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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Welcome to Westfield - Fringe Season 4 Episode 12 Recap

Every episode of Fringe so far this season just keeps getting better and better. Tonight's episode had to be one of the best ones of the series and made the fangirl that lives inside of me so happy on so many different levels.
Tonight's episode begins with Peter and Olivia in bed. Yes, in bed. Every freaking episode should start off with them about to enjoy each other in the biblical sense. Olivia tells Peter she loves him and wants him to say it back to her, which he does. They kiss tenderly as the blue background of the scene highlights and shades them in all the right (or wrong, depending how you look at it) places.
Then the blue background is replaced by daylight and Olivia is startled awake by her phone. She answers the phone and it's the man who starred opposite of her in the dream she just had. He queries if he has woken her up. She pauses a moment before answering, probably trying to get her sex-tuned brain to come forward with a coherent thought. She says she was awake.
Peter tells her he and Walter have been up for 24 hours working on the machine and have hopefully come up with something. But, he needs Olivia to come and help him with something. (Maybe Olivia needs him to help her with something.)
Olivia arrives at the lab to find Peter helping Walter make his newest invention. A breakfast cocktail called Hot Cinnamon Roll. Peter tastes it, then looks like he regrets it as he informs Olivia it is made out of "Cinnamon Schnapps and butter, right now, it's mostly butter." Walter decides it needs yet more butter and scurries off.
Peter studies Olivia's face for a moment and asks her if she is okay. She tells him she's just tired and moves the subject along to why Peter called her there.

