Save Fringe - Petition

Okay, well, first of all, I feel that I really should clarify that Fringe has not been canceled, despite what many people seem to be saying. In fact, FOX has clarified that it has no intentions to cancel Fringe, that moving it to Friday nights is not an attempt to kill the show. However, many fans are worried, worried that that is what is going to happen, since it has happened to so many shows in the past. If you go to this URL, you can sign the petition to save Fringe, just in case that is indeed what happens. Friday night is such a risky night to place a TV show, which is what warrants the worry. It is unclear as to whether or not signing this petition will make a difference (that's something that we just have no way of knowing), but at least let your voice be heard.

"War Games/Sacrifice" (TALES FROM THE FRINGE #6)

Before I begin discussion of the final comic in this series of Fringecomics, I, as per usual, want to advise those who have not yet read this comic but would like to read it not to read any further until you have read it, because this does contain spoilers. I did like this comic a little bit better than the last one, but not by a whole lot. The first half of the comic, a story titled "War Games," shows us how Olivia became a Marine Special Investigator and ultimately nothing more, which I don't perceive as being too important. The second half of the comic, a story titled "Sacrifice," is a little story that potentially explains the significance of some of the glyphs, which sounds pretty cool, but it really isn't; once again, I don't perceive any tie-in to the mythology of Fringe. It just comes off as an X-Files-esque story that is ultimately more "paranormal" than it is "pseudoscience," but I digress - for now. In the meantime, I would like to give my Bunsen Burner rating, which is five butterflies. It is definitely higher than the Bunsen Burner rating that I gave to the last comic but not by a whole lot. These last two comics were definitely disappointments, especially the fifth.

Seeing as how this comic gives us back-story of Olivia, I was expecting a lot, and it fell short. Again, we learn how Olivia became a Marine Special Investigator. When I first opened the comic and saw the title and the image of Olivia taking cover with a pretty large weapon that I am unable to identify, I thought, "What? Since when was Olivia in combat? I thought that she was a prosecutor." However, it isn't long before we learn that she is actually undergoing some sort of virtual simulation as a way of being tested for the position for which she is applying, which I find to be somewhat of an inconsistency, because that means that the pilot episode was not the first time that Olivia came in contact with fringe science of sorts. Yet another apparent inconsistency is that this comic makes it clear that Olivia is a good shot, as I said in regards to the season 3 premiere (titled "Olivia"); in fact, for a little while, I thought that this comic was actually about Redverse Olivia, but that can't be because we see her talking to Rachel, who we know doesn't exist on the Other Side. Olivia failed the test because someone tampered with it beforehand, and that person did so because he felt that Olivia was too dangerous. At least he was on the money.

The second half of the comic (titled "Sacrifice") follows a couple who takes a tour on a tall temple, and their tour guide tells the couple a story about an ancient man, a very powerful man who had six fingers and was carried to the top of the temple by butterflies where he first sacrificed frogs and then humans. Obviously, three of our glyphs come into play there, and that would be really cool, except I once again don't know what ties can be made into the TV series. Even if that is the origin of the glyphs, how? What does it have to do with the mythology of Fringe? As it turns out, the tour guide turns out to be one of them and attacks the couple, but, yet again, what significance does this have? Were those people First People? If so, then what evidence of that do we have? The theory positing that the Observers are First People wouldn't hold any value, because they only have five fingers on each hand, and the theory positing that Sam Weiss is a First Person also wouldn't hold any value for the same reason. I really don't like the writers of most of these comics. I mean, like I said, how do you even attempt to explain this? This isn't a fringe science at all; it would have worked much better as an X-Filesepisode. I think that the three glyphs were brought into the story for no reason other than to attempt to give it some relevance. I do, however, very much appreciate the Slusho nod.

So, as I said, overall, I am not a big fan of these past two comics. I mean, seriously, give me some really good material that gives me some really good insight into the story of Fringe. I mean, even the "stand-alone" stories should have some kind of relevance, yet most of them don't. I definitely like the first series of comics much better than this series, which is a major disappointment, because I was expecting to like this series a lot better. Olivia does not look at all like Olivia, and I found that to be incredibly disappointing, especially in comparison to how Olivia looks in "The Visitor" (the final comic in the first series of comics), in which she looks just like herself. Many characters throughout this series do not look like themselves, and Nina was much too young in her comic. Also, Olivia in sweats and a t-shirt really isn't something that I can imagine, not in the colors that she was wearing, anyway. The artist ignored Olivia's tendency to wear black, grey, and pale blue due to her having been given Cortexiphan as a child. However, I don't think the writer forgot that she was given Cortexiphan as a child, because I think that that is why she was perceived as dangerous.

