Monday, May 07, 2012

Fringe: "Brave New World, Part 1"

He's baaaack! After a brief glimpse of Belly trapped in amber a couple of episodes ago, it was clear the guy would return before the end of the series, and here he is. As enigmatic as ever with his big denture smile. 

The episode opens with a Musak version of Billy Idol's "Eyes Without a Face," which could be a subtle hint of what is to come:

Now I close my eyes
And I wonder why
I don't despise
Now all I can doIs love what was once
So alive and new
But it's gone from your eyes
I'd better realise

Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.
Such a human waste your eyes without a face

And now it's getting worse.

This is the episode where Olivia finally realizes that her superpowers as a result of the Cortexiphan are limitless. The final scene, where she manipulates both Peter and Jones's bodies to make them do what she wants telekinetically, is amazing. We know Olivia's strongest suit (and sometimes, her deepest flaw) is her boundless empathy for others. When Charlotte Jessica is lying on the table and her temperature is rising, Olivia suddenly imagines a little girl orphaned, and she wills Jessica's body temperature to lower. Peter and Walter look on, stunned, and Olivia knows what she's just done is extraordinary. Perhaps instead of always disparaging the Cortexiphan, she could be looking at it as a positive thing. 

Bell returns, and we discover David Robert Jones has been working for him the whole time. There's a sense of foreboding when Bell describes his chess board (chess also being a recurring theme of Lost, of course) and says that the art of chess is figuring out which piece is the most precious and be willing to sacrifice it to win. He says, not without irony, that in this game the bishop is the most important piece. Jones surmises that in order for Bell to win the game (which has been going on for, oh, about three years, or the length of the series so far...), he needs to sacrifice his "bishop." The question is, which one? 

While a lovely analogy, I found it a little bit cloying and over the top, and was glad when it turned out to be a bit of a trick played on David Robert Jones as he suddenly realizes in his final moments that he'd been wrong... that HE was, in fact, the sacrifice. Good-bye, Jones. Now you can go back to focusing on punching Pete in the face on Mad Men

What I'm really hoping is that we won't also be saying goodbye to Astrid. Holy crackers, I didn't see that coming. In fact, I was just in the middle of writing down, "They need to put Astrid in the field more" when she was shot. The writers know she's a fan favourite... is this the sacrifice they're going to force US to make?? 

Other notes:
  • Olivia wants a nursery in their new house. Which would presumably be for Etta. 
  • Jessica's first line is, "Am I going to die?" and I'm sure every Lost fan joined me in saying, "Sadly, yes. By a really vicious nosebleed." 
  • I loved John Noble's performance when Walter was unnerved by the orderly who referred to him as Wally. Could he have been an abusive man? Someone put in there by Bell, perhaps? 
  • "My hallucinations were rarely biped and never men." HAHA!!
  • Walter has an Easy Bake oven. Of course he does.
  • Any other show would have a weird reveal of traces of Chilean almonds on a 7-year-old piece of paper and I'd be rolling my eyes. On Fringe, it's awesomely funny. 
  • "It's like don't cross the streams... in reverse." Olivia doesn't get it. Last year I remember having one of those moments where I was sending an email just as the person I was emailing was sending me a note asking me the very question I was in the midst of answering. When I got his, I emailed him right back and said, "Ah! We crossed the streams!" He said he had no idea what I was talking about. I said, "Ghostbusters? Don't cross the streams? We were... emailing at, you know, the same time and crossed... um..." "I have no idea what you're talking about." Sigh. The difference in pop culture references a few years makes. 
  • "Hello... old friend." 


Batcabbage said...

Hands up who else thought for a moment that Charlotte was gonna be a pawn of Jones and she was sent to get info on whether Olivia had gotten her powers on yet? Anyone? No? Just me? Ah, screw everything, then.

Also, Spock rules everything, and he seems even better as an evil genius, rather than a Vulcan genius. I love that man.

The Question Mark said...

@ NIKKI: "Any other show would have a weird reveal of traces of Chilean almonds on a 7-year-old piece of paper and I'd be rolling my eyes. On Fringe, it's awesomely funny." I WAS THINKING THE SAME THING! When he started ranting about those almonds and piecing it all together, I was like, "Hmm...that's a bit out there...oh, wait, never mind. Fringe." From now on, nothing is going to surprise me, even in real life. If something strange happens, if I look out the window tomorrow and see a six-legged man chasing a pink donkey with a Rubik's cube in its mouth, I'll just be like. "It's all good. Whatever. Fringe."

@ BATCABBAGE: Yes, I thought Charlotte was gonna be a spy for Jones, too! And I get the feeling we haven't seen the last of her, they lingered on her in a way that seemed to say, "She's important!"

Fred said...

Is this the William Bell of our universe, or did he cross over before the bridge was severed? And my feeling is Astrid is done for--this would be a typical Lost move in plot development. But in the future episode, Astrid was there, and it was hinted that Olivia was killed by Bell. Did things change?

With only 13 episoides in the final season, I get the feeling we're in for a season like Lost's final season. Be prepared for switching from present to future worlds, and a finale that collapses the two, and perhaps reestablishes the alternate world--I still think there is a resolution where both Walter Bishops get their son to survive--there will be a Peter in each world. Does this make Peter the Constant as he is the only non-duplicate character?

SenexMacdonald said...

@Nikki said, "Hello... old friend."

I had the biggest grin on my face when he said that. Yup, that about says it all for now. lol