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Do you remember the “Peter” episode from season two? It was hands down the greatest episode of Fringe. It explained how Peter came to fall into Walter’s hands and showed us a younger Walter, and it had the best script to be made for a sci-fi show. So naturally, the writers decided to capitalize on their most critically acclaimed episode by making a sequel to it. Was it as great as “Peter”? It only just fell a little short of the mark, but it was still Fringe at its best.
The episode takes place six months after the events of “Peter” with a very distraught young Peter doing everything he can to get away from the people he knows aren’t his parents, even if it kills him. It sets the tone for one of the darker episodes of the series when we see young Olivia and Peter get put through parent hell in one way or another. Speaking of which, we find out that Olivia and Peter met each other when they were kids. It was an interesting twist, but it did leave a lot open. For one thing, how did Peter and Olivia forget all of this? Peter knows that he isn’t home and Olivia knows that she can travel between universes and meet Peter. How did they just forget this? What was the sequence of events that led to these two people forgetting each other, only to meet up twenty-something years later?
From Olivia’s point of view this week, we were treated to one of the most horrific things in the series’ history. We knew that Olivia had an abusive father, and when I found out that we would see him on screen, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing him in action. While we didn’t see him get around to hitting Olivia, the camera cuts to black and then to commercial just as he grabs her, which just made it worse. You feel as powerless and fearful as Olivia did and I want to make sure we see some sort of comeuppance for this guy.
Moving to Peter’s point of view, the episode seemed more like a psychological thriller with Walter and his wife desperately trying to keep him from killing himself because he wants to go back to the world under the ice. This is one of those plots that I had mixed feelings about. I want the prime universe to win the war, but you know that Peter is right and that he has the right to be angry with these two. I honestly want to know what caused him to forget everything so we can see why he was willing to drop everything he held against Walter, only to give him the exact same treatment towards the end of season two.
The writing was great. Not quite as spectacular and flawless as “Peter,” but it was a fantastic script and gave all the actors plenty to work with. The young Peter and Olivia were really good actors and how often can you say that about child actors? While the kid that played Peter was really good, little Olivia stole the show. Even though she was a child, she pulled off the performance of a beaten housewife who won’t admit to anything. She was mature, yet childish at the same time without getting too unbelievable or annoying.
Fringe has become a master of the final scene cliff-hanger and this episode was no exception. Leaving Walternate with Olivia’s drawing book was a great reveal as to how he knows where Peter is. Why it took him so long to getting around to the other side, I don’t know, but I look forward to finding out. I also got the feeling this episode was setting up more than it was letting on. We know that Olivia’s dad is still around and pseudo stalking her and now we finally see his face. I can’t help but think that before the season is over, we’re going to get some sort of confrontation between the two. It also raises another question: What about Fauxlivia? Was her Father abusive? How did Walternate tell him off? Did he? Okay, maybe that’s more than one question, but you can see how this episode is really building up to the finale.
All in all, this was an amazing episode. Not quite ten out of ten, but this was still one of the great episodes that reminds you as to why we care about the characters and what happens to them versus just the overall story. Hopefully they will give us a satisfying pay off before season three is over.