"The Calling/the Weapon" (TALES FROM THE FRINGE #3)

I am much more pleased with this comic than I was with the last one, which I felt gave us little to nothing in regards to Broyles' background. The only way that I could see that comic being rewarding to someone is if that person had not seen "Earthling" (2.06), but I'm assuming that someone who likes Fringe enough to buy the comic books probably watches the series every week. This comic, however, is very rewarding, the first half, anyway (the second doesn't half much to offer, in my opinion). We get quite a bit of information in this comic regarding Astrid's background, and we learn something that I was actually wanting to know - how did Astrid secure her position? I know that my boyfriend was wondering, because he was suspicious (and surely still is) of her, but after reading this comic, any suspicions that I may have had have been put to rest; I no longer think that her motivations are faulty, since she seems to have been legitimately hired by the FBI. Then again, if you've seen Alias, then you know that sometimes, things are not as they seem.

If you have not read this comic yet but would like to read it, I strongly advise that you don't read any further, as this does contain spoilers. In the first half of this comic (titled "The Calling"), Astrid is building a device, a device to pick up on transmissions, and she says that she is doing so for a school project (she is still in college, as I'm sure you figured out yourself). She eventually picks up on a woman crying for help, and consequently, Astrid calls the police. The police, however, don't believe her, so they bring her in for questioning, and when they realize that they're not going to get anything out of her, they set her for free for the time being. It isn't long, however, before Astrid realizes that she has been Punk'd. She has been played the whole time by the FBI, as a way to test her abilities and see if she was worthy of recruiting, which, as it turned out, she was. I really love the line, "Everything else we can teach, but not being an agent - that's who you are, Astrid Farnsworth." It, to me, suggests that perhaps, Astrid is of more importance than we have been led to believe thus far.

Something that made me think, though, is why this hasn't been revealed in the series so far. I mean, I understand that this story was probably made up on the spot and that the writers hadn't thought of it previously, but when you put yourself in the world of Fringe or in any story, for that matter, that doesn't play a role. Being "in the zone" requires dismissing the fact that a story is a story that has been written but instead a real world, so what we're going to think about here is why characters have behaved in particular ways, since Astrid, of course, is not a character in a TV series; she is real. I see this as being a big deal, what happened to her, so you would think that she would have told Walter this story at some point. Perhaps, she was told that it was completely classified and that she couldn't share it with anyone? Perhaps, this comic doesn't prove that her intentions are good at all; perhaps, this comic suggests the possibility that she was hired by someone who claimed to be the FBI but was not, and therefore, she hasn't told the team this story, because it would be proof that she works for another agency. Alias, much?

The second story is titled "The Weapon" and is a very Fringey story, but I can't say that I liked it all that much. It's very complex and difficult to follow, and it took me a little while to get a bit of a grasp on it. The weapon seems to be this baby, which kind of reminds me of the young child in "Run Away," the second story of the third comic in the first series of comics, and the red-headed woman who infiltrates the facility seems to be the baby's mother, who is then killed in order to contain "the weapon." The scene in which the woman finds the baby's bedroom really reminds me of both Alias and LOST, which both have nearly identical scenes involving a baby's bedroom having been uncannily provided by "the enemy." I wonder whoexactly tried to contain "the weapon." Was it some branch of the government? If so, does it not play into the conspiracy that we see unfolding in the second season premiere, "A New Day in the Old Town" (2.01)? At any rate, I enjoyed this comic, especially Astrid's story. I like how we see some of her typical characteristics, such as naivety when she says, "It's a school project. I didn't think I needed a permit." Overall, I give the comic eight corrupt toy stores.

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