FRINGE “The Firefly” Review

FRINGE "The Firefly" Review

FRINGE “The Firefly” Season 3 Episode 10FRINGE is back! Granted it’s on a new night and possibly on the chopping block, but at least we have some more J.J. Abrams goodness to sate our sci-fi hunger. Just to get everyone back on the same page; we are done with universe jumping (for now), Peter and Olivia are over because of Bolivia, Walter owns Massive Dynamic, and Gene the cow is still alive and kicking. Everyone got that? Good, now lets talk about “The Firefly”.

Wait, wasn’t Firefly that Sci-Fi show Fox put on Friday nights and then killed?

Yes, but I’m sure that tonight’s episode title is a complete coincidence that has nothing to do with the Fringe staff’s sentiments at being moved to Fridays… and if you believe that I have a bridge for sale you may be interested in.

So what happened on “The Firefly”?

This episode is all about actions and the the consequences associated. The Observers decide that they’re done observing and are start to interject themselves more into the lives of Walter and Peter. More specifically, they are trying to make a course correction to an issue they see in the timeline. How they go about making these changes and what it shows about their ability to tinker with the universe, gives us a whole new understanding of what the Observers are about.

The episode starts off with a sleepwalking mental ward patient named Roscoe Joyce. The ward staff are surprised to see him talking to what appears to be his dead son, Bobby. When the Fringe team arrives they find video evidence showing an Observer was present with Bobby outside the facility. We learn that Roscoe was the keyboardist for Violet Sedan Chair, Walter’s favorite band, which leads to a real fanboy moment for Walter.

After talking to Roscoe, Walter brings him to the lab to help him remember what Bobby said to him. Under Walter’s interesting techniques (see the picture above for a small taste), Roscoe remembers Bobby’s message was to help Walter. Walter and Roscoe start talking, and we begin to see a lot of similarities between the two, even their mutual love of strawberry milkshakes.

Meanwhile, one of the Observers has been keeping busy. He appears in the midst of a jewelery store robbery to stop the thieves and save the salesgirl. As Olivia and Peter go to the store to interview the witness, the Observer appears at the lab and talks to Walter. He explains to Walter that his bringing of Peter into our universe threw things out of whack, and one of the consequences was Bobby’s death. Walter is shaken by this and asks Peter to bring the salesgirl to the lab so he can learn more from her.

On the way to the lab, Olivia and Peter are involved in a traffic accident with the Observer. Olivia chases him on foot, while Peter tries to help the salesgirl in the midst of a bad asthma attack. Walter shows up and Peter asks him to help the girl while he goes to help Olivia. Walter thinks that this is the Observer’s plan to take Peter away from him, but finally gives him the keys to his car while he and Astrid tend to the girl.

After a chase through busy city streets, Peter catches up to the Observer on a rooftop. The Observer then drops the most cryptic and interesting line of the episode (some speculation on this below), before zapping Peter with a stun-type gun and disappearing in front of Olivia. When Olivia calls Walter to let him know what happened, poor Walter thinks she’s calling to tell him Peter is dead, and you can see how happy he is when she says he’s okay.

Things seemingly wrapped up, Walter and Astrid take Roscoe back to the ward. Peter and Olivia talk in the lab in a nice touching scene, and Peter takes some aspirin to help with the stun gun after effects with some of Walter’s milk. Unfortunately for Peter, he doesn’t know the milk had a serum Walter has been working on and this make Peter have seizures. To the relief of everybody Olivia saves Peter thanks to Walter’s direction.

At the end of the episode, Walter is actually grateful that Peter had drank the serum. Had Walter drank it instead, the serum would likely have killed him due to his age. Peter’s youth helped him survive long enough for Olivia to administer an antidote. The last scene is two Observers discussing the results of the “course correction” and their true goal, to change Walter to the point where he would be willing to let his son die.

What worked in this episode?

The best part of this week’s episode of Fringe was the awesome story line written by J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner. The concept of being able to see how the Observers can affect events is interesting and the way the events in the episode seem to be part of one big chain reaction was a good way to present it. I also enjoyed the dialogue, especially the scene with the Observer and Walter discussing the chain reaction of events Walter started by taking Peter from the alter-verse. It was an interesting way to present how the cross universe travel also affected our universe and how Walter and Roscoe are truly connected in the grand scheme of things.

Great Scott! Christopher Lloyd was great as Roscoe Joyce, his scenes with Walter talking about their lives were great. When I first heard Christopher was in this episode I thought he would be on as a scientist (of the slightly mad variety), but he really sold me on being a retired musician who isn’t all there. There was some good charisma between him and John Noble, and it came through in their scenes together.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about the Observer saying “It must be very difficult…being a father” to Peter when they meet on the rooftop. Since Observers can travel fowards and backwards in time, I think this is a hint that Peter may have fathered a child. Since the only person he has recently been getting it on with was Bolivia, I think we are in for a little bit of cross universe pollination. We may need to have the alter-verse Maury hold a special episode on this topic. On the other hand, you could interpret the line as the Observer realizing the difficult choice Walter had in letting Peter chase the Observer when there was a chance he could be killed. Either way, it was a great line and I’m sure it will have people talking until the next episode.

What do you think of what the Observer said to Peter? Do you think the Observers have good or bad motivations behind their efforts? What did you think of Christopher Lloyd as Roscoe? Let me know in the comments below!

Tonight’s episode is the first of six new episodes in a row, so this should take us all the way through February. Fringe is back next Friday, January 28, 2011 at 9 PM on FOX. Next week’s episode is titled “Reciprocity” and looks to have something to do with Peter’s relationship to a very dangerous weapon.

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