Fringe Recap: Ah, So That's How It Happened

Raise your hand if you, as I did, yelped out an expletive while watching Friday night’s Fringe, upon realizing that young Olivia (played by Karley Scott Collins) had revealed to Walter — make that, the wrong Walter — how and when she crossed over to the other side.

Ratings for February 26: Smallville Up, Fringe Holds Steady

To see that “dot” connected — how Walternate, frustrated by his inexplicable loss for so long, came to discover just how his Peter had been kidnapped — was a serious goosebump moment, because right then and there so, so many dominoes began to topple over, ultimately leading us to where we are today, in real-time Fringe.

Of course, Olivia’s first crossing-over was a milestone moment in and of itself, triggered by her anxiety-slash-terror as she was subject to abuse by her father. We also laid witness to young Peter’s unsettled sense of self, as he insisted over and over again to his “parents” that he was not their son, that they had somehow robbed him from the world he knew. (In full disclosure, though young Chandler Canterbury did a fine job, “mopey Peter” wore on me a bit. Then again, who am I to question the disposition of a youth who suspects he came from another world at the bottom of a lake.)

Toward episode’s end, Peter and Olivia’s respective “outcast” feelings led them to the same genetically engineered field of tulips, setting the stage for their first meeting. And that was very cool. And it then fed into the aforementioned “slip,” when Olive — finally admitting to her father’s abuse — somewhere along the way crossed over into the other universe, and unwittingly shared with Walternate. I’m sure that many of you, as I did, played back that encounter at least once, to watch anew Walternate’s brain churning as this shocking intel is presented to him.

Other highlights:

* Seeing Bishop Dynamics, where just beyond Walternate’s office window we see a space shuttle readying for a mission. Fact: The first space shuttle launch took place in 1981.

* Another anachronisms include Rubik’s Cube (launched in 1977), a Battlestar Galactica board game (that’d be circa-late 1970s), and Walter’s brand-new Betamax (launched in 1975). They didn’t all quite jibe with an episode set in or around 1985 — especially the home-gaming version of Joust — but….

* Props of course to the always, always-stellar John Noble, and Orla Brady, each of whom had the task of playing two distinctly conflicted versions of their characters. I don’t know what your opinion is, but I remain impressed with how they de-age Noble for these flashbacks.

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