Fringe: Concentrate and Ask Again

This week’s “Previously on Fringe” showed us some past Peter and Olivia relationship healing, so right away you know this one is going to end in some kind of heartbreak. This didn’t make me want to keep watching as anytime I see Olive broken up over that bitch Fauxlivia, this big sadface pops out onto my face.

Since this is my first Fringe recap for this site, I should probably mention that I usually don’t get to watch each new episode on Fridays, so my reviews will usually come a few days later. They’re mostly for me to refer back to later, so that I don’t have to go and watch them again.

The episode starts with Nina Sharp accessing some secret William Bell room and looking through a few of his things, including, funnily enough, a worn copy of Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care. I’d never heard of any of Bell’s books before, but the Spock reference got laughs out of us. Other books on the shelf included The Second Ring of Power and A Separate Reality, both by Carlos Castaneda, and In the Wake of Chaos. Eventually, she opens a safe and finds a copy of The First People.

"She's like me, but better."

After discussing the books with Olivia, Nina gives her advice on Peter, telling her that her one regret with William was that they didn’t share their feelings about each other enough. At this point, Olivia has already broken my heart by saying that she can understand if Peter still felt something for Fauxlivia because, “She’s like me, but better.”


Anyway, from there, we move on to the filler part of the episode in which a man name Warren Blake is celebrating his birthday with his office. He opens a gift and finds an 8-Ball. Later in his office, his secretary delivers a box to him and he find a creepy looking doll with the tag “Happy Birthday from Madison”. It begins laughing, upping the creepy factor tenfold and some blue dust shoots out into his face.

Before this all happened, Mr. Pikko insisted that as he was dying they’d show the 8-ball again with some cheesy relevant message. Surprisingly, this did not happen and the man merely fell to the ground dead, now a rubbery, boneless corpse. His secretary comes in and gives a canned scream, which I’m pretty sure the Green Goblin used. I found that annoying. Find an actress who can scream for real.

The team arrives on scene and while investigating, determines that someone must have had to go to a desk to mail the package the doll came in. As Olivia is working on downloading footage from a post office (lol they do that?), Peter brings her coffee. With milk. The look on her face is enough to tell us that our Olivia don’t drink no coffee with milk. Peter, you NOOB!

So now Fauxlivia even manages to make her coffee taste shitty. :[

Walter determines that the device used to distribute the powder is US military just as Astrid scans in the post office photo of the guy who mailed the package and determines that he’s ex-Marine Aaron Downing. They head to his house, but don’t find him there. Olivia feels a pot of water on the stove and determines that they just missed him. Upstairs, Peter and Olivia find an album full of pictures of a woman. Ever the slick conversationalist, Olivia picks this time to ask Peter if he still thinks about Fauxlivia and confronts him about the coffee.

Sadly, though she has a right to be upset, she sounds a bit petty and Peter looks crushed over his little mistake. He admits that he thinks about her all the time, but insists that it’s in a negative way. Olivia pushes him further, asking for confirmation that Fauxlivia was fun and Peter admits that she was, but that he thought she was acting differently because of him. *sniff*

Olivia is called downstairs as they’ve found a case missing three canisters of the bone disintegrating agent and Peter is still upstairs when he hears a cell phone ringing and sees Downing out on the roof. He runs out onto the patio and ridiculously jumps over and off the roof after the guy, who promptly gets owned by a car. He’s now in the hospital and probably won’t wake up.

As Walter is looking at the guy’s chart, I made a comment that he’ll be able to interrogate him somehow but he’ll “need to take him back to the lab”. I wasn’t too far off, as Walter says he knows how to do it, but must make a stop at the lab first. Olivia and Peter head to Fringe HQ to question Downing’s wife. She reveals that he did some military contract work for Warren Blake and that when he came home, they had a child that died 7 months into her pregnancy without a skeleton. She also reveals that their daughter was going to be named Madison and that there were other children that died the same way.

