"The Arrival" (1.04)

It is actually perfect timing to be reviewing this episode, since “August” (2.08) will be airing tonight, and if I were to review this episode afterward, there may not be as much to talk about, since I think that we're going to get quite a few answers regarding the Observer(s) within that episode, an episode for which I am very excited. “The Arrival” is definitely one of the better first season episodes, since it is the first Observer-centric episode and also really introduces a great deal of mythology to the show (I would ultimately have to give this episode eight Root Beer Floats). However, even this episode does not have the exciting and blood-boiling pace that the season does later in its life, which it doesn't seem to adopt, for me, anyway, until "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones" (1.07). That is when the mythology of the show really picks up its pace and starts to get interesting, and Jones is such a cool bad guy. Anyway, before I get into heavy discussion about this episode, be forewarned that this entry does contain spoilers, so if you have not yet seen Fringe but would like to see it, then please, do not read any further.

The episode starts with the audience being formally introduced to the Observer, or as we know him, September. He is sitting at a diner, using what appears to be highly technological binoculars (ones that vehemently remind me of Star Wars) to observe construction workers, and oddly enough, he orders a “roast beef sandwich on a roll, meat raw as possible, room temperature water, no ice,” and after he asks the waitress if she has jalapeƱos, which she does, he asks for “eleven of those, please, on the side.” I wonder why he wants eleven; it seems like such a random number. Maybe he has learned from past experience that that is what he needs in order to taste it. On top of that, he loads the sandwich with pepper and Tabasco sauce, which calls for one scalding hot sandwich. Directly before the crane incident occurs (it is worth pointing out, by the way, that “oddly” enough, the Massive Dynamic logo can be seen on the crane), he checks his clock, and I can only wonder if perhaps this is because he is making sure that the event happens when it's supposed to happen. I also wonder what the odd code is that he writes in and what he is writing. All of these questions, however, are why I am so excited for tonight's episode, “August.” I think that a lot of these questions are going to be answered.

In this episode, we discover that staying in Boston is driving Peter insane, because as he tells Olivia, “I don't do well staying in one place; you know that.” I find this interesting, because I am wondering if this will come into play eventually. Will he ever want to leave? He hasn't really shown any interest in leaving since. Of course, that's partly because as he tells Olivia at the end of the episode, he plans to stay until the strange phenomenon that surrounds him can be explained, and obviously, it really hasn't yet. It is also interesting that Walter says that he will only cooperate if Peter stays, because, according to Olivia, “He would rather go back to St. Claire's than work here without you. He's said that more than once.”As much as he may love Peter, you would think that he would want to avoid him so that his secret (pertaining to “stealing” Peter from the alternate reality) would have a much less chance of being revealed, but then again, maybe his hopes are to establish a relationship with Peter so that he won't be as angry just in case he finds out anyway. Again, I have a feeling that Walter's secret will also be touched upon during tonight's episode, if not completely revealed to Peter.

The two of them do have a very comical moment in this episode. Walter says to Peter, “Open your mind, son, or someone may open it for you,” to which Peter replies, “Even that doesn't make any sense.” I had to laugh at that line, not only at Peter's obvious irritation but also at the truthfulness behind his words. That doesn't make any sense, and you're left to wonder what Walter could possibly mean by that. How does one go about opening someone's mind? Maybe the line was used as foreshadowing, since Mosley seems to have read Peter's mind during his interrogation. Speaking of Mosley, not very many questions regarding his character are answered in this episode. In fact, this episode really follows the typical LOST format in that not very many questions are answered at all. We don't know what the beacon is, why it has been nineteen years since it has surfaced, where it goes when it explodes downward or what it even is. Why does it vibrate? Is it from the alternate reality? Does it perhaps mark teleportation spots or soft spots in between dimensions? Returning to Mosley, however, I am wondering where he got that gun that he was using on people, which does not appear to kill people but instead appears to “force push” them. Based on the promo for tonight's episode, it would appear that August uses the same, or at least a similar, gun on a man who tries to stop him from kidnapping a girl. In addition, Mosley's hat has red and green dots on it, and, as we know, red and green are recurring colors that we see in Fringe.

