FRINGE Recap: ‘Nothing As It Seems’
March 31, 2012 by Marisa Roffman
True to the episode’s title, FRINGE’s “Nothing As It Seems” was, well, nothing like it seemed.
The hour seemed to be an easy enough case (a rehash of season 1′s “The Transformation”), but it ended up…on a boat with about 3,231,526 more questions. Because I really want to try and have a group mind meld so we can figure out what the frak is going on, let’s briefly touch on what actually went down before we try and figure out the implications…
The Olivias are 60% the same?
We learned in tonight’s episode that while Olivia was being tested by an FBI-shrink, 60% of the information she relays is correct, but the rest is different from what the FBI knew about her — for instance, in this timeline, Rachel is still married to her husband and they have a son, Eddie, in addition to Ella — making her involvement in cases dangerous, so she’s forbidden from working with the FBI on anything.
Of course, it’s Olivia, and our girl won’t sit out a case. Instead, she tags along (thanks partially to her memories of the case’s first incarnation), but because Lincoln can’t/won’t call for backup and get his crush in trouble, he ends up getting wounded by the porcupine-esque creature they’re tracking. Whoops.
The good news? Broyles recognizes how important she is to the team and her suspension gets lifted by the time the episode ends.
“If you’re 60% percent of the Olivia I knew, then you’re still better than 90% of the agents I ever worked with,” he tells her. “A Fringe Division with Olivia Dunham is better than a Fringe Division without her.”
I’m very curious about that 60% number…does that mean 60% of both Olivias are the same no matter what…the core, so to speak? Or is Olivia’s memory now more questionable than we thought?
Will someone please cut Lincoln a break already?
Ever get the feeling someone is supremely unlucky? I get the feeling Lincoln might be the unluckiest character in either universe. (And that’s saying a lot.)
First off, Peter and Olivia’s coupling made for some super awkward moments for poor, neglected Lincoln. The worst is probably when he shares a car ride with Peter to check out a suspect and the uncomfortable tension is just radiating from the screen. Peter offers to talk it out with him, and while Lincoln is certainly frustrated and confused by the turn of events, he’s also a man about it. He tells Peter that he sees the kind of love between Peter and Olivia is similar to what he used to see between his former partner and his wife.
“You’re a good guy,” Peter tells him. Yes he is. Can some female realize that so he doesn’t have to spend eternity alone, pining after Olivias who are already previously engaged?
Oh, but that wasn’t all for Lincoln. As I mentioned earlier, he gets attacked by the creature of the week, which also meant there was the worry he was infected. Olivia felt terrible for her role in his injury (“You didn’t want to get me in trouble and now you’re injured.”) and boy, that poor guy is still smitten with her.
Walter tries to help make things better and fixes the younger man peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. When Lincoln suddenly starts craving bacon (because of course he’s infected), Walter has a breakthrough about the creature’s transformation process…it needs human fat. (Ew.)
And then — because of course it’s not done — while Lincoln and the FBI team went to search a plastic surgeon’s office (a convenient place to get a ton of excess human fat), Lincoln gets attacked again. Several times. Lucky for him, Peter came along to save his life, but needless to say, Lincoln needs a freaking vacation.
Our Walter’s not back…but he kind of is.
As much as I adore the other characters who have yet to “wake up” to the fact that until a couple months ago, they had a really different life thanks to Peter’s existence, the one whose awareness remains the most vital for me is Walter. After all, Olivia may love Peter now, but Walter’s intense desire to see this man live led to him literally breaking the universes.
This Walter thinks he’s been mourning the loss of both boys for 20-plus years, so for him to learn it wasn’t in vain, that he did save Peter and they have formed such a lovely relationship is so important to me. Who knows if and when that will happen, but I love that he’s been drawn to this bizarre group once again and he’s gotten over his reluctance to embrace Peter. (The box of gifts he bought for his “dead” son for every birthday he was gone continues to turn me into a pile of goo. That hug? Amazing.)
“I hadn’t realize how much I longed for family,” he tells Lincoln as he observes Peter and Olivia. Lincoln is a bit hurt, so Walter tells him that he’s a “perfectly-suited chess partner.” Yay?
If we can’t have “our” original Walter back, I at least like that this guy is exhibiting some of his most important traits — weird nicknames, passion for food, social awkwardness, and devotion to any version of Peter that is out there.
Let’s get biblical?
While Peter and Olivia’s memories of the past case should have made things super simple, thanks to all of the differences in the timelines, they team keeps running into roadblocks. Once again, it does tie back to Massive Dynamic (just like it did briefly in the season 1 hour), but this time it has nothing to do with John Scott…instead, it’s all about David Robert Jones.
One of the subjects participating in this human-to-flying porcupine experiment tells her boyfriend (God, I hope he was her boyfriend and not her kid), that they can be the Adam and Eve of this new wave. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t work out as they hope (yay our guys!), but there are still a few people out there willing to turn themselves into creatures. The sister of the episode’s first victim convinces BATTLESTAR GALATICA’S Gaeta they should dose themselves with the medicine, to be “children of the new world.” Uh, creepy much?
Sadly, that’s barely touching the surface of the creepy train…or perhaps it should be the creepy boat. The hour ends with the humanized animals being locked up and the reveal there are a whole lot more lurking on a boat in the middle of the ocean. (It felt very Noah’s ark to me, but perhaps there are more than two of each?)
Um…what the heck? The hour felt like it was very self-contained, but now it seems this human testing will be a bigger part of Jones’ plan and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that. I know my brain hurts. I know I was intrigued/confused/curious about what the heck DRJ was up to begin with. And now there is a boat full of creepy animal-human hybrids in the middle of the ocean. I can’t think of any logical purpose about why Jones would want to do this (aside from simply playing God) and…yeah, my brain really hurts. I’m going to need your help figuring out what is going on in the comments…
Other things of note:
- Walter speaking Yiddish = hysterical.
- I loved seeing Markham, even if it was briefly. Too much to hope that Sam Weiss pops up at some point, too? These guys are going to need all the allies they can get!
- Water: “I like porcupines; it shows that God has a sense of humor.”
- Still have the same opening title sequence. Hm…
- Nina didn’t say anything to Olivia about the promise she made to her “daughter.” I sincerely hope that doesn’t go forgotten.
- I loved seeing the team really work together. Most of the season has felt more separate, with either Peter or Walter almost completely out of the mix, but “Nothing As It Seems” really had everyone doing what they do best.
Phew. Enough from me. What did you guys think of “Nothing As It Seems”?
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Filed under Fringe Recap