'Fringe' recap: A 'Marionette' and a strawberry milk shake with extra whipped cream

Knowing that this was the first Fringe after the alternating alternate-universe arc and the last before a winter break placed quite a burden on this week’s episode, entitled “Marionette.” But by now, the series is so sure of its tone, its surging story-telling power, that it more than met its challenges. The fringe-science case was a resonant dilly: A man is harvesting the donated organs of a dead woman he loved/loves, hoping to put her together, Franken-style, and reanimate her. In the same way as this harvester, Fringe has become exhilaratingly fearless about snatching up bits from literature, movies, pop and high culture, brazenly acknowledging their provenance, and putting them together in a unique way.

“Marionette” had a typically fine pre-credit jolt — the image of a man whose heart had been removed still alive and imploring, “Don’t let me die!” But the hour proceeded to top itself for such fun at the half-hour mark, with a shock-cut of a man with no eyes whimpering, “Please help me.” (Is Fringe doing everything good in pairs now?) Olivia was back — back at work too soon, Broyles thought, and as it turned out, he was probably right, even though he ended up quickly reinstating her.

Whereas a more ordinary show would strain to make the case of the week a “subtle” unstated metaphor for our heroes’ inner roilings, Fringe just put it right out there: Track down a romantic re-animator while Peter tries to reanimate his relationship with a shut-down Olivia. I flinched as much at the frankness of Peter’s honesty with Olivia as I did at any of the episode’s body-organ moments. “She’s much quicker with a smile… less intense… I came back for you, for us… I thought she was you, Olivia”: His admirable honesty could not help but wound her more. And her abrupt conversation-ending, “It’s fine; we’re good” — Peter felt the back-at-ya sting of that, too. This was Olivia rebuilding the walls she’s had up ever since she was experimented upon as a child in Jacksonville, not to mention (and the show didn’t) the death of her previous love, John Scott. I loved the fact that it was Astrid who got to deliver the sentiments Olivia needed to hear most, that Peter’s yearning for love and an intimate connection was “not about her” (i.e., Altivia) but “about you.”

Fringe didn’t shy away from the immense difficulty Olivia now faces. It felt right that she’d scatter clothes and bed-sheets and not want to live in her own apartment anymore, because it’s not “hers” anymore — this is how the tropes of sci-fi tell us real emotional truths about betrayal and isolation. The final scene between Olivia and Peter, in which she said with heartbreaking anguish, “I don’t want to be with you,” and, referring to her alternate self, “She’s taken everything” was played with a powerful understatement by both Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson. 

The “marionette” of the episode’s title was beautifully staged, the pieced-together Amanda attached to pulleys and lifted up by the man who only wanted the depressed suicide to be happy one more time in a gruesomely renewed life. As was true in last season’s Peter Weller-starring “White Tulip,” the “bad guy” was less bad than an obsessed romantic with a brilliant intelligence that became twisted.

The final scene certainly re-animated my inner fan-boy: The sight of an Observer saying, “I have arrived” was a wonderful way to leave us in exquisite agony, awaiting Fringe‘s return on Jan. 21.

Fringe benefits:

• “It Had To Be You,” from 1924, heard in a Dixieland-style arrangement playing in Walter’s lab, was appropriate for both Olivia’s dilemma and as a description of dead, reassembled Amanda.

• Many of us couldn’t help but think of Dexter when we saw the plastic-sheeted (anti-)kill room, of course, but was it less a wink and a nod than simply a fact that this is the sort of space a person doing this kind of work would construct? Fringe doesn’t bother with winky nods, so I prefer to believe the latter.

• The train the re-animator boards is called “Firefly Railway,” and Fringe‘s first episode when it comes back will be titled “Firefly.” Coincidence? Fringe don’t need no stinkin’ coincidences! 

• Laff line of the night, but with emotional weight as well: Walter wondering, “Do you think possibly they replaced her with a robot?” (If true, that would have been the second robot of the night, along with Community‘s Brittabot.)

• Walter’s “You’re a good man, Peter,” was a poignant call-back to the Greek phrase, “Be a better man than your father.”

• Walter and “Belly” did their own re-animating experiments in the mid-’70s… on Peter’s dead Cocker Spaniel. Who says Walter was a neglectful father?

