Fringe Summer Rewatch:#319 "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide" ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Summer Rewatch:#319 "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide"

      Email Post       9/17/2011 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.

Episode 319, entitled "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide," which will be referred to from here on out as "LSD," is a real trip. Literally! This "little family unit" as Peter calls the 3 of them in episode 216: himself, Walter, and Olivia, really go places in this episode, all while seated in the triangle seen in the above photo. (We know Fringe creator JJ Abrams loves triangles, but it's interesting to see one literally here.)

A Little History On Lysergic Acid Diethylamide(LSD)
First synthesized by Albert Hofmann in 1938 this drug was used to treat psychiatric disorders.
It is from the ergot family. Ergot is a fungus that grows on grains, most commonly on rye. Sandoz Pharmaceuticals introduced a prescription form of it called Delysid, in 1947, and it was very promising in the medical world.

Interestingly, the CIA thought it might be helpful in chemical warfare and mind control in the 1950's and gave it to soldiers and civilians as part of the 'MKULTRA Program'(remember I mentioned that in my commentary on "Of Human Action"?)
Apparently it was used widely for recreational purposes in the 1960's which led to a political uprising and then its restriction. Today there a few groups who still study its medical applications in controlled trials.

According to the National Institute On Drug Abuse:

LSD produces unpredictable psychological effects, with "trips" lasting about 12 hours. With large enough doses, users experience delusions and hallucinations. Physical effects include increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; sleeplessness; and loss of appetite.

It is usually consumed orally via a blotter paper or sugar cube, because of its bitter taste, and a dose is called "a hit." To take LSD is known as taking "a trip," or "tripping."

The Set-Up For The Group "Trip"
"LSD" picks up right where "Os" leaves off. Bellivia is controlling our Liv, and you can see Peter's frustration in his facial expressions. The episode begins with Walter wiring up Bellivia who is connected to a big, naked, dead guy in a bathtub, which is a direct reference to a similar scene with Peter in episode 107, "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones." There's some fine humor in this scene as Walter says, "Astro, are we ready?" and Astrid replies, "Just about, Wally," which gets Walter to stop in his tracks and stare at the young agent.

Once Astrid confirms the EEG's are online, Walter looks to his lab partner in our Liv's body and says, "Ready, Belly?" Bellivia replies with a hardy "Aye, aye, Captain!" which just screams Star Trek and is a nice comedic touch here.

Walter starts up the electric current in an effort to "latch onto the dominant consciousness and coax it into its new residence." All the process does is make them blow out yet another light bulb, which we know happens a lot in the Harvard Lab, and makes Peter even more frustrated. After all, he just hooked up with his girl, and now she's inhabited by an old, egotistical, mad scientist.

As Peter and Bellivia discuss what to do next, another overhead light bulb blows out and our Liv returns for a moment. "Peter-Oh Peter! Help me!" she cries and then goes into a tonic-clonic seizure. Peter yells for Astrid to call 911.

We see Olivia on a gurney getting wheeled quickly away from Peter and Walter in the ER, which is a direct reference to the same scene in 201 "A New Day In The Old Town" after Olivia's horrendous trip through the SUV windshield. Poor Liv goes into cardiac arrest and the ER doc is hurriedly preparing to defibrillate her heart when Walter tells him the voltage he's calling for is too high, that anymore electric shock will kill her. The doc gets ready with the paddles, when Bellivia suddenly opens her eyes and tells the doc if he shocks her "you will kill me and the young woman I'm living inside of."

They go back to the lab at Harvard where Broyles has joined them, and he's not a happy camper. Broyles is dressing down Dr. Bell-in-Olivia, telling him he promised his agent would be safe during the procedure. Bell(via Liv) tells Broyles with his rats it was 2 weeks before the host's consciousness got lost. Broyles asks him/her to explain. Bell says after about 2 weeks the host's brain could only accommodate 1 conscious and the other went away and he couldn't get it back. Peter is looking even paler now. He asks Walter how long until Olivia's consciousness is gone for good.
Bell answers instead and tells them all about a day, which gets Walter all cranked up to get started on finding a way to save Olivia.

Walter and Bellivia have a nice healthy chat about different ways to drive Dr. Bell out.
Walter discounts acupuncture to stimulate her "chi," a reference to young Rebecca Kibner's "trip" in episode 204 where Walter stimulated several of her chakras. Bell suggests instead of trying to pull his consciousness out that they go into her mind to find her, as Peter discusses with Astrid in a different room his fear that Bell may never leave Olivia's body, and let her die.
Astrid voices that she's not sure he would do that when Bellivia and Walter come in and tell them they have a plan to put Bell's consciousness into a computer. The idea is based on another old Bell project(how many did he have, we wonder?)in which "an inorganic host can house organic material." But they have to get into Olivia's brain to do that, and Peter wants to know how.

Walter reminds Peter they did it before when Olivia and Agent Scott shared the dream state, which is a reference to the 4 times Olivia went into the deprivation tank and shared consciousness with her dead lover in Season 1. Peter starts getting prickly and reminds Walter it involved sticking a probe into her spine and massive amounts of psychedelic drugs.
Walter is dumbstruck by Peter's words and gives us the answer of the night: "Of course, LSD!" Hence the title, and our course is set for the rest of the episode.

Walter is manic now and asks Peter if he's ever "tripped." Poor Peter can't even get an answer out. Walter explains that since Peter knows Olivia better than anyone he needs to lead them into her mind. Again poor Peter can't reply. Walter is shouting for Astrid to get 2000 milligrams of LSD and some sugar cubes ready. Um, from what I read, 20-30 micrograms is a threshold dose, so 2000 milligrams or 2 grams is an outrageous amount of the drug!

