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Fringe Round Table: Debut Edition

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Waiting is the hardest thing to do, especially for TV fanatics, and sadly we have three weeks until the next new episode of Fringe. What better time, then, to premiere the latest edition of the TVFanatic Round Table, this time dedicated to Fringe.

Our Fringe critic, Carissa Pavlica, and fellow panelists Jeffrey Kirkpatrick and Sean McKenna discuss this week's powerful 5-star episode, "Bloodline," and the implications of that shocking final scene. We invite all readers to leave your reactions and insights in the comments section below.

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Team Olivia or Team Fauxlivia?

Carissa:  Both. For different reasons. I identify with Fauxlivia far more than Olivia, but I like how Olivia has lightened up since she came home. I think Peter is really in love with Fauxlivia, but I think he should stick with Olivia. I want Fauxlivia and Lincoln to become a couple and raise Peter's baby. Somehow, I think Peter would be okay with that. 

Sean: I want to say Team Olivia because nothing beats the original heroine, but I don’t think it’s that black and white. Fauxlivia isn’t “evil,” but rather a pawn in Walternate’s ultimate plan. She has a lot of emotional feelings and moments that make her just as human. In the end, I have a feeling that these two versions of Olivia will somehow team up to bring Walternate down. Can I say that I’m a fan of both?

Jeffrey: Olivia hands down. Fauxlivia has given Anna Torv an extra reason to shine for sure, but watching Olivia's growth over the entire first three seasons has captivated me like no one since Sydney Bristow. (You know I love my Abrams girls!) While my heart breaks over the latest pains Fauxlivia has suffered, Olivia has been dealing with tragedy her entire life, and yet she still has managed to develop into a strong, powerful individual. My allegiance, therefore, cannot help but be to Olivia.

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Has it been Walternate's plan all along to have Fauxlivia infiltrate Peter's life "over here" in order to produce offspring?

Carissa:  I think it was just happenstance. He's evil, but even he can't plan things out that well. 

Sean: I don’t think it was a part of his original plan, but rather a new circumstance he could incorporate into his dastardly endeavors. Walternate is one sneaky enemy, so I wouldn’t put anything past him.

Jeffrey:  It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that Walternate somehow pumped Fauxlivia full of fertility drugs just for this very reason. Without going back and rewatching starting with last season's finale, I can't put my finger on exactly why Walter sent Fauxlivia over here in the first place to pose as Olivia. Why not just kidnap Peter and hold him against his will and force him to power the device? I think Walternate realized he's lost Peter for good and would not have any other option to power his doomsday device than to acquire Peter's offspring, and used an unknowing Fauxlivia in the process.

Will Fauxlivia fall for Lincoln now that he has expressed his feelings, or is she still hung up on Peter?

Carissa:  I think she has always had a soft spot for Lincoln. I hope she realizes how good they are together and give it a go. 

Sean: As much as I can see Lincoln and Fauxlivia together, I’m still going with no. I think that relationship will be teased in a “will they or won’t they” fashion, but Fauxlivia clearly expressed feelings for Peter. Plus, the addition of their child will be a constant reminder. It’s not going to be that easy to get over him.

Jeffrey: How could she not after that outpouring of emotion? I like Peter, but Lincoln is so genuine, so strong yet emotional. He clearly loves Fauxlivia and I think she'll begin to see that and be able to move past Peter. At least that's my hope. Peter belongs to Olivia. 

On Alias, Sydney Bristow was pregnant, kidnapped and had medical procedures performed on her. On Lost, Claire was pregnant, kidnapped and had medical procedures performed on her. Now, with Fringe, Olivia has experienced the same. Is there some underlying message Abrams and company are trying to get across, is this purely coincidental and integral to each story in different ways, or is it just a tired plot device that should have been better avoided a third time?

Carissa:  I am definitely not up on my lore. Like on soap operas, some plot devices, no matter how ridiculous or diabolical, make their way again and again to primetime. Sydney was pregnant???

Sean: Let’s just say that women don’t like to be abducted and have medical procedures performed on them. That’s not the type of healthcare anyone should want. That being said, I think that it’s surprise pregnancies that are a plot device used over and over again. It will be the repercussions that will determine if it was worthwhile to the story and not simply something we’ve all seen before. I just hope it’s not a Super Baby.

Jeffrey: I might have been the only person who was disappointed when Olivia was revealed to be pregnant with Peter's child, for the reasons above. It seems to be a well these writers/producers are all too eager to return to a bit often for my taste. That doesn't mean, though, that it has been riveting all the same. At least with Fringe, it was a conscious, planned out decision to make Olivia pregnant, where Alias had no choice but to work Garner's real life pregnancy into the story. Despite my initial reservations, I am intrigued to see where they go with this. Hopefully someplace that will blow my mind.

Will we meet Henry's "over here" incarnation?

Carissa: I hope so. He's a great guy. I just hope, given his intelligence and compassion, that he is other than a cab driver on our side. A teacher, maybe. Something wonderful. 

Sean: Oh, I’m sure we will and he’ll probably play a key role in helping Olivia. I wonder if he’ll be a taxi driver too?

Jeffrey: One thing I've learned watching Fringe, nothing happens by accident. Henry's story could have ended after he helped Olivia escape from "over there." If he's back now, that means he is as intertwined into this story as Lincoln, Charlie and Nina are. We'll definitely see him "over here" at some point.

