Review: 2.22 Over There – Part 2


Welcome to the FB review of Fringe season 2 episode 22 – “Over There – Part 2“. In this review I present my honest opinions on both the good and bad aspects of the episode. I also take a look at the answers and unresolved mysteries, before sharing my thoughts on other aspects which may have been overlooked.

THE GOOD

  • The pacing was fantastic, the best it’s been all season. There was barely a dull moment, even the quieter beats were filled with emotion or meaning.
  • The Olivias. I thought Anna Torv was much better in portraying Altliva in this episode. Perhaps she grew on me from last week, possibly it was because Altlivia was more involved, or maybe it was seeing the two versions of Olivia juxtaposed against each other that helped. It was probably all three of these things, but I was really pleased and entertained by how she pulled off the subtle differences and similarities between the two characters. Most importantly, I bought the idea that these were two separate and realized characters.
  • Epic Meetings: We got some big pay-offs with Walternate and Peter finally having a good old chat, Olivia facing her red-haired Double, and Walter and Bell dusting off the Bunsen Burners for a round of bickering.
  • The Music/Score. Whenever I notice the music it’s usually a sign that it rocked. There were times when it elevated a scene or character interaction, giving it just the right amount of sentiment. A couple of examples include Peter telling Altlivia about Olivia, Bellie and Walter driving through Blight Country, Bellie’s ‘sacrifice’ and that crazy ending. Awesome.
  • The Double Cliff-hanger. Altlivia sneaking her way over to Our Side, and Walternate holding Olivia hostage was simply epic. It was bold, twisty and most importantly, I think it sets up Season 3 very nicely.
  • Special Effects: I wasn’t sure how they’d pull having the Doubles in the same scenes, and I didn’t know they were going to make the interactions between Olivia and Altlivia so lengthy. But at times, it was seamless. At times, I forgot that they were making this happen through CGI, clever positioning/lighting and however else they brought it to life with such skill. I imagine it must have taken a lot of work for all concerned, but I think it was worth it to see this level of production realized on TV.
  • The Writing. At times the writing on this show doesn’t get enough credit (at least not directly). I thought this was a well written episode. Aside from a couple of issues, it was extremely in-tune with the characters and past episodes, and contained a level of nuance that all fans of the show will surely appreciate.
  • The Episode Had It All: Mythology, alternate universes, romance, emotional resonance, action, intrigue, character drive, sacrifice, Twizzlers. The list goes on.

THE BAD

  • Peter going back so quickly. What? As motivations go this one needed a bit more thought on Peter’s part. Even if he came to believe that Walternate wanted to use him to destroy the other Side, shouldn’t he have at least sat Walternate down and asked him to explain everything to him? He’s prepared to give Walter yet another chance but he can’t extend the courtesy to his actual father? And what about mama Bishop  – I don’t see how Peter (who is a mommy’s boy) could just leave her again without so much as a goodbye – he loves her too much to just leave. Then there’s the real reason Peter left – because he got some sugar from Olivia. While I didn’t hate this scene (including the kiss, surprisingly), I don’t buy the idea that this would be enough to get Peter to go back with her so soon. Why didn’t Peter sit down with both of his fathers and talk things through? It’s not as though Walternate could use the weapon without him, and surely he wouldn’t have forcibly harmed his son. While I accept there was evidence that Peter was already longing for his other home, I don’t think it was quite enough to warrant such a ill-thought decision. Perhaps he acted on instinct, perhaps he felt he’d get another chance to come back at some point, but even so, this felt really contrived to me and doesn’t help Peter’s credibility as a character.
  • Bell seemingly absolved of all crimes in a heartbeat. While I thought his reconciliation with Walter and apparent ‘sacrifice’ were both well done and struck a nerve, I find it a bit hard to believe that he only had good intentions, given what we’ve discovered for the past 40 or so episodes. He sacrificed himself without expressing or attempting his own goals. This is Bellie – one of the central figures in the show’s mythology. Did he want to go back home? Did he want to see Nina again? Did he want to rule both worlds? What was his goal in all of this – was it really to help Olivia all of this time? I really doubt it that was the original intent. If this is the last we see of Bell, I’ll be satisfied that they gave him a great send-off, but I do think they had a different arc planned, one far more gray than the candy-pop one he was ultimately given.
  • The Doorstop. I appreciate the metaphor but it came across as a bit silly. I know they had to get back somehow but the deus ex machina device wasn’t fleshed out enough to be as credible as I would have liked. And who needs Doorstops when we have Peter the expert at all things kicking down doors.

UNRESOLVED MYSTERIES

  • What did Bell mean when he told Peter “you’re holding up better than I would’ve thought”. Does it relate to his ability to operate the weapon, or something else? We’ve suspected for some time that he’s been modified in some way, this episode gave further reason to think that.
  • If Walternate knew that Bell had dragged Olivia over to the AU in the season 1 finale (he must have since a shape-shifter tried to intercept their meeting), why didn’t he have Bell put under lock and key? Did he feel it better just to keep tabs on him?
  • What is Walternate’s plan for Olivia?
  • What are Altlivia’s orders?
  • Will Peter ever finish that last piece of pecan pie?

ANSWERS

  • There have been thousands upon thousands of “Fringe Events” in the AU since Walter kidnapped Peter.
  • Walternate admits there have been breakthroughs on Our Side that the AU haven’t achieved yet. Presumably he knows all of this thanks to his soldiers like Newton.
  • The Weapon is ‘old’ technology. The power source is symbiotic in nature, needs organic interface – Peter.
  • Olivia’s gift is to “open the Door” between universes, although Walter didn’t say whether that is the limit of her powers. Previous episodes suggest it is not.
  • William Bell didn’t open Massive Dynamic on the Other Side, but he supplied Walternate with technology to “keep tabs on him”, or so he says.
  • Fringe Division monitor all communications networks. Bellie says this is probably how they knew they were going to meet him at the park.
  • Peter’s kidnapping is a famous story. The Lindbergh kidnapping is not – or may never have happened in the AU.
  • The AU‘s William Bell was apparently killed in a car accident as a young man. Walternate and Bellienate never met. The Bell we’ve seen all this time has been our Bell.
  • Altlivia’s mom is still alive in the AU, but her sister died in childbirth which means there’s no Ellanate.

FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • It must have been surreal for Peter looking down on his home world taking in all of the subtle and not so subtle changes. In many respects he was a stranger in a strange land. Or a “something else” land, if you will. It was particularly haunting to see Maddison Square Gardens sealed off from the rest of Midtown like an infection. I also appreciated the foreshadowing of human-machine integration with Peter only needing to look at a location for the computer to give him the down-low.
  • So, we finally get some face to face time with Walternate and Peter. Not the ‘missing footage’ from their Northwest Passage reunion that I had hoped for, but it was interesting nonetheless. Even at this point I detected a detached coolness from Peter, contrasted with the restrained love from Walternate. Does Peter generally have a distrust of all things Walter, or does this stem from the suggestion that Peter was never as close to Walternate as he was to his mother. I guess reading through those schematics and the fact that he was still feeling somewhat ‘disconnected’ may have also had a bearing on Peter’s reserve.

“I’ve seen strange. This..this is something else”

  • And isn’t that an appropriate way to describe a dreamlike mirror image of home, which is actually home, and not a dream at all (or IS it?). There’s a poignancy to the fact that out of all the molebabies, shape-shifters, magic dragons and other kinds of craziness that Peter has seen while working for Fringe Division, it’s coming home that is something that cannot be described. Note how he didn’t say “beyond strange”..just “something else”. I like that.

  • It was interesting to see Peter rise to Walter’s defence when Walternate blamed him for the state of their world:

“That’s a lot of blame to pin on just one man”

  • Isn’t it though. Even if Walter put those “first cracks” in the fabric of the universe (and I maintain that he may only have tipped the balance) the situation is more interwoven than that. The Observers, for example, could have stopped Walter from crossing over like they did David Jones. They had their reasons, of course, but the fact is they let it happen – they hijacked Walter’s recklessness because it presented them with an opportunity to course-correct. Bell must also share some indirect responsibility for supposedly pushing Walter into making the leap years before. That said, the main responsibility is at Walter’s door and Peter knows this. So the fact that he even questioned Walternate’s claim speaks volumes for how much he still loves Walter. The boy is hurt but he can’t let go. With all the exploration of the inherent nature of the Doubles, I suspect there’s something unique about his connection to Walter that makes him want to believe that he is redeemable. It’s also possible that in some way Peter blames himself. If Walter is responsible, he may see himself as being responsible.
  • Walternate tells Peter that the laws of physics were turned into mere “suggestions”, which I found to be a fantastic description. It ties into the idea that much of what we see is an illusion – a construct, perhaps a necessary in some cases, to maintain a certain order or system.

Peter: “I don’t know what you’ve heard about me, but changing the laws of physics might be slightly above my abilities”

  • Now, now Peter, don’t be so modest. For one thing, the molecules inside door hinges are terrified of you. That’s gotta count for something, right?
  • While I do believe that Walternate loves Peter, it’s clear to me that he is bitter about what Walter did. Yeah, understatement. Getting his son back was never going to be enough, he wants to make sure that his world survives and that he never loses Peter again. (Oops!). This is understandable, but his method appears to be one of destruction and manipulation. I was interested to see how Walternate tried to win Peter’s heart and mind – blaming Walter for The Blight and reminding Peter that this is his world, his home, all the while pretending that all he wanted to do is to heal it.
  • Doesn’t Bellie have any foot-soldiers or hired heavies? I found it odd that he and Olivia were looking for Walter on their own. Although I did find the juxtaposition of Bell’s relative anonymity and Peter’s fame quite interesting. Over There, Bellie is just another face –  an inventor of wondrous and destructive things, but not front page news. It is Peter – who has been missing for more than 20 years – who is the one in the spotlight (should he accept it). Over Here, it’s the other way around, literally to the point of Bell also having been missing for a long period. With that in mind, I guess I was struck by the classic ‘mirrored effect’, and just how ‘ordinary’ Bell was in this episode.
  • How accurate is Walter’s memory/re-telling of the events surrounding Peter’s kidnapping when Olivia is surprised to learn that Walter nicknamed his Double, Walternate? Shouldn’t she already know this – like we do – from the episode, “Peter”? Is this evidence that the Fringe narrator (whoever it is) is not as reliable as they seem? There are several other simple explanations, but I find the idea intriguing nonetheless.
  • I was so relieved to see that Walter was OK. What with getting shot and all. I was on tenterhooks for a moment there.

  • First chuckle of the episode:

Walter: “Olivia! It is you isn’t it?”

Olivia: “Yes, Walter”

Walter: “Prove it.”

Olivia: “Come on Walter we don’t have time for this”

(Olivia makes like a teapot)

Walter“Ah, yes it is you, that’s wonderful. HI” :P

Olivia: “Hi.” :)

  • Walter’s right, Olivia’s body language is so well defined – those facial expressions and quirks are not universal! (although we’ll see how well Altliv does posing as her next season).
  • Yet more hilarity:

Olivia: “Walter can you walk?”

Walter: I can dance if you like, they have absolutely wonderful drugs here”

  1. Because dancing is the reason why you came over, isn’t it, Walter? As I said, it’s good to know that his gunshot wound has healed. I’d call it contrivance but I can believe that the Other Side would have the science for that.

  • Peter meeting Altlivia was a great moment. Poor Peter didn’t know what was going on but he caught on eventually. Doubles, Peter. D-O-U-B-L-E-S.
  • Gotta love Peter pointing out the obvious:

“You remind me of someone I know, but your hair’s different”

  • Really, Peter? “Your hair’s different”? That was a dumb thing to say. Get to know Altliv better and you might find other differences. That said, it was a cute moment.
  • I did find it curious that Walternate seemed intrigued by the idea that Peter was attracted to Olivia. I guess Newton’s reports didn’t include that part? His intrigue is brought home at the very end of the episode with his capture of Olivia – Walternate may be crappy at retention but he knows how to exploit peoples emotions.

“I think I like yours better”

  • MEEOW! Peter, Peter, Peter. That was harsh. :( Not that it matters, but I don’t think he really likes Altlivia’s hair better, he was just trying to bury the memory of those blonde locks he’s been dreamin’ about for the past couple years. Call it the pecan pie syndrome. ;)

  • The insults reigned in, this time from father:

“They’re our doubles. Alternate versions of ourselves, but don’t be deceived Olivia. They are monsters in our skin. They’ll do anything, say anything to gain out trust but they can’t be trusted”

  • This was a fascinating insight into Walternate and his mindset (assuming he wasn’t just spouting off to appeal to Altliv’s senses). He’s essentially corroborating the idea that We are the Doubles, the younger sibling universe, the after birth (if you will), and that They are the primary universe, Mother’s favorite. He also calls us “monsters”, which is an ignorant sweeping statement. I’m sure monsters can be found on both sides, Walternate. ;) I am, though, interested by the fact that this should come from Walternate in an episode where it is confirmed that Walter asked Bell to remove pieces of his memory because he was afraid ‘of what he was becoming’. Walter realized or thought he was becoming a ‘monster’, so asked for those memories to be purged. Interesting that he should want to forget the bad things he had done. You could call it the easy way out. But more on that later.
  • Walternate tells Altlivia that Peter was kidnapped by “them”. Um, the last time I checked Walter doesn’t represent our entire frickin world. Although I guess he may be referring more to Elizabeth, Nina, Carla and anyone else who knew that Peter was from the AU and didn’t do anything about it. And that is interesting to me because it widens the Responsibility Ring once again. As Olivia has recently discovered, the mere fact of knowing a wrong and not doing anything to rectify it can hold just as many consequences as being the culprit. In this context, Walternate’s right – THEY did kidnap the boy.
  • I don’t get why the Fugitive Three went for a bite to eat in KFC? (other than it providing a great moment of levity). Wouldn’t it have been safer to use a Drive-Thru? Love Walter’s baseball cap though.

  • Bell delivers one of the most poignant lines of the episode:

“We’ve accomplished a lot together Walter, but she may be  our finest achievement”.

(Walter nods in agreement)

  • A Cortexiphan tear almost came to my eye. They’re like two cantankerous but proud parents – finally they could agree on something. I must say, I liked how this episode brought Bell into the family drama.
  • I loved this exchange between Altlivia and Peter:

Altlivia: “What’s she like?”

Peter: “Who?”

Altlivia: “Me”

Peter: “She’s a lot like you. Darker in the eyes maybe. She’s always trying to make up for something. Right some imaginary wrong. Haunted, I guess. Maybe she’s nothing like you at all”

  • A great moment of emotional context for Peter. You can tell that Joshua Jackson really had to go some to hit that emotional point. I think this is the moment where Peter forgives Olivia and stops being angry at her. He realises that, like him, she’s also damaged and he wants to be there for her. Seeing this less “haunted” (what a great word to use, btw) projection of her only served to bring forth this realization which had been covered by anger for the past couple of weeks. I’m so glad for this moment because without it the scene where Peter and Olivia get their smooch-on would have felt rather wet, so to speak. We needed to find out where Peter was emotionally in relation to Olivia before they exchanged saliva, and thankfully we got it!
  • Going back to what Peter said about Olivia, it also suggests that, in his mind, these ‘wrongs’ that she is fighting against are “imaginary”. An interesting word to use in light of recent episodes and discussions that we’ve had here on the blog. Are they imaginary? In a way they may well be, but on the other hand Olivia clearly believes them to be real, so that makes them real. It all comes down to perspective, Peter.
  • I’m glad that Altlivia is as curious about Olivia as Olivia is about her.

  • Bell and Walter driving through Blight-ridden Boston was masterfully realized – it was End of Days stuff and really shocking to see so much decay.

Walter: “Am I responsible for this?”

Bell: “Yes, Walter. I’m afraid you are”.

  • What a weight of responsibility. This was yet another reminder of the very real consequences of Walter’s actions. Consequences which not even their science can solve. I thought it was harsh of Bellie to give him the realness so bluntly, but at the same time I’m glad he didn’t skirt around his feelings! While there may, or may not, be a deeper origins story to The Blight, Walter needs to know that this is his fault. It’s one thing thinking about it from a distance, it’s a whole other ballgame to experience exactly what suffering his actions have inflicted on this world. This was a great little scene and I’m so grateful for it.
  • Bellie likes Twizzlers too! :P Damn it, Bellie, you’re actually quite a cool cat.
  • Considering the impact that both Walter and Bell have had on shaping our world, isn’t it interesting that Walternate and Bellienate never even met (if that’s to be believed), yet both worlds are still quite similar. I would almost expect the difference to be larger due to this fact. This further highlights the ‘elastic’ between the two universes, some intrinsic band that appears to be keeping them from being too different, even if some of the main players are. I’m also wondering what it means that their Bell died and ours didn’t – was it accident or design? Did the universe want to see what life would be like without a key ingredient? That’s what this resembles to me – two worlds comprised of essentially the same stock, but with one or two style variations, as if made by two different chefs, or the perhaps the same chef looking to perfect a dish through multiple baking (like Astrid and her muffins). Maybe it just suggests that Bellienate (and perhaps Bell) wasn’t that important in the grand scheme of things?
  • I felt they all did a good job at humanizing Bell. I still believe that he wouldn’t have been quite so altruistic had Nimoy not been retiring. That said, I kinda grew to like him in this episode. I liked some of the subtle things that Nimoy did to bring the character to life, and how it seemed like he had been there, by Walter’s side, all this time. It was seamless and I totally bought them as two cranky old, yet brilliant, former Lab partners. Their bickering was personal yet also philosophical. Bell believed in the means to support an end, while Walter saw Bell’s ‘hypocrisy’ as being self-motivated. I just loved trying to see which man was right, which one I agreed with most. In the end I kinda saw merits in both their arguments. Neither man is perfect, both are deeply flawed (Bell, perhaps, less so) but both are trying to redeem themselves, and that’s important.

  • The following seals John Noble the Emmy success:

“I’ve lost 17 years in the mental institution, William. Seventeen years, and even now I’m still incomplete. I forget things, names, places, connections that I used to be able to make so easily, and they just..they just dangle just outside of my reach. I know what you did to me. I know that you cut out pieces of my brain. What kind of man could do that!? You robbed me of my memories, of my wife, of my son, of my past”

  • Seriously, if doesn’t move you, I don’t know what will. It’s such a beautifully descriptive outpouring of emotion. This is who Walter is, this is how he feels every day of his life. He’s found coping mechanisms (namely his son) but he really is a broken mess. Someone has to answer for that, and I’m not sure that person isn’t Walter, to a large degree.
  • But as my heart was busy breaking for him, there were two things he said which began to auto-regenerate the cracks: “I know what you did to me” and “What kind of man could do that!?”. My mind shifted to Olivia and the Cortexikids. This must be exactly how they felt about what Walter and Bell did to them. In so many ways, Walter’s suffering is the universe finding balance. The shoe is now on the other foot, because, what kind of man, Walter, could experiment on children in the way that you (and Bell) did? I know it’s not as simple as that, I accept that. But actions result in consequences and he has to be responsible for them, the good and the bad.

  • It’s like a cycle of damage – so many people have been hurt by a single act. But it’s clear that the Cortexitots need Walter to guide them as much as he needs them to forgive him. Again, symmetry. What I find encouraging about all of this are the themes of redemption. Both Walter and Bell come across to me as being two men with good intentions who simply got lost in the tangle of possibilities. They saw things that most people can’t even imagine and they’ve been punished for it. Truely punished for it. Perhaps this is why these “suggestions” of nature present themselves of “laws” – because humanity is not ready to responsibly unlock the true nature of the universe? But now that we have, we need guardians to guide both worlds. And who better to do this than those who know what it’s like to lose everything, those who have experienced the consequences more personally than anyone. As the wonderful Charlnate said, there’s no training for this. This is their training day.
  • Interesting that Walter should instinctively locate the “Doorstop” while chastising Bellie for taking his memories.

  • The scene between Olivia and Altlivia was fasci-Nate-ing. (yeah, I did it). I’m still getting the vibe that if  you were to deconstruct Altlivia she’d be much more like our Liv than she currently appears. There were moments when they were on a similar emotional level (when talking about their moms and sisters), but it’s clear that Altlivia is – at this point – more hardened, more ruthless (which is funny ‘cos she’s also more jovial). Though it should also be taken into consideration that Olivia was the one searching, she was the one who was invested emotionally in this scene:

“This isn’t just an assignment is it? Are you two a couple, is this what this is about?”

  • I would be interested to see how things would play out if the tables were turned – if Altliv was the one chasing something important to her, with her double standing in the way. I’d still expect our Olivia to be less hardened though. This is one of the many things that makes Olivia a great character – she’s the strong one, yet she’s able to show a vulnerability and compassion that makes her so human. Was this created or shaped by those clinical trials, or is this the natural part of Olivia that made her so predisposed to Cortexiphan? I suspect it’s the latter, or perhaps a bit of both.

“You gotta trust me. I’m you”

  • Clearly Olivia’s been spending too much time with Bell!  She now has a rather skewed perspective on trust. It’s a nice idea in theory, but it doesn’t work like that. Olivia can barely trust herself at times, what makes her think her Double can trust her? I get the sentiment though, as it ties right into the inherent connection between the Doubles. Some of these qualities are firm, others not so much.

“I don’t know what you are, but you are nothing like me”

  1. Zing! :) Talk about Miss Sassy Boots. Man, Torv delivered that with spunk.
  • Dunhamnator Vs Dunhamnator!! Hold on to your seats, the world may very well explode in an eruption of awesoneness. Yes, even 2 days after the fight.