A line that really sticks out for me is when Walter is being held, and Olivia and Peter come to talk to him, and to defend his actions (drugging Astrid and then hiding the Beacon), he says to Peter, “Have you ever taken anything that didn't belong to you because you knew it was the right thing to do?” Peter then says, “This isn't about me,” to which Walter replies, “Maybe it is, Peter.” I was having a thought cross my mind before Walter even said, “Maybe it is, Peter,” because what if it really is? What if Walter, in his mind, was talking about Peter? Alter-Peter did not belong to him, and he “stole” him, and yet, he may have felt somehow that that was the right thing to do. I am just considering the possibility that that is what Walter had on his mind when he said that. Then, when he and Peter get into an argument since Peter does not believe that Walter met with the Observer, Walter says, “Must you always be so small-minded?” This is one of my favorite Walter quotes to date, and he then boldly asserts himself by saying, “I am not a child! I will not be babied!” When he says this, he looks like he is seriously going to cry any second, and as I have said before, John Noble is simply brilliant.

At the same time, however, Walter actually behaves like a father in the episode. Typically, we see Peter taking on the fatherly role while Walter takes on the role of the child. A good example of this is in “A New Day in the Old Town” (2.01) when Walter says to Peter, “They said that I can ride in the back with the body. Can I?” Yet another example is in “Momentum Deferred” (2.04), when he asks Peter if it's okay if he goes with Rebecca to her house. We frequently see a role reversal take place between the two of them, but in this episode, we have a scene in which Walter tells Peter that he needs aluminum foil, and Peter objects. Walter says that he needs Peter to trust him, and Peter replies, “No, thank you.” Walter loses his temper and replies, “Damn it! Must you always be such a smart-ass?” Walter proceeds to tell him that if he doesn't get the aluminum foil, his life as well as everyone else's could be jeopardized and to “go now!” Of course, I love how he then asks Peter to pick him up a root beer float while he is out, yet the look on his face and his tone of voice are still very stern and angry.

This episode, like the previous (“The Ghost Network”) demonstrates Olivia's gift of focus and observation. She notices something that no one else did for quite some time, which is the Observer frequently showing up in photos. Broyles even tells her, “It took us a year to spot him. You did it in three weeks.” Something that I am wondering is why it is that it always appears to be this Observer that is spotted. We now know that there is more than one Observer (as September tells Walter in the first season finale, “There is more than one of everything”), so why is it that, again, in all of the photos, it appears to be September? We know that not all of them look exactly the same, because August does not look like September. Why can't September taste much of anything? He tells Walter that he can't, and I'm assuming that that is why he loads his food with spices (as we see in both this episode and in “Fracture”). Additionally, what does September shoot Peter with near the end of the episode and why? We learn at the end of “Fracture” that there is a possibility that the Observers are enemies, that they are here to destroy us, and is this true? If it is, then why would it appear as if they are doing nothing but observing? Is it as Gordon says, that they are collecting data pertaining to our technology in order to use it against us? Their technology seems to be much more advanced than ours, so that doesn't really make sense to me.

Regarding the scene in which the Observer says what Peter says at the exact same time and then eventually even says things that Peter is thinking before he says them himself, at the time, we couldn't really make anything out of that, but after seeing episode “Inner Child” (1.15), it would appear as if this is something that all Observers have the ability to do, that is, if we are to assume that the Child is an Observer, which I think we are supposed to assume. The Child can read thoughts and can understand emotions without anyone even saying anything, and it would appear as if this is what September can do. There isn't really much about the ending itself to discuss, because not very much happens to which we don't now have an answer. We know why Olivia sees John Scott in her kitchen, which is due to the fact that she had part of his consciousness inside of hers. The only question pertaining to that that I do have is that would that situation manifest itself with such power that it would cause her to hear her phone ring even when it didn't? Walter's line near the end of the episode is really funny, however. When he makes an attempt to apologize to Astrid, he tells her, “If it would help you feel a sense of retribution, I would tell you to inject me, too, but I'd most likely enjoy it.” Lines like that are always worth mentioning. Anyway, this entry will hopefully serve as an effective prelude to tonight's episode, since it would appear as if a good portion of the questions that this episode asks will be answeredtonight, so be sure to watch “August" tonight at 8/7c on FOX.

