Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fringe: Season 3 Episode 10 - The Firefly

Greetings Universe Hoppers and Observers alike!  It brings me great pleasure to be able to recap Fringe once again.  Things have looked pretty bleak over the past couple months with Fringe's inevitable move from Thursday night.  I have finally convinced myself, as many Fringe fans have, that Friday night may possibly be the best night for the show.  Yes, the same night that has been the "DEATH SLOT" for so many sci-fi shows that have preceded it.  And the irony does not escape anyone that the FIRST Friday episode of Fringe has the word "FIREFLY" in it.  I, myself, have still not gotten around to watching the TV Show Firefly nor the entire movie Serenity, but I know it has a very loyal fan base who are still recovering from its cancellation (yes, it was also moved to Fridays).   But, here we are, a day after the first Fringe Friday.  How did we all do? Did we find time to watch?  I must confess, I couldn't watch live.  Friends called me out, I went to dinner and kept looking at the time wanting to be home.  Got home at 9:59 and started the TiVo.  (I still don't really understand how same night DVR delay ratings work but I always convince myself that if I watch it the same night I'm included in the ratings!  And no, I don't have a Nielsen box)  Fridays are going to be tough, but I have faith that FOX is going to give Fringe a long leash for its dedicated fans.   And if the coming episodes are as good as the one that we just had, I can see my Friday struggle between a social life and Fringe continuing!  If the Mrs. is reading this, she's rolling her eyes and looking forward to future Fridays, I know it!  (Note: as I was writing this up, I received a tweet that the ratings INCREASED from the fall numbers last night.  If they stay up, we can definitely look forward to a renewal.  GREAT NEWS!!!)

Anyway, Great Scott this was a good episode!  Very heavy indeed, something definitely wrong in the future with the world's gravitational pull.  If I had to rate the episode in terms of electricity, I would give it a 1.21 GIGAWATTS!   Why am I quoting Back to the Future so incessantly?  Because Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown, Professor Plum - you know, the classics) was a very special guest star!  There were enough subtle references to Back to the Future to make any geek's brain explode.  It was good stuff.  You need to pull in the big guns if you want to attract a Friday crowd!   Besides having Doc Brown by our side for this risky endeavor, there was plenty of OBSERVER goodness, course correction for LOST fans and Peter/Olivia/Altlivia drama to keep us all thoroughly entertained all hour long.   And Walterismns....I love me some Walterisms.  But we'll get to it all in the recap below.  Let's go!

Fringe Case of the Week
Course Correction 
When all was said and done, this episode had to do with repairing the space-time continuum that our favorite observer screwed up on that fateful winter night so many years before.  Instead of a straight recapping.  Let's put things in chonological order:

  • 1985 - Walter crossed to OVER THERE, stole his doppleganger son to cure him when he couldn't save his own.   There is an incident at Reiden Lake (where the dimensional crossing happened) and Walter/Peter fall into the icy water.  September, "THE OBSERVER", saves both of them.  He was not supposed to interfere!   Other Observers tell September that he will have a chance to repair the timeline to make sure things happen as planned. 
  • Later in 1985 - There was a girl who was supposed to catch a firefly (was it inhaler girl? Not sure if we'll ever know).  But since Peter lived, HE caught the firefly.  The girl stayed out later that night to keep trying to catch a firefly.  Her dad got concerned and got in a car to look for her.  It was a rainy night.  Dad lost control of the car, drove through an intersection and accidentally killed Bobby Joyce, son of Roscoe Joyce (Christopher Lloyd).  Bobby was on his way to see his musician father perform with his band Violet Sedan Chair. 
  • Sorry I already messed up the chronological order.  Right BEFORE this incident, THE OBSERVER, who transcends time, took Bobby from 1985 to the present day (Autumn of 2010 I presume) and whispers something to his father in the future at a nursing home.  Bobby returns to the his present day in 1985 and calls his father.  Says he had a weird dream that a bald man took him to see his 25 year old father in a nursing home.   Turns out it was not a dream. This turns out to be the last conversation they have (well, until 2010).

