Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fringe: Season 4 Episode 11 - Making Angels

Hello everyone and WOW!  I had heard that we were in for some good stuff with last night's episode but it exceeded my expectations.  Episodes like last night is what makes season 4's overall plot totally worth it for me.  There is a larger plot going on here folks and we peered into the eyes of the observers and it was fantastic!  Definitely things to discuss and I'll get to them.  But let me preface letting everyone know that I'm currently on baby duty.  I've spent a couple hours feeding him and trying to get him to sleep!  Finally, he's lying peacefully in his carseat next to me.  We'll see how long that lasts!  In other words, I'm going to be as brief as possible, but I've been finding "getting to the point" instead of blabbing on forever a bit rewarding!  Speaking of blabbing on, I just realized I'm doing it again!  Let's get started.

Fringe Case of the Week

The case of the week this week was pretty darn awesome.  It told the tale of a man, Neil, who could seemingly tell the future and acted in his mind as an "angel" and rescuing people from suffering by sending them to heaven before they suffered tragic deaths.  He made some pretty convincing cases and one of his attempted victims even wished that the man was able to succeed and kill him.  

Neil was carrying a device that seemed to just end people's lives immediately and causing blood to come out of their eyes in tear form.  Walter referred to these as the Tears of Ra.  Walter had derived that the man using the chemical compounds produced by this machine must have learned from a "God-like" being on how to use it (getting a little help from Alterna Astrid referring to Deus Ex Machina).

In the end, we found out Neil had a pretty tragic life himself with his brother and father dying in a car accident and his mother praying to God asking why she didn't take him instead of his brother.  Ouch.  He essentially was acting just like an observer in the end repeating everything that his mother was saying as she was saying it and knowing how things will pan out.  He saw his own death coming as Olivia and Peter followed the trail and figured out where he'd be.  He turned acting like he was going to shoot and Olivia killed him.  (but he never aimed at Olivia or anyone, just the wall)

The device that the man was using?  It belonged to September, who lost his when he "didn't" save Peter back in 1985 from Reiden Lake.  Guess who found it?  Super Advanced Mathematician Neil.  And he eventually became Observer-like.  But we'll get into the details below.


  • Glyph Code of the Week:  EMPATH - Gotta say, I don't think I ever heard the word without a Y on the end.  But it seems to fit right into the Fringe world.  Based on this referred site, an empath is
"An Empath is a person who can psychically tune in to the emotional experience of a person, place or animal. In the paranormal and in some works of science fiction and fantasy, highly developed empathy is a psychic ability to sense the emotions of others and often highly aware of the health and state of mind of their loved ones, no matter how physically near or far away the individuals may be. It can be challenging for empaths to function healthily in society if they are unaware that they have this sensitivity and often opt to be alone." 
Sounds like what Neil was doing with trying to "save" these people.  Also sounds a bit like one sympathetic Observer we know (September anyone?).    Thanks as always to Fringepedia for the screenshot. 

