Olivia and the Stages of Grief

A common misconception when it comes to grief is that a person only "grieves" as a result of the loss of a loved one, a loss to death, and this isn't necessarily always true. Any kind of loss can cause a person to grieve, and Olivia has lost quite a bit. We can start that discussion by bringing the title of the episode into play. A marionette is, according to official definition, "a small figure of a person operated from above with strings like a puppeteer." Obviously, this ties into the "Monster of the Week" story, but it also ties into Olivia and how she feels right now, like someone has had her on strings for the past two months, which I would imagine would be a combination of Walternate and Bolivia. She has lost two months of her life, two months worth of freedom, she almost lost her life, and now, she is losing Peter.

The grieving process, simplified, involves five stages, and the process isn't always the same for everyone who endures it. The stages aren't always followed in the same order, and some people even skip stages. What I am going to discuss here, however, i
s Olivia's individual process, which is incredibly appropriate, because she hasn't skipped any stages. She has, in fact, been following the process relatively rigidly, as I observed even during my very first viewing of the episode. I believe that this was a perfect episode to leave us with before the hiatus, because that is ultimately our primary cliffhanger; how is the relationship between Olivia and Peter going to change? Will it be more professional? Will there still be a world of hurt between them? Will Broyles intervene? How will Olivia reach the final stage of her grieving process - acceptance?

Stage 1 -
DenialBefore Peter tells Olivia that he has had a relationship with Bolivia unknowingly, Olivia says to him, "I'm here now," assuring him that they can pick up where they left off on the Other Side. Peter, however, then delivers the incredibly shocking news to her, and this is her discovery of exactly what has been taken away from her. She responds, however, by telling Peter that they're okay, that they're good, denying the graveness of what he has told her. The reality of what he has told her simply hasn't sunk in yet.

Stage 2 -
Olivia yanks all of her clothes out of the closet and yanks her comforter off her bed, because now, it's beginning to sink in. Now, it has hit Olivia that for the past two months, someone else has had control of her life, using her as a marionette, wearing her clothes, sleeping in her bed, with her boyfriend, and all she can do is sink to the floor and cry, unable to sleep. I definitely think that it would be safe to say that she is experiencing a severe bout of depression after all that has happened and after what she now knows.

Stage 3 -
Perhaps, I'd be better equipped to handle this if I had a better understanding of it, is surely what goes through Olivia's mind when she decides to talk to Astrid about Peter and Bolivia. She wants to know how the two of them behaved with one another. "What was he like with her? He didn't seem different, happier?" She is hoping that she can make some sort of a deal during this conversation with Astrid. Maybe a small amount of suffering would be acceptable if the two of them didn't have chemistry. After all, it wasn't really her, was it?

Stage 4 - AngerNow, Olivia is angry, taking all of her feelings out on Peter, first when they are reviewing suspects and now at the end of the episode, and she goes back and forth between being angry with her alter-ego and being angry with Peter. She stole my life away from me; how could you let her do that? It's as if she can't decide with whom she's angrier. "I don't want to be with you," she says to Peter. She then adds, "She's taken everything." It is also prudent to add that, again, this grieving process is different for everyone, and often times, the stages, while they may first appear in a sequential order, actually overlap, which is what we see happening here. Olivia's depression blossoms early, but it's something that she is going to hav
e to endure for a while.

Stage 5 - AcceptanceThis is what I'm really hoping that the end result will be. As a Polivia shipper, I want the two of them to work this out and start over, but Olivia has obviously not reached this stage yet, but we know that she will, because Olivia is very strong; for as long as we have known her, she has been very strong. The question is, however, how will she come to terms with this, and what exactly will it entail? Will she be able to forgive Peter? Will they be able to maintain a relationship? Will she be able to put her anger toward Bolivia behind her? How will Olivia move on?
This is something that I am really hoping to see play out throughout the rest of the season, because as he says to Walter before he tells Olivia the truth, this will fundamentally change the way that Olivia feels about Peter, which breaks my Polivia shipper heart.