  • All of these events were not supposed to happen this way and changed the trajectory of future events that NEED to happen.  This is why the Observer interfered again in 1985, and why he completes this course correction in our present day.
  • Present Day: The nurses at the nursing home become concerned when Roscoe says he was talking to his son who was dead for 25 years.  Somehow the nurses just believe him and are able to contact Homeland Security and the Fringe Division to investigate.  But, hey, I'm not going to be too nitpicky with my favorite show on the air right now!  Plus, they did spot the Observer at the scene of the incident, so that was probably enough to put it on the Fringe division's radar!
  • Anyway, meanwhile, Walter is working on some kind of syrum that will repair his brain so that he can think like Walternate and figure out what he wants to use this SUPER UNIVERSE DESTROYER weapon for.  Peter advises him against this since Walter had asked William Bell to take those pieces of his brain away for a reason.  Walter was afraid of what he would become.  But Walter is determined.  But FRINGE duties call so we have to go to this week's case! (by the way, gotta love the guitar boxers!)
  • It turns out Walter Bishop is a huge fan of Violet Sedan Chair. I'm not sure if anyone saw the articles from a few weeks back, but the Fringe producers actually cut Vinyl albums of this fake band and released them to some independent record stores across the country.  If anyone was lucky enough to purchase them, they received clues to where the show was heading.   I haven't heard of anyone retrieving these records but that was kind of a cool (and yes dorky) thing! 
  • Roscoe requires Walter Bishop's expertise to remember the conversation because he cannot remember.  Walter is concerned that September is involved because it usually has something to do with Peter.  Naturally, this means we're off to Walter's lab for some crazy experiments.   Did anyone else think of 1955 Doc Brown with the crazy contraption on his head when we saw Roscoe with the headphones and wiring attached to his forehead?  Not sure if it was intentional but it was a good time!
  • Walter's experiment was to wear some cool glasses that would let him see Roscoe's aura around him, have Roscoe play the piano to help him remember the conversation with his son, and get a private concert as a "FRINGE" benefit.  (badum ching!)   This did not sound ridiculous at all!  But hey, it was working until Olivia's phone rang.   Let me ask you all a question.  Who in this day and age still has their cell phone set to "RING"?   If any of you do, I apologize, but it's the most obnoxious thing ever!  I think the vibrate features on these phones are very sufficient to let you know when someone is trying to reach you!  Then again, that doesn't translate well to TV!
  • Anyway, Olivia got a call that the Observer has been spotted stopping a Jewlery store robbery!  September looked like Neo from The Matrix when taking on those robbers.  Stopping Bullets, throwing them through windows without even breaking a sweat.  All of this was to get to the female victim having an asthma attack.  He gave her a puff of her inhaler and then took the inhaler. 

  • Meanwhile, Walter continues to talk to Roscoe about stuff they have in common.  They both forgot the things they loved after many years away from it.  (Walter in the mental institution, Roscoe abandoning the piano and the band)   Walter starts explaining his memory liquid baste he is working on and he mixes it with milk.  (save that tidbit for a few bullets from now)
  • September comes to visit Walter and discusses how they messed up the timeline of events.  Walter wants to know what the drawing of Peter in the machine represents.  September says he knows many different outcomes but he cannot tell Walter how this one will play out.  Was it me or did he seem to be insinuating that there is more than 2 dimensions?   Basically this was a setup to explain how a small change can ripple into many changes leading them to here where they need to REPAIR it.  Ahhh yes, the Butterfly Effect.  If Marty didn't buy that crazy almanac, none of this would be happening!   He explains about the ripple effect from the firefly leading to someone dying in a crosswalk.   
  • The Observer says one thing that set the final events of the episode into motion "When the time comes, give him the keys and save the girl."  Woa... 
  • We do have a few conversations with another Observer during the episode too.  I forget which month of the year this one is but I think we'll survive.  The cooler thing was watching September steal that car.  He just touched the lock and the thing opened.  I'm sure he did the same thing to start the car.  
  • When Walter returns to Roscoe, Roscoe is starting to remember things about his son.  He remembers their phone conversation in 1985.  He remembers the "dream" his son had of talking to him 25 years later.  He remembers it was the last conversation he had with him.  He remembered that his son whispered to him that he was to help Walter Bishop (that actually happened earlier in the episode, but just give me that one!).  He remembered that his son died that night on the way to see him being hit in a crosswalk by a truck.   Walter connects the dots.  Oh boy!
  • Walter calls Peter who is with Olivia, following the cop car with the Asthma girl.   Walter wants to know where the girl was in 1985.  That's what makes me think she was the firefly girl.  Anyway, right at that rainy moment, September drives a truck through an intersection and hits the cop car carrying asthma girl.  (notice the similarity of the accident to the one in 1985?) 

