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Fringe Fodder

Fringe: The Arrival

The-Arrival.jpgWe start this episode at a diner in New York. There is a hairless man (or mandroid) seated in a booth and looking out the window at a construction site. The waitress takes his order: Roast Beef Sandwich, on a roll meat as raw as possible, room temperature water no ice, eleven jalapenos on the side. Yum. He is observing the site and making notes (in a language that we cannnot identify) while keeping time on a watch. It would appear he is waiting for something to happen. He has a pair of binoculars right out of star wars or star trek (depending on your preference) that are able to give him much more information about what he is seeing (we can't read it though). His meal comes and he dumps all the pepper at the table on it as well as the bottle of hot sauce and jalepenos. He proceeds to comsume mass quantities and continues to observe. Suddenly, everything starts to shake like an earthquake.Debris is everywhere, the construction crane looks like it is about to topple and something explodes. People are running everywhere, except for our subject. He calmly walks to the site and makes a phone call "It has arrived" is his message.

Back in Boston, Walter is keeping Peter awake by reciting the formula for Root Beer. He hadn't had it forever. The next day at the Federal Building, Peter is trying to get in to see Olivia. He is being harrased by a woman that tells him he needs an escort to get there. She is doing a crappy job as he just ignores her protests and keeps on walking. It's a good thing too because I was wondering how he had so much "freedom" to move about the Federal Building. Peter has come to tell Olivia that he wants out. He can't take living with Walter anymore. He is convinced that they will be able to get him released into either someone else's care or just ROR. Olivia tries to explain that that is not the problem. Walter has repeatedly said that he would only work on "the pattern" while Peter was around to help him.

Broyles brings the A-team to a storage place/warehouse in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He tells them about the explosion and has brought them here to see what caused it. It appears to be (using Peter's words) a giant metal suppository. It has grooves that light up. Broyles tells them that this object tunneled underground to get to the spot it was at. Walter is somehow able to discern that it is vibrating.He wants to test it at the lab. He has an idea of what it is, but he refuses to share that information with anyone. Broyles is not keen on the idea of moving it, but Walter shows him a little bit of crazy and back to the lab it goes.

Apparently, this is not the first time something like this has shown up. Broyles tells Olivia that 1987 in Quantico (thanks DocH), Col. Henry Jacobson was brought in to investigate. He is an old friend of Olivia's and she heads out to see him, but not before Peter tells her that this is the last one then he's outta here.

Colonel Jacobson tells her all about the last time. Theirs was also vibrating, and 48 hours later, it exploded. It burrowed itself underground. It went farther down than they were able to track it. His advice is for her to stay as far away as possible from the device. He gives her some pictures of what happened as well as his files from that time.

Back at Muppet Laboratories, Walter has the object hooked up to all sorts of sensors and is hitting tuning forks to see what will happen.

Outside the warehouse in Chelsea, is a man parked in a car wearing a black longshoreman's hat. He has a very big, very strange looking gun (if you could call it a gun). He proceeds to storm the warehouse looking for the object. It would appear that his gun can shoot projectiles as well as emitting a forcefield or sound wave or something to knock things and people down. There is one assistant left in the lab that he takes for questioning.

Olivia gets a phone call on her cell phone in the middle of the night and is startled to hear Agent John Scott's voice on the other end. She calls FBI HQ to have them trace the call, but according to their records there has not been any activity for 4 hours.

Walter is still refusing to tell anyone what the object is. He does spout on about project Thor, one where, in theory, you could shoot a subterranean missle anywhere in the world and have it emerge on the surface where you wanted it to detonate. Peter, as usual, is skeptical. "Open your mind son, or someone may open it for you" Olivia in the meantime has discovered something disturbing. There is a man in one of the pictures she got from the Colonel. A bald man looking at the scene from behind a gate. He also happens to be in one of the pictures from the hospital.

She takes this discovery back to Broyles and he is impressed. It took them a year to find this connection. He has been spotted at almost all of the incidents. They have nicknamed him The Observer, as it seems that is all he ever does.

Colonel Jacobson appears to be relaxing at home, when he is captured by the warehouse assailant. We see the Colonel strapped to a table with electrodes everywhere and wires up his nose. The attacker has it all hooked up to his I-pod and is listening to his thoughts. When forced to think about things, the attacker gets way more information that we think is possible. Not sure how he's doing it, but this is Fringe after all. He is able to find out where the object is taken to with ease, and heads out to find it.

