I just. I can’t even. It’s like…
This is the first time in quite some time that an episode of Fringe has left me speechless. I stared at the screen for a good ten minutes before reaching over and hitting the replay button. Then I did it again – at the end of my second watch, I stayed rooted in my seat, once again speechless.
For one, the momentum gained in the last couple of episodes culminating in Olivia’s return to our universe and Altivia’s to hers left my head spinning. Then there is the fact that finally, oh finally, Peter figured it out (thanks to an Ellis Island cleaning lady). Of course, there is the related heartbreak that goes with that revelation, and the further shades of grey that are revealed through Altivia’s admission of her feelings for Peter. Or the confusion she created by planting the seed of doubt in Peter’s mind regarding their relationship.
Oh, the sheer heart pounding drama of this episode has left us all quite breathless, has it not? And yet despite that, the Fringe team didn’t abandon any of its old tricks. For one, there were, as always, many references to past episodes as well as past concepts and themes.
The most obvious and important reference to a past episode came with the greek sentence Peter testes Altivia with, the first reference to was made in Season 2’s first episode, “A New Day in the Old Town”. Other obvious references were the pictures from cases files Fringe Division worked on in the past that Peter found on Altivia’s laptop, including from the cases investigated in the episodes “Snakehead”, “In which We Meet Mr. Jones” and “Bound”.
In Season 3’s first episode, “Olivia”, Alt!Broyles mentioned that if anyone was to survive on the other side, it would be Altivia, just like Broyles mentions in this episode that if anyone would survive in the other universe, it would be Olivia.
Harmonic transfer was first introduced by Walter in Season 2’s nineteenth episode, “The Man From the Other Side”. However, it’s presentation in this episode, as miniature rods injected subcutaneously in three spots in Altivia’s body, is much more sophisticated.
The sensory deprivation tank, present from the very beginning of the show, made yet another appearance. However, it was the same old, copper tank that both Walter and Walternate have in their Harvard labs, rather than the sophisticated contraption we have seen Alt!Brandon working with. And Walter’s self-medication, which has also been present in one form or another from the very beginning of the show, also reminded us of its presence in “Entrada”.
Once again, Olivia was stabbed in the heart with adrenaline in “Momentum Deferred” (did I just hear a collective “ouch”?)