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4-21: "Brave New World, Part 1" 2012.05.04


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#151

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 3:48 PM

I loved this episode. I plan on rewatching as soon as I am done watching Grimm and rewatching Scandal.

Awesome: The anvilicious Peter and Olivia scenes that strongly suggest that our little Etta is already cooking in the oven; the out of suit Broyles and the look on his face when that building was ID 4'd; Walters' scenes with Astrid, I literally internally said, Alex, WTF!"; Astrid going all kickass on the bad guys; the appearance of Nimoy, which gave me my wish that he would make a physical return to the show.

Suckation: Astrid getting shot. She better hot be dead because A) Who is going to mother hen Walter, B) Whose name will Walter hilariously mangle, C) Who will giggle with and serve as the little sister Peter never had; D) Who will be the complete and total awesome that is Astrid.

I have no problem with evil William Bell. I never bought the image of him that Walter and Nina sold. I have always believed that it was Bell and not Walter who first crossed over; those scenes with sick and then dead Peter where Bell was away on business and unable to be reached were not shown for nothing. Also, Bell's all too convenient motivations for the removal of sections of Walters's brain, never rang true to me. I always thought that in addition to the creep factor that Bell removed, he also likely removed Walters's ability to recall just how deep Bell's involvement and culpabity in both to universe cross-over and the cortexiphan experiments went. Lastly, if the Walter of old was the devil, for lack of a better term, then Bell was running with the devil not only for some time, but with open eyes.

Good riddance to DRJ, he was way overexposed this season, and the extra helpings did him no favors.

Still don't trust any incarnation of Nina. Too slickly well-intentioned for my tastes.

#152

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 4:29 PM

I was not surprised Bell showed up because I'd just read that Nimoy was going to make an appearance in the new Star Trek movie

* So Bell came back from the dead and decided to don a really strange hairstyle?

bella1013, I did a double-take on his bangs too, but having read AngelKitty's post, my guess is he had the hairdo for Star Trek. Good thing he took off the ear prosthetics. Although, it would've been a hoot if he'd worn them too.


Subtle "well played" moment #2: The chess analogy didn't just start with this episode. It started when Altlivia told Red Nina she was a pawn in Jones' plan. Jones then found out that he was only a bishop to Bell's king. DRJ wasn't entirely wrong in thinking that Peter was a 'bishop' in the game however; it's that Bell and Walter the opposing kings and Peter is Walter's piece to move, not Bell's. And Olivia is playing double time as the queen to both sides: obviously she would see herself on Walter's team, but Bell is trying to maneuver her as his own piece.

Hmmm... So, now I'm thinking that Bell may have been remotely controlling Olivia as she controlled Peter to defeat DRJ. Maybe some other chess players who get my drift can explain this better than I can.
Regardless, I think Olivia could not make a Wii connection to DRJ like she could to Peter.

#153

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 5:45 PM

Back in season 1, Walter gave a thorough explanation of pyrokinesis that showed how it was related to telekinesis - the moving of molecules to create heat. Olivia's telekinetic/pyrokinetic abilities have actually remained consistent with this explanation - that is to say, her pyrokinesis (which can also STOP fires, apparently, an interesting and novel application of the old Firestarter trope) is basically a form of telekinesis.

So, when it comes to crazy-ass superpowers, I would give Fringe's writers a thumbs-up here for the non-randomness of Olivia's various abilities - there's a "scientific" reason why she can do some of these different things. Including Human Wii, which just involves a greater concentration of her telekinetic powers from the molecular level to the macro level.

Here is where I completely disagree. Her range of powers is far too broad to simply be labelled as kinesis, especially when her powers includes altered perception, reality bending and the Kinect abilities (often listed under mind control). Her powers are randomly generated to help move along the plot points, and there's really nothing to stop them from giving her any conceivable power, like spouting giant wings, creating copies of herself, or gaining super strength, all of which the writers can explain with molecule manipulation if they reach edhard enough. This kind of vague explanation is exactly like the unstable molecules in the Marvel comic universe, or the midichlorians in the Star Wars universe, or the "wizard did it" in fantasy stories.