Fringe Network Is Here

Worried about the move to Fridays? Join the Fringe Network, a network consisting of fellow Cortexifans who are making a stand, saying, "We love this show." As stated on the website itself, the goal of Fringe Network is "(1) to spread the word about Fringe's new night and to encourage U.S. fans to watch LIVE, (2) to keep the international Fringe community informed and united about the show, [and] (3) to welcome new fans to the world of Fringe!" So, what can you, as a Fringe fan, do to ensure that Friday night doesn't become Fringe's grave site? Most importantly, watch live. FOX does pay attention to the DVR and the HULU numbers, but, ultimately, that isn't where the money is made. The Nielsen ratings are ultimately what matters, and that is where you come in by watching live, Friday nights at 9/8c. Simply put - you need to watch live. Secondly, spread the word. Tell your friends about Fringe and about Fringe websites. Encourage them to watch the series. If you have seasons 1 and 2 on DVD, let them borrow them so that they can catch up. Anything that you could possibly do to encourage people to watch would be incredibly helpful. Visit Fringe Network to find out more about how you can help keep Fringe alive for years to come.

"Marionette" (3.09)

Before I begin discussing this episode of Fringe, I want to do my usual, which is advise those who have not yet seen this episode not to read any further until you have seen it, as this does contain spoilers. (At this point, everyone should really be on board with that, so I may do away with the warnings in the future.) For a "stand-alone" episode, this was a very good episode, and I give it 9 Broken Hearts, obviously in reference to how Olivia now feels, something for which I do not blame her at all. I am shocked by the people saying that they are angry with her for reacting the way that she does, but she is in love with Peter. She is in love with him, and she comes home to discover that her sweetheart has been with someone that wasn't her. Despite the fact that Peter apologizes and says that he legitimately believed that Bolivia was her, she is naturally torn apart. In fact, I recently had a conversation with my boyfriend Ray during which I said to him that if I were Olivia, I would say to Peter, "How could you not have been able to tell that it wasn't me?" and that is ultimately exactly what she does. It wasn't like Peter was oblivious of the Other Side. After all, this happened to Olivia because he went over there in the first place.

I love the conversation between Olivia and Broyles near the beginning of the episode. It is one of a few scenes in this episode that I find to be very powerful. Broyles instantly recognizes that "the friend" that Olivia is talking about is Colonel Broyles (his alter self), and he asks her about him. She tells him that he wasn't unlike him; he was loyal and committed to his cause, to what he believed was right. His death is definitely commemorated in this scene, which makes me happy, because I hated that Colonel Broyles had to go, especially the way that he did. When Olivia tells him that he had two children and was still married, Broyles looked very interested but also heartbroken that his alter-self had apparently lived a better life than he has so far. The hosts of the
Fringe Podcast have posited the theory that Broyles is going to either bring Diane and the two children over here, or he is going to go there to head up Fringe Division if and when Walternate is overthrown, and the look on his face in this scene strongly supported that theory, but I don't know; last season, I believed that Olivia would go over there to try to retrieve alter-Charlie, and obviously, I was very, very wrong about that. She didn't even trust alter-Charlie when she met him.

Astrid also has a bit of intervention in this episode, which also makes me happy. She has a conversation with Olivia, telling her that Peter is not in love with Bolivia, that he is in love with Olivia and that he acted the way that he did because he thought that Bolivia was her. Olivia tells Astrid that she understands, as she tells Peter, but how could she possibly understand? Obviously, as we know from the second to the last scene, she
doesn't understand, and as I have said, I don't blame her; I wouldn't understand either. Peter tells Olivia that there were slight differences, slight but definitely there, and I couldn't disagree more with that. They were major differences. Her behavior, her demeanor, the way that she dressed, the amount of make-up that she wore, and so forth was all different, and Peter never figured it out until it was too late. In fact, he didn't even figure it out for himself. Someone had to tell him, and then, he had to set up an opportunity for something to slip. I have to admit that I am a bit upset with Peter, and then, in this episode, he has the nerve to see that Olivia is crying and then ask her what's wrong. Come on, Peter, seriously? You don't really know her that well if you thought that when she said everything is okay, she meant that.

