Fringe Season 3 Finale - Part 1 of 2 - Slip Up Or Set Up?

      Email Post       7/31/2011 10:22:00 AM      

Hey everyone!  Hope you are having a pleasant summer.  FringeTV is doing an episode rewatch of the entire series in the run up to the Season 4 Premiere but unfortunately that is more than I can take on at the moment.  I really wanted to do an article or two about the state of series after such a unique finale.

So here it is.  At least Part 1.  Enjoy!


Ever had one of those experiences where you walk out of a movie or concert feeling so transcendent because you have just experienced something amazing?  You cannot wait to share the experience with your friends.  But when you do, you get a big shock.  

Most of your friends hated it.  Or had problems with it.  

Something you felt was brilliant, others detest.  Is there anything more deflating?

Deflated is how I felt about the general reception for the Fringe Season 3 Finale.  However, my opinion of the S3 Finale has not wavered.  I found it, and still find it, a bold and exciting direction for the show to take into Season 4.  

The removal of Peter not just from the events of the timeline of the past 3 seasons but Existence itself is unprecedented in serialized television.  The implications and possibilities of the removal of Peter for the next season are mind boggling.  Yet a lot of the feedback from fans and TV critics has been negative.  

As I read the feedback and the reviews certain issues began to repeat.  The main one, naturally, is the fate of Peter. Is he gone for good?  Is Josh Jackson done with Fringe?   Such reactions are understandable given the unique storyline Fringe has sprung upon its viewers. 

The removal of a main character from a TV series is absolutely unsettling.  It is meant to be.

The obvious answer is Peter will be back.  

For me, the more pertinent questions are:

1) How will Peter be reintegrated into the timeline?  
2) Will the new timeline Peter created allow both universes to survive?  
3) Did Time, like water finding the easiest path to flow, reconfigure itself as expediently as possible by removing the source of irritation?  ie Peter?  Is that correction a long term viable one?

Let us call the timeline we are familiar with in, 'The Day We Died,' the Prime Timeline.  It is not a timeline with a viable future.  The red universe is gone and our blue universe is dying too.  So the Prime Timeline is a dead end.  Peter came back to the present and built a bridge between the two universes. The result was a new timeline was created.  A new timeline with a chance to correct things. A new timeline where Peter Bishop does not exist.  

That is the sacrifice Peter made; most likely unknowingly. 

After the confusion about the removal of Peter, the next big complaint was that the future we were shown and the characters that inhabited it was a world many did not care about.  Here the complaints do carry weight because of the rushed nature of the finale.  More time was needed to build up the emotional ties for the audience.  The previous two episodes could have been compressed into one or one and a half installments and the extra time freed up would have been beneficial to the finale.

This is speculation on my part but it is possible that part of the lack of investment of the Prime Timeline is that is far too reminiscent of those Star Trek - The Next Generation or Voyager episodes involving time travel.  What worked beautifully in, ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise,’ later became a repetitive story device.  A future would be shown where cataclysmic major changes such as the destruction of the vessel and crew would take place.  Only to have it all undone by the end of the episode.  So any buy in by the audience was quickly dissipated and by the third or fourth of fifth time this trick was used the reaction became boredom.  

But that is not the case here with Fringe.

The end of the two universes is still in play.  Peter may have built a bridge between the two universes but the characters left behind have to be willing to cross not only the spatial gap but the philosophical differences it represents.  And yes it is sure to play out that the future world and destruction of the two universes will be prevented.  But that is a logical extension of any story where we expect the protagonists to triumph.  The two universes are still headed to their respective dooms at the start of Season 4.

Where the finale faltered was by not having the actions of the future characters tied to the events that caused Peter to leap into the future using previously setup antagonists.  In, ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise,’ the Picard Enterprise is fighting a war with enemies well established in that franchise.  A war the Enterprise C should have prevented.  In the Fringe future, the team is fighting a new entity that we have no pre-existing investment with. Ah, where was Mr. Jones, or even a, ‘Don’t Trust,’ Sam Weiss when one needed them?  A storyline tied to the Machine is what would have brought that needed emotional heft to the world of Fringe in 2026.

The drama for the next season should be how difficult will it be to prevent this mutual destruction. Especially with one of the major players no longer in the picture; Peter.  The journey next season should not only be a technological challenge but an opportunity for major character journeys and re-evaluations.  Without Peter, who will take his place in the Machine?  We know the Machine is going to be built and sent back in time based on the rules of Time in the discussion Walter had with Peter after Olivia’s funeral.  So someone has to take Peter’s place.  Is it Olivia?  Or will a paradox arise when the realization that the person needed is nowhere to be found?  To see the fallout with the remaining regular cast and how they have changed, and not changed, in a reality without Peter will be fascinating to see.


This concludes Part 1.

Look for Part 2 next Friday.  In it a further exploration of Peter's removal from the Prime Timeline will offer some, hopefully, new concepts for everyone to mull over.

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #114 "Ability"

      Email Post       7/31/2011 12:30:00 AM      

Join us for our Fringe Summer Rewatch, where we review every episode of Fringe during the summer hiatus. Comments are welcome as we dig into the connections made over three seasons.

Ability is one of the key episodes to the Fringe mythology, and the episode specifically builds upon the background of Olivia Dunham. It’s often cited as a favorite episode, and for good reason. I feel this is where Fringe gripped me for the long haul.

Viewers return to Germany and Wissenschaft Prison for a visit with Mr. Jones. Jones uses Walter's technology to escape from prison by teleportation.

Walter’s discussion of Dis-Re made me think of a few things. Although Jones just used it as a teleportation device, Walter said that it’s intended purpose was to travel through time. Peter’s present consciousness was ported to the future in The Day We Died. Did Walter at some point actually use the Dis-Re to visit the future or past?

Olivia’s meeting with Mitchell Loeb drops a few more bread crumbs. This is where the phrase “what was written will come to pass” was introduced. Nick Lane would use this phrase later in Bad Dreams. After Season 3, I wonder if Jones and his group knew that time-lines were being altered, and set out to stop it.

The ZFT manifesto was introduced here as well. One of Peter’s 'weird connections' reoccurs several times in the series. The rare and used book seller, Markham, was able to find the rare ZFT manuscript in a short amount of time. He obviously had several dealings with Peter. Markham even owned a copy of the First People’s book. How did he even get a copy?

When Olivia speaks to Jones after the raid, one sentence sticks out to me:

“Don’t worry, Ms. Dunham. If I wanted to hurt you, I would have… long ago…”

The ZFT excerpts are of great interest going into the fourth season. At first, I thought that the ZFT section read by Walter was describing the parallel (red) universe. But his mention that the beings' history is slightly beyond ours doesn’t make sense. The Observers may be these beings? Or the First People? (Walter? Peter? Ella? Astrid?)
We think we understand reality. But our universe is only one of many. The unknown truth is that the way to travel between them has already been discovered - by beings, much like us, but whose history is slightly ahead of our own. The negative aspect of such visitation will be irreversible both to our world and to theirs. It will begin with a series of unquantifiable natural occurrences - difficult to notice at first - but growing, not unlike a cancer, until a simple fact becomes undeniable. Only one world will survive.  It will either be us - or them. 

Olivia’s first try at the light box test was mirrored in The Last Sam Weiss when she tried to use the quantum entangled typewriter.
Olivia: So, I am supposed to just turn these lights off by looking at them. (Ability)
Olivia: No, it’s ridiculous, and even if it was possible, manipulating a light is nothing compared to manipulating the machine. (The Last Sam Weiss)

It is striking that Jones knew about Olivia’s treatment with Cortexiphan. Of course, Olivia is the most reluctant “recruit” of them all.

Jones is so happy to see Dr. Bishop. Later it is discovered that he despised Dr. Bell (There is More Than One of Everything) I wonder if something happened between Walter and William Bell that may have provoked Bell to remove parts of Walter’s brain…

After Olivia was successful in diffusing the bomb, Jones was happy and called her “My girl.” I’m one of the fans that has the suspicion that Jones may be someone important to Olivia, possibly even her real father.


Of course, the biggest thing to note here is when Peter came back as Olivia was trying to diffuse the light-box bomb. He could have died along with Olivia, but he did not abandon her. With Peter present, Olivia was able to turn off the light box.

It has not been explicitly stated on the show, but several occurrences over the series have led to the belief that Peter must be present for Olivia’s abilities to work, in addition to heightened emotion such as fear and love.

Examples include, the Jacksonville “almost kiss," Peter/the apartment glowing in 6B, the typewriter in The Last Sam Weiss, and also Olivia's telepathy used in The Day We Died.

