Fringe Recap: ‘Reciprocity’
Episode Title: Reciprocity
Air Date: January 28, 2010
In the latest episode of Fringe, Arvin Sloane has finally gotten all the pieces of the Rambaldi device… ah, I mean, the giant machine that threatens to destroy two universes has been assembled. The data from Fauxlivia’s laptop has been decoded but is still a massive jumble of information and someone is killing shapeshifters before the team can find them and interrogate them.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
“I understand you broke the encryption on the computer the other Olivia left behind.”
“A few days ago. Peter gave us a number of password suggestions. One of them worked.”
“A song lyric. Fauxlivia ruined U2 for all of us.”
Lots going on in this episode of Fringe – so much so that it’s kind of hard to decide where to begin, so I guess the beginning works…
The team is called to a massive, secret (I’m assuming) complex where a mutli-agency team of scientists have put the great machine (IE Rambaldi device) together. They can’t find anything in it or on it that looks like a battery snaps in. They assume that the piece Fauxlivia stole might just be that power source. Except that it reacts and moves when Peter is near it – how does it do that without any discernible power source?
This also causes Peter’s nose to bleed, which leads to a series of tests at Massive Dynamics to see what makes him tick and whether or not there is some sort of biological connection between him and the machine. Peter also starts to take late night strolls by himself, leaving Walter to wonder what’s up.
Walter himself is convinced that the only way he can help his son is to return what was taken from him – the chunk of brain William Bell removed. He feels that if he can get that back, he will be whole again, more intelligent and capable of anticipating Walternate’s next move. He begs Nina to help him.
Broyles asks Astrid to help out with the data from Fauxlivia’s computer, confiding in her two things: 1) that they are at an impasse due to the complexity of the data and 2) that there is a lot of personal information about Peter and Fauxlivia’s relationship contained in the data. Together, they decide that it would probably be best if neither Peter nor Olivia see that data.
When a body is found in a Massachusetts coy pond, the team is called in to investigate. As it turns out, he’s a shapeshifter and whoever killed him, knew to remove the data chip from his back, which means they knew he was a shapeshifter. Worse – the victims name appears in Fauxlivia’s data, which they nay JUST decrypted – do they have a mole?
“Don’t worry – I’ve snorted worse.”
Oh, Walter. In this episode, he is close to the edge, worried about Peter, frustrated at his own limitations – or perceived limitations, and conveniently forgetting the bit about how he wasn’t a very nice guy before that chunk of his brain got cut out, or that he asked for it to be done in the first place.
Olivia and Peter seem to come to some sort of closure re: Fauxlivia, but where that takes them or how it unfolds given the changes to Peter’s personality (or are they changes?) following his exposure to the Rambaldi Device (or whatever they’re calling it these days) is anyone’s guess. This being television, and all love stories on television being about ‘will they or won’t they’ coupled with ‘tragically kept apart as long as possible to keep people coming back’, I think they will either sleep together next week or not until season five, if there is a season five.
How does this episode move the over-arcing storyline along? Well, despite all the warnings and dangers involved, they went ahead and built the doomsday machine, which is exactly what Walternate wanted them to do. I am reminded of Doctor Who here (The Impossible Planet): “So when it comes right down to it. Why did you come here? Why did you that? Why? I’ll tell you why. Because it was there. Human beings. You are amazing. Hah! But apart from that you’re completely mad. You should pack your bags, get back in that ship and fly for your lives.”
It’s destined to do something TERRIBLE – maybe destroy TWO SEPARATE UNIVERSES so, of course, they put it together and start poking it. WORSE – they bring the guy depicted in the drawings as being at the center of the whole thing into the facility and right up to the base of it. Humans! Completely mad. They should have broken the whole damned thing down to its component parts and reburied them at random places around the world. Maybe launched a couple into orbit or something.
Or, crazy as this sounds – MELT IT DOWN AND MAKE SOMETHING ELSE OUT OF IT! Which, of course, would be bad television.
Favorite line & moment goes to Walter: “If you weren’t doing anything wrong, why didn’t you tell us?”
Here’s a sneak peak of next weeks ‘Concentrate & Ask Again’:
Filed under: TV
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