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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fringe Recap - Worlds Apart - 4x20

Fringe ... Worlds Apart ... Season 4 Episode 20 ... Original Airdate Friday April 27, 2012

I am still basking in the afterglow of epicness that this episode left me in.

We are back in 2012 for this episode. Walter is all snazzed up in a nice jacket and tie to go head up a meeting with his team and the key players of the Other Side. In attendance are Peter, Broyles, Olivia, Lincoln, Walternate and AltLivia. I briefly wondered where Colonel Broyles was during this meeting when I remembered he must still be in the pokey for being a traitor. I'm wondering why the Astrids weren't in on the meeting?
Walter says that he believes that "Jones is trying to collapse our universes in order to create a gravitational singularity." With the help of a slide projector Walter explains "as our worlds contract, the force becomes greater and greater and as matter and energy compress to a point the density is so great that it has no recourse but to rapidly expand outwards again, creating a Big Bang. Mutual destruction of our side and yours." (I tried to paraphrase that but gave up after three false starts.)

Walter thinks that Jones is trying to create a universe that is all his own, one where he controls all laws of physics and nature. Basically Jones has one giant God Complex. After Walter mentions that he stumbled upon this theory during a dream, his credibility balloon starts to deflate. The most unlikely of all allies comes to his defense in Walternate who speaks up and says "given what we know about Jones' actions so far, what Dr. Bishop suggests should not be overlooked."
Walternate's gaze in this scene was so heavy. Whether it's all the turmoil he is facing or has faced, I don't know. His right eye looked like it was closed also, not sure if that was a trick of the lighting or if that's a John Noble trick to differentiate their characteristics.
Peter just has to go and ask doesn't he? He wants to know how Jones would make this happen. We are then taken to Sydney, Australia where a young woman stands consulting a map, then she checks a watch-like device on her arm that is showing a countdown.
In Beijing, China a man consults a map and checks his matching timer. This action repeats in The Himalayas in Nepal. Each subsequent check of the timer devices shows the countdown getting lower and lower.
In Manhattan, New York a young man hops out of a cab with 20 seconds left to go. In all the locations the human time bombs stake out their spot and then close their eyes and start to concentrate. Their veins collectively bulge and just when I think their heads might explode the ground under and around them starts shaking as tremors wrack the areas they are in.
That was our teasing opener and now it's time for the credits.

Back at the meeting of the Fringe minds, Peter and Walter explain they thought that Westfield was David Robert Jones' testing ground. He managed to merge the universes, destroying both sides, but he had created a safe zone that was left intact. They figure that he has a safe zone planned out for when he annihilates the universes. Walter thinks that he is probably stocking his weird collections of freakish beings within the safe zone so he will be able to populate his new world. Broyles questioningly equates it to Noah's Ark and Walter nods, "Something like that, yes."
Walternate is pulled out of the meeting due to an urgent message he must attend to. Seconds later Broyles and the Olivias receive phone calls. While they all attend to their business, Peter commends Walter on the way he handled the meeting. Walter is concerned that Walternate detests him so much that he can't even stay in the same room. Peter assures him that the important part was Walter was able to have everyone listen and digest his ideas.
Broyles concludes his phone call saying, "Emergency Services is receiving reports of earthquakes happening all over the world." Altlivia pipes up, "Worlds. Sadly on our side too." Walter is convinced that Jones is behind this.
In the Fringe Division Headquarters on the Other Side AltAstrid rattles off the statistics of the earthquakes while Lincoln (who is still chillin' on the Other Side) and AltLivia listen.
Back in the AmberVerse Olivia, Peter and Astrid are paralleling the think session in progress in the Altverse. Walter is busy sniffing a tennis shoe while he is wearing headphones. Then Walter is satisfied with his sniffing and listening and removes the headphones, telling the others he thinks he understands now.
The shoe and other items that he had been looking at were from the epicenter of the quake that hit Manhattan. Through his earlier testing on a dead body and a severed hand, both from each universe respectively, he had discovered that this side vibrates at a C whereas the Altverse vibrates at a G. But the objects from the epicenter vibrate at an entirely different frequency, the key of E.
He says that Jones is creating the earthquakes by trying to tune the two universes to vibrate at a common frequency. Walter predicts there will be more earthquakes and since Jones' actions are continually weakening the barrier between the worlds it will soon be too much strain and "collapse is inevitable." He illustrates his point with the children's game "Don't Break the Ice," emphasizing how by repeatedly tapping in the right locations will result in destruction.
At the Fringe Division Headquarters on the Other Side Lincoln gets an unexpected visitor. Well, okay, it's actually AltLinc who would've been getting a visitor, but since he's no longer around OurLinc-turned-surrogate-AltLinc has to pretend he knows who this person is. The visitor is Nick Lane and claims to have known Lincoln from their old neighborhood and also because Lincoln canoodled with his sis.
Nick has come to Lincoln because although at the time he knew nothing about the earthquakes he had a vision of himself standing in the street in the middle of it all.
When Astrid reviews the video of the quake in Sidney she notices that there is one woman who is not running about willy-nilly in a panic. Plus, the woman is standing right on the epicenter. Needless to say she's looking a little suspicious.
Then Lincoln calls Olivia and at first I thought that the Other Side must have the best phone lines in the worlds to be able to call across an entire universe. (Their tech is more advanced than ours, ya know.) But upon the rewatch, I think he's calling from the bridge room. Anyway pointless analysis aside, he tells Olivia about Nick Lane and his vision. Because in Nick's vision there were no Twin Towers it means that what he saw happened on the Amberside. Olivia immediately recognizes the name Nick Lane. Before the facial recognition can complete on the woman in Sydney, Olivia says that it was Sally Clark. Facial Rec confirms her claim. Olivia knows both of them from her childhood Cortexiphan trials. It now appears that instead of using his harvested Amphilicite to wreak his newest havoc Jones is using Cortexiphan Kids.

