FRINGE Recap: 'Neither Here Nor There' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRINGE Recap: ‘Neither Here Nor There’

September 23, 2011 by  

“They don’t remember Peter.”
“How could they? He never existed.”

With those words, the third season finale of FRINGE broke our brains a teeny tiny bit. Immediately after Peter bridged the two universes — and thereby preventing the destruction of at least one — he promptly disappeared from existence.

And then the show went off the air for months and left us going a wee bit crazy trying to figure out where the heck they could go from there.

Thankfully, it’s time for the new season. So while we’ve been asking all summer, “Where is Peter Bishop?” hopefully, the answers will start making themselves clear.

What down in “Neither Here Nor There”? Let’s chat…

“Just because you walked in my shoes, don’t think for a moment you know me at all.”

With Peter’s disappearance from the present-day timeline, one of the biggest questions of the season was how much had changed from the world we got to know over the past three years. Obviously things like Fauxlivia’s kid, Henry, vanished, because Peter never grew up and therefore could never get her pregnant, but some of the more subtle things were a bit more up in the air.

But as we learned in the opening scene of the premiere, despite the changes, Fauxlivia did infiltrate our Fringe team by impersonating Olivia. Our Olivia? Still holding a (rightful) grudge, but swaps information with Fauxlivia as part of a treaty for the two sides to work together. What they don’t see in that first scene? A flash of Peter.

Given how instrumental Peter was to unmasking Fauxlivia’s betrayal, I’m curious how the events on “Entrada” played out in this new universe. I doubt it’ll be touched up in great detail — if at all — but it’s certainly something to think about.

“It is impossible. The timeline has been rewritten. He was erased…and yet, traces of him continue to bleed through.”

Oh, the Observers. Whether it’s fate, sheer stubborn Bishop will or something else entirely unknown at this point, despite the fact that Peter literally vanished into thin air and no one has any memories of him, he won’t go away. The original Observer agrees to help right this wrong, as viewers everywhere likely yell at their screens asking him to have a heart and to leave our Peter alone.

The Observer goes through the motions, buying what he needs in order to accomplish his mission (he literally tells a storekeeper, “I need to erase someone from time” when his purchases are questioned.), but when it comes time to flip the switch and take the steps to really get rid of Peter, he can’t do it. Good boy. Let’s see what the fallout is from that particular disobedience in the coming weeks.

Meet Lincoln Lee.

Given how little contact our Lincoln had with Peter, it should come as no surprise that the man we briefly met last season is similar to the one we first encounter in “Neither Here Nor There.” Unfortunately for him, this time, he gets introduced to the Fringe Division when his partner is killed while they’re trying to apprehend a suspect.

Olivia, who is working out in the field with Astrid, encounters Lincoln while she is investigating his partner’s death. Lincoln, being the good agent he is, realizes Olivia isn’t giving him all of the details she should and he eventually wanders down to Walter’s lab to tr to get more information. Using some good old-fashioned observation skills, Lincoln earns enough trust from Olivia that she has Broyles grant him permission to work the case.

And this Lincoln? Kind of a bad ass. He can hold a gun and chase suspects with the best of them. He proves to be a valuable partner to Olivia as she hunts down the serial killer who killed Lincoln’s partner. Unfortunately for both Olivia and Lincoln, while they’re able to stop one of the killers, the warning that there is more than one goes mainly unnoticed. Doubly bad? The woman, is able to escape.

It’s determined the killer is a human shapeshifter and Walter is furious, thinking it must be the work of Walternate. Lincoln is confused when he hears the shapeshifters might not be from around here (“What, like China?”), so in a pretty major step of trust, Olivia takes Lincoln to the point where the two universes are bridged together, so she can inform Fauxlivia of the intel they gathered. (It seems since Peter created the bridge, they’ve been also able to set up some snazzy high tech security to keep unwanted visitors out.) Lincoln, to his credit, has a look of “WTF IS GOING ON,” during the entire sequence, but he doesn’t lose he cool. He’ll do well as a Fringe agent.

Walter is tormented.

Walter’s always had a mad-scientist element, and that’s certainly played up in the premiere, but this isn’t the man we’ve come to know and love over the past three years. There’s a hardness to the man we see in season 4, a paranoia, and he doesn’t leave the lab, which means Astrid does get to venture out more to be his eyes and ears.

