"Forced Perspective" (4.10)

"Forced Perspective" ultimately gets 7 Forced Perspectives (bumped down from my initial "8" rating) from me; it certainly has not been the best episode of the season, to say the least. Some fans have complained that the episode is a bit slow, but I don't know that I agree with that; it's rare that I find a Fringe episode to be slow and/or boring (as one can see from the solid "7" rating even though it's not one of my favorite episodes), but even though the ending of the episode is really sad and compelling (which is why it gets the "7"), it doesn't do a whole lot for me, especially since the episode's concept is really just a recycled concept from "The Ghost Network" (1.03). The scene near the beginning of the episode reminds me so much of the opening scene of "The Arrival" (1.04), as it involves a crane incident; that scene is genuinely creepy, as the drawing depicts the man dying a bloody death as a result of the crane. It's also somewhat difficult to give this episode a higher rating or say that it's one of my favorites because I was really expecting the blood sample from September to provide some useful information, but it does not; we learn that September was alive in 1919, which is absolutely useless; that's incredibly disappointing.

Another issue that I have with this episode is that there is some possibly inconsistent writing in the episode. We had previously seen evidence that Broyles was aware of Olivia's migraines; back in "Back to Where You've Never Been" (4.08), she tells Peter that Broyles had given her some time off because she hadn't been feeling well, yet in this episode, hearing of the migraines seems to be news to him. Again, we see Olivia's tendency to feel a vast amount of empathy for people, especially children and young people; she has an emotional response to Emily and feels an emotional connection to her, and there are some really beautiful scenes between Olivia and Emily. My initial reaction was that Emily's father was definitely involved and most likely had somehow initiated her "ability" when she was a small child because we have seen that kind of scenario play out before, "Of Human Action" (2.07) serving as a great example, but that does not end up being the case. This is an example, though, of what the showrunners had been talking about when they said that there would be stories that we have previously seen in similar contexts but would play out differently, and now, I see what they meant. This is definitely an episode with a lot of Nina, too, and that is a saving grace.

This episode of Fringe definitely paints Nina as evil; she is evil because she is lying about Emily, and she is evil because of the episode's final scene. Because September recently told Olivia that she has to die soon and because Emily tells Olivia in this episode that she wanted to warn people of their impending deaths so that they could have the opportunity to tell people that are important to them that they are loved and are important, Olivia tells Nina that she loves her (since in this timeline, Nina mothered Olivia and her sister), and Nina, secretly continuing to dose Olivia with Cortexiphan, is not affected by this but instead pretends to be flattered by the comment. Was Nina involved in Olivia's Cortexiphan trials when Olivia was a child (in either timeline)? She really is so sinister, but we do know now (since this episode aired, the most recent episode to have aired was "A Better Human Being") that there is a strong possibility that the Nina that has been dosing Olivia with Cortexiphan is not the Nina that we see during the first three seasons, that she is Redverse Nina. I was also sure, at this point, that September was gone for good, but we now know that that is not the case, not yet, anyway, and the main reason that I was convinced was because of the introduction of March. In closing, the hypnosis definitely reminds me of ALIAS, and the device that Emily uses is what Olivia uses in "Bad Dreams" (1.17), and I love parallels; well, stay on the fringe.

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