Fringe Summer Rewatch: #309 "Marionette" ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #309 "Marionette"

      Email Post       9/07/2011 12:00:00 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.

“I understand the facts. I know that she had reams of information about me and about my life and about the people that were close to me. And I understand that if she slipped up that she would have a completely reasonable explanation for it. And I guess to expect you to have seen past that is perhaps asking a bit too much. But when I was Over There, I thought about you and you were just a figment of my imagination. But I held onto you and it wasn’t reasonable, and it wasn’t logical, but I did it, so… why didn’t you? She wasn’t me. How could you not see that? Now she’s everywhere. She’s in my house, my job, my bed, and I don’t want to wear my clothes anymore and I don’t want to live in my apartment, and I don’t want to be with you. She’s taken everything.” - Olivia

The scene opens up at a train station; a place much used by Fringe incidents and we follow a man following another man. Sounds simple enough, right? Until the man being stalked grows dizzy and passes out and he wakes up in the middle of his own surgery and the stalker calling an ambulance . The stalker apologies, stating that there was no other way and presses a needle into his neck and he passes out again. Two EMTs arrive on the scene a short while later to the scene of a bloodied plastic screen put up in the house and beneath the surgical sheet, an opened chest with the heart removed. EMT one shouts out to his partner just as the man who’s chest is open takes a deep breath and begs the EMT to not let him die and then he breathes his last.

In Boston, Olivia is waiting for Broyles in his office and he is startled to see her smiling in wait. They get to talking about the other side and Walternate’s progress with crossing over safely. She explains that Walternate is driven and only sees this war in black in white; his world or theirs. When the machine is brought up, Olivia seems anxious to see it and Broyles gives her permission once she is clear for duty. Olivia pleads with him to let her start work immediately, stating that she promised a good friend she would work to fix both of their worlds and prevent this war. Broyles picks up pretty quickly that it is his alternate they are discussing and he asks her questions about him and his family.

At the Bishop Residence, Walter and Peter are readying themselves for a field trip. Walter gives Peter a lecture about being honest with Olivia and Peter is adamant that he intends to tell Olivia everything, despite how awkward he knows it will be. Walter is proud and tells Peter he is a better man than himself. They arrive on the scene and watch as Broyles pulls up and gets out. Peter freezes for a moment when Olivia also gets out of the vehicle, looking rather cheerful and upbeat. He covers for himself by asking if she should be in bed resting, but Broyles explains that she is clear for cases now.

Walter and Peter are looking into the body and determine that the man who had his heart removed has had heart surgery before. Peter soon discovers that the man has a medicine cabinet filled with meds all prescribed by a specific doctor and Broyles sends Olivia and Peter to go talk to him. While waiting for him to be out of heart surgery, Olivia shares a bit of how she feels about being back and her things lived in by someone else. She describes it as disconcerting, but otherwise doesn’t seem down about it until Peter admits that there are things he needs to tell her about her alternate self.

He starts off stating that he did notice changes when they’d gotten back; small ones, but definite changes. I’m not sure if anyone else felt the same but I was definitely telling the TV to shut up when Peter began his speech. We all know he meant well, but it sounded like he was digging his own grave. Some of the changes he listed were that she was much quicker with a smile, less intense, and she seemed determined to be happier now that she’d seen the “other” her. Olivia looks slightly confused and the hurt settles in for a few seconds before she’s brushing off his concern, and telling him it was alright and that it didn’t matter because she was back. Peter needed to be sure that she understood though, and continued stating that when she had asked him to come back so they could be together that he did come back to be with her and that’s when it begins to sink in for Olivia as Peter explains that he and her alternate had dated and were together. Peter states clearly that he really thought it was her he was dating. Olivia gets flustered especially when he admits that everyone else knew about their relationship and begins to build up a defense both for her and him when she begins talking about her alternate’s life on the other side. Her alternate was loved by friends and family and had a caring boyfriend that who knows what would’ve happened had he been in town and because no one there knew it was actually her and so she says she doesn’t blame Peter for also not noticing. Lucky or not for Peter the nurse comes out and informs them that the doctor is now out of surgery and able to talk. Olivia is the first to leave the table and Peter follows. The doctor explains that the man has had a heart transplant just recently after being on the donor recipient list for over a year.

