"Wallflower" (4.07)


I actually, believe it or not," prefer "Wallflower" to "And Those We've Left Behind" because it doesn't pretend to be something that it is not. The main issue that I have with "And Those We've Left Behind" is that the promo made it look like an episode that would be tightly connected to the arc, especially since Olivia had so recently experienced a time anomaly, but she doesn't even bring that up, and the case is only loosely tied to the arc, as Peter is not the direct cause of the time anomalies. What are the chances of that, that it just so happened that someone in the area was trying to accomplish what Peter made possible? It's a beautiful episode, but it's flakey. "Wallflower" never posed as anything more than it is - a dark, creepy "mythalone" episode. It is thrilling episode, and I especially like it because finally, we return to the season 1-2 issue of Nina being a potential baddie. A month or two ago, I tweeted Jeff and Joel, and one of them (Joel, I believe) said that he promised that we would be getting more Nina soon, and this episode has thus far fulfilled that promise; I had been fearful that the Nina from episodes such as "The Dreamscape" (1.09) and "Of Human Action" (2.07) had fell to the wayside.

To what I am referring, of course, is the final scene of the episode, which shows us Nina and her posse knocking Olivia out and administering Cortexiphan to her, all in her apartment. It is said that Olivia will not have any memory of the event, and it is implied to us that this has been occurring for quite some time. The mess, of course, that the writers have made due to the alternate timeline is immense, and now, they need to explain whether or not Nina has been doing this in the old timeline. My initial theory was that Nina is trying to prevent dates between Olivia and Lincoln because she knows that the timeline has been altered and somehow knows that Olivia and Peter are supposed to be together. However, this wouldn't explain why she is giving Olivia Cortexiphan. Is it possible that Nina is activating Olivia? In the future, Nina (looking fantastic for her age, of course) is present at Olivia's funeral, and Peter (nor anyone else, for that matter) seems to object to her presence, so my thought is that either Nina is doing something that Olivia will eventually understand as beneficial, or Nina wasn't doing this in that timeline.

It's funny because about halfway through the episode, I said to my boyfriend that I had a feeling that the final scene of the episode would show Nina up to no good, and I was right on the money. I had a feeling that the episode would parallel the seventh episode of season 2 ("Of Human Action"), as that is how that episode ends; it is revealed to us that Tyler Carson is a clone that Nina cloned and then proceeded to mislead the team the entire time. Additionally, like that episode, the case is, more or less, "stand-alone" but connects to Massive Dynamic, and when a case is connected to Massive Dynamic, one can just about guarantee that Massive Dynamic is complicit somehow (or at least Nina, but I'm willing to bet that Blueverse Brandon is not what he appears to be). It's a safe bet that Olivia's migraines are due to the Cortexiphan (or the gas being used to knock her out), especially since one of Nina's men says that Olivia would have no memory of this and would suffer from a severe headache. I really hope that this all comes to fruition, preferably in the old timeline. I really like that, like "Marionette" (3.09), the title refers not only to the case of the week but to the overall arc, in that Peter, not known or remembered by anyone, is a wallflower.

We learned quite some time ago that in the Blueverse, Olivia's mother died, but for the longest time, we didn't know why she died. Finally, we know that she died of cancer, which is consistent with what we know of the Redverse; its technology is more advanced, so it stands to reason that Marilyn Dunham did contract cancer in the Redverse but was cured. We also learn that Peter is still thirty-two years old, which very likely confirms that he has no memory of going to the future and spending a great deal of time going back in time and placing the pieces of the Machine where he needed to place them. It would otherwise stand to reason that he would identify himself as approximately fifty. We also see more of a different relationship between Olivia and Astrid, as Olivia asks her what she does when times become crazy. We learn that Astrid sees a shrink, but the question is whether or not she was seeing one in the old timeline, and you see, this is why I don't like this alternate timeline; I don't always know what connections they do and don't have to the characters of the old timeline, and I want to know. Prior to season 4, the closest that we have ever seen Olivia and Astrid come to this kind of relationship is in "Marionette" (3.09) when Olivia asks Astrid what Peter was like with the other Olivia.

Peter thinks that the Machine thrust him into a different timeline, but I don't know if I agree with him, as he seems to think that this different timeline is a different place to which he traveled; I think that if he wants the people that he loves back, he needs to find a way of resetting the timeline, not returning to it. He's where he needs to be, just not where, if that makes any sense. He needs to be when he lived to be an adult and everyone else is aware of that. Why would the Machine throw him into a random place to which he has no connection? We have learned from chapter 3 of "Peter and the Machine" that September told Peter that he needs to sacrifice himself in order for Olivia to live, and so when he desires to sacrifice himself badly enough, the Machine makes it happen, since the Machine's function is apparently to amplify one's desires. Peter tells Lincoln that Olivia is "not my Olivia," but I think that she is; she just doesn't have any memory of him and has led a slightly different life because of it. Again, we see that Lincoln is just about the only one that respects Peter, and initially, if you recall, I had posited the idea that Blueverse Lincoln is gay, but unfortunately, I think that this episode officially dispels that theory, since he admits to having feelings for Olivia, to whom he interestingly says that the truths that he once knew have been shattered, affirming her prior belief that that would eventually be a realization at which he would arrive.

I am wondering if "Dream Logic" (2.05) is another episode that didn't happen in this timeline. The victims of this case look strikingly similar to the victims of that case, yet no one cares to mention that or suggest that it could be the same phenomenon. However, I am more inclined to believe that it is a minor case of sloppy writing because Peter does have memories of the old timeline, and he doesn't say anything, either. I noticed a lot of blue in the episode; for example, there is an obnoxious amount of blue lighting in the woman (whom I don't believe is named)'s apartment, and obviously, there is the ultraviolet lighting used to find Eugene. My theory as to why all of the blue in the episode relates to how I previously noticed that there is a small amount of blue "bleeding through" the orange intro; I think (or at least hope) that all of the blue is an indication that we will soon be returning to the old timeline. "Back to Where You've Never Been" is the title of the next episode, which strongly suggests to me that that will be the case very soon. I am really looking forward to the next episode, as it looks very promising, especially since all evidence strongly suggests that an old but familiar face will be seen, one about whom I am very excited.

When Astrid complains about the price of Walter's octopus, Walter responds by saying that "science has no price tag," and I love that line. Another memorable line is found during the scene in which Olivia tells Nina that she doesn't know who she's supposed to be, and Nina says that "life is an experiment." Eugene's case is interesting and also sad, and it follows the frequent FRINGE formula of the villain not necessarily being evil but instead calling for a certain amount of sympathy and understanding. Near the end of the episode, shortly before he dies in the elevator, he really reminds me of an Observer, but I don't think that that means anything. At one point during the episode, it is mentioned that Eugene is doing what he is doing because he wants to die, and that really reminds me of "Stowaway" (3.17), the episode in which the character Dana is attempting to find a "stowaway to heaven," and some last-minute comments and observations is that I am very happy that Walter did not harm the mice during his demonstration, and I think that the mention of the "twenty-third floor" is an intentional mention of a LOST number. I give this episode 7.5 Priceless Octopuses.

"Peter and the Machine" [chapter 3] [BEYOND THE FRINGE chapter #3A]

This comic apparently concludes this arc, to the best of my knowledge, which I find odd because there are supposed to be seven different comics and fourteen different releases since each comic has an A and a B storyline, so I am left to wonder what the remainder of the A story lines are going to be. This is definitely, in many ways, a really interesting comic, but it is so confusing on so many levels. What does September show Peter? Does he show him that if he chooses to return to Olivia and Olivia, his mother will die, that Peter is ultimately the cause of his mother's death? Even in the alternate orange timeline, Elizabeth died, even though Peter died as a boy, so how would that be different? Obviously, it is not different. I also don't understand how he sees a future in which Red Olivia and Red Lincoln are together raising Henry as a child. My understanding is that they died when the Redverse was destroyed, so I just don't understand. We do get a very gratifying answer regarding the Machine, though, one that actually does make some sense to me; I just hope that that answer is integrated into the actual TV series, though, too, because as nice as it is to have exclusive insight that those that are not taking the time to read the comics don't have, I don't want strict viewers to become frustrated with a lack of knowledge and give up on the show; we have had too many people give up as it is.

