they were going into was a whole different ball game from the mini league tests they were doing in Xavier’s class. Again, I get where you’re coming from, but it really needed more shading for this to work for me.

      Re Olivia’s implicit trust of Bell. I’m not sure I can agree with you here. I’m not sure it’s accurate to compare her Walter situation with her Willum position. She’s come to know Walter. She’s fought in the trenches with him, laughed, gagged and cried with him over numerous experiments and adventures. She doesn’t have the same connection or point of reference (i.e. Peter) when it comes to Bell. He’s a dude who made her “special”, left her to rot for a couple of decades, yanked her over to the AU when it suited him, gave her some cryptic message about frozen heads and coming storms, deferred her momentum – almost killing her in the process, then doesn’t even bother to show up at the park when she really needs him (OK, she didn’t know he wouldn’t make it in time). :) I think I can understand where you’re coming from, but in terms of realistic character motivations, I don’t see how those words can possible come out of Olivia’s mouth. She could have at least worded it differently without looking as though she was prepared to hand her life over to a man who had been extremely vague about his true intentions. Just my opinion though!

      Who’s H*rris?

      In some ways I can agree that it made sense to go to Altlivia’s house. But given the urgency of the situation and the fact that she was already in ‘high risk’ mode, would she really waste time spying on Altliv? A woman who shot Walter in the gut, no less. If she was so willing to trust Bell then I find it strange that her trust should diminish so quickly on the basis that he didn’t show up at the park within the 2 or 3 minutes they were there. That said, I do kinda like the idea of her being able to relate and appeal to her double, so I appreciate the additional perspective on that.

      While I really enjoyed this episode, I have to stand by my 8.5/10 rating. It didn’t resonate with me as much as some of the other episodes have. It had great mythology and excitement, but I also look for the character beats, the story dynamics and the way in which the story is told. The episode was great for what it achieved – taking us Over There and setting up Part 2. But it also felt a bit wobbly at times. However, 8.5 is a very good rating for me. NWP was one of those episodes that, in its own context, carried more subtlety, particularly after a second watch. They are two completely different episodes so it’s difficult to explain in detail why I only separated them by .5, but in the end I’m happy with where I ranked these two eps. Who knows, I might change my mind during a rewatch.

      I should also say, thank you for sharing your thoughts, you always bring the good stuff whether I agree with you or not, so thanks for taking the time to provide your opinions!

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      • mlj102 says

        “He he! Well, Elizabeth being a veggie may very well turn out to be a key mystery of the show. Just you wait, 3 seasons from now you’ll be like, “SNAP!””

        It’s a definite possibility! :) I can picture it now: middle of season 6, vegetarianism becomes a factor that completely changes everything. And I will look back at this moment and I will think “Roco totally figured it out from day 1!”

        “Re: Glee. Hold on, I may be able to give you an answer…. Nope, still CALCULATING!”

        Darn you and your calculations! :) It’s taking too long… This answer is crucial — do you have any idea how much is hanging in the balance right now? I can’t take the suspense much longer!

        “Broyles tells Olivia there are still “over a dozen Cortexibrats unaccounted for” when they’re walking down the corridor of the Experimental Campus.”

        I have no idea how I missed that. Interesting. So it seems there are a couple possible explanations: 1) Broyles isn’t being completely honest with Olivia. It wouldn’t be the first time. Of course, I don’t see what the purpose would be for telling her an inaccurate number of unaccounted for Cortexiphan Kids. 2) When he says “over a dozen” he really means a LOT more than a dozen… like 25 more. In which case, his approximation skills need some major work! 3) He and Nina have been busier than we suspected — not only have they woken up five of the Cortexiphan Kids and managed to help them control their abilities, but they’ve also been able to locate around 25 kids in just a few weeks. Now that’s what I call progress! Whatever the case, I tend to believe the numbers he provided to Nina at the end of Olivia. In the Lab… more than I believe what he said here.

        “She doesn’t have the same connection or point of reference (i.e. Peter) when it comes to Bell.”

        You make a good point that Olivia doesn’t have the same experience or relationship with Bell. She doesn’t really know him. And I agree that it is rather odd that she suddenly decided she trusted him. Like I said, I imagine it was an issue of necessity more than anything. And they could have made the whole thing better by expressing it in a different way rather than having Olivia simply declare that she trusts Bell. However, as far as your summary of events is concerned, I think it all is a matter of perspective (isn’t everything?). Yes, Bell experimented on her, but again, if she can come to terms with Walter’s involvement in that, then I think the same could be said for Bell. She doesn’t like it, but they say they were trying to protect her and the world, so she will deal with it, even though it doesn’t make her like them any more. It could be argued that when he “yanked her over to the AU” he actually saved her life, considering a shapeshifter was hunting her down with the intention of killing her. Sending her flying through the windshield was just an unfortunate consequence of that. And his message for her was likely made cryptic by her incomplete memory of the event. It seems like he told her everything she needed to know: what she was looking for, where it was, and why it was important; but the gaps in her memory are what made it complicated. From her perspective, Bell “pulled me to another universe to give me a warning. That’s how important this is.” (Momentum Deferred). It could be argued that she views Bell’s actions as his way of trying to prevent a huge disaster, and he needed Olivia’s help in order to do that. So she trusts him inasmuch as they are apparently working towards a common goal right now. Things weren’t ideal, but can anything be guaranteed as ideal when you’re dealing with communicating between two realities? I agree that it’s odd for Olivia to suddenly announce that she trusts Bell, but I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to expect that she might at least have a cautious trust in him at this point.

        “Who’s H*rris?”

        Ha! Good one! You really are good at being in denial and pretending that some things never happened, aren’t you? Now if only you could block out Rachel that effectively (Speaking of which, I’m wondering where all your supporters have disappeared to. It used to be you had a whole bunch of people who shared your opinion of Rachel, but no one seems to agree with you anymore… Sad day!).

        And, just so you know, I did check and I couldn’t find any eulogy for Harris. He deserves one… even if you would rather forget him. So maybe you can include one in the next rewatch (you will be doing a summer rewatch again, right?) :)

        “While I really enjoyed this episode, I have to stand by my 8.5/10 rating.”

        Sigh. You know, the 8.5 rating isn’t necessarily what surprised me — I would have put it in a range of 8.5-9.5. But it’s that Peter’s Passage was so high. I still can’t figure out how you can suggest that it deserves an 8. You said here that you look for character beats and story dynamics, both of which are things that I felt were considerably lacking in Peter’s Passage. Yes, this episode had some wobbly moments, but it was nothing compared to Peter’s Passage. That episode just didn’t resonate for me at all. I will admit that my opinion towards that episode has been slightly changed after reading your review and observations and comments, though I still wouldn’t give it higher than a 7. But it’s okay. I’ll get over it. Someday. Though probably not nearly as well as you’ve gotten over Harris.

        Thanks for all you do in making this a wonderful site! I’m still constantly impressed by the fact that you respond to as many comments as you do. Thank you!

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      • modulegirl says

        Roco,

        “But I find it a bit contrived to think that only Walter’s very effective and non-molecular destabilizing Door would shatter the universe if it were to be used again. Surely Newton’s rather crude door-building over the past few months has put a strain on Mother Nature’s fabric?”

        Reading these words gave me a mental image of why Walter’s Door is so much more dangerous than Newton’s admittedly cruder means of crossing over.

        Imagine if you will a square of cheesecloth, about three feet by three feet. Then imagine that you could support the cheesecloth about a foot off the ground supporting about a pound of sand (which would be a trick right there with cheesecloth).

        The sand is our universe, the cheesecloth is the barrier between and the ground is Over There. Just sitting there, the cheesecloth would the sand, keeping the two universes separate. Shake the cheesecloth for five minutes and some of the sand would fall through but not all of it and the cheesecloth (or the barrier between the two universes) remains intact, though most likely a little worse for wear.

        Now take that sand and put it back on the cheesecloth, then cut a hole in the cheesecloth. Catastrophe! All of the sand falls through, ruins the cheesecloth and slams into the ground below. Bad for both universes.

        I think Walter’s device created a tiny hole in the cheesecloth, one that he was able to close up. But as evidenced by the “Zero Event at Reiden Lake” that hole was only the first. That first rent weakened the structure and made it more suseptible to damage as more mass crosses back and forth. Walter fears that the cheesecloth is now so damaged that to create another of his doors, no matter how tiny would rend the barrier completely. In the meantime, Newton is able to use the cruder shaking method to allow Walternate to jiggle through, which while damaging to the structure of the barrier, does not break the cheesecloth.