Once the FBI learns of the warehouse attack, they decide they need to move the object. Olivia calls Peter to tell him, who then informs Walter. Walter is less than thrilled with the news. He tells Peter that he needs Aluminum Foil to wrap it in to keep the waves it is emitting from being picked up. Peter reluctantly goes out to get it. Walter asks Astrid for a syringe from the table. She gets is for him and he proceeds to inject her with it (in the neck), pack up the object and take it somewhere safe. (Is it secret, Is it safe?)

We next see Walter at a diner drinking a rootbeer float. At first he is alone, but is then joined by the bald man. It would seem Walter is not surprised to see him. The Observer thanks him for hiding the beacon, as he cannot touch it himself. He acknowledges that Walter must have questions, and he tells him soon he will have answers.

The FBI manages to find Walter, well someone found him walking the median of I-95. We see him in an interrogation room wearing a prison jumpsuit. Not the cool orange ones, but the boring, dark grey ones. Olivia asks him if he remembers taking the cylendar, which he does. Then she asks where it is, but he refuses to tell her. He does tell her that someone is seeking the object so he had to hide it for the next 4 hours. He tells them that the Observer agrees with him. Peter thinks that the man is a figment of Walter's imagination. Walter gets incredibly angry with Peter and yells at him. "Must you be like her. Your mother. Always questioning my judgement." For Peter, this is the straw that broke the camel's back. He leaves with no intention of coming back. Captian Obvious says "I upset him, didn't I?"

Peter heads back to the lab, to pick up his stuff. He is on the phone with one of his contacts and tells him he needs a job anywhere except Boston because he has to get out of there. Only, the attacker is there in the lab. He captures Peter and sets him up with the same electrodes and wires we saw attached to Colonel Jacobson, only this time we get to see them being put in. It does not look pleasant. Peter swears he doesn't know anything, yet that doesn't seem to matter. The attacker tells him to think about the object, but Peter tells him he would never do that for him. The pain machine gets turned up. My bet is Peter was thinking "QUACK!" Through some sort of memory channel, he makes Peter think about happier times with his father, and somehow that tells the attacker where the item is buried. WHAT?!?!?!?"

All of this is not news to Walter. He knows that the attacker must have been able to find out where the cylendar is. Exactly HOW that is possible, since he never TOLD Peter where it was is beyond me. My mind must be just a small as Peter's.

Peter and the attacker end up in a graveyard, presumably at his grandfather's grave. He is instructed to dig. Naturally, the object is there. Right after it is unearthed, Olivia shows up with flashlights blaring, but no back up. She takes after him on foot. He shoots his badass weapon at her and misses. She is a much better shot. He is dead. As she is going to check out the body (come on haven't you seen any horror movies? They are NEVER dead) yup, he turns out to be really dead, the beacon lights up and burrows itself down in the ground again. The Observer makes another call "Departure on schedule". Peter meets him in the woods and attacks him. It looks like The Observer can read Peter's mind. He is telling him everything that comes out of his mouth exactly as it is being said. Peter isn't quite sure what to make of it. But before he can formulate an opinion, The Observer shoots him (so much for being The Observer) with another futuristic gun -- where does he get those wonderful toys! It doesn't kill Peter, but it does let The Until Now Observer get away.

Walter gets the good news that Peter is alright and he goes to apologize to Astrid for drugging her. He offers to let her inject him too, but "I'd most likely enjoy it" (my favorite quote this time around).

Olivia meets Peter at the hospital and he tells her in no uncertain terms that he is staying because he wants to find out what is going on. (at least it is a plausible hook to keep him there) The good news is that he now has civilian credentials and can move freely about the FBI building, at least some parts of it.

Walter and Peter are reunited at the end of the episode and we find out another very interesting tidbit. Peter is still unclear as to how the attacker was able to get the information about the beacon from him, when he had no idea where it was. Walter tells him that he needs to expand his thinking about communication. That thoughts can and are communicated also through osmosis and proximity. So in essence, what Walter knows, Peter knows. When Peter was young, Walter was hurriedly driving him to a Thanksgiving dinner they were late for. It was snowy and they ended up on some ice over a lake. The ice broke and they both ended up in the water. Peter thought that Walter had saved him and brought him to shore. Walter tells him that he couldn't move any of his limbs to save either of them. They were saved by dun dun dun The Observer. It was as if he knew Walter's thoughts. Without speaking to him, he made it clear to Walter that he would need him one day. When he saw the object and heard the vibrations, all of a sudden, he KNEW that he needed to hide the capsule for him. This was his tit for tat. Peter is starting to believe him, as he experienced much the same thing.

