"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.

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