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Fringe Review: A Game Changer?

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It was back to my favorite alternate universe this week. Just after meeting our universe's Lincoln Lee, it was great to see the original back in action. He and Charlie were front and center as they tried to deal with something very unexpected.

You could tell that Fauxlivia became attached the child growing inside her because the idea she might have the fatal virus that killed her sister during childbirth seemed to be breaking her heart.

Trouble Over There

The scenes between Fauxlivia and her mother made me ache for Olivia, who lost out on that maternal relationship. But she was also blessed with a sister who continues to live, something I'm sure Fauxlivia would like to experience, as well.

I noticed early on was how much more like our Olivia she seemed now that she was facing these new challenges. A kinder, gentler Fauxlivia. Since I have always felt more connected to her and her experiences, I was happy to learn that she was going through some positive changes.

After Olivia had her VPE blood test, she was kidnapped. The mystery itself isn't that she was kidnapped, but why, by whom and for what purpose. While watching, none of it was making sense to me. Then it hit me.

We knew that if Fauxlivia found out she had the VPE virus and she was going to abort. Who would care if she aborted? If you guessed Walternate, then there was nothing too surprising about the episode once you made the connection.

Did he do it to keep Fauxlivia from having an abortion? Or was he really generous enough to want to try to save both of their lives, which is what the super speedy gestation period did in the long run? We may never know.

We do know that the many times, including in this episode, when Walternate said he would not experiment on children, he lied.

By the end of "Bloodline" he had a swab of the baby's blood in his hands. To do what? He can't exactly clone Peter, but perhaps he will use the blood to see if Fauxlivia's child will possess the same traits needed to ignite the doomsday machine. Maybe the face of Peter on the drawings of the device are actually those of his son.

Walternate made mistakes along the way. He underestimated the damage that our headstrong Olivia might have been doing over there when she wasn't under his watchful eye. He didn't have enough knowledge of Olivia living as Fauxlivia to clean up potential messes. He didn't even know about Henry. That she had made such a close ally in his world must have been shocking to him.

When Henry told Lincoln and Charlie the differences he witnessed between the Olivias, Walternate had to come clean (as clean as a lying madman can come). This disclosure left him no choice but to tell Lincoln some truths, and considering how Broyles ended up, it clearly puts Lincoln and Charlie into dangerous territory.

Lincoln and Charlie were astonished they didn't see the differences between the two Olivias. The best part of them knowing now is that they are already questioning everything, including Broyles death (or disappearance).

The perk of being in Fringe Division is your clearance classification is among the highest available. To keep secrets from the Division is to put lives, and the entire world, in jeopardy.

They know Walternate can no longer be trusted. I hope we get to see this play out in detail. Perhaps the two Fringe Divisions will reach out to each other across their universes to stop total annihilation. I'm just guessing, of course, but it would make for riveting interplay between all of the characters and give the actors some great opportunities for stunning performances.

What was the game changer in all of this? The only thing that changed was Lincoln declaring his love for Fauxlivia. She needs someone on her side, and Lincoln is no slouch. Might she come to love him? Both Olivias are due for some happiness.

My favorite scene, and one I played more than once, was when Lincoln was talking Olivia through a birth they both thought would leave her dead. It was so emotional and Seth Gabel gave his heart to the scene. Very well done.

Some questions that grew out of the episode: How will Walternate be treated by his team now that the lies have surfaced? How far will the team go to find out everything they didn't know? Will Walternate let his grandson grow up a normal child, or will he kidnap him and super grow him into an adult looking just like Peter (giving Joshua Jackson an extra role to play) to try to man the machine without the cooperation of his own son? Will our friends in their universe come to believe that our universe is not the enemy after all? 

There are many more questions, of course, and I hope you'll raise them in the comments section. How are you feeling about our two universes and the characters in them as we round into the final episodes of the season? And could this episode have been any better, knowing the show will go on? I think not! Sound off!!

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (66 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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A round of applause for your post.Much thanks again. Great.

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Dear DK, "Science and religion are a part of our world culture, and like it or not, they alway will be."
I DON'T like it. In fact, I HATE it. Humanity will progress much faster if we see religion and faith for what it is - wishful thinking. "Just because a show focuses on the 'science' of the matter doesn't mean it can be void of characters with certain beliefs. There are scientists and doctors who are also religious, you know."
There are 3 kinds of scientist who have religion.
1. The kind that understands that science and faith are two separate things and cannot be practiced concurrently.
2. The kind that doesn't have the above understanding and puts the two together (e.g. creationism), and ends up bastardising BOTH.
3. The pot-smoking, bongo-thumping loony kind that isn't religious but "spiritual", and ends up attributing all kinds of spooky "woo" to math-heavy but experiment-light concepts like string theory. In a word: KISS MY GOD-HATING GLUTEUS MAXIMUS.

Carpediem145

im starting to like bitchlivia, but dind't she kill a man in our world? the baby is beautiful! cant wait for peter to find out, and accelerating he pregnancy is about something else, dont know wath but has to be! couse just to get the dna they could have got it while she was pregnant, and they couldnt have know she was wanna abort, couse if they knew is to little time to plan all wath they did

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Just a minor bit of info here. 1. I don't believe they will use the child to try and power the machine. They only needed his DNA makeup I'm guessing to figure out a way of crossing over to the other side, like Olivia could. 2. Science and religion are a part of our world culture, and like it or not, they alway will be. Just because a show focuses on the 'science' of the matter doesn't mean it can be void of characters with certain beliefs. There are scientists and doctors who are also religious, you know.

