Hello Universe Hoppers and Alternate Timeline lovers! Welcome back for another season of Fringe recapping! I, for one, am thrilled that it's back! I lifted the restrictions on the use of this word in last season's finale and I still feel confident that I made the right choice. WOW!!!! Fringe has returned and his not skipped a beat. They left us with one of the most mind-boggling cliffhangers in TV history and it looks like they're going to keep us in a bit of suspense for a little while longer. That said, they did alleviate some of the tension for fans who were scared that one of the cast members may have been erased from the cast permanently. And they did this quite quickly. It was never a question for me, for a lot of us. Ever since that cliffhanger, I've been just trying to figure out HOW they'd bring him back. Surely, there would have to be some loophole that would trigger memories. And, while it's a bit more complicated than that, that would certainly seem to be the route they're going.
So, it's been a long summer and we're back in full force for the new blogging season. If you missed some key announcements that I made that could affect future blogging in 2012, please take a look at this post. And stay tuned to the end credits for information on my other blogging ventures this year! Enough commercials, let's get to the recap!!
- Olivia and Fauxlivia open up the episode with a little bit of a fun chat. They are showing that they clearly have trust issues. We start to see that while the timeline has been altered without Peter, a lot of the events that we have seen have still transpired. Olivia still was kidnapped and taken to the other side. Fauxlivia still planted herself on OUR side and pretended to be OUR Olivia. There was just no man between them this time.
- The Olivias were transferring files of Fringe cases to the other side so they can catch each other up and what each world has been through. Olivia told Faux that their side may recognize a lot of the cases since it was their side's fault. Fauxlivia retorted the same thing back. It was pretty much implied in the episode that while Walter may have not crossed over to save Peter, he and Bellie probably did cross over at some point which began the deterioration of their world.
- Walter, made it clear that he had similar trust issues with Walternate. He still thinks that Walternate is up to something. Astrid informed Walter that Walternate probably has issues with him too. More evidence that Walter still affected the other world.
- You may recall, that this is ALL September's fault in the first place. Our favorite observer distracted Walternate from seeing the cure that would save his son, but then Walter SAW that he had stumbled upon the cure and had to cross over to save Peter. Then, when they returned, Walter and Peter almost drowned in Reiden Lake, but September came to their rescue. It set forth a pattern of events that would eventually lead to Peter getting in that machine and causing himself to disappear. And now? Well, he's not quite gone yet.
- Another observer (December??) had a sit down with September saying that while Peter is erased, there are traces of him that are bleeding through. They are trying to ensure that events play out as they were/are supposed to prior to September's intervention. The world can never learn that the boy lived to be a man! Ahhh, gotta love this paradoxical/time-altering stuff! I live for it! September is tasked with destroying the traces of Peter since it's all his fault that Peter existed in the first place.
- September goes all MacGyver and finds a bunch of gizmos and whozeewhatsits to assemble the "PETER TRACE DESTROYER". I don't know what is all in it but it includes some tech from the other observers, a component of an old tube TV and then a trigger switch that September dismantled from another device. Gotta love his electro-shocking touch don't you!?
- Of course, at the end of the episode September has the device all ready to go and he looks up and appears to be a little sad. And then, it would seem that he didn't trigger the device and decided to power it down. Hmmm, does September have a bit of a soft spot for the Bishops?? I certainly hope so as he always struck me as one of the good guys!
- The big question is, what are the events that are supposed to play out WITHOUT Peter? What happens if Peter DOES exist? Are the Observers truly just TIME COPS making sure that the plan/time/fate remains unaltered? Whose plan is it then? Is it the right plan?
- Did anyone see that movie, The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon? At the time of its release we all thought it was a rip-off of Fringe with their hat wearing time-keepers. But apparently, the movie is based off of a Phillip K. Dick short story that preceded Fringe (1954 actually). So, Fringe seems to be borrowing from THAT story. So, perhaps the questions I bring up SHOULD be asked as they were very prominent in the movie/story. Good movie by the way!
- When Walter examined the bodies of the 2.0 Shifters, he found a device inside the wrist of one of the men. This tech is not of this world, but resembled the OUTSIDE of the body devices that were used in the 1.0 Shapeshifters. Walter explained that the difference between the shifters is that these new ones are actually human. Huh!?! So what, did they volunteer to have this failing technology inserted into their bodies!? (well, it appeared to be failing, but it looks like there is at least one successful one so far)
- Whatever the case, Walter and Olivia's trust issues with the other side are reinforced as this technology seems to be from the other side. And who came up with the Shapeshifter technology in the first place? You guessed it...WALTERNATE! (My memory may be foggy, but I'm pretty sure William Bell helped in their design as well in order to stay relevant on the other side. Could be wrong there.)
- Olivia ends up giving Lincoln Lee full clearance to all things Fringe by the end of the episode as she takes him to the place where WORLDS meet. I was hoping that she'd bring Lincoln over to the other side and give him a glimpse of Manhatan (with one t as always!) but what we did see was great. The sky looked different through the windows on each side of the room. And Fauxlivia arrived to face Olivia and our Lincoln. You could tell that she recognized Lee but she didn't bring it up. I'm guessing there will be an eventual meeting of the Lees too!
