Fringe Summer Rewatch: #203 "Fractured" ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #203 "Fractured"

      Email Post       8/09/2011 12:01:00 AM      

Join us for our Fringe Summer re-watch, where we review every episode of Fringe during the summer hiatus. Comments are welcome as we dig into the connections made over three seasons.

“And you say the headaches haven’t started? Let me know when they do.” – Sam Weiss

Fractured is one of those episodes that includes more arc information and yet you learn so much more about a few of the key characters that you're not sure what hit you when you've finished watching the episode. The opening scene is a cop, Gillespi, receiving a call from the "colonel" and he is given orders to meet a man dressed in black with a briefcase at a train station. We aren't given any more information other than what Gillespi is given and when he confronts the man in question he begins to crystallize and then explodes, killing everyone around him. Wicked, right? What other show out there can expand on an exploding crystallized man?

We then pan to Olivia at the bowling alley with Sam Weiss relearning how to tie her shoes. As she fumbles with the laces, Sam is evasive in his answers to her questions and Olivia only grows more frustrated. We learn through Sam though that the link between him and Nina Sharp is that he helped her learn how to use her fancy hand replacement. Sam makes the quick assumption that Olivia isn't sleeping very much and that the lingering from the accident is eating away at her quickly fading sanity and she doesn't argue his accusation. He sends her home after he helps her finish tying her shoe and is instructed to come back once the headaches have hit.

Next scene is Peter reading off apartment listings while Walter is doing a side task and Astrid is browsing through the FBI case data frame. Walter is obstinate that he likes where they are staying regardless of how uncomfortable it is for Peter, but before the tension between father and son can grow too much Astrid speaks up about an odd case involving an explosion without any bomb residue. The Fringe team is on the case.

On site they make the conclusion that the fragmented crystals they keep finding are actually bits of a man and that was the cause of the many deaths around them. Walter and Astrid return to the lab to put back together the man that was Gillespi while Olivia and Peter go to meet with Gillespi's wife to ask her some questions. This is of course when Olivia's headaches kick in, causing her to see bits of what happened on the other side while she manages to escape to the bathroom to be sick. On that stroke of luck she discovers a loose tile in the bathroom wall under the sink and finds a stash of injectable drugs that Gillespi's wife knows nothing about.

This marks the second time the Fringe team gets proactive on a case in an attempt to save more lives and beat the bad guys to the punch. Peter is now stepping up more in helping with the detective work more than the science. Unfortunately, Olivia is more stubborn then ever at keeping everyone, and especially Peter, from seeing the toll the accident is still having on her body.

Meanwhile Astrid strikes up conversation with Walter about finding a new apartment and he expresses his fondness of the area he lives in currently and the apple fritter he discovered while taking a wrong turn on a street while on a walk.

“You never would’ve discovered the apple fritter if you hadn’t turned the wrong way down the street, would you?” – Astrid

This sentence speaks more than for apple fritters, I think. The theme of what if's is simply stated in this scenario and just a simple switch of words and you've got a lot deeper of a question.

The first man we meet from Peter’s past, “Joe” a computer tech who plays with the security videos and helps them figure out that high radio frequencies can sometimes interrupt video feeds and that the disturbance happened before the bomb went off.

Peter eventually gets the idea to go to Iraq in search for more information on what happened to Gillespi there and mentions it to Broyles with Olivia there. I have to say of all the patented Olivia-looks, this was one of my favorites and clearly says "dangitall". They fly out and find another man from Peter's past and one who isn't as excited as the first to see him. We learn that Big Eddie isn’t the only person out there that hates him. Peter seems to truly regret his past as it is revealed to Olivia. I like to think the man Peter approaches sees this, but chances are it’s the thought of his refusal costing lives that gets him to cave. Olivia, to her credit, doesn’t press him too hard for answers. A few shots of a questionable drink choice later and they're meeting with a doctor who was part of "Project Tin Man" and experiment that saved few and condemned many. He was able to tell them three other names that gave them the final lead they needed.

Peter and Olivia race back and they're able to catch enough lead time to set up a hidden reception for Burgess, one of the tin man test subjects, with hopes of also catching the colonel. Walter and Peter convince Broyles to leave open the frequency so they can use it to triangulate the location of the colonel. Unfortunately, the triangulating program is locked when the frequency starts and it’s up to Olivia and Peter to counteract the attack from the inside. We learn that Peter kind of fights like a girl and Olivia get’s to take out her frustration on technology by beating the remote with her cane and team Fringe saves the day yet again.

In the end Olivia finally snaps at Sam Weiss due to her lack of patience in the progress they aren't making and she unwittingly helps heal herself when she walks to him without her cane.

We end the episode with Broyles interviewing the colonel about his "mission". We find out the colonel is against the observers. He claims the observers are starting a war using our own science against us and that they are learning what they need to know until they can kill us all. Seems pretty futile to me, but if anyone is going to decode those guys it’s going to be team Fringe and not this guy.