  • The girl has another asthma attack, but she does not have her inhaler.  September runs off and Olivia chases.   Walter is on the scene (pretty quickly I might add).  Peter wants to go after September with Olivia and tells Walter "Give me the keys and save the girl!"  UH OH.   Walter fears for Peter's life.  all of the events have culminated to this very point.  Somehow September has course corrected everything to lead to this very moment.  He wants to let the girl die to save Peter but Peter insists that he saves the girl.   Reluctantly, he gives Peter the keys.

  • Olivia loses sight of September, but Peter spots him from the Station Wagon (love that car! But don't buy me one, please!).  He's heading onto the roof of some building.  Peter is on it!

  • And then there they are staring at each other.  September vs. Peter.  Peter asks him about the drawing.  WHAT DOES IT MEAN?  And then the collective group of Fringe Friday watchers gasp as their world changes.

    September: It must be difficult
    Peter: What?
    September: Being a Father

    He pulls out his crazy pulse zapper gun thing and shoots Peter into the air allowing for a hard landing on his head. 

  • Um....BEING A FATHER?!?!!?!?!?   I guess Walter never really had THE TALK with Peter growing up about being "SAFE" eh?   Anyway, there's a very strong chance that Peter knocked up that crazy Alt-Livia!  This spells certain doom for Peter and Olivia, wouldn't you say?  At least in the short term.  But hey, I love this stuff!  Interdimensional Love Drama?  I LOVE FRINGE!!   We'll get more into Peter/Olivia stuff in the below sections.
  • Olivia considers going after September, but that crazy almost omniscient dude already knew she'd turn around when Peter sat up. 

  • Thus leading to the final act of this play where Peter and Olivia are back at the lab shooting the breeze (again, next sections) and Walter is saying his goodbyes to Roscoe at the Nursing home.  Peter has a headache from the fall and decides to wash down some aspirin with a jug of Milk from Walter's fridge.  Um first of all, who takes medicine with Milk?  And what grown man just drinks milk anyway!?!?   I know I does a body good (pass it on), but come on! 
  • 2nd of all, OH NO!  That's Walter's memory baste milk mix!   Peter collapses on the floor and has gone into seizures.  Walter is freaking out on the phone and I love that he alphabetized Magnesium to put it next to the mayonaise in the fridge!!!  (definitely a Walterism but I needed to say it here).   Olivia finally found the right stuff and stabbed Peter in the leg with the syringe.  Ahhh everyone lives!

  • Walter brings Peter some chicken soup later that night and thanks him for saving his life.  HUH?   Oh that's right, if September didn't do all of this time twisty stuff from 1985 to the present, Walter would have drank that milk and died.  Instead, Peter hit his head and since he is younger he was able to recover from drinking the memory drug.  Woaaa...

  • But that is not all folks!  September and Other Month had something else in mind.  They now have confirmed that Walter has changed and is willing to let his son die.   Which means, when the time comes, he will be willing do it again!  DUM DUM DUMMMMMMM!!!!!   What does it all mean??!

