In “Forced Perspective” we will learn about a young teenage girl named Emily Mallum (Alexis Raich) who has extraordinary abilities to see future events. Could these events include the death of Olivia portrayed by Anna Torv?
This development also leaves the viewer to ponder if Emily will play a future role in helping the Fringe Division in the alternate reality defend themselves against the likes of David Robert Jones who re-appeared in an altered state in “Enemy of My Enemy” or perhaps even the meddling “Observers” who seem to have become not a force for good, but instead a rogue group of interlopers bent on achieving their own dubious objectives.
Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) is seen looking at pictures of “Observers” after her harrowing encounter with one at the theatre opera house. After some time our favorite Fringe Division agent identifies the man who she encountered previously. The ”Observer” in one of the pictures is none other than the person we have come to enjoy named September (Michael Cerveris).
Agent Broyles (Lance Reddick) has many pictures of suspected Observers indicating that Fringe Division has been investigating these “people” for over three years but that they have been illusive seemingly impossible to capture. Broyles looks concerned wanting to know why one of these characters decided to make contact with Olivia in the current circumstances.
Our dear Olivia (alt-Alt) replays in her minds that Observer September told her: “He had seen all possible futures, and in every one, she had to die”. As we “observed” on Twitter in many tweets during the episode, fans were not happy that Olivia would ever have to die. As we have learned before, the Observers have been mostly correct. Olivia considers September’s words as an ominous foretelling of what may happen in the future.
We segue to a Boston street (actually in Vancouver of course), where Emily is suffering from a strange noise she has been hearing in her mind. As we come to learn Emily has these audio inputs in her brain each time a future vision becomes manifest. We learn later that she has had this problem for some time and has been shielded from official investigations by her father (Currie Graham). Emily has learned to channel her visions using artwork to document what is about to happen.
We learn later that Emily has been trying to warm the people facing dire circumstances and often confronts the victim one on one. Once again during this instance, Emily locates the man she has drawn and gives him the hideous visage of the future.
The man is with a woman who is shocked by the nightmarish picture of a man being skewered by a steel I-beam. Emily is dismissed by the man and when just seconds later we observe a teetering construction crane that is lighting an I-beam. Sure enough the man is skewered as blood splatters all over the woman.
Unaware of what has transpired with Emily, Olivia is next seen at Harvard University in the laboratory. She finds Walter (John Noble) and Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) working the reality crossing device come to ne known as “The Machine” by series fans.
Naturally our favorite male agent Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel) calls Olivia indicating they have a Fringe event. Lincoln informs Olivia about the I-beam incident. Further discussion between Lincoln and Olivia ensues. Olivia learns that the victim was provided a drawing of the horrible events just prior to his death.
Olivia asks if the individual who gave the victim was a bald man like September the Observer. Many fans tweeted wondered if Emily was being manipulated by an Observer. Lincoln says no the suspect is a young girl. Olivia heads to meet with Lincoln.
The next scenes reveal the back story about Emily. We learn that she is not being influenced by an Observer. Instead she appears to be normal in most regards with her parents and brother. However the environment seems a bit pressurized to this reviewer. We will soon learn why… Massive Dynamic!
Our fears are somewhat alleviated when we next witness Emily drawing a nice picture of what appears to be a lake and a park. Just when we think that the incident with the I-beam is a one off occurrence, Emily begins to hear the humming again in her ears.
As we alluded to previously, we then meet her father portrayed by Currie Graham (Stargate The Ark of Truth). Dad asks how she is and Emily reveals she is tired of moving all the time. We do not know why just yet. Emily asks her Dad why she is the way that she is. Dad tries to reassure his daughter, but we can see that poor Emily is not convinced by his words.
We switch back to Olivia. She is talking once again with Broyles about predestination or being able to see the future. Olivia thinks it is all bunk and shares her feeling with her superior. We observe doubt on her face. Olivia admits she is no longer certain about her feelings based upon what has happened with September and now the little girl (Emily) that they are looking for.
We can clearly see Olivia is stressed out suffering from the headaches that have plagued her. Her moment of thought is broken when Lincoln interrupts indicating he has a lead on the case.
We have a quick scene switch back to Emily who is on a city bus transport. Emily hears the hum again and starts drawing another picture. Her attention is draw to a man near the back but does not notice exiting the bus. As a result Emily is unable to give him her latest drawing, a frightening picture with not one victim, but of lots of dead people!
At this point this reviewer and a lot of tweeters once again suspected the Observers were playing a role in these circumstances. The premonition by September foretelling the death of Olivia loomed large in the minds of many fans, including my own.
Subsequent to some investigative work, Lincoln and Olivia locate find Emily’s residence and question the family at the front door. They lie about Emily. Olivia spots a red back pack that was in a surveillance photo which reveals their falsehoods.
As they are leaving the building Lincoln and Olivia spot Emily on the street and confront her in a non threatening manner. Gaining Emily’s trust she explains to Lincoln and Olivia that whenever she is around someone who is going to be a victim, she sees them in her mind.