Some fans, including myself, believe that Walternate had to separate Peter from Olivia in order to kill her. Otherwise, she could have used her abilities to stop the bullet or to remove the gun from his hand.

Unanswered Questions
  • Who is Olivia to Mr. Jones?

  • How long has Jones been keeping tabs on Olivia?

  • Was Sanford Harris’s group at odds with those that Jones was involved with?

  • Did Sanford Harris send Olivia on the raid to prevent her from helping Jones?

  • Who is the ZFT really describing?

  • Who devised the box of tests? Walter or someone else?

  • What were the symbols on the cards found in the box?

  • How did Jones and his people know about the Cortexiphan drug trials?

  • Did Jones know that Olivia would be needed as the "crow-bar" that could turn off the vacuum machine?

  • What exactly were the effects of the Dis-Re on Jones, who exhibited superhuman strength to escape from the hospital?

If Peter Does Not Exist?

It seems this war between worlds was in the making long before Walter stole Peter from the other universe.

  • Olivia was treated with Cortexiphan at age three, before Walter crossed into the red universe and stole their Peter Bishop. Bell supposedly discontinued the trials. If Walter had no need to try and return Peter to his world, would Olivia have gone on in life without any further notice of the Cortexiphan?
  • Since there is seemingly a grounding/activating link between Olivia and Peter, could Olivia even use her abilities at all without him?
  • The ZFT manuscript was retrieved as a result of Peter's weird connection. Would there still be a way to find a copy?
  • Would there even be a reason for the light box test, without Peter and the machine?

Joshua Jackson Shares His Favorite Peter Theory At Comic Con

      Email Post       7/30/2011 12:19:00 PM      

Fringe Summer Rewatch:#113 "The Transformation"

      Email Post       7/30/2011 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.

If you look around enough on the internet you'll find different people's comments regarding the Season 1 episodes. Surprisingly, some say they aren't too fond of them, and I find that hard to believe when you consider episodes like "The Transformation," which is one of my favorite Season 1 episodes. It has it all really-drama, scifi, fantasy, action, and romance.

"The Transformation" was written by Julia Cho and Zack Whedon, which is interesting, because it has a bit of a Pinkner/Wyman feel to it, in my opinion.

The Title and Possible Meanings
Let's look at the title. "Transformation" implies something changes from a former thing to a new thing. A definition I found on the internet is "a change in form, appearance, nature, or character."(That is a very interesting definition. Hold on to that one for Season 3.)

In this episode, poor Marshall Bowman transformed into something nasty, out-of-control, and deep-fried. His colleague, Daniel Hicks, started to transform but the process was aborted by the antidote. He survived thanks to the quick thinking of Dr. Walter Bishop, and the Peter/Olivia undercover team. Olivia Dunham transforms, in this episode, from a woman in love to a woman who loved, lost that love, and found some form of closure in her heart.
Something to ask yourself is, did Olivia Dunham's opinion of John Scott transform? From a traitor to his country and lover, to a confessor of secrets, and a man who truly loved his woman(even though it appeared he ran her off the road?)? We'll get back to that in a bit.

Olivia and Charlie Intereactions
If you loved Olivia's previous Season 1 conversations with her partner Charlie Francis,(and by the way, the more I rewatch these episodes, the more I miss our Charlie)you'll love what she tells him here. She barely looks at the manifest of the deceased passengers from Marshall Bowman's flight before she gets images of Marshall and Hicks talking with John Scott in her head. Olivia tells Charlie "I think this is our guy." Charlie asks her how she could know that and she replies after a beat, "Call it my gut." Charlie gives her that look, and walks off. This happens again not too much later when Charlie hands Olivia everything they have on Marshall Bowman, including pictures of his US clients. Liv focuses on a picture of Daniel Hicks and the visions start again. This time of Hicks telling John he needs to line up the money soon. She tells Charlie that Hicks was the guy Marshall Bowman was flying in to meet, and that they need to bring him in for questioning. Charlie again gives her that look. He calls her on it, and she explains that she and John shared consciousness and that some of his memories are still in her head. Charlie tells her he'll bring Hicks in for questioning. "That's it?" Olivia asks him, waiting for him to comment further. Ever the gentleman, Charlie Francis bows out gracefully, "Despite the thousand questions I have in my head right now. I'm going to bite my tongue."

More Glass Disks
Another fun thing in 'The Transformation" is Walter finding one of those glass disks in "fried dog man's" palm, which makes you think instantly of the one in Gloria Mendoza's palm in episode 103, "The Ghost Network." Olivia tells Peter about this(honestly, I'd have thought she'd told him before this) and Peter asks her if she thinks Bowman was some kind of agent. Which segues into one my favorite scenes, the one in which Charlie and Olivia interrogate Daniel Hicks.

Interrogating Hicks
Daniel Hicks is pretty cool and calm in the interrogation room of the Federal Building. He tells them he's in the inport/export business, of 18th and 19th century furniture. Charlie smoothly asks Hicks how he knew Marshall Bowman. Hicks says Bowman was his banker, and asks if he is in some kind of trouble. Then we see Peter and Walter observing the interrogation behind the 2-way mirror. Walter pipes up excitedly and says to Peter, "This is wonderful. Don't you agree? It's just like a good detective movie," which, if you've seen through Season 2 should make you think of the wonderful episode, "Brown Betty." Charlie asks Hicks if he's heard of Flight 718. Hicks tells Charlie the one where the plane crashed. Olivia pushes a picture of "fried dog man" in front of Hicks and tells him it's Marshall Bowman. Hicks gets a weird look on his face, studying the picture, and says, "I..I don't understand." Then Liv launches into it, telling him they think he knows exactly what happened to Bowman. She says they think he and Bowman intended to distribute a deadly virus, "and this is the unintended result."

Hicks still denies any involvement, but then his nose starts bleeding. Fortunately for Hicks, and for us, Walter's very lucid and even as Charlie yells toward the mirror for Peter and Walter to get a box of tissues, Walter tells Peter tissues won't help that he needs sedatives, "Now!"

Everything gets crazy as Hicks stands up, yelling "I need help." He proceeds to fall backwards and convuse on the floor. Walter and Peter rush in and Olivia asks Walter what's wrong with Hicks. He tells her he thinks it's the same thing as what happened to Bowman on the plane.

As Peter rushes through the first aid kit, he pops the top off a syringe and hands it to Walter who says, "I might be able to suspend the process." In a very un-Olivia fashion she grabs Walter's arm and shouts "No, not yet. Not until he talks."Peter gives her a glare and Hicks yells "Please!" After some more uncomfortable back and forth, Hicks gives up the name "Conrad," right before Walter injects his neck. Hicks falls back into another seizure that makes Peter say, "Oh, I don't think that's working," right before Hicks passes out.

Even More Glass Disks
Back in the lab, Olivia picks up one of Daniel Hicks's hands as Walter tells her he's not sure his antidote will work before Hicks tranforms. Olivia tells Walter to cut open Hicks hand so she can see if there's a disk inside of it. Peter gives her another glare, and Walter being Walter says, "I like cutting." The next thing you know, Olivia places Bowman and Hicks' disks on Broyles' desk and reminds him they've seen one of those before. She asks if the NSA ever figured out what they were for. Broyles tells her they were used for data storage. Then Olivia demands that John Scott's body be exhumed, as she believes there's one in his palm as well. Broyles starts to tell her his body can't be exhumed. Liv goes nuts and yells that she doesn't care about the red tape involved. Finally Broyles gets her to stop reacting and tells her that she can't dig up John Scott's body and that Mendoza's disk never went to the NSA. Hmm.

Broyles and Nina Fess up
We join Broyles and Olivia in a hallway of Massive Dynamic in the following scene. His explanation for their being there is interesting:

"One of the advantages of being the Defense Department's biggest contractor is that Massive Dynamic has money to develop technologies generations beoynd that of the US governament. So when we were unable to retrieve the information off the disks, I requested Nina's help."

If you've watched through Season 3 you should be thinking of Peter's conversation with Olivia regarding trying to get information from the shape-shifters' disks at the end of "Os." Everything really does seem to come back to Massive Dynamic, doesn't it?
Nina Sharp steps up to them and greets them. Then she says something quite curious to Olivia.