What did you think of this week’s Fringe? How much are you going to miss it until its January return?

Twitter: @kentucker

For more: Fringe exclusive: The producers talk about tonight’s episode and the move to Friday


Comments (247 total) Add your comment
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  • PRbabe

    Thank you writers for undermining Josh and his performance by always giving Anna Torv all the good stuff. Hell, GET RID OF HIM!

    • allie

      calm down. you sound like you are one step shy of being a stalker. Besides, it looks like the rest of the season will be devoted to him so you’ll get your fix – in the meantime go watch Dawson’s Creek. (and btw, I think Peter is an awesome character)

    • DN

      Unfortunately, it looked like the writers sacrificed Peter’s character for the sake of a plot line. Peter paid the price by being utterly stupid & not recognizing the alt-Olivia in order to facilitate the two universe story line. And, I speculating, “Fringe” paid the ultimate price by being moved to Friday night, the last stop before cancellation on network TV.

      It’s funny, but it seems the writers acknowledged the error in their ways in this very episode.

      • Shellie

        I totally disagree, I don’t think they sacrificed Peter’s character at all. It was a GREAT story line and I’ve never been more involved in Fringe before. It was such an interesting look at the concept of “identity”. I am an identical twin so I can relate to Olivia more than most people. The want for people you know (an most specifically the man you love) to recognize you as an individual to see all your qualities and KNOW you are you. It’s heartbreaking when someone doesn’t look in your eyes and see “you”. In essence Olivia & Bolivia are genetic twins not the same person. It was an awesome episode too! I have hope it will live on on a Friday night. :-)

      • MK

        No reason to assume that tho. In this era of DVRs. They moved Supernatural and it’s doing just fine. The bad thing will be if they put Fringe on OPPOSITE Supernatural. That would suck indeed. Thank goodness for dual tuner Tivo.

      • Tyla

        I really had convinced myself that Peter would figure it out BEFORE RealLiv had gotten her message to him and the message would just be a confirmation. And then to make matters worse, he only believes it after he “tests” her. Other than that small plot point, this is still one of the most smartly written shows on television.

    • Rush

      Joshua Jackson has one acting move: frown until his forehead resembles a baby’s butt.

      • Liz

        What are you people talking about? He is the glue that holds this group together. Not having him last season made Walter miserable. Same this season with Olivia. Josh has been fantastic in his scenes with Anna. Last episode at the hospital and his “sorry” at the end of last night’s episode. The way he played it conveyed exactly what is should have – he had no excuses and that he is sorry. I feel like all of these actors make the show what it is. It wouldn’t be the same with any of them gone.

      • allie

        I agree Liz. I was just commenting on the stalker’s rantings. It is a fantastic ensemble cast and every character is vital (well, perhaps Peter, Olivia and Walter a tad more than the rest).

      • chase

        @ Rush. LOL…! Na dude. JJ is the truth. One of the reason I still watch the show is because of him.

      • Rush

        I like Josh Jackson. I just am intrigued at what happens to that space between his eyebrows when he frowns. It’s like a small child is trying to erupt from his head ass first.

      • Dicazi

        Josh made me cry several times last night.

      • yummycupcake

        have you seen a baby butt? it’s, like, the cutest thing in the whole world.

    • tvgirl48

      One of the things I love about this show and the cast is the acting. The big moments don’t feel like “okay, we’re going to do some serious ACTING! now.” It’s more understated. The writers don’t feel the need to convey every little thing in words but rather allow the actors to express emotions, not tell them. I think ppl forget what subtle acting is like sometimes. A lot of stuff is Greys Anatomy style, where the dialogue beats you over the head.

      • Carol

        My respect and admiration for Anna Torv and Josh Jackson has grown with every episode this season. All the actors are stellar! This is probably the best written, most subtly acted show on TV.

      • Fringe-ians

        I agree with you tvgirl48. The story & acting in this show just makes you want to come back for more. I hope the show flourishes on their new Monday night slot.

    • Chadwick

      I have to say – this is the first episode in what? 52? that I absolutely “ACTIVELY DISLIKED” Olivia Dunham. She use to be capable, not needy. Now she is just another chick… typical one at that… one that blames the guy for something he had no control over and no knowledge of. Fine… Fine!

