Fringe Summer Rewatch: #313 "Immortality" ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #313 "Immortality"

      Email Post       9/11/2011 10:00:00 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.

Frank's return from North Texas means Olivia's life can get back to normal. Or so it would seem. She still has Peter Bishop on her mind. Frank finds her distant, which she attributes to stress at work.

The Fringe team adjusts to the mysterious disappearance of their leader Broyles, as they deal with a case of skelter beetle infestation in people. These extinct parasitic insects that only lived in sheep have been re-engineered to live in human hosts. The investigation lead them to one Armand Silva, a scientist who was infecting people to develop a vaccine for the avian flu. During the course of the case, Frank discovers Olivia became pregnant while he was away and leaves her.

Meanwhile, there is a breakthrough experimenting with the cortexiphan synthesized from the other Olivia's brain. Brandon theorizes the it would work better with younger test subjects. The Secretary objects to testing on children. Later he would confess to his mistress about his decision.
If you had asked me a week ago, I would have told you that I would sacrifice anything... to save our world. But in fact, there are lines I simply cannot cross.

Random Thoughts:
  • Brandon has been busy dissecting the brains of the test subjects in the drug trials. Just as he proposed to do to Olivia before she escaped. (Entrada)
  • Frank teasing Olivia at the airport was the cutest scene ever. Their chemistry here was way better than in "Over There, Part 1". These are rare happy moments in Fringe. Their last kiss was a lot like Liv and John's in the pilot.
  • Frank's marriage proposal. Who is his mother? He mentioning her must have some relevance.
  • Who is Reiko? They wouldn't have cast her for such a small part for no reason.
  • Bug girl Mona Foster becomes Charlie's girlfriend. We learn arachnids are living in his bloodstream  and that they itch sometimes.
  • Frank flirting with Astrid. "Where do I get one of you?" Is he like that with just any girl?
  • What Charlie said about the augmented bugs. "They look the same, but they are not the same."
  • The Secretary changed his tone after this. Would he really have reconsidered activating the machine if Peter had went back?
  • As much as I like Frank (He was kind of perfect.), I can't really feel sorry for him. One moment he proposes marriage, saying he can't stand being away from her, the next he just packs up and leaves. Poor Liv. Olivia said yes, because there was no doubt that she would have settled into a comfortable life with him, despite her feelings for Peter. I suppose it was too soon to expect happy endings. To make things worse, the Secretary will start keeping close tabs on her.

If Peter Bishop Never Existed...
Olivia would not have been pregnant. She and Frank would be honeymooning on some island paradise, living like... oh... I don't know... Robinson Crusoe maybe.


milostanfield said...

Part 1

Thanks again for the Rewatch. Love these blogs.

Your Random thoughts:

Yeah that AltBrandon is one evil dude. He would be right at home in Nazi Germany.

I loved the opening scene with the blimp docking at the Empire State Building. A real visual wow. Better than the ones in "Over There" for conveying the wonder of the "other" world. Frank and Altlivia's scene was nice but I saw it as more strained than cute, as I see their whole relationship. There was definitely a subtext to all the "I'm someone else not him" game, both in their personal relationship, and in the larger sense of switched identities. You're right in that Frank is "kind of perfect", and I think that is my problem with him. I'm not saying he's a Ken doll, but there's just something off about him. I don't think it was the acting. I think he was cast (and well acted) that way. Poor dude. Only guy in the history of our species to cuckolded twice by the same guy with two different versions of the same woman. We should give him a little love.

Frank's marriage proposal and his mom - guess that will depend on whether we see Frank again. Trying to think of any strong mother-son scenes in Fringe besides the great ones between Peter and his real mom. Don't remember ANY. Plenty of father-son and mother-daughter (real, alt, and surrogate) scenes.

Good catch on Reiko. She seemed too Mata Hari, pumping Walternate for info. And Joan Chen is too big a star for a one off cameo. They really need to humanize Walternate more if the whole setup at the end of S03 is gonna play well in S04. If he's just a mustache twirling villain, it won't be as good. So maybe we'll see Reiko back. Otherwise she's just another loose end like Agent Jessup.

milostanfield said...

Part 2
Bug girl is way cute. Hope she comes back. Now that we've got Charlie back, do you think we'll ever see a Charlie-centric ep? Probably not but it would be nice. Closest thing was the one where that monster got our Charlie "pregnant". But he was more of a damsel in distress than a protagonist. We got a little backstory with his wife, but that Charlie is gone(?), and we know less about AltCharlie. Sigh. Oh well.

Frank flirting with Astrid - Well it's about damn time somebody did! Jasika is so hot, especially back in S01 when she had the longer 'fro. Not to dump on Frank again, but to me that was more the way guys flirt with girls when other guys are around than really flirting with the girl. Our (guys) thoughts and actions are as much affected by the presence of other testosterone as by the presence of estrogen. Occasionally we do actually think with our neurons;). And there is a lot more testosterone floating around on the alt Fringe team. On our side Peter's never had a guy pal at all until Lincoln from Hartford showed up.

Speaking of Astrid (You go Girl!), are any two our-alt pairs more different than the two Astrids? All of the main pairs are on parallel but diverging trajectories, but babysitter Astrid and Cyber Astrid are really a world apart. I remember that one shot from "Over There" where we are introduced to Astrid the Watcher. The reflection of the console off those big brown soft eyes made her look like a Blade Runner android. Weird!

Bugs look but not the same. Whoa. Missed that one. Thanks. Where was that? Have to watch again.

