FRINGE: ‘Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?’
October 15, 2010 by Marisa Roffman
I love Fox. I love baseball. However, I do not approve when the two mix, because then they take FRINGE off the air until November.
Yes, people, you read that right. That final scene we saw this week? NO RESOLUTION UNTIL NOVEMBER. And since FRINGE is switching universes every episode, we’ll have to wait until mid-November to pick back up where we left off.
But I think we can all agree this Thursday’s hour was an important one. A lot of foreshadowing to discuss, so let’s get to it…
Newton is back in a big way after a senator is involved in a car crash. Turns out Senator Van Horn is a shapeshifter, and Newton doesn’t want the Fringe team to find out about the information he’s hiding. Naturally, Newton’s solution is to kill Van Horn. At least Newton tries to kill him — while poking around the “deceased” body, Walter realizes it’s not quite as dead as they thought. Walter sets out to make a treasure map to find its database in hopes of finding what the shapeshifting Van Horn knew.
Peter and Fauxlivia explore Van Horn’s office and realize that he’s been tracking them all for years. Fauxlivia knows this — he provided the intel which is helping her pose as Olivia — but Peter is horrified. Aside from that, there isn’t much to find in Van Horn’s office, but thankfully Walter has a little bit more luck. It seems Van Horn’s “brain” won’t respond to average stimulus, but does have a noticeable reaction to Van Horn’s wife, Tricia. They bring her in, but they are still unable to find where the brain is located.
Newton is not so thrilled when Olivia informs him Van Horn isn’t so dead. Newton enlists another shapeshifter, Ray, to break into Massive Dynamic so they can prevent Van Horn from blowing their cover.
I know we’re not supposed to like these guys, but I was all set to let shapeshifter Ray off the hook because they showed how he was so nice to his kid. But then he gets to Massive Dynamic, steals important information and beats up Walter — who thanks to Astrid’s prodding, had returned to the body when he realized the data was stored in Van Horn’s spine. Sir, YOU DO NOT KICK WALTER’S ASS AND GET AWAY WITH IT.
And while the shapeshifter might have been able to get away from Massive Dynamic — thanks in part to Fauxlivia, who didn’t chase him like she told Peter she would — and hand over the disc to Newton, he wasn’t free and clear. When the shapeshifter is unable to kill the family he has formed in order to start with a clean slate, Newton kills him instead. Important lesson here? Don’t touch Walter or karma will get you. Oh, and that soldiers shouldn’t get close to their marks because feelings will start to develop.
Which, of course, leads us to Peter and Fauxlivia. It was clear from their first scene in the episode that those two were going to sleep together soon. While observing other couples on dates, Peter notes that one duo hasn’t slept together because “you can always tell when a relationship is about to take that next step.” Not so subtle, dude. Add in Newton’s near-taunts to Fauxlivia on how she wasn’t fully committing to this assignment and bam, you get her texting up Peter for a booty call as the episode closes. (BTW, how creepy was it to see the scenes of them sleeping together juxtaposed with Newton — whom Peter and Fauxlivia found and captured while they went looking Ray – killing himself in prison?)
Thanks to the multiple shapeshifters and their forming relationships with humans, the episode is full of foreshadowing of what will go down with the Fauxlivia/Peter/Olivia triangle. The speech Van Horn’s wife gives to “his” body is likely the most telling: “I’m sorry I didn’t know you were gone. I don’t know how I didn’t know. You would have known. I know you would have. I don’t know if you can ever forgive me, but I am so sorry.”
Peter is going to feel all of that. There’s no way he won’t. Because he is well aware of what is possible, he’s going to be kicking himself for not putting the pieces together, especially because it seems he is more aware than I gave him credit for:
Peter: Tricia Van Horn was living with a shapeshifter for two years. She must have noticed something different.
Olivia: Well, shapeshifters are good at their job.
Peter: I’ve been thinking about it…maybe she did notice. She just made excuses for herself not to have to deal with it. Or she came up with ways to explain it to herself. Kind of like I’ve been doing with you.
Olivia: With me?
Peter: Yeah. With all the little differences ever since you got back from the other side. You did tell me that your experiences on the other side changed you. But since you got back, it’s like — it’s like you’re a completely different person. You seem less burdened. You’re more patient with Walter. Don’t get me wrong, I like it. The change is good. But…it’s different.
Oh Peter, you’re going to be kicking yourself when you realize that all those little warning signs are what you should have been paying attention to.
By the way, how amazing was Walter’s drug-induced speech to the scientists of Massive Dynamic? I was on set when they filmed that (no, you couldn’t see me in the episode, but you can hear my heels as I’m walking. Awkward.) and John Noble was spectacular.
Also, did the promos say Olivia comes home in November? Um…that’s a pretty huge spoiler. Wonder if it will be as it seems?
What did you guys think of the episode? Who else is counting down the hours until FRINGE returns?
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