Friday, November 12, 2010

Fringe: Season 3 Episode 6 - 6955 kHz

Hello Fringe Dwellers!  Welcome back to our world where we had the chance to get reacquainted with Walter, Peter and Fauxlivia after the baseball hiatus.  This show hasn't missed a beat.  Viewers?  Well it may be missing some of those, but we have to hope that FOX continues to support this awesome show into next season.  It really is a sad state of affairs that when a show is taking risks and rewarding viewers with its best work yet, the viewers aren't there to see it!  But enough complaining, we have a show to get into.   And what a show it was!  Lots of science mumbo jumbo in this episode with magnetism and numbers and plane crashes.  Wait a sec....(did I catch an 8, 15 and a 42 in there too?  good times)  But, the best part of the episodes this season is that just when we think that we are watching a random FRINGE case investigation, it turns out to be a key piece of the puzzle in the overall mythology of the show.  Just awesome.   Let's roll into the recap!

Fringe Case of the Week
(Over Here)

So what did this episode revolve around?  Well, plain and simple....NUMBERS!  Yes, there was a band of online "numbers listeners" trying to crack the meaning of those numbers.  And there was a shapeshifter (Alias guy) erasing these peoples' memories of they were getting close to cracking the code.  And we found out that Fauxlivia was behind the whole case trying to get Walter on board with building the MACHINE OF DESTRUCTION.   But there were definitely some interesting things learned along the way!  

  • Okay, using numbers in this episode was an obvious shout out to its JJ Abrams predecessor, right?  Even if it wasn't meant to be, the simple fact of blatantly including an 15, 8 and 42 was a shout out to LOST.   I think even the fact that they had people obsessing over finding a MEANING behind numbers was a shout out to LOST fandom.  Had to be.  

  • Would LOST fans have been happy if they found out the pattern of numbers belonged to a human race that pre-dated the dinosaurs?  I dunno, it seemed pretty darn cool, right?  Are we meant to believe these story as FRINGE Fact or Fiction?  Well, I'm gonna guess Fact since they're building ancient weapons in both universes, and these advanced weapons seem to come from this ancient civilization.  Perhaps this ancient world is somehow what caused 2 dimensions to exist in the first place?  Maybe it's these devices that they're reconstructing that caused the initial split?  Supposedly, based on this rare edition novel THE FIRST PEOPLE, their mechanism "The vacuum" (= The Weapon?) had the power to create or destroy.   Interesting...

  • It sure looked like Fauxlivia was struggling to keep her cover this week, didn't it?  Nina was seeing right through her.  Bolivia asked Nina to talk to Walter about letting Peter keep constructing and analyzing the weapon.  Nina found this behavior very suspicious.    Then Peter showed her a list of "NUMBERS LOVERS" and that short book guy (Marcus) was on the list and Liv didn't recognize him.  

  • Of course, it's also hard to tell if Fauxlivia is "falling in love" with our world, just like Newton warned her not to.  She was interested in Bono from the Pop Culture book and now Peter bought her U2 tickets.  She seemed genuinely excited.  Is she just playing the role or is she really falling for Peter too?  Things are sure gonna get messy when Olivia comes back.  And I just started thinking about it...they probably aren't going to believe that Olivia is who she says she is when she DOES come back.'s gonna get messy!    Anyway, how excited did Fauxlivia look to actually be reading a newspaper and innocently asking him "What is the Entertainment Section?"  (or maybe she said "whats IN the Entertainment Section?")  In either case, we know they don't have these paper products OVER THERE.   And she seems to get a kick out of it! 

  • She also has an interesting conversation with Peter at the end of the episode when their digging up another piece of the weapon.  She is saying that if only one world could survive, Peter would have to fight to keep "OUR" side.   This could have been ambiguous.  I'm sure she was seeing if he'd keep OUR world alive.  But FLiv and Peter are from THE other side, but Peter doesn't know Fliv is Fliv!   Anyway, Peter's response was that he wants to save BOTH worlds.  Innocent people should not have to die.  Must stay optimistic.  How could someone not admire that?  Plus, Fauxlivia breaks protocol to tell the shapeshifter to stop sending out pulses and hurting innocent people.  (by the way, gotta love the scene of him getting shot by her and dropping out the window however many stories down!)   I gotta think Fauxlivia will want to do the right thing in the end.  But, we still have to root for Olivia to get back here and kick her butt in the short-term! 

