Not too long ago, I was talking to my boyfriend and said that because everyone will assume that Walter is going even crazier than they thought due to the "hallucinations," we would be seeing Dr. Sumner from "The Equation" (1.08) again, and I was right, and it makes a lot of sense that he would be seeing Walter on a regular basis. Peter and Sumner had a bit of an altercation, and Sumner told Peter that he did not believe Peter to be a dependable guardian for Walter because of his history as a con-artist, but Peter, more or less, threatened him, telling him that he did not want Peter as an enemy. Now, without Peter in the picture, Sumner probably willingly agreed to allow Walter to stay at the lab, since he probably regarded Olivia and Astrid as reliable, dependable guardians, as long as he could visit Walter on a regular basis. Peter's "bleeding through" the timeline is beginning to get obnoxious; now, Walter is even hearing him when he is trying to communicate with someone else, such as Broyles. Walter is definitely in this episode a lot more frequently than the last episode, which is a good point, in my opinion, but the science itself did little to captivate me. I consider this to be a rather average episode, and I give it 6.5 Moldy Explosions.
Something that I didn't pay much attention to until after reading the BEYOND THE FRINGE #2B comic is that Olivia tells Aaron that she likes to draw and draws Peter from memory (from her dreams), and in that comic, she is a painter. I love this scene, too, because she assures him that he will like Walter because Walter is not scary, and Walter proceeds to tell Aaron to take his shirt off and get on the table. I love those kind of fresh Fringe moments, and I am reminded of the scene in the pilot episode in which Olivia and Charlie are talking at the lab, and Walter walks by them and tells Olivia that he is going to need her to strip down to her underwear. Once again, we see that Peter apparently loved G.I. Joe as a child, since Walter holds on to a G.I. Joe toy that belonged to Peter as a child, similar to how Peter showed a G.I. Joe toy of his to the Child in "Inner Child" (1.15). Yet again, we see Olivia and children having very good relationships, and once again (in this timeline, that is), we see Astrid spending a lot more time out in the field than usual, which I'm happy to see. I love the Toy Story reference near the end of the episode, when Walter quotes it and says that he has always considered the premise to be disturbing. Toy Story was one of my favorite films as a child, and I still love it; some of the best children's films really are the Disney and Pixar collaborations, and I love how Walter makes the reference because he shares a bond with Aaron.
Walter seems to relate to the boy; he understands the boy's loneliness, which calls back what Olivia says in the premiere episode, which is that Walter has never had anything to tether him to the world. Another reason that the connection exists is that Aaron reminds Walter of Peter. He screams to Broyles that if he destroys the organism, he will kill Peter, since Aaron and the organism are linked, when, obviously, he meant Aaron, not Peter. Olivia doesn't seem to understand why Walter would call the boy Peter, as if she doesn't know where he is getting the name from, which is odd because you would think that she would know about Peter; she would, after all, know what initiated the war, wouldn't she? Once again, we hear Chris Tilton's "Man in the Mirror" piece from the premiere episode, which makes me happy because I really do love that piece; it is so immensely beautiful, and I really hope that there will be a season 4 soundtrack, but at this point, it isn't even clear if there will be a season 3 soundtrack. Chris Tilton said that because of piracy, it is very difficult to release television soundtracks, which doesn't make sense to me, because television music is not all that readily available, especially not in good quality, but that's what he said.
I love Olivia's line when she offers her opinion toward how to destroy the organism; she says, "I'm thinking flamethrowers." All that I really have to say about that is, what a BAMF. The victims, after being exposed to the "spores," definitely look really disgusting, and it honestly turned my stomach. That is something that is great about Fringe, its occasional, exceptional ability to turn your stomach. I love the milkshake scene between Walter and Aaron, and from this scene, we learn what enraged Walternate in this timeline. Basically, everything happened the same way, except September didn't intervene when Walter and Peter fell through the ice, and Peter drowned, but what about Walter? Walter fell through, too, yet he is obviously alive. My boyfriend suggested that maybe, Walter was able to break out of the ice, but that just seems too easy, like a cop-out. Also, if September's intervention was removed from the picture, how exactly did that happen, and why didn't September not distract Walternate on the Other Side so that Walternate would discover the cure and save Red Peter? That makes no sense, especially since if that's the way events would have unfurled, the war theoretically would have never happened.
