Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fringe 3.02: The Box

Another JJ Abrams episode called The Box. Alias fans will remember the two-part episode, “The Box,” where Quentin Tarantino was this crazed torturer who would taunt his victims by telling them not to push him to the point where he’d have to open The Box. Like Thomas says in this episode, it got to the point where the imagination conjured up much worse things than were actually in it.

In this episode, Bolivia continues to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes, even though as fans we can see Anna Torv is playing the character very differently. She’s a lot more light-hearted than Olivia, smiles more, seems to have a lot more fun, and you’d think they’d see through her a little more easily, but she simply uses the excuse that she sees the world differently now that she’s been on the other side, which is a good one. But when she realizes that the guy who retrieved the box is deaf, and he’s seen too much, she coldly shoots him in the back of the head the way George does Lenny in Of Mice and Men… actually, even differently than that, because George had a conscience about it.

The scene in the subway tunnel was filled with suspense, and the idea of rendering Peter momentarily deaf by shooting off a gun near his ears was brilliant, if rather risky – he could have permanently damaged his hearing that way. But knowing that putting the machine in Peter’s hands was Bolivia’s plan all along was eerie… it’s going to be an interesting season! Will this be like Sydney Bristow collecting the Rambaldi artifacts all over again?

The end of the episode, where we see that Walter has made a new acquisition, promises a new direction for the show. Here’s hoping Walter keeps that lab at Harvard.

• “Who’s Bow-no?” LOL!!! And yes, Bolivia, he IS easy on the eyes. And he’s mine.
• Walter trying to get the cow to make chocolate milk. HAHA!!
• Walter suggesting the buried treasure had legs of its own. “Wouldn’t that be delightful?”
• “Lookit my brain waves on the monitor-o!” I don’t know what was funnier: Walter singing different words to Mozart, or switching it to the Miami Vice theme!
• “Silent but deadly… speaking of which, you might want to take a step away.”
• The little man’s head exploding made both my husband and I jump at the same time, and it’s got to be one of the most disgusting and shocking things they’ve done on the show.
• Peter: “At this point would anything surprise you?” Walter: “Bacon-flavored pudding. Now THAT would surprise me.”
• Walter outside the subway station: “I frequented a massage parlor just around the corner. I used to get off right here!” Peter: “Sure hope you’re talking about the station, Walter.”
• My husband totally called what Bell left Walter… I just had to say that. The moment he opened his envelope my husband said, “He left him Massive Dynamic, didn’t he?”

Where’s Baldo?: I missed the Observer AGAIN. That’s it: next week I’m recording this in high def. Last week it turns out he was just on the edge of the screen when Olivia was in the park.
Update: Just saw a screencap on another site that had the Observer walking down to the stairs into the station just as Thomas was leaving it. He's way off to the one side, which makes me think my non-high def recording of it cut him off.

Glyph (before each commercial break, there's a glyph that appears, and it corresponds with a letter of the alphabet, spelling out a five-letter word): This week's glyphs spelled out ALERT.

Did You Notice?:
• When Patsy Cline started playing in the bar, was anyone else wondering if Kate would suddenly appear?
• At the reading of the will, the executor reads the quote, “Life is joy, death is peace. It’s the transition that is difficult.” This is a paraphrasing of the famous quote by Isaac Asimov. Bell refers to “Isaac” as his “great friend,” and in an episode last season Walter referred to Asimov as a friend of his as well.
• Interesting that Bell says that Nina was his right hand and she was his, when it’s actually her left hand that’s missing.
• When Bolivia went into the alleyway, there was graffiti on the wall that said, “The Pen Is Mightier.”
• When Thomas Jerome Newton (I still LOVE that he’s named after David Bowie’s character in The Man Who Fell to Earth) asks the guy if he can watch his box for him, the guy says, “Will there be renumeration?” instead of “remuneration.”

• So what did Bell leave to Nina? She opens the envelope and looks in, and looks surprised. Did he tell her that he was leaving Massive Dynamic to Walter? Were there instructions on how she was supposed to continue to oversee his activities? Was it an invitation for her to come to the other side to meet him?


UPennBen said...