        At least that’s what I imagine. Always great to read your reviews and all of the comments.

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        • says

          modulegirl,

          I really love your analogy. With this in mind we can perhaps argue that the cruder “Door” methods are better in a similar way to how analogue or older technology is often preferred in key aspects of the show. Again, I like your perspective on this as it makes sense in large parts.

          I’m almost sold on the idea. I think my main problem is that the show needs to do a better job at illustrating these concepts, imo. The Door and the various portals that Newton has presumably created needs more discussion within the show. I wouldn’t like them to spoon-feed us the information, but at least convey a greater sense that Newton’s ‘carpentry’ has its own consequences, even if they are less damaging than Walter’s “Zero Event”.

          I’d also like to know how Walter seemingly created that Door so easily/quickly and why he didn’t block the hole at Reiden Lake sooner? I guess it was is fail-safe, but still. Whats more, I find it interesting that even the Cortexi-Circle method almost resulted in 10,000 plus lives being eradicated on the Other Side (even though that would have been an indirect consequence of Quarantine, it was still an unwitting offset of Walter’s method of choice). Perhaps Walter should have used Newton’s harmonic method, which actually seems safer in some respects. Little things like that need more tightening, I think. But hopefully this will come with time.

          Thanks again for sharing.

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          • mlj102 says

            “Perhaps Walter should have used Newton’s harmonic method”

            But doesn’t the harmonic method require the universes to be in sync as well as having the rods placed in identical locations on both sides? I don’t think Walter had the ability to use that method, nor did he have the time to wait for the universes to be in sync again…

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  13. ApplesBananasRhinoceros says

    Did the scene between Olivia and Ella make anyone else think that Olivia was trying to wake Ella with her mind? She was just staring at the poor kid who then slowly wakes up. Maybe that is why they are so close, they share an inherent natural ability. It also could shed some light onto Olivia’s abilities.

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  14. FinChase says

    I was re-watching the episode tonight and wondered if the “hidden” clue to season 3 wasn’t the new Fringe headquarters that we glimpsed being built. I can see the series moving away from the lab and centering more in the headquarters as the team finds itself fighting an all-out war with the other side.

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    • Elaine says

      I can see them doing that, but I hope the story never moves away from the lab, because it’s been such an intricate part of the series from the start. It wouldn’t seem like Fringe if we didn’t have moments like re-animating a shapeshifter in Walter’s lab…or trying to figure out how to disect a body that’s actually a tangled mesh of the same person but from two universes. Can’t do that tye of gruesome stuff in a FBI (albeit very cool looking) office.

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  15. Alexnate says

    I didn’t read all the comments. So I don’t know if it was mentioned yet. But I pay attention on the scene where James and Nick got different memories of Walter. Because later Nick was known by the leader of the AU Fringe Team, i think it was a possibility that Nick was from the other Side?! So there was possibility that there where Cortexiphan tests, too. Just a Thought.

    And an other thougt while i read the review. Could it be possible that the machine doesn’t destroy a world and instead of destroy does repair both?

    best regards
    from a really big fring fan from germany :)

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  16. Arun says

    “Remember your Shakespeare dear. All the world is a stage.”

    I loved this line, I think the writers actually put it in there as a joke. Apparently, in one of her interviews, Anna says that she used to be an amazing public speaker, but one time, she was pretty confident before going up on stage, and then a bystander wished her good luck like she’d really, really need it. She panicked and when she went up, she said “All the world is a stage.” and just got down from the stage, and walked out. She didn’t do any public speaking after that. c:

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  17. Danielle says

    About what you said about “can’t we all just get along”: Both worlds are trying to occupy the same space at the same time, and that can’t happen, so only one world will survive, according to Nina. And whichever world destroys the other knows that it won’t be them destroyed if it’s left to chance. Would you just leave it to chance?

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    • says

      Danielle,

      I have to disagree with you here. From how I read it, the worlds (or rather, the few in the know) are choosing “not” to get along. They could co-operate and put their great minds together to find a solution..exhaust the possibilities.

      As for what I was trying to say in my review – I agree, it’s difficult to leave it to chance. But what if chance is the fairest way to resolve the problem? Maybe both worlds will be destroyed, maybe one will survive, or maybe the universe will sort the problem out itself. Who knows? While what I’m suggesting is unlikely within the context of the show, I do feel as though this should be a human (if not humane) option before we just go to war with 6 billion people and an entire ‘mother ship’ with untold importance.

      To answer your question, I would ask for a solution, then I’d try to work with the Other Side until a solution was found (or an alternative to destruction/war), failing that, yes, I’d leave it to the power that is. I wouldn’t want to be involved in that bloodbath!

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      • mlj102 says

        Who’s ready for another Star Trek comparison from me? It’s been awhile since the last time I brought up Star Trek… But this topic and Roco’s comment made me think of a certain Star Trek episode, so I thought I’d share. So, ready or not, here goes:

        So, in this particular episode I’m thinking of, the starship Voyager passes through some anomaly that causes all the matter in the ship to duplicate, creating a second Voyager and crew that exists almost on top of the original one, just slightly out of phase. However, the starships depend heavily on anti-matter for the ship to continue functioning, but the anomaly didn’t duplicate the anti-matter. So essentially they were in a situation where there were two ships and two crews, all with the same experiences and memories, and they were both trying to continue to function with only the one supply of anti-matter, which wasn’t working. Once they became aware of the situation, they tried to address the situation together and to come up with a solution, but there simply wasn’t a way to allow both ships to continue to function. Since one of the ships had been heavily damaged in the event that separated the ships, that captain decided she would destroy her ship in order to allow the other ship to survive.

        Anyway, it’s a really fascinating episode, and I think it’s rather similar to what we have going on in Fringe. The two worlds exist right on top of each other, and they’re essentially the same, but things have happened that have caused a great deal of damage to both worlds and the very fabric that allows them to exist. As things are now, it appears that both can’t go on existing indefinitely. As Roco suggested, I think it would be more beneficial for them if they tried to work together to come up with a solution to their mutual problem. At the moment, we don’t know for sure that there isn’t some solution that would allow both sides to continue to exist, and there is no reason to destroy one side or the other. The knowledge and experience from both sides combined could allow them to discover a way to solve the problem.

        And if they are unsuccessful in that area, who decides which world deserves to survive? I don’t see why it should become a matter that is decided through war… they could both end up being destroyed if they go that route. However, I’m not sure I agree that they should just leave it up to fate, either, because, as you pointed out, that could result in both worlds being destroyed. And I don’t think it makes sense to allow both worlds to be destroyed if they can prevent that in any way. I think that, like my Star Trek example, it makes more sense, and would be more “humane” for one of the sides to ultimately be willing to sacrifice itself so that the other side can continue to exist. Of course, that leaves the big matter of deciding which side should be destroyed and which should be allowed to continue, and at this point it doesn’t seem as obvious as my Star Trek example where one ship was heavily damaged while the other was in perfect condition, but I do think that is the ideal solution if it comes down to one side needing to be destroyed.

        My main point is that I don’t see why it is necessary for the two sides to be fighting when there is a better way to be addressing this situation, which could possibly allow both sides to continue to exist.

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        • LizW65 says

          Another angle to consider is the one Walter mentioned in (I think) The Road Not Taken–that theoretically, every time anyone anywhere makes a decision, a new universe is created. This could conceivably open the door for an altogether new universe to come into existence, one which combines the best aspects of the previous two.

