Welcome back Fringe fans!
This week’s episode “One Night in October” was a peek into what season four of Fringe has in store for us.
Before we begin our review, below is a Fringe special released by FOX Broadcasting called “The Bridge”. Thanks FOX!
One Night in October:
The episode is based on a fundamental debate of nature vs. nurture. John McClennan, portrayed by John Pyper-Ferguson, was at the center of this debate. In one universe he was a forensic psychology professor who studied serial killers and in the other universe he was a serial killer. Pyper-Ferguson did an excellent job at portraying McClennan and making the two very similar in personality and different in their actions.
We began this episode with a man hooked up to a machine that appeared to be pumping some sort of blue liquid into his brain. He was being asked to recall a happy memory he had of his mother. As he told his captor that his memory had made him happy, his face froze over and he had one tear rolling down his face. This scene was psychologically unnerving and filled with conflicting emotion. It was not apparent this early in the episode why the victim was being asked to recall happy memories.
Walter Bishop (John Noble) was in the lab with Lincoln Lee, portrayed by Seth Gabel, covering every reflective surface in the lab. In episode one “Neither Here Nor There” Walter began to see a man in his television. We found out this man was Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson). There is a vulnerability to Walter now that Peter is gone. Walter has always been a nervous individual, but without Peter in his life he seems to be less stable. Peter was obviously the glue that held Walter together.
Walter described the shape-shifters to Lincoln as “vile, part organic tissue and part machine. It is like everything from over there. They are loathsome, hateful, and contemptible.” Walter expressed a great dislike for the “other side”. How will Peter’s absence affect Walternate? Much of what made Walternate mean and ruthless was the fact that Walter stole Peter from him.
Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) talked to Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) in the lab and suggested that she go out with Lincoln. Olivia was quick to make excuses on why she would never go out with Lincoln. Olivia is a character that has grown over the past three seasons. We have seen her go from reserved and a little uptight to having a carefree loving relationship with Peter. Without Peter in her life Olivia never made the transition to carefree.
Anna Torv has done an excellent job with her two characters in this show. She has had to portray the same person in both universes, but because of different choices their lives have become different. Therefore, making their personalities somewhat different. This ties into the theme of this episode of nature vs. nurture. Our environment is a product of choices and those choices shape who we are. Fauxlivia and Olivia have the same instincts that they were born with, but their environment has shaped their personalities.
The victims in this episode are being killed by cerebral hypothermia. He does this by drilling a hole in the back of their heads and injecting them with a chemical that freezes their brains. This gives a whole new meaning to the term “brain freeze”. I could not resist that bit of humor. Agent Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick) informed Olivia of the recent murders and the fact that these murders have occurred on the other side. They requested their assistance in catching this killer.
Olivia and Agent Broyles met with Fauxlivia where she briefed them on the situation. This killer, John McClennan, had eluded them for five years. They had just recently learned who he was, but when they went to apprehend him he was gone. Fauxlivia asked Olivia and Agent Broyles if they would bring the other John Louis McClennan to the other side so that he may go through his belongings and get a “feel” for what their McClennan was like. I like the subtle change in the serial killer’s name. Have you ever noticed how serial killers or assassins have three names. Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wilkes Booth, and John Wayne Gacy just to name a few. I had never noticed this until Mel Gibson pointed it out in “Conspiracy Theory”. Interesting little fact.
Olivia was quick to point out she did not know how this would help them find the killer’s whereabouts. Fauxlivia replied with “I lived in your apartment and I picked up on a lot of things about you”. This struck a nerve in Olivia. She will have to come to terms with her abduction this season. There is no way around this if they are to work together.
There are also noticeable differences in Fauxlivia without Peter. He softened her up towards the end of season 3. There is also no baby! I kept waiting to see the baby but it never showed him. Without Peter Fauxlivia never got pregnant. We saw a hint of the old Fauxlivia when she hit a nerve with Olivia.
Olivia met with Professor McClennan in his office at West Connecticut College where he teaches. She explained to him that the FBI needed his help in profiling on a case. She told him that he would need to be sedated because it was a long ride and it would be better. The reason he was sedated was because they did not want him knowing that he had crossed into a parallel universe. This will be an interesting problem to overcome this season, and I want to see how many solutions the writers can come up with.
Agent Lee and Fauxlivia have a certain chemistry on screen. This was very noticeable in the next scene when they laugh at her wig. She was changing her hair to be like Olivia’s. Since she has red hair she has to put on a blonde wig. Professor McClennan cannot know that she was not the Olivia he met back in his office. Olivia met Fauxlivia and agent Lee outside of McClennan’s house. There was definate tension between the two.
I cannot express enough how well Anna Torv does in making Fauxlivia a different character. Olivia told Fauxlivia that her jacket was buttoned. This goes to show the differences in the two. Fauxlivia is always smiling and Olivia seems reserved and she hardly ever smiles.
This next scene showed how unraveled Walter had become without Peter. Walter was listening to a record and had the volume turned up. It was so high that Astrid had to yell at him so he could hear her. She expressed concern for Walter, and told him that she had checked his levels on his meds and they were not right. He confessed that he had been experimenting.
This scene was very revealing. Astrid has had to assume the role of caregiver for Walter because Peter never did. In the previous seasons Astrid was a sort of babysitter for Walter, but this season she has become his primary caregiver. Walter also lives in his lab which is different from the previous seasons where he lived with Peter.
