12 November, 2011

FRINGE 4.06 - And Those We’ve Left Behind

I had sworn earlier this week, on Twitter, that I wouldn't write any more FRINGE reviews, but here I am.  Why?  Because I was so impressed by the latest episode that I couldn't help but write about it? I guess we will find out together. Read on.

One of the first things that struck me was that it took the writers SIX episodes to realize that they NEEDED a Peter and Olivia moment that demonstrated their love, even if as a dream. It is strange that there wasn't an awareness of the need for such a scene earlier. In any event, the scene works well to set up the entire Peter issue and the problem Walter has with his son, and the lack of emotional investment in him from Olivia (though, as I said in my last review, this makes for a weak narrative device). At least we get a scene of Peter enjoying his time with Olivia, taking time to stare at her longingly even as she seems annoyed by him. Or Olivia catching her Pacey-Poof-from-another-time being kind to strangers in his dreamy hot ways.

However, by this point, I realize that the biggest satisfaction, like in season 1, is going to come from the Walter/Peter interactions and this is where things still work. Even though Walter is trying his best to ignore Peter, the crazy chemistry between the two actors/characters is inescapable. It is actually funny how good Noble and Jackson are even as Walter calls Peter "the subject" and "it" as a way to avoid identifying with him.

The near joy Walter experiences when Peter questions his reasoning, is a perfect touch that in a matter of seconds deals with the excitement, sadness, confusion, guilt, and reality of what Walter feels about this man who is in the form of his grown-up son. And that, if I may harp one more time, is my problem with how Olivia is being written. We know Torv is capable of layered performances, but right now all she is being given is the Dumbham of season 1. Annoying!

Alright, back to the story. Apparently the Peter-problem is bigger than just being forgotten. Seems like there is some space-time continuum issue and Peter may be the cause! Ruhroh! I still maintain that all of this will end in either Peter having to kill Walter, or Walter having to kill Peter to save the universe, but I digress. So, just as Olivia begins to question why she was once having dreams about Peter, her future dearest love interrupts them and Peter starts time-jumping. Though Peter thinks this could get annoying, I dig this shit! And when we are introduced to the event instigator, I am totally in the pocket of this show again.

You don't need me to give a point-by-point of the episode but I will say that I truly enjoyed the case-of-the-week yet again, because it was performed and written well. Unlike the "you're a stranger what would I feel" moment between Olivia and Peter that felt like it was written for a shitty fan-fic. It seems that every week the writers are going to try to accentuate the love two people have for each other, as long as those two people are not the two the season is about (since Peter seems to be in the "wrong place" and needs to get back to it or some shit-that-you-know-isn't-accurate).

Otherwise, an excellent episode that represents the things I really dig about the show. Humor, heart, drama, space-time continuum, time displacement, Pacey Poof, Walter, and the apathetic look of the woman you love(d). Well, minus that last thing.

If I had to rate this episode, I would give it:

92 out of 100.


  1. For what it's worth, I'm glad you didn't stop writing reviews. I enjoy your style. It's not ass kissy like fan sites and not overly critical like some critics but you call it like you see it.

  2. I can't believe you decided to stop writing reviews. Don't do that, please! I love them!

    I'm not going to deny that the chemistry between Josh Jackson and John Noble is amazing, but I have to say it, I wasn't very fond of Walter this time. I wouldn't blame Peter at all if he told him to go to hell, that's how much he annoyed me.

    But he was much better than Olivia, because at least he showed some reactions around Peter, while she was totally blank. Is she alive? There is something very wrong going on there, I don't know yet if it's the acting or the writing. Maybe both. We are supposed to think Olivia is much better in this timeline, happier, more open and has led an easier life. So why is Torv's acting so flat and emotionless? Didn't they say that was a conscious choice to play S1 Olivia, who was diametrically opposed to this one? I can't stand her on screen for too long, she's such a drag! It's the same thing I felt about the character in S1, but they can't use the same excuse now, because she's a different character. Ugh!

    That said, I loved this episode. The coolness factor made up for the lack of warmth among the leads, but they shouldn't rely on the case of the week too much. The best thing about Fringe was the strong bond the main characters had and that is gone. The uneasiness I feel when Peter interacts with these cold strangers is too much. I need a break from the gloom, some ray of light, but I just can't see it right now. I wonder if it's worth it to stick around, because I can't imagine a good enough pay off.

  3. I didn't want to stop writing FRINGE articles but the interest was pretty weak last week, so I didn't want to put in the effort if only a few hundred people were going to read it. Seems like a lot of effort for little return. But I wanted to write this one so... we will see what happens from here on in.

    I wrote my first ever SUPERNATURAL article last night so... going to check out which one gets more interest from the respective fan bases.

  4. Thanks for the review.
    I kinda agree with you on how Olivia is being written. She seems to be so flat and bored for the past episodes, but I see slight improvement on last night's episode. I love when she showed some discomfort when talking about her dreams with Peter.
    However, I love this episode and enjoy it to bits.

  5. It is kind of tough to understand where the show is going to end up (since the ratings indicate that this is the last season) one thing is that we need to know what the observers motivations are in this whole mess. I mean if they wanted to kill Peter in all universes why not just do that. If they did not want Walter from our universe to cross over in the first place and start this war then why not go back on not interfere in the other Walter finding a cure for the other Peter. The our Walter would not need to go over and cause a rip in the universe. I mean the observers moves are not making any sense at all. Do they want a war or not? Do they want Peter in the universe (s) or not? The machine was built by Walter for Peter, so Peter is only important if Walter builds it...so why not kill Walter full stop. Again what do the observers want?

  6. Obviously there is ONE Observer who has his own agenda. So, it may not make sense but that's only because we don't know why he has done it. It doesn't appear that the others Observers are actively helping or agreeing with his actions.

  7. one of the finest episode made....
    case of the week was awesome

  8. I mean does it go back to the "firefly" episode where the observer said that he can see all futures but not know which one would be taken and how that would affect the situation..does he feel guilty that he caused Walternate to miss curing the desease that would save his son because he had to observe the event?

    I mean based on the "August" episode we know that the observers can feel emotions and can go against their code if they feel compelled to do so. Is this whole war and mess due to an observer feeling guilt of letting a boy die that should not have died if not for him?

  9. Perhaps... I guess we will find out in a few months, unless the writers are complete idiots and think they will get a 5th season.

  10. Well sadly a 1.1 is most likely not going to get them a 5th season (but based on how Chuck kept getting renewed after its second season and only 35 episodes, I have no fucking idea how things will pan out). Based on Kevin Reilly, he only said that they renewed Fringe to help get it over 80 episodes...not much comfort in that I suppose. As you say the show runners seem to be delusional that they keep telling fans that they have no plans to end the show..but I hope they do.

  11. Just like with CHUCK, WB has zero interest in giving FRINGE up on the cheap, I am sure. I have no source for that, like I do on CHUCK, but I am confident they share the same problem. Once they reached 88 episodes, that was it for them. The studio is not interested in losing money any more.