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  18. JustForfun says

    Let’s think about few secondes there’s something weird, Walternate let his plans of the machine to his wife for Peter. I don’t know it’s family but the man is the Secretary of Defence, not very professional. Okay it’s his lost son but Peter lived in our side since many years, how can he be sure to trust Peter’s loyalty ? There is something strange on that…

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  19. keth says

    First I should say that I loved this one!
    But now I’ve just doubled the number of questions I had before and I have so many doubts…

    For instance, the “returning home” of Peter and Walternate seems so fake to me… I don’t know if Peter would have agreed to go there in an instance knowing that he can never go back… It’s so “not like Peter”, come on! not even a question?? He is a very curious guy, right, and also, a pretty smart one too… So?? He just closed the eyes and jumped? Hmmm… and then I wonder why have Newton tried so hard to open a door for Walternate… when they could just “Star Treking” him here in the same way…
    You said something about Belly and the first time Olivia was there… well… and if Belly helped her (although she apparently has this ability among other things, to travel between worlds) then we have to presume that he sent her back too… so this “off they go!” works both ways..
    Could this be fake? “He came with me willingly so don’t bother to follow…” it seems to be so much of a “show off”… why in the hallway and not in the room… because it was a camera there.. of course…

    And then, I love the moment between Peter and his mother but… I don’t know why, at some point seemed a little bit unreal… and what was with all those lights around Peter’s bed and that red substance in the IV?? Cortexiphan maybe? He didn’t seem to care to much about that either…

    So…next, why now?? I mean, it’s obvious that Walternate had the power and the means to travel in our world all the time (well ..at least for …I don’t know, a few years probably)… why did he came for Peter NOW and not sooner…?? He seems so… cold… I don’t know, probably not an Walternate fan… well, not as long as he want to harm his son anyway…

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    • Alexia says

      What the hell heappend to Peter
      Usually he is very curious,sometimes his it almost got him killed.So why the hell didn’t he just went out to explore this new world he’s in.Of course he misses his mother and blah blah blah.But C’MON this is Peter we’re talking about.The cynic,skeptical guy that is always looking for the meaning and the logic in things. He didn’t even ask a question,not even a small one.

      P.S: I kinda fell sorry for Newton thou. He got him self in a hell of a lot trouble just to bring this DUDE to our side,and then Walternate and Peter just disapper on thin air, like you said,why didn’t he just came ‘star treking’.
      “BUT NO,let the poor Newton work his ass off so I can have my huge entering,and then just ignore him and use the easiest way”

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    • FringeFan2009 says

      I think that Walternate didn’t truly have the ability to come to the other side safely without getting Walter’s memories first, as to how.

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    • Jodie says

      I agree that the video cam scene that we were allowed to see felt fake. We got to see Peter’s reaction to coming face to face with his father in NW Passage. He looked scared and in shock. I’m thinking that it would take some time to convince Peter to go over so why end that conversation in the hallway. The whole scene felt set up to me. And as to how they went over? I don’t know because it looked to me like the scene was doctored. I’m not sure what to trust about that video. One thing that I am certain about: Peter was going over to the other side whether he wanted to or not. I think that we have our reason as to what took Walternate so long to get his son back. He hadn’t perfected his weapon yet.

      I also think that the writers want us to wonder what Peter is doing. I’m really hoping that we will be given flashbacks of this discussion. I’m hoping that Peter realizes that he’s being manipulated (He does read people well.). Sure, he’d want to connect with his mother, but I really can’t imagine that alarm bells weren’t going off in his head after his father shows up with Newton.

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      • jinx1764 says

        I agree Jodie! That video was a set up for Walter and Olivia. Peter wouldn’t just “Gee whiz Dad! Been a long time, Let’s go!” I commented earlier that I think (hope) that the bonus video we’re getting after the finale is the scene of Peter and Walternate talking/fighting etc. I think Peter did agree after a long conversation with a stipulation of being able to return, etc. Walternate is quite devious and has had years to plot this.

        And interesting thought about why he’s waited til now to claim Peter. Perfecting his weapon and all. Puts the spin on it that he’s known about our world since before Peter was taken cause he must have either known Peter was special, made him special or realized that living over there did something to him. Course I still think Walternate genetically engineered Peter from day one.

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      • mlj102 says

        First let me say that I completely agree that something felt very off about that surveillance video. It was too robotic, almost rehearsed, and just felt odd.

        That said, I hesitate to think that it was doctored or altered in any way because I would think that for something as huge as that, they (Olivia and the FBI) would have run that thing through any number of tests to ensure that it really was genuine and accurate. That said, it’s possible that Peter and Walternate came to their decision inside the room, then purposely set up that discussion outside the room so that the camera would catch it and Walter/Olivia/anyone looking for Peter would know without a doubt that Peter had left to go over there, and it was his choice. Knowing it was Peter’s choice is the only way they could be sure that people would stop looking for him. If they thought he had been taken against his will, they would have done whatever was necessary to get him back. But seeing Peter make that choice pretty much means they have to drop it, accept it, and move on.

        So no matter how unreliable the tape looks, I think we have to remember that, in the end, it was Peter’s choice to go over there. We can be pretty sure of that because of his reaction when he woke up over there. He wasn’t angry or confused or trying to get back over here. His actions were completely consistent with someone who had made the choice to go over there. There was no sign that he had been forced or coerced in any way. The only possible explanation would be if Newton/Walternate had given Peter some drug to make him go along with it all… But I think that’s unlikely and I think there would be some sort of evidence of that.

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        • Jodie says

          “His actions were completely consistent with someone who had made the choice to go over there. There was no sign that he had been forced or coerced in any way.”

          Oh, I agree. I’m just saying that we don’t know if Peter sensed a set up. We don’t know if Peter has dual reasons for going over. Just as it is hard for me to believe that Olivia would trust William Bell, it is hard for me to accept that Peter would simply dismiss what he has been through in the last two years. The shape shifters are the enemy. Is he going over to find out what these people are up to?

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          • SF says

            What if Newton and Walter knew where the cameras were, and deliberately planned to have Peter say he would go, no questions asked, just leave and not come back….because it was a trap being set for Walter and Olivia? Walternate would know his counterpart enough to know that if Peter disappeared and Walter knew where Peter had gone, Walter would follow to get him back. Both Walternate and Newton are aware of Olivia as the guardian of the gate. What better way to eliminate the opposition than by taking them out of the world they are supposed to protect? Walternate knows how well defended and tight his world is with the ID chips, and they both know that Olivia is weak and will choose her people over the hard choice. That ‘weak’ is their word for her, I think it’s her saving grace. However, unless Olivia comes up with the surprise idea of the week, she and Walter are neutralized for the moment, trying to find their way in the alt-world, and our world is left unprotected.

            And as far as we know, Newton is still on our side.

            I think Olivia did the only thing she could do, she and Walter. What we have to see is if she can put things together fast enough to find a way to discover where such a thing like the world destroying machine is being held……good thing Bell showed up at last! Question is, what is he going to think about Peter being back on his natural world?

            Also, the Observers gave Olivia the plan after Peter vanished to his birth universe. Did they act too late, or did they do the only thing left that would stop the universes from colliding, by sending Olivia over there?

            I don’t know if Peter went to find out what Walternate wanted from him, or to find his real mother, I think both. Why not? Isn’t it magical that is real dad shows up just when Peter really needs to find a way back to the other side? Is Peter being extra-nice right now so he can find out what is going on? Has he lost his cynical self forever? Is he happy his dad gave him a choice? Or in shock because his real dad wants his help too….not just to have him back, but he is needed, which has always been what Peter wants to be. Needed, useful.

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  20. rosull says

    I respectfully disagree with Rocco about Walter’s gunshot injuries.

    Remember, they were supposed to meet Bell at the bridge at 4pm. So I don’t think it was 5-6 hours till Walter succumbed to his injury, probably more like 1-2.

    Also, Walter is a DOCTOR. I’m sure he knew well enough to superficially treat himself till he got to a hospital. Which by the way they are in New York and just like they all knew how to get to central park, I’m sure Walter knew where a hospital was Over Here, and so he just went in that direction to get to a Hospital OVER THERE. It is not a contrivance at all.

    Nick Lane was shot in his lung (or maybe heart). So it is not a stretch to imagine he would die very soon after. Walter was shot while running, so the bullet could have gone right through and through.

    I’m just saying, of all the plot contrivances this was the smallest of them.

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    • Con says

      I agree; Walter didn’t notice the actual wound until the end of the scene, but he knew he was dizzy and he knew something was wrong, so (not thinking clearly) he headed for a hospital.

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    • FringeFan2009 says

      I agree with this one. In real life, most people that get shot don’t know that they’ve been shot until someone tells them, or they pass out. I have friends in the military and it is a major problem when people are walking around hurt and they don’t know it. By the time they find out it is too late because they’ve lost too much blood. As far as Walter is concerned, it didn’t look like the bullet hit a vital organ, and it could have only been 30 min-1 hr. We don’t know how quickly the sun goes down there, or if there are any pollutants in the air that would cause sunset to occur faster.

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    • mlj102 says

      “Also, Walter is a DOCTOR. I’m sure he knew well enough to superficially treat himself till he got to a hospital. Which by the way they are in New York and just like they all knew how to get to central park, I’m sure Walter knew where a hospital was Over Here, and so he just went in that direction to get to a Hospital OVER THERE.”