Walter as usual, cannot squelch the scientist in him entirely and says, "It's horrible and deranged, but you have to agree, it's really quite ingenious." Okay, here we go, I'm going to try to translate Walterspeak -- Jones is having the Cortexiphan subjects on this side psychically link with their alternates and in doing so they channel the frequency of the OtherSide to where they are here. This is what's causing the earthquakes.
Hesitantly Peter asks Walter if it could be the bridge link between the universes that is making it possible for the Cortexiphan kids to merge with their alternates. Walter gets immediately what Peter is alluding to and says, "You're not suggesting--" Peter jumps in with a resigned, "Yes, I am."
Walter already looks nervous about this prospect and says that although closing the link between the universes would also deter Jones' plans he doesn't know if they would ever be able to reopen the portal between the universes. When Olivia questions him about the repaired areas on the Other Side Walter explains that any progress that had been made would not be lost but it would no longer continue to get better.
Peter quietly says, "There's no other alternative Walter." Reminding me very much of his demeanor when he made up his mind to go into the machine the first time. And whatever happened to the Peter that always said, "There's got to be another way."? I guess after so many ups and downs you stop looking for the other answer. Oh wait, Olivia has an idea ... they need to find Jones and stop the next attack.
And what an idea it is, truly born of her having worked with Walter all these years ... Lincoln and AltLiv pack up their Nick Lane and bring him on over to party down with the other Fringe Division. Walter slips him some Cortexiphan, screws a head collar on him and attaches some electrodes. Olivia explains to him that she's going to use him to connect to the Nick Lane she knew as a child. When Nick questions the sensibility of these tactics Lincoln says, "I find it's best if you just ... go with it."
AltLivia and Olivia share a moment where Liv explains that she likes to come to Olivia's side for the simple things that they no longer have on hers. She says that they haven't had a rainbow Over There for 20 years. She had gotten her hopes up thinking as her side started healing that maybe rainbows would make a reappearance. She says, "I still find myself looking up after it rains."
Then Olivia is called over to assume her position. Walter does the final prep on Nick, dropping something into his mouth with a pair of tongs, asking him "Have you ever tried LSD?" You didn't think that LSD wouldn't be involved, did you?
So Olivia trips her way into Nick's mind, or maybe Olivia visits Nick's trippy mind. I don't know either way, Olivia sees AmberNick and describes his surroundings. Looks like there won't be any making out with strippers on the agenda today for ol' Nicky, he's got a universe to destroy.
Lincoln and Peter are hanging out beside the Nissan SUVs [*product placement*] in the parking lot, waiting for a location. Astrid radios them to say they better get to Salem. Olivia continues talking and providing more details. She is able to see someone with a Salem Bay University jacket on. Lincoln and Peter head for that.
Lincoln and Peter screech to a stop on the campus. [MAJOR Nissan product placement as the emblem on the grill fills up the screen. -- I'm not complaining by the way, it's become kind of fun for me to see if I can catch all the blatant product placement in all of today's television shows, sometimes it's worked in pretty seamlessly, like this scene, but sometimes it's quite glaring.]
Olivia is still trying to come up with more specific details as to where on campus Nick is. She can see that he's looking at his wrist timer and she realizes he's in the quad. Right before Nick does his thang and makes the earth quake he is nabbed by Pecoln and Co.
Unfortunately, although they may've averted the disaster directly on hand the rest of the there are still areas popping up all over the map that are getting the shakes. Vancouver is included this time around, funny that the lab looked stable. Oh, that's right, they are in Boston, not Vancouver, wherever did I get that silly idea? *wink*
Nick Lane (the naughty one) is now being held for questioning. Olivia, Walter and Peter meet with Broyles to discuss the developments so far. The timer that they took off of Nick has parts in it that are not from this side. Broyles wants to know how many more earthquakes the universes will be able to withstand before the end comes. Walter says, "Frankly, I'm surprised it hasn't happened already." They all digest this for a moment and then Broyles says he has to go to Washington because they want to discuss turning the machine off.
Olivia wants to be the one to interrogate Nick because she hopes that their childhood friendship will enable her to get more information out of him. Nick knows right away who she is but he still refuses to tell her where Jones is.