The Fringe Mythology
I really love how this show has stuck the right balance of still having their crazy science case a week but tying it into the overall mythology of the show.  It's a beautiful thing!  We definitely have some big advancements here! 
  • The more we see these Observers the more it has become clear to me (thanks to some of our regular commenters) that they have to be related to THE FIRST PEOPLE that we just learned about this season.  It certainly would have the ability to tie everything together nicely.  Stay tuned on this one.
  • So now Walter has to be willing to let his son die.  What does THAT all mean?  Does it have to do with this MACHINE they are constructing?  Is Peter going to have to actually use it?   Are the Observers looking out for anyone's well being besides just making sure things play out the way they are supposed to?    Does Peter need to die or does Walter just need to be WILLING to let him die?   Ahh technicality in words!
  • And Altlivia is Pregnant?  There's a chance that we may have seen that coming, but that is pretty darn awesome and equally frustrating!  Depends how big of a fan you are of Peter and Olivia's eventual pairing.  This drama definitely ensures a lot more tension, love triangle drama and DELAY.   Come on, when is Pacey not involved in a love triangle?  Whoops, did I go there?
  • One has to wonder if this was part of Walternate's plan all along, right?  Maybe Peter's child will become an important character in this whole interdimensional struggle.  Then again, I think we learned our lesson with AARON (LOST) to not get our hopes up there!
  • Walter is trying to improve his memory eh?  Hmmm, nothing good can come from that, right?

The Fringe Romance
So there was just the right about of romantic tension for the episode.  Olivia is still trying to come to terms with being back in our world and her own life.  There was definitely a lot of awkwardness between Peter and Olivia for much of the episode.  After the last episode, Marionette (which I apologize I couldn't recap!), that definitely makes sense.  Olivia is still upset that Peter could not tell the difference between the 2 of them.  Anyway, she receives a book in the mail from Peter - If You Meet Buddah on the Road, Kill Him!  Although, Peter had shipped it before Olivia returned home so it was actually intended for Alt-Livia.  Oh boy!

  • Olivia insisted to Peter that it was okay, when he tried to explain.  She returned the book to him and said that anything that happened during the time that she wasn't here for is just hard for her to think about.  Later, he ended up telling her that the book was intended for the Olivia he has known for 2 years.  He told Olivia that nobody gets him.  He has a hard time explaining what makes him tick and the book does a good job doing it for him.
  • The book talks about "not depending on other people for answers. You find the answers inside yourself."  Peter then jokes that given their current situation he found it kind of amusing.  With all the doppleganger characters at play here, I would tend to agree.
  • Olivia seemed to be coming back into Peter's good graces by the end of the episode.  I'm thinking that may change when we get some BABY news!  

  • Glyph Code of the Week: UNITES -  This could mean several things, but the first thing that comes to mind is that Peter may be unwillingly tied to his home dimension due to his pending fatherhood with Fauxlivia!   Thanks for Fringepedia as always for your research! 
  • Observer Spotted: Duh, September was in the whole episode!  And he even made a comment about Autumn being so beautiful.  I wonder if December has a fascination with Winter? 

  • Walterism of the Week:
    Peter: "Who is that at 2 in the morning?"
    Walter: "My pizza!"
    Peter: "So you are high, then?"
    Walter: "Maybe a bit!" 
  • Obviously, so many references to 1985 were not only relevant for the incident at Reiden Lake but the fact that Back to the Future took place in the present day of 1985 (and was released in 1985).  Great stuff!
  • I loved when Walter explained to Roscoe how his son was taken through time to visit him and the man that looks like Doc Brown couldn't fathom it and just said "WILD!!!" 
  • Food Choice of the Week - Strawberry Milkshakes!  Walter asked Astrid to make a run to the grocery store to get his special ingredients so he could share it with Roscoe.  Of course, later we see Roscoe eating Strawberry Ice Cream.  Good times.

So, that's all I have for this week folks.  This was a special episode as it signified our big move to FRIDAY nights.  I'm not sure all of my recaps will be this long, considering weekends are busy for all of us!  But I'll definitely try my best.  I'm so excited to hear that the show did well in the ratings.  I think Kevin Reilly (FOX Prez) was hoping for at least 80% of what they were doing on Thursdays.  I'm sure yesterday's ratings will be inflated from the norm as EVERYONE wanted to make sure that they sent Fox a message.  I know personally, there will be Fridays when it will be inconveivable for me to watch, but I definitely will try to catch up on the weekends.  I think as long as the dedicated audience continues to stick with Fringe, we'll be in good shape!  So good work OBSERVERS!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!