Older Peter has the opportunity to talk to himself in the past, to talk to a younger version of himself, and he reminds him that he hasn't always been a good person, reminding him, for example, of Ahmed. He tells him that the Machine amplifies your desires, turning them into reality. Therefore, it would seem to me as if Peter used the Machine to think himself out of existence. Now, why he doesn't realize this or remember meeting himself from the future is beyond me, and that part of it doesn't make a lot of sense to me, either, because at one point during "The Day We Died" (3.22), Walter tells Peter that he will bring Peter's consciousness forward from 2011, and if that's the case, how does 2011 Peter become 2026 Peter? How does he have memories from the past fifteen years? It's all so confusing, and the writers definitely have a major mess to clean up. These comics have helped a little bit but not nearly enough, because as usual, the questions that they answer only lead to more questions, and I fear that the TV series will not answer these questions. I really appreciate the Violet Sedan Chair lyrics that Walter is singing at the institution, as well as the reference to Alice in Wonderland, something that FRINGE likes to refer to on a regular basis.

Really, my only other issue with this comic is September, and I tend to think that, in a way, he is wildly out of character. Peter tells September that he doesn't want to be spoken to in riddles anymore, and September rhetorically asks, "Why are you Bishops always so stubborn?" Again, I think that this is wildly out of character, far too human. The closest that we see the Observers to being human is when August develops feelings for the young woman Christine. They are not smart-mouthed like September is here, and I don't even believe that he actually said that for that very reason. The events of this series lead to the final scene of "The Day We Died" (3.22), the season 3 finale, which is nice, but its conclusiveness is incredibly limited, as there are still many questions that need to be answered, and again, my fear is that the series is not going to answer these questions, especially not if we don't get a fifth season, which I unfortunately fear that we will not. Too many people, at this point, have given up on the series and are not watching live anymore, and the numbers are dreadful. I try hard not to dwell on such misfortunes, but it's hard not to when FRINGE is not only your favorite show but a passion (as should be evident due to this website); I do not want this show to end prematurely. If you feel the same way, please make time for the show on Friday nights, and be sure to tune in for "Back to Where You've Never Been" (4.08) on January 13th.

"And Those We've Left Behind" (4.06)


"And Those We've Left Behind" is an interesting episode because we receive a couple of answers regarding Peter's disappearance, but not very many, and as is the typical case when it comes to Fringe, these answers only lead to more questions. For example, this episode reveals that Peter was not consciously trying to make his presence known during the past few weeks; he is both surprised and confused when Olivia tells him that Walter has been seeing and hearing him around the lab and says that he was not responsible for that. That, of course, only leads to a major question - why, then, was Walter seeing and hearing Peter, and why was Olivia dreaming about him? Sure, I could buy Peter's theory, which is that Walter and Olivia have ties to the old timeline, but, then, why would Walter hear Peter crying out for help? Then, there is the dream at the beginning of the episode (which I immediately knew was a dream), and in the dream, Peter tells Olivia that it took him three years to get to her, and I wonder if that's accurate. Based on what we know from the comics, that sounds about right, since the journey upon which he embarked certainly looks like it took a while. However, isn't that, then, a continuity error, since he doesn't seem to understand why no one remembers him? If he has none of those memories, how did he know that finding Olivia took three years?

Peter asks Olivia if in the dreams that she had about him, the two of them were at a park while Walter was swinging on a swing set, asking her if she felt a connection to him in the dream, and she replies, "You're a stranger, so what would I feel?" I don't believe her, since she cleverly finds a way around answering the question without actually answering it. I think that that is exactly what her dreams were like, but she doesn't want to admit it because she's afraid of what that could mean. This season, we are, in many ways, seeing season 1 Olivia again, the Olivia that was terrified of opening her heart to someone, so the idea of eventually doing that again is not something with which she is on board, which is why Astrid receives a firm "no" when she suggests to Olivia that she should try to hook up with Lincoln. It is clear that Lincoln likes Peter, that, unlike anyone else, he trusts him, but unfortunately, my Pincoln fantasy ship is no longer on the playing field (not that it ever was), because Lincoln expresses an interest in Olivia in this episode. We also see that Broyles is warming up to Peter a little bit. Near the end of the episode, Peter tells him that he had been thinking about this problem the wrong way, that the timeline isn't the anomaly; he is, and he needs to try to find a way to get back to where he belongs, and Broyles seems sympathetic.

I don't think that Peter's conclusion is true, though. If this timeline has nothing to do with the timeline that we have known for the first three seasons, why show it to us? If these are different Olivias, different Lincolns, different Walters, different Astrids, etc., why do we care about them? Why should we care? Also, if Peter wasn't intentionally trying to bleed through, then why was he bleeding through? First, he says that Olivia and Walter must have been seeing him because he is tied to their timeline, but then, by the end of the episode, he says that he doesn't belong here, and he doesn't proceed to try to explain, then, why Olivia and Walter were seeing him. If he doesn't belong there, then that means that somewhere out there, there is a timeline in which Olivia and Walter noticed that Peter went missing and have since been trying to figure out where he went, and if that's the case, how is this not a parallel universe? We know it's not because of the test that Walter has Astrid conduct, which confirms that Peter is not from a parallel universe, which, of course, shoots xerophytes' argument down. It is interesting, too, how near the end of season 2, Peter was upset with Walter and didn't want anything to do with him, and they have now switched those roles; Walter wants nothing to do with Peter, calling him "it" and "subject" in the process.

Also, the team apparently comes to the conclusion that the time slips began about three days ago, but that is not true, because Olivia experiences one near the end of "Subject 9" (4.04), and it's annoying that she doesn't bring that up. Sure, at the time, she may have dismissed it as lack of sleep or something to that effect, but one would think that she would now attribute some sense to it and bring it up, but I honestly think that that is just sloppy, inconsistent writing, and Fringe is my all-time favorite show, so you know something is annoying if I am knocking it. I have to wonder, though, why Walter owns housing on campus? If he lives in the lab, why does he have a dorm? Why would he be paying for that? Is it something else bleeding through? Perhaps, the longer that Peter stays in this timeline, the closer it will get to the old timeline? I really like the scene between Peter and Olivia in the car, because throughout the first three seasons, we see many scenes between them in the car, so I think that it was supposed to be a sentimental scene. I also love the scene between them near the end, in Peter's new housing. Olivia finally warms up to Peter a little bit and believes that he is from an alternate timeline. She recognizes that where he is from, she was important to him, and she shows him some kindness and respect.

Peter totally looks like Walter when he is mapping out theories on the board, and I find that funny because there was a day which he would have resented hearing that, but now, I think that he would accept that as a compliment. It's funny how, even after discovering that the man stole him from his parents when he was a child and then lied to him during most of his childhood, he still looks up to him and sees him as his father. We still see a pretty arrogant Peter, but I guess that he wouldn't be Peter if we didn't; he has a really smug look on his face when Olivia tells him that she was dreaming of him, and I am still really happy that the "Man in the Mirror" theme continues to be heard; Chris Tilton is truly a genius for having written that. When Raymond Green finally turns the machine off, for a second, I thought that Peter was going to disappear again, and to some extent, it would have been really funny if he had. Stephen is an interesting character, because like so many Fringe villains, he isn't truly a villain, as his intentions are ultimately good. He doesn't realize that what he is doing is killing people; he thinks that the time bubble is only affecting what is inside his house. Obviously, the science is different than that of "White Tulip" (2.17), though, because what Raymond is doing is causing time anomalies, but not resets; not everyone is affected.