  • Speaking of kicking major butt, OUR Astrid rocked some mad skills in solving the numbers!  Some kind of crazy coordinates based on the FIRST PEOPLE's bizarre calendar.   Anyway, the coordinates pointed to various places across the globe (37 more locations) where there are pieces of this advanced technology ancient machine buried under the ground.    After Nina and Walter shared a joint on Harvard's campus (and possibly some future romantic possibilities?), Walter was more inclined to help Peter assemble the machine and opt for a little optimism.  CREATION over Destruction.  "WE HAVE WORK TO DO!" 

  • More on THE FIRST PEOPLE - Peter reads in the book that something catacalysmic happened that wiped out the entire race of people.  Fauxlivia asks a good question on how would the author know about them then?   Are we to assume that this weapon they are reconstructing is what wiped out the civilization?  Do Walternate, Fauxlivia and the shapeshifters already know all of this history and that's what is motivating Walternate in the first place?    If we have a season 4 are we going to have episodes dedicated to millions of years ago when THE FIRST PEOPLE reigned supreme?  Now I'm just getting crazy! 
  • At the end of the episode, Fauxlivia goes back to the crazy dimension crossing typewriter to tell Walternate that the plan succeeded.  Walter and Peter are all on board with getting the pieces and assembling.  Walternate's response?  Initiate Phase 2!   Hmmm what is that?!   We'll find out.

Over There
Loved the transition shot of our Statue of Liberty to the Over There Statue that never turned green.    Brandon calls Olivia to tell her that they cancelled her session in the deprivation tank.  Here is the return of HEAD PETER! 

  • He informs Olivia, just as I speculated in last week's blog, that there is a reason they don't need to put her in the tank anymore.  They already got what they need.  They saw the activity in her brain and probably have a way to recreate it without her now.   So what does that mean?  Olivia needs to get home!   How is she going to get home?  Well, she needs to remember how to do it without that crazy deprivation tank! 

  • Maybe she needs to enlist the help of Henry the cab driver from the first episode.  Surely, Walternate isn't going to keep her around much longer.  Maybe she'll be able to get Charlie and Lincoln to help her before they find out who she really is.   
In any case next week looks like it's going to be another great one!  The worlds are coming together, things are getting exciting!  Bring it on!  We're not done yet folks!

  • This week's Glyph Code is DECAY.  Thanks to Fringepedia for the great screenshot once again.  Why is it Decay?  Eh, who knows.  The machine pieces certainly haven't decayed over billions of years!   Or maybe that's a clue.  Did Walternate transmit the radio signals for Walter and Peter to find the machine pieces that he somehow planted all over the world?   Eh for all I know that is already implied as fact IN the show and I'm just too dense to realize it!   Here I am dreaming up ancient civilizations!  

  • Observer spotted!  - He is at the scene of the crime where Fauxlivia knocked the shapeshifter out the window.  

  • As mentioned earlier, Astrid seems to be getting some additional screen time and intrigue this season.  In our world, for the first time, we see her cracking a mathematical code and being absolutely dead on.  OVER THERE, she seems to be a totally different person.  She is always rambling off statistics but is not always right.  She also is very robotic in her mannerisms.  What's going on with her?! 

  • Not as many great quotable Walter lines this week but he did make 2 references to Bowel Movements which is always fantastic.   And you gotta love him getting excited over food that Fauxlivia brings him and when he's chewing on his Twizzler! 
  • Of course, Walter finding a way to use a See 'n Say kids toy "It's not stealing if you own the company" and Hendrix guitar pedal were classic moments! 

  • The Sherlock/Watson Reference to Peter and Astrid was pretty good too and him following it up later with "What are you thinking, Watson?"   Okay, so I lied about not enough great Walterisms!

That's all I have for this week folks.  I hope you share your thoughts on Walternate's plan and our introduction to THE FIRST PEOPLE and if you came up with anything more logical than I could!   I'm loving the endless possibilities about where they can take this, but I'm just starting to scratch the surface! If there is anyone that stays up late to read these recaps (can't imagine it's that important!) just know that next week's recap will be late.  I'm going to see a midnight screening of a certain movie opening next week.  Priorities people!   But it will be up sometime on Friday, you can bet on that! 

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings as always and I'll see you next week! 

End Credits

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MJ said...

I did see your response to my last Fringe post yesterday about that article.

I thought it was a strange coincidence to read that after your Astrid comments too.

