"Over There" (part 2) - season finale

As always, I warn those who have not seen this episode of Fringe yet to not read any further, as this does contain spoilers. This finale is mind-blowing, like the first part, and I give it ten secret herbs and spices. Something that now comes to mind after having seen the season two finale is the ending of episode 2.03, "Fracture." I don't think that it was our Walter that the Observers were watching, that was said to be dangerous; I think that it was Walternate, and speaking of "Walternate," I find it very odd that the nickname doesn't ring a bell for Olivia when Bell brings it up, since Walter surely uses the nickname when he tells her the story of Peter's origin in episode 2.15, "Peter," but maybe he didn't, or if he did, then maybe she forgot. Last week, I wondered if the nurses at the hospital who attend to Walter when he collapses would recognize him as their Secretary of Defense, and this week clarifies that they did indeed. They recognized him as Walter Bishop, their Secretary of Defense, and Bolivia, obviously confused by this, mentions it to Walternate. Something that I find rather odd is that Peter doesn't immediately refer to Walternate as "dad." He refers to him as "Mr. Secretary," and that is to be expected; even though Walternate is really Peter's father, Peter doesn't know him as his father, and that is exactly what leads me to my point, which is what I find odd. Before Olivia and Peter finally kiss, he then refers to him as "my father." Why the sudden change, I wonder, especially considering the fact that he just discovered that his father has fatal plans for him?

I find it so funny when Bell tells Olivia that on the Other Side, the Fringe Team answers to Walter, and she is shocked, repeating his name incredulously. Then, when Olivia goes to Walter's hospital room and Walter wants to make sure that Olivia really is Olivia, she says, "Come on, Walter, we don't have time for this," and Walter, relieved, says, "It
is you; that's wonderful." Olivia proceeds to ask Walter if he can walk, and he says, "I can dance if you like. They have absolutely fabulous drugs here." This was an incredibly dark (no pun intended) episode, so a little humor every now and then has its use, as does the recent episode "Brown Betty" (2.19). I am so angry with Peter, though, for saying what he says to Bolivia, which is that he likes her hair better. I could have killed him. Anyway, something that I noticed about Bolivia is that she doesn't tend to use contractions very often; she's very militant. For example, when Walternate confirms that he didn't tell Bolivia that the "invaders" would be them, she responds with, "No, sir, you did not." She stands, walks and talks like a soldier, which demonstrates that Fringe Division on the Other Side is much more organized and much more "official," if you will, which makes a lot of sense. We have seen, in Boston, the effects of Quarantines, so the need for Fringe Division would be much greater on the Other Side, as Fringe events are a lot more obvious. Now, it makes sense why Olivia sees Boston on fire in "The Road Not Taken" (1.19), but the question is, why did Boston need to be Quarantined? Who was crossing over? Bell, perhaps?

The KFC scene makes it bluntly clear that Olivia, Walter and Bell are eating KFC, which is definitely pure product placement, especially considering the fact that there were KFC commercials during the breaks. During this scene, Bell says to Walter, "We've accomplished a lot together, Walter, but she may be our greatest achievement," which, of course, is in reference to Olivia. I love this quote and I also hate this quote. My reasons for loving it should be quite obvious; it's memorable. However, I also hate it, because even after Olivia gives him a piece of her mind in episode 2.04, "Momentum Deferred" (which actually happens right in between "There's More than One of Everything" and "A New Day in the Old Town"), he still says something that suggests that he sees her as a successful experiment and not a human being. He speaks like exactly what he is, which is a zealous scientist. I find it interesting how on the Other Side, Charles Lindbergh either didn't have a son or his son was never taken from him, since Bolivia doesn't know what Peter is talking about when he compares himself to the "Lindbergh baby." Peter tells Bolivia that Olivia is "a lot like you," with which I wholeheartedly disagree, but I think that the striking differences between the two have already been discussed in detail. Peter, obviously in love, says in admiration that Olivia is "always trying make up for something, right some imaginary wrong. Haunted, I guess," and Bolivia's stoic response is difficult to interpret. I don't know what she thinks of that, but considering the fact that she later tells Olivia that she is nothing like her, perhaps, like me, she disagrees.

