Fringe Round Table: "The Consultant"
"The Consultant" put an end to much speculation on the status of Alt-Broyles, gave Walter his wings and more.
Below, join staff writers Nick McHatton, Sean McKenna, Carissa Pavlica and Fringephile Nick Shere as they discuss some of the unique elements of this Fringe episode.
What was your favorite scene?
Nick M: The scene Alt Liv and Walter shared over scrambled eggs. It is such a wonderful scene, and to watch the two of them over come their differences in such a Walter way is always heartwarming.
Sean: Walter preparing to go to the other side. There's such an endearing quality to his actions from wanting to bring over casserole to emptying his bladder because you can never be too prepared. I'm glad we got to see more of John Noble.
Nick S: Broyles's question for Walter. It's easy for writing about exceptional characters to get caught up in exceptionalism, but Fringe balances that by grounding the biggest choices in universal values and desires, and reminding us that those values and desires -- and the sometimes dire dilemmas that arise from conflicts between them -- are something everyone has to face.
Carissa: Walter and Fauxlivia in Faux's apartment. Their chemistry is spellbinding. He has something with her that he has never quite achieved with Olivia, and I love watching their scenes together.
Did you enjoy Walter's journey to the Alterverse alone?
Nick M: At first I didn't think I would like it considering Walter has always held animosity towards the other side, but that ended up being the point. We know that Walter didn't like that side, and now that they've put the past behind them and have begun working together it's great to see Walter do the same.
Sean: Like I said before, I enjoy watching Walter at work. Although he was alone on the journey, he still had Lincoln and Fauxliva to help him. He was in good hands.
Nick S: Yes. Walter's combination of totally esoteric knowledge with a completely childlike sense of wonder make him a really fun lens through which to see a new world.
Carissa: I did, very much. But there wasn't as much Walter as I expected. It was an Alt-Broyles centric episode which I didn't expect. I loved it, but still yearn for a Walter/Walternate confrontation.
How do you think Fauxlivia and Lincoln are holding up after Alt-Lincoln's death?
Nick M: Alt Liv is not taking it well, as we saw when Walter stayed with them. I think Lincoln is okay with it. Well, at least I think he is. I don't know if he wants to stay there with her or if he truly just wants to help her find who killed Alt-Lincoln without any personal motivations.
Sean: Clearly Fauxlivia is heartbroken over the situation but she remains relatively strong. I think Lincoln is doing a good job not of filling in, but helping her out. The two are making a good team.
Nick S: It's hard to say. I still don't have a really strong sense of Fauxlivia in this timeline. All of the moments that really define her -- at her most courageous, at her most cruel -- are things that now may not have happened or may have happened very differently. Without that as a baseline, it's hard to read her.
Carissa: Better than expected. I agree with Sean in that Lincoln is doing a great job of helping Fauxlivia without filling Alt-Lincoln's shoes. I look forward to what comes next.
Did it surprise you to learn Alt-Broyles wasn't a shapeshifter?
Nick M: I was very surprised, but this way is better because it keeps Alt-Broyles' character intact. The man has always had to make universe altering decisions, and this is no different. I'm just glad he didn't have to die this time, although staring at Meana for the rest of your life in solitary might be worse than death.
Sean: Yes. At first I was trying to remember whether I thought we knew that he was. I'm glad he was helping Jones because of his child rather than him just being a bad guy. It completely humanized his character down to the final moment when he turned himself in. The things you do for love.
Nick S: A little. But in retrospect, it makes perfect sense, since we know that in the prior timeline, his son was pivotal in changing his loyalties.
Carissa: No. I know everyone wanted me to believe he was, but I didn't sense it. It would have been too easy for him to go rogue for a simple reason. The complication fit with the Alt-Broyles I loved perfectly. And it was heartbreaking.
Why would David Robert Jones want to collapse both universes?
Nick M: I have no idea, and I can't say I really care. It just seems very pointless unless he's trying to get back to the timeline from prior seasons. What good is being the bad guy if you're just gonna take yourself out in the process.
Sean: No clue! Wouldn't that mean the end of everyone? Can you even survive a collapsed universe? There has to be more than that because I can't see the man going through all that trouble just to get himself killed.
Nick S: Well, since we know he has an OMG EVIL MAD SCIENCE ARK, it's possible that he thinks he can wipe the slate clean and start over, with life of his own design. However, I don't bet on us having seen enough of his motivations to be able to accurately deduce his endgame.
Carissa: I have to agree with everyone else here because just how mad would someone have to be to come up with a plan that includes offing themselves? Why bother with the experiments? Just go for it. Walter has to be, dare I say it, wrong.