Just before the episode, Fringe fans rejoiced over their continued successful Twitter trending campaign having learned the “recipe” with the help of fans world-wide who tweeted their hearts out once again with hopes of a fifth season for their favorite program with the words “#FaceYourSelf”.
Kudos to the fans world-wide with special thanks to FOX Broadcasting for embracing the fandom by displaying the hash tags on screen during the airing of the episodes since January of this year!
For this weeks Twitter “#AcrossTheUniverse campaign, we include our own Fringe appreciation video below dedicated to Warner Brothers, FOX Broadcasting, the cast, crews, and the creators of this fine series with our wishes for a season five!
Nevertheless, we celebrated, pleased we successfully “Twitter Jailed” our “Torvite” account after having done the same thing to the “Astridites” one week earlier with “#ChangeYourWorld”. Being part of such an effort is just plain fun! Did TPTB notice the outpouring of Fringe support as they consider the fifth season renewal decision? We believe the answer is yes.
As the fans celebrated, shortly thereafter this past Friday, we all witnessed one of the greatest episodes, yet among the saddest Fringe in series history when main character, Alt-Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel) was killed in the service of the Fringe Division “Red Universe”.
The tragedy with the apparent loss of Alt-Lincoln also revealed (at episodes end) that Alt-Livia (Anna Torv) is not simply a “Hard Hearted Hanna” as some had painted her. Instead during the final sequences we all witnessed that she dearly loved her partner with a tearful expression on our dear Bolivia’s face.
Although Alt-Lincoln “appears” to be gone, this reviewer will postulate that he is not dead in a “true Fringe reality sense”. We will have more on this subject in our analysis as season four of Fringe completes another epic story arc.
Much like the science fiction classic alternate reality classic “The End Of Eternity” (1955) by Isaac Asimov (which we have written about previously), it seems clear that once Peter and Olivia fix the Fringe timelines by defeating the evil David Robert Jones (Jared Harris) and his minion Alt-Nina (Blair Brown), all will be restored to “normal”.
This should include “Captain Lincoln Lee” (Alt-Lincoln) as well all the victims in all the timelines whom have suffered as a result of The Observers and David Robert Jones meddling in the timeline producing alternate versions of reality.
As a decision for a fifth season looms just up ahead in the “Twilight Zone” of television renewals, we too have “Fingers Crossed” for an affirmative result for Fringe season five.
Before continuing with this analysis of “Everything in Its Right Place”, we include the latest promotional trailers for this weeks episode, “The Consultant” for your enjoyment.
Everything in Its Right Place:
Before starting, this analysis refers to the “Blue” and “Red” Fringe universes. As described accurately for previous seasons as displayed in the seasonal logos, these references are used solely for identification ease in reviewing and reading.
While Olivia has regained her memories, the continuity of the universes has not been fully restored. Although signs are manifesting that the stabilization of the two universes is continuing via the “alternate reality bridge” link, the orange logo color this season is more accurate. We know we are on the way back to “where we were before”, but are not quite “there” yet.
The Fringe fun opens with one of our favorite Fringe characters, Gene the Cow being pampered in Walter Bishop’s (John Noble) laboratory at Harvard University.
Lincoln Lee is preparing for liaison duty traveling to the Red Universe to help Alt-Livia and his alternate self to track down a vigilante connected to the evil “Shape Shifter” minions of David Robert Jones.
He is suddenly attacked, apparently killed by a Red Universe vigilante Shape Shifter named Canaan with a frightening agenda.
This reviewer was pleased to see Tim Guinee once again on our television screens.
This talented actor, with more than a quarter century of accomplishments behind him, is always a delight to see in action. A bit scruffy, similar to how we saw him as “Tomin” in Stargate SG-1, Guinee always adds to the depth to any program or movie he is featured in.
On that note, we would like to share that while the lead actors in a series or movie are crticically important, without the supporting cast, there would be much less to enjoy in the programs and movies we all love. Therefore we thank the gifted supporting actors who appeared in this episode including Maximino Arciniega, Biski Gugushe, Zahf Paroo, Nelson Leis, Kirby Morrow and Max Teichman.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of this episode is the humor that has been incorporated into this teleplay co-written by David Fury, from a story by J.R. Orci and Matt Pitts. The opening moments of banter between Lincoln and Alt-Livia over a her need for a latte while Lincoln is hefting the cases of files through the portal between the universes was fun.
Devoted fans will of course recognize (remember) that coffee is a hard to find product in the Red Universe. Alt-Livia has developed a taste for the frothy liquid when she was on a Blue Universe spy mission for Walternate earlier in the series.