      My only problem with this is that this is Walter we’re talking about. I would agree with you if it was anyone else, but this is the same man who completely freaked out when he was “lost” in Chinatown and he couldn’t even remember how to call Peter. So here he’s not only alone, but he’s also wounded and likely not thinking straight as a result of that. He’s just not the kind of person who has enough sense to think clearly in situations like that. So, yeah, it was a little out of character and contrived for me in those regards.

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      • SF says

        I agree with Rosull. Walter knew something was wrong, knew he didn’t have his lab or Peter to help him, didn’t have Olivia. It was good to see that Walter has a sense of self-preservation that he went to the nearest place for help. I agree that it was the smallest of plot contrivances. Walter has shown that he can ask for help, as in the episode Snakehead, as mentioned by mlj102 (but to a different end! ) when he is able to say he can’t find his way home. Someone helps him. People always do. So it’s not hard to imagine he asked the way to the nearest emergency room. He knows he needs help.

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    • says

      rosull,

      I guess I could buy it being 1-2 hours later, but even so..

      The thing is, Walter didn’t treat himself (as far as we know). I was actually retrospectively wondering why he hadn’t gathered up a few magic leaves to at least restrict the bleeding.

      I definitely see where you’re coming from, but I still think it’s a contrivance. I also find it convenient that he collapsed just when he reached the hospital. Luckily for him it wasn’t another 20 yards away. :) Perhaps relief set in, but I find all of this a bit hard to swallow. Walter is a frail man, I can’t see him lasting that long from one of Dunhamnator II’s Bullets of Death. It just doesn’t happen.

      I agree with your point about Lane, but I still think it’s a worthwhile comparison. Lane wasn’t important so he dies within 30 seconds. Walter is important so he somehow stumbles his way to hospital, without being spotted and without needing to apply pressure to the wound.

      I agree it was a small contrivance but it felt really clunky to me. Still enjoyed the ep though.

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  21. Fred says

    After reading the review, I am wondering if the Observers are the aliens that Walter mentioned. Perhaps they removed our natural psychic abilities in our past. They certainly seem to be capable of this type of activity.

    More importantly, this might serve to explain their actitivities. They may be running a vast experiment on a couple (or multiple) alternate universes. They may have restricted human psychic ability in our and the alternate universes (and potentially others that we don’t know about). After making this change, they are observing across time how this works out for the future of our and the alternate universe.

    Just a thought, but up until now we did not have any idea what or why the Observers would be watching us. This may be a potential reason.

    This also implies that the Observers are not really allowing their experiment to run its course; as they seem to be interferring with the experiment and corrupting the results.

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    • Elaine says

      This reminded me of what Broyles told Olivia in the pilot about someone is experimenting, and the whole world is there lab (or something like that). I actually like the idea that Oberservers may be responsible for turning off this ability in humans because we couldn’t really handle it. But over time, the primal part of ours brains sought to unleash those abilities again, and there have been key players (Bell, Walter and perhaps Robert Bishop) who have found a way to trigger those dormant abilities, setting in to motion the frequency of events as a result.

      All speculation, of course.

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      • Elaine says

        Aren’t they sort of alien to us currently? We don’t know where they orginate from, or what purpose they’re tracking these pattern events. We don’t know why they’re emotionless (for the most part) why they have no taste buds. They write in a strange, indecipherible language, and and apparently travel between universes, time and space virtually without complications. They’re either able to bend time to avoid being shot, or misdirect bullets at the wave of a hand. Start cars with a charge from their finger. I’d say that’s pretty alien.

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    • Paulina says

      Just wanted to say that this is a great point.

      Especially liked this part:
      This also implies that the Observers are not really allowing their experiment to run its course; as they seem to be interferring with the experiment and corrupting the results.

      This is interesting to me because I really like the episode August and how August could see a different future than the other Observers who told him that his vision must be “incorrect” or wrong or whatever they said. It just really makes me wonder how “objective” anyone can be, the subjectiveness of perception and all, even these Observers seem to be susceptible both to human emotion and the need to interfere. They talk about “anomalies” and “probabilities” but I’m just very confused as to what is the type of course/order on which they base their apparent need to “correct” anomalies, if that makes any sense.

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  22. Melissa says

    I thought the whole “Cortexiphan children, activate!” was a bit forced. Those last minute on Earth-1 bits were REALLY awkward for me.
    The cross scene felt much more to me like Olivia thought she might not be there to protect Ella anymore, so the thing that always made her FEEL safe should rightfully go to her. Not because of religion (and I am religious) but because it was, in a way, her mother. Also, as much as I hate Rachel, thought her glare was because she realized that Olivia was going on a one way mission since she was “giving away” her most beloved possessions.

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  23. Paulina says

    Thanks for the great review! I’ve really been looking forward to your thoughts.

    Oh my! They put our lot to shame, what with their limitless resources, organization and armed squads ready to roll at the drop of a hat.

    It was interesting to me that you pointed that out, because I was thinking about the advantages & disadvantages each side has coming into this confrontation. I don’t think Alter-Olivia at least was treated with Cortexiphan either, from what we’ve been given so far. I mean, they didn’t know about there being another side, not very “perceptive” of them. And it was intriguing how, for all their guns and technology, the Alter-Fringe Division didn’t seem to display any cortexiphan powers such as pyrokinesis, etc. (hence Lincoln Lee being totally burnt up).

    And I agree with you that I’d take our Olivia over Alter-Olivia any day. Ours seems to be more driven despite the emotional bruising. She has a passion and a selflessness that — as you noted — didn’t come across in the Alter-Olivia who (for me) it almost felt like she approached her job as a game even though she seemed very capable (she shot Walter, after all). I was talking to a friend about her lack of concern with her own death and so many others at the prospect of quarantine, but as you said maybe the joking helps them deal with it. Anyways, I think maybe that’s why the writers decided to portray her like that because she wasn’t treated with Cortexiphan? I guess we’ll find out, but the more we learn about the Cortexiphan trials, the more I find Olivia’s development as a person has been shaped by that. And so far, I think that our Olivia’s character traits make her a better person/agent in general so I think that’s one advantage we have going for us although Alter-Olivia could prove me wrong in Part 2.

    Then, there is Alter-Astrid who seems to have special abilities and is a “Looker.” Could have been treated with Cortexiphan although she seems more like a human computer to me. Someone else brought up that perhaps she is a hybrid like the shape-shifters? Of course, it’s too soon to tell.

    BUT there does appear to be Cortexiphan on the other side, because it was what was in the IV drip when Peter woke up. Really interested in seeing where they go with that…

    I’m really glad that Walternate gave Peter the choice over whether or not to go back with him, instead of bundling him to the back of a van and teleporting his ass out of there.

    Yes, but I wonder how much a choice Peter might really have had. Newton and Walternate went through alot of trouble to come get him…I feel like they wouldn’t have left without him even if Peter had said no but I guess that’s a bit irrelevant because clearly Peter said yes. *shrugs* And, like you, I felt they sacrificed what could’ve been a much greater emotional moment but I guess they needed to go quickly (plus I’ll let them pass because the Peter/Elizabeth moment was one of the best moments of the episode). And, for awhile, it had been bugging me that Peter made such a quick choice but a friend reminded me that, even though Peter’s decision looked quick on the screen, he’d probably been mulling over the prospect of returning “home” for days. After all, from the little we got of where his head was at in Northwest Passage, he was looking to go somewhere totally different. First he’d gone across the country, then he wanted to go to a place called Mars as he told the GPS. So, maybe Peter had been contemplating this for awhile and that helps explain the quickness of his decision. He definitely had to be wondering about his mother and his father on the other side, if they missed him at all.

    THANK you for bringing up Olivia’s “But I trust him” about Bell to Broyles! GAH! Totally out-of-character in every possible way as far as I’m concerned. When did that happen, really? I know Olivia is desperate but she should’ve said something like ‘I’m desperate and I have no other choice but to trust him’ rather than ‘I trust him.’ I agree about the way they handled some of the character motivations and the Cortexiphan kids’ reactions but I was going to let them have lee-way on that because they needed to move the episode further pretty quickly (which at first bugged me, before I realized that it allowed me into the headspace of the characters, particularly Olivia maybe — especially if we’re going with a Fringe narrator and just capped the urgency of the situation without any preparation/plan). But Olivia trusting Bell was so blatantly not-in-line with what we’d been given before and was probably my biggest problem with the episode.

