Even if you haven't been watching Fringe since the pilot, you may have noticed that some episodes just stand out more than others. 'Entrada' is one of those. I was not at all surprised to see 'Entrada' was written by executive producers Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman. How could I tell? This episode was riveting, smooth, and flowing. Despite all the back and forth action between universes, we viewers could keep up with it.
In reviewing "Entrada," which is most likely the best Season III episode to date, let's start with its glyph word, "CROSS." There are at least 4 crossing situations in this episode(if you find more let me know.) Peter Bishop finally realizes FauxLivia has crossed him. AlternateBroyles crosses Walternate(yikes!), FauxLivia crosses over to her side, and our poor Olivia crosses back to ours.That's a lot of action in a less than one hour show, and the brilliant thing is Pinkner and Wyman packed more into the episode than just that.
If you are a Peter/Olivia(P/O) 'shipper,' the first 10 minutes of "Entrada" were very gratifying. Finally our favorite dumb smart, guy got the message that he was sleeping with the enemy. I've been chatting with friends for weeks on how Peter could trip Faux up, and I was really hoping it would be the yellow M&M's thing. But Pinkner and Wyman linked "Entrada's" beginning beautifully to the Season II opener when Peter threw FauxLiv the Greek phrase our Liv uttered when she regained consciousness from crossing back to us for the first time. And of course, FauxLiv failed the test. And Peter's heart broke. And he failed again to keep his poker face up for a second Olivia Dunham(if they show us a third universe he's probably mess up with that Liv also.) That was sloppy on Peter's part, but love can do that. He whipped his love-addled brain into self-preservation mode, but not quickly enough. FauxLiv gives Peter her most honest commentary yet, while training her gun on him, and Peter's comment, "I guess answers is where you draw the line," goes back beautifully to their restaurant conversation in the beginning of 3.04, "Do Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?"Finally, FauxLivia says something of substance in this series, "It's not realistic to think that I wouldn't do what I came here to do." Good point. Don't flatter yourself too much, smart guy. And FauxLiv tosses a leather kit containing a vial and syringe at him, the meaning perfectly clear. I'll bet most of you reading this wondered why Peter goes along with FauxLiv's plan and actually injects himself. I believe he'd do anything to get our Liv back. He knows at that moment that attacking or even killing FauxLiv wouldn't be productive, and it's got to be killing him not to act impulsively. There's not even any door kicking here."You gonna come after me? You gonna to kill me?" FauxLiv asks Peter, averting her eyes. And P/O shippers worldwide do a dance at his reply. "No, I gonna get answers. And if I find out you did anything to Olivia,"(his voice cracks here), "then I'm gonna kill you." Peter injects himself with an awfully long needle(This is the first of many needles in this episode. Wonder which writer has a needle fetish?) FauxLiv gets very close and whispers that the effects of the paralysis will wear off in a few hours. She picks up what she thinks is her laptop and leaves. If you've ever entertained starting to write Fringe fanfiction, Peter's depressed thoughts as he sits there waiting for help to eventually arrive, would make a lovely starter fic. FauxLiv scampers off to the typewriter store in the Bronx and lets Walternate know her cover's been blown. She requests an extraction.
Walter is holding Peter's free hand while the paramedic questions Peter(and there are more needles as she draws blood from Peter), and that is one of the few comforting scenes in this episode. Broyles answers one of the questions we've asked for ages. FauxLiv kept her cover and our Liv's been Over There for 8 weeks. (I thought it would be 97 days, the number on the hair dye bottle in the finale. That number still haunts me.) Broyles grills a headachy and nauseated Peter, as he wants FauxLiv in custody very badly. It is very interesting here that apparently Peter told Broyles that FauxLiv administered the paralytic at 2:15AM. Technically he self-administered but kept that tidbit to himself. Part I of his soon-to-come self-loathing? Broyles asks Peter what he was doing at Olivia' apartment at 2:15 AM? Hello? Didn't Broyles notice Peter's super casual state of dress? Walter dutifully launches into a cover story to protect the P/O 'relationship' and Peter interrupts him. "Walter, you don't have to cover for me." And in a shocking moment Peter reveals, "Since we came back from Over There, Olivia and I became something more than friends." Broyles' eyes are one of the best things in this episode. Broyles has an enlightning moment and says "I see." Now I must interject here. Really, Pinkner and Wyman? Broyles didn't guess this beforehand? Go rewatch that wonderful scene in "The Arrival" when Broyles looks first at a beaten Peter signing himself out from the hospital, and then to Olivia who's intensely watching Peter. Broyles seems to get it there. Then rewatch the scene from "What Lies Below" when Olivia begs permission with her eyes from Broyles to go back into Vitas Petrol to save a soon-to-be-dead Peter. Broyles seems to get the feelings there. I love Broyles' response in "Entrada" but find it hard to swallow that Broyles would be that surprised. Is he faking it? He is an FBI supervisor. Observation is one of his key tools. Perhaps Broyles needs a vacation?
