"The Last Sam Weiss" (3.21)

I definitely prefer "6:02 AM EST" to this episode because I feel like a lot of hype was built up for this episode before it aired, and the episode simply doesn't live up to the hype. Yes, we get some answers, but while I expected to discover everything there is to know about Sam Weiss, we don't find out everything there is to know. For example, am I the only one bothered by the fact that in "6:02 AM EST," Nina tells Olivia that Sam told her that the fate of their universe would depend on which Olivia Peter picks, and then, Olivia never questions him about that in this episode? We still don't understand why Sam said that, or if he was telling the truth, and I have a feeling that if we ever do see Sam again, it won't be for a good while. Sam did not write the manuscript, which is disappointing. I would not have written Sam's story this way; I would have written it so that Sam was a First Person and found a way to use soul magnets to keep moving from body to body. How do we know that is the last, though? I was really expecting him to die, and although I am glad that he didn't, the episode title is definitely a bit misleading, because as of now, he might not be the last. He is the last as in the final but is not the last as in the final, not definitively, anyway.

I also find it interesting how Sam feels guilty for having intervened, because apparently, he is not supposed to intervene, which is frustrating. I really was expecting to have all of my questions regarding Sam answered, and they definitely were not answered, and it's frustrating that Olivia doesn't push him when he makes cryptic statements such as this one. Why can't he intervene? Who said that he can't intervene? What consequences does intervention have? It reminds me a lot of the Observers, since they are not supposed to intervene, even though they seemingly do intervene. Also, how does he know where the key would be? Who put that there, and why? Did one of his ancestors put the key there? If all along, Sam knew that that key would be essential, why did he wait so long to take action? Is it because, as he tells Olivia, he is not supposed to intervene? At this point, I have seen the season finale, so I don't want to say too much, because I would rather wait to talk about the finale. All I will say is that while Sam is not in the finale at all, we learn who the First People are, and it completely wrecks my theory regarding the soul magnets, anyway. I don't like how they wrote Sam's story but like how they explained who the First People are, which, interestingly enough, are in conflict with one another.

Regarding the museum scene, though, why would the museum director allow Olivia and Sam to do what they do, go into the museum and take an artifact? Did Olivia simply have to say that what she is doing is classified, and that was that? How is all that is going on explained to the public? I wouldn't imagine that the public is aware of the parallel universe, because after all, the public on the Other Side is not aware of the parallel universe, and it's a lot worse over there. How do they explain the amber to the public? I love the scene during which Olivia and Sam need to get out of the museum because the lightning strikes are getting really bad, and Sam intricately stops a gate from closing on them by rolling something to cause a jam, and when Olivia expresses stunned amazement, Sam says, "I work in a bowling alley." That is a great line, and I'm sure that under different circumstances, Olivia may have found it funny (we have previously seen her lighten up around him) but not now. This is definitely a very Olivia-centric episode, but overall, I would still argue that despite what Josh Jackson said at the beginning of the season about this being "the Year of Olivia," I would say that this season has definitely been more about Peter than it has been about Olivia. So far, Season 1 was Olivia's season, for sure.

Now, we know that both Peter and Olivia have a connection to the machine, but why? I really love that in this episode, we see some parallels to season 1. For example, Walter mentions David Robert Jones, and we finally find out what the "lightbox" was and why ZFT was using it on their subjects. Additionally, Olivia is very reluctant to believe that she is capable of getting the typewriter to work, which is consistent, seeing as how Jones does tell her in season 1 that it's expected that Cortexiphan soldiers will be unwilling. However, as much as I love the idea that Olivia, much like Peter, is tied to the machine in some way, we still don't fully understand why, and my fear is that we won't for a good long time because I fear that the series will not explore this for a while. Olivia can apparently bend energy with her mind, which Sam identifies as telekinesis, something that surprisingly, he doesn't seem to have known already. It's really nice, as well, to have more or less discovered how the typewriter works, and I am so glad that the “quantum entanglement” story of “6B” (3.14) has not been dismissed, as I feared that it would be. I love how the writers plant seeds like that, and sooner or later, I think that we are going to realize that many seeds were planted a long time ago, seeds that we didn't even know were being planted.