  • Observer Spotted - They were all over the place in this episode.  Basically, at every event where Neil was altering the course of time from its natural progression, they were there.  And at the end, they went to Neil's mother's house and got September's device back. 
    • They made reference to how September lost it in 1985 when he DIDN'T save the boy (Peter).  So when comments are made like that, it makes me rethink my theory of Peter still being in the same timeline. 
    • But then, the observer continued his report to December that September did not follow orders and now Peter has come back.  COME BACK, you say?  Well when something like that is said, it makes me think they ARE in the same timeline and that maybe things will correct themselves eventually.  The fact that the Observers failed in making Peter disappear all together seems to be a big deal to them.  
    • By the way, I loved how they tied super scientist Neil back to Reiden Lake.  Once his colleague referred to a Lakehouse, I knew where they were going with it and it was awesome.  Peter seemed to be starting to put the pieces together too.  He knew that was where September originally saved him.  And he now knew that Neil was trying to solve equations that would FLATTEN space and time.  You would be able to see the past present and future simultaneously.  As we were reminded last week, this is how the Observers see the world.  
    • And now the Observers have been referred to as having god-like powers?  Oh boy.  I love how we're diving more into the Observers this season, as I'm sure many are.  But hopefully it's leading to some big revelation as to who they are and what their real purpose/mission is.  Are they really just the overseers of events playing out in the universe the way they should or are they people that stumbled upon god-like powers and solved equations that would allow them to flatten space and time.   Maybe they're originally from the future where they were able to solve these equations and return to all points in time of all timelines.   Maybe they're trying to prevent an event that happened in the future by making sure certain events transpire a certain way in the past.   Maybe the rest of the Observers know that Olivia must die and Peter not exist in order to make this certain event happen.  And maybe September is trying to prevent this event from happening by making sure Peter and Olivia remain to fight the good fight.  And maybe by rambling on here for a few minutes, I was actually able to stumble onto something that makes sense! 
  • Walterisms of the week (quite a few gems):
    • I loved how he got corrected once by Alternate Astrid and called her Astrid correctly from then on.  But our Astrid he referred to her as Aspirin, Asterix, etc...
    • Loved how Peter seemed to take over at the crime scenes and do everything that Walter was trying to ask Astrid to do.  
    • But before Peter took over he did command Astrid to check the victim's crotch.  "Don't be a prude!" 
    • Then at one point he desired Vanilla Ice cream and decided to sign off of his communication device with a good old fashioned "Kirk Out!"  That was clearly my favorite. 
  • Foods of the week:
    • Man he went on about Eggs forever trying to get everyone to have some eggs with him. 
    • Obviously, the vanilla ice cream. 
    • At one point when he was carving up a body, it looked like he was eating part of an organ, but I think it was just strawberries! 
    • And then there was the legendary Red Licorice and Fauxlivia's desire for one.  Which brings me to...
  • Fauxlivia vs. Walter:
    • Loved the interaction between these 2 and I love the fact that all of these dopplegangers can co-mingle now, even if they are slightly altered versions of the ones we knew for the first 3 seasons.  

    • Fauxlivia refused to give up on earning Walter's affection.  She was convinced that he enjoyed having her around.   Walter threw a big fuss giving her her stuff back from when she was "undercover as Olivia".   He was very intrigued about a silver container.  Fauxlivia showed him what was in it by the end and it was just some smokey mints (bobbins did she call it?)   Walter, in turn, allowed her to have some Red Licorice.  Which led to the following classic exchange.  "You're not flirting with me are you?"  "In your dreams...."  Niiice!  
  • Astrid vs. Astrid:
    • Astrid was definitely given lots to do in this episode.  Well, both Astrids.  The episode kicked off with Alterna-Astrid inviting herself over to OUR universe, disregarding many rules in the process.  She had to meet her doppleganger.  
    • It was hysterical when they first came face to face and our Astrid screamed.  I loved that Olivia said she was surprised that no one ever does that.  

    • Both Astrids were very effective on the case and seemed to have a mutual respect for each other.  But Alterna-Astrid just recently lost her father and felt that it was because she was "special" that she wasn't able to give him the attention he needed.  Astrid ended up lying to her saying that her father was the same way.  Distant and not very loving.  It's just the way he's wired.   We find out that is not true in the end when Astrid goes home and her Dad is waiting for her and wanting to hear all about her hard day.   And come on, anyone that wears a shirt that says "Shittake Happens" can not be too bad of a guy! 

    • Alterna-Astrid was also treated to Coffee which is a rarity OVER THERE.  And she really seemed to like it.   Overall, just really cool to see these 2 interact.  And how about the handshake that Jasika Nicole gave herself?  They made that look like it actually happened!