His most vulnerable moments in the premiere come when he gets a glimpse of Peter. The first time he gets a glance of his son (whom he wouldn’t recognize, given that the Peter in this timeline died as a kid), the image scares him so much he hides out in the sensory deprivation chamber, until the team finds him. By the end of the episode, Walter sees his Peter again and is so deeply tormented by it, you wonder what must be going through his mind. Does he think he’s hallucinating some random person? Is there anything vaguely familiar? Either way, Walter’s torment is heartbreaking.

The Olivia factor.

While on a stakeout, Olivia confides in Lincoln about losing John Scott and how she got introduced to the Fringe team. (Essentially what we saw in the pilot, minus Peter’s involvement.) While this Walter seems to live in the extremes of his vulnerability and the edge he’s acquired without having Peter in his life, Olivia seems…missing. Yes, she’s still the Olivia we know, and certainly no one would mistake her for Fauxlivia, but from what we’ve seen, this woman doesn’t have the warmth our Olivia had. Actually, the best comparison to this Olivia is the woman we met in the pilot, if you take away the warmth we saw when she interacted with John. She clearly cares about Walter, but even her relationship with Broyles doesn’t resemble what we’ve come to know in the past few years. (And major props to all these actors for crafting yet another version of their characters.)

Line of the night: “Sometimes answers lead to more questions” – Olivia.

Personally, I feel like this was an episode that will set up a lot of what’s to come. In many ways, it almost felt like a pilot for what the world (and show) would be like without Peter. And while this might not be the most popular opinion out there, I’m so happy Peter didn’t immediately pop back up into our world. We need to know what a world without him is like in order to fully see why he needs to be a part of the universe. Because as we’ve seen in tonight’s episode, our guys need him back.

What do you guys think of “Neither Here Nor There”?

Make sure to come back to Give Me My Remote at 10 PM PT for some hints as to what to come from FRINGE executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman!

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Filed under Fringe Recap


7 Responses to “FRINGE Recap: ‘Neither Here Nor There’”

  1. Pamela on September 23rd, 2011 9:26 pm

    Loved it, as always. Great review.

  2. AngelMoonGirl on September 23rd, 2011 9:32 pm

    Dear God, do Anna Torv and John Noble deserve Emmy nominations or what!

    Watching Anna Torv so seamlessly interact with herself is crazy cool, because you really *feel* the difference between Olivia and Fauxlivia.

    “Neither Here Nor There” was a good episode, with the very interesting addition of the two universes being connected by the “door” in what I assume to be that facility on Liberty Island… but at the same time, the show sort of felt purposefully soulless without Peter; without the same depth and same relationships these characters used to have because of his existence. It was certainly a strange new world to jump into, and I admit I missed sorely the Fringe of the first three seasons. I really can’t wait for Peter to come back into their lives again (I totally crave my Polivia ;p). But I know that the episodes up until that point are necessary and will positively kick ass, because Fringe is awesome like that, so until then I will enjoy the ride! That promo was intense!

  3. Victorious on September 23rd, 2011 11:04 pm

    Wow, I just love how versatile this show is. Fringe is the only show that can continually push the envelope without ruining its show and the characters we have come to love!!! Great episode!!! Just wish it was longer!!!

  4. i love lincoln lee on September 23rd, 2011 11:07 pm

    ah this show never ceases to boggle my mind. fantastic review.

  5. theoncominghope on September 24th, 2011 5:59 am

    I’m very very excited about the addition of Lincoln Lee to the main cast. I can’t wait to see where the writers take us next!

    Here’s my (snarky) thoughts on the season premiere:

  6. Becky on September 24th, 2011 9:15 pm

    Ahmazing! Best show premiere this week. I FLOVE this show! 😀

  7. Jane Grey on September 25th, 2011 12:34 am

    questions, indeed. after watching s04e1 a lot has flooded my thoughts. like why did the observer opted not to turn on the switch after he finished assembling his thing? where is that Peter-flashes coming from? how come Walter can still see Peter? i think the observers are going to appear often.

    great review btw! can’t wait for the next episode!