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Fringe Fodder

Fringe: Ability

Ability.JPGFirst, many apologies for the shortness of this entry. I am going to attempt to hit the highlights of the episode, please feel free to remind me of the things I miss. Thanks!

There is waaaaaaay more to Walter than even I imagined. We know that there is a lot of missing information concerning Walter, but we find out there is even more. WOW. This week's episode starts with a re-cap of Mr. Jones' prison breakout. If you remember, he used the device that Walter created (and hid in pieces around the world) to teleport himself out of prison and to meet up with "his people". In this case, his people included Agent Loeb.

Olivia meets Walter and Peter at the laboratory. Walter is soaping up the cow's udders to apparently clean them, or perhaps shave them. Walter tells her that it is possible that Jones escaped using his teleportation device Dis-Re (disray) to get out of prison. He also says that anyone using the device would have to spend weeks in a decompression chamber after the jump, and that considering what comes next, they would probably wish they hadn't survived.

We see Jones coming out of a decompression chamber, but he doesn't look good. He addresses the troops and asks about "the sealant"

We see a newspaper salesman selling his wares. A man comes by to purchase a paper with a $2 bill (I have a friend who uses them all the time -- he loves the reaction it creates when the clerks don't have a place to put it in their tills -- ah, the little things in life). He takes the money and chats up one of his regulars. I did catch a glimpse of The Observer in the newspaper man's mirror (woo hoo). Suddenly, the man thinks he has something in his eye. It turns out that his skin is growing to completely cover his eyes, nose and mouth. He stumbles around blind and slowly suffocating.

Of course, this crazy stuff calls in Olivia and her gang. Walter determines that it was some kind of mutation kicked into high gear and closing all of the body's orifaces. (the sealant?)

Olivia tries to get info from Agent Loeb, but is unsuccessful. Her incredible powers of perception make her turn in another direction. She thinks that maybe the ZFT is more of a religious cult, as is seems the participants are rather zealous. She finds something loosely translated from German that means destruction by advancement of technology. Auf Deutsch, ZFT. Olivia wants Peter to use his contacts to get her a copy of that manifesto, and he does.

Then Jones does something completely unexpected. He marches into the FBI buiding, effectively giving himself up and says he will only speak with Olivia Dunham. Of course, Harris is being as much of an ass as usual, he will not let Olivia in to talk with him. He will only let her talk to him after she gets some hard evidence that he was involved with the recent death. He sends her to a suspected safehouse to check it out. While there, a fresh-faced young agent (soon to be married) goes off on his own -- and he wasn't even wearing a red shirt! Of course, he finds a $2 bill and touches it. The same thing happens to him that happened to the news stand man. Olivia attempts to to a tracheotomy to let him breathe, but it doesn't work, the skin grows up over the trach tube -- gross!

In the meantime Harris tries to get Jones to talk. Jones tells him that he will only talk to Olivia and asks that she brings some items with her when she comes to talk with him. When Olivia finally confronts him, she brings him the things he asked for. Of course, he uses these things to fashion a device that knocks out all of the surveilance equipment they have trained on the room. (I Loved that part!!)

Jones tells Olivia that more people will die the same way unless she takes and passes his test. He wants her to take the key they found on him and get the "gift" he left for her. She gets the box and brings it back to Harvard and the Bishops for study.

The box has a series of 10 "tests" in it that must be taken in order. It would appear the first test is to use only her mind to shut off a number of lightbulbs. Yeah, right. Jones tells her that she is perfect to do this because she had been treated with a drug that would enhance her ability to complete the tasks. She doesn't believe it and checks with MD (the drug maker) to see if there were any clinical tests on this drug. Originally she finds out that it wasn't tested anywhere near her, but later finds that it was tested in her backyard. This means that Jones' story is plausable.

On a side note, Walter sees Peter's copy of the ZFT book and is strangely drawn to it. He reads from it in the crapper. (love those lines) The book tells of an impending war between two different worlds, preceeded by a series of strange and catastrophic events (hmmm like what is going on right now?).

Olivia sets up the first test, and does try it. Nothing happens. Jones is getting progressively worse, but she needs his help to stop the bomb that he is threatening to set off. He is brought on a stretcher to the lab. Jones sycophantically greets and thanks Walter for his device. Walter tells him that there was a reason he hid the device, and that he never should have used it.