I wonder, though, if when Walter tells Aaron the story of what happened to Peter as a boy, he does so knowing that he is breaching protocol? After all, we learn directly from the previous episode ("One Night in October") that civilians are not to be made aware of the parallel universe, and here is Walter telling a boy about its existence. Perhaps, Walter wasn't thinking about that, or if he was, maybe he was thinking that since Aaron is a child, no one would believe him, anyway, even if he were to tell people, or, perhaps, Walter was thinking about the fact that he's not supposed to tell people about the parallel universe, but he didn't care; Aaron asked, and he wanted to answer him. He may have felt that he owed him an answer after scolding him for touching the G.I. Joe toy. Aaron doesn't believe Walter, anyway, so it's very unlikely that he would ever tell anyone, but still, Walter couldn't have known that Aaron wouldn't believe him, especially since children tend to have very vivid imaginations. When Aaron calls Walter out on his insanity, Walter simply nods, and the matter seems to be dropped, so it could very well be that Walter knows that this isn't something that he is supposed to be discussing with a civilian and is therefore content with Aaron not believing him. It could also mean, however, as tragic as it may be, that he agrees with Aaron because of the conversation that he has with Sumner at the very beginning of the episode.
I love something that Broyles says in this episode, because it mirrors what Carla Warren says in "Peter" (2.15) when she is trying to convince Walter not to travel to the Other Side. She says that "for the sake of one life, you will destroy the world," and Broyles, in this episode, says, "We can't sacrifice countless other lives to save one boy." This is further evidence that the writers certainly know what they are doing, and I feel like a lot is paid off. This episode returns to a frequent theme on Fringe - letting go. Near the end of the third season, Walter tells Peter that he doesn't want to let him go, and Peter says that this time, Walter has to. This show very centrally focuses on questioning how far you would go for someone that you love and how, sometimes, you have to let go of what and/or who you love. In this episode, Aaron sees the organism as a friend since he has spent his life "alone in the world," and Walter tells him that he has to let it go. October is Bullying Prevention Month, so this episode comes to us at a perfect time, and I'm sure that it was intentional, as the episode shows us what kind of damage bullying can do to a person. The episode, as observed by other fans, as well, definitely has a strong The X-Files feel to it, which definitely gives it a creepy tone.
I wonder if we will ever see Aaron again. Because of Aaron's connection to the organism, Walter knows that he has to try to get Aaron to cut his connection with it, and this really reminds me of "6B" (3.14), when Olivia has to try to convince Alice, the elderly woman, to let go of her husband for the greater good. As I said, again, that theme of sacrifice is so heavily prevalent in and intertwined with the overall story, and it's obvious that because Aaron is a young boy that is probably right around the same age that Peter was when he died (maybe a tad bit older), Walter is reliving Peter's death, which is why he is so motivated to save Aaron's life and says that he can't lose him, not again, something that seems to confuse Astrid. Walter promises that he will not leave Aaron and that the two of them will see each other again soon, so I really hope that we will see him again, but I agree with Darrell of The Fringe Podcast in that unfortunately, I don't think that we will. I love the sentimental value of the scene between Olivia and Lincoln near the end of the episode; at the beginning of the episode, Olivia tells Lincoln that if he ever feels "freaked out," she is there for him, and now, he tells Olivia (after recovering from being attacked by Gus) that she looks freaked out and proceeds to ask if she wants to talk.
Nina and Massive Dynamic are mentioned, so that answers the question regarding whether or not Massive Dynamic exists, although apparently, as Darrell of The Fringe Podcast has pointed out, the Massive Dynamic logo can be seen in the Bridge Room in the premiere. I've known for a couple of weeks that Nina and Massive Dynamic would appear in "Subject 9" (4.04), but also, it made no sense to me that Massive Dynamic wouldn't exist, since Peter wouldn't have had direct or indirect involvement in its establishment. I absolutely love the ending (although I'm glad that Walter wasn't able to carry out the lobotomy, as that is quite the unsettling scene as is) because Olivia knows that Walter isn't crazy, since she has been seeing Peter in her dreams. What doesn't make much sense, though, is that Walter says that he has been afraid to tell anyone for weeks, but he does tells people in the premiere episode after hiding in the tank, for example, but maybe, he just means that he has been afraid to tell anyone since. Also, however, Sumner recites reports of Walter having claimed to have seen ghosts, so he obviously told someone, but I won't try to think too deeply about it. Now, the question obviously is, how will they "find" Peter? The promo for next week's episode, "Subject 9" (4.04), looks awesome, and I can't wait.