  • The sight of Olivia literally becoming her Double was powerful indeed. Walternate’s line about “monsters in our skin” ran through my mind, as I imagine Olivia felt pretty monsterous at this point.
  • Chaaarrrgghlie! Such a great moment. It’s great to still have Kirk Acevedo on the show, he’s totally wicked when playing Evil Charlie or Charlnate, and Charlie holds a special place in the furnace of my heart. Love how their following scene in the car, like so much of the episode, echoed previous moments.
  • Peter may be a child of two worlds, but neither world is his home. Such a sad realization.
  • So we can put this one to bed then, as some of us suspected, Olivia did keep the truth from Peter for selfish reasons above everything else, including saving the world. I was glad Peter forgave her, after all she had just travelled across universes for him. Not for his DNA. But for him.

“You have to come back, because you belong with me”

  1. Can someone get Dunham a badge that simply reads: “AWESOME”. I do have a question though – assuming Olivia was scared (he makes people nervous, after all), did Peter glimmer when they kissed, or would that only happen on Our Side?
  • Loved this:

“I suppled Fringe Division with a 76 model”

KA-BLAMO-NATE!

“This is the 77” ;)

  1. Haha, thatta Bellie! I think I love you just for that. :) Although why only use it once? Make life hard for yourself, why don’t you.
  • The Olivia switcheroo at the end was great. I knew something was up when I saw Broylnate and Altlivia get instructions over the radio from Walternate. It’s crazy how prepared Altlivia was though – she was literally smiling as she went for the switch. I guess the near-miss quarantine from Part 1 helps contextualize their preparedness to go into battle.

  • I appreciated Bell’s sacrifice (even though it is a bit contrived). His goodbye moment with Walter was touching:

“Thank you, old friend”

“Walter, you asked me why I took out part of your brain. I did it because you asked me to. Because of what you were becoming”

  • RIP William “Bellie” Bell. What did you do. What didn’t you do? You were a mystery. You were hard to pin down, but never out for the count. You experimented on children. I hated you. You ate Twizzlers. I loved you. You dragged Olivia into your world, then deferred her back. Not cool. But I understand. You liked shadows. Time-keeping wasn’t your strong suit. Redemption was. If you are truely gone, I think I’ll miss you. Can I have Massive Dynamic?
  • Kinda touched on this above, but looking back at the moments before and after Altlivia crossed over, Anna Torv gives some subtle but clearly intentional clues – the shady looks, the restrained expression upon reaching Our Side, reaching for the spare key door key in the hidey place, and of course, intently looking around Olivia’s slightly different abode. The tattoo and the Magic Mirror usage were the final two missles for anyone still asleep.
  • Astrid, yeeaah! You’ll never guess what you’re like on the Other Side.


  • Healing wounds:

Peter: “I’m trying to see this your way, Walter. I can’t. But..you did cross universes twice to save my life. That’s gotta count for something, right”

Walter: “Thank you, Peter……My son”

FINAL THOUGHT

As I’ve said throughout the season, Fringe is a fantastical adventure rooted in family drama. This episode highlighted that as themes of love, identity, revenge and redemption drove home one of my most satisying hours of TV in a long time. I am disappointed in Walternate’s seeming evil intent, but I am hopeful that the writers will give him greater context next season. That said, locking the Dunhamnor in a room is on my list of no-no’s. I’m happy that Peter and Walter’s relationship appears to be bruised rather than broken. Though Peter’s motivations for leaving where shaky at best, I’m glad that Boy Wonder has the capacity for forgiveness. As I said a few weeks back, this may turn out to be the thing that ultimately makes him truely “special”.

The Doppelganging Double Cliff-hanger was right up there with some of Bad Robot’s very best endings. It was iconic, powerful and so over the top in the best of ways. I think it will be a while before I get that fantastic cranking/winding music, Altlivia’s cheeky expression, Olivia’s desperate pleas and Walternate’s sneering, out of my mind.

As for the episode title – “Over There”, I should have guessed the dual meaning much sooner, because while it refers to our heroes going to the Other Side, it also refers to one of them coming to Our Side. Not for the last time, I’m sure, we have balance.

(P.S. what are the chances of the season 3 premiere being titled “Over Here”?)

Best Moment: The double cliff-hanger at the end.

Best Performer: Anna Torv (honorable mentions John Noble, Joshua Jackson and Leonard Nimoy).

If you enjoyed “Over There – Part 2”, you’ll like: “The Road Not Taken”, “There’s More Than One Of Everything”, “Momentum Deferred”, “Peter”, “The Man From The Other Side”, “Over There – Part 1″.

Episode Rating: 9.5/10

My review for Part 1 of the Fringe season finale can be found here. All Fringe Observations can be observed here.

Comments

  1. Inter-dimensional Dave says

    You’ve surpassed yourself sir. Well done brother Roco. I was geeking out over Peters comic book collection. “Red Lantern/Red Arrow”, terrific. Better than that, the baseball angle. Walter wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers cap. They never left. Are the NY Giants still in there too? Judging by the Transamerica building in NY I would imagine so. Does that mean my Red Sox are encased in amber? Maybe they moved to Montreal in time and became the “Chaussettes Rouge”!

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    • says

      Dave,

      Great catch with the Brooklyn Dodgers cap, I’ll need to add that to the Observations at some point. Cheers!

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  2. Anjali says

    Anna knocked it out of the park in this one!!

    She was truly amazing!! The scene with her and her doppelganger – Wow. That was solid work. It really did feel like two different people.
    Even when they were both talking about their respective blood connection, the emotions they portrayed at that moment were different as well. Kudos to Torv. Wonderful work.

    A question, Roco?
    Do you feel that Peter and Olivia have earned it? :)
    Because I think they have. The fact that Olivia initiated it, was huge and I am glad the writers went down that route instead of Peter making the advances.

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    • says

      Anjali,

      I’ll admit to being somewhat sucked in by the emotion of the scene, but tbh, I don’t think they’ve earned it yet. It was only a couple of episodes ago that Olivia left Peter on the bridge to die. :) The finale brought them a step closer but there’s still some way to go before I’ll buy it.

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  3. Jodie says

    I enjoyed your review as always. I had two comments.

    The Bad: “Bell seemingly absolved of all crimes in a heartbeat. While I thought his reconciliation with Walter and apparent ’sacrifice’ were both well done and struck a nerve, I find it a bit hard to believe that he only had good intentions”

    I agree with this completely. It really bothers me that we are supposed to accept Bell as “good” now. I don’t believe it is possible to redeem yourself by one act after a lifetime of ethically questionable activities. The times that we have seen William Bell, he has never regretted what he has done. This was painfully apparent during his meeting with Olivia in “Momentum Deferred.” And it really bothers me when I consider how Bell has profited financially by his activities on the other side. I just find it hard to understand what he thought would benefit his world when he helped Walternate create the shape shifters. Our Fringe team members don’t have the 77 model gun or the 76 model for that matter. As far as I’m concerned, sacrificing himself in the end was the least he could do.

    The Bad: “Peter going back so quickly. What? As motivations go this one needed a bit more thought on Peter’s part.” I thought that his decision was very believable. Peter made it clear that he didn’t think that he was going to survive his interface with the wave sink. I also think that we were shown throughout the episode that he was regretting his decision to go back home. I was surprised that he would leave his mother so easily, but I supposed that it would have been impossible, time wise, to go back and get her. I can’t imagine making any other decision: how would you sit down and have a rational discussion with a man who thinks that murdering billions of people is the right thing to do?

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    • says

      Jodie,

      I agree. As much as I enjoyed Bellie in this episode, his sacrifice wasn’t a wholly selfless one as far as I’m concerned. What I enjoyed was the sentiment behind it, but it would have been nice if he could have apologized to Olivia for all that he’s put her through. A good send off, but he could have been just as interesting, flawed, redemptive and complicated as Walter had the writers not had to re-write the character or condense his arc.

      Re: Peter. I have to maintain my view on this one. I also don’t believe that Walternate intended for Peter to die from using the Wave Sink. Unless I missed something, I don’t think that Peter thought that either?

      I agree that Peter was showing signs of doubt and displacement, but after having his mother and life taken from him, I can’t believe that Peter wouldn’t at least want to say “goodbye and thank you for the sandwiches”. It was too quick. His haste was akin to leaving Walter in the mental institution after flying all the way from Iraq. Except this time he travelled from the AU only to leave again without even confronting Walternate about his suspicions. Even if we remove the emotion from the situation, doesn’t Peter have a responsibility to the world (both worlds) to ensure that science isn’t used to harm people – isn’t that kind of his job, especially when his family are part of the problem?

      While I think you make good points, I just think that Peter is in a unique position to bring peace and diplomacy to the alterverse..not run at the first sign of confusion. To me his actions were a plot contrivance rather than a true, authentic Peter motivation.

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      • Jodie says

        “I also don’t believe that Walternate intended for Peter to die from using the Wave Sink. Unless I missed something, I don’t think that Peter thought that either?”

        During the final scene between Walter and Peter, Peter told Walter that he couldn’t see it Walter’s way, but that Walter had crossed over to the other universe twice in order to save him. I took that as evidence that Peter did assume that the wave sink was going to kill him. Why would Peter need to be saved if he was in no danger. Olivia also said that Peter was in danger from the wave sink.

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        • says

          I see where you’re coming from, but personally I didn’t interpret his line to mean that Walternate wanted to kill Peter. I think it’s possible to “save” someone who is not necessarily going to die. I took it as a figure of speech – as in saving Peter from being responsible for the death of billions or saving him from having to make that choice on his own, that kind of thing.

          I think the closest evidence we have that Peter was going to die using the Wave Sink is the Observer’s note which depicted fireballs coming out of Peter’s eyes.

          Other than that, I don’t think Peter thought he was going to die and I can’t believe Walternate would knowingly kill his son in order to destroy the AU. That said, I’ll leave the door ajar just in case he really is a psychopath!

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          • Jodie says

            I don’t see Walternate as a psychopath. I just see him as totally blinded by his grief and rage. I saw him being very pleased that Peter is back, and Peter’s mother told Peter that Walternate was very happy by Peter return. And I can see by your other comments that you feel great compassion for Walternate. I feel that also. Walter did a really horrible thing when he kidnapped Peter. He can rationalize that act however he wants to, but the bottom line is that he stole someone’s child. But I also see that Walternate has spent a large part of his life in the pursuit of revenge. He certainly doesn’t seem to have a problem with harming the people in the other universe. He sees them as “monsters in our skin.” I think that he could be so consumed with revenge that he is unable to see the danger that he is putting Peter in.

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            • Pwnsauce says

              I have a guess about Walternate’s motivations, but I’m sort of hoping it’s wrong. I’m wondering if they’re taking a similar route to Alias, especially with the similarities to Page 47 in Alias that the note given to Olivia by the Observer. It’s possible that Walternate’s motives have been fueled by this prophecy the whole time. In Over There 1, Walter knew he had to find that prophecy page, but he couldn’t. I’m guessing that he had prior knowledge of this, but forgot it, maybe when Bell removed parts of his brain. So if Walter had prior knowledge of it we could infer that Walternate, who was working in the same kind of scientific fields as Walter, also had prior knowledge of this prophecy, but unlike Walter, he chose to believe in it. So for Walternate, an Alternate Universe is a threat, not fascinating.

              If these points end up wrong, I do however, think that the prophecy is the underlying reason the Observers are so concerned with the course of events. It has to be why they consider Peter so important, and fulfilling the prophecy might be their endgame.

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            • says

              I agree. Walternate seems blinded by grief and rage, and he may not be fully conscious of the danger is is putting Peter in. I’m also really interested to know how vengeful Eliznate is about what Walter did.

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      • Angela says

        I’m actually of the opinion that Walternate IS a psychopath, and was willing to sacrifice Peter if it meant destroying the other world. I think this for many reasons.

        For one, he’s constantly misleading and misconstruing the truth (the ZFT manifesto, his “monster” comments to Altivia, his lie about “the machine’s” purpose to Peter, kidnapping Olivia at the end.)

        And mostly because of this line:

        “Walter, you asked me why I took out part of your brain. I did it because you asked me to. Because of what you were becoming.”

        If Altlivia proved anything, it’s that the choices you make, truly determine the person you become… just look at how different the two versions are from one another: During the apartment face-off, my first thought was, “Oh… so THAT’S what would’ve happened, had Olivia killed her stepfather.” She’s more confident, less haunted, more sarcastic, (and a total b****.)

        Walter then, is an extension of this same idea: In “Over There” we’re getting to see the “monster” he became; getting a glimpse of his true capacity for evil. Bell said it best when he gave Olivia his message to Peter: “BE A BETTER MAN THAN YOUR FATHER.” What if he was referring to Walternate, not Walter? And now, looking back, I’m certain that September was looking at pictures of Walternate at the end of Fracture (which would account for the suits he’s wearing, as well as their interest in his death-machine.)

        And another powerful moment that comes to mind (and seems to reinforce this theory) is Peter’s nightmare at the end of Dream Logic.

        If nothing else, the poster in his room seems to indicate that the setting IS in the alternate universe, and possibly a year before he was kidnapped by Walter. Since we’ve SEEN Peter’s abduction, we can safely say this isn’t the way it happened. So what if Walter’s reaction to Peter waking from the nightmare was disgust/worry/fear over what his alternate had done to “their” son? Maybe it was these kind of memories he was trying to wipe — not the actual abduction?

        And the serious expression on Walternate’s face when he faces Olivia at the end… CHILLING!! He’s one man you do NOT want to piss off!! I have absolutely no trouble picturing him as a monster. And I think when Season 3 rolls around, we’re going to see even more of how twisted and warped he’s become.

        I have a feeling that evil-Walternate will put even Mr. Jones to shame!! And personally, I’m looking forward to it. ^_^

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        • Jodie says

          “I’m actually of the opinion that Walternate IS a psychopath, and was willing to sacrifice Peter if it meant destroying the other world. I think this for many reasons.”

          Angela, I can certainly see it that way, but I guess I think that Walternate is behaving LIKE a psychopath. I think that all that rage has simply mad him crazy. If you believe that Walter’s theory about how the two universes came to be is true (The Road Not Taken), then at some point Walter and Walternate were the same person. Since Walter became insane, then Walternate certainly has the same tendency toward insanity. But I clearly agree with you that Walternate is very willing to sacrifice Peter’s life or at the very least his sanity in order to commit mass murder. All of your examples certainly point out that Walternate is willing to distort the truth and manipulate anyone to get his way.

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          • Angela says

            Jodie: Yup, I know he has ample reason to be angry, hurt, and vengeful, and that maybe calling him “psycho” is a bit harsh. But on the other hand, there’s no way to tell at which point their “pasts diverged”, and their root personalities shifted; or how much of “our” Walter is still present in Walternate. If Peter’s nightmares are any indication… then Walternate was definitely up to something even before Peter’s kidnapping, and if that scream was any indication, I doubt it was anything good…

            In our world, at least Walter saw what he was capable of, and made an attempt to stop it (even if he can’t remember asking Bell for help.) Maybe that was part of the reason for his incarceration at the insane asylum… you can’t hurt anyone if you’re locked up.

            Besides, Walternate hasn’t exactly gone out of his way to prove the alternative wrong: He’s willing to annihilate an entire WORLD for the transgressions of one man, and even planned to use his unwitting son as the catalyst! So really, how far *wouldn’t* he go? Madness is a disease, and all the clues point to an evil Walter who will stop at nothing to get what he wants…

            To me, that sounds a bit more interesting, than say, a battle over “who-loves-Peter-more.”

            At least this way, we get a multi-layered “villian” who is brilliant, powerful, dangerous, brutal, manipulative, and a bit off his rocker (not that our Walter is exactly sane, but Walternate’s insanity is of a far different breed.) Not to mention that he has a very devoted group of “soldiers” who share that same objective. And even if they don’t agree or understand exactly what or who they’re fighting, ignorance and blind faith can be just as deadly…

            I can’t wait for Season 3!!

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            • Angela says

              Edits: I didn’t mean to say ALL the clues point to this particular outcome (I couldn’t edit my post). That’s just the way I interpreted it during my season 1 and 2 rewatch. There are MANY interpretations of course… this is just the one I’m subscribing to since I find it more interesting to see an evil, intentionally destructive Walter as one example of “the road not taken.” ^_^

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        • mlj102 says

          Interesting comment. You make some good points, but I really think it’s all a matter of perspective. I think Walternate truly believes that people from our side are dangerous monsters who can’t be trusted. I think he fully blames Walter for all the damage his trip to the other side caused and he feels personally attacked by the way Walter stole Peter. Since then, he has been determined to get revenge and he has centered all his actions and decisions around that. In his mind, he’s justified in twisting the truth of things in ZFT or in what he told Peter about the machine. He’s doing what he feels is necessary to defend himself and his world from a very real threat. If the roles were reversed, and Walternate had crossed over and taken Walter’s son, I think Walter would have reacted the very same way. I think they’re more alike than most people say they are.

          As for the “Be a better man than your father” line, I think that was meant to refer to Walter. Elizabeth clearly told that to Peter after Walter was in St. Claire’s. We have no reason to believe Walternate was a bad father to Peter and we have no reason to believe that Elizabeth even knew anything about Walternate — certainly not enough that she would feel it was necessary to tell Peter he needed to be better than the father he doesn’t even know.

          I think that Peter’s nightmare wasn’t ever intended to be an accurate depiction of how Peter was taken. He was seven years old and he had to cope with being taken from his home without fully knowing what happened to him. It makes sense that his mind would twist the facts to represent the trauma that he felt at the time.

          So while Walternate’s actions are far from “good” I don’t think we can classify him as a bad person because he’s just reacting to things that have happened to him in, what he feels, is the best way. Looking at it from his perspective, I think it makes sense, even if it’s not right.

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          • Angela says

            mlj102: I completely agree. It really is a matter of perspective.

            Personally, I’m not convinced that Walternate TRULY views them as monsters. His warning to Olivia, to me, seemed like a calculated trick meant solely to manipulate her into turning against them. And if he truly viewed them as such dangerous beings… wouldn’t his wife, who actually met one, be just as bitter as him? And yet, she almost seemed respectful of her other-half, and genuinely interested in his life “over here”. Clearly Walternate’s perception of them isn’t a shared-view.

            And though I’m sure he blames Walter for The Blight and feels attacked by the way Walter stole Peter… at what point does that translate from “grieving father”/world-protector, to all-powerful secretariat bent on world domination? He’s a powerful man, a brilliant man, and I’d wager, a *proud* one. There must be some darker resentment there; some emotion beyond “devastating loss” that’s driven him to such drastic lengths. Why such overkill? Why not simply steal his son back, or make his alternate pay? Was it really love for Peter that motivated all of this? Almost immediately after his reunion with his long-lost-son, he introduced him to the concept of the machine… there was no real heart-to-heart, nothing close to what he shared with Elizabeth. It felt like a cold business transaction, not a long awaited reunion between father and son. I just don’t feel that THIS Walter is motivated by the same things OUR Walter values… at least not anymore.

            And Peter’s abduction itself wasn’t a painful memory–in fact, he didn’t even know it was occurring. So why would he need to block that out or twist it around into a nightmarish? As far as he knew, his father took him for a late-night stroll in the cold, and then escorted him through some shimmery door that appeared out of nowhere. If he felt something was amiss (“you’re not my dad, are you?”) then why did he keep holding his hand, and follow him despite his reservations? If he had started yelling and screaming, and tried to run back to his mom, only to be stopped by Walter, I could see THAT transforming into those night terrors–but the entire moment felt far removed from the glimpse of the frightened child we witnessed back in Dream Logic. And if it IS our Walter we see in that foggy mirror… why did he appear to be wearing a suit? So far, every double from “over there” is visibly different from their counterpart (Olivia’s hair, Charlie’s scar, Broyles militaristic clothes and wedding band, Walter’s suits.) Why else the distinction?

            And since we know Walter experimented on Peter as a child (though how extensively we can only guess) doesn’t it make sense that Walternate would have done the same? There *has* to be a reason Peter is so special… and it has to be more than his ability to power that machine. Otherwise, why would the Observers meddling extend so far? Why not let him die naturally, and make his connection to the machine, moot? Or simply inform Walternate of his successful test? If there was ANY event worth stopping, it was Walter’s opening of the gate which caused The Blight and Walternate’s desire for revenge. It can’t be a coincidence that it was THIS Peter that was special, and not Walter’s… and for some reason, it keeps pulling me back to that dream.

            Which begs the question: if Walter was so afraid of Peter remembering his “abduction” why didn’t he remove all memories of his past? Didn’t Peter imply that he DID remember things… he just thought they were dreams? So what was it about *those* nightmares in particular that made it so important for Walter to block them completely? Walter’s surprise over Peter forgetting his fall through the ice “that one Thanksgiving” felt genuine. Why bring it up at all, if it was so important for Peter to forget everything about that night?

            As for Bell’s message that Peter “be a better man than his father.” There has to be more to it than the obvious. Bell *knows* who Peter’s real father is, and the specific role he has planned for him in the coming war… so knowing this, it makes more sense that he was actually referring to Walternate, and not Walter. I mean, what reason, really, would he have to state the obvious? (To be a better man than Walter, all he’d have to do is not end up in a mental hospital, lol. And I’m pretty sure that message has already been drilled into his head via Elizabeth. It doesn’t NEED repeating–he probably lives by that motto already.)

            And which version makes most sense in context: “Peter, don’t be like Walter, who is crazy, and opens doors to parallel universes and draws pictures of genetic monsters.” Or “Peter, don’t be like your crazy father who wants to use you as an integral part of some evil plot to destroy the world.” In the former, being a better man that Walter has no real significance in the grand scheme of things–but being a better man than Walternate, who plans to destroy the world USING his son. Now THAT carries weight and feels like a message worthy of crossing dimensions to be heard.

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            • Jo says

              But that’s interpreting “be a better man than your father” literally, whereas Peter said that it was code that meant “keep your people close. take care of the people you care about.” Bell gave Olivia the phrase specifically b/c she would need Peter by her side, and telling him this would supposedly help keep him there. Since the point was for him to keep close by her, I think it makes sense for him to be using it to mean exactly what Peter interpreted it to mean.

