Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fringe: Season 3 Episode 11 - Reciprocity

Hello my "weaponized" friends and welcome back to another fresh serving of Fringe Recapping!  If this is what we are in store for every Friday, there will be no more complaints from me for the big move from Thursdays.  What an outstanding episode!  The best part has been that the past 2 episodes seemed to be 100% based on moving the mythology forward.  Like I've said before, I rarely complain about the Fringe "Monster of the Week" episodes because they tie in so nicely to the show.   But, I think the producers are at the point where they know they are playing to the fans of the show and not looking to expand their audience.  If the networks are on board, this can be a pretty liberating feeling!  No need to force a procedural story into the mix if it doesn't warrant one!   Then again, there was a case to solve this week, but it turned out to be VERY relative to the show's central story.  And I must say that it was a BOLD direction for the show to go.  But here I am throwing my chips in to the center of the table.  I'm all in, Fringe!  Let's see those cards!

This episode revolved around Peter and his relationship to the almighty Universe Destroying Machine.  Decryption of Fauxlivia's (officially dubbed by Walter) computer is continuing on in hopes that they will unravel Walternate's agenda.  Peter and Olivia's story advances in a positive direction as we suspected last week, but there is lots of darkness still looming!  Oh yeah, and there's a mystery killer on the loose knocking off Shapeshifters.  But, clues were dropped throughout the episode to let us know that this storyline would tie the rest of this paragraph all together in the end.  Let's bring on the recap!

Peter and the Machine

No, that's not the name of some alternate universe band.  It's pretty much the foundation of this episode, this season, possibly this entire show.  The episode opens up with Team Olivia rolling up to a hidden Massive Dynamic facility out in the middle of nowhere.  All of the pieces of the machine have been assembled.  All but one.

Peter is activated
  • We get our first glimpse of the completed machine, fully constructed by Massive Dynamic.  Nina Sharp is present running tests with Dr. Falcon.  But they cannot figure out how to turn on the device.  Why on Earth 1 or 2 would you want to?  They are doing exactly what Walternate wants them to do by constructing this thing and bringing Peter to it.  But, whatever, their story is they need to see how it works to prevent whatever Walternate is doing.  We'll go with it!

  • Well, was anyone else getting LOSTIAN flashbacks when the screens started flickering, electromagnetism was a subject, metallic objects started flying across the room and Peter got a nose bleed?  Looks like Peter is our very own Desmond in the Fringe world!  Maybe he should join a monastary so he can come out and start calling everybody BROTHAAAAA!!!!  

  • Anyway, all kidding aside, it would seem that Peter being in proximity to the device, activated it.  Of course, we learn by the end of the episode that it may have really been the other way around and the device activated Peter.  What does that all mean?  Well, we can speculate but we're just going to have to keep watching to enjoy this ride!   Also, we learned that there was a PIECE missing at the center of the device.  Are we to assume that PETER is the missing piece or is there an actual piece missing?  I think I'm overthinking things here and there probably is a piece missing. 
  • So, anyway, things start getting shady for Peter Bishop.  He was not at home in the middle of the night and he came into the house very quietly trying not to wake up Walter.  He went into the kitchen and was going to make himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when Walter came in to find out where he was.  Peter lies and said he couldn't sleep.  Well, actually maybe he can't sleep but he did lie about not being out of the house.  But basically Peter started throwing the cold shoulder Walter's way and said that Walter cannot help him this time with figuring out the machine and what's going to happen to him.  But Walter is still determined.

  • So anyway, Peter starts undergoing some tests at Massive Dynamic with Dr. Falcon.  They want to do an MRI and see what is going on.  Walter adamantly begs against all of these tests but is shot down.

