"It Runs in the Family/Hard Copy" (FRINGE #5)

Before discussion of this comic, I would like to warn those who have not read the Fringe comics but would like to read them to not read any further, as this does contain spoilers. The first half of this comic is titled "It Runs in the Family" and picks up precisely where the first half of the third comic, "Best-Laid Plans," leaves off. Walter and Bell have been transported to Germany on April 29, 1945, a mere few days before Hitler's suicide. Walter is trying to explain to his father that he is his son and that he and Bell have been transported back in time, and his father actually believes him, showing him that he has been working on a time machine for Hitler, because Hitler has been intending to alter the course of history. It definitely does make me wonder if the comics take place in the alternate universe, because a time machine having existed in this universe in the 1940s? That is even difficult to believe as far as the Other Side is concerned, but then again, in the sixth comic, Walter is in the mental institution, and I sincerely doubt that we are suddenly switched back to this universe in the last comic. It's just very strange, but it wouldn't be Fringe if it weren't strange. I guess that in the Fringeverse, Hitler's endgame was a time machine, even in this universe. If Hitler was the same person with the same motives on the Other Side, I can't even imagine what he was capable of.

Walter says to his father that "I know I can't prove I'm your son." This is odd, because Walter's father's name is Robert Bischoff, so wouldn't Walter assume that the similarity between their last names would suggest something? Hans Froelich was not Bischoff's real last name, and then, of course, when he moved to the U.S., he changed his last name to Bishop. What is odd, though, is that Bischoff doesn't reveal his real name to Walter, and Walter doesn't question the difference between their last names. Perhaps, Bischoff is simply being extra careful with what he said so that he wouldn't blow his cover. This is not to suggest that he doesn't trust Walter or Bell; instead, I think that it is much more likely that he simply doesn't want the wrong person to hear. Walter later asks his father to see to it that a man that helped him and Bell, a man named Levi Berger, survives, but Bischoff says that "I can't do anything that will alter the future, Walter. You know that as well as I do. If I change anything, it could tear the fabric of space-time." In other words, don't steal an alternate version of your son from a parallel universe. It definitely reminds me a lot of LOST, because Bischoff most likely named his son Walter because he already knew that his name was Walter, which means that technically, Walter named himself. You could get a headache trying to decide which came first; it's like a vicious circle.

I wonder what Walter's relationship with his father was like. This comic suggests that it was good, and so does the way that Walter usually talks about his father. In "The Bishop Revival" (2.13) (an episode that has a lot of connections to this comic), Walter speaks very highly of him in a tone that strongly suggests that he very much admired him. He seems to be very proud of him. After Walter and Bell make it back to the Boston lab back to their present day, they discover, much to their glee, that Berger survived and now has a dog named Walter, which I find funny and adorable. What I also find funny, hilarious, even, is that Walter is responsible for having sent Hitler back in time to 65 million years ago, where he most likely became lunch for a dinosaur. According to Fringe (assuming that the comics do indeed take place in this universe), Hitler did not commit suicide; that was a cover up, and he was really eaten by dinosaurs. I wonder if Walter will ever tell this story to someone who will believe it on the TV series. I'd really like to see the look on his face as he tells the story as whoever he tells it to most likely thinks that he's crazy, which, for the most part, he is. I really like the first half of this comic. It's entertaining, exciting, funny and action-packed, and the ending definitely provides some laughs.

In the second half of this comic (titled "Hard Copy"), a reporter named Michelle (who kind of looks like Jessup) asks if she can investigate Massive Dynamic, since she has done some research of her own and has discovered that the Pattern has a connection to Massive Dynamic. Her boss doesn't allow it, but she receives a call and is asked to come to Massive Dynamic's farm. The polite and sophisticated vocabulary used on the phone sounds very much like Nina, and I definitely did think that it was Nina until we meet who it really is, a woman that looks nothing like Nina who identifies herself as Dr. Crisafi. She identifies herself as the executive director, which means that she must be the executive director of that particular branch. "Most people hear 'Massive Dynamic,' and they think jet engines and computer chips," she says, which I find funny, because based on what we have seen of Massive Dynamic thus far on the TV series, that is what it is. I really like how Crisafi refers to Nina, saying that the cloned meat is perfectly healthy and that Nina Sharp has it flown out to her office in New York regularly; I guess that we know that Nina is not a vegetarian. Massive Dynamic ends up killing Michelle (which I had a feeling it would) and replacing her with a clone, so I guess they really are evil. I enjoyed this half of the comic, as well. I like how it is about Massive Dynamic, and I like the reference to Nina. Overall, I give this comic eight shipments of cloned meat to Nina Sharp.

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