"One Night in October" (4.02)

We definitely get a couple of more answers from this episode than we do from the premiere, but we still don't get very many. We learn that the Machine created the Bridge, but that ultimately leads to more questions. How was the Machine capable of that without Peter? Was he not necessary in this timeline? If that's the case, then why was Peter necessary in the first place? The producers said that in this timeline, everything happened the same way except none of it involved Peter; that's why some of this timeline is the same and some is different, but Peter was directly linked to the Machine, so how did any of that happen? How could the Bridge even exist? We didn't learn to whom the new breed of Shapeshifters belong, but it was, at least, mentioned, which makes me happy. We learn that Redverse Olivia was not abused and, in fact, probably didn't even have a stepfather, and I say that based on her asking what happened to the stepfather; to me, the way that she asked suggested that she never had a stepfather. We also learn that Olivia, in this timeline, killed her stepfather instead of leaving him alive. Is this because of Peter?

Basically, we meet two versions of a man named John McClennan; the one from the Blueverse is a professor, and the one from the Redverse is a serial killer. The serial killer is abducting people and then performing a process that involves stealing their happy memories, since he, himself, is unhappy because he was seriously abused by his father when he was younger. The Redverse decides to bring Blueverse John over to the Redverse, not telling him, of course, where he is really going, so that he can go through the household of the Redverse version of himself and conduct a psychological profile. This is where the episode loses a point in my book, because it is simply a dumb, terrible idea, especially since photographs and other personal items are not first hidden. Redverse Olivia is kind of funny because she doesn't seem to take anything seriously; everything is a joke to her, such as when Blueverse Olivia tells her to button her jacket, which is especially why it's so funny when Blueverse John realizes that something is wrong, runs out of the house, and encounters Blueverse Olivia, realizing that there are two of them. That lack of seriousness is still detectable, but you can also sense shame.

It does sort of annoy me, too, that John seems to very easily accept the explanation that Blueverse Olivia gives him; don't get me wrong, as it is, obviously, the truth, but what a truth it is. He doesn't tell her that he doesn't believe her, and he doesn't seem to be in denial at all, which is a bit strange. I think that the general consensus is that Redverse Lincoln's father died during a Fringe-related event, so it's really interesting to me to see that he, like Blueverse Astrid, is open-minded; there doesn't seem to be any hostility at all where he is involved, as he and Blueverse Olivia seem to get along just fine. The two Olivias are still hostile toward one another, but I think that even that is calming a bit as they are getting more used to working together; they have a conversation about Blueverse Olivia's stepfather, and Redverse Olivia seems genuinely interested. Granted, that is understandable; if I had the chance to meet an alternate version of myself from a parallel universe, I would want to know how his life was different from mine. I love how Olivia remembers the license plate number on the tractor from the photograph of John's father, because we have been seeing that ability since the first season, and Redverse Olivia seems pretty amazed if you ask me.

Another reason that this episode doesn't receive my unconditional love, if you will, is because one scene, in particular, is not realistic at all. In broad daylight, with other people around, Redverse John is able to abduct the woman at the gas station when her daughter uses a bathroom. I am reminded of a similar scene in "Inner Child" (1.15), during which the Artist abducts a woman by stuffing her in his trunk while other people clearly would have seen what he had done. That is annoying, but I try to overlook such issues, because what's most important to me is that the writers are telling good stories and answering questions that they ask, and certainly if you count this as an answer, Charlie and Mona "Bug Girl" Foster (now Francis?) are now married, and as I have said before, I am so happy that Mona was not never to be mentioned again, because I think that most of us really liked her. I wonder, too, if Redverse Olivia is married, or soon to be married, to Frank, since he asked her to marry him and she said yes, and obviously, she never got pregnant. I'm thinking that she isn't married yet, or else it stands to reason that that would have been mentioned. Blueverse Olivia and Blueverse Astrid definitely seem to be a bit more sisterly, and, of course, Astrid's line that maybe Olivia's type doesn't exist is another stab at Peter.

Another reason why this is certainly not my favorite episode ever is the fact that John Noble is in so very little of it; in fact, Anna Torv and Seth Gabel dominate this episode, and don't get me wrong, they are both fantastic, but we are now two episodes into the season, and we have not seen Walternate. During the small amount of time that we do see Walter, we see that he is covering reflective surfaces, obviously because he fears seeing Peter. We also see that he is listening to the first movement of Mozart's Requiem as he is in some sort of subdued state from which he doesn't awaken until Astrid turns the music off, to which he angrily replies, "Do you have any idea what it cost Mozart to create that movement?" He is referring to Mozart's dwindling sanity and his eventual death, so it's very understandable why he would want to listen to that, as I think that there is an argument to be made that we listen not to music that makes us feel good but to music to which we can relate. I absolutely love how he refers to Lincoln as Kennedy, obviously confusing his presidents. Again, he seems to be getting Astrid's name right, but it's others' names that he is not remembering, such as Lincoln's and Tim's, his night guard. Astrid and Walter obviously don't have the same kind of relationship.

