14 January, 2012

FRINGE 4.08: 'Back To Where You’ve Never Been'


After a much too long hiatus and weeks upon weeks of fans losing their shit about what the writers have or haven't paid off this year, FRINGE returns with an appropriately named episode.

Pacey Poof, who unpoofed back into Peter Bishop a few episodes ago and is now unknown by those he loves, thinks he needs to utilize the machine that saved the day and then poofed him at the end of season 3.

Peter realizes, or believes, that he has to cross over to the other universe to speak to Walternate. He gets Olivia and that dude with the glasses who Olivia is totally going to bang to help him out.

Back in the other world, Fringe Division Fauxlivia and the dude not wearing glasses run into political red tape during an investigation into one of those shape-shifter goons.

Peter and the dude who had glasses but now doesn't... oh hell, I should learn this dick's name.

Oh, Lincoln! I knew that.

So Lincoln and Peter go to the alternate universe to get chummy with Walternate, who is busy dissecting a shape-shifter and hiding shit so he can start a massive war and kill everyone or something. Lee pretends to be Flee (that's what I'm calling the alternate universe Lee now) and brings Poof to Fliberty Flisland (that's what I'm calling ahhh who gives a fuck).

Meanwhile, someone has a fuckin' lightsaber! George Lucas is going to sue somebody!

Back at the opera house, Baltar and Six... err Fauxlivia and Flee are on their own investigation after a breach is registered and the two FD agents ponder whether some dicks came over from the other side illegally. After some sloppy critical thinking, they decide it was a false alarm but do start to discuss the shape-shifter issue.

Seriously. What's the fascination with these shape-shifters anyway, writers? Couldn't you have just made them ninja bunnies? They'd be so much cooler. But I digress.

Fauxlivia actually figures out the whole conspiracy but Flee slaps her down right before he ruins Peter and Lee's plan to penetrate deep into Fliberty Flisland. The illegals are arrested with the promise land in sight. Then, after their driver gets a sexy phone call, he shoots his buddy and then tries to kill Lee and Peter. But the dumbass is stopped by his not-dead-yet buddy and then killed by Lee. The Poofster then bolts with a gun and leaves Lee behind to get caught and raped in jail.

Now, this is actually where the episode gets good, because Peter goes back home, his real home (yes, we are meant to believe that this is actually not the right timeline and Peter needs to get back to where everyone knows him but anyone who is not a total idiot has already figured out that Peter is WRONG and that he was simply erased from ALL timelines so he has nofuckinwhere to go) and meets his MAMA!

I am sure someone could easily argue that there is no fuckin' way this chick should recognize an adult version of her child but I'm willing to let it go. She does and she has an instant love for him. This is a much better episode for them than the last one where Peter met and then abandoned his REAL MOTHER with no trouble at all.

Her reaction to him and her willingness to help is very well performed and the two actors play off each other expertly. When a quick-reaction force arrives to arrest Peter, she stands up for him and makes them bring the two of them to Walternate. The meeting between father and son brings the show back to its expected level of performance and intensity as Walternate demonstrates his willingness to help Peter by frying one of his own, exposing his shape-shifting.

Walternate and Peter discuss the shape-shifter problem and Poof agrees to help his father (who he thinks isn't his father) so that he can in turn be helped with his own problem. Back in Fleelivia world, the FD agents try to figure out what to do with Lee, who they have hidden away in a closet, as they start their own investigation into the potential conspiracy. It is here we discover that the bossman is da evilz and he is working with the shape-shifter big dog who we've seen before (watch the episode for that spoiler).

Finally, Olivia is just chillin' back at the transportation hub thingy when she is visited by an Observer who tells her some startling news. Go watch!

If I had to rate this episode, I'd give it:

86 out of 100

It had a lot of Peter and that's always good. Some really good scenes between his parents and him. Also, a few tense scenes that weren't totally predictable or lame. It's not one of my favorites but also a couple of times better than the last episode.


33 comments:

  1. GAH! DON'T PUT THE PERFECTION THAT ARE BALTAR AND SIX IN THE SAME SENTENCE AS FAUXLIVIA AND FLEE!

    Now that I got that out of my system, the episode: not the best ever by any stretch of the imagination, but it looked more like the Fringe I used to know. Mind you, I still think the show needs work, but comparing it to Wallflower, this was a masterpiece.

    The Elizabeth/Peter/Walternate scenes stole the show. Amazing acting and really touching. A spin-off with those three would be quality.

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    1. I only tossed in the Baltar/Six thing because that theater reminded me of how often BSG referenced the opera house. Fauxlivia and Flee don't remind me of those perfect love puppies in any shape or form.