End Credits
  • Follow me on Twitter for any future blog postings and any interesting news I find.  @TVAddictsBlog
  • I don't have faith that the ratings are going to return for The Event due to NBC's lousy scheduling, but I'll still continue to recap!  So, don't forget to return at the end of February for that! 
  • I'll definitely be there when The Walking Dead returns, but that's most likely in the fall!   AMC has been reairing the show though so if you ever catch it, you can find my recaps at the link.  DVD/Blu comes out in March as well. 
  • Shows I'm watching right now (and might comment on time permitting): Episodes, Shameless (both Showtime), Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, V, Modern Family, Cougar Town, Friday Night Lights (I don't have DirectTV so don't tell anyone how!), Big Bang Theory, The Office, Community, 30 Rock, Smallville and others that I won't mention out of embarrassment!  
  • Upcoming shows I'm looking forward to:  Game of Thrones (HBO), Terra Nova (FOX - Pilot airs in May but show begins in fall), Breaking Bad (AMC), Several JJ Abrams shows launching in the fall (Alcatraz with Jorge Garcia, Odd Jobs with Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn to name a couple)
  • I know it's sometimes looked at as a blemish on my beautiful blogging record, but I am still watching American Idol and while I've cut back on my dedication to blogging about the show, I'm still posting some comments about the auditions on my latest post.  If you watch the show, feel free to praise and make fun of the show with me! 


Anonymous said...

I thought Asthma Girl was Firefly girl too! Didn't even thin about the similarites in accidents, so what does that mean? Bring her back and kill her off properly somehow? Sacrificial lamb?

AUStarwars said...

Thanks for the shout out as your regular commentator making the Observer/First People connections..I now have no doubt this is the case..excellent episode, i'll comment more from work on Monday

AUStarwars said...

oh yeah i did think it was funny that the Amazon Shipping of that book too so damn long..i mean..really? The book took that long to show up ;-)

Mike V. said...

@Anonymous - Glad I wasn't alone on the Asthma Girl/Firefly Girl! It seemed like there must be a deleted scene or something making the connection and they just didn't have time to fit it in. As for the similarities in accidents....not sure if there was a super significance to it other than mirroring the the accident that happened 25 years ago. Maybe it was somehow required to course correct by recreating the same situation or something. I just thought it was kinda cool that it was raining and the observer was driving a truck into an didn't necessarily skid into the cop car though! lol And of course...they didn't kill off the Asthma Girl either....September knew that Walter needed to save her in order for the rest of the plan to fall into place!

@AUStarwars - no problem on the shout out! Agreed that I have no doubt on it either. The episode was indeed excellent and look forward to the rest of your thoughts! I think we have to consider that episode 9 and 10 didn't happen too far from each other even though we had to wait a couple months to see it! lol It could have been the next day for all we wasn't too long because Peter and Olivia's early episode interactions felt like they had just had that awkward talk at the end of episode 9. BTW...was there an Amazon Product placement or did you just throw that in for fun? lol I didn't see it if there was! (oh yeah...also the fact that the Observer brought up that it was AUTUMN made me think that this episode wasn't far from the last one. Of course, they really didn't bring up a date in the last one!)

MJ said...

Loved the ep. I read that the ratings were down 8% - but like your info better.

Haven't really read your whole recap as i am swamped at work today ! But will later.

There was one other funny line - similar to yours posted about being high - but can't remember now. Like " ah so you were testing me" or some such thing ! Oh well - memory not what it used to be.

And - annoyingly enough I have a coworker who's ringtone is just Ring. UGH. And my husband loves his milk, drinks it every day. Yuck. LOL so - those weirdos are indeed out there

Mike V. said...

@MJ - Hmm...maybe they're down 8% from the season average? They're up 12% from the last episode which had only 4.83 million or something like that. As long as they hover around these numbers though it should be good to go on Fridays! Should be interesting to see what happens when Supernatural has a new episode against it. I'm also interested in the DVR numbers too.

