My TV and Me

May 5, 2011

Fringe: Episode 3.20

Filed under: reviews — Tags: — gina64 @ 3:45 pm

6:02 AM EST

This is my favorite time of day. The sunrise, when the world is full of promise.

~Olivia

This is the third-to-last episode of the season, and it kicks off the mad dash – and with Fringe, it’s seriously mad, like cuckoo-bananas crazy -to the season finale in typical fashion: preposterous science fiction securely anchored in reality through its foundation of emotional depth and expert character-building. And a naked Walter joking about big mushroom caps.

Things begin peacefully enough, with Olivia and Peter waking up together to a sunrise that is full of promise, according to Olivia. Of course, the peace and contentment is soon shattered, and our world literally starts to fall apart around them. Walternate has used baby Henry’s blood (Henry! She named him after Henry the taxi driver. Nice) to extract half of Peter’s DNA and used that to power up the machine on his side. Because of a quantum entanglement between the universes, our machine is also activated, seemingly without needing Peter. This confuses our team, because they don’t know about Henry. But they do figure out that the vortexes that have begun to spring up all over the northeast are a result of the machine powering up. Peter tried to enter the machine to turn it off, but was rejected (violently) because the machine “thinks” he’s already in it. While Peter is in a coma, Sam Weiss seeks out Olivia to help him get to the machine and try to stop it before the world is destroyed.

Meanwhile, Altliva asks Walternate to shut down the machine on their side, but is turned away. She realizes that the only one who can get Walternate to shut it down is Peter. After saying goodbye to Henry and Lincoln (possibly for the last time?), she decides to break into the DoD at Liberty Island and steal the formula for crossing over, but she’s caught and imprisoned by Walternate.

This show does such a remarkable job with character-building that even the smallest, most insignificant scene – Astrid hugging Peter before he goes into the machine, for instance – is heavy with emotion and meaning. And the “bigger” scenes – Walter/Peter in the lab, Walter in the Chapel – are, of course, a joy to watch. I haven’t said it in a while, so I’ll bring it up again: The complete and incomprehensible disregard by the Emmy voters for John Noble’s portrayal of Walter/Walternate is unforgivable.

Observations:

~ It’s used a lot in these types of shows, but I do love the Oppenheimer quote: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

~ Sam Weiss was even more mysterious than ever. Newton’s Cradle, the trans-dimensional viewing window and complex mathematical equations, the bottle of Brut Cologne in his apartment – what does it all mean?!

~ There was something about the way Oliva said, “The blight” that seemed filled with import. I checked and blight has been used a few times in the past when referring to the damage in the alternate universe.

~ If you can, check out the transition between the universes that takes place at the park where Altlivia is taking baby Henry for a walk. The scene begins with a static shot from our universe of trees that have all of their leaves. Then the switch happens and the trees in the alternate universe have no leaves, and Altlivia remarks how cold it is. I never noticed before, but are their seasons different from ours?

What did you think?

My recap of the even crazier “The Last Sam Weiss” will be posted by the end of the work day tomorrow, just before the season finale.

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