Fringe Review 304: Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep? ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Review 304: Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?

      Email Post       10/17/2010 06:57:00 PM      


“You’re not his Olivia.”

Last week, Fringe gave us parallels between our Olivia and a man whose mind had been altered beyond all expectation by scientists. This week, Fauxlivia’s double is the man—that is, the shapeshifter—who becomes so enmeshed in his cover story that he starts to believe it. But will Fauxlivia ever feel the connection with Peter and Walter that Olivia has? Or will her resistance to developing those connections make her subterfuge easier to discover?

We don’t know the answer, yet. But Peter senses something is different, and his conversation with Fauxlivia in the Massive Dynamics cafeteria has me wondering. Earlier, he’d shown off his people-reading skills. Then, he told Fauxlivia that she was different. Is he playing with her? Hoping to get her to connect so that he can use that connection to his own advantage? Would Peter be willing to sleep with someone just to con them? (My money is on ‘yes.’)

Newton stayed on mission up to the end, but both Van Horne and the other shapeshifter were attached to their lives: their covers became their realities. Fauxlivia is definitely playing the game, but I don’t see her making an emotional connection just yet. Peter, on the other hand: either he knows and is playing Fauxlivia, or he is ignoring the doubt-twinges and choosing to create his own reality, just as much as the shapeshifter did. Is it still a lie if the liar believes it’s the truth?

Walter, too, inhabited a false reality for most of this episode, choosing to self-medicate his way through what appears to be his first day as head honcho of Massive Dynamics. I applaud the decision to make Walter supremely wacky for the first half of the episode, as it helped make a lot of exposition and set-up more interesting. He found a peculiar type of truth in his altered state, too, finally calling Astrid by her real name. Perhaps falsehood can make the truth more clear. That, my friends, just might be our Theme of the Week.


(Oh! Mid-review realization! If Peter knows Fauxlivia isn't his Olivia, but is willing to live with the difference to keep things on an even keel, then he's doing exactly the same thing Walter did, when he took Peter from Over There to replace his dead son. Ooh...what sort of messed up game is Peter playing?)

I should probably say something about Newton, and his suicide. I think this actor is quite good at his job, even if he does look like Gordon Ramsey, but something about him just doesn’t click for me. He’s like a black hole, just sucking all of my interest away, which actually makes me happy that the character is done. (I realize this is likely a highly personal reaction, and I can’t explain it.)

Newton’s one weakness might be other people’s attachments: he’s been analyzing Fauxlivia’s relationship with Peter (rightly, I think), and he spared Ray’s family. That’s touching, in its own way, even though he did shoot Ray. I think it’s the choice Newton assumed Ray would want to make. All that’s irrelevant, now that he’s dead.

He’s a bit unorthodox:

• Olivia: “He’s a little short for her.”
Peter: “Not when you stand him on your money.”

• Broyles can sound so important when he wants to. He just walked all over that nurse at the hospital.

• Walter: “Somewhere between pudding and foie gras.” Ugh.

• Newton: “He’s been disabled, or, as you people call it, he’s dead.”

• Walter: “Perhaps a gentle caress, or tickle?”

• Walter eats animal cookies to honor William Bell’s memory.

• The title of this episode is a reference to the Philip K. Dick novel Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep? that inspired the movie Blade Runner.

I continue to like the shifts between universes, although I’m also looking forward to seeing how they resolve this split. But it’s the Over Here episodes that I like most, because when we’re Over There I miss Peter and Walter. Walternate, Francis, and Lincoln Lee don’t have the same appeal for me. So:

Three and a half out of four tin cans that are still kicking.



Wondering who I am? I'm Josie Kafka.I review Chuck, Fringe, and the Vampire Diaries for billiedoux.com. And now, as you may have figured out, I'm posting my Fringe reviews here, too.

23 Comments:

Dennis said...

I don't think Peter knows yet. If he was trying to con Altlivia, he wouldn't tip his hand to "the enemy" that he has been noticing changes. Also, he wouldn't sleep with Theirlivia, because he would have to know that Ourlivia would find out. I don't think Ourlivia would be able to forgive him.

Also, I think Newton DID kill Duffy's family. Duffy was about to get very hostile, so I think he wanted to put him at ease so he was easier to "disable".

Anonymous said...

My thought on the direction of the season is that Peter is unaware (at the moment) that it is the other Olivia, but his suspicion has been aroused. I think he actually likes this version of Olivia as she is more well-adjusted and happy. They have a good connection. I think that the producers are using this as a way to put off putting Peter and Olivia together right now. When our Olivia returns, undoubtedly the other Olivia will somehow return back to her world and Olivia and Peter will have to start their relationship. I think that the problem won't be Olivia trusting Peter, but that Peter will realize that he doesn't share the same connection with our Olivia and that his interest will have changed. It's a perfect way to keep them apart longer, while creating an interesting set of circumstances as to how that divide occurs.

Anonymous said...