What Olivia is going through is very realistic. She just came back to her world to the realization that her life was completely taken over by an imposter, and she is grieving. We have now seen her sinking to the floor crying as well as displaying anger, so she is definitely going through the stages of grieving. Now, if she seriously did tell Peter that everything was okay, meant it, and legitimately moved on, then
that would be completely artificial. You can't tell me that you wouldn't be upset if this happened to you, and you also have to remember that she most likely isn't truly angry with Peter; she is just angry. I know that a lot of times, when I am completely broken up about something, I display anger because I don't know how else to get it. Right now, anger probably feels good to her. She obviously can't be happy, so she has to feel something over which she can demonstrate some control. She also must be seriously suffering from PTSD. I mean, how could she not be? Broyles was right on the money to tell her to take a leave, which she really should have taken. The second to the last scene is so intense, and it made me tear up. She tells Peter that she doesn't want to wear her clothes, she doesn't want to sleep in her bed, and she doesn't want to be with him, and then, she storms off. Seriously, can we give that girl an Emmy?

Anna has consistently impressed me over and over again. I know that the hosts of the
Fringe Podcast have said that when the series first started way back in Season 1, she didn't really impress them but that she has come a long way, and I disagree with the first half of that. She has always impressed me. In fact, I was one who defended her, saying that her acting was not dry but that she was doing a fantastic job of portraying Olivia's character. I have always loved Anna Torv ever since the start, and yes, she has made cases for Emmy nominations recently, but I wouldn't argue that that is because her acting has come a long way; I would argue that that is because the writing and consequently Olivia's character has come a long way; like I keep saying, I have always been impressed by Anna's acting. I love how in this episode, Olivia looks in the mirror and sees that her bangs are down, which she quickly pulls back, obviously because she doesn't want to be reminded of she-who-must-not-be-named, and then, she notices and therefore remembers the tattoo. I wonder if and how that is ever going to come off. Anna, as always, just brilliantly executed this scene, as she did many scenes in this episode.

The science of this episode seems to be reanimation. A man, Roland Barrett, who emotionally helped a girl, Amanda, via therapy decides after her suicide that she deserves a second chance, so he recaptures the organs that were donated and then attempts to bring Amanda back to life using those organs. It fails, and Amanda seems to be utterly brain dead, which leads Barrett to realize that his attempt was a failure, and he seems to legitimately regret doing what he did, because the result was nothing short of a disaster. I love the tie-in to the larger story, how Barrett says that he could see it in Amanda's eyes, see that she wasn't herself, and this obviously reminds Olivia of Bolivia. I just want to say that this was probably the darkest and creepiest episode of the series yet. The scene in which he cuts one of his victim's eyes out is horrifying, and the scene in which he has Amanda walk on strings like a puppet is utterly sick and twisted, the creepiest scene of the series yet, for sure, and I would definitely like to know what the music is that is playing during that scene, because I think that I recognize it. That man really needs some psychiatric help, to say the least, and hopefully, he gets it.