We end the episode with Olivia scrounging for dinner at her place. She settled on cereal with whiskey (she was out of milk). As she goes for her first bite, she looks up and standing in the kitchen doorway is Agent Scott, who greets her as she drops her bowl.

There is just too much to think about in this episode. I have no idea where it is all headed, but I am definitely up for the ride. Yes, there are things that seem waaaaaaay to far-fetched, but that makes it all the more interesting. Sigh. We have to wait 2 weeks for the next episode. Thoughts? Quotes? Questions? Answers? I need an aspirin.

Posted by Wendy on September 30, 2008 10:08 PM
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I needed an aspirin too Wendy. Not for pain, but to drop the blood pressure. This episode really helped the saga hit its' stride. If they had started with this episode, then prequeled to the first three, I am sure viewership would be double by now. Good review too. Your acerbic wit is starting to shine thru... I like the conehead/consume mass quantities reference... I was thinking the same thing when he scarfed-down his meal.

I'll point out that Dunham and her ex-Colonel buddy were likely at Quantico (VA), you said Cuanico. Besides all of the Marine traning at Quantico Marine Corps Base (MCB), the FBI Academy also hangs it hat there. So Dunham has spent a good bit of time at Quantico. How much do you want to bet that is where she and Broyles crossed-paths, when she put away his good friend.

One thing that really hit me, and you said it when Walter - "brought the crazy". He seems to have a much darker side than we imagined... before, when he snapped, it was frustration or confusion that seemed to be at the root. This time it looked like burning anger or resentment. My question - how much of an act is the 'crazy'? In my mind, there is a genuine possibility he is not crazy, demented or otherwise affected... with his brilliance, it may all be part of a grand scheme. I think his talking all night, or crashing in the closet, is all a ruse to con his son on 'the crazy'. That's why WE see it every week... to sell us too.

-- 1. Posted by: DocH at October 1, 2008 11:24 AM

Great review Wendy. I feel like I am watching the show again as I read it.

I am loving this show more and more by the week. I was very skeptical after the Pilot, but I agree DocH, if they made last night't episode the Pilot, they would have double the viewers. AWESOME.

I have yet to go to the fringewiki, was gonna wait for the Christmas break, to see how the story develops, then rewatch them all at No DVR for me.:(

-- 2. Posted by: lost4ever at October 1, 2008 8:36 PM

Thanks DocH and lost4ever for the kind words. I am enjoying this show just as much as you!

I hope that episodes like this will bring more viewers into the fold, or should that be take them out to the Fringe?

DocH, you would think that the daughter of a marine would have some idea about Quantico, but no. I even tried to find it on-line with every spelling imaginable using C and K. Never even thought about Q. Good grief! I will fix it in the review.

I also think that Walter is not as crazy as he wants people to believe he is. There is always a fine line between genuis and insane anyway, he just knows how to play the sides extremely well.

What about John coming back? What is up with that? Is it him, is it Olivia's imagination, is it a clone? Toooooo many questions. I love it!

-- 3. Posted by: Wendy at October 2, 2008 9:16 AM

Agent Scott - clone? I'd thought of that.
Agent Scott - alive/reanimated? I'd thought of that.
Scott in Dunham's imagination? I'd forgot about that... She does have a day-dreaming thing - wasn't it Broyles in her last musing -- when she was waiting at MassDyn? Maybe she has been tripping (flashing) from her LSD - synaptic transfer experience. That would explain "Scott in her brain".

I also like her monologue about how she is good at 'concentration' -- remembering things, obscure or otherwise, and putting them together. That means her seeing her fathers' kayak during the synaptic transfer might come back to us again in the plotline.

-- 4. Posted by: DocH at October 3, 2008 9:12 AM

I like that Scott is in her imagination. Maybe that "trip" she had opened up a doorway inside her. I guess what I mean to say is that maybe she can now connect anytime, a permanent ability. Were they working on Scott at MD to bring him back? I am confused on that.

Nice to know that I am not the only offspring of a Marine Wendy.:) I was only 3 when My father finished his 20 in 1978 and really don't remember too much of that time. Not sure if I could spell Quantico on my first try either.:)

-- 5. Posted by: lost4ever at October 3, 2008 2:27 PM

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