In this episode, Walter encourages Olivia as she tries to get the typewriter to work, and I love what he says. “I wish you could see yourself the way I see you,” he says. “You have no idea how extraordinary you are.” I think that this really helps demonstrate the difference between Walter and Walternate, not that we really need help seeing that difference, and I love how he refers to Astrid as Ostrich, something that I didn't catch until the second time I watched the episode. He is definitely very negative during other scenes of the episode, but I can't really blame him for that, because, after all, he doesn't have a whole lot of reason for hope, since the situation isn't looking too swell. I wonder, however, what happened to wanting to reconstruct his missing brain cells. Did he simply give up on that idea when he had Bell as a lab partner? After discovering that Bell's consciousness was inside of Olivia's body, did he figure that, instead of reconstructing his brain cells, he would simply secure Bell's help? If so, then why don't we see very much interaction between Walter and Bell regarding the Weapon? I am just kind of disappointed that that story was thrown away, because I was expecting Walter to regrow some of his missing brain cells and become more like Walternate, something that would have likely had tragic results, which is not what I wanted, but I think that it would have made a great story.

Peter is confused throughout much of the episode, apparently thinking that he was on the Other Side, and that is a bit confusing. Is it that some sort of scientific event caused him to temporarily be the Peter that would have existed “over there” had Walter never taken him, or is it simply that the concussion confused him? He knows that the situation “over there” is worse than it is here, so maybe waking up and seeing the electrical storm caused him to think that he was on the Other Side. I was really expecting the cab driver to be Henry and was kind of disappointed that it was not Henry, but maybe Henry is not a cab driver in the Blueverse, if he even exists at all, for that matter. The electrical storms are pretty epic, and I wonder if they happened “over there.” Vortexes happened “over there,” and so did the Blight, so it stands to reason that severe electrical storms did, as well, or, for that matter, do. I would really like to know more about the Redverse and really hope that we will indeed learn more about it and its problems next season, because we definitely do not know as much about life “over there” as we do about life here. Just how severe can the fringe events get, and are they glimpses of what will happen here eventually? I think that that has more or less been confirmed, but I would really like to know if the Other Side experienced such severe electrical storms, and I would really like to know more about the Other Side's history.

When Olivia finally does get the typewriter to work, it seems that it is Olivia having concentrated on the sentence “Be a better man than your father” that gets it to work, and I wonder why that is what it gets it to work. Could it have been any phrase, and that's simply the one that happened to work? Why does the typewriter start working when it does, when Olivia is not around it? Is it that it needed Peter and Olivia together in order to work? I remember two years ago, when fans theorized about Peter and Olivia having some sort of connection after having seen “Bad Dreams” (1.17). Olivia, in her mind, is living as Nick Lane, and Walter tells Peter to comfort her. I personally didn't think much of it, but there were fans that suggested that it indicated some sort of connection between them, and now, it's plain to see that they might have been right, since there is a connection between them, and maybe that is what Sam meant when he said that whether or not their universe would survive would depend on which Olivia Peter would choose, since the Weapon apparently needed the both of them to operate. What doesn't make any sense about the Weapon, though, is that it is operative on this side even though the other Olivia stole a piece of it. I thought that the purpose of stealing that was so that we could not use ours, and seemingly, Walternate didn't even take that into account.

I am so happy that Olivia finally says “I love you” to Peter, but, of course, he doesn't say “I love you” back, which is annoying, and the expression on her face seems to indicate that she is waiting for it, too, which is really sad. When Peter makes his way to the Weapon, I really love how we see the flashback sequence, but it is obviously merely intended for us and is not intended to be something that he is actually seeing, because it shows a glimpse of the scene at the end of “The Plateau” (3.03), during which Peter kisses Olivia while she is “over there” thinking that she is the other Olivia, something that obviously did not actually happen. I love it, though, because it has such great sentimental value to us. It kind of makes sense now why the drawing of Peter depicts him with fire coming out of his eyes, because it was intended to depict him seeing an apocalyptic future, and the drawing of Olivia, which we see for the first time in this episode, was intended to depict her using her ability to bend energy to manipulate the Weapon so that it would allow Peter inside of it. I really like this episode, but because I did not receive some answers that I was expecting to have received, I give the episode 8.5 Lightning Bolts, something that you will recognize as a respectable but not exceptional Bunsen Burner rating if you know me and how I rate Fringe episodes. Obviously, there will be more to talk about discussing the season finale, but until then, stay on the fringe.

