Episode Title: Entrada
Air Date: December 2nd, 2010
Months ago, Walter Bishop and Olivia Dunham crossed over to an alternate universe to save Peter Bishop and return him home. Unknown to Walter and Peter, Olivia, their Olivia, did not return with them. Ever since, they have been working with the Olivia from the Walternate universe. Worse, Peter’s had fallen in love with her. In the last episode of Fringe before the Thanksgiving break, he received a troubling phone call that may unravel the life he has only just begun to build for himself.
“Is this Peter Bishop? I’m calling from New York. I know this is going to sound crazy but I just saw a woman disappear in front of my eyes! Her name was Olivia. She has a message for you. She’s trapped in the other universe.”
Warning: Spoilers ahead…
Peter lies awake for two hours following this phone call, then decides to do a little investigating. Caught with Alternate Olivia’s laptop, he lays a trap – speaking a Greek phrase that Olivia once said to him.
“What does it mean?”
Now he knows. Something isn’t right.
This is the beginning of a thrill ride episode of Fringe.
Alternate Olivia knows she screwed up, holding Peter at gun point, she forces him to take a drug that paralyzes him so she can escape. This includes a chilling conversation.
“Are you going to come after me? Are you going to kill me?” she asks.
“No. I’m going to get answers. And if I find out you did anything to Olivia, then I’m going to kill you,” he replies.
Her cover blown, Alternate Olivia returns to the typewriter shop and uses the creepy typewriter/mirror combo to ask for extraction.
Back at the house, Peter tells Walter & Broyles about Alternate Olivia’s presence. Peter realizes that Alternate Olivia took the wrong computer and they might be able to get information of off her laptop.
Walter tries to figure out how to cross over to save Olivia and, frustrated by his failure, turns to pastries Alternate Olivia bought him for comfort. Broyles discovers that Alternate Olivia has stolen a piece of the machine (the machine is getting very Rambaldi-like IMHO, JJ – more on that in a second**). The team gets a lead when they realize that Alternate Olivia has been spending time in the Bronx (thanks to the pastries Olivia bought). This leads them to discovering the creepy typewriter used to communicate between universes. With it, they find out where Alternate Olivia will be, confront and capture her.
The Walternate Universe
In the Walternate universe, orders are given to extract Alternate Olivia and to harvest Olivia’s organs for scientific study. Alternate Broyles witnesses Olivia being dragged off, screaming for help and, feeling guilty, goes drinking. After knocking back a few, he returns to talk to Olivia in prison. She explains that they’re going to kill her, cut out her brain for study, then send her body back in exchange for Alternate Olivia. She begs for help, he refuses and leaves.
Alternate Broyles is conflicted. Saving his universe means going to war with ours. If he trusts Olivia, who tells him there is no war, and she is lying to him, he could doom his universe. If she isn’t lying to him…
He chooses to trust her, rescue her and help her cross over.
Well. What a ride! In past episodes, we’ve had solid stories set in one or the other universe, in this episode, we flashed back and forth from one to the other which can be a little confusing to some – I enjoyed it. Seeing the differences from one universe to the other is like an Easter Egg hunt (like ‘Springsteen Station’). Sometimes the changes are subtle, sometimes whole buildings are different.
With “Entrada”, Peter is pissed.
There is no other word for it. He is just pissed. He’s been duped, used, manipulated and had his emotions used against him. Beyond his anger is his guilt – he feels guilty. He had feelings for Olivia before any of this began and it was those feelings that convinced him to leave the Walternate universe in the first place. To learn now that the woman he loved was left behind and he didn’t even know it?
The other story really is Alternate Broyles. As I’ve said before, I have come to care for the alternate versions of these characters and Alternate Broyles is a good example of why. He’s an honorable man, he believes that he is doing the right thing by being a part of the Fringe division, protecting his people, his world from this threat that he’s been told about for so long (more on that in a sec). He is torn by the fact that when confronted with the enemy, Olivia, she isn’t what he expects her to be. Like him, she is honorable too. She gets to him, he relates to her and, in the end, chooses to believe in her and sets her free.
Last time, I mentioned that I don’t understand why, when Olivia tried to escape before and during the tests Walternate did, she wasn’t able to ‘stick’ in our universe. Tonight they may have explained that. Just before she slipped into the sensory deprivation tank, she took an injection of the cortexaphan Walternate had synthesized. I can only assume that this made the difference and allowed her to ‘stick’ in our universe.
The threat – I am wondering now. Is there really a threat? Did Walter crossing over all those years ago really cause all the damage we’re seeing? Or is it something else? Maybe Walternate’s attempts to cross over from that side is what’s causing all the damage, and the Fringe Division and everything that goes with it, is simply their way of covering it all up?
Something to think about…
**Bonus SF Signal Thoughts
I keep thinking about this machine. It’s a doomsday device that requires Peter at the center, right? He’s a part of it – the center of it:
That plays way too much like the Rambaldi device from Alias (another JJ Abrams show) for my taste. I mean, as much as I loved the early seasons of Alias, I got really, really tired of the Rambaldi crap pretty quickly. It almost became a maguffin for the writers – need a plot point this week? Well, let’s find another piece of the Rambaldi device! Boo!
And, again, there was a central character at the center of it all, remember? Sydney Bristow? Or her mom? Or her aunt? or her again? Or maybe her daughter? Then her mom? Then her again? Then her aunt?
Article first published as Fringe Recap – “Entrada” on Technorati.