Fringe Summer Rewatch: #204 "Momentum Deferred" ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #204 "Momentum Deferred"

      Email Post       8/10/2011 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.

Momentum Deferred is an important episode in the overall story of the show. It's importance stems from the fact that previously Agent Charlie Francis had become a shape-shifter and no-one is the wiser on the Fringe team.

The episode centers around Olivia trying to recover her memories from crossing over to the other side. Her attempt in doing so in the beginning of the episode involves her drinking flatworms to help trigger her memory. Meanwhile multiple cryogenics facilities have been robbed and someone seems to be targeting frozen heads across the country. One of the corpses found at the scene bleeds silver (mercury) and left behind one of the devices used to help him shape-shift. Charlie begins to suffer the effects of his previous shape-shifting, having been in the body too long and in an attempt to heal himself, drinks mercury to recompose himself. It seems to be a temporary fix.

Olivia takes the shape-shifting device to Massive Dynamic where they work at rendering the image of the last shape-shifter and promise to have it on a public server for Olivia the minute they figure out who it is. Meanwhile Peter takes Walter to visit Rebecca Kibner, a previous test subject that had the ability to recognize people from the other side. Rebecca eagerly agrees to come back with them to the lab to undergo tests once again in order to help.

While in the lab, they ring the bell while Rebecca is under. The sound immediately affects Olivia as she passes out onto the floor and is unresponsive. During this time, we get a flashback of Olivia and William Bell from the otherside. Olivia is told that she is the gatekeeper, the strongest of all the children protected. She is informed that very few can cross over and that her ability makes her special and that she is just now coming into it. She must also remember the symbol on the back of the shape-shifters neck and show it to Nina Sharp . Peter revives Olivia painfully with a needle filled with adrenaline straight to the heart. Jolting up, she gasps that she needs to speak with Nina Sharp. Olivia remembered her time crossing over.

Nina breaks it down to Olivia, telling her about the Pauli Exclusion Principle and the last great storm. Olivia is interrupted by her phone and sees Charlie is calling. He tells her that Nina is the shapeshifter and to get out. Olivia quickly excuses herself, confessing to Charlie that she almost gave the information to Nina, that the body is at “Laston-Hennings Cryonics.” Just as she tells him, she sees another message on her phone and looks down to see the reconstruction of Charlie as the shape-shifter. Charlie manages to make the call, assaulting Olivia and attempting to kill her. She has no choice but to defend herself and finds that she has to shoot him in the head to kill him. In the end, the facility had already been cleaned out and presumably had taken whatever it was they were looking for. We see a head being strangely reattached in the final seconds of the episode.

New questions raised in this episode that remain unanswered:

Charlie is dying in his body and needs a new device to survive. How long is a typical shape-shifter in their body? Do they use the device for anything other than changing bodies?

The frozen head that the shape-shifters are after – where was the body prior to being frozen? What led him to this state?

What does the symbol mean on the back of the shape-shifters head? Why does he have it?

Bell tells Olivia that most people are torn apart that try to cross over. How many others have tried to cross over? We know Olivia has a natural ability to cross over but how was Walter and Peter able to cross over? What about William Bell? Is that why he needs the oxygen mask?

Did William Bell know that by ringing the bell it would later help jog Olivia’s memory?

How does William Bell know the phrase “Einai kalytero... Anthropo apo toy... Patera toy Did he know Peter’s mother more intimately than we’ve been told?

If Peter Bishop never existed:

This episode is not heavily Peter centered. His lack of existence in this episode doesn't change the major story. It is after all Olivia that finds out Charlie is a shape-shifter and Olivia that is forced to kill him. Peter does give the shot of adrenaline to Olivia but presumably Astrid or Walter could have assisted.

The only major Peter element is what William Bell tells Olivia to say to Peter because she will need him by her side. "Einai kalytero... Anthropo apo toy... Patera toy."


Anonymous said...

Ok. The thing about Fringe that really hooked me was the science factor because despite some really out there theories, they (FRINGE) made everything seem a bit 'possible' to a certain extent until... they introduced the Shape-shifters. I can't stand the notion of shape-shifters in Fringe. I'll accept them in alien shows or whatever, but i think its where Fringe took it too far. I LOVE Fringe and everything about it but i draw the line at shape-shifters in the show.... and no, I don't care what their role is or how important they are suppose to be to the story line.

Ju Berlie said...

Possible answers to some of the questions...
1) What about William Bell? Is that why he needs the oxygen mask? He needs the oxygen because in the red universe they all need. We can see that in the episode 303, when olive almost dye because she didn’t stop to take oxygen.
2) How does William Bell know the phrase “Einai kalytero... Anthropo apo toy... Patera toy” Did he know Peter’s mother more intimately than we’ve been told?

Ju Berlie said...

Now the answers...
What about William Bell? Is that why he needs the oxygen mask? He needs the oxygen because in the red universe they all need. We can see that in the episode 303, when olive almost dye because she didn’t stop to take oxygen.
How does William Bell know the phrase “Einai kalytero... Anthropo apo toy... Patera toy” Did he know Peter’s mother more intimately than we’ve been told? He was the one who introduce Peters mom to Walter… So probably he did know her in some way. And maybe it was not a big secret between Peter and his mother.

Anne said...

I have a question about the meeting between Olivia and Bell. He said that some people tried to prevent the meeting and because of that he pooled Olivia from the other side the way he did. Anyway, why just no simple kill Bell? Or at least arrested him? We all know that Walternative showed that he can do almost anything in the name of war….

fringeobsessed said...

You have a right to your opinion re:the shape-shifters. I have to admit, though, that I like them-especially Ray, who seemed so human like Roy in the old movie "Blade Runner," which was designed from the book that the episode 304 title was derived from, "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?"