I do love how the case reflects the arc, since now, we are left to wonder how Blueverse John will be different now that he doesn't remember Marjorie, and obviously, people don't remember Peter; Broyles then says that he believes that people leave an indelible mark on your soul that can never be erased. Did anyone else notice the apple on the ground in John's memory of Marjorie? It looked very much like the apple glyph, but I doubt that it had any deep significance other than that. Another Easter Egg that I caught is Broyles telling Olivia that the John on the Other Side killed twenty-three victims, and "23" is one of the LOST numbers. At the very end of the episode, Walter hears Peter shouting for help, saying, "I'm right here." I think that he is "out of phase," if you will, begging to be remembered, which has to be torment. I also want to mention the title, since when I first read what the title was, I thought for sure that we were going to meet a new Observer, and I am disappointed that we didn't, but it seems that the title refers to how "one night in October," John ran away from his father, which had very different results depending on the universe. "One Night in October" is an average episode, and I give it 7.5 Maddening Requiems.

"Neither Here nor There" (4.01) - season premiere

Finally, the wait is over, and Fringe is back. The fourth season premiere is not, all in all, a bad start to the season. The episode is certainly not boring, as (although probably not as fast-paced as the second season premiere, "A New Day in the Old Town") it is certainly fast-paced. However, as I strongly suspected I would not, I do not like the alternate timeline and want the old timeline to be restored immediately. Too much is different for me to be comfortable with, and technically, the past three years haven't happened. I actually tweeted Joel Wyman very recently (but before the premiere aired) with that concern, and his reply was, "They happened. Trust." I then read an interview a couple of days later in which he assured fans that the past three years did happen, except without Peter, which, to me, means that they didn't happen. Many episodes would have incredibly different causes and effects without Peter. In fact, Olivia tells Lincoln about what transpired in the pilot episode regarding John Scott, and even that happened differently. There are some episodes, in fact, such as "What Lies Below" (2.12), "The Man from the Other Side" (2.18), "Northwest Passage" (2.20), and "Reciprocity" (3.11), that couldn't have possibly happened at all, so the three years that we know could not have possibly happened.

I am, however, comforted by a couple of points. To start, we do know that Peter will be back, but we don't know how, and Josh said something over the summer at ComicCon that I feel is a bit "spoilery," so I won't repeat it in honor of those who wish to stay spoiler-free. Secondly, John Noble said in an interview not too long ago that the fun of the alternate timeline is that it provides a "reset" for new fans but is fun for old fans because we know that the situation will correct itself like it always does, so obviously, that is reassuring. There is much that has changed, as September says to January (CBK?). Additionally, Astrid doesn't babysit Walter as often; she actually does field work, and while I do like seeing Astrid in action, I miss the interaction between her and Walter, something of which there wasn't as much. Instead, someone named Tim watches over Walter, who, mind you, lives at the lab. Without Peter, everyone seems so miserable. Walter is much more bi-polar than he usually is and even causes Olivia to shrink back for a second when he loses his patience with her. It is clear (although my boyfriend doesn't agree with me) that Olivia is not as happy, and I wonder about Charlie. She mentions having lost a partner to Lincoln but is talking about John Scott; she doesn't mention Charlie.

There are a few stabbing lines in the script that remind us of Peter's non-existence. For example, Olivia mentions that there has always been a hole in her life for as long as she can remember, which suggests that in this alternate timeline, she has been conscious of something missing. Also, when Lincoln is angry with Olivia for telling him that her division was taking the body of his friend and partner, Robert Danzig (played by Joe Flanigan of Stargate Atlantis) reminds her that Robert was his partner and then says, "Maybe you can't understand that,"and when he demands to talk to someone else, she says, "There is no one else; there's just me." Seth Gabel, by the way, is absolutely fantastic in this scene; Lincoln looks so angry that he is ready to break down in tears, and Seth grasps this perfectly. Later in the episode, Walter says to Lincoln, "People die; it happens, sometimes, they even die twice." This seems to suggest that in this timeline, both Peters died, and Walter either watched Red Peter die through his window, or he still tried to bring him over which either resulted in Peter drowning in the lake (which makes me wonder, however, why Walter didn't die, too, but it is on par with December's comment that "the boy lived to be a man" because of September's intervention), which would explain why Walternate is angry and hungry for revenge.

