Sunday, May 01, 2011

Fringe: "The Last Sam Weiss"

So, is anyone else suddenly terrified that they might kill Peter off the show? I don’t think I’ve felt that kind of adrenaline while watching a TV show in a really long time. As Peter was mounting the stairs and we saw the flashbacks of his life, my husband was convinced that was the end of him. “I mean, they have Leonard Nimoy in the show,” he says. “Isn’t that a hint that, like Spock, he’s going to sacrifice himself to save everyone?” “OMG, and Spock did that at the end of the third movie, didn’t he, and this is the end of the third season?” I said. Zoiks.

But with the very end of the episode, with Peter being zapped 10 years into the future, I’m thinking nope, he’s still vitally important. I’m really REALLY hoping they think he’s vitally important because I can’t bear for him to go. On the one hand, I’ve become very attached to him, and even at the beginning of the series when I was still unsure of it, I thought Walter was a caricature, Olivia was a bit wooden, but Peter had a lot of charisma and I loved the way Joshua Jackson played off the other characters.

But on the other hand, imagine how gutting that would be for everyone. The reason the worlds are shattering is because of Peter and Walter’s love for him. So if Peter were to die, what would happen to the worlds then? What would Walter and Olivia do? They’d both be as broken as the worlds around them, and how would they piece those lives back together? Peter is significant in that there’s only one of him, and I’m curious to see in the fourth season if they ever suggest that will have an effect on the other half. Broyles now has only one version of himself, whereas we have two Olivias and Walters. Interestingly, there’s only ever been one William Bell, something that’s never really been explained. Did alt-Bell die in childhood? Or was he never born? If the latter, how is that possible? I’ve always wondered if there’s some link between Bell and Peter, like a Sam Weiss kind of thing. Hm.

This week’s episode was AWESOME, and I cannot wait for next week’s season finale. My favourite scene was when Walter was talking to Olivia, and told her that if she could see herself the way he does, she’d realize her amazing potential. In this scene we look into Olivia’s eyes as she looks back at Walter, and we see the same little girl that he does, and everything she’s been through and how she’s been able to contain her powers, rather than having them take her over the way the other cortexiphan subjects did.

• I loved the multiple Sam Weiss explanations that Olivia got in the crypt. Robyn Hitchcock should write a song called “My Sam Weiss and My Dead Sam Weiss.”
• Those lightning special effects were awesome, especially when we looked out from that balcony and saw them all over the hill and the town. Did you notice that when they hit something it turned black and smouldered? Brilliant.
• Olivia showing her badge to get into the museum, followed by Sam showing his, “Sam Weiss. Patron member since ’82.” (Anyone else wonder what century he meant? Perhaps 1882, and the membership belonged to several Sam Weisses before him.)
• Sam tossing the vase and saying, “I work in a bowling alley.”
• Olivia in the drawing! GASP!!!
• Peter to Walter: “I know you’re not the Secretary of Defense. The sweater is a dead giveaway.”

Did You Notice?:
• The glyphs spelled MULTI.
• Someone asked me last week if I noticed that the guy playing Sam Weiss was the same guy playing Sean Garrity, the drama instructor on Community. Kevin Corrigan is one of those actors who has been around for ages, despite his relatively young age. The first movie he was in where he really made an impression on me was Buffalo 66, where he played the put-upon friend of Vincent Gallo’s character, being called at all hours of the night. He was in Living with Oblivion with Steve Buscemi, and more recently starred in The Fan with Patton Oswalt. In between he’s probably been in over 100 indie films. He was in the TV show Grounded for Life with Donal Logue, another indie fixture, and was in The Departed and Superbad. He’s one of those actors who, if you see enough indie films, you begin saying, ‘Hey, it’s THAT guy!’ I think he’s amazing, and when he first appeared as Sam Weiss a couple of years ago, I was very happy to see him (and he’s brilliant on Community, by the way).
• In the car that the family was driving at the beginning, if you look at the license plate it has 4s and a 23 in it. Lost numbers!
• Poor sweet wonderful Astrid, she’s always at the mercy of Walter and his whims, but also acts like a mother figure to him. I loved that she had that giant set-up with the kite and the key, and when he figured things out he simply said, “Pack it up, Astrid!” Oh, OK. I’ll just “pack up” this giant table and equipment.... It’s probably an hour-long job to do so, and he’s acting like she can just toss it into the trunk.
• When Sam says “Good luck, Olivia,” it sounded more final and less casual than she took it.

Any Questions?:
• Why 2021? What has happened to Peter in that reality? He’s definitely in our world – in the other world, September 11 didn’t happen and the Twin Towers still stand. If it’s a certain future, then it means he won’t die with the machine and instead lives another 10 years, but is he being given a glimpse of it or has he actually been zapped a decade into the future?
• Will there be any connection between Peter’s momentary lapse of memory and this? There had to have been a reason for him to have lost his memory of this world and be convinced that his dad was Walternate... why was that? Was it just a writer’s ploy to get him to NY?
• What is happening to our world in 2021? Is it a result of the machine? The two worlds collapsing?

