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Fringe - 3.20 6:02AM E.S.T Review By A.D.Harris


Talk about a set-up.
Everything about Fringe's three-to-go finale was there to send your tease-buds crazy but not give you anything juicy... yet. It had Sam Weiss, Machines turning operational, Peter's (not so successful) moment of heroism, Walternate reminding us he's evil and Walter's confession yet it was always throwing us bones and then not letting us fetch them. That's not to say I wasn't a fan of the episode, it certainly had me on the edge of my seat. (or at least the lying in bed equivalent)

It all kicked off with what we expected, Walternate was using Bishop Jr. DNA to power his Doomsday machine and had got Brandonate to take the neccessary 'hatch-esque' defences to ensure that starting up the machine wouldn't have any negative effects on their world. It was nice to hear that the new baby was named after Andre Royo's Henry, perhaps fitting seeing as he was the one to deliver her. Also, it's nice to know that Walternate wasn't going to sacrifice his grandson for using in the device, and had me wondering why Peter would have to be in the device when you just need a tiny sample of DNA to power it. Intriguing though was the fact that he is now willing to sacrifice his son, something which I always assumed he would not be able to do. Walternate is a hard one to pin down and continues to throw curve balls at us just when you think you've got him.

It also appears that like over here, the Americans had Oppenheimer create the Nuclear Bombs of WWII, leading to the big moment that showed that Walternate did care a little bit about his actions; "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." The irony in the scene was that Brandonate appears to have no remorse in killing billions of people whilst Walternate is still fighting an internal battle of the 'screams' he expects to hear as he tries to sleep at night. Brandonate is just starting to get very annoying and hopefully heading towards a grisly death at the hands of one of our heroes in the near future. He's just plain evil, Olivia was onto something with her Zombie visions of him in the previous episode...
The reciprocal notion we first incountered in 'Reciprocity' also began to rear it's head, as turning on the machine over there passed along some of it's energy to our own machine, causing it to kick start into life and alert our team that at the titular 6:02AM E.S.T all hell began to break loose. The unfortunate innocents who suffer as a result were a flock of sheep and the two farmers looking after them, both alarmed at the sheep-panic they were witnessing before getting alarmed themselves moments before they were the side-dish of BBQ Lamb.

The interesting part to think about is that Peter was rejected by the machine which needs his DNA to work; is this because he needs to use the one in his own universe, or could it be simply that it isn't his DNA that is controlling the machine but his sons? Whatever the case the machine wasn't interested in the big emotional scene we had just before where Peter stepped up and decided to potentially sacrifice himself to save our world and sent him one hell of an electric shock and leaving him in a coma he seemingly cannot be woken from. It was a very important scene, showing Broyles, Astrid and Walter's fear that they may lose Peter, and was acted and shot very well, all tense, doom, fear and excitement as he approached the machine, only to get that shock when the plan all failed...
My thoughts on this are that he isn't just 'sleeping' but that the shock has taken him someplace else. LOST fans will remember when Desmond turned...
OBSERVER ALERT:

...the failsafe key his whole life 'flashed before his eyes,' and showed him something from his past and from his future that was important to his own personal storyline. I'm wagering something similar in theory is happening to Peter and that perhaps the machine has worked in helping it's master understand the key to controlling it. Of course, the outcome is likely to be to sacrifice someone or something, but I'd bet my laptop that when Peter wakes up from his come he knows exactly what he has to do... his destiny revealed so to speak.

Whilst our world was beginning to unravel we were handed the moment where Peter & Olivia get to remind us all just how happy they are together. I'm happy to forget the fact for now that Olivia has forgotten that Peter told her he was a shapeshifter killer, as well as the fact they seemed to have gotten past awfully fast the moment Olivia told Peter that she knows who is going to kill her as I get that the writers are trying to show us what the stakes are for both characters; but I hope they touch on both those points next season!
The scene in the bed worked very well at telling us this what they will get if they win. "I could get used to this," Olivia says moments before they realise that they may not get the chance to do so. Now we know what they're playing for personally! Also, hats off to the brilliant acting between John Noble and Anna Torv in their opening scene with Walter walking around naked. Noble plays it so casually it's hilarious in itself, but Torv's response to the situation was perfect, her eyes flickering around everywhere but at Walter's body.