      He needs to trump her ‘Rachel’ with his ‘Ross’ => “but we were on a break!” waah..!

      aarrgh – nasty tripe this show now be, FOX has made a mess of thee.

      • dixie

        “just another chick”?! Are you trying to get attention with your stupid comments? What would a guy do when he came back to his life where a double had been – urinate around the house to mark his territory? Pull your head out Chad.

      • E

        @Chadwick – when did she say she “blamed” him? Look deeper into the scene, you are missing a lot.

      • PMD

        I really want to agree with you – as I really thought that she was the one character who could get over what Peter did. Also, until this season I never really liked Olivia. But you know what, when she was going through her clothes, I just felt so awful for her. I mean I was sobbing before she was. She was trying so hard to pull it together. The one person who she could speak to because he had 1. been through a similar experiences being tricked into the alternate universe and 2. being the guy she loves – she could not even relate to him. What a brilliant episode. And Peter’s I am sorry just broke my heart.

  • Pooh

    i think what could have been an interesting question regarding the re-animation, what happens/happened/will happen to her soul when someone dead for a reasonable amt of time gets re-animated. the show could have worked that mysticism(spelling) with a good one liner just to keep the viewer thinking and on his/her toes. Great episode. Thumbs up for another amazing Anna Torv performance. She deserves an Emmy for this season!!!

    • PRbabe

      YEAH LET’S GIVE IT UP FOR ANNA TORV WHILE JOSH IS BEING BASHED AND IGNORED!

      • Rush

        STFU.

      • RCB

        PRbabe – you can’t impose your own opinions on others. If others think Torv gave a good performance, give it to them. In the same way we respect your opinion on Jackson’s acting prowess.

      • AC

        Someone needs to get a life.

        The rest of the season is going to be about Peter. Take a chill pill, get some popcorn, sit back and enjoy.

      • anonymous

        Go make a hottie, relax, and count your blessings. Then watch Fringe again. ; )

      • annoyed

        PRbabe, are you really this much of a moron or are you a troll? Grow up…

      • NK

        PRBabe (aka Glee Bee) is never going to grow up because she’s been doing this since the Dawson’s Creek days. So, charitably assuming she was 15 back then, that means you have a young woman at LEAST 22 years old (if not much older) who hangs around bulletin boards obsessively posting the same message over and over. Seek mental help.

    • Svetlana

      I have to disagree. I do not think she is a good actress at all. I find her very wooden and robotic and do not understand all of the praise heaped upon her on these boards.

      • lalala

        I respectfully disagree. The character of Olivia is not an outwardly-emotional person, she always tries to keep everything cool and collected on the surface. What may seem “wooden” to you is just the calmness of her character. But then you look at her eyes and the subtle expressions on her face, you can see tell how she really feels (like that scene in the hospital cafeteria where Peter tells her about his relationship with the other Olivia, and her face slowly stops smiling). There are a few times in private she does break, like that scene in her apartment when she finds Peter’s shirt in the washer, and Anna was convincing in that scene. And her scenes in the Alt-world really showed her desperation to get back home – I don’t see how you can see her performance where she’s pleading the Alt-Broyles to help her as “wooden”.

      • davey

        I think Anna Torv is fantastic! As are both John Noble AND Joshua Jackson. Great ensemble all around :)

      • Christian

        Sep11xephyr1000 @voiceofreason467 I don’t think anything will STFU the NWO monros until their generation is gone. In the immortal words of Max Planck, A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. We may have to wait, but we are the groundswell of the change to come.

    • Rush

      I was thinking the same thing, but I think they sort of addressed this without getting too mystical with the line about him looking into her eyes and seeing that it wasn’t her. Going to the supernatural would be out of the scope of what this show does.

      • Ally

        I was waiting for them to say something along the lines of “her brain was dead for too long”

    • Marylynn

      I think it did answer the question in a non obvious way. Once your soul is gone it’s gone, it’s not coming back. Look at what they guy did, he went and cut out her body parts of other people. Her soul wasn’t given to another person it was gone. That’s why when she came back it wasn’t her. That was just her physical body, what made her special and unique was no longer there. By the way I think all the actor’s on Fringe are excellent. The most underrated show on tv. Certainly one of the best.

