Fringe Review: Hello, Alt-Nina Sharp...

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We had another sideshow case of the week on "A Better Human Being." I understand the need to continue cases, because they are an FBI task force after all, but they never fully meet the overarching story of our characters, where they were and who they have become. You'll get a mention of the case here and there in this review, but you won't miss anything as I gloss it over.

The change in Walter continues, as he just naturally leaves the lab for investigations. Nobody seems to even notice anymore that he's not frightened of his own shadow. With Peter here, he is a different man. This man also has a fatherly instinct, and that tells him that his son is somehow forcing his own memories onto Olivia in a desperate need to get "his" Olivia back.

He was just blindly tossing out ideas, like empathy, and Olivia sat there with a serene look on her face, knowing deep in her heart that whatever she was feeling was true.

A Better Human Being Scene

I mentioned last week that I think Walter is experiencing memories of his own of his life with Peter, but they are different. It's more of an emotional and philosophical bond with him that propagates itself in his actions. It's much easier to overlook than Olivia remembering everything that happened with Peter's Olivia in his world.

As confusing as it is, this world, I believe, is the world that remained after Peter was erased. Thus, the same timeline without Peter in it. Since he forced himself back into it, he brought with him all that he influenced from the time he died until the time he was erased. How I wish I had a scientific mind, because the idea of quantum physics and trying to figure this out makes me all aflutter.

Is it a coincidence that I mentioned "6B" last week and Olivia remembered it this week? I don't think so. I believe Fringe is trying to get us to think outside the box. Or, inside one of the many boxes they've already created. The steps to where they are taking us have been set and it's like pieces of a puzzle waiting to be put together. I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn I can get vexed at puzzles and try to force pieces in where they have no business being.

When our dynamic duo was at the storage facility and Olivia said she wasn't scared and Peter realized he couldn't be projecting his memories onto Olivia, did anyone else expect the storage locker to explode? I had my hands on my face, my mouth in the shape of a big O, similar to that of the dead dad of 200 genetically-altered mutants.

I wish that had been it. It would have been so much easier to forgive than Alt-Nina kidnapping her. I had to go back and revisit several episodes to determine where the never-before-seen Alt-Nina took over our Nina. I think she was already gone in "Forced Perspective." She was trying to take her gloves off when she got to Olivia's place, and offered to give her the medication for her migraines. That one is easy. Additionally, the Observer was watching, so he knew Olivia was in trouble.

However, in "Wallflower," it was the first time we ever saw Nina not quite understanding about Olivia's past and what she had been through with the Cortexiphan trials. So where did things start to fall apart in this episode? My first thought was at the "A-Ha!" moment Walter had about Nina when he asked Lincoln to take him to the bridge to see Nina. Why did Walter have to go to the bridge in order to see Nina? Somehow I completely missed that she had moved her office to the link between our universes.

Immediately I noticed that she was wearing open fingered gloves. Our Nina never wore those, because of her metallic hand. I double checked to ensure that in this new timeline perhaps she didn't have the shape shifter skin covering her hand, but in all real Nina scenes, she wore two gloves.

The vault was bio-metrically secure, with her using her left hand. They showed the right, skin up wearing a ring. I'm sorry that I lost faith in Nina and thought ill of her, that she might be working with David Robert Jones and Broyles. She looked quite disheveled. Who knows how long she has been held captive?

There is nothing about this season that is a letdown. The scene between Olivia and Peter in the car at the gas station was classic material. A die-hard fan could not complain and even a new one had to be moved by their exchange. I am more ready for next week than I have a right to be. Give me more Fringe!


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (144 Votes)

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


i love this episode it was so good


I am thinking the Olivia that Peter thinks is the real Olivia was just some sort of projection.


I am from the idea that Nina is playing double like AltBroyles, forced to do so by Jones, blackmail?
In the preview at the end of the episode Jones puts some needles in Olivia again, and the other bit Clarissa refers to, could just be to test her. What I do hope that both Olivia and Nina (if she is the godd one) will escape by themselves, and that Henry will be the Cabdriver not the baby (no one like that storyline, so why go back to that, everyone loved the cabdriver great to bring him back). Every week I think that Anna Torv can not get more awesome, but she does, mindblowingly awesome.
She must be on top of everyones lists in case a lead with multiple personality disorder is needed,,well in any case I should think by now.


I figured Nina was pretending to be a prisoner, like someone else upthread posited. I'm hoping that Olivia was taken on her way to the bathroom (to the alternate universe?) instead of being a prisoner the whole episode. I would be devastated if the Olivia since we came back from Westfield was a different Olivia. I love this show!


Wait. I just saw the extended promo. And what they are doing to Nina (the one wearing the outfit and held captive with Olivia) erases everything I just said. She and Mr. Jones are NOT friends. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!


@Cest The more I think about it, the more I think you may be right. Walter & Peter were definitely with Alt-Nina, but she may be a late player in the game and at a complete loss. They promise answers next week - let's hope this is one of them because I'm going to be driven crazy in the meantime, just speculating!


I disagree, I think the Fringe creators are pulling a double bluff. I think the alt-Nina is tied up with Olivia to pump her for original timeline info, while the our Nina will be accused by Walter and Lincoln. The Nina who went with Walter and Lincoln seemed confused by the missing drugs. She seemed defensive because Walter was so in her face. Original Nina has always, to me anyway, to have that sort of semi-dark ambiguity as part of her personality.
I think this idea has more of a Fringe like twistability.


MORE MORE MORE exactly!!


Nothing says sucker punch like the bad girl sitting in a locked room with the captive. Lets not jump to conclusions just yet.


Maybe Henry grew up to be the Observer & that is why he is so close to Olivia & Peter because keep in mind...they can travel all through time. Just a thought!

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Fringe Season 4 Episode 13 Quotes

Lincoln: There really aren't any normal days on this job, are there?
Olivia: Nope.

Peter: Just be straight with me. Are you okay?
Olivia: Yeah, I'm fine.
Peter: Then why did you kiss me?
Olivia: I don't know. It just felt like that's what we do. It just felt normal.