"For what it's worth, it was not my decision to keep this from you." As Nina says this she gestures with her hand toward what appears to be a highly-secure area of Massive Dynamic. Nina puts her palm on a keypad on the wall. The familiar glyph "leaf" that represents the letters "A," "B," 'G," and "H" in the Glyph Code depending on where the little yellow light is, pops up and the door opens. Poor Olivia finds herself staring at her dead lover as Nina and Broyles look on. Nina tells them they found a similar glass disk in John's palm with data that seems to implicate him in some kind of bio-terrorist cell. Broyles adds there were references to Conrad, but not enough to know his real name. Olivia gets frustrated as Broyles tells her a French informant told them there was a major weapons sale going to happen in Chicago, and the seller's name is Conrad. Olivia calls the lab and asks Peter if Walter's there, and you get the sinking feeling you know why. She tells Peter they've learned that Conrad will be selling the virus.
She also tells him if she's right and John was working with "these guys" he has it in his memory, "which means that it's in mine." Of course Peter puts two and two together and reminds her how dangerous this is. Liv ignores his comments, and tells him to have Walter prep the tank.

Olivia's Third Time In The Tank
Again, Walter Bishop is incredibly lucid as he navigates Olivia through John Scott's drug-superimposed memories. And this time Peter is there from the start to share in the fun. He gets to hear Olivia tell them she sees she and John at the hotel they used to go to. He gets to hear her shout and see her heartrate shoot upwards as John sees her and tries to move toward her. Olivia asks John straight on about Conrad and the weapon sale and it seems as though John's not going to cooperate. Poor Peter gets to see the monitors go bonkers when Olivia shoots John in her vision. He tells Walter they need to get her out right away, but Walter says it's too dangerous, that she's too far under.

Although frazzled, Walter manitains control and demands Olivia move to another place. In one of my favorite Season 1 moments, John confesses to Olivia he had the chance to kill Conrad, but didn't shoot him because he didn't know what he looked like. Olivia asks John who he was working for. Interestingly, he answers "Bowman and Hicks." He tells Olivia that he, Bowman, and Hicks were all undercover agents for the NSA Secret Task Force. Olivia tells him she doesn't believe him, but Scott sticks to his story:

"If we were to take out Conrad there could be no record of our involvement. That's why I couldn't tell you. Even though I wanted to."

Olivia asks him to prove he's telling the truth by telling her where the sale will take place.

John says he doesn't know but that Hicks would know. "He has it right in his hand." Then John disappears although Olivia keeps calling for him. Walter takes a look at the montors and tells Peter they need to get her out of the tank. In the blink of an eye, Peter yanks the doors open and drags her out. Astrid injects dextromethorphine via airgun into her leg, after which Olivia starts to calm down. In an awesome P/O moment(see pic above) Olivia realizes she's back and in Peter's arms. "Oh Peter," she sighs as Peter Bishop acts on pure instinct. He kisses her head and gathers her to him. "You're OK. You're going to be fine," Peter reassures her.

Olivia's Post-tank Discussion With Peter
Olivia gives Peter the impression they should wake Hicks form his medically-induced coma.
Peter reminds her he could still transform like Bowman did. Olivia reminds him the virus could be being sold anytime and Hicks is the only one who knows the details.
Peter has a very good reply to this. "And you're willing to take John's word that you can trust Hicks?" Peter snorts at his own words and adds,"It finally happened. I'm now referring to a dead guy, who exists only in your mind." Wow! That wouldn't mean much after Season 1, but if you've watched through episode 322 you may be thinking this is foreshadowing of Peter's new role in Olivia's head(And I'd be willing to guess you may be correct. We shall see!)

It would have been really fun to hear Olivia's response to Peter comment, but just then Walter interrupts their conversation to yell, "Boy! I need another bag of Midazolam right away!"
Peter reluctantly goes off to take care of it, and Astrid sticks her nose in.

Astrid Gets Empowered
Astrid, of course, heard the P/O discussion, and says to Liv:

"My mother always says I stick my nose into places it does not belong. I know we haven't known each other that long. But you are one of the best judges of character I've ever met. So I guess the question is, what's your instinct? When you were with John, when you were looking into John's eyes, was he for real?"

Remember, hardly anything in Fringe means nothing. Astrid's words here, after 322, scream foreshadowing, to me, of the likelihood of Peter Bishop, even though he doesn't exist, communicating with our Olivia in the future.

Olivia tells the three of them to prep Hicks, that they'r going to give him the antidote.
Walter looks up from his endless eating to say, "An experiment. How exhilarating!"

A few moments later, as Daniel Hicks tries to come down from his adrenaline rush, Astrid takes control in an awesome Astrid moment we need more of. "We know about the work you were doing with John Scott. Now we need your help."

Shady Deals, Shady Guys, Shady M.O.'s- P/O Style
How can you not love this? Olivia goes undercover as the buyer for the transforming virus.
Apparently Peter offered to come along, and Olivia reminds him as they sit waiting in the hotel lobby, that he didn't have to. He answers her as he sits looking stunning in a suit, "Shady deals with shady guys in shady hotels is my M.O." Ying and yang, if you ask me.

Olivia is communicating with a drugged Hicks via a radio transmitter implanted in her ear.
The seller, Galvin, arrives with his 2 bodyguards. After sizing up each other, they go up to a hotel room. There's alot of fun pomp and circumstance before they get down to business. Galvin has alot of questions for "Susan" and her chaparone, and Hicks only knows the answers to most of them. Galvin asks where Peter met Anderson. Peter clicks into conman mode and gives Galvin a beautifully intricate answer that makes the FBI guy next to Charlie Francis say, "Where the hell did he come up with that?"

Things are going well until Galvin asks "Susan" why Ernesto didn't call him himself to say he wasn't coming. Unfortunately, Walter's anitdote isn't working, and Hicks again starts to transform. Astrid has to knock him out, and the help stops coming. Galvin's phone rings, and he tells Peter and Olivia Conrad's on his way up to see them. Olivia, frustrated, tries to stall for time. Peter senses this and ad libs beautifully. Things heat up as he jumps up, he and Olivia arguing about Ernesto's dirty little secret of being gravely ill. Finally, Liv gives the signal, saying "It's true, he found out the day before Christmas." Conrad comes in and tells them all he just spoke with Ernesto that morning, and that he was fine. He gives the body guards the order to kill Peter and Olivia just as the FBI cavalry rushes in. Before Olivia leaves the room, she bends down to Conrad's ear and says, "John Scott says 'Hi.'"

Olivia's Debriefing With Broyles
Broyles tells Olivia that Conrad was a French citizen named Conrad Moreau. If you've watched through 322 that last name should ring a bell(no pun intended). He's wanted in regards to at least half a dozen biological attacks, "and you caught him," Broyles reminds Olivia. He notices her demeanour and says he thought she'd at least crack a smile. Olivia reminds him quickly she didn't do it alone. After a classic Broyles sigh, he reminds her that as far as the Department is concerned John Scott is still a traitor. That even if he was telling the truth, there's no way to confirm his story. Olivia tells Broyles it's OK because she knows the truth.

Olivia Dunham, Completing The Transformation
Olivia goes back that night to the lab. Walter is the only one there, as Peter and Astrid took Hicks to the hospital to recover. We learn that Galvin's antidote worked, despite the fact that Walter's did not. Olivia starts to ask Walter if he'd do her a favor. Again, a very lucid Walter Bishop interrupts her, telling her that even if she went back into the tank she might not be able to find John, as her brainwaves showed earlier she is successfully purging him and his memories.
Olivia persists, telling him, "The we need to do this now."

Olivia goes back into the tank and quickly ends up on a beautiful dock overlooking a partially -frozen lake. In an instant, John Scott is standing next to her. She tells him they got Conrad.
She tells him she should have trusted him. He tells her it wasn't her fault, that he wanted to tell her, but he guesses he just ran out of time. John pulls an engagement ring out of a box and slides it on her finger in a truly bittersweet moment:

"I know we can't ever be together. Not really. Maybe I won't know the difference. I love you."

They give each other a final kiss, and then John disappears.
Back in the quiet saline tank, Olivia says "I love you" out loud, Walter as her only witness.

Some Interesting Things About "The Transformation"
The image of the plane flying at the beginning of the episode is almost identical to the one at the beginning of the pilot episode.

After seeing an exhibit shortly after this episode aired at Boston's Museum of Science titled "Myths and Legends," the monster Bowman transformed into looks vey much like a chupacabra,, a legendary bloodsucking goat-attacking animal in the Americas.

"The one-half nipple rule" See, you really do learn things on Fringe! Walter tells us the number of young in a litter of mammals is usually equal to half of the number of nipples on the animal.

Olivia gets frustrated when Hicks is unable to give her anymore information. That is very reminsicent of when Olivia couldn't get the answer to the question to "Where does "The Gentleman live? in 107, "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones."