Everything's ready in record time, as though the LSD was present and just waiting to be taken(which knowing Walter might be the case). Walter pushes Peter to take his cube first, and poor Peter looks pretty uncomfortable. You get the real sense he's only cooperating for Olivia's sake. Astrid doesn't miss his discomfort and tells him, "Peter, don't worry. I'll keep my eye on the monitors. I'll make sure you're OK." Peter's response is very interesting, and maybe foreshadowing of the engine room(later) and beyond:

PETER: It's not me I'm worried about. I'm pretty sure there's a good reason why we can't enter each other's minds. What if we kick something loose in there?

Peter's reply is also a reference to Simon Phillips' ability to enter other people's minds in episode 312, "Concentrate and Ask Again."

Astrid replies, "Right now, I think you're her only hope," which knowing our showrunners Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman, who wrote this episode(in conjunction with Akiva Goldsman), this is probably a Star Wars reference to Princess Leia's holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi, that he's her only hope.

Bellivia is the second to take the drug, and he/she grabs it up like it's a yummy hors d'oeuvre at a cocktail party. That little smirk he puts on Liv's face is pretty telling that Bell's an old pro at tripping. Walter is the last to take his dose. That leaves our dear, reliable Astrid to babysit the "little family unit."

A Tripping Peter
Apparently Walter's accelerant that he added to the LSD works pretty quickly for Peter.
He gets enthralled with Broyle's bald head and almost touches it, saying to Astrid "I think he's an Observer," which is a moment that puts a smile on your face. Yeah, we've wondered about that too, Peter. Astrid assures Peter "It's OK," and tells Walter they're ready, as though she done this dozens of times before.(Maybe they have done this before? More than once?)

A Tripping Broyles
One of the highlights of this episode, in my opinion, is how Broyles inadvertently ends up tripping as well. He seems fine at first, but his sudden obsession with the spiral of a Red Vine is a dead giveaway:

BROYLES: I never understood why Walter was so drawn to licorice. But look at it. The swirl... it's Bernini's spiral altar at Saint Peter's. It... doesn't end.

That reference is to the sprial design of the 4 posts on Bernini's alter at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. It's a really nice comparison to the swirl of Red Vines, and now I'm sure we'll have that image stuck in our heads.

Astrid quickly asks Broyles if he touched the tray the sugar cubes were on. After he replies, "Sure. Why?" she asks him if he's ever taken LSD. The look on Broyles' face....priceless!
OK, so now Astrid's babysitting 4 people tripping! The girl does deserve a raise.

A little later on we see Broyles fully engaged in his trip with his mouth hanging open. Astrid brings him a tray and says even though he just asked for water(dry mouth is a common side-effect of "acid" or LSD) she thinks he should eat something. He slowly thanks her. She reminds him what he's feeling is all from the LSD, and that it is temporary. Broyles' response and the ensuing conversation is quite telling:

BROYLES: No. It's infinite. It's all around us. (chuckles) You didn't see that. I didn't see that. (becomes serious) But now I know. And I know it followed me.

ASTRID: What followed you?

BROYLES: Death. I saw death. All of it. And it was me. Can you hold my hand? Please?

Broyles is making reference to seeing his dead doppelganger in episode 308, "Entrada." That would leave an impression, wouldn't it?
The scene of Astrid gently grasping her boss's hand is bittersweet, and one of my favorites in Season 3.

There is one more precious look at Broyles on LSD later on. Astrid and Walter are preparing the computer to accept Bell's consciousness as Broyles looks on, his mouth still open. He sees an animated red bird sit on Walter's shoulder and he whistles at it. This gets Walter's attention and Broyles waves, smiling. Walter gets distracted(he's still coming down from his trip) and he drops a glass tube on the floor and has to improvise.

In Olivia's Mind
Everything changes suddenly, and Peter's in his navy pea coat with RayBan sunglasses on. On a city street. Somewhere. He looks very much like Neo (except Neo's in leather, not wool) from the first Matrix movie. Now I have never seen "Inception," but people have told me there are similarities in this episode to that film as well. We hear Walter yelling to Peter to help him down. Walter has landed on top of a bus that starts to drive away, a lovely reference to Milo Stanfield
riding off on top of his escape bus in 303, "The Plateau." Peter gets Walter down but Walter is not happy with his rough handling. The banter between Walter and Peter is very fun here.
Walter asks where Belly is and of course Peter doesn't know. He tells Walter it doesn't matter, they are there to get Olivia. Peter asks what's next in Walter's plan and Walter clams up, which gets Peter's dander up.

PETER:So what's the next step in the plan? There is one, right, Walter? Please tell me that the plan doesn't end here.

WALTER: Of course not! The plan... is to find Olivia and guide her out. We just have to start looking. (quickly runs off)

(Even in an imaginary world inside Olivia's brain, things are still the same with Peter and Walter.)
PETER: How are we supposed to pick Olivia out? All these people are dressed like they raided her closet.

WALTER: More likely, she equipped them according to her preferences. Our fault, I fear. Cortexiphan subjects experience a strong desire to blend in, to stay in the background. They were designed that way.

PETER:Designed that way?

Suddenly the two of them see a light coming from near the top of one of the Twin Towers. Instantly you should be thinking of Morse Code via light(which again, does not work nearly as well as the dit and dahs sent via audio)and this is a reference to the blinking streetlight(which I was never able to decode) in the series pilot.
Walter tells Peter it is Morse Code and seems to be an SOS(which is "help" in Morse Code). Morse Code alphabet

Walter goes to a nearby trash can and retrieves an open container of chocolate pudding.
Peter, of course, thinks he's going to eat it and tells him in so many words. Walter replies,"Of course not. I just had lunch," and proceeds to send a Morse Code message to the spot of origin of the message with the silver foil liner aimed at the sun. (I have to try that sometime! I wonder who of the 3 writers is into Morse Code?) Peter is amazed and asks Walter what he's saying.
Walter tells him "I'm asking who it is." There is another short burst of blinking from the Tower and Walters yells, "It's Olivia! She's found us."
Peter says, "Tell her to stay there. We're on our way."

