Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fringe Does Python

Last night I watched the previous evening's episode of Fringe (seeing a show only one day later is like a personal triumph for me these days!), "Black Blotter," wherein Olivia receives an encoded message on the transmitter she'd picked up a few episodes ago, and Walter has dropped a form of acid called "Black Blotter," so he's tripping the entire episode and is unable to be a functioning help to any of them. Peter's just unObservered himself by removing the tech from his brain in the previous episode, and now they're sent on a wild goose chase. This was one of those episodes that rewarded the long-time viewer with references to Sam Weiss, the little boy Observer, Walter's old lab assistant, and several other allusions to previous seasons, where even some longtime viewers must have been scratching their heads trying to remember what the heck had just happened.

However, for me, the highlight of the episode was a distinctly Terry Gilliamesque Monty Python animated bit, where the gang follows a signal to an island (to find the child Observer) and the man who's keeping the boy as his son tells them to tell him what the password is. Earlier in the episode, Walter says he keeps thinking of the phrase "black umbrella" but he doesn't understand the significance of it. Faced with an ultimatum — you guys had better remember the password, or I'm firing this gun into you —Walter reaches into the recesses of his acid-tripping brain to find it. And we get to watch as it happens. This is a brilliant homage to the Terry Gilliam animations on Flying Circus, complete with arm trees, the actual photographs of men with white, menacing eyes, the comically large animals, the factories, and grumbling and humming of the character, and the crazy music in the background. Oh, and there's even a Holy Grail "kaniggit." I adored it, and have watched it several times now (notice that of the three animals on the conveyer belt, two of them — the frog and the seahorse — are actually the glyphs used in the commercial break exits). Enjoy!


Marebabe said...

This is one of my favorite things in the history of EVER! Thanks for pointing out that the frog and seahorse go back to the Fringe glyphs. We haven’t seen Gene the cow in a long time, so it was good to see her serving as Walter’s ride. And whoever chose this men’s chorus singing “The Happy Wanderer” was clearly inspired! I played this delightful scene for my husband, and he loved it, too!

Old Darth said...

My thoughts here -

I'm really going to miss this show.

myselfixion said...

This pleases me.

Beachgirl5835 said...