Fringe Rewatch 406: And Those We've Left Behind ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Fringe Rewatch 406: And Those We've Left Behind

      Email Post       12/30/2011 02:24:00 AM      

Join us during the fall/winter break every Friday for our Fringe Winter Rewatch.

In my opinion, Fringe is a long-running mystery that will never give up it's secrets until the very end. It used to be a private escape. But today, it's very hard to throw away an episode after watching. I missed that a lot. So I appreciate the time taken to set up the season for all the players involved. From a storyteller's point of view, I need episodes like these to establish where the characters are. Here Peter is embarking on a journey all his own.

It is weird that much of what I imagined has come true. I am not referring to Olivia not knowing Peter. I have come up with that scenario myself in fan fiction. What I imagined was a train coming from nowhere, not so much from the past.

On with the episode. Is it a dream, or a memory? Part of the future vision Peter saw in season 3's The Day We Die. The perfect day in the park for Peter until Olivia tells him, "Too bad it has to end." Why? "You can't ignore the problem, Peter. Ignoring it won't make it go away." What's the problem? "You, Peter. You are the problem."

Then we are back to reality, where Olivia brings up a new problem. "There's something going on and we think it has to do with you, with your appearance here." "What kind of something?" "We are not sure, but we think it has something to do with time."

It seems that Burlap Bear is a universal constant. The little girl here asks her mom to read her the story before the strange time anomaly occurred. That's when the scene suddenly changes. Everything looks burnt. Instead of finding her daughter in the other rooms, the mother finds a baby. She picks up the child and rushes out of the building. People outside stare at the sudden appearance of scorch marks on the wall. Looks like these time events have lasting effects. Hmmm.

On their way to Massive Dynamic, Peter observes that everything outside is as he remembers it. Focus, Peter. Olivia wants your take on the problem. People in Boston are reporting deja vu. Olivia corrects him. People have also reported time loops. What does this have to do with him. Olivia believes it's related to his presence because it's like the reversals of cause and effects they've experienced shortly before his arrival.

Before long, they are called to a scene of a flash fire. Astrid uses the alternate universe tech to rule out any breach in the universe. The outside wall have scorch marks that made a perfect circle, almost like the fire burned in the shape of a ball. The inside also have some parts that show no signs of damage. The weirdesst part: during the event, a mother saw her daughter went from being a five-year-old to an infant. Olivia makes a connection to the fire that happened 4 years ago. With no place to start the investigation, Broyles insists that Walter examine Peter as soon as possible.

Walter is reluctant to help. He performs his analysis and avoids any pleasantries, leaving Peter to figure out what caused the time displacements.

OK. I have to digress. There is a wiggle in the way Peter walked when he follows Walter.

Next, we begin to see how Peter is affected by the time anomaly at a train crossing. Time is not a constant, when he becomes a pinball bouncing back and forth in time. If that's not weird enough, he's the only variant aware of it. In any event, a pattern was beginning to emerge. The same spherical nature like at the fire event and the fact this railroad line was decommissioned 4 years ago. This time, Peter finds evidence of neutron radiation. He informs the team that this type of radiation does not exist in nature.

Someone was causing this to happen indeed. We see Raymond Green checking a countdown from 45 seconds on his watch, while his wife Kate works away on equations in their kitchen. After the time counts down to zero, the scene changes and she is in another room, barely recognizing who he is. He takes her equations and enters them in a computer and powers a machine that begins a countdown from 47 minutes.

Back at the lab, Lincoln supplies 2 more events that expands the pattern, which Walter theorizes, form a Fibonacci's spiral, with the source of the radiation originating somewhere in Brookline.

As they canvass the neighbourhood, Peter is distracted. He is more concerned about Olivia's dream of him. "In the dreams you were having, are we in a park... did you feel like you knew me? Did you feel anything?" She neither confirms nor denies it, but only says, "You are a stranger. What would I feel?"

With the team getting closer to the source, Raymond urges his wife to finish her work. He shows her the time chamber he built from her theories. It's 2007 inside and 2011 outside. Kate argues that somethings are not meant to be built. Why did he build this? He tells her why he did what he did for her when he lost her to Alzheimer's.

The team witnesses an agent disintegrate in front of the Green's house. A time bubble surrounds it. To safely enter the past Peter says they need a mobile Faraday cage to block the electromagnetic field inside. Walter concurs, with growing respect.

Given Peter's background in science, he is permitted to go in. While he tries to convince the Greens to disable the pulse, Lincoln proceeds to evacuate a commuter tunnel before it ceases to exists. Smart cookie for having the foresight to use the spiral to project the location of the next time anomaly. Bad for Olivia for not asking the question first.