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    2. Yeah, I gathered that, but it still hurt my feelings, special snowflake that I am :D

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  2. I am going to try and remain positive, I really am. The story is moving forward...great! Peter had more screen time...great! There is a new big bad and more coherency to this particular narrative...great! The fact that we can sympathise more with their side....great

    But...and this is a big But....Peter lacked agency. The episode started out ok then after 10 minutes it just stalled. It was like Peter was being pulled from one contrived destination to another all so that we could get the other sides views and opinions and guage their emotional states. This episode was not about Peter but about how this universe is coping. It is like the show did what our Lincoln and Olivia wanted to do...we wanted Peter to have loads of dialogue and stuff like that but the show had other ideas and wanted to spend more time with the other side. Maybe it is because their budget is now so low that they have to pull this shit but it still comes across as lazy writing.

    What was the point of this episode? for Peter to go and speak to everyone in their universe to "recontextulise"? to get their understandings?

    This was supposed to be about Peter going for broke and revealing himself in the heartbreak of dreaming day after day after day of not being able to get home and his actions should have been of a man in a desperate place to go for it with full emotions. This Peter seemed...I got to go home..whatever.

    I am sorry, they have lost the Peter character for me. I have stopped caring about him, they had a chance to redeem him but nope, not interested. He just has no agency, none at all. I bought his not alt moms emotions more than his, this is not I feeling I like.

    Well the good thing is that I am done complaining about Peter. I will watch the next episode to see if they can rectify this and then I predict that they will put him further into the background and string us along to the finale. So one episode either side of the long break with Peter to tease the fans and that is it. Awesome. I look forward to how Olivia and Walter find their overall happiness because we know Olivia will not die.

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    1. ZzzzzZZZzzzzZZzzzzz... reminds me of season 2 bitching about Chuck and Sarah after 2.12.

      I think it is funny how you are able to watch a show I JUST watched and get a totally negative, whiny, bitchy perspective from it that isn't anywhere in the episode I just watched.

      By the way, why do you post as two different people?

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    2. Shared Wi-Fi, I recommended your site to my room mates.

      I was not totally negative as per my first paragraph. I said that I will now watch for Olivia and Walter, that is not a bad thing.

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    3. It's not a bad thing? You are just being spiteful because YOU don't want to give Peter a damn chance. Its been only 8 damn episodes out of 22 episodes and you are being nasty and rude about Peter. Why don't you wait until the season ends before you start your crap about Peter.

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    4. Whoa! Average tv shows become predictable after a while. Why certain episodes are put in certain orders, why certain characters do certain things, why certain character arcs are longer than others, why certain plots play out the way they do.

      After a while one can pick up on these things and that is where the disappointment comes in, tv shows you would hope would be not be so formulaic and predictable. I can bet my house that they will fuck up not only this season but certain characters too...if you do not believe me check out smarter people than me who are more avid tv viewers who do not suck up to the shows like Mo Ryan (an award winning critic), Alan Sepinwall, Dan Fienberg, Myles McNutt, Ryan McGee, etc. I think Myles did an excellent review of last seasons finale at www.cultural-learnings.com read that and it may provide some context.

      It is just an opinion that is all, no personal offence intended. Peace out.

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  3. The ratings are in 2.8 million viewers and 1.1 in the key demo.

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  4. the best performances in this episode were: seth gabel and john noble.

    joshua jackson? take my advice and go take some acting classes.

    the writers gave seth and john more lines than joshua LOL. and that for a peter episode? go figure....

    bravo to seth and john.

    i dont care ANYMORE for the peter character. i'm fine with it if they use him just as a plot device from now one.

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    1. You really really need to stop and leave Josh alone.

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  5. As long as he still gets all his cheques for every episode....does not matter.

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. It does feel like Torv is playing a caricature of her character at times.

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    2. I can't believe this! Whoever you are (and by that I mean I know it's you, Patty), don't steal comments from other sites and try to write your own!

      Sorry, HGF, but the comment above was stolen/copied from two users on Hitfix and pasted here and other places.

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    3. Couldn't it just be that the person is super lazy and copied it all over the place?

      Or is the original poster complaining?

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    4. One of the paragraphs is mine. The other paragraph is from the user I was replying to. Unfortunately, I've seen it in the EW review comments section, too, and I know that was Patty (a well known troll), who also comments here under several names, including "45". I'm sorry this review has been contaminated with this crap, I always try to avoid replying to her, but this is a new low.

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    5. Why would someone troll by reposting two people's comments? That is the strangest form of trolling I've ever heard...

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    6. Don't ask me! I was surprised to see my post on Hitfix reposted here and on EW, where other people noticed it too, and I had to comment on it. Patty is a well known troll on IMDb (GleeBee and many other names) and she has now spread her wings to every internet corner, including this blog. If she hadn't copy-pasted my comment, I would have simply continued to ignore her. Again, I'm sorry this is going off topic.

