Fringe - "6955 kHz" (3.06)

As usual, I warn those who have not yet seen this episode not to read any further, because this does contain spoilers. Once you have seen the episode, please do come back then and read. I am blown away by this episode and give it 9 First People. I love how every episode so far this season has been incredibly significant, and this episode is certainly no exception. In the intro of the season 2 finale, the first time that we see the red intro, a new fringe science is listed, First People, and finally, we discover what is meant by that. An ancient civilization of people, before dinosaurs, that had incredibly superior means of technology created, as Walter calls it, "the key to the universe," this "vacuum" that we have been calling the Doomsday Device, or the Weapon; needless to say, this episode has a lot of substance and introduces a lot of mythology. We get a couple of answers (such as what the Doomsday Device is and who created it), but in classic J.J. fashion, we get even more questions, but I absolutely love this episode. I may even go so far as to say that it has been my favorite so far this season, but I also really loved episode 3.04, "Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?" so it's difficult to say.

We see Chinatown again in this episode, which we see in episode 1.18, "Midnight," and in episode 2.09, "Snakehead," and just in case there are any LOST fans who didn't notice, three of the numbers in the sequence are numbers - 15, 8, and 42, and it is ensured that we get a good look at these three numbers on the computer screen. During this scene, we also see red and green lights, as we do during the scene in which Joseph Feller (played by Kevin Weisman, who played the part of Marshall Flinkman on Alias) is preparing the device. I love how Peter buys U2 tickets for Bolivia because it takes us back to the moment in which she asks Newton who Bono is, pronouncing it "Bo-no." She lies, saying that she loves U2, but then again, maybe she isn't lying. Maybe when Newton told her about Bono, she looked into him and discovered that she likes him. I really love the scene in which the team confers with Nina, but CDs at Massive Dynamic? You would think that they would have the sounds on some tiny little futuristic device, not CDs. Also, how does Bolivia know that Nina and Walter "go way back"? Did she receive a profile of Nina, too? Is Nina on to her? She certainly acts like it, but if so, then why hasn't she said anything to Walter or Peter? By not saying anything, she is endangering not only the team but her world.

In this episode, we see Peter behaving very patiently with Walter, even smirking when Walter shoots him with a strong force of sarcasm at Massive Dynamic. Is he over what he found out near the end of the second season, or is he just doing that good of a job of compartmentalizing his pain? He did say in episode 3.02, "The Box," that he doesn't want to talk about it just yet, so maybe later in the season, we will receive a payoff, a very emotional scene between the two of them in which they talk about it. Walter, throughout most of this episode, doesn't want Peter examining the device, and I think that this can be related to ZFT. Throughout season 1, just about everything that we see is related to what I think was technology being stolen from the Other Side (thanks to Bell) and then tested here. ZFT was trying to understand the technology in order to prepare for it, and obviously, this had incredibly destructive consequences, and people like David Robert Jones could care less about these consequences. He was a lot like Walter, in that he was willing to do whatever was necessary, which, of course, ties into what Bolivia says to Peter near the end of this episode when the team is digging up the piece of the Weapon in New Jersey.

Redverse Olivia says to Peter, "If you knew that only one of our worlds could survive and if it was up to you, you alone, to defend your side, you'd have no choice, right? You would have to do what you had to do no matter the cost, to protect our world." Now, first of all, I don't understand how Peter doesn't see through that. What she is saying is a silent plea to forgive her, to understand her, especially since she knows that he is from the same world that she is, hence her use of the word "our." (I suppose that this could also be related back to what Broyles says in episode 2.14, "Jacksonville." He says to Olivia, "There are times when the only choices you have left are bad ones.") Peter says in response to her that there are billions of people on the Other Side just like there are here, people with jobs and families, and he therefore has "to believe there's another way." Based on what he says to her and based on the look that she gives him as a result, I definitely think that she is going to end up turning and helping our team. As further support, she even says to Feller that "the secretary is on the Other Side. He can't foresee every turn of events," so, I guess the loyalty that we see in the season 2 finale, "Over There," isn't really fully intact anymore.

A lot of fans think that Redverse Olivia is going to sacrifice her life for our side, and I'm honestly not so sure how I feel about that. If that is going to happen, then I honestly don't want it to happen until the series finale. Right now, or even in the season 3 finale, that would just be too easy. Plus, then, Peter wouldn't be the only one without a double, and I'm just not sure if I would like that. I know I wouldn't, in fact. As I said, though, she is definitely, as Newton told her she would, going to cave in and go soft because she even says to Feller that "we got their attention. There's no need to hurt any more innocent people." Is she really, psychologically, speaking to Walternate here? After all, the overall story here is not about the numbers causing amnesia; it is about this Weapon destroying the entire universe, which is a much bigger loss in comparison, to say the least, so I don't really think that one could argue that she isn't going soft. If the goal is to destroy the universe, why does she care about a few people (in comparison to the whole world, that is) being hurt? Speaking of her, though, we have been told time and time again and have even seen (Newton tending to Walternate, that is) that crossing over has physical consequences, so why isn't Bolivia suffering from any consequences? Is it because the method was safe, since Peter and Walter are not suffering, either?