"The Ghost Network" (1.03)

“The Ghost Network” is admittedly not one of my favorite episodes of Fringe. I am sure that I have said before, to people such as my friend Fady, for example, that the series (after the mind-blowing pilot episode, that is) starts off somewhat slow, and this is one of those early slow episodes. “The Arrival” (1.04) is a step up from this one, but even though I do really like "The Cure" (1.06), the season, as, again, I have told people, really picks up its pace and becomes the amazing season that it is at “In Which We Meet Mr. Jones” (1.07), which is probably because that is when a great deal of the mythology of the first season comes directly into play. Well, as always, I am forewarning you that this entry will pertain to “The Ghost Network” episode of Fringe and quite possibly many episodes that follow, as well, so if you do not want to be spoiled in the event that, for some reason, you haven't started watching this show yet, then do not read any further.

I can't and am not griping that this episode isn't mythological, because it definitely is mythological. Roy McComb has not returned to the series yet, and I don't suspect that he will, but his story has a great deal to do with the show's mythology, since first of all, he is representative of one of the many immoral activities that Walter's past involves, and second of all, what he sees and hears prior to and throughout this episode ties very heavily into ZFT activity. I really like how the tie-in to the pilot episode was made, since McComb saw Flight 627 before it happened and therefore both drew a picture of it and built a model of the plane. That alone goes to prove that this episode is heavy in mythology, because it is directly related to the pilot episode. However, I, again, just feel that the episode is very slow and that there isn't a lot of excitement until the last few minutes, and the episode therefore isn't really one of my favorites.

I also like how it is kind of established in this episode that Olivia and Charlie have a history, most likely just one of friendship, and that he cares about her a lot. I say that, because he can see that she is in pain in regards to John Scott betraying her and the entire force and then dying, and so he therefore does what he can to cheer her up. In this episode, he has what is probably his greatest line in his entire time in the series. Olivia tells Charlie that “he told me he loved me,” to which Charlie says, “I wasn't going to tell you this, but he said he loved me too.” At first, it is quite clear that Olivia is struggling to maintain her angst-ridden, “woman scorned” identity, but she simply can't do it and therefore laughs, and one thing that I have noticed is that on the rare occasions that Olivia does laugh or smile throughout the series, it's very frequently because of Charlie, which, of course, now stands as a very sentimental observation to make.

This episode also does quite a bit to illustrate Olivia's abilities, which, of course, we know have to wonder whether or not they are natural or Cortexiphan-induced. In this episode, for example, she notices what no one else did, something rather obscure, which is that the woman on the bus, Evelina Mendoza, is missing a backpack, and she notices this while she is comparing videos of the passengers. Again, this is something very obscure that I don't think very many people would normally notice, but she does, because her powers of observation are very elevated, something that we see repeatedly throughout the series. She pays very close attention to everything, and she makes note of everything, no matter how seemingly irrelevant or obscure. In this case, for example (no pun intended by calling it a case), her observation is a major step in solving the case.

Something about this episode that now doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me is that McComb says that he has been experiencing visions for approximately nine months, and then Broyles says that that is about how long the government has been aware of the Pattern. However, we now know from the most recent episode that was aired, “Earthling” (2.06), that Broyles has been investigating strange cases for at least four years, since the case that Fringe Division is trying to solve is something that Broyles recalls working on four years ago since it is the case that ended his marriage with his wife, so if the government had only been aware of the Pattern for nine months prior to “The Ghost Network,” then how could Broyles have been investigating such a strange occurrence four years ago prior to “Eathling”? The only solution that I can come up with is that at the time, it was merely one strange case and that that is why Broyles became so obsessed with it. In other words, there hadn't been a “pattern” yet. After all, one fact that we do learn in the first season is that as time went on, strange occurrences began to happen more and more frequently, so actually, I guess that it does make sense, a lot of sense, in fact.

"The Ghost Network" marks the second episode in a row in which the case ties back to something that Walter was working on back in the day, and that is not in any way unusual for Fringe; however, what is unusual is that it is the second episode in a row in which what Walter had been working on was related to the military. In “The Same Old Story” (1.02), the rapidly aging practice had been being put into action to “create” soldiers, and now, in this episode, the project that he was working on to send messages to people through their minds was a military project. I'm not really sure what to make of it or why, for that matter, I am even bringing it up, but I do think it's at least interesting and worth bringing up, because, for me, it begs the question as to why Walter would have been doing work for the military, or if not doing work for the military, aiding the military. I can only hope that this is something that we're going to see more of throughout the series.

