Friday, October 16, 2009

Fringe “Dream Logic”: What Dreams May Come to Peter?

Photo from Fox

Fringe (Fox) “Dream Logic” was about those often-illogical dreams and nightmares that we’ve all had, but this time someone is out there who is feeding off of them. It seems that people who were involved in a sleep study begin to suddenly have their nightmares while awake, and in the process these people kill. Adding to the mystery: afterwards they almost immediately age, their hair turning white, as they themselves die of what is believed to be exhaustion. It was an excellent episode which provided an intriguing stand alone story of its own, plus deepening the mystery surrounding the effects on Peter of being pulled from another timeline without his knowledge.

Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) is also still trying to cope with the death of her work partner, Agent Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo). She is getting help from Sam Weiss (Kevin Corrigan), who has apparently told her to get business cards of people she meets in the course of her work that are wearing red.

When Olivia and Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Walter Bishop (John Noble) are called to Seattle to investigate the death of person at the hands of the first crazed killer, Walter seems very uncomfortable and won’t go in the room with the patient while he comes out of his deep sleep. When the man ages in a matter of seconds and dies, Walter enters the room. He wants to take the body back to his lab, because he thinks Seattle feels and smells like his time in the mental institution. (I find myself thankful that they didn't place the episode in Cleveland. Te city gets too much unfair press as it is.) Peter gets FBI Agent Kashner to escort Walter home.

While Olivia and Peter investigate more similar deaths in Seattle, Walter finds that some sort of chip has been implanted in the thalamus of the first victim, who had been under treatment at the Nayak clinic. Dr. Nayak (Ravi Kapoor) agrees to help Olivia and Peter, but when they get to his office, they find all his critical computer equipment that he used to monitor the implants has been stolen. Later, an unsuspecting Agent Kashner (Travis Schuldt) is victim to one of Walter’s tests, and as a result, Walter finds out that someone is using the chips to steal people’s dreams. Since they aren’t really getting the benefit of dream sleep, he believes this is what causes the quick onset of exhaustion.

While Olivia and Peter find ways to track down the other patients who had these implants inserted by Dr. Nayak, Peter tells Olivia he used to have terrible nightmares himself. He said Walter helped him get through it by reciting a mantra before he went to bed, saying, “please don’t dream tonight.” Peter also says that from the age of 8 to 19, he had no dreams at all. Since we have the benefit of knowing that this Peter Bishop was taken from another timeline, it could explain why Walter was so intent on not wanting Peter to remember his dreams.

Meanwhile, Sam has called Olivia and asks her if she got the business cards, and she tells him she has eight. He asks her if everyone she saw was wearing red, and she confirms it. He then tells her to circle a letter in each name, first and last then write each letter down, and solve the jumble. When she seems perplexed at these instructions, he says she will be looking for whatever she needs to hear, and she will figure it out.

When one of Nayak’s workers doesn’t show up for work, Peter and Olivia head to his house and find him dead. Dr. Nayak finds a threatening letter in his office telling him to quit talking to the FBI, but he turns it over to Olivia and Peter anyway. After they leave, Nayak calls someone and tells them he gave them the letter so the person should just stop. But after hearing that Walter says someone is stealing dreams, Olivia and Peter believe the threatening letter to be written by Nayak himself, and that it’s Dr. Nayak who is stealing the dreams. They believe he has an addiction to feeding off the dreams of his patients. They catch Nayak in the act back at his home, and Olivia must shoot at the computer server in order to stop him from feeding off his latest subject. Nayak dies in the process.

Back in Boston, after Olivia has visited Charlie’s grave, she takes out the jumble of letters from the business cards which says: OAUGENYIRENBEFON. After writing out a few suggestions, she comes up with “YOURE GONNA BE FINE.”

But Peter may not be fine, as after he and Walter moved in to their new home, Peter has had a bad dream. He dreams that he sees his father in his boyhood bedroom, seeing him in a reflection in the mirror. Suddenly he dreams he is ripped out of bed. When he wakes up, he sees Walter standing there, looking slightly concerned, saying that Peter was talking in his sleep. Peter can only remember bits of his dream, but nothing more.

I am sure that Olivia will be fine. But clearly Walter has concerns that Peter is starting to recall some things that are best kept buried. Are Peter’s nightmares leftovers from his life in the alternate timeline from which Walter had taken him? I find it interesting that Peter saw his father in his dream as a reflection of him in a mirror. Maybe Peter’s subconscious knows that he was taken “through the looking glass” himself, and his dreams may be the clue to him recalling from where he came. If Peter ever does remember, Walter will be in more trouble than he himself can dream.

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1 comment:

Michael said...

Nice recap, good episode, but a little weird in that the dreamless sleep that these people were experimenting should have been making them 'spontaneously exhaust' regularly, since they weren't dreaming with the chip in. I do like how the Peter angle is playing out, and it still sucks that Charlie is gone as he added another layer to the show, that I hope they find a way to replace. They need the cynic's view at times and Kirk Acevedo played the part well.