Fringe 5.06 Review – Through The Looking Glass And What Walter Found There
Peter! You Got Some ‘Splaining To Do!
‘It’s just a jump to the left. And then a step to the riiiight!
Rocky Horror Picture Show
“When you feel like this I want you to tell me.”
Olivia To Peter
“You have made a grave mistake.”
Unnamed Observer to Peter
“I’m losing the man you helped me become Peter.”
Walter to Peter
|Escher’s Relativity – Pocket Universe?|
These are the episodes that make Fringe stand out for me as a serialized drama. Rather than jumping immediately into expected payoffs – Go NeoPeter Go! – the show takes the time to explore the interpersonal ramifications that arise from the weird Fringian Science the main cast members are subjected to week after week.
Even better when Fringe places those beats against a SF motif that hooks deftly into the personas of the main characters, aiding and abetting them at this particular juncture in this season’s story arc. Throw in some funny, heartfelt, tragic, harsh, and sad moments with unexpectedly cool callbacks and I found this episode extremely entertaining.
The episode is not without it’s puzzlements. Walter’s drive to find the next piece of the puzzle on his own makes Peter’s comments about Walter knowing better, unintentionally funny because Walter’s behaviour over the arc of the series contradicts that. Within the context of this episode, and to a lessor degree this season, Walter’s drive to solve the Observer Removal Riddle makes sense but it is in opposition to everything that has become before.
Walter’s cavalier treatment of collateral damage Cecil – trapped in the Pocket Universe by his account for 5 days but to the outside world for 20+ years – is because of what Walter put back in his brain; the three removed brain pieces. With them back, Walter is afraid he will lose the man that Peter helped him to become. A more compassionate and caring one.
The parallel between Walter and Peter was made even clearer in this episode. But where Walter despairs of hubris, Peter embraces it. He believes he is more capable than others and continues to deflect and outright lie about anything related to the piece of Observer tech he has placed in his head.
|Peter and Olivia Together Forever?|
Two moments stand out with Peter’s deceptions. The first happens in the opening act as an obsessed Peter has broken into Etta’s apartment to watch a hologram of his deceased daughter. Rather than easing his grief, Etta’s hologram fuels his fury. When Olivia shows up, Peter is hesitant to let Olivia see the hologram play. To watch the hologram the way Olivia thinks he is watching it, will dull the anger he has been stoking. Peter is not there to grieve.
Olivia’s plea to Peter let her know when he is feeling down because she wants both of them to understand and share what the other is feeling; is tragic. Peter lies in his answer that he will, as Olivia works to try to avoid the same mistake she and Peter made the first time Etta was lost.
Bookended with that moment is Peter calling Walter, ‘Dad’ and promising to be there for him. An empty promise to be sure. For soon, no doubt Peter will push everyone away from him. It undermines what should be a touching moment with sad helplessness.
Ever alert, Olivia’s FBI and empathic skills are picking up clues ie the bandage on the neck, Peter taking off on his own and going incommunicado, and the kicker – Peter unerringly navigating them out of the pocket universe; that something is amiss with her estranged husband.
Episode ‘Patterns’: Add your own in the comments.
- Peter watching Etta hologram
- Olivia finding Peter and asking him to not suffer in silence
- Walter goes on a field trip to 167 Cedar Street and videotapes it
- nosy neighbour on original video is still nosy 20 years later with a bionic eye
- inside Apt 413 everything is mirrored
- Walter does the ‘Time Warp’ and disappears
- cool Escher-like hallway perspectives and moving windows
- Olivia, Astrid, Peter watching Walter video smiling at Walterisms
- man watching over Walter’s shoulder
- ‘Are those raspberry filled?’ and napkin wipe
- Donald on tape!
- 90 & 180 degree hallways – nice camera moves
- Pocket Universe equals Purgatory for Colin
- ‘My wife is waiting for me.’ ‘Not anymore.’
- videotape – working in universe to a point and then Pocket Universe
- Inner Child is with Walter and Donald!
- Cecil = collateral damage
- Olivia notices a radio in Apple Room that was not on videotape
- Peter leads the way out of the Pocket Universe to Olivia’s consternation
- Highlight funny moment – Peter pushes Walter mid-Time Warp jig through portal
- Olivia improvises and uses portal to take down Observer
- Peter goes Neo on Observer – ‘You have made a grave mistake.’
- Walter’s plea to Peter to help him from changing
- Peter sees ‘Observer Blue?’
Woven into this is the return of the enigmatic Donald mentioned and seen briefly in The Recordist along with the shocker – and fan pleasing – the return of the young, bald child from Season 1’s – Inner Child.
The implications of the Inner Child’s return are staggering and depending on when he left, or was taken from, the Pocket Universe he could be a child in 2036 or a young …Observer? Maybe even one we have met before? Maybe he needs a piece of tech that Peter has? What will also be interesting to see if the empathic bond Olivia and the boy had in Inner Child will come into play this season.
|Chilling. A, ‘Everything Is Proceeding As I Have Foreseen,’ perhaps look?|
Two shots chilled. The last one with Peter seeing everything in blue. And Windmark back at the body of the dead Observer looking like the cat that ate the canary. Maybe now we know why the Observers have been seemingly clumsy in their attempts to capture the Fringe team.
An episode jammed full with character beats and SF genre tropes and shout outs. This was well shot, well acted, and well written.
A real treat.