              I also don’t think Peter’s abduction had to have been violent in some way for it to be traumatic or for the dream to be about it. He knew enough to know something weird was going on when Walter first took him, and he must have known when he woke up that something wasn’t right. There were probably months/years of his mind trying to make sense of small differences and the sense that something wasn’t right. That’s psychologically violent, even if it wasn’t physically so. Regardless of whether he’s repressed the memory naturally because it was too much for his 7 year old self to make sense of or because Walter did something to help him forget, the dream would be his subconscious interpretation of that trauma, not an actual reminder of literal events.

              I actually also lean towards the Walternate is psycho-crazy interpretation of things, I just think these two events are meant to be interpreted more straightforwardly.

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              • Jodie says

                But Jo, Bell’s message could have two messages. It was to tell Peter to protect Olivia, but it could also have been sent to remind Peter of his real father. And looking at it from that perspective, both messages seem to have gotten through to Peter. I saw a distinct change in the way Peter behaved toward Olivia. Peter became more protective (he kept the people that he loved close), but he also had his bad dream. Looking at it in this way, it wouldn’t be a coincidence that “Dream Logic” came right after “Momentum Deferred.” The victims dreamed of monsters just as Peter did. Only, of course, the victims dreams were fantasies, and Peter’s monster was real (Walternate).

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              • Angela says

                Jo: Of course you’re right. Both are possibilities. But if nothing else, Fringe is all about double entendres: the “obvious” interpretation may not always be the correct one. After all, this show prides itself on its ability to foreshadow. Whether through colors, lighting, props, clues, characters, dialogue, etc. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to ignore the obvious and take a “leap” in another direction. It’s what makes this show so much fun to watch! ^_^

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                • Jo says

                  No doubt, it’s one of the things that makes the show so great. I actually don’t doubt that in the space of the show the phrase has the wonderful double bonus of applying to both of Peter’s fathers, or even that Bell, while knowing what the phrase would mean to Peter, would also be thinking of its application to what his father had become in the AU. The whole question of being a better man than his father, and which father he chooses to apply that to, definitely seems like part of Peter’s story arc for the series.

                  I also don’t doubt that if they decide to make Walternate have always been evil it’ll be awesome. But for me, personally, the story is just a lot more interesting if Walternate wasn’t some monster before the kidnapping, but has since allowed his anger and desire for revenge to turn him into one. I like the idea that the story they are telling about the two Walters, and with the show in general, is about choices, and the consequences of those choices. Part of the power of learning Walter asked Bell to take pieces of his brain was the juxtaposition of this information with the image of Walternate coolly observing a desperate Olivia–a reminder of what he could have turned into. But if Walter was never really in any danger of turning into Walternate because Walternate was actually a monster from the get go, that image and explanation loses much of its power. I like it better if the point of divergence between them is actually their decisions post-kidnapping, with Walter recognizing the danger he poses and choosing to limit himself, sacrificing his sanity to do so, and Walternate choosing to give in to his victimhood and his genius completely, and also, to a certain extent, sacrificing his sanity as a result.

                  Plus, having Walternate be the root cause of Peter’s trauma seems to raise the possibility that Peter’s anger towards Walter actually comes from some misplaced fear/anger towards Walternate, and having Peter’s anger have been mostly mistaken rather than mostly justified would totally change the dynamic and balance of one of my favorite relationships.

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            • Jodie says

              Wow, Angela, what you said is really interesting. I always thought that the way Walter was acting in Peter’s dream was very strange. And your right, I can’t remember if he was wearing a suit, but he was wearing something dark and at the time it reminded me of the pictures of Walternate that September had in “Fracture.” I always felt that those pictures were from the other side. The reason for hand carried documents was because the photos were from the AU, and it would be the only way to transport these from one universe to the other.

              The Walter from Peter’s dream looked unhinged and totally distraught. Of course, after “Peter,” I thought that Peter’s dream represented his turmoil from being taken from his family. No matter how gentle the kidnapping actually was, Peter would still be traumatized by it and his subconscious would “see” it that way. But I think that your right, what Walter was wearing is a clue. Each of the AU characters do have a distinguishing, physical difference, and Walternate has always been shown in dark suits. Peter’s dream isn’t about the kidnapping, but it is about his real father. Peter was afraid of Walternate.

              And your also right about the fact that Bell knew who Peter’s real father was. I haven’t been able to figure out how Bell would know that Elizabeth would tell Peter “to be a better man…” But all things considered, Bell certainly knew that our Walter was now a better man than Walternate.

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              • jinx1764 says

                Interesting debate! And I have to say I’m definitely leaning more towards Walternate being more evil and that he has known that Peter is special before he was abducted. That he did experiment on him (which I mentioned before that Peter’s dream was really about his own father snagging him for some midnight tests). But poor Peter is so confused by his entire life that he’s got a lot to sort out.

                That’s doesn’t absolve Walter from his crime but perhaps knowing Walternate as he did through the window is what helped him realize what he was becoming and prompted the decision to remove parts of his brain. And remember, Walternate never had his best friend Bell (and maybe not Nina or Carla?, either) to ever put on the moral brakes for him.

                Yes, Walternate is a victim of Walter and that should not be forgotten but we don’t have all the information yet. Is it so outlandish to think that Walter committed a crime without realizing his victim was a worst criminal? And what would happen if a ‘victim’ is already a vicious criminal or potential one? Do they still remain sympathetic? Or is perhaps karma coming full circle? What do you think a criminal minded person would do in response to a crime committed against them? They certainly wouldn’t ‘turn the other cheek.’

                If Walternate is guilty of using Peter from his birth then is Walternate such a victim afterall? And how much does Elizanate know? Being kidnapped by Walter may have been the best thing that ever happened to Peter but it until he has all the information he won’t realize that and it still doesn’t absolve Walter of his actions since he did them for selfish reasons.

                But are intentions all that matter? Children are taken from abusive homes everyday and that isn’t seen as kidnapping by the public since it’s in the childrens’ best interests; but the parents’ don’t see it that way. They want their children returned.

                Maybe the Observers knew Walternate’s intentions and allowed Walter to take Peter since it was in Peter’s best interests overall. I can’t wait to get more info about Walternate’s plans!
                I think he’s planning on trying to activate Olivia and open a door back to the other side since that’s one of the big things he hasn’t been able to figure out.

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            • mlj102 says

              Wow… This has certainly turned into a much deeper discussion than I ever expected it would be. It’s interesting to read everyone’s thoughts and interpretations of various events.

              “at what point does that translate from “grieving father”/world-protector, to all-powerful secretariat bent on world domination?”

              That’s a good point, and I imagine that’s exactly what they’re exploring and it’s a theme we’ll see more in Season 3. There certainly is a very thin line between those two extremes. Feelings like revenge and anger can definitely overwhelm a person and transform an otherwise good person into a pretty evil person. And that could very well be what Walternate has allowed himself to become.

              But in my opinion, Walternate really isn’t fundamentally very different from Walter and I don’t think he was any worse of a father to Peter than Walter was to original Peter. In my mind, prior to Peter’s death in 1985, life was happy for the Bishop family on both sides. I think Walter and Walternate were both brilliant, successful scientists who both loved their family. But Peter’s death and Walter taking alternate Peter changed that dynamic. Whether it was guilt or paranoia or grief, I think Walter became a neglectful father and allowed himself to be consumed in his work and he ultimately went crazy. On the other side, Walternate allowed himself to be driven by a need for revenge against the man and the world who stole his son and damaged his world. Thus both Walters were dramatically transformed because of what happened surrounding Peter. As Walter told Carla in “Peter” “He (meaning Walternate) is just like me (meaning Walter)” Yes, there are certain differences (like how Walter went crazy while Walternate became the secretary of defense), but those are mostly shaped by their experiences and how they react to those experiences. But fundamentally, they are the same.

              You described Walternate as “a powerful man, a brilliant man, and I’d wager, a *proud* one.” And I agree. But I also think that description fits pretty well for Walter. Certainly being in St. Claire’s for 17 years helped to diminish those qualities to a certain extent, and he’s not in a position of authority like Walternate is, but we have also seen many instances that show that Walter is also a brilliant, prideful man who is manipulative and does what he feels is necessary to get his way.

              “So why would he need to block that out or twist it around into a nightmarish?”

              I agree with what Jo and Jodie have said about how the event itself didn’t have to be physically painful, but it’s the whole concept behind it that makes it traumatizing. I don’t think Peter thought he was going on a late night walk with his father. He knew something wasn’t right (as shown in the way he asked where they were going and why they weren’t taking the car, and ultimately went so far as to accuse Walter of not being his father) and I think that scared him. The whole situation was unusual and confusing to him. Then he walks through some strange doorway, and falls through the ice and nearly drowns. I think all of that is enough to cause some trauma to a young child and to lead to nightmares.

              Peter and alternate Elizabeth showed no concern regarding Walternate. Alternate Elizabeth seemed to trust in him to take care of her son, and Peter didn’t seem like he’d ever been abused or mistreated by Walternate in any traumatizing way — certainly not in any way that would prompt nightmares of that sort. There just doesn’t seem to be any evidence to support the idea that Walternate ever did anything to Peter that traumatized him. I’m not saying he never experimented on him — I think that’s a very strong possibility — but if he did, I don’t think he did so in a heartless way or without any concern for his son.

              “if Walter was so afraid of Peter remembering his “abduction” why didn’t he remove all memories of his past?”

              I imagine it would be rather complicated to remove all the memories from the last seven years of Peter’s life. And even if it was possible, could it be done without permanently damaging Peter? I don’t think it was worth the risk. For the most part, Peter’s memories were harmless. The only concern would be that Peter would remember that Walter stole him from his home. And Walter was successful in helping to purge those memories. Any other residual memories would have been of little consequence. But those particular nightmares were significant because they clearly indicated the truth of what happened. Walter did everything he could to suppress the truth of that night: he convinced Peter that falling through the ice had all been a car accident, he helped him suppress his nightmares, etc.

              “And which version makes most sense in context: “Peter, don’t be like Walter, who is crazy, and opens doors to parallel universes and draws pictures of genetic monsters.” Or “Peter, don’t be like your crazy father who wants to use you as an integral part of some evil plot to destroy the world.””

              Again, I agree with Jo on this one. I think you’re taking it out of context here. Elizabeth was the one who told that to Peter. Did she know Walternate or have any reason to suspect he was a bad guy? Unlikely. And even if she did, it would make no sense for her to say something like that about a man who Peter doesn’t even know is his real father. Why did she tell this to Peter? As Peter explained, it was a code meaning to keep your people close and take care of those you care about. It seems clear that this fits in with what we know about Walter and that he wasn’t a good father to Peter from the time he took Peter to the time he was sent to St. Claire’s. It makes sense that Elizabeth and Peter would view Walter’s actions as not keeping his people close and not taking care of those he cares about. And don’t forget that Walter is no saint himself. He has done many awful things in his life. So while this phrase could theoretically also apply to Walternate now that Peter knows that’s who his “real” father is, it was originally referring to Walter. Yes, Peter can now use it to refer to either father, but I don’t see any reason to think Elizabeth or Bell were expecting Peter to apply it to Walternate. However Bell knew of that phrase, I think that’s the same meaning he was trying to convey. He wanted to keep Peter on our side, and if Peter remembered to keep his people close and care about those he cares for, then he would stay on his side, because that’s where there are people he knows and cares for.

              Of course, when all is said and done, all we can do right now is speculate. We really don’t have enough information about Walter or Walternate to be certain about the specific things they did in the past or what they were like. But in my opinion, nothing we’ve learned up to this point is suggesting that Walternate was a bad person or irresponsible as a father. If he is that way now, I think it’s a direct result of Peter being taken and how he responded to that.

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              • Angela says

                mlj102: haha, sorry, I think I wasn’t clear enough in my original post (and if I could edit, I would.) All of my arguments were from a strictly Walter-is-evil standpoint. I agree that Peter’s nightmare could have been in reference to his abduction, and that it didn’t need to be violent to translate into what we saw (and that Bell’s message “to be a better man” can be taken in its not so literal form.) And of course, you’re more than welcome to view it that way.

                But really, I don’t need to be convinced, lol. I already agree. What I was doing, was trying to show the OTHER way to interpret those scenes, strictly through the lens of “Walternate is evil.” While everyone’s saying, “it’s clearly this way” (Walternate as a grieving father/victim) I’m approaching it from a different angle; to see what’s possibly going on beneath the surface. All of my arguments then, are shaped around *that* notion, despite there being other ways to interpret a scene.

                As we know, there are two sides to everything, especially in this show. I’m just pointing out one alternate possibility (one I’m currently subscribing to), and my reasoning behind it.

                So don’t close your mind to the possibilities or you may miss something!! ^_^

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                • Jodie says

                  I still think that your on to something with your analysis of Peter’s dream. I thought at the time that the behavior of Walter was odd and that it was off in some way. After we have seen Walternate, the Walter in Peter’s dream fits Walternate more than Walter. I think that we’ll find out that there is more to Peter’s dream than we thought at first.

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                • mlj102 says

                  Thanks for clarifying that you were just trying to show how things could be interpreted differently. And certainly you are entitled to your own opinion. My only reason for commenting was that I was trying to respond to the points you made and to share my view that nothing that has been revealed at this point seems to support those scenarios much.

                  You say that most people seem to view Walternate as the innocent victim and grieving parent, which is strange because, from all the comments I have read, I get the opposite impression. It seems to me that most people view Walternate as a bad guy and a villain and someone they despise, whose only desire is to cause pain and suffering. But at this point I think it’s still largely a matter of perspective. Yes, he’s doing bad things, and we shouldn’t overlook that. But I see no reason at this point to conclude that, deep down, he is an evil person who delights in causing destruction. I think he is misunderstood and really not that different from Walter. I believe that, if we had spent the last two seasons focusing on the other side and getting to know those characters and seeing their lives and their experiences, we would view them as the “good guys” and we would have pretty negative feelings towards Walter and all that he has done.

                  Of course I acknowledge that there are endless possibilities on this show… It’s one of the things I love about Fringe. I love it when they show something and make us as viewers think we know what’s going on, only to later reveal some key fact that completely changes everything we thought we knew. And, in a lot of ways, I think that’s what they’re doing with Walternate and the other side. Ever since we learned of the other side, we have viewed them as the enemy and as bad people. And Walternate certainly looks like a pretty bad villain. But I think they’re moving towards showing that they’re not the bad guys we thought they were. In a lot of ways, they’re just normal people like on our side, who are reacting to the things that are happening to them. In the same way that we want Walternate and alternate Olivia to realize that those on our side aren’t the monsters that Walternate claims they are, I think we also have to be willing to acknowledge that those on the other side aren’t the monsters they appear to be.

                  I started this comment with the intention of making a very brief reply, and this turned out a lot bigger than I expected… sorry about that!

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          • Robert Gertz says

            Seems rather harsh of Elisabeth to have said that about Walter knowing she was largely responsible for his keeping Peternate. I imagine Elisabethnate suspects her double was partly responsible for the kidnapping; she seemed to be cautiously hinting at it in talking to Peter about Elisabeth. Interesting that Peter never seems to question his alternate (our Elisabeth) mother’s motives aloud, though I think part of his willingness to forgive Walter stems from the fact that he knows the pressure Elisabeth put on him and the cost to her.

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  4. Betynha says

    Well, I must say this was by far the best episode in this season. It’s so close to “Bad dreams” in my personal liking that I’ll have to rewatch everything to sort out which I like most!

    So, great review once again, Roco!!

    This finale has blown my mind. I couldn’t help but think about it all day long (watched just yesterday!). As for the third season, I was just wondering how many episodes we will be forced to see Altlivia play our dear Olive!

    And just for the record: I bet Ella will notice that Altlivia is not Aunt Liv. Child instinct! And Petah has some personal ways to know that ‘his Olivia’ is not the one by their side.

    PS.: I hope John Noble get an Emmy. Gosh, he was amazing! And Anna Torv was beyond my expectations in this episode. I’m completely glad to have believed in this show!

    Thanks Mr. Abrams, you and your team have blown my mind! :D

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    • says

      Betynha,

      “Bad Dreams” is one of my personal faves too. :)

      As for Altlivia, if she’s anything like Evil Charlie, she’ll pull the wool over their eyes for a while. If memory serves, he didn’t get found out for 6 weeks, or something ridiculous.

      Yeah, Ella’s a perceptive kid, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s the one to out Altliv.

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  5. hal says

    something i feel should be mentioned: Bellie never said anything before kamikaze portalling the gang about Nina Sharp.. I mean, I kinda feel like maybe he should have said something like ‘tell nina im sorry lol’ … assuming they did have something going on, but maybe that was just Walter’s impression. i guess it doesn’t matter, Bellie’s wouldn’t even return her messages..what a dick?

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    • says

      Yeah, I feel he should have had a word for Nina. He had plenty of time to prepare a list (or something), since he knew that he’d be the ‘power source’ when filling up on the Colonelnate’s Fried Chicken.

      Hopefully Nina can continue to run things without him. Perhaps hire a No. 2. *cough, cough*.

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  6. Anjali says

    One thing I forgot to mention.

    The writers need to applauded. Pinkner, Wyman and Goldsman wrote an excellent script and I am so glad they are the show-runners.

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  7. LizW65 says

    Great review. A couple of things: thank you for posting a closeup of Altlivia and her Mum, which went so quickly I didn’t get a good look at it. I wonder–is that Anna Torv’s real mother, or did they do a digital aging thing on a pic of Anna herself? Whatever, lovely photo.

    From your screen cap, it seems as though Bell and Walter were approaching Boston due East, which makes the Blight-riddled landscape part of Route 90. They must have taken the Merritt/Wilbur Cross Parkway to 91 North and then picked up 90. Why they didn’t they just take I-95? It would be a lot quicker. Did something happen to it Over There, or was there just too much traffic at that time of day?

    Also, I’m glad you brought up Leonard Nimoy’s performance, as I really think the old guy went out with a bang (literally and figuratively) and I’m glad he got to be an action hero at the end. And yeah, “I supplied Fringe Division with a 76 model” KA-BLAMO-NATE! “This is the 77” was a fantastic moment.

    Quote from Anjali: “Do you feel that Peter and Olivia have earned it?
    Because I think they have. The fact that Olivia initiated it, was huge and I am glad the writers went down that route instead of Peter making the advances.”

    Yeah, I liked that too. In the immortal words of Joni Mitchell, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone” and I think that seeing her doppelganger in a happy relationship may have given Olivia the push she needed to finally make her move, so to speak. (Not to mention, Peter looked so lost and hopeless when he realized that Walternate had lied to him, even I wanted to give him a hug.)

    I’m really looking forward to your “Observations” column, and can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with, as the whole episode semed to be loaded with little clues and easter eggs!

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    • says

      Liz,

      Nimoy was impressive (I think they gave him a good script too). I think he did his best “Fringe” work in this episode.

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  8. yis says

    I still don’t believe what William Bell did, so selfless, I don’t trust him, this was too easy. I think that maybe he could had been part of Walternate’s plan or something, I don’t know. He apparently builds all the weapons from over there, so how didn’t he saw coming the explosion and whatever happened there. Maybe I’m reading too much into it.

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    • degnirf says

      I agree, i still don’t trust him even slightly! Maybe he’s uploaded himself into a computer or something, which may have been foreshadowed in the musical episode.

      actually that would be awesome!

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  9. CortexiGirl says

    When she was in the dark room, assuming she was scared*, did everything glimmer?

    *Who wouldn’t be scared in a dark room alone for days?

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  10. kittyofdoom says

    “You have to come back, because you belong with me.”

    Off-topic and a bit irreverant. But I want to break into song when I hear that line. “…can’t you SEEEEE, you belong with MEEEE….”

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  11. Page 48 says

    One of the best things about the last half dozen episodes is that (if there’s any justice) it should now be nigh onto impossible for “Fringe” to return to the freak-o-the-week standalones. There’s just too much at stake now to go chasing after flying cats or whatever.

    Obviously, KFC (not to mention Walter’s cap) was Bellie’s treat, since no one else had the currency to pull it off. Apparently, you don’t have to show your “show me” card to dine at KFC.

    What was the total price tag of Peter’s trip home? Three dead Cortexiphan kids and one dead William Bell. An imprisoned and potentially stranded Olivia. A brief reunion with Mom followed by another unexplained vanishing act. Does he want his real Mom to commit suicide, too?

    Peter’s decision to return home (this side) was dealt with very hastily, but I guess you can only cram so much into 43 minutes.

    So, when Peter got all in a snit with Walter after realizing that Walter had basically kidnapped him, he hadn’t any idea who he’d been taken from, just that he was from the other side. Nor did he stick around to give Walter any chance to explain, he just took off to sulk. That makes his meeting with Walternate following the end of “Northwest Passage” all the more inexcusable by its absence. That must have been quite an education for Peter and we missed it.

    Peter still can’t see things Walter’s way?? Which part? The part where he’s alive today because of Walter’s intervention 2 decades ago? And, he’s making catty remarks about Olivia’s appearance to her double? Is that the double that doesn’t mean squat to him? The one that’s never told him to stay in the car for his own safety? Peter needs to learn about the fine art of gratitude.

    I’m was in the camp that understood Altlivia to mean that Rachel died giving birth to Ella, but then the way that Altlivia repeated the name Ella made it sound like she was hearing it for the first time. It’s a little fuzzy to me yet. If Rachel died giving birth to a daughter, then maybe the daughter isn’t called Ella because Rachel wasn’t around to name her. Hmm, don’t know.

    Nimoy should have announced that he would retire after the series ended (if possible) rather than right now OR they should have stuck to the original idea of Bell being a man about Walter’s age. His exit at this point just doesn’t feel right.

