‘FRINGE’ Photo Recap: “Nothing As It Seems”
First off, can I just say that I would watch Peter and Olivia shop for furniture for an entire hour? Or vacuum. Or polish sconces. I don’t even know what a sconce is, but if Peter and Olivia found one and polished it, I bet it would be the most adorable thing involving a sconce anyone had ever seen. They are so freaking adorable together! Don’t get me wrong—I love the longing glances and the sexual tension that comes with the “won’t they” half of the will they/won’t they dynamic, but there’s something to be said for the openly joyful smiles and the unabashed kisses shared between Peter and Olivia now that their stars have finally become uncrossed (knock on wood). Some TV couples become less interesting when they finally get together, but lucky for us, Peter and Olivia are definitely not one of them. (At least in my humble, slightly biased opinion.) The only downside of the whole Polivia romance (blasphemy, I know) is that poor baby Lincoln is left out in the cold. Granted, this is pretty much how it has to be. Unless there’s a third Olivia we can import for him from another universe/timeline. But I think we all know that Lincoln isn’t really jealous of Peter…he’s jealous of Olivia. (Or, more likely, a little bit of both.) So for the purposes of this recap, we’re going to assume that Peter and Olivia are blissfully happy together, but they’re so secure in their love and so open and progressive that Olivia is totally cool with Lincoln and Peter continuing their relationship, because that kind of chemistry cannot be denied. It’s kind of like Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but with two men and one woman. And also not horrible. (My apologies to anyone who liked that movie.) But anyway…now that we’ve established that watching Polivia is like looking into the sun, and that Fringe defies the laws of love with its adorable, stunningly attractive central threlationship, let’s get started on the actual episode, yeah?
The opening of the episode took place…on a plane? Wait, didn’t we already do this? Yeah, there’s a kind of twitchy guy in khakis, and then he starts to flip out, and the next thing everyone knows, the plane is going down? Oh, hold up—I’m thinking of the season one episode “The Transformation” where this same guy turned into a porcupine on an airplane and everyone died. Hooray for fun with rebooted timelines! (For another opening scene with a khaki-clad weirdo wigging out on a plane, see the pilot episode.) This episode was different because the twitchy guy didn’t end up killing an entire plane full of people! See? All those annoying TSA screenings do work! Still, nothing good ever happens on planes in J.J. Abrams’ shows…
Seriously though, if there are two things that are never good on a J.J. Abrams show, it’s airplanes and nosebleeds. Two strikes, guy! Also, if you knew you were in a compromised genetic state, why would you lock yourself in a confined area with hundreds of other people IN THE SKY? That just seems like a really bad call. I’m just saying.
Silly Marshall. All that fuss over nothing. I mean, what’s a little harmless transfiguration in an airplane bathroom as long as no one gets hurt? For a second there it almost seemed like we were gonna make it to the title sequence without a real bona fide Fringe situation on our hands, but then the airport security officers got involved. And they were less than amused by Marshall’s whole locking-himself-in-a-bathroom-and-causing-a-general-panic thing.
You guys, that is definitely NOT normal. That guy was Hulking out hard core. And not in a cool Lou Ferrigno way, but in like a not-cool Eric Bana in 2003’s Hulk way. It was all very alarming.
Back at the ranch, Olivia met with a shrink, because apparently claiming to be another version of yourself from a different timeline is considered mentally unstable or something. Whatever. We all know Olivia Dunham is awesome and probably saner than any psychiatrist you picked up off the street. Broyles seemed to understand this, but whoever is above him on the chain of command (the president? William Bell? L. Ron Hubbard?) wanted to follow protocol and not let Olivia back in the field yet.
Olivia was not having the best day. But compared to the past several months of her life, I’d say it was still better than average, especially considering this is what she had to come home to:
At this point, I was doing pretty much this:
And I wasn’t even mad when Lincoln totally interrupted their special unicorns-in-love moment to have phone sex with Peter tell Peter about their latest case. Olivia was totally cool the boys going off to have some much-needed quality time together. Except for the part where she was sad about being left out of the fun because of the whole fake-memories suspension problem.
I was actually really excited when I realized that Peter and Lincoln would be teaming up this week while Olivia took some time off, because there hasn’t been a lot of time for Pecoln in recent episodes, and they are probably my second-favorite pair of characters to watch on screen together. WE CAN HAVE IT ALL YOU GUYS. Pecoln and Polivia coexisting FTW. (Let me know when I start to sound too weird, okay? Because it’s hard for me to tell sometimes.)
And then this happened:
Awwww how sweet was this moment between Peter and Walter? It was a brief but resounding affirmation of their father/son bond now that Peter has accepted this reality as his rightful home. I’m so happy for them that they’ve both helped each other heal and be “better men.” Take that, daddy issues!
(On the way to Applebee’s…)
But seriously, all Free Willy references aside, this scene made my heart hurt.