So, apparently, Bell likes Twizzlers, too. Perhaps, he is the one who caused Walter to love them so much. Walter eats them while he conducts autopsies, and Bell eats them while he drives. I guess that Twizzlers are a good multitasking candy. During this scene, we finally see what the Blight looks like, and it's horrendous, incredibly depressing, actually. There seems to be no plant life whatsoever, and the area around Harvard is encased in amber, much like the bus in episode 1.03, "The Ghost Network." Perhaps, the amber encasement is not a result of the Boston Blight but a cause of it. Perhaps, what we see in "The Ghost Network" is an experiment, a way to find out whether or not the gas would work, and when it was discovered that it would, someone crossed over to the Other Side and attacked Boston, using the gas, and that is what caused Fringe Division to Quarantine the area, thereby causing the Blight. If so, then I was right, since quite a while ago, I speculated that the Blight was a result of attacks being made on this side, whereas most people disagreed with me and said that it was a result of the Other Side's technology destroying their environment, and it's looking more like I was right, not that I intend to gloat. I do find pleasure in being right, though. I suppose, however, that it could be a combination of both; breaches cause a need for Quarantines, and Quarantine technology causes Blights.

The scene between Walter and Bell in the alter-lab is amazing and is very emotional. I was aware of this confrontation for quite some time, as it was revealed weeks upon weeks ago that the two characters would confront one another in the finale, and as I assumed it would be, it is amazing. Walter, obviously having remembered what Bell did to him (which answers the question as to whether the final scene of episode 2.10, "Grey Matters," is a flashback or a memory), demands to know why Bell removed pieces of his brain, and Bell attempts to avoid the subject. Bell insists that starting Massive Dynamic was not his idea, which begs the question as to whose idea it
was. Walter also reveals that he has known that the Shapeshifters were designed by Bell, which kind of annoys me, because after that, it is not mentioned again, and that seems like a pretty big deal to me. It may be true that that did not confirm that Bell's loyalties have been elsewhere, since he tells Walter that he couldn't blow his cover, that he had to do whatever was necessary in order to earn Walternate's trust, but still, he had a hand in creating the monsters that we have seen throughout this entire season. Like I said, that is a big, if not enormous, deal, and it also annoys me that Walter has not shared this hunch with the team. Also, if Walternate was not successful when he attempted to cross universes, then how come Walter and Bell are? What do they do differently? Is it because they have Olivia? All the same, I got the sense that their efforts to take Peter back to this side brought back the old days for them; after so many years, they were lab partners again.

Another epic confrontation between two characters is that between Olivia and Bolivia. It is a bit comic, because for most of the physical fight, neither of them get anywhere, and that is because they are technically the same person, the same person who has simply led two different lives. It therefore stands to reason that they would have the same intelligence and combat skills. I love how Scarlie tells Olivia that he feels obsolete, which is intended to be reminiscent of the epic speech that he gives in the pilot episode, in which he says, "The truth is, we're obsolete." It's pretty funny when Peter shakes Scarlie's hand with a big smile on his face, saying "Pleased to meet you." Obviously, he has met him before, which is the irony behind it. Olivia, of course,
finally tells Peter that she loves him, and the two of them finally kiss, and I saw that coming as soon as she started trying to convince Peter to come back to this side. "You have to come back," she says, "because you belong with me." When Olivia and Peter meet up with Walter and Bell, I find it odd that they don't question why she now looks like Bolivia, but at any rate, this scene asks a pretty big question. Bell says to Peter, "You're holding up better than I would have thought," and Peter says, "What's a little universe hopping between friends?" Bell then says, "That's not what I meant," and Peter annoyingly doesn't press any further. Perhaps, Bell just meant emotionally, since Peter is obviously now aware of his origin. Plus, I would like to mention that Bell's 77 is amazing.

Near the end of the episode, it is finally revealed (sort of) why Bell removed pieces of Walter's brain. Bell tells Walter that he did it, because Walter asked him to do it "because of what you [Walter] were becoming." This asks a rather obvious question; what does Bell mean by this? What
was Walter becoming? Hopefully, we will find out in season three, but with Bell dead now, I don't know how. Then again, it's very likely that Nina knows. Anyway, I find it very odd that when Bolivia, Walter and Peter come back to this side, Broyles is still standing there. Was he standing there the whole time? At any rate, his "welcome back" was very comforting to me as the viewer, because I was ready to go "home," so to speak. The Other Side seemed so dark, and I thought that an excellent job of portraying the Other Side was done. The universes are very similar but also very different, but the differences got to the point where it vastly outweighed the similarities, and I was ready to come back to this side. Peter ultimately says to Walter that although he can't understand his point of view, he is trying, and the fact that "you [Walter] did cross universes twice to save my life" has to count for something, so I think that it is pretty clear that Peter will be able to forgive Walter. Much like she literally does in "Brown Betty" (2.19), Olivia figuratively mends Peter's broken heart, which is ultimately what convinces him to come back and is ultimately what convinces Peter to figuratively share his heart with Walter, like he literally does in "Brown Betty."