  • We should make a sidebar here that Walter was having secret meetings with Nina to go back in to William Bell's archives to see if there was any research done into regenerating brain cells.  As we all know, Walter is missing a piece of his brain.  He wants it back to be able to save Peter and end Walternate's reign of terror.  We also know that William Bell told Walter that Walter himself requested the piece of his brain to be removed so he wouldn't turn into a monster.  So, as we mentioned last week, this can only go to bad places but we can't wait to see what places they are!  It was hysterical when Nina did find some of William's research and gave it to Walter.  She provided a disclaimer that the drugs were tested on animals so she didn't know if this was a "HUMAN" batch.  Walter just sniffed it up anyway.  The later effects were hysterical when he started craving bananas and showing his "DOMINANCE" as a chimpanzee.  He told Nina she could label that vial now.  Good stuff.  Anyway, looks like Walter is on his way to regenerating some brain!
  • So, back to the MRI - We find out that Peter's heart rate is increased to a steady 130 beats per minute.  Walter thinks this is not a minor issue.  Falcon seems to be okay with the heart rate.  Maybe he was okay with it because of what we find out later.  It may be all going according to Walternate's plan.
  • Dr. Falcon tells Peter that he is fine.  They have no answer to why the machine started going crazy and why his nose started bleeding when he got to close to it but he is okay.  Again, Falcon seemed to be skirting some of the issues here and was just on assignment for Walternate.

The Shapeshifter Killer / Decrypting Fauxlivia's Laptop
So, while all of this testing is going on there is the decrypting of Fauxlivia's laptop and a mass murdering of Shapeshifters going on.  The first falls at Koi Pond.  The man's name appeared on Fauxlivia's laptop along with our favorite Newton.

  • Broyles tasks Astrid with decrypting Faulivia's journal entries (that read like a diary revolving around Peter) to determine any codes.  He asks her to be confidential with it as to not involve Peter or Olivia due to the sensitive nature of the subject material.  (yeah, like that's gonna happen!)
  • So, the big reveal happens 40 minutes into the episode as another shapeshifter is having her/his come uppance!  She kills a homeless man and tries to switch before she gets caught by the serial shapeshifter killer.  But too late, a familiar voice calls out to her/him right before he fires his silenced weapon.  Another shifter bites the dust.   The hooded man comes into the light and we discover it is Peter!  HUH?????  Whaaa??? 

  • Oh waiiit...Peter came into the house quietly that one night and lied to Walter.  He lied to Olivia saying he went out for a walk to avoid Walter and didn't pick up his phone when Olivia called.  He told Olivia he had to catch a train to Massive Dynamic for more tests.  But meanwhile, he was taking down shapeshifters left and right!  This doesn't sound very Peter-like!   Oh well, we have to go with it and see if it makes sense by the end of the episode, right?
  • At one point they get close by identifying blood at the scene of Dr. Falcon's crime (yes, also a shapeshifter).  Walter determines the blood was A positive.  1/3rd of the population has it including himself.  And, since it's genetic, perhaps Peter is A positive too.  Perhaps he had another nose bleed?  Or maybe there was just a struggle.  Anyway, they search the Massive Dynamic files for anyone with a blood type of A positive and Brandon is the only one that comes up!   Signal the FBI to take him down!
  • Yes, we all at once figured it was EVIL Brandon from the other side, but no it's just goofy sandwhich loving Brandon from this side.  The William Bell Lie Detector (how cool was THAT machine?) proved without a doubt that Brandon was cleared.

  • So, Olivia and Broyles are getting frustrated as they keep falling one step behind.  Astrid keeps trying to decipher the code on Fauxlivia's laptop.  Olivia offers to help and then we get into some Peter/Olivia stuff (which I've reserved for a separate section).  Let's just say, eventually she has no choice but to help.   She says she thinks like Fauxlivia and maybe she'd be able to crack the code.  She can put her personal issues aside and focus on the job. 

