'Fringe' recap: The strange brew of Olivia, William Bell, and a post-'Lost' Hurley

On Fringe this week, Alan Ruck joined the succession of initially-well-intentioned scientists in this series who end up breaking the law or causing a tragedy. Aside from Walter Bishop and William Bell, the original Fringe outlaw-science-guys, foremost among them was Peter Weller’s Alistair Peck in the all-time top-10 episode “White Tulip.” In this episode, titled “Os” — it referred to the chemical element osmium, twice as dense as lead — Ruck sported a soup-strainer moustache and hoped to find a way to enable his paralyzed son to rise from his wheelchair.

But first a word from our cameo-role sponsor: Jorge Garcia got himself sprung from Mr. Sunshine long enough to appear as Kevin the Massive Dynamic security guard, alternating bong-hits with Walter, Cream’s “Strange Brew” playing in the background. The latter man was depressed: Since becoming the boss, the most Walter has accomplished, he confided to Hurley — I mean, Kevin — was a new cupcake-frosting flavor, bacon-berry. But gazing at the bank of security cameras, he discovered William Bell’s old office (naughty Nina had never shown him this, of course). This set the episode spinning off, away from Garcia. (His character, we were told, had worked for Bell for “a long time,” and as of this episode, he’s still working there, so we can’t rule out more appearances. I also wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for them, either.)

Ruck’s plot involved him injecting  young men paralyzed from the waist down with a hybrid of osmium and lutetium, heavy metals that produced an unbearable lightness of being: So unbearable his patients were dying, only to serve as cadavers to be further experimented upon. The parallels to the scientist and his son, and to Walter and Peter, may have been heavy-handed, but Ruck played everything with a sustained, understated touch.

Peter and Olivia spent a lot of time billing and cooing. It was sweet, they’ve earned it, but even better-earned was Peter’s “full disclosure” to her that he’d been fibbing and keeping secrets. He revealed a little office crammed with all his research into the perhaps-not-doomsday machine, as well as everything he knows about the shape-shifters, the Observers, and doubtless numerous dog-eared copies of The First People and the ZFT manifesto.

The pinch-me moment of the night was saved for last. After much howling from  Walter about “soul magnets” and his needing to be in contact with Bell, whose soul was “energy” that needed a “vessel” to manifest itself, who did Bell choose to speak through but Olivia. This was a clever development, to be sure; the even more clever decision on the part of everyone involved was to have Anna Torv imitate the voice of Leonard Nimoy, instead of doing the obvious thing and have her lip-synch Nimoy reading the lines. It’s no wonder Torv’s name went a-Twitter trending sky-high after the episode concluded: This was the internet version of an instant Emmy.

What did you think of “Os,” Jorge Garcia’s cameo, and the final Olivia/Bell twist? Do we call the new hybrid Bellivia?

Fringe benefits:

• Walter was in bed with Yoko, and John didn’t object: “It was the ’70s; what could he say?” Where was Annie Liebovitz when we needed her? Next thing you know, we’ll hear that Walter was the one who handed Lennon the Kotex pad at the Troubadour the night John and Harry Nilsson raised such a ruckus…

Twitter: @kentucker

Comments (203 total) Add your comment
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  • Justyn

    Well done on Bellivia! God Bless Anna Torv, she just keeps handling everything the writers throw at her! What an AWESOME reveal!

    • Irishgirl

      I do love Anna Torv, but I just don’t know how I feel about this twist. I literally said outloud ‘OMG’ and ‘WTF.’ There’s just something kinda icky about it. I don’t know. I suppose if it doesn’t last very long, I will be ok. The voice is a little odd and funny, but pretty good considering. I just hope this doesn’t become some weird dual spirits in one body thing, where Olivia will suddenly pull an Oda Mae and become possessed by William Bell.

      On another note…..love Alan Ruck! And it was great to see Peter and Olivia happy. And I’m soooo happy he came clean with her on the shape shifters.

      • Jack

        It was a little like Billy Crystal’s “I’ll have the pecan pie-ee” voice from When Harry Met Sally, but hot.

      • josh

        @ Jack. that’s the funniest thing i’ve read all morning.

      • Slirpee777

        Jack that literally made me laugh out loud. Love it!

      • JaySin420

        Torv rules, she’s played 3 different characters now this season and they have all been great.

      • Roy

        Agree with Irish girl. Anna Torv was awesome. But Bell taking over her body? Came dangerously close to rolling my eyes at that one. Nina would have made more sense. Plus I can’t get the image of Joshua Jackson kissing Leonard Nimoy out of my head.

        Didn’t it seem like Peter was uncomfortable around Olivia at times? Was this because he felt guilty about he secret or because of his lingering feelings for Fauxlivia? I wonder…

      • Lmfao

        Yikes! I immediately invisioned the shining!!! I half expected Olivia to raise her index finger and start moving it up and down like it was Bell. “Hello, Peter.” 

