Alert! Spoilers Ahead!
“I’ll get this infernal machine working. Then we can have waffles every day.”
Fringe‘s midseason premiere found us shortly after we left off, but did not address the last episode’s major plot twist, Nina Sharp dosing Olivia with Cortexiphan. Instead we focused on Peter’s mission to get home. With Walter unwilling to lend aid, Walternate becomes the next best option. With the aid of the original universe-hopping device, Peter and an undercover Lincoln venture into Redverse, and nothing goes quite as planned — they are discovered, ambushed, and split up, Lincoln resigned to a lonely broomcloset and Peter thrust into the questionable care of his alternate father.
“Whoever is behind this is a threat to us all.”
The human-hybrid shapeshifters aren’t just at work in one universe — they’re infiltrating the alt-verse as well. It’s revealed to us to be the work of David Robert Jones, a member of ZFT responsible for triggering Olivia’s abilities with the lightbox bomb in season one’s “Ability”. We’ve yet to see ZFT’s presence in the Yellowverse timeline, and never fully came to understand it in the original. It’s intriguing and a show of good writing and planning that we’re having callbacks to so early in the series, a talent some may need reminding of with this season’s jarring setup.
“Somewhere you would have a life. Just not here.”
The question of what exactly the Yellowverse is continues to remain a mystery. It’s a world in which the Observers never interfered and Peter never grew up, that’s clear. But is this an entirely different place, like Peter assumes? This will be a key question as he pushes forward in his mission to return home, because it seems Peter may have forgotten the line that Olivia spoke to him in “A New Day in an Old Town” back in season 2, words his mother spoke to him as a child. “Na einai kalýtero ánthropo apó ton patéra sou.” — Be a better man than your father. He tells Walter, “I have been separated from my family, and you of all people should understand how desperate I am to get back.” What lengths is he willing to go to in that desperation? He’s willing to get back into the machine, which he knows to be dangerous and can’t predict the consequences of. You see, my bet for what the Yellowverse is goes to option b – this is his reality, just altered. And if that’s true, Peter’s plans are going to become much more complicated, and the implications for reality much more dire should he resort to extreme measures.
“Where I’m from I know you all too well.”
In less than the span of an hour our perceptions of several major characters were challenged. Alt-Broyles and Alt-Brandon are both revealed as members of the new breed of shapeshifters and we’re told that Peter believes Fauxlivia to be a good person. But the biggest shakeup certainly fell with Walternate. We are accustomed to despising the Redverse’s Walter. But he mounts a convincing argument as to his innocence in the matter of the human-hybrid shifters. Should we trust it? We may not know this Walternate well, but it seems that in this universe he still developed the original shapeshifters and set them loose upon the mirror world. While it’s clear that Jones is heading this project, how sure are we that Walternate is not involved at all? But fans are, at this point, trained to want to like the man with John Nobel’s face, and with our Walter crotchety and unstable, we’re prone to cling to the next best thing, whether that thing is couched in a web of deceit or not.
“You have to die.”
The episode closes with an ominous warning from September, everyone’s favorite Observer. Shot and bleeding, he warns our Olivia that in every possible timeline she must die. The must is key. Why is her death important? What will it accomplish? In last season’s episode “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide” Olivia presented a sketch of the man she believes will kill her. Olivia did go on to die later that season, but not at the hand of our mystery man. It seems likely that he’ll soon come back into play.
-The return of David Robert Jones.
-Elizabeth Bishop, always a tragic and beautiful character.
-The focus-shift away from Olivia. Because we are strangers to this new timeline, from a writing perspective it makes sense that Peter should be our guide, as a stranger there himself. But she’s been our protagonist for three seasons, and her decrease in screentime is definitely a minus.
Next Episode: Fauxlivia confronts David Robert Jones and his shapeshifter factory, where exactly this Jones is from is speculated upon, and Blue-verse Lincoln Lee likely gets to spend more quality time locked in closet.
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Written by Kaitlin Pedri (@misssuperfluous)
Kaitlin wields a red pen like a katana and gets her kicks making fun of poorly written fanfiction. She forsook a life of editing, only to be drawn back in by the seductive allure of the misplaced modifier. The owner of an encyclopedic mind and a fangirl's heart, she bawls… More »
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