Astrid seems more confident and outspoken in this episode. We need more of that.

Unanswered Questions That Arise In "The Transformation"

-That's the first time in the series(so far) that Walter's antidote did not work. Why did Walter Bishop's transformation-stopping antidote fail?

-What was Marshall Bowman writing on his flight, that included the words "technology" and "dangerous"? To whom was he writing?

-Who put the glass disks in Bowman, Hicks, John Scott's, and Gloria Mendoza's hands?

-Nina Sharp told Olivia it was not her intention to keep "this" from her ie, John's suspended body. Who's idea was it to keep the information from Olivia?

-The Observers in Seasons 1, 2, and 3 refer to Peter Bishop as "Boy." Why does Walter call Peter "Boy" in this episode?

-Conrad's full name is Conrad Etienne Moreau. The "End Of Dayers" guy in 322 is also named "Moreau." Are the two men related?

If Peter Bishop Never Existed...
Would Olivia have tried to buy the virus weapon as "Susan" by herself? During their undercover op things got stressful and Peter had to ad lib to buy time. If there was no Peter, that operation may not have succeeded, meaning Conrad would still be out there making and selling nasty chemical weapons. Also, if Olivia had gone alone, she could have been killed.

Later in Season 1, in "Bad Dreams," we learn Peter has a calming effect on Olivia per Walter. If Peter never existed, Olivia might have had a very difficult time calming down from tank trip #3.

New Interview with John Noble

      Email Post       7/29/2011 03:18:00 PM      

John Noble talks with Michael Ausiello about Season 4.

Fringe Teaser 2: Where is Peter Bishop?

      Email Post       7/29/2011 09:09:00 AM      

Here is the second "Where Is Peter Bishop?" teaser from Fox.

Here is teaser #1.

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #112 "The No-Brainer"

      Email Post       7/29/2011 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.

The "No-Brainer" episode doesn't appear to be essential to our beloved series, but it's a well-written and interesting episode.

The Fringe team investigates a series of crimes that turn out to not be Pattern-related(but could have been just the same), and Peter is hit with a situation that tests his ability to do what he thinks is best for Walter.

A nefarious computer programmer named Brian Dempsey designed a computer program that not only kills the viewee, but also turns their brains into awful-looking, liquified goo. First it's a teen-ager in Springfield, MA, then a car salesman in the same area, then a father in Chicago. When the third body is discovered, it's Olivia who conencts the dots, as victim #3 was Brian Dempsey's former boss. Unfortunately, Olivia Dunham has to dance around Sanford Harris again, who is back in Boston and threatening to shut the Fringe Division down if they can't come up with a suspect in the next 12 hours.

There's an interesting subplot that starts out with Peter intercepting a hand-written letter to Walter that turns out to be from Carla Warren's mother. (Prior to this episode, all we know from the 101 episode is that an assistant died in the Harvard lab 17 years prior to Walter's incarceration in St. Claire's.)Peter crumbles the letter and throws it into the lab's trash can as Astrid watches. As soon as Peter leaves, Astrid retrieves it from the trash. After the rotary phone rings on the lab wall scenes later, and Peter tells them it was a student looking for financial aid, Astrid waits until Peter again leaves and gives the note to Olivia, telling her she thinks she knows who was on the phone.

As Peter and Olivia return from examining the second body, Peter notices an older woman standing in the snow near the door to the Kresge Building. He tells Liv he'll meet her inside. Peter approaches the woman and asks if she's Jessica Warren. She acknowledges. A short conversation ensues and Peter makes it clear to the woman that her request to speak with Walter will not be honored.

Somewhere in this busy episode, Brian Dempsey sends his killer program to either Ella's or Olivia's laptop(it's not clear which). The "What's That Noise?" box shows up in the middle of Ella's software. First she yells for her mother, but after she gets told "One minute, Ella," and her mother never materializes, the young girl gets impatient and clicks on the start button. The program goes full throttle and the very creepy hand comes out, but when we return to Ella she looks uneffected. No liquid brains to be found anywhere. Meanwhile Peter has used another of his "weird connections" to discover the real time program is being downloaded to Olivia's internet address. He calls her right away and they both race to get there ASAP. Olivia gets home first and barges into her apartement with her gun drawn. Rachel drops pasta on the floor, shocked and swearing, as Olivia asks if there's anyone else there. Olivia finds Ella staring at the laptop screen, as she tells her niece
everything will be OK. Peter gets there and Olivia asks him to check out the back exit. The level at which Ella seems mesmerized by the screen is reminiscent of the victims of the green-green-green-red hypnosis in 108, "The Equation." Ella wasn't even aware that Olivia had returned home.

Olivia has called Charlie. She explains what she saw and how Ella seemed hypnotized by the images. Charlie goes to call Computer Forensics. Peter is busy entertaining Ella in the living room, as Rachel openly flirts with him. Olivia comes in and tells her sister to get her niece checked out as soon as possible. Ella tells them she saw a hand coming out of the computer. Olivia walks closer to the laptop and sees the green light in the "on" position for the camera. Brian Dempsey is watching her. He
says "That's right, Sweetheart, I'm the one you want."

Despite the busy schedule of trying to solve the case and find Brian Dempsey, Olivia finds a minute to confront Peter in the lab about his impromptu visitor. You can see Peter bristle form the get-go, but he encourages Olivia to give her opinion:"You really think it's a good put him through that?" Peter asks her.

"Well, I was thinking that it's all unresolved. For him. For her, and I was thinking that it must be hard for her too, to come back to the place where she lost her daughter."

"What's your point?" Peter asks impatiently.

"That you underestimate him, your father-and you shouldn't."

With that Peter practically huffs as he leaves Liv's office. Even Astrid can feel the tension as she comes in at that moment to talk with Olivia. It's really the first bonafide fight I believe Peter and Olivia have, and it's crisp, and genuine-feeling.

Of course Brian Dempsey can't be found at his house, and is unemployed, so Olivia brings Luke Dempsey back in for more questioning. Harris interrupts Olivia before she begins the interrogation, telling her what to do. The best line in that scene is Peter's as Harris finally leaves Olivia to do her job. "Every time that guy opens his mouth, I like him more and more."

Luke won't give up his father's hangout and asks for a lawyer, as Olivia predicted. She tells Charlie to wait 5 minutes and then let him go. Peter makes a face. "Did I miss something?" he asks. Olivia replies, "Just trust me," and Peter responds with a look that says our favorite conman really wants to.

As Olivia predicts, Luke makes a phone call in the Federal Building for a taxi. She tells another agent she needs to hear the call, and, as she listens in she hears an unfamilair Springfield address repeated by the taxi dispatcher. Just then Peter appears. Olivia tells him Luke just called for a cab. "One guess where it's taking him."
Peter says, "Oh come on. He cannot possibly be that stupid."
Olivia's reply, "He's nineteen." Peter thinks about that for a second and shrugs.

Thank goodness Luke Dempsey did hail that cab. It gives our favorite dysfunctional couple an hour and a half to continue their argument on whether Walter could handle Jessica Warren's visiti or not. And Peter jumps right in where they left off in her office. (You can read the second part of their argument in the "No-Brainer" transcript via the link below.)

Peter tells Olivia off pretty well and she leaves it at that, then turns all FBI, telling him to stay in the car, reminiscent of her doing the same in "The Same Old Story," and "Power Hungry."

Peter encourages her to call for back-up, but Olivia doesn't want Harris to have a chance to sabotage things for her. Reluctantly, Peter stays in the car, until minutes later when he hears sirens approaching-probably figuring it's Harris.

Olivia gets all the way into Dempsey's computer lab and he sticks a gun to her head.
He tells her she messed up everything, and points a second gun at himself. Olivia tries desperately to get Brian to look away from his killer program, but he's insistant wanting to finally see what he created. Peter is confronted by Luke with a metal pipe as he enters, and as he tries to negotiate with the youth there's a gunshot. Peter's off like a shot himself to check up on Olivia.
He sees her bent over in the lab and yells "Dunham!You OK?" And Olivia is, but Brian's been fatally wounded and Olivia tries to explain to Luke that he went into a trance and shot himself. Luke tries to run out of the warehouse but is apprehended by Harris and company.

Peter watches as the Feds cart Luke Dempsey away and our favorite smart guy says something pretty stupid. "I don't get it. He knew he was killing those people. Why would the kid protect a murderer like that?"

Olivia answers as though the answer is obvious, "Because it's his father." Wow. If you've watched through Season 3 this is so reminiscent of the conversation between Peter and Walter in 322, when Walter says "I just wanted to the trial, you spoke on my behalf..."

