Television Review: Fringe Friday: LSD Learnings

This episode involves drugs, cartoons, and zepplins. It is exciting, mind bending, and involved. I enjoyed it immensely. Check out my review after the jump.

This episode opens up with Walter happily humming to himself. He is, of course, experimenting. He and Bellivia have decided to put Bell’s consciousness in a dead man on ice. My favorite part of the episode happens when Astrid calls Walter, “Willy”. I “Ha’d” out loud. It is perhaps the most awesome thing her character has ever said. Maybe her character is making a comeback? Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the experiment fails. Bellivia remains.

Peter and Astrid speak in hushed tones, Peter wants Olivia back. So do I! I love Anna Torv’s ability to play the different characters, but can the real Olivia please stand up? Bellivia interrupts and questions Peter, So you want me dead? Ok, Dude, You. Are. Already. Dead. Taking over some woman’s consciousness is not living. No matter how many soul magnets you’re clinging to in her body. (Ok, that sounds dirty.) During Peter and Bellivia’s argument, Olivia briefly appears crying out for help and then goes into a seizure.

Bellivia is rushed to the hospital and lurches up right just as the doctor is about to jolt her heart back into working order. Bellivia explains, I’ve had one jolt today. If you hit me again, you could kill me and the girl whose body I’m in. Yah, just what every doctor wants to hear. Psych consult anyone? Bellivia explains that in her experiments on rats, the doubling of souls in one body only lasted two weeks before the hosts consciousness disappears. He estimates they have one day to get Olivia’s consciousness back. This show has an obsession with the 24 hour deadline. It gets a little old.

Back in the lab Bellivia comes up with the idea that they could put Bell’s consciousness into a computer. In the meantime they need to bring Olivia’s consciousness forward. Walter suggests using LSD to get into Olivia’s mind and pull her forward. Walter, Bellivia, and Peter take the LSD. Peter starts tripping and thinks that because Broyles is bald Broyles is an Observer. Which reminds me of the scene where Broyles is covering his own body with an autopsy sheet and those rather suspicious circumstances of Alt-Broyles death.

Walter, Peter, and Bellivia go to sleep. This suddenly is reminiscent of Inception. Peter, Walter, and Bell arrive in Olivia’s mind. Definitely like Inception. Peter and Walter meet up, following a Morse code message they make their way to the top of a skyscraper followed by hordes of angry people and after an attempt on Walter’s life by Dream Nina. Meanwhile Broyles is suddenly fascinated with Twizzlers, and Astrid realizes that he has accidentally taken LSD. Peter and Walter enter a long white corridor and knock on Bell’s Dream Office door. Bell is a cartoon. Ok, not so much with the Inception-like qualities now. Leonard Nimoy voices Bell’s cartoon character. I somehow missed that Nimoy retired from acting after his last Fringe episode, which explains Bellivia. But he agreed to come back to voice the cartoon version of his Fringe character. So that is way cool. I know some people think of this as a gimick, but any gimick that get’s Nimoy back is cool with me.

Peter and Walter become cartoons when stepping into Bell’s office. Bell reasons that what has happened is that Olivia is not aware  Bell took over, but is just set adrift and has become afraid. She has retreated into herself because of her fear. Bell is worried that they might not be able to find Olivia. Walter says that means that everything in her mind is dangerous and hostile to her (and to them).

Broyles is in the lab staring out into space with his mouth open. He begins to bemoan his life. Death follows him. He saw death, all of it, “and it was me.” I know this is some serious moment shit, but all I can think of is, God Damn his hands are big! He’s just a big man. There are a couple of scenes on The Wire where he takes off his shirt and he’s just all huge muscles. Weird, and impressive.

Walter, Bell, and Peter leave the office, still cartoons, on their way to Jacksonville. They are on the roof. Suddenly they are surrounded by zombie cartoons. So awesome. Zombie Cartoons!!! This show is just awesome. Peter beats them up, that is right, cartoon Peter beats up the zombie cartoons! The men escape on a zepplin. So wait, Olivia’s mind universe is like the alt universe with zepplins? This must mean something, not sure what, but something.