  • Olivia is absolutely right and determines that this Fauxlivia thinks like her and even writes the same phrases as her.  Then she somehow determined that OLIVE was a code.  Both of their mothers used to call them OLIVE as a child.  They went all alphabetical and compared it to the list of names on the laptop.   There was a Pattern:  O - Newton, L - Koi Pond Guy all the way to E who was someone with the last name of Alpert! (hellllooooo LOST reference!)
  • Walter is fancying himself a banana split and gets a call from Nina Sharp.  They're looking for Peter to do more research.  Wait a sec...Walter thought Peter was already there for tests.  He becomes very suspicious and goes to Peter's room where he finds a list of names with the same OLIVE coded names circled.  He looks up Alpert in a Phone Book and is on his way.
  • Peter is already on the scene with his silencer and ready to take out the 5th and final Shapeshifter.  He thinks he shoots the guy in the back while watching TV but it's a dummy.  Alpert was ready for him and takes Peter down.  He gets all high and mighty saying that Peter is not "untouchable".  Yes, they can't kill him but they can still get what they need from him if he was missing a finger.  Alpert is ready to remove his digit when Walter just clumsily enters the house knocking over Alpert.  The gun is dropped, Peter takes the hatchet/machete (I don't have my sharp blades other than knives memorized!) and chops off all of Alpert's fingers!  Ewwww, then puts 2 bullets in his chest.  Woa

  • Walter is beside himself and knows that Peter is not acting like himself.   Peter says he has to know what's going to happen to him.  He wants answers.  He took the chips out of each shapeshifter and none of them had the information he needed so this last one must.  He then shoots Alpert in the head exclaiming that they aren't even human and he's not doing anything wrong.  They're just Walternate's soldiers.
  • Walter asks the very valid question, if Peter didn't think he was doing anything wrong, then why didn't he tell anyone?  Hmmmm
  • Olivia arrives at the scene of the crime too late and concludes that they failed in obtaining a shapeshifter alive for information.  Walter helps Peter cover up the situation.   One sidenote: did anyone find it bizarre when Broyles swerved to avoid a car and then Olivia asked what's wrong and then Broyles just says "nothing"?   Just seemed like we could have done without that scene unless it meant something in the scheme of things.  But, who knows?
  • Anyway, Olivia is at the Bishop house at the end of the episode and just is upset that they failed.  Peter tells Olivia that maybe they can get something else from Fauxlivia's laptop.  Walter gives the look of disapproval then they say their goodbyes for the night.

  •  Walter then thinks he figured out what is wrong with Peter.  Peter may have activated the machine but the machine may have activated something in Peter too.  He has been "WEAPONIZED".   Peter doesn't make any facial reaction changes but just asks sternly "well what are we going to do about it, Walter?".   And Walter does not know.  Peter just walks away.  Where are they going with this story!?!?!   What has happened to Peter???   I don't know but I'm excited!    Do we think that, in the end, Peter is just going to willingly go into this machine to do whatever needs to be done according to Walternate's plan?  If the machine is activing something in his subconscious I can only see it taking over more of him.  Woaaa this is nuts!

Olivia/Peter Stuff
As we mentioned in last week's episode, it seemed like Olivia was warming back up to Peter by the end of the episode.  In this episode we see a few exchanges between them.  They're joking around at the MRI machine, she called him wanting to talk to him.  And of course, then the big ones:
  • Olivia mentions that she knows they slept together and they can get past it.  She gets that there was no way Peter would have known but she wants to  help with the file. Peter mentions to Olivia that he didn't want her reading Fauxlivia's journal because she probably thought Peter was a fool and wrote about how easily swayed he was. 

  • Olivia offers up an apology for being selfish with this whole Fauxlivia dupe saga.  She never really thought about it from the perspective of what Fauxlive did to Peter.  Peter smiles and thanks her and seems genuinely happy that there is still hope for them.  (even with his little side job of lying and killing off shapeshifters)
  • Of course, there was that nugget of info at the end where we find out from the journal entry that Fauxlivia definitely was developing real feelings for Peter.  Per Olivia, how could she not?  They both think the same way.  Peter's a great guy, of course she would feel that way.  But the quote "I can't help getting caught up in it.  caught up in him."   Woa...I think she looooooves him!  Throw in another nugget that she could be preggers with Peter's baby?  This story is definitely far from a happy ending for Peter and Olivia.  But it is definitely some juicy drama for us to look forward to!
The First People

Then there is the even deeper mythology of the first people.  We find out that Walter has read the book cover to cover dozens of times and can't determine anything related to Peter.  But we also found out that Massive Dynamic is looking into the book as well.