"The Abducted" (3.07) (feedback)

Q: Fringe was amazing tonight. My thoughts are: the story was amazing, I loved mini-Broyles, and Altlivia and Peter were adorable. This episode pretty much had every emotion available.
A: I agree that the episode was amazing. Certain scenes made me really happy, others broke my heart, and others made me very angry. However, I disagree that Bolivia and Peter were adorable. They would have been if that were actually our Olivia, but she is an imposter, living in Olivia's house, living her life, and lying to her friends. There is nothing adorable about that, and it certainly is not going to be adorable now that Peter knows the truth. I am really looking forward to this coming episode, and I really appreciate your feedback. Please, keep sending it in.

"The Abducted" (3.07)

There have been so many amazing episodes so far this season that it is really tough to decide which is my favorite, but even though I would have to settle on "6955 kHz" (3.06), this is also very strong, and I give it 8.5 Phantoms of the Opera. If you have not yet seen the episode, then please do not read any further, as this does contain spoilers. The episode begins with an old man in a bathroom who is in the process of shaving his head completely bald, and I still don't understand why that is. Does his head need to be bald in order for the age regression process to be successful? I don't know; I still am not able to make sense of that. Also, what about his ridiculously weird mask? Between the mask and the way that he gracefully opens Max's window and leaps out like a cat, he really reminds me of the Phantom of the Opera, hence my Bunsen Burner rating. I'm sorry, but I find the opening scene involving Toomy to be hilarious. His mother tells him to close his eyes and count to three and that when he opens his eyes, the monster will be gone, yet when he does that, the "monster" is right in his face. I would say that since she didn't believe him, Max's mother must feel so guilty, but when she meets Olivia at the end, she seems very cheery.

I was very happy to see Henry again, although I did know for quite some time that he was going to be in this episode. My hope is that we will see him again, but I'm not so sure. The way that Olivia turns to him in this episode and says "I'm from a parallel universe" (I wonder if he believed her?) with a smile seems a lot like an official farewell to me. My guess is that if we do see him again, it won't be for quite some time. In this episode, we immediately find out why Fringe Division is dealing with this case, even though it isn't obvious at first why that would be. There is an act known as the Peter Bishop Act of 1991 which rules that every child abduction is to be treated as a Fringe case. Since the act was passed in 1991, does this mean that over there, Fringe Division existed in 1991? How long has Walternate been in power? Toomey, of course, is known as the "Candy Man," and this is most likely a reference to "Brown Betty" (2.19), in which Walter, who abducted Peter from the Other Side, taking him from his bed much like the Candy Man does, refers to himself as the "Candy Man" in the drug-driven story that he tells Ella. As we find out not too far in the episode, this episode is a very Broyles-centric episode - Colonel Broyles, that is, not this Broyles.

The episode acts as a parallel to "Earthling" (2.06). In that episode, Broyles is obsessed with a case because it is the case that drove him and Diane apart, and in this episode, he also has a personal connection to the case, because it is what damaged his son. He wants and needs closure, and like "Earthling" (2.06), Olivia helps him achieve it. The main difference in this case, however, is that Colonel Broyles is still with Diane. We learn from the season 2 finale from his having a wedding ring that he is married, but we didn't know for sure to whom he is married, even though I was sure it is to Diane, which this episode confirms. We also learn that Colonel Broyles claims to be a religious man, so I wonder if Broyles on this side is a religious man. We definitely get to know Colonel Broyles a little better, and we once again don't see very many differences between our Broyles and their Broyles, but we can't assume that someone's parallel is going to be completely different from each other; there are, after all, very specific reasons as to why the two Olivias are so different, and now is as good of a time as any to move on to discussing Olivia.

Olivia says to Charlie and to Lincoln that she remembers seeing this case on the news, and that really makes me wonder. Does she really remember the case? If so, then obviously, some of Bolivia's memories are still in her brain. Does she, and will she always, remember this time period in her life during which she thought that she was Bolivia? If so, then doesn't it also stand to reason that Bolivia's memories will always be a part of her? After all, she would remember remembering, wouldn't she? In contradiction, she remembers the case from "The Same Old Story" (1.02) and quickly adds that it was a case that she worked before she joined Fringe Division, which is kind of ironic, because it couldn't be any further from the truth; it was technically her first case with Fringe Division. During this scene, we discover that Lincoln is very science-oriented, which is interesting. Will we see this play out in a very significant manner later in the series? Also during this scene, Lincoln gives Red Vines (which, in case you don't know, are like Twizzlers) to Olivia and says that they are new, so I guess that they haven't existed on the Other Side.