    As for Walternate’s portrayal, of course it’s too soon to call and simplistic anyways to label him as a ‘bad guy’ (Fringe likes us to rethink those categories/labels anyways because goodness knows our Walter has done alot of bad stuff) but he definitely has an agenda and his priority right now seems to be revenge/saving his universe given a) the doomsday device which he seems to know will call for Peter to die if the picture is any indication and b) I would think he must be glad to have Peter back, but one has to wonder why he never tried to get Peter back before if their technology is so much more advanced than ours or if he was biding his time for some particular reason (although maybe the reason was just needing the universes to line up/overlap in a particular way but I mean the shape-shifters have been coming for years right?)

    But I found it incredibly interesting that — even though Walternate is Secretary and had already seen Peter when he brought him back — he wasn’t there when his son awoke after 3 days. The writers seemed to make a nice parallel to TMFTOS there with Walter refusing to leave the hospital during the 1.5 days Peter was asleep (and you’re totally right about Peter and being asleep in his own life — he’s always sleeping/dreaming, etc.)

    Also, this might just be the English Literature major in me reading into it too much but the other day I made a random off-handed comment to a friend about the Biblical connection between Peter being asleep for 3 days and Christ asleep in the tomb on Easter Weekend. At first, I thought it was a stretch but it could be intentional even in so far that for Peter’s mother, it was like he’d been dead and then raised from the dead and given back to her. Or it could relate to the device and Peter’s role in powering it and possibly being the sacrifice that Walternate has to make in order to save his world/destroy the other (this is really really a stretch but in the picture of Peter in the device his arms are outstretched kind of like Christ on the cross). This is all just speculation though, but some food for thought nonetheless.

    Also, another good parallel to the S2 premiere was Olivia’s bar scene in the beginning, mourning the loss of Peter just like Peter had mourned the loss of Olivia. If they’re coming back to the premiere alot, I hope they bring up the Greek phrase that Bell told Olivia to tell Peter and his “You’ll need him by your side.” I’m dying for some Peter/Olivia interaction because I feel that their relationship is really key to unlocking each other’s abilities and I like how they’ve become family (and maybe more).

    Also, I don’t know how much you’ve discussed this before in earlier posts (I just got into Fringe earlier this year and started reading your blog around Jacksonville on-and-off) but I was thinking about name meanings. You mentioned how Walternate has seemed to develop a more militaristic ethos, and Walter is German for “ruler of the army” or “army general” apparently. In contrast, William apparently means “protector” which might hint that for all his untrustworthiness, he is on our side (although ready to use some extreme measures like the cruel practice of taking parts of his friend’s brain from him).

    And nice catch on Alter-Olivia’s reaction to Lee’s comment about her lover spending all her money. I think that, for all we’ve gotten of Alter-Olivia having the better life and being more well-adjusted, her love life isn’t as snazzy as it could be and she has been kept in the dark about the real nature of the Blight so maybe her life isn’t as great as it could be, maybe she’s living a bit of a complacent one.

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    • Jodie says

      “Or it could relate to the device and Peter’s role in powering it and possibly being the sacrifice that Walternate has to make in order to save his world/destroy the other (this is really really a stretch but in the picture of Peter in the device his arms are outstretched kind of like Christ on the cross). This is all just speculation though, but some food for thought nonetheless.”

      I think that that image is deliberate on the part of the writers. I immediately thought that it looked like Peter was being crucified. Peter is the sacrificial lamb. I just wonder when Walternate got hold of that parchment paper with the prophecy. Was Peter born special or did Walternate create Peter in order to fulfill the prophecy?

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      • Paulina says

        Ah, glad to hear that others thought similarly about the image. And there are alot of unresolved questions about Peter being special that I’m really looking forward to at least some of them being answered in Part 2 (I feel like we’ve waited long enough!). I mean, why was the Observer present when Walternate was trying to make the cure? Why did that have to be corrected? Why did September save them from the ice? It’s interesting how Walter, in stealing Peter from the other universe appeared to make a new set of “probabilities” or whatever they called them, that somehow made it so that Walter was ‘allowed’ to keep the stolen Peter in some sense? (as we know that the Observers will indirectly interfere to correct “anomalies”)

        For me, this all goes back to Nick Lane’s comment about how “fate is a tricky thing.” August is one of my favorite episodes and I like the questions it brings up about perception, how one Observer saw a different future/path which the other Observers let him know was “incorrect” or wrong or whatever. Peter being the sacrificial lamb brings into question these issues of fate, destiny, and free will it seems just as the Biblical Fall of Adam & Eve and the subsequent redemption by Christ have always made people wonder about the same sorts of issues.

        It’s all very interesting. Peter, of course, also means rock — he’s somehow foundational to whatever’s going to happen or will serve as some type of new foundation to whatever is the result of this confrontation between two worlds? I just really need it to be Thursday already…

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      • jinx1764 says

        I have to agree with you both on this. The image, the characters reactions, the previous hints, Walternate’s deliberate lack of full disclosure, etc…I just can’t accept that this Wave Sink machine will be happy fun time for Peter. Even if Walternate doesn’t intend for it to harm/kill Peter it’s potential unintended results just can’t be good for him, let alone the other universe.

        Remember, this is Walter we’re talking about. He does lots of good intentioned things that end up with bad results. So maybe Walternate isn’t evil and doesn’t intend for Peter to die, doesn’t mean he won’t.

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        • Paulina says

          Remember, this is Walter we’re talking about. He does lots of good intentioned things that end up with bad results. So maybe Walternate isn’t evil and doesn’t intend for Peter to die, doesn’t mean he won’t.

          I like that you brought this up, it makes me think of Walternate’s “you know I’m not a lover of war” comment. My initial reaction was that that was supposed to be taken as disingenuous, but I don’t know that we’ve actually seen Walternate been the perpetrator/instigator of any type of violence thus far. Alot of the Pattern events from S1 were apparently the work of David Robert Jones’s ZFT if I remember correctly and Newton helped those mentally insane people by giving them their memories back, the shapeshifters killed people but it all seemed to be to get to Newton who could get the Secretary to our side who could get Peter who apparently is the key to saving the other side. So maybe Walternate does have the good intention of being a good Secretary of Defense and defending his world and, even if it hurts him personally, he might be willing to risk Peter in order to save hundreds of thousands (billions?) of lives — an entire world.

          Which would be a nice reversal of our Walter who had put at risk an entire world for the life of his one son.

          But yeah, your comment makes me think that — so far — it seems Walter and Walternate are the most alike of all the Alternates. Walter may be the more broken, frantic father and Walternate the seemingly calculating Secretary but at the heart of it, they both (so far) appear to be what you put men with good intentions who end up with bad results. In Walternate’s case, the result might not be so bad if he’s thinking to risk one life in order to save a world — in some sense, is he actually more stronger/noble than our Walter who selfishly put his son first?

          I don’t know. I guess it all comes down to this device and what it does, but it’s interesting to think that Walternate is able to look at the bigger picture when Walter hadn’t been able to.

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          • jinx1764 says

            Interesting reply and I have to agree with you who’s the better father? Is it more or less selfish to be willing to sacrifice the world or your own son?

            I guess the answer really lies in love and free will just like Fringe has been leading us towards. If Peter were given the choice to sacrifice himself for his entire world but would have to kill those he loves would he do it?

            Does Walternate really love Peter if he’s willing to sacrifice him for his world? My answer…no. I can think of no parent that truly loves their child who would be willing to do that. If that adult child willingly sacrificed themselves? That parent would hate it but abide the decision because they love them.

            And what kind of world is worth saving if the basest human relationship – a parent and a child- is sacrificed for that world? Is that the type of sacrifice that the world (if they knew about it) would desire? Who made Walternate God to make these types of decisions?

            I think it’ll be very interesting if Peter discovers that the worst thing that ever happened to him (Walter kidnapping him) may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to him. Now that’s what I’d call ironic!

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            • Paulina says

              Ah, thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it, because I need discussion to get me through until Thursday.

              It’s definitely going to come down to love & free will & sacrifice. & yeah, I’d have to agree that right now Walter seems to be the better father. Walternate’s priority doesn’t seem to be the well-being of his son, so I guess he can’t really love him as you put (this makes me wonder just how much he loved Peter before he was stolen, how much of his apparent lack of love has to do with the years and distance that have passed — I don’t know).

              And what kind of world is worth saving if the basest human relationship – a parent and a child- is sacrificed for that world? Is that the type of sacrifice that the world (if they knew about it) would desire? Who made Walternate God to make these types of decisions?