    How did Altlivia get herself untied? I’m no knot expert, but I suspect Olivia is, and it looked pretty professional to me.

    Altivia has been at Fringe Division for a long time and she clearly drinks the Secretary’s Kool-Aid, but I just can’t see that lasting as she attempts to mingle with Olivia’s family and friends. Olivia said it herself, “you’re me”, and if that’s really the case, I can’t see Altlivia having such a bad case of tunnel vision that she won’t soon begin to see cracks in the Secretary’s story about the monsters on the other side. Olivia isn’t a mercury-guzzling shapeshifter, she’s an intelligent woman and she’s going to get a glimpse of the “family” that she’s lost on the other side. Not only that, but even the shallowest conversation with Peter should touch upon Peter’s decision to abandon his bio-Dad after only a few days back. I can’t see any reason why Altlivia would not, at some point, become an ally of her double, trying to right wrongs (imaginary or otherwise). Anything else just doesn’t make sense to me (right now).

    Always like the episodes that Akiva Goldsman has a hand in writing.

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    • Zee says

      Interesting idea – that Altlivia would end up a convert to the cause of Olivia and our side. Wonder what this would mean for the relationship with Peter. I hope they don’t do some kind of two-universes-love-triangle thing. Too soap-opera-y!

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      • Page 48 says

        I just don’t see the alternate Fringe Division coming down on the side of evil. They don’t strike me as evil. I think it’s reasonable to assume that they’re patriotic servants acting in what they consider to be the best interest of their country, as is our own Fringe Division, but they’re being fed Walternate’s self-serving version of the facts.

        Altlivia is their first representative to cross over, and I have faith in her being perceptive enough to realize that she’s being played by Walternate and that, as she awakens to this reality, she will no longer roll over for him, and will hopefully bring her own Fringe Division on board with her. Olivia is gutsy so it stands to reason that her double, once armed with the truth, will no longer roll over for the Secretary.

        What I’d really like to see is a round-table discussion between their FD and our own FD. Surely these people could all benefit from comparing notes. An element of trust has to be developed here before any meaningful progress can be made. It doesn’t have to come down to war, but someone has to make the first move. I think the coolest outcome for this series is if the 2 Fringe Divisions worked together to save 2 worlds.

        Roco said: “The scene between Olivia and Altlivia was fasci-Nate-ing”.
        Doesn’t that just sound like something Spock would say?

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        • rosull says

          Can imagine having Broyles and Alt-Broyles in one room?! This idea appeals to me, if only to see these 2 strong, assertive, “men of few words” face off .

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    • says

      Page,

      “Flying cats”, that’s too funny. :) I agree though, it’s too late to go back to before. We’ve seen it now, we know what the show is capable of.

      I’m really interested to see Walter’s reaction to this costly trip. Will he shed a tear for the Cortexiphan’s like he did Peter? What will be the next method of travel to the AU – they’re fast running out of sacrifices! Perhaps he’ll risk the Door. Once more wont hurt, will it? ….

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    • Robert Gertz says

      I think the AU Fringe Division has had to deal with such death and destruction in their world, it’s easy for them to see the other universe as aggressors and down right evil. The whole city of Boston lost, vast areas devastated…And Walternate tells Broyles their world is losing the war, suggesting that things may be even worse in the AU then they seem. It’s not that hard for me to be a dedicated agent like AltLivia would consider us the enemy, though her feelings may change as she meets human beings not monsters on our side.

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  12. JS says

    Fantastic review, as always!

    I think the KFC scene has to go down as one of the best product placement moments ever! (Also nice to hear that Walter has always had a thing for food – finding those 11 herbs and spices was a very important day!)

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  13. inastateoftexas says

    I LOVED the episode. Props to every member of the cast, you were superb. John Noble was, as usual, phenomenal; Anna Torv continued her improvement in an already excellent portrayal; LOVED Mr. Spock (which was not surprising, he’s always rocked); and Joshua Jackson easily gave the best performance I’ve ever seen from him: right up there with, and at times better than, his “reveal” scene. Truly, one of the best hours of television I have ever seen and an instant classic in the Fringe cannon. THANK YOU WRITERS! You had better keep this up through the third season and beyond!
    I couldn’t help myself though… “Come on, Olivia, stop beating yourself up” ;D.

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    • Zee says

      Nice – I didn’t catch the double entendre of Olivia fighting with Altlivia. I wonder if that was intended by the writers.

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    • FinChase says

      “I couldn’t help myself though… “Come on, Olivia, stop beating yourself up” ;D.”

      Good one!

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  14. Bailey says

    “Red Vines”, not “Twizzlers”.
    Red Vines are much better than Twizzlers, they aren’t greasy.
    :-)

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  15. Jodie says

    We saw a doppelganger for everyone in the AU (except Peter, of course and William Bell – and that absence was explained) but Nina Sharp. Where was alternate Nina?

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    • kittyofdoom says

      Maybe alternate Nina has no connection to anything Fringe-related. Since alt-Bell never had occasion to found Massive Dynamic, alt-Nina was never involved with it.

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      • SF says

        Maybe she was dead of the cancer she supposedly got, as per the Pilot, she says she got cancer in her arm, and Bell saved her life by removing it and giving her the robotic arm. I say supposedly, because in “Peter” we find out Walter knows she lost her arm trying to prevent him from crossing over to get Peter. So…..did AltNina get cancer? and which is the real story for Nina? There’s also 8 years difference between the kidnapping of Peter and the cancer story (17 years ago MD was started, and Nina went to work for them after she was cured.) We know that she knew William and Walter long before. So which is true?

        On the other hand, maybe Bell was living with AltNina!

        And if it wasn’t Bell’s idea to start Massive Dynamic, was it Nina’s?

        Totally off-topic, but since the subject of Alt-Nina was brought up…….

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  16. says

    The plaque outside of Maddison Square Garden was very haunting.
    “NEITHER DEAD NOR ALIVE”
    Followed by a list of all the people.

    Imagine having your brother, sister, mom, best friend, be one of those people right by the edge of the amber. You can make out their face, and they are a few feet away from you. And they’ll be there forever.

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    • SF says

      Doesn’t that give you nightmares? I’m so glad we got to see the amber up close at Boston – ok, that comes out wrong! but, I understand what they mean by quarantine now, that it is instantaneous and no one gets away. So AltLiv’s humour in the face of quarantine is really gallows humour, and why not? It’s happening everywhere and they are powerless to stop it.

      I really, really hope our Fringe team starts trying to find a way to stop these tears from happening. I have a lot of sympathy for the people of the alt-world. The amber is fascinating and horrific, isn’t it? and haunting. Maybe that word should be applied to the whole episode.

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      • MRG says

        I liked the look on Peter’s face as he made the connection between the amber even in our world and the AU. Its one thing to think you know that these fringe events are from the unknown in the AU, its another thing to really KNOW and see the same thing….

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  17. Zee says

    I agree that the writers aren’t being very consistent with Peter’s character or letting it fully develop. It is a shame, because I think Joshua Jackson has more than enough chops to pull off a really complex character. He can express so much with his face and eyes, without saying any words. But sometimes his acting is almost too skilled for the dialogue and context he is provided with by the writers. It is like he is struggling to express a consistent character but keeps being undermined by the plot. They come very close to it, but he is never quite given the chance, and is used more as a plot device than a real character. He drops such strange lines that aren’t fully explored or explained or given real context. I’m still puzzling over that “I think I like your hair color better” line. What was the point of that? I don’t need to be hand-held through a character’s motivations, but I just feel like we get a lot of mixed signals from the dialogue written for Peter. Nevertheless, I think we’re intended to understand that Peter is impulsive, and that the situation (AU Fringe division imminently hunting down those he loved and the real potential of his being used as a weapon against his wishes) was so emergent that there was no time for thoughtful discussion or goodbyes to his mother. It is hard to swallow that he would leave his mother again, but the situation necessitated making the hard and rapid choice between leaving immediately to save Olivia and his flawed chosen family from the agents coming for them, or staying with his biological family. In truth he hardly knew his biological mother. Sometimes family is not the one you are born into. This is not to mention that by staying he may have caused the destruction of one or both of the universes. It really wasn’t clear what the timeline was on that possibility, or how much control he might have over it occurring.

    Poor Peter. So many trust issues with almost everyone in his life.

    I think it was so interesting that Peter’s DNA, obtained by actually physically touching the weapon technology, was the thing that activated it. I wonder if and how this might be connected to Peter’s other possible abilities (which we’ve speculated about in this forum) relating to touching people – calming or persuading or empathizing with them.

    Looking forward to the Observations….

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    • annon says

      Great post Zee. I totally agree. People chew Peter out, like Page 48, for his actions/motivations, but I agree with you in that Peter in this show is mainly used as a plot device. I’ve said that consistently during the second series.

      He is SO inconsistent, because Peter’s actions change depending on where the writers want the story to go. His character just flipflops all over the place and I’m not sure how you can get to really understand the character when the writers have him do this all the time. Not to mention, that all his story arcs are always rushed and not fully fleshed out. I’m left with scratching my head half the time when it comes to Peter. It’s really fustrating.

      How many times have I read lately where it’s stated: “Well, that was far too rushed” or “We didn’t get to see what happened/or how he felt about that”.

      I love this show, but this is what really brings the show down for me. You need all your characters to be fully fleshed out and not just used for a plot device. The writers really need to work on this next season.

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      • fedorafadares says

        I can see how Peter’s character seems less-than-complete, but I choose (maybe delusionally) to see this as part of the point: he’s a mystery and a man in transition.

        I tend to fill in a lot of the apparent gaps in his character by assuming certain characteristics. For example, the whole “I like your hair better” line was in keeping with Peter’s “charmer”/self-protective personae:

        After trying to turn his back on his recent past — trying to deny it was real — Peter got momentarily caught up in seeing the familiar and couldn’t repress his attraction to Olivia’s double. By complimenting her, the newer “adult” part of Peter was trying to save face after making a social gaffe by staring so intensely at her and telling her she reminded him of someone and he was also reasserting his denial that Olivia and his feelings for her were real. The “boyish” side of Peter was trying to charm a confident woman and test the waters a bit from an attraction standpoint.

        He was both covering his tracks and moving on in that moment.

        I think Joshua Jackson does a great job of subtly showing that conflict between the boy Peter and the man — the scammer he was pre-Fringe and the mature caretaker/professional he’s become.

        Primal situations like the meeting with Alt-Livia bring out his old ways.

        Am I overthinking this?

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        • Jodie says

          No, I don’t think that you are over analyzing this. I thought that he was startled by the situation. I think that he was in his “charmer” mode.

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          • LizW65 says

            Also, bear in mind that at that point he had no expectation of ever seeing “our” Olivia again, so meeting someone who was, to all intents and purposes the same woman had to throw him for a loop, and it’s only natural he’d try and make some kind of connection with her.

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    • rosull says

      (Light hearted response follows)

      So I know a lot of people share your opinion about what Peter was think when he commented on Altlivia’s hair. However, one angle to look at it from is that maybe Peter just wants to make a human connection with someone, because simply put (emphasis on: SIMPLY) he wants to get laid. Think about it how many dates has Peter been on since springing Walter from St. Claires. This could also be applied to Peter’s subtle flirtations with the waitress in ‘Northwest Passage’.

      I’m just saying, maybe Peter was trying to compliment Altlvia’s hair in the hopes that she would not be as reserved as Olivia, and maybe he could have a connection with her. After all he’s been through maybe Peter just wants to be held :)

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      • SF says

        Actually, I had to laugh – after I was so angry at him for saying that line! – it’s shallow, and quick, and the most immediate difference between the two Olivias. It was only after he was in her company for a little longer that he saw the more important differences.

        and hey – he did get a little action, in the end! With the right Liv!

        Let’s just hope that more doesn’t follow before he spots the switch.

        I want to say more seriously that I didn’t have a problem with Peter leaving so suddenly. The poor guy has just discovered that the family he hoped to find over here was no better either – his father wanted him for his DNA. At the back of Peter’s mind must be the question, why did Walternate wait so long to come get him? and he didn’t ask it because he didn’t want it confirmed. I do think and hope that he called his mother before he left again. I have long thought that Peter stayed in the beginning, at the end of the Pilot, with Fringe, because of Olivia. This was a link back to that episode – he’s coming back not because of the 100 reasons (all of which are worthy), but for her. It’s a place to start from, for him. One place that he does belong, with her.

        I think Peter’s real problem is that he doesn’t know what he is supposed to do. He is gifted at so many things, that he can’t apply his genius IQ to any one of them. As he said in ‘White Tulip’, he doesn’t feel like he is doing what he is supposed to be doing. Maybe, with seeing the genome machine that has been created to destroy Olivia’s world, he now can create something that does heal the physical laws that have been broken on the other side, and between the two worlds. It would be ironic if Walternate were right, and Peter could fix them after all.

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    • Cindy says

      Basically, Peter’s comment on Agent Dunham’s hair is just stating the obvious. That’s his way of saying you are different from my Olivia, not betraying, at the moment any connection he may have had with her.

      I think he had some great acting moments, in this ep. For a show like Fringe, the acting is best without dialogue. For Joshua Jackson, it came through when Olivia said, “Because you belong with me.” The look on Peter’s face was said “What?” He’s probably the first one to admit to carrying a torch for Olivia. Olivia definitely digs Peter, but without having ever expressed herself this way would be a surprise.

      I love that Olivia’s reasons for Peter to go back harkens back to the pilot, where she pleaded with him to stay. What if it’s an indication of how Season 3 might be in some way a new beginning, now that new ground has been laid, so to speak, for our Fringe Division new purpose, Peter’s return and what role he will play, and alt-Olivia’s mission.

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      • SF says

        Cindy, you posted while I was doing my post, I think we were thinking the same things about Peter, and next season! lol I like that we both made the connection back to the Pilot, too :-)

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    • says

      Zee,

      I appreciate your point about Peter leaning towards the family he chooses, rather than the one he was born into.

      While I do like that idea, I think I would be able to relate it to Peter’s actions a bit better had he and his mom not connected on such a loving level. I don’t think he can disregard that powerful connection, even if he has reservations about Walternate and the subtle changes in his home-world.

      I would like to get inside Peter’s head a bit more, because surely he can see that however bad Walternate is (or may be), his actions are in a large way shaped by what Walter did to him. Peter gets to choose his family, but Walternate had his taken away from him. Just as Walter rants about his memories being ripped from his head, Walternate had his heart ripped from his chest. Who’s the victim in all of this? That’s what I keep coming back to. (Although I’m not for one minute saying that Walternate shouldn’t be responsible for his current actions/intent).

      I just feel that Peter has an important role to play, and however confused or isolated he feels, I think he needs to do more to resolve this situation.

      That said, you make a good case for Peter’s fleet of foot. Although I also think that had this not been the season finale, we might have spent a bit longer on the ‘what will Peter do?’ storyline.

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      • jinx1764 says

        Of course, Roco, you’re assuming that Walternate DID have his heart ripped from his chest. I believe that Elizanate has her heart broken but Walternate? I’m just not buying it yet. Maybe Walternate is just super pissed because his best experiment/lab rat/world dominating plan was stolen from under his nose and to make it worse Walternate can’t quite figure out how to open a door to the AU to get it back.

        As sick and sad as it is to consider not every parent actually loves their child. And some actually do see their children as mini-mes that exist only to do the bidding of the parent.

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        • says

          Naturally. While having his son stolen might not have tugged at Walternate’s heart strings, I’d like to think that it did impact him heavily enough to shape him into the man we see today. He may not have spent his years weeping by the fireplace, but it’s clear (to me) from the look of love in his eyes when he looks at Peter that Boy Wonder wasn’t just a “lab rat” to him.

          The lab rat motivation, in itself, wouldn’t be a very interesting story to me because it undercuts the human emotion that this show is built on. Sure, Walternate may or may not have exploited his son’s special-ness (as Walter probably did), but all the evidence (including the flashback episode “Peter”, and Eliznate’s response) indicates that Walternate loved and loves his son very much.

          If anything, his bid to destroy the AU seems to be predicated on having his heart stolen from him. If the writers were to just paint this guy as being inherently evil I wouldn’t buy it, partly because they’ve spent the best part of 2 seasons reinforcing the idea that actions have consequences – an idea that ties right back to Walter taking Peter in the first place and setting this whole chain of destruction in motion.

          It’s much more realistic and meaningful, I think, to show that these two men (Walter and Walternate) are both essentially the same guy (in a similar vein to how present day Walter is a take on past Walter) and that circumstances of the heart have collided to shape them into different variations of the same person.

          So while Walternate may end up being the ‘big bad’, I feel (and hope) that the writers add context to the character and continue to illustrate why he has come to the point of wanting to destroy the Other Side. I have no doubt that he wants to save his world, but his language, tone and actions indicate a more personal intent. We need to see why he believes that they are “monsters” to understand why he is on the brink of becoming one himself (if he’s not already there). I feel that one of the best ways to tell a human story of hate or revenge, is to predicate it on love. Inverse it up – explore the cracks in the human heart and examine what those cracks are filled with when the light that holds it all together is gone. Some people cry, some people turn to faith, others self destruct. Walternate, it seems, has turned to the chalice of revenge.

          Well, that’s my fanfic done for the month. :P But I do very much believe in Walternate’s pain just as much as I do in Walter’s seeming redemption.

          You do make a good point though – it will be interesting to find out what kind of man Walternate was prior to the Peternapping. But if his main motivation for wanting to RIP the AU isn’t Walter’s act of taking his son from him, then I’d be very surprised. Likewise, if Walternate’s heart wasn’t broken by this ‘ruthless’ act of deception, then I think the story will be less human than it could be.

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          • jinx1764 says

            I like your view point and actually prefer it for the Fringe story but I wonder which way the writers are going to take Walternate. By that I mean there are all kinds of ‘love’. While I agree that Walternate likely loved Peter prior to his kidnapping; in what context and content did that love exist? We’ve obviously seen that just having Peter back wasn’t enough for Walternate to stop his revenge plan. Plus I suspect that Walternate waited for some years before contacting Peter regarding his origins. Why? Wouldn’t a parent who loved his son SO much be insane with impatience to contact as soon as possible? He could have had any of the shapeshifters contact Peter years earlier. Peter might have doubted (probably) but questions would have been asked years earlier, etc.

            Why wait? Why allow your son to remain in doubt while you had some sort of means to contact them and talk through the typewriter shop unless you have other goals that are more important. We know that Walternate probably had shifters in the other world as early as the 90’s and he choose to wait for 20+ years for his other plans to come to fruition before contacting Peter.

            To me these are not the actions of a parent motivated by love for a child; at least not a mature, healthy love for a child. It’s not unreasonable or unexpected for a parent to want revenge but to want revenge at the expense of any contact with their child? So by these actions Walternate either changed very quickly after the kidnapping (which is possible I agree) or he didn’t change much at all since he was already on that path and Peter was always a means to an end. Just because Peter and Elizanate don’t fear Walternate doesn’t mean he isn’t a psychopath. Ted Bundy’s family members never feared him either and had no idea of his secret life until he was caught.

            I still prefer your hope for the story but having a monster for a father who stills loves you (sort of) to me is its own type of compelling story. It’s Peter’s story of choosing to reject biological parent love in favor of immoral adopted love once he’s fully informed of the choice.

            As usually I love the debates Fringe brings up and that your blog encourages! I haven’t been this into a tv show since Alias. Damn you JJ Abrams!

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  18. opicool says

    First off, fantastic review as always, Roco! :)

    A few things:

    1) For your “Epic Meetings” section- although it was admittedly not as significant as the meeting between Walternate and Peter (for example), I still think Peter and Olivia’s erm… “confrontation” was epic nonetheless. ;)

    2) I thought your comment about the “mirrored effect” between Peter and Bell was just so true and so brilliant. I too was surprised by the low-profile Bell has in the AU, but your note on this definitely helped me view the situation completely differently.

    3) The scene where Peter and Atlivia meet for the first time- I totally respect your opinion but personally, I’m not sure whether I’d call it entirely “cute.” Walternate looking (a little bit more than) “intrigued” by Peter’s obviously affectionate mentioning of Olivia dampened the scene. Furthermore, I think Walternate was much more upset than he let on, because he has probably always been concerned of Peter meeting a woman he truly cares for from Our Side that can’t be blamed for his kidnapping- that would be one of the only instances that would stop Peter from going to the AU if the opportunity arose. I was also both annoyed and confused by Peter’s comment on liking Atlivia’s brunnette locks more than Olivia’s blonde hair- I don’t exactly know why, but it stopped me from classifying the scene as “cute.” :(

    4) “I’m sure monsters can be found on both sides, Walternate.” <— One of my favorite quotes from your review. So true. ;)

    5) “We’ve accomplished a lot together Walter, but she may be our finest achievement”. <— Season's two finale was beyond epic, but when I finally turned off the television on Thursday night, that quote was one of the most protruding things to me out of all the drama from the episode. Yet again, Olivia creates a moment of harmony in the world, in this case by being the cause of an agreement between Bell and Walter. :)

    6) "[..] and Charlie holds a special place in the furnace of my heart." <— I chuckled there. Your witty-ness is one of my favorite things about your reviews, Roco. :)

    7) Your eulogy on old Bellie was truly touching. Minus the Massive Dynamic petition there, but only because I don't think Nina would ever let you. ;)

    8) "I think it will be a while before I get that fantastic cranking/winding music, Altlivia’s cheeky expression, Olivia’s desperate pleas and Walternate’s sneering, out of my mind." <— I think this was a memorable ending for season two, but nonetheless, I can't help myself from wanting to grab each writer by the shoulders, shake them silly, and scream "WHAT DID OLIVIA DO TO DESERVE THAT??!!" Season three better start in September, because I don't think I can wait any longer than that to find out what happened to poor, poor Olivia. :(

    9) Speaking of Olivia… I just want to say, like so many others have already, that Anna Torv was simply amazing. The capability she has to show just the right amount of passion and unforgettable emotion in her face is a talent that the rest of the cast (except for John Noble) could definitely learn from.

