FRINGE Recap: 'Forced Perspective' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRINGE Recap: ‘Forced Perspective’

January 28, 2012 by  

In many ways, FRINGE’s “Forced Perspective” is the most difficult episode of the season to write about (so far). With the big “mythology” episodes, you can pick apart what we’ve learned, what has shifted, etc., etc.

“Forced Perspective” was probably the most stand-alone episode we’ve had of the season, both in terms of barely touching upon the issue of Peter wanting to get home (the men of FRINGE weren’t in the episode very much) and also not revealing any new information to us. Obviously, Olivia learned a bit more about the Observers thanks to Peter, but that was information we as an audience found out in the previous seasons.

But there are a few things about the episode that warrant some further discussion…

Every version of Olivia apparently handles the news of their (potential) impending death really well.

Last season after Peter and Walter went inside Olivia’s consciousness to try and save her (during her Bell-livia days) and encountered a mysterious man who seemed intent on making their mission more difficult, Olivia casually told Peter she didn’t know his identity, but thought he was going to kill her. Mind you, she revealed this to him while eating toast. No muss, no fuss.

In this timeline, Olivia is thrown for a loop when she finds out their case of the week involves a man who died moments after having his death scene drawn out by a teen, but she handles it remarkably well. Heck, she even tells Broyles about the Observer’s prediction that she is headed towards death.

I was actually surprised that Broyles was the first person to find out about the Observer’s warning. Given Lincoln’s newfound role in her life (or Nina’s established presence), I figured her boss would be one of the last people to get clued in.

Anna Torv is so good at playing this new Olivia just slightly different from the old Olivia, that it’s almost easy to forget she’s not the character we’ve spent the last few years getting to know…until she interacts with Peter, Walter, or Lincoln. I’m curious to see how this new Olivia deals with the news in the upcoming weeks when she’s not being hit over the head with the knowledge that her fate may be predetermined.

How much time has passed this season?

For viewers, we’re on month three of Peter being in this new timeline, but apparently the events of the last episode took place in less than a day and we immediately picked up with “Forced Perspective.” (Olivia told Broyles, “How is it the day after a complete stranger tells me I’m going to die, I end up investigating a case where the victim’s death is predicted?”) I don’t know if it’s comforting that maybe the reason Peter doesn’t seem quite so rushed to get home is because it’s only been a very short amount of time since he’s arrived or if it’s awkward, because who knows how long it will take to get him to that point. Yes, I know he vocalized some fears last week, but he also expressed that he was willing to help everyone over here against David Robert Jones.

I wonder how long it’s been since Peter popped out of his timeline for the people he left behind? (Assuming, of course that it still exists somewhere out there.) The thought of our Walter and our Olivia in pain over the loss of Peter is hard to take, and is something the show hasn’t really touched on.

And this might be an issue that continues until Peter returns back to his natural timeline — this is a case I absolutely would have enjoyed last season, but this year, I spent half the episode wondering if we’d ever find out about the man who our Olivia thought was trying to kill her and what progress Peter was making towards heading home. It’s a weird balance the show is now in of trying to tell satisfying stories every week and yet this season’s arc is the giant elephant in the room whenever it isn’t dealt with head-on.

Have we already seen alt-Nina?

This could fall under “crazy theory of the week,” but I want to believe the woman who is drugging Olivia and working with David Robert Jones isn’t the same Nina who showed up at Olivia’s apartment because she felt bad after their fight and heard her quasi-daughter had a bad case outcome. Olivia has already had so many other parental figures fail her that it would be almost tragic if the woman she considers to be the closest thing she has to a mother is the one doing all of these things that appear to not be in her best interest.

What did you guys think of “Forced Perspective”? Did you enjoy the case?

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5 Responses to “FRINGE Recap: ‘Forced Perspective’”

  1. John on January 28th, 2012 4:44 pm

    Of course, the Observer’s observation may really mean nothing. I can’t see a scenario in which everyone doesn’t die, eventually. He didn’t say she was dying tomorrow or even soon.

