“And Those We Left Behind” starts out beautifully, leads the viewer through an emotional journey of love and loss, and ends with a sad face. What I love about Fringe is that emotion drives the episodes while the weird Fringe events could easily take over. Instead the writers have come up with complex A plot line characters, and weave in complex, emotional B plot line characters. Without the emotion I would have spent the time wimey episode wondering where the Doctor was. Instead, this episode made me create the following picture:
And now for the rest of the review after the break, because you know, *Spoilers!*
“And Those We Left Behind” starts out as a perfect day. Olivia and Peter are having a picnic in a park, and they kiss. But Peter realizes there is a problem with himself. He wakes up in a sweat. Bad dream? I’m not sure, it definitely is a bittersweet dream since Alternate Time Line Olivia doesn’t have those feelings toward him. Or does she? She did dream about him too. Olivia shows up at Peter’s jail cell (not sure what else to call it, he’s basically a prisoner of Broyles) and tells him that time has gone wibbley wobbley timey wimey. A woman was in a house with her four year old daughter, time flashes and suddenly she is in a burned out room and her kid is now a baby. Time loops, and time anomalies that Olivia thinks has something to do with Peter.
Walter does not think it has anything to do with the Alternate Universe. The damage happened in an instant. Agent Lee says that it is not a normal fire. In fact the fire happened four years ago. It is like the whole place flashed bacward four years prior. Walter wants nothing to do with the investigation because he wants nothing to do with Peter. Poor Peter! But Broyles forces Peter to aid in the investigation so Walter tests Peter, the whole while calling him an It. Poor Peter!! What kills me is how sweet Peter is about the whole thing, realizing that this Walter is having a hard time facing Peter as a man. Walter determines that Peter is not the cause of the time loops. And Peter finds out that Walter lives in the lab. This is definitely a different Walter than the one Peter knew. Olivia tries to explain how Walter had visions of Peter and she had dreams of hi m. Olivia wonders how that is possible if she had never even seen him before. Maybe it’s the chaos of the time line, Peter suggests.
Peter walks through time and space to the new event. Peter keeps flashing between where he is in time and the new event. The second event is three teenagers driving to a concert when a train comes through the area on tracks that are no longer there. They also existed four years ago. Ptere discovers that the event is not occurring naturally, someone is causing it. Pan to a husband and wife having a morning together. The wife is doing math, the man’s watch counts down. The wife is gone suddenly, but not surprisingly. Now she is catatonic, with dementia. Hmm. What has the husband done? He has created a contraptioin in the basement that has something to do with wibbley wobbley time. So that he and his wife can have all the Christmases in the world. He flips a switch and goes back to the same moment in time, a 47 minute interval of time.
Olivia doesn’t understand why a person would do this, make a contraption that ends up hurting other people. Peter says that they need to find a pattern. Agent Lee says thater have been two more big incidents. They are marked on the map. Walter realizes that the events are spiraling around a main point. Peter tries to question Olivia about the dreams. He wonders if she had the same one he did. He asks her if she felt anything. Why would I feel anything? She questions. You are a stranger. Poor Peter! The crew heads out to the middle of the spiral. Where the husband hears the poliece and forces the coherent version of his wife to go to the basement. He has been using her math to build a time machine. But he can’t finish it, he needs here help. He has the time machine up to 47 minutes. The house remains in 2007 and he jumps back and fourth between two times in the past.
On the outside a police officer goes towards the house, but a bubble surround the outside of the house causing him to disintegrate. Walter says it is a time bubble and Peter realizes that they need a faraday cage to disrupt the electronic magnetism of the time bubble. Broyles has information on the couple in the house, the wife actually died three years ago. But what of more concern is the fact that on the spiral on the map is a point where there is a tunnel that wasn’t there four years ago and if it collapses then a lot of people will die. Walter creates a Faraday Harness which Peter insists on using the harness instead of Olivia since he has a science background and will know how to deal with whatever contraption is causing the time loops. Using the harness Peter is able to enter through the time bubble without disintegrating. Also, nice ass. Not so poor Peter.
The Wife and the Husband are in the basement arguing. The Husband wants the wife to finish the problem so he can perfect the machine, the wife says she did the solve the problem. But it was only meant to be a theory. Peter arrives and goes into the basement, where he is hit over the head. Mean while Agent Lee is at the table trying to get everyone out of danger. Peter comes to and says that the time machine needs to be shut down. The Wife says it has to be done properly. Peter wonders why the husband would be killing other people. The wife says, he didn’t know about the repercussions! I’m sorry, but you think you can time travel without repercussions? Have you never seen a freaking sci fi show before. Give me an effing break. I think the wife is sincere, but I don’t really think willful lack of knowledge is an excuse. The wife wants immunity for her husband, so Peter heads upstairs to talk on the phone. The Wife and Husband cry their goodbyes. The Husband wants to build a better one and wants his wife to finish the solution in the book. She writes in it. Peter comes back down and the husband shuts off the time machine. The wife disappears with the book and the tunnel is fine. The wife is back to dementia? Huh, OK she didn’t die I guess. The husband pulls the book out of it’s hiding place and opens it up, the wife has crossed out the solution and wrote that she loved him.
Back at the super secret facility, Peter is talking about how the only reason the wife’s theory worked and the time machine worked is because he arrived. The events started three days ago, when he arrived. He realizes he isn’t meant to be in the alternate time line and begins to make it his mission to get back to his own time line. Broyles says in the mean time he will set Peter up in a house that Walter apparently did buy at some point and time off campus. Peter enters the house which is full of furniture covered in sheets. Olivia says that they will have an FBI person posted outside the door. Peter asks her, where would I run to? Poor Peter! Olivia asks him, but it is more of a statement, that she was important to him in the other time line. He nods his head. I hope you find her again, she tells him. ::SADFACE::