Fauxlivia and Professor McClennan took a tour of his counterpart’s house. He profiled him by certain things he observed while walking through. He began to see things that reminded him of himself such as egg hatching lights that his father used back on his farm and a chair that he had when he was young. He told Fauxlivia that the killer hated that his victims had happy lives and he did not. He took them when they are happy. It was not until he saw a picture of his father hanging on the wall that he realized there was more to this case than he had originally been told. He got upset and Olivia had to intervene and expose that there were two of them.
Olivia and Professor McClennan are in the house and she had explained to him the two universes and how he came to be there. She had told him that they are looking for his counterpart. She asked him if he could tell them anything about him that might help. He replied “I don’t just understand him. I am him. What is in him is in me.” This was where he confesses his feelings to Olivia. He has homicidal thoughts just as his counterpart does.
Fauxlivia walked in just as Olivia told McClennan that she too came from an abusive home and she could empathize with him. Fauxlivia looked at Olivia as if she was understanding why she was the way she was.
McClennan confessed to Olivia and Fauxlivia that he had the same homicidal thoughts and past that his counterpart had. He also told them about Marjorie. She was the person that helped him learn how to cope with the urges to kill that he was having. He said that his life would have been more like his counterparts without having had Marjorie in his life. He expressed that he wished he could talk to him and tell him he did not have to suffer. Olivia told him that he could not know that he existed. Professor McClennon climbed out of the bathroom window and went to find his counterpart.
In the next scene Colonel Broyles met with the Fringe team to discuss McClennan’s whereabouts. I mention this scene not because I felt it was important, but to point out that Colonel Broyles is not dead. He died last season helping Olivia escape back to the other side. I am sure this will be explained later in the season. What other things have changed with Peter gone? I also wanted to capture this to show what a nice physique Lance Reddick has.
Professor McClennan found his serial killer counterpart. He was about to drill into the skull of his next victim when the professor interrupted him. The look of surprise on his face was one that I believe many of us would have if we had been faced with the same.
The professor told evil McClennan that he remembered the night his father found the “dead things”. Evil McClennan said his father had caught him and took him home. He said he beat him 3 days straight. Professor McClennan told a different story. He ran as fast as he could until he fell down in a field. He was found by a woman named Marjorie. He said “Because of her I don’t have to do what you do to stop the pain.” He offered to help evil McClennan deal with his urges to kill people. Evil McClennan turned on him and knocked him out.
Fauxlivia had asked Olivia to ride with her to McClennan’s farm. She asked Olivia if she had told him about her childhood abuse to get him to open up. Olivia said that she had, but it was also true that her stepfather had abused her. Fauxlivia asked what happened to her stepfather and Olivia replied “I killed him.” Wait! Before Peter disappeared Olivia’s father was alive and sending her postcards. What has changed with Peter being gone that would have caused her stepfather to be dead?
Evil McClennan had restrained Professor McClennan and he had drilled a hole in his skull. He had the same hose with blue liquid in it that the victim at the start of the show had. Evil McClennan hooked something with wires attached to the back of his skull. He asked the professor to tell him about Marjorie.
Professor McClennan told Evil McClennan “I never understood how someone so beautiful could love something so dark.” This reference was important in understanding how both McClennans felt about themselves. The professor referred to Marjorie as “someone” but referred to himself as “something”. Evil McClennan was able to feel what the professor felt.
Olivia and Lincoln find the professor but his evil counterpart was not in the room. Olivia found him in the next room visibly upset. He said “I took her from him”. He also said she “made him feel for them.” It was at that moment that evil McClennan realized what he had done. He took his own life.
The next scene was Olivia and agent Broyles in the hospital looking at Professor McClennan. Broyles explained to Olivia that McClennan suffered memory loss of about 2 weeks and he had no memory of Marjorie. This was important because Marjorie was the one thing that shaped him into the adult he was. He said something to Olivia that let her know he may have forgotten Marjorie, but the lessons that she taught him were still in him. He said “You know what they say? That even when it’s the darkest you can step into the light.”
Olivia walked out with agent Broyles and asked how could he remember what Marjorie had taught him and not remember her. Agent Broyles replied “At the risk of sounding sentimental, I have always felt there were people that left an indelible mark on your soul. An imprint that can never be erased.”
How fitting that they would break away from that scene to Walter preparing for bed. Walter had become nervous with turning off his lights. When he turned out his lights he heard Peter’s voice. Walter does not realize the voice he was hearing was his son’s voice. Peter died in both universes when he was young. This was why Walter’s medication levels are high in his blood. He must be taking extra doses of his medication because he fears he is hallucinating. Each time Walter had heard from Peter he has said “I’m here Walter. I’m right here.”.
I am excited about the direction the writers are going with this story. Season three was all about choices. They focused on choices that each of the characters had made that led them to where they are today. They concluded with the ultimate choice of Peter stepping into the machine and bringing the two parallel worlds together. This season will be about the results of those choices.
Fringe returns this Friday 9 PM E/P 8 PM central with “Alone In The World”! Make sure to tune in live to show your support! Thank you.
I trust you have enjoyed this review of Falling Skies co-written by the managing editor WR_Systems (Kenn) due an unfortunate illness with my child as I tweeted last evening. Thanks Kenn! And as always we here at the WHR Fallings Skies team thank you for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency.
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Redone68 (Sandra – WHR Falling Skies Team Leader)