Nick tells Olivia that "the war", what they warned them about and prepared them for as children is now happening. He insists that Jones is one of the good guys. Nick and the others have been told by Jones that they are helping to save this universe from the Other Side. Nick explains that the quakes on this side are collateral damage and though only a small amount of damage is being caused here it is much worse on the Other Side. Nick says, "Jones says one more offensive and the Other Side will surrender."
Random observation: Nick looks like he's got a scar in the shape of a 2 on his left temple.
Olivia tries to convince him that he is merely a pawn in Jones' endgame, and that the two universes are actually co-existing now.
Meanwhile, Peter is looking at the timer under a magnifying glass and finds a piece that has label on it. He's hoping that he will be able to use that to get more information. Peter and Lincoln talk a bit about the closing of the bridge and the impact it will have. Peter mentions that it will be odd once they are out of communication with the Other Side. Peter says, "If the bridge does have to be closed at least everything goes back to the way it's supposed to be ... well, almost everything." Lincoln replies, "You mean you. Because you're from the other universe but you're gonna stay here." Peter pauses for a moment and tells him, "I've come to the opinion that home is where the heart is."
The timer comes alive in Peter's hands and starts a countdown from 5:59:41. Olivia takes it into Nick and tries to appeal to his humanity by telling him that if he doesn't help that "in less than six hours everything you know and everyone you may love will cease to exist." That whole "everyone you love" thing touches a nerve and Nick tells a story about how when he was younger he wanted to kill himself. He made up his mind he was going to slit his wrists. He had the knife in his hand when his parents called to tell him that his sister had just committed suicide by cutting her wrists.
Jones told Nick that he was a reverse empath, meaning that his emotions rubbed off on other people. Nick chokes out, "That is what Walter Bishop and William Bell did to me." Walter is watching from behind the two-way mirror and absorbs these words with a shameful look. Jones taught Nick how to control his problem. Jones made him think that the Other Side was going to rebel against us and Nick thought that he was using his abilities to help protect this world.
Olivia tries again to explain that DRJ is nothing but a big fat liar. Then she tells Nick "Even if you don't help us, we still have a way to stop Jones." I'm not really sure why she told him that, to me that was her bargaining chip. I guess because in her next few sentences she tells him of all the people in the Other Universe that will be hurt if the bridge is closed, still hoping to guilt him into it.
Nick gives in and offers what little information he has. He says one time he met Jones at a warehouse that was filled with gadgets that he didn't know what they were. He offers to take them there.
A SWAT team infiltrates the place, followed by Broyles, Olivia and Peter. Here's something I always mean to comment on and then forget. Usually in scenes like this involving a SWAT team decked out in body armor and helmets the actual Fringe Team comes rolling in there without even bullet-proof vests. (Occasionally they have BPVs but not often.) It's like they go in there and say "Bring it, we can handle anything you got, we've jumped universes, crossed timelines, fought shapeshifters, destroyed plagues, hunted down parasitic worms ... " well you get the idea. I know that a big part of it might be that the main cast is just too beautiful to cover up but I cringe every time they go in without protection.
Nick is sitting in the car with Tim/Tom whatever moniker Walter has christened him this week. He starts to get really shaky and I thought he was conjuring up another earthquake, but what he was actually doing was working his magic charms on Tim by talking about what a loser he, as in himself, was.
The warehouse is empty except for a huge air conditioning unit that is making a ton of noise. Olivia is called back to the car because there is a problem.
The aforementioned problem is that Nick put the whammy on Tim convincing him he was pathetic and Tim got the overwhelming urge to stab himself in the stomach. I cannot tell what he stabbed himself with. Possibly a pen.
Nick is now walking the streets again among a mob of people. A few of them cross in front of him and then he is just gone.
Both Fringe teams are again gathered in the conference room in the bridge area. This time the Astrids are included. The timer on the wall shows about 47 minutes until the next earthquake/meltdown of the universes. Broyles enters the room to say, "Washington has made their decision. They'll support whatever we decide in this room." Uh, so actually Washington made a decision to not make a decision. Okay then.
