Episode: Fringe 2.15 – “Peter” and 2.16 – “Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver.”
Original Air Date: April 1, 2010 and April 8, 2010
These were really great Fringe episodes. By that, I mean they were truly Fringe and not more tedious one-off filler eps. With “Peter,” it was all backstory, immediately picking up on the conflicts “Jacksonville” brought up, and while it’s not the most uplifting of stories it was a brilliant example of how to come back from a hiatus and of how deep and heady this show has the potential to be. This episode was a major piece to something that the entire series has been building up to, and the payoff was fantastic. That momentum continued through “Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver.” I almost thought I was making stuff up in my head; TWO mytharc episodes in a row, Fringe? You should do this more often.
First, that overhauled intro was brilliant. From the graphics to the tweaked song, going retro was an interesting thing to try out for this episode’s opening title. It’s a little thing, maybe kind of gimmicky, but I thought it was pretty neat (same thing with the Back to the Future marquee with Eric Stoltz as the star).
One of the interesting things about this episode was the amount of suspense it had. We all knew what essentially happened here (AU!Peter was brought over to our reality by Walter and Walter kept him here), but there was still suspense about what was going to happen. It might be the added details that we didn’t know (that both Peters were sick, our reality Peter died, AU!Peter on the brink of death, Walternate discovering the cure but missing it due to one of The Observers, our Walter seeing the cure and being determined to save at least one version of his son). Seeing The Observers and the big mess up (distracting Walternate) and the quick fix (helping our Walter successfully keep AU!Peter alive) was also a great payoff. It also makes me wonder what is so special about Peter because he’s obviously more important than he would appear. Does he have some kind of power like Olivia or is it merely the fact that he’s becoming important to Olivia that makes him a necessity?
This brought up the question that if Walter crossing between the two realities is what caused all these problems between the two realities, why did the Observers facilitate/help it happen? I think, and this was just the feeling I got not because it was explicitly said, this is because Bell is the one who caused the rift and is already in the AU at that point. I find myself suspicious of his motives at this point. I like that I’m not entirely sure who the baddies and good guys are here all of the sudden.
We also got to see Walter’s assistant (the one who died, possibly), and those interactions between him and her before and after he crosses were amazing. Even the use of the Oppenheimer quote (the “destroyer of worlds” quote) was handled well and chillingly considering how clichéd it can be. This is the perfect show and episode to pull that one out, though. I mean, the meat of the show is about science, the abuse of science, and how far is too far with science.
The last thing that I thought was really interesting in this episode was getting to see how Nina lost her arm. Honestly, this is an element of the overall show that probably never would have really needed to be explained. The way the writers handled it here made it feel like they had this planned from the beginning, and that’s something I can appreciate in a show. On the subject of Nina, did anyone else get that strange vibe between her and Walter or was I the only one? She kind of just has a strange vibe about her.
Episode 2.16 was a continuation on the main story elements hidden in a Monster-of-the-Week ep. Right off the bat, we got Diane Kruger showing up and dying of spontaneous tumor growths. I don’t know about everyone else, but I was surprised that they got such a big name movie star to do a bit part here. Then I was told I need to keep up on my “Who’s Dating Who in Hollywood” news better. At any rate, the tumors were a great effect.
It wasn’t that big a surprise, but the “monster” turns out to be one of the Jacksonville kids who was dying of cancer when a mysterious man showed up claiming he could help get rid of the illness. The Mysterious Man told Cancer Guy that when he was a kid he was experimented on in Jacksonville. The cancer ended up getting worse, and by touch (because the sister was also a Jacksonville kid) he traded his illness with his sister’s health. This all comes out when Cancer Guy finds Olivia, but what I thought was interesting was how he said that if the Mysterious Man hadn’t showed up he would have died the way he was “supposed” to die.
I understand that with his sister, it was a total accident and he hadn’t done it consciously. The second time, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, but every time after that he knew what he was doing and didn’t seem to feel bad about it then because it was giving him time to feel healthy. So if you knew what you were doing was bad and you actually felt bad about it, why in the name of Zeus’s level 10 power beard would you continued to do it? That’s when I stop buying you feeling bad about what you did and feeling bad that you got caught. Anyway, it seems that maybe the same dude who was trying to “activate” other Jacksonville kids was up to his old tricks here. Who is that guy working for, anyhow?
This was also the return of the Bowling Zen Master (who I love). Olivia goes to him about how she’s started “experiencing” things in hopes that he has more advice on what to do next, but she has gone “beyond [his] level of expertise” at this point. What he can do is help her with what is actually keeping her up at night (her agreeing to keep the Peter secret a secret from Peter). He tells her that she’s a good person and she probably has a really good reason to agree to keep the secret. I like this character a ton, but you can’t play Clue with only two people! Just saying. Although it would be awesome if a friend just showed up out of the blue in the middle of the night and wanted to play it.
Because she’s not sure whether she’s keeping the secret a secret, it’s starting to get weird for Olivia to be around Peter. Peter senses this (because the face Olivia kept making around him and Walter wasn’t a total giveaway), and says that he likes what the three of them have going and he wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize it so it’s a good thing they never actually kissed each other. This kind of puts a dent in Olivia’s resolve to tell him the truth after Walter’s had time to prepare for the consequences. Seeing Nina completely talks her out of telling Peter altogether. Fortunately for us viewers (because you KNOW this is going to bring some serious drama with it), Walter has decided that he needs to come clean with the kid he’s been claiming as his son.
Glyphs for episode 2.15 were:
Glyphs for episode 2.16 were:
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars (for both)