“I won’t forget what you did here.”
So now Olivia knows that Broyles knows what she knows. Walternate knows that Olivia knows what he worried she knew. And Peter knows what he didn’t know (despite my theory that he did know): he knows that what he thought he knew is wrong. The question is: when will Fauxlivia know what Peter now knows, and what will she do with that knowledge?
At base, Fringe is about loss. Remember back in seasons one and two, when Walter mourned the loss of his former lab assistant? We understand that differently now: Walter mourned the loss of her life because he knew the pain of losing a child. He saw his own potential pain (prevented by the theft of Peter) in the lab assistant’s mother, who nonetheless forgave him. Even back in our stand-alone days, most episodes dealt with the problem of loss and how different people react differently to it.
This week, we saw two models of how to deal with loss: Broyles nearly lost his son—and his son lost his health—but remained a strong man committed to taking care of the people close to him, including Fauxlivia, and now Olivia. Broyles’s strength was tested, but not broken. He did get his son back, although he thought (until episode’s end) that he might lose him for good due to the kidnappers’ theft of his son's youth.
Walternate was broken by Peter’s loss. Sure, he’s still strong, but it’s the brittle strength of a man consumed with revenge. He has nothing to lose, and that makes him horribly dangerous, because he has no loyalty and no compassion. Now that he knows Olivia is aware of who she is, and how to get back home, he will almost certainly kill her. Why not? To do otherwise would be to introduce unnecessary complications.
Broyles, hopefully, will prove to be Walternate’s foil. At the beginning of the episode, Broyles asked when “our Olivia” would come back, right after talking about the loss of his son: Broyles cares for his team and feels the pain of Fauxlivia’s loss. But now that Olivia has helped him with the most important thing, and (although Broyles doesn’t know it yet) risked her own escape to do so…well, who’s to say how that will impact his actions down the line?
All of that, of course, is pure conjecture. But it’s hard to review this episode without thinking about how the story will end: this is really the first part of a two-parter. Nonetheless, the mystery of the week was still a solid entry in the Fringe canon, even though the emotional story was more affecting (for me) than the mystery. I was impressed by the completely scary monster hiding in the boy’s bedroom. I suspected that would happen, and I was right, and that made it even more suspenseful. Damn knowledge!
What Does It Mean?:
• Olivia drew on a previous case to figure out what the Candyman was doing, even though she wound up being wrong about the kids seeing an old man and a young one. Could I be equally wrong about what Walternate will do?
• That mask and what the kidnappers do to the children was quite reminiscent of the bad guys in Steven King’s Wolves of the Calla, who also wore shiny masks and brought kids back “roont” (ruined).
• Is it Ender’s Game that starts with a young boy with a thingamabob implanted in the back of his neck?
• I applaud the return of Andre Royo, cab driver extraordinaire and charming hydrophobe.
• Likely without realizing it, Broyles passed his own desire to protect his family on to his son, who didn’t reveal certain facts just to save his mom and dad.
• Olivia figured out the kidnappers’ identities because of the prayer they said in front of Broyles’s son, and through Andre Royo’s offhand remark. Broyles figured out what Olivia knew because of her slip of the tongue—FBI instead of Fringe Division. Does this parallelism matter?
I’m going to leave this unrated until we get the second half on December 2nd. How many of those new-fangled Red Vines do you think it deserves?
(Screencap courtesy of fox.com. Thanks!)