    • Angela

      I think they did answer that question. I loved how they made it so that even if you could bring a body back to life, you can’t bring back that person’s soul or her emotions and thoughts and spirit. That was why the guy knew that it wasn’t her when he looked in her eyes.

  • trish

    It was a fantastic episode that showed the stages of grief Olivia will have over the loss of her relationship with Peter. Bargaining, denial and anger. Hope she gets to acceptance…

    This show is amazing.

  • Stella

    It was so heartbreaking to hear Olivia tell Peter that she didn’t want to be with him and then his whispered “I’m sorry”. So sad all around. I loved when Walter ordered the strawberry milkshake with whipped cream. So sweet! It was the first episode I’ve seen in a few weeks and I’m happy I watched it because it reminded just how much I LOVE this show!

    • taxgirl

      Looks like the show hit a lot of us the same way. I was typing my sentiments while you were and I feel exactly as you do. How long until Jan 21? ugh!

  • marjowil

    it’s going to be an excruciating wait. Peter’s quiet heartbreak was profound. His look when he saw Olivia back to work already and knew he had to tell her that much sooner was so subtle. I don’t like the gruesome aspects as much but the emotional dynamics of this show really make it for me. It’s going to be a long winter.

  • davey

    Thank you for a beautiful episode of Fringe! Thank you for a very intelligently written recap and article for us Ken Tucker. Can’t wait for January 21, 2011.

    • Svetlana

      It was a good episode. White Tulip is still my all time favorite. The one thing that really bugs me about the show is their depiction of Boston. They don’t even bother to make it look even a little bit like Boston. I know they shoot in Vancouver but would it have killed them to at least shoot the exteriors there? I’ve lived there my whole life so that’s probably why it drives me crazy.

      • Dicazi

        Whatever they need to do to come in cheap enough to keep the show on air, I’m fine with. Even all the product placement.

      • Liz

        Yeah, the Sprint product placement was pretty blatant. But whatever keeps them keeping on then i’m cool.

      • AC

        I thought it was a cool way to do product placement. (although I hate the idea of video phones)
        If it keeps Fringe airing , bring it on.

      • Natalie

        I can see where you’re coming from. Vancouver is very different architecturally from Boston….Gastown is the only real area that has a similar feel, which is probably why they film in that neighbourhood so frequently.
        I’m just hoping this show can hold on in its new time slot…its too good to be cancelled.

      • Jersey Jeff

        It used to drive me crazy as well that all of their exterior shots of “Harvard” were actually buildings in New Haven, Ct. On the YALE Campus!

      • Lisa London

        It drives me crazy that they seem to be driving from MA to NY in a matter of minutes. Seriously! If this show was going to spend so much time in New York, why not set it up there in the first place?

  • Ben

    I guess it would have stepped on The Walking Dead’s toes to have the reanimated girl turn into a ravenous zombie who could turn others into zombies? Loved the (unintentional?) Dexter nod. The dead ballerina has to be one of the creepiest Fringe scenes ever. Great episode. Great lead in to the next chapter of the show on Fridays. Looking forward to it!

    • jules

      Seriously…creepiest scene ever. I actually had to FF it because it was really creeping me out to watch her dance while still being that ghoulish grey color.

      • Dicazi

        I was a huge fan of Farscape. That dancing scene outcreeped ANYTHING from Farscape.

      • Vince from NYC

        Word..My wife kept saying “oh my god” I think she had nightmares. Thsi was a creepy episode in general. Great show! In my top 3 on TV right now.

    • Fer.

      Creepy? Then I’m the only weird one because I thought it was heart-breaking. Me and my sister couldn’t stop sniffling in that scene. Doesn’t help that Fringe has always good music. It was creepy, but very heart-felt.

    • Emanuele

      Tiffany – Although you have no idea that I even exist, I became aware of your blog over a year ago. I have fleolwod it ever since. Reading this broke my heart in to pieces, a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. I can not even begin to imagine what you and your family are going through. What I can say, that is through this blog, I know that I am jealous of everyone who was lucky enough to be a part of Ali’s life. God has taken her to a place where she can be pain free, watch over her entire beautiful family, and send you messages on your worst of days to remind you that she will never leave you. Never stop looking for these messages. I know that your little Nori will give you sunshine on these days, and Ali will live forever through her little Olivia. It amazes me how many people, just like myself, that have never even met your family feel so impacted by your blog. You are all a beautiful family, such a good example to others, and a daily reminder to hug those that you love. Continued thoughts and prayers for the healing of your family.