In the baddy’s lair there’s a young woman with many stitches and the man who stole the heart is telling her that soon she will be ready.

Back at the lab, Astrid is packing up for the day as Peter walks in looking happy. Walter convinces Peter to smell the body and when Peter isn’t vomiting he concludes with Walter that something is off. The body has slowed to almost zero degradation and has yet to show normal signs of decaying. Walter, noticing Peter’s chipper mood and comment on the lack of sleep asks him about Olivia and if they’d talked about what had happened. Peter tells him that he has and that she took it surprising well and Walter poses the idea of her having been replaced with a robot.

At Olivia’s place she is going through her closet and eyeing her clothes carefully, glancing sideways at her reflection in the mirror and getting annoyed with the bangs. She caches sight of the tattoo on the back of her neck when brushing her hair back and grows more agitated. Olivia removes all the clothes from their hangers and then strips the sheets from her bed to wash. When she makes it to washer and dryer she notices a load already in there and begins pulling the clothing out; her eyes getting stuck on what shirt in particular that could only be Peter’s MIT one. Olivia tears up at this and finally gives in to her emotional turmoil and crumbles to the ground to cry.

The next day Olivia and Astrid meet in the break room at the federal building and discuss the other her and Peter and the relationship they shared. When Astrid seems hesitant to answer her questions Olivia tries to make a quick escape but Astrid stops her. She tells Olivia that Peter fell for her and not her alternate and that he still has feelings for Olivia. Olivia seems to take this to heart and thanks Astrid before they both head off to the meeting Broyles has set up.

Broyles brings them up to speed on a spree of stolen organs in five different states with the same MO. He goes on to explain that all of the organs stolen were donor parts and from the same donor. They notice that the girl who had her organs donated has also donated her eyes and those weren't in any pictures. Broyles makes the call to find out who got the girl's eyes. They get a lead that the girl's name is Amanda Walsh and Broyles, Olivia, and Peter go to a warehouse in hopes of finding the man who received her eyes. After hearing some noises Olivia finds a man with no eyes. They were to late. After talking to the family they discover that Amanda committed suicide after joining a help group with other depressed people. After discovering hat her ashes aren't her ashes, Walter poses that someone is trying to Amanda back together again and has her body along with her organs.

We get a glimpse at one the man is up to when he strings Amanda up into a marionette set and strings her along to perform ballet to keep her body moving and "healthy". He is very emotional as he makes her perform a ballet routine.

At the lab Peter and Olivia are holed up in an office going over people Amanda knew and Peer gets frustrated when Olivia shoots down all of Peter's ideas for suspects. He asks her why she keeps shooting them down and she says that whoever it is out there putting Amanda together is doing it because he loved her. This makes Peter freeze up for a second before the tension builds and they go back to work. Finally Peter finds a Roland David Barrett who seems to fit the bill.

At the hideout, Roland is able to reanimate Amanda but soon discovers that what he has brought back isn't his Amanda. He hears the FBI break into his place and he leaves Amanda to escape, but Olivia tackles him to the ground before he can get too far. Peter, Walter, and Bishop are already in the basement when they discover Amanda and Olivia stays upstairs to interview Roland. He confesses that he only wanted to give her a second chance, but what he saw in her eyes when she was back, he knew it wasn't her. When they do find Amanda, she is dead and we're not sure how she got that way - if it was natural or something Roland did out of guilt.

While everything is getting packed up, Peter finds Olivia in the back, looking upset and lost. When Peter asks her what is wrong she finally tells him how she really feels; leaving nothing out this time and Peter gets the reaction he probably assumed he'd get.

At the very end we see an Observer watching Peter and Walter at a diner while they get the promised strawberry milkshake and he opens his phone saying that he has arrived and that "he" is still alive. Though they never say who "he" is, it is safe to deduce after a few more episodes that it is Peter they are talking about.

Unanswered Questions Raised In "Marionette"

  • If it wasn't Amanda that came back, who or what was it?

