FRINGE Recap: 'Making Angels' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FRINGE Recap: ‘Making Angels’

February 4, 2012 by  

After four years, we finally got our big Astrid episode! Was it everything you hoped for?

Of course, there was also a “case of the week,” which did have some interesting tie-ins to our overall mythology, so let’s talk about “Making Angels”…

When you hear you have a cancer with a 95% survival rate, it’s not the worst piece of news you can get. But it’s understandable that it unnerves the first man we see in the hour. After he leaves the doctor, he sits at a bus bench when a mysterious man sits down next to tell him the gruesome details of what’s going to happen to him as this disease progresses. Next thing we know, Mr. 95% Chance of Survival is dead on the bench with tears of blood coming from his eyes.

Meanwhile, alt-Astrid makes her way over to our lab, determined to meet her double. While Astrid is initially shocked, she quickly realizes that the reason for alt-Astrid crossing over is because her father died Over There. But there’s no time to really process it, because the team gets word there’s a case and Olivia, Peter, and Astrid are off to the first crime scene. Walter offers to stay and wait with alt-Astrid until Fauxlivia (AKA “The Viper,” according to Walter) comes to retrieve her agent.

The body of the first victim is brought back to the lab and the team (including the recently arrived Fauxlivia) can’t figure out how the heck the man was killed in the precise way he was. When alt-Astrid suggests “deus ex machina” as a potential solution — AKA their killer would have to have seen how the chemicals had already been combined in the future order to know how to combine them in the present…very Observer-y — they realize it could be a very real solution. (Technically, “dues ex machina” could also be foreshadowing to Peter and his machine/timeline problems, but that isn’t really tackled in this episode.) Walter seems fascinated by this new version of Astrid, telling everyone, “I think I love her!” Poor Original Astrid.

But it’s time for another victim. This time, we meet an alcoholic, whom the mysterious non-Observer Observer man claims is not only going to die, but also ruin the lives of everyone she loves before she does. “No one can see the future,” she angrily tells him.

“You’re right,” non-Observer Observer tells her. “There is no future, there is no past. Everything happens right now.” And then he uses a MEN IN BLACK-esque device on her and viola, dead and bloody tears.

At the new crime scene, Peter takes things over, much to Walter’s frustration (from afar — the poor guy still won’t leave the lab). Later, alt-Astrid points out that Walter seems to be frustrated with his son, but Walter insists Peter is not his son, but admits he is a reminder of the son he had. Alt-Astrid notes that it makes Walter suffer, and questions, “wouldn’t it be preferable to believe he was your son so you could love him and be happy?”

In the other part of the lab, Fauxlivia notes to Olivia that Peter was kind of cute. She says he’s not her type, but still, uh oh…

We see the non-Observer Observer working at the airport, and when he scans an ID, he writes down a name — a third victim? Yep, he’s not done. The target is in a garage, talking on his phone, and the non-Observer Observer tells him he would have gotten in a car wreck while taking his next call, he would become paralyzed and then things would have spiraled from there. “I’m going to spare you from all that misery — a living nightmare,” the non-Observer Observer says. The man runs from the non-Observer Observer and promptly gets hit by a car…and is paralyzed.

Peter and Olivia visit him in the hospital and he tells him about the warning he received. He also notes that he wishes the man had succeeded in killing him.

Unfortunately for the fringe team, they’re no closer to figuring out who this “humanitarian killer” is until alt-Astrid realizes that all three victims were screened by the same TSA agent at the airport. Peter and Olivia go to see their suspect, Neal, who promptly run away. The team does some research on him and finds out he was a former MIT professor who had a theory that if he could solve a certain set of equations, space and time would be flattened…that you could in essence, see past, present and future simultaneously. Apparently, he went a little crazy and moved to Reiden Lake — AKA the site of where Peter returned in this timeline and where Peter was saved as a child in the timeline we knew.

Neal isn’t home, but since Peter and Olivia find his wall devoted to humanitarians/religious saviors, discover he was a twin (his father and brother died in a car crash), and realize he might be with his mother, the trip isn’t a total waste.