Yet another indication that the episode is very heavy in mythology, even though this is something that we were obviously unaware of at the time, is that the “glass disk” story returns in “The Transformation” (1.13), when Olivia discovers that John Scott has a glass disk in his hand as well. Additionally, although unrelated, I find it interesting how the villain of this episode, Matthew Ziegler, commits suicide near the end of the episode after the disk is relinquished, and this is not the last time we see something like this happen. In “In Which We Meet Mr. Jones” (1.07), Smith makes an “attempt” to flee the scene but in the process of doing so, takes a gun out and aims it at an agent, and what I find interesting about that is that you don't have to be much of a genius to know that that is going to get you killed, and I therefore think that he does it on purpose. I am wondering if ZFT members work somewhat like the Japanese samurai, in that they believe that failure is shameful and should be punishable by death. It's most likely either that, or failure results in a severe inflicted punishment that those who fail fear so much that death is a more comfortable option. Whatever the reason may be, we frequently see ZFT members commit suicide to avoid some sort of consequence, either shame or an even worse inflicted action.

The ending of the episode is something that I definitely want to talk about, because I remember first seeing it on television and having my mouth drop open, because I thought that Broyles was a “bad guy” and that he and Nina had some “evil” plan schemed. The reason that I say that is because at the time, I thought that Nina was a villain, and so to see Broyles hand the disk over to her was a shocker to me. I thought that it was a confirmation that Broyles was a mole, and to be honest, I still don't know what to think about that scene, since it has not really been expounded upon since (something that is only to be expected out of J.J.). I still think that Broyles and Nina have deeply-rooted knowledge that only the two of them are aware of, especially since (even though I can't recall exactly what was said) they mention Olivia and what is in store for her and her future. It's definitely very mysterious, and, of course, the kiss in the second season premiere really adds yet another layer of mystery to whatever Nina and Broyles share. Ultimately, anyway, even though this episode did have a few perks, and I do, again, like how it is rooted in the show's mythology, I think that it is a rather slow-paced episode with not a lot of thrill to offer, and I therefore give this episode seven creepy stigmata drawings.

"The Same Old Story" (1.02)

Definitely a very interesting episode, “The Same Old Story” temporarily lays to rest the John Scott story that dominates the pilot episode (even though there are a few references to him throughout the episode) and jumps into a story about a woman who conceives a child within minutes and then has the baby, dying in the process, which ages eighty years within three hours, ultimately dying of old age. There are a few questions raised in this episode, ones that, at the time, really had no answers, but now, I really do think that there are a few ways to answer them, especially after these first few episodes of the new season. As I always say, but I don't ever want to to forget, because as my friend Fady always says, I shouldn't spoil people, even people that show no interest in watching this show, even though it's one of the absolute best television shows in history, this entry will contain spoilers, not only in relation to this episode but also the new season.

Firstly, I want to discuss my annoyance with this episode's stark exposition. The writers cleverly found ways to insert lines into the script so that those who missed the pilot episode could still have a slight understanding of what was going on, and I find that to be bittersweet. It's good, because indeed, I do think that it effectively caught those who had missed the pilot episode up with what was going on, but at the same time, that encourages viewers that it's okay to miss episodes, and I don't think that that is a good thing. I think that a television show should be like a very long movie, and when you're watching a movie, you shouldn't get up and leave the room for ten or twenty minutes and then return expecting to still fully understand what's going on. If you're interested in a television series, enough to watch it, then you really should be watching it every week, and if for whatever reason, you can't, then episodes are always available on FOX and HULU's websites directly the following day, as far as I know.
I'll give you some examples of this annoying exposition in this episode. Firstly, there is the scene at the “Jedi Council,” when Nina expresses her annoyance with Broyles for so readily trusting the trio with such a major task, and she expresses her annoyance by listing off the faults that she finds with each of the characters, Walter, who has been in a mental institution for seventeen years, Peter who has been up to no good overseas and Olivia, who was intimate with John Scott, a traitor to the country (not really, of course, but she presumably thought so at t he time, as we all did). Then, during the scene in which Nina is discussing Olivia, we see flashbacks of John Scott breaking out of the hospital, crashing into Olivia and then dying in her arms, something that we had already seen in the pilot episode. Yet another example is when Peter finds Walter hiding in the closet, and when Walter mentions the mental institution, Peter spits out the name of the institution (St. Claire's) and then reminds him that he got him out of there. The final example that I can think of from the top of my head is when Walter says that he will need a lab, to which Broyles replies that he already has one, reminding him of where it is.

