"Safe" (1.10)

Before I begin, I would like to advise those who have never seenFringe but would like to see it not to read any further, as this does contain spoilers. Episodes like this episode are why I like Season 1 so much. There is a lot of mythology, and it is part of an ongoing arc that moves through five episodes in a row. “The Dreamscape” is a bit of a break from the arc, but it still has a lot to do with the mythology. In fact, “The Dreamscape” is one of the most mythology-oriented episodes of the season, asking a great deal of questions but answering close to nothing. The arc is unfortunately broken by episode 1.12, “The No-Brainer,” a filler episode (for the most part, anyway) that doesn't have anything to do with the show's mythology. I really like this episode, ultimately giving it eight safety deposit boxes, because there is a great deal of mythology, and this is also the first episode in which Walter tells Peter that he “nearly died when you were a boy.” Plus, since Loeb is not killed off during Season 1, I am sure that he will be back, something that will definitely pay off and make Season 1 even better than it already is.

Well, my first comment that I want to make is that in regards to the scene during which Peter can't seem to believe that Olivia doesn't have a best friend, I wonder who Peter is to talk. Who ishis best friend, I wonder? I mean, I am sure that there are layers of Peter's past of which we are not aware; in fact, I know that there are, but if I had been Olivia, I definitely would have asked him that, asking who his best friend is. Anyway, regarding this episode, Peter definitely gets Fringie of the Week. First, there is that epic conversation between Peter and Walter, during which Peter basically tells Walter that Walter has been absent from his life for so long that he first of all doesn't know Peter and second of all has nothing valid to say about Peter's decisions, saying that Walter's absence from his life “renders any fatherly judgment you may have of me moot.” What breaks my heart is that the two of them would never have that conversation now, and Peter, of course, is about to discover his origins in the upcoming episode, episode 2.18, “The Man from the Other Side,” so everything that the two of them built since this episode will, quoting Peter, be “rendered moot.”

Anyway, Walter apologizes, telling Peter that he did not intend to pass judgment but instead intended to comment on Peter's potential. “You have no idea what you're capable of, Peter,” he tells him, which he almost tells him again in episode 2.17, “White Tulip,” when he writes in the letter that he later burns that “you are special, Peter, in a way no one else is." The Observers (September, August and December, anyway) seem to agree that Peter is special, too, and I think that there's more to all of this than just the fact that Peter is from the Other Side. I don't know what, but there is definitely more to it than that, I think, something of which Walter is fully aware. Then, of course, as previously mentioned, there is Walter's first mention of Peter's childhood, when he “nearly died.” We now, of course, know the truth behind that, but why does Walter tell Peter about the doctor named Alfred Grass? Did he make him up, or was teleportation actually a measure to which he resorted? It's very ironic, by the way, that how Peter rolling the coin on his knuckles, just like we see young Peter do in episode 2.15, “Peter,” impresses Walter so much, since he is the one who showed Peter how to do it (in this reality) and also interesting that it is what urges Walter to tell Peter that he “nearly died.”

There is also a lot of foreshadowing in this episode that suggests that Peter and Olivia will later be involved in a romantic relationship. He gets so excited when he hears “bar in Cambridge” and instantly seizes his opportunity to go with Olivia, clearly indicating that he has the hots for her. He is also clearly offended when Olivia's aliases that she uses at the bar puts Peter in the position of being her brother. “Brother?” he asks her incredulously, to which Olivia replies, “Yeah, and it works better that way.” Then, he urges her to stick around for a few more drinks, something to which she surprisingly agrees. During this scene, it is clear that they are flirting with one another, and after they play the game with the cards, it is revealed that Olivia is very skilled when it comes to remembering numbers, something that she says has been a talent since she was a young girl. Does this possibly foreshadow the Cortexiphan trials? Maybe, the reason that she is so good at remembering numbers is because the Cortexiphan gave her that ability. Anyway, it is clear that Peter wants so badly for that to have been a date, and, of course, Walter is his usual self in trying to hook Olivia and Peter up. When the two of them wake him up, telling him that it's because of something really important, he wakes up and says, “Oh, do you two want to use the room?” As always, you have to love Walter.