#154

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 6:02 PM

I wouldn't mind seeing Olivia have to deal with the moral implications of her own powers. Why should she be the permanent victim of others' moral failings (e.g. William Bell, Walter Bishop, Peter Bishop) ? She should also be subject to moral tests.



I think that would be an fascinating development, too, although I disagree that Olivia was ever a victim of any moral failing on Peter's part. Stupidity? Yes. Blindness to Faux's deception? Absolutely. But moral failing? Not at all.

Seeing Olivia being tempted to do exactly what Walter and Bell were guilty of - playing God - would be a terrifically compelling thing.

I agree with what quangtran said about Olivia's powers - Rockem Sockem Peter felt more to me like mind control; it reminded me quite a bit of Tyler in Of Human Action.

#155

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 6:19 PM

* Walter antsing at the crime scene and calling the tech a ninny.


And he doesn't even have the rest of his brain back yet, either! LOL

#156

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 7:58 PM

I think Peter will be upset about being controlled, but how angry can he be? He loves Olivia and knows she wouldn't have done it unless she had a good reason. This isn't strong enough to break them--I hope. But I wouldn't mind some conflict over it.

#157

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 8:11 PM

Was the misunderstanding about the timing of Bell's last visit between Nina and Walter (Christmas or New Years) significant? I'm reaching for a meaning but have not found it yet.

Well, let me rephrase that. Everything is significant. What was it?

Edited by sleepingwalker, May 6, 2012 @ 8:12 PM.


#158

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 9:21 PM

Was the misunderstanding about the timing of Bell's last visit between Nina and Walter (Christmas or New Years) significant? I'm reaching for a meaning but have not found it yet.

Well, let me rephrase that. Everything is significant. What was it?


The significance was that Walter always assumed that Belly died on New Year's because he clearly recalled Belly visiting him around that time. Nina insisted that Belly died a week earlier during Christmas. Therefore, if Walter was correct, Belly was alive a week after his supposed death and was therefore most likely alive now.

#159

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 9:53 PM

Someone on another site posited that she has the abilities of the other Cortexikids combined. The pyrokinesis was the twins, and the healing touch was James Heath's thing; that is, after he learned to use it to heal rather than kill. Dunno about the human puppeteering.
ETA: this was in response to:

I honestly don't think the writers have EVER had any concrete idea in regards to Olivia's superpowers. She simply develops a new superpower whenever it's convenient to the current plotline. The writers said a while ago that pyrokenesis isn't her main ability (in regards to the young Olive in the burnt out room) and that her powers are linked to her emotions, so thing pretty much means she can do anything.

These powers so far includes:
- Fire
- Electricity
- Traveling between worlds
- Detect objects from the other side (the glimmer)
- Human puppetry
- Telekinesis (future self)


It was interesting that Jones felt that the defeat of the nanites was a loss for his side. So it seems that he really does not get that the point is to hand Olivia ever harder challenges that will force her to use greater and greater powers.

That is interesting, especially since in Season One, the light box was only meant to be the first of several tests (ten altogether?) of increasing difficulty that Jones intended to adminsiter to Olivia. So it seems that this time around the tests have changed--or it might be more accurate to say that the teaching method has become a lot more hands-on.

Edited by lizw65, May 6, 2012 @ 9:34 PM.


#160

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 10:56 PM

So it seems that this time around the tests have changed--or it might be more accurate to say that the teaching method has become a lot more hands-on.


Remember that as intended, there was to be an entire training program for the Cortexiphan Kids, taking them from childhood into presumably young adulthood. Jones and now Bell have come up with a "crash course" for Cortexikids who's training was cut short. Think of it as High Intensity Interval Training for the mind, I guess.

#161

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 9:51 AM

Frankly, it was Astrid getting shot that caused me to perk up during the episode. I hope they are not planning to sacrifice Astrid for shock value at the end of the season.

Watching Fringe is a Friday ritual, but the show isn't exactly riveting to me as it appears to be for others.. I believe it is because of things like "this version of William Bell is evil , and he has Spock bangs!" So, if Astrid dies, should we just wait for some other version of her to pop up later? If Peter activates the machine again, do we get another do-over with new versions of DRJ, Nina, Charlie, Lincoln, etc.?

