Part One can be found here.
Two Fringe characters who really need to start working together are Peter and Olivia. Walter’s Cupid-playing does pay off, albeit indirectly, giving Peter the chance to call Olivia on the fact that she is the one keeping them apart. Because while what Peter did is a blow to Olivia, her holding that against him doesn’t seem quite fair. Yes, he drove all us fans crazy when, week after week, he’d brush off the differences between Altivia and Olivia, but he has time and again apologized and tried to make things better.
Then again, because of the depth of the betrayal, however unintentional it might have been, there is a need for extra transparency between the two. To make any relationship work, let alone one spanning two universes, you need to have mutual respect and complete honesty. And so, I really liked when Olivia in turn called Peter out with: “I know that you still think about her. I know you had feelings for her, and that you still do. And frankly, I don’t think you have been completely honest with me”, as it was an upfront yet politely formulated accusation.
Once again demonstrating the fact that not only there is always another way, but that he plays an integral part in finding it, Peter adopts the approach of gathering the information needed and looking at it another way. While Walter is trying to deal with the consequences of the inconceivable, Peter works on how to avoid it altogether. This subplot is a great reflection of the mythology of Fringe – that annihilation of one universe for the sake of the survival of another isn’t a must, and that Peter is somehow going to play a very important role.
It didn’t only come as a surprise to Peter that Walter doesn’t believe in ghosts; I raised my eyebrows quite high, to be honest. Walter’s explanation was quite interesting. He and William Bell used to discuss the topic of life after death and the existence of the soul all the time; Bell’s theory was that the energy released at death could be gathered using soul magnets.
Of course that reminded me of noetic science, something I (and so many others) discovered reading Dan Brown’s book The Lost Symbol. In an experiment carried out in this book, one of the main characters proves that, after death, the body’s weight infinitesimally decreases, which she associates with the weight of something leaving the body at death, possibly the soul. I wonder why Bell never attempted this experiment; I’m sure Massive Dynamic has more than enough capital to fund such research.
In any case, the question of what happens after the death of the body is quite an interesting one, and in my opinion, ties closely with both the guilt Walter has been feeling after the events in 1985 as well as what he is going to do now, faced with the imminent threat of both a vengeful Walternate and two universes that are colliding.
In “White Tulip” (Season 2, Episode 18), Walter had a very interesting conversation with Dr. Alistair Peck, in which they discussed the moral implications of the experiments they were doing. I argued in one of my previous reviews (“Marionette”, Season 3, Episode 9) that if we feel instructively so strongly about certain experiments we are scientifically able to conduct, then perhaps we are tapping into a powerful instinct that has kept many a person on a relatively narrow path.
There is a reason why science and religion should go hand in hand. With regards to the experiments ran by the fictional Katherine Solomon in The Lost Symbol, by Bell and Walter in Fringe and those experiments done in real life, adding religion and Faith to the mix in a logical and systematic way tends to enhance the scientific process, not to stifle it, as so many tend to think it will. It is only when religion is taken to the extreme that it becomes a veil rather than a source of light, and that is when science becomes obsolete.
Speaking of science, did anyone else wonder at the validity of Walter’s Coin Toss Test and try it at home for themselves? I might have done it a couple of times, and according to Walter’s theory, I just might have a vortex beginning in my kitchen. Perhaps that’s where all my socks have been disappearing. I wouldn’t mind hearing someone’s expert opinion on both matters, i.e. the Coin Toss Test and my disappearing socks.
No Fringe review would be complete without mentioning typical funny moments from the episode. The top funny moments of “6B” include:
Walter: And that nervous little Brandon.
Peter: Not how you imagined meeting the President, huh?
Broyles: I already know him. He doesn’t like me. I beat him at golf.
Walter: There is no such thing as ghosts.
Peter: So this is where you draw the line? Ghosts?
Olivia: So. What was so important?
Walter: Important? Breakfast! The most important meal of the day. And I proved it in 1973.
Typical to this time in its season, momentum is definitely increasing, While we already know there is not going to be a massive, two-part finale this year, we have been told that the last three episodes are part of the same arc, which will predominantly feature Sam Weiss. Hopefully, pieces of the puzzle, scattered liberally throughout the three seasons and particularly throughout Season 3, are going to come together very soon, and the now confirmed Season 4 will play with the complexities of the world the Fringe production team created all the way through at least a fifth season.