But we know things are never easy in the lands of Fringe.
Peter and Walter are trying to move closer to the Tower when Walter spots Olivia's evil step-father standing on the street leering at them. Peter doesn't know what he looks like and must resort to Walter's judgement. Walter points the angry-looking man out to Peter.

PETER: Hmm. Walter, I'm... getting a bad feeling about this. Any suggestions?

WALTER: Yes. Run! (chased by a mob) Oh! The cab!

So in another Matrix-like scene, Olivia's stepfather and a hoard of pedestrians chase after them. Peter and Walter get into a standing cab. Walter gets into the driver's seat.

PETER: Wait, wait, wait. You're driving?


We laugh again as Walter speeds away in the cab down the streets of Manhattan(or Manhatan?We'll find out which soon!) The speeding cab is a reference to Henry speeding off with our Liv dressed as FauxLivia in 301, "Olivia." Also, it makes us think of Walter's terrible driving and parking at the beginning of 214, "The Bishop Revival." Two black vehicles chase after them which reminds me of Jones's men chasing Liv in 111, "Bound." Walter breaks and stops quickly, impressed that he made a skid. Miraculously, they are in front of the Tower.
Inside they run into Nina Sharp at the elevators.

PETER: We're looking for Olivia.


Now, right there they should have known something wasn't right. Nina in our world seems to adore Olivia Dunham. This Nina tells them which elevator to take. The two of them watch as she scans her MD card for elevator access, but I believe the prosthetic is on the opposite arm! The car door opens and Walter almost falls down the empty elevator shaft. Peter grabs him, and in a rushed moment, Walter pushes Nina down the empty shaft, screaming as she descends to her death.

Walter and Peter get into a car and go to the top floor. Surprisingly there are no blue flashes on the way there, but the car opens onto the same blindingly white hall Olivia entered in the Season 1 finale, "There's More Than One Of Everything." Walter reminds Peter they should be careful of what's on the other side of the door, which turns out to be an animated William Bell. It is such a fantastic image the first time you see it. Suddenly our scene is completely animated, thanks to the wonderful work of Zoic Studios in Vancouver read more here .
I know some fans did not like the animation, but I think it was phenomenal, and added another rich layer of creativity to this episode.

As soon as they open the door William Bell is standing there and says to them "I lied," which is a lovely reference to FauxLivia's words to Peter at the end of 304, "Do Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?" Bell also says this:

Olivia's not here. I was concerned if you knew it was just me, Peter wouldn't let you come rescue me.

I think this statement has bigger implications, as though Bell was retro cognitive to the circumstance of being bound inside Olivia's body.

Walter asks Bell why he's a cartoon. Bell replies, "I'd ask yourselves the same question."
When Walter realizes he's a cartoon as well, a dialogue balloon pops up that reads "How wonderful," and it is indeed.

Bell tells them he entered Olivia's mind on the street but couldn't find Walter or Peter, and a car tried to run him down, so he came to his office for safety. Peter questions why everything is turning against them in their efforts to help Olivia. Bell has a theory that when his consciousness entered her brain "her ego became confused...and let her fears run rampant."

PETER: Explain that.

WALTER: We're saying that Olivia is not aware that Belly's consciousness entered hers. As far as she's concerned, one minute she was fine, the next minute she was set adrift in her innermost thoughts. It's her fears that are causing the siege.

PETER: Then, in that case, she's not lost, she's hiding. That's what she does. When Olivia is afraid, she retreats.

We haven't seen much of Olivia afraid in this series, but we have seen her this way near the end of 215, "Jacksonville," and in 301, "Olivia" when she cries in the bathroom stall and runs to her "mother's house, and in 314, "6B" when she moves away from Peter.

Bell tells them it will be very difficult to find her if she is hiding

WALTER: He's right. Everything in her mind is dangerous and hostile to her now. How can we expect to find her if she's frightened of everything, us included?

PETER: Because she'd do exactly what you did -- she'll find a place that she considers to be safe. And she'll hide out.

Peter is confident Olivia is hiding out in Jacksonville. Bell tells him it's the last place she'd go, and Peter says that's why he's sure she's there.
Just then, there's commotion in the lobby of the tower as many people pour in through the doors. Somehow, Bell, Walter, and Peter have changed location to the rooftop of the Tower. The doors open and dozens of Brandon-looking Massive Dynamic zombies start heading toward our trio. Did you notice all the zombies have blue nametags and bloody-red mouths(representing both universes?)

There just happens to be a zeppelin flying overhead at that moment(Toto, we're not in Manhattan anymore!) and Bell yells "Zeppelin!" Walter and Bell head toward it while Peter fights off the zombies in white labcoats. As the Zeppelin starts pulling away Walter yells for Peter to join them. All that's available to him is a very long rope ladder. Peter breaks into a run and crosses the rooftop. Just as he lunges for the ladder, we see Joshua Jackson, non-animated, doing the same,(which is pretty cool!) then Peter is reanimated as his fingers latch on to the ladder. Like his jump in 316, "Os" to bring Vince back to earth, this is also an amazing jump, and he makes it.

Once things calm down in the escaping blimp, Walter has an interesting conversation with Belly:

WILLIAM BELL: Walter, when we were young and foolish with too much power and too many dreams that no one could stand in the way of... we needed each other.

WALTER: I don't understand.

WILLIAM BELL: We needed each other then, to check and balance.

WALTER: And now?

WILLIAM BELL: Now you possess the wisdom of humility. We didn't back then. The decisions you make will be the right ones. The direction you choose to take will be just.

The use of the word "just" here is not accidental. If you've read the book showcased by young Olivia in "Subject 13," called "Winter's Tale," the theme of the story is the pursuit of a just city and justice.

