"Bloodline" (3.18)

As promised, "Bloodline," a "red" episode, is quite a stunning episode, dealing with a lot that I was not expecting. Who would have ever guessed that we would be seeing the baby's birth so soon? I certainly hadn't; in fact, Wy-Pi even said that they wouldn't be dealing with the pregnancy until the fourth season, which I am now assuming meant that Peter and this Olivia will not find out about the baby until the fourth season. This episode is definitely very exciting and suspenseful, and I love how it has so many parallels to earlier episodes, too. For example, this episode takes us all the way back to the second episode of the series, "The Same Old Story," an episode in which Olivia seems to have some kind of vision involving what is happening to the victims, only it's happening to her, and that is an accelerated, apparently painful pregnancy. We have to wonder (as some, myself included, wondered shortly before we even received the official confirmation in episode 3.13, "Immortality," that Bolivia was indeed pregnant) if that was some sort of glimpse into a possible future, and I say that because of what September says to Walter in "The Firefly" (3.10), which is that he is capable of observing multiple futures but can't determine which will unfold. Is this the same as seeing multiple universes?

So, we find out in this episode that the reason that Rachel died trying to give birth is because she had a disease which made it impossible for her to give birth, and in this episode, we learn that Olivia has the same disease and therefore can't give birth, either (following up on the fact that the Redverse seems to be very prone to disease). At first, I wondered if this helped support David Wu's theory regarding Ella, that Ella was actually Peter and the other Olivia's child and that the Observers somehow intervened, and that was a theory that I was sort of starting to "buy into," because Wy-Pi said that what we see September do in "The Firefly" (3.10) (moving Roscoe Joyce's son forward in time) planted a seed for something that we will see later down the road; however, that theory has now been disproved, because the child is a boy, and I doubt that the Observers have the ability to change someone's sex. We learn in this episode that Lincoln is apparently not happy with the fact that Olivia is pregnant, which doesn't surprise me in the least bit, since I didn't think he would be. He has her sights set on her, and not only does a pregnancy decrease his chances, but even if he does have a chance, being with her would mean raising a child of whom he wouldn't be the father.

So, apparently, Charlie is now dating "bug girl" (whose name is actually Mona), and based on what he says to Lincoln, he seems to have really gotten along with her; that was a really happy moment of the episode, seeing as how I really like Mona and wasn't expecting her to ever be mentioned again. Walternate is still refusing to experiment on children (even though he is more than okay with experimenting and imprisoning adults), and the fact that the other Brandon is still pushing for the child experimentation to take place indicates that Brandon really is a bad, bad guy, and it makes me wonder about the Brandon in the Blueverse; perhaps, as red Brandon is Walternate's right-hand man, blue Brandon is Nina's right-hand man and has had a great deal of involvement in the immoral experimentation that Massive Dynamic has conducted, such as the cloning of the Tylers in "Of Human Action" (2.07). (I recently saw the actor who played Tyler, Dominic Monaghan, in an NCIS episode, by the way.) I spotted blue, red, and yellow on Walternate's wall, which was probably there before, but I didn't notice it until now.

In this episode, Walternate is definitely very driven, and we even see him in tears. As usual, John Noble is amazing, but I won't say much more than that, because that has been said over and over and over again; he and Anna both need Emmys. An Observer is seen near the beginning of the episode, and he is watching Olivia enter her apartment complex. What's really interesting, though, is that it definitely doesn't look like September; he looks like he is a bit older than September, so maybe he is October or November? I don't know, but it is odd. At the end of the episode, after Walternate gets his hands on the baby's blood sample, September says into one of those strange communication devices that it's happening, and I was teased a bit beforehand. I read a review that I believe TV Guide had published saying that we would see the Observer and would even hear him speak, saying something that would be incredibly game-changing. I think that it has something to do with getting Peter back to the Redverse and has something to do with what September and December say at the end of "The Firefly" (3.10), but I guess we will see; Wy-Pi recently said that we will find out a lot more about the Observers in Season 4 (which, as you all know by now, is officially happening, so we can take a few breaths and relax), so that is really exciting.