They found 3 copies in 3 different languages.  One was in museum, the other 2 were in private collections.  Massive Dynamic was able to buy them all out.  All books had 3 different authors but translate almost word for word to be the same. 
  • Brandon's little history lesson was pretty awesome and quite the brain teaser.  Humans have only been around for 250,000 years, but the Earth is 6 billion years old.  Woaa...  Now, I don't know if this part is factual but it definitely is something to think about.  He said that there were 6 periods of Extinction prior to humans even existing. (Dinosaurs being the 6th)  Who is to say that one of the civilizations that existed on Earth in the billions of years prior to now was not a "GREAT CIVILIZATION"?   Like, some technofabulous civilization with means far beyond what we can do now?  Like, crazy right??   I love it! 
  • Oh right...and there was one other tidbit of knowledge dropped our way.  Someone else was investigating the First People prior to the Fringe Division and Massive Dynamic.  Yep, a few years ago William Bell was looking into it too!   There are some rumors going around that we haven't seen the last of William Bell.  I just assumed that meant that Leonard Nimoy would return for flashback episodes.  But, what if he is not dead?   What if he lied to Walter about his alternate universe self not being already dead?  Lots of possibilities.  And hey, maybe he is dead but maybe there is some research he has already done that our peeps will be able to locate?  Again, I'm very excited to get more information on this growing mythology.  
  • And yes, I'm still agreeing with the line of thinking that the Observers are tied to this technologically proficient age prior to the 6th extinction. 
The last shot of the episode give an obsessive Peter plotting his next move fused with a shot of the UNIVERSE DESTROYING MACHINE to which he is uniquely linked.  A multitude of universes of possibilities to come in future episodes of this excellent saga...


  • Glyph Code of the Week - Alter - Well, I don't think there's a secret to what this one is getting to.  Peter is not quite himself right now, is he?  Of course, it's also the beginning of "Alter"nate Universe and the end of W"alter"!  
  • Observer Spotted! - He was hanging out at the crime scene of our first Shapeshifter death.  Blink and you'll miss him (that's usually the case! Left side of picture)

  • Food Choice of the week - Well there were 3.  Walter wanted some Grape Bubblegum to help get his ears right.  But when he sniffed that brain regeneration drug, he turned into a chimpanzee and suddently had a craving for his least favorite fruit: Bananas.  Had to love when he answered the phone while making a banana split and had whipped cream all over his face!   And 3rd, we cannot forget the good ol' PB&J!  I hadn't eaten dinner when I saw Peter making his sandwich and I suddenly had the craving.  After the episode I went up to make one with my DHARMA Peanut Butter (no seriously, it's left over from the Season 6 season premiere where my wife put a DHARAM label on a can of Jiff!) and some Jelly.  But then, I realized I hadn't made a PB&J for years and yes, the stuff was expired.  I found myself googling if Jelly expires and what I found said no.  But, I didn't want to take any chances.  So my craving still is there!  (File this under..."TMI"!)
  • Walterism of the week: In reference to the password on the computer that Peter figured out. "A song lyric.  Fauxlivia ruined U2 for all of us."   Funny because we knew that Fauxlivia had a fascination for Bono from earlier this season.  Funny because the producers finally acknowledged in the show that Fauxlivia works better than BOlivia.  And Funny because lots of people can't stand U2 and/or Bono, myself excluded.  I'm not obsessed with them or anything but I do enjoy their music!  And they put on an amazing live show!  
That's all I have for this week folks!  I will put my usual disclaimer out there that I won't be able to do this every Saturday.  But the past couple weeks it just happened to work out.  I do plan to post something about Fringe each week but the length, screenshots and detailed nature will really depend on how much time I have.  But make no mistake, I love this show and am totally invested!  Can't wait for next week and I'll leave it at that.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you then!

