This week, our assignment was to watch the episode “The Man From The Other Side” from Season Two of Fringe. (You can read the Television Without Pity Recap here, while the AV Club has their recap of the episode here. The post dedicated to the Season Two season premiere episode is here and the subsequent bookclub posts are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

As always, here are the ground rules: nothing that we have seen so far is considered a spoiler, anything that we have not yet seen should be considered a spoiler. Crazy nutbar speculation is *NOT* a spoiler, but confirming or denying said confirmation would be.

Here’s my idea for spoilers: please rot13 them. That’s a simple encryption that will allow the folks who want to avoid spoilers to avoid them and allow the people who want to argue them to argue them. We good? We good! Everybody who has seen the episode, see you after the cut!

After the best episode from any of the seasons, it’s a bit of a letdown to get back to everything else Fringe has to offer… but, honestly, there’s still a lot of really awesome stuff coming up. It’s just… well… it’s not White Tulip.

Can’t live in the past! Not without betraying God, anyway. Onward and upward.

After a Fringetastic opener that tells us that we’re watching Fox because people who are using drugs (and wouldn’t appreciate them like Walter would) go on to demonstrate why you should Just Say No:

If you smoke pot and listen to Rush, you will die.

More importantly: shapeshifters are back, baby.

Well, Walter has received his White Tulip and he wants to (finally) tell Peter about the facts of life… of course, the “I broke a universe for you” speech is one of the hardest anybody has to give to someone else’s child from that other universe and so Walter is always happy enough to dump it the second someone interrupts it. This, however, gives Peter the wrong impression. He thinks that Walter wants to talk to him about his alternate mother’s suicide.

At the same time, our team is dealing with the fact that Newton (how we’ve missed him!) is back and is, apparently, bringing shapeshifters over from the other universe (including a shapeshifter embryo that Walter dissects)… and, we see, Newton has missions for the shapeshifters that include taking over particular bank executives…

We get a speech from the scientist guy at Massive Dynamic that involves metronomes and an explanation that our universe is sometimes more in sync with the other universe than at others and, youbetcha, we’re going to be in sync tomorrow at 3:31… and when stuff is in sync, stuff can most easily pass from yon to hither… and we find out that Newton is setting *SOMETHING* up that acts as, for lack of a better term, a tuning fork that forced the universes to harmonize even more when they’re set up and humming around one of the soft spots.

Will our intrepid team be able to activate the shapeshifting embryo? Will they be able to stop Newton’s plan in time?

Well… no on both counts.

But trying to activate the embryo got it to live just long enough to fixate on Walter and to tell him “I’m Sorry” which makes you wonder “how did he recognize Walter?” just in time for the question to die on your tongue and to remember Walternate… who is, we figure out too late to do anything about, going to bring a bridge over from the other side. Not just a bridge, either. A man. A man, we find out, Newton calls “Mr. Secretary.”

Oh, and in the whole bridge coming over thing, we see an event happen that turns someone from Earth 1 into dust but all of the Earth 2 folks are fine… and, when I say we, I am including “Peter” in that. He wakes up after the incident, Walter comes into the room, and Peter lays the smack down on him. Not only does Peter know he’s not from there, Peter figured out that Mom committed suicide because he wasn’t from there. When Walter entreats him “Son…”, Peter snaps back “I Am Not Your Son.”

And we boggle at how amazing John Noble is as an actor.

Hey, you get your White Tulip, you then get to go talk to Peter. None of this putting it off and not talking about it. If he figures it out for himself, you’ll have to deal with stuff like… well… this episode.

Which was, I should point out, pretty good (even if it was no White Tulip).

So… what thinks did you thunk?


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to


  1. You know, the first time I saw this, I thought Peter’s having discovered it seemed contrived. On a second viewing, it worked better. I’m not sure why.

    Katie Findlay (“Jill”)… I don’t know if there is an actress in her age group that I find more attractive.

    • Well, it’s something that everybody knew… and, as we may or may not come to find out, even he knew but forgot (because, you know, it *IS* kind of crazy).

      We could easily yell about how long it took him.

  2. Good epiode. I am glad they are bringing the story back and that Peter has finally found out. I was beginning to worry that it would not happen until the end of this season.

    I suspect “Mr. Secratary” is Walternate, but we shall see. I have a hard time seeing Walternate as not pissed over the kidnapping and trying to find a way to get his son back. I do wonder though about the significance of Peter giving the coin to his mother and if that will come across when Peter has to choose sides.

    Okay, my science beef of the week. If the sound vibrations where sooooo instense they could disintegrate a person, why where the cars, tables, jackhammer thing, and the computer just fine. Oh well, details.

    Not as good as White Tulip, but this was very good still.

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