And Walter is written adorably in this episode. He launches into a crazy explanation of how Peter's sleeping with the wrong Olivia Dunham is perfectly understandable. Apparently in the 1970's Walter walked into someone else's house and slept with a woman he didn't know for three days. He says unlike Peter's situation, the woman didn't look like his wife at all.(Plausable with his drug use history.) His interjection was probably to put off the inevitable chewing-out he thought Broyles was going to give his 'son' at that moment. But in true Pinkner and Wyman style the crazy story distraction gives Peter time to phase him out and look around. He gets the necessary epiphany and practically shouts out that FauxLiv took the wrong laptop. Interestingly, they had his and hers matching Apple laptops, most likely FBI-issued, and FauxLiv picked up the one closest to where her gun had been. This gives our team new incentive, and the laptop is carted off for deciphering.
Back in the retro typewriter shop we learn that the shopkeeper's made some kind of bargain with the Other Side folks who keep asking for the key to the back room. Apparently they promised him 'new legs' and he's been waiting 7 years for them to deliver. "Your kind isn't so good at keeping promises. But I guess you've got it all under control." It's at that moment that FauxLiv opens the laptop only to find it's Peter's and not hers. Score 1 for us, and I have a feeling the shop guy's words about keeping promises is forshadowing for a later time this season, or the next.
On to one of the coldest scenes of this episode. Bad!Brandon's in Walternate's office and Walternate is holding a piece of paper with the same message FauxLiv typed on the Other Worldly Selectric, and we get a second question answered. The typewriter messages from Our Side to Their Side stop with Walternate, as we guessed. He tells Brandon that extracting FauxLiv is a priority now, even though she hasn't finished her mission, and wants to swap our Liv for theirs since they are of equal mass. "Alive or dead?" The very cold question Brandon asks Walternate regarding the return of our poor Liv. He feels there are "very important parts for study," and it seems he's just as comfortable returning a pile of entrails, or whatever, of equal mass. Gulp. Who's colder on the Other Side? Walternate? Or AltBrandon? We are not privvy to the answer to AltBrandon's question as he leaves Walternate's office and lets AltBroyles know it's his turn. The scene shifts to Walternate telling Colonel Broyles that someone helped her get through the harbor patrols, and that that person doesn't understand their side's goals. AltBroyles is looking mighty uncomfortable as you would expect. "And now with what we've discovered about how that girl crosses over, we are about to turn the tide." Remember this quote, because I will come back to this a little later. Walternate pours a drink for both he and AltBroyles and they drink to FauxLiv's safe return. Minutes later, AltBroyles sees there's no celebration for waht happens to our poor Liv. He locks eyes with hers as she screams while being dragged down the hallway of the DOD compound.
