FRINGE Recap: ‘Lysergic Acid Diethylamide’ - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRINGE Recap: ‘Lysergic Acid Diethylamide’

April 16, 2011 by  

So, um, that just happened.

I mean, just when you think FRINGE can’t get more deliciously bizarre, the writers pull something like “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide.” What other show would be able to get away with things like that and have it be wholly believable?

Can you imagine what that pitch was like from the writers to the network and studio? “So, we’d like to have our characters take LSD and then jump into the mind of Olivia. Oh wait, in case that wasn’t weird enough for you, we’re going to want to animate the characters in Olivia’s mind for the majority of their journey.”

I feel the need to thank Fox for having the faith in this show to let these guys do something as insanely out-of-this-world as this hour was. So thank you Fox for letting FRINGE’s freak flag fly.

Let’s get down to what actually happened in the hour, okay?

With Olivia’s very existence in jeopardy thanks to Bell taking over her consciousness, the Fringe Division was willing to do pretty much anything to bring her back. Walter realized that they could go into Olivia’s brain — similar to what they did earlier in the series between her and John Scott — to bring her back to them. Peter reminded Walter that doing that in the past required an electromagnetic probe in her brain and dosing her with a ton of drugs. Walter decided they could go into Olivia’s brain by using LSD.

Peter, Walter and Bell-livia were placed under (MATRIX/INCEPTION-style) and Astrid and Broyles stayed behind to monitor them. Peter and Walter made it safely and saw a signal from Olivia coming from the Twin Towers. As they started to make their way towards her, the people in her subconscious — including her abusive stepfather — realized the Bishop men were there and turned on them, chasing them by foot and by car until they reached the buildings.

At the Twin Towers, they were greeted by Nina who offered to let them take a direct elevator to Bell. Instead, she led them to an empty elevator shaft, which Walter nearly fell into, but Peter was able to grab him. They pushed Nina into it and that was the last we saw of her. Very interesting that the Nina in Olivia’s mind still has the obviously robotic arm, a la season one, when Olivia really didn’t trust her. Peter and Walter use another elevator and find Bell’s office — except he’s animated. Literally.

It is actually incredibly impressive how much this was able to be kept underwraps. I know there was some speculation episode 19 would be animated, but as far as I know, no one from the show ever confirmed it, none of the promo pictures indicated anything and with the exception of a new promo during AMERICAN IDOL, there were no scenes shown to back it up. Somehow they managed to go through an entire animating process (which for the traditional animated shows on Fox can be an incredibly long ordeal — I believe it’s nearly a year — but I’m guessing needed to be accelerated here) without having anyone completely ruin the surprise. Well done.

Walter, Bell and Peter speculated on why everything was turning on them. Peter realized Olivia was hiding because she was scared. The men walked to the roof of the tower to survey their surroundings and Peter told the others she would go to Jacksonville, because she would think that was the last place anyone would go to look for her.

Suddenly zombies appeared. Seriously. Animated zombies came up on the roof so Peter had to kick their butts and throw one into a fan as Bell and Walter boarded a Zeppelin. After Peter kicked zombie butt, he ran to join them, jumping off the roof and catching the hanging rope ladder.

Walter and Bell had a heart-to-heart on the blimp. Walter said he should have known that when Bell “died” in front of them, he had no intention of actually dying since Bell has always hated goodbyes. Walter confessed he needs Bell’s help because he doesn’t know what to do about Peter and the machine. Bell said when they were younger they needed each other to essentially keep each other in line, but now, Walter possesses humility and can do it himself. A touching moment between the old friends.

A stowaway in the Zeppelin cuts their fuel line, points a flare gun at Peter and then shoots the gun to rip a hole in the aircraft. Peter managed to hold on to a pipe, but Walter flew out and woke up back in the lab. Death in Olivia’s mind=waking up in the lab.