Yeah - I could see everyone dressed like watchers. LOL Good fun.

Either way - hoping that the cancellation talk is bull. And hoping that the downturn in ratings was due to being off for several weeks and holiday issues.

Mike V. said...

Even mailing a bunch of Walter's favorite food to FOX studios could be something worth pursuing lol There is so much variety there!

Anyways, I hope so too with the ratings thing. The weird think about last week was that if the World Series continued, Fringe would have been some people may have thought that Fringe wouldn't continue until this week. Hopefully we'll see an upswing this week!
So, I'm looking forward to that tonight!

Anonymous said...

Why are there so many references to 6995 khz all over the Internet, when it is 6955 khz? Go back and watch the episode between 1:22 and 1:24.

Mike V. said...

Thanks for the heads up anonymous. Ironically, the TiVo labeled the episode as 6995 which is why I wrote it as that. And that's probably why others did the same thing. I re-checked and you're correct. I'll fix it!

MJ said...

Was a great ep ! Didn't get to read your recap til today ;-D My husband totally guessed early on that the numbers would point to machine pieces. LOL I hate it when he does that ! I also def got the vibe that fauxLivia is liking her new life, def out of character for her to be worried about killing innocents.

AUStarwars said...

I thought the episode was good, and moving in a good direction but i have some thoughts:

1. What was the real point of the Case this week? Like why would they want these broadcasts to end? Just to get people off the trail of the numbers? Or to get them on it? Does it matter?

2. Apparently those "numbers broadcasts" exist (theres a link from EWs review, havnet read it yet), so i guess i need to look into that but seems odd to say the least

3. So clearly the "first humans" got to the other world (hence their advanced technology) gee where do we see an advanced human looking civilization that seems to take a vested interest in what is going on around them, but take a dispationate view of things...almost like they are simply...OBSERVING...

hrm..sounds like an ancient culture to me...hrm...

Mike V. said...

@MJ - Nice that your husband caught on good stuff. Yeah, I think it will be interesting to see where they take this fauxlivia arc....And I'm definitely intrigued to see how Peter is going to react to the news that he's been with the wrong Olivia....and what if he ends up being more interested in the one from HIS universe?

1.) I agree about the numbers...I'm confused to who really broadcasted the transmissions...was it Walternate's doing? I think the whole goal seemed to be to get Walter intrigued in the DOOMSDAY machine. But yeah..something isn't adding up for me.

2.) I read the same thing about the numbers broadcasts being a real deal. (on EW)...but I don't have the link handy right now either lol

3.) Very interesting tying the Observers to the FIRST PEOPLE. Very interesting indeed! As for the FIRST HUMANS "getting to the other world"...I figured this doomsday machine might be the CAUSE of 2 universes in the first place. But the fact that they had advanced technology (BEFORE DINOSAURS) may be an indicator why the other universe is more advanced now. But I'm definitely liking you tying the Observers into this. Not sure how to tie them in yet...but I'll start thinking in that direction!

MJ said...

Strangely though this other universe is not ahead of ours in some things. Can't remember which it is - but over there's Olivia's boyfriend is off helping with a disease that is cured here in our world. Yet they can regenerate the burned guys face !

I did not read the EW article but have heard about these number stations - don't know if some other show or movie covered it, or I read it somewhere - but I had heard of this before.

I also wondered if the Firsts were tied to the Watcher. Maybe the firsts gave both our worlds the same possibillity to learn the advanced tech and they are watching to see what each of our worlds has done with it and how they chose to use it.

Mike V. said...

MJ - Agreed, I believe it was smallpox. It seems technologically they are advanced but they have not achieved some medical advancements that we have. And I believe that may be mentioned in an episode too. I forget.

Then again...they cured Walter from a gunshot pretty quickly in the season 2 finale. So who knows? lol

Interesting ideas with the watchers/observers. We definitely need an episode soon with them more actively involved in the episode instead of just a "where's waldo". Can't wait for more!

David S said...

The Shortwave Numbers Mystery - I first heard about this back in 2004 on a really fascinating series on NPR called "Lost and Found Sound". Here is the link

It's well worth a listen.

I loved that Fringe used this mystery as part of their mythos.

Mike V. said...

Thanks for sharing David. I'm at work so I can't listen right now, but I'll try to check it out some time soon. The printed article was a good time too!

AUStarwars said...

tks for the props on the observer theory..been so busy at work, havent had time to email lol