Okay! This week, our assignment was to watch the episode “Bloodline” 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, 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!
From what I understand, Lost’s Finale ticked off a *LOT* of people. There was a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT???” and suddenly fell silent. Followed by the clicks of millions of keyboards. Anyway, never say that JJ Abrams can’t take a hint. He knows that if his show is not going to be renewed for a fourth season, he’d best wrap up some storylines *PRONTO*. Thus: This Episode.
Of course, *NOW* we know that the show was renewed.
But they didn’t know it when they were writing the show! (From what I understand, the news of the show being renewed hit around the time that this episode aired. Whew!)
Anyway, previously on Fringe: Fauxlivia is knocked up.
So, of course, we’re now in an Earth-2 Ob/Gyn office and digital picture frames are cheap enough in that universe that they have them on the walls there. Or maybe it’s just an upscale one. I don’t know. I admit that this is out of my experience. Also, as far as I can tell, “viral propagated eclampsia” is something that exists on Earth-2 but not, like, really. Pre-eclampsia exists (it used to be called “toxemia”) but… it looks like Fringe is going with the whole “let’s not get letters from the pre-eclampsia people… let’s make something up. BUT MAKE IT SOUND GOOD.”
As it turns out, VPE is something that Fauxlivia may have and, if she does, it has a good shot of killing both her and the baby and a 100% shot of killing one of them and the only way to avoid that particular fate if you have VPE is to terminate the pregnancy. To bring that point home, it seems that Earth-2’s Rachel died of this affliction. So there’s not a whole lot of room for “well, maybe we’ll get lucky.” As Fauxlivia and mom drive home, we hammer out that Fauxlivia’s cover story is a one-night stand with a guy she met in a bar (I suppose the alternate universe thing is on a need-to-know basis) and that, sure, mom disapproves. Oh, and Lincoln disapproves. And everybody gets sad when that’s pointed out.
We get home and mom says “call me as soon as you hear *ANYTHING*” and Olivia says “yes, mom” and Lincoln calls and says “I’m sending some people over to your house, I’m worried about ya” and Olivia says “yes, mom” and we turn around AND ZAP OH MY GOSH IT’S A GUY WITH A TAZER
You’re watching Fringe. (Red Credits)
This was a nervewracking show for me. They had the whole “pregnant lady in peril” thing going on, they had the science accelerate (!) the pregnancy thing so Fauxlivia went from “not even showing” to “in labor” between commercial breaks, and, on top of everything, we opened the show with how people who have viral propagated eclampsia end up DYING when they have a kid. I chewed off all of my nails for this.
Anyway, Lee and Charlie have a buddy thing going on where we find out that Charlie went on a date with “bug girl” (wasn’t Charlie married in our timeline? well, I’m glad he’s seeing people) and Charlie is scarce with the details above and beyond how they only had tea… but, of course, they’re not really talking about Charlie. They’re talking about Lincoln having a serious crush on Fauxlivia… and how, seriously, if she was going to cheat on Frank with anybody… why a guy at a bar??? And Charlie *KNOWS* that that bugged Linc.
Anyway, Linc finds out that Olivia was kidnapped mere moments after getting off the phone with him and we see Walter bickering with Evil Brandon about experimenting on children as he takes the call from Linc saying “Fauxlivia has been kidnapped”. The chase scene involves Linc finding, tah-dah, Fauxlivia’s (super-secret!) ditched tracking device.
And now the show becomes half horror movie (pregnant lady screaming in terror on a gurney) and half CSI episode (with all kinds of speculative technology that only the best funded police department in the world would have… but I repeat myself).
In the CSI episode, we see Bad Astrid figure out that Henry the cab driver is still checking up on Fauxlivia, even though she’s Ourlivia now. Or, wait. Something like that. He’s driving past Fauxlivia’s house because he thinks he’s checking on Ourlivia. This is confusing. Anyway, Linc and Charlie find Henry and get him to talk about everything he knows… and Henry starts talking about the end of Season Two and the first few episodes of Season Three and, thanks to a fresh perspective, we all get to hear exactly how crazy those episodes were when you think about it… and then we get to see Lincoln confront Walternate who, of course, corroborates every crazy thing that Henry has said. Oh, and by the way, Fauxlivia is pregnant with Walternate’s grandchild. Which must be *REALLY* weird for Linc to process and thus he processes it the only way he knows how: “Do you think Fauxlivia was taken by the other side?” “It’s possible”, Walternate says, which tells everyone at home that Walternate is behind the horror movie half of this show. As is only appropriate, I suppose. Anyway, Walter steels himself and tells Lincoln “That Is My Grandchild. You Will Find Fauxlivia.”
Meanwhile, in the horror movie, we find out that, yes, Fauxlivia has VPE. We see her being injected with weird colored liquids and poked and prodded by masked people and we see her distended belly be warped by a baby whose growth has been accelerated. (Fauxlivia’s teeth should probably be falling out by the end of the episode). Nurses talking to doctors about how Fauxlivia’s joints are “supple” (shudder) and how the joint expander should be opened even more and I don’t know what that even is except that it sounds absolutely awful. (I googled it. Apparently, it’s a tool used with woodwind instruments. I don’t know if that makes it better or worse.) Anyway, this is Fringe and we have seen Ourlivia strapped to how many gurneys and get herself out of it? Well, Fauxlivia is no different. Through a handy use of guilt, wriggling, and good old-fashioned gumption, Fauxlivia (now 9 months pregnant) finds a shiv and takes the place over long enough to get the hell out of there.
She manages to call Lincoln who has just finished debriefing Henry (who is asking “seriously, who am I going to talk about this to?”) when he gets the call from Fauxlivia who has found herself in Chinatown at a noodleshop with a Red Dragon sign. Henry, being Henry, knows the shortcut to get there (and probably knows the shop). We then have a good old-fashioned flashback to Hill Street Blues (or NYPD Blue, something) and have the cab driver midwife a childbirth in a grocery store in Chinatown. Lincoln is cradling Fauxlivia and they stare deeply into each others’ eyes and Linc drops an “L-bomb” before we have a short tease of Fauxlivia not surviving the birth.
The above sounds cheesy as heck but, lemme tell ya, they did one heck of a job.
Now off to a real, not a horror, hospital. Linc and Charlie are back to teasing each other and, somehow, Charlie knows the baby’s name and Linc doesn’t (“hint: it’s not Lincoln”) and Walternate shows up and Charlie and Linc are there both knowing that, yep, this was an inside job. I think Walternate knows that they know too. Everybody maintains eye contact, though.
Jump to Fauxlivia in bed with mom holding the baby and they explain that the VPE didn’t kill anybody because of the accelerated pregnancy. Huh. Nice. And we see that the doctors in charge of Fauxlivia and the baby are AUGH RIGHT THERE AT THE HOSPITAL!!! A nurse pricks the baby’s foot and smears some blood on a card (we do that here, right?) and hands it off… to Brandon who hands it off to Walternate.
And Now We Know Everything.
Wow. What a great episode.
So… what thinks did you thunk?