Fringe Summer Rewatch: #301 "Olivia" ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #301 "Olivia"

      Email Post       8/30/2011 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.

The season three premiere episode, "Olivia" starts off with our Olivia in restraints sitting across from a doctor asking her questions. Olivia tells the woman that she is from another universe and that the photographs they are showing her of Charlie, Lincoln, even her mother are not people she knows. The doctor asks her why she thinks they would try convincing her she's someone she's not. Olivia doesn't know why but it is certain she is not the Olivia the doctor is telling her she is.

Confusing much? Of course, it's Fringe. We're next shown Walternate informing Brandon that the treatments aren't working and that they should continue with another dose, even if it kills her. His reason: "Somehow, this girl came here. Somehow, she is equipped to move through universes. We need her to help us understand this skill because if we can do it, we can win this war. And if not, soon, there'll be nothing left to protect. Let's try again."

Olivia is then taken from her cell to a lab, strapped down to a table and injects a blue liquid into her. She fakes feeling ill and Brandon orders for her to be unstrapped and to sit up. It is then that Olivia makes her move on a daring escape.

Other things of interest

Alternate Olivia may have won a medal for marksmanship but Olivia has done an amazing job at shooting suspects as well. Even though she mentally thinks she's not that great of a shot -- in "Grey Matters" we see Olivia shoot at the van that is attempting escape. She manages to shoot the driver in a moving vehicle and another suspect in her attempt to arrest Newton (who she temporarily captures).

Henry's words, "sometimes you just got to believe what you can't see." Sounds like a huge clue for season 4 and Peter Bishop.

The sign on the cab reads "DOGS" instead of CATS for a broadway musical over there.

When Olivia is in the cab, she sees an electronic sign for Glatterflug, making daily trips to the moon.

We've seen Glatterflug at least once before. It was the airline used in the Pilot episode.

Questions not yet answered

What kind of trouble was Henry in before getting his life back together? Is there a Henry in our universe?

What does the tattoo on the back of Olivia's neck mean? We've seen it before and now our Olivia has it.

Who ordered the amber protocol at the Opera house? Perhaps it was Walternate? Was there a need for it (breakdown of the universe) or was it because they suspected Olivia could try and get home in the same way she arrived?

Massive Dynamic doesn't exist over there so where is Nina Sharp and what does she do? Does she even exist?

Who owns Glatterflug?

If Peter didn't exist

We didn't see much of Peter in this episode and we certainly didn't see any Peter on the other side where Olivia was at. We did see Peter back in our universe with Fauxlivia.

Had he not existed Olivia would not have crossed over, been captured and held captive by Walternate. Olivia would not have needed to escape and would not have Fauxlivia's memories injected into her. Olivia also would not have met Henry had she not crossed over and escaped.

Is it possible Olivia would have been willing to succumb to some crazy Walter experiment if Peter didn't exist? Would she have willing crossed to the other side for a reason other than Peter Bishop?


cortexifan said...

