Reaction: Fringe (4×02)

I have to say this not really related to Fringe thing: the way Fox mutes the show so you have to crank the volume to hear adequately, and then cranks the commercials so you have to turn down the volume is highly irritating, especially with a show like Fringe where you really have to pay attention to catch some of the dialogue. *kicks Fox*

I still miss Peter, but not as much because we got double Olivia and even one Olivia is, to use a term I generally hate: kicks ass. I’d say she is, bar none, my favorite sci-fi/fant. female lead right now. Of course, she’s also the only sci-fi/fant. female lead in the (too many) shows I watch, which is :/

Interesting parallels drawn between the case du jour and Peter being absent, in classic Fringe style. I don’t think there’s anything done randomly with this show, though some things are more obvious than others. Broyles’ line about people leaving a lasting imprint on your soul was one of the obvious things, but definitely kept the tie to the overall arc in place in our heads. Olivia’s expression makes me think maybe, eventually, she’ll be key in getting Peter back. Oh, who am I kidding? Olivia/Peter is this show’s OTP. Of course she’s integral. 😉

The case itself – heartbreaking and I’m pretty sure that’s got a lot to do with John Pyper-Ferguson, who always, IMO, does a fantastic job with his roles. Of course we knew that him going to talk to his serial killer self was going to end with him getting the brain freeze, and that the brain freeze would ultimately be what did the serial killer in. That doesn’t mean that getting there wasn’t great and (I hesitate to say about something so grim) enjoyable. I wonder if he’ll really be okay or if we’ll see him again. We probably won’t.

Whoa, in this timeline, Olivia killed her stepdad. She didn’t do that in the original timeline, did she? I … can’t remember.

I can’t decide which version of Agent Lincoln Lee I like better. I do love how they’re SO different, like the Astrids are so different.

Walter covering up all reflecting (reflective?) surfaces was heartbreaking in its own right. That scene with Astrid was wonderful. Poor Walter, he’s got no idea what’s happening. Which makes me a little mad at Peter, whatever plane he’s on. Sure, Walter’s the only one he can get through to, but look what he’s doing to the guy! I don’t want him to let up, because I want Peter back, but I also don’t want Walter to crack more in the process. I’d say progress is being made, if Walter’s now having auditory “hallucinations” instead of just visual. I really wonder how they’re going to do this without dragging it out too long.


  1. Azzy says

    In the original timeline, Olivia’s stepfather was still alive and sending her taunting birthday cards every year. I can’t decide if it’s better or worse that she killed him in this timeline. She must have been just a kid!

    Also: Colonel Broyles is alive! *squee* I liked him, I was sorry to see him die such a gruesome death.

    Anyway, I liked this episode. I particularly liked the end. They could have played it dark and imply that the Professor might become a serial killer as well, but they went the optimistic route, and that made this episode so good. They showed that kindness makes a difference, which is a more important lesson than “see? there are some sick people out there”.

  2. sbg says


    Oh, oh, because she didn’t run away and meet Peter. Voila, that was a key moment.

    I totally did a little joyful hop when they mentioned Colonel Broyles and then he came on wearing that tight T-shirt and mmmmm. I know, I’m objectifying.

    It was so nice to have the professor be totally confused and traumatized, but not EVIL.

  3. Azzy says


    I didn’t even realize that was because she never met Peter! But yeah, it’s amazing what difference he made in her life.

    I have to admit, I’m growing fond of the new timeline (every part except for Peter missing. Come back soon, Peter!). It’s… different, but in interesting ways. And the two Olivias are starting to get along, a bit. At least Bolivia is starting to understand *why* Olivia has such difficulty trusting people. It’s clear Bolivia didn’t have an abusive stepdad, and that’s the reason she’s more open than Olivia. I don’t know if they’ll ever be friends, exactly, but I think they could work their way up to ‘comrades’.

  4. M.C. says

    Of course, she’s also the only sci-fi/fant. female lead in the (too many) shows I watch, which is :/

    So what’s your excuse for not watching Lost Girl on Showcase? That you can’t sit infront the telly 24/7? ;))

    Anyway, back on topic: Why do you recon such an awesome and quite progressive show as Fringe is airing on Fox? I mean, I’m European and even I know that Fox is a right-winged network…

  5. sbg says


    I’m still confused how the doom machine worked without Peter or the baby’s DNA. If Peter didn’t grow up, then Bolivia didn’t have his baby. (Completely shallow, but I’m hoping to see Frank this year.) There must be a logical explanation, but it’s beyond me at this point.

  6. sbg says


    I don’t know what Lost Girl or Showcase is, so there’s that. 😉

    Fox as an entertainment network can air some progressive and also downright crass stuff, both of which seem to belie what their news feed believes. I dunno.

