FRINGE: 'The Firefly' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRINGE: ‘The Firefly’

January 22, 2011 by  

FRINGE is back!

Is it a little weird I’m relieved this wasn’t the best episode the series has ever done? Don’t get me wrong — it was an absolutely solid hour. There were great performances from the regular suspects and Christopher Lloyd was a fantastic guest star as the former rock star Roscoe Joyce. But “The Firefly” seemed like it had a different urgency than most of season three. Instead of focusing on the drama of the alt-universe, we went back old-school and learned a little more about the Observers. And that was a nice change.

For me, this episode was all about Walter Bishop and his various relationships. When he realizes that their case of the week involved one of his musical heroes, Roscoe Joyce — who reminded me a bit of a grown-up Charlie Pace (from LOST) — he was like an overjoyed teenager. But since this is FRINGE, rarely are things happy for long. The Observer told Walter about a pedestrian who was killed as part of the fallout from Walter crossing universes in 1985 to save Peter, and Walter discovered the victim was actually Roscoe’s son. The subtle devastation that John Noble played as Walter slowly realized this was heartbreaking. Walter could empathize with Roscoe over the loss of a son and for the first time, he put a face to some of the more minor tragedies he caused when he chose to cross universes to save Peter.

And that was what the Observer wanted Walter to see. Their relationship has always been one of the most bizarre things on the series. There’s no doubt Walter owes him everything, because without the Observer, both he and Peter would be dead. Despite that, Walter still begs for his help to save Peter from the doomsday device, but the Observer drops a bombshell: various possible futures are currently happening. He can’t predict which one will actually play out. That’s going to be important in the future, right?

But the Observer did have a grasp on the near future, as evidenced when he told Walter vaguely, “When the time comes, give him the keys and save the girl.” After the Observer crashes into the cop car which was transporting a robbery victim to see Walter, Peter utters those words to Walter. He is hesitant to do so when he realizes it could lead to him losing Peter again.  But it was the perfect test for the Observer to see if Walter had truly changed. Peter is able to convince Walter to not let the girl die, and Walter “passes” the test.

Can we talk for a minute about Peter and Walter? They are the heart and soul of this series. I love Olivia, too, but the fact is, the show is about our Bishop men. In many ways, Walter will forever be mentally stuck in 1985, petrified he’s about to lose his son and willing to do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening. It doesn’t matter our Peter isn’t technically his; for as long as they live, Walter will fear losing the person that matters most to him. His entire persona changes when Peter is in jeopardy, as if his continued survival depends on Peter’s well-being.

I know I said this on Twitter, but it’s worth repeating: how the heck is John Noble ignored by the various award ceremonies? He’s brilliant.

But we can’t go without discussing the continued awkwardness between Peter and Olivia, now that she’s returned home. The delayed arrival of Peter’s present to Fauxlivia of his favorite book (“If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!”) caused more tension between the duo as they continue to deal with the notion that Peter was starting to build a life with Olivia’s double.

Olivia initially rejected Peter’s explanation of the book, claiming she was fine (lady, you are very clearly NOT okay), but Peter finally got his chance to explain:

Peter: She asked me what my favorite book was. I understand she was just probably trying to gather information on me, but I also know that I’m not the easiest guy to get to know. It’s always been easier for me to keep people at arm’s length. Which is actually something I think we have in common. The book wasn’t meant for her. It was meant for the Olivia Dunham that I’ve spent the last couple years of my life with. Because I wanted you to read it. You’re the person I wanted to share it with.
Olivia: You know, I feel like Rip Van Winkle. Everything is different. Even you opening up to me is different. And this book is just a reminder of all the things that I’ve missed. Conversations we didn’t have.

Yeah, it’s entirely possible there isn’t a more tragic couple on television right now. And I’m a little fearful things are about to get even more crazy, thanks to the Observer’s out-of-nowhere comment to Peter:

Observer: It must be very difficult.
Peter: What?
Observer: Being a father.

Um…say what now?

There are two ways to look at that dialogue: 1) The Observer realizes Peter is going to die and what that will do to Walter. 2) The Observer knows something we’re not entirely privy to.

Would love to hear your theories on that.

And should we really believe that the Observer set all of that in motion just so Peter would drink the milk? Or was it just a lucky happenstance that he saved Walter’s life during his test to see if Walter would willingly sacrifice Peter if circumstance called for it?

So many questions! Love that the show is back and making my brain work.

What did you guys think of “The Firefly”? Grab a strawberry milkshake and let’s chat…

Follow @GiveMeMyRemote and @marisaroffman on Twitter for the latest TV news. Connect with other TV fans on GIVE ME MY REMOTE’s official Facebook page.

And to be the first to see our exclusive videos by subscribing to our YouTube channel at


12 Responses to “FRINGE: ‘The Firefly’”

  1. Felicia on January 22nd, 2011 3:08 pm

    All I know is that those snotty, Fringe-hating pricks over at TV By the Numbers have got to be crying in their beer right now.

  2. Whitney on January 22nd, 2011 3:17 pm

    Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who thought the “It must be very difficult..being a father” line seemed a little odd. John Noble was great in this episode, and I’m definitely looking forward to more Fringe Fridays.