Moving on to the very end, the big revelation, I saw it coming, but my jaw still dropped. I saw it coming, but I didn't want to be right. I was praying to God that I was wrong, that Altlivia did
not switch places with Olivia in order to cross over to this side. However, I was right, and the way that it was set up made it rather obvious, in my opinion. I am now pretty sure the the typewriter communicates with Walternate, but, of course, we don't see what Bolivia's orders are, which disappointed me but didn't surprise me. Then again, doors need to be left open for the third season, so maybe I shouldn't say that it disappointed me. My guess, although it's probably rather obvious, is that she has been instructed to try to get Peter back, which would be kind of comical, in a sense, because it really would be a lot like a "Tug '0' War" battle, then. The final scene, anyway, shows us Olivia being kept in utter darkness, completely alone and obviously scared to death. This scene shows us that she is sobbing, begging to be let out of there, and I can't believe it. Are alternate versions of a person truly only slightly different? I don't think that Walter would do such a thing to a person. It is literally mental and emotional torture, and it's possibly physical torture, as well, since it's unclear as to whether or not she is being fed. I can't believe that we are left with this torment all summer long, worrying about our dear Olivia. I wonder if Walternate is trying to scare Olivia so that her abilities will be activated, though, and if so, why?

This episode raises even more questions, too. Bell says that they need Olivia to cross back to this side, and they are seemingly able to do it with Bolivia. Does this confirm that Bolivia was given Cortexiphan, as well? If not, then it at least has to confirm that she was given
something so that she could safely travel between the universes. If so, then she must not have been aware prior to receiving Walternate's instruction to switch places with Olivia, because we know that she wasn't aware of the existence of the Other Side until Walternate tells her in "Over There, Part 1" (2.21). It's rather obvious that the team will eventually find out that Bolivia is not their Olivia, but I wonder what it will take. Will she and Peter come close to having sex when Peter notices the tattoo on the back of her neck? Will she incidentally slip and say something that she shouldn't or perhaps not have knowledge that she should have? How will Olivia free herself from her pitch black prison? Will she right away, or is this a story that is going to be drawn out for a few episodes? I am hoping that Bolivia will not end up dead, because that would just be so convenient, and although I currently can't stand her, she causes a great deal of dramatic tension that gives the story an incredibly interesting dynamic. For obvious reasons, Peter doesn't have an alternate on the Other Side, and if the same were true of Olivia, I would simply not be okay with that. This season, a shapeshifter pretended to be Charlie (obviously), and that story was resolved within four episodes, one of which Gnarlie doesn't even appear. I am hoping that this story is not handled the same way. Although I want Olivia out of that cell, I don't want Bolivia to be compromised right away, and I certainly don't want her dead.

We don't see Sam Weiss in the finale, but there are two major clues in this episode that pertain to him. First of all, the glyphs spell out WEISS, and second of all, during the scene between Walter and Bell in the alter-lab, a message is written on the chalkboard. The message says, "A demon's twist rusts." I did not discover this myself (I instead read it online), but this is an anagram of "Don't trust Sam Weiss." I don't think that this is speaking to anyone except us, the viewers. David Wu of the Fringemunks has a very interesting theory, one that I'm liking more and more. He thinks that Weiss is really Bell from the Other Side, who is pretending to be whoever this Weiss dude is. Let's not forget what Bell says in this episode. He tells Walter that it
seems as if the Bell from the Other Side was killed in a car accident as a young man, and a "car accident" is always the lie, the cover-up story. It was a cover-up story in Alias, and it has been a cover-up story twice so far inFringe, the first of which being Walter having told Peter that his mother died in a car accident when she really committed suicide and the second of which being the story that Walter told Peter about the "ice incident," if you will. At any rate, I don't believe Bell, regardless of what did happen. Weiss could potentially be a spy, just like this Bell was. I am hoping that in the third season, we will finally found out how he conducts the business card trick in "Dream Logic" (2.05).

Season two has been quite a journey. It has had some disappointing moments (one of which was just discussed) but even more rewarding moments. Amongst the disappointing moments are lack of any mention of Jones, ZFT or the Pattern, and the ratio of "stand-alone" episodes to "mytharc" episodes is much higher than that of season one, since "Night of Desirable Objects" (2.02), "Dream Logic" (2.05), "Earthling" (2.06), "Snakehead" (2.09), "Johari Window" (2.11) and "What Lies Below" (2.12) are all "stand-alone" episodes, some more so than others, whereas "The No-Brainer" (1.12) is the only season one episode that I would consider a "stand-alone" episode. Another disappointment is that at the end of "What Lies Below," Astrid is clued in to the fact that Peter is from the Other Side, but then, there is no follow-up. We never see her initial reaction when she discovers the truth. Once again, Astrid has been used as a tool but has had very little development of her character, which is incredibly frustrating. Another disappointment that season two brings is Jessup. She is uncannily in the first two episodes but then doesn't return, which is beyond annoying. I recently read that we haven't seen the last of Jessup, and I hope not. Her appearance in the first two episodes annoys me, especially since she is seen connecting Fringe events to the Bible.

