Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fringe: "Neither Here Nor There"

Hello everyone, I can't believe it's taken me two days to actually watch this week's Fringe episode! And this will be short, because it's after 11 and I'm super tired yadda yadda... but here were a few observations.

Overall, I really liked it, and they've created a mystery for us as viewers -- what really happened in this world and what didn't? Olivia began talking about her former partner who died, but didn't mention the double-cross. Does she know that he double-crossed her? DID he double-cross her in this timeline?

I'm happy about Lincoln playing a more prominent role; I love the actor who plays him. He was great all last season in the alt-verse, but I've loved him since he was the effed-up Jeremy Darling in Dirty Sexy Money. It'll be interesting to see him step up now. New love interest for Olivia? (Part of me kind of hopes he's not, but we'll see what happens.)

Things I noticed:
- The credits were yellow, which is the new urine-coloured in-between state of the worlds. Interesting: I thought if you mixed blue and red you'd get purple, but apparently it's sunshiny instead.
- It's nice to see Astrid working in the field, and seeing her working with Walter through a bluetooth was very funny.
- I thought the people actually looked a lot like Olivia's partner's skin had looked -- I remember it being very translucent, where you could see the blood moving through his veins. I thought they were going to link it back to that, and it's interesting Olivia actually mentioned it within that context but then added, "But different."
- The glyphs at the commercial breaks spelled out APPEAR.
- Strange that Olivia meets another girl named Olivia. Until about 10 years ago, that name was practically obsolete. It would be more realistic to have women in their mid to late-30s named Jennifer, since you can't throw a rock without hitting one of those.
- I loved that Walter keeps seeing Peter in things that show a reflection that would be the opposite -- much like the Looking-Glass world of Lewis Carroll, an allusion that's been made several times on the show.

- As mentioned, how much of this world will be rewritten? I liked the Observers almost acting as narrators, helping us through our transition.
- One of the big questions hanging over the show at the end of last season was, if Peter never existed, then Walter couldn't have stolen him from Walternate, so why is Walternate so pissed at him? But now, the Observers have altered what they're saying: instead of saying he never existed, they're saying he didn't become a man and time was rewritten because of August pulling the two of them out of the water. Does this mean that Peter DID exist, Walter DID take him from Walternate, but Peter drowned in the water coming over to this world? If that's the case, Walternate would still have a reason to be angry, and Walter would have a reason to be loony, because that would have certainly sent him over the edge. However, it turns the "never existed" comment from the end of season 3 into a big cheat.

Before I finish, I just wanted to remind you all of the Fringe book that I worked on over the past year with author Sarah Clarke Stuart, as her editor. I've mentioned it a few times, but it's officially out now (even though the pub date wasn't until October, it's available and is shipping) and you can go here to order it from Amazon. It's a great look at the show's first three seasons, from a thematic point of view rather than episode-by-episode, and Sarah's done an amazing job. She's got a Lost background; on the blu-rays, she taught one of the Lost University courses, and she's the author of Literary Lost. Be sure to pick up a copy!

What did you think of the season 4 return?


JS said...

I liked the reboot, and more Lincoln. I noticed the amber color too, I don't think this is a blend of the two worlds so it wouldn't be purple, it would be different.

I felt sorry that Walter was so debilitated that he couldn't leave the lab. They make the difference Peter made in his life stark.

So, if there was no adult Peter, did Belly ever come back? And if he did take over Olivia's body, and she retreated inside her head, who got her out? There is a lot to be explained, but I hope hey don't have to and just being him back. It kind of feels like the beginning of the sixth season of Lost when we were worried all the character relationships and development were gone because if the alt world.

And where is Nina Sharpe?

Batcabbage said...

I think it was a great start to the season, and like you say, Nik, raises many new mysteries to be baffled by. What's changed? Why did Peter suddenly flash behind the Olivia's when they were having their little chat at the start of the episode? Why is Walter the only one who has noticed the Peter-flashes? Will they just assume that Walter has gone batshit once again, or will someone (most likely Astro - I love it when he calls her that) take notice of what he's saying? What about Spock? How much of a role did he play setting up Massive Dynamic in the new wee-coloured reality? Can I keep up this relentless questioning? Probably....?

Fringe has become the show I legitimately acquire each week that I look forward to the most. But, there's also Supernatural, whose season premiere I liked almost as much as Fringe's (maybe even a little more). Downton Abbey season 2 has started (brilliant, anyone who hasn't seen season 1 should rush out and buy the dvd set now). AND, thank the great Cabbage, Boardwalk Empire has started!! Oh, the joy. Man, I love this time of year.

The Question Mark said...

@ JS: The opening credits reminded me of Walternate's amber, as well. I wonder if that's symbolic of the fact that the Observers are trying to seal up the plotholes left by Peter's disappearance in the same way that Walternate tried to seal up the actual holes in reality with amber...

I like Lincoln much better as this Clark Kent kind of guy in the Prime universe, as opposed to that kind of aloof punk rocker he was in the alternate world.

I think the only thing that kinda fell flat for me was the opening scene with the two Olivias. On shows like Fringe or LOST, the opening scene of a new season is usually a very gasp-worthy, intriguing set-up (i.e., seeing our characters in the Alternate Universe; seeing Desmond in a mysterious place that turns out the be the inside of the Hatch). In this one, though, the first scene was just 2 people talking. It felt like we just returned from a commercial break rather than returning from the summer hiatus.

But still, can't wait for the rest of Season 4! I'm anxious to see what Walternate is up to!

@ BATCABBAGE: Boardwalk Empire rocks! Also, this year, I'm about to get into Ringer, Terra Nova, Grimm, Once Upon A Time, Person of Interest, and Alcatraz. As well as continuing Fringe, Community, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Whew! September be a wonderful but exhausting mistress!

Page48 said...

I also thought of John Scott's translucent condition in the pilot when I saw the victim's of this episode.

@Batcabbage, word today that JJ is teaming up with "Supernatural" creator, for a series slated for NBC (hopefully a lot more riveting than Bad Robot's last NBC venture).

Andy said...

The yellow color in title sequence represents the "amber" because that is what's at stake in both worlds