"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.

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