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April 24, 2014

'Fringe' Season 3, Episode 14 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 19th 2011 10:30AM
'Fringe' - '6B'['Fringe' - '6B']

"Today wasn't a victory. Today was a vision of things to come." -- Walter

If Walter's correct, then the ante just got raised -- perhaps in both worlds -- in the latest installment of 'Fringe.' Through the connection of a single apartment building, an event the likes of which the This Side universe has never seen began to occur. By the end of the episode, we'd got a chance to see the Other Side response to the same phenomenon.

But what is the most powerful force in the universe? What force could tear universes asunder and yet at the same time save them in the wink of an eye? And what force can heal wounds and help us move beyond the traumas of life, loss and alternate romances?

Would you believe it's the same force for all three questions? And would you believe it's love.

'Fringe' established an emotional connection between worlds because of Olivia's ability to see the Other Side. It's as unexplained as the magical Force power in the otherwise scientifically extrapolated 'Star Wars' universe -- we don't recognize mitochondria in these parts -- but human emotions are apparently capable of creating soft spots between universe.

The first one created on This Side of any significance was the results of a 45-year marriage ending in the sudden electrocution death of one spouse. Only, it was a different spouse in each reality, and thus their connected grief allowed them to breach the fabric of reality and see one another.

Kind of makes you wonder what the root causes were for the softening events, and even vortexes, on the Other Side. Could it have been something as simple as lost love? Imagine a grieving mother who's lost her child, and a grieving child who's lost his or her mother on the Other Side? Surely, the same thing could happen in that situation.

The scientifically tenuous genesis of this episode's soft spot really creates a frightening possibility. Surely, the Merchant's situation is not so wholly unique. The mere presence of chance in their lives by that flipping of a coin was the difference between Derrick and Alice's demise on either side. Had they not adopted such a practice, then might it have been the same spouse that died on each side and we wouldn't be in this situation.

Does that mean that we are subject to doing much the same things on the different universes? In order for the Merchant situation to make sense, we must believe that it was that forced element of chance that changed their behavior.

In other words, the you on This Side and the you on the Other Side are apparently hard-wired to react in virtually the same way when faced with the same option and stimuli. Otherwise, we'd surely be faced with more situations like this. Or perhaps it is an indication of how weak the fabric between universes if getting that we are now on the precipice of disaster on This Side. That a tear this minor could be triggered by something like grief is a portent of far greater disasters to come if a solution isn't soon reached.

Walter faced a similar realization about himself this week when he realized he was reacting to the possiblity of a vortex in almost exactly the same way that Walternate did. Yes, he grappled with moral limits, but as we saw last week, Walternate has moral limits as well. They may just be different. Different because of one major difference in these two men's lives.

The difference beween Walter and Walternate may just be Peter. Walter had a son to love and cherish -- even if he had to steal him to get him -- while Walternate lost his son and may have subsequently hardened his heart about loss, thus allowing him to more easily justify trapping thousands of people in amber for the greater good.

It's kind of kharmic that all of this began because of the grief of a father and now we have an event happening because of the joint grief of a wife and husband.

Walternate did not have a response prepared the first time a similar event happened Over There. He developed the idea of amber and then implemented it as soon as possible, but there was even then a tremendous sense of urgency. Now our Walter already knows that amber is an option, so when faced with our world's first potential vortex event, he went to the quickest solution he knew of, which was the one developed by Walternate.

Now that he's been challenged by Nina to start coming up with a real solution to inevitability, he can start to expand his thought processes. More significantly, the Fringe Division on This Side has found a more organic way to deal with these vortexes and soft spots. Rather than react to the event in amber and quarantine, perhaps take an approach that starts with the heart rather than the mind. And through the heart, Derrick and Alice were able to simply allow the event to disippate with no permanent damage done.

With Fauxlivia gone a little while now, Olivia was finally willing to allow herself to become vulnerable with Peter, but not until she heard his compassionate plea to Alice to cherish and remember the lifetime of love she'd already shared with Derrick. Sure, there will always be the awkwardness of Fauxlivia between them, but Olivia can't keep harboring resentment toward Peter over that. It was a nearly impossible situation, and who's to say she wouldn't have done the exact same thing had the roles been reversed.

So, rather than take things slow, they kind of picked up right where Peter and Fauxlivia left off, though this time in Peter's bed. Enjoy it while it lasts kids, because there's a little Peter growing on the Other Side and someday that little factoid is going to drop Fauxlivia right back into the middle of what you're trying to build.

'Fringe' air Fridays, 9PM ET on Fox.

[Follow Jason, @ultraversion21, on Twitter.]

Watch the full episode here:


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nidesola

Such a powerful episode. Can't wait until next week from all the snippets I see.

February 23 2011 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sarah

At first I suspected that the apartment on the other side might be named 'Guildenstern.' Which would be awesome.
I just realized the significance between the flipping of the coin and the name of the apartment building. In Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead - Rosencrantz flips a coin and it lands on 'heads' 78 times in a row, much like it kept landing 'heads' for Walter.

February 19 2011 at 7:47 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
GeorgiaC

So what happens when when we find out Olivia is pregnant, too? A baby for Peter in each universe?

February 19 2011 at 7:07 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
RSG

I think you mean midichlorians, not mitochondria.

February 19 2011 at 12:03 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
RSG

I think you mean midichlorians, not mitochondria.

February 19 2011 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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