The alarms sound after we see someone cut a fuel line. There is someone else inside the Zeppelin! Peter comes in from wherever and asks what's going on.
Bell tells him it's the fuel line. In a snap Peter is in the Engine Room and sees what looks like fluid leaking from under the door. He finds the key and unlocks the lock holding a chain around the door to the engine room. The door falls down and Peter is thrown. A middle-aged man in a white t-shirt with a black cross emerges with a gun and points it at Peter. He asks how many are in the blimp. Peter tells the man it's just him on board. The man tells Peter he is holding a flare gun, and he doesn't want to be shot by it. Walter appears, frightened. Peter tells him to stay back. Walter asks the man's name. The man ignores him and asks Peter his name:

PETER: Peter.


PETER: Peter Bishop.

ZEPPELIN CREWMAN: Nice to meet you.

The crewman's last words before he shoots a large whole into the side of the airship are quite interesting. The man exits with a parachute, as the air rushes into the ship. Peter yells as Walter gets sucked out of the ship into the atmosphere.

Not surprisingly, Bell is already outside with another parachute on. Walter tries to grab onto him and it appears to me that Bell shoves him away. Walter starts freefalling and ends up coming back into himself, non-animated,and quite shaken, in his chair in the Harvard Lab. Astrid lets him know he's back in the lab, and Walter is not happy about it.

Bell and Peter somehow get the Zeppelin grounded in Jacksonville. Bell tells Peter his father will be fine, but that they are on their own. Peter asks Bell who the man on the ship was. Bell replies, "Someone unpleasant from her past, I imagine."

There's a little scuttle as Bell wants to lead but Peter tells him Olivia won't be at the Day Care Center. Bell asks Peter if he drives a motorcycle, stating he would love to ride on a motorcycle to where they need to go. They find one. As Peter rides with Bell on the back, Bell asks him where they are going.

Peter says Olivia told him her family lived on a military base when she was young.

PETER:Olivia once told me that she sometimes thinks about what it would be like to just be normal. She said she falls asleep sometimes thinking about what it would be like if her life hadn't taken the turn that it did. She told me that the last time she remembered feeling that way was the day before she met you and Walter at the Cortexiphan Trials. I think she's down there somewhere. In that house, on that day. Hiding out.

So they check out all the homes on the military base at Jacksonville, but they all look alike. Bell asks Peter how they will find her.

PETER:Her real dad painted the door red. He told her that it was good luck. The army told them it was against regulations, but he was an important man, so they let it slide.

WILLIAM BELL: There aren't many streets left, Peter. Maybe the door was painted green again after they moved away.

PETER: It wasn't.

So sure, isn't he? They find a house with a red door. Peter starts to doubt himself, but walks up to the door and opens it. As he opens it, Peter Bishop becomes un-animated and sees an un-animated Olivia just inside. He pulls her into a hug and comforts her.

OLIVIA: I'm so afraid. I don't know what's happening. There are all these people trying to hurt me, and this was the safest place I knew.

PETER: I know, and I'm here to help you. But we don't have a lot of time, so I can't explain it all right now, but I need you to understand that you're safe. It's okay for you to come back.

OLIVIA: Peter? What's wrong? Peter, you're scaring me.

PETER: You're not her.

OLIVIA: What are you talking about?

PETER: This is not you. I can see it in your eyes. It's not you.

I think this scene is an apology from Pinkner/Wyman/Goldsman for Peter not knowing it was FauxLivia when he slept with her in 304, just my opinion. Peter gets it right this time. He can see in her eyes, that it really isn't his Olivia.

A very young, tiny, and completely adorable Olivia tells him she just needed to know it was really him. He puts out his hand and she puts her tiny hand in his, and it's a really cute scene.

The Christmas tree plays a tune and tiny Liv says "Oh no!" Her evil step-father reappears and they run out the door. As they cross the lawn and head towards the motorcycle a military vehicle moving very quickly heading straight for them. Peter shields little Liv with his body and ends up back in his seat, un-animated, in the Harvard lab. He's out of breath and besides himself, clinging to Walter standing over him.

Peter tells Walter he lost her and has to go back, which is symbolic of the end of 322, "The Day We Died." And the image of a desparate, frightened, Peter clinging to Walter is a reference to my favorite scene in 113, "The Transformation," when Olivia clings to Peter for comfort after he pulls her from the tank.

We switch back to tiny Olivia who has grown as the military throng arrives, led by her step-father. William Bell says "Go!" and I'm not sure if that is to the crowd, or to young Liv, but I'm guessing he's saying that to young Olivia. She puts her hand up and everyone stops dead.
"No more. I'm not afraid of you," Olivia, the child, tells them all. There is silence as she transforms into an adult, animated Olivia Dunham, looking quite sure of herself. Her pink clothes have returned to her dark 'uniform' as Sam Weiss called it in "Olivia. In The Lab. With The Revolver." She turns to Bell and asks for an explanation:

WILLIAM BELL: I suspect I know what has happened here. I think my experiment was right after all. You should have been safe inside your mind... Except it's you, and you have never felt safe. You are your own worst enemy, Olivia. You took the opportunity to let your fears overwhelm you, but you just fought back. In the end, you are as strong as Walter and I always believed you were. And now you know it too.

OLIVIA: So what happens now?

WILLIAM BELL: Now, you go back. But not me. For you to survive, I need to leave.

OLIVIA: I don't understand.

WILLIAM BELL: You don't have to. Well, that's Walter. Right on time. Please tell Walter that I knew the dog wouldn't hunt.

There is a series of thunderclaps, and then Olivia wakes up, un-animated, in her chair in the Harvard Lab. She looks at Walter and says, "What happened to me?" which is a reference to Lisa Donovan waking up from having the consciousness of Andrew Rusk extricated from her in 211, "Unearthed" read more here.

Belly's Gone?
While everyone's happy to see Olivia back in charge of her body, Astrid notices the transferrence of William Bell into the computer has failed. She tells Walter. Olivia delivers Bell's message-that he knew the dog wouldn't hunt. Walter translates that Belly would say that when he knew experiments wouldn't work. "He knew he wasn't coming out. And he hates good-byes." Walter is crushed, and escapes into another room, as Astrid welcomes Olivia back.