Once they landed the Zeppelin, Bell thought Olivia would be at the Jacksonville Daycare, but Peter insisted she would be at the military base she grew up on. They traveled there by motorcycle (at Bell’s request) and went searching the identical homes for the one with the red door. Peter  found it, walked inside and became human again. Peter reunited with Olivia, but quickly realized it wasn’t actually her. Instead, the real Olivia was in her childhood body watching them from the background. “I just needed to know it was you,” she told him. “People have been tricking me, but I knew the real you would recognize me.”

Things got bad fast as her mind turned on them again and Peter and little Olivia ran for safety. As soon as they left her house, they became animated again and then ran as fast as they could. Peter pushed little Olivia out of the way of a car and when he got hit, he ended up back in the lab. Peter woke up panicking, devastated that he lost her, but Walter tried to reassure him it was up to Bell to save her now.

Bell and little Olivia kept running, but when Bell tripped, he ordered little Olivia to run. She stood her ground and told the army of people chasing them, “No, I’m not afraid of you.” It stopped them and Olivia assumed her present day body, albeit an animated version of it. Olivia was confused and Bell told her he figured out what happened: his original experiment should have worked, but Olivia has never felt safe.

“You are your own worst enemy, Olivia,” Bell told her. “You took the opportunity to let your fears overwhelm you. But you just fought back. In the end, you were as strong as Walter and I always believe you were. And now, you know it, too.”

It’s about time Olivia realized how strong she was. When I talked with the FRINGE showrunners a few months back, one of the things that stuck out to me was Jeff Pinkner’s comment that “in order to create the greatest heroine, you want to throw as much potential conflict at her as possible and watch her overcome.” Olivia constantly overcomes everything no matter what is thrown at her and now she’s finally realizing it.

In order for Olivia to go home, Bell needed to disappear. He asked Olivia to deliver a message to Walter (“I knew the dog wouldn’t hunt.”) and Olivia woke up in the lab. The transfer of Bell’s consciousness over to a computer didn’t work and the message Olivia delivered on his behalf showed Walter that Bell knew it wouldn’t work all along. Walter was left to grieve for Bell all over again.

Peter went to Olivia’s apartment where they adorably bantered as she made toast — “Thank you for coming to get me.” “It’s not as dangerous as crossing into another universe, but I try.” — until Peter noticed a sketch of the man who held him up in the Zeppelin. Olivia said she had no clue who he was, but “I think that he’s the man who’s going to kill me.” Listen, if I’m talking about someone trying to kill me, I’m not going to be casually eating bread. Apparently Olivia’s newfound confidence means would-be killers are no big deal.

So we have that to ponder for the next week.

Other thoughts/quotes:

  • “You’re bald.  I think he’s an Observer.”- Peter on LSD to Broyles.
  • “How are we supposed to pick Olivia out? All of these people are dressed like they raided her closet.” – Peter on the wardrobe of the people populating Olivia’s brain.
  • Broyles on LSD might be one of the funniest things the show has ever done. Him whistling to the cartoon bird had me literally laughing out loud. Poor Astrid always has to deal with people who aren’t all mentally there.
  • After viewing the animated portions of the episode, I want to a) have an animated FRINGE series and b) have a FRINGE video game. (Didn’t the quest to find Olivia feel like something perfect for a video game? Let’s make this happen, people.)
  • Considering how much grief fans gave Peter for not being able to tell the difference between Fauxlivia and Olivia, it was a lovely surprise to see how in depth he knew the real Liv. He knew where she’d be, all the way down to the detail of her home’s red door. And when the real Olivia created an impostor to try and fool any fake Peters that came along, he was able to call her out and help the real version. (Is it weird that I found Peter and childhood Olivia to be absolutely adorable together?)
  • Where the heck was Nina? I understand why she was in Olivia’s mind in such a limited capacity (though how awesome would it have been to see her animated?), but Bell didn’t think to bring Nina into the attempt to get him a new body?

I’m dying to know what you thought of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide.” Did you find it deliciously weird? Too much?

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Filed under Fringe, Fringe Recap


9 Responses to “FRINGE Recap: ‘Lysergic Acid Diethylamide’”

  1. tati on April 16th, 2011 12:51 pm

    I can write million words here and they won’t express how awesome last night episode was! soooo animatrix!!! it was mind blowing! probably one of my favorites episodes of Fringe and one of my favorites episodes of TV. So glad we have a 4th season! yay!