During the scene in which Walter notices a wedding ring on Robert Danzig's body, he says, "I don't think there's anything sadder than when two people are meant to be together and something intervenes," and this is quite obviously a stab at Peter's non-existence, especially since we see Olivia directly after he says this. Of course, not too long after, he says to Astrid that he isn't wearing any pants, which is confusing, because it looks to me like he is wearing pants. There is, however, a line that was apparently cut from the episode, as it is heard in a promo but is not in the episode itself, which is a bit disappointing. The line, based on the context in which it is spoken in the promo, looks like it should have been said during the scene in which Olivia tells Lincoln why she ultimately decided to release Robert Danzig's body; she says, "We all get pretty good at pretending that the loneliness isn't there, and then, something comes along to remind us." This obviously speaks to a lot, but I wonder if Anna was asked to perform that line merely for the promo, seeing as how given the context of the conversation that she has in the episode, this line would have been a bit out of context, especially given the latter half of it. It is really unfortunate that Walter is the only one who is seeing Peter, because until others start seeing him for themselves (Olivia, for example, just misses him), they're going to think he is hallucinating.

Walter bringing the bird back to life (although he says that that isn't actually what he does, which confuses me) reminds me very much of this past season of True Blood, as there is a scene early in the season in which Marnie, a witch, resurrects her deceased bird; I was instantly reminded of that. I would imagine that Walter attempting to restore energy to a dead bird speaks to something of larger significance, but I'm not sure what it is. The Fringe Podcast has suggested that it merely pays tribute to "Marionette" (3.09), as Walter, having seen what Roland Barrett attempted to do, is now trying to master the art of bringing the dead back to life himself; I do like that, and that could very well be the case. The Fringe Podcast has also suggested that it is a plot device, as it shows Lincoln what kind of chaos to which he is about to get himself. Something that I find odd is that in "Stowaway" (3.17), when we first meet Blue Lincoln, he is welcomed into the fold with open arms, but now, Olivia tries so hard to block him that she is actually terribly mean to him because Fringe Division is classified. Something that my boyfriend suggested is that perhaps, it's because before, it was easier to keep the other universe a secret, whereas now, that is not the case because of the two teams working together due to the Bridge, and that sounds very reasonable to me.

I love Lincoln; I always have, and it's likely that I always will, and I can't decide which Lincoln I like better. I love them both so much, and I am so happy that Seth Gabel has been promoted to a full-time position as a regular cast member, and I'm so glad that Blue Lincoln (who, by the way, is incredibly hot with a gun) is officially a member of the Blue Fringe Division team; it is just unfortunate that it had to happen in an alternate timeline. Much of the episode is from his perspective, which is really cool, but I wonder if Olivia recognizes him when she meets him but doesn't say so because she is "not at liberty" to say so; after all, since she and the other Olivia still switched places, against, of course, this Olivia's will, Olivia should have met Red Lincoln. I love how Lincoln says that "one of these things is not like the other" when he points out the witness (named Olivia) to Olivia, the same line that we heard him say in "Stowaway" (which, by the way, is yet another episode that we know didn't happen the same way). When Olivia finally shows the Bridge to Lincoln, the "red scan," if you will, totally reminds me of Alias, and I noticed on Twitter during the night that the episode aired that other fans were making the exact same observation. It looks, to me, like the other Olivia does recognize Lincoln, although some seem to disagree. I wonder, also, if the code 315-09x means anything; it is a license plate that the camera ensures that we see, and numbers on Fringe have to mean something.

I absolutely love the first scene of the episode, when the two Olivias are interacting with one another, leafing through case files, because I have been waiting for another confrontation between those two for over a year, and there is so much hostility between the two of them, and it's hard not to laugh at it; granted, I do feel a bit cheated, because now that I have finally seen that confrontation, it doesn't involve Peter, and events haven't happened the same way. However, Red Olivia comments on how lonely Blue Olivia must be, which is yet another line that stabs at Peter's non-existence, but also, it suggests that Red Olivia might still be with Frank, since she never got pregnant. I don't know if anyone else noticed, by the way, but in that scene, Blue Olivia is wearing a blue shirt, and Red Olivia is wearing a red shirt. We do have a new orange intro, with new fringe sciences listed, as well, and those are Existence, Quantum Entanglement, Philosopher's Stone, Psychometry, Viral Therapy, Ethereal Plane, Gravitons, Time Paradox, Psychogenesis, Biolocation, Psychic Surgery, and Transgenics. Some of these are rather obvious, but in regards to others, we will have to wait to see if we can piece together how they will fit, and there definitely seems to be a "psych" motif, which is interesting.

