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Fringe: The Man from the Other Side

“I’m not from here, am I?”

Three episodes left, and things are finally coming together. Peter figured out what’s up, and Thomas Jerome Newton returned. I don’t know what it is about Newton, but I just can’t seem to connect with him, the shapeshifters, or whatever it is they are doing: whenever he appears in an episode, I find myself thanking the programming gods for the in-depth “previously on” montage. That aside, I’m happy we’re getting resolution, both mythology-wise and for the characters.

I’m not entirely sure about the Theme of the Week, but it has something to do with this series of statements: Time is a river. The bridge spanned the river. The river and bridge layout therefore symbolizes the divide between the two worlds, which are usually out of sync, except when they’re not (when the bridge is down, in other words).

That river, though—and the broken bridge that only some people can exist on, much less cross—also symbolizes the sudden divide between Peter and Walter. They’d gotten so close, and Peter actually called him “Dad” for the first time that we’ve seen. When he did that, I wanted to shout: “No! Don’t get close! You’ll only get hurt!” like it was some sort of parental-issues horror movie. And he did get hurt: he knows now that he is the man from the other side (how he figured it out is part of the vast mystery that is Peter’s brain). He knows he’s not Walter’s son. Alas!

It’s only going to get worse for Peter, of course. He left, so he doesn’t know yet that Olivia knew. Peter has been betrayed by the two people closest to him. All together now: Alas, poor Peter!

We got some science answers, too. The reason there were so many problems with moving stuff from alt-verse to our-verse is that alt-stuff kept trying to occupy the locations where there was already stuff. (But, stuff is more than just buildings, right? No matter where you put alt-stuff, there’s still matter, like oxygen, there. Inevitably, an explosion would occur.) So the trick is to replace one thing with another. The other trick is to use harmonics, triangulation, and water. I’d hoped that the shapeshifters would have gigantic tuning forks, but sadly they did not. Probably rather difficult to transport.

I’m still kind of iffy on the logic of this science (the science itself is way beyond me). The shapeshifters come from alt-verse, but energy displacement doesn’t seem to be an issue when they come over. Why not?

Fringe has been so great lately that I found myself a bit let down by this episode: it was definitely a transition from the emotional weight of the past three episodes—still good, but not magnificent. The fallout might not happen next week, either: judging from the previews, we might have to wait to see how this all matters for our heroes for a while yet.

The Good:

• Rush. Tom Sawyer. Need I say more?

• Walter: “It reminds me of a bean bag chair I once owned. 1974.”

• Walter’s a Trekkie. That makes his relationship with William Bell a little confusing.

• Walter: “Don’t be ridiculous! But if we intend to re-animate this creature, he will need an entity to shape-shift into.”
Peter: “’Cuz that’s not ridiculous at all.”

Yeah... Wow!:

• Astrid: “It almost sounds like a language.” Really? It sounds to me like those velociraptors from the Jurassic Park movies.

• The anonymous Massive Dynamic technician just happened to have two metronomes sitting right there. In case of piano-practice emergency, I guess.

• Man: “You’re three blocks south of Franklin. So go down this street, you’ll see a convenience store. Then make a left, and go two blocks west.” How on earth are those directions to Franklin street? At least one thing that he said cannot be true.

• Mr. Newton looks like Gordon Ramsey’s younger brother.

Three out of Four Roasted Reindeer.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

7 comments:

  1. Josie, I don't know if this is a good or bad thing for me, but you said exactly what I thought during the episode, so I'll find myself repeating you in my comments

    -any episode that references/plays Rush is fine by me. It's my favorite band. I was just confused because I thought the scene happened in 1981 up until the bodies were found. The guy's jacket was very retro too.

    -WTF?!?! Metronomes in a lab?!?!?!?!

    -Newton was so familiar all this time, but I just couldn't plcae where I'd seen this before. It was a relief when I read your perception. I *was* unconsciously linking him to Ramsey too. Thanks!

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  2. I was also expecting giant tuning forks :)

    What bothered me was the logic in Peter's realization, though. Among all the clues he could have picked on, his survival on the bridge seemed to require a big stretch... It reminded of Buster's similar realization in Arrested Development: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jfjMk2tyQA

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    Replies
    1. Exactly, that was outlandish especially after waking from that big blow, a bit more time for him to work out his realization would have made it more believable.

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  3. I got how Peter got it. The FBI agent from our universe disintegrated. The "secretary," the man on the bridge, did not because he was from the other side. Peter did not. Ergo, Peter realized he himself had to be from the other side. Maybe this is simplistic but it seemed to make sense to me.

    And yes, I was also expecting giant tuning forks on the streets of Boston. Ah, well.

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  4. Newton's back! I can't decide if "Mr. Secretary" is Walternate or William Bell (original flavor). I'm sure we'll find out soon enough, just as I'm sure Peter will be back eventually.

    I liked how the reveal about Peter's true nature was ultimately revealed to him. I was so frustrated by all the "near miss" confessions with Walter, and was much relieved when the truth just came to light at the end. I'm glad it's out there and we can move forward with all the fallout.

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  5. The name 'Thomas Jerome Newton' is interesting: It's the protagonist of 'The man who fell to earth'.
    David Bowie played him in de film.

    The Newton in the film is an alien from a dying world. He travels to earth to bring back water, which can save his people.
    His mission fails, and he descends into alcoholism, while his home planet expires.
    So there is a similarity: 'Our' Mr. Newton travels to another dimension to save his own.

    If I remember correctly, there was also a character named 'Farnsworth' in the film.

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  6. ... and 'David Robert Jones' is, of course, David Bowie's real name.

    For some reason, the writers of Fringe tend to name their villains after Bowie...

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