Raymond didn't even know people were getting hurt from the time displacements. All he wanted was to give his wife a better life, but Kate also knows that what he was doing was not living. She hopes he will move on by denying him a chance to reset things again by destroying her work.

Through this whole experience, Peter realizes the effect of his presence have in this universe. His arrival did not help; it made the time anomalies possible. He is that much more motivated to figure out a way to get back home. In the meantime, Peter is allowed to stay at Walter's house in Cambridge. Olivia wishes he will succeed in getting back to his Olivia.

At first, I was a little disappointed that Peter came to this augmented timeline so quickly. Now it seems that Peter is lost in space and time like the old SLIDERS. It will never be easy to guess where this show is going, but that's alright with me.

I have watched The Wizard of Oz enough times this year to quote from it. These lines fit the situation.

Oh, you're the best friends anybody ever had! And it's funny, but I feel as if I've known you all the time. But I couldn't have, could I?

Still, I wish I could remember. But I guess it doesn't matter anyway.
We know each other now, don't we?


milostanfield said...

Xindilini: been a while since your name cropped up. Welcome back.

I too predicted Olivia's reaction to Peter upon his return, that she wouldn't know him at all. Given the setup of this timeline, that was unavoidable. What I totally missed was Walter's reaction. I thought he would embrace, even champion Peter, as a chance to reunite with the son he lost. Given what Walter was willing to do, and did, in the old timeline to save Peter, I thought he would grab him. Wrong! Didn't factor in the guilt Walter felt from seeing Peter die twice.

I was also wrong about this ep. When it first aired I was disappointed because the physics behind the story had a mostly standalone origin and I didn't like it. I wanted a mythology ep. Now along with "One Night…" it is my favorite S04 ep. Both eps had very strong guest performances among other virtues.

The fringe science in a given ep seems to involve either chemistry or physics. The chemistry ones usually involve the selfish motives of a mad scientist or a rogue corporation, and the effect is on a smaller scale. The physics ones seems to involve things going wildly out of control and affecting everyone and everything. The last 3 eps of Season 3 were literally hair raising physics eps. This ep, on a smaller scale, was all physics too.

One thing that hasn't been revealed in this ep, as you pointed, is exactly what the dreams Olivia was having about Peter were. Since you write fan fiction, do you have any ideas?

Another thing I picked up after rewatching was the final scene: Peter holding the DC-3, with it's blimp shaped fuselage, in his hand. The last time we saw it was in "Subject 13", with Peter as a child playing with it, saying "Approaching the building, requesting clearance to dock." I think Peter, in this ep, got the idea to go to the other side as a way to get back to where he belonged at just that moment.

Xindilini said...

milostanfield: Hello there.

The Wizard of Oz is one reason I've not been making comments. A theatre project took up my time.

The other reason for my absence is that I find it hard to take it in. As I make my comments, I am realizing the show is being told in the dialogue. I may miss something if I blink. If I didn't opt for this episode, I would have missed the question I had about Olivia's dream.

For that matter, it's better to leave the mystery of Olivia's dream to the show. However significant it may be, I am not into canon writing for creative reasons. Please check out my stuff sometime. I would appreciate it. Except, I'm focused on pursuing original work for a while.

Xindilini said...

Alright I do have thoughts about Olivia's dream. It all comes from the all the classical Chinese literature I've been reading for research.

Peter is on Olivia's mind because those dreams are sure to be intimate in some fashion. Thinking back to when she was getting to know him in season 1. She may be doing the same in her dreams. Seeing the real thing shattered Olivia's dream version of Peter.

What do you think?

milostanfield said...

It's clear that the dreams disturbed Olivia, the overt reason being her puzzlement that she is dreaming about someone that she does not know. But since she has not revealed content, even pointedly deflecting Peter's question, there may be more to them. And if they are intimate, she would definitely hide them. Hiding and deflecting in the face of emotional stress is an Olivia trait that is present in both timelines, so I'm guessing something's going on.

You're right that we maybe should wait for the reveal about show things and not try to guess. After all it's science fiction, not science. They're writers. They can make a train come out of nowhere anytime they want. But I like to try even though I'm always wrong.

Plus, when we guess, we guess as much about what we want to see happen as about what can. Again, it's fiction, so that's OK too. So what I want to see is more connection between the personal stories and the larger science or mythology story. With Peter & Olivia there is of course the love story, but there's also a "larger" connection between them implied by the "brain wave" drawing from 3.21 "Last Sam Weiss". So I would like to see the dream reveal have something to do with both.

Thanks for the link. Will check it out.

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