I absolutely love September's line in this episode when the shopkeeper asks him what he needs all of those scientific materials for, and he replies by saying, "I need to erase someone from time." I can only imagine what the shopkeeper must have been thinking after he heard that. I also love one of Astrid's lines, which is that "dead people do not use credit cards," definitely a memorable quote. The scene in which the Shapeshifter breaks off a fingernail is utterly disgusting, and during my second viewing of the episode, I had to turn away, knowing that it was coming. There seems to be a new breed of Shapeshifter, which is definitely game-changing. We know that the team recognizes that they're a new breed, so who created these Shapeshifters? Was it Walternate? If so, then maybe that's how Red Olivia is going to be a bit more sympathetic to this side, realizing that Blue Olivia is sensible not to trust the Redverse. Is September turning soft? That's what I think. I think that, as August developed a connection to Christine, September has developed a connection to Walter and now realizes that he can't bear to erase Peter completely, which tells me that he will have something to do with Peter's eventual return. Chris Tilton's score is better than ever, as the "Man in the Mirror" theme is utterly beautiful and captures the mood of the episode so perfectly. The episode is average (I ultimately give it 7.5 Translucent John Sheppards), but I miss the family and want it back immediately.

"Peter and the Machine" [chapter 1] (BEYOND THE FRINGE chapter #1A)

I am so happy that there is now a third series of comic books, but I do very much wish that it were available in print, as well, not just digitally, especially since I can't figure out how to actually download the comic to my computer; it would seem that, even after paying for the comic, you can only read it on DC's website, which I don't appreciate. I wish that, at the very least, it were available on iTunes. I do think that comic books are becoming more and more obsolete, but I do fear the day that all literature will only be available digitally, which may be good for the environment but not for humanity's lack of dependence on electronics. Granted, I do wish that I had an iPad or something like it so that I wasn't limited to reading the comic on my computer; at least, then, the comic might feel more like a possession. My intention, however, is not to merely complain about the comic being limited (for the time being, hopefully) to a digital release; my intention is to talk about the comic itself, and I am really thrilled that Josh Jackson wrote the comic. I don't know if he will write all fourteen issues, but I do know that, at the very least, he is writing a couple of them, and that is really exciting.

The artist is named Jorge Jimenez, and I have to say that in comparison to most of the previous artists that have done work for Fringe comics, Jimenez did an excellent job of capturing the characters. Previously, Peter has been seen not looking anything like himself, but now, he looks exactly like himself; the art is much, much better than much of what we have seen in the past. I am really excited about this series of comics, because I have a feeling that this is how all of the questions with which "The Day We Died" (3.22) leaves us will be answered. What exactly did Peter do that resulted in his non-existence? How did he and Walter "fix" the timeline so that Olivia wouldn't be dead? It seems that this series is going to answer those questions, as we are going to learn what happened during the time that passed in between Peter and Walter deciding to alter the timeline and Peter returning to the present and consequently disappearing. Because we haven't seen that time period, we don't understand how Peter doesn't exist. It seems to be very likely that, like "White Tulip" (2.17), Peter had to repeatedly jump until he reached his goal, and this most likely created some sort of paradox which resulted in his current non-existence. What is interesting, though, is that Peter seems to be ready to die, but he also wants to be with Olivia, even though he seems to understand that he can't have both.

Also interesting is that Walter comments how what they are doing is a part of a loop, so they will unknowingly do this over and over and over again, and I love how he names the Machine "Daisy" simply because he is trying to enlighten the dark times. Walter then says that they will know that the time travel has worked when they both cease to exist, but this doesn't make any sense. Why would Walter not exist? Does this mean that they are stuck in a loop in which they never live past 2026? Both of them ceasing to exist could help support the theory that their intention was to somehow prevent September from saving them from Reiden Lake; however, Walter still exists, even though he fell into the lake with Peter and therefore should have died, too, so that can't be what happened. I am also confused because Walter says that the plan is to first send the Machine back in time and then send Peter, but my understanding was that it was the Machine that made time travel possible, so if they send that back first, how would it be possible to then send Peter back in time? It's interesting how you can see three people watching what is happening from a distance, but I wonder who one of them is. One is Astrid, one is Broyles, but I have no idea who the other one is. Anyone have any ideas?
Peter then goes back in time to a dinosaur age, which is kind of silly, but this is, after all, a comic book, and I suppose that it would stand to reason that if Peter went back in time far enough, he would run into a few dinosaurs along the way. He continues to travel through time, including to Ancient Greece and Ancient Spain, and Ancient China, and he is keeping a journal in which he stores his thoughts. What is his objective? Well, it seems to be to locate scattered markers so that he knows where to deposit pieces of the Machine. After some time, he starts to feel a bit hopeless, believing that there is nothing that he can do to save Olivia, and he apologizes to her, and the comic leaves us hanging on a cliff, which obviously means that we have to wait to find out more of what happens. Now, unfortunately, I don't think that we will find out when the next comic is released, because from what I understand, there will be seven issues but fourteen releases, as each issue will have an A and a B story; the A story will take place in the Fringeverse with which we are familiar, and the B story, as far as I know, will ask "What if?" questions, so I would say that I am more so looking forward to the A releases, seeing as how it is most likely via those releases that we will be getting answers, but I'm looking forward to the remainder of these comics regardless.