Fringe - "The Abducted" (3.07)

There have been so many amazing episodes so far this season that it is really tough to decide which is my favorite, but even though I would have to settle on "6955 kHz" (3.06), this is also very strong, and I give it 8.5 Phantoms of the Opera. If you have not yet seen the episode, then please do not read any further, as this does contain spoilers. The episode begins with an old man in a bathroom who is in the process of shaving his head completely bald, and I still don't understand why that is. Does his head need to be bald in order for the age regression process to be successful? I don't know; I still am not able to make sense of that. Also, what about his ridiculously weird mask? Between the mask and the way that he gracefully opens Max's window and leaps out like a cat, he really reminds me of the Phantom of the Opera, hence my Bunsen Burner rating. I'm sorry, but I find the opening scene involving Toomy to be hilarious. His mother tells him to close his eyes and count to three and that when he opens his eyes, the monster will be gone, yet when he does that, the "monster" is right in his face. I would say that since she didn't believe him, Max's mother must feel so guilty, but when she meets Olivia at the end, she seems very cheery.

I was very happy to see Henry again, although I did know for quite some time that he was going to be in this episode. My hope is that we will see him again, but I'm not so sure. The way that Olivia turns to him in this episode and says "I'm from a parallel universe" (I wonder if he believed her?) with a smile seems a lot like an official farewell to me. My guess is that if we do see him again, it won't be for quite some time. In this episode, we immediately find out why Fringe Division is dealing with this case, even though it isn't obvious at first why that would be. There is an act known as the Peter Bishop Act of 1991 which rules that every child abduction is to be treated as a Fringe case. Since the act was passed in 1991, does this mean that over there, Fringe Division existed in 1991? How long has Walternate been in power? Toomey, of course, is known as the "Candy Man," and this is most likely a reference to "Brown Betty" (2.19), in which Walter, who abducted Peter from the Other Side, taking him from his bed much like the Candy Man does, refers to himself as the "Candy Man" in the drug-driven story that he tells Ella. As we find out not too far in the episode, this episode is a very Broyles-centric episode - Colonel Broyles, that is, not this Broyles.

The episode acts as a parallel to "Earthling" (2.06). In that episode, Broyles is obsessed with a case because it is the case that drove him and Diane apart, and in this episode, he also has a personal connection to the case because it is what damaged his son. He wants and needs closure, and like "Earthling" (2.06), Olivia helps him achieve it. The main difference in this case, however, is that Colonel Broyles is still with Diane. We learn from the season 2 finale from his having a wedding ring that he is married, but we didn't know for sure to whom he is married, even though I was sure it is to Diane, which this episode confirms. We also learn that Colonel Broyles claims to be a religious man, so I wonder if Broyles on this side is a religious man. We definitely get to know Colonel Broyles a little better, and we once again don't see very many differences between our Broyles and their Broyles, but we can't assume that someone's parallel is going to be completely different from each other; there are, after all, very specific reasons as to why the two Olivias are so different, and now is as good of a time as any to move on to discussing Olivia.

Olivia says to Charlie and to Lincoln that she remembers seeing this case on the news, and that really makes me wonder. Does she really remember the case? If so, then obviously, some of Bolivia's memories are still in her brain. Does she, and will she always, remember this time period in her life during which she thought that she was Bolivia? If so, then doesn't it also stand to reason that Bolivia's memories will always be a part of her? After all, she would remember remembering, wouldn't she? In contradiction, she remembers the case from "The Same Old Story" (1.02) and quickly adds that it was a case that she worked before she joined Fringe Division, which is kind of ironic, because it couldn't be any further from the truth; it was technically her first case with Fringe Division. During this scene, we discover that Lincoln is very science-oriented, which is interesting. Will we see this play out in a very significant manner later in the series? Also during this scene, Lincoln gives Red Vines (which, in case you don't know, are like Twizzlers) to Olivia and says that they are new, so I guess that they haven't existed on the Other Side.