Something that came to my mind the third time that I watched this episode, though, is why it is Olivia doesn't try to talk to Amanda Holt after she receives repeated refusal from Broyles to speak to his son Christopher. She also said that she saw two men. When she finally does speak to Christopher, she says to him that she can only imagine what it must be like to be so scared, wanting to go home to see her friends and family, and I didn't pay much attention to that at first. However, I think that it should be quite obvious that she is referring to being trapped on the Other Side. I'm very surprised, however, that a child as young as Christopher is (especially since it happened so many years ago) would remember the words that Toomy (or Reverend Marcus) spoke - "Through the pitch dark comes a cleansing fire." He mentions a device being on his neck, which we see on Max, and I wonder what that is, exactly? Christopher says that it made him very weak, so does this device extract what it needs in order to allow Toomy to become younger? Christopher is smiling and is very happy after he speaks to Olivia, since, as we see yet again, Olivia is very good with children.

Because of Christopher's help, Olivia is able to save Max. When she does so, she says that she is FBI, and I didn't catch that at first, something for which there is a reason. In "Olivia" (3.01), Olivia tells the psychologist that she works for the FBI in an area called Fringe Division, and despite what we learn in this episode, that the FBI ceased to exist on the Other Side ten years ago, the psychologist seems to accept this. I always did find that strange, because we see in the season 2 finale that on the Other Side, Fringe Division is DOD, and DOD is not the same as the FBI. This is how Colonel Broyles discovers that Olivia knows who she really is, and as I predicted he would episodes ago, he looks the other way. We learn in this episode that the Other Side suffered a recent bout of Avian Influenza, so it seems as if the Other Side (perhaps due to the weakened fabric of the universe) is more susceptible to disease, since we also know that Frank is in North Texas trying to alleviate a Small Pox outbreak. Near the end of the episode, Olivia has yet another House moment; Henry's saying that someone had to teach him how to use the boat (something that doesn't
seem to have anything to do with the case) reminds Olivia of the case, causing her to have an epiphany.

Olivia does successfully cross over, but I ask again, why does she keep going to that gift shop? What is the significance of the gift shop? Is it that it is located in the exact same spot as the DOD building? However, if Olivia could talk to the woman (credited as the "cleaning lady") at the gift shop, then she must have been physically there, yet Walternate's men are able to pull her out of the tank, which doesn't make any sense. How is she in two places at once? What needs to happen in order for her to cross over wholly, permanently, so that she wouldn't even be
inthe tank? This scene, anyway, is very heartbreaking and always difficult to watch, and when I first saw it, I slammed my fist down in outrage. Olivia, crying, yells, "Please, I don't belong here!" and the look on Walternate's face is one of pure disgust and rage. I thought that Olivia was finally going to make it home, but nope, she still doesn't make it, and now, Walternate knows that Olivia knows who she really is, and my guess is that Olivia is going to think that Broyles ratted her out, but I am not going to say any more than that at this point.

In the final scene, Peter and Redverse Olivia are lying in bed watching
Casablanca, and there is so much that ties into our story. The scene that we see and hear on their TV set involves a conversation between two lovers. One points out that he doesn't really know the other that well, who she was before he met her, and ta-da, immediately after, we see Peter and Redverse Olivia. Soon after, Redverse Olivia says, "Okay, so, let me guess; they end up running away together, and they live happily ever after." Peter, in response, says, "Actually, no. She leaves him at the airport, and they never see each other again." Redverse Olivia points out that she thought that Casablanca was a love story, and Peter replies, "Aren't all the best love stories tragedies?" In their case, yes, I hope so, but I hope that that is not the case for Peter and his Olivia, who he now knows is trapped on the Other Side. We discover during the very last scene that before being pulled out of the tank, Olivia asked the cleaning lady to contact Peter and tell him that she is trapped in the other universe, which is exactly what she does, so now, the fun will be finding out how Peter deals with the truth, which will be revealed in "Entrada" (3.08) on December 2nd; then, the week after, we will be seeing "Marionette" (3.09).