These are all lines that were clearly written into the script tactically to help catch people up, and that's good for those who do need to be caught up but annoying for those who are caught up, because it seems so redundant and unnecessary. There was even a little bit of it in the most recent episode, “Dream Logic” (2.05). Walter tells Peter that he doesn't like Seattle, because it reminds him of St. Claire's, and since we don't know what that is, he, of course, has to add that it's the mental institution in which he stayed. Like I said, that's just incredibly annoying for those of us who have been keeping up with the series, at least to me, anyway, because it's obvious information that I already know that I don't need to see, or hear, for that matter, rehashed. I know that J.J. said early on that this show would be a lot easier to follow than LOST, but I still don't think that as a television writer and producer, you should be encouraging your viewers that it's okay to skip episodes. There are a lot of very vital episodes in Fringe; for example, if you skip over “Momentum Deferred” (2.04), then you evidently surrendered a very vital and large piece of the puzzle.

Anyway, I am done ranting about that for the time being. I find the “Oversight Committee” to be interesting, or, as I like to call it, the “Jedi Council,” because we have yet to learn what that is and how it functions. We also do not know how it is chosen who is on the council or, for that matter, why Nina is on it. My guess is that it's due to the fact that as “executive director” of Massive Dynamic, she has vital information regarding the technology associated with the Pattern, but initially, it didn't seem to me as if Broyles trusted her very much, and he still doesn't give me the impression that he fully does. A lot of people say that in “A New Day in the Old Town” (2.01), Broyles' reaction to Nina's kiss is rather robotic, in that he doesn't really have a reaction, but that's not the way that I see it at all. He seems, to me, to be a bit spiteful of it, almost as if he is thinking, “It's just like you to do something like that, Nina,” but that's just my opinion. He seems to be cautious of her, and I think that there's definitely a lot of tension in their relationship, whether it be professional or romantic in any way. Also, I wonder if the Jedi Council is government-oriented or more like Dumbledore's Army? That's one of the few questions that this episode asks to which there is still no answer.

The other question that comes up for me in this episode is the scene in which Olivia seemingly imagines herself having a conversation with Broyles inside Massive Dynamic. He asks her if when she and John Scott were intimate, whether or not they were “safe,” and when she doesn't respond, he says, “You weren't, were you?” Olivia then begins screaming in agony as a large bulge begins to form in her abdomen, suggesting that she is experiencing what Lorraine Daisy experiences at the beginning of the episode, but what was the purpose of that scene? Broyles obviously didn't seem to really be there with her; it seemed as if she was alone. However, this is what I'm wondering. Is it possible, as has been discussed before, that Olivia's ability to travel to the other reality without facing the unfortunate consequences a result of her Cortexiphan trials? If so, then have we been seeing that happening more than we realize, and if that's true, then perhaps that is what we saw in that scene. Perhaps in the other reality, this did happen to Olivia.

Then again, however, there is evidence to contradict this. For example, we know that, as was revealed in “The Transformation” (1.13), John Scott isn't really a “bad guy,” so he most likely wouldn't have done that to Olivia even in the alternate reality. Secondly, this did not happen to the Olivia in this reality, and so for that to have happened to her, she would have had tobecome the alter-Olivia, which we presumably know is not how dimension-hopping works. Not only that, but I think it's fair to assume that that would have killed her just the same as it did Lorraine Daisy, and we know from the scene in “The Road Not Taken” (1.19) when Olivia meets Scarlie that Olivia is not dead in the alternate reality, or at least wasn't at that point. Perhaps it was just a vision that she had, used as a red herring to get us to focus on the lie regarding John Scott being a “bad guy.”

Something else that now has me wondering about this episode is the fact that Olivia tells Peter that when she and John were investigative partners, the two of them investigated a series of five murders very similar to the ones that occur in the episode. They were essentially the same, in fact. This is something that I don't think is really resolved by the end of the episode, because we still don't know who was committing those murders. I suppose that it could have been Christopher himself, but something is telling me that that is not the way to lean. It is more likely, I think, that there are other people out there like Christopher, and we actually know that, in fact, because Walter even says that the experiments were initiated in order to create soldiers, having them rapidly age to the point of young adulthood, and of course, the problem was that they hadn't thought ahead and developed a way to stop the aging process once it had gotten as far as they had wanted it to, so it's very possible that there are other people out there who kill people for their pituitary gland so that they can slow their aging process. Is it at all likely that Claus Penrose has the same condition as Christopher? We can assume that Christopher is the result of some sort of experiment and that Claus is not his biological father, especially since Christopher refers to him as the man he called his father, but I still think that it is plausible, since I don't see any evidence to fight it. Perhaps, it has to do with the three men that we see in beds at the end of the episode.

