Fringe Review: Paranormal Activity

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"Subject 9" left me with absolutely no coherent thoughts.

What Fringe did this week was subject me to so many revelations and questions that my mind was reeling. That, my friends, is what kind of a review your will be subjected to, as well. Because we're all in this together and I know you're all in a similar position.

  • Could you possibly love Walter more than when he is filming peanuts from multiple angles and welcoming another visitation from Peter because of an idea he got from fight sequences from The Matrix? Yeah, I thought not.
  • I couldn't stand that Walter thought Olivia would recommend he be sent back to the institution, but I loved that it was the driving factor to get him back into the world in an attempt to prove himself useful.
Peter Reappears
  • Walter seeing things ahead of time and the scene in the bathroom gave me chills...it was like a well done horror movie. Even when I don't think I can be surprised by what Fringe will throw my way, I am still amazed.
  • The relationship between Olivia and Nina is more like mother and daughter now. Nina was there when Olivia was asked to the prom! Who saw that coming?
  • During this week's Round Table discussion about "Alone In The World," we mused about many of the discoveries made here. Olivia doesn't have abilities, because she ran away from the program and it was shut down a few years later.
  • We also pondered why Peter was coming to Walter and Olivia so differently. It appears his pull toward Olivia is much stronger than to Walter. I was giving more credit to Walter's and Olivia's factoring into the situation than to Peter's own desire. I was wrong.
  • The subject of the original cortexiphan trials had apparently never come up before, because Astrid wasn't aware of Walter's experimentation on children.
  • Walter and Astrid (or Claire, whatever!) don't share the same close bond they did before the universes were brought together. I find that incredibly disheartening.
  • Nina and Walter do not get along at all. It would appear they barely interact, as Walter likened her voice to razor blades in his ears. It makes me even more curious where and when in this world Nina and Olivia first met. I can't wait to find out.
  • There were some laugh out loud moments: As Walter expressed his excitement at once again smelling fresh air as cigarette smoke was blown into his face and when he went ballistic at the thought of germs in his hotel room. His reaction to the hotel room was same one I have when I travel. I need to self-medicate before I can comfortably sleep in a bed that was just occupied by someone else hours before. Icky!
  • Walter opened up to Olivia in ways he must not have in the previous three years. It was the first time he shared with her that his wife, Elizabeth, committed suicide after the loss of their Peter. Elizabeth must have taken her life sooner, rather than later.
  • I loved the root beer float scene. Olivia was so free, and enjoying Walter's company. They were stripped of those moments, because Walter never left the lab. And yet, Olivia still knew how much he would love a float.
  • It seems the Fringe division has a much wider scope of authority than than in our (the previous?) world. Could it be that Broyles reports directly to the President?
  • It was absolutely brilliant that Peter popped up at Reiden Lake. It was an afterthought to Walter that he once had a house there, and Olivia had never even heard of it. That should change soon!
  • The defining moment was when Peter came back with his full memory, claiming to know everyone, and specifically requesting Olivia Dunham. Olivia must have been aching to know why he wanted to speak to her.

And, that was it. For two weeks (promo HERE!) we must suffer, knowing Peter is in the world without learning any further answers or raising more questions. In the meantime, satisfy some of your desire by reading the quotes, because there were some good ones. Meet us back here this week for another Round Table chat in the coming days that might even question the Round Table itself. After all, it's Fringe!

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (112 Votes)

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

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Fortyseven

Excellent episode. Need to see the next episode now!

