Welcome to the Observiews for Season 4 of Fringe. I call them Observiews because they are more visual observations than deep thinking reviews, if that makes sense :)
This season, as far as Observiews go, is going to be a little more challenging. Fringe is not available on Hulu (1 day after air date) anymore, so I’m relying on screencaps from FringeFiles.com. I did tape it and will use some of mine but the quality is not that good. So please be patient.
All observations are mine and therefore could be totally off the wall and/or wrong:). I have not read or looked at any recaps or reviews.
I want to start where I left off at the end of last season. If you remember, Peter went in the machine to save both universes. By doing so, he wrote himself out of existence and we were left with our mouths open, at least I was. So…
Well, in a sense we are but it’s slightly different. Let me do a recap before we delve into details.
It has been a week since Peter disappeared. But they don’t know that. For them it’s been a week since the team on this side agreed to work with the other side. It seems the events from the last 3 years have still happened but in a different way. Olivia and Fauxlivia have quite the argument. To Walter the lab feels different and he blames it on the temperature. The dynamics between the characters are different as well. Olivia is colder and yet gentler with Walter. Broyles seems more like a boss than a friend.
Lincoln Lee from this side is picking up his partner and they go chase some bad guys. Robert dies and Olivia is investigating. Those two meet but have no knowledge of each other, as September explains it. It looks like a case we are sort of familiar with from 1.01The Pilot, a translucent man, who is a flying shapeshifter (or at least that’s the impression I got). Lincoln wants to take the body back to his facility but Olivia steps in, giving Lincoln no information whatsoever. He’s quite upset and doesn’t give up finding out more info (hm, sounds like someone we know :) ).
He tracks them down and shows up in the lab. After some back and forth he’s tolerated to join the investigation because he has more info. He finds out that there have been quite a lot of victims and he gives valid information about his partner. Walter is not leaving the lab, he’s afraid, so Astrid gets to be out in the field. Of course Walter is still Walter and has his lovely moments :). They track down the guy and go after him. Olivia dives right into action and fights this guy, shooting him in the process. Lincoln stayed with an injured cop and shoots the other guy who looks like his partner. Walter discovers the mercury and the device in one of the bodies. They’ve seen this tech before and Olivia decides to take Lincoln to the other side. Olivia doesn’t trust Fauxlivia because last time a device used like this, it was Walternate. It’s actually quite impressive what they’ve done with the bridge-room. Walter sleeps at the lab. As he turns the TV off he sees a person on the screen and it’s not himself. I’ll get there :)
So now let’s take it apart.
The glyphs spelled: APPEAR
As in Peter appears? As is everything is not like it appears? You decide.
Observers are throughout the episode and up to no good, I’m sure.
We also have new science in the opening sequence: Existence, Quantum Entanglement, Philosopher’s Stone, Psychometry, Viral Therapy, Ethereal Plane, Time Paradox, Gravitions, Psychogenesis, Transgenics, Psychic Surgery and Bilocation. I’m not even going to try to explain. Most of it will be above my head. But we did hear Quantum Entanglement (spooky action at a distance) and Time Paradox (the thing I can’t wrap my head around and the place where Peter is) before.
Uh, what? Who? :)
And then he’s gone again.
Did you guys catch that during the episode?
If you recall, colors are important in Fringe.
There is a lot of green and red in the café.
So then there is September and December.
Apparently Peter is not quite gone. I loved how September was questioning that: “It’s impossible. The time line has been rewritten.”
The Bishop Boy is underestimated again, as before by Newton and other shapeshifters (3.06 6599 kHz). So is Peter hanging on? Why?
December to September: “This started with you. It must be you who ends it. They can never know the boy lived to be a man.”
So then we go to Hartford where Lincoln is picking up his partner who is eating toast. Just thought it was funny. Hartford is where Lincoln is part of the FBI as we know from 3.17 Stowaway.
We’ve seen translucency before in 1.01 The Pilot.
Lincoln catches a guy and looks for his partner only to find him dead. Olivia and Astrid are called to the scene. Because Walter is afraid to leave the lab, she gets to go out. I thought it was funny that Olivia was the one opening the body bag, she normally stays away from this stuff as far as possible but without Peter there I guess, she doesn’t have much of a choice, or because Peter never existed, she’s always done it.
Lincoln says he and his partner were tracking a sale of illegal weapons. We’ve heard that before too in a sense: 1.09 Dreamscape and 1.13 The Transformation. Olivia is quite closed up about who she’s working for, not revealing anything. I haven’t figured out why she said: “There is just me.” What about Astrid and Broyles?