The very last scene of this episode scares me. Walter and Peter are picking up the milkshake that Walter was craving, and September calls whoever his superior is (Nina?) and tells them that he is watching Walter now and that he is not dead yet. Oh, no, I don't want Walter to die. Does this have anything to do with the final scene of "Fracture" (2.03) in which we see September opening a briefcase brought to him by a courier, a briefcase containing photographs of Walter, who is apparently dangerous? What I know of the next episode, titled "Firefly" (oh, yes, the irony), is that one of the Observers (I'm guessing September) contacts Fringe Division to help him fix an event that he apparently meddled with (I am seeing a pattern here, Observers), so I don't know what that will have to do with Walter, but I am so excited. I do have to say that I was very disappointed that we didn't see Nina in this episode. In "6955 kHz" (3.06), Nina pointed out that Bolivia was not acting like herself (since everyone believed that she was Olivia), and now that Olivia is home, I want to see Nina's reaction. Also, is it possibly an inconsistency that Olivia doesn't want to wear her clothes, since the clothes that we saw Bolivia wearing are clothes that Olivia wouldn't, or is it just that Olivia assumes that Bolivia wore her clothes?

I am very surprised that this episode was not directed by Thomas Yatsko, because it really reminds me of "White Tulip" (2.17). There were even a couple of nods to him in this episode, so I didn't know what to make of that. I thought that maybe he recently passed away, but no, research into that matter didn't tell me anything, either. Ultimately, I really enjoy this episode; it is one of the better "stand-alone" episodes in my opinion, and I give it 9.5 Broken Hearts. I really hope that the ratings didn't go down from last week, because they were up a bit from "The Abducted" (3.07). Unfortunately, as you all most likely know,
Fringe is moving to Fridays, and the first episode back from the break will be airing on Friday, January 21st, and apart from what I have already said about the episode, I know that it will guest star Christopher Lloyd, and although I heard a rumor that the episode would also guest star Leonard Nimoy, I haven't heard anything since. Obviously, Bell is dead, but what I heard is that his footage would be flashbacks, and the writers did say that should Nimoy opt to return, they would have a storyline for him. There is also a rumor that Fringe has been renewed for a fourth season, but I really don't know whether or not that's true, because we don't yet know how the series will fare on Friday nights; let's stay hopeful and on the fringe.

"Entrada" (3.08)

If you have not yet seen this episode of Fringe, then please, do not read any further, as this does contain spoilers. I have to say that this was quite possibly the best episode of the entire series so far. It was definitely the best episode of the season, at least. In a lot of ways, it feels a lot like a finale, seeing as how it brings an epic close to this arc involving Olivia and Bolivia having switched places, something that I have been waiting for all season. Now, I am really starting to think that regardless of the outcome, Walternate had every intention of disposing of Olivia in the end. He told Colonel Broyles that if Olivia's new identity didn't hold, then she would no longer be necessary. Based on the look on his face, I think that what he was thinking, what he wanted to say, was, "We have to make an example of her. We will kill her regardless." I really can't stand Walternate, and at this point, I can't stand alter-Brandon, either. Taking out her brain and preserving some of her organs was his idea, and I'm so happy that Broyles knocked him for a loop. What goes around comes around, dude. What's funny is that, like Walter vs. Walternate and Olivia vs. Bolivia, I love the Brandon from this side. Just about everyone over there is so different than their versions on this side.

This episode showed us some incredibly amazing acting out of people from whom we haven't really seen it yet. In my opinion, John Noble and Anna Torv have always been incredibly astounding with their acting skills. However, I have never been all that impressed with Josh Jackson. His cool, slick attitude hasn't always come off as authentic to me. For example, in Season 1, Walter says to Peter that he may have finally found his calling after all, working with him, and Peter replies by saying, "I certainly hope not." Seriously, Peter? You couldn't come up with something better than that? I just find his attitude to be artificial sometimes, and I also find that his lines are a little lame. However, he has made two major impressions on me so far, the first being episode 2.20, "Northwest Passage," and the other being this one. Josh Jackson was right up there with Anna and John in this episode, and I say that based on a few scenes, the first being the scene after he finds out that Olivia is trapped on the Other Side, and he just lays his head down and looks like he is going to cry. Another is when he is looking out the window of the car, looking completely torn apart, and yet another is the very end of the episode, and it is clear that he has been crying. The poor guy has been betrayed twice now; he is falling apart.