The interaction became much funnier when Alt-Livia used the time on the way to the crime scene to ask Lincoln his middle name, Tyrone!
Sure enough the first thing our bad ass, sh_t disturbing heroine Alt-Livia does when she arrives is to tease Alt-Lincoln about his middle name! Teasing him that for six years he has been unwilling to reveal he was Tyrone!
The entire humorous routine was no doubt delightfully contrived. Although I find it impossible to believe that Alt-Livia would wait six years to find out about anything, it was a fun sequence!
During the drive to the crime scene we are treated to a video of Walternate discussing that “our world is healing” reinforced by Alt-Livia who informs us that the “Universe Crossing Bridge” has stabilized the negative impacts first caused by Walter when he unbalanced the universal equation by kidnapping Peter many years earlier from the “Red Verse”.
Nevertheless the “icing on the cake” was a hilarious discussion between Lincoln, Alt-Livia and Alt-Lincoln about “Batman” versus “The Mantis” (created by Jack Kirby of DC Comics in 1971).
In a comedic comic book rant between the three, we come to find out that “The Mantis” became the comic book hero in the Red Universe whereas we all know that in our Blue Universe “The Mantis” was a villain who sucked power from his enemies such as The Green Lantern”. After all “Nothing Says bad ass like a flying rat” as we learn from Alt-Livia in a moment of comedic levity well played by Anna Torv!
After this lighthearted interaction, we learn that the original Tim Guinee was killed in the process by the Vigilante Canaan.
The first victim body left behind for the authorities to discover, Guinee’s disfigured face is revealed as the three discuss the fact the Red Universe has been plagued with murders of criminals stopped in their act by the Vigilante for some nefarious purpose.
This intriguing question effectively sets up the Single Effect of “Everything in Its Right Place” episode that will carry into future episodes.
We segue to a truck where he is carrying carrying a box of personal possessions. Canaan the Vigilante pulls out a picture of a little boy. Here we learn part of the motivation and regret for his desperate acts, notwithstanding the as yet unnamed twisted logic for his actions.
As the scene unfolds, two hazmat clad individuals are monitoring the amber encapsulation containment of a local building. In another VFX miracle by the Warner Brothers Fringe team, we witness that Red Verse newspapers are special with holographic video somehow embedded in the newspaper.
This rather nice special effects “touch” brings us to the first commercial. In the opinion of this reviewer, the use of the holograph in the newspaper clearly distinguished which universe side we are on in the scene. Bravo, well done!
Upon return after commercial, viewers are exposed to a scene that validated a much earlier theory of this reviewer from season three confirmed by Joel Wyman on Twitter.
Although Walternate was certainly ruthless, I postulated that the two sides (Red and Blue Universes) would work together to fight another “larger” series of threats.
This theory has now in fact became the operating theorem first hinted at during the third season finale. As amply evidenced in the fourth season, it is David Robert Jones, his evil minion Alt-Nina and the misguided Observers whom are the true threats to the well being of the two universes and realities that the fans all love to enjoy in Fringe!
In the next sequences, lead celebrity guest star Tim Guinee is observed at a “soup kitchen” seeking sustenance. Likely needed to offset the process of absorbing the victims, as we see him begin to scarf down a plate of food, our Shape Shifter is interrupted when another homeless person across the table notices a growth materializing on Canaan’s neck. Bolting from the dining area, Canaan seeks privacy after he feels the growth breaking through his neck skin.
A quick scene switch finds us in one of Fringe’s trademark sequences utilized by J.J. Abrams as the two Lincoln’s and Alt-Livia are in a dark sewer tunnel complex below the church where 19 bodies and one grossly severed head are found.
During the gruesome process of examining the rotting corpses in the tunnel under the church, the fans are treated to a good bit of crime scene banter between Lincoln and Alt-Livia to lighten up the moment, offsetting the grisly discoveries.
Back at Alt-Fringe Headquarters we get to see Alt-Atrid again in all her glory! Bickering with Lincoln, Alt-Astrid is at her best discussing the mathematical odds of getting a crime scene video to locket photo facial recognition match is “one in 86.7 thousand” with a Mr. Spock like computer mind.
Clearly designed within the excellent writing to consume some screen time, the break in the action allows the two Lincoln’s to have time together in the Alt-Fringe Division HQ affording the viewers an opportunity to learn much about the “Lincoln Back Story”.
Much like back stories revealed previously for the Olivia’s, the Walter’s, the Nina’s and the Astrid’s, the writing team effectively demonstrates how a person can become different depending on the choices an individual has made in his or her life.