Raymond wants to revert back to a time at which his wife, Kate, did not have Alzheimer's Disease, so we see the common, prevalent theme repeated once again - how far would you go for someone that you love? Kate makes a sacrifice; she completely crosses her equations out so that Raymond can never attempt to build the time bubble again because her belief is that "some things are supposed to remain theories," which I find interesting because why, then, would you even bother with it, especially since she was spending so much time on it? Her sacrifice makes this episode really sad and beautiful, and what is really neat is that the actor (Stephen Root) and actress (Romy Rosemont) are actually married. It's funny how Stephen was able to get the machine to hold the time bubble for forty-seven minutes, that number again, and I just got done watching Star Trek: the Next Generation for the first time, in which I noticed that number repeatedly, as well, even more so than J.J. Abrams' shows, and although it is not a J.J. Abrams show, Raymond conducting his work in his basement really reminds me of Sliders, another series that focuses on parallel universes but in a much different way.

Once again, the episode's episodic storyline is reflective of the overall arced storyline; Kate contracting Alzheimer's and consequently not knowing who Raymond is is reflective of Olivia not knowing who Peter is, and since this episode fits so well with the overall question of the series ("How far would you go for someone that you love?"), I am left to wonder how drastic the path will be that Peter takes to get to his destination, which is to be with the Olivia that remembers him. From the BEYOND THE FRINGE comic book series, we know how Peter has already gone, but ultimately, the outcome is not what he had desired, so how much further will he go? The episode definitely offers its rewards; for example, the plug that goes into the back of Peter's neck is a really nice shout-out to Olivia's "trips" to the tank back in season 1, and although I do know that the Faraday cage is real and is not fictitiously exclusive to the Fringeverse, I think that the inclusion of one into this episode serves as an intentional reference to Daniel Faraday of LOST. However, I really expected the time anomalies to be more closely linked to Peter's return, especially considering the fact that Olivia experiences one near the end of "Subject 9" (4.04), which supposedly never happened, and I am also annoyed that we have still not seen how the Observers are responding to Peter's return; I give this episode a somewhat modest rating of 7 Faraday Cages.

"Novation" (4.05)


"Novation" is a great episode, but I was hoping for some more answers. I can't say that I was totally expecting a whole lot of answers, but I am disappointed that we didn't get more. I'm still not making much sense out of this. Why wasn't he expecting that people wouldn't remember him? Where has he been all of this time? If you have read the recently released second chapter of "Peter and the Machine" from the BEYOND THE FRINGE series, then you know that there are some contradictions, since, in that comic, Peter seems to both know that he is going to be obliterated from existence and know why. I was really hoping that in this episode, Peter would explain where he's been all this time. Since the first episode of this season, Walter has been seeing Peter, and that got to the point at which he was even hearing him beg for help. Is Peter aware of that? Does he have these memories? If so, he shouldn't have been surprised that Olivia didn't know who he was at the end of "Subject 9" (4.04). Peter says to Walter that Walter told him that only he, himself, could activate the Machine but that when he did, there would be consequences, so did he not know what those consequences would be? Based on that comic, I would say that he probably did.

Near the very beginning of the episode, I said that, most likely, they would think that Peter is from a third universe, and sure enough, Walter does suggest that that is a possibility. Peter seems to come to the realization that when he didn't die, he became a paradox, and now, for the two worlds to heal, he had to be deleted. He doesn't, however, understand how or why he's back, and neither do I. I also don't understand, like I said, why he seems to arrive at this realization for the first time when we know from chapter 2 of the "Peter and the Machine" comic that he already has arrived at that realization, but maybe he doesn't have those memories anymore. By the end of the episode, Walter thinks that Peter was sent to tempt him. By whom does he think Peter was sent? God, possibly? I love the "neither are you" line at the end of the episode, too, because I think that it is an intentional reference to a "The Man from the Other Side" (2.18). In this episode, Walter says that the boy that drowned in the lake was not his son, and "neither are you," and in "The Man from the Other Side" (2.18), Peter discovers that he's from the Other Side, and he bitingly says that "I am not your son" to Walter, and it was obvious that this really hurt Walter. This time, the table has turned, and it's obvious that Peter is now hurt.

Olivia is very protective of Walter. She tells Peter that she won't allow him to upset Walter any longer, and this tells me that she has really taken Peter's place as Walter's guardian. I am reminded of "The No-Brainer" (1.12) when Jessica Warren wants to talk to Walter about her daughter, Carla Warren, and Peter doesn't want to allow her to talk to him, saying that he won't allow her to upset him. Now, Peter is Jessica Warren, and Olivia is Peter. In this episode, we also learn why Walter has been so angry with Nina. Nina, just like in the old timeline, tried to stop Walter from crossing over, which caused him to trip and break the small vial of the cure that he had for Peter, which caused him to take Peter back to the Blueverse where he fell through the ice and died. Therefore, he has blamed Nina for what happened, and in this episode, he finally comes to terms with the fact that what happened is his own fault. I am, however, led back to the question of why September didn't choose not to intervene when he interrupted Walternate when Walternate was about to find the cure. Wouldn't it stand to reason that he would know that not saving Peter would cause Walternate to be even angrier, since his son died? Not interrupting Walternate when he was about to find the cure would have possibly meant that Walter never would have crossed over, and none of this would have happened.

When Peter realizes that September never pulled him out of the lake that night, Astrid, on the other side of the glass, asks, "What's an Observer?" We already knew that they had probably never encountered the Observers before, because in a scene that must have been cut from the premiere episode (since it was only in promos), Olivia walks by September and January and says, "Excuse me," without displaying even a hint of recognition, and this is when the Observers realize that the Fringe Division team no longer knows who the Observers are. Maybe, this is how it's supposed to be; like the Adjustment Bureau, no one is ever supposed to know of their existence. I also think it could have to do with the fact that the Observers are not bound by time and space like we are, so since they had dealings with the old timeline, they have never had dealings with this timeline; for example, August is more than likely still dead. Another reason that this episode disappoints me a bit is that we don't see how the Observers react to all of this. In the premiere episode, December says that they (meaning the Fringe Division team) can never know that the boy lived to be a man, and now, Peter is back, trying to convince them of just that, that as far as he's concerned, he didn't die as a young boy. I want to see what their plan is now. Will they discover that September played a role, and if so, will he be somehow reprimanded?

In this episode, we find out for sure that Nina did take care of Olivia and Rachel, but I think that that was already a safe bet to make. We just don't fully understand the circumstance; all we can safely assume is that it probably has to do with the fact that Olivia killed her stepfather, but we don't know how that happened. My previous theory was that since Olivia never had that conversation with Peter in the white tulip field, she never told Walter that she was being abused, and Walter never threatened her stepfather, so he continued to abuse her until she had enough rage in her to fire that extra shot. She first tells the stepfather story in "The Cure" (1.06), and she tells Peter that she wishes that she would have fired an extra shot to kill him; maybe, in this timeline, she did fire that extra shot, all because she never had that conversation with Peter in the white tulip field. However, while I still strongly believe that that is plausible, someone on Twitter posited a different theory that I absolutely love; she said that Peter never calmed her down in the white tulip field, so when she went home that night, she set her stepfather on fire, and that's how she killed him. I really like that theory. In fact, it could account for why she went to live with Nina, because maybe, she didn't just kill her stepfather; maybe, she accidentally killed her mother, too, by setting the house afire.

Something that hasn't changed since season 1, though, is that I don't fully trust Nina. I think that she does recognize Malcolm Trust's name and that that is why she says that the name doesn't ring a bell, since she knew that William Bell had been involved. Then, all of a sudden, she remembers him when she sees his photograph, and this is too reminiscent of something that happens in "Ability" (1.14). Olivia mentions Cortexiphan to Nina, and Nina replies the exact same way, that Cortexiphan doesn't ring a bell, and when she looks it up on her highly technological handheld device, all of a sudden, she knows what it is and explains to Olivia that it was based on a theory that William Bell posited, a theory that said that children are born without any mental limitations but that limitations expanded as they got older and that Cortexiphan was designed to prohibit such limitations from presenting themselves. We now know that Nina was definitely aware of the Cortexiphan trials and that, for some reason, she was lying, pretending not to have ever heard of them. I think the same is true now, especially since she says that Trust's name doesn't ring a bell. I'd be interested to know what other fans think of that. I just think that we need to bring ourselves back to "The Dreamscape" (1.09), when Nina is clearly depicted as a potential enemy. We had episodes like that for a reason.