Peter does set it up that Jessica Warren gets to speak with Walter Bishop, and Peter is quite gentle with Walter about it, saying, Now, look..if you need me, I'll be right here," which is almost word for word what he said to Olivia in "The Dreamscape." (It does make you think that Peter Bishop may not be far from his little family after all, doesn't it?) Depsite Peter's earlier protestations, Walter handles himself beautifully, and comforts Mrs. Warren when she cries.
He starts to lead her somewhere in the lab and says "I'll tell you everything I remember about our time together," as Peter watches on, impressed.

The episode ends with Olivia and her sister Rachel talking in Olivia's living room.
Sweet little Ella comes in and Olivia tricks her into a big goodnight smooch.
Rachel escorts Ella to bed when Olivia's doorbell chimes. There at the door stands a slightly buzzed-looking Peter Bishop. Interestingly, Olivia never invites him in, but seems quite curious why he is there.

Peter explains he's had a few and that he walked to her apartment in Brighton. (FYI, that could have been quite a hike if their hotel was in the Cambridge area.) He tells her he may have been afraid to have his father back in his life. Also, Peter says he thought about what it would be like to have Walter speak with "that woman." Peter seems not to be able to finish any of his thoughts, except this one: "I wanted to say that I'm sorry. You were right. Thank you." Wow!
Did anyone see that one coming?

Interesting Things About "The No-Brainer"
This is the second episode of Season 1 that has a big father-and-son theme.
Here a father is doing(and has done) something wrong that is killing people, and the son doesn't know about it. When the son finally finds out, he's shocked and horrified.(Sound alot like "The Man From The Other Side"?) More surprisingly, the son protects "a murderer like that," as I mentioned earlier.

I was expecting some kind of tie-in to Massive Dynamic, and Nina Sharp telling us they knew all about Brian Dempsey's program, weren't you? Doesn't it seem likely that if a rogue computer programmer with an agenda could create something like that, that a multi-billion dollar company trying to control the universe(or universes, perhaps) could do the same? Maybe they already have and we just don't know about that yet.

We meet the first of several of what Olivia later calls Peter's "weird connections" in this episode. A young man named Akim, who is apparently an expert at locating the origin of computer programs-even with damaged hard drives. Peter does coin tricks in this episode also, and produces a coin that makes Akim exclaim, "You could have sold that for a fortune." If you've watched through Season 3 that should remind you of Peter's liberty dollar in "There's More Than One Of Everything," "Peter," and "The Last Sam Weiss." And Peter's reply to Akim is quite interestingly worded: "I kept it to remind me never to wager with anything that I couldn't bear to live without." Wow! If you've watched through 322, "The Day We Died," that makes you think that applies also to Peter's sacrificing himself so that he wouldn't lose Olivia.

Unanswered Questions That Arise in "The No-Brainer"
Why does Jessica Warren, the deceased lab assistant Carla Warren's mother, pick this time to contact Walter Bishop? What were the details surrounding her death in the lab?

How did Brian Dempsey get ahold of Olivia Dunham's email address?

Why did Ella's brains not liquify after viewing the "What's That Noise" program, like the other victims' did? Is Ella a "First Person?"(You'll get that if you've watched through Season 3.)

Peter picks up on Rachel's flagrant flirting with him. Is he affected by it?

If Peter Bishop Never Existed ...
He would not have taken the damaged hard drives to Akim. Therefore, they would not have discovered that the killer program was being downloaded to the laptop at Olivia's web address, and no one would have burst into Olivia's apartment quickly after Ella viewed the program. Would that have made a difference?

Who would have opened the envelope in the lab from Jessica Warren addressed to Walter Bishop? Would Walter himself have opened it? How would he have handled the situation?

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #111 "Bound"

      Email Post       7/28/2011 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.

“Bound” is really, I think, where Fringe kicked off. After what seemed like an eternity between this episode and the previous one (over a month between the two), it picks up straight after Safe. This is really the first time we’ve had an episode like this, one not completely standalone, and it proved there’s more to Fringe than simple Monster-Of-The-Week stories.

It starts off lightheartedly enough. You know, the usual drugging of bugs which I’m sure is a nice family pastime for many of you, until Astrid spoils the fun we all know Peter’s secretly having by informing them Olivia has gone missing.

Olivia gets a spinal tap to determine whether she had Cortexiphan in her system – the results, we know, were positive.

Broyles orders a search for Olivia which isn’t necessary as she breaks herself out anyway, stealing a few samples and killing/knocking out a few guys in the process. She hides the samples and calls Broyles before she’s surrounded and taken by the man who is secretly our favourite character, Sanford Harris.
His talk with Olivia in the hospital provides a nice little recap for any new viewers, telling us about Walter’s insanity, Peter’s having been arrested seven times and the fact this all started off with John Scott, Olivia’s former partner and lover.

Then there’s a little conversation with Charlie which reminds us that it was Olivia who was the reason behind Harris’s arrest for molesting three women. In the Pilot, we see Broyles is resentful of Olivia for that, calling Harris’s crimes a “small lapse in judgement” so I think it’s interesting now to see with whom his loyalties actually do lie.

We’re introduced to Olivia’s sister, Rachel, and Olivia’s niece, Ella, who gives Olivia a Magic 8 Ball. It’s nice, I think, that they introduced these characters because it shows a different side to Olivia which we haven’t really seen since the first scene of the Pilot. I think both of these characters are important because at the time Olivia was getting a lot of criticism from some fans for being wooden and two dimensional – her family gave her an extra dimension, they showed there is more to her than her work.

Olivia seems to remember Peter exists and calls him to tell him that she needs Walter to identify the samples she stole.

Suddenly we’re at a college and there’s a giant slug tearing its way out of a professor’s oesophagus.
The giant cold virus is a particular favourite Monster-Of-The-Week of mine for no reason other than I’ve never found anything that really shouldn’t be as cute and adorable as I found that. Apart from the worms in Snakehead. But that’s a story for another time.

Peter, Olivia and Walter go to investigate the giant virus and after Walter catches it and takes it to his lab and he tells us that the slug was developed from the same materials as those samples Olivia stole earlier.

There’s one line that stands out to me here: “My boy, I'm not even sure that we all exist on the same plane of consciousness.” As a lot of Fringe is focused on perception, and what is or isn’t real is referenced quite a lot (especially in earlier episodes) it makes me wonder whether, now we’re up to season three and looking back, if we were being given some sort of clues either about the Observers or about where Peter’s consciousness may have gone or even if those two places are one and the same.

We then see Broyles showing us exactly where his loyalties lie, and they’re not with Harris. It just shows how far, after only eleven episodes, these characters have come.

We find out from the TA the unfortunate professor was having an affair with that he had just got a big job with the CDC to oversee the country’s preparedness to fight off an epidemic, which reminds me a little of Frank from the alternate universe with their many epidemics.

Mitchell Loeb tells Olivia he’s going to coordinate the investigation on her abduction before she brings in a man she believes to be the next target, Russell Simon. After a bit of bickering with Harris (who doesn’t love having him around, right?) Peter calls to tell her they’ve made a breakthrough – all the victim has to do to be the next lucky home for a giant cold virus is ingest the “yellow powdery stuff” from the vials Olivia stole. Which is just what Simon does. After the organism tears its way out of Simon’s mouth we go back to the lab where Walter tells Peter and Olivia just exactly what it is, “a single specimen of a virus for the common cold”.

We see Rachel talking with Olivia about how Olivia has “always been the strong one” which is proven later in the series, after all Olivia goes through. Olivia asks about Rachel’s ex, showing that while Olivia is focused on her job, she’s also got a family she cares about, too.

At the office, Olivia drops Ella’s Magic 8 Ball and notices Loeb’s shoes have the same white spot as her abductors’ because apparently people wear their work shoes when performing a kidnapping. A bit contrived, but each to their own. There’s a lovely scene next with Charlie and Peter, where Charlie asks for Peter’s help in tapping Loeb’s phone, and, of course, Peter knows a guy, which is pretty useful because the minute he starts listening in, he hears Loeb telling his wife to kill Olivia, who is at their house. There’s a fight between Samantha Loeb and Olivia, and Samantha ends up shot through the head.

They lure Loeb to them using Samantha’s phone and arrest Mitchell, but not before Olivia pistol-whips him. Loeb is brought in for questioning and tells Olivia that there are two sides to a war and that she’d just blown their plan, and that he hadn’t kidnapped her, he’d saved her, but wouldn’t explain further.