Overall, though, season two is exponentially better than season one. The mythology is more complex, and the character arcs as well as the character development (for
most of the characters) is more intense. The season finale is better, and Anna Torv has grown as an actress on such a level that I can't even describe. I was surprised to learn that Walternate is the Secretary of Defense on the Other Side. When Newton calls him Mr. Secretary at the end of "The Man from the Other Side" (2.18), I assumed that it was a codename or something to that effect. I do have hopes and expectations for season three, though. Firstly, I want Jones to at least be mentioned. Seeing him again (I am aware that it would have to be alter-Jones) would be awesome, but even a mentioning would be nice. I still don't fully understand how he was able to blast himself through the wall of his hospital room in "Ability" (1.14). I am also hoping for more information regarding ZFT, what its purpose is exactly and why it kills people on this side. Loeb tells Olivia that Jones is just a part of the army, yet after his death, ZFT attacks seemed to stop. I would also like the story involving Olivia's stepfather to come into play. Season three premieres on Thursday, September 23rd at 9/8c, and I am really looking forward to it; this summer is going to be incredibly painful.

"Over There" (part 1) - season finale

I will start this entry, as always, by saying that if you have not yet seen this episode of Fringe, I strongly advise you to not read any further, as this does contain spoilers. This episode, which is the first part of the second season finale, impresses me beyond words, and I am sure that the second part is going to be even better. Everything is top-notch and has an incredibly strong cinematic quality, including the writing, the acting and the direction. This may be one of the best episodes that we have seen yet, as far as overall quality is concerned, if not the best. It feels very much like a film, not an episode of a TV series, which I was expecting (because it has been hyped up as such for quite a few weeks now), but it's even better than I was expecting. It does have a potential continuity error, though. In episode 1.19, "The Road Not Taken," Olivia very briefly pays a visit to the Other Side, and Fringe Division is very similar to this side's department. Charlie is not bald, and he doesn't question why Olivia is blonde. Was it the same reality that Olivia was visiting? It would have to be, because first of all, Charlie still has a scar on his face, and second of all, she was most likely designed to look into that reality, not some random one. Hopefully, all of that is cleared up and will make sense by next week. Even so, this is one of the easiest perfect scores (ten bald Charlies) that I have ever given an episode. I am very impressed.
What we first see in this episode is how much more advanced and organized Fringe Division is on the Other Side. In this reality, the government tried to shut it down (referring to episode 2.01, "A New Day in the Old Town"), but on the Other Side, it would appear as if the government gives Fringe Division everything that it needs, which I suppose is probably because Fringe Division is operated via Department of Defense, of which Walter is the Secretary. It even has a really cool logo (see documented photograph below). Also, Bolivia seems so much happier than Olivia. At first, I thought that Fringe Division is trying to help Newton, Walternate and Peter cross back over to that side, but instead, we learn that it is aware of a breach, which, of course, is made by Olivia, Walter, Nick and Sally. Altrid seems to have a much more prominent purpose than Astrid does; she is, after all, doing a lot more than just babysitting an old guy. She is very professional and seems not to be as laid-back or as sweet as Astrid is, which is strange. After seeing the Other Side in this episode, it doesn't seem to be "slightly" different all; it seems to be very different. For starters, it seems to be a good fifty to 100 years ahead of us technologically, and people and their personalities seem to be different, as well.
Walternate, for example, seems to be a lot saner than Walter, and he is also a great deal more professional. I don't see him as the kind of guy who would suddenly develop a random obsession with a food. Olivia sees herself when, from their hiding place, she watches Fringe Division study Heath's body, and she also watches herself through Bolivia's apartment window (this time while Bolivia and her partner, Frank, are having sex, which is a little weird), and that has to be strange. I would be freaking out if I were to see myself, but at the same time, it would be exciting to see how different or the same I am, and in this case, I think that Bolivia is very different from Olivia. The episode is set up in a fashion that is very similar to how Alias episodes were quite frequently set up, with an event taking place before the narrative takes us to a designated point in time before that said event (in this case, thirty-six hours). I am very surprised by Peter's lack of reluctance to cross over to the Other Side. Even after Walternate explains the weight of his decision to him, Peter dismissively says, "Let's go." I understand that he is angry with Walter and is trying to find himself, and I understand that he is finally reunited with his "real" father, but still, it seems to me like he very quickly and prematurely makes a decision, which I fear could cost him, as well as some other individuals.
We see Olivia drinking a lot again, and even though there isn't really much anything further to say about that, I just find it interesting that she drinks so much, especially when she is under a great deal of distress, which is especially interesting considering the fact that Bolivia apparently doesn't drink at all (which, once again, holds weight on the possibility that the two realities are not "slightly" different at all but instead very different). At the end of episode 2.19, "Brown Betty," we learn that September apparently warned Walter of something at one point, and my prediction was that he warned him never to allow Peter to return to the Other Side, and I was correct, with Walter suddenly remembering after seeing the drawing of Peter unleashing some sort of power through his eyes (see documented photograph below), which really reminds me of the drawing of Sydney on page 47, referring to, of course, Alias, something that I do quite often. Walter, in tears, tells Olivia that "something terrible will happen to Peter," and I wonder what exactly that is. Will Peter somehow be a Weapon of Mass Destruction, which will, in turn, kill him? What is the device that is depicted in the drawing, the device that we see Walternate with at the very end of the episode? Will this be used, or at least attempt to be used, to destroy this side?

