"The Box" (3.02)

If you have not seen this episode of Fringe yet, please be advised that this does contain spoilers. The fringe science in this episode is something that I find to be very cool and very interesting, so hopefully, when I listen to the Fringe Podcast, Clint will not shoot it down in the Science of Tomorrow segment by talking about how the science is absolutely and positively hokey (something that honestly ruins the magic for me, as I am reminded that this is not real, that it's TV writing, something that isn't welcome to imaginative minds). I usually completely skip over that part, and that is why. Anyway, if you're reading this, I love you, guys. At the very least, it's a relatively creepy episode, and two scenes come to mind when I say that, the first being the opening scene, when you see the people in a trance, bleeding out of their orifices, and the second being the scene in which Blake's blood is seeping underneath the door, and Bolivia tries to distract Peter so that he doesn't see it (just how did she end up preventing him from seeing that, anyhow?). The main attraction for me as far as this episode is concerned was finding out how the relationship between Peter and Walter has changed, and it definitely has. I am very glad that the storyline wasn't just thrown out that window. To all of those who thought that that arc was over, think again.

To what I am referring, of course, is the
Fringe Podcast having said last last season that they were a bit disappointed that in the second season finale, everything was tied up. In "Northwest Passage" (2.20), Peter goes to the Other Side, and in the second half of the finale (2.22), he is brought home. Therefore, yes, Peter is no longer on the Other Side, but that does not mean that that arc is over. First of all, he still has issues that he needs to work out with Walter, and second of all, we don't know that Peter isn't going to end up over there again; that could, after all, be why Bolivia is here, and speaking of her presence here, don't get me wrong, she annoys me to no end, and I want her to go back where she belongs, but she is funny; you have to admit that. It is very entertaining to see how strikingly different Bolivia is from Olivia, and Bolivia, as we saw from the second season finale, is very, very confident and seemingly fearless, whereas Olivia is quite the opposite; she is doubtful and incredibly fearful. Bolivia's smug, confident, cat-like personality is fun to watch, especially since we are not used to seeing that kind of acting from Anna. I love how she asks Newton, "Who's Bono?" pronouncing it "Bo-No." I guess that U2 doesn't exist on the Other Side. It figures, though, that the Other Side would have the technology to remove Bolivia's tattoo. One theory that I remember positing at the end of the last season was that our team will discover that Olivia is actually Bolivia by noticing the tattoo, but that possibility is now ruled out.

I love how Walter calls Astrid (who we get a lot more of in this episode than usual, thank God) "Aspirin." Sometimes, I really do wonder if he does that on purpose. He knows Astrid well enough by now to know her name, and the two of them are very close now. He spends more time with her than he does anyone on the team, and why in God's name would he mistake her name for "Aspirin"? I think that, sometimes, he just likes to bust hump, and I absolutely loved the music scene in which he sings Mozart. When Astrid thinks that he has brain matter on his tie, for a second, I thought that when he licks it off, it seriously
was brain matter that he licks off, and I shrieked in horror until he clarifies that it was actually raspberry jam. Then, of course, we once again hear the song "Crazy," which is the second time that we have heard it in this series. The first time is the opening scene in episode 1.04, "The Arrival," when we first meet September, except that time, I believe that it was Willie Nelson's recording that we heard, whereas this time, it was Patsy Cline's recording. Peter says that in all the time that he has known Olivia, he has never known her to be a big fan of music, and this is merely one of many clues that should be transmitting to Peter but, for one reason or another, are not. Throughout this episode, all I kept saying (out loud, mind you) is that Peter is incredibly stupid. How can he not see that Olivia is different and put two and two together? He hasn't even mentioned to her that she isn't behaving like her usual self.

I really like how this episode refers to episode 2.05, "Dream Logic," in the scene in which Bolivia is reviewing Olivia's file and is watching a video in which Olivia gives a report regarding Dr. Nayak. She then comments on Olivia's photographic memory, saying that she doesn't know how she's going to fake that (which I think confirms that Olivia's memory is Cortexiphan-induced), so this could be a hint as to how the Fringe team is going to realize that she is Bolivia, not Olivia. I did notice what is hopefully not a continuity error, though; after Bolivia tells Peter that the past few weeks have been difficult for everyone, but in "Olivia," Lincoln Lee says that it was only a few days ago that life was good. Are we facing that
major of a continuity error, or is it simply that what we're seeing on the Other Side and what we're seeing here are not on the same timeline, that some time has passed since "Olivia"? For example, when we return to the Other Side next week in episode 3.03, "The Plateau," will we be jumping back in time a little bit, or will it simply be that that much time has passed since the season premiere? I'm not sure, but I really hope that that is not a continuity error, because that is a pretty dang big one to not notice and let slide, and it's really going to bother me if we do find out that it was a continuity error. Let's keep our fingers crossed, shall we?