Walter and Peter have come up with a device that hooks itself to Peter's arm (much like in the old timeline) and will be able to read his thought process, allowing him to control the machine. The part where Olivia comes in is they need Broyles's permission to test their prototype on the machine. Olivia agrees to talk to Broyles about it.
In Southern Vermont a fuel (?) truck rides down a road with it's driver singing along to some music in the cabin. The stereo and dashboard lights start to flicker. The truck rolls to a stop behind a line of vehicles also afflicted with the same weird issues. When he gets out of the truck he watches as several metal objects inside start to levitate and float around the cabin. A few seconds later they clatter back down.
He walks over to a small group of people and they collectively watch a plane zoom through the air right above their heads. It crashes into a patch of woods behind them, exploding in a fireball. J.J. Abrams certainly loves his plane crashes, doesn't he. We do too apparently.
The line of cars all have their engines roar suddenly to life with their headlights shining steadily ahead. Everyone looks at each other in confusion.
And roll those wonderful Fringe credits ...
Olivia, Broyles and Astrid arrive at the scene along with other FBI agents to check out the disaster. Astrid tries to get Walter on her earpiece but is having problems getting to him. Broyles gives Olivia the back story on why he's called her out on this dark and cold evening, telling her that as the plane passed overhead it's electric and hydraulic systems stopped working. He advises her of the earlier vehicles also in this area that also lost power and about how some witnesses say they saw objects floating in the air.
Astrid is still trying valiantly to get Walter on the horn, yelling into it for him to respond if he can hear her. Walter's voice says "For God sake woman, lower your decibels." They all turn to find Walter and Peter walking up behind them. "You're here, in person." Astrid says with surprise as Peter grins in the background.
Walter jumps into things as though it is old hat and not in the least bit unusual he is out in the field. Olivia comments to Broyles that Walter has been changing lately, in a good way, becoming more open.
Walter walks up to one of the cars and kicks a hubcap causing it to fall off. Astrid admonishes him, but he just picks it up and flings it towards the truck that is ahead of him. The hubcap flattens itself against the side of the truck.
Walter and Peter explain that the electro magnetic force in that particular area was heightened for a short time, during which the cars' and plane's electrical systems went out, and metal objects were suspended in the air. The occurrence left residual magnetism in the objects that were affected.
Broyles and Astrid go off to talk to the NTSB and Broyles let's Olivia know to go ahead and take whatever evidence that Walter needs to figure out what is going on. After they walk away Walter gathers Peter and Olivia to him conspiratorially and whispers to them about a restaurant he saw on the way in that had delicious rhubarb pie. "Who's hungry?" he asks.
The three take a trip into town, passing a sign Welcoming them home to Westfield along the way. The sign at the diner does indeed advertise that it's rhubarb pie is "The Best in Westfield." While Olivia goes off to see if she can get a signal on her cell Peter takes Walter inside so he can fulfill his pastry craving.
The diner is empty save for the clerk behind the counter. He greets them warmly and Walter orders some pie and a coffee while Peter heads off to the bathroom. In a rather funny exchange between the server and Walter, Walter reveals that he didn't know he was in Vermont. When the server inquires how someone could drive from Boston to Vermont without knowing where he was, Walter calmly informs him, "Oh, I'm not allowed to drive. I haven't renewed my license since I got out of the mental institution." The clerk laughs like Walter must be pulling his leg and tells Walter the pie is on the house.
Olivia walks past an abandoned car to a payphone, which is also out of service when she tries it.
In the back of the restaurant Peter can hear moaning and groaning noises coming from somewhere. Out in the front as Walter sips his coffee, the clerk turns around and remarks that June must've brought Walter's coffee to him. He starts talking to Walter as though they weren't already shooting the shit not moments before. They go through the preliminary How are you's and the server asks Walter what he would like to eat. When Walter explains that they've already been through this, culminating with the fact that he was offered free pie, the server becomes angry and informs Walter that "Nobody steals from me. Not you, not Cliff, nobody." Walter looks shocked at the sudden attitude change.
Then the man slips back into his super-nice-guy persona, letting Walter know he hasn't forgotten about his pie. In the back Peter follows the pain filled sounds he is hearing to a room where he finds a man writhing on the floor, covered in blood. At the counter again, the clerk serves up Walter his slice of pie as Walter bewilderedly thanks him, searching his face for some clue as to what is going on. The clerk walks calmly back over to the pie carousel and retrieves the large knife he had used to cut the pie. Then, all hell breaks loose as he turns back quickly and slashes at Walter with the knife. Walter jumps back just in time to avoid a serious wound. The clerk starts to attack Walter.
Peter comes running in from the back, yelling for Walter. Whether he was running in because he heard the scuffle or he was running in to get Walter to help the injured guy in the back, I'm not sure. Peter pounces on his Walter’s attacker and Walter scoots away to safety. Peter gets kicked back into a table as the clerk turns his murderous intentions on him. As he raises the blade high above Peter a single shot is heard and the guy collapses. Olivia has come in to save the day.
Walter and Peter go to assist the man who is hurt in the back. Walter assesses the damage and declares that they will need to get him to a hospital for proper treatment for his injuries and a blood transfusion. Olivia has checked the restaurant and found a dead body behind the counter. She also lets them know that she was still unable to get a phone signal and the entire place is like a ghost town.
The gang gathers up the wounded man and sets out on a road trip. As they pass the "You are Leaving Westfield sign" the damaged man starts to come to a little. He croaks out something about not being able to leave and that his name is Cliff Hayes. A few seconds later the SUV sails past a sign Welcoming them to Westfield. Assuming that she has somehow gotten off course, Olivia continues driving. A very short time later they pass the Leaving Westfield sign and a few seconds later, the Welcome sign graces their vision again.
Thoroughly confused at this point, Olivia ponders out loud "What the hell is going on?" Now that man wheezing about not being able to leave from the back seat is starting to make some sense. Then I believe Walter says, "Your girlfriend's right. We're trapped here." I'm not exactly sure that I am hearing the word girlfriend correctly though.
Since they seem to be on an endless road to the same destination they take a detour at the deserted police station. Walter is a universal donor and Peter goes off to find a first aid kit. Olivia tries the landline but it is still down. Walter not so helpfully informs Olivia that he has actually seen this type of thing before, in the musical Brigadoon. Which unfortunately unless they are about to break into song and dance (which might not surprise me) I doubt will change the score of things. Peter returns with a first aid kit. Cliff pipes up to say that "This town, everyone's crazy."
Some time later Peter barricades the door to hopefully keep out any unwanted guests. As Walter's blood is being transfused into Cliff he is starting to become a little less zombie-like. It's now daylight. Cliff starts describing how the town has been going to hell in a handbasket in the past three days. Most everyone in the town became delusional. Acting like they were having memories that weren't theirs, talking about things and people they didn't know and not recognizing the people that they did.
Walter rules out any sort of virus to be the cause and prompts Cliff for more symptoms. Cliff says that although everyone did start out with the same problems like confusion, tremors and forgetting things the progression of the malady was different for everyone. Some people became violent which explains the waiter at the diner.
The people who are immune, like Cliff are staying together at the high school. They decide to take some supplies and radios over to the high school in the hopes of getting in touch with Broyles. Olivia wonders if perhaps this whole clusterfuck is an army experiment that has gone wrong. She reminds Walter of a similar case they had in Edina, New York when an entire town had been disfigured due to a military experiment.
Walter has no recollection of such a case but dah, dah, dah, Peter does. In his timeline with his peeps. Olivia then dismisses her memories as information she gleaned when she was looking at the file of Peter's debriefing.
As Peter is gathering weapons and ammo, Walter makes the suggestion that he also be armed with a weapon. After a moment of thought, Peter reaches up, plucks something off a shelf and places it in Walter's hand. "Pepper spray," Walter says. Peter turns the nozzle away from Walter and says "Just remember, it shoots that way." Peter with a rifle? Walter with pepper spray? Hell yeah, bring on the Apocalypse.
