On this week's Fringe, we finally learn a little more about Olivia, whose private life has been mostly a big void until now. Also, a lot of living things explode, so if you haven't watched yet, I recommend you don't do so with food. Overall, I thought this was one of the stronger episodes of the series. Do you agree? To talk about it, just
- Ohmigosh, exploding heads. Fringe has done gross before (the giant baby episode, in particular), but this was on another, bloodier level. If I think too hard about the rat, I get squirmy.
- That said, this case has a lot of good things going for it: One, it's fascinating — and a pretty sad commentary on the state of healthcare — that a couple of patients fooling around with drugs could find a cure for an incurable disease. Two, the patients' ties to the greater medical/scientific world, and the idea that a doctor could experiment on unsuspecting patients, are creepy. And three, it allowed Walter to use his scientific knowledge — but not his specific recollection of a crazy case he worked on in the '70s — to understand what was going on.
- It's been bugging me that all these incidents keep happening in Boston when presumably there's a Pattern presence worldwide, but something Peter says in this episode made me see it in a different way. He points out the weirdness of all these human experiments happening in one place and suggests that maybe someone has a plan for something greater. So, in essence, maybe there's a mini-Pattern in Boston that's just one portion of the worldwide Pattern.
- Meanwhile, it's Olivia's birthday, and we learn that Olivia has an abusive stepfather whom she once shot. He survived but fled out into the world, never to be seen by her again — but every year on her birthday, he sends her a card, just to let her know he's out there somewhere. No wonder she doesn't like to celebrate (or even think about it — did anyone else catch the pain in her eyes when one of her suspects started to speculate about her age?).
- That makes the scene at the end all the more curious. I take it her father usually mails her the card rather than slipping it under her door. Is it from him? Agent Scott? Someone else?
- It's also refreshing to see Olivia get angry at Peter for his constant wisecracking: "Any more jokes?" I'm assuming it's a feeling of helplessness that drives Peter to Massive Dynamic, where he makes some sort of deal-with-the-devil with Nina in exchange for the location of the secret experimentation site for the FBI to raid.
- Speaking of angry, Broyles flips out over Olivia's indiscreet behavior in this episode. Which is odd, because at first, nothing she did seemed unlike the way these cases have been handled from the start. (Granted, calling in the media at the end may have been a little much . . . )
- I couldn't even breathe during the scene where Olivia hands the antidote to the poor radioactive girl and begs her to stab herself with the syringe before her brain boils. Yeesh.
- On a lighter note, Walter's calling Astrid "Asterisk" now. Hey, it's closer.
- Poor Mr. Papaya, the friendliest of fruits. Jean mooing at the explosion was hilarious.
What did you all think? Do you like the new mysteries that are being raised each week? And can you believe we now have to go three weeks without the show?
Photos courtesy of Fox