And also...
I mentioned a few days ago on my Facebook page that I'm working on a new book on Fringe as the editor, and so far it's amazing and has changed the way I watch the show. People have been asking me to let them know when a good Fringe book comes along, and this one is it. Amazon is taking pre-orders now, and the book will be out in October.


Cindy/SenexMacDonald said...

@Nikki said: "But with the very end of the episode, with Peter being zapped 10 years into the future, I’m thinking nope, he’s still vitally important." ... and ...

"Did You Notice?:
• The glyphs spelled MULTI."

Nik, I don't think that Peter is in the future. There was no indication that he was. Yes, there was a new tower in place of the others. The memorial sign clearly made it so. However, since the Towers exist in the alternate universe, and even though there are plans to put a new tower on/near the same site and it has not happened yet, this does not mean it is OUR future.

I think the glyph is indicating that he is now in the third(!) alternate universe and that he crossed over while in the machine.

My thoughts...

Cindy/SenexMacDonald said...

@Nikki also said: "Someone asked me last week if I noticed that the guy playing Sam Weiss was the same guy playing Sean Garrity, the drama instructor on Community."

- waves hand in air... That would be me. :)

"Poor sweet wonderful Astrid, she’s always at the mercy of Walter and his whims, but also acts like a mother figure to him."

I love it when Walter calls her another name. I know he doesn't mean it but it is so cute! Ostrich... lol

"Why 2021?"

Okay, based on my first comments, I wanted to go back and double check but unfortunately we had already deleted this ep from the PVR. However, both Justin and I am pretty sure we did not see any captioning to say that after Peter started up the machine that this is where he ended up. Did I miss that part? If so, then please forget my entire first comment... maybe.

Nikki Stafford said...

OK, now I'm really confused (and have also deleted it from the PVR). Peter stands up, turns around, and sees a plaque that says, "We will always remember September 11, 2001." Underneath that it says, "Memorial erected September 11, 2021." So that would be 10 years in the future, and it's referring back to September 11, something that wouldn't mean anything to the alt-universe. It appeared that our world had rebuilt some new building in place of the Twin Towers. Did I read the memorial sign incorrectly?

Nikki Stafford said...

Cindy: By the way, great comment about the possibility of a third universe, something my husband and I also talked about in light of the MULTI glyph. If they open up a third world, that's a whole new world of possibilities!

Ashlie Hawkins said...

Hey Nikki - have you read Ken Tucker's take on the episode on EW yet? He suggests that it's 15 years into the future (the memorial site was just to place us in the future, but to be fair, it could be any time after the date on the memorial) and that the world shown is some sort of combination of our world and the world "over there" since we see that 9/11 took place, and also that there's a Fringe division. Maybe Bell was wrong and both universes can exist at once, and that's what happens with the machine? Maybe that's why there's mass panic and war-like scene - are people just going nuts because everyone has dopplegangers running around? Can't wait for next week's episode!

Cindy/SenexMacDonald said...

@Nikki - I am watching it right now on City's website to confirm. Even if the date says that the memorial plague is from 2021 - it does not mean it is our universe. Otherwise I can't see the reason for the glyph to say MULTI.

Nikki Stafford said...

ashlie: No, I haven't read his take yet (I never read anyone else's before posting mine) but he must have been going by some press release or something, because there's actually nothing to suggest 2026 in that scene, unless there was a sign somewhere that I didn't see. They zoomed in on the memorial that said 2021, so that planted us in the future (and as you say, absolutely it could be beyond that) but there's no way of knowing for sure unless someone from the show has tipped him off. EW gets extra info that we poor bloggers don't. ;)

Blam (Alternate) said...

Hi folks... I can't write much now and haven't even read Nikki's post in depth — since my online connection is so bad, I have a habit of opening/refreshing pages while I can for later perusal. So I launched a tab for and did read these comments, which brings me to this: Here in the US the coming attractions after the episode on Fox said "15 Years in the Future". My initial thoughts were either another alternate universe or time travel or a glimpse of the likeliest future at this moment given to Peter by the device, and it's possible even with that promo text that it's still all in his head, but I played the preview (which is probably on the Fox website) back a couple of times and it definitely said this.

Nikki Stafford said...

Ashlie also brings up a great point that I forgot to mention in my rundown: the Fringe division. Now, technically, there IS a Fringe division in our world -- Walter, Peter, Astrid, and Olivia all work for it, and Broyles heads it up. It's just a covert division that no one knows about, whereas in the alt-universe they're out in the open. I like the idea of the two worlds collapsing into one, which is very, very likely, but also, perhaps so many supernatural events began happening that the Fringe division in our world simply became a household name out of necessity, and they were forced out of the closet and out into the open, just as in the other world.