This is a relatively decent episode. Stemming from the mind-blowing pilot episode, it really can't be compared, but it's still a really good episode, and I remember being really excited to see “The Ghost Network” (1.03) after first seeing this one. The scene near the end of the episode with Christopher rapidly aging is actually very eerie, with the lights flickering above him resulting in his face being shown only once every few seconds, and the general concept behind this episode is one that I hope to see come back in this show, because the aforementioned ending doesn't have a very satisfying conclusion. Who are those three men, and are they at Massive Dynamic? Walter speaks of soldiers throughout this episode, and I wonder if this has any relation whatsoever to the super soldiers that we have been seeing in this season, such as the Charlie impostor? Walter also mentions Peter's past to Olivia near the end of the episode, and when Olivia tells him that she doesn't know what he's talking about since there was no file, he changes the subject and urges her to forget that he said anything. First of all, I find it very odd that Olivia has not mentioned this since, and second of all, was he talking about what we now know to be true, that Peter somehow died in this reality and that Walter therefore stole alter-Peter from the alternate reality? If so, then what did Walter not cover up? Obviously, there was something that he wasn't able to hide or to cover up, or else he wouldn't have been so worried about what Peter's medical history would have said. Anyway, as I said, I really like this episode, and I think I'd have to give it five shirtless and aggravated Peters and two Walters hiding in the closet.

"Pilot" (1.01) - series premiere

The pilot episode of Fringe is, by far, one of the absolute best pilots I have ever seen and therefore easily receives ten falling kayaks; it instantly draws you into the world of Fringe and the mood that comes along with it. So much happens right in the first episode that leaves you desperate to watch more to find out what's going to happen, and I think that that is a rarity in a pilot episode. In the pilot episode of the X-Files, for example, barely anything happens besides the establishment of Mulder and Scully's partnership, and it's not really until the show's third season that it becomes somewhat clear where it's going. It is most definitely, no questions asked, better than the LOST pilot episode. I can, without any hesitation, give it ten cups of butterscotch pudding. The special effects are incredible, for starters, and the complexity of the characters, especially Peter and Walter, are already presented in the typical J.J. fashion; here are the characters, and along with them, here are hundreds of questions. If you have not yet seen Fringe, by the way, but would really like to see it, then please, don't read any further.

Where I was initially drawing comparisons to Alias, I still do want to establish these comparisons, because they were my initial thoughts about the show, so I still want to incorporate as much as what I was thinking at the time into the entry as I can without it being the primary focus of the entry. Olivia reminded me a lot of Sydney in the episode; she carries herself physically in a very similar fashion such as the way she crosses her arms when she's talking to someone, and there were certain scenes in which I thought she resembled her somewhat as well. In addition, the mental link that Walter made between Olivia and John is a very similar procedure that was conducted quite frequently on Alias. Also, the very basic plot-line is very similar as well; a highly driven and intelligent young woman who works for the government's boyfriend is killed, and as a result, she is empowered to seek for the truth behind the mysteries that are inevitably a part of her profession. I instantly fell in love with the series just from watching the pilot episode, because I had drawn so many comparisons to Alias, and I'm a huge fan of Alias. You all know how much I love Fringe, I'd assume, based on my obsessive tendencies regarding the show, but Alias is the only reason I started watching Fringe to begin with; it's the only reason I started watching LOST.
Anyway, I am going to do the best that I can to talk about the episode itself; it's just a little bit difficult, because it's hard to theorize, because since the show is in its second season as of now, any theories I could possibly have to offer in regards to the pilot episode would quite possibly be irrelevant and non-helpful at this point. However, I know that I do have some thoughts to share, and I'll begin with the question that pressed me at the time and still presses me to this day, because I haven't been able to figure out what he is talking about. Right before John dies in Olivia's arms, he says, "Ask yourself why Broyles sent you to the storage cell," and correct me if I'm wrong, but to this day, that question has not been answered unless I'm missing a key component. My guess is that he wanted Olivia to know that he was really good, but I'm not sure how what he said to her has anything to do with being on her side. The only theory I really have to offer is that Broyles knew that John was a "traitor," or at least, he thought he was, and so since he knew what was going to happen when Olivia and John went to the storage cell, he orchestrated it, because he knew it would end in John's exposure. One problem with this theory is that it is drastically far-fetched, but I don't know what else to think. However, if you think about it, it could account for what Broyles tells Olivia at the end of "The Transformation" (1.13); he tells her that for all intents and purposes, John Scott was a traitor to the country and will remain so on file, which I found to be strange considering the fact that he was buried as a hero. It's possible that Broyles didn't want to be exposed.