    This was a very sad episode. The girl was the was one showing great courage, since she knew she was going to die very soon and had known for a while.

    As a nit pick, I am always irked when on TV the police talk to person holding a bomb detanator with people in the blast radius (or holding a gun or knife on a hostage for that matter). Action always beats reaction. By the time the police see and process that the bomber is squeezing the bomb trigger it is too late to stop him. No matter how fast they react that can’t react fast enough to keep him from detonating the bomb and killing and maiming everyone within its range.

  2. input on January 28th, 2012 5:11 pm

    Not so stand alone as you think, the girl died because of her ability, Olivia is going to die because of that as well. Bright candle burning twice as fast…

    This episode was meant to give that info and to have Olivia confront Nina about using children as test subjects, first time Fringe puts testing for science equal to beating children, leaves the question why Olivia is taking care of Walter, who abused her as a child, Will we ever get a scene between them dealing with that without poor Walter crying?

    I loved this episode because of the Broyles and Olivia scenes, Anna and Lance have great chemistry, and it has been a long time that we saw them together in this way. Olivia is far more mature then Lincoln and Peter, with that past, granted only shown to us through Anna’s brilliant acting, you are not going to confide to innocent young men and in Peters case a stranger.

    And I loved this episode because of the Olivia and Nina scenes great, Anna and Blair have fantastic chemistry and it is all thanks to them that there is a relationship to be seen, not because of the writing.

    After watching the final scene a few times, Olivia seems not to keen with Nina in front of her door, so my feeling is that she is testing her with that mother remark, also after Nina says she will give Olivia new MD drugs, Olivia has an expression of . I do not think Olivia trusts Nina, they were playing games.
    Olivia came to Nina as a 14 year old, severely damaged we are told in one sentence( that should have been multile scenes), clearly by Nina, but someone with that past is used to be on her guard all the time.
    Anyway I hope Olivia does not trust Nina and is just playing her game, victim Olivia I do not like at all.

    And what a waste that they have not given them much more scenes before we learned that Nina is evil, instead we got the endless repeat Poor Walter scenes and the Bishops scenes.
    Nina an Olivia scenes would have given Olivia a chance to talk about her past beyond the one sentence as a horrible childhood. Compare that to Walter talking endless about the suicide of his wife.

    The reason that people feel extra for characters is because of those emotional scenes and backstory scenes, so far none for Alt-Livia and facts for Olivia, with only the final scene of this episode between Olivia and Nina showing us a bit about their interaction, finally the first a bit longer scene.
    For me the biggest mistake of Fringe is the overload for the Bishops and none for Olivia, so yes people feel for the Bishops, but that is the writing.
    If instead of having Olivia say that her childhood was horrible, she would have had a chance to say how horrible, people would feel far more for her, now it is up to Anna to give us an idea what damage that has caused.

    And what Anna Torv does with that little bit of info is amazing.
    She deserves a decent written backstoyline for Olivia and AltLivia, so far her function has been mostly setting up Walter, Nina, Lincoln and Peter.
    Olivia and her past for me is the potential most interesting storyline, with the Observers prediction.
    And I can totally understand why Anna Torv loves Fauxlivia/Altlivia so much, the storyline of Olivia is blacker then black: abuse on all sides and always, killing a stepfather as a child, sister seems dead (not mentioned), mother dead, father? (never mentioned), dear Nina and having to die.
    Only positive thing is that this Olivia seems to have a fighter attitude, not a victim.

  3. Amy tvgirl222 on January 28th, 2012 6:09 pm

    Hi Marisa,
    I really loved this episode. I really think it was one of my favorites this Season. It was just so classic Fringe.. good story. As much as I love the back-story, it can be exhausting to keep up with the nuances, and during those episodes, I tend to watch it in ultra-alert status for clues. This one was just so much more fun. The actress who played the teen artist was really excellent too. It just felt like Season 1, and there was something very comforting in that. You know?