Numbers usually mean something in Fringe as well. This is a new time line so I have no idea if this means anything. If you add up 3+1+5 though you get 9. I know, reading into it too much? Humor me :)
So then we get to the lab and Walter is getting something from the fridge. Uh, no… not food but a dead pigeon.
Just remind me not to eat anything from there, yuck.
Walter says: “You can’t tell me there’s not something different in here. This whole place has felt funny for the last week.” Astrid: “Walter, it’s been a week since we agreed to work with the other side.” That is all they know.
There it is again. What or who is that?
He also states that Walternate can’t be trusted. To which Astrid replies: “Don’t forget Walter. He has plenty of reasons to hate you too.” Like what, if Peter never existed?
Olivia is in the back office going over the case file. I’m sure looking at this she thought back to the beginning when John died. Some of those memories might not be pleasant.
Ok, I’m just gonna throw it out right here. Peter needs to come back soon, because Olivia is just way too sad.
Lincoln found the lab and Walter uses him right away to help with bringing this pigeon back to life.
It reminded me of 1.11 "Bound" where Walter was taking a sample from the giant slug they found. Peter: “Well have you considered, I don’t know, killing it?” Walter: “We can always kill it, son. We can’t always bring it back.” Astrid: “You probably could.”
Olivia is quite upset that he showed up and Lincoln is quite tenacious. As I said before, he reminds me of someone we know :) who’s really good at her job. Olivia threatens with calling his boss and Lincoln knows someone at the New York Times.
Walter has a story for him. Under the dome there is an ear growing.
Last time he did that, in 1.16 "Unleashed", it looked like this.
So then there is another incident and Lincoln is tolerated to tag along.
Again Walter stays at the lab and lets Astrid show and tell him via small camera.
Testing the squelching he says: “you’re as clear as a “bell”. :)
Walter is also eating popcorn, prepared in the microwave. Last time he had some, was in 1.02 "The Same Old Story": “Just making popcorn.”
Ok, I’m not familiar with Massachusetts Drivers licenses but the heart at the bottom caught my eye. Is that for real or … Any thoughts?
This line is from Sesame Street and has been use twice before. 2.04 "Momentum Deferred" as Rebecca Kibner talked about recognizing shapeshifters and 3.17 "Stowaway". It was actually Lincoln there who said it to Peter.
Apparently Olivia is not as observant. She usually picks up on stuff like this (or is it just me). So she goes and talks with the girl that Lincoln thinks has more information.
And it turns out the girl’s name is Olivia as well. Hm.
Later she thanks Lincoln with a: “nice catch.” Olivia always would say similar things to Peter: “Good job.” in 1.11 Bound or in 1.07 In Which We Meet Mr. Jones: “Nice work.”
So then September is buying the rest of the supplies for the device. When asked what he need them for he says: “I need to erase someone from time.”
This was weird but it looks like a bat between the ceiling lights. I’ve looked at the store pictures for a while and the bat was the only thing odd that I could find.
This too reminds me of Peter. He would usually be the one directing people around in the lab. And he would get strange looks from the guys bringing the bodies, especially when Gene gives her two cents worth. :)
Olivia seems to have the gift of calming him down. The look between them during this is great.
So then Lincoln asks Olivia if Walter is alright. Reminded me of Broyles asking Peter if Walter was ok in 3.02 The Box.
Olivia: “Well, that depends on your definition of “alright”. He’s functional. Except when he’s not. But he is often quite brilliant. He just never had anything to tether him to the world.” Oh, Olivia, you are breaking my heart. I guess the same goes for you as well.
“PETER, WHERE ARE YOU?”
Olivia informs Lincoln that the bodies cannot be returned in order not to draw attention to “Fringe Division”. This is the first and only time we hear Fringe Division mentioned. Lincoln is quite upset; “You understand what you're saying? Those families are going to spend the rest of their lives wondering what happened to their loved ones, looking for answers. Can you imagine what that would be like? To have that... that hole in your life. Olivia: “The reason we can't return the bodies is because that would mean we would have to file documentation, which would draw attention to Fringe Division. And we cannot have that. It may not be a good enough answer, but it is the truth.”
Walter informs them: “People die. It happens. Sometimes they even die twice.” Why did he say that? Was he alluding to the shapeshifters or did he remember something else? Or is it just based on other scientific facts that he remembers from other experiences? Hm, so many questions, sigh.
He called Astrid Ms. Astrid and so far has not said her name wrong.