Although it’s not really one of the more memorable episodes of early season one like, for example, The Arrival or Ability, it’s one of my favorites because it took the characters to a bit of a new level, it fleshed them all out a little such as Olivia with her family, or Peter, trusting the FBI enough to contact someone from his shady past to put a wire tap on an agent’s phone.

The title of this episode is interesting, too. Who is bound to what? Loeb to ZFT? Broyles to his agents rather than his old friend? Olivia to her job? Or Peter to his new role in the Fringe Division after a life of being a nomad? This episode shows he cares about more than just answers.

If Peter Bishop Never Existed:

We know Olivia’s a good fighter, but without Peter’s wire tap and warning for Olivia, would she have come out of the fight with Samantha unscathed?

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #110 "Safe"

      Email Post       7/27/2011 11:35:00 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.

If there were an award for the Fringe Season 1 episode that starts out swinging, episode 110, "Safe,"would surely win it. Written by Jason Cahill and David H. Goodman, this episode has tons of energy.

"Safe" picks up where "The Equation" leaves off, for Double Agent Mitchell Loeb and his "Chess Club" of hirees take the magical formula for making boundaries penetrable and use it to steal the last pieces of Walter Bishop's hidden transporter machine. In safety deposit theft Number 3, one of the magnets gets stuck and Raul Lugo takes time to free it, but he gets stuck in the wall on the way out. Leader Mitchell Leob takes only a second to be distressed, in the next he shoots the poor man in the head, and the remaining men take their leave.

Sometime later the Fringe Division arrives, and if you like great Peter/Olivia banter(with classic Walter Bishop interruptions) some of the best in the series occurs when they enter the crime scene at the bank in Philadelphia. (You can read the transcript here:

As the team stares at the poor man in the wall, Peter delivers the phrase, "Just when you think things couldn't get any weirder." If that sounds familiar, it's a slightly different form of what Olivia says from her hospital bed in 201, after Peter tells her she spoke the Greek phrase his mom used to tell him every night.

Olivia suddenly realizes that she knows the victim. Peter thinks she's joking, but Liv proceeds to tell them his name, where he lives, his wife's name, and even that she's been to his New Jersey home. Peter gives her that look, and we get a squirmy feeling in our belly, or at least we should.

About a third of the way into this episode we see the familiar site of Wissenschaft Prison in Hamburg, Germany, and suddenly this plot spins a whole new direction. What in the world does incarcerated Daivd Robert Jones have to do with anything, we ask ourselves.

"Safe" has some lovely humorous spots, and Peter and Walter trying to buy a saw at a tool store in greater Philly is one of them. Walter snarks about Peter's lack of roots and Peter verbally retaliates, as a doe-eyed associate asks if she can help them. Walter tells the innocent what they need, and trying to be helpful, she asks what they are cutting. In true Walter Bishop style he tells it like it is. "Human tissue. Flesh and bone. It's more sinuous than you may expect."
The girl's eyes go wide as Peter flashes her his con-man smile anad tries to minimize the blow, but Walter's no help. The girl gives them blunt directions and dashes up the stairs. Peter does damage control by yelling "No need to call the police," as the girl speeds away up the stairs.

Jones talks condescendingly to his attorney in his cell, paying seemingly no attention to his appeal info. Instead he makes a written list of things for his attorney bring him, including dramamine and suntan lotion, which leaves us scratching our heads.

Olivia Dunham goes to interview Raul Lugo's widow in New Jersey, and that knot in the belly from earlier starts to expand. Olivia tells Mrs. Lugo she hadn't seen Raul in years, adding that they served together in the Marines. She goes on to tell Susan Lugo that they have met before when she had dinner at that very house, the night Raul became First Lieutenant. Susan gets defiant and says "No, you weren't here." Olivia insists she was, and proceeds to describe the events of that evening and the arrangement of the furniture. Susan acknowledges but insists it was just her, Raul, and his friend John(Major squirmies now! Remember Walter's words about complications from the tank?) Olivia asks "John who," but I'm sure she already knows the answer, which is "John Scott."

One thing I look forward to in the series is a front-row seat to some of Walter Bishop's science discussions/experiments. This time it's making a plastic figure disappear into a beaker full of dry rice, on top of a vibrating football table. It's epecially fun when Walter tells Astrid he's gonna repeat it and asks if she'd like to watch, to which she gives a swift "Nope." Peter does not interpret the scientific Walter-speak. This time around Walter explains everything to us, that the robbers were able to weaken the atomic structure of the vault wall and pass through it, but not without the possible consequence of becoming radioactive.

Olivia informs the team the safety deposit boxes were purchased annonymously 23 years ago. If you've watched through Season 3, you know that goes back to the magic year of 1985 and the enormous Peter-related events of that year. Peter keeps the momentum flowing by asking Olivia, " what's our next move?" Olivia tells him she got some names from the widow, including Raul's best friend who happens to work at a bar in Cambridge. This makes a great segue into one of my very favorite Season 1, P/O scenes, that just happens to take place in "Safe."

Olivia and Peter enter the bar in Cambridge to interview Raul's best friend. Always in charge, Olivia tells Peter to "Just go along with this, okay?" to which he responds "Sure thing, boss."
She introduces Peter as her brother, Rick( the bartender doesn't seem convinced of his sibling status. )What ensues is another great batch of P/O banter with two especially enlightening double-meanings-if you're caught up through 3.15, "Subject 13.":

Olivia:Drew, I gotta tell you, I never forget a face.
Peter:It's true, she doesn't. It's kind of creepy actually.(Foreshadowing of seeing "Peter" in S4 or S5?)

Olivia tells Drew the bartender she remembers him being best man at Susan and Raul's wedding. Drew seems impressed. Peter's response:"It's incredible, right? She's been able to do that since we were kids. Remember that?" If you've watched "Subject 13" you know it's a fun and ironic answer, since the two of them don't seem to remember their meeting and interaction as children.

Olivia is throwing down the double whiskeys so fast Peter can barely keep up as she pumps Drew for information. She does learn Raul spent time at a VA hospital before her source gets back to tending the bar. Olivia calls Broyles and recruits his help, and tells Peter they should go. Peter tries to get her to slow down and tosses the gauntlet:"...what's the rush? Two is your limit?"

Olivia gives Peter Bishop a look we've never seen before(her nonverbal reply to provocation?) and one-ups him, "Is that a dare?" Two scenes later finds Peter performing card tricks for her, and it's obvious both of their defenses are down. Peter tells her "so top that," and not missing a beat Olivia grabs the deck and launches into a demonstration of her ability to count cards. Our conman is truly impressed, and you can almost hear the cogs in his head as he's probably thinking about how to exploit that talent. Olivia tells Peter once she sees numbers she can remember them for the rest of her life. After a couple of examples she tells him the 3 safety deposit numbers that were burglarized and a realization sobers Peter's alcohol-laden brain.
He tells her in a serious tone "I know those numbers."

If you read my commentary on "The Dreamscape," you may remember I mentioned that Walter misunderstood that Olivia wanted to get to Peter's bed when she came to wake Walter late at night. After the bar scene in "Safe," Peter and Olivia go quickly to a sleeping Walter, and Peter shouts him awake. Walter sees the two of them as he comes awake and says, "Do you two want to use the room?" Peter is all business and lets it go, but there is this adorable smirk on Olivia's face and possibly a little blush. Peter asks Walter about the pattern of numbers that includes 233, 377, and 610. Walter chastises Peter for not staying in college, saying that everyone knows it's the Fibonacci Sequence. Peter keeps Walter focused, telling him they also the numbers of the safety deposit boxes that were stolen. After some outloud thinking Walter has an epiphany-the safety deposit boxes are his!

Peter and Olivia drag Walter to the Federal Building where Charlie Francis has learned that Walter lectured in 1985 at Syracuse University. Charlie hands him pictures of banks near the university to see if any look familiar and asks, "Does any of this trigger anything in your mind?"
Walter's answer is a big foreshadowing of the events of 322:

Yes, but not about banks. Think back 20 years-imagine yourself then, imagining yourself now-20 years into the future. In your wildest imagination, could you ever think you'd be here?!

OK, so in 322 we moved ahead 15 years instead of 20, but it's close. Charlie's expression is priceless as he whispers to Liv, "Is he stoned?" Olivia tells Charlie to be patient with him as Walter proceeds to lick the photos. Broyles pops in and tells Olivia that Lugo was an inpatient at a VA hospital for 6 months after he split with his wife, and the plot moves on.

As the Feds hunt down the members of The Chess Club they discover 3 of them bought tickets from DC to T.F. Green Airport(yup, a real place) in Providence. Liv's dialing in a blink and asks Peter if he can ask Walter what bank he might have used in Providence. Peter tries the direct approach and gets nowhere. Then he gets a thought and asks Walter in a different way, and Walter very quickly tells Peter the name of the bank he used and its location.