The Independence Day Death Star laser beam was a bit much...
I used to complain that the entire universe is at risk but everything always happens in Boston - which now happens to be on top of a huge oil deposit (and a ten minute drive from New York). But once it was established that the universe is held together by Peter and Olivia's Love, I pretty much gave up on expecting realism when it comes to a national or world-wide reaction to this private war of WB vs WB (Bell vs Bishop). ..Which is making me think that Fringe may eventually end up with a revelation similar to the movie Fight Club.

..which is not so say that I don't enjoy Fringe. But with Fringe's overly complicated story-so-far timeline, I can understand why its audience has shrunk to a cult within a niche within a demographic...

Edited by Homo_Sapien, May 7, 2012 @ 10:08 AM.


#162

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 11:18 AM

I agree with what quangtran said about Olivia's powers - Rockem Sockem Peter felt more to me like mind control; it reminded me quite a bit of Tyler in Of Human Action.


Wow, I totally forgot about Tyler...

I pretty much gave up on expecting realism when it comes to a national or world-wide reaction to this private war of WB vs WB


Well, now that the bridge to Over There is closed, Fringe's setting just reverted to more mundanely "real" ... not that that's going to make things normal or anything, ha.

But that is a good point: the FBI has got to have one helluva cleanup division. The odd murder by shapeshifter is one thing to cover up... but Independence Day, that's a bit hard to hide. (However, the explanation of insurance coverage of Walter's lab subjects was amusing... apparently the writers thought we really were wondering about that.)

Edited by Money Magnet, May 7, 2012 @ 11:23 AM.


#163

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 12:23 PM

It was not mind control. It was telekinesis. You can not reset your dislocated shoulder with your own muscles.
I am ok with the approach because Olivia was just so focused on Peter. Sure she could have picked up Jones and flung him into the power lines but she was not in that frame of mind.

Like with any number of other Sci Fi series, there is an accumulation of impossible things that is gradually making everything silly. If Olivia can do this then she should be able to stop bullets...etc. Kill people with a thought....etc. It just gets silly. Larry Niven used to talk about this problem with long running science fiction book serieses.

If I were in the FBI and Broyles's supervisor, I'd have a large team of people trying to get something useful and focused out of cortexifan. One of the fun things about SG1 was that there were other elements of the government trying to exploit the technologies. When these intersected the main plot lines, it was fun.

#164

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 12:54 PM

Like with any number of other Sci Fi series, there is an accumulation of impossible things that is gradually making everything silly.


Yeah, but all of that stuff has already been proven possible in the Fringeverse, by all of the MOTW's. I think there is a certain line between MOTW's doing it, and main characters doing it, maybe?

In any case, why would Olivia be more able to control Jones (a stranger and her enemy) than someone whose mind and body she knows and loves (Peter)? One reason why I'm not inclined to nitpick or look at it too closely.

#165

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 1:02 PM

In any case, why would Olivia be more able to control Jones (a stranger and her enemy) than someone whose mind and body she knows and loves (Peter)? One reason why I'm not inclined to nitpick or look at it too closely.

It just looked goofy to me by Fringe standards. I mean, we've seen some pretty wild stuff on the show, but for some reason, this one just had me saying, "Okay, now that just looks silly."

I would kind have thought that Olivia would go for Jones first because she was so angry at him for hurting Peter. As a split-second decision, my first reaction would be, "Hey, you son of a bitch, get off my boyfriend!" rather than, "Up you get, honey, let me set that first, and now... swing!"

I know I'm nitpicking, but it just didn't make sense to me - even for Fringe.

#166

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 1:06 PM

So, another "Peter kills the shapeshifter" moment?

#167

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 1:14 PM

It depends on whether they address it.

#168

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 1:16 PM

I think they best addressed "Peter the Shapeshifter Killer" by not addressing it further. :-)

#169

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 1:21 PM

It just looked goofy to me by Fringe standards


Agree. I think there were a few things that didn't seem Fringe like to me (Olivia fighting for Peter,that shot of DRJ at the escalators, Astrid, Walter running around in the warehouse. Walter licking the book). I've always put Fringe in my A level category of tv shows with my other stuff I watch like Mad Men, GOT. But there were parts of this ep that came off really B grade and it honestly broke my heart to see. I don't know what happen because it was written and directored by the regulars.
Maybe I'll feel differently on rewatch. I hope so but I'm really hoping they get it together for the finale.