- Olivia gave the tech that Walter discovered to Fauxlivia and used it as an opportunity to take an "I definitely don't trust you now" jab at her. Fauxlivia took the device, said she'd look into the new shapeshifters and left.
- Then we got a nice shot of a zeppelin flying by and we can now consider Lincoln officially fallen into the rabbit hole!
- Well, either Walter was a big Michael Jackson fan or he's just being chased by another MAN in the mirror! (Hey, if I got paid for this, my jokes would be better!) Walter was terrified about this image that he saw in the mirror. I'm sure most of us caught on at this point that he was seeing Peter. Who else would be haunting him in reflections!?
- After we see September powering down the device, we see Walter in his bedroom/lab (more on that in a bit) watching television and drinking his milk. He turned the TV off and then we all jumped as we saw Peter staring at him from the reflection!!! Whaaat!?!?! Walter smashes the screen and screams for help.
- Woa, totally didn't catch this the first time around. But after Olivia and Fauxlivia part ways in the beginning of the episode, there is a glimmer of Peter looking at Olivia!! Must have been looking at my phone or something. How could I miss that!?
- Glyph Code of the Week - APPEAR - Well, that certainly does seem fitting as we caught a glimpse of Peter in the TV reflection at the end of the episode. Something tells me we'll be seeing more appearances over the next several episodes. Thanks to Fringepedia as always for the screen-cap!
- Observer Spotted! - They weren't really hidden in this episode. They were all over the place and will be key figures in this whole Peter saga.
- Food Cravings: Walter was all over the map on this one. At first, I thought he was craving that dead bird he took out of the fridge, but no he just wanted to bring it back to life for a little bit (but not...as he did state the bird was clearly still dead. I missed Walter!). Walter was eating popcorn as he instructed Astrid to investigate a victim's anus. Mmmm, everyone else hungry? He also was hoping Agent Lee brought gum drops with him one of the times when he arrived.
- Walterism of the Week: So many to choose from! But, I think my favorite was when naked Walter (stripped from his tank-soaked clothes) was talking to Lee about how clever and wrong he was and then quickly made a sidebar to Astrid saying, "I'm not wearing pants." Classic Walter! Another great one was when he elatedly said to Lee "Look under the dome, I'm growing an ear!"
- New Fringe Titles for the "Peter-less" Universe. I love how they keep changing this up for every new phase of Fringe. But, they may start running out of colors soon!! I did notice that some of the scientific studies on this one seemed to serve as possible clues to Peter's disappearance/reappearance. And of course, a Harry Potter reference with the Philosopher's Stone. The Philosopher's/Sorceror's stone was a stone that Voldemort sought to serve as an elixer of life and become immortal. Of course, this isn't just a Harry Potter reference as the term existed pre-Potter. Other interesting terms, Ethereal Plane, Quantum Entanglement, Paradox, psychic surgery, Bi-location and just the plain ole "EXISTENCE". All definitely seem geared to asking/answering the question of WHERE IS PETER BISHOP!?! We all would like to know.
- Just as we previously observed little nuances between universes, we now have the opportunity to observe what is different in a world without Peter?
There were a few lines thrown into the episode that were meant to help us explain how Peter's absence is being felt. The first was where Olivia explained to Lee that Walter is often brilliant but there is nothing to tether him to the world. It would be Peter that kept Walter a little more grounded.
The second was when Walter was examining a body and noticed the girl was engaged. He said that he couldn't think anything worse than when two people are meant to be together and something intervened. This could be a reference to Peter/Olivia, or even Peter/Walter. But probably the former since later Olivia explains how in her entire life she has felt that there was this hole in her life and she thought that coming to Fringe division would help her find her answers. She hesitated at one point when talking. It was almost like she remembered something, right?
It would seem that Walter doesn't get out of the lab much, or possibly at all. His bed is in the lab and there is an FBI agent guarding the door at night. Also, Astrid is a field agent that works on behalf of Walter at the crime scenes. She uses some crazy bluetooth-ish camera to transmit an audio/video feed to Walter.
Of course, one thing that has not been addressed and not sure if it ever will be. If the machine still exists and brought the worlds together and Peter no longer exists....who operated the machine to bring the worlds together now? Do none of them remember?
So far, we have not seen anyone that has previously died and is now living as a result of Peter not being around. The main 3 that I would think people would be wondering about would be OUR Agent Charlie Francis, Alterna-Broyles, and of course...WILLIAM BELL.
- Things that are still the same:
"One of these things is not like the other" - Agent Lee used this line at a crime scene to point out a girl who didn't seem to fit in. She ended up having evidence. Lee used the same line in the Stowaway episode last season. He said it to Peter as they were investigating the woman who could not die. When Peter asked him about it, Lee had said something like "What, you never watched Sesame Street?"
As previously mentioned, a lot of history is still the same just altered for Peter not to be in it. Agent John Scott still was killed in the first Fringe Case. Olivia still got Walter out of the mental institution to work the case. We will probably continue to get information like this in each episode to indicate what's the same and what changed. It's Fringe's version of It's a Wonderful Life!
- This season I will be recapping Fringe, Terra Nova, The Walking Dead and Alactraz. If one of these new shows ends up not doing well, I may bail on it quickly. This could make room for a show that DOES end up doing well!
- As always, there are other shows that I watch as well and would be happy to discuss with all of you. For a complete list by day, you can check out my "FALL TV" post.