Right after Peter finds out that Olivia is trapped in the other universe and looks like he is going to cry, his bedside clock shows us that he has lied wide awake for nearly two hours, not knowing what he should do. I can only imagine how painful that must have been, the thoughts that must have gone through his mind. When he finally gets up, he seems to want to find proof so that he can bring what the woman said on the phone to light, and I love how we get references to earlier cases, such as the parasite in episode 1.07, "In Which We Meet Mr. Jones," and the slugs in episode 1.11, "Bound." Man, he is a quick thinker, though, saying that he is emailing a friend in Greece which then gives him the ability to bring in what Olivia said when she woke up from her coma in episode 2.01, "A New Day in the Old Town." Obviously, Olivia would have known what that meant, but Bolivia doesn't know it, and she says as much, quickly realizing immediately afterward that she slipped, and I absolutely love the series of lines that follow. Bolivia says, "You going to kill me?" and Peter replies, "No, I'm going to get answers, and if I find out you did anything to Olivia, then I'm going to kill you." Then, we get the intro, which, as I suspected it would be, goes back and forth between blue and red, which I find to be incredibly cool.

I didn't realize that Broyles wasn't aware that Peter and Bolivia (who he obviously thought was Olivia) had been dating, and it is difficult to discern what he thinks of it. I don't think that he cares so much about the fact that they had been dating; I think it's more that he is upset that he wasn't told (although it is understood why he wouldn't have been told, since it is probably against the rules for them to be dating). Over there, alter-Brandon hands Walternate a printed out sheet of what Bolivia had sent them via the typewriter ("Cover blown. Extraction needed."), which I think confirms that it is not Walternate who is on the other side of the typewriter, which I had a feeling was the case, anyway. However, I am not so sure that it is alter-Brandon, either. My theory is that it is alter-Nina. Here, she is now technically working for Walter, since Walter owns Massive Dynamic, and also, we have seen her communicating with William Bell, who was on the Other Side, using an old computer at the end of episode 2.07, "Of Human Action." I think that at some point, we are going to meet alter-Nina, and it is going to be a huge pay-off. Walter owning Massive Dynamic here and our already having seen Nina communicating with the Other Side using an old piece of equipment will be parallels to our discovery.

Walternate indirectly refers to Henry, saying that someone obviously assisted Olivia and that whoever the traitor is obviously does not understand their cause. My hope is that they leave Henry alone; I really don't want him to be harmed in any way. Olivia promised him that there wouldn't be any trouble, and even though it wouldn't be her fault if there will be, the poor guy may not see it that way. It is clear that Walternate just wants revenge. He has some sort of hidden agenda (not vagenda, just agenda) behind wanting to know how Olivia can cross between universes, and I think that it is pure revenge. That is why he lied to Peter in the Season 2 Finale, and that is why, as I said, his plan all along was to do away with Olivia once he got what he needed from her. What I don't understand, though, is why they need to remove Olivia's brain and study it when apparently, they already have Cortexiphan ready to administer. I just hope that we don't see them giving it to people like Bolivia, because it would be in contradiction to what we already know to be true, that (a) it only works when given to children, and (b) it doesn't work on everyone. It would be a major plot-hole, and I really don't want that. What I want is for them to try it and for it to not work, since they wouldn't be aware of those two rules.

I love the reference to "Brown Betty" (2.19) in this episode. Before he makes the ridiculously funny "vagenda" comment, Walter says that he has tried many methods to try to think of a way to cross over to retrieve Olivia and says that he even tried a dose of Brown Betty. I guess that from now on, that will be his drug of choice when during times of crisis. So, in this episode, the team finally discovers the use of the typewriter in the shopkeeper's shop, but we still don't learn much about it. Walter says that it would make perfect sense that they would be able to use it to communicate with the Other Side, but why? How? How does it work? I really want to know, and I want to know who the shopkeeper is. He tells Bolivia that that is what they do; they make you wait, that they have been making him wait for seven years but that her kind has it easy. Is he a Shapeshifter? Why did the Other Side promise him new legs? Is the guy who administers some sort of dosage to him at the end, the guy in possession of the missing piece of the device that Walternate needs, a Shapeshifter? If so, how is he going to get it to Walternate now that Bolivia is back home? We learned in this episode that the Shapeshifters, once they are here, cannot go back.