part 1

-Water seems to be a theme with Fringe as well. There is a waterfall print in the room where Olivia is questioned. Water is needed (at least for now) for her to cross over, Peter and Walter drowned in a lake, young Peter thinks he is from a city at the bottom of the lake (which is where Peter Lake thinks he’s from in A Winter’s tale), just to name a few.
-Walternate: “We are at war.” No Walternate, you are at war, no one else.
-Walternate: “Somehow this “girl” came here…” In 3.13 Immortality Walter mentions not having factored in the “girl” to Reiko. Reiko says that now he knows about the girl.
-Olivia’s photographic memory helped her escape by memorizing the code to the elevator.
-The first injection we see is blue, Fauxlivia’s memories are red.
-Just as in 1.11 Bound Olivia is still in control enough to come up with a way to escape. She used a glass of water there and here that she couldn’t breathe.
-When she runs down the hallway into the elevator, that resembles Fauxlivia’s attempt to escape in 3.20 6:02 AM EST before she tries the devices Brandonate gave her to cross over to warn Peter.
-Ok so, where did Olivia hide the gun as she’s running through the woods? :)
-The spot where Olivia gets in the cab is the same spot as later in 3.07 The Abducted where she asks Henry if she could buy him breakfast.
-On top of the cab is an ad for the musical “Dogs”. Over here it’s Cats.
-His cab number is 7 x 41. It equals 287, don’t know if that means anything.
-Alt-Broyles: “She’s the one person I would bet on who could survive.” Our Broyles says pretty much the same thing in 3.08 Entrada as they drive to Penn Station.
-Glatterflug to the moon. Olivia used the same airline to fly to Germany in 1.07 In Which We Meet Mr. Jones and in 3.13 Immortality as Fauxlivia is waiting to pick up Frank, the announcer says: Glatterflug flight 7 to Chicago.”
-At the medical center Lincoln makes a joke about Charlie’s worms, does anyone get that, ‘cause I don’t.
-Olivia reciting Henry’s information from the “show me”. I think Fauxlivia’s cockiness came through already.
-Alt-Astrid is wearing two watches.
-Olivia doesn’t know that Bell is dead right? Why didn’t she go to the twin towers to see him? In her mind in 3.19 LSD that’s where Walter and Peter were led.
-Jedi mind trick. Another Star Wars reference. I use that all the time with my Fringe friend especially when we text the same at the same time, which happens quite often actually, fringy :)
-The tattoo; very mysterious and most likely a dropped story line. Apparently the story of the tattoo has taken a life of its own as Anna says on the Fans Ask video. That was my question, by the way.
-The breakdown in the restroom; this one we didn’t see but we heard. In 3.09 Marionette we saw but we didn’t hear which is worse I guess. The first time Olivia broke down was in the Pilot after John died.
-Looks like Henry is praying as he leans on his cab.
-On Lincoln’s jacket it reads: 3301 as in S3 episode 1 or 3.01.
-Henry: “You’re a hell of a shot.” Olivia: “No, actually I’m not.” Olivia always has been a great shot. In 3.12 Concentrate And Ask Again she says she’s an ok shot but we know that’s an understatement. But I also think that Fauxlivia’s trades are coming through.
-It’s interesting that Alt-Broyles thinks it was Olivia that pulled the tracker out of the cab.
-Old fashioned bike riding through the park.
-Olivia is stuck over there.

cortexifan said...

part 2

-When she sees the blimp that reminds me of 3.15 Subject 13 after young Olivia runs away from her step dad and crosses over to the field where she sees the blimp.
-Tarrytown is also a location in A Winter’s Tale.
-In the beginning Henry wanted to run away (for lack of a better word) but at the end he was willing to wait for her.
-Olivia in the cab: “I’m not crazy you know.” Young Peter in 3.15 Subject 13 says the same to Elizabeth; “I’m not crazy.”
-The house number on Mrs. Dunham’s door is 302 + The door knocker has a couple kissing each other = 3.02 The Box where Fauxlivia and Peter are making out on Olivia’s couch after she shot the deaf guy.
-In the house, the stair case looks like the one from 3.05 Amber 31422 as they run out before the bomb goes off.
-Marilyn calls Olivia “Sweetheart” which we know she doesn’t like. Peter called her that in the Pilot and she got quite defensive.
-Olivia: “I’m not your daughter.” In a sense that resembles young Peter’s response to Walter and Elizabeth in 3.15 Subject 13: “You are not my father and you are not my mother”.
-Olivia: “My home is in Jacksonville, Florida.” Her mind must really be confused if she thinks her home is there.
-“Yellow is more cheerful.” We know that Olivia doesn’t like yellow because it reminds her of medicine.
-I love Olivia’s eyebrow raise here and in 3.17 Stowaway.
-So is Olivia pretending she’s Fauxlivia, did the treatments work and she is Fauxlivia? Or did Olivia just give in realizing that she has no other options right now?
-Ok so I'm gonna say it. I have not trusted Fauxlivia's mom from the start and still don't.
-Love that Henry waited anyway. As we know from 3.18 Bloodline he even checked on her, finding out later that it’s the wrong one and she didn’t recognize him.
-I disliked that even Alt-Broyles was kept in the dark as to why the switch was made.
-Shapeshifter Van Horn; he probably knew most of the stuff already that Peter explained to him.
-The pen; there were a few mentions of a pen in 3.02 The Box and Milo used them to start chain reactions in 3.03 The Plateau.
-Fauxlivia to Walter: “I haven’t seen those in a while, your shoes.” I think she was talking about the cookies. :)
-Ha, again Walter and food :)
-Peter kissing Fauxlivia at the stair case, is the second time this spot was used for a disturbing kiss (yes, I’m a P/O shipper). The first one was Nina and Broyles in 2.01 A New Day In The Old Town. We were just watching this episode when Fringie6989 pointed that out.

