Reaction: Fringe (4×10)

First, I have to say I adore this week of Fringe‘s title. Forced perspective is something super fun to look at (never been able to manage it myself, as a point-and-shooter), so I figured we were in for a trip. Then I remembered it’s Fringe. Trips are the norm. 😉

I knew we’d soon get to examine the Observer’s ominous warning to Olivia from a couple of episodes ago. I enjoyed the way this particular thing has impacted her – we got to see her being awesome as always, but also cracks in the armor. Anna Torv does a fantastic job, she really does, making Olivia Dunham someone you undoubtedly know you want on your side because she is solid, but at the same time soft and uncertain and scared.

(Also, while I didn’t think them flattering for her, I loved her glasses and covet them.)

It’s fantastic when writers can weave character exploration/paralleling in with the overall story arc for the episode and not make it like they’re dropping anvils. Fringe usually fares pretty well here. Of course Olivia sees a link between this girl and the prediction/warning she received herself. Of course that is weighing on her quite obviously – the little “what did he look like, was he bald?” question to Lincoln was just one of those little cracks we get to see, that no one around her can quite understand the depth of, or possibly not even realize they’re there. I know Broyles sees the headaches, but that’s a physical symptom. Does he see beyond that? I dunno.

The case of the week wasn’t terribly inspiring, but I liked Emily. I liked that she was a girl who knew there was nothing to be done, but she had to try anyway. I liked that she was strong enough to make her own calls and that Fringe let her (some of this, I suspect, we are supposed to reason because she knew her own fate, so defying her father wasn’t a thing with consequences any greater than, well, death). I hated that she died, but at least it was not because someone killed her, and that she died knowing that at least once she had been able to stop a horrible thing from happening.

Nina. I love to hate her. She’s diabolical and poor Olivia. The only mother she’s ever known is still conducting experiments on her and, if the Observer observing at the end there is anything to go by, might be why Olivia has been fated to die. Maybe?

Okay, I glossed over a lot. Whatcha think?


  1. Azzy says

    Re: the Observer at the end, was his presence in that particular scene meant to imply that Nina would ultimately be responsible for Olivia’s death? That’s the impression I got, and anyway, we still don’t know what effects (other than migraines) those injections are going to have. Could they play a role in Olivia’s demise?

    Duncan exasperated me. I know that Olivia did the right thing by placating him and convincing him not to blow himself (and everybody else) up, but I just wanted to grab him, and shake him, and yell at him, “THIS. This is why you lost custody, you entitled dipshit! Because you’re the kind of dude who is willing to blow up hundreds of people in a temper tantrum, and that judge saw right through you!”

    As for Emily, I liked her too. I was a bit lost as to how old she was meant to be. Looking at her face, I would have guessed 16-ish, but hearing her voice, she sounded… 13-14, at most. Also, the actress looked familiar, but I can’t place her. Can’t be arsed to look her up, though.

  2. sbg says


    Fringe is one of those kinds of shows I never know if will be renewed, so I live in this fear that loose ends will be epic and frustrating. They have many balls in the air at any given time, you know? Though I don’t know why I stress. They also always seem pretty good at closing the loops.

    Anyway, I think Nina is very, very involved in Olivia’s predicted demise. I do wonder if the Observer meant every Olivia in every timeline? I can’t recall his exact words.

    Duncan’s story was eh. I think that’s why Emily’s ability and the focus on that wasn’t as interesting as it could have been. All that death because one man was unstable enough to blow up a building instead of accept that he’s not a fit father, and that someone else realized that. This seems to be a very popular theme. Poor man, robbed of his babies for no reason … except, hello, giant bomb in courthouse. Oh. That.

    I thought Emily was fifteen or so. Super young, no matter what.

  3. Shay J says

    I didn’t read that Olivia was fated to die from The Observer’s words. I heard it as “Something bad will happen, you’re the reason for it; and to prevent that bad thing, you must (have) to die.” So, for me, it’s possible that she doesn’t/won’t die, but that event not happening will result in something horrible happening.

    I did like Emily. I do wish that we got a bit more of her mother being caring and not just her father, but this was a strong Olivia-centric episode. Occasionally with Fringe (for me at least), the narrative spins too much in Peter’s direction and not enough in Olivia’s so the recent Observer and Nina plot points have been really fantastic. Also, Nina is amazing at showing concern for Olivia but it not affecting her overall mission.

  4. The Other Anne says

    Shay J,

    Re: your second paragraph, one thing that’s been bothering me is part of why I think they focus on Peter: no matter what, there is only one of him. There is no other Peter, there are only dead-and-gone Peters. For Olivia and everyone else, we have so far accumulated four of each of them. That’s a LOT of subtly different characters to care for. This isn’t to say that I don’t like the story lines they’re giving us, it’s just that it seems like this one white guy who is the protagonist is the ONLY non-repace-abe character, and everyone else can have as many different “thems” as the plot requires. I wonder if we will ever get another Peter? Though that MAY just give them ANOTHER Peter to focus the most on…

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