Another possibility, of course, is that it will later be revealed in the show that Broyles is the traitor, and that that is what he didn't want exposed, but that's a flavor of Kool-Aid of which I can't really say that I'm very fond. Broyles is one of my favorite characters, so the show, for me, definitely wouldn't really be the same without him, and you know what shows typically do; they kill the bad guys off, so I don't think he'd last very long if he were revealed as a traitor. To be honest, though, I can't even really see it. Broyles has proven time and time again that he is devoted to his country and that Olivia is very important to him. At the bar in "A New Day in the Old Town" (2.01), when Peter tells him that they were too late for Olivia, the look on Broyles' face is one of pure self-loathing and pain, for example. So, unless he's an excellent actor (a lot better than the "fake" Charlie, anyway), he can't possibly be a mole; he has me thoroughly convinced.

Another topic upon which I really want to touch is the "incident" that Broyles tells Olivia about right before he asks her to join Fringe Division. He tells her that forty-seven (one of the situations that I initially talked about briefly due to the number) children had gone missing for years and then later came back not having aged a day, and I'm really hoping that that is something that will be explored later in the show, because it seems to be too big of an issue to just leave as it is. It seems to me that the most likely answer to the question is time-travel. The children went missing, because during that time that they were gone, they didn't exist since they jumped over that time frame, but even if this is the case, I would still like for this to be revisited, because that's not enough for me. I want to know why they traveled through time and what it has to do with ZFT and the rest of the Fringe mythology. Now, the reason why that's so important to me is because first of all, as I said, to me, it's a pretty big issue to just drive by, and second of all, this is something that Broyles tells Olivia to get her to join Fringe Division, something that he hopes will motivate her to join, so it seems to me like it's pretty important, if not in general, then at least to Broyles.

The next and ultimately final topic that I want to discuss is Peter's past, which is heavily presented in the pilot episode (yet another example of what I was previously talking about when I said that the pilot episode has so much to offer). We know that Peter has become involved with some dangerous people, but we don't know how or why. Olivia knows this too, but likewise, she doesn't know what exactly he has involved himself in. In the pilot episode, she takes a stab and uses his past to manipulate him into coming to the states with her to help her solve John's case. He does not want to go with her; he has no interest whatsoever, but all she has to do is tell him that the FBI has a file on him, and with one phone call, she could get him into a lot of trouble, and he responds by asking when they're leaving, so something scared him enough to make him do something that he had no interest in doing whatsoever, and his past comes back every now and then throughout the first season but only with more questions and no answers. I honestly have no theories, because not much is given to us to help us come up with one, and I don't think that it has much to do, if anything, with Walter killing the original Peter and then replacing him with the alter-Peter, but I do think that since it is one of the major issues that are presented in the pilot episode, it is worth mentioning. Anyway, be on the lookout for more, fellow Fringies, and in the meantime, stay on the fringe.

"Like Minds/the Prisoner" (FRINGE #1)

If you have never read the Fringe comics but would like to read them, please, do not read any further, as this does contain spoilers. The first part of this comic opens at Harvard University in 1974, when Walter and Bell first meet and begin their partnership in Walter's lab. First, we see Walter, who is much younger and much saner (and in comparison to his appearance in the season 2 1985 episode, continuity as far as appearance is concerned is not an issue, in my opinion), and he is trying to study quietly as he hears loud music playing from down the hallway. The music is being played by none other than William Bell, and I find this to be very interesting. In the TV series, Walter frequently resorts to music in order to help him concentrate and in order to calm his nerves, something that is seen quite frequently in the series, yet here he is annoyed by it. There are two possible explanations for this, two that I can muster, anyway. One is that after the two of them officially became partners, Bell continued to play music while he worked, and Walter consequently developed the same habit. Another possibility is that when the synaptic transference took place between the two of them, Bell's love for listening to music while he worked crossed over to Walter, which consequently causedhim to practice the habit. Either way, I find it interesting.