  • If Olivia was all about telling the truth why did she lie for so long through the episode before caving? Was she also lying to herself?

    • If Peter Bishop never existed...
      Honestly, he didn't do all too much case related stuff in this episode, but he did contribute a good 50% of the emotional drama that made this the rich episode it was.


      trent said...

      Although this episode is not among my favorites, maybe because all the melodrama, I admit the cinematography was outstanding, the marionette dance for instance was one of the most stunning horror pieces I've ever seen on TV and it made a long lasting impression on me. I remember I couldn't take my eyes off of it the first time I watched it, no matter how hard I tried. It also reminded me of the more gruesome episodes in previous seasons, something they seemed to have forgotten a little.

      Olivia's breakdown in her apartment is probably my favorite Olivia scene in this episode. How she feels the violation of her home and privacy, that rang true to me and it illustrated one of the reasons Fauxlivia has failed as a character. If the writers had shown a similar scene with her at home realizing that Olivia had been living her life and her reaction to it, even if wasn't as strong as Olivia's, that would have helped to humanize her more than giving birth to 20 babies.

      I also liked that this episode clarified the doubts I had about her real feelings for Peter. What I didn't like is that it was so one-sided, considering that the writers didn't care to show Peter's side in the following episodes, either. I would have understood more focus on her than on anyone else, because she deserved closure after what she had gone though, but the complete disregard for the other victim in this was a new low and it added to the pile of evidence, that these writers couldn't care less about Peter Bishop.

      Olivia never gave me the impression that she had any feelings for Peter, but two things made me doubt, the moment she asked him to come back with her in the S2 finale and how she chose to see Peter, when she was trapped over there. This episode undid all my doubts, first when her only worry was her reputation, when Peter told her the truth and second in the garden scene, where she put the blame on the victim instead of the criminal, making sure he was included in the list of "things" she didn't want anymore. I don't mean she should have accepted the situation and get into a relationship with him, but she went about it the wrong way: comparing Fauxlivia with a brain dead girl and blaming Peter for failing to see the difference, when she did exactly the same when a machine replaced her best friend. Putting herself beyond reproach as a moral standard and example to follow, when she told him she held onto him, while he failed to do the same, when that's not completely true. Preemptively counteracting any reply from him with her "I know it's not logical, but..." followed by demeaning accusations. All of that while Peter took hit after hit like he was mute.

      The worst part is that all of that was for nothing, because 2 episodes afterwards, she was already trying to reacquire her favorite "thing", which she finally did. I was hoping she would follow through with her decision and let him be, but alas! That wasn't the plan.

      JM said...

      First off ill say IMO were nearing the end of when Fringe was really 'in form' in terms of the exceptional episode quality that the show delivered through 2.14-3.11. This episode even though slower paced than previous ones, still packed a punch.

      Both Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson were excellent in this episode. I think JJ was severly underrated in this episode, and i still firmly believe he is the best in the cast at giving something to the audience in scenes where he has no dialogue, which is showcased at the end of this episode. Anna Torv showed olivias turmoil perfectly, and even though this is the beginning of the P/O melodrama, back then i was unsuspecting it would get so bad.

      In response to your comments Trent, I think you not seeing that Olivia has real feelings for Peter is a failing on the writers part and not yours, IMO this is the last episode where P/O was written well (and perhaps should have ended)
      From here on in theres no subtle eye contact etc. but full blown melodrama and love triangles (sigh.)

      The storyline of this episode was chilling and a nice change to the parallel universe struggle that we had for the first 8 episodes, unfortunately they dont go back to the war for a while.

      We are also nearing the end of when peter was given anything to do and at the end of reciprocity (3.11), the show turned to focus solely on olivia and walter and their alternates.

      Finally, yes Trent i do agree and have stated on other occassions like yourself; altlivia is a bad character, heres hoping shes written better next season.

      Fringie6989 said...

      I know a lot of people don't like this episode, but I find it to be one of the best of season 3 in terms of character development. Yes even character development for Peter ;)

      This episode certainly got marks for being one of the creepiest fringe cases with a concept first mentioned in the Pilot: Reanimation. The thought itself creeps me out. And it says something that even Walter was adamant about it being impossible. Yet, Roland did do it. At least for a short time. I always thought she had died on her own because of the impossibility of the concept so its interesting, oranfly, that perhaps Roland did something out of guilt. I never thought of that before...