Also, not that this is all that important, but why is it that every time we see Nina in her office, her office is different? Don't get me wrong; I do understand that this is a different timeline, but this has always been the case; even in the old timeline, she always had a different office of a different color and different size. Maybe, she has multiple offices? Considering her high standing at Massive Dynamic, I think that that is very plausible. I just find it odd that Bell shut Trust's project down. Trust says that Bell said that some things are not ours with which to tamper, that some things, instead, are God's, and I have never thought Bell to be much of a religious man, let alone one to know too many boundaries. In fact, when Bell leaves his Massive Dynamic legacy to Walter, he leaves him a note that says, "Don't be afraid to cross the line." Based on what we know of the first series of comics, he was very different as a young man. Then, he was always hesitant and apprehensive to take risks, but as he got older, that changed, and it would seem as if somehow, Peter dying as a young child kept Bell in that way of thinking. This is a great way to make a transition into talking about who I think is in charge of the Shapeshifters 2.0; Darrell of The Fringe Podcast thinks that we are still dealing with Walternate, but that is just too easy and would be a major letdown and would be so anti-climatic. I think that we have more evidence against David Robert Jones.

To begin, Peter never lived to be a man in this timeline, which means that he couldn't have been at Reiden Lake to stop Jones from crossing over, which, mind you, he did at the very last minute, splitting Jones in half. In fact, I don't think that anyone was at Reiden Lake that night, because when Peter shows up there at the end of "Subject 9" (4.04), it doesn't ring any sense of familiarity for anyone other than Walter, so it stands to reason that Jones successfully crossed over that night and killed Bell. Jones used to be a Massive Dynamic employee, so that would explain how Nadine Park had so much inside information regarding Massive Dynamic, and it would also explain how she knew to look for Malcolm Trust. At the end of season 1, we learn that Jones held a grudge against Bell for firing him because he accepted that as a rejection of his importance, his legacy, if you will, and Nadine, in this episode, urges Trust to help her even after he learns that she is a Shapeshifter so that he can begin to take back what Bell took from him by shutting the project down - his legacy. This tells me that she is answering to someone who feels that way, feels that his legacy was taken away from him by Bell, and who else would that be? We also have to keep in mind how Jones looked the last time we saw him, so it could be that Jones wanted this project picked back up so that he could reverse his deformities.

Nadine also tells Trust that "one man shouldn't stand in the way of progress, not even William Bell," so again, I think that she is reflecting upon how she knows her "boss" feels. Also, if Jones crossed over, demanded to know of a way to reverse his deformities and then killed Bell, that could explain why Nina is the "acting C.E.O." of Massive Dynamic and not Walter. Bell may not have had the opportunity to leave a will saying that he wanted his legacy to be left to Walter. I am convinced that we are dealing with David Robert Jones, and I hope that I'm right, although I want people to remember Peter; I want the old timeline back, and if we get it back, then none of this will be a problem since Jones will be dead again and these Shapeshifters 2.0 will probably cease to exist, and I am interested in them, and I want to see Jones again, even though the context will obviously be disappointing; I would honestly rather see Redverse Jones, but at the same time, this will hopefully be a good way to explain how he was able to Hulk himself out of a hospital and how exactly the teleporter made him special. Walter says to Astrid in "Ability" (1.14) that the teleporter does something unthinkable to you but that it doesn't kill you, and then, in "There's More than One of Everything" (1.20), Jones, just before he dies, says that the teleporter may be killing him but that it has made him something special, so why the contradiction?

Peter tells the team that these new Shapeshifters can look like anyone that they have killed, not just the most recent person that they killed like the previous Shapeshifters, and since they are human hybrids, they don't have mercury blood so will be next to impossible to tell apart from humans. He hints that if a Shapeshifter infiltrated Fringe Division, they would never know it, and it surprises me that at that point, they don't start questioning whether or not he, himself, is a Shapeshifter, because honestly, even I did for a second even though I know better. Are we to be expecting that to eventually happen, for someone to infiltrate Fringe Division like one did in season 2, killing Charlie and then taking his place? I knew that the agent at the end of the episode was the Shapeshifter (in fact, I expected Olivia to be pushed off the roof), but they are now aware of that, and I think that Nadine just used that as an escape route, since she must have known that the body would be found. Something else that sort of disappoints me about this episode is that we have been told that when Peter would eventually come back into the fold, he would be different, not himself, and so far, I don't agree with that. He casually says, "Just like old times, sort of." He still has the same laid-back, carefree, macho demeanor, even now.

We only see him panic a couple of times in the episode, once when Walter leaves the room after Peter touches him and he begs for help and once near the end of the episode when Walter, once again, leaves, saying that he doesn't deserve the chance to see his son as an adult, especially, since, he is not his son, and Peter frantically says that Walter doesn't understand, but for the most part, he maintains his usual demeanor, stays calm even though he is imprisoned as a ghost that no one remembers. The love of his life for whom he did all of this treats him like she is afraid of him, which she probably is, actually. Near the end of the episode, Olivia experiences deja vu when someone hands her a file twice, and Darrell of The Fringe Podcast that when he first saw the episode, he thought that that was because Lincoln was the Shapeshifter and that the actual Lincoln was dead, but thankfully, no, Peter's presence is causing time anomalies. He exists in a timeline in which he shouldn't, so it stands to reason that he is going to cause some serious problems, which is what the next episode, "And Those We Left Behind" (4.06), is about. Speaking of Lincoln, is it possible that Blueverse Lincoln is gay? It could just be me, but he seems to me to be infatuated with Peter, and at the end of the episode, Olivia asks him out to dinner, and he refuses; just a thought.

Overall, I really like this episode and give it 8.5 (Hopefully) Not Grimm Ratings, with the "hopefully" in parenthesis because now that we have seen the ratings, we know that Grimm did not affect the ratings; in fact, Grimm's ratings are down, and Fringe's are up, so that's good. Grimm is a good show, but I won't ever watch it live instead ofFringe, even with Fringe being in this alternate timeline. I love how Walter parallels what Carla Warren said to him in 1985 when he tells Nina that "for the sake of one life, I destroyed two worlds." The scene near the beginning of the episode when Walter uses something to help him sleep is really funny, and he looks so scary when he wakes up. Olivia's facial expressions are priceless, as well, as anger and frustration flash across her face. Also near the beginning of the episode, I am reminded of the version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Leonard Nimoy, since the man is living with whom he thinks is his girlfriend until he discovers the truth and finds the body of his girlfriend. I can't wait until "And Those We Left Behind" this week, as it looks like it's going to be a great episode, and I do hope that Blueverse Lincoln is gay, since I have tweeted Joel Wyman in the past and said that I wishFringe would have LGBT characters, since it's just about the only show on FOX that hasn't had one single LGBT character, not even an insignificant episodic character.

"Imagine If... Astrid Was a Spy?" (BEYOND THE FRINGE chapter #2B)

I want to start by saying that I absolutely love the cover of this comic, as I wonder whether or not I am the only one that is reminded of Catwoman. The leather outfit is primarily what does that for me, but also the position and the rope (or whatever that would properly be called). However, the comic itself has a very strong Alias feel to it, and I know that I have said this before, but if you are a Fringe fan that has not seen Alias, please do see it, as I think that you will find it to not only be an amazing show but also to be beneficial to your appreciation of Fringe. There are many Fringe season 1 substories, for example, that intentionally (I say intentionally because Alias is a series in which J.J. Abrams, Jeff Pinkner, and J.R. Orci were all involved.) parallel Alias storylines, such as Olivia needing to sort through John Scott's memories in the tank. Also, Alias is indirectly mentioned from time to time, as well. Back in season 1, the "villain" in "The Transformation" (1.13) is named Marshall Bowman, a combination of the names Marshall Flinkman and Carrie Bowman, a couple on Alias, and in season 2, Peter, in "Grey Matters" (2.10), mentions a girl named Sydney that lived across the street from him when he was a child, and Syndey is the name of the main character on Alias.

