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Notes from Fringe 1.19 The Road Not Taken May 6, 2009

Posted by Amy Yen in Fringe, TV.
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Sorry for the late post, Cinco de Mayo totally delayed my viewing. Overall, I thought it was a solid episode. It took a while to get going. The actual mystery-of-the-week wasn’t compelling at all. But the final five minutes really made up for it, right? Everything’s hitting the fan & the finale looks AMAZING.

What I really liked about this episode was the Walter/Peter dynamic, which has been inconsistent this season. There were a bunch of episodes midway through the year that had this lovely underlying tone to their relationship, but then it got all tense & bickering again recently, which makes it feel like regression. So I was pleased to see the genuine affection come back this episode. After all he’s seen, Peter has to feel something for this man, he has to know that Walter is trying to do something good here. So I like that it feels like that clicked into place here.

Of course, things tend to do that, right before it all falls apart.

  • If I were that bus driver, I would totally not be letting that clearly sick crazy person on the bus. Okay, I’m going to go ahead and say? Not their best CGI work with the spontaneous combustion. Sorry, cold open, you’ve set your bar too high. I give it a 4.5 on the creepy scale.
  • PS: Congrats to the entire Fringe team on their early season 2 pick-up! Well deserved! I think it’s been one of the real great things about this TV season, watching Fringe develop & really embrace its potential. There’s still so many places it could go & I can’t wait.
  • Okay, like last week, the aftermath of the cold open is far worse than the actual moment. Fine, Fringe, I’ll give you another half point to an even 5. But that’s it!
  • “Who you gonna call?” Ha! It’s really just awesome because Walter says it.
  • PS: Is that a Slusho Walter’s drinking? Awesome!
  • Ah! Never mind, I totally forgot from the preview this episode isn’t about the mystery-of-the-week as much as more Olivia-Cortexiphan-mind-weirdness. Neat effect with the disappearing body. So that’s where all the special effects money for this episode went…
  • The return of Nina Bell. It’s really interesting with her character…she hasn’t actually been on that much this year, but the perception of her character, for me at least, has completely changed. From the pilot, I think we all thought she was clearly evil, but in the latter third of the season, I think it’s become a lot more ambiguous. She’s way interesting, I wish we’d see more of her.
  • Peter’s “project” that he’s been working on…anyone else around here think it’s shady? Astrid? Come on. Someone ask some questions!
  • These Olivia mind-freakouts are way creepy. This episode’s starting to get a very “Bad Dreams” feel to it. It’s very quiet so far, like in the moments where things get loud, like when Walter shouts about Peter, it’s startling.
  • Oh, great. Agent Harris is back. I hate that dude. More importantly, he’s yet to actually do anything. He’s incompetent even at his role of being annoying for the Fringe team & the audience.
  • Good to see Charlie getting to do a bunch of FBI-agent-type things this episode. He hasn’t been asked to leave the room in like two, three weeks now!
  • Hallucinations seem like such a tame term to be describing these visions. Déjà vu is actually a much closer term, even though Olivia brushes it off. Just the way this episode was filmed, it’s a great description because her visions leave us feeling uneasy, disturbed, but we can’t really put our finger on it.
  • “You’re familiar with the pliability of space/time, yes?” Oooh, sweet. More time travel talk. Because we don’t get enough headaches from Lost. Actually, no, I totally love this stuff, I think it’s fascinating. And Walter’s explanation of déjà vu is super cool, a glimpse into the road not taken, the other path.
  • Hey, Peter’s method of identifying with the everyman in search of the truth was totally effective! Nice! And all roads lead to William Bell. Come on, Nimoy, show yourself! Oh wait, never mind, this guy is crazy. Shameless Star Trek plug! “Live long and prosper.” I’ve always wanted to be able to do that hand signal, but my pinky and ring fingers just won’t cooperate!
  • Olivia, a psych exam actually doesn’t sound too bad right about now. I mean, I know it’ll go in your record and all but then again, you are hallucinating the city burning and your office in quarantine and stuff. Now you’re getting direct clues from your visions, like back when John Scott used to tell you about toads? Don’t you think this should be looked in to? You’re right, definitely later.
  • This Isaac guy is clearly evil, since he’s wearing black-rimmed glasses. Run, Other Twin, run!
  • Aww, Peter & Walter are so cute when they’re not snarking at each other! And while I totally don’t believe that Peter’s secret project was only to reconstruct audio to let Walter have some of his old vinyl records, I think it’s sweet. “You know, when he was five, he built me a popsicle stick napkin holder. Dreadful design, utterly useless.” Heh. Clearly, Walter’s touched as well.
  • “You sound just like him.” Awww! I do love it when they show Peter’s brilliance, which is his most underused characteristic. They tell us over & over that he’s a genius, but it’s how he can see things, his perspective, that makes his genius valuable in a different way than his father’s. When he explains his theory, it’s lovely how it’s clear they are not so different. I love how giddy he is, playing out his idea.
  • “That could have been one of my records!” Heh, Walter. This is actually one of the cooler experiments we’ve seen on this show, because I’m pretty sure it’s based in real science. I remember hearing about this theory before, that sounds can make physical impressions that can then be played back, like grooves on a record. If I remember correctly, one of the CSI shows used the same principle in one of their episodes, where a murder was captured in the grooves of a spinning clay vase.
  • OMG! It’s Harris! What??!
  • You know what this means, sting op time. Annnnd things work out, except for Harris, of course. He’s not looking so good. Wait, did that Isaac guy get shot? Confused. Where was Charlie in all this? Most confusing sting op ever.
  • Okay, so Olivia finally figures out that Walter is like really involved in this whole thing with the Cortexiphan in Jacksonville. There’s an awful lot of folks from Jacksonville suddenly showing up in Boston & doing weird stuff all of sudden, y’all.
  • “I was trying to prepare you.” But he can’t remember for what. Walter’s eyes look very black in this scene. Very lost. Olivia leaves him broken. He holds on to the only thing he can. His son.
  • OMG, The Observer! Even Nina Sharp is freaked out. That’s how you know, something’s seriously wrong here.
  • PS: I just want to note here, I love the change in tone around this point. It suddenly feels like something’s about to shatter the stillness of the episode.
  • “Our children are our greatest resource.” Walter finds the manuscript! But The Observer is here. “It’s time to go.” “Is it time?” OMG. OMG don’t go with the creepy bald man, Walter! Don’t talk to strangers!
  • Nina Sharp gets in the elevator, gets off the elevator…and gets SHOT!!??? OMG!!

Next week, it’s what we’ve all been waiting for! David Robert Jones! The Observer! William Bell! This is going to be SO AWESOME!

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