I absolutely love the conversation between Olivia and Colonel Broyles in her prison cell. The line "If you let me die, then we will strike back, and we will fight" is so epic. This scene is so sad, though, because Colonel Broyles says that he is sorry, implying that he isn't going to help her, and Olivia cries, begging him to help her. She thinks that she is going to die, and it is so difficult to watch. I do really like Colonel Broyles, though, and it is so sad that he sacrificed his life to make sure that Olivia could cross over, all with the hope (very key word in this episode) that she would fulfill her promise and ensure the safety of both worlds. Is this Olivia's destiny, to bring balance to the universes? I theorized quite some time ago that Colonel Broyles would help Olivia. In the season premiere, "Olivia," he questions Walternate, asking him why it is necessary to convince Olivia that she is their Olivia, and he doesn't seem to like Walternate's methods. Even then, he wasn't fully on board, and I had a feeling that he would end up helping her. I did not, however, expect that he would die. I love the scene during which Broyles puts his alter-self to rest by closing his eyes; it is a very beautiful, heartbreaking scene. I expected that the two men would actually get the chance to meet each other, but I didn't expect that it would be like this.

I love how Bolivia grabs one last cup of coffee before going home, since coffee is so rare on the Other Side. However, on the Other Side, we have seen Charlie drinking what appears to be coffee, so maybe, occasionally, they are awarded coffee for their being heroes. The Shapeshifter tells Bolivia that she has approximately twenty-three minutes until the transfer is to take place, and this, of course, is an Easter Egg, since "23" is a
LOST number. I absolutely love the scene in which Peter shoots the Shapeshifter right in the head, and then, the look on Bolivia's face is classic. However, Bolivia was holding on to photos of the two of them together, the same photos that Peter takes a look at at the beginning of the episode, so it was obviously real for her, as she tells him that it was, but that doesn't make a difference to me. Watermelon, you have a man over on the Other Side, and Peter already has a woman; he isn't yours. I absolutely love the scene during which Olivia crosses over. Astrid is in the lab, and I just find it absolutely hilarious that all of a sudden, Olivia appears from the tank, and Astrid, completely alarmed, drops what she has in her hands, and I just find that scene to be hilarious - up until she faints, that is, and don't get me wrong; it is a very happy scene, as well. Finally, Olivia is home.

Over there, Bolivia returns to work, and Lincoln Lee (who I love) enthusiastically runs up to her and says that all of his burns are gone, "just like nothing ever happened." Bolivia agrees, and at first, I thought that Lee had been filled in on what had happened, that this was his way of saying hello to their Olivia, but no, he is just randomly saying that he is now fully healed. Eventually, he and Charlie are going to have to discover the truth, because Charlie was suspicious, thinking that perhaps, Olivia had been telling the truth about her not being who she was supposed to believe she was, and that has to come to some sort of head. I do know, based on a recent article that was in the TV Guide magazine, that we will not be returning "over there" for quite some time, and the only reason that I care about that is that I like Lincoln Lee, but I'm sure that going back there will be a huge pay-off. Now, hopefully, the space is cleared for us to learn more about the First People, and hopefully, with Olivia suffering from PTSD (how could she not?), she will be visiting Sam Weiss, who I can't wait to see again. Like I said, I absolutely love this episode, and I give it 10 Alarmed Astrids. Next week's episode is titled "Marionette," and expect another callback to "Brown Betty" (2.19).