  • sockgal

    Awesomely Creepy Episode. Really enjoying this show! Can’t wait for my Friday night Sci-Fi dates to start in January. Wish Fox would launch another Sci-Fi type show on Friday’s to compliment Fringe. Could be a great TV night to have some Geeky shows on back to back. Used to love the SciFi’s friday lineup of Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, and then Battlestar Galactica. So much fun!

    • darclyte

      Creepiest episode in a LOOONG time. The “marionette” scene alone was straight out of a horror movie, but the “reanimated” corpse was unreal. Like the guy said, whatever he brought back was no longer Amanda. Tie that in with the brain scan scene from Walking Dead, and they both show where science and religion intersect.

      • Ally

        I know! I was thinking the same thing: “only her brain stem is working, but the rest of her is gone!” lol

  • taxgirl

    I thought this was one of the best episodes ever! Ken was right about the conversations between Peter and Olivia. I wanted to cry at the end when Olivia’s gone and Peter says “I’m sorry”. He knew he couldn’t actually say anything TO her that would mean anything.
    waaaahhhh!!!!
    ALSO (although I love the Peter/Olivia stuff)…It was SO great to see Peter and Walter banter again. That’s been lacking this season…

    • fg

      Their bantering is what gives me hope for Peter and Olivia. When you consider how angry Peter was at Walter at the end of last season and now they are finding their way back, you have to think the same can happen for Peter and Olivia.

  • Star Sappire

    Awesome episode. This week’s story while not bad I think it was foreshadowed by Olivia and Peter. I think Olivia might have been a bit too hard on Peter. There was no way for him to know for sure that she wasn’t the real deal. Sure he noticed differences but people tend to change little things when starting a relationship. That being said, I completely understand where she was coming from. That last scene was intense. Felt bad for both of them. Couldn’t pick a side if I wanted to. Josh has grown on me and I agree that Anna’s performance overshadowed his. That woman deserves an emmy.

    • PRbabe

      her performance overshadowed his! THANKS A LOT! PETER HATER!

      • Leithen

        Appreciation of one performance does not equate to “hatred” of another.

      • MD

        it is time to take your meds

      • anonymous

        Is PRbabe keeping company with the Larry David. Run now… smarten’ up.

    • Gwen

      I think both performances were equally good. Joshua Jackson is especially good at conveying his thoughts with subtlety. Those who think Anna Torv is “wooden” seem to forget that she is playing a woman who is trying to rebuild walls around her emotions especially since she now knows what happened between Peter and the “other” Olivia. I thought she played it perfectly.

      • NK

        I agree, I always know what Jackson’s character is feeling even if he doesn’t have any lines – and let’s face it, sometimes dialogue isn’t appropriate… does anyone really want to see Peter have some cringeworthy contrived breakdown?

      • PRbabe

        Well, NK, having Peter breakdown for once will ceratinly make people feel sorry for him and love him even more.

    • grace

      I think that’s what olivia was struggling with. She didnt know if she had the right to be upset with peter because he couldn’t tell the difference between her and altivia. but at the end when the creepy doctor guy told her, “When i looked into her eyes, i saw that it wasnt her”, it made her realized that peter should have known and she definitely had the right to be upset. I really do think peter should have known it wasnt olivia.On a side note, it was hearbreaking when olivia found peter’s clothes in the washing machine. i think it hadnt hit her before that there was a possibility that peter and olivia had slept together; maybe she had thought about it, but she was in denial intil she saw peter’s clothes there.

  • pippy916

    Anybody else notice that Broyles was referred to twice as “Colonel Broyles”? First, he called introduced himself on a phone call as “Colonel Broyles”. Later, the agent delivering evidence to Peter and Olivia said, “Colonel Broyles sent this.” Are the universes merging already?

    • Ellie

      I noticed that too, thought it was rather odd. Also, the scene where Olivia is telling him about alt-Broyles was very poignant, with Broyles wondering about what could’ve been.

