Friday, May 7, 2010

Fringe 2.21: Bring On the Alternates

I've been wondering, ever since we learned in Fringe that alternate versions of our characters lived in the alternate reality now inhabited by our version of William, what was the current status of alternate Walter (Walternte), did the alternate reality have an alternate Olivia, etc?

Up until last night's excellent episode 2.21, we knew the following about the status of our people in the two realities:  Bell from our reality is in residence in the alternate reality.   Nina from our reality is in contact with Bell.  Peter from the alternate reality lives in our reality, and Peter from our reality died as a boy.  Walternate and Peter's mother were alive when our Walter went into the alternate reality and took Peter back with him to our reality.   Olivia crossed into the alternate reality to meet briefly with Bell.   She's back in our reality.

Last night was a great Peter episode, in which we see him (in our reality) doing his own police work with local law enforcement in Washington state.   It was fun to see him working on his own.  But the real payoff came from Newton, the alternate reality operative who is now hunting Peter in our universe.

In a stunning last scene, Newton bursts into Peter's hotel room.  But rather than trying overpower Peter, or force him to accompany him somewhere, such as the alternate reality, Newton is joined by someone else from the alternate reality, clearly a superior, whom Newton calls "Secretary".   And this is none other than Walternate, looking much better than our Walter after all of these years.

In the coming attractions, we see Olivia's alternate, and she looks pretty good, too - a redhead.

Why does Walternate seem in better shape than Walter - because Walternate has not been riddled with guilt?  Why does alternate Olivia look a little sharper than our Olivia?   Whatever else has been going on in the alternate reality, we know that it's been a better world than ours in at least two crucial ways - no JFK assassination, no destruction of the World Trade Center towers on September 11.   Has this made the characters less worn - less worn down by catastrophe?   Possibly, but Walternate certainly has known deep personal tragedy, with the disappearance of his son.

We should find out a lot more in the next two weeks, as this fine season of Fringe draws to a pulsing close.

See also Top Notch Return of Fringe Second Season ... Fringe 2.2 and The Mole People ... Fringe 2.3 and the Human Body as Bomb ... Fringe 2.4 Unfolds and Takes Wing ... Fringe 2.5: Peter in Alternate Reality and Wi-Fi for the Mind ... A Different Stripe of Fringe in 2.6 ... The Kid Who Changed Minds in Fringe 2.7 ... Fringe 2.8: The Eternal Bald Observers ... Fringe 2.9: Walter's Journey ... Fringe 2.10: Walter's Brain, Harry Potter, and Flowers for Algernon ...  New Fringe on Monday Night: In Alternate Universe? ... Fringe 2.12: Classic Science Fiction Chiante ... Fringe 2.13: "I Can't Let Peter Die Again" ... Fringe 2.14: Walter's Health, Books, and Father ... Fringe 2.15: I'll Take 'Manhatan' ... Fringe 2.16: Peter's Story ... Fringe 2.17: Will Olivia Tell Peter? ... Fringe 2.18: Strangeness on a Train ... Fringe 2.19: Two Plus Infinity ... Fringe the Noir Musical

See also reviews of Season One Fringe Begins ... Fringe 2 and 3: The Anthology Tightrope ... 4: The Eternal Bald Observer ... 7: A Bullet Can Scramble a Dead Brain's Transmission ... 8. Heroic Walter and Apple Through Steel ... 9. Razor-Tipped Butterflies of the Mind ... 10. Shattered Pieces Come Together Through Space and Times ... 11. A Traitor, a Crimimal, and a Lunatic ... 12, 13, 14: Fringe and Teleportation ... 15: Fringe is Back with Feral Child, Pheromones, and Bald Men ... 17. Fringe in New York, with Oliva as Her Suspect ... 18. Heroes and Villains across Fringe ... Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, and Star Trek in Penultimate Fringe ... Fringe Alternate Reality Finale: Science Fiction At Its Best

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