FRINGE Recap: 'Concentrate and Ask Again' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRINGE Recap: ‘Concentrate and Ask Again’

February 5, 2011 by  

FRINGE fans, we could talk in depth about this week’s case (long story short: creepy dolls release toxins that melt the bones of their victims), but it appears we have a much more pressing matter on our hands: Peter’s love life has suddenly become the most important aspect of the ongoing mythology.

It’s one of those things that is perfectly FRINGE-y: when it was revealed, I was in shock. But in hindsight, it makes perfect sense. Very rarely are things as simple as they seem and the Olivia-Peter-Fauxlivia triangle just reached epic levels of complicated.

Olivia’s continued unease over Peter’s relationship with Fauxlivia led her to an unlikely confidant — Nina. She told Nina that she understood why Fauxlivia fell for Peter, but she wondered if he felt the say way about the woman he had formed an intimate relationship with. “I would understand if he did,” she said. “I was her for a while and she’s…she’s like me but better. She still has her mother and she wasn’t experimented on as a child. She can laugh, she has real friends. She even wears a dress once in a while.”

Oh, Olivia. Way to break my heart. That scene just renewed my wish that Nina could somehow magically be Olivia’s birth mother, but I doubt that will happen. However, Nina was fantastically maternal while advising Olivia of her own past mistakes in her relationship with William Bell. Nina told Olivia she needed to ask Peter how he feels.

And Olivia took Nina’s advice. Peter brought Olivia the wrong cup of coffee and she bit her tongue until she couldn’t keep quiet anymore:

Olivia: Do you still think about her?
Peter: Excuse me?
Olivia: You’ve bought me a hundred cups of coffee and you know that I take it black with one sugar, but this morning you brought me one with milk and I’m assuming that’s the way the other Olivia likes hers.
Peter: Yes. I think about her all the time. I think about how she used my feelings for you to manipulate me. How she lied to me and everybody else.
Olivia: Before you knew she wasn’t me…she was fun, right? She had an easier smile, that’s what you said, right?
Peter: Olivia, I said that because I wanted you to know that I noticed the differences. But I thought it was because of me. Because of us. I thought I was bringing out a different side in you. But it was never because I wanted to be with her more. Because I don’t. I’m sorry about the coffee.

As I watched the episode for the first time, I wrote in my notes, “Obviously Fauxlivia’s presence shouldn’t and won’t go away for a while, but I love that FRINGE isn’t dismissing the significance of her duplicity. Many other shows would have dealt with it for an episode or two, tops, and then moved on. FRINGE keeps poking at that wound, even if the timing was semi-inappropriate since they were mid-investigation.”

How naive I was. I didn’t realize then that all of the blatant conversations were leading to something much, much bigger.

The matter got further complicated when our team sought out Simon, a former Cortexiphan kid with the ability to read minds. Olivia — another Cortexiphan kid — was immune to Simon’s abilities, much to his relief.

Olivia discovered that Simon had feelings for a woman he had only seen from afar. He was too afraid of knowing her real thoughts about him, especially if she pretended to like him and then didn’t. Olivia theorized it was better to know how she felt than be unsure, but Simon said no one should know exactly what someone else is thinking. When Olivia said she wouldn’t mind having his ability, Simon glanced toward Peter and we heard mumblings of Peter’s thoughts. But what the heck did he think aside from “two years”?

But since there was an actual case to investigate, Olivia and Simon went undercover to try and find the suspects who wanted to take their creepy exploding rag dolls with bone-melting toxic agents to the next level: an exploding vest to kill off an entire party. Olivia channeled her inner Sydney Bristow, glammed up (she wore a dress!) and found the bad guy with Simon’s assistance. She shot the baddie through the throat, just as he was about to set off the device. Olivia is such a badass. And good for her, because she needed a win.

When Olivia brought Simon back home, he reiterated that we weren’t not supposed to know what other people think. Which means, yes, Simon read Peter’s mind and wrote it down for Olivia. I was worried we wouldn’t see her open up the letter or we’d only get a reaction shot, but we did. We just had to wait a few minutes for that because Nina had a breakthrough of her own — one that led her back to the bowling alley and our old buddy, Sam.

