Category Archives: Fringe

Fringe – “Subject 9” saves Peter for last

Subject 9 was aired nearly three weeks ago. I’m not going to write a review for it except to say I was VERY disappointed at only getting a glimpse of Peter near the end. Talk about dangling a carrot. The whole baseball pushing the next episode back a full week didn’t help either. Needless to say tomorrows Friday night is going to be spent making love to a bowl of popcorn and watching time shifted Fringe:D

On second thought I will point out what we learned during this episode.

  • Olivia has never exhibited any Cortexiphan related abilities.
  • She and Nina Sharp appear to be much closer than ever before.
  • And although Olivia ran away from Walter and his experiments as originally portrayed in the third season episode Subject 13, in this version she never came back.

If you want a more detailed account try Charlie Anders review over at i09.

And for those that have a hankering for a better understanding of time travel as portrayed in Fringe, try this great article by Stephen Cass.


Fringe – “Alone in the World” prepares us for Peter’s return

By the end of this, the third episode of the fourth season, Walter had effectively killed off a lonely boys imaginary friend, suffered a minor breakdown in front of Broyles, and nearly lobotomized himself.  Where is that Peter when you need him?

Alone in the World continued the theme (so far) of the season that shows just how badly off our characters are without Peter. It also allowed for Walter to form a substitute fatherly role with Aaron, the young boy who developed a friendship of sorts with a fungal growth. And we saw glimpses of his old self with the milkshakes and tin foil hat. But overall there was the clear sense that this Walter is a deeply lonely man without his son (having watched him die twice because September didn’t save him the second time), and that his greatest fear is losing his sanity (whereas before it was losing Peter).

Olivia meanwhile is slowly extending her circle of friends to include Lincoln, although it’s unclear if she’s simply being protective of him and wanting to make sure he’s adjusting well to the Fringe division, or if as he understandably thought, she was showing a little more than professional concern. His line at the end: “Little freaked out right now. Do you want to talk about it?” was the best of the episode. Finally his character is showing signs of the playful Lincoln we’ve seen in his other version.

The final moments of the episode were the most unsettling though, with Walter attempting a self lobotomization in an effort to avoid having to deal with the real possibility of him going back to the mental institute. I found the sounds of the hammer ping ping pinging into his eye socket the most disturbing. And here I thought I was so brave when I self pierced my own ears.

To sum it up I found the episode alright, but I’m anticipating the return of Peter … so until then no episode will quiet satisfy. It was nice to see that Olivia’s been dreaming of Peter (love conquers all, including non-existence yah).

It remains to be seen though why September is allowing all this to happen.

Fringe – “One Night in October” review

What would you think of your life and the choices that built it if you met another version of yourself? And then what if that person had taken a darker more angry path in life, yet you could still see the roots of who YOU are in them? Would you want to help or hate them?

In the case of Professor John McClennan, played wonderfully by John Pyper-Ferguson of Caprica fame, he wanted to help his over there (OT) counterpart, who also just happens to be a brilliant serial killer.

Enlisted by the OT Fringe team Professor McClennan and our Olivia venture to the other side. But while the professor feels sympathy for the damaged person his serial killing counterpart has become, due to an abusive father and lack of love, there is only animosity between the Olivia’s as they are forced to work together.

Our Olivia does not trust the OT Olivia, for a number of justifiable reasons, but mainly because she doesn’t know how to trust. That was something the vanished Peter helped her overcome in the previous timeline.

OT Olivia meanwhile seems to equally dislike our Olivia and is derisive towards her in manner and conversation. Perhaps OT Olivia doesn’t like seeing the isolated life (a weakness?) her counterpart maintains. Though by working together the OT Olivia learned of our Olivia’s troubled childhood and that she killed her abusive stepfather, which may have wrought some new found respect in her(?) Loved the look on OT Olivia’s face in the scene (sort of like: OMFG she did what?).

Some of the nicest touches to this episode were the little details, like how even though Olivia doesn’t remember meeting Peter as a child he still had an impact on her. She’d shot and wounded her stepfather in the other time line, though I’m unclear if her mother was alive at that point or not. Now without Peter’s influence she must never have asked Walter for help and was forced to kill her abusive stepfather herself. Yes that would mess a child up.