Poor baby Lincoln was basically like, “Why’d you have to come in here and brainwash my future girlfriend with your alternate memories and your rugged charm and your piercing eyes like the sea after a storm?” I felt so sad for Lincoln, especially when Peter told him, “You’re a good guy,” which was totally rubbing it in, because as we’ve learned from every love triangle ever, nice guys finish last. To make matters worse for him, who should he find waiting for them at the crime scene but the object of his frustration…
THIRTY SECONDS LATER…
I love how quickly Peter came to Lincoln’s rescue. At least after he was done being spooked by his own reflection. Lincoln is seriously having the worst day ever. As much as I hate watching Lincoln suffer (it’s like watching a baby deer in pain), it was almost worth him getting attacked by a mutant porcupine monster for this:
Ladies and gentlemen, I present…Lincoln Lee in a wife beater. It’s not quite the shirtless scene I was hoping for, but I’ll take what I can get. Lincoln was a good sport while Walter stitched him up.
So off they went to have a chat with their old pal Ed from the original timeline, who of course has no recollection of ever having known them and/or hitting on Olivia before. You can tell this guy is awesome because he wears a scarf and uses to twine to hold his glasses on. Peter and Olivia didn’t even try to come up with a clever plan to get him to help them. They just used the oldest trick in the book.
It totally worked! Peter and Olivia are such a well-oiled machine of awesomeness that even when they put in zero effort in hatching a plan, it goes swimmingly. Thanks for the tip, Ed! See you in another timeline.
Meanwhile, Lincoln’s day was getting even worse…
What did Lincoln do to deserve this??? Poor Bambi…
When we first met this random woman I was instantly like, “Oh hello future corpse.” But then things took a surprising turn.
Back at the lab, Peter and Olivia were researching Sumerian apocalypse prophecies and whatnot, scoffing at the sheer absurdity of some of them. Really guys? Have you watched your own show?
The gang all went off to run their respective errands, while Lincoln and Walter stayed in the lab to play chess and eat peanut butter & bacon sandwiches, which, by the way, sound equally delicious and disgusting. Is it weird that I want to try one? Is it weirder that this image is now the background on my desktop?
Lincoln’s new love affair with bacon gave Walter an idea about how the porcupine creatures survive. As my life motto goes, bacon is always the answer! Unfortunately, the super creepy implication was that the people responsible for the race of porcupine mutants were stealing human fat to feed them. Hey, it wouldn’t be Fringe if it didn’t make you slightly nauseous.
The porcupine whisperer lady was chilling on a dark rooftop with her genetically challenged friend/lover/pet.
…And then they jumped off the building, and the porcupine guy sprouted wings and flew them away into the night. IT WAS LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF FREAKING GARGOYLES YOU GUYS.
Remember when I said Lincoln was having the worst day ever? That was before this happened. You could tell Lincoln was just like, “Let me get this straight: not only do I not get the girl, but I also got infected by a porcupine creature, and now I have to drink this nasty green shake? How is this happening?” He could really use that hug right about now, Peter.
Indeed you are, Lincoln. Naturally they decided it was a good idea to storm Porcupine Palace in the dark, until Olivia wisely pointed out that porcupines are nocturnal, so turning the lights on would actually be doubly advantageous. (Duh.)
Good teamwork boys! Usually Olivia gets to have the decisive final blow, so it was nice for Peter to have his moment of glory saving his boyfriend’s life. Crisis successfully avoided! …Or at least postponed. (More on that later.)
Broyles came to discuss their general insubordination and why they never include him in their fun after work plans.
Aw, Broyles is a big ol’ softie. And he’s totally right. Even on her worst day, Olivia is the best FBI agent Fringe Division has. And I’m saying that with almost no knowledge of their other agents! That’s how confident I am. It’s a good thing Broyles let Olivia back on the team, because based on what we saw in the final minutes of this episode, they are definitely going to need her around.
But wait, it gets worse…
Things just got (more) Biblical up in here! This thing is like Noah’s Ark if God had asked Tim Burton to gather two of all his favorite creepy mythological animals. This is not going to end well. And how exactly is David Robert Jones involved in all this madness? Is he behind this whole thing? Whatever happens, please no one let that giant spider out of its cage because I will seriously flip out. But enough about giant arachnids.
Let me leave you with a final note about Lincoln Lee. If there’s anyone who doesn’t believe that there’s really any sexual tension between Peter and Lincoln (which kind of seems equivalent to arguing that gravity doesn’t exist), I’d like to submit this piece of evidence from my conversation with my father (who is a sporadic Fringe viewer at best) after he watched this week’s episode: “How long has the gay guy been on the show?” (He was of course referring to Lincoln.) Mind you, he’d only watched a handful of non-consecutive episodes of Fringe since season 2, and he misunderstood Lincoln’s heartbreaking speech to Peter about his dead partner (which he took to mean romantic partner). Still, the fact that someone could infer that Lincoln was gay for an entire episode proves that the palpable on-screen chemistry between Seth Gabel and Joshua Jackson is not just a delusion of the Pecoln fandom.
What did you guys think? Are Peter and Olivia the Meryl Streep of TV couples? Does that make Lincoln their Stanley Tucci? Is this the most ludicrous but accurate analogy ever? Has Lincoln finally found his true love with bacon? Bacoln 4ever! (Thanks to Jennifer and Michael for introducing me to the name “Bacoln.” You should definitely follow them on Twitter.) Sound off in the comments, or tweet us day or night with anything Fringe related.
As always, thank you to FringeFiles.com for providing the screen caps of this episode, and thanks to TV.com’s brilliant Price Peterson, whose hilarious Vampire Diaries photo recaps were the inspiration for my own. And thanks for reading!