Sam apparently had been hiding more wisdom than we thought, because he was the author of the mysterious book, “The First People.” Nina asked for answers about the Doomsday device and Sam insisted that Peter was the real problem.

Sam: What I can tell you is this: that device can either be used as a tool of creation or as a weapon of destruction. Depends on your point of view. And Peter Bishop is uniquely tuned to operate it. Whatever frequency Peter is vibrating at determines how the machine reacts.
Nina: And what determines Peter’s frequency?
Sam: It depends on his state of mind, which in turn depends on who he ends up with — Olivia from here or Olivia from over there. Whichever one he chooses, it’ll be her universe that survives.
Nina: So in that case, there’s no cause for concern. He’ll choose our Olivia.
Sam: Wouldn’t be so sure about that.

Um, say what now? Assuming this is true, Peter’s love life is going to dictate which universe survives? No pressure there, dude.

The question now becomes what the heck is Nina going to do with that information? Obviously, it would be perfectly in character for her to try and manipulate the situation and bring Peter closer to Olivia, but will she share her intel with Walter? Astrid? Olivia herself?

And that warning also made the slip of paper Simon gave Olivia a whole lot more weighted.  According to Simon, “He still has feelings for her.” Simon, why so vague? Please elaborate. Those simple six words bring up about 25 different questions, so it would have been nice for you to share a little bit more dirt.

I’m not even sure where we should go from here. While this episode plainly stated so many of the things that will be dealt with in the final episodes of season 3, it wasn’t without raising dozens of questions.

Next week, we travel back Over There. I wonder if we’ll get a glimpse of Peter through Fauxlivia’s memories or nostalgia?

So, FRINGE fans, what are your thoughts on the episode? Anyone else have the burning desire to go rewatch all the episodes Sam was previously in to see if he dropped any hints about this or tried to push Olivia closer to Peter?

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Filed under Fringe, Fringe Recap


5 Responses to “FRINGE Recap: ‘Concentrate and Ask Again’”

  1. Gen on February 5th, 2011 3:20 pm

    I loved the episode, as usual. I was sorry to hear the ratings dropped a bit this week, though it was expected. I love how tragic the whole Polivia thing is. I also really like how they’re continuing the storyline and how forward Olivia is with the issue, instead of pretending she’s over it.

    I didn’t think they were going to show us the letter either, but I was glad they did. I wasn’t really expecting that at all. I was also really surprised to see Sam again! At first I thought it was good news because Peter will obviously pick our Olivia, though after reading the letter I’m not so sure. I can’t wait to see how Fauxlivia is doing on the otherside next week!

  2. donna on February 5th, 2011 3:25 pm

    Peter’s thoughts in that scene were about the Machine. It was a replay of some of his dialogue to Fauxlivia about the Machine from “The Box.”

  3. workaholic888 on February 5th, 2011 5:58 pm

    I’m SOOOOO glad we saw the letter too!! I’m wishing and hoping (against all odds) that there’s an alternative explanation to what the paper said (I mean…if there’s an alternate universe..why not an alternate explanation??? or maybe I’m going crazy here). ><"

    Anyway. Strong episode. And gooooooooooosh…pressure pressure. Hopefully they resolve this before my head explodes. Haha.

  4. Kali on February 8th, 2011 4:50 pm

    great episode!
    I am hoping Peter will choose our Olivia…she may be a bit damaged but that contributes to her uniqueness and her beauty. My heart broke for her when she read the note…and I couldn’t help but resent Peter for it.

  5. Lonely S on February 8th, 2011 7:11 pm

    This is off topic, but I just read Fringe is in real danger of cancellation. I thought the numbers and critics were keeping it safe? I never read or comment on Fringe articles because I love it so much that I’d rather savor it then catch up on additional information much later. And I never even peek at Fringe spoiler headlines. So I’m completely lost in the fandom. Is there some petition doing the rounds?