This week, our assignment was to watch the episode “Northwest Passage” 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, 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!
So, we get to find out what Peter was doing while Walter was singing… as it turns out, he was remembering Twin Peaks fondly. Who doesn’t? Actually, I never watched it. But I’ve been told that the first season was very, very good.
Let’s not talk about Twin Peaks, though.
This is an interesting Peter episode… mostly because, seriously, up until this point, Peter was interesting mostly because of what he represented rather than who he actually was. We were shown what Peter meant to Walter (he jumped universes to get him!) but, for most of everything else, what we know about Peter is what we were told. He’s a genius, he’s a con man, he has shady contacts (like that guy in the bookstore!)… but, mostly, it’s his job to be the guy who, if they’re stuck in a building that’s been quarantined because of a disease, he’s the guy who gets the disease. He’s like Daphne: the character whose job it is to get caught in the trap.
UNTIL THIS EPISODE, that is.
He demonstrates great skill when it comes to reading people, whether it be figuring out that Martha Plimpton and her partner had a thing or figuring out how much adrenaline would be in a murder victim’s system. While this could be mistaken for a freak-of-the-week on-the-road episode (well, excepting the whole storyline with Newton and WALTERNATE!!!!), it’s actually the first episode I remember that gave me a strong idea about what Peter is really like rather than merely running along with what people told me about him.
Stuff I liked:
The waitress making CDs for customers. I wanted to know the setlist she picked.
Seeing Newton in the crowd. He just radiates genteel menace.
Walter losing it in the grocery store was great… and sad. I know what it’s like to have people who keep you on an evener keel than you’d be otherwise and seeing Walter lose it and then, back at the house, explain that without Peter he fears he’d have to go back to the asylum? That was good. Poor Walter. Astrid almost bursting into tears was very good too. She’s my favorite.
The speech Walter gave about how he didn’t want to find Peter because, hey, what if Peter rejects Walter when he’s *NOT* all het up after being overwhelmed with new information? That was awesome too. Dang, Walter is good.
The final scene, the last minute, where Peter was lying down on his bed and listening to the cd… to wake up to see Newton looking at him? That was *GREAT*… and then to have Newton say “Mr. Secretary?” and have it be WALTERNATE???
Wow. This was a good episode all around.
So… what thinks did you thunk?