And then there’s poor Lincoln, forever relegated to the friend role in both worlds. He was quick to let OT Olivia know he thinks she looks good with both blond or red hair. And then in the vehicle with our Olivia he tells her she must hate being over here because his Olivia would, to which she says she’s fine with it. The man is no fool though and can see his Olivia in her and it’s clear she’s lying. Let’s hope the writers look favourably upon at least one of the Lincolns and bring him some happiness in the future.

Comparing last year’s seasonal arc with this one it’s hard not to notice both deal with the loss of a character. Last year being the unnoticed absence of Olivia, having been left behind on the other side and replaced with the OT Olivia, and this season Peter’s erasure from existence. But whereas last year we followed the interplay between Peter and OT Olivia, as well Olivia and the entire other side, now it seems, at least going by two episodes, to be the interplay between our Olivia and the OT Olivia. And to a lesser degree the Lincoln’s and of course Walter. Fingers crossed for an episode where the Astrid’s get together (^_^).

Lastly, one question that’s been nagging at me is to what extent are the Cortexiphan abilities of this new Olivia? Fear brought them out before, egged on by the emotions Peter stirred in her as well as his encouraging words. But something tells me this version of Olivia can’t do what the old one could.

And… okay another last question. Is Walter the only one who can hear/see Peter? And does this disembodied quasi non-existing Peter remember the entirety of the other timeline, like how he had a son? The guy is supposed to be super smart so he’ll have to wonder how the machine was turned on from the other side. (Okay done for now).

And Charlie married the bug girl. Yah for him!!

Memorable line
Broyles: I’ve always felt there are people who leave an indelible mark on your soul. An imprint that can never be erased.

Fringe Season 4 – “Neither Here Nor There” review

The wait is over.

After four long months Fringe is finally back on the air. And although I was apprehensive with all the entertainment talk of the fourth season being a great opportunity for new viewers to get in on the show, and hence regular diehard fans like myself might be discouraged with the necessary rehashing of the story line, I was pleased to see that both the story was good and that there were plenty of subtle changes that only a regular viewer could notice.

Neither Here Nor There introduced us to a world devoid of Peter. And a sadder colder world it is. For one my favourite supporting character Astrid is not as close with Walter as she used to be, rather it’s Olivia that seems better able to sooth Walter (and she used to get so short with him). I guess Astrid being in the field as Walter’s eyes, literally carrying around a camera for him due to a severe case of agoraphobia, has resulted in a more distant relationship between the two. That’s a pity because I always liked the interplay between the them, especially in the lab.

Olivia has changed as well being a more cold version of the woman we knew last season. She’s become a stiff by the books person who I don’t think smiled once during the whole episode. Contrast that with her counterpart from over there, who seems to flash a smarmy smile every time she’s on screen. Over there Olivia is different too in that she never had to suffer through a fake courtship with Peter and the resulting unwanted fiance chasing-away pregnancy. Instead she’s the cheeky relatively carefree woman we initially met at the end of season two.

Meanwhile our poor Olivia is much like she was at the start of the series, an untrusting workhorse, in part due to her duplicitous boyfriend’s death in season one. Maybe that’s why she and Walter seem to get on better in this reality. Without Peter in their lives they each had a hole that needed filling and to some degree found solace with each other. They certainly seem closer than what we saw in seasons one through three.

A highlight for me was the morgue scene where Lincoln Lee laments the fact his partner believed there was a reason for everything, but that he himself can’t see a reason in his partners (apparent random) death. Of course we know his death wasn’t so random because it’s brought Lincoln and Olivia together. Loved that Lincoln’s partner was played by none other than Joe Flanigan of Stargate Atlantis fame (yah).

On a side note, at the start when Olivia is talking with the over there Olivia she says she was kidnapped by her. And then when our Olivia meets Lincoln she doesn’t display any recognition of him. Does this mean that while she was on the other side she never got to work in the field with the over there Lincoln or their version of Charlie? For that matter did she ever get to meet her over there mom, because that was a beautifully pivotal scene for our Olivia.

Olivia and Broyles too don’t seem to be as tight as they were before. It’s much more of a distant kind of professional thing they have going. All the relationships actually between the principle characters in this reality don’t seem to be as tight knit. I guess without Peter they never had the chance to form the misfit family we had come to love. At least it seem both Olivia and Walter have in some way felt his absence. (Olivia mentions a hole in her life while Walter notes things feel different ever since the Machine was turned on.)