The camera spends some time reflecting on the faces of the gathered members as they process this information. Walternate speaks up first, stoically saying, "Okay. In that case, unless someone can think of alternative, something we haven't considered yet ... " Here no one offers any suggestions and Walter practically whispers, "No." Walternate continues, "I'm afraid we have to close the bridge."
At about the 36 minute mark Peter comes up to Walter asking, "Ready for me?" Upon Walter's agreement Peter places his forearm in the biometric device he and Walter created earlier in the season. It only takes about 30 seconds and the pushing of a couple levers before the Machine starts to emit smoke and an electronic voice announces, "System Overload initiated." Now they have to wait for the system to overload completely and then they will have to shut the machine down. Walter predicts it shouldn't take too long.
Okay, because I can't resist this and it was one of the best scenes ever in this series there will be a lot of quoting from here on out.
Walternate: This biomechanical interface of yours?
Walter: Peter and I figured it out, back when we thought the machine was the key to his returning home. Back to his timeline.
Walternate: He's really quite a remarkable boy, Peter. Man, actually.
Walter: Yes, he is.
Walternate: Smart, noble, kind. All the things I would've wished for him.
Walter: Could you excuse me for a moment?
Walter leaves and goes to sit down in the hallway, leaning up against a wall lost in his own thoughts. In the background the female electronic voice cheerfully keeps a tally of the current amount the system is overloaded, seeming more than happy to be the announcer of the splitting of two worlds. Walternate goes out into the hallway as well and sits down beside Walter.
He assumes almost the exact same posture as Walter, so they really do look like two twins sitting side by side.
Walternate: I know what you're afraid of. It occurs to me as I'm sure it occurs to you too that if the machine stops working Peter may disappear.
Walter: I believe it may have brought him here. There's no reason it can't take him away
Walternate: Twenty-five years ago you couldn't have made this decision, and you didn't.
Walter: I've come to accept that he's not ours.
Walternate: The universe is change, our life is what our thoughts make it.
Walter: Marcus Aurelius.
Walternate: Philosophy king. Who survived war and spent the rest of his life working for the betterment of his people. (He puts his hand on Walter's shoulder.) Perhaps we will too.
Walter: (Walter has tears streaming down his face.) We'll see.
Walternate leaves.
This scene was so awesome and sad and heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time. When John Noble gets his Emmy (wishful thinking) this is the scene they should show.
The bitter sweetness continues. Peter shakes Walternate's hand and swaggers over to Broyles to tell him it's time. Lincoln says Goodbye to Peter because he has decided to stay in the Altverse. He says, "You remember how you said, 'Home is where the heart is'? This might be crazy, but ... I think I found mine."
At this point the Overload is at 93 percent and now it's time for the Olivias to say Goodbye.
Altlivia: You know, there's a lot of things about you that I wish I had. There's a lot of things about you that I admire.
Olivia: That's funny. I was about to say the same thing about you. Keep looking up, after it rains. Keep looking up.
Altlivia: I will.
The Overload is now at 95 percent and the two teams separate so that they are on their own sides of the bridge room.
The Walters look at one another but they don't say anything. AltAstrid gives a little wave to Astrid who waves back. Olivia nods towards Lincoln and he reciprocates.
The Overload countdown reaches 100 percent and Walter says, "That's it. It's time." He hesitates for just a moment and throws the switch. There's lots of shaking and flickering and then the Alternate half of the room disappears, replaced by black emptiness.
Walter glances over and sees that Peter is still there with them. He walks over and rubs his shoulder saying, "I think that I shall miss them, more than I imagined."
Wow, my sentiments exactly Walter. I've grown quite attached to the Alternates this Season. I don't even know what to say about this episode. I was so keyed up between the time they started talking about seriously taking the bridge down until the end when they actually disappeared I was afraid to blink.
What did you think? Best episode ever? Please leave any comments or observations you wish to share. Thanks for reading.

Next Fringe recap:  Episode 4x21 - Brave New World Part 1

1 comment:

turkkaan999 said...

I didn't understand why did they go back to 2012. But I must say I am freaking confused right now and also mad because of other universe being totally removed from Fringe.