The little man was Eric the Midget, a caller of the Howard Stern Show. He's known for being ungrateful and fancies himself an actor, so he badgered his way into this role.

plaid_mongoose said...

You missed the last glyph letter. When the episode ended you see a 'T' so the word is actually 'Alert'.

Page48 said...

So, hair colour isn’t the only difference between Olivia and Altlivia. One way to tell them apart is that Altlivia is the one who murders hearing impaired men sitting at ‘her’ dining room table. I don’t ever want to catch our Olivia doing that. Frankly, I didn’t ever want to see Altlivia doing that. If this is indeed a war, then, regardless of how they do things Over There, this makes Altlivia a war criminal. Not the way I hoped this would unfold. No wonder Charlienate thanked Olivia for not shooting him last week. He meant it.

At least Broyles had tingling spidey senses tonight. He was the only one asking questions. Walter was in full clown mode (rapid-fire food and fart gags, refreshingly absent in last week’s blockbuster season premiere) and therefore had no time to have his suspicions aroused by a way off-kilter ‘Olivia’.

Peter, on the other hand, should be ashamed of himself. Every word, every action, every mannerism exhibited by Altlivia should have resulted in giant red flags raining down on the playing field. Honestly, a non-drinking ‘Olivia’ pub dancing to Patsy Cline tunes and Peter doesn’t take a step back and ask himself WTF is going on with this woman?

Altlivia has heard the story about Walter kidnapping Peter and causing unintended devastation Over There. She knows there isn’t any warring going on (not that she isn’t spoiling for one), so I have to anticipate that she comes around at some point, whether it’s because of her relationship with Peter or whatever else might happen in weeks to come. Notwithstanding the permanent (and disappointing) nature of tonight’s cold blooded gangland slaying, I hope there is something left of Altlivia’s character to rehabilitate before this is all said and done. I really wanted Alt-Fringe to eventually be a PART of the solution, not a major obstacle to it.

I have to say that this "The Box" didn't hold a candle to the "Alias" "The Box". For one thing, this one didn't even try to use the word 'backwash'.

Marebabe said...

Awesome recap and analysis, as usual! And not only Nikki. Page48, I really enjoyed your insights, too. Just a few things I want to add:

I would amend what you said about firing the gun right by Peter’s head. It didn’t merely run the risk of permanently damaging his hearing. It DID damage his hearing. I think the risk involved was possible total deafness. But Peter is so brave! He took one for the team.

EVERYONE jumped when that head exploded. They made it unnecessarily loud, which always irks me. I’m reminded of the time I first saw “Spiderman” in the theater. At the moment the spider bit Peter Parker’s hand, there was a loud, crashing noise that made everyone jump. It’s so manipulative, and I don’t much care for being manipulated. But I still enjoyed “Spiderman”, and I still love “Fringe”.

Trip to the dictionary. I didn’t know the word remuneration, because it’s so common for people to say it wrong, renumeration. I’ve gone my whole life not knowing the difference, so I learned a new word today. Thanks!

Fred said...

@Page48:I have to anticipate that she comes around at some point, whether it’s because of her relationship with Peter or whatever else might happen in weeks to come. I get the same impression that she is slowly turning round on her mission. She does say "sorry" before she kills the deaf man. I gather we'll have to watch this process over the entire season.

Although Bell is dead, I don't think we've seen the last of Mr. Nimoy. Afterall, this is a dual world, so Bell's counterpart must be somewhere in that world, or perhaps in our world? Personally, I think Peter knows something is wrong with Olivia, but it may not be totally conscious in his mind.

Funniest line, when Walter says he has to go to the market for more cocoa beans, and calls Astrid, "Aspirin".

yourblindspot said...

This show has simply become my favorite thing on tv. Another terrific episode this week. (Which I just finally got to watch after a 106-hour work week -- sorry I'm tardy.)

I LOVE that you caught the 'renumeration-remuneration' thing too. You editor, you. That's the kind of thing I can't mention when we're watching together or my wife'll slug me.

So what do you think about the fact that last week's glyph message and this week's, when combined, make 'AMBER ALERT'? Doesn't bode well for poor little Ella, if you asked me. Whaddya wanna bet she's the first to suss out the fact that Aunt Liv's an impostor?