      What really makes me love this episode though is the emotional and spiritual side of it. The case is horrifying without a doubt, but it was the backdrop to what was really going on with the characters. Anna and Josh both did AMAZING throughout the entire episode and had some of the absolute most heartbreaking scenes in the series. It leaves me speechless. It was so hard to watch Olivia break down finally, but so refreshing at the same time, especially in light of Walter’s comment about her being a robot. She has quite literally been the strong one, always pushing aside her feelings and emotions to catch the bad guy and bring justice to her world, often taking it so far that she lies to herself about her feelings. She fought her feelings for Peter for practically two seasons, until she finally worked up the courage and told him how she felt. Now, she is so desperate to get life back to “normal” that she tries to blow off everyone’s concerns and Peter’s betrayal. But she finally, finally let her guard down and allowed herself to feel the trauma and heartbreak that has been piled on her for months. And of course, the garden scene…Everything about that scene was heartbreaking, but for once in her life, Olivia told Peter how she was actually feeling and Peter was man enough to listen, no matter how painful.

      And this is where Peter gets his character development. He could have blown it off too. It wasn’t entirely his fault, he was betrayed too. He could have accepted Olivia’s blind forgiveness and went straight into the relationship he wanted so badly. But he didn’t. He was man enough to tell her the whole ugly truth, even when she didn’t want to hear it. Of course, he could have been a tad bit nicer, but Peter has never been known for his tactful comments. I’m reminded of Bad Dreams when Olivia is freaking out about killing people in her mind and Peter carelessly says “Must be a terrible thing to not be able to trust your own mind.” and in this episode when they are searching for the killer and he says “You'd think that someone who was working that hard at being okay would get some sort of payoff.” But regardless, what he did was noble and admirable and also quite a long way from the selfish Peter from the pilot.

      The other thing I really loved about this episode was the spiritual aspect. It was subtle and used as another way of representing Olivia and Peter’s situation, but I thought it was done really well. Once again, Fringe introduced the fine line between science and faith. Science brought the girl back to life, but her spirit was gone. What made Amanda, Amanda, couldn’t be brought back to life as we know it. Its been said that eyes are the window into the soul, and this episode certainly played on that. Roland didn’t recognize Amanda because even though the body was there and everything needed to make the body work was there, the crucial part of living, the soul, was no longer there. And that struck a chord with Olivia. Its not the outside that makes a person who they are. Its what’s on the inside and what Peter should have seen. It didn’t matter that Olivia and Fauxlivia looked alike or even acted alike. It was what was inside that made all the difference.

      Anonymous said...

      I so agree with Trent about how Olivia couldn't figure out that Charlie was a shapeshifter. Funny how she blasts Peter for not seeing into fauxlivia's eyes when she didn't do the same for Charlie nor did she have a gut feeling that Charlie was the shapeshifter. It had to be SOMEBODY ELSE to tell her but everyone bashed Peter for the same.

      I hate this double standard, Olivia and walter tend to get away with everything while Peter gets hated and blasted for his mistakes.

      Anonymous said...

      Let me say too that seasons 1 and 2 Peter wouldn't have said the things that he said to Olivia during the hospital scene. This was merely a ploy to make Peter out to be the jerk, to make Olivia look sympathetic and to place blame on Peter.

      This is why I hate this episode and I did not like Olivia after this. They wanted me to feel sorry for her but they failed miserably since they never shown how Peter was feeling. We didn't see him broken up about what he had done since the writers didn't bother to show his side of anything. I don't care if olivia is the lead or the "eyes" of the show, people care about Peter, too.

      Fringie6989 said...

