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.