Modwild

Wow - You guys have some great theories and comments! I am so glad you read my long-winded review. I'm afraid I couldn't make my fingers stop typing!! And I'm so happy more of you are seeing Fauxlivia as a real person. They tried, but there is just no way we can dislike the other side. Yes they're different, but both equally as passionate and human. We have 22 new episodes to look forward to next year!! The smartest thing Fox could do (anyone work for them??) is to replay seasons one and two during the summer to attract more viewers. Even on a Saturday night. It deserves that chance!!

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I have a theory. When William Bell finally leaves Olivia, she will break up with Peter because of her trust issues. Peter, suffering in his heartbreak, finds out about Fauxlivia and his son. Stirrings of fatherly concern and old remembrances of Fauxlivia wiegh down on him. He decides to leave for his home universe. But, when he gets there, Fauxlivia and Lincoln have started a relationship, and Lincoln has formed a jealous protectiveness over Fauxlivia's child. Peter is heartbroken a second time. He talks to Walternate and tells him he will work on the machine, and that he will accept what has been fated for him, what his destiny is. Badah bang badah boom... machine is ready, but... Bam bam bam bam BAAAAAM.... Peter opens a inter-universal passage and activates the machine to destroy both worlds.... And Abrams, in a hopeful tone much like Lost's finale, ends things off by showing us yet another version of the universe, or maybe more.. Moral of the story: No matter how shitty your life is, there is another version of you happy in another version of life...

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As long as Fringe doesn't end up in a fantastically multi-denominational, multi-religious church where everybody ends up going into the light, I'm fine. That spiritual gluck was appropriate to Lost, but I'm telling you... The part at the end, in the hospital, when Fauxlivia was telling her mother how she and the baby survived her condition:
Fauxlivia: "... the virus couldn't replicate as fast as the pregnancy."
Mother: "Whatever the science is, he is still a miracle." OMG... Oh, lord. Dear, lord. God this, that and the other thing. God sent storms and floods to Australia, and an earthquake and tsunami to Japan. That's how loving your god is. "Oh, but god allows suffering on this earth so that we may learn our lessons, or to test us..." DRIVEL!!! 1. Learn our lessons for what? From a Christian/Muslim POV you live then you either go to hell or heaven for eternity. And then what? What does god do with the REST of his eternal life once he's done with this pathetic project called earth? 2. A finite time on earth of either sinning/obedience for an INFINITE time of hell/heaven. The deed does not fit the punishment/reward. 3. Test us?!!! If he's so damned omniscient, it would take him but one glance to surmise the contents of our heart? What kind of god needs to test anything. Abrams needs to stop smoking pot and reading so much Eckhard Tolle. BS!!! All limp-wristed BS. Life sucks! Deal with, get on with life, and stop yammering about a god who even if he existed seems to not give two fecal bits about you. Just shut up about GAWD. ARgggahhhhhh!!!!

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when they kidnap a pregnant woman and insert a 3 inch needle into her belly, u know it is a JJ Abrams show.
First in Alias, Sydney was kidnapped tested when she was pregnant, which was ordered by her mother
Then in Lost Claire was kidnapped by The Others and again experimented upon by Ethan.
Now in Fringe Fauxlivia is also kidnapped and stuck with a big fat needle. Only this time they added accelerated growth, a truly Fringey thing.
I was like why why why would they do this again! and as the episode progressed i started liking Fauxiliva and worried for her. I loved the birth scene with Lincoln and Henry, and even the last scene with Fauxlivia and her mother and the miracle child.
Although i missed Peter, Lincoln acted as a good substitute. I am totally rooting for Lincoln and Fauxlivia

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On a third alternate universe where technology is so advanced but society is afflicted with a spectator mentality and don't do anything themselves: Olivia 3: "I can't believe we had sex!"
Peter 3: "So unprofessional! Can you imagine us... you know."
Olivia 3: "What? No! Not us."
Walthree: "Am I the only sane version of..."
Peter 3: "And that other Peter is so self-centered! OMG!"
Olivia 3: "Tell me about it! Two universes, one machine."
Peter 3: "Yeah! Hello?! WE'RE here!"
Walthree: "One's Machievallian, the other's a pot..."
Peter 3: "Is it really so hard to imagine us... you know."
Olivia 3: "Well..."
Walthree: "... it's ridiculous!" [Peter 3 and Olivia 3 start making out] Walthree: "Oh, well then..."
Astrid: "Don't even think about it Walthree."

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I was so sure that Fauxlivia was going to die during childbirth. Wow. What an amazing episode. I wonder when Peter is going to find out about his son, and what will this do to him? I'm so afraid of when this happens. Poor Olivia. I must say, I did not see that Walternate was behind the kidnapping. It surprised me at the end. This episode made you like Fauxlivia more and hate Walternate more. Now...3 WEEKS? Ugh!

Fringe Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

Charlie: Fringe Division! Hands on the Wheel! Get out of the car!
Henry: Which one is it?
Charlie: Out of the car!

I have already stated my opinion. We are not experimenting on children. I have made myself clear.

Walternate