If Peter never existed in this episode…
-Olivia wouldn’t have get trapped over there and it would be her that he’s kissing.

XXXXXX said...

@ cortexifan:
"Henry: “You’re a hell of a shot.” Olivia: “No, actually I’m not.” Olivia always has been a great shot. In 3.12 Concentrate And Ask Again she says she’s an ok shot but we know that’s an understatement. But I also think that Fauxlivia’s trades are coming through."

Season 1, Olivia was able to shoot Loeb's wife.
Season 2, Olivia was able to shoot two shapeshifters point blank in, "The Man from the other side". Olivia always had the ability.

cortexifan said...

"Olivia always had the ability."

I'm not sure if you're agreeing with me or not :)

But I'm saying that she always was a great shot. We know that. She always hits her mark, I've said that before. But Olivia doesn't think so, hence the "ok" comment in 3.12 Concentrate and ask again. When she made the shots here in this episode, she looked surprised at her ability. Fauxlivia's ability just enhanced hers even more. Does that make sense?

Observette MARCH said...

@cortexifan Wow! This is the first time I have visited this site (I am a HUGE Fringe fan but I'm only now getting into the online stuff) and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading your observations. What a great effort on your behalf!
I love this episode and I've re-watched it many times but reading your post has made me want to watch it again. :-)
As far as the joke Alt-Lincoln tells to Alt-Charlie? I don't get it either and now I feel better knowing I'm not alone...
Could you actually post exactly what Lincoln says because he kind of mumbles a little as he says it so I always considered that I might be misunderstanding some words (anyone know if there are transcripts of the episodes available anywhere online?). Surely it can't be the alt-sense of humour can it? ;-)
p.s. I thought the only significance Fuxlivia's tattoo has is that it's a miniature version of Frank's tattoo. A token of their love if you will.

I LOVE the fact that you guys are doing a re-watch I'll definitely be coming back here from now on. :-) Can't wait for S4

cortexifan said...

@Observette MARCH,
thank you and welcome.
If you go to you can read all the transcripts.

Anonymous said...

The bugs joke is probably an allusion to the episode "Unleashed" in season 1 in which Charlie gets inoculated with the larvae of an interspecies animal. Something similar may have happened in the alternate universe, only instead of larvae, Charlie got small spiders... and they're still there. -Fringeviewer

Fringie6989 said...

Yay great observations! About Lincoln's joke, I have watched this ep countless times and its only been the last couple that I figured out what Lincoln was saying because like Observette MARCH (which by the way, LOVE that name!) said, he was muttering. I will just post the transcript instead of trying to remember it off the top of my head:"Hey, Melissa, you know how agent francis can tell which end of the worms living inside his body are which? Tickle them in the middle and sees which end farts."