#170

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 1:25 PM

Walter eats burritos from crime scenes. I can totally see him licking a book.

#171

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 1:42 PM

Walter licked a photograph in Season 1. In fact, it seemed like they were deliberately revisiting it as one of his greatest hits. :-)

Fringe isn't perfect... I personally think the writers tend to lose control at the end of every season (except Season 2). They seem so much more focused at the start of the season when they are embarking on their "chapter" for the year. I wasn't a fan of the back half of Season 3 for that reason. I thought they did much better this season keeping things tight, in general.

There's been an emphasis on revisiting Season 1 for old times' sake, and I loved Jones coming back... but truthfully, some things about Season 1, I don't care to go back to. Although I didn't mind Walter licking the book (just that, we've already seen this).

One recent Walter shenanigan earlier this season didn't sit well with me - the bit where he emerged from the bathroom with the porno mag. C'mon, Walter Bishop doesn't need girlie mags! He's an aged Casanova, not a dirty old man.

Maybe we should have a topic for least favorite episodes and moments...

Edited by Money Magnet, May 7, 2012 @ 1:40 PM.


#172

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 1:47 PM

I usually laugh at Walter's antics but there was something about that scene of Walter licking the book that was uncomfortable to watch.

Fringe isn't perfect... I personally think the writers tend to lose control at the end of every season (except Season 2).


Yeah maybe. I never really thought about this before but now that I think about it I guess there have been other moments where I thought it was a little too cheesy for Fringe. One I can think of is at the end of S3 where Sam throws, I think it was a globe to prevent a gate from closing. I remember thinking ok that was ridiculous. ;p
Maybe the scenes are sticking out more in this ep because I thought it was really strong for the first half but things seem to fall apart for me in the last few minutes.

One recent Walter shenanigan earlier this season didn't sit well with me - the bit where he emerged from the bathroom with the porno mag. C'mon, Walter Bishop doesn't need girlie mags! He's an aged Casanova, not a dirty old man.


This! Yes, I remember thinking how odd. Like the writers were going for an easy laugh.

Edited by Jodhaa, May 7, 2012 @ 1:51 PM.


#173

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 1:50 PM

I know I'm nitpicking, but it just didn't make sense to me - even for Fringe.

Same here. Her choice didn't make sense to me either, because she was actually hurting Peter more. However, the icky consequences of her powers regarding P/O were more obvious this way and I'm grateful for that.

Every power those cortexiphan subjects have displayed can be explained as a form of telekinesis (in that respect, Walter's explanation was just a cop-out), but Olivia The Strong One has them all now, she can control them and she doesn't suffer any consequences. To me this makes her less interesting, because without limits and consequences, there is no reason for her not to sit at home and do everything remotely or not go after a criminal, when she can have total control of their body or not wear a bulletproof vest.

I suppose this is the result of fear of cancellation, they wanted to give Olivia closure about her powers, but they basically made an inhuman godlike figure of her and this is only the first part of the finale. I expect they'll keep exaggerating with her in the second part.

#174

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 2:20 PM

One I can think of is at the end of S3 where Sam throws, I think it was a globe to prevent a gate from closing. I remember thinking ok that was ridiculous. ;p


Yeah, I remember not liking that either (but then again, I never liked Sam anyway). I think that moment was meant to be light-hearted, but was anyone really in the mood for an Indiana Jones adventure at that point in the season?

Fringe really is an amazing show in that it (usually) manages to deal with the most inherently unbelievable situations by focusing on the big picture, big emotions and big themes. There are very few episodes or even moments on the show that don't work, despite the fact that the show encompasses such a huge range of themes and tones. It's science fantasy, it's body horror, it's funny, it's tragic, one minute you're covering your eyes and the next minute you're thinking really hard about subtle emotional shadings of odd interpersonal situations.

