“You don’t know me, or what I’m capable of.”
Peter has finally succeeded at what he intended to do: bridging the gap between Over Here and Over There. At the end of Season Three, Peter put everything on the line to broker a peace between the two universes—and we all know how that turned out. Now, Peter’s wildcard status has brought both sides together to fight a common foe. As the saying goes, the enemy of my…oh.
Tensions between the two sides have been undeniably high ever since the season premiere. Remember the fraught conversations between Olivia and Bolivia about the new shapeshifters? Even without the events that we remember, we know that enough badness has happened to these ret-conned (or whatever-ed) heroes that they blame each other even if it’s just out of habit. But the threat of Jones’s shapeshifters transcends universal boundaries. Literally: the man makes slipping from one universe to the next look as easy as moving from the sofa to the comfy chair. An interuniversal enemy requires interuniversal cooperation.
Interestingly, Lincoln “Clark Kent” Lee seems to be a boundary-crossing kind of guy. After last week’s “No wonder you’re a detective” bickering, Lincoln “CK” Lee now refers to himself and his Superman counterpart as “us” when talking to Bolivia about the possibility of romance. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that both Lincolns were dressed so similarly and without glasses for so much of the episode—frequently, the only way I could distinguish them was by how they were interacting with various characters.
Lincoln “CK” Lee and Peter, on the other hand, keep butting heads. I’d like them to be friends, because that’s just the sort of person I am, but their goals and their desires—not to mention the complexity of their respective relationships with Olivia—have kept them at cross purposes. I have to wonder, too, if Peter doesn’t still feel like he’s been interloped by Lincoln. Is Peter fully on board with his own theory about being in the wrong universe? It seems like a lot to take in, even with his background and experience.
The highlight of the conversation-scenes was, undeniably, Walter’s discussion with Elizabeth. Orla Brady is incredible. She’s brought a tremendous depth to a character that we really haven’t seen much of, and it’s a delight to see her in action as Walternate’s wife and Walter’s former wife’s doppelganger.
In the midst of these touchy-feely interpersonal moments, though, “Enemy of My Enemy” also provided some nice enmity. Jones is scary. Killing an entire ER just to prove a point and get out of jail takes guts, and we know he’s willing to go even further. That he’s wily and crafty just adds to the potential peril.
I’m going to stick with a theory I hinted at last week: Jones and Peter are two sides of the same coin. Jones said, “You don’t know me, or what I’m capable of.” But Peter could say the same, especially in the context of these people who don’t know him. Both sides seem to be growing to trust him in their own ways, but they haven’t experienced his unique skills, whether it’s speaking Arabic (probably not that useful in this context) or reinventing/renovating/creating a new set of paired universes.
Alt-Broyles, Possible Shapeshifter, could also utter that line. We know he’s working with Jones, as does Jones (obviously), but no one else does. We know what the world used to be like, or what the other universes are like, just like Peter does—but no one else does. We know Nina is behind some plot with Olivia’s brain, but no one else does…unless Jones and Alt-Broyles do. Peter warned Olivia of the danger of driving through the gateway, but she didn’t really understand what he’d meant until she almost experienced it. The difference between knowing and really knowing or understanding seems like it will be crucial in the episodes to come. If Fringe keeps up the delightful mix of action, conversation, and really confusing universe stuff, we’ve got a lot to look forward to.
• Jones: “Take me to your leader.”
• Lincoln Lee: “I lost a partner.”
Peter: “I lost a universe.”
• I assume Alt-Broyles is a shapeshifter. But whenever I assume anything about Fringe, I feel stupid. Who wants to bet me five bucks that he’s a person?
• Speaking of Broyles and his “alter ego”: I love the idea of the two of them having a deadpan conversation about anything. Cupcakes, unauthorized universe-jumping, whatever.
• Walter never got a white tulip. How’s that for crushing dramatic irony?
Three and a half out of four liquefied, algae-bathed pieces of meat.
(Josie Kafka reviews episodes of Fringe, Vampire Diaries, and Game of Thrones for billiedoux.com.)