              This is a great point because it’s a difference I’m coming to realize about the Alternates and Our Side. Our side seems much more concerned with basic human relationships. Olivia was driven by the fact that “Peter is in danger” and Walter pleaded with the Cortexiphan kids to help him save his son. Both of them, of course, realize the greater consequence to their world but it seemed pretty apparent to me that the driving force was to save Peter. And then, it seemed that Alter-Olivia and Alter-Fringe Division didn’t seem very concerned with the fact that thousands of lives were at risk if there was a quarantine. The “Looker” was there to calculate statistics, Broyles wanted a “recommendation” about how to best proceed. It seems their division operates differently, because goodness know that Olivia is always pushing to save even that one life — she cares about each person in her case on a personal level — and Broyles gives her the lee-way to do it (just thought of the quarantine episode too, Olivia unwilling to let a dozen people die no matter what the CDC guy & the computer’s calculations predicted).

              Then, yes Walternate seems to be playing God just like Walter had done. Very interesting…

              And seriously, I’d love to see that irony play out…Peter realizing that Walter is a better father than Walternate. Might go back to Bell’s telling Olivia to tell Peter the Greek phrase, “Be a better man than your father.” Could’ve been talking about Walternate or both him and Walter…

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              • jinx1764 says

                “Ah, thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it, because I need discussion to get me through until Thursday.”

                Oh man I know!!!! Why can’t it be Thursday already, argh! But then it’ll be over :o( and we’ll have to wait all summer.

                Love and free will are a big theme throughout Fringe and it’ll be a huge part of this episode. I’ve always been a strong supporter of autonomy and personal freedoms. Full disclosure of ALL information is a big thing for me which is why I really don’t trust Walternate. Evil or not, anybody that isn’t willing to give full disclosure in my books is bad! If you’ve got nothing to hide and my best interests at heart then spill the beans Walter! Let me decide on my own if I’m of age; it’s my right to do so.

                Anyhow, I liked your expanding on the alternate Fringe regarding relationships. I hadn’t thought about it quite that far but I see your point. They do seem colder, more business-like. At least so far but it’s only been an hour and they’ve been mislead probably most of their lives. How they react to Olivia and Walter will be very interesting since they’re still human afterall and can’t be that cold. I hope!

                “Be a better man than your father.” Could’ve been talking about Walternate or both him and Walter…

                I’ve thought the same thing. Remember Bell told Olivia to tell that Peter. Peter will remember it in regards to Walter but Bell knows both Walters! Once Peter knows the whole story I’m sure he’ll get the connection.

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                • Paulina says

                  They do seem colder, more business-like. At least so far but it’s only been an hour and they’ve been mislead probably most of their lives. How they react to Olivia and Walter will be very interesting since they’re still human afterall and can’t be that cold. I hope!

                  True, true. I realize I’m being a bit harsh for having only known them for an episode, although I’m mostly just trying to connect the dots. Maybe some part of me is trying to justify our side. I’m secretly a propagandist for our war effort. :P

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                  • Fred says

                    The alt fringe division has seen the decay of the basic fabric of their universe and have already sacrificed Boston to save their world. Their long experience in struggling with this issue may make them seem more cold and calculating, but they have been at war for years; while our Fringe division has been investigating unusual occurances for a shorter amount of time. I am not sure that our team understands the higher stakes at an emotional level yet.

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                    • Paulina says

                      Bringing up Boston is a good point.

                      I don’t know if I’d put it as having been at war for years as apparently they just become aware that these incidents were man-made and not natural disasters in Walternate’s office.

                      And our team probably doesn’t understand the higher stakes in terms of having lost Boston but I don’t think we should discount their experiences — and the emotional toll of those — in working the Pattern cases.

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              • mlj102 says

                “And then, it seemed that Alter-Olivia and Alter-Fringe Division didn’t seem very concerned with the fact that thousands of lives were at risk if there was a quarantine.”

                I have been thinking of this since I first saw the episode, and I think it’s more of an issue of circumstance than it is individual personality and concern. As far as the members of Alternate Fringe Division were concerned, this was just another day on the job. Clearly this wasn’t the first time they’ve been in a situation where thousands of lives, including their own lives, were on the line. I imagine the first few times, yeah, it was a tense moment for them. But they’ve gotten used to those threats and they’ve accepted that there may come a time when they actually have to use those quarantine devices. So I don’t think it was a matter of them being unconcerned for those lives that could have been lost that day, but it was more of a response that has been shaped by doing this kind of work for a long period of time.

                “just thought of the quarantine episode too, Olivia unwilling to let a dozen people die no matter what the CDC guy & the computer’s calculations predicted”

                That’s not entirely true. She wasn’t about to give up on the people in the building as quickly as the CDC guy did, but she also accepted that it just might be necessary to have them killed. She couldn’t argue with the logic that the possibility of one of those people escaping could endanger the entire city, country, and even the world.

                It’s also similar to Jacksonville when, after all their efforts to locate the building, Broyles suggested they might just be forced to let it happen. No, Olivia didn’t like that — she couldn’t bear the thought of a building of hundreds of people being killed while they just sit back and do nothing. But she also couldn’t argue with the fact that, at that moment, there was nothing more they could do, and they couldn’t just evacuate all the possible buildings, because that would likely kill more people than just letting the building go.

                I imagine it’s the same for alternate Fringe Division. I don’t know exactly what would happen if they didn’t quarantine an area and things kept getting worse, but if they’re willing to risk thousands of lives for the quarantine, then the alternative of just letting things happen is likely a lot worse. So it’s a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils.

                I don’t think alternate Fringe Division is comfortable with the thought of that many people dying. But they acknowledge that it might be necessary in order to save a greater number of lives. And they can be casual about it because, like I said, they are faced with that choice on a regular basis. They’ve probably had experiences where they’ve suffered a large number of casualties (including whatever happened in Boston) so they have had to come to terms with that, which has caused them to not be so distraught over the possibility of loss of life. If they allowed themselves to act like our side still does in those situations, they would be falling apart by now. They have to adapt. But I don’t think that means they don’t care. Our side has faced casualties, but I don’t think it’s anything in comparison to what the other side has been through. And that will definitely change your attitude and your outlook on things.

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                • Paulina says

                  I have been thinking of this since I first saw the episode, and I think it’s more of an issue of circumstance than it is individual personality and concern. As far as the members of Alternate Fringe Division were concerned, this was just another day on the job.

                  This is a good point and goes in well with Altlivia’s comment about updating her will. They’ve obviously been in life-threatening situations before. Then there’s Lincoln Lee’s “we gotta stop doing this” and his response to Broyles about Boston saying “don’t you think I know that.” Anyways, in commenting about their lack of concern, I don’t necessarily mean to say that they’re cold just that they approach their job differently. Which, as you put, makes sense given the fact that they’ve been dealing with these events for awhile now. Events too that they’ve been taught to think are natural…learning that this is man-made, to me, poses a different kind of threat that becomes more personal, but we’ll see.

                  I don’t think alternate Fringe Division is comfortable with the thought of that many people dying.
                  And yeah, maybe they’re more efficient than Olivia and our Fringe division in being able to make the choice to quarantine more readily if it comes down to the lesser of two evils, having had the experience of losing Boston.

                  Anyways, I don’t know so much that I think our Fringe division is better in any kind of moral or ethical sense, perhaps what I’m getting at is — in that one hour — I naturally lack an emotional connection to the Alternate Fringe division. Which might also be a product of not only the short amount time we’ve gotten to know them in, but also if Roco is right about there being a Fringe narrator then right now I feel the narrator is from our side. Who’s telling the story is an issue that’s really begun to intrigue me, given that we’re finally seeing the other side and learning that there is indeed another side to the story…but will we have to make a “choice” like Peter and all the other characters, between our side and theirs (even in the most basic sense of who we want to survive, etc.) Does one world really have to be sacrificed for another? I don’t know.

                  Nina’s question to Walter, “Which side?” and his response “Does it matter?” is interesting. It’d be nice to think both sides can survive this without complete destruction but as they keep telling us…two things can’t occupy the same space.

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      • eveybane says

        Am I the only one who thought that the picture looked like Iron Man getting his suit put on? Lol. ;D

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    • says

      Paulina,

      Excellent comments, thanks for sharing with us.

