With such a large cliffhanger at the end of season one, fans were anxious to have their questions answered. But in typical Fringe fashion, it took a few episodes to answer most of them. We found out that in our universe, Olivia had been in a car accident–the same one we believed she had avoided in season one–which meant that most of her memories with Bell were vague and unreliable at best. However, with each question answered, ten more seemed to arise. Season two also began to explain why Fringe was unlike other typical “Monster of the Week” sci-fi shows.
Shapeshifters: Here from the parallel universe, these humanoid machines are capable of taking on the physical appearance of anyone they kill with a handy little transforming device, which looks like a three-pronged plug. It is unclear why they are in our universe–the one that Peter, Olivia and Walter are in–but their intentions to wreak havoc on our universe is clear. The only way to tell the difference between a shapeshifter and a human is the fact that shapeshifters have extra mercury in their blood, causing it to look silver.
The Observers: Their purpose becomes a bit clearer in this season. Although their background is still unknown–and their powers and gadgets are still amazingly strange–we learn that why they are here. September and August seem to be the main observers, with an entire episode revolving around August–aptly named “August.”
Thomas Jerome Newton: Leader of the shapeshifters who was reanimated in the last season. His reasons for leading the shapeshifters into battle against our universe is unclear.
Sam Weiss: Played by Kevin Corrigan–he is recruited by Nina to help Olivia get past her limp and remember her memories–both of which are caused by her car accident. His background and intentions are unclear.
As the season progressed, more of The Pattern’s backstory was revealed. Olivia returns “home,” having forgotten most of her conversation with Bell. Her transition back into regular life is slow, with side-effects including temporary amnesia, a limp, and–for a short while–super-sonic hearing. Olivia is also given more depth as a character–we see her struggling to overcome her trauma and meet her sister Rachel and niece Ella. Her rather cold demeanor, partly because of her partner/lover Agent Scott’s deception and death, explains her unwillingness to open up to others–in contrast to her relationship with Rachel and Ella. This aloof attitude is only furthered by the fact that a shapeshifter replaced her new partner, Charlie–and she has to kill the Charlie-shapeshifter.
Olivia is still struggling with her memories, so Nina Sharp suggests that she begin meeting with a pseudo-psychiatrist/bowling alley manager Sam Weiss. As Olivia’s memories begin to return, she remembers Bell’s warning about something he referred to as “The Storm,” a time when the two universes would collide–and only one universe would survive. Olivia’s powers–which Walter explains comes from the Cortexiphan she was tested with as a child–have grown to include semi-reliable teleportation and mind control. She also has the ability to see things from the other universe when she is afraid–something only she can do. Things from the parallel universe are described as having a glimmer.
Walter remembers that he had Bell remove parts of his brain, as he was scared with his abilities and knowledge (a problem I can relate with).Walter and Peter are seen growing closer in this season, with Peter trying to look past Walter’s past mistakes and Walter continuing to reach out to his son. Peter’s relationship with Olivia begins to become more personal, and they are about to kiss when Olivia sees him glimmer. Walter later confirms that Peter is actually not from this universe–he was taken from the other universe as a child.
The episode entitled “Peter,” flashes back to 1985–the year that our Peter died. Walter had invented a “window” into the other universe, and saw the other Walter–termed Walternate (Walter+Alternate)–find the cure to save Peter, which our Walter was unable to do. However, an Observer walked into Walternate’s lab, distracting Walternate, which meant that Walternate was unaware that he had found the cure. Despondent with grief that the other Peter would die, Walter determines to cross over to the other universe, give Peter the correct dosage, and return home. However, things do not go as planned; Nina tries to stop Walter from crossing over, which is how she loses part of her arm. Walter lands on his medicine, breaking the bottle. Walter is still adamant that he can save Peter, so he takes him and crosses back into our universe with the intention of returning him once he was well. Walter crossed over on frozen Reiden Lake, as the water would absorb the energy emitted. But when they cross back to our universe, they fall through the ice, and almost drown. September saves them just in time. It is implied that after saving Peter, both Walter and Elizabeth, Peter’s mom, cannot bring themselves to let Peter go–although they know that it is not really their son.