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  7. It is tough to understand why the show runners reset the whole show this season. Either they think they were going to go for many more seasons and this decided to slow down the story OR they know this is the last season and decided they would rather spend it with Olivia and Walter rather than Peter having an arc. By reseting the show it allowed to re-establish Walter and Olivia (John Noble and Anna Torv) as the leads.

    A more ambitious show would have shown Peters journey in the machine this season and how it led to him joining the two universes. A more ambitious show would have shown Peter in the machine travelling through time and universes with the observers (this is all in the Fringe comic books that Josh Jackson wrote) and learning and making decisions and figuring out why he decided to join the two universes together.

    Because the show decided that they did not want to take that route because Peter or Josh does not warrent an arc they had to restart the show and basically Anna and John had to put yet another spin on their characters to make them fresh and appealing for a fresh batch of procedurals.

    To be honest I think Magnus mentioned on his last podcast that there are dumb fans and smart ones. The smart ones realised that the Fringe showrunners are basically dicking them around and left and the less smart ones just eat all this shit up. There has been 3 average to good episodes this season, the rest are pitiful and Wallflower as Magnus said was the worst episode in the shows history.

    Fringe is not alone in some of this, I mean part of the frustration of Chuck is that every season they have to restart due to thinking they would be cancelled and so characters progress then regress then the cannon (like in baby) gets fucked. But I love the Chuck characters and so I let it go (call me a dumb Chuck fan). Lost reset a ton of times but they had better characters then Fringe and better actors in Terry O'Quin and Michael Emmerson, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway and a few others.

    It is a pity that the uncertain future of shows can do very funny things to the story telling process. But sometimes the writers are just idiots like the Fringe ones.

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    1. I think they "reset" it because they actually thought they had an interesting plot. And they may have one... it is just difficult to see it through the fog.

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    2. Let me also say, in the last podcast (the CHUCK one) I actually talked about FRINGE but cut it out because I figured CHUCK fans wouldn't care. But I mentioned this current issue. And I don't entirely agree with you. I obviously agree with part of it, but you have to consider that some fans work themselves up into a frenzy and literally MAKE themselves dislike shit.

      I think that is part of what is going on here. Yes, this season has been weak. But not as weak as the pissed-off Peter fans say it is.

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  8. http://www.tvguide.com/News/Fringe-Producers-Talk-1041587.aspx

    In there is every reason they are going to be cancelled. apart from the interview being a ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZ, they just came out and said a few things that are going to alienate the remaining fans they have left.

    Hehehe, lets see how this train crashes and burns, should be quite fun.

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    1. I read the article... they didn't say anything of the kind. Do you have a comprehension problem or something?

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  9. This was a horendous, horrendous, horrendous episode of Fringe. Peter was being dragged from destination to destanation to destination all so that other characters could get their moment to become relevant in this mess of a season. Peter had no agency, he had no voice, he was just there to let other characters make the decisions.

    They have lost the Peter character, they have lost him so badly that I only hope you are right and this is the final season because this is getting distasteful.

    This is supposed to be a Peter season and this is supposed to be the start of his arc and he was hardly on screen both literally and figutively.

    Oh Fox just cancel this rubbish and let Joshua Jackson go. I am so angry right now.


    Olivia, Lincoln, Walter, Walternet, alt-lincol, Broyles, astrid...they all had more dialogue and more lines and more everything.
    Oh what the hell is this crap.

    I am done with this show!!!!

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  10. Peter was bounced around like a pinball all so that he could hold up a mirror and guage the emotional state of characters over there. I never meant to say that he did not have some good moments. But this episode should have been about him doing whatever it took to get home and that meant telling Walternate how it is and not making deals.

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  11. http://tv.ign.com/articles/121/1216783p1.html

    Joshua Jackson is one classy guy. Now this is how to conduct an interview: straight coherant answers imbued with honesty and integrity that radiates self awareness. He knows fans are not happy with the show and he knows that this season has been weak and he just came out and admitted that. He admitted that his character is a mirror that will not do much so to speak and that is fantastic. If Peter is a MacGuffing, he is a MacGuffin...Josh good luck to you my boy!

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    1. I don't think that is the definition of a "class act." I think that is the definition of brutal personal honesty. I think the problem with what he said is that those who are too fuckin' stupid to understand his point will take it to mean "MY CHARACTER IS A FUCKIN' MCGUFFIN!!!!" And that's not what he's saying.

      He's saying that his character is the emotional muse for these other characters. Without him, they don't become who they are meant to be. How the fuck is that a McGuffin?

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    2. It supplements his words from comic con. At comic con his exact words were that Peter is a MacGuffin.

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    3. He didn't say that anywhere in this interview. He said it when he didn't know what was happening with his character. A "mirror" is not a MacGuffin. And if he thinks it is, then he's an idiot too.

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