I actually don't like the other O. She's cocky, arrogant, cold, unkind, and probably a bit of a sociopath. Look how she treated Newton in the beginning when he was trying to help her adjust. She also has this sadistic glint in her eye, coupled with an evil little smirk I want to wipe off her face with my hand. If Peter would dare prefer her willingly over his O, it would be a travesty for his character, and a dumb move on the part of the writers to make us dislike him. Credibility is key.

Anonymous said...

What????? the air date of episode 5 is NOVEMBER 4TH!!!!! did somebody knows WHY??? it should be 21 or 28.....

Anonymous said...

Its due to the The Championship Series and World Series being played. so basically its because of baseball

Anonymous said...

I am with you on not like the other O at all - and I am very upset that Peter (or Walter, even)hasn't figured it out yet. If Peter knows, then he has no concern for where our Olivia is and what she must be going through on the other side. If he knew she was not his Olivia, then I would think that he and the Fringe team would be doing everything possible to get Olivia back. Our Olivia is gonna be p*%#ed off when she gets back and finds that no one figured it out!

tsp1215 said...

I also don't think Peter has the fake O figured out yet - although he is on his way. I also think Walter suspects something - he had one of his "I know something more than I'm saying" looks on his face as fake O walked away once early in this episode. I also wonder if fake O will realize this side is not full of evil monsters trying to destroy her universe.

fringeobsessed said...

tsp1215,
I think the reason Walter had that look was because he saw fake O glimmering while he was tripping on his LSD. First he commented that her hair looked like diamonds, then as he moved away from her he got that weird look.

Anonymous said...

Read somewhere that Fringe is on the "bubble" of being cancelled...just when I am hooked!

Anonymous said...

Where did you read they're gonna cancel it? Not possible, the plot has just took off!

In related news, I was browsing youtube and I found the fringe theme played in acoustic guitar, pretty cool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgYv02l-ZJk

tsp1215 said...

Here's an article regarding Fringe being on the border of being canceled - need to start a Fox email & writing campaign.

http://www.sliceofscifi.com/2009/10/29/is-fringe-on-the-bubble/

Anonymous said...

Hey all - that posting about Fringe being on the bubble of being cancelled was posted *last* October 29, 2009 - although reinforcing to FOX that Fringe has a strong fanbase wouldn't hurt, I reckon.

Xindilini said...

I think Walter's "lemon diamonds" comment is the first evidence that he's high and distracted from the case. It's adds more to his mind coping with ownership of Massive Dynamic than being weird out by Boliva. No-one can detect the other world glimmer Over Here.
Peter is clueless and because he has been flirting with Olivia for over a year, he is thinking, yes, it's finally his turn at bat.

Anonymous said...

I read it on TV Guide.com yesterday. Some of the shows they had shown as on the bubble (like Chuck) have been renewed already, but I won't rest easy until I know Fringe has been renewed!!!

Xindilini said...

Fringe has a full season in play. I work in TV too. Am I correct to assume we won't know renewal for season 4 until 2011?

Anonymous said...

There is a subliminal message in the introduction after the word "mutation." It is handwritten and can only be seen in super slow motion.

safranski-adam said...

Did anybody else notice the Observer walking through the hospital right after Ray got his mission?? I love all the little intricacies of this show!! If it gets cancelled I'll be devastated.

mr. kibner said...

you have to love blogs. idiotz that quote idiotz, that never talked to anybody about the show getting canceled, quoting year old articles by idiotz from tv guide that are speculating without ever talking to anybody from the show. i guess fringe is canceled. the idiotz have spoken. check for sources peeps.

becky kibner - walterz old lsd test project can see things from the altoverse. she saw peter, and if she sees bolivia - she will know.

Anonymous said...

According to SpoilerTV, Fringe is in danger of cancellation as of October 20th: http://www.spoilertv.com/2010/09/spoilertv-cancellation-predicator-table.html

Johnm Chricton said...

Season 3's overarching plot is a nod to Farscape. Season 3 of Farscape saw the main character (John) cloned. One instance of him fell in love with a long time love interest (Aeryn). They bounced back and forth each episode between the two versions of him (on different ships) in the same even/odd pattern as Over Here/Over There.

Anonymous said...

Let this piece of shit show get cancelled. They RUINED Peter Bishop just to make everyone else LOVE Olivia and Walter. Screw fringe!

Anonamouse said...

kibner said... idiotz that quote idiotz, that never talked to anybody about the show getting canceled.

October 21, 2010 12:10 Anonymous said... According to SpoilerTV, Fringe is in danger of cancellation.

Me: i think that is the point. SpoilerTV is three obese british teens with bad acne sitting in their mum's basement. sure they have socially networked well, but they still never talk to any person that has anything to do with cancelling the show. blog idiots quoting blog idiots. something that u just perpetuated.

what next?? one of your fifteen cats tell u that lost is going to return next year for a reunion show like gilligans island did?

concur on the ruining of peter bishop. pussafication for the low i.q. shipper and hater crowd...

Anonymous said...

Okay, now Yahoo has published an article of the 10 shows most in danger of cancellation: http://ca.tv.yahoo.com/falltv/photos/10-bubble-shows/632

Instead of dodging the one convening subject from so many various sources, we should be finding a way to save Fringe.

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