I was so shocked and surprised when I found out that Astrid was working for Nina, and I wondered whether or not Nina still worked for Massive Dynamic in this universe, which does end up being the case. Astrid is an agent of Massive Dynamic, to what end we don't know. I love how Astrid stands up for herself, though; she tells Nina that Walter means too much to her, that Fringe Division means too much to her, so she doesn't want to work for Massive Dynamic anymore. Nina tells her that that is not a decision that she gets to make, but Astrid continues to rebel, and eventually, she finds something that she could really use. She finds information that implicates Nina as a criminal, and she blackmails Nina, warning her that if she doesn't let her leave the agency, she will spill what she found, which results in Nina caving. I wonder what it was exactly that Astrid found. What nasty business is Nina involved in this time? Astrid goes to Cairo to obtain information from an agency that is posing as a technology company (sound familiar?), and apparently, Nina is involved in this company somehow. Is the company Massive Dynamic, or is Nina involved in something overseas? It must be that Nina is rotten regardless of the universe or timeline, and that tells me that my theory regarding Nina being the face behind the interdimensional typewriter is, in fact, the case; she's rotten no matter what.

Something that this comic really makes me wonder is whether or not anything like this has ever happened in the Blueverse. We wouldn't really know if it had, would we? Astrid stepped down from her role as a Massive Dynamic agent in the comic, and she told her that she would never do any work for her again, so is it possible that something similar happened at some point in the first three seasons? My boyfriend Ray thinks that Peter's Shapeshifter killing-spree back in "Reciprocity" (3.11) is due to the promise that he made to Nina back in "The Cure" (1.06), and I think that that is a very real possibility. We just can't trust Nina, and if you return to episodes that involve interaction between Nina and Astrid, it is usually very brief and awkward. People used to theorize that Astrid was the "lovechild" of Nina and Broyles, but I don't think that that is the case because we learn in "The Day We Died" (3.22) that Astrid knew her father; that isn't to say that he wasn't her adoptive father, but I really don't get that impression at all. I also wonder about the lab fire in this comic. It is caused by edible plastics. Walter mixes a bunch of different liquids and heated them; he then asked the agent in the lab for a saline solution but was given something else instead, something that the agent thought was a saline solution. This caused a fire, and I wonder if this is how the fire that killed Carla Warren happened. Ultimately, I give this comic 9.5 Astrid Bristow Catwomen; I really enjoyed it.

"Peter and the Machine" [chapter 2] (BEYOND THE FRINGE chapter #2A)

I don't know how anyone else feels about this comic, but I, myself, feel like I have an intense love/hate relationship with it. I love it because, well, it's awesome; we get so much insight into what Peter has gone through since "The Day We Died" (3.22), but it's all so confusing and doesn't make much sense, at least, not to me. For example, who is Dian Cecht? Are we ever going to understand who he is and how he seems to know so much about Peter and his life, why he is wearing a suit in the time period in which he is? Does the latter part of that question have anything to do with the Observers? He says that he is neither Olivia nor "the Bishop," and initially, I had thought that he said "the Bishop" because he had heard Peter say his last name and didn't realize that it was his last name, but I don't think so anymore, not given what knowledge he eventually reveals. Also, now that I have seen the most recent episode, "Novation" (4.05), I notice a potential continuity error. He says to Cecht that the "universe is trying to correct itself by wiping me out," yet he seems to arrive at that realization for the first time in the episode, so unless he has no memory of doing any of this, that is a continuity error, most likely, and it can't be said that it's because the comics are not canon; Josh Jackson is writing these A stories.

Much like he tells his beloved team in "The Day We Died" (3.22), Peter tells the tribe chief upon whom he stumbles that he has seen the future and that it is worse than anything that he could possibly imagine; it is, in fact, nearly word for the word exactly the same line, which I don't like because it kind of weakens the strength of the line from the season 3 finale, knowing now that it wasn't the first time that he delivered it. I do like the panel of images that we see when he says this, though; we see Olivia with a bullet in her head, we see a picture of what appears to be Red Olivia and Red Lincoln together as Red Olivia loses her baby, so my guess is that when the Redverse was destroyed, Olivia and Lincoln were officially together romantically, and we see a limbless Colonel Broyles, among other horrifying scenes. Not too long after that, we see Sam Weiss, and I am so confused. Is this the Sam Weiss that we know from the series, and if so, where do I even start with questions? What happened to him in the timeline in which he and Peter are in this comic? How did he eventually make it back to his time, and if he didn't, does that mean that he ceased to exist in his time? Is he his own ancestor, and if that's the case, why does he look identical to himself? Everything that we know about genetic science says that that is impossible, but that's where time travel becomes shaky; you have paradoxes that don't make any sense.

I certainly hope that he didn't stay in that time and therefore ceased to exist in his time because that would mean that we won't ever see him again. I want answers, and I don't know if we will get them as it is. Peter, in this comic, entrusts Sam with the First People's information, assigning him to protect it and to "tell our story," so why doesn't Sam tell Peter and Olivia and Walter that they are the First People? Why, in "The Last Sam Weiss" (3.21), does he tell Olivia that he is not supposed to intervene? What about the 6955 kHz frequency? Obviously, it ties into the mythology, but how? Why are there two boxes (two Machines, for that matter)? Peter soon jumps to a scene in which he is at the Statue of Liberty, and an agent tells him that the world is falling apart. What time period is this and which universe? Is this meant to be the scene from "The Last Sam Weiss" when Peter goes to the Statue of Liberty and thinks that he's in the Redverse? He then encounters September, and September says that he has to come with him. Peter replies" not yet," which tells me that he knows he's going to be obliterated from existence when he's done, so, again, why doesn't he understand that now? September then tells Peter that Peter is the last piece of the Machine, which reminds me of Harry Potter. I give this comic 8.5 kHz; very telling but even more confusing.

"Subject 9" (4.04)


"Subject 9" has been my favorite fourth season episode so far. There have been some complaints; for example, one person said that he was not happy because he found the episode to be anti-climatic. At the very end of the last episode, Olivia and Walter realize that they are seeing the same man, so they say that they need to find him, and in this episode, they do so without any effort on their part. I can agree with that, but other than that, I am very happy with the episode. I remember wondering whether or not Olivia and Walter would tell Astrid about the man that they were seeing, and we learn from this episode that they did confide in her. We get some really interesting questions regarding what happened in this timeline, or, perhaps, further developments would be a better way of putting it. Olivia and Nina are very close, which leads me to believe that Nina was Olivia's legal guardian, since Nina remembered Olivia being interested in a boy with whom she wanted to go to a dance. Walter and Olivia are closer, and Olivia doesn't seem to resent Walter for the Cortexiphan trials (which did still happen). Walter and Nina's relationship is much different, with a lot of hostility ("Viper!") that was not there before. It's all really interesting.

The Cortexiphan trials, again, did still happen, but they didn't happen the same way. Olivia ran away from them and never finished, and somehow, this led to her not being so angry with Walter as an adult. Astrid had never heard of Cortexiphan, and Olivia had not known that there was any connection between the Cortexiphan subjects ("Why me? Why now?"), which means that episodes such as "Bad Dreams" (1.17) never happened, and this bothers me, because this makes even more episodes that couldn't have possibly happened. There already were so many, and now, there are even more. We learn that Cameron James is the first Cortexiphan subject that Olivia has met, so episodes such as "Bad Dreams," (1.17), "The Road Not Taken," (1.19), "There's More than One of Everything" (1.20) (since they hadn't heard of Reiden Lake), "Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver.," (2.16), "Concentrate and Ask Again," (3.12) and so forth never happened. I also don't get the impression that Olivia has ever shown any abilities beforehand, which could be because the Cortexiphan wasn't administered to her as long, but I have always believed that Olivia's ability to remember numbers is because of Cortexiphan, and we know that she still has that ability, at least.

