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Fringe – Marionette

As expected, Marionette largely dealt with the fallout that alternate Olivia has left on our characters. It was a bit of a surprise that our Olivia would be back in the field so quickly. Sure, she’s a tough character, but from the physical stress of being a prisoner and teleporting through universes, she should be resting for at least a week or two. It does fit her character that she would want to come back to work so quickly. One of the main differences between the two Olivias is that ours doesn’t really have a life or know how to have fun and relax. Her conversation with Broyles where she mentions his similar counterpart and his family was interesting. It was easy to see that his mind was going a million miles a minute wondering about the “what ifs” of his decisions. Broyles’ background and personality hasn’t been shown as much as Olivia’s, but he also seems like a “my work is my life” type person.

It would have been nice if there was a bit of a delay between Olivia returning and them taking on a new case. It feels like only a day or two has passed since her return. However, Olivia talks her way back into active duty. Peter seems to be deep in thought on how he should break the news about him sleeping with her alternate self. Peter is a good person, but I was wondering if he’d be so quickly forthcoming about his accidental misdeed, since he does have a mischievous side. However, he never seems to waiver in wanting to tell her the truth, which might be due to Walter’s lies to him and Peter not wanting history to repeat itself. Things seem good at first, since rattled Olivia tells him it’s fine, but usually when a woman says that, even one who can teleport through universes, it probably means quite the opposite.

Through most of this episode Olivia seems shaken, almost like she might erupt any moment, which has to be accredited to Anna Torv’s phenomenal performance. She has been great all season, but in this episode she portrays the characteristics and mannerisms of someone who has just gone through a terrible ordeal and is trying to hide it. She is definitely giving one of the best, if not the best, female performance in a drama right now. Sadly, sci-fi shows are hardly taken serious when it comes to awards. It was also nice to see that Mother Hen, Astrid, saw through Olivia’s state of detachment and denial.  

The actual case they’re working on is one of their better ones and it also has some symmetry between what’s going on between Olivia and Peter. A deranged surgeon is reclaiming donated organs that belong to his long lost love, so he can bring her back to life. Usually the show’s monsters of the week are pure evil and what he’s doing is obviously evil too, but unlike other antagonists’ he seems to take no enjoyment in his actions. Him ruining and sometimes ending the lives of his victims is just a consequence of him trying to achieve his goal. Even though he’s clearly crazy, his love for someone not being interrupted by death, does add tension between Olivia and Peter, since he couldn’t see through an impostor’s impersonation of her.

The final scene between Olivia and Peter was definitely a sad one. The pending eruption finally happened and it included Olivia telling Peter that she no longer wants to be with him. This is a tough situation all around, since neither person did anything wrong and they’re both victims, so it’s hard to root for one or against the other. Olivia has a right to feel betrayed, but Peter isn’t guilty of doing anything wrong. Even though the situation is bleak right now, it is very compelling to watch. It’s highly unlikely that their romantic aspects will never come back, but this is a big wrench in their “will they, won’t they” dynamic. The episode ends with a Watcher, ironically, watching Peter and Walter. It seems as if the doomsday device and the Watchers might be the theme of the next episode, which could be a great turn in the doomsday subplot, since it hasn’t been very interesting so far.  


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