"Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver." (2.16)

I will start by saying that since this blog entry does contain spoilers, you should not read any further if you have yet to see this episode. Okay, so, I instantly made a connection to Cortexiphan as soon as Miranda Greene says to James Heath that she is trying so hard to remember him, and he says that since they were just kids, he understands, especially since Greene then goes on to ask him if childhood is when he thinks that he was exposed to something. This first scene, involving Greene's breaking out in puss-filled blisters, is simply disgusting, and saying that says quite a bit, since we have seen some truly disgusting content onFringe. Anyway, I am very happy to have seen Sam again, and I hope that he will be back at least one more time before the season is over. Olivia tells him in this episode that Sam once told her after her car accident (referring to episode 2.03, “Fracture”) that she “would experience things,” and that now, she is, but I wonder to what she is referring. It doesn't seem to me like she is merely referring to her insomnia, because I would think that she'd know why she isn't sleeping. Anyway, Sam tells her that she has “officially gone beyond my field of expertise,” which raises another question; what is his field of expertise? What exactly does Sam do? He tells her that he's older than he looks, which would make sense if he helped Nina grow accustomed to her mechanical arm, but he has to be more than just “a frustrated psychologist,” as Allan Pang, also known and probably better known as XeroPhytes, says.

There is a great deal of tension between Olivia and Walter in this episode and even more between Olivia and Peter, which I think is where the title of this episode originates. Obviously, it is a
Clue reference, and Clue is everywhere in this episode, from the wrench that we see Sam using near the beginning of the episode, to the rope that we see on Walter's desk in the lab, and to the candlestick that Olivia uses near the end of the episode to defend herself from Heath's attempts to exchange his Cancer with her. The title has a deep meaning, though. Olivia is indeed standing in the lab with that revolver, a weight in her hand tempting her to pull the trigger, an act that would result in the death of a family. That weight is not fair, and I do feel terribly sorry for Walter, so don't get me wrong. “Things have never been better between us,” he tells Olivia. “I can't lose him again. I can't. He will never forgive me.” This is incredibly heartbreaking, but it's also very difficult to watch Olivia struggle with this dark secret, especially when Peter is so excited to go on this “road trip” with Olivia, and the look on Olivia's face as she glances back at Walter before leaving screams so much pain and confusion, and I feel so sorry for her. If it has never been clear before now, it is definitely clear now that at the end of episode 2.08, “August,” December is talking about Olivia when he says that “it's a shame that things are about to get so hard for her.” I surmised as much at the end of episode 2.14, “Jacksonville,” when she first discovers the truth of Peter's origin.

The tension between Olivia and Walter is clear right near the beginning of the episode when Walter says to Peter (telling him a story of his childhood that probably isn't really
his childhood), “By the time you got to the bottom, your testicles were in your mouth,” referring to a skiing trip. Olivia then appears, and Walter, averting his eyes away from her in a very guilt-ridden fashion, says that he is sure that Agent Dunham is not interested in hearing about Peter's childhood. I don't understand, though, why he calls her Agent Dunham. Peter does during this scene, too, and it doesn't make any sense to me. It seems to me like the three of them have been working together long enough that they should be on a first-name basis, and usually, they are. Olivia almost always calls Walter and Peter by their first names, and usually, they call her Olivia, but sometimes, such as this time, they call her by her last name, and I don't understand that. Anyway, moving on, very shortly after, Walter says to the doctor who tells him that he took a class that Walter taught, which inspired him to stick with his motivation to become a doctor, that “when you open your mind to the impossible, sometimes, you find the truth.” I love this line; it's probably my favorite quote of the episode, and of course, the Fringe Podcast did not nominate it for Quote of the Week. I definitely would have nominated it; not all memorable quotes, after all, have to be funny, and they aren't always.

This episode also refers to INtREPUS Pharmaceuticals, which is a nice tie-in to episode 1.06, “The Cure,” by mentioning it as a lawsuit which Miranda Greene was pursuing prior to her death. The episode also shows a scene in Hartford, Connecticut, which excites me, because even though I know that that wasn't Hartford in which the scene was filmed, I have been to Hartford before. I went there in 2007 to see my favorite band, Evanescence, perform live, so it is really cool for a scene of
Fringe to have taken place somewhere where I have been (Syracuse is mentioned in episode 1.10, “Safe,” which is very close to where I live). Anyway, though, returning to the tension between Olivia and Peter, the second car ride scene is probably the best example. It is so adorable that Peter thinks that the reason why Olivia has been acting so strangely around him is because they almost kissed in Jacksonville. He goes on to say, though, that “this thing that we have, you, me and Walter, this little family unit that we got going, I don't want to do anything to jeopardize that.” Now, I would like to comment that he leaves Astrid out of his statement, which I think is utterly ridiculous, since Astrid isdefinitely a part of their “family unit.” Olivia, though, says that she doesn't want to, either, which is so bitterly and ironic, because that is something with which they both agree, but their reasons are different, and now, indirectly, Olivia is also being pressured by Peter not to share his secret with him, which only makes that revolver even heavier; again, it is so heartbreaking.

