Hello Fringe fans,
This week we return with another great very emotional episode in which we had the chance to see the mother/daughter relationship between Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and Etta Bishop (Georgina Haig) grow.
It is logical to think that Etta would grow hardened by what happened to her family. She lost her parents when she was a child to later become an undercover rebel against the Observers which I will discuss in a better way later.
The fact is that she looks lovely however; she is a head strong female version of Jack Bauer, in my opinion. This episode was everything interesting since it explored the differences between Etta and Olivia.
Before continuing my review, we include the promotional trailer for the next Fringe episode “The Recordist” and clips of the “In Absentia” episode below, all courtesy of FOX Broadcasting for your enjoyment. Thanks FOX!
In the first scenes, we could witness a piece of memory of the perfect day Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) had always envisioned for his family, but now under Olivia’s perception. In fact she had this dream inside a nightmare of the moment she had lost her daughter.
It was THAT heartbreaking to watch all over again if she had not been woken up by Peter who could calm her down in a really adorable way.
This was followed by a scene where Walter Bishop (John Noble) still had the “complicated name” device in his head which was affecting his brain somehow I do not really know.
Imagine you have that Transilience Thought Unifier model 11 on top of your head but there was no thought to be unified? It has got to have some weird, bad effects on the subject, no? It was rather funny to see Walter realize there was another way, since he had completely forgotten everything related to the plan against the observers, enlightened by Olivia her majesty.
Olivia suggested to Walter that he might have documented the whole plan as a way to insure the plan would go on even if something would happen to him. For this, they had to go to his old Harvard lab which was blocked by the observers. GREAT, right?
Walter apparently, had another way to solve the current problem, he knew about tunnels below the whole campus which would lead them directly to the lab. As soon as they had gotten there, they found out it had all been ambered by Walter himself as a way to protect his belongings, especially a video camera that would be a key element to the progression of the plan.
In the meantime, a Loyalist called Gael Manfretti, played by Eric Lange, entered the lab by coincidence and was made captive by the team.
Since I have been almost 100% spoiler free this season, it came as a great surprise that Eric Lange guest starred in this episode, I had no idea. It got me so happy to see him again and it is even better because he was also in ABC’s Lost where he played Radzinsky.
We definitely saw too little of him, but what an actor, huh? I mean, the guy was awesome. He tried to manipulate Olivia perfectly and Etta knew it, both their lines were great along the episode. I also loved the fact that he played an important role in the growing up relationship between Etta and Olivia.
They had another issue to go through as they got into the lab. As I pointed out before, the video camera was Ambered, the whole lab was so how could they get it? Walter had an idea I believe made him suffer a lot, he had to break his so loved laser disc player.
It was such a wonderful, brilliant amazing scene played by John Noble; that drove me so mad because it was super brilliant, super amazing… I lack sufficient English language skills to praise the man, to be honest, but I hope you agree John Noble deserves an Emmy for his performance as Walter Bishop?
Later on, while Walter hit the Amber with the laser he asked if Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) would like to try?
I could not contain myself at that moment he said “Invigorating”. I found that to be really funny. It also meant that Peter and Etta had succeeded which was a relief!
It is clear that from the beginning of the torturing scene that the guy would not fall easily and when we got to see him and Olivia alone, we witnessed a very interesting conversation where Olivia tried to get his full cooperation without the use of that crazy weird scary torturing device Etta had used.
Of course he lied to her about having kids and trying to do what he could to get them to safety believing Olivia was actually buying his crap, the poor guy… As if Olivia was some dumb newbie agent in the business who would be fooled that easily. LOL!
At this point, when Etta was torturing the loyalist, Olivia expressed she was concerned about Etta and her attitudes triggered by the way she dealt with Manfretti. The scene was really scary; When Etta left the room, Olivia got her chance to use a different approach with the man, which I believe was more effective.
Etta tortured him for several minutes and in 2 minutes maximum, Olivia got what they wanted, a “how” they would get the power going in the lab. Something really interesting I noticed from the scene Olivia was doing the tattoo on her face was the way their hair was, behind the ear.
It was a really nice touch seen in the sequence as Etta told her about how similar they are, both women like to be in control and Olivia was allowing her daughter to control the situation out of love. This short scene made me cry.
Meanwhile, something extremely horrible almost drove Etta crazy in a level that would jeopardize everything. She had seen what the Observers had done to agent Simon Foster (Henry Ian Cusick), her beloved Simon.
Simon was expressionless in what I believed to be some sort of sensory deprivation experiment, he seemed to have lost the ability to recognize people and it took a while to realise there was not a body there. I saw him but it looks like my brain refused to process what I was seeing. It was that shocking!
After the fifth time re-watching “In Absentia”, I could understand what had happened to him. The Observers beheaded him to study his brain, when I realised it, I could not stop crying! It must have been madness, to have her whole life fallen apart, losing her parents, losing Simon, everything.
Then I understood why we saw him in the very first scenes, since this is about emotions and intentionally made to give the audience the feeling about what it was like to go through a life where you lose everything that makes humans, human.
Everything I mentioned above including the fact that there was no music, the food was horrible as well as the air, it all looked like there was no hope. Therefore, how could you not to grow dark and cold-hearted? Anyone remembering Olivia and ALT- Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick) conversation in Fringe S3x08 – Entrada?
It is something I cannot understand how people would find hope in a situation like this and when Olivia and Etta actually discussed about this, Etta saying that Olivia had no idea what her world was like it was true. it was also true that freedom has its price and that in the case, it had cost her everything! People are forced to be cold-hearted hardened people, in situations like this. Hope is lost and it is what it Is as Etta herself had said.
I guess what Olivia wanted to explain after seeing her daughter in action is that no matter what happens, when we start seeing things the negative way it is the moment we are doomed. No matter what the Observers brought her into, it is what they had taken away that is damaged most.
By the time Etta had let go of the Loyalist, their conversation had all being worth the pain. There was something in Olivia’s eyes. Walter and William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) had seen it, Peter too and now her daughter, could it be any lovelier than this?
Either pity for all or hope so strong it is in fact certainty, there is something wonderful about Olivia’s eyes. It is her past, her fights and struggles and the love she has got in her heart that works as a fuel that despite everything, keeps her fighting and Etta has that too. It was a beautiful emotional episode.
When we reached the end of the episode, the closure to the episode was the revealing of Walter’s video tape content, but if anybody had thought it would be the plan revealed just like that was pretty frustrated. Walter revealed in the video that he hid some video tapes and if they want to put the plan into practice, they will have to find all tapes.
It was impossible not to remember season one when Mitchell Leob (Chance Kelly), a double agent in the FBI who worked with Olivia was trying to set David Robert Jones (Jared Harris) free. He was looking for parts of Walter’s equipment hidden in many different places across the country in safety deposit boxes.
As a reviewer and a fan of Fringe I cannot wait until next episode, controlling the anxiety now that it is the final season, the closure to the best show on TV nowadays, I might end up way more fat by January 2013. Apparently, I cannot thank Warner Brothers and Fox Broadcasting enough for the happiness their show provides me.
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