"The Dreamscape" (1.09)

Before I begin discussion of this incredibly intense episode, I would like to warn those who have not seen Fringe but would like to see it, because this entry does contain spoilers. "The Dreamscape" is one of my favorite episodes, because, as I just said, it is really intense. I love the epic scene near the end of the episode involving the "conversation" (if that's what you want to call it) between Olivia and Nina (a very strong and memorable scene), and I also love how, just like the pilot episode and "The Transformation" do, this episode reminds me a lot of Alias, my first J.J. experience, an experience that is responsible for my love for Fringe and for LOST (speaking of LOST, there is a rather blunt shout-out in this episode when Olivia finds an Oceanic Air ticket that belonged to Mark Young). Olivia's going back into the tank to explore John Scott's memories is very Alias-like, as a very similar situation recurs frequently during the course of the series (if you like Fringe but have never seen Alias, then I highly, highly recommend that you do). As I said, this is definitely one of my favorite episodes and receives nine killer butterflies from me.

The Observer is rather difficult to miss in this episode; in fact, I'm pretty sure that I spotted him myself the very first time that I watched this episode. When Mark Young and his colleague walk into a hallway during the very first scene of the episode, the Observer is seen very clearly mysteriously standing in the background, and it makes me wonder whether or not anyone sees him and wonders who the heck he is. The first scene involving Mark Young does really annoy me, though, because most likely, in actuality, it wouldn't happen, but it follows the classic "horror-movie" style so that there can be a story, and I am, of course, referring to how even after being cut a couple of times by the butterfly, instead of getting the heck out of the room, Mark looks down through the vent after seeing it fly down into the vent, which is just stupid. I don't think that this scene would actually happen in reality, because most people would have gotten out of that room as soon as the butterfly cut them, not stick around to find out what's going to happen next. Perhaps, though, the drug that was used doesn't just literally scare you to death but also makes you incredibly stupid.

Speaking of the butterflies, a butterfly with sharp edges, as you probably already know, is one of the glyphs, as is a frog, both featured in this episode, and, of course, it is intentional. In other episodes, too, the glyphs have been used within the episode, such as the seahorse in episode 2.13, "The Bishop Revival" and the hand, flower and butterfly on the outside of the Jacksonville Daycare Center in episode 2.14, "Jacksonville." Anyway, why does Olivia see the butterflies on Young's wall moving? Does this have something to do with Cortexiphan? I still don't understand that. I recall my reaction, anyway, to the first scene when I first saw this episode, and my jaw dropped (even though, at the same time, I was not surprised at all) when the scene reveals that Young worked at Massive Dynamic. Up until “The Dreamscape,” we are led to believe that Massive Dynamic is a shadowy corporation that possibly has sinister motives, and, at least in part, I don't think that that has really changed. Will it ever be explained, I wonder, why Massive Dynamic's logo is on the plane in the pilot episode or why it is on the crane in "The Arrival" (1.04)?

Even if for only a very small period of time, it is nice to see Olivia dressed nice, to see her life outside of the FBI. Notice, however, that she is still wearing black. I wonder who she is talking to on the phone during this scene. Perhaps, she is talking to Rachel? In this episode's Walter's food obsession seems to be coffee yogurt, and I love the scene during which he tells Astrid that “in case you haven't noticed, I can be quite obsessive,” to which she sarcastically replies, “Really?” as if she has noticed no such thing, but obviously, she has; we all have. This episode also really makes me miss Charlie even more than I realized I do, because I miss the relationship between Olivia and Charlie. She really trusts him, realizing that she can tell him about her visions of John Scott and therefore indeed telling him, and it's not common for Olivia to let someone in like that, especially since her problem is certainly not trivial; something has to be seriously wrong if Olivia wants to take a personal leave. It's a shame that Charlie is now gone, but I think that he was killed off so that Olivia would have to turn to Peter with more force than she had before, so that their relationship could progress, which it definitely has.

