Fringe Review: Entrada ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Review: Entrada

      Email Post       12/06/2010 01:12:00 AM      


“It's like nothing ever happened.”

After a great deal of action in two separate universes, we’re left with sadness: Olivia has to try to fit into a world that has changed; Fauxlivia has to fit into a world that doesn’t know she has changed—or even been gone.


There’s been some speculation that, someday, we would get purple credits: a mixture of the blue and red that demarcate the differences between Over Here and Over There. We haven’t reached that point (Will we? Who knows?), but we did get the alternating credits that signaled two stories…well, sort of. Really, this is one story told in two places. Despite Lincoln Lee’s likability, Charlie Francis’s welcome return, and Walternate’s Shakespearean vengeance, for me our heroes are still the original Scooby gang: Olivia, Peter, Walter, Astrid, Broyles. I’m on their side in the battle, if that’s what it comes down to. And Fauxlivia still freaks me out.

She’s fascinating, sure. But she’s cold-hearted. On the one hand, I understand that she’s just doing her job. On the other hand: hasn’t she realized yet that the Over Here folks are not intentionally waging war against her people? Wouldn’t that affect her willingness to treat “us” like sock puppets in her vengeance mission? Fauxlivia’s “vagenda” (which I assume is using a vagina to further one’s own agenda) was based on the assumption that she was fighting a war, and that her side was right. We didn’t see her character change much at all—even her handcuffed lie to Peter felt like a vagenda, not honesty.

Perhaps Fauxlivia will start to have second thoughts as she attempts to reintegrated Over There. Our Olivia, though was already broken before she made her final crossing. At first, I wasn’t sure how Olivia could be so ruined so quickly—but it makes sense: she was so very close last week, and was ripped from her home. She was sobbing and begging from the trauma of loss.

But as Thomas Wolfe says: “You can’t go home again.” Home isn’t the same once you’ve left it. For Olivia, it won’t just be a matter of perception, either. Her work-family is substantially different, especially Peter. And, while Olivia’s relationship with her FauxMom hasn’t been a major plot point, it’s gotta hurt to lose her mother twice. (Once is a tragedy; twice just seems like carelessness.)

She did get off lucky, I guess. Lab guy Brandon’s ability to see Olivia as nothing more than replaceable mass made me shudder. I have a hard time with anchovies in a tin, so treating people like dehumanized mass really isn’t my thing. Over There, they’ve got a pretty sophisticated rhetoric surrounding their enemies: on the one hand, they’re evil masterminds capable of mass destruction. On the other hand, their lives are as meaningless as rocks. It’s doublethink at its finest, and it is what has allowed Walternate to gain such power.

The power of that rhetoric, that basic Over There concept of hatred and self-defense, is what made Broyles’s decision so striking. Again, this puzzled me at first. Olivia helped him: why wouldn’t he return the favor? Because he believes so firmly in the war that he imagines he is fighting. Altering his way of thinking is akin to me changing my belief that gender is an important component of identity—a radical re-conceptualization of the universe. While I’ve consistently been impressed with Fringe’s world-building, the true force of it didn’t hit me until this episode: these people have a fundamentally different way of looking at the world than we do, a way that includes a lot less doubt and a lot more fear. Almost all of it created by Walternate.

Will we see him again? Will the Over Here shapeshifters have more tasks to do, and more coffee to enjoy? Will Walternate continue his scheming? How will Olivia react to Peter’s relationship with her double? Does Peter need a hug? I don’t know, and every time I theorize about this show, I get it completely wrong. But I still love it.

There May Be Something I Haven’t Thought Of Yet:

• Vagenda. Is this a word that everyone knew about but me? I plan to use it as often as possible in the future.

• Peter wasn’t overly smiley in that photobooth picture, was he?

• The laptop switcheroo was Peter doing to Fauxlivia exactly what she’d done to him.

• Walter tried to cover for Peter. So charming!

• Olivia’s reaction to the prospect of adrenalin was hilarious.

• When a shapeshifter takes on a person’s form, doesn’t that person die? I thought I saw the restroom victim in the background when Peter was talking to Fauxlivia.

• Poor Other Broyles. Oh, god: and his poor family.