Once she gets everyone else setteled, Astrid approaches Walter in the other room, who looks quite miserable sitting in a chair. She shows him an electronic pad and tells him she loaded ZOOM onto it. That she'll watch it with him if he wants. Walter tells her he wants to be by himself for a bit.

ZOOM, a lovely Easter Egg, And A Real Boston-based Show From The Past
If you were a kid in the 70's to 90's and watched a PBS station, chances are you remember the fun kid-oriented tv show, "ZOOM!", produced in Boston, for real, at WGBH, not far from the Harvard campus. This show aired from 1972 to 1978, and then was remade and had another run from 1999 to 2005. It was good clean fun, and my favorite thing was the Ubby-Dubby language skits. See here. (Pig Latin but with "ub" instread of "ay.") 0...2,1....3,4, to all of you Zoomers reading this!

Peter and Olivia Reunite Post-Bellivia
It was only 2 episodes, but it felt like P/O was separated for longer than that.
Peter goes to her apartment, and they greet each other, after some obvious time has passed
since their 'trips.' They embrace each other, and it is warm and genuine.
Olivia asks Peter if he is hungry:

PETER: Uh, no. I'm okay, thanks. So how you feeling?

OLIVIA: Um... I feel like I've just woken up from a really strange dream. Thank you for coming to get me.

PETER: It's not as dangerous as crossing into another universe, but I try. You're welcome. What are we gonna have to deal with next, right?

OLIVIA: I don't know. But for some reason, I'm not afraid to move forward anymore. Sure you don't want some toast?

PETER: No, I -- no, I'm fine. Who is this guy? I saw him in your mind. You had him locked up in a Zeppelin. He was just flying around trapped in there.

OLIVIA: I don't know. I haven't seen him before. But I think that he's the man who's gonna kill me.

Um. OK. Olivia Dunham says that last line quite matter-of-factly as she chews on a piece of toast. Peter asked who the guy was because he was in a sketch in Olivia's sketchbook lying on her kitchen table. The sketch is a reference to Simon Phillip's sketches of the girl he dreams about in 312, "Concentrate And Ask Again."
And what a way to end this wild ride of an episode!

Questions That Arise From "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide"

Which of the 3 writers were tripping when they conceived this episode?

If William Bell used rats to study his Soul Magnets theory, how could he know when the host's consciousness had left?

What did Walter mean when he told Peter the Cortexiphan subjects were designed to want to blend into their background environment?

Who was the man locked inside the engine room of the Zeppelin? Why did he ask Peter his last name? After Peter told him, why did the man say "Nice to meet you"?

Why was Peter so sure the front door on Olivia's old military base home was still painted red?

Why did William Bell tell Olivia, "Well, that's Walter, right on time" when the thunder clapped?

Where did William Bell's consciousness go when it left Olivia Dunham's body?

Why did this episode end with Olivia telling Peter, "I haven't seen him before. But I think that he's the man who's going to kill me"?

If Peter Bishop Never Existed...
It would only have been Walter and Bellivia taking the LSD.
And think about it. If it was just the two of them and no fuming Peter demanding to know when he'd get his girlfriend back, would Walter have felt as pressured to drive his old partner from Olivia's body? Broyles probably would have still badgered Bell, but would Walter have worked as hard to get his partner out?

If there was no Peter and just Walter went looking for Olivia in her mind, would he have fallen down the elevator shaft to his doom?

If there was no Peter, William Bell may have gone to the Day Care Center by himself, and thus never have found Olivia in time to save her.


fakehater said...

LSD is the Best!!! don't knock it 'till you've tried it.

Anonymous said...

lol.. The very mention of LSD in this episode was censord when this episode went to air here in Australia...I'd already watched it online but I was hanging out to see Walter's scene where he said' Let's make LSD!', but it was cut and so were the bits with the sugar cubes.

trent said...

I think this scene is an apology from Pinkner/Wyman/Goldsman for Peter not knowing it was FauxLivia when he slept with her in 304, just my opinion. Peter gets it right this time. He can see in her eyes, that it really isn't his Olivia.

I also think it's an apology (apology not accepted). If that isn't fan service, I don't know what is. And that's what made it among the worst of the season, IMO. Before that scene, one could speculate about the reasons why Peter could not tell the difference, for instance, the brainwashing he suffered as a kid to accept doubles as the real thing or the fact that people change, when they start a romantic relationship. After that scene, all of that was taken away and replaced by contrivance. Why can he tell the difference now and not back then? And worse, why does Olivia trust him, when all he proved until then was that he could not tell the difference? It wasn't organic and it wasn't earned, much like the big love story between Lincoln and Fauxlivia wasn't earned, which made the birth scene on par in awfulness with this one.

Other than this and the cheesiness of animated Olivia overcoming her fears, it's a fun episode, although it lacks the charm of Brown Betty. The big question is, who that Mr. X is and why does he want to kill Olivia. I think we'll know in S4.

Anonymous said...

I remember when I first watched this episode.
The last minutes killed me; "he's the man who's gonna kill me", I watched it over and over again...

Old Darth said...

'I think this scene is an apology from Pinkner/Wyman/Goldsman for Peter not knowing it was FauxLivia when he slept with her in 304, just my opinion. Peter gets it right this time. He can see in her eyes, that it really isn't his Olivia.'

Respectfully disagree. To me this is all about setup and payoff. Nothing to do with, nor is there even a need, for fan apology. The explanation given for his inability to discern that it was Fauxlivia by Peter sufficed.