This time Charlie and Olivia get lucky, catching the burglars leaving the bank, and Liv shoots one in the leg as he tries to catch up to the getaway vehicle. But Olivia gets frustrated because she can't make him talk in interrogation, as Peter watches in the two-way mirror. Peter tells Charlie to call Olivia out, that he wants to try something. A little alpha male contest ensues on Charlie's part, but Peter keeps his cool, and Charlie obliges him.

The scene of Peter Bishop interrogating Ryan Eastwick is reminiscent of his lovely interrogation of Richard Steig in the pilot episode, and you wonder what body parts he's gonna crush this time around. Peter asks to see his hands, and Eastwick places his shackled, shaking hands on the table. Peter says "Let me see if any of this rings a bell for you," and Peter proceeds to list the symptoms of the first phase of radiation poisoning. He's gotten Eastwick's attention now, and Ryan starts talking as Charlie and Olivia look incredulously at each other. Eatwick tells Peter he overheard their unnamed leader say he was going to Westford. The lightbulb pops on for Olivia. She tells them there's an abandoned airfield called "Little Hill Field," and reminds them "Little Hill" was the codename Mr. Smith gave to Mr. Jones(via Peter) in "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones."

While Charlie and Liv approach Westford, MA from different directions, Walter's in the lab desperately trying to remember what was in his hidden safe deposit boxes. Peter does his first coin trick of the series which triggers Walter to remember Peter's "near death" from a rare form of bird flu and his making of a machine to cross the space-time continuum to retrieve a bird flu expert who dies in 1936. Walter tells Peter he thinks the machine was what was in the safety deposit boxes, adding, "In theory, it could retrieve anyone from anywhere."

David Robert Jones gets ready to transport out as Charlie approaches Westford from the South and Olivia from the west, but she never makes it. A black SUV comes from nowhere and cuts her off. When she tries to make a run for it she gets tranqued in the back and goes down. It's funny, sometimes news takes a ridiculous amount of time to travel in the Fringe universe, but here, it seems like only second later when Phillip Broyles contacs Nina Sharp on her private phone to tell her that Olivia Dunham's missing. He is accusatory in tone, and Nina resents it whether she should or not. (We are purposely misled in a tiny earlier scene, when one of Mina's scientists tells Nina they think John Scott shared consciousness with Olivia before he died. They hypothesize that some of John's memories that they need are stored in Olivia's brain.) But by the end of the episode we realize Liv's abduction is Jones's doing.
Jones:"Do you have her? Agent Dunham?
Loeb:She didn't even put up a fight.
Jones:Well then. Let's not keep her waiting.

Interesting Things About "Safe"
The conversations. There are several conversations in this episode that are very smooth, and you give you further insight into the main characters' relationships and personality quirks.

Walter's speech about Peter being severely ill as a child, etc. while not only being huge foreshadowing of the "Peter" episode(in Season 2), propels us further ahead into Season 1, towards that moment in 1.20, "There's More Than One Of Everything."

If Peter Bishop Never Existed....
I doubt that they ever would have figured out which bank in Providence Loeb's men were hitting. Therefore, Charlie and Olivia probably wouldn't have had a chance to catch Ryan Eastwick, and learn of Loeb's plan to go to a field in Westford.
Following this progression, the Feds may not have discovered that David Robert Jones was transported to Massachusetts.

Interestingly, Olivia Dunham may have still been abducted.

Jones gets zapped from Hamburg to Westford in the blink of an eye as we marvel at the scene. Loeb in awe, greets his boss.

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #109 "The Dreamscape"

      Email Post       7/26/2011 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.

"The Dreamscape" is the second Season 1 episode written by Julia Cho. This time she teams up with Zack Whedon(his first time writing for this series)and the result is another busy, yet well-done episode.

There are really 3 sub-plots in this one. Olivia and the Fringe team try to solve the murder of an up and coming Massive Dynamic scientist(Mark Young), Olivia continues to be haunted by her dead partner and lover, John Scott, and Peter Bishop gets a blast from his past. The great thing, like most Fringe episodes, is that the lines between these subplots get deliciously blurred, and you hardly notice you're going back and forth.

Mark Young appears to have committed suicide by jumping out a window at the Massive Dynamic building in New York, but we learn his internal injuries came from the inside out!(How's that for gross?)The question remains how and why? In a twist very reminiscent of 105, "Power Hungry"(which Cho also co-wrote) John Scott supplies the answers. He sends Olivia an email with a basement(yes, again) address. Apparently, like Walter Bishop, John Scott has more than one storage place around Boston. But there's no hands in jars at his, only frogs, or more correctly, toads. Going with her gut Olivia turns them over to a very lucid Walter who informs her the venom under their skin contains a highly potent hallucinogen. Since Peter's busy with sub-plot number three, Olivia simplifies it for us: "So you're saying that Mark Young hallucinated being cut on his body, and then his mind made it actually happen." If you've already seen Season 3, this should smack of Olivia as Bolivia getting herself home in "Entrada", and Peter actually making a bridge between universes in 322. But again, I can see this being taken a step farther in Season 4 or 5, such that Liv hallucinates Peter is there, and then he is. (Wouldn't that be fun?! )

Olivia gets Walter alone and tells him John Scott led her to the toads. She asks him how long his memories will be in her head. He tells her it could be years. A conversation about possible therapy ensues and Olivia guesses correctly it would involve her going back into the tank to purge Johns' memories. She pushes Walter to do it. As she's getting cozy in the brine with just Walter and Astrid in attendance(Peter's still preoccupied) Astrid asks her if she's OK about doing this. Olivia tells her she wants the memories to stop, but if John's memories can help then she hasn't been deceived for nothing.

They hit paydirt with Olivia's dreamscape(except she's screaming her lungs out when John Scott turns and murders one of his accomplices). Fortunately Peter returns to the lab in the middle of the action and throws the tank doors open.

Olivia gives Broyles the details on suspect George Morales and the dangerous Massive Dynamic-developed drug. Broyles tells her to keep going. Nina Sharp actually cooperates and gives the Feds Mark Young's project folders. Olivia stares at his Masssive Dynamic business card(more on that later) and gets the idea that M-O-N-A-R-C-H in Mark Young's appointment book might represent a phone number. She matches letters to numbers and dials. Olivia recognizes the voice, and in a real plot stretch, the location is able to be traced long after the call has ended.

By pinging Morales's cell Charlie Francis and Olivia are able to track Morales down. He gets hit by a cab and ends up in the hospital. In what is one of the most important scenes in the episode Morales tells Liv he'll give her all the information he has on William Bell and Massive Dynamic in exchange for physical protection. Straight out, Morales tells Olivia "Massive Dynamic is Hell, and its founder, William Bell, is the devil." She accuses him of telling her what she wants to hear.
In an effort to get her attention, the words start pouring ouf of Morales's mouth:

"Really? Did I invent ZFT? Flight 627? The Northwoods Group? John Scott? The Pattern? The whole thing is a hoax. It's all a smoke screen so Massive Dynamic can do whatever it wants to whoever it wants. Do you understand that?"

We get the idea that Olivia gives into Morales's demand. But while she goes to confront Nina Sharp, again, Morales hallucinates that John Scott cuts his throat, and in an interesting special effect, a poor nurse actually witnesses Morales's throat cutting itself.

Earlier in the episode Peter gets a phone call that makes him wrinkle his brow and go into a private room. We get some well-earned backstory in this episode, and meet one of his former flames, Tess Amaral. She tells him she has to meet him. After a pause, he tells her he can't get away right now, but Tess pursues with, "Then when?"

Two scenes later Peter and Tess greet each other in a coffee shop with a kiss. He tells her she looks good, she tells him he looks older. Peter makes a joke about it, pointing out that Walter's first words when he saw him were that he looked 'fat.' Tess gets serious and tells him if she can find him then they can too. Peter shrugs it off and asks if he can get her something to eat. Tess responds with "Nothing changes with you huh? It's the same old Peter, you just play it fast and loose until it's too late." But Tess is wrong. Peter Bishop is a bit more grounded now. He's got a dysfunctional little family keeping him in Boston. We learn from Tess that Peter just upped and left her. She sarcastically points out that leaving a second time shouldn't be any harder than the first. The following dialogue ensues:

Peter:I know you think that, Tessa, but you have to trust me, it was harder than you think.
Tess:Trust you? I'm not sure I ever even knew you.
(Needless to say, that last line is great irony if you're caught up all the way through 322.)