As Cliff is raiding a vending machine Olivia walks up to him and gives him a gun, showing him where the safety is. Then she rallies her troops and leads her little army of three out into the big bad world.
As they are getting in the SUV a man approaches with a battered and maybe even bloodied doll hanging limply from his hand. He is grunting to himself unintelligibly. I think that may've been the creepiest part of the whole episode. Peter draws a bead on him with the rifle but since the man doesn't even appear to notice they are there he doesn't take any action.
Olivia can't get the car started so they trek off on foot. The wind is whistling around them, kicking up leaves and dirt like they are trapped in a town sized dust devil. As they walk along Cliff remarks to Walter that he sees the resemblance between him and Peter and putting two and two together about their last names being the same he inquires if Peter is Walter's son. Walter answers, "In a fashion, yes, you could say that."
Behind them Olivia is starting to experience some disturbing problems. Her arm is trembling and she becomes dizzy. As Peter is talking to her about this she starts to mumble nonsense, but snaps out of it fairly quickly, telling Peter, "I don't know how to explain it, but it feels like there was someone else in my head."
Pause for a moment. Poor Olivia. Is the women ever going to get a break, or get her brain to herself? She's had AltLiv's memories shoved into her brain, she's housed a horny mad scientist and now some other undefined person is knocking around up there? This point may be moot, really since this Olivia might not be the same Olivia who experienced all that. I can't remember if this Olivia had AltLiv's memories force fed to her Over There or if she was just held captive. And of course this Olivia was not body snatched by William Bell.
However, my hope is that this Olivia and this Walter are the same as before, just somehow the timeline got all out of whack so their memories went the way of the dodo, but will be coming back by spring. I want this timeline to be the same because a) I don't like the idea of there being another timeline where they are searching frantically for Peter, b) I don't want to get all invested in these versions of Olivia and Walter (and everybody) only to have to wonder what will become of them when Peter goes back. Okay, back to your regularly scheduled recap.
She hands her gun over to Peter because now she is afraid she is coming down with this unknown affliction. They make it to the high school and Cliff is reunited with his family. They are informed that one of the formerly unaffected people has started to exhibit symptoms and has been locked away from the others.
Peter talks to Olivia off to the side about her symptoms, saying "We gotta tell Walter." This cues a flashback in my head to Dawson's Creek of Pacey saying, "We gotta tell him, Jo." But they don't get a chance to acquiesce on who should tell Walter and how that will affect their friendship with him afterwards (Dawson's fans will know of which episode I am referring to.) because they are interrupted by one of the other hider-outers who is angry that the FBI hasn't yet swooped in to save the day. Olivia assures him that help will come.
Walter asks to examine the person who started to become ill earlier. Her name is Teresa and as he starts checking her over she says, "You're the man from the government. You're here about our air quality. Air quality's bad here, isn't it?" Walter examines the inside of her mouth and finds that she has two rows of bottom teeth. He lets Olivia know that he also noticed that the man at the diner had two irises. He thinks that maybe whatever has descended upon this town is causing them to have body parts duplicate.
As Walter takes a blood sample from her, Theresa starts to talk about how she should be starting dinner for her husband, Lee and that the last time she talked to Lee was this morning. The lady with her informs Walter that Lee passed away several years ago. Walter gently asks Theresa what they talked about and she becomes upset since her Lee died 7 years ago. She settles back down and a few seconds later again starts to talk about getting supper started for Lee, because he would be home soon.
Peter enters the classroom that they are in and tells Olivia he was unable to get the radios to work. He convinces Olivia to let Walter test her blood. As he gets the sample, Walter assures Olivia that her symptoms are most likely just and empathetic reaction to what she is seeing happening around her.
As Walter goes off to test the blood, Olivia tells Peter she's glad he's there, helping her, but also she points out that there has been a definite change in Walter's behavior since Peter has come into their lives. He's becoming more open. Peter smiles and says, "He's a lot like my Walter, this one." Olivia throws Peter a bit of a curve ball as she quickly asks him, "What's she like, the other Olivia?"
Peter tells her a bit about the other Olivia, "She's driven. She's very, very stubborn. She doesn't like to lose. She sees the best in people, even when they don't see it in themselves." He goes on to tell her about Olivia coming to Iraq and bringing him back to the States. He says, "She gave me a place to call home, a place I'd want to call home." Big Awwwww here. He continues on, telling her about a date night they had settled into on Friday's where they would order in from Domianos (?) and watch cheesy horror films.
All this fluffiness is cut short by a piercing scream that sends Peter and Olivia running. They find out that Theresa has gotten lose from where they had her contained and has now died in the bathroom. Cliff talks to Olivia and tells her how awhile back he had been offered a teaching job out of state. He thinks that if he had taken the job his family wouldn't be in the predicament they are in now. Olivia assures him that no one knows how things may've turned out even if he had taken the job.
Walter pages Olivia and Peter over the intercom telling them to return to the Biology lab. When they get there Walter tells them of an experiment he and Belly had once conducted with Goldfish where they merged a small piece of the two universes together. In the areas where the universes overlapped gravity and other laws of physics were affected. He thinks that the town of Westfield has somehow overlapped with itself from the other universe. The people are merging with their alternates and the bombardment of the other one's memories are causing them to go insane.
Olivia is steadily growing more nervous and then Walter finally says there is nothing that can be done to help those who are already affected. Peter jumps in with, "So, what are you saying Walter? That Olivia's--"
Walter tells them that Olivia's blood came back fine. He apparently thought he had led the conversation with that statement. Olivia is visibly relieved at this news.
The people who have not been affected thus far remained that way because they did not have alternates in the same area in the other universe. For something like this to happen it would require massive amounts of energy. The finger starts to point back to David Robert Jones and his stolen treasure trove of Amphilicite. Walter says there will be more problems to come, as what they have seen so far is only phase one.
There is a booming sound and the room rocks. Cliff comes running in and takes them outside. They watch as what looks like a water tower in the distance shimmer before it abruptly disappears completely. "That," Walter says, "is phase two."
The remaining survivors have all gathered together while Walter is pondering a solution to the problem, but he has been unable to come up with anything. He says everything is being destroyed because with all the energy caused by the merging of the two universes the laws of physics are colliding. Every few seconds there is another room shaking boom, causing plaster to rain down over everyone. Walter walks off by himself, upset that he can't find an answer.
Olivia gets Peter to go talk to Walter to see if together they can work some magic. Peter throws out a question to Walter whether the colliding forces of nature could be offset by opposite forces. Walter begins to think out loud and as the wheels in his brain turn his face takes on that look of figuring something out. Walter thinks if they can find the center point in the town where forces will meet they will be in a safe zone.
Olivia goes off to procure transportation as Peter and Walter set about figuring out where that location is. I absolutely loved this scene with Peter and Walter working together to find the spot on the map. It reminded me of the good old days, before doomsday machines and altered timelines.
The group takes a bus that will still be able to run despite all the electro magnetic hooey-blooey going on. Once loaded, Walter tries to comfort a Cliff‘s daughter, telling her everything will be alright. She spies something over his shoulder that makes her scream in terror. A man at the back of he bus has merged with his doppelganger and now has two faces. He starts to attack Peter, of course. As they tussle Walter runs up and sprays the metamorphisized man in the face with his mace. Peter is able to then knock him down and toss him out of the back of the bus. "Nice shot," he tells Walter. Um, and what I said earlier about the man with the doll being the freakiest thing of this episode -- I'm amending that to be tied with two-faced guy, because as he falls out of the back of the bus both of his faces are moving. Ugh, cringe-inducing.