      I like what you said about Altlivia. It further helps contrast Olivia’s fear with Altliv’s seeming lack of it. While Olivia’s ‘fear’ apparently disappeared for large parts of Season 2, it is interesting to see just how far Altliv can be pushed before she is actually afraid of something. If Quarantine doesn’t instil fear into her, what does? I’m sure there’s something.

      Nice looking into name meanings. It’s been touched on before (in one way or another) over the course of the blog, but it’s perhaps useful to look again at possible intent when naming the characters. I think that even if Willum is on ‘our side’, he’s still morally gray…at best, like you suggest.

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  24. yis says

    I founded weird that on the AU Olivia was wearing a hood but her weapon was showing all the way, wouldn’t that be suspicious?

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  25. yis says

    I found weird that on the AU Olivia was wearing a hood but her weapon was showing all the way, wouldn’t that be suspicious?

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  26. says

    Good review. Still, pound for pound, this is the best sci fi on TV.

    Just wanted to clarify that I think it’s clear that ZFT in their world is a different manuscript than ZFT on ours. There its a smoke-screen published book that covers up the truth of the holes in their universe’s reality. Here it’s a manifesto for protecting our side written by Bell that never saw the light of day, but found itself into the hands of some players on the fringes of the science community.

    Also, I’m not sure why you interpreted Newton’s comments about the blight to mean that plants died everywhere. It seems clear to me that he meant the plants around the cottage on Reiden lake. And if coffee can still be bought in Hawaii, then there are some places that are still verdant and some that are blighted. The easiest guess is that the blight follows the places where reality is weakest, hence Reiden Lake. Perhaps this is a reason for the quarantines?

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  27. says

    Roco–I agree w/ almost all of the criticisms of this ep. (the only thing i didn’t agree w/ was Rachel). But the whole, “Oh, we’ve got those Cortexipan kids awake and doing well”; how contrived was that?

    I thought, “oh, good, they’re all going to die within 15 minutes of being on the Other Side.” Yep, I was right. kinda like the red-shirted guys on the original “Star Trek” eps.

    It was the little pieces of this ep that were really interesting — like Olivia and Ella. Then Broyleid and Alterid. Olivia hitting the scotch when a paper is left on the stool next to her by the Observer, and then Olivia finding Walter who is desperately trying to find what he was supposed to remember, but couldn’t. Olivia standing outside Altlivia’s apartment/house, then Bell enters the picture. Walternate also standing in his office (DOD) saying, “I don’t like war.”

    The other part that really felt satisfying was Peter’s reaction to his alternate mother.

    But, I wouldn’t give it anywhere near 9.5/10.

    It would have been better if Walter had to find a way to cross over, even though it meant risking the destruction of both universes, b/c if they didn’t, then Peter would be used to destroy our universe. And it would’ve been great if Olivia didn’t really tell Broyles the whole truth about the matter, just the part about Peter being used to destroy our universe.

    they would have had to go see nina at MD anyways, to see if they had worked on anything like what Walter used in 1995. And Nina says, ‘Well, we think we have something that can get you over, but getting back we don’t. It’ll be up to you, Olivia, since you have the ability to cross between the two universes.”

    curse you, “brown Betty”!

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    • says

      CL25,

      Walternate saying he’s not a lover of war was an interesting line to me too. His “as you know” part seems to lend credibility to his claim, but then at what point do you have to dislike war to not be willing to enact it? Interesting little character detail which perhaps gives us more insight into Walternate than if he were an out and out lover of war.

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  28. FringeFan0001 says

    What if the Peter & Walternate video wasn´t Peter, but a shapeshifter ?

    Would it be impossible for Peter to agree to go over to look etc and then Walternate & Newton or some other shapeshifter to stage the video ??

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    • LizW65 says

      They would have had to kill the real Peter for a shapeshifter to take his place, which wouldn’t make any sense, as they still need the real Peter. I think it’s far more likely that sections of the recording were selectively removed by either Newton or Walternate, or that we, the audience, simply weren’t shown the whole thing.

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  29. Laura says

    Any comments about the Lincoln Lee guy ??? I have the feeling he has a lot of stories to tell…. the silver dollar, for instance. It was too highlighted to be meaningless.

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    • Count Screwloose says

      You’re right about that, I think. First guess is that he is a synthetic creation based on Peter’s DNA. Second is that Peter is not neccessarily the battery for The Weapon. Third is that Lee’s “father” the late jurist is…AlternaBell! Fourth is that Charlie’s aside about someone having to “visit your sister” will prove to contain important information. Fifth is that the reason Lee recognized Nick Lane is because Peter would have (see First Guess) and that info is instantly transferable. This is all tangled up in what I suspect will be major revelations concerning Peter, Olivia, and their parents.

      Or I could be completely wrong!

      I do like the idea stated above that both realities are merely an experiment by The Observers, especially because of the “whole world is their lab” line, but also because it would repeat the show’s dynamic on a larger scale: they would be Walter to the Walters, so to speak. If they don’t use this, they should have!

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      • Count Screwloose says

        Oh, one last thing.

        The season will end when Walternate’s plan to destroy “our” universe succeeds.

        Then wait for Season Three to watch them wiggle out of that one.

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  30. Jacksonheights says

    Things stolen from William Bell.
    -ZFT manuscript was written in 1985 by William Bell and co-opted by Walternate to write the ZFT book to suit his own needs? Did this signal Walternates rise to power
    -How does Walternate have the design to Willliam Bell’s machine to heal/destroy the world,which he then built.
    -How did Alt Fringe know that the Cortexi kids and Walter would be at Central Park? The only one who got sent that message was Belly.

    Which side is William Bell on?

    Hard to tell what side he is on.

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  31. Pwnsauce says

    I’m just wondering about Olivia’s cross-overs in ‘The Road Not Taken’. It seemed like when she was seeing the Other Side, there were basically no consequences, unless in the beginning when she saw two bodies instead of one, that caused the quarantine. If I recall correctly, she was in both universes at once though, with seeing both twins dead, and talking to Peter and Walter at the same time. I’m thinking that this is the crux of Olivia’s ability, to be able to change realities at will, and even sometimes be in both at once. I think the writers have a lot of cleaning up when it comes to crossover methods.

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    • FinChase says

      I’ve thought something like this for awhile now. I’ve wondered if when Olivia was seeing the other side she actually inserted herself into that reality and reshaped reality briefly. For instance, she actually interacted with Alt-Broyles and Alt-Charlie. They didn’t seem surprised to see her (or that she was a blonde). It was as if the reality momentarily reshaped to fit Olivia, including the perceptions of everyone she met. And yes, she seemed to definitely be in both realities at the same time. That would be a very useful ability for the guardian of the gate.

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      • Elaine says

        Indeed.

        Wild speculation: I think ‘Bad Dreams’ may have been key, and maybe even Lincoln Lee recognizing Nick Lane to understanding what happened in the moments Olivia flashed over. As you mentioned, alt/Charlie and Broyles weren’t surprised to see her…which suggests at the moment they perceived her, perhaps she was alt/Olivia. Nick was able to communicate with Olivia telepathically in images she could recognize. She told Peter she could see Lisa’s baby, she could smell the platform as if she was really there. If perception shapes our reality, then that could be key to Olivia’s abilities, and why in those brief moments she appeared to look no different to the people she encountered on the other side than the woman they were used to seeing. Like the moth in ‘Johari Window’ looking like a butterfly when the minds eye could perceive as such since it was being shaped by the electromagnetic pulse generating from the town of Edina.

        It’s possible, and we can’t know this until S3 (perhaps) but I’d venture to guess that Lincoln Lee in our world is one of the two other Cortexiphan kids MD found, and his alter recognized Nick because Lincoln from our world recognized him.

        Of course, this is mere speculation.

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        • FinChase says

          Elaine, I really like this speculation!

          I definitely agree that “Bad Dreams” is one of the key episodes. I hadn’t thought about Lincoln being one of the two other Cortexiphan subjects, and meeting our Nick there. That would be really fascinating. I’ll have to think more on this.

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    • LizW65 says

      Well, if you recall, in the season opener Bell told Olivia that only “a handful” of people could cross between worlds with no consequences–presumably Olivia is one of these, and I’m guessing that Walter, Peter, and possibly Walternate are, as well.

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  32. Ben says

    peter
    He just learned the truth and feels betrayed by his alter dad walter who he prolly now understands and hates. He is coming “home” to his real mom and his real dad alternate walter who bent time and space to bring him back there has got to be a feeling of love for them and angst toward our Walter. I don’t think for a second he would regret going back home. Which is where the alterverse is for him Home.

