‘FRINGE’ 5×03 Photo Recap: “The Recordist”
I think this season of Fringe should henceforth be known as “The Bishop Family Road Trip Season.” No matter how many times they all pile into a van together and drive off on some mysterious mission to save the world, it will never not be amusing to me. It’s like Little Miss Sunshine, minus the family dance number. (But let’s not rule it out—November sweeps are coming. Plus, Walter dancing to “Super Freak” might finally earn John Noble some Emmy attention.) This week’s episode brought the gang to the woods, where they met a colony of people with an alarming skin condition.
While we were going about our lives, counting down the hours until a new episode of Fringe, Astrid and Walter spent the last week melting amber to retrieve another one of Walter’s exercise tapes instructional videos on How to Save the World. Can we just take a second to appreciate the fact that he recorded them on actual videotapes? Not DVDs, not flash drives, not even his beloved laserdiscs, but good old-fashioned videotapes. (For all you youngsters, this is how we used to watch movies. Ask your mom and dad what a VCR is.) Anyway, Astrid was doing her best to remove the tape from amber, while Walter was totally backseat lasering.
#ForTheRecord, I would totally watch Walter’s cooking show. Can he please have his own spin-off on the Food Network? Anyway, the gang followed Video-Walter’s instructions and took a trip to some woods in the middle of Pennsylvania.
You’d think that maybe Video-Walter would have been like, “Oh btw, bring a fruit basket or something for the woods people,” because that’s just common courtesy. But then again, these guys with the guns and the unfortunate skin condition were not exactly polite either. They led the Fringe team to their settlement at gunpoint. It was just like in Return of the Jedi when they first meet the Ewoks and they take them to their tree village on Endor. They also kind of reminded me of the Others on Lost, because, you know, I’m me and everything reminds me of Lost (except the things that remind me of The Hunger Games.)
Edwin seemed like a pretty nice guy, and he was clearly the only one who could help them figure out what they were doing there, so he took them to his super cool room of records where he had little cubes with recordings of everything that had ever happened since the Observers took over, stored in little digital cubes. Edwin was weirdly excited about this, like, “OMG we can see what I ate for lunch on August 15th, 2028!” Whatever floats your boat, Edwin. I guess your excessive record-keeping is sort of helpful this one time.
Despite being relatively isolated from the rest of the world, the bark people knew all about the legend of Fringe Division. Things got pretty meta for a second when Edwin’s son showed them his Fringe comic books.
THIS KID IS MY HERO YOU GUYS. He’s just like me: obsessed with Fringe, endearingly awkward, with some mild skin problems. I hope he comes back later in the season. What if the series finale is him as an adult, telling the story of Fringe to his kids? What if he and Etta get married (I know it’s a big age difference, but this is Fringe—weirder things have happened), and the last scene is him telling their kids, “And that’s how I met your mother”? That would be LEGENDARY.
…Wow, how did we get this far down the rabbit hole that is my brain? You guys are supposed to keep me on track. I clearly need another Mountain Dew to help me stay focused. *PAUSE FOR RE-CAFFEINATION*
Phew, that’s better. Now where were we? Astrid called them to tell them that she figured out what Video-Walter was saying about an old mine.
Of course! There’s always a mine. That reminds me, it’s almost time for my annual rewatch of October Sky. (Remember when Jake Gyllenhaal was just a baby-faced kid playing with rockets? Okay, sorry, obviously that Mountain Dew hasn’t fully kicked in yet. Mines!) So, bad news bears, Observer Palpatine was tracking the team and their location.
Great, all this talk about Pennsylvania has really made me want some kettle corn. For a show that revels in the grotesque, it’s amazing that Fringe always seems to make me hungry. Some things that did not get my appetite going: Walter’s talk of cannibals, and the corpse they found at the bottom of the mineshaft. Only on Fringe…
How do they always end up in tunnels or a mine? It’s never, like, an abandoned amusement park or something. Anyway, they found a super-dead guy for Walter to analyze, so…yay?
Apparently Peter’s appetite is equally unfazed by dead bodies, because when they got above ground, he announced that he was hungry.
Peter was not convinced. And as tactless as he was being, I was kind of glad he was so suspicious, because in the past he hasn’t exactly been great at detecting when Olivia isn’t herself. *cough* vagenda *cough* (Maybe someday I’ll stop giving Peter a hard time about that, but probably not.)
Walter and Olivia noticed some of the weird bark-like fungus stuff growing on their skin, so that meant it was time for an impromptu game of “Operation.” I love how perfectly calm Olivia is while her borderline mentally unstable father-in-law takes a scalpel to her neck. She really is the epitome of “cool as a cucumber.”
After that, Peter and Olivia had some time alone to talk about why she was pretending to forget things about pie.
Edwin was clearly conflicted about joining them on their mission. If he’s anything like me, he was probably worried he would mess up and embarrass himself in front of his idols, not to mention inadvertently destroying the world in the process.
They watched some more of Walter’s video, though it still didn’t mention anything about how to get the crystal out of the mine without dying.
Oh snap, you guys, this season of Fringe is like an epic game of Pokémon! Video-Walter is Professor Oak, telling the team where to go next and how to proceed on their mission.
The gang went off to meet Ivan and trade for some rocks, but when they got there, they realized that Edwin had pulled a fast one on them.
While they were enjoying some quality time in the dark forest (if this was True Blood, they totally would’ve had sex in the woods), Edwin was making his way to the poisonous mine to sacrifice himself for the good of the world. Because that’s just the kind of guy he is.
Poor Edwin… What a mensch. Maybe when they finish saving the world, they can name a building after him or something. Like a library! We know how Edwin loved keeping records. “The Edwin Bark-face Library of Science.” He would be so proud. Anyway, back to the Bishop Family Road Trip…
What did you guys think of this episode? Did the father/son dynamic between Edwin and his son remind you of Walter and Peter? Did you feel bad for Astrid that she missed out on all the fun poisonous mine exploring? Were you sort of curious about what an apple pill tastes like? The most important question remains, why did Walter switch to grape licorice? We saw him eating some in his video, and I just can’t help but feel like that’s the key to the whole season. We shall see. In the meantime, try to survive the next two weeks without Fringe while playoff baseball takes over on Fox.
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 thank you for reading!
See the rest of my Fringe photo recaps here
*All images are property of FOX Broadcasting