One of the many questions that this episode asks but doesn't answer is who the woman with whom Peter meets up is. Based on the way that they act around each other, I am guessing that they used to date, and although we know that her name is Tess, we don't know much else, really. We know that she has some sort of knowledge of Peter's past (before joining Fringe Division, that is, but not necessarily his childhood), since she says to him, “If I can find you, they can find you. They'll hurt you.” Who is they? I mean, near the end of the episode, we see the “they” that Tess refers to, but the very short scene does not tell us who “they” are. During the scene, a man (whose name, according to Fringepedia, is Gregory Worth) is seen talking on his cell phone speaking to an unnamed person about a man whose legs he intends to break, also an unnamed person, when Michael (Tess's apparent boyfriend that Peter assaults due to evidence that he is physically harming her) approaches the man and tells him that “he's back in town, Peter Bishop.” The first thought that crosses my mind as a result of this scene is that obviously, Peter has been to Boston before, so first of all, why, and second of all, why does he keep this secret? Whoever “they” are, will they end up hurting Peter? Will his decision to stay in Boston end up doing him a lot more harm than good?
As I previously mentioned very briefly, Olivia is still seeing John Scott in this episode, and I recall this being something that annoyed some people (the situation is not resolved in episode 1.13, “The Transformation”), but I really like it. Clint from theFringe Podcast frequently complains that season two allows the story involving Peter being from the Other Side to drag on too long, and the reason that I bring this up is because I disagree with that for the same reason that I disagree with this. The longer a story is drawn out, the more epic it will be when it explodes. “The Transformation” is one of my favorite episodes, because after Olivia has to deal with seeing John Scott and having his memories recalling themselves from time to time for such a long period of time, the problem is finally resolved. First of all, it makes Fringe much more of a serialized show (which I like and want), and it also makes the closure, when you finally do get it, that much more epic and satisfying. Anyway, because Olivia is still seeing John Scott, she urges Walter to allow her to go back into the tank, to which he reluctantly agrees.

I love how after Olivia asks Walter how long the process in the tank will take, he says to her that “what you have asked me to do is pushing the boundaries of all that is real and possible, not roasting a turkey.” I just find it funny, because he sure is one to talk. After all, it's not like he built a machine to travel to a parallel reality to cure an alternate version of his deceased son, but Walter really is especially out of control during this episode. Before Olivia goes into the tank, he tells her to listen to his voice, because his voice is her guide and her tether to reality, and then, he says, “Uh-oh. I just got an erection. Oh, fear not; it's nothing to do with your state of undress. I simply need to urinate,” and Olivia replies, “That's good to know.” You have to love Walter; he seems to like announcing, or at least seems to feel a need to announce, when he has to urinate, even if it means telling a nearly naked, beautiful woman that he has an erection. There is a lot of good dialogue in this episode, mostly involving Walter, as usual. When Olivia asks him what the Bible is for (the second time, that is, since he does not answer her the first time), he says to her, “Among other things, I thought it appropriate to pray you don't get electrocuted,” and she replies by saying, “Praise the Lord.”

There is a very adorable scene in this episode that I am sure Olivers (like myself) love. Peter tells Olivia that “if you need me, I'm here,” and she says, “Yeah, I know,” which results in the two of them exchanging smiles. It is such a memorable Oliver scene. Returning to Massive Dynamic, though, since this episode really is such an MD-Centric episode, I find it interesting that George Morales tells Olivia that “Massive Dynamic is hell, and its founder, William Bell, is the Devil,” yet, we haven't really seen this comment come into play at all. We still are not totally and completely sure of Massive Dynamic's intentions. I think that it is building soldiers to help this reality win the war, but did Morales know that? If so, why would he say something like that? Did Massive Dynamic kill him? If not, then who? As I previously mentioned, I absolutely love the scene between Olivia and Nina near the end of the episode. Nina tells Olivia that she doesn't remember having penciled her into her schedule, and Olivia tells her that she doesn't need an appointment. They are both independent and ambitious women, and putting them in the same room together seems to have humorous but intense results. I do think that Nina is well-aware of whatever drug was used to kill Mark Young and Morales, because she tells Olivia that “I seriously doubt that your witness will be able to provide any actionable evidence to implicate Massive Dynamic or William Bell of any wrongdoing.” To me, this is a discreet way of her saying that she knows Morales will end up dead.

The scene near the end of the episode during which Olivia, as usual, finds herself dissatisfied and therefore tells Walter that she needs to go back into the tank always cracks me up, because the scene takes place in the hallway outside of Walter and Peter's residence, and Walter asks, “In our room?” He always seems to make incorrect assumptions, such as when he assumes that when Olivia says, “How about a cup of tea?” she is offering one to him (in reference to episode 2.13, “The Bishop Revival”), and I always crack up when that happens, because it's like he's clueless, which is probably exactly the case. Olivia goes on, however, to insist that John did see her, to which Walter replies that he did not, because it is impossible (once again, however, not being in much of a position to tell someone what is impossible). We, of course, know, however, that John did in fact see her, something that we learn in episode 1.13, “The Transformation.” As I said, this is definitely one of my favorite episodes of Fringe, mostly because of how intense it is (especially that scene near the end between Olivia and Nina) but also because it is, by no means, “stand-alone,” leaving us with so many unanswered questions. Anyway, stay on the fringe.

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