"6955 kHz" (3.06)

As usual, I warn those who have not yet seen this episode not to read any further, because this does contain spoilers. Once you have seen the episode, please do come back then and read. I am blown away by this episode and give it 9 First People. I love how every episode so far this season has been incredibly significant, and this episode is certainly no exception. In the intro of the Season 2 Finale, the first time that we see the red intro, a new fringe science is listed, First People, and finally, we discover what is meant by that. An ancient civilization of people, before dinosaurs, that had incredibly superior means of technology created, as Walter calls it, "the key to the universe," this "vacuum" that we have been calling the Doomsday Device, or the Weapon; needless to say, this episode has a lot of substance and introduces a lot of mythology. We get a couple of answers (such as what the Doomsday Device is and who created it), but in classic J.J. fashion, we get even more questions, but I absolutely love this episode. I may even go so far as to say that it has been my favorite so far this season, but I also really loved episode 3.04, "Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?" so it's difficult to say.

We see Chinatown again in this episode, which we see in episode 1.18, "Midnight," and in episode 2.09, "Snakehead," and just in case there are any LOST fans who didn't notice, three of the numbers in the sequence are numbers - 15, 8, and 42, and it is ensured that we get a good look at these three numbers on the computer screen. During this scene, we also see red and green lights, as we do during the scene in which Joseph Feller (played by Kevin Weisman, who played the part of Marshall Flinkman on Alias) is preparing the device. I love how Peter buys U2 tickets for Bolivia, because it takes us back to the moment in which she asks Newton who Bono is, pronouncing it "Bo-no." She lies, saying that she loves U2, but then again, maybe she isn't lying. Maybe when Newton told her about Bono, she looked into him and discovered that she likes him. I really love the scene in which the team confers with Nina, but CDs at Massive Dynamic? You would think that they would have the sounds on some tiny little futuristic device, not CDs. Also, how does Bolivia know that Nina and Walter "go way back"? Did she receive a profile of Nina, too? Is Nina on to her? She certainly acts like it, but if so, then why hasn't she said anything to Walter or Peter? By not saying anything, she is endangering not only the team but her world.

In this episode, we see Peter behaving very patiently with Walter, even smirking when Walter shoots him with a strong force of sarcasm at Massive Dynamic. Is he over what he found out near the end of the second season, or is he just doing thatgood of a job of compartmentalizing his pain? He did say in episode 3.02, "The Box," that he doesn't want to talk about it just yet, so maybe later in the season, we will receive a payoff, a very emotional scene between the two of them in which they talk about it. Walter, throughout most of this episode, doesn't want Peter examining the device, and I think that this can be related to ZFT. Throughout Season 1, just about everything that we see is related to what I think was technology being stolen from the Other Side (thanks to Bell) and then tested here. ZFT was trying to understand the technology in order to prepare for it, and obviously, this had incredibly destructive consequences, and people like David Robert Jones could care less about these consequences. He was a lot like Walter, in that he was willing to do whatever was necessary, which, of course, ties into what Bolivia says to Peter near the end of this episode when the team is digging up the piece of the Weapon in New Jersey.

Redverse Olivia says to Peter, "If you knew that only one of our worlds could survive and if it was up to you, you alone, to defend your side, you'd have no choice, right? You would have to do what you had to do no matter the cost, to protect our world." Now, first of all, I don't understand how Peter doesn't see through that. What she is saying is a silent plea to forgive her, to understand her, especially since she knows that he is from the same world that she is, hence her use of the word "our." (I suppose that this could also be related back to what Broyles says in episode 2.14, "Jacksonville." He says to Olivia, "There are times when the only choices you have left are bad ones.") Peter says in response to her that there are billions of people on the Other Side just like there are are, people with jobs and families, and he therefore has "to believe there's another way." Based on what he says to her and based on the look that she gives him as a result, I definitely think that she is going to end up turning and helping our team. As further support, she even says to Feller that "the secretary is on the Other Side. He can't foresee every turn of events." So, I guess the loyalty that we see in the season 2 Finale, "Over There," isn't really fully intact anymore.