In a most enjoyable scene with flawless cinematography of both characters featured in the same sequence, this is one of the messages from the creators to the viewing audience; you become what you are, for better or worse by the mistakes made, lessons learned (or not) coupled with the choices a person ultimately makes, for better or for worse. The statement is clear; if only people would think before acting is a selfish and thoughtless manner.
Alt-Astrid obtains a facial recognition match leaving a red herring about the two Lincoln’s that may never be answered based upon Captain Lincoln Lee’s death at the episodes end. This is however another revealing sequence that confirms the message the creators sent to the viewers about choices made in life.
This now brings us to Alt-Broyles (Lance Reddick). All viewers know “Colonel Broyles” is also a minion of David Robert Jones and likely a Shape Shifter himself since we know he died during a universe “balancing” segment much earlier in the series. One must say that Lance Reddick does an excellent job of adding an “edge” to the menace that is Colonel Broyles.
In a humorous sequence, Alt-Broyles corrects Lincoln with “Colonel” when Lincoln calls him “Agent Broyles”. The three heroes are called to task before the “Colonel” who knocks holes in their theory of a new type of Shape Shifter gone rogue for some as yet unexplained reason.
This reviewer hopes that it will be our “Agent Broyles” of the FBI Fringe Division in the Blue Verse who ultimately eliminates “Colonel Broyles”, minion of David Robert Jones. One can only hope this happens in season four!
Unfortunately for our three heroes, Colonel Broyles “dresses down” the three slamming the door on them dismissing the evidence and leaves them in a lurch.
Using as cover Lincoln’s own admission of his partner (Joe Flanigan) death, the three are dumbfounded when he concludes Lincoln has become obsessed with Shape Shifter’s. As the Colonel leaves he gruffly tells Alt Lincoln and Olivia to provide “concrete evidence” before they alert (can bother) him again.
The scene shifts to an idyllic setting in a park as Canaan watches young people including his son play soccer. The scene seemed incongruence until the viewer realizes that Canaan is not without feelings, that something quite terrible must be driving him to kill.
Following the story arc that Canaan only seems to kill drug addicts and other criminals, we are then treated with another delightful VFX sequence as our vigilante preys on another victim, literally sucking the life (we learn later the DNA) out of him with a hideous snake like protrusion that emanates from his mouth.
This factor settles (in the viewers mind) that a new type of Shape Shifter Canaan becomes Antonio Dawes (Zahf Paroo). Thanks Mr. Guinee for another fine performance!
At this juncture, compliments to FOX Broadcasting for extra content delivery during commercial break with vignettes on the Comcast cables Xfinity On-Demand service. This week they included a fun segment about a Fringe spin-off series discussed by all the main celebrities sans Lance Reddick. If you do not get this feature in your area , you can watch these fun segments on the FOX Broadcasting YouTube service.
Always efficient, Alt-Astrid promptly alerts Colonel Broyles who now has no choice but to dispatch multiple Alt-Fringe Division teams and the local police to cordon off a five block area downtown and track down the murderous Vigilante Shape Shifter.
As orders are immediately given by Colonel Broyles to dispatch Alt-Fringe Division teams, Alt-Olivia says to Lincoln “You’re with me” as she escorts him from the headquarters building to the suspects location.
With guidance from Agent Alt-Astrid, the team converges on the Shape Shifting suspect’s location. The sequence affords another opportunity provided by the writers for the two Lincoln’s to talk about how their differences made them become such different people.
It is here that the writers insert the message of logic that choices in life, environment and circumstance dependant, are what makes a person who he or she is. Alt-Lincoln leans towards choice while Lincoln leans towards environment and circumstances.
The reveal is once again interrupted when “Mother” (Alt-Livia) tell the two “girls” that some people are trying to get some work done as Dawes the Shape Shifter appears. Colonel Broyles seems none too pleased with these developments as Lincoln becomes trapped at gunpoint by Dawes who fails to pull the trigger and is captured.
As the episode approached its climax, we discover this is not to be the case.
With “field” permission from Alt-Livia, Lincoln questions Dawes receiving confirmation that Canaan / Dawes is a prototype of a “new type of human being” created by David Robert Jones.
Here is the analog to real life the creators want to present to the viewing audience; whereby people often make the mistake that other people can “fix” their own problems or others are too blame for their own shortcomings. As in real life, this is not the case. A person cannot be “fixed’ by someone else, nor will blaming others “fix” yourself either. Period.
During the sniper sequence the viewers are deliberately led astray, made to believe, for the purpose of creating an exquisite plot twist, that that Dawes was the target. Not so. This entire sequence is certainly “cover” to hide David Robert Jones true agenda; Have his minions Alt-Nina and Colonel Broyles eliminate Captain Lincoln Lee!
