"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.

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