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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fringe 4.4: Peter's Back, Ectoplasm, and McLuhan

Peter's back in Fringe 4.4 - first in 1950s reality-unsettling ectoplasm, and then, at last, in the flesh.

If the coming attractions for 4.5 are any indication, Peter remembers everything, but Olivia and Walter still do not.   In 4.4, though, it's clear that Olivia is aware that Peter has been trying to contact her, via the ectoplasm that fleshed out (or in) in Reiden Lake, in our current time.  This of course is the same Reiden Lake where Peter drowned as a boy as Walter was trying to take him back to our reality in the Fringe v2 we've been watching this season, and the same Reiden Lake that figured so crucially in Fringe v1 of Seasons 1-3.

Also of note is the Eternal Bald Observer who watches as Peter appears currently in the lake.  This suggests that Peter's return is part of the EBO plan to deal with the "bleeding" of Peter into Walter and Olivia's minds, which we saw the EBO concerned about in the first episode this season.   And this further suggests that what the EBOs have given, they can yank away - that is, pull Peter back out of our realities, again, if for some reason they deem that in their/ours/who-knows-whose best interests. And, to make matters even more fun, the EBOs don't necessarily all agree on the best courses of action, and to what extent their best interests are the same as ours - but this sort of multi-valent interest is clearly in our, the audience's, best interest (or at least, mine, as a viewer - I like this kind of stuff).

Speaking of Walter, he gets a vote a confidence from Olivia, who checks a box indicating that she does not want him returned to the wretched mental hospital.  Regarding Walter's sanity, I'm always reminded of one of my favorite lines from Marshall McLuhan, that "the only people who have proof of their sanity are those who have been discharged from mental institutions" (from Take Today: The Executive as Dropout - see also my Digital McLuhan for more on McLuhan).

No Fringe on next week - World Series on Fox (I won't be watching, since Yankees won't be in it).  And I may not get a chance to watch Fringe in two weeks, either, since I'll be in Europe then, giving Keynote Address about - yes - Marshall McLuhan, in Brussels and Copenhagen.  But not to worry, I'll be DVRing and will post my review as early as possible in the week of October 31.

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 ... Fringe 4.3: Sanity and Son

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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