    • So one comment on this whole Astrid vs. Astrid situation.  The "previously on" scenes showed scenes from seasons 2 and 3 of the 2 Astrids which is the timeline where Peter exists.  And then we have a whole episode dedicated to these 2 Astrids meeting in a timeline where Peter does not exist.  So, it will be interesting to see if everything we learned about these 2 meeting will stay true for a world where Peter does exist.  (this would support my "they're in the same universe theory")   In fact, all of the progress we're making this season of the 2 universes working together and finding out that neither side are "bad people" just seems like so much progress to be made to have it be wiped away if Peter "RETURNED" to his "true" timeline.   I dunno, it's one of those things that gives me a headache if I think about it too much.  I just hope we get to see those events play out before the show is cancelled!   
  • Peter and Olivia
    • So with Lincoln Absent for a family issue this episode it allowed Peter and Olivia to get back to what they are so good at.  Solving cases.  Olivia told Peter by the end of the episode that for as long as he is there, he makes a good partner.  Awwww, slowly but surely she's opening up to him.  

    • Things also got a little interesting when the 2 Olivias were talking about Peter.  Fauxlivia disregards any feelings she could possibly have for the Secretary's son by saying she likes nice men.
  • Peter and Walter
    • Walter still is having a hard time accepting Peter.  He even referred to preferring Lincoln around.  He is still torturing himself for his past and how he dealt with the 2 Peters in his life. Alterna-Astrid by the end suggested that he love this Peter as if he was his true son so that he can find happiness.  Walter seemed to be receptive of this idea.  
  • David Jones/Nina Sharp Plot on Hold
    • So, no developments this week on the Jones/Nina story, but I'm sure they haven't disappeared.  I am happy to have a story that focuses on Observers any time they want to so I was fine with this!  These writers do a great job interweaving stories so it all comes together by the end of the season.  We're half-way through now.  Looking foward to the 2nd half! 
And that's all I have for this week.  In case you were wondering if my son slept that whole time, the answer is absolutely not.  I think I got a couple paragraphs in and had to bring him back to his mother!  Whew, it's been a fun 5 weeks!  Wouldn't trade them for the world though.   But, I hope my blogs are making some kind of sense at the same time. 

Just a heads up, Fringe episode will be new through February sweeps but then will be taking 3 weeks off in March.  When it returns from that hiatus, it will be straight through to the finale.  I'm perfectly fine with hiatuses since it allows large chunks of episodes to air together.   In the meantime, Alcatraz is going strong and I'll continue to recap that.  Touch will start airing regularly in March as well (probably won't get a chance to recap since it will overlap with Alcatraz).  And then AWAKE, the other big drama I've been waiting for, will start on March 1st.  It will air on NBC Thursdays at 10pm.  Not a great time slot for me, but I will be recording and watching!  I think the show has a lot of potential.  

Okay, enough rambling for one blog post.  I hope you all enjoyed said ramblings and I'll see you next week! 

End Credits
  • This season I will be recapping FringeTerra NovaThe Walking Dead and Alcatraz
  • Other shows that are being discussed in comments recently:  Sons of Anarchy, How I Met Your Mother, Once Upon a Time, American Horror Story, Dexter, Chuck, Shameless, Mad Men (March!!), Game of Thrones (April 1st!), among others.  Feel free to join in!
  • See trailers for the Mid-Season shows I'm looking forward to: Awake and Touch.  
  • 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.


Mike V. said...

Fantastic interview with the Fringe Producers about this season and hints on what's to come (no spoilers). It should calm a lot of people's troubles with this season as I have tried to do all season. :-) lol

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,
I agree,,, Walter calling the alterna-Astrid by the correct name and the "Kirk out" bit were two of the funniest moments ever on the show.

Come-on Mike, I am 100% sure you've heard the word "empath" without the "y". The movie "Minority Report" and at least a couple of episodes of "Star Trek".

Does anyone else find it odd that the Observers (who can see all possible futures, presents and pasts) are just finding out that Peter is around. How'd they miss that one?

When I saw the part where Olivia told Peter "he made a good partner" I got the impression that she might be starting to be enamored with him. If that is the case, and they fall in love, then it might mean this time line is where everything will stay. Also, Walter is starting to act more like Walter from the prior time line now that he is opening up to Peter.

One thing I can't reconcile... Walter is angry at Feauxlivia for her undercover exploits impersonating our Olivia. How can that be? Didn't all that happen in the previous time line? Wasn't that when Olivia could cross over on her own due to the Cortexiphan experiments. We already established that Olivia can't (or doesn't know) she can cross over on her own. So if Olivia didn't venture over to the other universe how would Feauxlivia have been able to impersonate her? Did I miss something?