Halfway through the episode we're on Our Side with Walter apologizing to Peter, saying there's no safe way to cross back Over There. He says he's sorry he's failed Peter and Olivia. Peter tells Walter he hasn't failed anyone as Broyles bursts through the door, and answers a third question for us. Broyles' team has found 17 pieces of Walternate's 'doomsday' machine on our side in a airplane hangar somewhere. Apparently FauxLiv used our Liv's credentials to get in there 3 hours after she restrained Peter to steal a really strange-looking piece. Broyles hands Peter a picture of the stolen piece. He jumps to the conclusion that it must have been FauxLiv's mission to obtain it. He and Broyles worry that now that she has it she may be trying to get back to the Other Side. If they lose her, they fear they will lose our Liv forever. Broyles again grills Walter for any new thoughts on how to get back Over There. Walter seems quite frazzled as he chomps on a giant pastry that FauxLiv brought him. He launches into what I consider to be the funniest dialogue of the episode. Calling FauxLiv a "temptress," and tells them all loudly that "she tricked my son with her carnal manipulations and he fell right into her vagenda." Which led me to urbandictionary.com to see if "vagenda" is a new urban word, only to find this in entry #2(I do not make this stuff up, folks.):
vagenda:(origin, Fringe, Walterism) from vagina agenda
(n.) the act of fooling a man into thinking you're his girlfriend, while his real girlfriend is trapped in another universe, by using your vagina, so you can steal valuable information and ancient pieces of technology
He fell right into her vagenda!
Wow. Our fans are really on the ball! And here I was gonna call the Webster's Dictionary people with a new entry. It's bad enough Walter said it but then Astrid clearly repeats it, and if you want to add a timeless classic to your pics check out the screen cap of Peter's face during this at Fringefiles.com. Walter adds that he also fell prey to FauxLiv's cunning, that she used his stomach to get to his heart, as he keeps chomping on his pastry. Astrid studies the pastry box and makes the necessary connection that it is from the Bronx. Why would FauxLiv go there? Peter suggests she knows someone there, and off go Walter, Broyles, and Peter to check out the lead.
Meanwhile the Selectric 251 comes alive and gives FauxLiv her new orders. She tells the shop owner he'll get new legs if he does one more thing for her, and she pushes a mysterious silver box towards him.
Broyles pulls up hours later in front of a bakery and the antique typewriter store and they decide to split up and check the stores out. Broyles gives them copies of Agent Dunham's picture.
Walter says he'll interview the people at the bakery(naturally). Peter's the one who hits paydirt as the typewriter guy barely even looks at Liv's photo. Peter starts looking around the shop commenting that it's pretty retro for a high-rent area. The owner tells Peter he specializes in stuff that's hard to find, as Peter gets closer to an Apple laptop that looks just like his, and discovers it is his. In the next scene we see Broyles, Peter, and Walter entering the inner sactum of the shop. They inspect the Selectric 251 and Walter announces it's a quantum entangled telegraph, a machine that possibly could communicate between the two worlds. Peter wasists no time and removes the ribbon where he finds the following words:
...WELL DONE. INITIATE. PHASE TWO
...NEEDED. PENN STATION. NEWARK, NJ.
The next scene is AltBroyles sitting at a busy Manhattan bar. On the TV is a clip of a major Fringe event that happened 20 years ago on the same day, a giant vortex that appeared in the East River. I believe this it the first time we've seen this vortex, but probably not the last. Not everything is foreshadowing in Fringe, but for some reason I think this vortex is symbolic of the episodes ahead. "Entrada," I'm told is Portugese for "entrance." Dictionary.com says "entrance" is "an act of entering, into a place or upon new duties." In a recent interview, Jeff Pinkner tells us we are entering into a new section of Fringe, and that the relationships in our little family unit will change as a result of what has happened prior to this point. Now I happen to believe the Fringe staff are very into definitions, and "vortex" has two interesting ones that go beyond a swirling mass of air, water, etc. Firstly, "a state of affairs likened to a whirlpool for violent activity," and secondly, "something regarded as drawing into its powerful current everything that surrounds it." Hmm. It will be interesting in the episodes ahead to watch and see if the concept of a vortex plays a bigger role with our beloved characters.
Broyles notices how affected the patrons are watching the scene. He drains his beer and goes to leave money on the bar when the barkeep tells him his money is no good there. "Times are tough. It's nice to know we have heroes." And there's foreshadowing for AltBroyles, although you have to wonder if the people on the Other Side will ever really discover that he was a hero.