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    • says

      “Yet again, Olivia creates a moment of harmony in the world, in this case by being the cause of an agreement between Bell and Walter.”

      opicool,

      Well said! She’s been doing that quite a bit recently, hasn’t she? It was just a while ago that she acted as ‘peace-maker’ between Broyles and Olivia, and she’s also been instrumental in helping Peter and Walter to mend their broken heart.

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  19. gimmeshelter says

    Bloggers,
    We have to start an massive Emmy campaign for John Noble.
    If Betty White can get on SNL we can get John an Emmy.
    Let’s do it!

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  20. mlj102 says

    Peter going back so quickly: “While I didn’t hate this scene (including the kiss, surprisingly), I don’t buy the idea that this would be enough to get Peter to go back with her so soon.”

    I disagree. Personally, I felt that Peter going over there to begin with was a bit of a hasty decision. Despite his curiosity or his somewhat superficial belief that he would find a real home over there where he belonged, his sudden decision to just abandon everything and everyone here felt impulsive and like it lacked the necessary justification for such a big choice. It just seemed odd to me that he would be able to just leave this life behind without hesitation or reluctance. As far as I’m concerned, if he could decide to go over there that easily, it seems no less contrived for him to decide to come back that quickly. Our side is where there are things he is familiar with and there are people he cares about. Then to have Olivia essentially admit that she needs him would only add one more reason to return to our side.

    And, I thought it made a lot of sense — he already acknowledged that he didn’t belong there, and he didn’t believe he belonged here, either. But Olivia’s response that he belonged with her showed that it wasn’t a matter of which side — because he would never fully belong to one side or the other — but it was a matter of where his heart was… Yeah, that kind of sounds a bit sappy, but I think it’s an important concept. It’s that whole idea of “Home is where the heart is.” Peter feels he doesn’t belong here because he didn’t start out on this side like everyone else. But he doesn’t feel he belongs there, either because he could tell he was an outsider over there. So where was home? Home is where the heart is — and that was with the people he had come to care about on our side… including Olivia. And she helped him to see that. I can’t think of a better response that would have conveyed that message.

    That said, I do agree that it would have been nice if he could have at least acknowledged Elizabeth in all this. Maybe he left her a note? It certainly would be heartbreaking for her to just get her son back, only to find out that he’s left again. But, Elizabeth is also very perceptive. Maybe she would understand that he would be more attached to the side where he grew up… I do hope we’ll have the chance to see Elizabeth next season. How neat would it be to have a scene where Elizabeth meets our Olivia?

    “While I thought [Bell's] reconciliation with Walter and apparent ’sacrifice’ were both well done and struck a nerve, I find it a bit hard to believe that he only had good intentions, given what we’ve discovered for the past 40 or so episodes.”

    Personally, I’ve never had a strong opinion about Bell one way or another. Yes, we had many reasons to expect he was a bad guy, but I also felt like we didn’t have enough information to come to any certain conclusion. So while I was suspicious of him, I also kept an open mind that he wasn’t necessarily the evil person that many others believed him to be. So for me, it wasn’t that hard to accept that he had honestly good intentions in what he did. Certainly he did some awful things that had terrible consequences, but I don’t think that was intentional. I think he was truly trying to make things right. Granted, that doesn’t mean his choices were right or completely pure, but I think he was trying to help the world, even if he did go about the wrong way in doing that.

    I think if we had a chance to get to know him better, we would see that he is very much like Walter. At his core, he’s a loveable guy who is trying to do good. But he has made mistakes in his past and he has his flaws. In many ways I think he’s misunderstood. I think if people can be willing to look past Walter’s faults and his bad choices, then they should be willing to do the same for Bell. Some have claimed that Bell was unwilling to accept responsibility for his actions and therefore did not progress towards being redeemed. But I disagree. I got the impression that he felt a certain amount of guilt for the damage he had caused and he tried to make up for that. We just never saw him enough to see that in him as much as we can see it in Walter. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. That said, I have a much easier time accepting Bell as a relatively good guy than I do accepting that John Scott has been redeemed.

    “And who needs Doorstops when we have Peter the expert at all things kicking down doors.”
    “She’s got a sister? Okay, I’m staying here.”

    Roco, you never fail to deliver the witty comments that make me laugh. Maybe to pass the time over the summer I will have to go through old reviews and make a list of some of your greatest quotes… there are some really great ones!

    “I don’t think he really likes Altlivia’s hair better, he was just trying to bury the memory of those blonde locks he’s been dreamin’ about for the past couple years.”

    Agreed! When I heard him say that, I was quite perplexed and couldn’t figure out what would prompt him to say that when it was clear during that scene that he was thinking of our Olivia and that he missed her. It felt odd. But then I thought that maybe he was saying that in a relative way… I imagine it would have made him miss our Olivia even more if he met alternate Olivia and she looked just like our Olivia. Besides that, I think it was the natural, polite thing to say. He’d clearly been staring at her, and he had to say something. What was he going to say? I like her hair better? Yeah, that wouldn’t be rude at all.

    “Going back to what Peter said about Olivia, it also suggests that, in his mind, these ‘wrongs’ that she is fighting against are “imaginary”. An interesting word to use in light of recent episodes and discussions that we’ve had here on the blog.”

    Interesting. While you seem to have interpreted his comment to be referring to the cases they have worked on, I viewed it in a larger, more personal sense. I got the impression that he was suggesting that Olivia seems to be motivated a lot by some sense of obligation or duty to fix all the wrongs in the world, almost as if they were her responsibility. In that sense, they would be considered “imaginary wrongs” because it isn’t something she is responsible for. But it does feel like that’s what she’s doing — as if she has imagined this great mistake or wrong thing that she is constantly fighting against. Like all these things they are up against all represent something greater. I don’t know if I’m making any sense in explaining my view on this one, but it makes sense in my head and I felt like it was a very accurate, perceptive description of her and her actions and how she seems to take personal responsibility for things that aren’t her fault.

    “But as my heart was busy breaking for him, there were two things he said which began to auto-regenerate the cracks: “I know what you did to me” and “What kind of man could do that!?”. My mind shifted to Olivia and the Cortexikids.”

    I really liked how you pointed this out and turned it back on Walter because I think it’s a very accurate interpretation. It’s rather appropriate for Walter to have the roles reveresed and to find himself in a similar position to Olivia and the Cortexiphan Kids. It’s one thing to be on the one side and to claim that you didn’t mean any harm and you were just trying to help, but it’s quite another thing to be on the receiving end of the harmful things that were done and to cope with that. Even if you can understand the reasons behind it, that doesn’t change the fact that you were deeply affected in a negative way by the things that were done.

    It’s the same kind of thing with Peter and Walter. I’ve seen many comments where people have said they don’t understand Peter when he said he can’t see things Walter’s way yet. They claim that it shouldn’t be too hard… Walter saved his life and Peter should be grateful. And I think Peter is grateful — that shows in how he acknowledged that Walter traveled to another universe to save his life. But that doesn’t change the fact that Walter’s actions drastically affected his life, took him from his rightful family, and that Walter lied to him his entire life. That kind of betrayal hurts, and Peter shouldn’t be expected to just accept it and move on. Personally, I thought Peter’s actions towards Walter were rather gracious, almost borderline being too much. He’s reacting a lot better than I thought he would at this point.

    Responsibility: I noticed that responsibility for one’s choices was a theme that came up several times in this review and it made me think back to Part One of the finale when Elizabeth told Peter that we have to take responsibility for our own choices — the good and the bad. I think that really is such an important concept and it’s the ability to do that that sets the good people apart from the bad people. Those who can’t accept responsibility for their bad choices are in denial and refuse to acknowledge that what they did wasn’t right. I think that’s where Walter was for a long time, but he has finally started to get to the point where he can accept that responsibility. And I think Walternate is currently in the stage where he refuses to acknowledge that some of his actions may not be right. He’s too blinded by his desire for revenge. On the other hand, I think there are characters like Olivia and Peter who often tend to take the blame for things that ultimately aren’t their fault. I think it’s interesting to see those various extremes being portrayed.

    “Hold on to your seats, the world may very well explode in an eruption of awesoneness. Yes, even 2 days after the fight.”

    I am still amazed by that whole fight scene. I keep trying to imagine what it must have been like for Anna Torv to act that, playing both fighters. That must have been intense and extremely complicated. Similarly, I keep trying to figure out how they managed to edit that together. I’m sure it took a lot of time and careful work and they did an incredible job with that. That scene was definitely a great success and all their hard work paid off!

    Peter/Olivia: I was so glad that we got a scene between the two of them. Maybe I’m still a bit bitter that Peter just disappeared from the hospital without confronting Olivia at all, but it has really bothered me that, for the last few episodes, that hasn’t been addressed. I feel like I haven’t known how Peter felt about Olivia’s involvement. I couldn’t figure out how strongly he felt about it. With Walter, I knew he was furious, but Olivia’s involvement was more passive and so his reaction to that was less predictable. I knew he would be hurt and angry, but I didn’t know if it would be closer to how he felt about Walter, or if he was more understanding of it. It was really left open to individual interpretation.

    So I was really glad that they took a minute to show them both address that, even if it was brief. It would have been so easy for the writers to just ignore that, especially with all that was going on in this episode. But I think it was very important that they showed them both acknowledge it. It helped me get a sense of how Peter felt about it and it helped bring closure to the matter. When Peter asked how long she had known, I got the sense that that was something that has been bothering him ever since he found out. He knew that she knew, but he didn’t know how long she had known. And her reaction of instantly turning away was a perfect way to show her guilt and her remorse for keeping the secret from him. And I was glad we got to see her apologize and to have Peter dismiss it and be willing to move on. Like I said, it brought some much needed insight and closure to the matter.

    Additionally, I’ve seen many people suggest that perhaps Olivia’s speech that Peter belonged with her was all just an act on Olivia’s part in an attempt to convince Peter to come back to our side. I don’t think so. For one, that’s just not how Olivia works. Maybe alternate Olivia — we still don’t know her well enough to determine that — but definitely not our Olivia. She wouldn’t play around with someone’s feelings like that and she’s just not the kind of person who will (or even can) fake her feelings in that way. She was far too genuine and sincere. When Olivia expresses emotion, it’s the real deal. Which brings me to my next point, that we have seen Olivia come to realize the full extent of her feelings for Peter over time, especially in these last few episodes since Jacksonville. Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver was a prime example of that. It was obvious that what made the issue so much more complicated for her was her personal feelings for Peter. I still think that one of the most significant moments in that episode was when Nina boldly suggested that Olivia wasn’t prepared to lose Peter — and Olivia couldn’t deny it. In saying that, Nina hit the nail on the head and voiced the feelings Olivia had been unwilling to admit. So looking at all of that, there is absolutely no way I will believe that it was just an act by Olivia in order to convince Peter to return.

    “Episode Rating: 9.5/10″

    Finally! I can’t tell you how happy I was to see that you had rewarded this episode with a rating that I agreed with and I felt it reflected the episode well. I was going to say more about this, but I really don’t think I need to. Besides, I think I’ve just about exceeded the word limit for a single comment. So I will simply say that I felt this was an outstanding finale that represented television at its finest.

    As always, thanks for the wonderful review! I read various reviews for Fringe after each episode, but the reviews here are the ones I look forward to the most — I feel they are very complete and very honest, which sets them apart from other reviews. So thanks for putting forth the time and effort to developing these reviews each week.

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    • says

      mlj,

      I agree that Peter agreeing to go home with Walternate was slightly hasty, but for me it wasn’t nearly as hasty as his decision to leave. He just got there! :) I can understand why he left our world – he had just found out that his whole life was a lie (to a large degree) and realized that he had a chance to go home to see his mom – a chance to belong and an opportunity to find meaning again. I feel that his motivation to jump ship wasn’t as well fleshed out as his reasons for setting sail with Walternate. I still put this largely down to plot contrivance, what with it being the season finale and the decision to set up a very specific ending to boost us into the third chapter. On the whole, it seems to me that Peter is still being used as a device rather than a wholly realized character.

      I accept the point about Peter’s heart being in the place where he’s made relationships, and as a concept I do like the idea that (as Zee mentioned above) Peter is now getting to choose where he wants to be. I just don’t understand how he can hop-skip and jump his way back on what seemed like a whim (or a kiss). The world wasn’t going to end if he took another 30 minutes to think things through rationally. It seems like all it takes to win Peter over these days is for someone (preferably a hot blonde or a doting mother/father) to tell him that he belongs to them (AKA they love him). And again, I kinda like the idea that he’s looking for that connection, I just feel that he could have done a bit better with the unique opportunity that he had.

      While your points are of course valid, I feel that we’re coming at this from two different angles (so what’s new, eh!? :P ), but it’s great to see your perspective on this.

      Re: Bellie. I agree that we never really got conclusive evidence that he was up to no good, but I do feel that when writers set a character up like that, the intent is to make them bit more complicated than Bellie ultimately ended up being (imo). I too kept an open mind that he might have had altruistic strokes, but in the end I think they came down to heavily on painting him as a good guy for me to be able to swallow it in one gulp. As you suggest, I think they would have left us with a more balanced, or murky, view of the guy had they had the time to explore the character. And who knows, we may yet get an animated Bell. ;)

      “Interesting. While you seem to have interpreted his comment to be referring to the cases they have worked on, I viewed it in a larger, more personal sense. I got the impression that he was suggesting that Olivia seems to be motivated a lot by some sense of obligation or duty to fix all the wrongs in the world, almost as if they were her responsibility. In that sense, they would be considered “imaginary wrongs” because it isn’t something she is responsible for. But it does feel like that’s what she’s doing — as if she has imagined this great mistake or wrong thing that she is constantly fighting against. Like all these things they are up against all represent something greater. I don’t know if I’m making any sense in explaining my view on this one, but it makes sense in my head and I felt like it was a very accurate, perceptive description of her and her actions and how she seems to take personal responsibility for things that aren’t her fault.”

      I agree, these ‘wrongs’ aren’t necessarily Olivia’s fault. That said, I meant that they may not be ‘imaginary’ in the sense that these wrongs do exist, from Olivia’s perspective, whether they are created by Olivia or other people. But I totally get what you mean and I like the point you made about Olivia personalizing the ills of the world. It must be tough being a universe gate-keeper!

      Re: Olivia’s ‘you belong to me’ speech. I agree, she meant it, there’s no way that was an act. As you said, that’s not Olivia’s style, not when she’s in that emotional spot.

      I enjoyed reading your thoughts mlj – I’m still amazed at how differently we see things at times, although at the same time, I also believe that our perspectives are often not that disparate. It’s been fun, thanks for sharing your views, long or short, it’s all great!

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      • mlj102 says

        “The world wasn’t going to end if he took another 30 minutes to think things through rationally.”

        I would be careful joking about the end of the world in a show like Fringe, particularly this episode, where the fate of the world — two worlds — really is in jeopardy. :)

        While, yes, it’s likely the world wouldn’t end if Peter took some time to think things through or to talk to alternate Elizabeth or even Walternate, we also have no way of knowing what would have happened. If nothing else, Olivia, Walter, and Bell were in danger because Walternate was looking for the “monsters in [their] skin”. Would Peter have been able to convince Walternate to let them go if Walternate had managed to apprehend them? Would Walternate have forced Peter to make the weapon work? Would Walternate have made Peter agree to stay on the other side in exchange for letting Olivia and the others go? We have no way of knowing. I agree with you that, ultimately, Walternate is a good guy who is simply being led by a misguided need for revenge. But because of that desire for revenge, I think he truly despises anyone from our side and he truly believes it when he tells alternate Olivia that they’re invaders without peaceful intent, monsters who can’t be trusted. So I don’t think he would be very kind or easy going or understanding or merciful to anyone from our side that he managed to capture.

        So while I agree with you that it was a decision that should have been well thought out, and I agree that Peter could have at least said goodbye to alternate Elizabeth, I also think that the smartest choice in that situation was to try to get out of there before the agents from the other side could track them down and apprehend them. Once safely back on our side, he could have time to consider things, process the facts, and maybe even look into a way to communicate with alternate Elizabeth or Walternate. But they simply couldn’t take the risk to do that right then. There was too much at stake.

        “I’m still amazed at how differently we see things at times, although at the same time, I also believe that our perspectives are often not that disparate.”

        It’s so true! I often get the feeling that we really have very similar opinions, just slightly different… Hey, wait a minute; are we both in the same reality here?

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      • Molly says

        Here’s a point that you have yet to mention. Ever since Peter found out that Walter stole him from the other side, he felt that he didn’t belong. Then he got to the other side, and didn’t feel that he was supposed to be there either. Peter is a man of very few personal connections. And if he loves Olivia, that connection alone could give him a sense of belonging somewhere. It doesn’t necessarily mean that he picked one universe over the other, but that he wanted to be with someone that he had a stong connection with, no matter where they were going.
        The way I see it, once Peter finds out about Altlivia, he’ll head right back to the AU to find Olivia. Altlivia might be the mirror image of Olivia, but she is not the person that Peter fell for, and he will need to have that person back.

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        • Jodie says

          Molly, I really agree with this. I think that if Olivia had told Peter the truth and told him how she felt, then he never would have left Boston. Peter has spent most of his adult life searching for a place that he felt he belonged to. Even though it must have been wonderful to see his mother, I think that it is obvious that there wasn’t a strong connection. He barely remembers her. I think that Peter stayed in Boston originally because of Olivia, and now that she has finally told him how she feels, he will follow her anywhere.

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  21. Jenn says

    Two stray thoughts:
    1. Shouldn’t they have brought poor Peter’s mother back with them? That poor, poor woman!
    2. I could pinpoint exactly when Anna’s hair stopped being a wig. Her bangs were the giveaway.

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    • mlj102 says

      “I could pinpoint exactly when Anna’s hair stopped being a wig. Her bangs were the giveaway.”

      Really? I don’t think her alternate hair ever stopped being a wig… There have been pictures of Anna Torv at the FOX upfronts this last week and her hair was normal and blonde. I highly doubt she dyed her hair for part of the finale, then dyed it back blonde, only to have to wear a wig or dye it again when the show starts filming for Season 3 in a month or so… I think the alternate hair style was a wig the whole time…

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    • says

      Jenn,

      I’m not sure Eliznate would want to leave her world. But I think that Peter should have at least said goodbye. What a GREAT son he is..

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  22. jade86 says

    Hi Roco! :) About your thought towards the point “Peter going back so quickly”, i also found it out of character at first. But Peter also said he doesn’t belong to none of the two universes, so this means he won’t stay in the same place and probably in the first episodes of seson 3 he will return to the other side for different reasons:
    – His real mother
    – Our Olivia is in Walternate’s clutch
    – Peter found out he’s the missing piece to activate the machine, and this detail is too strange to live him indifferent
    – Walternate dedicated his life to build that giant machine, so i don’t think he will leave it in the dust. He must use Peter
    – We are still in war climate and Peter is the key

    So, i think Peter’s return to our side is temporary.

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    • says

      Hi jade,

      I see your point, but I have trouble with Peter believing that he would be able to come back whenever he wants. In terms of the writing, I agree that it’s a plot point and that Peter’s stay will be temporary. But in terms of a true character motivation, I find it hard to believe that Peter would leave with a view to popping back a couple of days later. (although I do think the idea of coming back may have crossed his mind, what with the growing and less consequential methods of travelling between the two worlds!). So I’m stuck between story mechanic and character motivations which I find hard to buy. :)

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  23. Belly says

    D-Roc, somewhere near the beginning of your review, you suggested that it would have been better for Peter to talk it out with Walternate. But I really feel that if Peter had told Walternate he was leaving, Walternate would have tried to stop him, probably stabbing Peter with a needle or something. Look at how much effort they went to to get him back! Including switching Olivia’s. And of course the scene at the end really shows us how angry Walternate was. Olivia could have been kept in a cell with a LIGHT, but Walternate decided to punish her for taking Peter from him. I guess, in conclusion, if Peter had went up to Walternate and said something like, “I’m leaving,” Olivia and Walter would still be looking for Peter who would be sleeping off a buttload of drugs in his locked down apartment.

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    • SF says

      Isn’t it interesting that Peter believes Olivia and the Observers over Walternate? He had only seconds to decide. I really think that somewhere deep down, when he was told he could help his dad and here are the plans that our scientists can’t figure out, he knew he was being used. I think he’s in shock, and like Roco keeps suggesting, this all must have a dream-like feeling for him. A dream of horror.

      i also like your suggestion that he was afraid of what Walternate would do if Peter tried to leave – and think you are right. Peter would be in lock-down. Besides, only three people knew he was back: AltLIz, Walternate, and AltLivia, from that side. He could easily have been imprisoned and only our side would miss him.

      The more I think of Walternate and what he did with Olivia, the more I’m afraid for her, and glad that Peter got away.

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      • mlj102 says

        “Besides, only three people knew he was back: AltLIz, Walternate, and AltLivia, from that side.”

        And don’t forget alternate Charlie! Poor guy…

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    • says

      Belly,

      You throw up a good point. What would Walternate have done had Peter confronted him? Personally, I’m not sure he would have been so forceful – he would have lost his son’s heart and mind had he forcibly done anything to hold Peter against his will. Then there’s Eliznate – how would Walternate have explained holding Peter hostage to her?

      I think Walternate’s best bet (if you can describe trying to destroy a universe in those terms) is to win Peter over, rather than make him do something against his will (assuming he can ‘make’ Peter use the Weapon).