Another storyline that this episode follows is Walter meeting Nina at Massive Dynamic in order to discuss William Bell's will, and this made me ask myself, when did Bell write this? When he discovered that he would be helping our team retrieve Peter, was it his plan all along to sacrifice himself for the cause? Did he, essentially, know that he was going to die? If not, when did he write it? Did
heleave the rights to Massive Dynamic in that safety deposit box for Walter when he was here, or did he have someone else, like Nina, do it for him? I suppose that those questions really aren't important in the grand scheme of things, but it mostly just made me wonder whether he intended to sacrifice himself in order to retrieve Peter or if it was, as we previously believed, a spur of the moment decision. If you haven't read the latest comic book, I apologize, but I don't really see how I can discuss this scene without bringing in the comic, because the comic, more or less, confirms that Nina and Bell had had a romantic relationship and that she was mothering his child until she lost the child, a real tragedy. I bring this up, because it really puts a lot of weight on what Walter says to her when he hugs her, that Belly's death must be especially difficult for her. Anyway, what's most important is that, yes, Walter now owns the most powerful company in the world now, none other than Massive Dynamic; that really caused my jaw to drop to the floor. My boyfriend said that we are screwed, although "screwed" was not the word that he used, exactly.

The Silent but Deadly Weapon, which Peter realizes is part of the Doomsday Device, really reminds me of
Alias. If you haven't seen Alias, I strongly suggest that you go Netflix it (or whatever you have to do) right now, because I guarantee you that you will love it. There are quite a few parallels between Alias andFringe, as I'm sure you have noticed if you have seen Alias. The whole idea of Peter having been destined to fulfill this prophecy, a prophecy that involves an ancient artifact, is very reflective of Alias. Perhaps, Milo Rambaldi created the Doomsday Device. Wouldn't that be something? Anyway, this episode also makes me think about the Beacon from "The Arrival" (1.04). In that episode, the Beacon finds its way up through the ground and, as we discover, is vibrating at the same frequency as the Other Side. In this episode, the Box is also dug up. I really do think that the Beacon is part of the Doomsday Device, that it was sent here by Walternate. We know that it had to have been pretty dang important in order for September to call someone and say, "It has arrived." Something that I do question is how this arc involving Bolivia being here is going to be resolved. I really hope that she isn't going to die, but I really don't think so. I think she's going to make peace with Olivia and move away from Walternate.

As for our Olivia being on the Other Side, I have a feeling that if anyone on the Other Side is going to come to Olivia's aid, it's going to be alter-Broyles. Recalling back to the end of "Olivia," he doesn't seem to be okay with Walternate's method, and based on the promo for next week's episode, I don't think that that is going to change. I think that alter-Broyles is going to come to the conclusion that Walternate is far too extreme in his methods, and he's going to try to devise a plan to set matters straight. I think that the same is true of Bolivia, that she is going to come around when she realizes that Walternate is corrupt. Speaking of her, though, the very last scene in this episode kind of annoys me, because I feel like we have been left with that kind of cliffhanger far too often, one in which someone from the Other Side is here, communicating with the Other Side via the typewriter. Last season, episode 2.02, "Night of Desirable Objects," ended with Gnarlie communicating with the Other Side via the typewriter, and the second to the last scene in the second season finale was Bolivia communicating with someone on the Other Side via the typewriter. I just feel like that is wearing out its worth, but I am concerned about Peter being "actively engaged" and am curious to know what is meant by beginning work on Walter. Ultimately, I really, really enjoyed this episode, and I give it 9 Raspberry Jam-Stained Ties.

"Olivia" (3.01) - season premiere

After having seen the third season premiere of Fringe, I am burdened by a vast array of mixed emotions that don't want to wait to be resolved. Before I say anything about the episode, though, I would like to do my usual and provide a spoiler alert; if you haven't seen this episode yet, then please don't read this until you have. Okay, well, after having seen the many promos and sneak peeks, I had a general gist of how this episode was going to unwind, and I therefore was a bit disappointed. When I saw the first scene, in which Olivia is being questioned by the psychiatrist, I was not the least bit surprised that that was the first scene, because after having seen that from the promos and sneak peeks, that's the scene with which I was expecting it to open. I agree with Clint of the Fringe Podcast, in that after seeing the second season finale, "Over There," this is not the path that I was expecting the third season premiere to take. What I was expecting, what I was hoping for, was for her to, yes, escape, but to do so in a much more epic way. The second season finale ends with Olivia trapped on the Other Side in a dark, windowless cell, and she was terrified. The last time that we saw Olivia terrified in a dark room was when she was a child, and consequently, she set fire to the place. That is what I was hoping to have happen in this episode, but that part of the mythology is still being dragged out, which is a bit frustrating.