Surely, Redverse Olivia was happy to have some coffee. Granted, Fringe Division seems to be given coffee, possibly as a special privilege, but it is readily available here. Peter is just able to go get it for her like nothing. I can't understand, though, as I have been saying, how it is that the team doesn't realize that that isn't their Olivia. Not only is her personality so strikingly different, her attire is, too. Lately, she has been wearing leather jackets, "hip" jeans, and she wears her hair with bangs. At the very least, you would think that they would take note of the change in her attire, especially Peter. Granted, in episode 3.04, yes, Peter does mention her change in personality, but he hasn't mentioned it again since. I guess that having sex with him solved everything, and yes, sarcasm is intended here. In "The Box" (3.02), Bolivia says, "You have photographic memory. How am I going to do that?" and we see that play out a little in this episode when she struggles to remember the numbers while driving with Peter. Anyway, I wonder why Feller, the Shapeshifter, had two different eye colors. Surely, it has something to do with his being a Shapeshifter? Granted, we haven't seen other Shapeshifters with different color eyes, but maybe Feller's device is faulty, and it caused this flaw.

Walter is really funny in this episode, as usual (one reason why I prefer the blue-verse episodes to the red-verse episodes, although I do really miss our Olivia), and Astrid is so awesome with him, so caring and talkative, so willing to help him through just about anything. They have certainly come a long way from Walter having stabbed her with a syringe in "The Arrival" (1.04). I love how Walter playfully calls Peter Sherlock Holmes and then adds that that makes Astrid Watson, then asking Astrid after she has a Dr. House moment (like Olivia does in episode 2.16, "Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver.," after Sam Weiss tells Olivia that he is older and taller than he appears), "What are you thinking, Watson?" My absolute favorite scene in this episode is the scene between Walter and Nina at the park (a scene in which we get a lot of character development from Nina). I love the look that Nina gives Walter when she realizes that he is smoking a joint, and then, when he says that he has a prescription, she says, "So do I," and smokes from it. Then, the two of them share such a meaningful conversation, with Nina reminding him that she tried to stop him in 1985 when he crossed over and telling him that he needs to let Peter examine the device (which I hope doesn't mean that her loyalties are elsewhere). It is a little creepy, though, the way that she greets Astrid.

Then, there is the scene in which Redverse Olivia brings Walter food, and he is so happy. I was happy, too, because Walter was happy and under the impression that Olivia was genuinely doing something nice for him, but I was also heartbroken because obviously, that is not their Olivia, and I wish that it were their Olivia. Moving on, though, I definitely need to talk more about these First People. I didn't really think so at first, but my boyfriend Ray convinced me that the Observers are the First People. In this episode, we learn that the First People were technologically advanced (which does admittedly confuse me, because in comparison to what?). We also learn that they had a calendar that they followed, and we already knew that the Observers use months of the year as names. Is it possible that the Observers used the Vacuum to create life, to create us, and that they are now watching over us, as Ray put it, like we are their children? The more I think about it, the more on board I am with that theory. I will definitely drink that Kool-Aid. However, nothing, especially on Fringe, is ever that simple, and other factors need to be taken into account, such as why there are twelve (presumably now eleven since August died) Observers, why they are bald, why they don't taste much of anything, and so forth.
Additionally, we have to think about Sam Weiss, too. In episode 2.16, "Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver.," he tells Olivia that he is older and taller than he looks, and in this episode, we see that the author of the First People book is Seamus Wiles, which is an anagram of Sam Weiss. This is the second time that we have seen an anagram of Sam Weiss. The first time is in the season 2 finale, "Over There," in which we see "A demon's twist rusts" written on the board in the Harvard lab, which is an anagram of "Don't trust Sam Weiss," so what is up with Sam Weiss? Is he a First Person? I am not so sure. I think that it is much more likely that he the wrote the First People book, that he is Seamus Wiles, and that he has, for one reason or another, been able to stop his own aging process and avoid death. I find it much more likely that the Observers are First People, and I'm pretty sure that Sam is not an Observer. One random observation that I would like to make, by the way, is that this episode briefly involves yet another incident on a plane, which is the third of which I can think. The first is the pilot episode, the second is episode 1.13, "The Transformation," the third is episode 2.05, "Dream Logic," and this is the fourth. That is just a random but probably irrelevant observation that I wanted to make.

I am definitely left with a great deal of questions. Why are all of the pieces of the Vacuum here if Walternate already has most of the Vacuum assembled on the Other Side? Why are pieces buried underground here? Is it possible that there are two Vacuums, one on the Other Side and one here? If that is the case, though, why is Bolivia involved in all of this? She wants Peter to be in possession of these pieces. (I am, by the way, more convinced now than I ever was, that the Beacon from episode 1.04, "The Arrival," is related to the Vacuum.) Also, what do the First People have to do with the parallel universes? Did they create them? What is Phase Two (which, by the way, is a direct reference to Alias)? At the very end of the episode, gears shift back "over there," and we see Peter telling our Olivia that she is no longer needed over there and that she therefore needs to come home. I am so ready for our Olivia's personality to be back and for her to come home, and I think that that is finally about to happen. In this one scene, for example, she is definitely acting like herself again. Next week's episode is titled "The Abducted" (3.07), and Henry will be back, which I am really excited about; I really, really like his character. Then, coming back from Thanksgiving Break, we will be seeing "Entrada" (3.08) and "Marionette" (3.09).

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