Heading over there for a short time, we got to see Fauxlivia's understanding of the situation increase, and her uneasiness at Walternate's plans grow as well. When she learned that Walternate is planning to destroy our world, I'm sure that going through her mind (as well as mine) was that moment at the end of '6995kHz' when Peter told her "There are billions of innocent people over there... just like here... people with jobs, families, lives. I got to believe there's another way. And whatever my part in all of this is... I got to believe there's another way." She truly believes that Peter can find a way and so leaves Henry with Lincoln and heads off to find a way over to our side.
Before I continue with Fauxlivia, I believe that we have said goodbye to Lincoln for season three, so I'll say that Lincoln has been brilliant this season; entertaining, full of humour and emotion and I hope Seth Gabel joins the main cast next season!

I wasn't as impressed with the conclusion of Fauxlivia's story in this episode, as I remember that whilst Walternate crossed over to our side using those cylinders she stole from Brandonate, I also remember that at the same time Newton was using his own cylinders to help him cross over on our side. Fauxlivia didn't have those, and so her plan would never have worked... as a result I was thinking to myself that this is a bit of a waste of screen-time and tension as I know it wouldn't work. Sure enough, I was right and Fauxlivia found herself locked away in the cell Walternate keeps spare for any time he has a Dunham in need of imprisoning. It was a futher moment of humanisation for Walternate as he declared he would not harm her for her deception, and shows that he does have some feelings for his grandson's mother.

I also enjoyed the mirror image to when our Olivia was in the cell at the very end of season two. I'd think that Fauxlivia will find a way to break out and her story will meet some sort of conclusion before the finale ends, but for now it's too hard to say what will happen.

One of the best, if not the best scene of the episode was Walter's confession; a moment of pure emotion and heart-pouring as he tried to plead to god to spare his world. If any of you have seen 'The West Wing' Josiah Bartlett has a very similar moment in the episode 'Two Churches' where he finds himself at a moment with no-one to turn to but God.

"God, I know my crimes are unforgiveable. So punish me. Do what you want to me. But I beg you, spare our world." All the sadness and sorrow that has been building up in Walter throughout the season reached the tipping point and John Noble nailed the scene so impressively, so brilliantly written and acted that it almost felt like an indirect confession to the Emmy voters saying "Hey, we're this good. Award us please" And the truth behind the matter is that John Noble really is that good. (Don't forget to join the Twitter page supporting John Noble getting an Emmy)

Then I turn my head to the most important part of the episode; where all stories began to head. That of course is the man with the goatee and the bowling alley; Sam Weiss. We see him at his Bowling Alley when he notices three bowling balls shaking and tapping into each other. It's a small movement but it concerns him enough to head into his office and gets out a Newton's Cradle. Without interference the balls on the cradle begin to tap together, the tense Fringe music building as he stares at the bouncing balls.

The next moment we see of him he is in the woods looking through a window similar to the one Walter used in 'Peter' to see into the other side, calculating an equation and reaching the outcome zero. I don;'t know much about outer-worldly-dimensional-alternate universes, but I know that zero can't mean much good! The look of worry on his face rang true and confirmed my suspicions.

Then as Nina confesses to Olivia that Sam knew more information than anyone else, and is also the author of 'The First People' he disappeared and couldn't be found... until the last moment of the episode, "Olivia, you have to trust me now, please. We don't have a lot of time." All of this was a brilliant demonstration of building worry, fear and tension as the man in the know is showing serious concern and stating there's a lack of time to save our world. It's pretty much impossible to predict who he is and what he could possibly know, it's all so shrouded in mystery and wonder that it's definitely going to be a big revalation. I liked that he had a connection to Bell, and I want to trust him regardless of what any blackboards say in Walternate's lab. I believe he is an agent of good, all I can really do is to watch and find out.
My advice is to be there to watch it and find out the answers as well... and make sure if you don't watch it straight away that you do so before 6:02AM E.S.T...

...you may not get another chance to do so!

8.5

Adam

Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter: @AdDHarris
Facebook: Adam D.Harris

For My Other Fringe Season Three Reviews:
3.01 Olivia
3.02 The Box
3.03 The Plateau
3.04 Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?
3.05 Amber 31422
3.06 6995 kHz
3.07 The Abducted
3.08 Entrada
3.09 Marionette
3.10 The Firefly
3.11 Reciprocity
3.12 Concentrate & Ask Again
3.13 Immortality
3.14 6B
3.15 Subject 13
3.16 Os
3.17 Stowaway
3.18 Bloodline
3.19 Lysergic Acid Diethylamide
3.20 6:02AM E.S.T

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