Ju Berlie,
Bell says this to Walter, Peter, and Faulivia in
"Over There:Part 2":
"I've travelled between universes so many times, my atoms are ready to split apart with the slightest provocation." Bell knows how unstable his body is, even back around the time of 204, my opinion. I think he needs the oxygen with him because he's even more susceptible to the effects of lack of oxygen than all the folks in the Red Verse, because of all his cross overs.
(Also, why has Bell crossed between 'verses so often that his body is now unstable? What was he doing during these visits back and forth, and did anyone else know about these many trips? Nina?)

You raise a good auestion. Who are the "some people" who were trying to prevent Bell and Olivia from meeting? Just Walternate? Are there others who did not want them to meet?
And as to why Walternate did not kill Bell long before this? Bell says this in "Over There:Part 2":
"If I wanted to keep tabs on Walternate I had to remain valuable to him."
And I think that's why Walternate put up with Bell. He was a brilliant designer and scientist, and physically unstable. He probably didn't view William Bell as much of a threat. But Bell could be a major threat, according to Georges Morales in "The Dreamscape," and Emmanuel Grayson in "The Road Not Taken."

cortexifan said...

part 1

-The shapeshifter by the car in the beginning of the episode is eating a pear; he does that at the end too. The only other time I remember pears is a bowl full on Olivia’s table in 3.19 LSD. They don’t show up anywhere else, and are not part of the glyphs. According to Wikipedia, the ancient Chinese see the pear as a sign of immortality. Does a shapeshifter live forever?
-As a former stage manager for a local theater, I’m always interested in how things are done. I still want to know what she was drinking, how they made the worm juice.
-Love the names for the lab: Crazy House (1.01 The Pilot), Bishop’s Deli (here), Bishop’s Life Bait (2.09 Snakehead).
-When they arrive at the crime scene, Peter looks kind of strange at Olivia. I think he was wondering about her leg. Or at least that’s the impression I got.
-Chicago is mentioned a lot as well throughout the series: Peter wanted to send Walter there in 2.14 Jacksonville, in 2.19 Brown Betty, Rachel was in Chicago for the weekend, in 3.05 Amber 31422, projection Peter told Olivia that Rachel moved to Chicago, just to name a few.
-How did Bell know that shapeshifters are looking for Newton’s head?
-Broyles to Olivia about Peter: “I suppose he knows a guy.” Yep!
-Walter to Astrid: “I’m not certain that you’re not simply a figment of my imagination.” That reminded me of Olivia saying to projection Peter in 3.03 The Plateau: “You’re not real.”
-The drink Charlie is buying is Slusho, a fictional drink in many Bad Robot productions.
-Brandon. Walter refers to him in 3.014 6B as the nervous fellow. I like Brandon. But I do hope Olivia gets retribution somehow for what Brandonate did to her.
-Was Rebecca more than just a test subject to Walter?
-Rebecca says: “One of things is not like the other.” In 317 Stowaway, Lincoln says that as they rummage through a box of books.
-Rebecca said Walter opened her mind. Made me think back to 1.04 where Walter says to Peter: “Open your mind son, or someone will it open for you.”
-Rebecca starts saying: “I met you once before. You were just a baby, but, I swear I saw…
This is me finishing this sentence: … your obituary in the paper. Or … I saw your grave…
-Every time I see Bell now I have to think of Bellivia.
-“How do you like your tea?” Did he plan his incarnation back then already?
-Olivia says she doesn’t trust him. In 2.21 Over There part 1, before they cross over, she says she trusts Bell. What changed her mind?

cortexifan said...

part 2

-“Of all the children Walter and I prepared, you were the strongest.” Later in 3.19 LSD, Bell says: “I suspect I know what has happened here. I think my experiment was right after all…. In the end, you are as strong as Walter and I always believed you were. And now you know it too.”
-Bell says he pulled her out of a moving car. I’m still confused about that and the elevator.
-Peter had to shock her heart. Later in 3.08 Entrada, Broyles has to do it as well. She says: “please don’t.” remembering it from here.
-When Olivia drives to NY to see Nina, her license plate is 44DC23. That number was used again in Stowaway in the beginning of the episode and later in 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss when the father got out of the car to check out the lightning storm.
-When Rebecca says good bye to Peter he has a yellow dot between his eyes and he sort of glows.
-I have a few theories for Bell, but don’t know how to put it down on paper. Maybe I’ll try again later.
-I still don’t trust Nina.
-Also, I’m not sure how to write about Charlie other than Olivia basically had to kill her closest friend. Still sad to watch.
-So what happened to Newton that he lost his body? How long was he just “a head”? Ray says in 3.04 DSDOES that he hadn’t seen him in 5 years. In 3.02 The Box Newton tells Fauxlivia he’s been here since she was in high school, so that’s about 10 years, right?

If Peter never existed in this episode…
-would they have discovered that the device was still streaming data?
-who would have shocked Olivia’s heart?
-would Bell have used someone else to be by Olivia’s side?

rayray said...

Wait a minute, fringeobsessed, so you like ray, a shapeshifter who killed the original ray and replaced ray but people got mad at peter for killing them?

fringeobsessed said...

I think I'm saying I find the shape-shifters interesting, but the only one I ever "liked" was Ray. I felt sorry for him.

fringeobsessed said...

Nice, cortexifan.
Love that you noticed the identical license plates.
And I've been thinking about what Bell said about Liv needing Peter by her side. What if he never existed? How will that work?

rayray said...

So you felt sorry for a murderer who took over an innocent person's life and PETER IS THE BAD GUY HERE. Whatever.

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