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)  Note: looks like Odd Jobs got moved a year out.  Not happy!
  • 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!


MJ said...

I've been calling her FauxLivia all along so Walter saying that cracked me up.

The chimpanzee stuff was great. I was totally blown away by Peter kiling the shapeshifters. This show just continues to amaze and improve.

Haven't watched Episodes or Shameless yet. Never get to til the next day ;-D In the same boat as you are with FNL's !

Another great recap Mike ! Thanks

Mike V. said...

Thanks for the props MJ!

Agreed on the Fauxlivia stuff. I've always liked that or Altlivia and never Bolivia, so it was nice to see them acknowledge that we came up with the better name!

Peter going all rogue was nuts and I'm sure it's only going to get crazier. Can't wait!

Saw Episodes last night, probably will watch Shameless tonight with HIMYM (if it's new) and Chuck.

Ahh FNL - It's been another amazing season. I'm going to be so sad when it's done. (spoiler alert) Loving that Philadelphia is playing a role in the final eps too! (end spoiler alert) spoiler alert)

Oh 2 days it will be 1 year since season 6 of LOST started. definitely sinking in that it's really over now! :-( I miss it!!

MJ said...

Chuck was fab last night !! It would have been a hell of a season finale if they hadn't gotten a back 9 (or 11 ?). Spoiler - don't continue if you haven't watched.

Using 'Orion' to nail Voldemort ;-D was awesome. And Jeffster was great. And they are now engaged !!!

Wonder if mom and Voldemort will be back ?

Mike V. said...


voldemort eh?? Nice one! lol Loved Chuck as well. I though the final few minutes were pretty painful though! What should have been really emotional just played off a bit cheesy! But I did like that Chuck let Mom go in...that was ALMOST tear inducing lol

Yeah...I suspected Orion wasn't really Scott Bakula and figured it was Chuck's plan all along. But still, everything coming together in that final sequence was a good time. Definitely could have been a good season finale. Hopefully, they have a nice 9 episode arc cooked up! (I think you're's a back 9 but maybe it's 11) It would be nice if they get Sarah Connor and Voldy back lol

Watched Shameless last night too....still loving it!

MJ said...

HIMYM hasn't been on - but check out these new promos. Hysterical !

Mike V. said...

You didn't post a link! lol But I think I know what you're talking about. The ones where Katy Perry thinks she's the mother? I read about them yesterday. Good times! year since season 6 of LOST began! Both Carlton Cuse (New York Times) and Damon Lindelof (TV Guide) have reflected on it. I'll have to find the links and post them here and on the LOST Blog.

Mike V. said...

Lindelof - TV Guide

Cuse - NY Times

MJ said...

Cute little Lost article

Also read that Cape is endangered - had their eps to be made reduced. Don't care really - but it's been filler while my other shows are on hiatus.

Mike V. said...

Guess you didn't see my comment with the links right above?! lol

I read that about the cape too...I'm 2 episodes behind and don't care in the least!

Mike V. said...

Nice info on the back "11" eps of Chuck!

BTW - I know a lot of these comments have been off topic - I'm more than willing to keep discussing FRINGE if anyone else is reading!!

MJ said...

Doh ! Sorry I forgot the link - but yes it's was the katy stuff. And no - I had put my Lost link in then never hit send, so the page had not updated for awhile. LOL Sorry 'bout that.

MJ said...

Now they are pushing the Event's return back another week ! It's like they don't want us to start watching agin.

Mike V. said...

Yep, it's pretty ridiculous! On the plus side, it is a week earlier than ABC brought back FlashForward (aka..right during March Madness). But I don't think it's going to matter. EW's article about the cinematographer from Saving Private Ryan directing an episode is interesting (15 was it?). But what does that really mean in the scheme of things?? lol

Anyway, here's some fun LOST stuff:
Damon just tweeted this. He says the guy can't speak for the writers but he sure is smart! lol

I think we deduced the same stuff about the pregnancy issues. I didn't read much further than that.