I also liked his comment to Lincoln about the iron: “Very clever. Wrong, but very clever.”
Walter discovers the mercury and then he says: “I don’t have enough information to form a hypothesis yet.” That’s not like him. He usually forms one right away, even without a lot of information.
They discover that there is a “pattern” to this.
Sort of looks like the soft spot map. Top is from 1.20 "There Is More Than One Of Everything", the bottom is from 3.14 "6B".
So then translucent guy pulls off his fingernail and smiles. Apparently what he has injecting himself with, works. Sorry, picture is just too gross to post :)
Olivia tells Lincoln that she knows exactly what it feels like because she lost a partner too, 3 years ago.
I thought it was interesting that his name was not mentioned. Were Olivia and John romantically involved back then in this reset?
We know in the old time line the number 8 was Olivia’s. Is it still?
In the meantime Lincoln is outside, worried hearing the shots. He climbs up a car and looks over and sees that Olivia is ok. When he comes back down, I found this: A butterfly glyph. I thought back to 1.08 The Equation where the butterflies were the clue for the next episode 1.09 Dreamscape. Dreamscape dealt with hallucinations, just like Walter. Again, I could be totally wrong and I’m sure, I’m not the only one who caught this. As I said in the beginning, I’ve not looked at anything online to not get influenced. Argh, today is Tuesday and I haven’t looked at anything? Am I nuts?
So now we have a new breed of shapeshifters.
Who created them and for what purpose?
Lincoln gets a box just like Olivia did in 1.05 Power Hungry.
And I guess the envelope he received were his credentials for Fringe Division.
Then he says: “…this tech isn’t from here.”
Just like Peter said it to Broyles in 2.01 A New Day In The Old Town. Of course Olivia has an idea how to find out more. She takes Lincoln to get a badge.
Amber lights in the hallway.
And it looks like they crossed over.
“… I know what it’s like to have a whole in my life. It’s been there as long as I can remember…Broyles asked us to join Fringe Division and somehow I knew that this is where I would find… my answers.”
As I type this I’m thinking of Walter’s comment in 2.12 What Lies Below: “When you open new doors, there’s a price to pay.” Lincoln asked what’s behind the door to which Olivia replies: “Sometimes answers lead to more questions.”
Lincoln looks confused. It was interesting that there was no reaction from Fauxlivia either. And of course over there was a blimp flying in the sky.
Back at the lab:
red, not green, green, green, red. Only red. What’s wrong with that?
September looks quite sad and he decides not to use the device to completely erase Peter from time.
Why did he change his mind?
So Walter is sleeping in the lab. Has he been sleeping there since he got released from St. Claire’s? What about the house?
Of course it freaked Walter out and he was quite scared talking about the man from the mirror.
Walter seems rougher with Astrid at times.
It has been one week since Peter disappeared and 3 days since the murders started.
Lincoln saying: “Where are we going?” Reminded me of 3.17 Stowaway.
Walter used to read the book on Wednesday. So Tuesday is naked day, Thursday is butter scotch day, almost got the whole week covered :)
Lincoln said: “He [Robert] was like family. Something I never thought I’d find.” It reminded me of Broyles saying that the team is like family to him (2.14 Jacksonville) and Peter likes this odd family (2.16 Olivia, In The Lab, With The Revolver).
Shout out to Chris Tilton. The music is awesome.
So the overall message of this episode I think were questions and answers. Lincoln wanted answers and Olivia is looking for answers as well. In fact that theme goes back to 1.04 where Peter says he’s not going anywhere until he can figure out what’s going on. Broyles tells Olivia in 1.07 In Which We Meet Mr. Jones that you will have one million new answers and one million and one new questions.
In 2.14 Jacksonville, Olivia was accusing Walter, looking for answers to questions he shouldn’t have asked in the first place. Fauxlivia didn’t want to give any answers to Peter’s questions in 3.08 Entrada and in 3.10 The Firefly, Peter was wondering why when you get close to getting the answers, someone changed the question.
Sometimes we ask questions and we actually get answers. But, is it the answer we were looking for? Sometimes this answer is not what we want but “the truth” as Olivia informs Lincoln.
I have a few as well:
- will Olivia and Peter be together again?
- what is Walternate up to?
- what answers is Olivia looking for?
- why did September not do it?
- what else is in store for the characters and for us as the viewers?
- will all my questions get an answer?
- what about Massive Dynamic and Nina?
It was an awesome first episode and I can’t wait for the next one.
Hold on to your seats :)