How she
does escape, though, really reminds me of how she escapes from Loeb in "Bound" (1.11). She convinces the man giving her a spinal tap to let her sit up since she is thirsty, and she therefore breaks the glass over his head, beats her captors up, and runs out of the place. I remember being disappointed with that, because at the end of "Safe" (1.10), she is napped, and the series then went on hiatus for almost two months; then, when it came back, Olivia set herself free within the first fifteen minutes. Obviously, this was a bit different, because she is not free, and she is, in fact, trapped on the Other Side, apparently now believing that she is Bolivia, which drives me absolutely insane, but she escaped from her cell. I can't believe that it is working; how, exactly, is she going to regain her memory? When will she regain her memory, and when she does, will she remember being Bolivia? Will Bolivia's memories remain? Over the summer, I saw an interview in which one of the cast members (I can't remember which one) said that Season 3 is really going to be about Olivia discovering herself, learning more about herself, and right now, I don't see how that is possible since she technically isn't herself.

I do feel an undying need to talk about the amber, especially since that is what the glyphs spelled during this episode. It is a pretty epic scene, but it kind of confused me, because I thought it was decided in "Over There, Part 1" (2.21) that a Quarantine was not necessary, and initiating one was therefore abandoned. Is it because Walter, Peter and Bolivia returned to our side, something that Walternate was not anticipating (unlikely since he asked Bolivia very early on to switch places with Olivia)? Also, in "Over There," it seemed to me like Fringe Division was responsible for initiating Quarantines, but in this episode, it seemed to be just your everyday street cops. Do they work under Walternate's provision, as well? If so, he seems to have a great deal of power, too much, in fact. Once again, we see Olivia demonstrate an incredibly powerful memory. First, she memorizes the code in order to escape from Walternate's facility, and then, she memorizes every bit of information on Henry's Show Me. It is a bit murky, though, because I have to wonder, whose memory skills were we seeing - Olivia's or Bolivia's?

I really, really liked Henry, and unfortunately, I don't think that we will be seeing him again. I think that he was purely an episodic character, but he was very likable. What hell Olivia put him through, the poor guy. However, there is definitely much sympathy to be had for Olivia, as well. There are three different scenes that especially made me feel really sorry for her. The first is the scene in which she talks about Peter to Henry, a scene that makes it very clear that she misses him. The second is the scene in which she walks into the bathroom stall and cries. Lastly, I felt really sorry for her when she discovers that Massive Dynamic doesn't exist on the Other Side, and she says that she is stuck there (the blimp crossing overhead is an epic scene). Something that doesn't make any sense to me is though is that she expected alter-Nina to help her, had Massive Dynamic actually existed on the Other Side. If it had, alter-Nina would not have been
this Nina, so why would she have helped Olivia? What help did Olivia expect alter-Nina to be? How did she expect her to help her return home? I wonder how she will get home. The only way that I can think of is our Fringe Team getting another group of Cortexiphan subjects to repeat the whole process over again, but that would be kind of dull and boring. Been there, done that.

So, why exactly was Scarlie bald in the second season finale? In episode 1.19, "The Road Not Taken," Olivia gets a glimpse of the Other Side, and she sees Scarlie, who has hair. Then, in the second season finale, he is bald, and now, he has hair again. Does it have something to do with the infestation that the team refers to in the second season finale? I think so, because in this episode, after Charlie cracks a joke pertaining to Lee's disfigurement, Lee shoots one back about Charlie having been infested with worms, but why does he have a scar? If you can think all the way back to the second season premiere, "A New Day in the Old Town," Charlie, shortly before he dies, tells Olivia a story about being shot at, so on the Other Side, was he shot in the face, something that left him with a scar? Why did Nick Lane have a similar scar, then, which leads me to another important question - why did Lincoln Lee recognize Nick in the second season finale? Why does Walter want Olivia to believe that she is Bolivia? Is it, perhaps, so that she will help the Other Side travel to this side? Is
that how she will return home? It is very disappointing, but not surprising, that Walternate refuses to tell Colonel Broyles (who is hiding from his team his knowledge that Bolivia is actually Olivia) why he is trying to implement Bolivia's memories into Olivia's, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. It's probably what I have suggested; that would make sense. Also, take note that Walternate does not seem the least bit broken up that Peter has gone back to this side. Peter was nothing more than a tool, but Walter loves him very much.