Yeah, Peter said he was an astral projection of himself or something like that (which was ironic considering Olivia saw projections of him when she was OVER THERE). But then Walter said that Peter was testing him to see if he was high. Which was all a grand setup to the line I chose lol

I used to sit by a coworker that had their phone's ringer on and it was some crazy CLUB MUSIC with the volume set as loud as it could be...but not the REAL music...just one of those crappy ringtones that comes with the phone. It has been a few years so I thankfully can't remember the song too well. But there was a time when I could hum the whole thing. The thing that cracked me up is that when she picked up to say hello she used the softest voice ever! lol

As for Milk drinking...more power to him! I still have nightmares from childhood for the amount of milk I drank all the time! Sometimes I have breakfast drinks that I mix with milk, when I eat cereal of course I want milk....and I'm fine with using it for cooking/baking! Straight up though? Naaaa I gave that up a long time ago! lol

Take your time with the recap!

BTW - this Friday's episode looks fantastic!

MJ said...

I'm with you - I hate milk after all those years of drinking it as a kid.

Didn't see the promos for next week - but I'm just excited it's back.

Supernatural - though a fave of mine - does not draw huge ratings, but CW is more forgiving of that sort of thing. I think both shows will suffer a little in live ratings as I know alot of people who watch both, but the DVR ratings will help. Both shows have very loyal fan bases.

Chuck was pretty good this week - setting up next's weeks non-finale. LOL Next week would have been the finale of the 13 eps, but then they got that back 9 ordered so this is the arc finale I guess.

Sticking with the Cape for now - they have promised it's getting better. And - some shows are in repeats again so why not ! Can't figure out why so many are showing repeats since they just came back (HIMYM!) but whatever.

Great to read the recap again ! Missed it these past weeks.

Mike V. said...

You're probably right about the ratings for both Fringe and Supernatural. They're probably both take a small hit. But I agree..they'll both be fine.

Chuck was decent. When I saw the preview for next week I was thinking "that really looks like a finale!" But then I remembered like you did that they extended the season. Very similar to last season. The show wrapped up and they killed off their villain...but then they added a few more eps so they had to tweak things a bit. So I wonder if that means Volkoff will be done after this next episode and the Sarahs (both our sarah and sarah conner lol) will return home? I guess we'll find out!

Didn't watch The Cape yet, but will watch it on the treadmill tonight. That guarantees at least 1 night a week that I'll get on the treadmill, now I just have to work on the other 4 or 5! :)

Episodes/Shameless were fantastic again. Really loving the new Showtime shows!

Thanks about the's good to be back!

Mike V. said...

OH yeah...HIMYM, I think that's standard procedure in January. Lots of these shows save the bulk of their new episodes for February Sweeps so there are only a couple new eps in January. Of course, the landscape of TV has changed so much with these serialized shows needing to air back to back episodes that it makes the shows that stick to the old schedule seem like they're taking a lot more breaks in between eps.

Standard math as always. 22-24 episodes, 9 months of programming. There has to be breaks somewhere. Hence, why THE EVENT is taking such a long break too. But networks need to factor in sustaining an audience. If The Event lived up to its name and built an audience rather than slowly lost it each week, then maybe they could have gotten away with a 3 month hiatus. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

Anyway, I'm just rambling here so I'll stop! lol

MJ said...

Well - they apparently announced late yesterday afternoon that Supernatural and Smallville 's return is pushed back another week to 2/4 ! They are airing VD and Nikita repeats tonight. Supposedly it's to give VD and Nikita a shot at not being up against Idol. Sounds like crap to me - they couldhave had VD and Nikita repeats all these weeks that Smallville and Supernatural we on hiatus !

Mike V. said...

I heard about the CW shows getting moved too. But I read a tweet from Matt Roush explaining that it had to do with VD and Nikita being pre-empted in Chicago and some other big town. So they figured they'd just reair the show on Friday for the whole country lol The Idol thing makes sense too though. Idol just started last week and the CW shows didn't start back up until this week. So maybe it was a combination of things. That being said, it's not like they're going to do that EVERY week so why do it the FIRST week? I'll have to check the ratings to see how everything did last night.

Psyched for Fringe tonight though! I'll most likely be watching tonight, but we'll see!