"6:02 AM EST" (3.20)

The Fringe season 3 finale is approaching (in fact, it's right around the corner), and the pace has picked right back up. I really liked the arc involving Bell inhabiting Olivia's body. It was really funny and was very interesting, but it slowed down the pace of the season and didn't serve much of a purpose, at least not yet. I really love this episode and give it 10 Electrocuted Peters. Near the beginning of this episode, we immediately learn why Walternate wanted the other Olivia's baby's (named Henry, which is awesome) blood sample, and my prediction was correct; he needed it to turn on the machine, which is why he accelerated her pregnancy. Interestingly enough, he seems to be beginning to feel guilty, admitting that it is wrong to be doing what he is doing, destroying an entire universe. He proceeds to say, "May God have mercy on us," which I think is intended to be a parallel to what this Walter says near the end of the episode (a scene to which I refer as the "chapel scene," an incredibly powerful scene that pays tribute to episode 2.17, "White Tulip"). He says, in prayer to God, "I know my crimes are unforgivable. Punish me; do what you want to me, but please spare our world." The crew behind Fringe certainly knows how to deliver powerful television, and this scene is nothing short of exemplary of that fact.

I don't really appreciate the inconsistency of the intro, though. Even though the episode alternates between both universes like "Entrada" (3.08), unlike "Entrada," the intro is only blue instead of alternating between blue and red. I know that it's not really a big deal, but it is inconsistent, which I don't like. I love the scene near the beginning of the episode, however, in which we see a shirtless Peter (definitely a good thing), and Olivia gets out of bed and runs into a naked Walter, which is so hilarious, because she does her absolute best not to look and to keep her cool. Olivia then returns to bed and says that she loves early morning, that it's her favorite time of the day because it's when the world is full of promise, definitely a memorable line. I also think that this episode shows us that at this point, Peter has definitely forgiven Walter for what he did (even though Walter has definitely not forgiven himself), and I think that this is really evident when Walter tries to say something to Peter before Peter attempts to enter the machine and Peter says, "I know," indicating that he was going to tell him that he loves him, which is also probably what Peter was going to ask Astrid to tell Olivia. As I had already known we would, we see Sam Weiss in this episode, and that's a joy (no sarcasm intended).

I don't know if anyone else noticed, but Sam definitely looks older in this episode than he did the last time that we saw him, which was at the end of episode 3.12, "Concentrate and Ask Again" (3.12). Darrell of the Fringe Podcast pointed out that he looked younger when we saw him in "Concentrate and Ask Again," and I think that that is more obvious than ever now, because now, he definitely looks a lot older. I'm not sure what to make of that, but even though this theory probably doesn't have anything to do with that simply because it doesn't do much to explain it, I am wondering if Sam's body is just a vessel for the real Sam Weiss, much like Bell used Olivia's body as a vessel. If you think about it, it would totally explain what he meant when he told Olivia in "Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver." (2.16) that he is older and taller than he appears; it could be that he is ancient, since I think it's totally safe to assume at this point that he is one of the First People, and that when he was in his original, "real" body, he was a lot taller than the body that he is currently inhabiting. As I said, though, it doesn't explain why his age seems to fluctuate; that shouldn't have anything to do with it. Whatever the case may be, he has apparently known that some kind of end would be coming.

First, the fact that bowling balls hit one another without any obvious kind of disturbance causes him to conduct some kind of test at the bowling alley with a device that looks handcrafted. Then, later in the episode, we see him looking through some kind of window, and the window makes the sky really colorful, as a couple notices from their vehicle; he then proceeds to add to an equation on which he is working, and I really want to know what exactly he is doing in that scene, and hopefully, we will find out in the next episode, "The Last Sam Weiss" (3.21). I love how Nina tells Olivia about Sam having told her that the fate of their universe would depend on which Olivia Peter would choose, because it's typical Nina. She says that "there's a man" and continues to say that he is a man in whom Bell told her to have confidence because he is very knowledgeable, working her way to saying that Olivia has already met him instead of simply immediately saying that she is talking about Sam. I also didn't realize it until my second viewing of the episode, but in this episode, the typewriter is sort of explained; Walter says that like the typewriters, the Doomsday Device may have turned on due to quantum entanglement, which means that Walternate would have activated the Doomsday Device "over there" in order to activate the one here; that's apparently how the typewriter works, too, and I do know that the typewriter will come into some kind of play very, very soon.

