This week, our assignment was to watch the episode “Amber 31422” from Season Three 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 Three season premiere episode is here and the posts dedicated to the following episodes are 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!
Yay, hurray, it’s a red-credit episode!
Now, the last time we had a red episode, I had it explained to me that one of my references was too oblique. Scorpius was a character from the television show Farscape. He was the bad guy who wanted the information in Our Protagonist’s Brain and this entailed keeping Our Protagonist alive… so one of the tools he used to do this was he injected a version of himself into Our Protagonist’s Brain who would show up from time to time to give advice and helpful information from time to time (who only existed in Our Protagonist’s mind). Now, in Farscape, it had this really great dynamic where we were rooting for Our Protagonist so we were pleased that the interior Scorpius was helping, but we also knew that it was for His Own Reasons and he did not have anything even *CLOSE* to Our Protagonist’s best interest’s at heart. Their interests merely happened to overlap… for now. Which was an *AWESOME* storyline. Anyway, the Peter that is hanging around Olivia’s consciousness is not like Scorpius.
You know what would have been cool? If, instead of Peter, it was John Scott. Can I have an amen? It’s a pity that actors exist. Someday, we’ll just computer generate everybody and use subtitles.
Anyway, we’re in the red universe again and we find out a number of very, very disturbing things:
People in amber are still alive. People in amber are still *CONSCIOUS*. Oh, and there is, apparently, an issue with people trying to break into the amber to free loved ones or to free the purses/wallets… and that, until now, the issue was pretty much moot due to the fact that it was never successful.
Oh, and the government has been hushing up the whole “people in amber are still alive and conscious” thing because if people knew, it’d cause a revolt.
So, all in all, the government in this universe is forced to make monstrous decisions involving citizenry, keep secrets lest there be a revolt, and otherwise fight a war that it cannot publicize lest the war be lost before it’s even begun.
Anyway, the negative matter ring was the ring that allowed the bank robber to walk through walls… which reminds me of the episodes from season one where Mitchell Loeb was robbing banks. It’s cool that they’re doing shout-outs to some of the fringe events from Season One. It ties everything together.
The whole “twins” thing overlapping with the whole Ourlivia vs. Fauxlivia was a *LITTLE* heavy-handed, no? I mean, was White Tulip this heavy handed and I just enjoyed being manipulated that much? Surely not.
Anyway, the fact that they still use pagers in the other universe ties really well into how everybody has a cellphone earring… I mean, imagine if everybody stopped having a cellphone they could look at back in the early 90’s. What technology would arise getting people messages to each other in that vacuum? Well, I could probably come up with a better answer than “they still use pagers like it’s the danged 80’s” but that’s one of the things that just is really charming about the other universe. You could see how, maybe, something like that would be normal the way it was normal in the 80’s.
It’s also cool that even Walternate believes in taking drugs in a sensory deprivation tank. Well, in *OTHER* people doing it. I don’t see Walternate dropping a couple of tabs and spending half a day in there.
One thing about Olivia crossing over into the other universe: she broke a snowglobe over there. Remember Nina giving a speech about the two universes using two snowglobes and she smashed two of them into each other? They’re doing a good job with the shout-outs.
I also like how Scorpius Peter is doing what he can to help Ourlivia solve the crime… and then tells her that she did the right thing by dropping the case because she’s not Fauxlivia but Ourlivia (Herlivia?) and she asks for proof and he gives her Ella’s phone number. So, the next time she jumps over, she calls Ella on the phone and hears her voice before being yanked back. And she then, of course, lies to Walter about being over there.
The most interesting thing was Walternate’s speech about nature. Good, evil… he shrugs. He’s the guy with the shotgun. No, wait. Different show. Good, evil, he shrugs. Nature only cares about *BALANCE*. He only needed a snowglobe to break.
Anyways, this show was a good, solid show. Not as amazing as the last couple of weeks but… hey. What can you do? I like that they’re showing all of the moral and ethical trade-offs that the other universe is making and how, without Bell, Walter turned into someone else entirely… someone who never discovered Cortexiphan, for example.
So… what thinks did you thunk?