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Saturday, 27 of February of 2021

Fringe – “Immortality”

“Make sure they spell my name right.”

One of the great things about Fringe is that even in a show dealing with parallel universes and other hard sci-fi plots, it’s still a believable show. Hear me out. At its core, Fringe is about taking science too far. Sure, sometimes people on the show use science for bank robberies or bringing back lost loved ones, but a lot of times it’s about people trying to do right and having it go horribly wrong. That’s the essence of Walters character and “Immortality’ gives us a look at another man who has taken his research to an extreme point for the “greater good.”

Or is it?

Dr. Silva is attempting to bring the skelter beetle back from extinction because they contain an enzyme he was working worth to produce a cure for the avian flu. Since the beetle died out with sheep (love the little details that distinguish the “over there” universe from our own) he’s engineering the beetles to live in other hosts: humans. Can you see why Fringe Division would have a problem with this?

While Silva’s vaccine is for the greater good, he’s doing this primarily for the recognition, the immortality. He keeps naming famous scientists, comparing himself to them. He wants people to know and remember his name. Saving lives is just a positive side effect. Crossing the line did not factor into his thinking.

Walternate had to deal with a similar internal battle. He is sloooowly starting to figure out Cortexiphan. The latest test subject may have died shortly after gaining telekinesis but it’s a step. And that’s not good. The theory is that age is a factor in test subjects. The younger the subject, the better the possible outcomes. Our Walter already knows this, he conducted his Cortexiphan trials on subjects starting at three years old. Walternate adamantly shoots the suggestion down. Children are a sore subject for him. Obviously.

There’s a great scene with Walternate and his Asian wife (where did she come from?) where he asks her if he is weak. He has the opportunity to find a way to save their universe but it’s by means he doesn’t want to use. Asian wife tells him that doesn’t make him weak, it’s what makes him brilliant and strong. But the truth is, there is a war at hand and steps need to be taken to win. Walternate may have to start killing kids for the greater good. If our Walter has it in him, he does too. While Walternate may be struggling with experimenting on kids he certainly has no problem exploiting them!

FAUXLIVIA IS PREGNANT. Be honest, this is the only point of the episode you even care about. It had been a popular fan theory since “The Firefly” and it looks like it’s true. And what a way to reveal it. Fringe has a lot of great twists (see both season finales) and this one was right up there. “Oh hey Fauxlivia, you’re infected with parasitic beetles. PSYCH, you’re preggers.” Man. What a twist.

And poor Frank, whose name I had forgotten until someone actually said it. He knew it wasn’t his. My heart broke for him a bit when he asked Fauxlivia if she loved him, the father (Peter, duh OMG) and she didn’t answer. She told Peter before she left that this became more than just a mission and it appears she was telling the truth. Maaaan does this complicate this love triangle even more, which is hard to imagine. So the Walternate connection: he plans on using his unborn grandchild as bait to lure Peter back to their universe and fight for their side. Sneaky, Grandpalternate.

In going back and forth between the two universes, the lines of good and evil are becoming blurred. It’s easy for us to sympathize with the characters over there even though they are technically our enemies. We feel for Walternate in his decision to test on children, we feel for Fauxlivia when her pregnancy and betrayal are brought to light. These are people living their lives and dealing with issues just like we do and that’s the feeling we’re supposed to have. It’s putting the audience in Peter’s position. There are stakes in both worlds, it’s not so simple to choose one universe over the other. Or one Olivia over the other.

Final Thoughts:

  • “Which universe are we in? Is that a zeppelin? Ok now I know, thanks.”
  • So this episode is basically about what happened to that lady who bit into roach eggs in her taco.
  • Anyone else catch a glimpse of the tattoo on Frank’s back? It’s the same one Fauxlivia has on the back of her neck. Is that another form of identification in their society like a Show Me or does it mean something else we don’t know yet? Or have I missed something completely?
  • The bug expert girl was adorable. I hope she comes back.
  • “So they look the same, but they’re not the same?” We get it, Fringe. Two Olivias. Two universes. The five of us who watch your show are smart enough to get the themes of duality without being beaten over the head like that.
  • I don’t know why, but Charlies “I’m gonna go get a sandwich.” line made me die laughing.
  • Insert all “Men in Black” bug related jokes here.
  • Lincoln is already a horrible replacement for Broyles.
  • So if Walternate has an Asian wife, does that mean that Peter’s mother, who he visited with during his time in the other universe, was a shapeshifter being used as a tool to keep Peter over there?

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