This episode also has a parallel to this season's premiere, "Olivia." In that episode, we start to see the effects of Season 2's cliffhanger, which, of course, is the revelation that Olivia (as in Blueverse Olivia) is being held captive in the Redverse, and Bolivia being held captive against her will really reminds me of what Olivia has to endure during the first part of Season 3. In fact, for the second time now (the first being the end of episode 3.13, "Immortality"), we have seen Bolivia as a very vulnerable person, a lot like Olivia, and in this episode, she reminds me a lot of Blue Olivia. She tries to reason with the blonde woman, tries to convince her to let her go, and this reminds me of Olivia trying to reason with Colonel Broyles in "Entrada" (3.08). This episode also reminds me of both Alias and LOST in that both shows also deal with a pregnancy, and both of those pregnancies are handled in similar fashions. When I first saw the promo for this episode, in fact, I suspected that the abduction was related to the pregnancy and even said, "How much do you want to bet that they are somehow trying to save her baby?" I just know J.J. too well. One scene even reminds me of Stargate SG-1 (which, by the way, J.J. was not involved with at all), because in episode 5.11, "Desperate Measures," of Stargate SG-1, Samantha Carter is abducted and tries to use a scalpel to free herself from her restraints.

So, we see Chinatown in this episode yet again, which is probably the fourth or fifth time that we have seen Chinatown in this series. I have to wonder what's up with the creepy masks that Olivia comes across on the streets. Is she hallucinating, or is this some sort of cultural custom? Something that I love about this episode is that we see Henry again, and I am so happy that they haven't just dismissed his character. When we first see him in this episode, he is reading a comic strip on his computer titled Opus, and when I saw that, I knew that there must have been something significant about that, and sure enough, there is, which is that Opus was discontinued here and is no longer published, so it was intended as another differentiation between the universes. It is kind of tragic how Henry still thinks that the Olivia that he has been watching over (which I do not see as creepy; he was concerned) is the same one that he had previously met. Red Olivia says before giving birth, "It's nice to meet you, Henry," and you can see that Henry doesn't understand, which is sad. Lincoln and Charlie confront him, but I'm not sure whether or not they told Walternate, and I hope not, because if so, Henry may end up dead, and that would be truly, truly tragic. I sincerely hope that that is not what happens.

I absolutely love the scene near the end of the episode in which Lincoln and Charlie have an epiphany, realizing that Broyles went missing right around the same time that the Olivias switched to their rightful places, consequently wondering what else they have been lied to about. They are getting very close to the truth, if they are not there already. I wonder if this will affect their friendship with Olivia; my guess is that it will, but I am also wondering if they will say anything to her. My thought is that they will not, that they will pretend like they don't know for a while until it somehow comes to fruition. I knew early in the season, when Lincoln and Charlie have that conversation in which Charlie suggests that Olivia was telling the truth about not being who they thought she was, that they would definitely receive official confirmation that she was indeed telling the truth, and now that they have, I wonder if they will become more sympathetic toward the Blueverse. What about Sam Weiss? He obviously knew about Bolivia's pregnant, because he told Nina that she shouldn't be so sure that Peter would choose Blue Olivia. I do know that Sam will have a major role in the season's last two to three episodes; I can't wait, and I'm sure that the finale will have a lot to do with why Walternate wanted the baby's blood sample."Bloodline" is a fantastic episode, and I give it 9 Agonized Alters.

"Stowaway" (3.17)

This episode, while definitely not my favorite episode of the season so far, is a decent episode, and I ultimately give it 8.5 Plastic Explosives. The case, while more or less "stand-alone," is very compelling and emotionally riveting, and I would even go as far as to say that it is oddly beautiful. If there is any area at which Fringe excels (and, believe me, there is), it is storytelling, and this episode is certainly no exception. Anna Torv, as always, is amazing, and it surprised me when I discovered that her performance has actually been controversial, as some people didn't like her performance and have even been rather harsh about it, saying that there is not a single spark of Bell's character existing, something with which I totally and completely disagree. I think that she does a fantastic job of capturing Nimoy's mannerisms, and she is utterly hilarious, as well. Her mannerisms and her facial expressions are simply priceless, and while it may be true that, for the most part, Bell's character has never really been very fun-loving, cheerful, and mischievous like it is now, it would stand to reason that Bell is thrilled that his "soul magnet" idea was valid and that his life has therefore been extended.