At Neal’s mother’s home, he basically tells her goodbye. We learn she’s a pretty terrible mother who allegedly said on the night when his twin, Alex, died that God took the wrong one. Neal may be able to see the future, but he’s also a scorned mama’s boy. He pulls a gun on Peter and Olivia when they arrive and fires a shot at them, which promptly leads to Olivia killing him.  Olivia realizes that he drew her fire on purpose in order to get himself killed — since he was deeply religious he couldn’t commit suicide himself without risking being unable to get into heaven. Later, the Observers come to Neal’s mothers house and take the blue, glow-y MEN IN BLACK device from a safe, saying September must have lost it here in 1985 when he saved Peter. One of the Observers also spills that September went against orders and Peter Bishop is still alive. Uh oh…

As for the Astrids, they shared some adorable scenes together (alt-Astrid tried coffee for the first time! They said the same things at the same time!), but nothing broke my heart more than the two of them talking about their fathers. Alt-Astrid was heartbroken she couldn’t be what her father wanted from her and wonders, “Do you think if I were more like you, he would have loved me more? If I was normal?” Astrid has always been kind (especially in regards to Walter), but I don’t think she’s had a finer moment than when she told her alt-version that she wasn’t very close with her father either, because he was “complex” and “does the best with the tools he has.” Her words (especially “it wasn’t you”) provide such an obvious comfort for her alternate persona. While the audience sees that certainly doesn’t appear the case when Astrid goes to visit her dad and he is overtly loving towards her, Astrid’s little white lie probably meant the world of difference to alt-Astrid.

Other notable things:

  • It’s no secret I’ve been missing “our” characters, so seeing that “Previously On” montage filled with scenes from the first three seasons made me even more nostalgic.
  • “I know it’s taken me some getting used to, but as long as you’re stuck here, you make a good partner.” — Olivia to Peter. Anyone else get the feeling with this, alt-Astrid trying to get Walter to just love Peter and the scene with the Fauxlivias about Peter that this was an important step in getting the new versions of our characters to fully accept Peter into this family?
  • Behold the power of candy (and spending honest time together). When Walter returned Fauxlivia’s things, he angrily pointed to a metal container as something he couldn’t figure out, and accused it of being some sort of spying technique. She fanned the flames by answering, “Wow, I really got to you, didn’t I, Walter? Did you ever consider that perhaps it’s because you enjoyed having me around. Admit it, you like me, Walter.” But he wouldn’t. However, by the end of the case, they reached a bit peace and she revealed the container actually held a mint-like candy, which led to this exchange…

    Walter: You may possess positive qualities that I previously overlooked.
    Fauxlivia: Are you flirting with me?
    Walter: In your dreams.

    Miracles can happen, people.

  • I love how just in control and smug this new version of Fauxlivia is. I know I’ve mentioned it in past recaps, but it seems like the simple matter of not being caught on this side did wonders for her self-confidence.
  • “I have a challenge for you: why don’t we fix the machine?” – a frustrated Peter to Walter.
  • “Nearly all cultures react to death with food,” Walter, after offering eggs to alt-Astrid immediately after it was revealed her father had just died.
  • “Well, everybody has someone that wants to kill them.” – Olivia, who clearly is still thinking about September’s prediction. Peter gave her a pointed look…how soon until he confronts her on it? And will next week’s case also involve someone who can see the future like the Observers?
  • “I’m sorry, were you solving world hunger or perfecting the perfect peanut butter milkshake?” Fauxlivia to Walter
  • It seems like the Observers powers are transferable, so I wonder if Joshua Jackson’s hopes that Peter becomes an Observer aren’t completely dead.
  • Ouch of the week:

    Walter: I miss the other one.
    Peter: I’m almost afraid to ask.
    Walter: The boy. The other boy. He doesn’t starve me.
    Peter: Which other boy?
    Walter: The one that plays chess.
    Peter: Lincoln?
    Walter: That’s the one. I prefer him.

On a completely self-promoting note, have you guys read part one of my chat with FRINGE executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman? There are some pretty interesting teases about the upcoming episodes…

What did you guys think of “Making Angels”?

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7 Responses to “FRINGE Recap: ‘Making Angels’”

  1. John on February 4th, 2012 4:08 pm

    A good recap/review. Thank you.

    The faux-Observer’s “logic” that suicide by cop isn’t suicide seems to be very flawed.

    The two Astrid’s were very interesting and Jasika Nicole did a great job.