Lastly, why didn’t the Observer flick the switch at the end? We already know from the story of August that Observers can develop attachments, possibly feelings, for the people they watch. Has September grown to care for Walter and by extension the Fringe team?

Fringe – Entrada Review

Thursday nights Fringe was the book end episode to an arc started last season, that of our Olivia being unknowingly left behind in the Red Universe, as well a prison of Walternate’s plans for inter-dimensional conquest. And while our poor red-headed heroine was getting brainwashed and made to believe she was sassy Alt-Olivia, her counterpart was over here batting home runs with her oblivious, all be it newly blinded by love boyfriend, Peter. Which leads me to say: Dude! How could you not notice your balls were scoring for the wrong team!? Alt-Olivia was just way too happy and smiley, not to mention dressing a lot sexier. Seriously, who in the world would find THAT attractive. Our Olivia’s I-am-sad-because-I-have-to-save-the-world-and-had-a-rough-childhood routine is much more charming.

*Spoiler Alert*

So we start off right from the end of the previous episode where Peter has answered his cell and hears Olivia’s message – That his girl is in the other universe and he’s been sleeping with the enemy, who just happens to be cuddled up next to him after saying she’s never seen Casablanca and thought Ronald Regan was the star. BAM! Suddenly it all makes sense! She’s been acting different not because of your new love or insight gained through last seasons dimension hopping jaunt. She’d been a plant, and none other than by evil bio-dad Walternate.

So then, even though it’s after midnight he tells Alt-Olivia the call was simply a sales pitch for “unprecedented savings” so let’s go back to sleep. Wow, really Peter? That’s the best lie you, a con man, can think of? Maybe I’m just a bad person and can lie better than the rest, but I would have said it was a wrong number from a drunk chick. Believe me, it happens way more than I’d like to admit.

Peter waits two hours laying next to her, probably thinking over all the warning signs he missed, before stealthily sneaking away to snoop through her stuff when he is interrupted by Alt-Olivia. He then tests her with the Greek phrase Olivia first said to him in season two, “Be a better man than your father” (something applicable to both Walters). She fails miserably and flees, but not before doping Peter with a paralytic.

Now maybe it’s just me, but I thought the part where she asks him, “Are you going to kill me?” Alt-Olivia sounded just a little hopeful for something more than what Peter ultimately said. Has he wormed his way into her heart perhaps? Considering what Peter finds in her bag at the end, I think Alt-Olivia may actually have grown to care for him. The guy is a charmer, I’ll give him that. Remember two episodes back in episode 6955 kHz where in her oblique way Alt-Olivia explains herself to Peter – “If you knew that only one of our worlds could survive, and it was up to you and you alone to defend your side…You would have to do what you had to do. No matter the cost, to protect our world.” Alt-Olivia is more of a solider than our Olivia in that she takes orders better, but that may have been the closest thing to coming clean she ever got. And for our poor manipulated Peter it was the only real heart to heart he ever had with her. But was it done for her sake or Peter’s?

After this Alt-Olivia makes a bee-line for where the pieces to Walternate’s device are kept. Taking as yet one unknown breastplate-like part, she heads to the wimpy-whinny guy’s shop to get help for the return trip home.

Switch to Walter’s lab where our worlds Scooby gang are scratching their collective heads, before Astrid figures out they need to follow Alt-Olivia’s gift pastries back to the Broncs, i.e. where the wimpy guy’s shop is. It’s in this scene where we’re also treated to the best Walterism to date: “She tricked my son with her carnal manipulations and he fell right into her vagenda.” Astrid: “Vagenda?” Gotta love Jasika Nicole’s expression there.

Quickly enough they find the shop and the location of where Alt-Olivia is headed, Penn Station, and head off with the calvary to capture her and find out what she knows. Meanwhile Red Universe Broyles is having a crisis of conscience over Walternate’s plans to dissect Olivia before sending her body back to ours. And let me take a minute to say holy crap!! Alt-Brandon is a scary kind of monster! In our world he’s an awkward and eager young scientist I always thought cute. Not so much now after seeing him as the instigator for Olivia’s dissection. Is that what working for Walternate does? And another thing, why do Olivia and Alt-Broyles leave him pantless in the operating room? She already had a pair on so… er, was it a kinky revenge thing?

