"Making Angels" (4.11)


"Making Angels" is definitely a fantastic episode, primarily because we finally have an Astrid-centric episode, four seasons into the series, something that we have been eagerly awaiting, and what's perfect is that it's not only Astrid-centric, it's double Astrid-centric, since both versions of Astrid are at the center of the stage, and we learn a lot about both of them. There are some really funny and adorable scenes, too; for example, I really love the scene during which Blueverse Astrid screams when she sees Redverse Astrid, and Olivia says, "I always wondered why nobody does that." Then, shortly after, Blueverse Astrid tells Redverse Astrid that she is happy to have met her personally in the flesh, and Redverse Astrid replies by saying, "All personal meetings are in the flesh." Then, there is the scene during which Walter calls Redverse Astrid by her actual name, and Blueverse Astrid says, "Really? You get her name right." I adore the scene during which Blueverse Astrid asks Redverse Astrid if she wants some coffee, and Redverse Astrid lights up, saying, "Yes, I would like that; thank you, Astrid." Needless to say, there are many memorably funny scenes in this episode, and that's part of the reason why it's a memorable episode.

Walter repeatedly gets Blueverse Astrid's name wrong while getting Redverse Astrid's name right, so I think that that goes to prove that when he does get Blueverse Astrid's name wrong, he is pulling her leg. It may have started as a mistake (since he gets other people's names wrong, too), but at this point, he is pulling her leg. He says (thinking that it's Blueverse Astrid that just entered the lab when, in reality, it's Redverse Astrid), "How about you and I share some delightful scrambled eggs, Astro?" Redverse Astrid corrects him, and before he turns around, he says that she has never corrected him before, and I could be wrong, but I could have sworn that she had in this timeline. We also learn something about Blueverse Lincoln, which is that he likes to play chess and plays chess with Walter; Walter says that he likes Lincoln better than Peter because he plays chess with him and that Peter probably wouldn't be much of a challenge, and Peter says, "I've got a challenge for you - why don't we fix the machine?" Something that confuses me about Peter needing help from a Walter is that wasn't it once stated that Peter's IQ is higher than Walter's IQ? I could have sworn that it did, and if that is the case, why does he need their help? Why can't he just reconfigure the machine by himself?

I find something that Redverse Astrid says to Walter to be quite interesting. She is trying to understand his antagonistic feelings toward Peter (which are strange because they seemed to be drastically improving between "Enemy of My Enemy" and "Forced Perspective"), and she says, "Wouldn't it be preferable if you chose to believe he was your son, and then, you could love him and be happy?" This is interesting because ironically (ironic because Walter obviously isn't aware of it), this is exactly what Walter did before after taking Peter from the Redverse; he ultimately lived a relatively guilt-free life because he chose to believe that that Peter was his son, and it's also ironic because the consequential look on Walter's face seems to say, "Yes, I suppose that that is doable." The episode is also incredibly heartbreaking. For example, there is the scene during which Redverse Astrid is talking with Blueverse Astrid, and she says, "I cannot get the thought out of my mind that I couldn't give him [her father] what he wanted because of the way that I am. Do you think if I were more like you, he would have loved me more, if I was normal?" This scene breaks my heart for a few reasons; firstly, this is exactly why I hate the word normal, and secondly, I can relate to how she feels because on some levels, I know what it's like to be made to feel inferior because of ways that you are different.

Blueverse Astrid, near the end of the episode, lies to Blueverse Astrid, trying to spare her feelings and ultimately comfort her. She tells her that she and her own father have never had much of a relationship due to him being a very complicated man that doesn't tend to show his feelings, and we find out at the very end of the episode that much the opposite is true, as we see her either going home to her father or visiting him (it's unclear whether or not she lives with him), but at an earlier point during the series, Astrid tells Walter where she lives but doesn't mention that she lives with her father, so if she does live with him, either she recently moved in with him, or that's another difference in this timeline. It's nice to finally see a bit of Astrid's personal life, but I do have to say that I'm sourly disappointed that she is not the lovechild of Broyles and Nina; I mean, I know that she had already mentioned her father in "The Day We Died" (3.22), but this is definitely total confirmation, and I'm disappointed, especially since it looks like the scene from "A New Day in the Old Town" (2.01) in which Nina kisses Broyles is just a throwaway scene; I suppose that it's still plausible that Nina is Astrid's mother, but since she mentions in this episode that her mother died of cancer, that is very unlikely.