After Walter demands that Bell turn his music down so that he can concentrate, he very quickly solves an equation known in the comic as the Morianz Equation (which is fictional), something that astonishes Bell. Is Walter smarter than Bell? At this point in the series (break between the second season and the third season), it has not been totally clear, at least not to me, which of the two is smarter, but I think that one of the purposes of this comic is to show us that Walter is a tad more brilliant than even Bell is, which speaks a great deal of his intelligence. In this comic, Walter is also very arrogant. Bell, astonished, says that only five people have solved the Morianz Equation, and Walter simply says, "I guess that makes six." Likewise, it also seems more like Bell who is arrogant as opposed to Walter, but then again, the Walter that we know now is not the same man that we see in this comic, far from it. In this comic, Walter would have been about twenty-eight, and it is stated directly that Bell is twenty. This means that there is a considerable gap of years between the two of them, with Walter being the older one, which is surprising, because it certainly doesn't look that way between John Noble and Leonard Nimoy (which is probably because it's not that way), but then again, it is likely that Bell having traveled between the universes so frequently has caused him to look much older than he actually is.

Despite the obvious differences between the Walter then and the Walter now, there is also a key similarity. In this comic, Walter's main priorities are knowledge and discovery. He has little to no regard for life, not caring even in the slightest what happens to the mice on which he is experimenting. In fact, when Bell shows a little bit of compassion for the mice and names one of them Jimmy, Walter seems surprised and says that they are nothing more than mice. Bell asks Walter why the mice have been dying, and Walter says, "Could be the wires I'm inserting into their brain. Could be the electrocution. I haven't concluded." This is a bit humorous despite what is clearly animal cruelty, because it could directly go either way and is such a Walter-like statement for one to make. In "Momentum Deferred" (2.04), we finally see what Olivia and Bell talked about while Olivia was on the Other Side between "There's More than One of Everything" (1.20) and "A New Day in the Old Town" (2.01), and Olivia makes Bell out to be the mad scientist. Walter even frequently insists that most of what went on in the lab while the two of them were partners was Bell's work and that he just went along with it, but this comic definitely suggests differently.

Walter also says in this comic that there is no such thing as a soul. In "The Dreamscape" (1.09), Walter tells Astrid that he used to be religious, but in 1974, at a pretty young age, he is telling Bell that he doesn't believe in any such thing as a soul, so I wonder when he lost his faith and why. Did science simply take control of his faith? I also find it worth mentioning that what Walter is trying to do between the two mice in this comic is pretty much what he does between Olivia and John Scott in the pilot episode. I wonder what the deal with the golden pendant with the bird is, though. My guess is that it belonged to Walter's father and that his father gave it to him when he was a young boy, which would mean that most likely, Walter's father is the man that Bell saw after he and Walter underwent a synaptic transference. I can only hope that the pendant will play some sort of role in the TV series, much like the discovery that Walter's father was a Nazi spy plays a role in "The Bishop Revival" (2.13). How much information passed between the two of them during this synaptic transference? Was it enough for Walter to be left with a habit of listening to music while he worked? How long did the information stay? Like Olivia's experience with John Scott, did the two of them ever see each other when they weren't really there to see?

The second part of the comic is titled "The Prisoner" and opens in Littleton, Nebraska (a location most likely chosen as a nod at the LOST character Claire Littleton) with a man named Frank proposing to a woman named Sarah. She accepts, but Frank suddenly finds himself in prison with a different appearance and a different name, Jone (plausibly of relation to David Robert Jones). He tries to get in touch with Sarah, but she refuses to talk to him and changes her number, having told him that Frank is with her, which tells us that Frank has switched consciousnesses with Jones. We are then brought to a different location, "somewhere in Montana," where a scientist is experimenting on a man named Jake, trying to switch his consciousness with that of another man whose name we don't learn. It doesn't work, though, and we are then brought to a third and final location, a spacecraft, where an English-speaking woman apparently finds herself in a Russian astronaut's body. I am confused by this ending, because I don't understand why it's significant. Is the scientist that we see in Montana responsible for all of these transferences? If so, then why did the one involving Jake fail? Anyway, the second part of this comic really reminds me of an episode of Fear Itself titled "Family Man," in which your everyday guy switches consciousnesses with an imprisoned criminal. Anyway, overall, I give this comic eight marked mice.