The Observers appear whenever there is a major event in progress.  What is so significant about Walternate acquiring a blood sample of Peter and Fauxlivia's child?

Carissa:  If the blood has the same qualities as Peter's, Walternate no longer needs Peter to power the doomsday device. What that means to Fauxlivia, our universe, their Fringe Team and poor little unnamed super growth baby - we'll just have to wait and see.

Sean: I’m betting that Walternate wants to know if his grandson (or his blood, DNA, etc) can activate the doomsday device. If that’s the case, he might not even need to use Peter at all!

Jeffrey: I'm inclined to agree with you both that he wants to see if the offspring can power the device, or at least engineer a way for it to be powered using the DNA. But that raises a question in my mind: Why did Walternate create the device to only be powered by Peter in the first place? With Peter "over here," there was little chance he'd be able to lure Peter back "over there" and agree to power the device. So why build it that way? Something tells me I've missed out on a key piece of intel somewhere along the way and would appreciate readers input in the comments section below!

Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Jeffreykirkpatrick

@Matthew Kind of the point to a round table...to speculate and discuss.

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All of your comments are highly speculative in areas in which there are no facts so they really don't have substance.
The one point that I have been curious about from the beginning and may be of key importance:
We know the FIRST PEOPLE built the device; Nina says "it's Williams design but we didn't build it" how is this possible, unless........................?

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I would go with Olivia, she was always honest with Peter. Faulivia deceived him. I feel bad for the baby.

Blaine07oren

Long Live Fringe!!

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i think it was walternate's plan all along for fauxlivia to get pregnant. when peter left the other side to come back here, walternate said he'd accounted for peter's other relationships, but underestimated peter's relationship with olivia. and going back and watching "do shapeshifter's dream of electric sheep?", we can see tj newton constantly egging fauxlivia on. THOMAS NEWTON: I don't know what your mission is, Bolivia, and you've made it very clear that it's none of my concern. Whatever it is, I imagine it requires you to gain Peter Bishop's complete trust.
BOLIVIA DUNHAM: What makes you think that I don't already have it?
THOMAS NEWTON: Well, maybe it's because I'm looking in from the outside, but I'm willing to wager that somewhere, deep inside his brain, Peter Bishop senses that something is not quite right with you, that something has changed, that you're not his Olivia.
BOLIVIA DUNHAM: Okay, you need to remember who you're talking to.
THOMAS NEWTON: You're in over your head. You're not fully committed to this task, and because of that, you will fail. (hangs-up)
later, at the end of the episode:
Newton: "[You're very good] at continuing to try to convince yourself that you don't care. But you do care, don't you? Every night when your head hits the pillow, in the last moments before you go to sleep, your emotions betray you, and you question your ability to pull this off. Words like, integrity, self-respect - they haunt you. They form a line that you're unwilling to cross and that will lead to your undoing. But I suppose that's not my problem anymore." newton was always working for walternate long before fauxlivia came over here, so i think he was meant to convince her to take her and peter's relationship to the next level. she clearly is frightened of her feelings for peter and doesn't want to jeopardize her self respect or relationship with frank back home, but newton convinces her that she must "cross the line" in order to complete her mission successfully. and as far as the blood sample from baby bishop, there is an official photo from fox going around that shows walternate taking the card directly from the doctor, not from brandonate, that was not shown in the episode. im not sure if this should be taken as cannon, but if it is, then i think brandonate is going behind walternate's back and giving the baby cortexiphan, the sinister bastard. and it also follows reason that baby bishop shouldn't be able to operate the doomsday device, as it was made for peter alone (by the first people, not walternate). if it has to do with peter's dna, walternate himself could operate the machine, and there would be no need for babies at all. apologies for this insanely long post!

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First off it is wonderful to see the first ever Fringe Round Table!! Thank you!
I think Peter being the one from over there and living his life over here changed a lot of events that would not have occured naturally over here, so i guess thats why he is so important, cuz he changed everyone's destinies. It also could be why the machine can operate under him. And yeah, the doomsday device was built by the first people, but do we know for sure that it IS a doomsday device? i don't remember for sure how they described the device, guess i'll have to catch up on re-runs too..

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We know from interviews with the producers and john noble that there will be communication between the two worlds by the end of the season. They also said that the news of the birth of PBjr will also reach our side by the end of the season but not necessarily to Peter. My guess is that the dna card will be sent to our side and it is NINA who gets it but doesnt disclose the info.

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Yes, the machine was made by the First People and exists in both universes. So Walternate did not make it to fit Peter's DNA, it just does. Which opens up another whole pile of quetions about how a machine made so long agao is only operatable by someone from our time. Hmmmm. I also agree that Fauxlivia's pregnancy was unplanned and Walternate is not a manipulative evil genius just someone who takes adavntage of oppurtunities as they present themselves.

Jeffreykirkpatrick

Ah now I remember. Thanks for the memory jog! Still don't understand why it's up to Peter to power. I'll definitely have to rewatch over the summer.

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In Over there part 1 Nina says "it's Williams design but we didn't build it".
I've never seen Lost and only a few episodes of Alias, so Fringe is original to me and awesome. Totally stoked that it was renewed and that hopefully all those questions will be answered.
And yes we have to wait until April 15th for new episodes. But there are re-runs Fridays and Saturdays. Keep watching and keep spreading the word. No time to slack off.

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
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