The opening scene of the episode explains when Olivia had the "soul magnets" implanted, and I was right about that; it happened when she visited Bell on the Other Side at the end of the first season, and, in fact, that is part of the reason why he brought her "over there" in the first place. The opening scene also explains where Olivia is right now, a question that I had previously posited, seeing as how she is obviously not present in her body right now. Bell says that her consciousness simply lies dormant, and that causes me to wonder where Bell's consciousness has been during these past few months that he has been "dead." In "6B" (3.14), Walter says that Bell posited the idea of "soul magnets" and said that if he were right, he would contact Walter "from the Great Beyond," so what is meant by "the Great Beyond," I wonder? When I first saw that scene, I didn't think much of it, but I think that we should (if we aren't all already) pay very close attention to everything from now on, which Redverse Olivia does tell "us" in "Over There, Part 1" (2.21) when she says, "If you could tell me what you saw; I mean, even small things could be important." I definitely think that we should be listening to her.

Now that Bell (who has, by some, been cleverly referred to as Bellivia) is back (well, for now), he really is so funny. He is mischievous and is incredibly gleeful, like a child. He says that he had never previously imagined how binding a bra would be, and the first time that I saw this episode, I didn't catch that; when I did catch that, I died laughing. He also really seems to like Astrid, and you know what I mean. He tells her that she has really beautiful hands, just in case no one had ever told her that before, and he puts the binding of magnets that he uses as a demonstration for Lincoln on Astrid's wrist as a bracelet, saying that it really suits her, and I love how Astrid then proceeds to button up her shirt. He then smirks mischievously, and this scene is an example of Anna's genius acting talent. I can only imagine how much fun this episode must have been to film, seeing as how they all probably lost control and laughed quite frequently. Bell promises Broyles that he will only be inside of Olivia's body temporarily and says, "You have my word, young man," and I found this interesting, because we know that Bell had had a relationship with Nina, and based on the incredibly strange kiss in "A New Day in the Old Town" (2.01), we can assume that Nina had had some sort of relationship with Broyles, as well, yet Bell refers to him as "young man." Just how old is Broyles?

It is outrageously funny when Bell has the idea of implanting his consciousness inside of Gene. The expression on his face, especially with the glasses, is utterly priceless, and you can see the sinister mischief that is blooming in his mind. I would imagine that Anna and John, particularly, had a lot of fun filming this episode, seeing as how they spent a lot more time together than they usually do. Astrid says on the phone that she can't really figure out what conclusion at which they are arriving, because "they're doing that thing again where they don't finish sentences," which I would imagine that this was their typical behavior "back in the day" when they were lab partners, which we got a much closer glimpse at in this episode, which makes it a pretty meaningful episode in that sense. We certainly get to know Bell a lot better than we ever have before. He is apparently adventurous, and (as we had already known) likes to experiment. This is why, for a short while near the end of the episode, I thought that he was going to suggest having sex with Peter, figuring that Peter would agree since he is in Olivia's body; I just totally got that vibe when he said that Walter said that it would be a good idea if he stayed there for the night and then offered a cup of tea. I wouldn't put that past Bell; I really wouldn't.

I really like what Bell says at the end of the episode, because it opens two different doors of possibilities; either the magnetic charge of the bomb finally made it possible for Dana Grey to die, or she couldn't die prior to the explosion (which was pretty powerful; how was she not blown to smithereens?) because she had a purpose to fulfill, and that purpose was to stop all of those people from dying on the train. Science vs. faith definitely comes into play here (which it also does in regards to Dana connecting the story of Azrael to her own situation), and I think that we also have to wonder whether or not the Observers are involved if Bell's latter thought is true. I do like how Bell's positing of these two ideas is consistent with the Season 1 tagline, which is "Imagine the Impossibilities," which is certainly not the first time that that tagline has come into play on the series. Olivia returns, but it's only for a few seconds, and then, Bell says, "I think that I may have been wrong; this may be a little more complicated than I first thought." At first, I said, "Oh, no!" However, I think that all that that probably means is that there is a variable for which Bell didn't account, and now, he needs to make some new considerations. I don't think that Olivia is in any danger, just for the record, but we probably won't be finding out until Fringe returns from its lowatus on April 15th, since "Bloodline" (3.18) is an "over there" episode.

