"Nothing as It Seems" (4.16)

I can't say that I'm absolutely crazy about this episode because while it does have its redeeming qualities, all of which I will discuss, it just didn't make the headway that I was expecting it would make, and it wasn't as good as I had expected it to be. When I saw from the promo that Porcuman was back, I was immensely excited because first of all, I really love "The Transformation" (1.13), and secondly, it meant that even more effort was being made to pay off those who had been sticking with the series since the beginning, and don't get me wrong; I do feel that there was a lot of resolution. We now have confirmation (even though I think that I more or less already knew) that Porcuman from season 1 was Jones' doing, and we have a much better understanding of why. I can't fully explain it, but there were just aspects of the episode that were off, and I thought that Porcuman having wings was a bit silly, even though I do fully understand its purpose within the storyline, especially now that the season is over and we have seen the finale, but I won't really talk about that until I review the finale. I do know some people that immensely enjoyed this episode, and although I can't say that I'm one of them, I don't hate it, either. I ultimately gave it 7 Jeepers Creepers, so I guess that I would ultimately consider it an average episode.

The very beginning of the episode is nearly identical. Some shots are slightly different, and there is dialogue that is cut out, but it is nearly identical. People are wearing the same clothing and everything, and it looks like a lot of the footage was directly lifted from "The Transformation" (1.13), which I'm sure saved a little bit of money. However, it doesn't happen the same way. Marshall Bowman (which, I reiterate, is a combination of Marshall Flinkman and Carrie Bowman, an Alias couple) doesn't transform on the plane and instead transforms in a bathroom near an air marshal's office. Peter says that it stands to reason that some of what happened during his timeline would also happen in this timeline, but why didn't it happen three years ago in this timeline? How did Peter affect that change? I hate that no asks that, and it isn't even addressed. I have a theory that it could have to do with who we now know was working with Jones, but I'll hold off and talk about that when I review the finale. I wonder if Olivia remembers the woman that she speaks to near the beginning of the episode? We know her from "Olivia" (3.01), the season 3 premiere, because the Redverse version of her tried to convince Olivia that her believing that she was from another universe was delusional. She doesn't tell the woman that she remembers a different version of her, and she doesn't mention her to anyone else, but then, Olivia might not.

We learn from the scene between Olivia and Broyles that follows the scene between her and the psychiatrist that Rachel and Greg never divorced and proceeded to have a second child named Eddy, and Olivia says that Eddy was their grandfather's name. A lot of people seemed to be troubled by this because they couldn't see where Peter would have had anything to do with this, but I totally disagree, and with all due respect, people who can't make that connection weren't paying close enough attention to season 1. During Rachel's struggles with Greg, she was spending a lot of time with Peter. They were talking on the phone and what not, and you could easily see that it was making Olivia jealous. There was also the scene during which Peter held Ella on his lap, and Rachel said something to the effect of, "You would be really good at throwing parties." To me, it's obvious that she saw a good man in Peter and saw that she could do better, so she didn't make any effort to work through whatever problems existed between her and Greg. In this timeline, she didn't have Peter, and so, she probably didn't feel like she had an alternative, an option. That's my opinion, but as I said, it's fairly obvious to me. Speaking of parties, we see Walter give a whole bunch of gifts that he had collected for Peter over the years, pretending that he was still alive, and although I would have preferred that it had actually been Peter's birthday, that is a really touching scene, and you can tell that Peter is deeply heart-warmed. I love how there is a porn magazine and an old bottle of beer; you just have to love Walter, honestly, and I say that like a broken record.

In Walter's usual manner, he tells Lincoln that he may be infected by the "Porcuman" virus so nonchalantly, and the food of choice, which he makes for Lincoln, for this episode is peanut butter and bacon sandwiches, which sounds utterly revolting in my opinion. First of all, I don't eat bacon, anyway, because I'm vegetarian, but with peanut butter? That is disgusting. I feel so sorry for Lincoln during this episode. He doesn't feel like he belongs, and that's obvious that that's why he has been a little cold toward Peter lately. Peter suddenly showed up out of nowhere and stole his spotlight, in more ways than one, and we see just how rejected Lincoln feels when Walter sees Olivia, Peter, and Astrid working together happily and comments how much he loves having a family while Lincoln sits in the sidelines. Walter tries to comfort him, telling him that he has never met a better match for chess, but Lincoln doesn't seem to feel too comforted, and of course, this all plays out in later episodes, but again, I will refrain from jumping ahead. The following episode, "Everything in Its Right Place" (4.17), is a great Lincoln-centric episode, and I'm looking forward to reviewing it. When I showed the episode to my brother Cody, he really loved that episode, and yeah, I have to give it credit. It has a lot of action, shows us somewhat of a relatable shapeshifter that we're more apt to like, and, of course, like I said, we get insight into Lincoln, and it's interesting how the two Lincolns don't really come to any conclusion as to why they're so different. I know that some people said that Redverse Lincoln had Redverse Olivia in his life, and I think that that might be hitting the nail directly on the head.

Seeing Markham in this episode (as pictured in the photo included with this post) was really nice, since, unless I'm mistaken, we haven't seen him since "6995 kHz" (3.06). It's so funny how even though he has never met Peter or Olivia before, he is still hitting on Olivia, and, as Olivia says, Olivia is still taken. I love how when we first encounter him, she tells him what she's reading (he is the book expert, after all) in response to his attempt to guess what's on her nightside, and she says, "I keep it next to my gun." We learn a lot from this scene, such as more about what Jones' endgame is. It would appear that part of what he's trying to do is create an advanced breed of life; he certainly has a God complex much worse than Walter's ever was, and this is foreshadowed in "A Better Human Being" (4.13), something that I didn't fully notice until my second time watching that episode. Of course, again, we now have a clear understanding of how that fits with the Westfield incident and what not, but again. I will wait. Again, I thought that Porcuman having wings was kind of silly, but at the same time, it was definitely unexpected, and my jaw did drop. That was definitely insane. I love how when Olivia finally fills Broyles in on the fact that she disobeyed orders and assisted in the case even though she was told not to, she says that Broyles told her that he would deal with her later, and I love that because I can actually hear him saying that in his deep, stern voice, but I'm happy that he changed his mind about her and decided to allow her to stay on board. The very ending of the episode, the very last scene, that is, was really cool because it made sense of episodes that we had previously regarded as "stand-alone" episodes, such as "Unleashed" (1.16) and "Snakehead" (2.09), and the ship sailing away with the creatures on board really reminded me of the "Vienen" (8.18) episode of the X-Files. Again, "Nothing as It Seems" is not a terrible episode, but it's nothing special, either; it's average.

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