Olivia is drinking quite a bit again, which is probably related to her high level of stress, and it definitely doesn't appear as if Rachel is living with her anymore. In fact, it would appear as if Olivia has moved. Now, obviously, we all know why that is. She can't possibly live in the same residence, since the show is filmed in a different location, but I'm saying that inside of the
Fringe circle, it would appear as if she has moved. Sam then shows up after midnight to play a game of Clue with Olivia, and he has a very interesting conversation with her. He tells her that her being “a military brat” would explain her bland clothes, since what she does is more than just a job for her; she is a soldier. This is an interesting view, especially since he uses the word “soldier.” Does he know, I wonder, or is he making a completely innocent observation? I would think that since he knows about the alternate reality, he knows about the effort to cultivate soldiers, so I don't know. In episode 1.17, “Bad Dreams” (to which this episode has a lot of tie-ins), we learn that the bland colors are to blend in, which could be what Sam is implying; I don't know. Again, though, he tells her that he is older than he appears and also taller than he appears, the latter of which doesn't seem to make much sense, but, of course, at a point which we were probably going to learn more about him, Olivia interrupts him by having a House-esque epiphany, which is that the case is linked to the Cortexiphan trials, a point which pumps the episode up to a whole new level.

Olivia then goes to see Peter in order to tell him about her realization, and when she and Peter walk into the kitchen where Walter is making saltwater taffies as well as puss pizza, it is clear that Walter is immensely worried; he thinks that Olivia has told Peter about who Peter really is, but, of course, she hasn't, and Nina, the next day, somehow convinces Olivia not to tell Peter in yet another epic scene between Olivia and Nina. Forgive my French, but Nina is such a manipulative bitch, and she does nothing to hide it during this scene. Olivia, very angry with Nina (for, as she tells Walter and Peter, she doesn't believe that Nina is always very forthcoming, which I find really funny), tells her that she knows the whole story about Peter and that she is going to tell him, but Nina bluntly says, “No, you won't,” which makes me laugh hysterically, mainly because of the manipulative tone of voice that she uses when she says it. I then find it even funnier when Olivia asks Nina what makes her so sure that she won't tell him, and Nina, using the same manipulate tone of voice, says, “Because you haven't told him yet.” Nina then says, “You didn't come here today to ask me about a list that you already knew I don't have, and you didn't come here to announce that you're going to tell Peter who he really is. You came here to have me talk you out of it.” Like I said, she is a manipulative bitch, and I love it. Scenes between Olivia and Nina are always so intense, such as the one near the end of episode 1.09, “The Dreamscape,” one of my favorite season one episodes.

Somewhat close to the end of the episode, Peter praises Walter and says, “Well done, Walter,” and Walter guiltily says, “Thank you, son,” and exchanges an awkward glance with Olivia. This is about as far as the tension goes, though, since, by the end of the episode, Olivia agrees not to tell Peter, even though Walter thanks her but says that he has to tell Peter so that he can start correcting the mistakes that he has made in his life (even though I am sure that he isn't really going to tell him right away). Anyway, the fight scene between Olivia and Heath near the end of the episode is beyond intense, and my heart was rapidly pounding throughout the entire scene. I was, in fact, doing my usual when television gets me excited, which is talking to and yelling at the characters. She finally does take him down, though, and he is put into a drug-induced coma (just like Nick Lane). Anyway, the last part of this episode that I want to discuss is the memorable Oliver scene in which, after having come to her rescue, Peter asks Olivia why she didn't call Broyles, and that is so adorable. It is clear that she has to think about it before telling him that he is on her speed dial, and she then thanks him for coming, to which he says that she is welcome. They are so adorable together, and hopefully, by the end of this season, their relationship will make its way to even further heights. It will be difficult for that to happen, though, with Peter finding out who he really is (which is bound to happen very, very soon) and most likely being very angry with Olivia for keeping it from him. Anyway, this is a fantastic episode, and I give it 9.5 games of

1 comment:

  1. so what exactly does the episode 17 title mean?