• Peter: “I guess answers are where you draw the line.”

• Walter: “In the 70s, I innocently wandered into the wrong house, and it was three days before I realized my mistake. And unlike Olivia, the woman with whom I was sharing my bed didn’t look like my wife at all.”

• Brandon: “We just have to replace her mass.”

• Walter: “She used my stomach to get to my heart.” Like evil laparoscopic vagenda surgery.

• Peter: “That would be so much easier to believe if you weren’t in handcuffs right now.”

I’m surprised this wasn’t the mid-season ender, because on a scale of one to ten, this was a tequila hangover episode, aka:

Four out of four vagendas

(Thanks for your patience with this incredible late review. I could manufacture a really good excuse involving anchovies, vagendas, and pastries bigger than Walter’s head, but really it was just one of those weeks. Next week I should be much more prompt, both here and with my other reviews on billiedoux.com.)

21 Comments:

Kim said...

It was the daughter in the background, not the mother.

Anonymous said...

The Hulu caption (although not a spoken line) said the "other body" was in the bathroom, so I think they killed the mom.

Monika said...

I totally agree. That would have been a perfect mid-season ender. Since watching last episode, I am trying to figure out what there could possibly be for this Thursday, as I cant imagine a better mid-season ender. Hoping there will be a couple of new questions and twists, cause at the moment I feel a bit lost to where this show is heading next.

Josh said...

I just want to briefly state my appreciation for the episode reviews you have done. You do an incredible job recapping each episode and I always find myself looking forward to the next one. Thank you!

Ron E. said...

Here's something I'm not clear on: did alt Broyles die as Walternate's revenge for helping Olivia, was it an accidental side effect of the 2 Olivias swapping worlds, or did he deliberately sacrifice himself to help Olivia get home?

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder if Bolivia actually started to care for Peter. Her manner of speaking and acting around him was different at the end of "The Abducted", and her face when Peter said, "I guess answers is where you draw the line" showed she was hurt, so I'm inclined to believe she might care. We as viewers saw she wasn't the best of an actress when trying to be her alternate...

Anonymous said...

I watched two times the episode but I couldn't help myself liking it. The first half is outrageously slow and boring. The second part - since when we see AltBroyles and Olivia in action - was nice but it seemed there was too many things to be said in the last 20-15 minutes (examples: why the shapeshifter woman happened to come in the metro station toilet? How Olivia passed over here from the deprivation tank in the old lab - I assumed she got an extra-dosing of Cortexiphan - but at least I was hoping to see some visual showing the passsage between our world). This episode, IMO, was disappointing given the high expectation we all were expecting.

Chadwick said...

Fan-fiction: Broyles goes to the alt Universe once he learns how his alter-self died in Olivia's liberation. He finds the widow and boy and brings them back to our universe to stay with him. Our medicine is better and Walter fixes the boy like he fixed Peter. Broyles is divorced from his Diane, so marries the new one and adopts the boy. There is your kharma.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking: Over There they had to switch Altlivia with something with equal mass. Since they lost our Olivia, because she escaped, I think they cruely used Broyles for the trade, and maybe that's why he appears all smokey, because they had to do something to equal Broyle's mass with Altlivia's.
BTW: "vagenda" is hilarious!

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

Loved this episode but I disagree with a couple of your observations. I see the 'over there' world reacting the way any country or world would if attacked. I think you are so enamored with the 'over here' 'Scooby gang' idea esp. wanting a big romance between Olivia and Peter which was taken away from you. What is it with females always wanting the main male/female characters to hook up on every show? All it does is kill it and get the series cancelled! Thank God Mulder and Scully never really went all the way that direction. You are reading too much into motives. Assuming Walternate's motives are selfish and dishonest is just wrong.
I still think there is a lot more going on, perhaps as some have surmised, a third universe causing all this - call it "Yellow". Who are The Observers, where do they come from? Are they the 'First People' or creations of the 'First People'? They are not on either side but work both universes AND they are capable of killing to keep things 'in balance'. So much more to discover and don't forget Sam Weiss - he's OLDER than he looks.

Anonymous said...