I absolutely love Olivia in this episode; Anna Torv, as usual, is amazing, and, also as usual, so is John Noble. We see some fantastic on-screen chemistry between the two of them during this episode; we have never seen them like this before. Walter faces the possibility of having to go back to St. Claire's, something of which he becomes aware when he finds opened mail in Olivia's jacket that suggests that Walter be placed back at St. Claire's. It looks like I was right about why Sumner agreed to allow Walter to leave in the first place; Olivia is his official guardian, and he was more inclined to trust Olivia than he was Peter. Walter's fear could, very well, be why he calls Astrid "Claire" (something that I honestly didn't consider until listening to the Fringe Podcast episode of "Subject 9"), and I absolutely love that scene. "Really? Claire?" Astrid responds. "That doesn't even start with an A." This tells us that despite what some of us had thought, Walter still tends to get Astrid's name wrong in this timeline. I love the scene in which Walter completely loses his cool in the hotel room; he is truly slipping away, since we have never seen him that bad. He feels incredibly guilty for what he did to the Cortexiphan children so many years ago, which is ironic because, as previously stated, Olivia doesn't seem to harbor as much resentment.

Something that I find odd, though, is that Olivia seems to be seriously considering sending Walter back to St. Claire's, and we know this because of the conversation that she has with Walter over root beer floats. Based on this conversation, she seems to be struggling between her choices but clarifies that regardless of the decision that she makes, she is doing what's best. The reason that I say that this is odd is because you wouldn't think that allowing Walter to be placed back at St. Claire's would be an option that she would be willing to consider. Yes, as she said, she wants to do what's best, but she must also be aware that she needs Walter's help. That's why she freed him from St. Claire's in the first place, isn't it, to enlist his help? She needs his expertise, so I just find that to be a bit odd. I love how shortly after that, Olivia is battling for power with the cop, and she tells him to look at her boss's name (Phillip Broyles) and then his boss's name, saying that she's sure that he will recognize that name, but it's left at that. You have to love Olivia, and that kind of attitude has been present since the pilot episode, so that hasn't changed. I just wonder if it's the president's name that he reads; that is the impression that I get, but I suppose it could also be a senator or something to that effect.

This episode reminds me of "The Arrival" (1.04) in some ways. Olivia and Walter buy Root Beer Floats, a dessert that is seen in that episode, and also, Olivia suggests that Walter left the lab because he wanted to prove that he was competent, which reminds me of what happens in that episode. Something that is definitely confusing about Walter (and again, this is something that I had never considered until The Fringe Podcast mentioned it) is that Olivia says in this episode that Walter (in this timeline) hasn't left the lab in three years, but we know that this isn't true. At the end of the season 3 finale ("The Day We Died"), he is at the Bridge Room with Walternate and the two Olivias, so is that a continuity error, or did Olivia mean besides that? If she meant besides that, I wish that she would have been more specific and had said, "Walter, besides the Bridge Room encounter..." Maybe she knew that that would remind him of Walternate and the Other Side and would get him worked up; that's a possibility. Also, I don't know if I was the only one who noticed (besides my boyfriend, since he did, too), but Walter looks very sick in this episode, and since I'm sure that that is not a reflection upon John Noble, there has to be a reason for that, a reason that he was made up to look so sick, and I know it's not just me; if you didn't notice, look again.

I don't know if anyone else noticed this, either, but the apartment in which Cameron James lives looks a lot like the other Olivia's apartment in the Redverse, and, in fact, I'm pretty sure that it is the same building. We see a good glimpse of the other Olivia's apartment in "Bloodline" (3.18) when an Observer watches her enter, and both the exterior and the interior look the same to me. Now, I'm not suggesting anything other than that it was the same filming location, but I still find it interesting. I love the scene in which Walter mentions to Cameron that Cameron hadn't like raisin toast when he was a child, and Cameron says, "Have you ever had raisin toast?" He is a character that really develops in the small amount of time that we know him, because by the end of the episode, his previously held anger and resentment toward Walter turns into compassion (which could be the track down which Olivia had driven). Much as I had suspected he would be, Peter is back by the end of this episode, and he shows up naked in Reiden Lake, which is interesting, to say the least. I was hoping that his being naked would boost the ratings a bit, but no such luck (not even his return did, apparently).

I find it interesting how the Observer present at his return doesn't appear to be September, and I just find that odd because you would assume that if anyone would have been there, it would have been September, but maybe it was January; January, from what we could tell from the premiere episode, seems to have an interest (if we want to go so far as to call it that) in the Fringe Division team and how events have happened differently without Peter. Is that because he is the Child from "Inner Child" (1.15)? I really hope that that is answered for us, the fate of the Child and whether or not he is, for sure, an Observer, even though I really think that it's totally safe to assume that he is. Also, I find something else worthy of mentioning; it seems like whenever Walter is nervous and can't find a solution to a problem, being physically comforted by someone, such as someone holding his hand, for example, helps him, and it usually results in him developing an idea. For example, in "Of Human Action" (2.07), he's very nervous after Peter is abducted by Tyler and consequently can't think of anything, but he has an idea when Nina comforts him and encourages him. In this episode, he doesn't want to be left alone outside of Cameron's apartment, so he asks for Olivia's phone so he can talk to Astrid; it's clear that he is motivated by connection and doesn't like feeling alone, which is why he relates to Aaron in "Alone in the World" (4.03).

What is especially interesting, though, is that Peter doesn't seem to understand why he's not remembered, which is interesting because I know that a lot of fans (not necessarily myself) had previously thought that when he and Walter made the plan that they did in 2026, they knew that it would lead to Peter no longer existing; they knew what kind of sacrifice they would have to make, but now, unless Peter has no memory of anything that has happened since the events of "The Day We Died" (3.22), we have to dismiss that, because he expects people to remember him when he finally comes back, and he seems very confused when Olivia asks him who he is, and I do have some details regarding the next episode, "Novation" (4.05), but I will keep that under wraps for now. I do understand the stance that some took in regards to this episode, saying that they feel cheated, and I even agree to a certain extent, but I don't agree with the people that say that the pacing is slow, since, as previously stated, this has been my favorite episode of the season so far, and I give it 9 Olivia Maneuvers. "Novation" looks like it will be another great episode, and I'm happy that Peter is back because (I'm hoping that) that means that the old timeline will be restored soon.

"Alone in the World" (4.03)


Not too long ago, I was talking to my boyfriend and said that because everyone will assume that Walter is going even crazier than they thought due to the "hallucinations," we would be seeing Dr. Sumner from "The Equation" (1.08) again, and I was right, and it makes a lot of sense that he would be seeing Walter on a regular basis. Peter and Sumner had a bit of an altercation, and Sumner told Peter that he did not believe Peter to be a dependable guardian for Walter because of his history as a con-artist, but Peter, more or less, threatened him, telling him that he did not want Peter as an enemy. Now, without Peter in the picture, Sumner probably willingly agreed to allow Walter to stay at the lab, since he probably regarded Olivia and Astrid as reliable, dependable guardians, as long as he could visit Walter on a regular basis. Peter's "bleeding through" the timeline is beginning to get obnoxious; now, Walter is even hearing him when he is trying to communicate with someone else, such as Broyles. Walter is definitely in this episode a lot more frequently than the last episode, which is a good point, in my opinion, but the science itself did little to captivate me. I consider this to be a rather average episode, and I give it 6.5 Moldy Explosions.

Something that I didn't pay much attention to until after reading the BEYOND THE FRINGE #2B comic is that Olivia tells Aaron that she likes to draw and draws Peter from memory (from her dreams), and in that comic, she is a painter. I love this scene, too, because she assures him that he will like Walter because Walter is not scary, and Walter proceeds to tell Aaron to take his shirt off and get on the table. I love those kind of fresh Fringe moments, and I am reminded of the scene in the pilot episode in which Olivia and Charlie are talking at the lab, and Walter walks by them and tells Olivia that he is going to need her to strip down to her underwear. Once again, we see that Peter apparently loved G.I. Joe as a child, since Walter holds on to a G.I. Joe toy that belonged to Peter as a child, similar to how Peter showed a G.I. Joe toy of his to the Child in "Inner Child" (1.15). Yet again, we see Olivia and children having very good relationships, and once again (in this timeline, that is), we see Astrid spending a lot more time out in the field than usual, which I'm happy to see. I love the Toy Story reference near the end of the episode, when Walter quotes it and says that he has always considered the premise to be disturbing. Toy Story was one of my favorite films as a child, and I still love it; some of the best children's films really are the Disney and Pixar collaborations, and I love how Walter makes the reference because he shares a bond with Aaron.

