"6B" (3.14)

"6B" is a pretty decent episode, and I give it 7.5 Disappointments Due to "Guest Starring Seth Gabel" Not Meaning THIS Lincoln. At the very beginning of the episode, I saw "Guest Starring Seth Gabel" and got so excited, because just a few weeks ago, Wy-Pi said that we would see the Lincoln Lee on this side very soon, so when I saw that, I thought for sure that we were going to meet him, but nope, the episode shifts "over there" at the end of the episode, which is so disappointing. Early in the episode, I developed a new theory, one that I am surprised I have never developed before. For a very long time now, Walter has shipped Polivia, and if we are to believe what Sam tells Nina at the end of "Concentrate and Ask Again" (3.12), maybe that was intentional, an effort to save this universe as opposed to the other universe. It's really funny how we still see Walter and his food preoccupations persist, since when Peter tells him that his attempts to help him and Olivia only made the situation worse, Walter says that he should have tried a different kind of food. It's always good to see character consistencies throughout the series, and it is also good to see parallels being drawn; this series is a lot more fun when there are character consistencies and parallels.

There are many parallels in this episode, especially to episode 2.14, "Jacksonville." To begin with, Olivia runs away, scared, when she kisses Peter, which is kind of what happens in "Jacksonville," and she also sees him glimmer, which she does in "Jacksonville." In addition, Walter angrily and sarcastically suggests that they hook Olivia up again and terrify her in order to get her to identify objects from the Other Side, which is obviously the plot of "Jacksonville." In "Jacksonville," Broyles says to Olivia that there are times in which the only choices you have left are bad ones, which parallels what Olivia says in this episode about the possible need to Quarantine the apartment complex; she says, "I understand this is a last resort, but it's a bad last resort," and it was Broyles himself who had to make a very difficult decision in this episode. Once again, we hear that "there's got to be another way," which seems to be a key line in the season, since this is, I believe, the third time that we have heard it so far. Brandon works under Walter in this episode, referring to him as "sir," which is obviously yet another parallel being drawn, since, needless to say, Brandon works for Walter on the Other Side and always addresses him as "sir," and this Brandon, for some reason, behaves a lot like the other one in this episode.

Additionally, every fourteenth episode so far has dealt with a building being evacuated for some reason, starting with "Ability" (1.14), in which a building needs to be evacuated due to a bomb, then "Jacksonville" (2.14), in which a building needs to be evacuated because it is being sucked into the other universe, and now, "6B" (3.14), in which a building needs to be evacuated so that it can be encased in Amber 31422. There are definitely plenty of parallels to go around, which I very much appreciate. Did anyone else, by the way, notice the green-green-green-red sequence of dots on the equipment used to initiate the Amber 31422 gas? I don't know what to make of it, but I noticed it. Walter, which is what I was afraid of, seems to be turning into Walternate, which causes me to believe that he is successfully beginning to grow some of his missing brain cells back. He is very impatient and is even incredibly harsh in correspondence with Astrid, which is not like him at all. He takes on the role of a leader and gives orders, and like I said, we are seeing the old Walter, Walternate, which I don't like at all. This is what I dreaded when I saw him ask Nina for assistance with growing his missing brain cells back in "Reciprocity" (3.11).

Although I feel incredibly sorry for Mrs. Merchant and really, really like her, I don't know how I feel about this whole idea of the universe being damaged because of a strong emotional bond shared between two people on opposite sides, assuming that I am even understanding that correctly. It makes no sense; what would emotions have to do with the fabric of the universes? I just find it utterly ridiculous and actually had to knock my rating down just a tad, from a 9 to an 8.5, just for that reason. The reasons behind my rating still being relatively high, though, are (1) everything else about this episode is incredibly admirable, and I don't feel that that one aspect is bothersome enough for me to give it a low rating, and (2) the writers, as they have pointed out, are planting a lot of seeds for events to come, so this very well could be something that will eventually make sense in the long haul, and I'm going to be patient. I also don't understand how what was happening in the apartment complex had anything to do with appliances turning themselves on (was Mrs. Merchant's husband doing that?) or with people falling to their deaths through the floor of the deck, even though the floor stayed intact. It simply makes no sense to me at all.

Peter and Olivia finally try to fix their relationship in this episode, and although there are still some issues, such as Olivia's fear (another character consistency that I was happy to see), ultimately, they seem to be successful. What Peter says to Olivia near the beginning of the episode, which is that he thinks about her counterpart because he finally had the opportunity to see what a relationship with her would be like, is so unbelievably sweet, and if I had been Olivia, I totally would have dropped the issue right then and there, because that would have been enough. I just hope that he means what he says, because if not, if he legitimately does have exclusive feelings for the other Olivia, then I am going to hate him, not only for lying but for jumping in bed with her (which, by the way, means that this Olivia is now pregnant, too; I guarantee it). I really love the kissing scene (especially with the Velvet Underground playing underneath it), but I couldn't understand why the FOX promo didn't show the kiss, since the Canadian City TV promo did. That's something that is going to attract viewers, something that we need, and FOX is getting lazy again; I watched House on Monday night, as I do every week, and not once during that whole hour was Fringe promoted.

At the very, very end of the episode, we shift back "over there," and we see Lincoln and Bolivia investigating the same apartment complex, only to find out that there is nothing wrong, despite Astrid's findings that there was something wrong, and I wonder why that is. If there was such a catastrophe here, then why wasn't there one there, especially since, as we have seen, the Other Side seems to be in much worse shape? Someone on Twitter posited the theory that Peter and Olivia's relationship contributed here, but I don't think so, only because they are not separated by the distance of two universes, not now, anyway. I didn't at all care for the title of this episode, since it only seems to pertain to the apartment number. Next week's episode, titled "Subject 13" (originally titled "6 Months Later") looks like it's going to be really, really good, but I'm not at all happy about Quinn Lord being replaced as young Peter, since I was and am very happy with his performance (in reference, of course, to "Peter"). This actor doesn't even really look like him, but the episode itself looks like it's going to be an unforgettable episode; someone's memories have definitely been altered. Stay on the fringe, and remember to watch live, because the ratings need to be back up if we are getting a fourth season.

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