When they decided to retreive Bolivia into the alternate universe, they knew that our Olivia had returned so the masses were then equalized. The only one screwing up the mass is Peter. He is supposed to be in the AU and is in ours instead. Now that Broyles dead, burning body is in our universe, aren't things screwed up again?

Dennis said...

The technology that the Red universe uses to send things to our universe (and vice versa), is similar to the tech that Walter and Belly were working on in 1986 (see: Jacksonville). There needs to be a balancing mass exchange - car for car, building for building, Olivia for Olivia. But since our Olivia escaped, Alt-Broyles was used as the balancing mass for Alt-Olivia.

As far as Peter screwing up the balance, it may be why their side is so screwed up. However, it could also just be from the tech being used, and it is possible that when Peter was originally kidnapped, someone from our side (who is the same mass as Peter) just dissappeared and ended up over.

neilyoungsvoice said...

thanks so much for doing these reviews. In a post-LOST world it's still nice to have one show worthy of endless theorizing. so cheers on that. as far as the show goes, I think we will see the pieces of this doomsday device (vacuum?) assembled and both universes almost destroyed in its wake when our heroes realize that there is actually an even bigger adversary (the first people?) than the other universe. Then next season will be the buildup to battling/learning about this newfound adversary

Xindilini said...

I think there is finally hope for fauxLivia yet. In the last over there scene, there is a moment where you can really see her reaction to the news about Broyles being missing.
Now that the Colonel is gone, she is the only one who knows what is is really going on in the blue universe, but I am sure Walternate hasn't told her everything.
I would like to see her realize that life can't go back to normal anymore. When we do go back to the red universe, that would a wonderful payoff to cap the season.

shar said...

I enjoy your recaps thanks for doing them. I had never heard the word vagenda before, but crack up every time I hear it now.

Tiff Tiff said...

I think some people are reading too much into the "equal mass" concept.

The worlds themselves don't have to have equal mass. That is why our world can have a Peter and not theirs. Or how Over There has Olivia's mom but here doesn't. Same concept goes with Liv's sister and niece who are in our universe but not Over There. There are many differences in the people who exist in both universes, so masses don't have to be the same. If that was the case, people would have to die at the exact same time in both universes. Which we can see just by Olivia's family, that this is not the case.

Equal mass, a car for a car, building for a building, and body for a body, only comes into play when swapping items between the worlds, and only through that specific method. The alternate universe has only figured out how to do a trade. That's why they were so interested in our Olivia, because she can travel between worlds... no swapping necessary. And when Walter took Peter, his method was opening up a door so to speak in the weaker fabric between universes. That did not need a transfer of mass.

Monika said...

Tiff Tiff I dont think people are reading too much in the "equal mass" concept. You forget, that just because someone dies, the mass is not gone. It changes e.g. to earth/ash, but the universe still has the same mass. However, I agree about Olivia traveling in a way no mass exchange is needed. I also think, that travelling between the worlds for only a couple of hours doesnt require a mass exchange (like Walter in "Peter" and Walternate in "The Man from the other side" crossing over)
But I think that back in the day Peter came over, there must have been a mass exchange. But as it is not important at the moment I am not thinking about it too much.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the third party adversary theory, but it will take some time before the two universes will be able to join forces in battle. For now, Dr. Demento's (Walternate) thirst for vengence upon our universe will carry the rest of this season and possibly next.

Anonymous said...

Love the reviews. Thanks.
No one else noticed that Broyles had a Leg and Arm hacked off to balance the "mass"?
The whole reason their RED universe is screwed up is BECAUSE Peter was removed from it without replacing the mass(I doubt Nina's arm weighed as much as young Peter did). Or am I the only one who thinks this? all alone in my own alternate universe...

fringeobsessed said...

Nice job, Josie, but I have to disagree with you about FauxLiv. True, she is the character I love to hate, BUT, once her cover was blown, I think she was nothing but honest with Peter. Cold yes, especially in telling Peter she had no idea where his Olivia was since that wasn't part of her assignment(*bitch*), but that's the irony of the handcuffs. She may have developed some kind of feelings for him now, but he'll never believe her.

Lincoln said...

Great review as always. Thank you!

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