By Rhea Dee
Whoa, lots of stuff happening on Fringe. Walter creepiness! ZFT book! Super Olivia! And…girl kissing? Yep. Lots of stuff happening on Fringe.
I have to admit that when I saw the preview for this episode I thought it looked super lame. Precognitive dreams? Talk about ho hum. But luckily, I was wrong. Which makes me think that Fox should edit together some better promos or something.
Anyway, Olivia’s been having psycho murder dreams, which turn out to be real people being murdered. Team Fringe does their usual investigation and discover that she’d connected to Nick, an empath who’s been influencing the victims emotions with his own, causing them to kill themselves, since Nick himself is a very depressed man. So why is Olivia connected to Nick? Because he was experimented with Cortexiphan (the drug that made Olivia magically turn off the lights in “Ability”) when he was a kid as well. And during those Cortexiphan experiments (which Walter swears up and down were conducted wholly by William Spock Bell) children were paired off to support each other. And it just so happens that Nick was Olivia’s lab partner.
Of course, Olivia doesn’t remember any of this. Hell, she doesn’t even remember being experimented on.
She finally confronts Nick at the end of the episode, during his mass empath inducing spell where he’s lured about 10 people to a roof ledge to kill themselves. Nick remembers her, calling her “Olive”, and admits that the subjects weren’t supposed to remember anything, but that he couldn’t forget. He tells her he’s been waiting to be ‘called up’ and that he stuck to the code given in the epic ZFT Book that Walter wrote. He begs her to kill him, saying that once something has been awakened, it can’t be put back to sleep again. She opts to shooting him in the legs, which breaks the spell over the rest of the people on the ledge, and saves the day.
And all seems well…until the very end of the episode, when Walter busts out a VHS tape that reveals that he was part of the Cortexiphan experiments and that he actually knew Olivia when she was being experimented on. The last image is of Walter sitting alone in his lab, watching this tape with a sort of sad realization of the bad things he’s done. Man, and I thought Walter being the author of the ZFT Book was a jaw dropping reveal. The image of “Olive” on the tape, surrounded by charred furniture (very Firestarter) was chilling.
Okay, so Fox REALLY needs to work on their promos. This episode was far deeper than the promo made me believe (I thought it was going to be a standalone episode). I mean, it wasn’t even really about the precognitive dreams! It was about Super Olivia! Super Olivia is awesome, that should’ve at least been hinted at in the frakking promo.
Anyway, there was much to like about this episode. Some of my personal highlights:
-The relationship between Broyles and Olivia is pretty much the most fantastic thing that ever was. The respect is what makes it epic, I think.
-Walter singing “Why do I feel I don’t fit in anywhere I go?” after Peter and Olivia go on their special mission made for two. Oh, Walter! Don’t ever change, okay?!?! Also, on the flip side, I really liked it when he touched Olivia’s face after explaining the Cortexiphan experiments to her–it was so wonderfully creepy.
-I actually won at ‘Where’s Baldo?’ this time around! I knew reading all those I Spy books when I was a kid would pay off! I have to admit I totally suck at spotting this guy. How are y’all doing on that front? Did you see him in this episode? (I’m still mad at myself for missing him in “Unleashed”. Although I think that one was quite tricky when I looked it up on the net later.)
-I noticed that when Nick was explaining how he was waiting to be called up, he mentioned a man with glasses who “spoke all the old words.” Was this William Spock Bell, perhaps? Nick also said he kept to the rules; keeping in shape, wearing only black and gray colors, etc. It made me wonder if perhaps Olivia is also keeping to this code, albeit subconsciously. She was shown doing sit-ups at the beginning of this episode, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen her wear anything but black and gray. I love thinking about stuff like this. What do you think?
Lastly, I want to talk about the girl kiss. Halfway through this episode, Walter puts Olivia under one of his many devices so that when Olivia dreams, she can stay lucid enough to talk aloud and tell Team Fringe what Nick’s doing and where he lives. Of course, she tunes in when he’s at a strip club. And then, walking in Nick’s shoes, we watch her kiss one of the dancers.
Gonna be honest, I’m unsure about how to feel about this. On the one hand, despite all my lamenting of the promos, I’m really glad Fox didn’t focus on this one scene to pull viewers in. Do you remember when Dax kissed a girl on Deep Space Nine? I swear, every promo was of their lips almost meeting. You’d think nothing else was gonna happen in that episode except that kiss. So I’m happy that the Fringe didn’t focus around the kiss. (Or did they? I admit I only saw the promo after “Unleashed”.)
On the other hand, I get annoyed at stuff like this because it’s mostly used to titillate male viewers, which just makes me lament that there isn’t more guy action on TV. (Basically, I miss Jack & Ianto from Torchwood.)
That said, while I do think that part of Olivia’s girl kiss was to titillate male viewers, I didn’t feel like that was the sole reason behind it. I think Fringe wanted to sell a bit of Olivia’s sexiness, something we haven’t really had a chance to witness. And in that sense, it was effective, and added to the brilliance of Olivia’swell rounded personality.
Next Week: The BIGGEST SECRET of the Season. Wonder what that is.
Rhea Dee teeters between hipster and geek (at least that’s what that one quiz said). She spends her time collecting vintage junk, daydreaming about Eli Roth, and pondering the genius of John Carpenter soundtracks. She really likes horror films.