Now on the hunt for his fellow contractors, they’re about to head out when Walter calls Peter to tell him he ran out of gas and needs to be picked up. As they fill up the station wagon’s gas tank, Walter admits that he was about to go visit one of his cortexiphan children that wasn’t in the records. He exhibited signs that he could read minds and Peter determines that Walter kicked him out of their study out of fear that he would read his mind about his abduction of other-Peter. Now living in seclusion in the woods, Simon is Walter’s hope for interrogating Downing.

A blue Volkswagon bug drives by and Walter goes wild, punching Peter in the arm while yelling, “Punch buggy!” Old, but intentionally old, because that’s just Walter for you. They arrive at Simon’s cabin in Vermont and Walter has to pee and as he’s emptying his bladder into the (eww) lake nearby, Simon creeps up on him with a gun. Suddenly, Walter’s scatterbrained thoughts about bacon and unicorns begins to hurt Simon, who can hear everything. He turns and sees Olivia, shocked that he can’t hear her thoughts. He collapses and Olivia takes him inside to talk.

"I don't have to read your mind to know you want something."

Inside, he reveals that he can’t be around people because their thoughts give him headaches and that his conversation with Olivia is his first real one in 20 years. She convinces him to come to Boston to help them find the other two men. Meanwhile, another doll is placed in an elevator at a defense contractor office and three more men are killed.

The hospital clears out the ward Downing is kept in to keep things as quiet as possible for Simon, who goes in with Olivia and writes down random thoughts he can hear from Downing’s brain. Among them, he writes down ‘Project Jellyfish’, which is the name of the project he worked on with Blake.

Olivia finds Simon drawing pictures of a girl in a coffee shop he’s never met and she encourages him to approach her. Insisting that he’s not meant to know what she’s thinking, he looks over at Peter, hinting that he knows something about what he feels.

Broyles goes to see Nina, who then brings in a CIA agent that I’m sure we’ve seen before, but I don’t remember where. He outlines Jellyfish, revealing that the men carrying out the work were inoculated for the bone dust, but passed it down to their children. He also discovered that Downing was given three acres of farmland south of Boston. At the farmhouse, the other two men test a vest bomb that will blow a ton of dust out. I was confused by this scene, as they were supposed to have only three canisters, yet they seemed to blow four of them just for testing purposes. I suppose it just means each canister held several of the cylinders.

The test area is surrounded by planks in a circle, which obviously indicates a staircase. After finding newspaper clippings of a former military general running for Senate, they discover that the intended target is a political fundraiser in the Maryann Douglas Wing of the Fine Art Museum. Simon is needed again to identify the two men.

Olivia gets all dolled up and is told that she has to shoot the guy in the throat and sever his spinal cord so that he can’t hit the button. No biggie, right? While walking around downstairs, Simon identifies one of them and Olivia dispatches him pretty quickly. However, he’s not wearing the device. She drags Simon upstairs again and he finds the guy. Olivia runs upstairs just as he’s trying to get to the general and shoots him dead in the throat. Her residual Fauxlivia sharpshooter skillz save the day.

She returns Simon to his cabin and once again urges him to talk to the girl of his dreams. Instead, he tells her again that we’re not supposed to know what other people think. He hands her a letter, saying that while he can’t read her mind, he did read Peter’s and says, “This is what it’s like to be me.” And there you have it, the crushing blow of the episode. Thanks, Simon Dickface.

Flash back to Massive Dynamic and Nina has made a breakthrough with the copies of The First People. The author’s names are all anagrams for Sam Weiss, the bowling alley manager who helped Nina with her arm and Olivia with her transition back into this world. He informs Nina that whichever universe survives will depend on which Olivia Peter chooses. When she states with relief that Peter will pick ours, he tells her that he wouldn’t be so sure about that.

The episode ends with Olivia opening Simon’s letter, which VERY DISAPPOINTINGLY only says, “He still has feelings for her.” Really? You can read minds and that’s all you write? I was very let down. It was still a smash to the face though.

And then as if to pour salt on open wounds, next week’s episode is about her.

03×12 Walterisms

  • “Why would anyone kill a scientist? What did we ever do?”
  • “This is nauseating… I’m not talking about the body, I broke wind inside my suit!”
  • “Peter… bring your wallet. I don’t have any money and I’m starving!”
  • “I’m not nervous. It was a long car trip. I need to pee!”

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