Blam said...

It's curious, though, that the Fringe Division decal was yellow — not red like on the Other Side, and the primary color as yet left unused in the opening credits, which of course are red for Over There and smoky blue for Over Here.

Blam said...

Well, I could also spoil you on which characters we see in the future (if such it is) in the next-week Fox promo, but I'll let you search that out for yourselves.

Cindy/SenexMacDonald said...

@Nikki - okay the sequence goes like this...
a) Peter enters the machine and it turns on
b) Peter wakes up into the middle of what looks like a war zone
c) he stumbles when an explosion happens and stands up to see the plague which is marked 2021 (when it was erected) and looks up to see the 'new' tower
d) a soldier (it appears), calling Agent Bishop, runs towards Peter who is hurt/shot? and we see that the soldier is wearing the double F for Fringe Division (which our world does not have - at this point)
e) Peter passes out...

Justin and I just discussed this again and I see the following scenarios.

Peter has been switched with another Peter (which means this is a third universe as Peter in ours is dead and Peter in the alt-universe is now is ours).

Or this is our universe and Peter has moved to the future and we now have our own Fringe Division which Peter might be part of and all hell is breaking loose.

I am still going to go with the first choice and that 'third' Peter is now in the machine...

And I am sticking to that until next week's episode airs... :) lol

Jeff Heimbuch said...

Nikki - It was explained in an earlier episode, I believe in Season 2, when Olivia first meets Bell, that Alt-Bell was killed in a car accident early on in that universe, leaving our universe's Bell to carry on for him.

JS said...

It may also be a future and an alternate, yellow being the third primary color (versus purple, which would be a blend of blue and red). I like the idea of a third Peter. Open question – Why haven’t we met or gotten any information on an alternate Nina Sharpe??? I think they are saving her for a special surprise. I know it would screw up the story, but what about the people who are born/not born because things in the other universe didn’t happen the same way? E.G. will there be a Henry in our Universe? Where is he fifteen years from now, if he hasn’t been born yet?
Peter has a wedding band on, so has he married Olivia? Is she the one that is going to die? Are they going to spend all their time preventing the future from happening? We already know what ever happened happened (I assume any rules in the Abrams-verse apply to all his creations). Does anyone taste like strawberries yet…..

Nikki Stafford said...

Ooh, all this speculation is making me even more excited about next week's episode!! I miss our Lost discussions, but this is just as much fun. ;)

Yellow as the third primary colour: You guys are brilliant. I totally buy that, and now I'm starting to think this really is a third universe. IMAGINE!! If the other two are causing this war between themselves, and a third innocent world suddenly gets sucked in. Oh, I love it.

Jeff: Thanks for the reminder on Bell! I'd completely forgotten that. ;)

Cindy/SenexMacDonald said...

I am also loving this. Nik, I too miss our LOST conversations. Regardless of how this turns out, I am sure this next episode will be out of this world - which ever universe it happens in!

Can't wait to see what plays out... :)

Fred said...

Is this going to be Fringe's take on Lost's time travel, with sudden switches from universe to universe? Or is Newton's cradle (Newton's pendulum) an image of what might happen? At one point, Nina Sharp smashed two globes together to illustrate worlds colliding. But if you have multiple worlds, the shock will travel through them all, like Newton's cradle.

I like the idea of 15 years in the future (or some world's future) mentioned here. But Peter's hair looked like Walter's with the wave. Does this indicate Peter is inside another Peter's body/mind?

Stephen 'Socks' Bowron said...

I know it's a bit of a stretch (and I neglected to read everyone else's comments here) but I am kind of really hoping that we're gonna jump forward in time for the show in S4.

Fringe isn't stale, but it would be a massively bold and interesting if not the least bit entertaining to see our characters ten years down the line.

It's not like it's not happened before -- well, as long as ten years hasn't but y'know -- with BSG, Lost, Alias et al..

Could be exciting!

Stephen 'Socks' Bowron said...

Also -- I skimmed the other comments so again, may have been mentioned -- but Peter looked older and I saw someone mention he was wearing a wedding band (I need to rewatch as of yet) so it looks like we've got some delicious consciousness time leaps a la Desmond on the go here!


Stephen 'Socks' Bowron said...

And just to whore myself out on a third comment, sorry..


myselfixion said...

Does anyone else think that Sam Wiess is a nod to the Tolkien character Samwise Gamgee?

HoH8 said...

I was hoping to find Peter "naked" when he landed in the future just like in Terminator, lol...

my heart just melted when Olivia said to Peter "I Love You"...

season 4 is looking great set in the future... :-)