Something that came to my mind the third time that I watched this episode, though, is why it is Olivia doesn't try to talk to Amanda Holt after she receives repeated refusal from Broyles to speak to his son Christopher. She also said that she saw two men. When she finally does speak to Christopher, she says to him that she can only imagine what it must be like to be so scared, wanting to go home to see her friends and family, and I didn't pay much attention to that at first. However, I think that it should be quite obvious that she is referring to being trapped on the Other Side. I'm very surprised, however, that a child as young as Christopher is (especially since it happened so many years ago) would remember the words that Toomy (or Reverend Marcus) spoke - "Through the pitch dark comes a cleansing fire." He mentions a device being on his neck, which we see on Max, and I wonder what that is, exactly? Christopher says that it made him very weak, so does this device extract what it needs in order to allow Toomy to become younger? Christopher is smiling and is very happy after he speaks to Olivia, since, as we see yet again, Olivia is very good with children.

Because of Christopher's help, Olivia is able to save Max. When she does so, she says that she is FBI, and I didn't catch that at first, something for which there is a reason. In "Olivia" (3.01), Olivia tells the psychologist that she works for the FBI in an area called Fringe Division, and despite what we learn in this episode, that the FBI ceased to exist on the Other Side ten years ago, the psychologist seems to accept this. I always did find that strange, because we see in the season 2 finale that on the Other Side, Fringe Division is DOD, and DOD is not the same as the FBI. This is how Colonel Broyles discovers that Olivia knows who she really is, and as I predicted he would episodes ago, he looks the other way. We learn in this episode that the Other Side suffered a recent bout of Avian Influenza, so it seems as if the Other Side (perhaps due to the weakened fabric of the universe) is more susceptible to disease, since we also know that Frank is in North Texas trying to alleviate a Small Pox outbreak. Near the end of the episode, Olivia has yet another
House moment; Henry's saying that someone had to teach him how to use the boat (something that doesn't seem to have anything to do with the case) reminds Olivia of the case, causing her to have an epiphany.

Olivia does successfully cross over, but I ask again, why does she keep going to that gift shop? What is the significance of the gift shop? Is it that it is located in the exact same spot as the DOD building? However, if Olivia could talk to the woman (credited as the "cleaning lady") at the gift shop, then she must have been physically there, yet Walternate's men are able to pull her out of the tank, which doesn't make any sense. How is she in two places at once? What needs to happen in order for her to cross over wholly, permanently, so that she wouldn't even be
in the tank? This scene, anyway, is very heartbreaking and always difficult to watch, and when I first saw it, I slammed my fist down in outrage. Olivia, crying, yells, "Please, I don't belong here!" and the look on Walternate's face is one of pure disgust and rage. I thought that Olivia was finally going to make it home, but nope, she still doesn't make it, and now, Walternate knows that Olivia knows who she really is, and my guess is that Olivia is going to think that Broyles ratted her out, but I am not going to say any more than that at this point.

In the final scene, Peter and Redverse Olivia are lying in bed watching
Casablanca, and there is so much that ties into our story. The scene that we see and hear on their TV set involves a conversation between two lovers. One points out that he doesn't really know the other that well, who she was before he met her, and ta-da, immediately after, we see Peter and Redverse Olivia. Soon after, Redverse Olivia says, "Okay, so, let me guess; they end up running away together, and they live happily ever after." Peter, in response, says, "Actually, no. She leaves him at the airport, and they never see each other again." Redverse Olivia points out that she thought that Casablanca was a love story, and Peter replies, "Aren't all the best love stories tragedies?" In their case, yes, I hope so, but I hope that that is not the case for Peter and his Olivia, who he now knows is trapped on the Other Side. We discover during the very last scene that before being pulled out of the tank, Olivia asked the cleaning lady to contact Peter and tell him that she is trapped in the other universe, which is exactly what she does, so now, the fun will be finding out how Peter deals with the truth, which will be revealed in "Entrada" (3.08) on December 2nd; then, the week after, we will be seeing "Marionette" (3.09).

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