      The scene at the end of the episode is interesting because I feel that we do have to take it with a pinch of ‘SFS’ – Season Finale Salt. I agree that Walter looked angry and that he probably doesn’t have Olivia’s best interests at heart – but it was also a cliff-hanger and those can often be misleading, or heightened versions of a character portrayal. I just think that if there’s one person who can talk some sense into Walternate then it surely has to be his son. He’s a child of two worlds – if anyone is in a position to bring about some diplomacy, then it has to be the Boy Wonder. Sure, he would have been taking a risk, but a risk worth taking, in my book. Instead, he may have made Walternate’s perception of the ‘monsters under our skin’ worse by leaving with them without so much as a note. Just like Walter before him, Peter fails to leave a note and opts for the more damaging route. Those Bishops.

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  24. Cindy says

    This is a great review. It has not left out any detail about this great episode. Since discovering this blog, I always loved your captions.

    It’s probably obvious that alt-Olivia would cross over to carry out Walternate’s orders. But it never occurred to me that Walternate would be so cruel to lock up Olivia in the dark. Is that how they deal with prisoners of war? For a man who is not a lover of war, has a funny of showing it.

    Olivia will not be same coming out this experience. By now she would have been betrayed by a variation of every man in her life, with the exception of Peter. John Scott
    Shape-changing Charlie
    Broyles for not revealing the other Cortexiphan kids
    Walternate

    Great acting moments:
    Peter learning of Olivia’s affection for him.
    Walter’s reaction to Bell’s “sacrifce”
    Olivia’s family vs Olivia’s family…Is that Mom?
    Peter to Astrid – I’m sorry I made you nervous.

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    • says

      “But it never occurred to me that Walternate would be so cruel to lock up Olivia in the dark. Is that how they deal with prisoners of war? For a man who is not a lover of war, has a funny of showing it.”

      He he, good point. :) He probably sees it as a necessary evil. They took his son (or persuaded him to leave, in his eyes), so he takes their star player. He may or may not be a lover of war, but he knows how to play the game.

      Great point – how will this imprisonment affect Olive in the long run?

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  25. Elaine says

    “What did Bell mean when he told Peter “you’re holding up better than I would’ve thought”. Does it relate to his ability to operate the weapon, or something else? We’ve suspected for some time that he’s been modified in some way, this episode gave further reason to think that.”

    It does, doesn’t it? Until proven otherwise, (which I’m sure the writers will) I maintain that alt–our Peter’s illness as a child had more to do with Walternate’s meddling of his DNA than any inherited illness. Was he always planning to use Peter as a power source to destroy our world? And wouldn’t this suggest that the troubles of the alt/universe began before Walter abducted Peter?

    Whatever Bell knew about Peter’s health seems to coincide with Walter’s comment to Peter in ‘Safe’ about his having no idea what he’s capable of. The way Bell stated it, it came across (at least to me) as if he thought Walter had perhaps already informed Peter of what abilities he posseses. Or, that his surprise in how well Peter’s held up is because he knows that without treatment, his health will begin to fail him again. I don’t know…talk about ambigious and full of promise.

    Great review as always, Roco.

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    • Jodie says

      “I maintain that alt–our Peter’s illness as a child had more to do with Walternate’s meddling of his DNA than any inherited illness.”

      I’ve always thought that too, and now that we’ve seen the Observer’s prophecy, altering Peter becomes easier since he was given the correct DNA sequence in order to modify Peter. But now I’m been wondering about who designed and built the wave sink. Nina said that the design was William’s, yet we know that he was stealing technology from the other side and Walternate said that the machine was very old technology. It sounded like he hadn’t had it built. In Part 1, I thought that he’d gotten hold of the Observer’s prophecy and built the weapon, but now I’m not sure.

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      • Fringefan1991 says

        Good point. Maybe the original designer of the wave sink was the alternate williams bell (he could have made it before his car accident). Walternate uncovered the drawings, realized the potential of the device, and altered Peter’s DNA to be the key component. Then since our william bell has been on the other side for a while he could have modified the device to Walternate’s specifications. This would have allowed bell to know about what was done to Peter. Still this is only a theory.

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    • says

      Great points Elaine. It’s indeed interesting to consider whether Peter’s illness was nature or nurture, if you will. If (and it’s a big “if”) Walternate was always planning to use Peter as a power source, I have to wonder why he would use his own son – why not use a clone or a random soul. With this concept in mind, would this continue to suggest that Peter has some innate ability that made him predisposed for Walternate’s plans?

      I agree that the idea of Walternate trying to build a ‘Super Son’ would lend itself to the idea that the troubles of the AU pre-date Walter’s meddling.

      The sticking point might be the fact that Walter’s Peter also got ill. Although as I mentioned elsewhere, perhaps the idea is that the act of Peternate getting ill intrinsically caused Peter to also become ill, thus turning the tables as far as the appropriation of guilt is concerned. That said, there are many different possibilities – including the idea that the meddling of both Walter’s made their respective sons sick).

      As a story device, I kinda like the idea of fate dooming both Peters to have this illness. But at the same time, it’s perhaps interesting to consider whether the actions of either Walternate or Walter impacted not only on the lives of their respective sons, but on the their sons from another mother earth, prior to the kidnap.

      I agree, Bell’s role in this is also interesting, especially considering the other one (apparently) never met Walternate.

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  26. Elaine says

    I forgot to add that while I thought between the writing and Nimoy’s performance, Bell was seamlessly woven into the fabric of the story, complete with his history with Walter…I was a bit disappointed more questions weren’t asked by Olivia and Walter regarding how long Bell’s been in the alt world? How Walternate came to know that he took pieces of Walter’s brain that contained knowledge of how to open a door? Once he did, why wasn’t Bell either killed or imprisoned? How would Walternate know that Bell intended to bring Olivia over to give her instructions on where to find Newton? Did Bell go in to hiding after his meeting with Olivia, which would explain why he hadn’t returned Nina’s messages? And wouldn’t they have found Newton’s head eventually seeing they were systematically making their way down the East coast hitting every cryogenic lab until they located what they were after? Lastly, why would Nina still be contacting him with updates on mind control (‘Of Human Action’) unless he was intending to use that information somehow?

    So many lose threads regarding Bell that I fear won’t ever be cleared up.

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    • Jacksonheights says

      It would seem that the producers casting choice of having Leonard Nimoy portray William Bell wasn’t the stroke of genius that they would like us to believe, due to his retirement. It was impossible to make total sense of the character in the final episode. You are correct that only William Bell knew where the parts of Walters brain were located. Also if they knew Walter was coming for Peter due to monitoring William Bells transmissions and Bell went into hiding couldn’t they track his show me and see he was headed to Boston and stop him. That being said the writers wrote the best they could to sum up his character which will always be a bit ambigous.

      What I still need clarity on is Walternate not knowing about Olivia and Peter’s relationship ( I mean even working as partners). If I waited “20” or “25” in our universe to retrieve my son and hook him up to a death machine I would require my people to give me a complete dossier on the people he is closest to in his world. When Peter heard Altiivia’s name it seemed as if it was the first time he had suspected he may have an opportunity to exploit their relationship. I can’t imagine a man of Walternates abilities not having a back up plan if Peter found out about his machine. With this in mind Newton knew how Olivia felt from Gray Matters when he stated Olivia was weak when she chose saving Walters life over capturing Newton.

      All that being said it was an exciting episode and for someone who thought that the P/O moment would make the show jump the shark..I was wrong, I even rooted for them to kiss. It surprised me more than anyone great writing job just fill in some holes for us.

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    • FinChase says

      I thought it might have something to do with the Fringe Division/DOD monitoring communications. However, I still don’t understand how the meeting between Olivia and Bell was set up in the first place. Nina says she sent messages but had no idea if he received them because she never heard anything back. So how would he be able to tell Nina to instruct Olivia to drive to this specific hotel? Did Nina send Bell a message saying that she’d set up this meeting at this time and place, and would he please return and talk to Olivia because Nina was running out of ways to deflect her questions?

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    • mlj102 says

      Wow, Elaine — you brought up a lot of intriguing questions about Bell.

      “And wouldn’t they have found Newton’s head eventually seeing they were systematically making their way down the East coast hitting every cryogenic lab until they located what they were after?”

      I think it’s clear that they ultimately would have been able to find Newton’s head — and that’s exactly why Bell brought Olivia over here and warned her, so that hopefully she would be able to find it before they did. So while they would have been able to find it eventually, it was more convenient for them that they were able to find out from Olivia and to get there before she could.

      A lot is unclear about the relationship between Walternate and Bell. Did Walternate even know that Bell was from our side? There’s no reason why Bell would have had to admit about where he came from, is there? If there was no Bell on the other side for years and alternate Bell never knew Walternate, in theory, Bell could have been able to go over there and assume alternate Bell’s identity in some way. Either way, it’s quite possible that Walternate was unaware of all that Bell was doing for our side — it’s possible that Bell was going behind his back (like with how he supplied Fringe Division with the less effective weapon). I imagine Bell could have done quite a bit to convince Walternate that he was working for him and helping him, when in reality, he was working against him.

      So, yes, there are still a lot of unresolved questions about Bell, but I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss them all and think they won’t ever be answered. There’s still all of next season, if not more, and I have a feeling that, while Bell may be gone, he won’t be forgotten. This whole series we’ve heard of Bell far more frequently than we ever saw him. There’s no reason they can’t continue to address these questions without him being around.

      Also, I think it’s easy to focus on all the questions that remain unanswered, but I think it’s important to recognize and acknowledge that there were many questions that were answered. We found out what Bell meant when he said he may never be able to come back to our side, we found out why Bell removed parts of Walter’s brain (for those who can trust Bell, anyway), and we found out what he was doing over there. It’s not like they didn’t address any of the questions surrounding Bell…

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  27. Con says

    I can believe Peter coming back, and even leaving his mom, because I think he feels betrayed. He seems to think that the only reason Walternate came for him was to use him. So it would make sense for him to think that Elizabeth was in on it as well, hence his “I don’t belong here” comment. He doesn’t trust anything that’s happened since he came back. Personally, I don’t think she was in on it, but I can see how Peter would make that jump.

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  28. Frobozz says

    Wonderful season, wonderful finale. Not perfect, but good. I think we’re just going to have to accept that we are NOT going to get all the answers we want (right from the Zeno canoe to the hand chips). I think ZFT is a closed chapter.

    Some thoughts about the “wave sink”. Walter and Nina thought it was Bell’s design. Walternate claims it was “old technology.” What does that mean? Did Bell actually build this thing for Walternate or not? Or did he just “update” it for Walternate? Does this tie into the “First People” thing in the intro (and Walter’s speculation about “aliens”)? In season 1’s finale we found out that fringe events were traced back over 40 years. The Trippy Hippy claimed she was seeing people (implied to be shape-shifters) from the other side since either Peter or Peternate’s childhood…which means what?

    I thought Bell’s outro was more than a little rushed. Can’t see how he’s redeemed at all…he’s always been a shadowy character. Right up at the end we find out he was working for Walternate. He helped create the shape-shifters? That explains the “omega” symbol, but doesn’t explain why Newton was decapitated or why he thought Nina would recognize the symbol and be able to help. The Bell character was always a wildcard that I think was limited thanks to the choice of Nimoy as the actor, since he was older than Walter and headed for retirement (this doesn’t mean I don’t like what Nimoy did…he’s a fine actor and was a great Bell, I just think the role could have been so much more). But then again there is lots left unexplained in this show (Zeno?). Seems like they did a lot of fast writing to tie up Bell’s character…TOO fast. I simply don’t buy that he lobotomized Walter (AFTER Walter was already committed) because Walter wanted him to. We saw in “Peter” that pre-lobotomy Walter was a pretty decent guy after all. And in the end what was the point? Walternate and his shifters likely found out about the brain pieces from Bell himself. It’s obvious Bell was playing BOTH sides in this.

    Concerning Altlivia on our side…recall that in “Momentum Deferred” that Bell said that the shape-shifters were called “the first wave” of an invasion force. Are the tattooed alternates the second wave? If Walternate was invading and there was to be more than just a first wave, why the big evil mystery machine?

    Anyway, looking forward to season 3. This is going to be a great ride…those of us X-Files fans just need to accept that not every dot is going to have a line between it (which, ironically, was what caused the X-Files to get so top heavy by the end).

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    • mlj102 says

      “I think we’re just going to have to accept that we are NOT going to get all the answers we want (right from the Zeno canoe to the hand chips). I think ZFT is a closed chapter.”

      I don’t understand why some people are so quick to jump to this conclusion. The show is not over — there’s at least one full season left to go, if not more. Just because they haven’t addressed those things yet doesn’t mean they’ve completely given up on those concepts and they won’t come back to them. In the double finale episode alone we got subtle references back to ZFT, the Cortexiphan Kids, Olivia’s glimpses to the other side in Road Not Taken, the monster attacking Charlie in Unleashed, and the people trapped in amber from The Ghost Network. I was quite impressed with how many themes were revisited, even if they didn’t completely expound upon them or blatantly answer a lot of questions about them. What’s important (to me) is that they brought those things back, showing that they do connect and they weren’t simply some insignificant thing that will never be seen again. I just don’t think there’s any reason to think questions from Season 1 are going to be ignored. There’s still time and I plan on patiently waiting to see what Season 3 and other future seasons do before I give up on the writers/producers. There’s still time, so why act like it’s all over?

      “In season 1’s finale we found out that fringe events were traced back over 40 years.”

      Are you the same person who mentioned this in another topic? Because I still can’t find anything in the Season 1 finale that indicates that Fringe events were recorded back to 40 years…

      “We saw in “Peter” that pre-lobotomy Walter was a pretty decent guy after all.”

      Oh yeah, he was a great guy. He only ignored all the risks and crossed to another universe and ultimately decided to keep a son who wasn’t his. That’s the definition of greatness… Personally, I thought 1985 Walter was rather arrogant and selfish. Yes, he also had his redeeming qualities, but that doesn’t mean he was a great guy. I can definitely see how he could have continued to progress down the wrong path, becoming more consumed in science and the qualities that would have made him a “bad” person. Honestly, we just don’t know enough about the full situation to know fully what kind of a person he was becoming when Bell removed the pieces of his brain. But it’s been implied that, ever since he went and got Peter, he was going downhill even more. He was an unavailable father and husband (leading Elizabeth to ultimately counsel Peter to be a better man than his father), absorbed in his work, and he was quite possibly responsible for the death of his lab assistant. And who knows what else? As far as I’m concerned, all the facts we know about pre-St. Claire’s Walter is that he was heading downhill fast. As Olivia told Peter in Grey Matters, from what I can tell, going crazy made Walter a better person.

      “It’s obvious Bell was playing BOTH sides in this.”

      Of course he was. As he told Walter, he felt obligated to provide a certain amount of support to Walternate in order to get his trust and be able to hopefully help our side. Does that make it right for him to have developed the shapeshifters, etc.? No. But that doesn’t mean that he didn’t believe that his actions were ultimately for the greater good of our world. He seems to have thought that was the best choice he had. He may have been playing both sides, but what matters is which side he ultimately worked for — and I think the events of this finale and his actions showed that he was working for our side with the best interests of our side in mind.

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      • Frobozz says

        Quite possibly me. Rewatch the part where Olivia is “connecting the dots” on the screen and has ordered all the documentation on all fringe events. I thought Broyles mentioned it went back a long time? I will re-watch this myself and confirm. I still don’t think the Hippy Girl’s time matches the abduction event.

        And I still say pre-lobotomy Walter was not a bad man. Sadly we can’t say what Walternate was like back then. Walter just “missed his son.”

        As for Zeno, ZFT et al…I maintain that these are just throw-aways from season 1. Season 1 plays like a different show to me than Season 2. At the end of Season 1 Walter was eager to exonerate William Bell with the ZFT ethics chapter…this season he hates Bell. Character progression? Maybe. But ZFT was an organization. It wasn’t just David Robert Jones and his lackeys. They vanished for ALL of Season 2 save Walternate’s “ZFT”, which was just propaganda. ZFT and the chip people all feel like story lines that were completely dropped (along with “Fat Eddie”). The Pattern was totally abandoned, getting only an off-hand mention from Walter at the end of “Peter.” Heck, wouldn’t have all those throw-away episodes like “Night of Desirable Blah” have been slightly more palatable if related to the Pattern instead of random monster of the week?

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  29. Paulina says

    Great review. Pretty much agree with everything especially the rating and Best Performer being Anna Torv.

    “Interesting that Walter should instinctively locate the “Doorstop” while chastising Bellie for taking his memories.”

    I’m glad you noted this. A case of ‘when you’re not actively looking for something, you’ll find it.’

    And that’s usually how Olivia’s powers manifest themselves right? She seems to unintentionally find herself in situations where her abilities become unlocked. And oh boy does she need some unlocking right about now. I want to see her fear in that cell make her burn another room, really.

    Also if Peter has ‘Peter’s daddies issues’ then Olivia definitely has some ‘Peter’s daddies issues’ too. Tormented as a child by Walter (and Bell) and now it’s Walternate’s turn? She’s going to be even more “haunted” and bruised when Peter finds her again (because he better — “find the crack” and all that).

    Also thanks for mentioning the Twizzlers. I couldn’t help but notice that in the re-watch as a nice little detail. You can just see Bell and Walter chewing on kid’s candy back in the day as they discuss super-intense-physics-that-nobody-else-understands!

    And yeah, Walternate loves Peter but the revenge plan is at the top of his priorities. You could even say that he thought that his love for Peter and his revenge plan would end up being one in the same as I think he’d counted on Peter not having any ties to our side and expected Peter to share his bitterness against Walter and our world. (But not completely counted on it maybe, having kept information about the device from Peter — why share the schematics in the first place is a thing I still wonder)

    Walternate keeps alot of specific information from specific people. I would like to get a better read on him by seeing him be honest with someone, even if it’s just Newton and the shape-shifting soldiers. This Secretive Secretary thing just makes it hard for me not to see him as much more than deceptive and sadistic especially after seeing how heartbroken Olivia was. But then, again, Walter had asked Bell to take out his memories because he was afraid of what he’d become and apparently this is what kind of Walter you get when he’s not in a mental institution for 17 years. Walternate has the qualities of arrogance and pride that we still see sometimes in Walter. So Walternate hasn’t been humbled by memory loss, etc. No storm scene for him like in King Lear.

    And yeah, I want to see some Emmys coming to this show especially for John Noble. And yay for more Kirk Acevedo indeed.

    Oh, and Peter coming back so quickly I kind deal with if we get some real emotional payoff in the beginning of S3 (missing his mother, etc.) Maybe Olivia told him after their kissy-kissy offscreen about the doorstop and how this might be his only chance to cross over.

    Great review. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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    • LizW65 says

      Real random, O/T thought here: John Noble would make a fantastic Lear, wouldn’t he? With maybe David Tennant as Edgar…

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  30. Ellen says

    Wonderful episode! Can we hope that Charlienate will be back again? It was wonderful to see the character return, and Olivia have another partner who is just a good cop, not paranormal in any way.

    I do think the conclusion with Bell was driven by Nimoy’s retirement, and the writers might have done something deeper and more elegant if they’d had more screen time to work with. As is, it was satisfying… Redemption by self-sacrifice. Poor Nina, though!

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  31. says

    Thank you for your very complete and totally enjoyable review, Roco. You had me laughing out loud at my computer. Here are some of my thoughts on the episode and the review:

    Peter going back so quickly: I have to disagree with you on this. I think he wouldn’t hesitate going back once he learned of Walternate’s true plans for the machine and that he likely wouldn’t survive. He’s seen the things that have been happening over here, what Newton is capable of, what damage the shape shifters have done and knows that Walternate is behind them. Then he sees for himself that the device can only work with him. And he then gets information (from a source that he does trust) about what the device can actually do. As has been said previously, Peter was always closer to his mother (Elizanate) than to Walternate, and he’d only been with Walternate for a few hours over there. The man didn’t even stay around until Peter woke up. So all that, in and of itself would make him not want to stick around (IMHO). Add in the realization that life as he knew it would always be different and uncomfortable for him over there because of the differences in the universes, subtle though they were. And then top it off with Olivia’s declaration and that humdinger of a kiss…well, who can blame the guy for realizing he made a huge mistake and wanting to return to the home he belongs in. Anger and betrayal fueled his trip over, logic, reason, and relationships fueled his return.

    The doorstop: I’m with you on that one. Seems totally contrived to me.

    “What did Bell mean when he told Peter “you’re holding up better than I would’ve thought”. Does it relate to his ability to operate the weapon, or something else?” I guess I took this very differently than everyone else. To me I think he was empathizing with Peter and the situation he was in. Taken from his true parents when he was young, Walter going insane, his mother’s suicide (on this side), the betrayal by Walter, then being reunited with his real mom and dad only to realize he was being used and that Walternate’s reasons for bringing him home were totally hollow, leaving his mother again, etc. The guy’s been through the wringer emotionally and he is ‘holding up’ amazing well, considering all that’s gone on. I know many think that there is a bigger significance to Bell’s words, but I think it’s just showing that Bell does truly care for Peter. I felt it brought Bell even more firmly into the family. Might be completely wrong but that was my first impression of it.

    “Olivia’s gift is to “open the Door” between universes, although Walter didn’t say whether that is the limit of her powers. Previous episodes suggest it is not.” This got me thinking that maybe Walter is not the one who started the destruction of the fabric between the universes…maybe it was Olivia. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t that hippy chick (forget her name) see the soldiers from the AU back when Olivia was little? Maybe Olivia opened a door and the AU soldiers started coming in through it. Just a thought. I also agree with you in that she has many other capabilities. She’s the only one who could resist Nick’s telepathy, she can start fires, she can turn on lights with her brain and I’m thinking that even if Heath had touched her, she probably wouldn’t have gotten cancer like everyone else.

    “Over There, Bellie is just another face – an inventor of wondrous and destructive things, but not front page news.” I wouldn’t say he’s just another face OT. He showed his ID to that nurse and she certainly jumped to attention. Even if he’s not instantly recognizable to folks OT, he obviously is a very important person and has a lot of clout.

