It took a good 15 minutes into the episode and suddenly I had a feeling I was exactly where I was supposed to be. A high school girl named Lisa Donovan comes back from the dead shouting launch codes for nuclear ICBM missles and the ID code for a Naval petty officer Andrew Rusk.Olivia is asking Lisa Donovan questions. She tells the girl that the ID she shouted belongs to a man named Andrew Rusk, and she asks if that rings any bells? OK, this is starting to sound familiar!Just then Lisa Donovan launches into fluent Russian, which of course, human lexicon Peter Bishop is able to decipher. About two thirds of the way into this episode Walter decides Lisa Donovan is not channeling Rusk psychically, but that "Mister Rusk's entire consciousness was transferred into Lisa." Now the bells are ringing for me! This is all foreshadowing way back in "Unearthed" for Bell's consciousness transferring into our poor Olivia!Two women lying on gurneys (probably the same one) posessed, if you will, by a man's consciousness. Their names even sound the same: Lisa Donovan, and 'Livia Dunham. Wow. Who would've guessed an episode in the Extra Features section would be closely linked to "LSD"? But Lisa Donovan gets a benzodiazepine to start the prosess that purges her man, whereas our Liv gets LSD. Why the difference? I'll get back to that in a bit.
Episode 319 titled "LSD," is a real trip(pun intended). This is an above average episode that transferred itself into Fringe Nirvana via a heady, robust infusion of high-tech animation. As soon as Walter and Peter open the door to Belly's office and find him in an animated state I was reminded of an interview with Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman months ago when someone in the media asked if they were planning on doing an animated episode, and Jeff's response was "Hold that thought." Well, hold it no longer! I'm no expert on animation and barely a fan of it, but I was absoultely mesmerized by the appearance of Belly's glass of whiskey-the way it captured the light, as well as the whiskey bottle. And it wasn't because I caught the "Lost" meaning of it, it was just the way the glass and the bottle appeared. The episode quickly reaches "don't leave your seat" status just like "Over There:Parts 1 and 2," "Jacksonville," and several others.
There's a lot of great humor in "LSD." Most noteworthy are Bellivia's nod to Star Trek when Walter asks if she's ready and Bell replies "Aye, aye, Captain," and both Peter's and Broyles' outrageous expressions while under the influence. Astrid was great too when she replies "Just about, Wally," to Walter's inquiry of "Are you ready, Astro?" It's about time Walter gets a taste of his own medicine. And a salute to the Morse Code in this episode which is actually copyable.I can copy about 12 words per minute, and that was an SOS from one of the Twin Towers, and also "O-L" from "Olivia." (It worked much better than with that street light in the pilot.) I haven't had the chance to see "Inception," but 319 smells of one of my favorite movies, "The Matrix" when Peter in his RayBans and Walter try to blend into the sea of people in the Manhatan of Olivia's mind. Broyles blowing bubbles is a fun image I'll try to keep in mind as we get into the rougher episodes to come. And Brandon-looking Massive Dynamic zombies? A nice touch. Speaking of nice touches, did anyone else think of that old music vid "Take On Me" by the 80's group Aha, when Peter opened the door to Olivia's old house on the Jacksonville military base and de-animated?
There are a couple of lovely intense scenes in "LSD" as well. Like when Bell tells Walter he doesn't need him anymore to check and balance, because Walter posesses "the wisdom of humility." I think the best one is when Peter looks into adult Olivia's eyes and realizes it isn't her(Finally, Peter gets it!) as adorable young Olivia rises from the dinner table. And when Peter returns to himself and grabs Walter in a death grip is pretty great also.
Our girl Olivia wakes up neatly tucked into herself as the gang looks on, and it appears the decisions Walter has made indeed have been the right ones. But that ending is a true face smacker that knocks us off our seat. Peter's lucky he didn't take the proffered toast, as he might have choked on it.
References To Other Episodes In This Episode
- Naked Mr. Spence, from the medical school, getting shocked in the tub-reminds me of the similar scene with dead Mr. Smith in the tub in 107, "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones"
- The second lightbulb going out in the ceiling-reminds me of the last light going out in 114, "Ability."
- Walter sending Morse Code with the aluminum chocolate pudding wrapper-reminds me of the streetlight sending Morse Code in the pilot episode.
- Walter's crazy cab ride-reminded me of Henry Higgins wild ride in 301, "Olivia."
- Walter and Peter stepping off the elevator into the white hall-reminds me of Olivia stepping into the same hall in 204, "Momentum Deferred."
- The Massive Dynamic Brandon-looking zombies-remind me a little of crazy cerebral spinal fluid-sucking Mrs. Boone in 118, "Midnight."
- Peter awakening in the lab, panicked-reminds me of Olivia doing the same in the pilot episode AND Olivia grabbing Peter the same breathless way in 113, "The Transformation."