I love it when, in season finales, we see a sudden and sharp but believable shift in (a) character(s), and in this case, I think that we most definitely do from both Olivia and Broyles. Olivia frequently loses her cool with Walter, especially when his lack of ability to focus acts as a hindrance to quickly solving a case, but in this case, she really looses her cool, slamming her fist on the table and sternly and loudly saying his name in order to get him to focus (which, of course, is, in this case, because he is vehemently worried about Peter). We also see a shift in Broyles. Typically, he defends Nina Sharp, saying that she has been nothing but cooperative in Fringe Division's investigation. However, now, he really goes after her. First, a Massive Dynamic employee says to Broyles, "I'm sorry, sir, I can't let you go in there," and he replies by saying, "Don't even think about it!" He storms into Nina's office and accuses her of "manufacturing weapons for the Other Side. This is a very intense scene, one which ends with Olivia breaking up the dispute between Broyles and Nina and telling Nina that Peter has been taken and that they need her help crossing over to the Other Side, and I can't help but wonder if every season is going to draw close to its end with Nina being accused of something drastic.
In this episode, we learn why it is that Bell's health is apparently declining and why it is that he therefore needs an oxygen tank. I was always pretty sure that it had something to do with his crossing over to the Other Side, but apparently, he has done it more than once. Apparently, he has done it several times, which means that in episode 2.15, "Peter," he could very well be on the Other Side already, which would in turn mean that Walter is not the one who is responsible for causing a crack between the two worlds; Bell is (however, Walternate confirms that the Pattern, or should I say Patterns, was/were caused by Walter's theft of Peter at Reiden Lake in 1985, so I don't know. Anyway, I am very surprised that Olivia is not incredibly angry with Broyles. Just now, he tells her that a handful of Cortexiphan subjects have been awakened, which means that all this time, he has kept that from her. If I were Olivia, even with Peter on my mind, I surely would have lashed out at him. What else, I wonder, has he kept from her, and why? What is up with the scene in which Broyles takes Olivia to see the Cortexiphan subjects, now functioning much more effectively and positively and they all laugh, including Broyles? This seems very out of place to me, and for a second, I was thinking the same thing that I am sure that Olivia was thinking (based on her backwards glance at Broyles); is this a dream? It is such a weird scene; why do they all laugh like that?
I love how Heath calls Broyles "FBI guy" before asking if they can have a break; that really cracked me up, and although this really isn't important at all, I wonder whether or not I am the only one who has noticed that lately, Olivia seems to wear a lot more makeup than usual. I really noticed it at the end of episode 2.18, "The Man from the Other Side," when she fetches Walter after Peter wakes up, and I really noticed it in this episode. Like I said, it's not really all that important, but itdoes demonstrate shifting in a character, which I think is important. Unfortunately, however, I don't know what that shift is. It seems to me like she starts to wear a lot more makeup right around the time that she finds out that Peter is from the Other Side, but considering the fact that that obviously initiated a great deal of distress, you wouldn't think that a stressful situation would cause her to wear more makeup; you would think that a stressful situation would cause her to wear less of it, but then again, I don't know how Olivia would roll as far as a potential relationship between stress and the amount of makeup applied is concerned. Why, I wonder, does she give her mother's necklace to Ella and then hug Rachel with so much emotion? Does she think that she won't ever see them again? If so, why is that? What does she fear is going to happen? I mean, I think I know what's going to happen, but I don't know why Olivia would have had such a fear at the time.