A lot of fans think that Redverse is going to sacrifice her life for our side, and I'm honestly not so sure how I feel about that. If that is going to happen, then I honestly don't want it to happen until the series finale. Right now, or even in the season 3 Finale, that would just be too easy. Plus, then, Peter wouldn't be the only one without a double, and I'm just not sure if I would like that. I know I wouldn't, in fact. As I said, though, she is definitely, as Newton told her she would, going to cave in and go soft because she even says to Feller that "we got their attention. There's no need to hurt any more innocent people." Is she really, psychologically, speaking to Walternate here? After all, the overall story here is not about the numbers causing amnesia; it is about this Weapon destroying the entire universe, which is a much bigger loss in comparison, to say the least, so I don't really think that one could argue that she isn't going soft. If the goal is to destroy the universe, why does she care about a few people (in comparison to the whole world, that is) being hurt? Speaking of her, though, we have been told time and time again and have even seen (Newton tending to Walternate, that is) that crossing over has physical consequences, so why isn't Bolivia suffering from any consequences? Is it because the method was safe, since Peter and Walter are not suffering, either?

Surely, Redverse Olivia was happy to have some coffee. Granted, Fringe Division seems to be given coffee, possibly as a special privilege, but it is readily available here. Peter is just able to go get it for her like nothing. I can't understand, though, as I have been saying, how it is that the team doesn't realize that that isn't their Olivia. Not only is her personality so strikingly different, her attire is, too. Lately, she has been wearing leather jackets, "hip" jeans, and she wears her hair with bangs. At the very least, you would think that they would take note of the change in her attire, especially Peter. Granted, in episode 3.04, yes, Peter does mention her change in personality, but he hasn't mentioned it again since. I guess that having sex with him solved everything, and yes, sarcasm is intended here. In "The Box" (3.02), Bolivia says, "You have photographic memory. How am I going to do that?" and we see that play out a little in this episode when she struggles to remember the numbers while driving with Peter. Anyway, I wonder why Feller, the Shapeshifter, had two different eye colors. Surely, it has something to do with his being a Shapeshifter? Granted, we haven't seen other Shapeshifters with different color eyes, but maybe Feller's device is faulty, and it caused this flaw.

Walter is really funny in this episode, as usual (one reason why I prefer the blue-verse episodes to the red-verse episodes, although I do really miss our Olivia), and Astrid is so awesome with him, so caring and talkative, so willing to help him through just about anything. They have certainly come a long way from Walter having stabbed her with a syringe in "The Arrival" (1.04). I love how Walter playfully calls Peter Sherlock Holmes and then adds that that makes Astrid Watson, then asking Astrid after she has a Dr. House moment (like Olivia does in episode 2.16, "Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver.," after Sam Weiss tells Olivia that he is older and taller than he appears), "What are you thinking, Watson?" My absolute favorite scene in this episode is the scene between Walter and Nina at the park (a scene in which we get a lot of character development from Nina). I love the look that Nina gives Walter when she realizes that he is smoking a joint, and then, when he says that he has a prescription, she says, "So do I," and smokes from it. Then, the two of them share such a meaningful conversation, with Nina reminding him that she tried to stop him in 1985 when he crossed over and telling him that he needs to let Peter examine the device (which I hope doesn't mean that her loyalties are elsewhere). It is a little creepy, though, the way that she greets Astrid.

Then, there is the scene in which Redverse Olivia brings Walter food, and he is so happy. I was happy, too, because Walter was happy and under the impression that Olivia was genuinely doing something nice for him, but I was also heartbroken, because obviously, that is not their Olivia, and I wish that it were their Olivia. Moving on, though, I definitely need to talk more about these First People. I didn't really think so at first, but my boyfriend Ray convinced me that the Observers are the First People. In this episode, we learn that the First People were technologically advanced (which does admittedly confuse me, because in comparison to what?). We also learn that they had a calendar that they followed, and we already knew that the Observers use months of the year as names. Is it possible that the Observers used the Vacuum to create life, to create us, and that they are now watching over us, as Ray put it, like we are their children? The more I think about it, the more on board I am with that theory. I will definitely drink that Kool-Aid. However, nothing, especially on Fringe, is ever that simple, and other factors need to be taken into account, such as why there are twelve (presumably now eleven since August died) Observers, why they are bald, why they don't taste much of anything, and so forth.