As a trekkie, I really appreciate the scene during which Walter says to Astrid (via the camera), "Also, I'd like some vanilla ice cream. Kirk out!" Back in "Ability" (1.14), Olivia, referring to Jones, says, "The man was clever enough to Star Trek himself out of a maximum security prison," and there have been other references to the franchise, as well, which I'm always happy to hear, as some of the writers are obviously trekkies. I absolutely love Redverse Olivia in this episode, and I know that some people said that she is annoying and out of character in this episode, but I don't agree; she has always been quick with a smile and childish, and she doesn't take some situations seriously. I love how when Walter finds out that she's coming, he says, "The viper?" My boyfriend literally laughed out loud after he said that. Redverse Olivia walks into the lab and says, "Isn't this a party?" and again, I think that that is so typical of her. She asks Peter, "Cold chinese in the fridge?" which is yet another ironic scene because she doesn't realize that he'd certainly be the person to ask since the two of them were so illegitimately close, but he certainly does. She also says to Walter, "Admit it; you like me, Walter," and later, when she asks for a Red Vine and is refused, she says, childishly, "Oh, that's right; you're still mad at me." I absolutely love Anna Torv; she is so fantastic.

We learn a little bit about the Observers in this episode; for starters, they apparently don't have Godlike abilities, since they're simply using a complicated (how's that for an oxymoron?) equation. We also meet March, which is interesting because I (as had many others) had assumed that the Observers' names were in reference to how old they looked, since December looks the oldest, and so forth, but March, to me, looks older than September, so I don't know. Finally, we see the Observers' reaction to Peter existing in this timeline, as March rats out September, and December doesn't look happy. I'm surprised, though, that December already know, and it tells me that December is most likely not who we see them report to via their futuristic communication devices. I wonder, though, what the situation is when March and December retrieve September's device; is Neil's mother asleep, dead, or is time frozen? Would they have killed her, and if so, why? What possible reason would they have had to kill her? Just to retrieve the device seems pretty rash, and you would think that they would wish to avoid interfering any more than they already have. Maybe she's just asleep, or that scientific equation also allows them to freeze time.

Speaking of September's device, though, what purpose did that serve for September? Did he, like Neil, use it to kill people, and if so, why? When Neil kills the first victim, the one with cancer, does no one on the bus see what he is doing? That scene really bothers me for that reason; it seems like the only purpose that the bus serves is to block the way so that seeing the victim lying on the bench, bleeding out of his eyes, will be a mystery, but practically, it doesn't make much sense. Also, I know that, to some people, I complained about "Subject 9" (4.04) because in that episode, we learn that Walter has always been deathly afraid of germs, even though we have seen him taking part in some wildly unsanitary activities, and I attempted to dismiss it by saying that maybe he's just afraid of germs in the new timeline, but in this episode, we see him engaging in his usual behavior, as he eats something with a gloved hand that has been contaminated. It could be that the timeline (as we begin to see in later episodes) is beginning to revert back to where it was, but I don't know; I think that that is a potential continuity error/plot-hole. In this episode, Olivia says, "Everybody has someone that wants to kill them," and this elicits an expressive response from Peter. Is it possible that, even in this timeline, Olivia is somehow subconsciously aware of Mr. X? I definitely appreciate the easter eggs, too, such as TSA badge 0047 (figures) and room number 215 ("Peter"), and I give this episode 8.5 tears of blood.

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