My prediction is that since Olivia needed the other Cortexiphan subjects to cross over to the Other Side, she and Walter will now be (temporarily) trapped in the other reality since all three of them are now dead. I also wonder why it is that Olivia is with Rachel and Ella in the first place. I thought that we had already been made to understand that Rachel and Ella are no longer living with Olivia, that they moved out. In episode 2.08, "August," for example, Rachel asks Olivia to babysit Ella, and in episode 2.16, "Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver.," Weiss visits Olivia, and Olivia, who has been drinking, is clearly alone. "We should do this more often," Olivia tells Rachel before leaving. "It's nice." I am therefore wondering if it was some sort of sleepover. Anyway, on to much more important matters, Walter is seen smelling Peter's clothes, and here, he has yet another breakdown, hysterically crying, most likely because of both guilt and grief, guilt due to what he did to those children back in the 80s and grief due to Peter being gone. I hate seeing Walter cry. In my opinion, he is a very sympathetic character, and I feel like hugging him every time I see him crying. Why, however, does Heath die? If I am recalling correctly, Nick and Sally say something along the lines of having lost their powers as a result of crossing over, but why would that cause Heath to die of the cancer with which he once infected people, especially since it is on the outside of his skin just like it is on the outsides of the victims' skins in "Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver." (2.16)?
I find it worth pointing out that on the Other Side, the Statue of Liberty is not green but is instead copper. This is interesting, since in this reality, the Statue of Liberty was originally intended to be copper, and it also does not appear to be located in the same place as it is on this side, but since I don't know that much about the landscape of New York City, especially not that area (since I have yet to see the Statue of Liberty myself), I could very well be wrong. When Walter keels over due to a gunshot wound in his side, I wonder if the nurses who attend to him or anyone else in the hospital recognizes him as the Secretary of Defense; surely, someone must, and how would Walter go about explaining that? Who, I wonder, is Bolivia dating? His name is apparently Frank Stanton, but I am wondering if he will come into play later in the series, become important? I am a bit disappointed, though, since I feel that seeing her with a man whom we've never known before this scene is rather anti-climatic. I would have much rather her love interest have been John Scott (even though I can understand why it would be difficult for Mark Valley and Anna Torv to work together) or Charlie. I immediately noticed the differences, though, between our beloved Olivia and Bolivia. As previously mentioned, she seems to be much happier, and she doesn't drink. Also, instead of blacks and grays, she is seen wearing a bright blue shirt, and instead of a black bra, she is seen wearing a white one. What, though, I wonder, is up with the tattoo (see documented photograph below) on Bolivia's neck and Frank's back? Does it have something to do with Fringe Division, or did she get herself tattooed willingly?
Here's something that really confuses me, though. In episode 1.19, "The Road Not Taken," the woman who can start fires is named Nancy Lewis, not Sally Clark, and Lewis is also played by a different actress. Now, my guess is that the actress who plays Lewis could not be recast for some reason, and consequently, a new Pyro character was used. However, Broyles introduces the characters to Olivia in a way that would strongly suggest that they are people that Olivia knows. Now, obviously, we know that this is the case when it comes to Nick Lane and James Heath but not when it comes to Sally Clark. It should have been made more clear that this is not Nancy Lewis, because until I discovered that her name is Sally Clark, not Nancy Lewis, that's who I thought the character is, and I assumed that a new actress was cast for the part, which I actually would have preferred; either that, or have Sally demonstrate a totally different ability in order to make it clear that she is not Nancy Lewis. Why couldn't Nancy be awakened? Why did a different Pyro have to be awakened, and speaking of the Cortexiphan subjects, why is it that Broyles introduces five of them to Olivia, yet only three are used? Who are the other two individuals, and why are they apparently not important? Also, since Walternate wrote the Other Side's version of the ZFT, I wonder if that confirms that Walter wrote this side's version; that's definitely something to think about.