      Maybe its just me, but I have never seen Peter as being a jerk. Yes, Olivia is my favorite character and yes she is a victim especially in this episode. But so is Peter. That's what I don't get. People are choosing Olivia or Peter, while BOTH of them are the victims. Peter has suffered tremendously and it hasn't been shown because Peter perhaps even more so than Olivia hides his feelings from the people around him and from himself. I don't think he has come to terms with being kidnapped, being lied to, forming a real relationship with his father only to find out that isn't his father, leaving this world with his real father, only to find out Walternate only wanted to use him as a weapon, having to say goodbye to his real mother, coming back here for Olivia, only to discover once again he was lied to and manipulated, dealing with the machine and not knowing how it would affect him and the world(s), then finding out he has no choice but to go into the machine. Peter has not had it easy. I think he has taken each hit like a man and honestly hasn't had the time or energy to deal with his battles. I truly think season 4 will be Peter's season of self-actualization. I don't think the point of this episode and this season was to show what a jerk Peter is and what a victim Olivia is. It goes so much deeper than that. And the important thing to remember is that everyone on this show is human. None of them are perfect, they have all, yes Olivia too, made mistakes. This shouldn't a competition between who has suffered more: Peter or Olivia.

      birdandbear said...

      Great review oranfly! :D

      Everything about this episode is so beautifully executed, it blows my mind. The metaphor is layered and gorgeous and grisly. Barrett's attempt to reanimate Amanda Walsh using the former meat of her body grotesquely illustrates the central question of the episode: what is it that makes us who we are?

      Olivia is grappling with this question, and it's a hard one to wrap her head around. She was replaced for weeks by someone who looked and sounded just like her, and no one noticed: not her colleagues, not her pseudo-surrogate father, not even the man she loved. So where's her value as a person? If the switch back had never happened, if she'd been killed on the other side and Bolivia had simply stayed, she might have been lost forever without anyone ever knowing. It's a terrifying, soul crushing thought. Every one of us wants to believe that we're singular in the world, that there's something special about us, and that it's our unique selves that people love. We have a need to be remembered when we're gone. we want to be seen, and valued, and loved for who we are above all things. And to be so easily and completely erased is utterly dehumanizing.

      Olivia is severely spun. So much so that at first she can't make sense of her own reactions. She's confused, and hurt and angry, and although she'd never be able to admit it to anyone - terrified. On the surface of her mind she knows that blaming her loved ones for not recognizing the deception is unfair, but the conflict of id and super-ego proves too much in the end, and she caves to the fear and anger roiling beneath her attempt to be "fine."

      birdandbear said...

      Peter is an incredibly smart guy. He sees all this, has a good grasp on how people work, and knows exactly what kind of repercussions such a blow to the self would cause. And when the storm finally breaks he weathers it like a champ. Yes it's unfair. No it's not his fault. But her eventual reaction is completely natural, and I think he was only surprised it didn't come sooner. She's so fundamentally devastated that there's nothing he could possibly say right now to make it better, even if he had the heart to defend himself. Which he doesn't, because his own gut is telling him that it is his fault, that he should have known, that he would have known if he hadn't been blinded by his own selfish desires. So he lets her rage at him, partly because he needs to, and I think partly because he needs her to. Because sometimes when we feel we've done something terrible, we also want to be punished.

      Both of them, dancing jerkily to the manipulations of unseen puppeteers.

      Later, after she's had time to process, Olivia will come to realize that Astrid was right: Peter (and the rest of her makeshift family) loves her for who she is. And it's not long before she's apologizing to him, telling him that she was so caught up in her own stuff that she never thought about the emotional consequences of being so thoroughly duped. Later she'll think about Charlie, and how she didn't notice when he was gone. She'll think about how being replaced by one's doppelganger from another universe is so far outside the realm of the plausible that it would never cross the mind of any normal person. She'll begin to understand, accept, and forgive, after she works through her grief. And Peter will be waiting. To me his acceptance and lack of defense against her anger speaks volumes about his character, about his love for her - and it's one of the best, most heartbreaking things about the episode. It's horribly painful for both of them, they've both been badly damaged by the situation, and to say Peter's a jerk is laughably unsympathetic. but it's equally short sighted to say that Olivia isn't entitled to her long overdue emotional blowout. Emotions don't always make sense, and they're certainly not always fair, but that doesn't make them any less powerful.

