As mentioned in my review of the season premiere, it feels like hope and despair are going to be constant guest stars in the upcoming episodes. The glyphs spelled out F-A-I-T-H, which is a key ingredient in keeping hope from turning into despair, even in the darkest of hours. I have witnessed how, too often for my taste, faith is undermined, which is why I particularly appreciated how Olivia’s faith in both her daughter and humanity helps resolve a particularly thorny situation. It is amazing how without being actively involved in infiltrating the main science building, Olivia manages to accomplish so much. Although Etta’s resolve was strengthened upon seeing Simon’s head being gruesomely experimented on in one of the labs in the main science building, she doesn’t end up killing the guard, Gael Manfretti. And although previously a self-confessed coward, Manfretti now has hope: “You said I saw something in her eyes. You were right. There was a certainty that, I don’t know how to explain it, other than to say I felt, for the first time, that we were supposed to win.”
On the flip side of hope is despair. It can make us do things – or allow for things to happen – that we would otherwise never have accepted. The conversation between Olivia and Manfretti is very revealing of the Observers’ reign of terror on the human race. While it is easy to condemn Manfretti for becoming a loyalist, one can’t simply point the finger and blame him. While it turns out that he does not have a family, no doubt his false story is true for someone else. While I myself am a fighter and would stand up for what I believe in, I cannot blame a parent for becoming a loyalist so as not to have to worry about their family. The question then becomes, how does a member of the resistance fight the Observers while balancing their own humanity (by being forgiving to the loyalists) and their need for survival (by not allowing the loyalists to give information to the Observers)?
I must admit, I chuckled a little at the homemade video of Walter from the past setting off the viewer of said video on a quest to gather the various videos putting together the pieces of the plan to defeat the Observers. No doubt all fans were reminded of Season 1’s mad dash to find Walter’s safety deposit boxes before David Robert Jones did. It will be interesting to see if Walter has used the same types of hiding places or not.