Friday, October 7, 2011

Fringe 4.3: Sanity and Son

Fringe 4.3 tonight gave us another good, classic science fiction story about a fungus among us that's not only a killer, but connected to a boy.  He's bright, articulate, but in the end the mystery of the fungus is less important than his conversations with Walter, which tell us exactly how he lost Peter (alternate Peter from the other side) in this reality in which Peter never existed.

In our reality, Walter lost his original Peter the same way as always - Peter succumbed to that deadly illness as a boy.  Water crosses over into the other reality to take alternate Peter back with him - just as in Walter's original history - but this time, Peter dies when the ice cracks on the lake as the two are crossing.

So now we know the moment that our original and original alternate realities diverged from the new dual realities with no Peter that we've been seeing this season.  (See, I told you this was more important and interesting than the fungus.)   Knowing this moment allows us to fine tune the question of what happened to alt-Peter-the-boy when he "drowned" in lake.

I'd bet he didn't drown, but was whisked away by the Eternal Bald Observers who are keeping him in some meta or third universe now - the universe from which the ETOs derive.  Maybe Peter's not being kept there, but is playing some kind of more active role.   We do know that Walter and Olivia have been seeing him in reflective surfaces (Walter) and dreams (Olivia).

Walter's situation was especially poignant tonight, as he tries to resist the notion that his seeing and hearing Peter - whom Walter doesn't quite yet know is Peter - means Walter is losing his mind.  Dr. Sumner's back with his doubting of Walter's sanity - in our world with Peter, Sumner opposed Peter's attempts to get Walter released from Sumner's German psych hospital - and in the current world without Peter, Walter is more vulnerable to Sumner's pressure.

Which brings home a point we saw many times, and in fact got so used to that we took it for granted, in the Fringe of the first three seasons:  Peter was Walter's protector and champion, and gradually helped Walter regain many facets of his sanity.   Now Walter will have to rely on Olivia - who's dreams of Peter, told to Walter, confirm his sanity, for now -  and whatever inner strength he can muster.   Powerful stories lurk ahead in Walter's dual quest for his son and his sanity.

Hey, check out my essay The Return of 1950s Science Fiction in Fringe in this new anthology ...

See also Fringe Returns for Season 4: Almost with Peter
... Fringe 4.2: Better and Worse Selves

See also Fringe 3.1: The Other Olivia ... Fringe 3.2: Bad Olivia and Peter ... Fringe 3.3: Our/Their Olivia on the Other Side ... Fringe 3.5: Back from Hiatus, Back from the Amber ... Fringe 3.7: Two Universes Still Nearing Collision ... Fringe 3.8: Long Voyages Home ... Fringe 3.10: The Return of the Eternal Bald Observers ... Flowers for Fringenon in Fringe 3.11 ... Fringe 3.12: The Wrong Coffee  ... Fringe 3.13: Alternate Fringe ... Fringe 3.14: Amber Here ... Fringe 3.15: Young Peter and Olivia ... Fringe 3.16: Walter and Yoko ... Fringe 3.17: Bell, Olivia, Lee, and the Cow ... Fringe 3.18: Clever Walternate ... Fringe 3.19 meets Inception, The Walking Dead, Tron ... Fringe 3.20: Countdown to Season 3 Finale 1 of 3 ... Fringe 3.21:  Ben Frankin, Rimbaldi, and the Future ... Fringe Season 3 Finale: Here's What Happened ... Death Not Death in Fringe 
See also reviews of Season 2: 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 ... Fringe 2.21: Bring on the Alternates ... Fringe 2.22:  Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming ... Fringe Season 2 Finale: The Switch

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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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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