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah,,, thanks for the above link Mike. That is a very interesting interview and it has restored my faith that the time I have invested in Fringe will be worth it.

One more thing... did we know that the Observers could walk through solid objects (like glass) before this episode. That was quite a neat trick.

Bill B

Bill B

Mike V. said...

Hi Bill!

You know even without you signing that first comment I was going to ask if it was you. It sounded like you. lol

Now that you mention Minority Report, it's all coming back to me. I definitely have heard Empath before. My bad. I think this whole baby thing is getting to me. To say I was frustrated Saturday morning trying to write this quick recap is an understatement! :-) But, I wouldn't trade in my frustration for anything!!

Yeah, if Peter and Olivia fall in love all over again and Walter opens up to Peter it MIGHT be where it all stays....but at the same might 'retrigger' everyone's memories and things will return to "normal" (whatever that means in the Fringe-verses). I'm definitely still optimistic that my theory that he's not in a different timeline is still plausible based on how the producers were cautiously answering questions in their interview. They mentioned stuff like they would never want to erase 3 seasons of a show (citing that it's not fair to viewers) and then they kept saying that peter "thinks" he's in a different timeline. They didn't confirm if that was correct or not but they just said that this is what Peter thinks. Which is absolutely true. But they never once really stated that it DEFINITELY is a new timeline. And then when the interviewer asked if Olvia and Walter are standing around in the "REAL" timeline wondering where Peter went to....again they said "that's what Peter is thinking".. I'm excited to see where this is all going, as always!

We learned in previous episodes this season (check my 'Observ'er'ations' from past recaps if you want lol) that Fauxlivia still did come over in this revised timeline and Olivia was still trapped on the other side. Peter wasn't the catalyst anymore for any of it, but it still happened. We don't know the details of why or how Olivia went over there or how Olivia got back here but we know that it happened.

Of course, there is a chance that they don't remember how any of it happened either if we ARE still in the same timeline. They may just have certain memories "incepted" out of their heads to make them forget Peter. As always, this doesn't explain how David Jones is still alive, alt broyles (unless he's a shape shifter...and maybe jones is too), or where Fauxlivia and Peter's baby Henry is. But yes, they did explain that the 2 did swap places for a bit even in this timeline without Peter.

No problem on sharing the link. And yes good point on the Observers walking through walls. I don't recall seeing them do that before, though we may have. I remember September doing some crazy things with his hands before like zapping locks open and stuff...but they did that again in this episode too.

Anonymous said...

Even with "the whole baby thing" your reviews are still great. And I am sure all of us appreciate them and the opportunity to discuss everything that is happening. What a great show this is. Being a SF guy, assuming this show makes it to it's natural end and not a forced end dictated by ratings, Fringe might end up being better than LOST IMO when it's all said and done.

Ever seen the movie "Reservoir Dogs"? For some reason the head Observer (the older one) always reminds me of the head gangster in that movie. You know, the one that gave out all the names (Mr. Pink, Mr. Brown, etc.). LOL

It would be nice to find out the real time that has passed on the show since the time line was changed at the end of season 3. Has it been a week, a month, several months, etc. If it's been more than a week or two in real time I still can't accept that the Observers are just finding out that September didn't erase Peter.

Thanks again for letting me bounce my theories and questions off of you.

Bill B

Mike V. said...

I appreciate it Bill, thanks! And for the record, I don't keep bringing it up for validation. lol It's just very much a part of my life now so it's hard not to bring it up. But yeah, forgetting about Empath is a bit embarrassing! I'll do better in the future!

You raise a good debate with Fringe vs. LOST in the legacy it leaves for Science Fiction. Obviously, in spite of all of its flaws, LOST will always be close to my heart as my favorite drama of all time. I sunk my soul into that show and just obsessed over every minute detail. I ate, breathed and slept the show...(and still was able to land a girl and get married while it was airing. Try and solve that one!) But yes, it did have its flaws. It's own worst enemy was its formula of opening new mysteries when closing others. It essentially set up a never ending mystery machine that would never be able to solve everything or wrap up its show in a way that seemed satisfying to the masses. I enjoyed that they accepted this fate and enjoyed the route they went with in closing up the show.