  7. M.C. says


    Lost Girl is tv’s best (well, only) show about a supernatural crime-fighting bisexual female succubus… and I swear it’s better than it sounds. lol

    But the whole Fox entertainment network is owned by the same white supremacists, right? I don’t know, it just seems inconsistent that they should choose to make money of the awesomeness that is Anna Torv.

  8. says


    Fox has interdepartmental rivalries. Some arm of the company develops brilliant, progressive shows, and within three years, max, another arm shoots them down. Firefly, Arrested Development… oh, there are so many. It’s like, if a show is obviously entertaining, they’ll let it run for a bit, but if it’s a tad too progressive, they kill it. And yes, I am suggesting that Firefly, despite its issues, was ultimately too progressive for Fox. 😀

  9. M.C. says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Then I guess we’ll have to hope that Fringe makes so much money that Fox wouldn’t dare cancel it even if the show becomes too progressive.

    btw, I just read an article about the new season in which Joshua Jackson is quoted saying: “To a certain extent, Peter is the MacGuffin of the show. So we have this ensemble cast, and he’s the guy who lots of things are about, but who doesn’t get to do a lot of things. That’s who he is, that’s what the character is, so I can get frustrated all I like, but it’s not going to change.” (

    Welcome to the world of female characters, Jackson. You might play the most important woman in the whole of creation, but in the end she’ll always be just the Mad Scientist’s Beautiful Daughter and the Hero’s One True Love. And it’s their story and not her’s.

  10. M.C. says


    I totally agree. One of the reasons I like Fringe so much is because the gender roles of the main couple are reversed. That makes them less boring compared to all those other white het couples on tv.

  11. Azzy says


    I hope the gender role reversal will become a trend. I’ve seen the same thing on “Haven” with Audrey and Nathan, to an extent. I got the impression they were banking on Fringe’s success with the formula.

    Oh! Speaking of which, that’s one more example of a sci-fi/fant. female lead: Audrey Parker from “Haven”. It’s a TV show (extremely loosely) based on “The Colorado Kid” by Stephen King, but the gender of the main character was changed, and Emily Rose plays FBI agent Audrey Parker, who comes to a seemingly quiet Maine town for an investigation and ends up staying because there is some pretty freaky stuff going on there. You should check it out, it’s an entertaining series.

  12. Casey says


    I only started watching Haven sporadically so I could see Edge as Dwight Hendrickson (PURRTY PURRTY PURRTY). It’s pretty good…I just wish that show passed the Bechdel Test more often and that they didn’t kill off Evi.

  13. sbg says


    I actually got really pissed when they brought Original!Audrey on, got to the point she and Not Really!Audrey were starting to be comfortable with each other and then whammo, she’s gone. This is actually a repeat pattern for that show. Nearly every female (if NOT every) character with a decent recurring spot gets killed or shipped off.

    The original coroner, Eleanor.
    Eleanor’s daughter.
    Nathan’s girlfriend.

    That’s five women written into and off of the show in, what, 20-25 episodes.

  14. Casey says


    Combine Fake!?Audrey being the only prominent female character with my overall “meh”-ness on Stephen King’s work is what leads me to not giving a crap about Haven unless Dwight is there, how shameful of me! (the way the show treated spousal abuse in the episode with the Doctor’s wife’s trouble being making people sick with black vein gunk was interesting, though)

  15. Azzy says


    Word. They killed Evi just as I was beginning to like her, and in an extremely stupid way. Evi, darlin’, don’t go out WHERE THE SNIPER IS and lecture the ruthless people you work for. Just TELL DUKE WHAT YOU KNOW. But they needed to extend the mystery for another episode and a half, so Evi had to go. (Also, isn’t it sad that the moment I saw a black woman on the screen my first thought was “Yep, dead by the end of the season”?)

    Also, just thought of another female lead: Helen Magnus from “Sanctuary”. Yeah, technically it’s an ensemble cast, but I dare anyone to say Helen isn’t the central figure. I don’t know how it slipped my mind that the season 4 premiere was this Friday.

  16. Casey says

    Azzy: (Also, isn’t it sad that the moment I saw a black woman on the screen my first thought was “Yep, dead by the end of the season”?)

    Unfortunately, I didn’t have that foresight when she first came on. I was all like, “YAY A BLACK WOMAN” but once she got off’d I was like, “OH OF COURSE YOU’D KILL HER= JDLSKJFASLKJFAKLJFAKLJLKSJDL”
    (and I was shipping Duke/Evi/Dwight, too…I don’t care if they hardly interacted I like my crack-shipping)

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