Additionally, we have to think about Sam Weiss, too. In episode 2.16, "Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver.," he tells Olivia that he is older and taller than he looks, and in this episode, we see that the author of the First People book is Seamus Wiles, which is an anagram of Sam Weiss. This is the second time that we have seen an anagram of Sam Weiss. The first time is in the Season 2 Finale, "Over There," in which we see "A demon's twist rusts" written on the board in the Harvard lab, which is an anagram of "Don't trust Sam Weiss." So, what is up with Sam Weiss? Is he a First Person? I am not so sure. I think that it is much more likely that he the wrote the First People book, that he is Seamus Wiles, and that he has, for one reason or another, been able to stop his own aging process and avoid death. I find it much more likely that the Observers are First People, and I'm pretty sure that Sam is not an Observer. One random observation that I would like to make, by the way, is that this episode briefly involves yet another incident on a plane, which is the third of which I can think. The first is the pilot episode, the second is episode 1.13, "The Transformation," the third is episode 2.05, "Dream Logic," and this is the fourth. That is just a random but probably irrelevant observation that I wanted to make.

I am definitely left with a great deal of questions. Why are all of the pieces of the Vacuum here if Walternate already has most of the Vacuum assembled on the Other Side? Why are pieces buried underground here? Is it possible that there are two Vacuums, one on the Other Side and one here? If that is the case, though, why is Bolivia involved in all of this? She wants Peter to be in possession of these pieces. (I am, by the way, more convinced now than I ever was, that the Beacon from episode 1.04, "The Arrival," is related to the Vacuum.) Also, what do the First People have to do with the parallel universes? Did they create them? What is Phase Two (which, by the way, is a direct reference to Alias)? At the very end of the episode, gears shift back "over there," and we see Peter telling our Olivia that she is no longer needed over there and that she therefore needs to come home. I am so ready for our Olivia's personality to be back and for her to come home, and I think that that is finally about to happen. In this one scene, for example, she is definitely acting like herself again. Next week's episode is titled "The Abducted" (3.07), and Henry will be back, which I am really excited about; I really, really like his character. Then, coming back from Thanksgiving Break, we will be seeing "Entrada" (3.08) and "Marionette" (3.09).

"He Had Some Soldiers"

He had soldiers who were bodies of steel.
He had soldiers who were currents of electricity.
He had soldiers who were skins of their supposed enemies.
He had soldiers who were the grey of destructive technology.
He had soldiers who were boots and weapons.
He had soldiers who were not human but could die.
He had soldiers who were spattered silver blood.

He had some soldiers.

He had soldiers with no souls of which to speak.
He had soldiers with full, paranormal machinery.
He had soldiers who cried too much.
He had soldiers who dreamt of electric sheep.
He had soldiers who loved humanity.

He had some soldiers.

He had soldiers who danced in their spouses’ arms.
He had soldiers who thought they were of value, and their bodies slept and awoke like humans.
He had soldiers who spoke softly to their children.
He had soldiers who were much too smart and spoke out against their own maker.

He had some soldiers.

He had soldiers who liked old hard rock songs.
He had soldiers who cried in their beds.
He had soldiers who shouted at superior kings who made them afraid of themselves.
He had soldiers who said that they had had enough.
He had soldiers who died.
He had soldiers who stayed alive, who were stripped bare of their clothes.

He had some soldiers.

He had soldiers who called themselves, soldier.
He had soldiers who called themselves, human, and kept their lives secret and to themselves.
He had soldiers who had no identities.
He had soldiers who died to keep them.

He had some soldiers.

He had soldiers who killed in the dark, who weren’t afraid to kill.
He had soldiers who screamed out of hate toward the world, who carried guns to protect themselves from nothing.
He had soldiers who awaited their deaths.
He had soldiers who awaited their lives.

He had some soldiers.

He had soldiers who did what they were told by any leader.
He had soldiers who thought that their high value would protect them.
He had soldiers who tried to follow him, who stood at his side as he commanded them as they listened.

He had some soldiers.

He had some soldiers he valued.
He had some soldiers he sacrificed.

These were the same soldiers.

Note: Poem is a play on the famous poem "She Had Some Horses," originally written by Joy Harjo.

"Amber 31422" (3.05)

Before I begin discussion of this episode of Fringe, I will point out, as usual, that this review does contain spoilers, so if you haven't seen the episode yet, I don't recommend reading any further until you have seen it. Okay, well, we do get a couple of answers in this episode. We know, for example, that the people encased in the Quarantine Amber 31422 are technically still alive and can be revived (which doesn't make any sense to me, because how is that possible when they are not eating or drinking?), but Walternate is lying to the public and telling it that they are "legally dead." We also know, or at least can make the argument, that Cortexiphan was not used on the Other Side (something that will be discussed more fully). As usual, however, I find myself asking more questions, which is typical of not only Fringe but J.J. shows in general (Alias and LOST), so I am not surprised. I, in fact, like it. I just want all of the questions to be answered by the end of the series (and to any U.K. readers, I mean the entire show, not the season). This episode is fairly good. It is far from being the worst episode I have ever seen, but it certainly isn't the best, either. I have struggled with a Bunsen Burner rating, but I eventually arrived at 7.5 Returns to the Tank.