As far as a show goes with tying up loose ends and has a chance to be a "PERFECT" case study in science fiction television...yes, I will accept your offer of Fringe possibly topping LOST. I really do love the show. And it has exceeded every expectation I had for it in the uneven first season (still loved the show then too, but not nearly on this level). But yeah, it will be tough for me to ever rank ANY show over my personal experience and our shared virtual blog experience that LOST brought to us. That was something unique and special.

I have seen Reservoir Dogs before but it's been a long time. I do know who you're talking about though and that's a very good "observation" (ouch. lol) You know what we've never discussed? are there only 12 observers? I'm pretty sure the Head Observer is December. August is the first observer to ever die (season 2). But I wonder if there are only 12 since they're all named after months. (btw, I'm rerunning that awesome diner scene at the beginning of Resevoir Dogs in my head now and remembering Buscemi arguing over why he has to be Mr. Pink lol)

You're totally welcome for opening the blog up for you all to discuss. Thank YOU for your discussion starting insightful commentary!

Anonymous said...

Mike at the end of season 3, presumably all the observers were standing around the Statue Of Liberty when the time line changed. I have the blu-ray so maybe I will go back and freeze the frame and see if I can count them. LOL
I had been assuming there were 12 (one for each month as well). How appropriate that they are named after months since they are, more or less, keepers of time.


Mike V. said...

Good call Bill. No need to freeze frame, I have a screenshot right here from my s3 finale blog:

I count 10 but I guess there should be 11...maybe he's there...just can't see him in the screenshot. lol

Anonymous said...

Maybe one of them has a split personality (schizophrenia) so he counts as two...LOL

Since we know one of them was killed, and we saw a "child observer" in one of the early episodes (S1 or S2 when they found the strange kid living in an old subway line), you also have to ask "if one dies will there be another replacement so that there are always twelve?" (assuming there needs to be one for each month).
See, these are the things that keep me up all night. At least you have a legitimate excuse now. LOL


Mike V. said...

Possible on the split personality! lol ahh yes, I do remember the child observer one now. I forget how that one was resolved though. Probably an easy look-up to Fringepedia! Don't know the rules on Observer deaths, but I do recall in the S2 "August" episode that August was trying to prevent a girl from dying in a plane crash by kidnapping her. He had grown attached to her. While she did live, it ended up not mattering because August was killed...therby making the event IMPORTANT. It was the first time an observer EVER died. So, I don't know if they have a process of replacing their kind!

But hopefully, when they say "answers are coming" that this includes more info on the observers! lol

And yes, I definitely have an excuse to be up at nights! :-)

MJ said...

Here;s some HIMYM tidbits for February !

I haven't read the Fringe write up yet - been busy this am.

Mike V. said...

Thanks MJ! I saw that article in my twitter feed but hadn't gotten to it yet. Very interesting tidbits about what is ahead. And, I'm so glad I've been doing this re-watch because I just watched that episode where Ted/Robin broke up and asked about the "5 year plan" it's fresh. It's been going pretty quickly. I'm already in season 4. I guess 2 episodes every morning will do that. lol

MJ said...

Yeah - I had no recollection of the 5 year conversation - so i was glad to read it. But they will probably show it.

This week's ep - eh ! Didn't excite me. Waaay too much Lily's dad - who I don't like. Could also have been my mood.

I'm swamped this week at work so I'm not even caught up on your recaps - but I'll get to them.

Any discussion on River and Smash? I'll look at the Alcatraz comments for that .

Mike V. said...

HIMYM was okay. I always love the episodes that show the same few minutes over and over again so I appreciated another one, but yeah...not the best. lol

some RIVER discussion, no SMASH discussion other than me saying I have seen the pilot and loved it. lol Feel free to start one up! (Haven't watched THE RIVER yet)

Take your time with the recaps! We all get busy!