Take care and, to paraphrase Bart Simpson's blackboard quip on the night of the Lost Finale, maybe "it was all just the cow's dream".

Xindilini said...

Charlie's line about the bugs looking the same but not the same comes after Frank explaining how they used to live in sheep.

milostanfield said...

Can't wait till you guys get to "Bloodline", which is the second Altlivia-Alt Universe ep, after "Immortality". Getting more interested in Altlivia. First time through half of S03 I just tossed her off as a villain who will get hers in the end. The scene in "The Box" where she kills the deaf guy was so cold blooded, it turned me off to her. Yes I know she was a soldier in enemy territory, but our Olivia would NEVER do a thing like that.

But now that I am rewatching and rewatching, I am beginning to pick up on her more. I'm thinking of watching all the Altlivia-centric eps together, skipping the our Olivia trapped over there eps, which fit my mind like a glove. Has anyone tried that? I still have problems with Altlivia in the her-over-here eps. She seems like almost a third Olivia to me rather than Altlivia pretending. To me, even our Olivia tricked into believing she was Altlivia seemed more Altlivia than Altlivia over here (Gads what a horrid sentence!).

I think my problem is that the first time through, I got into being in our familiar universe, watching our familiar team, with this strange object in its midst, while flapping my arms going "It's not her! It's not her! Can't you see it's not her!?". Gonna try to get into Altlivia's skin more, see things through her eyes, see her coming over here seeing all these strange people who look familiar but aren't: the famous Secretary's lost son, that strange drug addled mad genius that keeps coming up with crazy solutions that work, a crusty lab with a cow instead of state of the art military tech. Try to see it all for the first time like she is.

I know part of it is that we have had two whole seasons to flesh out Olivia's character and backstory, but scarcely half a season of Altlivia with a lot of important stuff going on at the same time. But I know the show creator's want us to see Altlivia more sympathetically. Certainly "Immortality" was a big step, especially the scene after Frank leaves, and she's alone in the hospital bed. I wanted to say to her: "Welcome to Olivia's world. It's tough and it isn't pretty, is it?"

Xindilini said...

I like to think the storytellers have given us a look at the other Olivia's life to show how different paths can lead to a similar destiny to save the worlds.

Jashack said...

Crusoe, that was a good show. The first time he appeared on Fringe I immediately recognized him from that.

I love reading these Rewatch posts, keep up the good work.

trent said...

"Welcome to Olivia's world. It's tough and it isn't pretty, is it?"

I think this is a bit unfair, because that's not Olivia's world. Yes, she was left alone in the hospital room and deservedly so. How could anyone ask Frank to stay, after she admitted she was pregnant with another man's child, a man she loved? She was was going to marry him, after cheating on him and while yearning for the other guy. And the thing is that she still had her mother, Charlie and Lincoln helping her. She didn't shy away from accepting their help and friendship. For the record, I'm not criticizing that, because that's what family and friends are for and much of Olivia's loneliness is her own fault for keeping everyone at arm's length. The thing is that after Frank left, Fauxlivia had a support system at her disposal and she used it. That's not Olivia's

Being alone in hospital for one night or being dumped by her boyfriend hardly makes it Olivia's world.

milostanfield said...

Thanks for your reply.
Yeah it is true that the load that Olivia bears is a greater one in terms of the larger picture. I was responding more to the emotional pain Altlivia was feeling at that instance, and that pain is just as real in its own terms to the person feeling it, regardless of the ethical circumstances surrounding it. And trying to get at that aspect of her is more about knowing the character rather than judging her. If we just see Altlivia as having made a series of bad ethical choices (according to someone's standards) and thus the consequences of those choices: Boom - she made choices - Boom - she gets punished - Boom - we move on, it would make her a cardboard character, just a vehicle for ethical discourse, rather than a fleshed out character with warts and blessings. I'm trying to see her also as a victim of the bizarre events of her recent life, and (as always) compare her to Olivia in that light. Olivia has had a scarred life, that has made her tough but also isolated her. As you mentioned Altlivia has had a richer support network her whole life. This may make her less equipped to deal with the recent events, coldcocked by a doppelganger as it were.

Admittedly Altlivia made some bad ethical choices. Her killing of the deaf guy in "The Box" really turned me off to her, and I also felt that that was the creators telling us that she IS a cardboard villain, soon to be dispatched, so don't worry about her. Not the case. I understand Altlivia by far the least of all major characters. I'm beginning to see her as younger and more naive than Olivia, and suspect the two O's may become older and younger sister versions of each other in they reconcile in the future. I really meant my Welcome comment as a battle scarred vet bucking up the rookie after his first battle. Take care.

woody96840 said...

Just finished watching this ep again and did anyone else notice the number plate on the second bug infested guys car? apt6b this is the title of next episode. So cool, can't wait for season 4 to start in aus.

milostanfield said...

Xindilini's quote:
"I like to think the storytellers have given us a look at the other Olivia's life to show how different paths can lead to a similar destiny to save the worlds."

That would jibe with what Bellivia said to Peter early in "Stowaway", his statement about how even walking away from your fate will still you lead you to fate's door. So their take on free will vs destiny seems to be that you only have one place to go (destiny) but a million ways (free will) to get there. Could be a cool way to frame a comparison between the two Olivias. Free will vs destiny was also a big theme of Lost.

milostanfield said...


Yeah, I caught that too. Have they left any other clues in the series that reference a specific later ep like that?

free winrar download said...

i love the show i still haven't seen the last few episodes, i've got to watch them

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