  3. RPA on January 22nd, 2011 3:33 pm

    I agree with you that last night’s wasn’t the best episode of the season but for different reasons, I much prefer an Olivia-centric episode than going round in circles dealing with Walter/Peter relationship.

    About the observer’s comment to Peter, I thought he was talking about Walter, although some spoilers point to the observer knows something we would rather it didn’t happen.

  4. Morgan on January 22nd, 2011 4:25 pm

    I’m gonna ask you the same question I asked last night when the Observer made the father comment and then shot him: Did he just get Peter pregnant?

  5. workaholic888 on January 22nd, 2011 5:03 pm

    I have to agree with you!! In the scene where Walter Bishop witnessed the tragedy of another father right before his eyes, I was shouting “give John Noble an Emmy!!!!”. Seriously. The change in his facial expressions was like watching a twisted, poison flower blooming. Give the guy his Emmy!!

    Oh gosh. Please do not do a Faux-pregnancy. Like you said, there probably isn’t another couple on TV more tragic (and probably isn’t another group of TV fans more devastated) than this. I am wishing and hoping and praying to the heavens that TPTB of Fringe will surprise me. They have, and I hope they will. I would LOVE to be proven wrong.

    Oh, by the way. Did anyone else notice how Peter almost died TWICE during this episode. I mean, almost getting hit by the car (which would have been kinda poetic since his survival got Bobby killed in the same manner). The other part was when he was drinking the “milk” (at this point I was literally jumping up and down yelling “DON’T DRINK THE MILK!!!”).

    Peter’s speech to Olivia was BEAUTIFUL! I love how he’s saying all the right things, but still not able to make it all work out between them. To me, this adds to the tragedy of this whole circumstance. It’s the circumstance that they are in that’s keeping them apart. Perhaps, in a more perfect “world”, they will work it out??

    One last thing. I really really really hope Fringe makes it in this Friday slot. Better yet, move them back. Whatever. Even if Fringe moves to a non-existent day of the week (idk…say Blah-day)…I’ll still follow it and WATCH IT!

    Fringe out peeps!! 🙂 🙂

  6. Victorious on January 22nd, 2011 5:39 pm

    OMG, you took the words right out of my mouth!!! I was asking the same questions yesterday after watching the show. Who was the observer talking about when he made the ” It must be very difficult…. Being a father.” statement? Was it about Walter, Olivia (maybe something happens in the future), or is Fauxlivia pregnant? I am completely and totally hooked on this show forever!!!

  7. Marisa Roffman on January 22nd, 2011 7:16 pm

    @Morgan: HA!

    Glad the rest of you did a double-take on that line. I think at that point I literally said, “Wait…what?!” to my TV. Yes, I talk to my TV occasionally. 😉

  8. Eric on January 22nd, 2011 8:01 pm

    This episode, in my opinion, is setting us up for a gigantic cliffhanger yet to come. Possibly on break before the season finale? What else could the whole romantic scene between Peter and Altivia be relevant too? She came, she sought, and she got knocked-up. The Observer was most likely referring to Walter’s difficulty letting go of Peter when he made that comment. However, with the giant push from Newton for Altivia to lay with Peter and Walternate’s comment of “mission accomplished” it has been looming in the back of my mind since we took the break and had a few months to think it over. They have a giant doomsday machine over there that only runs on Peter DNA and no Peter to drive it. Would Walternate scheme up such a devious plot and put his own son in jeopardy with a double agent on our side who would harm anyone just to defend her own life only to capture the genetic code of his long lost son who has tied himself to an alternate world dangling on the thin threads of a love he had such a strong grasp on, but is slowly slipping away……????? I CAN’T WAIT TO FIND OUT!!!

  9. asukar on January 23rd, 2011 3:38 am

    “Can we talk for a minute about Peter and Walter? They are the heart and soul of this series.”
    We should talk about them for days… weeks! They’ve always been the emotional center of the show and the glue that holds the whole series together. Is there a bigger love, than the one those two share? Of course, Olivia is the action hero, the one shooting bad guys and the one getting credit for saving the day and that’s very nice. At the end of the day, though, she’s not about love and warmth, other than for her sister and niece, who only appear like twice a year. So while Olivia is most certainly the archetypal hero, Peter and Walter are the heart. That’s why anything to do with them pulls at my heartstrings like no other characters on TV.

  10. Teebee on January 24th, 2011 4:21 am

    Are they going to go in a whole circle with Peter following in his father’s footsteps?
    If they go the way of Fauxlivia having got pregnant on purpose so they have someone with Peter’s DNA to help them create the Doomsday machine….then are they also going to have Peter realise this and then do exactly what Walter did and go to the other side to steal his son????
    The bonding between them as Peter finally understands how Walter felt would be huge. I can’t wait!

  11. Jaime on January 24th, 2011 9:34 am

    I don’t know why, but I thought that Fauxlivia might be pregnant weeks ago when Olivia came back. I really hope that’s not the case.

  12. Carol on January 24th, 2011 11:15 pm

    Wow,so great of you.I think your thought is what the episode wanted us to think.I enjoyed your article.It’s apparent that you really like the Fringe.And so do I. : ) Hope the next episode comes quickly.
    I can’t wait.Thanks for your share.