They arrive at their destination and exit the bus. It looks like the full on end of the world outside, and indeed it pretty much is, for this little slice of the world anyway. As they are running into the building the bus they have just gotten off of flickers and winks out of sight.
Walter is the last one in and he lingers outside for a moment until Peter goes out there. Walter says, "Peter, you were right. This is the eye of the storm." "Great," Peter responds and shepherds him inside. The front window implodes just as Walter is telling everyone they will be safe there. Outside the storefront the world is flickering dangerously, then the screen goes black.
Then the scene opens up again on the downed Welcome Home to Westfield sign. The group has survived and look outside to survey the damage. Everything around them has been reduced to rubble, to less than rubble really, more like just piles of dust and ash.
Broyles arrives with medical help and reports to Olivia that there were no other survivors found. They did however find several devices around the perimeter of the town that had trace amounts of Amphilicite, which makes them all the more certain that Jones had something to do with this. The amount they found doesn't even put an iota of a dent in the amount that Jones stole, meaning he's got a shitload more where that came from.
Olivia checks in with Cliff to see how he's holding up. He says something that I think parallels the Peter situation, "My home, everything I've ever known. How did they just disappear?" Although he does at least still have his wife and daughter.
At the lab in Harvard is holding a pan over a burner as Peter walks by. Walter tells Peter he is making them crepes, "breakfast for dinner, the second most important meal of the day." Peter smiles and asks if he can take a rain check. Peter is hoping that tomorrow they will be able to have access to the machine. Walter agrees that then they will be able to continue to try to get Peter home, but his face shows that he is now not so sure about wanting Peter to go. He calls out a Goodnight to Peter who responds in kind, and Walter watches solemnly as he leaves the lab.
At Olivia's house she is in front of her mirror pulling her hair back. There is a knock at the door and she goes to answer it. I half expected this to be Lincoln but my finger crossing worked because it was Peter who darkened her doorstep. She invites him in and assures him she doesn't mind that he just stopped by. "Why would I?" she asks. She pours him some wine.
He looks around and asks her what it is that smells so good? She chuckles at him, saying "What do you mean? It's Friday, I ordered Domiano's." She then walks up to him and kisses him full on the lips! Hell to the yeah!!! He's shocked though and steps back, wondering what is going on. She just looks confused at his confusion. Then Bad Wo-bot appears signaling The End. Oh, Christ on a cracker. Really? Now we gotta wait a whole week?
Again, I go back to my theory near the beginning of this recap, I hope the timelines really are the same. God only knows what kind of repercussions that's going to have because I'm sure it can't be all hunky dory but hopefully will be mostly okay.
I think my only question about this episode was where was Lincoln?