      • jules

        @Roy…agree with you. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Bell taking over her body either. I’m hoping that will be resolved by the end of the next episode. And yes…Peter was uncomfortable around Olivia. I feel like the honeymoon may be short on this one.

      • MrGasm

        Bell’s soul in olivia-hello shark, this is Fringe jumping you! WTF??

    • EDWARD 4 EVUHHH!!!!!

      This show is so stupid!! You all should like totally get a life and start reading the greatest books in the world ever: TWILIGHT!!!!!! Its so much more good than this stupid show! In 100 years, Twilight will be the new Shakespeer! Youl see!!!!! Twilight fans willz live 4EVUUUHHHH!!!!!

      • Wow

        No. this is just sad

      • Cutter

        So much more good? Maybe you should learn the language before making such grandiose claims.

      • @ Cutter

        I’m a bit more concerned at the Shakespeer bit. Is that a friend of an earthquake or a thickshake from McD’s?

      • Lmfao

        I am laughing so hard at this!! I wish life was like the game ‘trouble’ and you can send people back to the beginning! Edward I’m guessing your female~ perhaps you should try to brush up on grammer and history before trying to make an arguement over what is the best. How disturbing we need to read your message more than once to figure out what you’re even rambling about! Go back to the beginning hun because you’re only proving how uneducated you are.

      • haha

        haha…people must not know trolling when they see it. well played “EDWARD 4 EVUHHH!!!!”

      • Hot Rod

        Twilight?!?!? Are you for real??? Teenage angst – boring!!! Fringe – twisted! LOVE IT!

      • I Dnt Know

        C’mon a monkey could tell that Fringe is a million times better than Twilight. Twilight completely ruined vampires and Fringe did a better job with Vampires in 1.18 “Midnight” episode

      • ThunderMug

        Eddie, you are a tool.

      • fringed

        Wha? Really? Like… NO. WAY. Fringe is waaaaay better! Walternate would experiment and make the way coolest little vampire human hybrid babies that would glimmer better than ANYbody in your lame-o books!! You twisted twighs bettah watch out! Fringe is so, like, BEYOND time! Whatevs to twilight! :-D

      • cfkane

        Methinks that Edward 4 Evuhhh!!!!!’s post is a phony intended to get precisely the reaction that it has gotten.

      • kate

        I know this was meant as parody of the twi-freaks, (funny, bTW) But the sad thing is, I have actually seen REAL posts like this from twilighters who actually meant it.

      • Olivia Blaza Forest

        All Twilight ever did was paste glitter to vampires. I think Shakepearean status is a tad off the radar.

      • cxd207

        idiot

      • Grumpster

        Gaaaahahhh….Twilight just makes me want to ralph in my shoes.

    • ac

      great show! When do we find out if Fringe has been renewed? They deserve a pre-determined finale date as sis lost.

    • Rush

      What a hoot it was to see Jorge Garcia in full Hurley mode in the opening scenes sharing some bong hits with the boss. What would be best is if we see him in later episodes driving around with Walter in a Dharma bus listening to some early Drive Shaft.

  • Marty

    Wow! Didn’t see that coming!

    • darclyte

      Bellivia was great, and I nearly fell off the couch when I heard her do Nimoy’s voice. Awesome!

  • Sasha Verma

    Bellivia is the best thing ever. Anna Torv is a god.

    I found the actual case kind of boring. I want to have a mythology heavy episode soon! I mean we got tidbits, but I’m anxious to know more.

    • Trenton

      The case was more about Walter understanding the ramifications on this side…steps up the tempo of things to come…also i think such a huge reveal at the end is aided by a snorish case

    • Rush

      I’m of the opposite opinion on this one. When they go procedural it’s a bit comforting that we’re not going to have to deal with mind-bending arc story stuff. I do like where the show is headed, but always being mythology oriented will scare away newcomers. I also enjoy not knowing the whole story and thinking and speculating about where they’re going to go with it.

    • I Dnt Know

      I completely agree with Sasha Verma about the Bellivia part, but not that Anna Torv is a god………… wouldn’t SHE be a godESS??

      • Sangita

        And he just blatantly lies, sanyig that Obama is more competent than Bush during a disaster. Bush’ eventually got a very forceful response to Katrina, even if slow. Obama has yet to do anything meaningful other than worry about whether people are worried whether he is worried or not.

  • tracy bluth

    Great episode, great performance by Alan Ruck, great twist at the end. If no cast member of Fringe is nominated for an Emmy next year I might actually shoot someone.

    • Margaret

      I’ll join.

    • Nic.

      Seriously! It is insane that, at the very least, John Noble and Anna Torv haven’t been nominated yet!

    • Amy

      Count me in. I already lost faith in the Emmys when they didn’t give Lost a single win last year (they couldn’t even give Michael Giacchino the statue for his incredible score), but I want them to give Fringe at least ONE major nominations. I don’t even care what it is.

