Okay! This week, our assignment was to watch the episode “6B” 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, 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!
The setup last week was interesting because the dynamic of the whole “dude, I didn’t love her, I loved you and I thought she was you!” thing *FINALLY* had an interesting payoff: Fauxlivia is knocked up. Of course, the list of people who know that Peter is the father consists of… what? Two people? And neither is in this universe? I want to know: NOW WHAT???
It’s weird. Remember how we swapped Olivias and we swapped them back after four or five episodes and were thinking that they could have gotten an entire season out of that? Well, we now see that they truncated that storyline so that we could spend a million episodes on Peter and Olivia needing to have a real conversation and then not having one.
In any case, I’m pleased that it looks like we’re finally knocking that crap off.
Anyway, let’s go to Brooklyn. A cute couple is visiting with more cute couples. There is, apparently, Ghostbusters-level crap going on in the building. Blenders turning themselves on, ovens doing the same, and people from all over the building are going off to hotels until stuff quiets down. The people at the party are harried and there is a bit of a fakeout when we see our female member of the cute couple have a peanut allergy attack, everyone freaks out as the guy goes to get the epipen… and we see a bunch of yuppies fall from the balcony… and bringing furniture with them? The party wasn’t *THAT* bad, guys…
You’re watching Fringe. Blue Credits.
So we see Walter making pancakes (dang… now I want pancakes) and having a short conversation with Peter about how much he (Walter) misses Olivia. Peter is, of course, skeptical of the “okay, I appreciate your feelings insofar as they accurately represent something you’re feeling but, seriously, what the hell are you doing?” variety which turns into brief panic when he realizes that, of course, Walter is inviting Olivia over to breakfast (a meal he proved was the most important of the day back in 1973). Olivia walks through the door and proves to have a will of iron by not saying “PANCAKES!” and eating some.
Anyway, they finally have one of the conversations that they should have had somewhere around “Marionette”. They talk past each other but, hey. They’re *TALKING* about it instead of not talking about it. Well… Peter’s being a jerk. He’s arguing that he got with Fauxlivia because he wanted to be with Olivia which is *NOT* why Olivia’s feelings were hurt in the first place. But… on one level, it’s always nice to be told “look, I want to be with you.” That will have to do the heavy lifting here.
Well, of course, the phone rings because… tah-dah, we have a haunted building to deal with. Walter and Peter figure out that the partygoers didn’t jump off of the balcony because they would have fallen in a parabola and landed away from the building. What happened was that the partygoers fell *THROUGH* the balcony.
Anyway, this inspires Walter to flip a coin and he finds that it comes up heads 10 times in a row… which tells him that there is a soft spot in the universe, much like the other universe started having soft spots. Well, through some fairly decent writing, we have a tender moment between Peter and Olivia in which Olivia sees Peter shimmer… which causes her to bolt outside and notice, hey, there’s a room up in the apartment building shimmering. We knock on the door and find:
Well, the short version is that the lady living in the apartment was recently widowed. She was married to a wonderful man and had a wonderful life with him. He died from a freak accident (“flip you for it”) and now she misses him very, very much. When she sits at home and looks at the photos and thinks about how much she loves, him? It’s almost like he’s back, though. Well, you know how the other universe mirrors this one somewhat? Well, over there, her double died and her husband’s double lived. And he spends his evenings sitting at home and looking at photos and thinking about how much he loves her… and this weakens the wall between universes enough that they can sit and talk with each other.
And their love for each other is causing a tear in the universe between them.
This begins to make Walter freak out and he remembers something from the first season and that *ALWAYS* makes me feel rewarded for watching. Remember the aerosol attack on the bus that turned into a solid? Well, that was a proto-amber… and the other universe has demonstrated that it’s possible to use Amber to patch soft spots and holes in the universe’s wall. So the show then changes focus and becomes a show about a ticking bomb… can our Fringe team get this grieving woman who misses her husband so-very-much to stop sitting and thinking about him and loving him? Will Olivia see that loving someone and having a relationship with them is better than not doing that???
Well, of course. It’s only an hour show.
We establish to the widow that the husband she misses is not the guy in the other universe… it’s just the guy in the other universe. We establish to Olivia that she does, in fact, want to try again with Peter because Love Is Important.
And we establish to the home viewer that the wall between universes is getting thinner. This is not a one-off. This is happening and it’s going to start happening with more regularity. We didn’t need amber today… we’re probably going to need it tomorrow.
And we jump quickly to the other universe where Fauxlivia and Linc are investigating the lonely widower’s building and knocking on his door and asking about anything Fringey. He (rudely, if you ask me) says no and goes back to his favorite chair, and his photo album, and sits and thinks about his wife and tries to will her back. And I sigh for him.
Wow. What a great episode.
So… what thinks did you thunk?