Dear friends, I was unable to write a review last week due to a megastorm that knocked out power across the area. I did discuss what I thought of the episode in our latest podcast but decided not to catch up with a written review. If you were disappointed by that, then I apologize for failing your expectations.
My recent complaints have been about Olivia's lack of a primal grief over her daughter's death. As I stated on the podcast, there is no believable reason for this. Sure, Olivia did have something in last week's episode that one could say was a nice moment for the actor/character but it wasn't primal grief. It wasn't about losing control. And when people lose someone they can't replace, they have those moments even if they are emotionally protective. Humans can't control themselves in those moments. The grief escapes.
So I went into this episode very disappointed by how the writers have treated Olivia's reactions (minus that one moment, as I indicated), but very happy with the Pacey Poof material. Not much changed this time around. The episode starts with Peter still holding onto his grief and Olivia still acting much too amiable about the whole thing. Sure, the two share a nice moment together but Peter continues to deliver an appearance of stress, anger, and grief while Olivia has a much too accepting disposition. As if she finds all of this a bit cute or sweet. It feels unnatural.
As for the rest of the episode, Walter's hunt for his hidden puzzle pieces was interesting in that I wondered where it was going but also silly in that he didn't realize how dangerous it would be to go out alone to do it.
Though, an even bigger and growing issue I have with this season is how slow and incapable the Observers seem to be whenever the show needs them to be, and how quick and capable they seem at other times. I am not sure if this whole evil Observer story line will pay off well down the line, but they were so much more interesting when they seemed like detached time travelers who existed for some less-than-evil purpose. Now they are nothing more than more strangely dressed agents from THE MATRIX.
Let me mention some things I did like: the previously mentioned moment between Peter and Olivia; the way the alternate world worked differently on technology; Peter irritatingly pushing Walter through the time warp (toward the end) as Walter tries to do his little dance shuffle; though the setup to it happening was silly, the Pacey Poof Neo Vs. Agent Observer fight was pretty cool, and I think they even used a musical nod to THE MATRIX in there; Peter's new powers!
On that last point, the Observer's warning about what Peter has done to himself is likely to turn into something completely fuckin' stupid as these things usually do.
If I had to rate this episode, and some little albino boy says I do, then I'd give it:
78 out of 100
This show has seen better days. And worse. I gave the episode an extra 3 points for the final minutes which had some nice John Noble acting.