AltBroyles visits our Liv in her holding cell on Liberty Island. He thanks her for not pointing him out as a traitor when she saw him in the hall. She asks him how his son is doing and he thanks her again for helping him. AltBroyles asks if there is anything he can do to make her more comfortable. Liv points out he's really there to make himself feel more comfortable. She gives him a lengthy lecture on what exactly they're going to do with her and shows him some of the many ugly 'cut here' lines marked out on her head, face, and body. Liv's eyes are huge as she knows appealing to AltBroyles humanity is her last chance at getting out of there alive. The word 'hope' is bounced around some more as it has been in recent episodes. She promises him that if he helps get her free she will find a way that both worlds can continue to live. She says if they kill her and return her, that her side will attack theirs. AltBroyles practically shudders at the thought of more lives lost. We don't know if she's gotten to him or not as he leaves her cell saying, "I'm sorry." (And a worker enters her cell with more needles.)
The next scene is AltBroyles talking with his spouse in some kind of sanctuary filled with trees, flowers, and animals. On first view I wasn't sure why this scene is included, but on subsequent views I guess it is to show us that AltBroyles desires the option which causes the least amount of casualties. He asks, "Who am I to play God with other people's lives?" and I think this is an inside joke in the Fringe camp as they do this each week. Walter made reference to this in the past and the movie "Forbidden Planet" playing in the background when Peter gets his booty call in "Do Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sleep" makes reference to this also. Diane Broyles' last words are "We need to restore hope," and that pretty much cinches AltBroyles' decision and destiny.
The Walter, Peter, and Broyles trio are moving again. This time at breakneck speed to Penn Station in Newark. Finally we get a glimpse of the emotional pain Peter Bishop is in as he rides shotgun with Broyles. Broyles notices his tortured look and tries to reassure him that they'll get our Liv back. Peter's response? "Glad you're feeling so confident." Really good Peter angst here.
Evil AltBrandon prepares to saw up our Liv when someone enters the room and subdues him. (I can still hear the sound of that awful bone saw. ) AltBroyles frees our Liv and tries to get her to move but she's too sedated. So he hurriedlt looks for-another needle. This time a big one to shoot adrenaline into her chest. Sound familiar? A direct throwback to 2.04 "Momentum Deferred" when Peter did the same thing to Liv. Our Liv remembers too as she shouts, "Please don't don't-Ah!" They get to the ground floor but the deprivation tank's been drained. What's more interesting though is what Liv finds in the lab-bags of a dark substance that she believes may be cortexiphan. She thinks that is why they stopped experimenting on her. Now what significance will that have that the Other Side now has our Walter's wonder drug? Time will tell. The alarm sounds and they have to do something. She tells AltBroyles about Walter's lab at Harvard and AltBroyles asks her whether the Secretary would have a deprivation tank there also. She thinks it's possible and is raring to go. AltBroyles points out that they changed the harbor patrols and she'l never make it by water. "But I can get you there." And AltBroyles' destiny is sealed. Walternate gets a phone call and is told that Olivia Dunham is gone(again) and is quite unhappy.
FauxLiv is busy enjoying her last cup of coffee on Our Side at Penn Station when she is appraoched by a young man who says it's time for her to go home. He tells her he dreams of the Other Side as he prepares to inject both her palms and then her back. (Interesting that they would her inject her spine. Isn't that where the shapeshifter 'brain' is?) It is revealed that her helper is a shapeshifter. A lady walks into the restroom and interrupts their procedure. Peter's watching and spots FauxLiv exiting the rest room with her helper. He yells loud enough that she can hear him, "Dunham! Freeze!" and FauxLiv shoots into the air, starts a panic, and disappears back into the restroom. Broyles and team get to Peter and he says, "She's in there with another guy." Now maybe it's me, but I find it funny that he didn't just say she's in there with some guy. Another guy. Jealousy there? Even for the wrong partner? Hmm. I think it's interesting that Peter's intact enough to consider that the other guy might have shifted into the woman hostage FauxLiv has at gunpoint in front of Peter. A young girl comes running up behind Peter and yells to her mom, the hostage. In a bold move, Peter asks the hostage what her daughter's name is twice. The woman looks flustered and doesn't answer. Peter smoothly shoots the hostage in the forehead and mercury oozes out. The jig is up for FauxLiv and she's taken into custody.