"Over there," we see Olivia with her son Henry, and I have to say that seeing the two of them together is so beautiful, especially when she sings to him, and I have to say that between that and seeing her rebelling against Walternate, I have really warmed up to her. What I really want to see is the two Olivias meeting again, only this time making peace with one another. I would absolutely love to see that before the end of the season, but I have no indication as to whether or not that is going to happen. I love how she takes control of Brandon, and when he tries to tell her that she isn't going to get away with it, she says, "I did not ask for your opinion." As my boyfriend Ray pointed out, she really reminds me of Ziva on NCIS when she says this. There are some neat parallels in this episode, such as when the other Olivia narrowly escapes gunfire by using the elevator, which is an almost identical scene to one in this season's premiere, "Olivia" (3.01). Also, the other Olivia is imprisoned in the same room as our Olivia was at the very end of the Season 2 finale, "Over There, Part 2" (2.22). This last one may not have been an intentional parallel, but near the end of the episode, Olivia running into Sam (who she had been looking for), who tells her that she needs to trust him because there isn't much time, reminds me of her running into Bell, who says the same, near the end of "Over There, Part 1" (2.21).

I have always loved Lincoln, but I don't really see how anyone has any excuse not to love him now. Near the end of "Bloodline" (3.18), he and Charlie discuss the fact that Broyles went missing right around the same time that their Olivia returned from the other universe, and they therefore suspect that Walternate is corrupt, but for whatever reason, Kirk Acevedo is not in this episode. I did read that Acevedo will be in a new series, so maybe we will not be seeing him on the series anymore, and since there was no death scene (and we know that he is currently alive), perhaps the Redverse will not survive. I don't want that, so don't get me wrong; I want peace, but I'm just saying that that is a pretty "in your face" clue. It's very clear that like Olivia, Lincoln does not want to destroy the Blueverse, since he is fully aware of what Olivia is up to and supports her. I love how when Walternate tells him over a communication device that they don't need to go to Liberty Island for a Fringe Event, he says, "Understood, Mr. Secretary," and there is a strong tone of sarcasm in his voice. Walternate tells Olivia that if it were anyone else who had done what she did, he or she would be charged with treason, which really makes me worry about Lincoln. For now, though, stay on the fringe until "The Last Sam Weiss" (3.21).

"Lysergic Acid Diethylamide" (3.19)

So, this was the showcase of an episode that we were promised, and I have to say, I am very impressed, ultimately giving the episode 10 Animated Leonard Nimoys. When the Fringe Podcast interviewed Jasika Nicole a few weeks ago, she said that Astrid, in a way, stands up for herself when Walter gets her name wrong, and this episode is obviously what she was talking about, because in this episode, Walter, once again, calls Astrid something other than her name, and she then calls him Wally. I love the look on his face, the utter confusion. At the same time, though, it is kind of frustrating, because we are three seasons in, and throughout these three seasons, Walter and Astrid have developed a pretty close relationship, yet he doesn't seem to make much progress when it comes to getting her name right. He has definitely made someprogress, because it used to be that he almost never got her name right, and he gets it right a lot more often now, but it really annoys me when he still calls her something like Astro, even though I find it amusing, especially when Astrid responds in the various ways that she does. I am really excited for the finale, and one reason for that is because we are supposed to learn something about Astrid's past, but that is all I will say, in order to spare those who try to avoid spoilers.

The opening of this episode is pretty powerful if you ask me, because Bell faints and then says in the hospital that if he is shocked again, he and Olivia will both die. Anna is, as usual, beyond amazing in this scene, and I love her, because she is so modest. I read recently that she felt very nervous happening to impersonate Nimoy's character, and she went into it not really knowing what she was doing and is still unsure of the results. That is definitely modesty, because even Nimoy has said that she is wonderful, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. This scene has a fantastic line in it, or a double-line, I guess, would be the best way of putting it. Peter says that Olivia is his girlfriend at the exact same time that Walter says that he (referring to Bell) is his partner; it's definitely some comic relief much needed during a pretty intense scene. I love the reference to the pilot episode, when Walter says that they have sort of done this before when they linked Olivia to John Scott's consciousness, and I absolutely love the look on Bell's face when he takes the LSD; it is one of pure mischief, and it just another scene in this episode that exemplifies Anna's incredible acting ability. It's too bad that no one captured any of it on camera to show Olivia when she returned.

