"Reciprocity" (3.11)

I consider this episode of Fringe to be on the same scale as the last episode, "The Firefly." It isn't any better for me, and it isn't any worse. I give it the same rating - 8.5 Psychotic Peters. I would like to give it something a bit higher (even though 8.5 is fairly high), but I find myself, once again, feeling rather frustrated. We still don't know why the Weapon responds to Peter (which I was really hoping to find out in this episode), and all we really do know is that the Weapon is possibly corrupting Peter. Olivia, in this episode, says, "Every time we learn something new, we're still a step behind," and I'm on the exact same page. Walter tells Peter near the end of the episode that the Weapon is weaponizing Peter, that when he touched it, it touched him. Now, when did Peter touch the Weapon? "Over There," correct? So, why is it that this behavior is just manifesting now? Has he secretly been killing Shapeshifters all this time, or was being in love with who he thought was Olivia enough to slow down the process? Is the Weapon changing Peter at all? Maybe Walter is wrong. Maybe it's just all of the anger and frustration built up from having been betrayed twice now. Personally, I think that the Weapon is changing him, but it could be a combination.

I also want to point out that although I don't remember who stated this, someone said months ago that we would see the old Peter start to resurface, the one that existed before he met Olivia and joined Fringe Division, and now, I think that that is what we're seeing. He is sneaking out at night to get rid of Shapeshifters, and he is lying to people (which is especially terrible, because he is lying to Olivia after she has finally apologized for being so hard on him a few weeks ago). I just love how he gets back from killing Shapeshifters and then goes straight to the fridge to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. From the "Previously on
Fringe" recap at the beginning of the episode, I thought that this episode was going to deal a lot more with the First People, which is another reason why I find myself slightly disappointed with this episode, since it didn't deal much with them at all. Weeks ago, I saw promotional photos for this episode, and I thought that Carl Lumbly played the part of James Falcon, since he really does look like him in the photo. (If you don't know who Carl Lumbly is, he played the part of Marcus Dixon on Alias, another epic J.J. Abrams sci-fi TV series.) It amazes me how different Nina is, but are we ever going to see "The Dreamscape" (1.09) resolved?

It surprises me that Massive Dynamic doesn't opt to run another test on Peter when they discover that Falcon was a Shapeshifter. Since he was indeed a Shapeshifter, how do we know, how do they know, that he was being honest when he told Peter that he didn't see anything indicative from the results? We definitely see a glimpse of Walternate show his ugly face this week when Walter snaps at Falcon and tells him that he is a graduate of M.I.T., and that really scares me, because now, Walter wants to regrow his brain cells, and God only knows what's going to happen as a result. I'm just afraid that we're going to start to see a very ugly Walter, one a lot more like Walternate, and I really don't want that. It bothers me, because in response to the previous episode, "The Firefly," I said that I sense tragedy at the conclusion of this season, and this episode causes me to be even more convinced of that. I have no idea what we're going to see happen; perhaps, Peter is going to return to the Other Side to stay (as some, not myself, might argue is where he rightfully belongs, anyway), and I also believe (although I don't know who) that someone is going to die. It would also seem like Walter is going to become corrupt; it seems like his position at Massive Dynamic is getting to his head, and now that he is trying to regrow his brain cells, he really could become a dangerous person.

Walter, when he speaks to Nina about his desire to rebuild his brain cells, argues that he doesn't want her help finding a therapist because
he needs to help him, saying, "Nina, he's my son." Obviously, this is not really the case, so it is, in a sense, ironic that he uses this as motivation. It makes me wonder how much he repents the decision that he made, and I'm not necessarily saying that his intentions weren't good. However, here's what I don't understand. Walter must have known at the time that there were an infinite number of universes, not just one, so why was it so important to him that that particular Peter live? Doesn't it stand to reason that Peters were sick and dying, so didn't that drive him crazy? It makes you wonder if, all along, his intention really manywas to take Peter and keep him? That is, after all, what he tells August in "August" (2.08), that he did what he did because he missed his son; he doesn't say that he simply wanted to save him. I don't know; Walter is one of the, if not the, most complicated characters I have ever met in a TV series or a film. I am just really surprised, because this season is not at all how I would have imagined it to be at this point.

Very early in the season (in fact, it may have been before the season actually started), Josh Jackson said that this is "the Year of Olivia." When the season started, that definitely seemed to be the case for the first few episodes. However, it seems like now, we are back to the series being very Peter-centric like it was in Season 2, which is fine (I have no problem with that), but it just wasn't what I was expecting. We
do need to know why it is that the Weapon responds to Peter, which is what I was hoping we were going to learn in this episode. That is, of course, not to say that there hasn't been any involvement from Olivia recently, because there certainly has, especially in "Marionette" (3.09), and this week, she reads the other Olivia's case files, which, as Broyles suggests, read like a diary in their explicit statements about how she felt about Peter. I find it really odd, though, how Olivia says that "we're the same," because I disagree with that. I don't think that our Olivia would ever call Peter "PB," for example. I also find it to be incredibly strange that she would have referred to Walter as "kind and brilliant," because did she indeed go soft, after all? My assumption was that she went soft only for Peter, since (a) she fell for him, and (b) he is from her side.

