The theme of perception makes a solid comeback with the episode’s opening scene; our strong Olivia Dunham, whose mental status seemed so strong in the fact of everything she had been through, is now a being seen as a fragile mental patient, a delusional character whose story of alternate universes make sense to (almost) no one. The contrast between what Olivia was saying (i.e. the truth) and the psychologist’s perception of what Olivia was saying (i.e. delusions) is incredibly powerful: is this the fate that awaits Olivia, be it in the alternate universe or in this universe?
It’s all the more interesting when one wonders how many psychiatry patients could actually just be patients with a heightened awareness. When one considers the relationship of this world to the next (where we go to after we pass on) to be a reflection of the relationship between this world and the one we were in before (our mothers’ womb) it could make sense. What if these so-called psychiatry patients are only seeing things that we can’t, things that make them sound totally crazy when they tell us about them?
Walternate’s opening monologue to Brandonate (Ryan McDonald) reminded me a lot of The X-Files. Fox Mulder used to berate the government for hiding things from the public. Although the government was doing it partly for the security of said public, Mulder insisted that the public had a right to know, and that the government wasn’t allowed to be that manipulative about the information it controlled.
It’s an interesting concept: the government protecting the public. If we consider the past, not many decades ago, the state of the world was such that only a limited few could be educated. And thus, they were the few leaders of the masses of humanity, who were at best spectators to the establishment of great civilizations, and, at worse, its soldiers and slaves. But people like Walternate have to up the ante now, as nowhere before in history have so many individuals at the grassroots, people who are not part of the ‘elite’, have had this much power in becoming active protagonists of their own destiny.
But while Walternate will inevitably fail – and not just because it’s television – it won’t be before he causes a lot of destruction. He will manage to do so because Walternate have a superpower: he is able to distort perception, making people do wrong while believing it is right. This ability has also severely distorted his own, which makes me wonder at what lengths he is ready to go to achieve his objectives, whatever they may be.