      Fringie6989, I think we're pretty much on the same page. ;)

      Anonymous said...

      ""Finally Peter finds a Roland David Barrett who seems to fit the bill. ""

      Actually .. and sadly .. Peter said his name and said no it's not him then Olivia stopped him and asked him when Barrett left the group . Which suggest that Peter can read the facts but not to put 2 in 2 together .. which let him did an excuse for not knowing AltOlivia .

      Comparing that Peter didn't know Altolivia with Olivia not knowing the shapshifter IMO has no meaning , cuz Olivia wasn't 24/24 with Charli on the other hand Peter was reading and very close to Olivia .. .. so that's was a big deal for Olivia .. how an 190 IQ who's reading her couldn't see the difference .. but he already did excuse for him self in Amanda's case .. Olivia will ask tooo much if he will figure that !

      I love love love this episode my fav all the time


      Anonymous said...

      Oh here you again with your annoying Peter hate, real1.

      Anonymous said...

      It seems to me, real1, that you just erased 2 years of Fringe. If you didn't know, Charlie and Olivia were best friends so Olivia knows a lot of stuff about Charlie and how he works. not sure why Olivia gets let off the hook when Peter gets hated by you and every other Olivia fan who act like she is miss perfect. Olivia never even considered that maybe it would be Charlie since oh, Charlie was THERE when he "killed" the shapeshifter nurse.

      But whatever, Olivia is a goddess who can do wrong and people like peter gets hated by you.

      Anonymous said...

      I guess I have to accept the fact that Olivia (and Walter to an extent) can get away with keeping secrets, stealing kids, experimenting on kids, not tell her own friend was a shapeshifter while Peter does the same and people hate him, crucify him, bash him for it. I dislike this show's balant double standard.

      Anonymous said...

      Actually I don't hate Peter and what i did say that he didn't resolve Amanda's case because he said "no it's not him" and Olivia stopped him . that's a fact .

      For Charli , if you forget .. try and remember that Olivia was back from her accident and wasn't spending all the time with charli .. one phone call and one meeting .. on the other hand Peter was like 24/24 with Altolivia and he did notice .. he even said to her : you are completely a different person BUT he didn't translate that facts to something real and see past the facts .

      Again all over and over again am not hating Peter .. but that's the fact that he didn't see who from who and he didn't resolve the case .

      have a good day .. Fringe S4ep1 in less than 13 days Yaahooooo


      Anonymous said...

      That's a lame excuse for Olivia real1 since Peter only spent 5 whole minutes with AltOlivia. Are you meaning to tell me that during that 5 minutes, Peter was supposed to know that Olivia would be kidnapped and switched with her? Come on, real1, stop living in a dream world where people make perfect choices and are perfect human beings. People mess up, intentional or not, but the thing to do is RESOLVE the mess. Its done, stop whining.

      Anonymous said...

      Real1, unless you can come up with a single POSITIVE thing to say about Peter, I doubt you don't hate peter. Every single good thing Peter has done for Olivia, even if it is a small thing, you just ignore or belittle.

      Anonymous said...

      Actually am not whining , it's you who's always whining , I just corrected the fact that Peter isn't the one who resolved the case of Amanda's it was Olivia .

      And I replayed about charli and Altolivia , you seem to have a tendency to attack any one who's saying any thing about your Peter , and to add Olivia was having problem in her memory when Charli switched so how possibly we can compare that to Peter ? ..... Peter was 100% good he was just like the majority of men .... Altolivia fooled him by sex ! yes that's a fact too ,


      Anonymous said...

      and real1, you have a tendency to shove Peter's faults down people's throats in every single review of yours while you don't ever criticize Walter, Olivia and everyone elses faults. You constantly pick on Peter as if he's the only one who messed up. Where is hate for Walternate? For altBroyles? for walter? for anybody who isn't peter?

      or is it that you are so blinded by your love for Anna Torv/Olivia that you don't want to see the GOOD in everyone else?

      Anonymous said...

      LOL I loved your last sentence , actually I said Walter was the bad man and Walternate is a victim .. can that be counted as a hate ? .. and I don't like AltOlivia .. is that mean I hate Anna ? ,


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