    I hope you are right about another “alt-Nina.” But then again, I don’t feel too invested in this particular Olivia…no offense to her, but there’s only so many Olivias in whom I can really invest. But I guess it is complicated because we don’t know whether this Olivia is a 3rd Olivia or whether it is our Olivia who doesn’t remember. I’m confused just writing….which is all the more reason I just liked this episode as a perfect stand-alone.

    Clear as mud?


  4. input on January 30th, 2012 12:18 pm

    If people do not care for this Olivia, blame the writers, and more the showrunners.

    They decided that the focus would be on Walter , and gave him 10 scenes to talk about the death of his son and wife, and if people fall for that, they feel for him, same goes for Walternate, in 2 episdoes 6 scenes to tell us who he is.
    That is Telling, not Showing, but John Noble gets all the credit. well he gets all the material.
    So she says Nina that after all the damage done to her….. I do not think that anyone talks about themselves like that, bad writing or decision that feeling for Olivia should be avoided? Why not have Olivia say that she was broken, in pain, depressed, out of place whatever, words with feeling.

    The endscene is now being seen in several ways, I see it as Olivia and Nina having an agreement to act like they are mother-daughter, see how Olivia opened the door, and how she had the look og knowing after Nina’s drugs remark.
    What I am afraid off is that Olivia will be only used as the ultimate victim just to set up Nina as the evil one to give Blair Brown all the work.
    Anna Torv does deserve so much better.

    I read a number of reviews, and all had the same feeling as I have: why not establish the relationship between Nina and Olivia, why not more scenes with them? It would have made the relationship more real.
    But no, we spent all the time with the Bishops. Why do they get long elaborate scenes to talk about their feelings, and not Olivia?

    This season they use Olivia so far like they did in season 1, as the set up and support, no background storylines, not allowed to talk about who she is, very unfair to the lead character and actress.
    Why not the other way around, let Walter/Walternate amd John Noble have that dirty job, is he so afraid to not be liked and popular?

    A big question for mr Jeff Pinkner, since he was already the one behind season 1, and last year said how hard he found it to watch Anna Torv get the treatment she got. So why do it again?
    Luckily for him an Anna Torv people know better, and critics value her as a great actress and see that she has been given the most difficult task.

    Only the casual viwer is not keeping a log of the facts to understand Olivia Dunham, with Walter they get the repeat Poor Walter about his son and wife every other episode.

    The only reason that this Olivia and AltLivia are these different versions is thanks to the brilliance of Anna Torv.

    I will no longer bother you Marisa, just wonder if at your next meeting with Jeff Pinkner you could ask him why he feels John Noble as Walter and Walternate should have all those scenes to tell us his inner turmoil and why Anna Torv has to do with a couple of facts.

    As a result mr Jensen at EW now sees her as a shapeshifter, and it must be very obvious that you are doing something wrong as even Walter/Noble fans think that Olivia/Torv deserves a better storyline and treatment.

  5. Zepp on January 30th, 2012 4:40 pm

    Starting at the end, that “kindness” of Nina in volunteering to make a soup for Olivia, was something of a non-sense. If I were Olivia, certainly would not take a soup made by Nina. Olivia really is, somehow, feeling, or already suspected, that there is something behind the Nina, something not very good, which is in some way related to your own personal safety, I think. But Olivia is with your attention on something else. After that encounter with the Observer September, she seems not to think about anything but what he said to her: “… you have to die, Olivia.” To me, it’s a big difference between “you have to die”, and “you will die …”. It seems that for something to happen in the near future, Olivia “must die” for “that something” to happen according to the predictions of this Observer. And regarding the “possible future” Peter, “never having existed,” certainly would not be in any of the “possible future”, provided by the Observers, and instead, he is there, alive and well in the universes of Fringe. Because of this, is I think that Olivia does well this threat, just as it did others, in the past.