‘FRINGE’ Photo Recap: “Brave New World – Part 1”
Do you ever wonder if the Fringe writers have like a checklist in the writers’ room so they can make sure that each episode elicits all of the various reactions within the range of human emotion that you can possibly fit into an hour of television? Based on this episode, I’ve made up a list. See if you can guess what scenes match the responses:
- “Holy s**t that was awesome!!!”
- [Adorbs overload]
- “Wait, am I watching Lost?”
- [Fringe nostalgia]
- “MY HEART WILL NEVER BE WHOLE AGAIN”
- “Seriously though. What just happened?”
- [Jaw = floor]
- “I’m hungry…”
- “I CAN’T HANDLE ALL THESE FEELINGS THAT I’M FEELING”
- [Emotional grab bag]
Anyway, the point is, this show always makes me feel like I’ve been slapped in the face repeatedly. This episode definitely set the stage for next week. And apparently that stage involves a very not-dead William Bell, which begs the question, what the hell is going on?! Come with me on a magical journey of discovery through this episode, and watch me try to make sense of it by making nonsense of it.
Things started off at a relatively innocuous-looking (except for the conspicuous amount of attention given to the escalators—foreshadowing!) Boston food court, where some nice businessman was trying to buy coffee with his phone. I kind of thought this would be relevant to the plot, or at least some kind of reference to the future we saw in “Letters of Transit,” but it turns out it was just some hard-core Sprint product placement.
Fringe has never been subtle about their product placement, and I can’t really blame them, considering their ratings are so poor I’m surprised they still have any advertisers left. However, it’s typically Nissan whose shameless self-promotion interrupts Fringe in the middle of a dramatic universal crisis, and I am rarely irritated by it. I usually just chuckle and think, “Oh, Nissan, you old rascal you…” but I was actually irritated by this Sprint commercial intruding on my favorite TV show. Nissan might be a giant soulless corporation, but they’re our giant soulless corporation. Sprint is just an uninvited guest at my Fringe party. (Thus concludes my product placement rant.)
See kids—smoking is bad for you. It can be a contributing factor to spontaneous combustion. Much like tap-dancing demons and over-exertion by dancing. Just ask the cast of Buffy. People all over the place were dropping like flies, except this lady, who caught on quick.
And in typical Fringe fashion, we cut from this horrifying and grotesque scene of death and charred remains to the most adorable thing you can possibly imagine: Peter and Olivia reading the paper in bed, being all cute and domestic.
And guess who was one of the victims of this mysterious epidemic: Charlotte from Lost! I’m not gonna lie, I kind of hated her on Lost, but I was still fangirling out when she came on screen. I kind of expected her to start having nosebleeds and seizures, so I was really surprised when she actually survived the episode. I like that we’re kind of accumulating Lost alumni that we can bring back later for a big Fringe/Lost crossover party.
I had to give Charlotte props for being brave enough to let Walter try to move her without moving her so as to not activate the deadly nanites she’d contracted from the escalator. (And yes, I realize that her character’s name was Jessica, but I’m still going to call her Charlotte.) When Olivia found out Charlotte had a daughter, she got all weird and twitchy, like she was finally figuring out that, like, 98% of all people who associate with Fringe Division end up dead.
In case you aren’t familiar with Pokémon zoology, that’s Mewtwo, a psychic Pokémon who was created by scientists to be one of the most powerful Pokémon in existence. Psychic powers? Created by scientists? Sounds like Olivia to me.
And then this happened:
As it turned out, Jones was in cahoots with another villain far more dangerous than he could ever dream of being. (Which Walter figured out pretty quick.) Time for a big reveal that would have been way more surprising if we hadn’t already known he was still alive from watching “Letters of Transit.”
This scene qualified as one of the many “WTF!?” moments of the episode. I wasn’t exactly surprised to see William Bell, but I was shocked to see that he was working with Jones. Are they kidding? We lose all the Altverse characters plus Lincoln Lee, and in return we get stuck with William Bell? How is that fair? Also, somebody’s been using Hair Club for men. Bell is looking sharp with his feathered comb-over.
Even though we knew perfectly well that Bell was alive and plotting, no one believed Walter when he told them as much.
Walter was determined that Bell had visited him at St. Claire’s after his date of death, so naturally they went on a quick field trip over to Walter’s old stomping-grounds to check their highly advanced visitor log-in system (a raggedy-looking notebook). The visit to St. Claire’s delivered a healthy dose of Fringe nostalgia because it harkened back to the very first episode where Olivia came to find Walter.