Anna Torv truly is a genius when it comes to acting. She is indeed making a case for an Emmy nomination (something that is long overdue to John Noble, as I'm sure that everyone reading this agrees). She is an outstanding actress, and this is exactly what she proves in this episode, and I'm sure that next week will be no different. Next week, titled "The Box" (which, I would like to point out, is also an
Alias episode title) looks like it's going to be a ridiculously epic episode, and I amvery excited. Was anyone else, however, taken aback by having seen Peter in this episode? In a recent interview, Josh Jackson said that Peter would not be in the premiere, yet there he is near the end of the episode. Granted, it was the very end of the episode, but still, he was in the episode. It's very possible, and easily understandable, however, that Josh confused that scene as an episode 3.02 scene, since it's so short, and that is, in fact, probably what happened. That final scene is so bittersweet. It's adorable how Peter tells (B)Olivia that while he was being questioned, the only thing that was on his mind was kissing her, which he demonstrates by kissing her, but, of course, we know that that is not his Olivia, that that is Bolivia, which is pretty heartbreaking. She is leading him on, pretending to love him since Olivia does, and she seems to be perfectly okay with that. It's just part of the job, right? I wonder how this is going to play out, because both the cast and the crew have hinted at a love triangle between Peter, Olivia and Bolivia, so what exactly will happen when Peter realizes that this is Bolivia? There was definitely a spark in the second season finale. "I think I like yours better."

So, apparently, Olivia is not a good shot, which really surprises me. Three times, we have seen her shoot a Shapeshifter right smack in the middle of their forehead. I am, of course, referring to "Momentum Deferred" (2.04), when she kills Gnarlie, "Grey Matters" (2.10), when she kills the Shapeshifter making his way out of the back of Newton's van, and "The Man from the Other Side" (2.18), when she kills the Shapeshifter posing as a cop. In fact, the shot that she made in "Grey Matters" was from pretty far away, and I remember thinking then that she was a damn good shot, but I guess that Bolivia is better. When Walternate reviews the footage of Olivia making those amazing shots, though, he comes to the conclusion that Brandon's (I love/hate how he works for Walternate, which makes me wonder if Nina does, too) "treatment" is working, and this doesn't make any sense, because how does he know that Olivia isn't a good shot, too? I mean,
technically speaking, they are the same person; they just have strikingly different personalities due to strikingly different lives. Granted, Bolivia probably is a better shot due to more advanced training, but how would Walternate know that? Why would he assume that? Also, when Olivia tells the psychiatrist that she works for the FBI, the psychiatrist accepts this. However, Fringe Division is Department of Defense on the Other Side, which is not FBI, correct?

This season's intro does have new fringe sciences listed. What really surprised me is that one of them was not "First People," because it was my understanding that this season, we were going to find out what was meant by "First People." Of course, I'm not saying that we won't find out what was meant by it just because it's not in the new intro, but it does really surprise me that it was not in the intro
if in fact we are going to find out what that means. Anyway, the sciences listed in the new intro are pandemic, transhumanism, speciation, singularity, wormholes, reanimation, neural networks (is this like the Ghost Network, I wonder?), telepathy, transcendence, retrocognition and biotechnology. I am also very surprised that "Parallel Universes" is not listed in the new intro, because it was last season, and the show is more about parallel universes now than it has ever been. I wonder if next week, we will see even more fringe sciences listed, if these were just exclusive to "over there." I do have to say that I kind of miss the blue intro, and I think that we'll be getting the blue one back next week, since I think that it will be red for the "over there" episodes and blue for the "here" episodes.

I am
really looking forward to this season as a whole; I think that it is going to be one heck of a thrill ride. We meet Bolivia's mother in this episode (an incrediblypowerful scene), Marilyn Dunham, and word on the street is that she will be in episodes 1, 3, 5, and 7, at least, so via Bolivia's mother, I am hoping that an opportunity to explain more of Olivia's past will be seized. Maybe, we can find out who her biological father is, who her stepfather was (assuming Bolivia also had a stepfather), how Olivia's mother died when she was fourteen, etc. Over the summer, Lance Reddick said that Season 3 will be a lot more mythology-oriented, and based on the way it's being staged, I can see that this is clearly the case. Next week's episode looks like it's going to be even better than the premiere, and there are quite a few events that I am looking forward to unfolding. What exactly is going to happen between Peter and Bolivia? How has Peter and Walter's relationship changed? When we see Walter at the end of this episode, he seems to be under the weather (eating the cream from Oreos, of course), so is Peter being hard on him? Something that I remember reading is that this season, we're going to see the Peter that Peter was before he joined Fringe Division, so I'm hoping for answers surrounding Big Eddy, as well. Then, episode 3.03 is titled "The Plateau," but my lips are sealed from here on out, and I close by giving "Olivia" 8.5 Hijacked Taxis.