    • AA

      I heard one of those Colonel Broyles too!! And nobody seemed to flinch at it. Oh Fringe, you taunt us so…

    • Doug

      When he called himself “Colonel Broyels” on the phone, it looked like everyone else in the room noticed it too but didn’t want to acknowledge it. That’s gotta be some foreshadowing.

    • Brian

      I thought no one picked up on that or I was dreaming I heard that.That is gonna be a problem.

    • Ally

      What’s Broyle’s rank in this universe?

      • Dicazi

        He’s a colonel; he just rarely uses the title.

      • anonymous

        Humble to the core. That’s our Broyle.

    • JC

      I noticed that too. If he had come to the FBI from the military it wouldn’t be unusual for people to still call him “Colonel” (if that was his rank upon retirement) as that is a show of respect (just like people still call ex-mayors “your honor” and doctors who retired from practicing “Dr. so and so”, but I don’t recall people ever calling him “Colonel” before, and don’t remember them ever establishing that he was a retired Colonel. Has to be an easter egg or something.

      • jophan

        Broyles is actually Homeland Security, not FBI (since the pilot). He used the title Colonel in the second season premiere, when testifying before a congressional committee. Otherwise, he’s usually “Agent”.

    • Kaiulani

      I noticed that too. Hmmmm makes me wonder what Fringe is up to.

  • Sophie

    Is anyone else concerned about the move to Fridays in the spring? That is death row in TV Land.

    • swthompson

      I know very few people who actually watch television on the night “it’s on”– timeshifting seems to be the way to go. By the way, according to the season one DVD– there’s always one element in an episode of Fringe that carries over to the next. Hence, Firefly carries over to Firefly.

    • Amy

      Obviously people are concerned, but all the more reason to watch the show and tell all your friends about it! I’m pumped to watch the show live on Friday nights!

      • Urnaa

        “I do share my celnit’s curiosity about why the letter was opened in the first place by the company who received it in error.”Many companies that handle significant volumes of routine mail have automatic letter openers that open all their mail.Expecting a company to hire an employee to manually screen the addresses on all its mail before it is fed into the automatic opener, in case the PO screwed up and misdelivered a piece of mail, is an unreasonable burden to impose.Some lockbox services are simultaneously processing large volumes of mail that are addressed to many different addresses, so checking the address on every envelope to verify that it is one of the addresses that they handle before feeding it into the machine could really be time-consuming.As long as the company did not knowingly and intentionally open mail addressed to it, it seems to me that they will not and should not be prosecuted.The fact that they took the time and trouble to return the mail to the sender, along with a note, is an indication to me of their good will and good intentions. Since there was no tax due, the boy is not going to face any penalty for the late arrival of his return, and it seems to me that he’s better off being notified that it DID fall into the wrong hands rather than if the company had simply handed it directly back to the PO.(If they’d just resealed the envelope and forwarded it directly the IRS, the boy would never have known that his information had been compromised and that he might want to be especially vigilant about monitoring his credit record.)

    • Bobby’s Robot

      FOX really hasn’t been successful on Fridays since the X-Files, but CBS and CW have had shows do well lately.

      • Natalie

        I just wish Supernatural and Fringe weren’t on at the same time…though they make a great combo.

      • NK

        Ehhh… I don’t know why anyone who had a Nielsen journal would choose to watch Supernatural, which is in its 6th season and creatively declining, over Fringe, if they liked both shows. Fringe is in more danger. SPN/Fringe fans ought to think hard about that.

    • Betty

      If you like…you will follow.

      • anonymous

        Your loss.

    • Angela

      Obviously, fans will watch it no matter when it’s on, but it saddens me because it shows that Fox has no – or, at least very little – confidence in the show. Please, don’t cancel it!

  • Anne

    The question that I kept asking myself the past few episodes is – How can Peter care so much for Olivia and not sense the small differences between the two Olivia’s?

    Maybe, subconsciously Peter knew but ignored them because she looked like his Olivia. Excellent episode!

    I wonder if alt-Olivia is pregnant with Peters child or is that too soap opera?

    • Ames

      Anne, I’ve given this thought to — how could he not know. And I think what happened, and why Olivia is so heartbroken, is that he liked alt-Olivia better. She was more relaxed, fun, in short she was easier. To paraphase the Beatles song, Olivia is so heavy. Peter is a smart man, and Olivia thought he was special. But he turned out to be like most guys. He wanted to have fun, take the path of least resistance. Olivia feels she’ll never be good enough b/c now she knows she can be improved upon.