Back at home after a long day of watching Walter lick things and trying to save the world, Peter and Olivia went home and had some more adorable couple time together, during which time Olivia confessed that she didn’t think they’d ever get to have a normal life. And she worried about what that meant for any possible future children. As someone who has met their future child, all I can say is that these two better get on that baby-making stuff ASAP because Etta should be due any day now.
But of course, once again their beautiful moment was interrupted by a global crisis. At first I thought it was the bat signal, but then it turned out to be a mysterious beam of light shooting through a building into a highly flammable oil reserve underneath it.
Is it just me, or does this not seem to have anything to do with nanites, genetically modified super-species, or David Robert Jones? Leading me to wonder, “Seriously though. What is going on?”
Okay at this point, my brain hurts. Why are Bell and Jones trying to blow up the city? That’s just plain rude. Jones has been creating random mischief and mayhem that’s seemingly related to a bigger evil plan for months now, but at this point, I would think we’d have a clearer picture of how everything fits together. But I’m probably just not clever enough to figure it all out. And it didn’t help that Peter was wearing plaid again this week, so I was even more incoherent than usual. Anyway, Walter pin-pointed the two satellites that were transmitting the signal for the beam and sent Peter and Olivia off to shut off the radio frequencies. Oh, and by the way, Sprint? Take note; this is how it’s done:
Back at the lab, Walter was doing a really tasty science experiment that involved baking a cake. You know, if we’d done more lab experiments involving cake when I was in school, I probably would’ve paid more attention in science class. Also, I’m hungry.
Walter was determined to go on a late-night adventure to pursue his latest theory, but Debbie Downer (AKA Astrid AKA Astro AKA Alex AKA—well, you get the point) was decidedly against going on this wild goose chase. Walter stormed out in a huff, telling her he didn’t need her to go with him. But then he remembered he doesn’t drive.
Hooray for a fun Waltstrid field trip! Of course, it didn’t end up being very much fun. On the other hand, Peter and Olivia’s midnight caper was a non-stop party. Their mission involved knit caps, walkie-talkies, and Ghostbusters references—all the ingredients for a good time. Of course, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hit in the face with a crowbar.
Unfortunately, Olivia had been disarmed by two rent-a-cops who decided to show up at the worst time ever. But who needs a gun when you’ve got a crap-ton of untapped Cortexiphan powers in your arsenal that you’ve only just started to use?
Holy s**t that was awesome!!! So that’s it? Jones is dead? Again? …Does this mean we can reopen the bridge to the Altverse now? (I guess Peter would be erased again if he turned the Machine back on. Damn.) Also, WTF OLIVIA IS A SUPER-BAMF NOW. That puppet master trick was the coolest thing ever. She was just like, “Dance, monkey, dance!” and then Jones was all, “Deathbed epiphany, ya’ll! I know my purpose now…” How can he be dead? That just seems unreal. Oh, and I almost forgot, THE EPISODE WASN’T EVEN OVER YET.
…But they didn’t. No, Walter had to follow the sound of rhinos into some creepy back room where they found lots of nice men with big guns.
I CAN’T HANDLE ALL THESE FEELINGS THAT I’M FEELING. They can’t seriously kill off Astrid, can they? Did they? WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THIS SHOW? Astrid was alive in 2036, so does that mean she has to survive, or is it like Lost (sorry, I can’t help it) and anyone can die anytime, despite being alive in any given version of the future? Was the whole beam-of-light-to-blow-up-Boston thing really just a ploy to get Peter and Olivia separated long enough for Jones to attack one of them? Because that seems like a lot of work, considering Jones could’ve just waited for Peter to go to the men’s room or something. Is Bell seriously operating out of the warehouse where he used to buy his Chilean almonds? I mean, I love my favorite snack food as much as the next food-obsessed person, but I wouldn’t make it my HQ. If they do end up killing Astrid—which I doubt they will because, hello, she’s Astrid—that was a hell of a final scene for her though. Who knew she was such a badass? We should let her out of the lab more often.
ONLY ONE EPISODE LEFT OF THE SEASON YOU GUYS. I can’t believe it. How is all this going to go down? Is Bell going to kill Olivia? Are we going to see September get shot? When are the Observers going to take over? Where can I get some of Bell’s Chilean almonds? Which of Peter’s plaids did you prefer? His shirt from last week or this week? Or Walter’s plaid hat? Tell me all about it in the comments section, or you can always tweet us @PopCultureNexus!
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!
*All images are copyright property of FOX Broadcasting