One question that I have been asking myself is why Walternate and Brandon would have Redverse Olivia's memories stored in some sort of bank. I mean, I understand that it has been his intention to do this to Olivia, but for how long, and are they even related? Is it just required, for some reason, that all Fringe Division agents submit to such a procedure when they are hired, or is it simply that when, in the second season finale, "Over There," Walter asks Bolivia to do him a favor, he also asked her to submit to some sort of procedure during which a copy of her memory was made? I don't know, but on some level, these questions are important to me. I find it funny how Walternate says to Olivia that he would like to put her through a series of experiments "with your permission," because what would he have done if he didn't have her permission? Granted, I understand that she, at the time, thinks that she is Bolivia and that Bolivia is very dedicated and that he therefore counted on her agreeing to it (which is why he transferred Bolivia's memories over in the first place), but I'm just hypothetically positing the question - what if she had said no? What would he have done?

At first, I was very confused as to why people have been protesting, demanding to "free the ambered," but then I realized that they probably just want them freed so that they can give them a proper funeral and burial, not that they know that they are alive. However, one question that this episode asks and never answers is how the Rose brother knew that his brother could be saved. We probably won't ever have a conclusive answer, because the situation with the Rose brothers is most likely purely episodic. By the way, to anyone who may have recognized the brothers but didn't know who they are, exactly (I was in that boat until my boyfriend, Ray, told me who they are), they are the Ashmore brothers (Shawn and Aaron), and one of them has been on Smallville (which I don't watch), and the other has played Iceman in the X-Men movies. I don't really like this episodic story with the twin brothers, but first of all, I would like to point out that this is not the first time that we have seen twins on Fringe. We have seen them in the pilot episode and in episode 1.19, "The Road Not Taken," for example, so I am wondering if there is some sort of picture that we are supposed to be seeing. Does it have to do with the fact that we are dealing with twin universes? Second of all, I like how the concept of the twins switching places ties into our two Olivias having switched places.

I really like Lincoln Lee. I think that he is bringing a great deal to the show, but what doesn't make sense to me is how he is going to be kept on the show, which I hope he will be. We know that he is a resident of the Other Side (obviously), and we also know based on what the actors/actresses and crew have told us that this red-blue pattern will last for about half of the season until it all comes to some sort of head, so I am wondering what will happen when it does. I don't want to lose Lee or Charlie (again), for that matter. I love the comment made about the homemade laser knife, that it is rather sophisticated tech for someone of Rose's status. I had to laugh, because that is putting it mildly in comparison to this side. That is pretty much unheard of on this side; no one would have that on hand. The first time that I watched the episode, I didn't really catch dates, so I discovered after chatting with members of and listening to the Fringe Podcast that the breach at Harvard Yard occurred on October 17, 1989 (another new detail that we get from this episode), and I am not 100% sure (as was no one in the chat room), but I think that 1989 is the year that the lab fire happened on this side, so perhaps, Walter was trying to cross over a second time?

Yet another question that is answered for us in this episode is what exactly the Amber 31422 does when it seals an area off, and I absolutely love the scene in which we see the black hole on the UHD (unidentified hand-held device) sucking up a helicopter, because we got an idea of just how bad the situation has been over there. Black holes that suck things up? How horrifying! Anyway, I also really love the scene between Walternate and Colonel Broyles at the restaurant, and I have to have to wonder about the newspaper article that Walternate is reading. It is in reference to Peter having been taken away from him in 1985, and Walternate seems to genuinely miss Peter. Does he really only want him for the Weapon, or does he actually love him? I don't know, but I find it worth bringing up and talking about. To bring his character back down again, though, he tells Broyles that even though the ambered victims can be saved, to do so would mean weakening the amber, so once again, we see a scientist putting science above all else, even lives. As if it justifies his actions, he tells Broyles that "nature doesn't recognize good and evil. Nature only recognizes balance and imbalance," which is a great quote, but I'm sorry, Secretary Bishop, it doesn't justify your actions.