  2. Input on February 4th, 2012 7:29 pm

    Good recap, but a few points , may be you could ask the sowrunners when you talk to them:
    I recall Olivia being kidnapped for two weeks, not impersonating Fauxlivia, and Fauxlivia was in the lab and Walter needed all the drugs in the world to cope with that, 4.02. And Olivia dos not know that she can cross over, so how did she end up being kidnapped with all that security?
    Why did they not explain the kidnap in this episode? The reason that Olivia has a problem with Fauxlivia.

    And AltAstrid OverThere is clearly the Asperger type, and dependent on her calculating computer, she never thinks outside the box, so why in a new surrounding all these changes and knowing more then the rest?

    Neal was a bit like Milo in the Plateau, with the difference that he thought he did good, where Milo used his ability for revenge.
    Is Neal for us, what September is to the Observers?

    September seems to be what August was in 2.08. And I think that Olivia was saved by September as a girl/baby but that she was supposed to die, like the young man in Wallflower. He was saved by Massive Dynamics for being special, same with Olivia? Nina payed for the funeral of the mother of Olivia, but was it her mother, or was she someone hired by Massive Dynamics to raise her to a certain age? BTW where is Olivia;s sister? Mentioned once, never again, not on a photograph with Nina. Dead?

    The first time Walter was not being PoorSadWalter or BigChildfeelsorryfor meWalter, thanks to AltAstrid and especially Fauxlivia. When he called her Mata Hari (Why?) she went for it and teased him all the way, great.
    So the Astrids lost their mother young, so did Olivia, why not have a scene about that?

    Fauxlivia now is like the one in OverThere season 2, and I love what Anna Torv does with her. You do not know a thing about Fauxlivia, but she is this fully rounded character.
    And Olivias reactions’to her are priceless, no idea how Anna Torv does it, but according to Jasika Anna could write a book about double acting, and she helped Jasika a lot.

    So far Wakternate was just the talking, not the acting, not much with the Lincolns.
    The two Astrids worked better, but Astrid did not do much, and AltAstrid is mostly her lines, not so much the acting,not many expressions.
    But she is better then the two mentioned above.

    Anna Torv and all her versions of Olivia/ Fauxlivia is super super league, how she does she keep up with very detail for each version?
    Old Olivia walks different then this one, speaks different, this one is direct and looks direct, old version is haunted and looks from beneath, same with the fauxlivia’s
    And really this is all her creations, you know little of the Olivia’s and nothing from Fauxlivia. But through that acting you can sense where they come from.

    The one scne with the two Olivia’s that was switching 6 times in 50 seconds, keeping your mood, eyeline, expressions and the speechpattern of each Olivia.
    That is truly amazing acting.
    And can we have an episode of Olivia and Fauxlivia alone, on the road, or locked up together in a dangerous place?

  3. input on February 5th, 2012 6:44 am

    Something I notice: people confuse having emotional lines with acting, so now becuase of wht they write for John and here Jasika it is all love for tehir Alternate characters, and loving to hate for AltLivia, wich then seem to turn to criticize Anna.

    I love AltLivia, just like I love dNewLivia from the start, so I do not understand how those people watch.

    One Night in October was the best episode this season, but as that was getting used to New Olivia and Alt/Fauxlivia , not everyone appreciated the brilliance of Anna Torv.

    I truly hope that Alt/Fauxlivia and Olivia will get those big scenes they always write for the Bishops, and seem to be able to do for AltAstrid, so why not for your female lead?
    Anna Torv, Olivia, Alt/Fauxlivia deserves far much better then being a pawn, victim, go-between.

  4. Arclight on February 5th, 2012 2:36 pm
  5. Marisa Roffman on February 5th, 2012 3:17 pm

    @Arclight, THANK YOU! I had written that and spell check changed it. Grr, technology.

  6. Joan Roseman on February 6th, 2012 11:28 am

    The actual translation of “Deus ex machina” is not “The Hand of God,” it is “The God from the Machine.” In its most common form it is used in Greek theater as a resolution to a seemingly insolvable situation by an artificial device, as when a play is ended by a tiger escaping from the zoo and eating all of the characters.

  7. Zepp on February 6th, 2012 1:59 pm

    The focus on common citizen, becoming a “angel of death”, with actions of pre-euthanasia, for me, served only as a background of action, for the “solo” of “our” Astrid. Jasika Nicole, was excellent, very bright, in his dual role. She played with the duality of emotions, feelings, mannerisms, quirks, body language, a veritable sideshow of this episode. “Making Angels,” was, for me, the episode of Astrid, and, well we could have more of these, is not it?