    One of the central themes of this show is how far you would go for someone you love. Alternate walter must be willing to go to the same level as our Walter.

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  33. Ari says

    on the main characters development arch:
    loved the way “our” cast on this side portrayed the seriousness of the situation and the personal toll that the realization of the loss of peter and impending armagedon signify. from broyles righteous anger, to walter’s crazy-talk (“have a bit of a cry”), to olivia’s good-bye, it was dark, sad and lovely at the same time. not sure why rocco loves to hate on the rache, except just for fun.. or maybe for *personal* reasons??? i think we all know a rachel or two, just a basic, REGULAR chick. I actually like the character because it puts olivia into perspective, how they live and operate in two different realms and it says bounds about olivia that she genuinely loves and supports her sister even though Rachel cant reciprocate at the same level, because her life is too simple to even begin to understand what Olivia’s life is like even though they live under the same roof. I think the Racel character is necessary because it gives Olivia a family to make her give a crap about this universe, without locking her in romantically.

    The cortexi-kids: GOOD RIDDANCE!!! they were all annoying, and silly and x-men like not in a good way and they all seem psychologically damaged anyway, thanks for the ride to the AU, C-YA!!! I didnt think of this until Rocco’s post, but Lane and Clark? nod to super man maybe? and, what happenned with them after the fireball? did they beam tejmselves back to our universe, or did they just desintegrated due to the fireball??? was the scene delibertaely left open for a comeback???

    The transition to the AU, AWESOME!!! the subtleness of it was brilliant.

    Tha Alt-Fringe: is soooooo cheesy!!! i dontreally get how cool i was supposed to think they were, other than ot make me think how much cooler the regular one is…. altivia is LAME and 2 dimensional and definitely not as smart as our olivia, she is a cop-soldier, she is not there to think, but to act. but i think i might change my mind after the next episode as they have hinted that if nothing else, she may be the one likely to question authority. i do get what people are saying about their jokyness being the result of living in a world in peril. for the record, i think the wig was bad.. maybe they should have just crimped her hair, or given her nina sharpe bob..

    Th ZFT:
    So the ZFT that Walternate published “overthere” is missing some key info, oh like, theres gonna be a deathmatch between two universes?!? This is clearly deliberate in a propaganda way and I am starting to think that Walternate is evil, and that maybe trying to get peter back was not because he missed his son, and that he always intended to use his son as a battery to exterminate this world and thus his need to retireve him. im surprised no ones thought that it may not be true that our walter was the one who triggered “the pattern” on the other side when he took peter, but that this is being utilized by walternate as a justification for war. im just saying.. its possible, people! i mean, that AU send all kinds of folks and creatures to cross this way creating all sorts of problems, i just dont buy that theres two universes and this one single breach by Walter is the one thing that did everyone in, and the only reason why the other side wants revenge.. theres gotta be more to it.

    question: is lincoln maybe the son of the shape-shifter that died in walter’s lab? the shape shifter addressed walter in the lab as if he thought maybe it was the secretary, and in the scene were the alt fringe was being summoned to see the secretary they sort of asked lincoln if he knew anything, indicating him having closer ties to the secretary.. then the secretray says to him, sorry about your father?? unless his dad was the ugly weirdo in the german prison.. just a thought..

    Regarding Peter: considering how many deaths and destruction the attempts to retrieve him have caused, i cant imagine that he would not be suspicious about Walternate’s true motivations. If he never respected Walter in the first place and always saw him as a ruthless mad scientist, then wouldnt he think that Walternate is at least capable of the same?? I can see him trying to get back to his mom, and enjoying that moment which was touching, but I cant imagine he wouldn’t be thinking about everything he has seen so far on this side without questioning the ethics and motives from the other side…

    MAJOR question: is there al an alter-bellie??????

    MAJOR MAJOR question: the tatoos altivia and her dude had? hers seemed like a small version of his, and they deliberately focused on them,. so i cant imagine there would not be a significance..

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    • LizW65 says

      “MAJOR question: is there al an alter-bellie??????”

      In “Peter”, Walter tells Olivia the following (in regard to his window into the other universe):
      “…I invented this after William and I learned that we had doubles on the other side…”
      So yes, it would appear that there is (or was) an alternate version of Bell.

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  34. Donna says

    If mass must be equal between the parallel universes what are your thought on the twin towers still standing on the other side?

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  35. Maggie says

    The difference, really, that I see between Walter and Walternate is the same sort of difference that we find between Walter and Bell. Walter spent 17 years in a mental institute and well, he is a broken man. But Bell…well, we dont know the hole story but he did go on to found like, the biggest most importent world-dominating company in (our) world. Likewise, the way I see it, sorta, is that Walternate is The Secretary…this an important and prestigious and sucessful position…much like Bell appears to be (well, not by the Fringe Div. but by the general public). I just think it is interesting to see how Walter very easily could have been ‘that’ man.

    But this does get me wondering about AlterBell–does he exist? Did he ever exist? Did he end up much like our walter in the alteruniverse? or did he simply not get involved with walternate and is living some other life that isnt related at all?

    On “The Importantance of Peter”…
    we find out that Peter is important and must live–either by Walternate actually saving him or (after the Observer interfeered) by Walter. I am curious as to HOW/WHY Peter would have been important if the observer hadnt interupted Walternate in the lab and walternate was able to save Peter without Walter. It seems like some information that is only breifly mentioned but is, nontheless, important. Especially in light of all the other information we now have on Peter/the current situation. Any thoughts? (or is it just me?).

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    • jade86 says

      About Peter’s importance, i hope we’ll finally see it the next episode. I have some cool ideas about the “boy”:

      Peter and the Observers are the only ones that can cross over with no side-effects. We’ve seen the genetic code clue so maybe this is an evolutionary step that Peter has. Peter is on the way to becoming an Observer – a trans-dimensional being and the future of mankind, with the duty to save both universes.

      It would also explain:
      – why Peter could use August’s gun
      – why Peter, like the observers, is able to give life to what has to do with energy
      – why Peter, like the observers, is able to avoid the bullets

      I like the idea of Peter as the chosen one from the Observers. The one who, unlike the Observers, will have the assignment to intervene to maintain stable the universes. I’d say “the soldier of the observers”.

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  36. iz says

    Just a random thought, what if the alternate universe is like sideways world in LOST in that it is what you wanted most in live( to an extent). like i said, just random

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  37. Bailey says

    Did anyone besides me notice that the paper that the Observer gave Olivia was in English, but the copy in the room with the device had completely different languages on it? The Walternates copy also looked like it was an artifact to me (torn, crooked edges) where Olivias copy looked like HP printed it.
    Just an odd little detail.

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    • Ari says

      I did notice this. Makes me think that Walternate has meant to use his son as a weapon even before Walter took him..

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  38. Jenn says

    Roco- I enjoyed your review immensely. But what in the world is that video clip at the bottom? I come here to talk Fringe, not watch some clip of two random girls talking about push-up bras!

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  39. says

    Hi Jenn, glad you enjoyed the review.

    The video sounds like an advertisement – not part of the review, but one of the ad locations on the blog. Short of removing ads altogether, I am limited in controlling which ads are shown as it depends, in part, on location. Although the ad you describe does sound very random! I’ll look into it though.

    Cheers.

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  40. says

    “Since one of the ships had been heavily damaged in the event that separated the ships, that captain decided she would destroy her ship in order to allow the other ship to survive.”

    Actually, the one that was more damaged survived. But, that was Star Trek, and there people are ‘conditioned’ to work together to figure it out, even going so far as to say, ‘Okay, I’ll die, if that means you get to live.”

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    • mlj102 says

      I see you know your Star Trek. I didn’t think anyone would pick up on that. I am aware of what you pointed out, though I felt it was unnecessary to take the time to summarize the whole episode, and I didn’t want to completely spoil the ending on the off chance that someone hadn’t seen it and watched it at some point in the future. However, those specific details don’t matter — either way my point is still the same in that they didn’t have a war to decide which ship got to survive, but they were willing to try to work it out together, and when they couldn’t, one of them was willing to sacrifice itself so that the other could live. Yes, the Star Trek society is rather ideal and is “conditioned” as you put it, to act in such diplomatic ways, but for the purposes of this specific discussion, I thought it was a valid option that should be suggested and considered, along with the other points of view that have been expressed.

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  41. yis says

    We haven’t seen Alt William Bell, so where is he? Is the William Bell we have seen the one from our universe?

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