    “Can someone get Dunham a badge that simply reads: “AWESOME”. ” You crack me up! Love it.

    I’m sure you’ll touch on the Sam Weiss connection in your observations, but here’s my thinking on it. Alterbell never really died in a car crash (isn’t a car crash always just way too convenient??) but came over here and uses the technology that they used in Edina (or something similar) to take on the persona of our boy Sam. Which could explain why Walternate would have an anagram saying “Don’t trust Sam Weiss”.

    Again, great review. I think I’m going to watch both parts 1 and 2 consecutively tonight and see what else I catch.

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    • LizW65 says

      “Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t that hippy chick (forget her name) see the soldiers from the AU back when Olivia was little?”

      Her name was Rebecca Kibner, and what she said was that she remembered Peter as a baby. NOT the language one would normally use to describe a seven-year-old (or older) child, not to mention that Peter clearly didn’t recognize her, so yeah, it definitely suggests that the shapeshifters predated Peter’s abduction by some years, and were likely crossing over by 1979 if not earlier.

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  32. Jo says

    I also have disagree that Peter going back so quickly (and without talking to Walternate) was unreasonable or that his motivations are unclear. Olivia is telling him, and he has good reason to believe, that he is in danger, and that Walternate is planning on using him to destroy another universe. If Walternate needs him to power the machine, it makes perfect sense that his first instinct is to get out of that universe and as far away from the machine as possible as quickly as possible. And it definitely wouldn’t make sense to talk to Walternate about that decision, since, once again, he believes that Walternate is a liar who was about to kill him and destroy an entire universe. You may not think that Walternate would forcibly harm his son, but Peter has no reason to believe that to be true, and is actually basically being told the opposite. Olivia has also probably told him that she and Walter are in danger and on the run, and that this may be their one opportunity to get back to the other side. So if he’s going to go he has to go right away; it’s not like he has time to say goodbye to his mother, even if he wanted to, or, given what he thinks he knows about Walternate, thinks that it would be safe to alert her to his plan to leave, lest she warn him.

    I also think it’s consistent with what we know about Peter and where we saw him emotionally throughout the episode. We know Peter is a runner, both from what we know about his pre-Fringe life and from his behavior at the end of TMFTOS. I think when Peter realizes Walternate’s deception he’s basically jumps, emotionally, to the exact same place he was in when he took off at the end of TMFTOS : once again lied to by a Walter, once again about to become the unwitting source of a Walter destroying another universe, and depending on what he’s thinking about his mother’s complicity, maybe even once again betrayed by the one person he does trust. So it’s not surprising that in both situations his reaction is the same: to run away, without speaking to the people he feels have betrayed him. Perhaps in both cases he would have been better off hearing the Walter in question out, but at least in this case I think that’s probably not true—he knows now that at worst Walternate’s intentions for him and the other universe are fatal and, even if his intentions are not that grave, he still has no reason to trust anything Walternate says.

    And I think the episode did a good job of showing us where Peter was emotionally, and why he would choose to go with Olivia (and not because she gave him some sugar). Apparently we’ll never know, but I think Peter probably had two main reasons for going over to the alternate universe—to be reunited with his real family, and hopefully find a place for himself with them where he finally feels at home; and to help “heal” the problems of the two universes, which would allow him to both regain the purpose he had found working with the Fringe team and help solve a problem he might feel some sense of responsibility for, since it was supposedly his kidnapping that caused it. Walternate’s lie basically kills both of those reasons: his real father sucks as well, and with respect to his mother, their beautiful meeting may be tainted by his fear/assumption that she was complicit in Walternate’s lie, much like Olivia was complicit in keeping Walter’s secret. And he’s not actually going to help heal anything, so there went purpose and the ability to make up for his unwitting role in the destruction of that universe in the first place. Plus, I think they did a nice job of showing Peter already regretting at least parts of his decision to leave throughout the episode, and that outside of the scenes with his mother, he definitely felt out of place. It was also clear that while he was still hurt by her betrayal, he obviously really missed Olivia, and some of his doubt/regret was springing from that, and that he didn’t actually hate Walter. So I think he’s in a good position to believe Olivia when she says that he belongs with her, or even just to hope that it’s true.

    Of course, all of this would have been clearer if they had let us see the conversation Peter had with Walternate at the end of Northwest Passage, so we didn’t have to guess at his motivations, or even just the discussion with Olivia about the need to leave right away and therefore not say goodbye to his mother, but it appears that we are destined to never see Peter make life-changing decisions, just everyone else’s reactions to them.

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    • annon says

      Great post Jo. You bring up some valid points and I love what you said in the last paragraph. The writers really dropped the ball on letting us see how Peter came to make those decisions.

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  33. anita says

    BRILLIANT OBSERVATIONS AS ALWAYS… gotta disagree with a few(first time-sorry) and also you missed a couple things:
    –THE SWAP at end was obvious from the moment we saw the ‘on-the-nose’ shot of Olivinate’s tatt in previous ep!
    –and THEY(Bad Robert) CHEATED. The O’s wear the same clothes? Hello? They are too different for that.
    AND…
    At the swap our Olivia had a red undershirt, O-nate had white. 15 seconds later after shoot-out etc O-nate had red…. don’t cheat prod crew please.

    –MISSED… BELLIE FLASHING CARD AT HOSP NURSE AND HER ACTING ALL SUPER SORRY… what the? Like she’s be impressed with a business card of some old guy who made a few weapons for the sec of state???? He’d of gotten a short-shift from a nurse like that.
    SOMETHING IS REALLY UP THERE. I SUSPECT BELLIE IS TOP BRASS MILITARY HEAD OR PRESIDENT… AND IN THAT DANGEROUS WORLD THE FACE OF THE IDENTITY OF THE REAL PUPPET MASTERS IS KEPT SECRET FOR SECURITY, AND THEY HAVE A SPECIAL CODED ID THEY FLASH WHEN NECESSARY.(probably not so far from our true world)
    –SOMETHING NOT RIGHT ABOUT Bellie… think there is much more going on there than meets the eye… think the going back power thing was orchestrated, knowing O-nate had no power, (and assuming there was a plan in place which there certainly alluded to)Bellie had to step in to take up the slack.
    Bellie might be unwilling co-con with Walter-nate, or mastermind, or unknowing sucker(cant believe the last)
    –The comment Bellie said to Peter…’I’m surprised your holding up so well’ might be the biggest clue of the season. It HAS to be or it was superfluous. To my mind, anything like that that stands out like a sore toe, is out of context with the moment HAS to be truly important.
    –I STILL THINK THE WALTER’S SWAPPED WITH THE PETER. AND OUR WALTER IS OUR PETER’S REAL DAD. I think rotten w-nate was on our side originally, and took over the cure, sacrificed himself, swapping with our W and sending them back to our side because he new the AU was compromised and he wanted to save a Peter and also try to fix the damage that was coming… but he became bitter.
    Walter asked Bellie to remove memories of that other side—perhaps they had the memories swapped between Walternates?

    –what if Bellie’s comment to peter relates to the extra travel between AU… as they deteriorate with each trip

    confused?

    … i still think both Peters were genetically engineered, and probably started life on same side. I think peter has had a few more ‘cross-overs’ than he even knows about.

    AND then THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY THAT PETER IS AS ROTTEN AS HIS DAD AND HAS INFILTRATED OUR SIDE TO DO HIS FATHERS BIDDING… AFTER ALL THE SHOW HAS ALLUDED TO HIS OTHER SUPER NASTY SIDE…

    peter…’ YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT i’M CAPABLE OF!’

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    • yis says

      “–The comment Bellie said to Peter…’I’m surprised your holding up so well’ might be the biggest clue of the season. It HAS to be or it was superfluous. To my mind, anything like that that stands out like a sore toe, is out of context with the moment HAS to be truly important.”

      Maybe has to do with what Peter was injected while he was “recovering” from the crossover. I truly believe that Bellie is Walternate’s ally, maybe Peter was injected with cortexiphan or something and Bellie is surprised that he responded well to that.

      About the swap, I didn’t find it so obvious, I mean, it could happen the other way around I though it would be harder for Olivia to reach Peter, so she maybe would have to play Altivia in front of her boyfriend and in front of the Alt Fringe Division. I guess my mind refused to create a theory where Liv would get hurt or kidnapped by Walternate. I also thought they will spent more time in the AU.

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  34. AT says

    I felt the scene near the end where Bell is sacrificing himself to save the rest of the team was very reminiscent of the scene at the end of Star Trek II:Wrath of Khan, where Spock sacrifices himself to save the others (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_91s-Zkod9Gc/S1WcfCTgpzI/AAAAAAAAHX8/mdA0NpOJj_U/s400/spock+death.jpg)

    In both cases, Nimoy is separated by a barrier (a pane of glass or the energy field), and in both cases he is saying goodbye to an old friend.

    It’s a good send-off reference, considering that this might be the last scene Nimoy plays before his retirement.

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  35. yis says

    I wonder how Altivia knew exactly where our Olivia lives, i mean, they live in different cities after all. How Walternate, assuming it was him who told her where to go, got that information? I assume it was through some shapeshifter or maybe Sam Weiss or maybe Nina Sharp…

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    • kittyofdoom says

      Maybe she looked it up in the phone book. Olivia did the same thing to find Alt-Olivia.

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    • FinChase says

      I’ve wondered that too. I’m assuming that AltLiv received some additional instructions after she knocked out Bell and captured Olivia. Things such as Olivia’s address (surely the shapeshifters have reported this), and how to contact the Secretary through the typewriter shop.

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      • LizW65 says

        Well, all she’d have to do to get the address is check Olivia’s ID, which she presumably took when she swapped shirts and jackets with her. And she already knew they kept their keys hidden in the same place.

        Soemthing else that occurred to me–I wonder exactly how much Alt-Livia has been told about her mission. Does she think she’ll only be in our world for a few days in order to complete some specific task (hence her lack of preparation), whereas in reality Walternate intends the swap to be permanent? Could get interesting if there’s a reveal of some sort of betrayal by her own side…

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      • yis says

        It’s not only that she knew the address but Oliva and her dress different and Altivia knew how Olivia use to dress, that’s not hard looking to her closet but also the way she wears a pony tail. I think she had a pretty good inside on how Olivia was.

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        • FinChase says

          Yes, she wears her hair pulled back, but she used a red tie for the pony tail. And even though she’s wearing Olivia’s suit, the collor was wrong. Olivia wears her shirt with the collar inside the jacket while AltLive had the collar of the shirt over the jacket lapels. Small details but very telling. It contributed to why I felt like the suit didn’t fit, even though it was clearly the right size.

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  36. FinChase says

    Great review, Roco!

    I’m really haunted (thanks, Peter!) by that final scene of Olivia pleading with Walternate to release her from that dark, padded room. Walternate stares at her with the icy cold detachment of a scientist studying a specimen under a microscrope. No remorse, no compassion.

    What does he want with her? After I realized that a substitution had been made, I was expecting to see that Olivia was a prisoner. The alternative–Olivia dead–was unthinkable. But I wasn’t expecting it to be like that, with Olivia in a darkened room, huddled in exactly the same position she was in on the videotape when she burned that room in Jacksonville as a child. What does he want? Information? Is he trying to break her with isolation and darkness? Or could he possible be trying to activate her abilities, to see how far they go? Does the other side even know that Olivia was treated with Cortexiphan?

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    • kittyofdoom says

      Yeah, the way Walternate was treating her, it definitely seems like he’s out for more than just leverage over Peter (which is the first motivation that came to mind for me).

      Another thing I noted on rewatching that scene is that Walternate walks down a hallway full of the same sliding window shutters that are on Olivia’s cell, and she’s wearing a grey coverall, not her clothes. Didn’t the inmates of St. Claire’s all wear grey coveralls as well? Where IS Olivia?

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      • FinChase says

        That’s a great question! That hallway reminded me of the one that we see in “Bad Dreams” and “Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver”, where Nick Lane and James Heath, and probably others were kept. In “Over There”, it seemed to be part of Massive Dynamic.

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    • Arun says

      “Does the other side even know that Olivia was treated with Cortexiphan?”

      I just thought of something! Either Cortexiphan must exist Over There, whether or not Walternate developed it, or a few special people are able to hang on to the abilities that are lost during childhood. Otherwise how else would Olivia see the bodies of Nancy Lewis and Susan Pratt when she momentarily shifted to the Other Side in The Road Not Taken? Over Here it was just Susan, but Over There it was both, and for Olivia to see similar things occurring the twins, there must be Cortexiphan Over There too. c:

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      • kittyofdoom says

        Hey, that’s a good point. We know for sure it WAS Nancy Lewis and Susan Pratt, because Olivia saw the case file for both of them. I guess it depends on how much variation there is between the universes, and if it’s plausible that they could have spontaneously combusted for a different reason. (That seems contrived and unlikely, though.) However, if Bellternate and Walternate never met, they never conducted Cortexiphan drug trials together, so was it Walternate by himself? Was it someone else entirely?

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        • fedorafadares says

          If I recall correctly, Massive Dynamic had a hand in Cortexiphan trials here — hence Nina Sharp’s knowledge of them. So although William Bell said there’s no Massive Dynamic-proper on the other side, what if Nina Sharp built a parallel company (Dassive Mynamic?) on the other side and proceeded, with Walternate’s input or blessings, to create a similar trial, the shape-shifters, Newton’s head, etc.,.

          Bell wasn’t the high-tech magnate on the other side, but maybe Nina is.

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          • LMH says

            Really like this line of thought. It would seem that abilities must exist in some form Over There, obviously, since Peter was ‘special’ presumably before being brought over to our side by Walter. Walter experimented on him after being told by September that he is important/special and cannot return to the other side probably to confirm Peter’s capabilities. Is it possible that Walter might even have enhanced what Walternate may have started? Point is, they must have some equivalent to the cortexiphan kids as soldiers…special persons with gifts like Peter’s and not just shape shifters. Since (or if) Peter’s specialness lies presumably within his DNA, they would be natural (as mentioned here that some have retained the abilities humans had in the past) but may have still needed activation by Walternate. (Our ZFT manuscript suggests that even natural abilities need activation via science, or at least that is my interpretation). Given also that pre-Peter abduction Walternate was “just like” Walter in many respects, he may have been experimenting on children on his own or with someone else. I know our Walter expressed that he was reluctant to test on children and tried to lay the bulk of the blame for the cortexiphan trials on Bell by saying they were “his trials not mine,” but he performed them anyway. Losing Peter would probably have sent Walternate (like our Walter being on the edge of morally dubious behavior) over the line which separates bad things done for the ‘right’ reasons, to those done out of pure utility for one’s own desires. Walter’s taking of Peter was a mix of selfishness and the ‘right’ reason to save Peter’s life. Walternate doesn’t seem to have that same ‘right’ reason to help him escape the charge of selfishness. Yes, he may still love Peter in some way, but his motivation seems to have been driven primarily by the desire to use his son for the machine. The revenge he sought because of the loss of his son (although the damaging fringe events over there would have added greatly to this initial injustice) leads him to use the son he lost in order to get his revenge! These might be some of the points (fair or not) that could be influencing us to see Walternate (at this point in the story) as moving much father past Walter into the Dark Side they were both capable of given their similar natures. As confirmed in this episode, Walter asked Bell to remove parts of his brain in order to prevent his moving further into the darkness.
            In short, Walternate being Walter’s double makes it likely in my mind he was creating his own human-based equivalent to the cortexiphan kids. And of course this begs the question as to what was really in Peter’s IV bag! Also, since spies have been in our universe for some time, they would know about cortexiphan’s use here. Cortexiphan amplifies the capabilities of “predisposed children,” so even if cortexiphan wasn’t used to initially create magic kids on the other side, it might enhance the natural abilities of those who had their powers already (Peter as possibly one of them) . This also begs more questions as to why certain kids from Jacksonville and Ohio were specifically chosen…hmmm…just convenient? I think not.

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            • jade86 says

              I really like your thought about Peter’s powers!
              Here is my “insane” theory.

              If he was trated with cortexiphan, his abilities needs to be reactivated with a kind of feeling. About Olivia, fear activated her. But what if ANGRY activates Peter’s abilities? This could explain why in the Pilot walter wanted to check Peter’s blood pressure, because he could soffer of arterial hypertension…..and why we didn’t see Peter particularly angry until now!
              And what if the machine needs both his DNA and his powers? Here’s why there’s fire coming from his eyes in the prophecy? Then walternate could use Olivia to activate Peter’s powers. Walternate planned the switch immediately after Alt-livia met Peter, because right after that, Walternate asked Alt-livia for a favor. He realized Olivia meant more to his son. Maybe Walternate purposely switched Olivias to bring out Peter’s abilities, lure him back & capture him.

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            • LizW65 says

              Here’s a thought: maybe on the Other Side, people with abilities exist in nature and don’t require drugs such as cortexiphan to enhance them, whereas on Our Side, the drugs are necessary to bring these abilities out. That would explain both the parallel situations and the fact that there may not have been any cortexiphan trials Over There.

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              • mlj102 says

                That’s a really good theory, Liz, and I definitely like it. However, if predisposed people on the other side naturally have their abilities (much as Walter theorizes that everyone once had natural abilities) then how come we haven’t seen evidence of anyone over there having abilities? I would think if people over there naturally manifested various abilities, it would have been something they had learned to control and it would be something they used relatively often.

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  37. says

    Okay, let me explain some things i’ve learned about the brain since I had a severe stroke at age 26. I think 90% with the RIGHT SIDE of my brain. The stroke hit the left side. I could read just as well as before, PhD level (thanks to my Mom, who is an incredible reading teacher), but I couldn’t speak at all. The “talking” part of my brain got scrambled, but things were still there, i just had to form different neural pathways to get to the information.

    My son, who was 14 months old, and is now just turned 13, had a “glitch” in the right side of his brain that kept him from going beyond a 5th/6th grade reading level. Of course, he never mentioned there was a problem there, he got a 3.0 GPA at a private school, it wasn’t until the beginning of his 7th grade year when my husband talked to a psychiatrist who used to be an educational psychologist who identified the problem. He went to tutoring and they connected the dots so to speak.

    It is interesting to note that Walter had Bell take out 3 separate parts of his brain. One part had to do w/memory, but there were two other parts that did not have to do with memory. So, he might have sent himself to St. Claire’s, but in the end that redeemed him, and forever sets him apart from Walternate.

    The banter between Walter and “Bellie” was so refreshing. You could definitely see they were very old friends, and though they hadn’t seen each other in almost 20 years, it was like they had seen each other yesterday.

    Once again, Olivia was right when she said, “I trust [Bell].” Just like she very early on in season 1 said, “I believe Walter is a good man. I trust him.”

    I did want to point out Peter’s story about his mother committing suicide may or may not be the truth. Remember, Walter called Peter to tell him his mother died in a car crash. Peter just went one step further and assumed that she had committed suicide.

    Also, Peter went back to our universe b/c he realized the truth about Walternate using him as a battery to supply the energy necessary to use the weapon. Ultimately, he recognizes that Walter went over to the Other Side the first time to save his life. In addition, he recognizes that Walter went a second time to save his life.

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    • mlj102 says

      “I did want to point out Peter’s story about his mother committing suicide may or may not be the truth. Remember, Walter called Peter to tell him his mother died in a car crash. Peter just went one step further and assumed that she had committed suicide.”

      I don’t think Peter just assumed that she had committed suicide. It’s not like Peter just found out his mother died in a car crash and decided that Walter must have been lying and it had really been suicide. That would be very foolish. He had to have had some reason or proof to come to that conclusion. I imagine that, after her death and her funeral, he began looking into it himself and as he did, he ultimately found out from the authorities that it had been a suicide and Walter had lied to him.

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      • LMH says

        I agree, for Peter the skeptic seeing is believing (though we’ve seen his skepticism greatly diminish). I would expect him to do his own fact-finding.

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  38. says

    Oh yeah, I think it may have been mentioned on here, but the anagram that rearranged means, “Don’t trust Sam Weiss,” is the clue the producers put into the ep. to foreshadow Season 3.

    I think the “Sam Weiss” that it is talking about is the old guy who keeps the shop that has the typewriter in it, and not the Sam Weiss who helped both Nina and Olivia. Remember when he was asking her to hand him a nut and he commented, “I’m older than I appear.”

    I mean one of them is Alter-Sam and the other is the Regular-Sam. Which one is which? I don’t have a clue, but I’ll bet he will play a part of what goes down early next season.

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    • kopite says

      Firstly, great review Rocco!

      I was wondering if anyone else thought that explosion just before the Fauxlivia made the switch, was caused by Olivia (Original Dunhamator). When Peter and Walter sort of looked at each other when the explosion happened? Might be reaching out, but it knocked out everyone, except Fauxlivia and Bell (can’t think of an explanation why they were saved).

      Otherwise…looking forward to season 3

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    • says

      Do you know about the clue with solid evidence or is that your speculation? I’m asking because they (the writers/producers) indicated that it would be a very subtle clue and even the most avid fans would have trouble finding it. But that was figured out fairly quickly by folks here on this blog so I have to think it’s something else.

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  39. Laura says

    The show was awesome. Really. basing upon the really short “bad” list , I definitely think Roco agrees. ;P
    I perfectly know there were plenty of very exciting moments during this season finale, but please let me remind you a couple of the most hilarious EVER:
    -Broyles laughing under Nick Lane ‘s mind effect. That man “has not been created” to laugh.
    -Peter’s face when seeing Charlienate. He wasn’t sure if to laugh or what.
    -Walter and William Bell first lines to each other, and Walter face saying “you’re old”. Good good good !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • MikeMike says

      Would’ve been interesting for Peter to tell Charlienate that a shape-shifter killed you in my world, the my Olivia killed you as a shape-shifter.

