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.