Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fringe: Olivia Your New Name Shall Be Pincushion

(3.16 "Os")

I'm supposed to be sending in job applications, but I need a little break from that.

In short: Peter and Olivia are a couple and all cute and happy.  Walter is trying to find the answers to protecting our world in William Bell's old research, and he is obsessed with the idea of bring Bell's consciousness back through "soul magnets" which will draw the energy of his consciousness into a new host body.  An aerospace scientist (guest star Alan Ruck) is trying to perfect a heavy metal serum that allows the human body to float by testing it on MD patients, in an effort to facilitate a way for his wheel-chair bound son to walk.  In talking to the scientist, Walter realizes that the laws of physics are disintegrating on our side the way they are on the other side, making him all the more desperate to get Bell back.  Peter tells Olivia that he killed the shape-shifters, and shows her the research he has done on the data cards he harvested from them.  Walter figures out the trigger that will call Bell's energy to his new host, which (sadly) is Olivia.  Cue creepy voice and tears.

First of all, I think Alan Ruck might be one of my favorite guest stars ever.  He was on a few episodes of Greek as an academic dean, in a wonderful send up of 80's college movies, as well as on an episode of Justified as a mob-accountant turned dentist.  I think he was underused on this episode of Fringe, but the case-of-the-week story really was secondary to Walter's story line, so there was only a limited amount of stuff for him to do.  A parallel of "what would you do for your child's happiness?" and an instance of creating the very problem that you were trying to fix.  But I was still glad to see him.

Obviously what we can really take away from this episode is that there is a certain point when parents should take a hands off approach to their children's lives, because trying to protect their happiness will inevitably destroy it.  In the case of the scientist, he just hadn't accepted that his son was happy, in Walter's case he was expressly trying to shield Peter's currently contented condition, so you knew from the get go that something bad was going to happen.  In a way, Walter is a tragic hero: his determination is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and despite Nina's brave choral warning, he pursued the wrong path for the right reason.

And again, who suffers? Olivia! Seriously!  What experiments have not been performed on Olivia?!?  (Sorry for all the exclamation points, I'm just a tad put out.)  She already had someone else's memories implanted in her and now she has to play roadside motel to a dead guy.  This girl just cannot catch a break.  She made the decision to be happy, she chose something for herself instead of reacting to the series of unfortunate events in her life, and it really wasn't outside the realm of possibility for her to think "I doubt there are any more secret/illicit experiments that have been performed on me that would impede my having a functional relationship."  The whole concept of regathering the energy of your soul into someone's body after you have died is deeply wrong, but to use Olivia as your host is just unbelievably cruel.

Maybe Peter-the-sometimes-killer can enact some revenge on her behalf.  On whom, I'm not sure.

The TV Girl


The Rowles said...

So does this mean that Olivia will never be Olivia again? She will always be Bell? If so, that would be tragic. But that would also mean that Peter might not pick this universe, and this has to have some semblance of a happy ending, right?

The TV Girl said...

It seems to me like she is never going to be just Olivia again, to some extent she is always going to be Bell. I don't think there is any way to completely undo what they've done to her. I agree with you, it is getting more possible that Peter will pick the other universe, and the chances of a happy ending are getting slimmer and slimmer.

KayPea said...

Man, I NEED to start watching this show.

The TV Girl said...

KP you're life will become so much more amazing than it already is if you watch this show. It's a bit of a slow start but once it gets going it is just brilliant.

Calah said...

This was horrible. But, additionally, how did they get her hair to do that? Wicked.

And yes, I am fulfilling my Andrea void by reading your blog. It's only slightly working. Any chance you want to die and I can regather your energies into one of my children so we can hang out all the time?

Calah said...

Was my last comment too much? A little over the top?

The TV Girl said...

Calah! I am in love with that picture of Olivia, ridiculously awesome. I guess if I wrote more it would help fill the void, but you know me, lazy.

I would consider dying and having my soul reassembled in one of you kids, if we can decide with one it would be. I think personality-wise it would have to be Charlotte, since we have a somewhat similar contentious nature and irrational fears.

I think it would just be easier if I moved closer to you ;)