Then, of course, you have Peter's reaction to the LSD first taking effect. He tries to touch Broyles' head and says, "You're bald." Then, to Astrid, he says, "I think he's an Observer." What doesn't make any sense to me, though, is why he would be so spaced out and "out of it" like that when he is "awake," but then, inside Olivia's consciousness, he is completely himself and seems to be thinking completely clearly. Maybe it's just that I don't know that much about drugs and how they work, especially not something like LSD, but it just doesn't make any sense. When we do see Peter and Walter enter Olivia's consciousness, we see that Walter is sitting on top of a bus and says, "I think you'll want to help me down!" What an awesome scene to see before a commercial break; it certainly gives us a good idea of just how crazy the episode is going to be. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the episode, though, is Broyles' behavior after he accidentally takes some LSD. Broyles, as we all know, is usually incredibly stoic, but he certainly is not in this episode, and I love the expression on his face throughout most of the episode, that open-mouthed expression of brainless confusion, and the scene in which he sees an animated bird land on Walter's shoulder is probably the funniest scene in this episode. This episode certainly exemplifies Lance Reddick's acting ability, too. He says that he he saw death, which makes me wonder if he is eventually going to die.

I experienced a pretty major revelation during my second viewing of this episode, and that is that if Walter remembers Olivia's stepfather, then it would stand to reason that he remembers Peter and Olivia having met when they were children, and that helps support my theory that his tendency to ship Polivia so strongly has meaning to it. Further insight that this episode provides is that it would appear as if Olivia definitely doesn't trust Nina; after all, Nina tries to kill Peter and Walter in Olivia's consciousness. It isn't too long before we find see that Leonard Nimoy is animated and so are Peter and Walter, and then we see a speech bubble above Walter that says, "How wonderful!" I laughed so hard when I first saw this, because just when you think thatFringe can't possibly do any more to thrill you and surprise you, it does something like that. This has been hinted at, too. Last season, Wy-Pi were asked in an interview if there would ever be an animated episode, and they responded by saying to ask them that again near the end of the third season, so obviously, they have been planning this for quite some time, and that is simply awesome. In my opinion, they certainly pulled it off, just like they pulled "Brown Betty" off, also a fantastic episode in my opinion, although not as good as this episode.

It would make sense that Olivia would think that everyone is trying to kill her, which is why everyone tries to kill Walter and Peter. I also love how the zombies are Brandon look-alikes, because obviously, she had a very traumatic experience while she was on the Other Side, and she is probably well-aware that he was behind a lot of what happened to her. What I don't understand, however, is why she would have an image of the man that she says is going to try to kill her if she has never met him before. Is it that she briefly saw him while she was on the Other Side and had some sort of reason to believe that he would eventually try to kill her? If that were the case, you would think that given Olivia's track record involving her good memory, she would remember the man's face, yet she says that she has never seen him before, but then again, I have to take into account that for a long time, she thought that she was the other Olivia, and that would probably be enough to confuse her. Also, we learn from this episode that Olivia does remember her biological father, since she apparently told Peter that her father painted the door to the house red even though it was against regulations. That means that since she obviously remembers her biological father, my theory that her biological father is David Robert Jones has unfortunately been shot down.

I didn't notice the green-green-green-red sequence on the doors at first, but it's definitely there. After Olivia and Peter began dating, the two of them obviously shared a lot with each other, something of which I wish we would see more. One scene that I both love and hate at the same time is the scene in which Peter recognizes that who he is talking to is not really Olivia. I don't mean to be playing a double-standard here, but even though I'm sure that I would have been able to tell that the other Olivia was not my Olivia, the "fake" Olivia in this episode definitely had me fooled. I don't really see anything that would have given it away, and I think that it's just an effort on the part of the writers to show that Peter has completely come around since "Marionette" (3.09), especially since he even says that he can see in her eyes that she is not her. I love the scene in which Peter and hug; that is incredibly powerful (I think that it's safe to assume that Peter has done a great job of coming around to trusting Walter again), and Walter's wanting to be alone after finding out that Bell is gone for good is definitely indicative of his journey to find independence. I absolutely love this episode, but I still don't understand why Nina wasn't involved at all. Did they, for some reason, choose not to tell Nina about this? Next is the beginning of the end, on episode 3.20, "6:02 AM EST," and I am so excited.

The Fringe Matters Podcast: episode 2 - "In Which We Don't Trust Sam Weiss"

In the second episode of the Fringe Matters Podcast, we primarily discuss the Observers and what's up with Sam Weiss; we also discuss how "Bloodline" (3.18) has somewhat adjusted certain attitudes toward the other Olivia. Please send all theories, questions, and/or comments to fringematters@gmail.com; your feedback is valued highly and will be shared in our next episode.