Olivia wants to tell Peter as soon as she finds out, but Walter begs her not to. Despite this, Peter finds out while working a case and is furious. He runs away, leaving Walter heartbroken. When he is gone, he is tracked down by Newton, who has helped Walternate cross over. Walternate convinces Peter to come back home–to their universe.
This two-part finale was definitely some of my favorite episodes. Walter and Olivia find out that Peter has returned home to his universe; an Observer tells gives them a paper which shows Peter’s body as the key to saving–or destroying–universes. Determined to save Peter, Olivia and Walter decide to cross over as well. With the help of Nick and Sally, two others with Cortexiphan-driven powers, all four are able to cross to the parallel universe. Bell gives them coordinates to meet at Central Park, but they are unaware that the parallel universe has no Central Park in New York. Sally and Nick are killed, Walter is injured and taken to the hospital, where Bell comes to rescue them. Their parallel universe is much more high-tech than our universe–they had cell phones back in 1985–and Walternate is the Secretary of Defense.
Peter, unaware that Walternate is using him for his body (in an I-want-to-destroy-the-other-universe-with-your-body kind of way), is amazed by the differences and similarities between the two universes. He is reconnected with his real mother–our Elizabeth committed suicide while Walter was in a mental hospital–and meets their Olivia, dubbed Fauxlivia. Olivia and Fauxlivia go head-to-head in a fist fight before Olivia knocks Fauxlivia unconscious. Disguised as Fauxlivia, she tricks Alt-Charlie and manages to get to Peter, who has realized Walternates less-than-welcoming welcome home plans for his son. Olivia reveals her true self and her true feelings fo Peter, causing him to choose to return to our universe. On the way back to their rendezvous point–where Bell and Walter are waiting–they are ambushed by Walternate. With all the chaos, there is no time to set up a stable door for them to return home, so Bell sacrifices his body as the stabilizing device. All is well, and Peter grudgingly tells Walter that if he was willing to cross universes twice to save him, that must count for something. The last scene is of the parallel universe. A blonde Olivia–our Olivia–is seen in a holding cell, begging Walternate to let her out.
Mindblown AGAIN. I love you, Fringe.
- In an effort to help promote Fringe, whose ratings had steadily dropped from 9 million season one to a heartbreaking 5.6 million, The Observer was not only spotted in every episode, but on other FOX shows as well–including American Idol (And yes, he looks as out of place as it sounds).
- Some differences between the two universes: The alternate universe’s Statue of Liberty is bronze, The Empire State Building is used as a Zeppelin dock, and the Twenty dollar bill, which has Martin Luther King, Jr. on it.
- Don’t forget to check out my favorite Fringe episode ever, White Tulip. Besides the white tulips being a recurring theme, it was a touchingly poignant and all-around wonderful episode.
Emily enjoys all mediums of speculative fiction, fantasy, and sci-fi–especially reading, writing, and watching them. A Fringe fanatic, she is convinced that one day she will meet her parallel self, aptly nicknamed Femily (Fake Emily), and save both worlds from their inevitable destruction.
The second season premiere starts exactly how the last season finished…all over the place! Steve is still out of the country because of his grand theft auto empire. Frank is still living with an agoraphobic woman (Joan Cusack) on the verge of a breakthrough – and her teenage daughter who took advantage of him sexually then posted it on the interwebs. Fiona is trying to get on with her personal life after Steve.”Lip” is in an underground fight club. And Kevin has a HUGE marijuana grow-op. Gotta love summertime Chicago at the Gallagher house, right?
Fiona moves on?: With all the plots and storylines that are in every episode of Shameless I still see Fiona (Emmy Rossum) as the “main” character. The majority of her time last season was spent with, or worrying about, Steve and now since he isn’t there I was very interested in how she would cope. But just like with everything else in her life she can adjust on the fly. I don’t know how long it’s going to be before Steve makes his return but I’m interested to see how far down the rabbit hole Fiona goes until he does.
Time’s almost up “Daddy Frank: Summertime has been good for Sheila Jackson. She can take 100 steps from her front door and may soon be able to leave her block soon. This doesn’t really bode well for Frank because she will be able to interact with the outside world again; maybe even find another man better than Frank – which can’t be difficult at all.