- Peter telling Liv in the house "I can see it in your eyes. you're not her"-reminds me of Olivia's discussion with him in the garden in 309, "Marionette."
- Olivia on the gurney asking, "What happened to me?"-reminds me of Lisa Donovan asking Peter the exact same question in "Unearthed."
- "Thank you for coming to get me"-reminds me of Olivia thanking Peter for coming to her aid in 217, "Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver."
Things That Struck Me About This Episode
- The awesome animation. Period!
- The second light bulb popped in the lab ceiling right after a frustrated Peter said "I'm suggesting that I want Olivia back. And I'm losing patience." So who's mental energy popped that bulb? Olivia's? Peter's? Or more likely, their combined energy?(Think back to the Merchants and what they did with their frustrated energy in "6B.")
- Astrid says to Peter, "Right now I think you're her only hope." Does that sound a little Star Wars-ish to you? Like when hologram Princess Leia says something similar to Obi-Wan Kenobi?
- "An inorganic host can house organic material." Hmm. So where has Belly gone now? I still think they should check Gene's EEG, if the Fringe comics are any indication(get it, cow-bell? Sorry, couldn't resist). But with this new information Bell could be anywhere. Maybe in Walter's record player? Or his jar of Red Vines?
- Broyles on LSD! Priceless! Did Astrid feel anything when she held his hand?
- Evil Nina Sharp trying to kill Walter and Peter. Sadly that doesn't seem so far-fetched does it? I'm hoping that was Olivia's rendition of Alt-Nina and not our own.
- "No. It's infinite. It's all around us. ..I know it followed me...Death. I saw death. All of it. And it was me!" I assume Phillip Broyles is talking about viewing his dead doppelganger here, but is this also foreshadowing of the death to come?
- Another insanely long jump performed by Peter Bishop! Peter jumps from the top of the MD building to the blimp's rope ladder, and we see him unanimated for just a secon while he does it. So is jumping or flying(or both) one of Peter's abilities?
- "The direction you choose to take will be just." Bell says this to Walter in the blimp. For those of you who have read "Winter's Tale" by Mark Helprin, the book young Olivia was reading in "Subject 13," this phrase should sound familiar.
- Painting the door of Olivia's house red for "good luck." Hmm. A reference to the Red Universe being lucky? Does that make anyone else nervous?
- "I can see it in your eyes. You're not her." I think from this and from Peter's comments that our Olivia told him about her childhood house that we can assume Olivia has really opened herself up to Peter, which is quite an achievement since 'The Firefly." And thank you to the writers for letting us see that Peter Bishop really can get it right! (At least right now, anyway.)
- Astrid downloaded "Zoom" for Walter. For those of you that don't know "Zoom" was a PBS show produced and filmed in Boston that aired from 1972-78 and then had a second run from 1999-2006. This was a giant Easter egg, and as New England as NECCO wafers!
- Question: Why did Olivia's mind have Walter, Peter, and Bell Over There, rather than Over Here? Were we really in our Olivia Dunham's mind? I certainly hope so!
- The guy with the thick cross on his shirt-He seemed to know of Peter Bishop, so I assume he's from Over There.
- "When she came to us in the lab, she asked for our help." Red alert! Peter says this at his meeting with Walter and Bell in Bell's office and if he's talking about our Olivia in her current situation it doesn't make any sense. I think Peter is talking about something that didn't happen on the show yet, ie. FauxLivia probably appearing to our gang in the lab, which means what, that our Olivia is precognitive? Psychic? Could be. Remember Walter's explanation to Peter, Olivia, and Astrid in the lab in "Unearthed" that his research in stimulating the Broca's area of the brain could increase a person's psychic ability. I would keep that phrase in mind if I were you. This would also explain why she tells Peter at the end that she thinks it's a drawing of the man who is going to kill her.
- "In the end you are as strong as Walter and I always believed you were. And now you know it too." This is an interesting conversation between William Bell and Olivia that I think has some foreshadowing towards the Season 3 finale and the seasons ahead.
- Lisa Donovan got a benzodiazepine in "Unearthed," but our Olivia got LSD, to purge the man's consciousness out. Why the difference? I think this whole episode needed a reason to have Walter, Olivia, Bell, Peter, and Broyles all take LSD so they can see things coming from Over There in the near future. Think back to Rebecca Kibner in 204, "Momentum Deferred." After taking LSD at least twice, she was able to see things from Over There that we normally wouldn't see, like shapeshifters, Peter's glimmer, etc. This could be a valuable new "ability" for our team as we quickly move into the chaos that "6:02AM EST" seems to promise.
I could watch "Lysergic Acid Diethylamine" over and over again and probably will. I don't often give Fringe episodes the maximum rating, but I do give this episode 5 out of 5 sugar cubes.