This episode doesn't deal as greatly with the First People as I was expecting based on the recap, but it does deal quite a bit with the Shapeshifters. Once again, we see one do the "face crunch," which is wildly grotesque and disturbing. Needless to say, it's rather obvious that, in this particular instance, Peter is lucky that he
is so important, because, otherwise, that Shapeshifter near the end of the episode would have had his head, but, again, it's so sad that now, Peter is deceiving Olivia after she just apologized, and that's especially sad due to something that I know that I won't share, having to do with "6B" (3.14). Although, if I were Peter, I would think, "Okay, but where do we stand? Are we back to where we were when we kissed on the Other Side, and if not, what do we need to do to get back there?" That doesn't, however, justify his lying to her, and maybe that's not even what he's thinking at all; maybe he really wants to be with Bolivia. The last observation that I would like to make is that when Brandon tells Nina that Bell had once been looking for a copy of the First People book, her "Ah" leads me to believe that that meant something to her, but I don't think I agree with some that say it was actually her doing. Until "Concentrate and Ask Again" (3.13), stay on the fringe.

Violet Sedan Chair - Seven Suns [review]

It's easy to understand why Walter loves this album so much; it really is great. The album is loaded with catchy rock 'n' roll tunes that are quite believable; when I listen to the album, I often find myself having forgotten that the band is fictitious and didn't actually ever exist, but the sound that is produced is incredibly reminiscent of the late 60s and early 70s, and it is captured so perfectly. The album opens with "Seven Suns (Rising)," which is rather slow and very relaxing, but I just hate the annoying clicking noise that persists throughout the song. My thought is that the tracks that were made available via the Internet were lifted from a vinyl, which would explain strange noises, and this is why I hope that the album is eventually released officially, digitally and/or via CD; it would be really nice to have this album in a bit better quality, but in the meantime, I'm just happy to have it at all, because I'm in love with it, and it's really going to resonate for a while.

As always when it comes to material related to J.J. Abrams, there is a thick air of mystery. Firstly, we don't even know who this really is. Obviously, Violet Sedan Chair has never really existed; the album is meant to be a viral marketing technique, but we have been told that for now, it is going to be kept a secret as to who it actually is. My thought is that it is just members of the production staff who happen to be musicians, and I wouldn't be surprised if J.J. himself is one of them, since I know that he is a musician of sorts. Additionally, there is a video on YouTube of the guitarist of the band (again, no idea as to who it really is) talking about the song "Slow Vibration" (see video below), and it is creepy if you ask me. His voice is very distorted, and there is noise like static, a combination which prevents him from being understood. Lastly, we were told that the records were placed in select vinyl shops a few months ago, but I read that one person claims to have found it somewhere as early as two years ago. It really makes me think of DriveShaft; is there an album hiding somewhere?

The album opens with "Seven Suns (Rising)." The song is rather slow and very relaxing, but there is a persistent clicking noise throughout the song which is rather annoying. My thought is that what was made available via the Internet was lifted from a vinyl, and that would explain the strange sounds, and if my thought is right, then my hope is that the album will eventually be released officially, digitally and/or via CD; it would be nice to have this album in a bit better quality. The second track is the aforementioned "Slow Vibration." This track is a bit poppy, and it almost even reminds me of Maroon 5. It's okay, but it's pretty far from being my favorite. My favorite on the album is probably the third track, "Hovercraft Mother." The song can be heard in a deleted scene from "Over There," a scene that comes off as being a Ford commercial (see video below), and it's ridiculously fun and catchy. The fourth track on the album is also very catchy. Titled "She's Doing Fine," it very much sounds like a song that the Beatles might have written and recorded.

The fifth track is, in my opinion, a rather weak spot. "Long List of Lovers" isn't one over which I'm totally crazy, and it's a bit heavier, kind of reminding me of the Rolling Stones. We then move into "Keep Climbing," and I don't really know what to say about this song besides that, like most of the album, it's really catchy, getting stuck in your head very easily. The seventh track is a bit different from the rest of the album, and I like that it stands out. I love the feeling of this song, which is a very calm, beachy feeling, and it's very serene. The eighth is my favorite next to "Hovercraft Mother." If you listen to the lyrics of "Last Man in Space," it is and could be very relevant to Fringe, which would make sense because we were also told that some of the lyrics would be relevant. The next song is called "Seven Suns (Setting)," and I don't really care much for this one; it is definitely one of the weaker points of the album, of which there aren't too many. Lastly is "Re Fa Mi Si Sol La," a purely instrumental track which closes the album on a good note, pun intended. I love the album and hope that the mysteries behind Violet Sedan Chair will eventually be unveiled.