After Season 2 had concluded, I feared that Bell would be another Jones, not mentioned even once during the course of the third season, but obviously, I was wrong, which I am really happy about. Leonard Nimoy has even said that he will be returning to the show, and even though I don't yet see how that is possible, this is Fringe, so I have to "imagine the impossibilities," right? What I don't understand about this episode is why Nina is not in it. After all, she and Bell were business partners and lovers, were they not? However, Bell has returned, yet she has no involvement whatsoever and doesn't even "meet" him, so what's up with that? It would be something if Broyles made the decision not to involve her for that very reason, but you would think that there would be a scene in which he explicitly says that, because it is kind of a major point to overlook. I love the look on Broyles' face when Bell introduces himself to Lincoln; it is yet another priceless look, and it is one of agitation and annoyance. 

Something that I do absolutely love about this episode is the fact that the Lincoln on this side is finally introduced to us, something for which I have been waiting a long time, since I love Lincoln. This Lincoln is definitely different, and I honestly can't decide which Lincoln I like better, as they each have their charms. I love when he arrives at the lab and sees Gene, obviously wondering why there is a cow in the lab. He later says to Peter that his work with Fringe Division was "a lot more exciting than Hartford," and this makes me wonder whether or not he will be back on the series. I really hope so, and I wish that Seth Gabel would just be regarded as a series regular already. I love the Peter and Lincoln bromance in this episode and really wish that it would develop into something further, even though I know that that obviously is never going to happen. Lincoln, interestingly enough, refers to the Sesame Street song "One of These Things (Is Not Like the Others)," and that's not the first time that that song has been mentioned; the first time is in "Jacksonville" (2.14), when Olivia discovers her ability to identify objects that belong on the Other Side. Overall, despite the annoying convenience of the bearded man who had been sitting next to Dana on the train showing up just in time to say that he recognized her from the photo, this is a really satisfying, emotionally compelling (both really funny and really tragic) episode.

"Os" (3.16)

There is nothing extravagantly special about this episode until the very ending, when I experienced a shock of a lifetime, as I was not expecting to see Olivia's body being used as a vessel for Bell's consciousness. What a cliffhanger, and I can't wait to see how this plays out. I am just really disappointed that this happened to her now, because I found out weeks ago that we would finally meet this Lincoln Lee in "Stowaway" (3.17), and not only was I excited of that discovery in and of itself because I love Lincoln Lee, I was excited to find out how Olivia would react since she met the Lincoln "over there," but now, that isn't going to happen, exactly, because she is really William Bell. I am wondering how that is going to play out and am really excited about that for that reason, but I am also wondering where Olivia is right now; is a part of her still in there, and if not, then where is she? Where is her consciousness? For a minute, I thought that it had actually worked on Nina, since her mannerisms seem to change, but no, it did not work on Nina, and it having caused Olivia's consciousness to be dominated by that of Bell definitely serves as a much more satisfying cliffhanger than that would have, and this cliffhanger was one of the biggest surprises of the series so far.

The week before and the week during this episode's airing, I posted on both my Facebook and my Twitter account that LOST fans should tune in to "Os," since Jorge Garcia (who played the part of Hurley) would be guest-starring, and if I did hook any LOST fans who were not Fringefans, then hopefully, I didn't disappoint you, since he was not in as much of the episode as I was expecting (and I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence that he is in 3.16). The purpose was purely aLOST nod, basically serving no other purpose since he is only in the very first scene, a relatively useless, unimportant scene, but it was a lot of fun seeing him. It definitely gets the LOST fan in me feeling a bit nostalgic, even though Fringe is my love and is considerably better than LOST. I wonder if Walter is still trying to regenerate his brain cells, of if he has given that up due to Bell's "soul magnets" theory giving him a new idea. I ask that for a few reasons. Firstly, he hasn't mentioned the regeneration in a while. Secondly, the "soul magnets" idea seems to be a reasonable substitution. Lastly, while he was quite angry and irritable in "6B" (3.14), he now seems really happy, which I'm sure has a lot to do with Peter and Olivia being together, but that can't be the entire reason, because in "6B," even Astrid irritated him easily, which is not usual by any means.