So like Cortexifan pointed out, two disturbing kisses on the steps in Washington. I always thought Nina and Broyles kissing had to be the most disturbing until I realized it was the same place that Faux and Peter kissed. As a extreme P/O shipper, that one holds the title for most disturbing and makes me angry every time I see it though I accept it because it meant seeing Peter in the premiere lol.

The thing that stuck out to me in this episode wasn't even the main storyline. It was a tiny detail that just made me so happy because it showed that the writers are consistent with details even when they aren't the focus. Its only when you watch an episode 50 million times, that you start picking up on details so easily overlooked the first 49 million ;)

The tiny detail was a cross hanging in Henry's cab. That paired with what Cortexifan said about Henry praying while Olivia was in the restroom and what he said to Olivia when she was leaving "I mean, sometimes you just got to believe what you can't see" spoke to me once again of the question that Fringe has raised from day one: Where is the line between Man's territory and God's territory? This concept seemed to be more closely questioned in season 1 and 2 while season 3 was more mythology driven. But even in season 3, we saw instances of Walter especially turning to his faith when science failed him. And episodes like Stowaway that raised concepts like fate and destiny. I love that Fringe is brave enough to raise these kinds of questions in the world of network TV. To show how intricately science and faith are tangled. How far is too far? When does faith in science, in what we can see, feel, hear, taste, end? And where does trusting in something or somebody bigger than yourself begin? When you don't have the answers, where do you turn?

Obviously, this show isn't meant to persuade people to a certain viewpoint, but I love that they don't sweep issues under the rug. What other show that is SO focused on science and technology and its advancements, while simultaneously bringing the other side of the equation into consideration and giving the viewer something to contemplate each week deeper than just the obvious enjoyment of watching the characters and the storyline?

cortexifan said...

Thanks for posting the joke. I get it now :)
I did see the cross too and it's in my notes but I wasn't as brave as you to go there. I should have because as you said it's in the show but not in your face. To use Olivia's line from 1.14 Ability: "Everyone is entitled to their own belief system"

Observette MARCH said...

Yep I get the joke now. Thank You for solving that mystery for me. I'm glad you like my name too. Another thing to do with the red cross. The red cross hanging from Henry's cab's rearview mirror is also featured in the Season 2 "faith vs science" episode White Tulip. As Walter is on the train examining the dead bodies, he pauses and looks at a woman's necklace, which happens to be exactly the same as the one in Henry's cab. Pretty cool :-)

cortexifan said...

@Observette MARCH.
That's a cool catch. I can see it right in front of me. Awesome.

fringeobsessed said...

Great pick-ups everyone!
I'm just getting into reading S3 here thanks to T.S.Irene.

This is a great episode. I thought of cortexifan when I rewatched this today because of the juxtaposition of colors! When Lincoln Lee is in the rehab there is a giant blue yoga ball next to a giant red yoga ball-to represent the 2 universes, I believe. Also the gast station where Linc confronts our Liv was Shelexxon I thin and their colors were red and blue mixed.
Also as you pointed out, Mrs. Dunham said "I wanted blue, but you convinced me to use--"
"Yellow," our Liv replies, "because it was more cheerful." I think that's HUGE foreshadowing of Season 4 or beyond that P/O will be happier in a yellow 'verse, jmo. A totally opposite slant from our Liv hating the yellow M&M's because they reminded her of yucky medicine in "Inner Child."

I'm surprised no one mentioned the rest of Henry's words about being a different man. I believe that whole speech was foreshadowing of Peter in S4, that only the woman who loves him will see him for the man he really is:

"You know, a few years ago, I was in a bad way. Couldn't pull myself out. Inside, I knew I was somebody else. There's only one person who believed that... Jasmine. She saw the man I knew I was. But she was the only one. I mean, sometimes you just got to believe what you can't see."

Nice job, samspade, and the rest of you guys.
And welcome, Observerette MARCH. Please check out our commentaries on all 65 episodes, and feel free to add your comments. :)

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