"The Consultant" (4.18)

"The Consultant" is another really good episode, and we get a lot of answers from it. We finally learn what Jones' jagenda is, sort of, and at first, I was a bit confused. When Walter says that Jones is trying to "collapse" the two universes, I thought that he meant that he is trying to combine them, and I couldn't figure out why he would possibly want to do that, but obviously, I now understand that he was trying to destroy them, and now that we have seen the entire season, I have a clear of understanding of why that is. The funeral scene at the very beginning of the episode is deeply reminiscent of the funeral of John Scott from "The Ghost Network" (1.03) near the beginning of season 1, and I'm sure that that was intentional. Some people were concerned because we see a woman and a man as Redverse Lincoln's parents at the funeral, when the season 2 finale teaches us that Redverse Lincoln's father is dead. Walternate says something to him about his sorrow that he had died because he was a good man. Some countered that that was a different timeline, but I don't think that that is a very strong argument because I don't see how Peter could have affected that; Redverse Lincoln's father supposedly died prior to Peter being brought to the Other Side at the end of "Northwest Passage" (2.20). I see it as being more likely that the man at the funeral is a stepfather; his mother could have remarried. I see that as a stretch because the man seemed to be deeply affected by Lincoln's death the way that someone who had known him since a child would, and it looked a lot to me like he was supposed to be his biological father. Given the fact that Redverse Lincoln didn't mention his father having died in the last episode, this is most likely an annoying continuity error, but I digress. 

The scene near the beginning between Redverse Olivia and Meana reminds me a lot of the scene between Blueverse Olivia and Nina from "The Dreamscape" (1.09) after Olivia speaks to Morales and he tells her that Massive Dynamic is hell and William Bell is the Devil, and I also love how Walter is so giddy about Olivia and Peter being a couple. I do hope to see them get married in season 5, with Peter, of course, wearing the purple tuxedo. Meana says that things are about to get a lot worse, and I don't think that she is directly referencing people becoming "in sync" with one another like they do in this episode; I think that she is talking about the eventual revelation that the universes are going to collapse. She tells Olivia that she doesn't plan on being imprisoned for very long and later says that that's because Jones will come for her. By the end of the episode, of course, after seeing Colonel Broyles locked away and knowing that she still hasn't been rescued, she realizes that she, too, may just be a pawn. She sees that she's in the same boat as Broyles. I knew that Broyles wasn't a Shapeshifter; I was sure that he was being manipulated, but I wasn't correct about how. I had thought that Jones was holding his family or at least just his son, but in reality, he was helping Broyles cure Christopher of what the Candyman had done to him. I wondered what Jones wanted to do to the Machine, but obviously, we now know that he had planned to use the Machine to collapse the universes. When Broyles turns himself in, Blueverse Broyles is there with him, and at first, before I saw that he was turning himself in, I thought that Blueverse Broyles was involved, too, and I was taken aback, but that obviously was not the case. Walter and Redverse Olivia definitely connect on a deeper level than they ever have before, which was nice to see.

Walter calls Redverse Olivia his escort and then clarifies that by that, he does not mean prostitute, which is absolutely hilarious. He wanted to make a casserole for her because he figures that since she is grieving as a result of Redverse Lincoln's death, food would be helpful, but he didn't because it is apparently not permitted to bring perishable food to the other universe. Redverse Olivia even offers to share her apartment with Walter for the night, which is also absolutely awesome. "I'll have to refrain from sleeping naked," Walter says, which is also hilarious. Redverse Olivia, during a scene that follows, drinks and becomes tipsy, and that is definitely a memorable scene. She is frustrated as she tries to look for clues regarding Lincoln's murder. We learn from this scene that apparently, Sherlock Holmes doesn't exist over there, and I wonder if this line was to pay tribute to the Game of Shadows film, since Jared Harris plays Moriarty. I wonder if Dixon Hill exists over there. During this scene, Walter suggests that Colonel Broyles may be their culprit, and eventually, Olivia realizes that he may be right and does something ridiculously smart; she's certainly really smart and resourceful just like Blueverse Liv is. She goes to see Meana and lies to her, telling her that they apprehended Colonel Broyles to see what her reaction is, and sure enough, Meana confirms, saying that Phillip is only a pawn. Astrid brings some more coffee to Kick-Astrid, and at first, I had a silly thought. I thought, if coffee is rare over there, coffeemakers are probably hard to come by and I doubt Astrid owns one, but the container actually looks like it may be instant coffee, not that that really matters a whole lot; it was just a thought that occurred as I watched.

There is yet another memorable line from this episode. Jones points out to Colonel Broyles that even though Broyles knows that what he is doing is against his morals, he can't lose his boy. "Love makes us vulnerable," he says, "but it also makes us human, I suppose." Both sides of that statement are definitely true; when we're in love, whether it be romantically or not, we're vulnerable to hurt and manipulation because our hearts are under control, but that's part of being a human being. It also fits the overall theme of the series, the question of what a person will do, how far he or she will go, for someone that he or she loves. Walter, for example, tore a hole in the universe and stole a child that wasn't technically his to steal and inadvertently started a war. Colonel Broyles now aided a very dangerous criminal and caused the deaths of many, including a beloved agent, to protect the life of his son. This is, in fact, why Walter and Colonel Broyles connect, and Walter asks Redverse Olivia not to judge him too harshly, to try to understand him. We see Jones display his love for tea yet again, just as a side note, as he says that tea is something that he is going to miss. We see characters changing; Olivia shows concern for Redverse Olivia, and I think that part of the reason for that is because she understands the pain of losing a partner. Walter, near the end of the episode, says to Redverse Olivia, "Take care of this universe; I've grown quite fond of it," and I think that the writers were allowing us to speak through him, something that they do quite often, which I love. The episode, as usual, features yet more great work from Chris Tilton; it's a great episode, and I settle on 9 "escorts" as my Bunsen Burner rating.

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