Peter's agenda changes when he grabs her wrist and she winces. He pulls back her sleeve and sees the heavy bruising on his wrist. "Michael?" is all Peter asks. Tess tells him things have changed and that they'll do worse to him if he doesn't leave.

Peter catches up to Michael on the street a bit later and roughs him up. With an angry face we're not accustomed to(but that foreshadows "Dark Peter" in "Reciprocity,") he tells Michael that if
he touches Tess again he'll kill him. Near the end of the episode Michael approaches another thug who comments on his injuries. Michael tells him that Peter Bishop is back in town.
This leaves the door wide open in the future for some organized crime retaliation against our favorite dumb, smart guy. Or does it?

The episode ends with a hyper Olivia waking Walter Bishop in his hotel room. Our Liv likes closure, and she wants Walter to put her back in the tank again to get more answers.
She says to him, "Can you come out? Um, I need to go back in." In a Walter moment reminiscent of the scene in "Safe" where Peter and Olivia hurriedly try to rouse him, Walter misunderstands, thinking she's trying to get to Peter's bed. She explains that she needs more answers. But gently, Walter refuses to encourage her into the tank again, telling her repeated use of the tank is too dangerous. Olivia counters that lives could be lost if she doesn't get the answers, but Walter returns that if she keeps going into the tank the life that could be lost is her own. He tells her there are no guarantees she'll get the answers she wants, and that she can't interact with John, can't just ask him questions.
Olivia reminds him that John saw her in the restaurant and again, Walter denies this, saying it's not possible.

A tired and defeated Olivia returns home. She turns off her computer and climbs into her bed, as her computer clicks back on. Out of curiosity she goes back over to it. There is an email from John Scott that reads "I saw you in the restaurant."

Interesting Things About "The Dreamscape"

1)The second "benchwarmers" scene of the series happens after the tank incident. Peter is sitting on the lab bench looking at Olivia worriedly. Olivia, standing, wringing her wet hair out, looks unrealistically calm. Peter asks, "You OK?" which is one of his trademark questions to her in the series. She tells him they have a lead and she needs to see Broyles. He asks if she'd like any company. In true Dunham fashion she turns him down with a smile. Peter replies with, "Olivia, if you need me, I'm here." This is more than just a trivial statement. This is a promise. And I have a feeling Peter Bishop hasn't made too many promises in his life. I'm hoping this is also foreshadowing, that even if Peter Bishop never existed, that our Olivia somehow knows in her head that if she needs "him," he's there.

2)The phone number on Mark Young's business card 1-877-8-MSSDYN, used to really work!
If you dialed that after this episode first aired, you'd get a recording that you have reached Massive Dynamic! But now if you dial you get, "The subscirber you have dialed is not available,
or has traveled outside the calling area." Don't believe me? Try it. Click on the link to hear one of the former phone messages:

3)Isn't it unnerving when Walter laughs at his test subject under hypnosis on the tape?That smacks of foreshadowing of Walternate's sadistic nature that we see in "Over There:Part 2", and also in "Olivia," and "Entrada." Equally unnerving are Walter's words as the subject develops second-degree burns from an ice cube: "Cruel probably, but very enlightening."

4)There really is an airport in Massachusetts called the Marlborough Airport, but in actuality it has only 1 runway, and it's the shortest runway in the state!

5)This is the first episode in which Walter Bishop discusses religion. He talks about 'the spirit' again in "Midnight," and of course there is the huge topic of religion/forgiveness in "Peter," and "White Tulip." But here the words "and a new spirit I will put within thee," foreshadow William Bell's spirit intruding upon Olivia's body in "Os," "The Stowaway," and "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide."

6)Nina Sharp's reaction and words when Olivia goes to confront her near the end imply that she knows the FBI's witness, George Morales, is already dead. We have always sensed a cold power about Nina, but in this episode it seems she does have control over whether some people live or die.

As Yet Unanswered Questions That Arise From "The Dreamscape":
George Morales mentions 'The Northwoods Group?' Is this the group Broyles is addressing at the beginning of 102?

Why does Olivia visualize the butterflies moving in the display cases in Mark Young's home?

Walter denies at least twice Olivia's admission that John Scott could see her in her dreamscape while in the tank? Why is he so adamant that John cannot see her, and that she cannot intereact with him?

Why did John Scott kill the African-American man that seemed to be working with him?

If Peter Bishop Never Existed....
No one would have warned Michael not to further hurt Tess Amaral. She could be dead by now.

I think Walter still would have figured out about the Massive Dynamic drug compounded from the toad venom, and that Mark Young was murdered. Interestingly, most of this episode unfolded without Peter Bishop's interaction. (Keep that in mind as you watch Season 4.)

Fringe Comic-Con Panel - Full Video

      Email Post       7/25/2011 12:07:00 AM      

Fringe fan NowKnow411 has uploaded the entire Fringe panel from Comic-Con to YouTube (in three parts).

Fringe Summer Rewatch: #108 "The Equation"

      Email Post       7/25/2011 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.

The Equation is an episode I didn’t think would link too much across episodes but I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few concepts span throughout the series. The episode starts off with a boy named Ben riding home with his father in the pouring rain. Ben is busy in the backseat writing sheet music when he asks his dad not to be upset and if he could slow the wipers down because it’s messing with his tempo. Ben’s father is distracted when he sees a woman along the side of the road who seems to be having troubles with her car. He pulls over to help in any way he can and when he goes to check the engine, flashing green and red lights put him into a “hypnogogic state” where everything around him drops out. This episode becomes a race to rescue young Ben who the Fringe team as determined is being used to solve and equation that many before him had been used to try and solve. We see the first real fight between Peter and Olivia when Olivia is given ultimatum of finding a new lead or having Walter help them by going back into St. Claire’s to try and talk information out of an old friend at the institute. In an act of incredible bravery, Walter agrees, going against Peter’s wishes for him to not go back. Walter survives his short stay at St. Claire’s and seems unsettled after his stay and requests distance from Peter and to have some of his own space. In the end Walter’s adventure back into his nightmare pays off and Olivia gets the information she needs to save Ben, but not in time before the final equation falls into the wrong hands. At the end we learn this equation is used to help sold objects back through other solid objects when Loeb demonstrates the success by pulling an apple from a solid vault. We don’t learn until the episode Safe later on in season one.

I have to say one of my favorite parts of this episode is when Peter discovers the link between music and math since I am a huge music/math geek myself. It was great to see something that most of us can relate to (music) in a case and put into sciencey talk (thank you Peter). Ben's song ends up being a larger part of the Fringe theme song that every episode begins with and that we've all grown to love. It certainly makes me dance in my seat in anticipation.

Highlighted themes I saw in this episode were:

  • What a son would do to save his mother. This made me think of what Peter might've done to save his own mother had he been given a better opportunity.

  • Minds coming together on one thing having never met or talked. Much like the two different universes coming to similar ideas and concepts.

  • Walter goes back into his worst nightmare to save a boy. Sound familiar? It definitely should since we all know the great lengths Walter went to save Walternate's son.

  • “The easiest lie to remember is the one closest to the truth.” This seems to be like the Pre-Fringe team Peter theme, but also a theme we see with Fauxlivia. Definitely something they have in common. Makes you wonder if before the "Fringe team" had ever been created, would Peter have still chosen our Olivia over fauxlivia?

  • Driven to insanity to find a solution. Insanity seems to be a very common thread throughout the series, but what can you expect with a show like Fringe?

  • “It was just a dream. A bad dream.” –Dashiel. How many times have various characters thought they were dreaming, whether they were or not?

  • Peter stands up for Walter finally, showing that he’s willing to show he cares. The beginning of a truly beautiful relationship that only builds.

  • The apple used in the experiment is also a fringe symbol.

  • “Numbers make everything work.” So true!
Questions that came up in this episode are:

  • What does the St. Claire’s director, Dr. Summer, want with Walter now that he is gone? Why is he so upset over him being gone? (Significance in his name, Summer?)

  • When Walter sees “himself”, is it really him or Walternate he thinks he sees.

  • Who put the equation into all of the people’s heads?
If Peter Bishop never existed in The Equation episode…

  • They might never have discovered the true link between Ben’s music and the equation by Dr. Dashiel.

  • Astrid might’ve been driven crazy by Walter’s obsession with Christmas music.

  • Walter may not have gone back to St. Claire’s in order to get the information from Dashiel and Ben would likely not have been saved from the same fate as the other kidnap victims.

Viral & Official FOX Websites

FTV Members


Powered by Blogger
Designed by Spot