This episode, as has been said, is epic, and I remain confident that next week, which is the second part of the finale, will be even better. Although I know that some people have had their complaints about the various openings that we have seen, I really like them, and this one is no exception. This opening is almost the same as the usual one except for two differences; (1) the background is crimson red instead of the usual blue, and (2) "Parallel Universes" is replaced with "First People." The only explanation that I can offer for the term "First People" is that perhaps, that is what the Other Side calls people from this side, although I can't imagine why. At this point, I will tell those who prefer to remain entirely spoiler-free to stay on the fringe, since the rest of this entry will contain spoilers pertaining to next week's episode. If you have seen the promo, then you know that we are in for a real treat. Olivia and Bolivia will engage in a rather epic fight, which is crazy (can you imagine fighting yourself?). Due to outside information, I also know that Walter and William Bell will confront each other, and it will be something epic, indeed. I am
really looking forward to this, even though I have heard from sources that devastating tragedy is on its way, which obviously scares me. I am sure that, whatever the outcome of that is and whatever the cliffhanger will be, we are going to itch all summer long, screaming in agony for September to arrive (the month, that is). Until next week, though, stay on the fringe.

"Northwest Passage" (2.20) (feedback)

Q: "Peter will stay with the man who raised him but will go to the Other Side to see what 'home' is like, and when Walternate gets him to be a 'Weapon of Mass Destruction,' he will come back to this side."
-Larry Campbell
A: I'd have to agree with you. I think that Peter is, more or less, going to be a "bad guy" for a little while, having joined the Other Side, but when he realizes just how driven Walternate is, regardless of the costs, he's going to reconsider his decisions. I am very excited to find out what is in store for us in this finale.

"Northwest Passage" (2.20)

Before I begin discussing this episode of Fringe, I will warn those who have not seen this episode yet to not read any further, as this entry does contain spoilers. This episode is really reminiscent of the X-Files, and I am not the only one who has said so. It has an X-Files mood to it, with the cloudy weather and such, making it very melancholy. There are even a couple of shout-outs to the series. Ferguson, for example, tells Mathis (superbly played by Martha Pimpton) that she reads a lot of material about UFOs and government conspiracies and such and then says, "I think that you want to believe." Obviously, UFOs and government conspiracy is at the core of the X-Files mythology, and "I want to believe" is what Mulder's poster says and is also the title of the 2008 film. It speaks for Mulder's journey throughout the series, and, really, it speaks for Scully's journey, as well. Anyway, returning to Fringe, I give this episode seven and a half mix CDs. I find most of the episode to be rather slow, but the ending is awesome, and it's very satisfying to know that I have been right about my Walternate theory, a theory that I've held on to for a very long time. It is a pretty decent episode, and I am so pumped for this season finale.

What I find really odd is that despite the fact that Peter just recently found out that he is from the Other Side and that the man that he was finally beginning to see as his father betrayed him, he seems somewhat gleeful. First, we see him having fun with his GPS system, telling it to take him to Mars and then laughing when it tells him that it doesn't understand his request. It's quite obvious, though, that he uses a fake name so that the FBI has difficulty finding him, but then, oddly enough, he calls Broyles. What I find really odd about this scene is that he asks Broyles not to even tell Walter that he talked to him, and he then tells him, "If you owe me anything, you owe me that." I don't understand what Peter means by that. What does Broyles owe Peter? If anything, I thought that it was more or less decided in "Of Human Action" (2.07) that Peter owed Broyles, since he involuntarily shot him. I just find that to be a very odd thing for Peter to say, and apparently, Broyles don't put on a very big poker face, since Olivia almost immediately realizes that he knows where Peter is.

Peter also seems a bit nostalgic. He says that he will be checking into the hotel under the name Gene Cowan, and he says this with a smile, as if he has to do that for old time's sake. What doesn't make any sense to me as far as Peter is concerned, though, is how it is that he doesn't understand why Newton is trying to find him. I mean, he
has to know. He just recently discovered that he is from the Other Side, and he knows that Newton is the leader of the Shapeshifters, which are fighting for the Other Side's survival, so you would think that he would put two and two together. Then again, he is in a very confused state right now, and I do feel incredibly sorry for him. As he says in the episode, "I don't know who I am anymore," and that's true. He doesn't know where he belongs, and he doesn't know who his father really is. I would definitely be torn apart if I were him, but then again, I would be torn apart if I were Walter, too. I feel sorry for both of them, and I can't really take a side, especially since there are more than just two sides. Walternate and Alterbeth need to be taken into consideration, as well. As we see from "Peter" (2.15), a mother and a father were left most likely incredibly confused. I can only imagine what must have happened when Walternate came home without Peter, having no idea what Elizabeth was talking about when she demanded to know where Peter was, and I don't take kindly to that.

Walter is drastically falling apart, and I am left to wonder how Peter would respond if he were to see him in such a state. Why did Peter go to Washington, I wonder? Obviously, he wanted to get as far away from Walter as possible, but why Washington? Perhaps, it's because he knows that Walter hates it there (referencing episode 2.05, "Dream Logic") and would therefore be less likely to think of looking for him there. As mentioned previously, it certainly makes for a good setting. The setting in this episode really is a lot like a character, as the cloudy weather sets the stage for a cloudy, melancholy story. Walter goes shopping for groceries and experiences a severe mental breakdown, soon fearing that without Peter, he will need to return to St. Claire's. Olivia and Astrid, however, are very supportive of him and are trying to do everything that they can for him. I find it funny, because after Walter tells her the story of what happened in "Peter" (2.15), she is very supportive of him, which is in clear opposition to the look of disgust that she gives him when she first finds out at the very end of "Jacksonville" (2.14). After she and Astrid see that Walter's house is in complete disarray, Walter asks, "What am I going to do, call you every time I run out of Pudding Pops?" and Olivia immediately replies, "Yes, if you need them." She makes it very clear that she is there for him, which is so sweet.