Speaking of which, Walternate says to Brandon in this episode that "only those who risk going too far find out how far they can go." Why is Walternate familiar with this quote? Our Walter heard it from Bell, so did Bell share that quote with Walternate, as well? If so, he made a terrible mistake. Anyway, Olivia does go back into a tank in this episode, even though it is a much more sophisticated tank. I can't see it being as comfortable, because your entire body is underwater, including your head, and even though she gets some sort of tank through which to breathe, it only takes care of her mouth. Her nose is still exposed to the water, and that made me really nervous watching it. It doesn't seem very uncomfortable. I was also a little put off by the underwater speaker. I know that when my younger brother, Cody, used to go underwater in the pool, we would experiment and see if we could hear if we tried to shout to each other, and it was barely audible, yet Olivia can apparently hear Walternate just fine through a speaker? It seems a little hokey to me, but perhaps, as my boyfriend suggested, they simply have that kind of technology. When Olivia does end up crossing over, she finds herself in a gift shop, and I have to wonder, what is the significance of that gift shop? Is it just that it is across from Ground Zero? Also, can I just ask, what is the significance of snow globes on this show?

The second time that Olivia crosses over, she calls Ella to wish her a happy birthday, and that confuses me, because all "Peter" tells Olivia is that Ella lives in Chicago with Rachel and that she turned seven that day; he doesn't give her a phone number, so how does she know the number? I guess that I'm not going to lose any sleep over that, but it does puzzle me. Also, I could have sworn that we already stated that Ella was seven. I could be wrong about that, but I could have sworn that she was already seven. Perhaps, if she was, then Olivia's memory is still a little fuzzy? Speaking of "Peter," I love how he (Olivia?) recalls twins in school that always got good grades even though one wasn't so smart because they switched places, twins named Nina and Gina. That made me laugh, especially after seeing the image the Tumblr image (pictured below). I do know, though, that Olivia's demeanor at the end, after having called Ella, completely changed, and she was suddenly acting like herself again. I think that she may be back, and we will, of course, find out in episode 3.07, "The Abducted," but I have reason to believe that she is herself again, so she will probably pretend for a little while now, to be Bolivia, that is. If she is back, does that mean that she remembers having been Bolivia? I would think so, since she doesn't seem confused when she gets out of the tank.

Also (something that has already been briefly mentioned with a promise of further clarification), we may have gotten confirmation in this episode that Cortexiphan was never used on the Other Side, which would help support the idea that in "The Box" (3.02), when Bolivia says that it is going to be tough for her to mimic Olivia's photographic memory, it is because Olivia's photographic memory is due to her having been given Cortexiphan. Brandon and Walternate are puzzled by the chemical bound to Olivia's neurons. If Cortexiphan was administered on the Other Side, you would think that Walternate, of all people, would be aware of it and would be able to recognize it, especially with most of the technology being so sophisticated on the Other Side. I guess it was technically already confirmed, since Walternate doesn't seem to know (or at least is pretending not to know) how it is that Olivia can travel between the universes, but I think that this was meant to be an official confirmation. However, what doesn't make sense about that is that in episode 1.19, "The Road Not Taken," only one of the twins explodes on this side, and that was due to her having been given Cortexiphan like Olivia, and on the Other Side, both of the twins exploded, which means that they must have been given Cortexiphan, too. A plot-hole, perhaps? I hope not.

So, we get to see a little more of Alter-Astrid (Altrid? Bastrid?) this week, and we see that, yet again, she doesn't usually make eye contact with people when she talks to them, and to those of you who may not know, Jasika Nicole, who plays the part of Astrid, has said before that Alter-Astrid is autistic, and I can't remember who exactly, but I do know that she has someone close to her who has Autism, so I am sure that she is doing a good job of portraying it. There are a couple more aspects of this episode that have me stumped, though. Firstly, why did the bank-robbing initiate a need to Quarantine to begin with? Also, if when people are removed from the Amber 31422, they can be saved, how come our team didn't recognize that when they removed the people from the bus in episode 1.03, "The Ghost Network"? Is there some specific process that one needs to follow in order to resuscitate an ambered victim? If so, then when the people from "The Ghost Network" were buried, presumed dead, did they eventually come to and realize that they were buried alive? What a horrifying fate if so! Also horrifying is what we learn in this episode, that when someone is ambered, they are still aware of every moment with their minds stuck in the last thought that they had. Okay, well, perfect time to close this up. Be sure to catch the next episode of Fringe, episode 3.06, "6955 kHz," and be with me in prayer that the ratings will go up.