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I love this timeline especially because Olivia is no longer isolated by Peter, in the end the only one she was allowed to have contact with was Peter it seems, most of all since 3.11.
Nina caring for Olivia on the one hand and Walter disliking Nina has a connection I think, Olivia ran away, perhaps after the killing of her stepfather, found shelter with Nina, but Bell and Walter lost her, so closed down the program, leaving Walter bitter according to Cameron.
I think Olivia still has her abilities, repressed or Nina has done a magic trick.
Walter only has the problem of not leaving the lab, he has great caretakers in Astrid and Olivia and I am surprised that they make this caring of Peter so important in being the reason for him not to go outside, what about losing a son twice? Being there when your wife commits suicide?(In the old timeline he did not even know what happened)
I love this Olivia,strong, self-asured, independent, back to being bad-ass, unlocking doors, using a Crowbar (deliberate?) to open a gate, and how she handled Cam, what a difference with the Olivia that from season 2 onwards lost all that to Peter, and became more and more insecure because of him to the point of having to beg for him being all needy and insecure from 3.11 onwards.
Central to this episode were Olivia and Walter and that was brilliant acting from Anna and John, for me they can take more of these roadtrips, or what about Nina and Olivia, love the chemistry between Anna and Blair as well.

Megan-doherty

I think the idea of this new timeline is interesting, seeing how far reaching Peters effect has been on our universe and how much he is missed, now that he is missing from it's history, it certainly isn't boring. However, surely the end goal it to get back to the old timeline?
I've been reading alot of forums and blogs about how 'wonderful' the relationship between Walter and Olivia is now, and how people think that this incarnation of Olivia is far superior to 'our' Olivia. It kinda makes me sad that so many people think that Olivia and Walters relationship is better than it was with Peter around. Just look at what Walter has become, a recluse. How is that good? or better? I thought Olivia and Walters relationship in the original timeline had gotten to a really lovely point, mostly I thought because of thier respective relationships with Peter, Walter loves Olivia because Peter loves Olivia and Walter wants Peter to be happy. One of the reasons I always thought Olivia was able to forgive and work with Walter, despite what he had done to her as a child was because, in the end, everything Walter does is because he loves Peter so much. I'll grant you the scene in this weeks episode where they went out for root beer floats was a really great scene between the two of them, but I preffer the scene in Season Three's 'The Last Sam Weiss' when Walter encourages Olivia and tells her he wishes she could see how special she is. I thought it was horrible that Olivia would ever consider sending him back to St Claire's. Our Olivia would never even entertain the idea.
I also miss Walter and Astrids relationship, which was at times closer than his and Peters relationship. I want them to be friends again.
And Nina has a maternal relationship with Olivia. How disturbing. I've never really liked Nina and always thought that Olivia didn't trust her. It kinda makes my skin crawl a little that they are so close this time around.
I am also a little frustrated that alot of information about the cortexiphan trials is only just surfacing for our new characters. I'm not sure if that is purely for our benifit at home, to re-tell the events as they happened in this timeline.
So I guess this is my little essay on why I think we should enjoy our visit to the amberverse, but hurry back to our blue universe, where Walter and Olivia don't depress me.

Modwild

@snakethecritic I'm sorry Fringe has let you down. If you keep reading and something piques your interest, I hope you'll watch afterward. Just in case! Thanks for enjoying what I write. It means everything to me. :)

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Well I'm glad I waited to watch the first four episodes together. As I suspected that the dynamics would lead me to walk away. I wasn't wrong the big mistake was aside from Lee, not one new character was introduced. Considering that Peter never existed. I still have to believe that the core characters still know each other, except smile differently. Sorry last part dry example. Season 3 (excluding the finale) had an amazing ability to wow and intrigue ONE into the possibilities of Fringe World. This is probably my character that can't sit through the BS. I couldn't even finish season one of Lost. Really bad TV thus far. @ Carissa Pavlica
You keep writing and I'll keep reading. Best reviews of any show, Thanks.

Ronald-simkins

I really do think that Cameron was right it was her latent ability that had Peter crossing the barrier. That is why it was different between her and Walter's manifestations.

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Fringe always manages to surprise me. I always end up shrieking at the tv when i watch it.

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i meant... COME ON!! typo.. x)

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TWO WEEKS???!! really??? two weeks??
come one!!!

Uncle-jackass

@Felipe Meyer well said about Elizabeth's problems. It seems the instant "their" side Peter died was when she had thoughts of suicide. Irrelevant of whether she had guilt of stealing the other side Peter or blaming Walter for a lot of their worldly problems.