      And yes, I bawled like a school girl last night after watching this. I’ve been there.

      • Liz

        Ames – you are so right! Very, very well stated. I hadn’t given it much thought but when Peter says that HOlivia was quicker with a smile and less intense our Olivia flinched. You could tell that hurt. And when she’s asking why didn’t you hold on to me – your point probably answers that question. Very heartbreaking. And I bawled too.

      • sydney

        Reminded me of when Buffy and Faith switched bodies, and Faith as Buffy was so so different, yet Riley still slept with her, because it looked like her and he had no reason to think otherwise despite the strange behavior. But Buffy had a hard time forgiving him.

      • avidfan

        That’s exactly what I was thinking. The heartbreak and struggle of thinking, “What if I were just a little bit different, would that make the difference in our relationship?” I’m sure everyone, especially women, have been through this and asked themselves at one point or another about the guy they want, or the guy they’re with, and it was so honest and poignant to see it dealt with in this episode.

      • Natalie

        Made me cry too….Anna Torv acted so believably, I really felt all the pain she was experiencing. The moment with Peter’s tshirt was particularly jarring.

      • Cindy

        Wonderful Post! Which rednims me — my father, the late king of Soma, left $17 million US on deposit with the Royal Bank of Tramadol that he earned selling herbal male enhancement to his subjects. What are the tax consequences, and can I use your bank account to access it and process further deposits from internet sales of these fine products? The people of Soma thank you!

    • lalala

      But Peter actually did notice the small differences, he even mentioned those differences to Alt-Olivia a few episodes back(and Alt-Olivia made that look like “darn, I think he’s on to me”, and I thought he was, too). But then he just dropped it and carried on. I really think that he thought Olivia was trying to change after her visit to the Alt-world, based on her experiences there, so he brushed it off – didn’t really want to accuse the woman he loved that she’s not the real person. (though this explained the small personality changes, he should have questioned her sudden fixation with eyeliner, heh heh…)

      • JC

        You’re right. He stated that he did notice the differences but explained them away because she had said that going “over there” had changed her perspective on her life. And let’s not forget that Peter also has a slightly inflated ego, and thought that it was because Olivia was now dating him could also be responsible for her being happier and less serious.

      • Jessica

        Even after all they have been through, I am sure that it would have been hard for it to even occur to him that the Olivia he was with was not the Olivia from “here.”

    • Denise

      He was seeing a more personal side to Olivia rather than the usual professional side. I would suppose there would be differences, their relationship was different. New relationships make you happy, it would make sense that she was more light hearted than usual. I thought Olivia was being a bit unfair there. I can understand where it’s coming from though, she’s feeling violated.

    • Lisa London

      Let’s not forget that our Peter is also from ‘over there’. Doesn’t it make sense that he would get on with the woman who is essentially ‘his’ Olivia?

  • Ames

    The marionette seen of that poor girl dancing in the basement was about the most chilling thing I’ve ever seen.

    • Gator

      Seriously. I was totally creeped out by that! Literally had to cover my eyes b/c the scene just kept going on! Still gives me the chills just thinking about it.

      Great episode though, Peter’s whispered “I’m sorry” just about broke my heart.

      • Liana

        Sep11FactualSolutions The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) has been showing that we have the albtiiy to generate energy, food, housing, health and education for everyone in the world, while, at the same time, we are able to ELIMINATE OUR ECONOMICAL, SOCIAL ECOLOGICAL CRISIS along with corruption, poverty, abuse of power, unemployment, social stratification, and other factors that hinder the life and sustainability of the planet and its inhabitants.To know more about it, watch: Zeitgeist Addendum It is on youtube FS

    • davey

      I thought the man who had his eyes taken out was more chilling

      • Denise

        That was more gross and disturbing than creepy. I found the ballerina thing twisted in a lovely way, the eye thing – ugh! I couldn’t look.

  • Jo

    Heartbreaking and creepy. No show does that better. Peter’s quiet apology after Olivia walked away made him seem so small and broken.
    And the dancing dead ballerina – creep factor of 10!! Fantastic.

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