Sometimes they're going to get it wrong. Kind of like one of Walter's breakfast concoctions. Sometimes cherry cough syrup flavored milkshakes just aren't a good idea.

#175

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 2:49 PM

And if my evil genius boss tells me to kill someone, and I have access to a boatful of porcubats and giant sentient tarantulae AND tons of henchmen, I think I'd come up with a better plan than "attack Peter with a nine-iron" when he comes to investigate.

Thank you! That bugged me too. Every other time DRJ has done something nefarious, heís used minions to carry out the actual dirty work. This episode, though, heís completely hands-on; installing the nanite dispenser, attacking Peter. Granted, he was demoted from Big Bad to Big Badís accomplice by the William Bell reveal, but he still should have had some mooks at his disposal.

ďSo, William, let me get this straight. You want me to personally assault Peter, knowing full well that Olivia will be with him or in the vicinity. Iíve seen firsthand how his presence lets her access her Cortexi-powers. So far this year Iíve had many subordinates at my disposal to do the dirty work. As we stand here in this abandoned almond importerís warehouse, there are several well armed extras and day-players milling around, one or two of whom could go with. Despite all this, you think itís a good idea for me to go after Peter alone and hit him with a crowbar? Canít I at least have a gun?Ē

#176

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 3:10 PM

I can't help feeling like the writers ran out of real estate in telling this story. Remember the shapeshifter that Lincoln "turned" in "Everything in Its Right Place"? The one who was warmly welcomed as a turncoat by Peter and Walter at the end? We never did get to see what our side learned from him. He was not mentioned in the following episode ("The Consultant"). The hint was sort of that DRJ's minions were starting to turn on him. But I agree that to suddenly have DRJ go from Minion Master to "Yes, Master" was a bit much. If I was writing a novelization of Season 4, I could fill in the blanks, but TV viewers shouldn't have to.

Unfortunately you have to go "meta" here and just assume that the writers really believed that this was the End of All Fringe and that Leonard Nimoy had to be gotten back. Not that I mind seeing Nimoy again. All the jaw-dropping gasping about the well-kept secret of his return, drowned out some rather cool dialogue they gave him about loss and opportunity and destiny, which I rather liked.

#177

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 4:02 PM

I'm new to Fringe, watched all available epi/seasons the past month and this is the first one I saw in "real" time. I don't know, I was...bored? It did seem odd that all of the sudden DRJ was caught on camera, doing something himself instead of one of his minions. Maybe I need a break from all things Fringe, but this episode seemed a big let down and the first half so very disconnected from the second half. Brightest parts for me were (a) Olivia using Peter like an avatar in a fighting game, (b) the return of William Bell, and © Astrid getting shot. Not that it was "bright" as in I liked it, but like others, I literally gasped out loud. The rest, meh...and considering those three things all happened in the last 5/10 min, not a good sign

From a few pages back:

Either that, or Cortexiphan makes Olivia some sort of superconductor.


In otherwords, she's Rogue? :)

#178

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 5:15 PM

Actually, William Bell reappeared during the first half hour, not in the last 5-10 minutes.

#179

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 7:49 AM

Actually, William Bell reappeared during the first half hour, not in the last 5-10 minutes.


You're right. I should have framed it as Walter and William Bell meeting

#180

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 6:28 PM

This episode seemed really weird (and not in a "Fringe" way), especially for a season finale. It almost feels like a completely different set of writers wrote it. There was a whole lot of utter nonsense that took me out of the episode.

ēThe Bridge is closed, so Jones/Bell decides too... burn random people from the inside out?
ēThat fails so they'll... blow up Boston? (They happen to have a giant space laser at their disposal?)
ēSo random terrorism is Plan D?
ēAlso Jones having no access to a gun; Peter and Olivia with no backup; and Walter and Astrid not telling anyone where they were going.

Don't even get me started on the whole lemon cake/cortexiphan explanation which was bordering on gibberish.

However, I did like the Peter/Olivia moments, and the return of William Bell. Although, they're really going to have to explain how/why he's so different from the William Bell we saw before. Not holding my breath, though.

Didn't like Astrid getting shot, but I'm not worried about her.