Jones suspects that after becoming motivated by the killing of his partner, Captain Lincoln will have the same success in the alternate universe where they are hiding.
Distraught Lincoln Lee confronts the Shape Shifter with a chilling warning that David Robert Jones is only using him and will never “fix” him as was promised. This will provide a nice pivot in the story arc in a few moments.
Captain Lee is taken away alive by ambulance. Sadly Alt-Lincoln will only be with us in the present for a short while longer.
In an ultimately delightful plot twist, the sniper’s identity has been somehow been masked to allow access by the Alt-Fringe Division back at Jones’ Fort Lee New New Jersey Shape Shifter laboratory where diabolical Alt-Nina is waiting “for good news”.
How? Canaan / Dawes assumed the identity of the dead sniper Maddox (Kirby Morrow) leading to a successful raid on the Jones tech complex.
Overriding the computer network security allows Alt-Livia and Lincoln to capture the facility intact, replete with a mainframe computer and tracking system indicating the location of the entire network of Jones’ Shape Shifters throughout the city.
Alt-Nina attempts to escape but is captured. Back at the Alt-Fringe Division, Alt-Astrid is in Colonel Broyles office. Colonel Broyles thinks she is there to tell him that Alt-Nina has been captured. Not so. She has bad news, Captain Lincoln Lee is dead.
In a nearly simultaneous sequence of Fringe sadness, Alt-Livia and Lincoln are informed of Captain Lee’s death while still at the captured facility.
Here is where we finally learn that beneath that hard shell, she is still the tender loving mother we had seen in season three. The emotional shift displayed on Anna Torv’s face and in her body language is palpable.
What I refer to now as the “Multi-Livia” performances was superb by Anna Torv. She is a truly gifted actress.
The episode seems comes to a conclusion as Lincoln escorts Canaan / Dawes / Sniper the new breed of Shape Shifter across the “alternate reality bridge” to the Blue Universe to be studied, errr cared for by Walter and Peter.
The sequence has a wry note of comedy as Walter says “I am looking forward to studying you …”. The look on the Shape Shifter’s and Peter’s faces was classic.
Walter, becoming more like his former self, quickly corrects his sentence after Peter sighs and pokes him. I could not help but giggle at another superbly classic Fringe sequence!
We find out with a segue that Lincoln Lee has gone back across the alternate reality bridge to find Alt-Livia.
She cannot bring herself to clear the locker at that moment as emotion wells up inside her.
Taking photographs of happier times with Captain Lee to the locker room, Alt-Livia sits on a locker room bench calculating her loss. Lincoln Lee enters the room to witness her devastation.
On Twitter the emotions of the fans were reflected back into our reality. From virtually every person tweeting, the expression of shock and disbelief at the tragic turn of events produced an increased surge of tweets into the stream.
The plot twist seemed to bring tears to everyone, taking all including this reviewer, completely by surprise.
Thinking he has made a mistaken choice by disturbing her moment of solitude and grief, Alt-Livia instead beckons Lincoln in to join her. As Lincoln shares news about the victory over Jones, their eyes meet. As they silently share the fact that each has lost a partner in the war against Jones, both vow to help each other in the struggle of good over evil to save our universe!
Theories and Considerations:
This episode of Fringe receives an “A Plus” from this reviewer.
The outstanding work by the Fringe team has created an environment perfectly setting everyone up for an epic nineteenth episode, traditionally a pivot point for the creators of Fringe only two weeks away.
What of Alt-Nina and Colonel Broyles? Will Colonel Broyles help her escape?
Will Alt-Nina receive a “Jack Bauer” interrogation because Alt-Broyles has no choice but to sacrifice her to maintain his own cover? Will Alt-Nina crack and turn on Colonel Broyles to save her own skin?
Jones has eluded the Fringe Division several times previously. Does the loss of the one such facility really matter in his dastardly scheme?
Lastly, how much help will the Shape Shifter defector be to Walter and Peter Bishop and the “good guys” identify Colonel Broyles and locate David Robert Jones?
Important other theoretical (romantic) considerations:
Finally, will Alt-Livia become more motivated, as Lincoln was, by the devastating loss of Captain Lincoln Lee, her devoted partner and friend?
And will this mutually shared life experience across the alternate realities help Lincoln and Alt-Livia put two and two together with regard to exposing Colonel Broyles as an evil minion of arch villain David Robert Jones?
Stay tuned friends!
These Fringe events are about to become manifest as the epic fourth season continues for the next five consecutive Fringe Friday’s on FOX Broadcasting!
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