Okay so Broyles helps bust Olivia out, which I knew he would because hey, he’s Broyles. Of course I may have seen the tip of his head in the promo when Olivia is shown on the run. Now over the course of this season Alt-Broyles, who had only been seen briefly at the end of season one and a bit more at the end of season two, became a favorite character to me. More so than our Blue Universe’s Broyles. Red Universe Broyles had a family, fostered a great working environment, and just seemed more caring, more open…hell, more sexy. He was a moral man and I really wanted him to stick around and dare I say, replace our Broyles… *sniff*

Deciding to believe in Olivia and in her hopes for an outcome where billions won’t die, they head to Walternate’s old Harvard lab for the serenity of a deprivation tank (her ticket home). A side note, she takes a few bags of the drug Cortexiphan which Walternate has synthesized from studying Olivia’s brain chemistry. I’m hoping the fact that the drug works differently for each person injected with it and that it supposedly had to be administered in childhood to work, will be addressed in later episodes. I’d hate to see Walternate create an army of Cortexi-soldiers because THAT SHOULDN”T WORK.

On the flip side Peter and our Broyles capture Alt-Olivia after her shape shifting hostage is taken out by an incredibly well-aimed shot from Peter. A thing you may have noticed too is how the shape shifter, much like the one in episode Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, displayed some very human traits. He said he dreams of the other side sometimes but laments, “Sadly for my kind coming here is a one way ticket.”  Olivia: “I thought your kind didn’t care.”  What a bitch, sorry but can’t she see they are more than their parts. Course her bad attitude may make it easier to do her job. She who has since arriving in our universe has had to silence her emotions, silence any doubts over whether she has what it takes to accomplish Walternates aims. Who would want to see a spark of humanity in a machine when you yourself are trying to quash yours.

But before Alt-Olivia is captured she has harmonic rods inserted into her body, providing a way for Walternate’s team to snatch her out of our universe and into her own. My second favorite scene is shortly before she vanishes where Alt-Oliva, handcuffed and stoic, tries to tell Peter he was more than just an assignment. Unbelieving, Peter scoffs and watches her get led away. Moments later he finds a momentum of their time together in her bag and is left wondering if she was telling the truth. But it’s the last time he sees her, paralleling the movie they watched earlier, Casablanca. Which leaves us to wonder what to make of Peter’s reflection that all the best love stories are tragic. Which I will be the first to admit is totally true as most Japanese and Chinese know (okay only the females will). Think House of Flying Daggers or the tearjerker Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru (ただ、君を愛してる). Alt-Olivia is then vibrated out of a FBI paddy wagon leaving behind the body used to take her place in the transfer, which had to be of the same mass and was originally meant to be Olivia’s. Instead it’s Alt-Broyles. Brutally chopped up to match Alt-Olivias weight. DAMN YOU J.J. ABRAMS!!

Prior to this Broyles had been shot and killed helping our Olivia into the deprivation tank where after some tense moments manages to flip back over to our side, thanks in part to a hefty dose of Cortexiphan, which promptly lands her in a hospital bed where she awakes to find Peter at her bedside.

I’ll admit I’ve never been a big fan of Joshua Jackson’s acting. I never liked the little smirk he so often sports, but I don’t think that anymore. Not after seeing the look of remorse and pain on Peter’s face as he stares into the face of the woman he unknowingly betrayed. After everything she went through to get back to him I don’t know how these two can ever come back from this. Of course I know they will… or they better at least way down the road. Olivia, ever the emotionally vulnerable one, after having declared her feelings for him last season only to find out he couldn’t even see she’d been replaced, and not only that but was happily in love with her, has got to be devastated (to be covered in next weeks episode yah!). And for Peter, who does he really love? Didn’t he say in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, “It’s like you’re a completely different person…don’t get me wrong I like it. The change is good, but it’s different.”

One more thing, I hope the writers let Alt-Olivia know what her Broyles did for our girl. Maybe it’ll allow her to question Walternate’s plans, because all his talk of war between the worlds and only one surviving has not yet been proven. Maybe that Sam Weiss, or should I say Seamus Wiles, will have some ideas.


Here are three scenes that gave me pause:
Entrada 1
Entrada 2
Entrada 3