Walter seems to relate to the boy; he understands the boy's loneliness, which calls back what Olivia says in the premiere episode, which is that Walter has never had anything to tether him to the world. Another reason that the connection exists is that Aaron reminds Walter of Peter. He screams to Broyles that if he destroys the organism, he will kill Peter, since Aaron and the organism are linked, when, obviously, he meant Aaron, not Peter. Olivia doesn't seem to understand why Walter would call the boy Peter, as if she doesn't know where he is getting the name from, which is odd because you would think that she would know about Peter; she would, after all, know what initiated the war, wouldn't she? Once again, we hear Chris Tilton's "Man in the Mirror" piece from the premiere episode, which makes me happy because I really do love that piece; it is so immensely beautiful, and I really hope that there will be a season 4 soundtrack, but at this point, it isn't even clear if there will be a season 3 soundtrack. Chris Tilton said that because of piracy, it is very difficult to release television soundtracks, which doesn't make sense to me, because television music is not all that readily available, especially not in good quality, but that's what he said.

I love Olivia's line when she offers her opinion toward how to destroy the organism; she says, "I'm thinking flamethrowers." All that I really have to say about that is, what a BAMF. The victims, after being exposed to the "spores," definitely look really disgusting, and it honestly turned my stomach. That is something that is great about Fringe, its occasional, exceptional ability to turn your stomach. I love the milkshake scene between Walter and Aaron, and from this scene, we learn what enraged Walternate in this timeline. Basically, everything happened the same way, except September didn't intervene when Walter and Peter fell through the ice, and Peter drowned, but what about Walter? Walter fell through, too, yet he is obviously alive. My boyfriend suggested that maybe, Walter was able to break out of the ice, but that just seems too easy, like a cop-out. Also, if September's intervention was removed from the picture, how exactly did that happen, and why didn't September not distract Walternate on the Other Side so that Walternate would discover the cure and save Red Peter? That makes no sense, especially since if that's the way events would have unfurled, the war theoretically would have never happened.

I wonder, though, if when Walter tells Aaron the story of what happened to Peter as a boy, he does so knowing that he is breaching protocol? After all, we learn directly from the previous episode ("One Night in October") that civilians are not to be made aware of the parallel universe, and here is Walter telling a boy about its existence. Perhaps, Walter wasn't thinking about that, or if he was, maybe he was thinking that since Aaron is a child, no one would believe him, anyway, even if he were to tell people, or, perhaps, Walter was thinking about the fact that he's not supposed to tell people about the parallel universe, but he didn't care; Aaron asked, and he wanted to answer him. He may have felt that he owed him an answer after scolding him for touching the G.I. Joe toy. Aaron doesn't believe Walter, anyway, so it's very unlikely that he would ever tell anyone, but still, Walter couldn't have known that Aaron wouldn't believe him, especially since children tend to have very vivid imaginations. When Aaron calls Walter out on his insanity, Walter simply nods, and the matter seems to be dropped, so it could very well be that Walter knows that this isn't something that he is supposed to be discussing with a civilian and is therefore content with Aaron not believing him. It could also mean, however, as tragic as it may be, that he agrees with Aaron because of the conversation that he has with Sumner at the very beginning of the episode.

I love something that Broyles says in this episode, because it mirrors what Carla Warren says in "Peter" (2.15) when she is trying to convince Walter not to travel to the Other Side. She says that "for the sake of one life, you will destroy the world," and Broyles, in this episode, says, "We can't sacrifice countless other lives to save one boy." This is further evidence that the writers certainly know what they are doing, and I feel like a lot is paid off. This episode returns to a frequent theme on Fringe - letting go. Near the end of the third season, Walter tells Peter that he doesn't want to let him go, and Peter says that this time, Walter has to. This show very centrally focuses on questioning how far you would go for someone that you love and how, sometimes, you have to let go of what and/or who you love. In this episode, Aaron sees the organism as a friend since he has spent his life "alone in the world," and Walter tells him that he has to let it go. October is Bullying Prevention Month, so this episode comes to us at a perfect time, and I'm sure that it was intentional, as the episode shows us what kind of damage bullying can do to a person. The episode, as observed by other fans, as well, definitely has a strong The X-Files feel to it, which definitely gives it a creepy tone.

I wonder if we will ever see Aaron again. Because of Aaron's connection to the organism, Walter knows that he has to try to get Aaron to cut his connection with it, and this really reminds me of "6B" (3.14), when Olivia has to try to convince Alice, the elderly woman, to let go of her husband for the greater good. As I said, again, that theme of sacrifice is so heavily prevalent in and intertwined with the overall story, and it's obvious that because Aaron is a young boy that is probably right around the same age that Peter was when he died (maybe a tad bit older), Walter is reliving Peter's death, which is why he is so motivated to save Aaron's life and says that he can't lose him, not again, something that seems to confuse Astrid. Walter promises that he will not leave Aaron and that the two of them will see each other again soon, so I really hope that we will see him again, but I agree with Darrell of The Fringe Podcast in that unfortunately, I don't think that we will. I love the sentimental value of the scene between Olivia and Lincoln near the end of the episode; at the beginning of the episode, Olivia tells Lincoln that if he ever feels "freaked out," she is there for him, and now, he tells Olivia (after recovering from being attacked by Gus) that she looks freaked out and proceeds to ask if she wants to talk.

Nina and Massive Dynamic are mentioned, so that answers the question regarding whether or not Massive Dynamic exists, although apparently, as Darrell of The Fringe Podcast has pointed out, the Massive Dynamic logo can be seen in the Bridge Room in the premiere. I've known for a couple of weeks that Nina and Massive Dynamic would appear in "Subject 9" (4.04), but also, it made no sense to me that Massive Dynamic wouldn't exist, since Peter wouldn't have had direct or indirect involvement in its establishment. I absolutely love the ending (although I'm glad that Walter wasn't able to carry out the lobotomy, as that is quite the unsettling scene as is) because Olivia knows that Walter isn't crazy, since she has been seeing Peter in her dreams. What doesn't make much sense, though, is that Walter says that he has been afraid to tell anyone for weeks, but he does tells people in the premiere episode after hiding in the tank, for example, but maybe, he just means that he has been afraid to tell anyone since. Also, however, Sumner recites reports of Walter having claimed to have seen ghosts, so he obviously told someone, but I won't try to think too deeply about it. Now, the question obviously is, how will they "find" Peter? The promo for next week's episode, "Subject 9" (4.04), looks awesome, and I can't wait.

"What If... Peter Never Died?" (BEYOND THE FRINGE chapter #1B)

"What If... Peter Never Died?" is a really interesting comic; as a B story, it gives us a scenario that might have played out had something happened differently, so much like my "Collapse into Tomorrow" fanfiction does, it gives us a glimpse into a separate parallel universe that is not a part of the TV series. In this universe, Peter never died as a young boy. Perhaps, he was never sick, or perhaps, he was, but Walter and/or doctors either found a cure for his illness or found a way to keep it dormant. At any rate, Peter, now in his teen years, and Walter still don't have the greatest relationship; Walter is dismissive and doesn't pay a whole lot of attention to Peter. For example, when Peter receives news that something that he wrote is going to be published, he tells Walter, and Walter doesn't really seem to care. He just gives Peter money to buy pizza to celebrate by himself, which is really sad. Bell and Nina are in a relationship, as we see them in bed as Walter speaks to Bell over the phone. We also know that apparently, the lab fire never happened, or if it did, it didn't kill Carla, since she is alive. There is, however, an incredibly profound difference in this universe, which I think says a lot, and that is that in this universe, the parallel universe is public knowledge.