I don't understand the scene in which Peter sees something in the forest, chases after it and then finds Newton, who quickly disappears. One theory that seems to be popular is that, like Olivia, he can see into the Other Side, but I disagree. Newton is not on the Other Side; he's here, so it wouldn't make sense that Peter briefly sees him because he can see into the Other Side. Oddly enough, Mathis doesn't see Newton, but Peter does. Another theory that seems to be circulating is that Peter's clearly exhausted mind is hallucinating, and although I think that that is much more likely, I don't know if I'm willing to drink that Kool-Aid, either. It seems to me like there has to be greater significance to it, but I'm not sure what. I really like Mathis's character, but I wonder whether or not this is the first time that someone outside of the FBI has been clued in to the existence of the parallel universe. Peter basically tells her everything, and I'm pretty sure that it's the first time that anyone with knowledge about the parallel universe has directly shared it with anyone outside. Also, another question that I have is who the blonde woman, Gwen, is. I don't think that that is really ever explained. Why was she killed?

I love the whole "Find the Crack" inside joke between Mathis and Ferguson. It reminds me a lot of the "you're gonna be fine" line that Charlie delivered to Olivia when the two of them first met. It is, of course, very representative of Peter's current situation. He is in a state of darkness, but "finding the crack" is exactly what he needs to do, a crack that will let the light in. Perhaps, Olivia will be that crack, and she will mend his heart much like we see her do in Walter's story (in reference to episode 2.19, "Brown Betty"). Regardless of what that crack may be, he needs to find a place of belonging, and he needs to be comfortable with who he is. I wonder, though, what is up with the phone calls. Does he imagine them, or are they made by Newton? Darrell of the
Fringe Podcast offers a theory that the noises made during the call would not have been heard by someone from thisreality, that they were targeted toward Peter to see if he would respond to them. I really like that theory, and although I won't say that that is definitely the case (just because there is no solid evidence), I think that it is very plausible.

Also, who is Craig Shoen? What ties does he have to Newton? He tells Peter that he just wanted to get close to the girls, but what does he mean by this? Why does he have Ferguson? Peter says that no incision was made to Ferguson's head, that it's just ink, but what is meant by this? Why would there be ink on his head? Perhaps, it is ink meant to guide the "surgeon" as to where he needed to cut? I'm afraid that either these are questions to which I
should know the answers, or they are questions that won't be answered, both equally frightening. I really like Mathis's character, and although I would really like to see her again, I don't think that we will, unfortunately. She comes off as a "stand-alone" character to me, one that we will only see in this episode, but I want so badly to be wrong. Again, I really feel like this episode is rather slow up until the end. At the very end of the episode, it is revealed that Mr. Secretary (of which I was thoroughly convinced) is none other than Walternate, and (also something of which I was convinced), he has been going to the extreme to get his son back. It only makes sense, since that is what Walter from this side did, and ironically enough, that is what he will do now; it's like a Tug-of-War battle between the two sides.

All right, well, I am going to talk a little bit about what I know as far as the season finale is concerned, so if you're one of those individuals who would like to stay spoiler-free, then thanks for reading, and stay on the fringe. Otherwise, I will first discuss what we see in the promo. I definitely feel as if that promo revealed way too much. We know from the promo that we will be seeing a bald alter-Charlie, we know that Peter will apparently be responsible for the destruction of this world (which I think is because he was always intended to fight for the Other Side), and we know that Peter will be reunited with his "real" mother. Too much information, if you ask me. Also, we see Altlivia, who is oddly a brunette. Although it does bring me much pleasure to be reminded of Sydney from
Aliasand Elektra from the film of the same title, both played by Jennifer Garner, I think that this might be a continuity error. When alter-Charlie sees Olivia when she quickly crosses over in "The Road Not Taken" (1.19), he doesn't question why her appearance is so strikingly different, and also, he is not bald. Hopefully, that will all make sense when we see this upcoming episode, "Over There, Part 1," which is the first part of the season finale. It appears as if I was right, that Olivia and Walter will cross over to find Peter, but until then, cortexifans, stay on the fringe.