What did you think? What's your theory about the timelines? Leave a comment, tell me your favorite parts of this episode. Rants/Raves about this episode?

Next Fringe recap:  Episode 4x13 - "A Better Human Being"


Anonymous said...

Hi there! You left a really great, detailed review on one of my stories on a while back, and I'm not sure if I ever replied. Sorry for the omission if it's true. Well, I just came across your post again and checked out your profile - and here I am.

I love your recap, it's so detailed and well done, and you pick up on a lot of really interesting points - such as what Cliff said in the end about losing everything echoes Peter's situation. I never thought of that. I wonder if Olivia's reply that the FBI would help them out until they get back on their feet is also some kind of foreshadowing? Meaning that she will be the one to help Peter get used to the new timeline? Can't wait to find out.

A few small things. Peter came running when Walter was attacked because Walter shouted out for him. That was one of my favorite moments. It's another step back to their normal father-son relationship. Although 'normal' is probably not the right term here.

In the car when Cliff told them they can't leave Walter said 'I think our friend here is right.'. He was really slurring the words, though, basically leaving out the first two syllables, so it was quite hard to understand.

I'm going to use the three-week hiatus in March to catch up on all your recaps. Looking forward to that. I've been trying to have myself a complete rewatch of the earlier seasons, but who has the time.

Later! stars

Thought Provoking Shirts said...

Thank you for the comment! It's the first one and it makes me absurdly happy to get one. I'm glad you enjoyed the review.

Yes, I think you did reply to my review (if you are referring to the ones I left on Poison Running Through My Veins.)

Thank you for clearing up the "girlfriend" thing about Walter, it really made so sense for him to say girlfriend there and the only reason I could think of was that maybe he had slipped back into the old time line for a moment. I agree about Peter coming because Walter called him, I wasn't sure at first but after seeing it several times I realized that's why.

I also noticed something else on a rewatch that I missed the first time around and have been meaning to add to the recap. When Walter is examining Theresa she seems to recognize him and says he's the man from the government about the air quality. I may be reading too much into it, but I wonder if that was her alternate who had seen Walternate on the Other Side.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the recaps when you get the chance to read them. I missed some from this season but I am trying to get back into them again. You might also enjoy my Best Of's and Favorite Moments that I did for a few of the episodes.

Thanks again.