Olivia and Peter attempt to trick Jones into giving them the location of the bomb by setting up the lights to go off. He tells her the location of the bomb and they take off forthwith. On the way, she gets info from Charlie that the bomb squad can't figure out to bomb and they cannot diffuse it. As she gets closer to the bomb, she realizes that the only shut off mechanism is the same panel of lights she was faking shutting off at the lab. Curse you Mr Jones!!!!! Oh, wait too late. She was tricked. Peter wants her (and everyone else) to head for the hills and pronto! She stays (and so does he) to try and diffuse the bomb. She stares at the lights for a while and they start to shut off. With about 2 seconds to spare, they all shut off and the bomb is deactivated. Olivia claims that she didn't DO anything and has no idea what really happened.

Jones is getting worse and is taken to the hospital. Astrid mentions to Walter that his transportation device is brilliant, but it is too bad that it kills you. Walter's anwer "oh, it doensn't kill you" So, what DOES it do? Maybe it turns you into a mutant beast, beacuse Jones has escaped from his hospital room via a self made hole in the wall, and this is no small hole. HUGE hole taking up almost the whole wall.

For me the most disturbing thing of the episode comes at the end. Walter is reading the ZFT handbook, which is all typed on a typewriter, and is taking particular interest. See everytime the letter y is typed, the y is much higher than the other letters. This normall wouldn't be cause for alarm, but Walter takes out a typewriter and starts typing a word that ends in y. Guess what? The typewriter has the same y placement issue. So, it would appear that WALTER wrote the handbook, which explains Jones' complete adoration of him. WOW!!!! I couldn't believe that I was more confused and intrigued by Fringe this week than I was Lost. i think having two shows like this on back to back days is going to turn my brain into liquid!

Seriously, if you have not seen this episdoe yet, YOU MUST! I-tunes, Fox on Demand, borrow a copy from a friend -- whatever, SEE IT! Then come back here and tell me what you thought of it. Unfortunately we have until April to wait for new episodes, but it also gives us that much more time to digest what is going on here. WOW -- but what did you think?

Posted by Wendy on February 13, 2009 12:02 AM
Permalink |

First of all... don't apologize for the 'shortness of this entry' when it was concise AND accurate - and it even isn't close to SHORT. (Spell check might help the cause.) You hit all the main points... and you found Baldo - staring you in the mug.

Yes. I really have nothing to add. This really kick-starts the conspiracy theories. Walter's reading of the manifesto says tons: "We think we understand reality. But our universe is only one of many. The unknown truth is that the way to travel between them has already been discovered - by beings, much like us, but whose history is slightly ahead of our own. The negative aspect of such visitation will be irreversible both to our world, and to theirs. It will begin with a series of unquantifiable natural occurrences - difficult to notice at first - but growing, not unlike a cancer, until a simple fact becomes undeniable. Only one world will survive. It will either be us - or them."

My first thought is that 'the Observer' is from the 'slightly ahead' universe. But, he is not here to insure that his survives. He is here to insure ours survives. And the creep that followed him to steal 'the Beacon' - he was here to insure their universe does survive (or perhaps a third universe).

Nina with a twitchy arm. Is she from another universe? Or did William Bell (yet to be seen) travel over to their side and "borrow" the technology needed to give Nina the robo-arm? Nina did say she was nearly dead from cancer, when Bell rescued her.

They (creative staff of Fringe) say there is 'NO WASTED DIALOGUE' on the show. To me, that means that this will not go away soon. Good review!

-- 1. Posted by: DocH at February 13, 2009 1:44 PM

Ooooh, I never thought about Nina being (to steal from Lost) an OTHER.

I do agree that the Observer is not of this world and he seems to be benevolent.

I do want to meet William Bell too, the longer we are kept from seeing him, the more I start to wonder if he is alive or in a chamber like John Scott. Maybe Bell works for the other universe. Too many questions!

Doc, I really need to spend some time on your wiki site. It is just fabulous! And, yes, spell check should be my friend. I'll try to remember to check it. (Yes, yes I know -- There is no try only do or do not)

I am disappointed that we will have to wait until April for new episodes. Maybe it will give me time to digest what has happened up to this point.

W :)

-- 2. Posted by: Wendy at February 13, 2009 4:37 PM

Of course, separate universes is metaphorical. All characters exist / originate on the same plane of existence. The 'universe' that is slightly ahead is the forward-thinking techno-evolutionist group (Jones, et al) and the universe that they want to overcome are the rest of us knuckle-dragging, butt-scratching, NASCAR-loving human-beings. Only one universe can win. If we 'techno-evolve', we have to all do it together, can't be leaving this millenniums Neaderthals running around, or worse - letting them prevail.

(I can just see Walter sitting in a 9' X 12' cabin, somewhere out in the north woods, typing up his science manifesto)

Hey - North Woods Group - that is one of the unidentified organizations from Dreamscape (I think).

-- 3. Posted by: DocH at February 14, 2009 10:13 AM

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