In this universe, Walter stands as a public figure; he is famous and appears on television to talk about the parallel universe. Although people cannot travel to a parallel universe, they can look into one using one of Walter's windows, and the primary purposes seem to be to see how you, yourself, are different and also to see people that you may have lost in this universe, to see them living. Peter meets Olivia, and she doesn't think that this is right, and I agree with her. We cannot possibly grow as humans if we have such an ability, to see people that are supposed to be dead, for example, because grief will be much harder, possibly impossible, to surpass. Olivia is an artist, a painter, something that I didn't know about her (is she in either the Blueverse or the Redverse, I wonder?). I love the "white tulip" reference, since Olivia painted a painting of white tulips; apparently, even in this universe, they have special meaning. Also interesting is that Peter seems much more timid and introverted than I would have thought him to be, and he is even bullied; the Peter that we know from the TV series seems like the type that would bully rather than be bullied. The best part of this comic is, perhaps, the scene in which we see Astrid and the Milkshakes and who appears to be Broyles enjoying the show in the crowd.

Olivia really seems quite different, as well. She is not the typically stoic, serious, "down to business" kind of girl that we know her to be (in the Blueverse, that is); she is definitely more of a younger Redverse Olivia. She is sassy, fashionable, preppy, etc., and don't get me wrong; she is a teenager, but I definitely get the impression that Blueverse Olivia has been the way that she is for a long time, which makes me wonder if in this universe, the Cortexiphan trials didn't happen, or if they did, maybe they didn't involve Olivia. Peter discovers that he has done what Walter hasn't done yet; he has managed to develop the window into a portal, so that he can do more than just look "over there"; he can actually go there. He looks "over there" and sees that this particular Peter is not ignored by his father, that he and his father have a great relationship; he also sees that his mother didn't leave Walter (another difference in this universe, which is that Elizabeth apparently didn't die). I love the ending, how instead of going to the parallel universe, Peter goes with Olivia, and Walter finds out what Peter discovered. You get the implication that now, he might pay a little more attention to him. This is a great comic; the animation isn't bad, the story is compelling, and I give it 8.5 Dropkicks. I don't know if comic #2B will follow this storyline, but we'll find out soon enough.

"One Night in October" (4.02)


We definitely get a couple of more answers from this episode than we do from the premiere, but we still don't get very many. We learn that the Machine created the Bridge, but that ultimately leads to more questions. How was the Machine capable of that without Peter? Was he not necessary in this timeline? If that's the case, then why was Peter necessary in the first place? The producers said that in this timeline, everything happened the same way except none of it involved Peter; that's why some of this timeline is the same and some is different, but Peter was directly linked to the Machine, so how did any of that happen? How could the Bridge even exist? We didn't learn to whom the new breed of Shapeshifters belong, but it was, at least, mentioned, which makes me happy. We learn that Redverse Olivia was not abused and, in fact, probably didn't even have a stepfather, and I say that based on her asking what happened to the stepfather; to me, the way that she asked suggested that she never had a stepfather. We also learn that Olivia, in this timeline, killed her stepfather instead of leaving him alive. Is this because of Peter?

Basically, we meet two versions of a man named John McClennan; the one from the Blueverse is a professor, and the one from the Redverse is a serial killer. The serial killer is abducting people and then performing a process that involves stealing their happy memories, since he, himself, is unhappy because he was seriously abused by his father when he was younger. The Redverse decides to bring Blueverse John over to the Redverse, not telling him, of course, where he is really going, so that he can go through the household of the Redverse version of himself and conduct a psychological profile. This is where the episode loses a point in my book, because it is simply a dumb, terrible idea, especially since photographs and other personal items are not first hidden. Redverse Olivia is kind of funny because she doesn't seem to take anything seriously; everything is a joke to her, such as when Blueverse Olivia tells her to button her jacket, which is especially why it's so funny when Blueverse John realizes that something is wrong, runs out of the house, and encounters Blueverse Olivia, realizing that there are two of them. That lack of seriousness is still detectable, but you can also sense shame.

It does sort of annoy me, too, that John seems to very easily accept the explanation that Blueverse Olivia gives him; don't get me wrong, as it is, obviously, the truth, but what a truth it is. He doesn't tell her that he doesn't believe her, and he doesn't seem to be in denial at all, which is a bit strange. I think that the general consensus is that Redverse Lincoln's father died during a Fringe-related event, so it's really interesting to me to see that he, like Blueverse Astrid, is open-minded; there doesn't seem to be any hostility at all where he is involved, as he and Blueverse Olivia seem to get along just fine. The two Olivias are still hostile toward one another, but I think that even that is calming a bit as they are getting more used to working together; they have a conversation about Blueverse Olivia's stepfather, and Redverse Olivia seems genuinely interested. Granted, that is understandable; if I had the chance to meet an alternate version of myself from a parallel universe, I would want to know how his life was different from mine. I love how Olivia remembers the license plate number on the tractor from the photograph of John's father, because we have been seeing that ability since the first season, and Redverse Olivia seems pretty amazed if you ask me.

Another reason that this episode doesn't receive my unconditional love, if you will, is because one scene, in particular, is not realistic at all. In broad daylight, with other people around, Redverse John is able to abduct the woman at the gas station when her daughter uses a bathroom. I am reminded of a similar scene in "Inner Child" (1.15), during which the Artist abducts a woman by stuffing her in his trunk while other people clearly would have seen what he had done. That is annoying, but I try to overlook such issues, because what's most important to me is that the writers are telling good stories and answering questions that they ask, and certainly if you count this as an answer, Charlie and Mona "Bug Girl" Foster (now Francis?) are now married, and as I have said before, I am so happy that Mona was not never to be mentioned again, because I think that most of us really liked her. I wonder, too, if Redverse Olivia is married, or soon to be married, to Frank, since he asked her to marry him and she said yes, and obviously, she never got pregnant. I'm thinking that she isn't married yet, or else it stands to reason that that would have been mentioned. Blueverse Olivia and Blueverse Astrid definitely seem to be a bit more sisterly, and, of course, Astrid's line that maybe Olivia's type doesn't exist is another stab at Peter.

Another reason why this is certainly not my favorite episode ever is the fact that John Noble is in so very little of it; in fact, Anna Torv and Seth Gabel dominate this episode, and don't get me wrong, they are both fantastic, but we are now two episodes into the season, and we have not seen Walternate. During the small amount of time that we do see Walter, we see that he is covering reflective surfaces, obviously because he fears seeing Peter. We also see that he is listening to the first movement of Mozart's Requiem as he is in some sort of subdued state from which he doesn't awaken until Astrid turns the music off, to which he angrily replies, "Do you have any idea what it cost Mozart to create that movement?" He is referring to Mozart's dwindling sanity and his eventual death, so it's very understandable why he would want to listen to that, as I think that there is an argument to be made that we listen not to music that makes us feel good but to music to which we can relate. I absolutely love how he refers to Lincoln as Kennedy, obviously confusing his presidents. Again, he seems to be getting Astrid's name right, but it's others' names that he is not remembering, such as Lincoln's and Tim's, his night guard. Astrid and Walter obviously don't have the same kind of relationship.

I do love how the case reflects the arc, since now, we are left to wonder how Blueverse John will be different now that he doesn't remember Marjorie, and obviously, people don't remember Peter; Broyles then says that he believes that people leave an indelible mark on your soul that can never be erased. Did anyone else notice the apple on the ground in John's memory of Marjorie? It looked very much like the apple glyph, but I doubt that it had any deep significance other than that. Another Easter Egg that I caught is Broyles telling Olivia that the John on the Other Side killed twenty-three victims, and "23" is one of the LOST numbers. At the very end of the episode, Walter hears Peter shouting for help, saying, "I'm right here." I think that he is "out of phase," if you will, begging to be remembered, which has to be torment. I also want to mention the title, since when I first read what the title was, I thought for sure that we were going to meet a new Observer, and I am disappointed that we didn't, but it seems that the title refers to how "one night in October," John ran away from his father, which had very different results depending on the universe. "One Night in October" is an average episode, and I give it 7.5 Maddening Requiems.