Look for another instance of setup and payoff - bet Peter gets the coffee order right this season! :-D

cortexifan said...

part 1

Some of this might be out of order a bit because again I’m using what I wrote to my Fringies at work after the episode aired and then weaving in new observations.
Wow, what a trip :)
I absofringely loved this episode and even after multiple viewings am still laughing (still true). In my opinion it is one of the best episodes so far. On the surface this episode seems quite funny and has seemingly no obvious rhyme or reason. But you have to go into the shows (not just one episode) mind to find the deeper meanings.
The glyphs spelled: FEARS
As in Olivia’s fears – all of them, past, present and future.
As in Walter’s fears – Peter, the machine, the universes, him not knowing what to do.
As in Peter’s fears – will he find her and get her back.
The Observer can be seen in the hospital.

Lots of colors in the lab, yellow, blue and red liquids.
Nice call back to 1.04 In which we meet Mr. Jones, as they attempt to get Bell out, using the same method where Peter was hooked up with Joseh Smith to get an answer to a question. When Walter asked Belly if he was ready, Bell said: “Aye, aye, captain.” As inSpock to Kirk on StarTrek.

I think the first attempt to extract Bell didn’t fail. I’m almost tempted to say Belly resisted because it looks like (judging by the squeezing of Olivia’s hand) he was fighting it.
LSD was used from the beginning of the series to accomplish Walter’s experiments.
At the hospital: Peter: “She’s my girlfriend.” Walter: “He’s my partner.” :)
When Bell was explaining the experiments with the rats, I thought of Walter because he’s not always so forthcoming in revealing the side effects of his experiments either.
Love the eyebrow raise. She does it in 3.01 Olivia as well right before Charlie picks her up and the other mom’s house.
Putting Belly’s consciousness into a computer reminded me of a SG1 episode where Captain Carter’s mind was trapped in a computer and the computer in her body.
Share dream state goes back to the Pilot.
Bell said LSD would solve the super ego problem. Did he know he had that?
Peter needs to go because he knows her the best and he is her only hope (hope being a recurring theme)
Peter’s comment to Broyles about being an Observer is priceless.
So the trip begins.
Walter lands on a bus. Reminded me of 3.03 The Plateau where Milo jumped off the bridge and landed on the van.
It looks like Olivia’s mind is more in the alternate universe than on ours. The newspaper box says: Manhatan Courier. There is a sign: Be Vortex Aware.
I love the picture of the landscape of Olivia’s mind as Bell, Walter and Peter look down from the building:
Massive Dynamic HQ, Fringe Division HQ from over there, could the lake be Reiden Lake? On the DVD commentary to this episode it was said that there is also a representation of Iraq and the other MD HQ. I’m confused because they didn’t build it over there. There is also Grand Hotel, the roller coaster could be the one she was on with Ella 2.08 August in our universe and with Charlie 3.03 The Plateau in the alternate universe. There is the Eiffel tower which could mean a reference to Dr. Paris. And of course the twin towers where she met Bell for the first time in 1.20 There Is More Than One Of Everything. I think I said it for 3.01 Olivia as well: If she saw this in her mind why didn’t she try to find Bell to help her? She didn’t know that he was dead.

cortexifan said...

part 2
It’s interesting that Peter says: “the towers are out of proportion.” Walter replies: “Olivia’s mind is assigning importance. Our surroundings represent her emotional landscape.”
I wonder if that’s what she was doing in 2.14 Jacksonville, assigning importance to her emotional landscape, when she described the forest. She said: “I can see very tall trees. “ Or was it just because she was a child when she was in that forest the first time?
As they get off the elevator at MD they stare down the hallway just like Olivia did in 1.20 There Is More Than One Of Everything.
They find Belly in a very unusual way.
Greetings from 2.19 Brown Betty, where Bell already appeared as a cartoon. LSD is episode 3.19 by the way. Love the connections. So in 2.19 we saw what was going on in Walter’s mind, in 3.19 they went into Olivia’s. Will we see what’s going on in Peter’s mind in 4.19? :)

Walter says: “Belly, why are you are cartoon?” And Belly says: “I could ask you the same. “ The bubble above Walter with “How Wonderful” is priceless.
Love the cartoon versions of them. Since it is in Olivia’s mind it makes perfect sense. Her mind is even more complex than Walters.
So now they are trying to figure out what’s going on. What does Peter mean when he said: when she came to us in the lab, she asked for our help?
Bell: “What I’m starting to think is that when my mind entered hers, her ego became confused – her sense of self.”
Walter: “Which in turn initiated the darker part of her subconscious allowing her deepest fears to run rampart. Olivia is not aware that Belly’s consciousness entered hers. As far as she’s concerned, one minute she was fine, the next minute she was set adrift in her innermost thoughts. It’s her fears that are causing the siege.”
So these represent her fears and bring out hostility: her step dad because of what he did to her and her mom, the fact that she didn’t kill him and that he still sends her cards on her birthday, just to let her know that he’s still out there (1.06 The Cure). Nina, Olivia never really trusted her and frankly I don’t either. The first time Olivia met Nina she was shown the robotic arm. Why did Nina try to kill Walter (or should I say why did Olivia think that Nina would kill Walter?) Brandonate, because of what he did and wanted to do to her in the alternate universe. All of these are lashing out at Walter and Peter and both of them are probably on her list as well. Walter, because of what he did to her as a child and Peter, because of what she found out about him and what happened with Fauxlivia.
The zombies are Brandonate. The blue nametag is what he’s wearing in 3.20 6:02 AM EST.
Broyles was stealing the show. I loved him on his own trip. Still cannot whistle when I think about him tweeting with the bird. :)
When he talks about death did he see the future or was he talking about the past when he saw his other self in 3.08 Entrada?

