Review: Fringe - Grey Matters
by Jane Boursaw, posted Dec 11th 2009 1:46PM
(S02E10) "I don't do Valium nearly enough. I'll have 50 milligrams please." - Walter
More Walterisms like the one above, as well as a few reveals and a nice cliff-hanger into the second part of this season, which picks up January 14. So far, every episode in this season of Fringe has psyched me up for what's to come, whether it's a seemingly stand-alone ep or something that carries us forward into the alternative universe. Things don't sound too good over there. In fact, it sounds a little apocalyptic. Now I'm curious to take a look myself.
Fun view of the inside of someone's brain, but I felt bad for Walter and the other folks with the scars. Imagine having someone remove or implant brain tissue into your head. So one of the reveals is that William Bell/Dr. Paris had taken the tissue of Walter's brain that stored the information about how to get to the other universe. But someone already knows that, right? Because Olivia was transported there (as far as we know) and others have apparently gone back and forth since then (or got fatally caught in the middle).
Once again, I loved the interactions between Walter and Peter, and Fringe is as much about the characters' relationships as it is about the sci-fi alternate universe stuff. Peter telling Walter he should have visited Walter at the mental hospital more often, Walter brushing it off, and Olivia telling Peter he was making up for it now. I agree -- Peter seems like a devoted son now, and the scene where it looked like he might lose Walter was heartbreaking. And nice tension with Olivia giving in to Newton's demand to give him the cell phone, but gaining crucial info on what order the three vials should be given in order to save Walter's life.
I was trying to remember where I'd seen Sebastian Roche, who plays Thomas Newton. He has a bunch of movie and TV credits, but I know him from playing Jerry Jacks on General Hospital. And of course, he was in Fringe's "Momentum Deferred" episode earlier this season, as well.
Trying to piece together the info on the other patients who housed Walter's brain tissue in their own brains (and went mad in the process). Like the woman who was obsessed with the number 28 and the guy who was obsessed with numbers in general. Apparently, this is all crucial info on opening the door to the other universe, but as always, I welcome your thoughts on this.
Heartbreaking to watch the pictures shown to Walter after he was hooked up to the head gear (and his other brain tissue); Peter as a boy, Peter in a casket ... it'd be great if there was some big, surprising reveal about all of that. I think most of us are expecting the current Peter to be the one from the other universe, but maybe that's not really the case.
And as mentioned at the beginning of this review, things don't sound too good in the other universe. A blight killed the plant life there. I'm looking forward to seeing for myself what's up with that. And everyone in this universe has something they probably wished they could get back, including Broyles (maybe he wants his wife and old life back), who told Olivia that she'd made the right decision in letting Newton go in order to save Walter, that it was a rational choice and not an emotional one. "There's only one Walter Bishop, and we'll be needing him before this is all over. And don't be so hard on yourself. we're going to be needing you, too."
The last scene, with the flashback of William Bell hovering over Walter ready to remove his brain tissue:
William: "I wish there was another way, but what you've accomplished ... it's just too dangerous."
Walter: "What if we have to go back?"
William: "Don't worry ... your memory ... I'll put it in a place where only I can find it ... you designed a door to the other side ... I want you to think about that door ..."
So it sounds like Walter was a willing participant in this venture. I look forward to your thoughts on this episode.