One observation that I made is that Walter tells Nina what situations would likely be like "if William were here," which is likely supposed to be a parallel to "Peter" (2.15), except now, their roles are reversed. He then breaks the news to Nina that Olivia and Peter are dating, and Nina seems pleasantly surprised and then later tells Peter that he made the right choice, which we know, of course, has a lot to do with what she talks with Sam about at the end of "Concentrate and Ask Again" (3.12). I wonder, however, if they are allowed to be dating via FBI rules and regulations; after all, Walter had apparently been covering the relationship between Peter and Bolivia up (who Peter obviously thought was his Olivia), and when Broyles finds out, he seems very "put off," if you will, which could have just been that he was upset that he wasn't told. In this episode, Olivia has a lot of the same mannerisms as the other Olivia, which is because she is, "for once in her life" (referring to "Brown Betty, of course), she is happy, and the other Olivia usually seems to be very happy (with the exception of the scene during which Frank breaks up with her, that is, a scene during which we see a glimpse of our Olivia).

Olivia and Peter are so adorable in this episode, behaving like teenage lovebirds, and it's so funny when they walk out of the lab holding hands, and Olivia says, "Don't look now," when she sees Nina approaching. At the same time, though, it was all kind of heartbreaking to watch, because I knew that Peter was keeping something from her and was lying to her in the process, and that really made me fear for Olivia's happiness, because she always ends up having her heartbroken somehow. She was happy with John Scott, and that didn't work out (episode 1.01, "Pilot"). She finally told Peter how she feels, and then she was imprisoned and was therefore not able to go back to her world with him (episode 2.22, "Over There, Part 2"). Then, she finally comes home after months of hell, for lack of a better word, only to find out that Peter had had a relationship with her doppelgänger; needless to say, she really can't afford to endure any more heartbreak. The scene during which Olivia says, "It's about trust, so it's a great game if two people are playing," was difficult to watch, because it's easy to see that Olivia is very happy while we, as the viewers, know that Peter is lying to her, and also, the scene is nearly identical to a scene in "Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver" (2.16), except in that scene, their roles were reversed; Olivia was keeping something from Peter.

I do, however, have respect for Peter for finally telling Olivia the truth. Again, it is disappointing that Bell's consciousness dominates Olivia's consciousness when it does, not only because she would have otherwise met the Lincoln on this side but also because Peter finally tells Olivia the truth, and now, we aren't going to see her reaction right away. Will she even remember when she comes to (which I read, by the way, won't happen until a couple of episodes down the road)? My thought is that Bell did this when he pulled her over to the Other Side in "There's More than One of Everything" (1.20) and then sent her back, as we see in "Momentum Deferred" (2.04); I think, in fact, that he planned that so that he could store his "soul magnet" inside of her. Like I have said before, I really don't think that Bell is the "nice guy" that we were led to believe he is in "Over There, Part 2" (2.22). After all, he has had a lot to do with the inhumane experiments that have been taking place at Massive Dynamic, as we see in "Of Human Action" (2.07), and he even refers to Olivia in "Over There, Part 2" (2.22) as if she is still a scientific specimen. Now that he is back (based on what we see in the very last scene of this episode and based on the promo of "Stowaway"), it looks like he is still wanting to "play games," if you will.

The case in this episode is kind of interesting, and it was really neat to find out that the two components being combined which produced an ability to float has to do with the physicality of the blueverse's universe beginning to fall apart like that of the redverse. The episode kind of reminds me of "Safe" (1.10), since in that episode, the "bad guys" conduct robberies in an unconventional manner, and Peter even tells a museum employee in this episode that the "bad guys" didn't come in through the front door, as he tells the bank employee in "Safe" that they were able to get around the bank's security blockades. This is yet another "bad guy," however, who seems to have good intentions, which is why I put "bad guy" in quotes. I love the Icarus reference that Walter makes, and it's an allusion that I probably never would have made myself had Walter not made it, and the soda explosion is incredibly hilarious, mainly because of Astrid's reaction, which is actually why Walter is so funny a lot of the time. Despite the incredibly annoying Ford commercial in Olivia's vehicle, this is a decent episode, and I give it 7 Volcanic Colas.