"Plan B/Knock Knock" (TALES FROM THE FRINGE #4)

This has definitely been my favorite issue so far from this series, and it's definitely the one that I have been looking forward to with the most anticipation, but before I begin to discuss it, I would like to warn those who have not read this comic yet that this does contain spoilers. Ever since my boyfriend started watching the series, he has been convinced that the hand in a jar that Walter retrieves from his old car in "The Same Old Story" (1.02) is Nina's hand, and I agreed with him, commending him for such a valuable observation that had not once crossed my mind in the two years that I had been watching the series. Therefore, I was very excited when I discovered that there would be a comic involving the history of Nina's arm, figuring for sure that he would be able to gloat. However, this comic confirms no such thing, which obviously does not rule the theory out, but it is very possible that that scene was intended as nothing more than to demonstrate how much of an oddball Walter is, that that hand could beanyone's hand. Plus, she lost half of her arm, not just a hand. On the other hand (no pun intended), the hand in the jar is a right hand (which is the one that Nina lost), and it also seems to be feminine. There could very well be a great deal to the theory.

In the comic, we learn that, for one reason or another (I have no suggestions to offer), Nina believed that she was not physically able to have children and was therefore very surprised when she discovered that she was pregnant. I really don't know what to make of that. Something that this comic does seem to confirm is that Nina and Bell were intimate, since all indicators are that Bell was the father of her child. This has been suggested many times, and the two examples that come to mind is Nina telling Olivia in "Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver." (2.16) that she knows what kind of feelings can sprout from a working relationship, and Walter having romantically paired Bell and Nina in his story in "Brown Betty" (2.19). When the doctor tells Nina that she should consult the father of her child, she says that he is "unavailable," which is what she tells Walter in "Peter" (2.15) as to why Bell could not attend Peter's funeral. As I know I have posited before, as well as many other Cortexifans, was Bell traveling between the universes even then? If so, doesn't that mean that Walter is notresponsible for causing the damage between the universes?

Yet another piece of evidence to support the idea that Bell, even back then, was traveling between the universes is that Nina is surprised when he calls her, saying that she hadn't been expecting to hear from him. When they do meet, though, his behavior is so typical. He basically says to her that although he understands that she wants to have a family, that's not important to him when it's up against science, and Nina even tells him that she won't be a trophy. I was hoping for a twist at the end, to find out that the father was actually Broyles and that she would give birth to Astrid. Wouldn't that be a major twist, and the best part of it would have been that it would have been exclusive to those who read the comics. The ending, however, doesn't make much sense. If the lightning strike was bad enough to kill the baby, then how come it didn't do any serious damage to her? The doctor tells her that the arm saved her life, but I don't understand the science behind that at all. He tells her that the metal in her arm took the electricity and that she, therefore, didn't, but metal is a conductor, so if anything, it should have made the impact even worse, especially since the arm is now part of her DNA. Without the arm, she probably wouldn't have been electrocuted in the first place.

Was it just me, or did the suspicious man in the background of the hospital room look suspiciously like an Observer? It does appear as if he is wearing some sort of scarf, which we have not seen an Observer wear before, but, by all other appearances, it could very well be an Observer. If not, then I don't know why else he would be placed so creepily in the background like that, watching Nina and the doctor interact with each other. One final thought is that in the pilot episode, Nina tells Olivia to tread lightly, something that she would tell her own daughter. For quite a while, we wondered if perhaps Nina was Olivia's mother, but, of course, we now know that that is not the case, but now, what Nina said makes a whole lot of sense. Moving on to the second story, there really isn't a whole lot to say besides (a) it is an incredibly creepy story, (b) it kind of reminds me of "The Same Old Story," and (c) I would have liked to understand the science behind it. A pattern of rapid aging occurs like a virus, intentionally being passed from one person to another, and in effect, when a person causes another person to rapidly age, that person reverts to his or her original age. Overall, I give this comic eight and a half selfish William Bells.