Friday, February 10, 2012

Fringe 4.12: Double Westfield / Single Olivia

Another primo Fringe tonight - 4.12, co-wrriten by J. R. Orci and Graham Roland - which,  like previous episodes this fine season, tells two stories, one proximate, one deeper, which reflect the central setting this season, or of our universe/alternate universe generating a seemingly new our universe/alternate universe, because the Eternal Bald Observers erased Peter from the original our universe/alternate universe, when our Walter was taking Peter from the alternate universe to ours when Peter was a boy ...

The proximate story tonight features Westfield - or, actually, our Westfield and alternate Westfiield - being brought together by the nefarious David Robert Jones.  The result is that most people in the town are going crazy and have double parts of themselves, because their persons and alternate persons are being merged.   Walter, Olivia, and Peter are in the town, and they're ok, as are a small group of people.  Walter figures out that the small group is alright because there were no counterparts on other side who are in alt-Westfield, so this small group is unmerged.  Same for Walter, Olivia, and Peter.   All of this has a nice Twilight Zone feel - high praise indeed - with a touch of a cartoon I saw when I was kid about someone who drives onto a complex cloverleaf highway system, and can never get off it, just keeps driving around and around.

But there's something more.  Olivia also feels a little strange.  Walter tests her blood, and, unlike the mergees, who have twice the number of human chromosomes, Olivia has the right number.  Which makes sense - since Olivia was having a hot dream about her and Peter before she and Peter and Walter ever got to double Westfield.

How can this be?  Why would our Olivia in the new our side be dreaming of making love with Peter?  Well, I've been saying all along that the deletion of Peter did not really make two more realities or universes, just a not-that-different version of our universe/alternate universe.   And here's the important point about that not-that-different version:  unlike Fauxlivia, who has none of Olivia's memories, or Walternate, who none of Walter', the new Olivia of this season has all of the Olivia of last season's memories, and same for Walter.  And that's because, the new and old Olivia are not alternate versions of one another - rather, they are one and same person.

And this in turn means that, given the re-insertion of Peter into this world - the original and alt-original universes - it's just a matter of time until our new Olivia gets all of her original memories back, and same for Walter, etc.  It's already happening and the pace is increasing.  Olivia surprises Peter with a passionate kiss at the end, Walter's beginning to get it and may not want Peter to leave ... it's falling into place ...

Unless the Eternal Bald Observers do something to mess this uppp.

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 ... Fringe 4.4: Peter's Back, Ectoplasm, and McLuhan ... Fringe 4.5: Double Return ... Fringe 4.6: Time Slips ... Fringe 4.7: The Invisible Man ... Fringe 4.8: The Ramifications of Transformed Alternate Realities ... Fringe 4.9: Elizabeth ... Fringe 4.10: Deceit and Future Vision ... Fringe 4.11: Alternate Astrid

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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