We would like to share that the actress playing Emily is quite believable in her role when she admits she has been unable heretofore to stop her visions from becoming reality. Lincoln notices her latest drawing and asks to see it.
Olivia gains Emily’s trust sharing that she too has had strange things happen and that she and Lincoln may be able to help her stop the vision from happening this time. Just when Emily is about to open up and reveal her latest nightmare, Dad shows up and puts a stop to the disclosures from Emily. Olivia passes Emily a business card to call and they will help.
Dad will have nothing to do with them. We wonder why when the dreaded name of Massive Dynamic is revealed by Dad who is livid that his daughter had experimented on Emily in the past. Olivia recalls past experience with Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) who damaged herself reinforcing her feelings of mistrust.
This reviewer must share that Blair Brown is an outstanding actress who makes Nina Sharp inherently evil in her portrayal. So evil that I do not trust Nina is ANY Fringe reality alternate or otherwise!
Olivia immediately goes to Massive Dynamic and confronts Nina. As usual Nina is elusive but finally admits they did experiment on Emily, but to help her. Olivia is rightfully suspicious of both Nina and Massive Dynamic who studied Emily’s abilities to see into future events. Olivia accuses Nina of what amounts to child abuse hiding behind the veil of scientific research. We can clearly see that Nina is hurt by this. Just then Olivia’s cell phone rings ending their emotional encounter.
We learn that Emily has taken the initiative because she trusts Olivia and wants the nightmare to end. Emily is at a location very much like the park setting near a lake as we had seen earlier in one of her seemingly pleasant drawings. Olivia meets her and sees that the sketch from the bus shows many bodies, including the man Emily wanted to give the picture to.
Olivia takes Emily to see Walter for an examination to ascertain her special skills. Walter discovers her brain is exceedingly active with theta waves in her occipital lobe. Walter discloses that William Bell and he had believed some traumatic future events echo backward in time, like ripples across reality. Walter theorizes that Emily has these same abilities.
Emily reveals that she draws the pictures because the images fade quickly like waking from a dream. Peter asks Emily why she tries to warn the victims. Clealy emotional, Emily is crying but tells Peter that she keeps trying hoping that one day she will save the victims from their horrible fate. We empathize with Emily who has worked hard to understand her special ability.
Dad is called to the lab and he finally agrees to try and let Emily help stop the slaughter depicted in her latest drawing In the meantime, Astrid (Jasika Nicole) has provided a key clue in Emily’s drawing to the man who was on the bus seen earlier. The perpetrator is named Albert Duncan identified by a bus transit card..
Peter suggest that hypnotism may help Emily visualize the scene in the drawing. The hypnosis works and Emily reveals the location of the next Fringe event. Emily see the suspect Albert Duncan clutching a strange looking radio. Peter flashes and immediately realizes Duncan is in a certain matching courthouse with a detonator for the bomb that Emily has drawn that destroys the building and kills so many.
The entire team reinforced by all available law enforcement head to the courthouse. We then learn why Albert Duncan looks is so obsessed: A judge who serves there ruled against him in his divorce.
Sheez Mr. Duncan, we all know that all is fair in love and war, but to destroy a courthouse and kill hundreds?! One is immediately forced to recall the Timotrhy Macvey bombing in Oklahoma City in the 1990’s. You see in real life, like in Fringe, people are sometimes so tragically obsessed they will do anything to achieve revenge regardless of who gets hurt in the process.
Lincoln, Peter, and the bomb squad technician (Toby Levins) find the truck bomb. Peter determines the radio frequency and informs everyone to switch to that radio frequency blocking the bomb detonator’s signal.
Unfortunately Albert Duncan has a backup plan to kill the judge, a suicide bomb vest! Our Fringe female hero Olivia convinces Albert that nothing is has to happen and to surrender before innocent people get hurt. Albert Duncan breaks down after assessing Olivia’s sincerity surrendering in a tearful moment.
The episode winds down with a tragedy. Olivia and Lincoln return to the lake where Emily is sitting by the lakeside like in her drawing we all thought was a good vision. No dice. Emily’s high brain activity is killing her.
The drawing has changed not featuring her Dad. Despite the fact that she did accomplish saving the victims this time, Dad arrives and joins Emily in her final moments of life. We hear Emily’s mind hum as blood drips from her nose. Emily dies a short time later.
In the final sequences, Olivia asks Peter if the Observers in his reality had ever been wrong about their premonitions. Looking at the picture of September Peter looks with sadness at Olivia. He shares that the Observers have already seen the future, asking is she has been contacted by one? Olivia lies to Peter.
Lastly, we see Nina has come to see Olivia. Both have a tender moment realizing they had almost never seen each other again. In a switch from the reality we know, Olivia refers to Nina as her as the mother she never had! Nina hold back tear and offers to make some “comfort” soup. Olivia admits she has terrible migraine headaches to which Nina indicates she will send a new drug from Massive Dynamic.
The episode ends with September who is watching across the street. He has been observing the entire event leaving us with a shudder about his intentions.
We include the entire episode below for your enjoyment courtesy of FOX Broadcasting via Hulu.
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