Speaking of Walter's Walterisms, he, as always, definitely has quite a few memorable moments throughout this episode. When Baltimore is mentioned near the beginning of the episode, for example, he says, “I was in Baltimore. I remember a woman with particularly large breasts.” He just feels this need to say whatever is on his mind, regardless of how random it may be, which reminds me of when, in episode 1.07, “In Which We Meet Mr. Jones,” he tells Broyles that he had a fruit cocktail once in Atlantic City, even though he is not the fruit cocktail kind of guy. “Think back twenty years,” Walter says to Charlie in this episode. “Imagine yourself then imagining yourself now, twenty years into the future. In your wildest imagination, could you ever think you'd be here?” Olivia then tells Charlie, after Charlie asks if Walter is stoned, not to mind him, since “his mind works in a different way.” There is the scene during which Walter says that he can see that Olivia's pupils are dilated, suggestive of either stress or drug use, and asks her, “Are you tripping, Agent Dunham?” There is also the scene, which I laugh hysterically at every time, during which Peter asks Walter why he needs so much rice, and Walter playfully aims a toy gun at Peter and says, “No talking!” Lastly, Walter says to Astrid, obviously having forgotten her name, as usual, “Miss, I'm going to repeat the demonstration with the rice. Care to watch?” Astrid bluntly replies, “Nope.”

If I am remembering correctly, Walter hid the teleportation device in 1985, and if so, this is the same year that he took Peter from the Other Side. I bring this up, because during the scene involving Olivia, Peter and Walter conversing after Walter realizes that the safety deposit boxes are his, Walter says that he was under a great deal of stress at the time. He was, indeed, if it was 1985. He also says that it always seemed like someone was watching him. Well, we do know that September has been keeping tabs on Walter (in reference to the ending of episode 2.03, “Fracture”). We don't know if it is this Walter or Walternate, but if it's this Walter, then that might explain why Walter would have felt that way; he wasbeing watched, observed. Anyway, I want to briefly talk about Jones, since he is one of my favorite villains ever, and he is, of course, in this episode. Something that gets me thinking is how and why Kohl, his lawyer, was accommodating Jones with just about anything that he needed. I would think that that would not be allowed. I love how much, as always, he reminds me of Hannibal, though, especially, in this episode, when Kohl declines Jones's offering of a new suit, telling him that he likes his own suit because it's lucky, and Jones says to him, “I can appreciate that.”

“Safe” contains the frequent “47” shout-out when Charlie tells Olivia that one of their suspects purchased three one-way tickets to Providence and landed forty-seven minutes ago. Anyway, though, Peter has a very memorable line in this episode. When he is questioning Eastwick, the man that is apprehended, he tells Eastwick that Eastwick is suffering from radiation poisoning and then says, “You violated the laws of Physics, Mr. Eastwick, and Mother Nature is a bitch.” I love that line. I do want to briefly talk about Nina, too, since she is in this episode. At the end of the episode, after Broyles discovers that Olivia is missing and indirectly accuses Nina of being involved, Nina resents the accusation and says to Broyles, “You know how I feel about Agent Dunham.” How does she feel? I mean, she doesn't sound very sincere, and I doubt that that speaks negatively of Blair Brown's acting ability. Nina says early in the episode to an employee that “we're in a race against highly motivated individuals.” Who is she talking about, ZFT or the Other Side? She also realizes that memories that she needs are possibly in Olivia's mind, which led us to believe, possibly incorrectly, that Nina had something to do with Olivia's abduction. I recall this episode being the last episode that aired prior to a very lengthy hiatus, and it drove me crazy. She is abducted, and then, we had to wait a good month and three weeks to find out what happens. Anyway, as I said, this is a pretty good episode. It makes mention of Syracuse, NY, which I find very cool, because I live very close to Syracuse; I have, in fact, been there many times. Anyway, stay on the fringe.

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