Interesting things we learned from "Fractured":

  • Not surprising, Peter speaks Arabic, but Olivia does as well

  • Mr. Watermelon, Mr. Papaya’s friend bites the crystal.

  • Gene is apparently sensitive to people eating her fellow species in the lab.

  • Lesson #1 for Olivia, per Sam Weiss seems to be “patience”.
And finally, if Peter Bishop didn't exist...
This was a very heavy Peter episode in that he played a part in almost every new discovery from the what the bomb was made of, the video surveillance work, and his networking with his contact in Iraq to to get the lead required to save the next unwitting bomb and many other lives. I think it's safe to say that many more lives would be lost in the delay of solving this case without Peter.


birdandbear said...

Wow, nice job! Thanks oranfly. :)

I love the Baghdad scenes. Any insight into Peter's (non)past is always fascinating, yet strange - who was this guy who made enemies so easily, and took screwing people as a matter of course? He seems to have been so very different from the Peter we love, what changed? Was it just Olivia? Whatever it was, I tend to think it was more o a change back, that Peter the rogue was an unnatural persona adopted out of...anger? Necessity? At any rate it seems very unlike the caring guy we (don't) know.

I think Sam did teach Olivia patience, but he also taught her that she was capable of more than she knew. She was literally depending on a crutch she didn't need, a very transparent metaphor.

Favorite line: "Can you just cut the Yoda crap and tell me what's happening to me?"

Yay Star Wars references! ;)

cortexifan said...

-guys in black trench coats, why were they giving info to Observers?
-“The Rabbit goes around the tree”. Just like the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland is referenced a lot as well. I’ve heard Bell being compared to the rabbit. In 6B the woman’s name was Alice. On the Violet Sedan Chair album one song talks about “She’s a lot like Alice with nowhere to go and no white rabbit to follow.” Olivia could be Alice as well.
-“I can’t waste my time.” Olivia being impatient again and later Sam even says it might teach her some patience.
-She is still not sleeping.
-Sam looks a lot older here than he did later in 3.12 Concentrate And Ask Again; 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss.
-Walter seems to be naked a lot :)
-47 shows up in pretty much every episode as well. A remnant from LOST.
-What triggered Olivia’s headache? She saw the flashbacks in red and some of them were upside down.
-Just as Olivia is holding out on Peter about the headaches, he later holds out on her about his time in Iraq. In 3.16 Os they play this game of full disclosure and Olivia asks Peter if he is holding out on her.
-I still have a hard time watching Diane Burgess inject herself in the foot. Yuck!
-Olivia to Sam: “cut the Yoda crap.” In 3.01 Olivia, Henry says sort of to himself: “Jedi mind trick.” Olivia had memorized his "show me" and took the car keys.
-Favorite moment in the episode: Peter’s 2nd bite in to the cheeseburger and Gene mooing over it.
-It always amazes me how Peter stuffs his face and Olivia hardly touches anything, except the important slice of toast in 3.19 LSD.
- Walter always blows up fruit, Mr. Papaya and now the melon.
-When Olivia and Peter talk with the doctor in the kitchen, Peter has a very interesting sitting pose. His hands are on his lap, open. It must be a cultural thing or a gesture of respect maybe?
-If September had been observing the Bishops why did he need someone to give him information, and who is it and where did they get it from?
-Olivia points the gun at Sam. That’s one time she sort of does it out of frustration, maybe not really necessary, in my opinion. Later in 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss she says to him: “I am armed and…” I guess he might have remembered the incident from here and just did what she asked him to do then.
-Who is planning the war? Walternate?
-Why do the Observers want to destroy this side?

If Peter never existed in this episode…
-would they have found the badge and made the connection to the officer and the ear?
-would they have found the doctor in Iraq soon enough before more people died, or would they have found him at all?
-would Diane Burgess have died, since it was Peter who knocked down Gordon who lost the remote so Olivia could destroy it?

fringeobsessed said...

Nice oranfly and cortexifan.
I think if Peter hadn't existed they also would not have rounded up the other 'soldiers' like Diane Burgess.

I have been thinking about Gordon's words for awhile now. Is everything he says really true?
Or is it like Sam Weiss, the Gordon can't be trusted? Remember, the Iraqi doctor said Gordon was an evil man who had no regard for the value of human life. Maybe it's like Emmanuel Grayson-some of what he says is true.

My favorite line in this episode is after Olivia tells Peter "Seems like you made a name for yourself," Peter replies with "I've been known to leave an impression," which is fun enough, but I think it's also foreshadowing of Liv somehow remembering Peter in S4.

Also, the serum Burgess was injecting into her foot(yeah, very gross) was yellow, like the 'powdery stuff' in "Bound," and the yucky medicine Olivia mentions in "Inner Child."

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