"A Better Human Being" (4.13)


"A Better Human Being" is yet another really great episode of Fringe, and this is where it's becoming obvious to me that this season is going to end up being, overall, satisfying, possibly even on par with season 2. Before this episode even aired, I had a suspicion that Olivia would find out about the Cortexiphan injections, and that was for two reasons. Firstly, I knew that Nian was going to be in the episode, and secondly, I knew from the press revelation that Olivia was going to encounter "some shocking revelations" (the press releases are almost always extremely vague to the point of not really even being pertinent to the specific episode). However, while Olivia doesn't discover the truth, exactly, Walter and Lincoln do, so I guess that I was sort of right. It's funny, too, because at an early point during the episode, I was wondering why the Cortexiphan wasn't showing up on the brain scan, since early during the third season, Walternate and Redverse Brandon detected it on a brain scan, and don't get me wrong, I know that the technology is further advanced in the Redverse, but you'd still think that it would show up, and I was a step ahead of the episode because sure enough, it does show up later in the episode, which made me happy.

I think that at this point, we can include "The Ghost Network" (1.03) and "Unearthed" (1.21) as yet two more episodes that probably didn't occur in this timeline since no one mentioned the similarities in "Forced Perspective" (4.10), and still, no one does, but then again, Olivia's memories have returned, so one would think that she would say something. As for Peter, like I said after "Wallflower" (4.07) first aired, his not voicing that the white hair reminded him of the "Dream Logic" (2.05) case could just be that he didn't want to say something that wouldn't mean anything to anyone else, and that could be the case here, but you would definitely think that Olivia would say something, to Peter if no one else. Walter is continuing to leave the lab, which is nice to see; now, more than ever thus far this season, Fringe is feeling like its old self again, and that is such a great feeling. It's so funny that we see him as the "disapproving father" figure in this episode, and it's difficult to tell whose "father" he is; is he Olivia's (we have seen from episodes such as "Subject 9" that he sort of has a father/daughter relationship with Olivia) or Peter's? Is he both?

Of what, though, does Walter disapprove, and why? Well, he doesn't approve of the possibility of Peter and Olivia hooking up, and that is primarily because he doesn't want Peter making the same mistake that he did - that is, trying to hold on to someone who isn't his to hold on to; I think, however, as I said, that there is something else possibly at work, too. He knows Olivia very well, and as I said, probably even thinks of her as a surrogate daughter; on the other hand, though, he barely knows Peter, so he may be afraid of Peter breaking Olivia's heart and/or hurting her somehow. Peter doesn't seem to want any part of this, though; it's obvious that he learned from what happened during the third season. He doesn't want to open his heart to Olivia because he doesn't think that she's his Olivia, and if she isn't, he's afraid that he'll break his Olivia's heart again when he finally gets back to her. "Oops, I did it again to your heart; got lost in a different Olivia." Throughout the episode, he looks pin-pointedtly disturbed, while Olivia, on the other hand, looks so at ease, quick with a smile (interesting how their roles reversed), and I knew, I just knew, that because of that, something bad was going to happen to her by the end of the episode, and I was right, unfortunately.

This episode is yet another episode of which I love the ending, and I certainly did not see it coming. Like I said, I figured that something bad was going to happen to Olivia, but I didn't know what, and I certainly didn't expect to meet Redverse Nina, and that seems to be the case. It would appear that Blueverse Nina and Redverse Nina switched, but since we've seen "The End of All Things" (4.14) at this point, we know that's not really the case and that the Nina that is seen being held captive with Olivia at the end of this episode is really Redverse Nina and that Blueverse Nina, while insisting that she doesn't know anything about Olivia being injected with Cortexiphan, is probably telling the truth (Walter and Lincoln say so much via their mere facial expressions during the scene in which they confront Blueverse Nina about the Cortexiphan injections, since they know that she is involved), but I'll get more deeply involved in that discussion during my "The End of All Things" review. I'm wondering how Peter got that scar, since he previously hadn't seemed to remember anything that happened to him during the time that he was missing, so I wonder if I'm missing anything.

I also observed that we once again see Astrid highly skilled at comforting people, as she comforts Sean (whom I think is really good-looking). I love how the episode picks up where the last leaves off, I love the LSD quote near the beginning, I love the song that Walter listens to in the lab ("The Ghost Who Walks" by Karen Elson), I love the storage shed scene (reminiscent of the pilot episode), and the second to the last scene, the car scene, in which Peter concedes and says, "When I look into your eyes, I know it's you," and Olivia soon says, "I just have to go pee" before being abducted, and I'm actually going to briefly talk about that before coming to closure, since "The End of All Things" does not answer this question. Was Olivia being tracked? How did her abductor know that she was going to be at that specific gas station, and where and when was she abducted? Surely, Peter saw Olivia enter the store, which, mind you, is very small, yet the guy working claims to have not seen Olivia when Peter asks. Perhaps, a family member of his was being held hostage, or he was paid handsomely to assist in the abduction and then keep quiet about it; either way, I don't see how he wouldn't be suspected, and it's surprising that Peter doesn't, at the very least, say so. At any rate, as I've demonstrated, I really like this episode and give it 8.5 mind-boggling/blowing cliffhangers; stay on the fringe.

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