"The Firefly" (3.10)

While I do really appreciate this episode (especially because of Christopher Lloyd's stellar performance as Roscoe Joyce), I do find myself a bit disappointed. I was hoping for a lot more development, a lot more information about the Observers, but all we really learn is that (1) the Observers are not human (something that I assumed but was not entirely sure of), (2) they are capable of bringing people with them when they travel (which is not all that surprising), and (3) they are capable of observing multiple futures (which is interesting but, again, not surprising). However, even though we now know that they are not human, we still don't know what they are, and we still don't know quite what they do. It is a really good episode, though, very action-packed and exciting, and I give it 8.5 Scattered Violet Sedan Chair Records. The first scene with Walter and Peter is absolutely hilarious. The look on Peter's face is priceless, and I love the song that's playing during the scene; Walter would play that. It's quite obvious from this scene, too, that even after everything, Peter still cares; he tells Walter that he doesn't want him to get hurt. We'll have to see how that plays out throughout the rest of the season.

Christopher Lloyd (again) was excellent in this episode, and the interaction between his character, Roscoe Joyce, and Walter is beyond memorable, to say the least. He has definitely aged a lot, since the last time I remember seeing him was in a Season 3 episode of Malcolm in the Middle, in which he played Hal's father, and he looks like he has aged about twenty years since. Lloyd's scenes are so powerful, and he is an incredible actor. To be honest, when I first discovered that he would be guest-starring on Fringe, I was a little apprehensive, because just about everything that I have seen him on (Dennis the Menace, Back to the Future, and Malcolm in the Middle), he is some sort of nut, and I didn't think that I would be able to take him seriously, but boy, was I ever able to take him seriously, because his performance was Emmy-worthy. I love how Walter can understand him and how there is a connection between the two men because they can relate to each other. I almost became angry with Olivia, though, when her cell phone interrupts Walter's procedure, but luckily, Joyce recalls the remainder of the memory after Olivia leaves.

I can't help but feel terribly sorry for Olivia, which is a large part of the reason why I can't be angry with her. I actually took the minute to find out whether or not the book that Peter gives Olivia as a gift, If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!, is a real book, and it is, in fact. I don't really know what it's about, but based on what Peter tells Olivia in this episode, it sounds, to me, like it is probably a non-fiction book that has something to do with finding yourself. However, Olivia is reluctant to accept the book, because it was intended for Bolivia, and she tells him that ever since she returned to this side, everything has seemed different, even Peter opening up to her. She says that the book is just a reminder of everything that she missed, all of the conversations that the two of them didn't have, and it's really sad. Darn Astrid for interrupting their conversation. There is also such a sweet Polivia scene in this episode, which is when they observe the elderly couple at the hospital. Overall, this is just an amazingly beautiful episode.

This episode is very Observer-centric, but (again), we don't really get too much insight regarding them, not insight that really helps me a whole lot. They don't seem to understand seasons, because September doesn't know what we call Autumn, a scene that is also very memorable. We also know that they are very strong, as September shows a physical strength that is possibly superhuman. We also see a small tattoo of a star on September's left wrist, and I'm convinced that it is related to the tattoo that we have seen on Redverse Olivia's neck (and now Olivia's neck). The look on September's face when he is apprehended near the end of the episode is priceless, but I was really hoping that Olivia and September would have a scene together, because we have never seen the two of them interact; instead, though, September interacts, again, with Peter, and he says to Peter, "It must be very difficult, being a father." The question is, what does he mean? Is he simply referring to Walter, or his Peter a daddy? I think that Peter is going to be a daddy, that Redverse Olivia is pregnant, but we'll find out, I'm sure. I also think that because of how quick September was in this episode, the Observers can teleport.

This episode is beyond decent, but it's definitely not my favorite of the season so far. I guess that I was just hoping for a lot more development. It's quite obvious that Olivia loves Peter, especially due to her panicking near the end of the episode when she thinks that Peter is dying, so that was a good development of their relationship, but other than that, I have, for the most part, always been disappointed by Observer-centric episodes, because while I am always hoping that we're finally going to find out what they are and what they want, we learn very little. I absolutely love Christopher Lloyd's character, though, and I want to add that I had an epiphany not too long ago. It hit me that in the deleted scene from "Over There," the Season 2 finale, Walternate tells Peter that Violet Sedan Chair had three albums, and Peter says that they only had one there. Now, we know that that is because Joyce's son didn't die over there, so he didn't break up the band. I really hope that we see Joyce again, and based on the final scene of this episode, it's obvious that this season is headed toward tragedy; I'm dreading it.