Shorly after, Peter asks FauxLiv where Olivia is and how they can get her back. A callous FauxLiv answers, "I don't know. That wasn't part of my assignment." She tells Peter that what started out as an assignment changed into- and Peter fills in the next two words "something more." In a very bittersweet moment he puts his hand on her cheek and you think he might be gentle, but he tells her that would be easier to believe if she wasn't in handcuffs. He takes a good look at FauxLiv and you assume he's thinking it may be his last look at the Dunham who crossed him. One of Broyles' men hands Peter FauxLiv's backpack. He searches it and finds she was taking a set of their 'couples photos' with her back home.
Our Liv and AltBroyles get to the Harvard lab and Liv fills the tank with water and salt.
They hear a team approaching and AltBroyles tells her they found them via his subcutaneous tracker in his arm. He tells her to get going. "In the end, I have to believe in hope. Please make this worth it," he tells our Liv. She hurries into the tank, and hears a struggle and gunshots outside of it. Just as they're about to open the tank doors, our Liv crosses over. On our side, Astrid's in the lab alone and hears noise in the tank. The doors open and our Liv appears to her.
Astrid's so shocked she drops what she's holding. Olivia smiles at her and drops to the floor in exactly the same position she did on the street after flying out of the windshield in episode 2.01.
Walter is fiddling with little white sticks that were with the shapeshifter's injector. He tells Peter they look familiar. Broyles approaches after a call and tells Peter that Astrid called saying Olivia's back. Broyles says they are en route to Boston General because they think Olivia had some kind of seizure. Peter says he's going to go see her. Walter interrupts him saying he remembers the rods are harmonic rods. Thr truck FauxLivia's in shakes as well as the ground. Peter opens the door and tells Broyles he may not want to look in. Of course he does. Inside there is no sign of FauxLivia, only the mangled, tortured, and incinerated body of AltBroyles.
On the Other Side(0ne more time) FauxLiv struts off the elevator at Fringe Headquarters without demonstrating any ill effects from her recent crossing. (I have to mention here that it drives me crazy that Walternate talks of ill effects from crossing over and how the information they can learn from our Liv regarding how she crosses safely would help them, but FauxLiv is no worse for wear. Come to think of it, Walter and Peter were OK after they returned. What gives?) Lincon Lee intercepts her to brag about his complete healing. "It's like nothing ever happened," he says to her. She repeats the words with a self-satisfying smile. AltAstrid approaches them to tell them Colonel Broyles has not shown up for work, and that his wife said he did not come home the night before. Agent Lee looks rather put-off. On our side, Broyles gazes at his dead doppelganger, reflecting.
A strange man visits the typewriter guy. At fringepedia.net they call him "The Librarian," whatever that means. He sets down a wooden box and opens it to reveal...another giant needle.
The Librarian injects something into the shopkeeper's arm, and then tells him to "try them out."
The shopkeeper stands and takes some solid steps. He thanks The Librarian and the Librarian thanks him, as he removes the silver box from a rucksack. He opens it to reveal the missing part of the doomsday device FauxLivia stole. Hmm.
The episode ends with an extremely bittersweet scene of Peter sitting at our Liv's bedside at the hospital, waiting for her to wake up. He looks up as she opens her eyes. There's alot in his eyes. Relief, sadness, regret, fatigue. He puts his hands around hers and she covers them with her other hand. Before she can get another word out he says those three little words(not those three little words) "I'm sorry, Olivia." We know what he's sorry for. Lots of stuff, but she doesn't know the half of it. Not yet, anyway. She tells him not to apologize, and that he was the only thing that helped her get through. "If it wasn't for you I would never have made it back. You saved my life." Peter is not handling her positive words well. He leans up at this point and kisses her forehead, probably so that she can't see his tears and also to hide his eyes.
This has been a very long review, and I thank you for getting through it.
Some questions were answered in "Entrada," as I explained above, and as always, there are many new questions, such as the following:
- Was Broyles really not aware that the P/B relationship had changed?
- Why did Walternate's men torture and burn him instead of just killing him?
- Is Brandon dead? Or was he just subdued?
- Who is the creepy Librarian and why did FauxLiv want him to have the part? Is she going to cross Walternate?
- How is that P/O conversation going to go in the next episode?
- If the Other Side has cortexiphan now, how will that change things?
- If people from their side can cross back and forth with those injectable little rods, why isn't an army of them crossing to our side now?
"Entrada" is quality entertainment. I give it 5 needles.