Some fans I’m sure, did not like the episode because Bell did not reveal anything about the decoder keys for the discs in the shapeshifters. I think he was there for two other reasons.
First on the blimp:
Walter: “I need you, William. I don’t know what to do. About Peter, about the machine, about what’s waiting for him, for the world because of what we did.”
William: “Walter, when we were young and foolish with too much power and too many dreams that no one could stand in the way of, we needed each other.” Walter: “I don’t understand?”
William: “We needed each other then, to check and balance.” Walter: “And now?” William: “Now you possess the wisdom of humility. We didn’t back then. The decisions you make will be the right ones. The direction you choose to take will be just.”

cortexifan said...

part 3
Walter needed to hear that. It sort of reflects what Bell had written in his will being read to Walter in 3.02 The Box: “Walter, we gather knowledge faster than we gather wisdom. By now I trust you have ample reserves of both. I hope you've forgiven me."

The engine room door is red and the parachute bag is green, the parachute itself is red.
Behind the door is also Mr. X who apparently has been locked in there by Olivia. I thought it was funny that the key was hanging on a nail right there. Obviously Mr. X knew who Peter is after he learned his name.

Lots of green and red:
The chairs in Bell’s office at MD. The sign above the cab as Peter and Walter get into it. Lots of green and red – mixed with blue on the street in Jacksonville. There is a bill board on one of the buildings with a “slusho drink” on it.

When the game is over for Walter he falls out of the blimp into what looks like Reiden Lake where he crossed to get Peter.
When Bell and Peter argue which direction to go, they point in different ones. Is the day care center not in the same place as where Olivia lived?

Green doors vs. the red door on Olivia’s house.
Peter said her “real” dad painted the door red and they let him because he was important.
Who was he and why was he important?

We know that the color red represents the alternate universe but we also know that red is Olivia’s color. We know that red is Olivia’s color because Sam Weiss asked her if she had something against red when he asked her to collect business cards in 2.05 Dream Logic. She was also standing on a red circle (carpet) in 3.15 Subject 13 and her cubby box was red as well.

So Peter goes in the house and finds Olivia, or does he?

The way Olivia talks in this conversation with Peter reminded me a lot of 3.06 6599 KHZ after she shot the shapeshifter and she was explaining herself.

FINALLY PETER! “I can see it in your eyes, this is not you.” Peter, you just redeemed yourself :)
Olivia had set a trap if you will because she has been tricked so many times including those who love her. Young Olivia is the real one, which is the same girl from 2.14 Jacksonville.
As Peter holds the little girls hand the scene changes to Christmas. It must be important somehow, maybe a good or bad memory. Fringie6989 said the other day that maybe that’s why Olivia used “Christmas” as a code word in 1.13 The Transformation.
So they flee but the game is over for Peter as well. I loved how Josh played that wake up. I wonder how he prepares for something like that. It was awesome.

Now it’s up to Bell. But he trips and falls and has to let go of young Olivia. As the horde is coming closer young Olivia takes courage!

With confidence she says: “No more. I’m not afraid of you.”

What a contrast to 2.14 Jacksonville, where she says it almost with resignation or out of fear. Peter: “Are you alright?” Olivia: “No, I’m not afraid of anything anymore.”

cortexifan said...

part 4
Then Olivia becomes the adult again.

This is the second reason for Bell to be there:
William to Olivia: “You should have been safe inside our mind except it’s you, and you have never felt safe. You are your own worst enemy, Olivia. You took the opportunity to let your fears overwhelm you, but you just fought back. In the end, you are as strong as Walter and I always believed you were. And now you know it too.”
This goes back to 2.04 Momentum Deferred when Olivia meets with Bell, he says: “You are the one, Olivia. Of all the children that Walter and I prepared, you were the strongest. You were always the strongest.”
This is not the only time this phrase was used. Way back in 1.11 Bound, Rachel says: “You’ve always been the strong one, you have.”
And Nick Lane said it in 1.17 Bad Dreams: “You were always the strong on.”

I can see why Nick would say it because he was part of the trials. But why did Rachel use the same phrase? And by the way I’m not convinced that Rachel is Olivia’s biological sister.

This also ties in with what Walter told her in 3.21 The Last Sam Weiss: “You have no idea how extraordinary you are. If you embrace that then there is no end to what you can do.”

Here is something interesting. In one of the shots we see the cartoon version of her step dad. In the other there is someone else. Error or purpose?

I loved the animation and have to say they did a good job with Olivia’s version using her eyes to speak.

Loved Broyles blowing bubbles. It “cracked” me up :)

I think this was the first episode where no one talked on a cell phone. But product placement happened anyway. I just thought it was funny.

I feel sorry for Astrid. She puts up with a lot and cares deeply for the team, especially Walter.
I loved her answer to Walter when he called her Astro. She finally got back at him, calling him Wally.
But now, he won’t even let her help him. I hope he gets out of that funk, he’s got universes to save.

Ok, so now we’re getting close to the end.

I thought this was interesting that there are pears in her bowl. Pears are not part of the glyphs (you’d think it would be apples) and the only other time I saw pears on the show were in 2.04 Momentum Deferred in the beginning and the end. What’s interesting is the context that I saw them in.
They were eaten by a shapeshifter.
So Peter comes over. Awww (sorry, couldn’t help myself and it most likely will not be that happy for long). And of course it didn't.
She’s got a new fridge :)
Olivia had drawn up Mr. X from the engine room and Peter asks her who this is.
According to Bell it might be someone from her past.
And then, not only does she eat – finally…

cortexifan said...

part 5
She is not afraid to move forward anymore and she exclaims just as calmly with her new found confidence that she thinks he is the one killing her – gasp!
Is this the ultimate finale episode, Olivia being killed by Mr. X?

In 3.17 Stowaway Bellivia says to Peter: “sometimes when one walks away from his fate it leads one directly to fate’s doorstep.” And then later in the same episode: “I like to believe that nothing just happens, that every event has some meaning. Some sort of message. You just have to be able to listen closely enough to hear it.”