  2. Marisa Roffman on April 16th, 2011 3:12 pm

    Holy cripes, THE ANIMATRIX! I completely forgotten about that!! Yes! Totally!

  3. Cortexifan on April 16th, 2011 5:43 pm

    Hahahaha, still laughing out loud and I’ve seen it three times now. Excellent episode. Maybe the best one so far. Loved every minute of it. Olivia ate (mark that in your calendar) and I gasped at her last sentence.
    The only bad thing is that I have to wait a week for the next episode

  4. Magy on April 16th, 2011 9:34 pm

    “Listen, if I’m talking about someone trying to kill me, I’m not going to be casually eating bread.”

    Ha! That line totally killed be, because I felt the exact same way. After watching the episode, I turned to my friend who’d watched with me and was like, “That was weird. That was weird, right?” I actually felt like that last sentence from Olivia was more surreal than the rest of the episode and that’s saying something, considering the episode was titled “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide” and was basically just one long trip.

    I also loved that Peter knew it wasn’t the real Olivia. At first I was like, “How did you not realize that in the beginning of the season?” But then when I thought about his incredibly detailed descriptions of Olivia’s confessions to him I just realized he’s really paying attention now. Before, he was more aware of his expectations of Olivia, not the real Olivia, which is why he never realized she was gone.

    Anyway. I definitely loved this episode. It was so wonderfully trippy! Oh, and I agree about Broyles. Best. Thing. Ever.

  5. John on April 17th, 2011 10:30 am

    Great review of a great change of pace episode.

  6. Jane St. on April 17th, 2011 8:21 pm

    There are so many Fringe reviews that I wind up commenting on other sites, but I always check back here too just because I’m curious as to what you noticed. Still reveling in the renewal and return to new episodes!

    I was curious about the significance of Nina’s hand in Olivia’s subconscious and wonder what’s in store for her character. Nina was presented as potentially more sinister and powerful earlier in the series. But now both she and Bell have become sympathetic and Massive Dynamic is no longer the big evil corporation.
    Same goes for the Other Side. So right now, it would seem like a defensive war on both sides. Everyone is too sympathetic and good and tamed, even Walternate. Much as I love all the characters, I don’t think this can continue. I don’t want cartoonish evil, but with emotions running strong, someone’s going to have to reveal a ruthless. aggressive streak if the show wants to raise the stakes.

    Even though Alias was the reason I didn’t want to start watching, I’m starting to love the same things about Fringe, though in a completely new way. Olivia is channeling the best years of Sydney Bristow with the right mix of vulnerability, inner strength and kickass abilities. And there’s the right mix of independence and team spirit that I remember from Alias too, which is why I was ok with her being the princess in the locked tower this episode. I thought the Peter-Olivia hug was too sibling-like, but the rest of team chemistry really works so well, on both sides of the world.

    Finally, AT looked like she had a blast being Bellivia! And just when I thought Peter tripping on Broyles-Observer was the funniest thing ever, Broyles tripping out himself was just whipped cream on the sundae.

  7. Marisa Roffman on April 17th, 2011 9:55 pm

    Very interesting point about all the characters having some redeeming qualities, @Jane St. Considering Walternate’s actions in “Bloodline,” I wonder if he’ll end up being that character. (and thanks for always reading!)

  8. Hi on April 18th, 2011 11:30 am

    @Jane St, Marisa
    Not to mention the glimpse of Dark Peter a few episodes ago. Agree that everyone is sympathetic, but someone’s going to break. Spoiler-free general expectation.

    I think JJ Abrams helped create the show, but there are other day to day showrunners. I think he’s brilliant with creating shows, but like with Lost, there needs to be other people working on the resolutions. Hopefully.

    “Listen, if I’m talking about someone trying to kill me, I’m not going to be casually eating bread.”
    Ha. Wonder if there’s still a bit of William Bell left there.

  9. india on July 22nd, 2011 2:48 am

    That episode was totally mind blowing….out of nowhere they created this one…it really was great!!