“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.