I think this was the overall message of this episode.
Each of the characters has to learn to accept their fate and to listen. Whether they know what that fate is yet or not.
Walter has to accept that he is going to have to do it without Bell. He had to accept the fact that he needed to let Peter go.
Peter needed to accept that he is connected to the machine and that he had to go into it.
And Olivia finally understands and realizes she is the strong one, the gatekeeper. And that she too is connected with the machine. She has overcome so much already. I also don’t think she said that last line carelessly, or without fear. She is different, more confident and willing to go forward, to face it head on.
I also thought of the song Olivia was singing to Peter in 2.19 Brown Betty
For once in my life I have someone who needs me Someone I’ve needed so long. For once in my life I can go where live leads me and somehow I know I’ll be strong. For once in my life I won’t let sorrow hurt me. Not like it’s hurt me before
For once in my life I have something I know won’t desert me I’m not alone anymore.

Before they went on the “trip” Peter was afraid of knocking something loose inside of each other’s mind. And in a sense they did. Mr. X.
It reminded me of Olivia’s conversation with Broyles in 1.17 Bad Dreams: “Sometimes what we wake up, can’t be put back to sleep.”

I also believe that we have not seen or heard the last of Bell. For him to just stay behind to save Olivia’s life sounds way too easy for the fighter that he is. What is his plan?

If Peter never existed in this episode…
-Who would have been the guide in Olivia’s mind?
-Would they have gone in at all?
-Nina would have pushed Walter down the shaft.
-Who else would have known to look for Olivia in Jacksonville?
-Would Brandonate’s zombies have gotten to Bell or Walter?

The commentary on the DVD to this episode is awesome. It is amazing how much work went into 16 minutes of animation. Kudos to everyone involved.

milostanfield said...

fan apology - it may be true that the "see it in your eyes" scene was catering to the fans a bit, as fringeobsessed and trent said, given how TV shows are made in such a time and money obsessed pressure cooker, and with the network breathing down your neck, looking to pump ratings and sell Fords. Fox, thank you for Fringe and X-Files, but I will NEVER forgive you for Firefly. Art by committee. It's a marvel that anything good ever gets made for TV, but somehow it often does.

But I think this scene is organic and earned for two reasons:
1) they set it up very early on, just after Peter dropped into Neo's sunglasses, and Walter got off the bus, that even though Walter and Peter are tripping, and are inside Olivia's mind, their thoughts and feelings are their own. So whatever thoughts (and fears) they had, they took them in there with them, along with the ability to deal with them soberly despite the drugs. (Quibble: bit of a stretch here. I could see Walter doing that since he's probably been stoned for every crime scene visit in the series. But Peter? Tripping for the first time, inside his lover's mind to save her life? He should have been a total mess like when he was kicked out. But this ep is about more important things than LSD, so I'll let it slide.)
2) So if Peter IS able to deal rationally with his feelings in this situation, he went in conscious of his failure to "see it in her eyes", something he has obsessed about ever since THAT phone call. So he would have been primed to see the trap she set up for him. As for Olivia, inside her own mind, and not really knowing anything about the situation she is in, she would have no way to know that anything was real, much less that the real Peter and Walter were actually inside her brain. So the Peter she dealt with was still just part of the jumbled fevered nightmare she found herself in, as she never really knew fully what was happening until after she woke up.
So I think the scene is valid IF one accepts the setup for it. Peter made a terrible mistake, and was fearful because of it, but he learned from it, and moved past it.

milostanfield said...

Here is something interesting. In one of the shots we see the cartoon version of her step dad. In the other there is someone else. Error or purpose?
Wow. So many thoughts to hook on, as usual, Cortexifan. That might have been her real dad, as she was in a happy, safe scene when Peter first arrived at her house in J'ville. Then (cue the Xmas tree) she was in a dangerous place, and step dad appeared. Would imagine Xmas with an abusive step dad was not pleasant. I wonder if we will ever see real dad. We've been told he died, but I don't think they ever said exactly how, so it could be possible.

milostanfield said...

"The big question is, who that Mr. X is and why does he want to kill Olivia. I think we'll know in S4." trent
Yes a real biggie, and that monkey wrench really has me stumped. May have to bang my head on that wall for a while like Markham. But hey, it gives us a great mystery to go forward with. It's not step dad. That would be too easy and he doesn't look like step dad. The voiceover was done by Ulrich Thomsen (link). IMDB does not show him with any current preproduction credits for Fringe, just "LSD". Thomsen (Danish) seems to have some serious acting chops, so I don't see him just doing a cameo voiceover unless he's just a big fan and knows somebody.

Could he be a functional replacement for Newton? (Miss that character and actor. Nothing like an English villain.) If so, and regardless, how did he get inside of Olivia's head in the first place? And why? And when? Does she HAVE him in there, or is he an invader that she is fending off? Does Olivia have cancer? After everything Walter has pumped in her left, no right, no make it the left, arm, I would not be surprised. Is he an antiObserver, some kind of enemy of our jalapeno loving ghosts? Why did he escape instead of trying to take over the blimp? To hide somewhere else in her mind? And how is she with that? She does not seem concerned at all. And that is the real big hook of the Mr X mystery; Olivia's response in her kitchen. I might have thought that he was some kind of secret guardian aspect of her personality, her evolving warrior woman, and thus a part of her own mind, but after she took that bite of toast, that idea fell to the floor with the crumbs. Any ideas, dude?

Anonymous said...

milostanfield -->>> I have to believe that Thomsen must return as Mr. X. Im from Denmark and while there are more famous danish actors in denmark, Thomsen might be at least one of the most accomplisted danish actors on the international scene. He could prodably do the voiceover from Denmark, but if you only wanted a great voice for that single episode, I would think that you would choose an actor who does mostly voice work, instead of an international actor.

I surely hope that he returns...Ulrich is a awesome actor who can play some seriously creepy characters.

Post a Comment

Formatting Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i >italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">link</a> = link

Anonymous posting has been turned off.


Viral & Official FOX Websites

FTV Members


Powered by Blogger
Designed by Spot