Walter and Bell have a heart to heart. Walter feels sorry for Peter because of what they did. They had too much power, too many dreams and no one to stand in their way. But Bell says that Walter has learned as he has gotten older, and he now possesses humility. Walter doesn’t need Bell as a check to his dreams, he is that check. (Though, I’d disagree. Peter is definitely a check to Walter’s wild ideas. Walter possess guilt and despair, not a lot of humility. I think that one reason Peter exists, is to be a part of Walter conscience.) Something is wrong with the engine, Peter’s investigation shows the engine room is locked. A man appears with a weird symbol on his T-shirt and blows a hole in the zepplin. Walter falls out of the zepplin to the ground and wakes up in the lab. Just Peter and Bell are left in Olivia’s mind. Bell muses the man with the t-shirt must be someone from Olivia’s past. Someone unpleasant. “No shit, Sherlock” moment of the episode.

Back in the lab the computer is nearly ready to receive Bell’s consciousness. Broyels is still tripping. Walter breaks something and the race is on to make sure that they can finish building the computer to take Bell’s consciousness before he gets pushed out of Olivia’s mind. Because you know the 24 hour deadline isn’t enough excitement, now the race is on with broken computer parts and the last ten minutes of the episode. Peter and Bell are racing through Olivia’s mind on a motorcycle to the military base where Olivia grew up. Peter explains that Olivia wanted to be normal. That the last time she felt normal was the day before Bell and Walter came into her life and messed with it. He says, they have to find the building with the red door.

Once they find the building with the red door, Peter goes into the house and becomes real again. Peter tells grown up Olivia that she is safe, then he goes, “This is not you.” Just an astral projection of her adult self? How can an image of herself, not be herself? Doesn’t compute. Apparently, the little girl at the table is really Olivia. But the whole world is Olivia! Ugh. This type of inconsistency drives me bonkers. Suspension of disbelief, suspension of disbelief. Lil’ Livia leaves the table and goes, “I just needed to know it was you.” Peter takes her hand and they head outside. Soon a tank tries to run them down, and Peter looses his hold on Lil’ Livia’s hand. Peter saves Lil’s Livia and wakes up in the lab fighting.

Now, Bell is left. He runs with Lil’ Livia until he falls and tells her to go. Lil’ Livia stops instead and tells the horde of meanies following them to stop also. She says, “I’m not afraid of you.” She stares her step-father down. Lil’ Livia disappears and grown up Olivia appears. Olivia never felt safe, her fears overwhelmed her. Bell says, but in the end you are as strong as Walter and I knew you were. Now you know it too. He goes on to say, for you to survive I need to leave. There is lightening. Bell says he has a message for Walter, He knew the dog wouldn’t hunt.

Olivia wakes up in the lab and it is truly her. Broyles is blowing bubbles. Astrid runs over to the computer, but the read out is blank. Bell is gone. Olivia tells Walter Bell’s last message. Astrid asks, What does that mean? Walter explains that was always Bell’s way of saying that he knew an experiment wouldn’t work. Astrid exclaims, but the computer consciousness was his idea! Walter says, “Belly hates good-byes.” Walter ends the episode brooding.

Olivia and Peter are back at Olivia’s place debriefing from their very weird day. Olivia explains that she feels as though she has just woken up from a really strange dream. This happens to me all the time. Seriously. I once dreamed that my fingers turned into Cheetos and I began to eat them. Anyway, Olivia has drawn a picture of the man with the weird symbol on his t-shirt. Peter picks up the drawing, he asks who she thinks that man is. Olivia replies, that she is not sure, but she thinks he is the man who is going to kill her. Dun, Dun, Duuunnn.

My question. Where is Broyles? Is he done tripping? This episode was great, from the Inception like story line to the cartoon version of Bell voiced by Nimoy. I only take umbrage with Olivia not being Olivia since it is all in her damn mind anyway. Also Lil’ Olivia staring down her mind meanies was a bit cliche, but I think the writers did this so that this Universe Olivia can stand up against Alt-Olivia. So far this show keeps living up to the expectations and follows through with all the weird subplots. But I keep reminding myself that it is a J.J. Abrams show, and soon the other shoe may drop…. or rather, never drop.

Agent Broyles usually so suave:

Not so much this time:

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