Ice Cream and Nicotine: I didn’t know why Lip needed a tracking device for police officers – unless he was still trying to steal cars – until I saw that he was helping Kevin sell cigarettes to “of age” 14-year-olds from an ice cream truck. I’m interested to see how long this scheme lasts before Tony, or another of Chicago’s finest, finds out about it.
Fiona Jr?: Each of the residents of the Gallagher house is strong in their own way, but Debbie seems to be right behind Fiona in terms of helping the family. She is running a daycare with the help of her younger brother Carl and she is only 12. Even though she let Frank sneak away with Liam, I still think Debbie is one of the stronger characters despite her age.
Long Distance Dreams: I hope that Fiona’s lost love for track turns into something more than just a one episode focal point. It will giver her something else to focus on besides being the adopted matriarch of the Gallagher house. Even though she can’t live without her family – as we saw last season when she moved in next door with Steve – she needs a mental break every now and then.
Jasmine…: As soon as Jasmine came onto the scene late last season I’ve been questioning her true intentions with Fiona. She helped her get a job during the first season finale but she seems to be trying to get Fiona to do a lot more than income tax returns. Jasmine is clearly trying to get Fiona more accustomed to her free-spirited lifestyle. I think she may even have a bit of a crush on Fiona actually, and who knows what kind of trouble that could get her in?! I have faith that Veronica won’t let anything to drastic happen…maybe…
Rick is still keeping his radio diary to Morgan as the season kicks off. Rick says that he and his group are done with Atlanta and are headed to Fort Bennett. The daily grind has clearly taken it’s toll on Rick and it’s made apparent during this one-way conversation.
The group heads out on the road in hopes of reaching Fort Bennett but they run into a roadblock made up of all abandoned vehicles. Glenn suggests they double back and take another route but Dale tells him they don’t have enough fuel for that. The radiator blows on Dale’s RV and the group is immobile. They begin to search the abandoned vehicles for much needed supplies. After finding clothes, car parts, and food Dale and Rick spot a “herd” of zombies walking towards them. Most of the group hides under vehicles – Dale stayed on top of the RV while Andrea is in the restroom. A wandering zombie finds her and begins to break down the door but Dale drops her a screwdriver and she gives us our first graphic kill of the season. Elsewhere, Darryl saves T-Dog from another attack. As the herd passes Sophia begins to leave her hiding spot under a car when two zombies spot her. She runs into the nearby woods to escape. Rick immediately gives chase.
When Rick catches up to Sophia he tells her to head back to the group so he can lead the zombies further into the woods. He tells her how to get back safely using the sun as her guide. Rick runs off and sets a perfectly primitive trap for the zombies – and by primitive I mean he hides behind a tree with a stone and bashes their heads in when they come near.
Rick, Shane, Darryl and Glenn are tracking for Sophia in the woods because she hasn’t returned to the group. Rick orders that Glenn and Shane go back with the group for damage control so no one worries too much. Rick and Darryl continue searching but find nothing. They even perform an awesome autopsy on a zombie to make sure he didn’t get to Sophia. They come back at dusk and tell the group that they have to continue searching for Sophia at daybreak. This obviously doesn’t come with much fanfare, especially from Sophia’s mother Carol.
When day comes the group heads out in search of Sophia leaving Dale and T-Dog back on the road. The group comes across a tent at a campsite and investigate. No evidence that Sophia was there. After that disappointment they hear church bells and run to find the source. Rick leads the charge towards the church. Inside they find a few zombies sitting in the pews – Christians to the core! – but easily eliminate them. Still no sign of Sophia.
Outside Andrea overhears Shane telling Lori that he is planning on leaving the group. She asks to go with him but he is hesitant because it would be “another ass to cover” but she insists she can cover him when he needs help.
Rick sends the group back to the highway while he, Shane, and Carl stay at the church to continue the search. Rick desperately prays that God give him a sign as “an indication that (he’s) doing the right thing”. As they leave the church to search the surrounding wooded area they spot a deer. The look on Rick’s face shows that he believes this was his “sign”. As Carl creeps closer to the deer a shot rings out, downing the deer and hitting Carl in the torso. Stunned, Shane and Rick rush to Carl’s aid.