Friday, May 21, 2010

Fringe “Over There Part 2” Recap & Review

All Photos from Fox

The season finale of Fringe (Fox), “Over There Part 2” brought Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), along with Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) over to the alternate universe in order to retrieve Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), who went over there willingly with “Secretary” Walter Bishop (also John Noble). It seems that even William Bell (Leonard Nimoy, in what is supposed to be his last acting role) has come to call the alternate universe version of Walter the “Walternate”. By the way, I was amused by what seemed like a tribute to Nimoy as Star Trek's Mr. Spock as he raises his hand - reminiscent of "live long and prosper" - to release his energy. The episode did an excellent job in showing the differences between our world and the alternate – they fly in quiet dirigibles, the Transamerica Pyramid is in New York City, and Liberty Island has a gleaming Statue of Liberty with Liberty Island being the headquarters for the Department of Defense, and serves as Walternate’s headquarters. We also hear of some of the areas that are “quarantined," one of them being by Madison Square Garden, where a wormhole exists and 10,000 people are trapped inside, all who have been declared dead.

We know we are in a different place as the episode opens with a familiar looking theme – but it’s red rather than blue and some of the words are different (see comparison video below). The alternate universe, despite some of the normalcy,seems like a very cold and sterile place. Walternate seems to be the man in charge, and John Noble does his usual excellent job in portraying the very calm and reserved, yet cold and calculating Secretary. At the end of the episode, with Olivia imprisoned, he is able to show the differences between Walter and Walternate simply by changing the look on his face. It was enough to make me shudder. Although the twist at the end could be predicted a mile away, it was one of those endings that was highly satisfying, and only makes one wonder more about the interesting possibilities this show has for next season. (In case you missed part 1, see
Fringe “Over There Part 1” Recap & Review)

In case you missed Part 2, here’s what happened:

Peter flies over New York to meet Walternate in his office on Liberty Island. It’s at Walternate’s office where Peter learns that Walter’s taking of Peter years ago created several “soft spots” in their universe because of what “that man” – Walter – did, and they are marked as red spots scattered all over the map of the United States, one almost covering Boston. He wants Peter to help him with a power source to help solve the problem and Walternate believes Peter’s knowledge of science from the other side can help. It’s here where Peter sees Olivia’s strawberry blonde alternate, and she is somewhat cold to him. Later, Walternate warns her that their doubles cannot be trusted and will lie – and he wants a favor of her.

Fringe Finale – extended scene (deleted from episode)

Walternate knows that Walter is at a local hospital being treated and sends the alternate Fringe team out to get him, but William Bell helps Olivia get to Walter first and to escape. Walter is really thrilled about the drugs they used – and also seems interested in the food, specifically, a bucket of KFC fried chicken which tastes the same to him in both universes. They make their plans to get Peter back, and they need to find a way to keep the door to the universes open so they can cross over – a doorstop of sorts. But Alt-Olivia is already working to track them down as has seen their escape on security video and she has also seen her blonde equivalent, and she now must work to top Walter from getting Peter back.

Alt-Olivia takes Peter to a hotel room and tells him he will be famous now that he returned as people know his story.

While Olivia works to track down Peter, William Bell and Walter scout out his alternate Harvard lab for equipment to help them cross back over. We find that William Bell’s alternate had died in a car crash years ago and he and Walternate never worked together. Walter begins to argue with Bell, saying that Bell took the alternate world’s technology for profit, and Bell reminds Walter that he only came over to try to stop the events Walter started by coming and stealing Peter. He adds he had no choice but to work for Walternate, coming up with things like the shape shifters. Walter tells him of the 17 years he spent in a mental institution and is angry with Bell for cutting out pieces of his brain and stealing his memories. But they start working together when they find the piece of equipment that they need.

Meanwhile, back at Alt-Olivia’s apartment, she is ambushed by Olivia. They compare notes and find they are not completely alike, for example, Alt-Olivia’s mother is still alive, but her sister died in childbirth. When it seems Alt-Olivia wins at the battle of wits, Olivia manages to disable her and then knocks her out. Olivia dyes her hair and then makes her way to where Peter is being held – along with Agent Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo), whom Olivia told she was instructed to move Peter. Peter, working on the power source at the hotel, realizes the component needed to make it work is something unique – HIM.

When she gets to the hotel, she gives Peter the drawing she got from the Observer, and hearing mention of the Observer, he realizes something is up. When Olivia knocks Charlie out, Peter knows it is really Olivia, and she tells him Walternate lied about fixing the other universe; it is about destroying theirs. He asks her how long she knew about where he was really from and she tells him a few weeks, adding he doesn't belong here.. He agrees, but he thinks he doesn't belong there either. She says thought of 100 reasons why he should come back but the best reason is his belonging with her. She steps closer and they kiss.

At Alt-Fringe division, they realize Walter and the rest are going to the opera house. At the opera house, Peter and Walter re-unite, but as sirens approach, Bell tells Peter and Walter to go in and set up the device while he holds them off. Bell uses weapons he designed for maximum impact, and gives Olivia prototype phosphorous grenades while Walter powers up his machine inside. But when Olivia notices Alt-Olivia, she warns Bell, but there is a huge explosion. The next thing we see is Olivia - and I find myself asking is it really Olivia? - standing over William Bell, who was knocked out from the grenade. Inside, Walter and Peter have the machine up and running and Bell makes the decision that since his atoms are so scrambled anyway he will help keep the device open. As the door is opening, he admits to Walter that he took out part of his brain because Walter asked him to, because of what he was becoming. As the Alt-Fringies come through the door, he raises his hands and the energy flows out of him and with a flash, they are back “home” in the opera house, with Bell and the machine gone.

Later, "Olivia" arrives home and looks around strangely. At the lab, Astrid (Jasika Nicole) welcomes Peter back with lots of pie. Before Peter leave the lab for the night, Walter asks him if he is staying, and Peter tells him, "I'm trying to see this your way, Walter. I can't. But, you did cross universes twice to save my life, so that's gotta count for something, right?"

But we then see “Olivia” walk into the typewriter store and she asks for the Selectric model 251 typewriter, used to communicate with the other side – and we know she is not who she seems.
In the back room, as she gets ready to type her message, we see a tattoo on her neck. Her message: "Infiltration achieved. "Awaiting orders."

Back in the alternate universe, we see Walternate enter a darkened room and walk up to a window and turns on a light. It’s our Olivia inside a padded cell, and she screams for him to let he go, but he looks on her with a creepy smile of sorts and then turns the light out, leaving her in darkness, as we too go to black.

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