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  40. MikeMike says

    Wasn’t the exchange in the truck between Charlienate and Olivia very similar to the exchange between Olivia and Charlie before she popped a cap in him? Seems like the roles were reversed (Charlienate speaking vs Olivia), but very similar dialogue.

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    • LizW65 says

      It was almost identical to what Charlie told Olivia in the Pilot episode (assuming you’re speaking of the “we’re obsolete” speech.) It must have been rather surreal for Olivia to hear it again in such a different context.

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      • mlj102 says

        I love looking at her facial expressions during that scene — it’s obvious that she clearly remembers that conversation and is taken aback to hear it again from someone who is Charlie, but isn’t Charlie. And I could see how it made her sad to have that memory of her Charlie along with the fact that someone who looked like Charlie was sitting right next to her and using his same words. Olivia meeting alternate Charlie was something I hadn’t even considered would happen, so it was a complete surprise to me when she turned around and was face to face with him. I thought Anna Torv did a great job at conveying that surprise and sorrow, while also showing that she was trying to conceal it.

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        • FinChase says

          Yes, it was really well done. As if being in a life-and-death struggle with your double wasn’t enough drama for one day, she then gets to come face-to-face with her dead best friend’s double! You know your life is really difficult when even the Observers pity you, as they did in “August”.

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  41. FringeFan2009 says

    Hey Roco, your review was awesome! I think this is the first time in which I pretty much agree with everything that you said. This episode was fu*&(*^ing phenomenal, if not the best Fringe episode ever made. They don’t even make movies on the big screen this good at times. Anyways, I’m really tired right now so I can’t really talk in a rational manner, but I have to give you kudos to something really important and that is the humor that you put forward in your reviews, thanks ROCO!

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  42. Xochitl says

    Rocco you are just awesome! really this was one hell of review! I agree mostly on what you said, possibly my only dissagreement would be with Peter’s reasons to return to our side; the helicopte scene, while he sees all those differences between his side and ours, the scene with Alt!livia, ( I hated him for a second there for calling Olivia hunted! I felt like he was judging her somehow, like he was making her sound bad, I felt offended, but I understand why he said it, indeed is the best description for our olivia) he had this raw emotion in his voice when saying “maybe she is not like you” or something like that, I didn’t see it until your review like he forgave her at that moment, which I think you are right, more like there he realized he didn’t belonged there, which brings me to the kiss (I’m still jumping from that one) when Olivia delivers that awesome line his eyes change for a second, he expected Olivia to say a thousand of things to make him go back, things related to duty and right not love and belonging, I think he was incredible surprise that Olivia for once left every wall crumble and allow herslef to reach our for him, she convinced him with the only logical reason he would be convinced right now, not walter, no war, no , her, so with all this I think he pretty much was just waiting for a pretext to return and Olivia gave him the best, it reinforces my previous thought that he didn’t say anything to olivia about leaving after TMFTOS because if he talked to her or saw her he would have never left, I Know it can even sound cheesy but for once I feel like I get to know Peter, and since the beginning of season two I thought part of his reason to stay was that he just wanted to belong, feel loved by a family or an specific person, I finally feel like I know him. :)

    on the fight scene, I loved it, just because it accentuated every difference between both olivias, i have to give it to the writers I really could see and feel like I was watching two different people, two different olivias and two different walters.

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    • says

      Regarding that fight scene, at the very end, where she’s straining to reach the lamp, I thought for a second that we would see it quickly zip into her hand…her abilities turned on at last! But, alas, no.

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  43. LMH says

    Great review. Just have to say for now that you really made me laugh with this one. You’re Bell eulogy was completely accurate in my book and hilarious. Also the bit on door hinge molecules fearing Peter! I have to admit that I always get a kick (pun intended) out of Peter’s door killing, it’s pretty funny and awesome at the same time as Peter gets to express in inner angst through punishing inanimate objects ; ) Just when you think he’s softened a bit, he beats the snot out someone’s face. I’m glad you caught that Peter’s “hair” comment was a cover, which he is clearly very used to employing as a defense mechanism. Glad we got to see past the front, that cool exterior several times in this one. I think this episode in particular has some of the most satisfying little moments for viewers who really understand and love these characters. The subtly of those moments made them all the more enjoyable and impressive. I like that 9.5 rating too. This episode was so good that some of us were scrambling to decipher dark, backward typewriter keystrokes to figure out what could possibly happen next! LOL. Guess it’s time to fire up those season one dvds again. I think I just possibly converted my sister, she’s started watching S1.

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    • LMH says

      Also, I too am deeply disturbed by Walternate’s expression (just look at that picture!). Incredibly frightening. John Noble goes from adorable, bumbling Walter to THAT. Impressive. The manner in which he shut that shutter while staring her down, so chilling.

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  44. says

    mlj102– “I am still amazed by that whole fight scene. I keep trying to imagine what it must have been like for Anna Torv to act that, playing both fighters. That must have been intense and extremely complicated. Similarly, I keep trying to figure out how they managed to edit that together. I’m sure it took a lot of time and careful work and they did an incredible job with that. That scene was definitely a great success and all their hard work paid off!”~~~

    It’s really not that hard. Note the camera angles when they talk. The shot switches between them. Anna Torv as Olivia talks to a separate person that fills in for her, then they reset the cameras and film her playing Altivia w/another person filling in for Olivia.

    Then, when they fought, there was Anna Torv and the person that is her double (every tv show or film that has any action has a person for every character). Then they splice the film together in the editing room. also, did you notice when Olivia bashed Altlivia over the head w/the lamp, you couldn’t see Altlivia’s face, because Anna was “hitting” her “double”.

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    • mlj102 says

      I don’t pretend to understand all the ins and outs of filming or editing, but I don’t think that is entirely true for how they did things for this particular episode/scene. I say that based on an interview with Anna Torv that I read in between parts 1 and 2 of the finale. In this interview, the person asks what it was like to play alternate Olivia, particularly in scenes that featured both Olivias. Anna responded, “And they couldn’t shoot anybody [as a double], because the way they do all that stuff – which you haven’t seen, but I think it’s been alluded to – is you have to time it out and have no one there, because you couldn’t enter into your own frame as they did it. So there was no one. You’re talking to air. Learning both sides too was tough.” Because of that, I was under the impression that, largely, there was no double standing in for one Olivia while Anna Torv was playing the other Olivia. She makes it sound like it was just her for the majority of the time. Of course she couldn’t be too specific since this interview was before the second part aired. I hope we will get additional insight from her and from the producers/director regarding how that scene was filmed and put together.

      Either way, I think any sort of fight scene is complicated, not to mention when one actor has to play both people in the fight. I think it had to have been complicated for Anna Torv to play both Olivia and alternate Olivia and to switch the acting for whichever Olivia she was at a given moment. And she did an incredible job with that. I still commend the editing, filming, choreography, and acting for making that such an intense, amazing scene.

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  45. says

    one other thing i want to mention is in making an episode, you often have an “A” part and a “B” part: For example– the “A” part of this ep “we’ve gotta get Peter back from the other side; the “B” part is how “our” people are vs. how “those” people are “on the other side”.

    But it’s really the “C” part that is most valuable, and that is all the little things between characters that happen during the course of the ep.

    For example, i want to bring up “Farscape”, a great sci-fi show. A 4th season ep. called “Twice Shy” had an “A” part (Chiana takes on a young slave, who turns out to be a huge spider that takes energy orbs from people); a “B” part (everyone acts the opposite of the way they normally act once they have been bitten, the aliens/humans try to desperately get out of it; which they do); but the best part, the “C” part, was 3 minutes at the end when John explains to Aeryn that he has loved her the whole time, but pushed her away b/c Scorpius doesn’t get what makes him tick. That is Aeryn and the baby. That’s the only way Scorpius can get him.

    So, the “A” part was good, the “B” part was better, but the “C” part was the part that really stood out. The “C” part makes the whole show and puts it near the top of eps for that season.

    “Fringe” has “C” parts, too, and those parts are the times you remember, the times that want to make you watch it again and again. Ex: Bell saying to Walter — “she is probably our greatest achievement”, and Walter nods his head. The part where Bell finally reveals why parts of Walter’s brain were removed, and finally, the part where Olivia tells him–“I’m not telling you all the things about why you should come back, or where you belong here or there; I’ll tell you that you belong with me.”

    That is what makes “Fringe” such a special show.

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  46. Anjali says

    Anna was brilliant in this episode!

    She is such a superb actress! I hope someone asks her about the fight scene at Comic Con. I’d love to hear how she trained for it.

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  47. Overkast says

    I don’t know but the ending didn’t really surprise me. It was an OK ending but nothing like season one. I knew it was Altlivia when she went to wake up Bell because her hair was tucked in the back of her jacket, which is the way she rolls.

    I think the reason they went to KFC was simply product placement. Not to mention the observer had to try the double down. Probably the same with the twizzlers deal. Hey the twizzler was red. Only color in that scene right?

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    • Angela says

      I completely agree. As soon as they showed Altlivia receiving her orders, I knew they were going to do the swap (especially since Olivia/Peter had just kissed, so this seemed most dramatically viable.) I love, LOVE how it sets up Season 3… but part of me can’t stop thinking, “But they DID THIS BEFORE!” Remember Charlie? Even the type-writing trick was the same!

      Still, I’m looking forward to how it all plays out. Especially the Altlivia/Peter interactions… and of course the eventual reveal!

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  48. says

    mlj102–“I don’t pretend to understand all the ins and outs of filming or editing, but I don’t think that is entirely true for how they did things for this particular episode/scene. I say that based on an interview with Anna Torv that I read in between parts 1 and 2 of the finale. In this interview, the person asks what it was like to play alternate Olivia, particularly in scenes that featured both Olivias. Anna responded, “And they couldn’t shoot anybody [as a double], because the way they do all that stuff – which you haven’t seen, but I think it’s been alluded to – is you have to time it out and have no one there, because you couldn’t enter into your own frame as they did it. So there was no one. You’re talking to air. Learning both sides too was tough.’”

    That’s right, I forgot that Anna Torv said that in an interview. So scratch my post, and I will say that it was brilliant acting as well as directing. Wow! It must have taken a long, long time for Torv to do that! give her an emmy just for that!

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  49. TomC says

    Just seen the episode and i know i say this a lot, but for me this really was THE BEST episode so far. Non-stop action, emotion, more questions and finally some decent answers.
    Great review, cant say you missed a single thing.

    My only thoughts now are, if it takes more than 0.003 seconds for peter to realise that its not our olivia i wont be happy. He’s always said that he’s good at reading people and from the moment she woke up bellie after the turbo-grenade you could tell it was Altlivia from the acting and even the tone of voice (or was that just me?). Also, what about when she meets astrid?? Does she even know the mecha-astrid from the AU or is it going to be a massive awkward moment when they meet?
    Walternate is ‘deliciously evil’ and that has to be what walter was becoming, but he put a stop to it in his own mental way… literally!
    Olivia being locked up in that cell, great acting once again. You could really sense her fear from being locked up in a pitch black padded cell 24/7.
    RIP Bellie, you were a mystery but a great one at that.

    And still…. WHATS OLIVIA’S POWER!!!!!

    Roll on season 3 (without the ridiculous season breaks)

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  50. Birdie says

    I am new here, just found this page today and already spent like 4 hours reading all your posts. And I love it. You guys have so much insight into the characters and the whole mythology and all it helped me a lot to understand the show. I am, new to Fringe too, just started watching two weeks ago and got immediately hooked. Now I can´t stop, have already seen every episode twice and since there is nobody here, which is in Germany by the way, to talk to me about my shows, I am soo glad to have found this page.

    Great reviews and great discussions!

    Above it was speculated that Peter was given Cortexiphan in the AU too. Has anybody else recognised the fluid in the i.v. that was shown in the scene when Peter woke up in the AU (in his parents house) after sleeping for 3 days? For me that kind of looked the same as the Cortexiphan that was given to Olivia in Jacksonville…

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    • says

      First of all: herzlich wilkommen! You aren’t family of Sam Weiss, are you? :) Just to make sure…

      Don’t forget that Peter is actually Peternate, the real (‘our’ side) Peter died at the age of 8. The assumption of Cortexiphan can be quite correct, since we know that Peternate is some sort of catalyst or power for the machine that Walternate has build. Cortexiphan should enhance or stabilize his ‘doorway’ powers importantly. Nice one!

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      • Birdie says

        Vielen dank for the welcome. :-)
        So, Sam Weiss is german too? Didn´t know that yet.
        The writers kind of have a thing with germans. And although they are touching parts of our history that nobody should be proud of, I think its a lot of fun. Especially knowing that Walthers father as a german worked against the Nazis.

        So, if it was Cortexiphan what Peter was given it´s going to be interesting to see if his abilities are going to intensify and therefore show themselves clearer in the third season.
        Can´t wait! I hate waiting!

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        • says

          Weiss is German for the color white and since both colors and the person of Sam (probably) will become verrrrry important in the third season, as much people predict here, we’ll see.

          You’ve noticed correctly that the staff (writers, producers, etc.) are putting in a lot of German / 2nd WW / nazi stuff. Personally, i’ve had it with 2nd WW/ nazi stuff, but somehow people in America seem to enjoy it.
          Personally, i think that war (and war-related) items are not to be used for entertainment: 70-65 years ago, peoples lost their lives and i don’t see that being entertaining in any form. But, that’s personal IMHO.

          For ‘Fringe’ it is fascinating how the one nazi seems to be a century old without having aged. And how about the book ‘Zerstörung durch Fortschritte der Technologie’ ZFT for short? It hit me right in the face as a paralel to another great tv-series from the 90’s called ‘MillenniuM’, where Peter Watts (played by the great Tery O’Quinn) from the Millennium Group tells former FBI profiler Frank Black (played by the great Lance Henriksen) that “We are racing toward an apocalypse of our own creation”.

          Will technology destroy our existance? Will it destroy several or all realities in the end? We know that there are many recruits (who will become unwilling soldiers) among us, so we can conclude that many lives will be sacrificed when the ‘Tech War’ will start between realities.

          Hów Sam Weiss fits in all of this is the subject of some lovely speculation on this site. Will he help Olivia like he has before? What is his relation with Nina Sharp since she recommended Weiss for therapy to Olivia. Is he evil? Is he the person in the mirror with the typewriter?

          Most important to notice: in the ZFT book there is a passage that mentions “…the existence of a parallel world inhabited by beings not unlike us existing in an history slightly ahead of our own”. Slightly ahead.
          Is 30 years the difference? If so, the age difference between the mirror man and Sam Weiss as we’ve seen him can be explained. Another hint: several references to the year 1985, including the unique and beautiful retro intro:

          (Hopefully the video shows up here).

          Also: 30 years into the future from 1985 is 2015. Will ‘Fringe’ be concluded in 2015? Will that year be the final one, with the destruction of the universe(s)? This is nót a spoiler, but simple mathematics and some educated guessing.

          Also, take in mind that some of the props used in the series, are all a bit off when you take ZFT time-difference in consideration. First, the Selectric 251. In oúr universe, it was in use some 30 years ago. Sam Weiss has to know more and probably means more, according to several hints in season 2.

          So there you have it, a German publication called ZFT, a century old nazi and Sam Weiss. Was folgt nog mehr? ;)

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          • Birdie says

            You know, as you were saying that war realted stuff shouldn´t be used as entertainment, you are absolutely right and i think I should apologize for saying that I enjoy that part of the storyline, the war part. As a german it is wrong to deny the past our country has in order to avoid that such a thing from happening again. But I still like the all the other german related things they throw in. :-)
            And as I was reading your post I have to realize that I will have to pay better attention to the underlying bits and parts of the storyline. You guys all see so much more than I do. But that is also whats this blog is for, right?
            Keep up the good work everybody. :-)

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            • says

              Du gehörst auch zu dem team :)
              As a team on this great blog by Roco, we discover more and more. Thát’s what i like. To enjoy the show together with people from all over the world and discuss it on a site like this.
              Thát’s what makes the internet so beautiful.

              And as far as WW2/ The War goes: i’m from Holland. We’re done with it. We’ve forgiven our neighbours long time ago and the only ‘war’ we have, is on the soccerfield ;) (Fussball).
              I really think that tv- and moviemaking America should focus on other ‘evil’ aspects or enemies. We love the mythology on ‘Fringe’ so why not create ‘evil’ or enemies, instead of always reaching towards WW2. Well, that’s my 2 cents on the matter.

              But about the details, i’ve read this somewhere else:
              “…I was catching up on episodes of Fringe, and noticed the license plates on Dunham & Broyles’ SUVs- 1R2D21 and 1C3P01!…”.
              Thát’s the stuff we Fringies love! :D

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  51. Alison says

    “Peter going back so quickly. What? As motivations go this one needed a bit more thought on Peter’s part. Even if he came to believe that Walternate wanted to use him to destroy the other Side, shouldn’t he have at least sat Walternate down and asked him to explain everything to him?”

    I agree with you that it was odd for Peter to just leave his mother. I mean, I suppose the decision had to made quickly and there was just to much to lose in his life on our side then in the life that he was tying to start over there, but still. By itself, his mother would be the only reason I could see that would cause Peter to hesitate going back. Leave it to Liv to convince Peter to come back. Frankly, I’m glad he finally came to his senses and stopped to think about what A TOTAL PSYCHOPATH HIS FATHER IS!!! Like I’ve mentioned before, not only is Walternate responsible for the deaths and endangerment of countless innocent people, but he is also accountable for the death of Charlie and the attempted murder of Olivia. Craaazzzzyyyy……0_0

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    • says

      I’ll leave this one for thought:

      i mentioned earlier that Walter=Walternate=Walter, stating that who we think is Walternate, áctually is Walter. He and Bell moved together to the other universe in ’85. AltBell is dead over there, but 85Walter had a fight with Walternate (who is now our Walter), and together with Bell performed some little brainsurgery, before sending him back to our side. When he arrived here, he became a mental patient and the rest we know. 85Walter then took over the position of prime minister and thus has can ‘spy’ on the other side.

      If this is the case, then:

      A). Newton works for Walternate, as we have seen in the bridge crossing scene. Just one man came over, being Walternate.

      B). It makes Bell a partner in crime with Walternate. They are there for a reason, perhaps to sabotage their universe in order for our to survive. When that happens, Both are killed. They are sacrificing themselves, even if we perceive them are the bad guys right now.

      C). If Bell is even more evil than i suspect, he is in on the Olivia/Altlivia swap. Being partners with Walternate, he (Walternate) gives the order to Broylnate to send Altlivia along. They didn’t shoot him when the Fringe team entered the theater! If this is the case, then remember that when the team returned to our universe:

      – Walter=Walternate=Walter. The man who came back has always been Walternate, but he doesn’t know it anymore thanks to the removal of brainmatter.
      – Olivia=Altlivia. Now that Altlivia has returned, she can keep an eye on both Walternate and Peternate and report back to Broylnate or Walternate.
      – Peter=Peternate. Obvious ofcourse, but lots of fans still call him Peter, who died at the age of 8 on our side.

      The conclusion therefor must be that the entire team that turned back exist of original people from the other side. (OMG!OMG!OMG!)

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  52. says

    I’m a noob to your site. Great resource. Bookmarked.

    I just finished Season 2 and there was one potential major hole which I did not see anyone talk about(too much info to sift through!) – I thought only Olivia had the power to open the portal to the world? How did altlivia did it?

    Any suggestions or reason would be helpful.

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    • says

      Welcome to the site.

      The door opened by Olivia and the others was still ajar. The ‘doorstep’ device held the door open while Bellie’s energy (his unstable atoms) transported them to the other side.

      Hope that helps.

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  53. Peanut says

    Does Walternate really know the circumstances involving Peter’s departure (spy cameras?)? I know that Petah left to be with Olivia, but that was after he found out what Walternate was up to—more hiding of important info from Peter involving a father, just what Pete left Over Here for! It seems cold to want to use your child to power the “Bowflex of Doom,” with probable disastrous consequences for Peter & the universe(s), & to exploit Peter’s feelings for Olivia by switching her with Bolivia. Walternate must be in a seriously dark place. Didn’t even seem that interested in spending quality time with Peter—guess Walternate wouldn’t have had as much time otherwise to concoct dastardly schemes.

    I have already articulated my puzzlement over the method of transport that the team used to return Over Here, & will let that matter rest based on Roco’s answering my questions. However, I question the way that the team was deployed for the return. I know that Bell set that team configuration up, but maybe he knew his way around a particle accelerator probably better than Peter? Shouldn’t Bell have been the one working with Walter on the machine up at the opera house? I know that putting Peter & Walter together under these awkward circumstances was maybe what the writers were going for, but there didn’t seem to be that much interesting conversation going on between them at that point. I think that the sniping between Bell & Walter would have been much more entertaining. Bell could have given Olivia & Peter a brief lesson on his weapons stash: (to use Roco’s terminology) 77 = KA-BLAM-ONATE; don’t jostle the phosphorus grenades (= really big KA-BLAM-ONATE). Then the kiddies could have taken it from there in holding off the alt-Fringers. And Boy Wonder passed up an opportunity to play with guns & blow things up? Really?

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  54. Peanut says

    I think that it was in a YouTube clip, someone asks the question about the scene where Peter & Olivia kiss in this episode–arachnid-ridden Scarlie must have still been lying on the floor unconscious during that scene? Remember, Olivia had bopped Scarlie over the head right before that.

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  55. bob says

    If the ol7ivia that went back was the one from teh AU the how did she get back since it was teh Cortexiphan in the real olivia that gave her the ability to open a door between universes. The AU olivia doesn’t have that ability yet they use her and the machine to get back.

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  56. Keith says

    I just ‘discovered’ Fringe. So far I’ve watched through Season 3 Ep. 2, and I have the same question as Bob. They needed Olivia to open the door just a ‘crack’. Fauxlivia never had the cortexiphan, so how could they possibly open the door?

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