  • Desmond

    that was a great twist! i’ve heard that NIMOY himself will return, so i assume his consciousness will leave olivia’s body and go back into the good old william bell body we know and love

    • Garry

      I thought Nimoy announced his retirement last year, so I won’t be expecting to see him on the show again, unfortunately.

      • Nic.

        This is from his Twitter post on March 6 (confirmed Twitter account): “I was retired !! New flurry of interesting work and appearances. More will be seen soon. Thanks for the support. Frisco next weekend LLAP”

      • KFed

        He also tweeted “Plans developing for a William Bell return to Fringe. Stay tuned. LLAP 9:20 AM Jan 25th” and “Coming to Fringe. William’s bell rings soon. LLAP 8:09 AM Feb 26th”. So I’d say a return is just around the corner.

      • I Dnt Know

        Kfed, he said ‘William Bell’ is returning, not ‘Leonard Nimoy’, and Bell has returned, through Olivia.

    • Dicazi

      Fal-Tor-Pan, anyone??

      • MK

        LOL! Hopefully it won’t be as painful for Olivia as it was for Bones!

      • Ethica

        That’s the best asnewr of all time! JMHO

  • BonBon

    This episode was just average for me. I really enjoyed seeing Peter and Olivia together finally, and I did think the surprise of having Bell speak through Olivia was clever, I’m a little afraid that having her imitate the voice might get a little cheesy and distracting, though I hope I’m proved wrong. I guess in general I feel like I am getting more anxious for the show to start moving a little more on the Doomsday Machine plot line.

    • Gagan

      That will probably happen only in Season 4 ;-)

  • Jon

    Gosh, if only ratings didn’t matter. Loved this episode, and Anna Torv’s performance was brilliant. I was so happy her name was a trending topic…finally Fringe gets some recognition. Next week’s episode looks great as well. Can’t wait!

    • Jon

      *to see :)

  • KC

    Fringe never disappoints. Yet another brilliant episode!

  • Yankee Girl

    Love the Yoko Ono-Lennon line along with a few other jewels but the writers need to get past the yawn of poorly written cases. Want this show to stay on the air and this is not the kind of episode which will make that happen!

  • Leithen

    One of my favorite things about this episode was the throwaway line at the beginning of the episode about “powdered water”. That made me laugh.

    I’m going to withhold judgment on Anna Torv doing Nimoy’s voice as of yet. As someone said above, it has the potential to be a little too corny for my taste.

    • Trey

      I loved that too. Of course, the instructions would include adding water to the powder.

      BTW – I would love a bacon-berry shake!

  • Ralph

    There is no other show on TV that can attempt something like that and pull it off. It was just…awesome. Wow!

  • Andrea

    I really enjoyed this episode. I thought the special effects concerning the floating bodies were pretty cool. Not sure how I feel about the twist ending. I agree that hearing Olivia talk like Bell for a sustained period of time could come off as a little silly.

  • Jason

    Well LOVED Fringe right up to, tonight’s episode. I could deal with all the crazy stuff and even the multiple universe idea, but this is just getting too, well….dumb. very interesting plot twist indeed….just a little too much for me.

    • OldDarth

      So this was like your Walter drawing the line at ghosts episode then?

      ;D

      • Vianca

        That’s way more celevr than I was expecting. Thanks!

  • Trenton

    Fringe is a jewel period. Shows getting canceled should be like actors getting fired, you don’t get to retain their rights in perpetuity.

  • Trenton

    As great as this episode was, there are two things no one has mentioned. What will this do to Peter and Olivia…if this is a protracted situation. Olivia is the whom that belle is tolling. You could see how ecstatic Nina was that PB and Olive got their act together only to have Walter screw it up (AGAIN) not knowing all the aspects of the device b/c Nina (AGAIN) is keeping her cards close to her vest. But alas…great episode and the kicker is next weeks episode looks infinitely better. Is that alt fringe dude or this sides? It looked like it was this sides, but wouldn’t it be great if by the end it wasn’t ? He slips a message to Peter than Altivia is preggo so you need to leggo for your eggo

    • Ryan

      nice thought Trenton, about that being alt-Lincoln… i just figured everyone likes him so they wanted to give him more screen time… but that makes some serious sense

    • elizabeth

      When I saw him, I just assumed he was “our” universe’s Lincoln, so you just fricking blew my mind. And considering the title of ep, Stowaway, I think you may be onto something. Can’t wait to find out.

      • Irishgirl

        The title of the ep refers to William Bell stowing away in Olivia’s body. Although, I like Trenton’s thinking. That would be a cool twist! But, as stated above, Seth Gabel’s interview with TV Guide revealed that he is this universe’s Lincoln Lee next week.

        I think the whole Bell inside Olivia’s body twist kinda bothers me because it was sort of the last thing Olivia had that hadn’t been taken against her will. Granted in the other universe, they injected her with some Fauxlivia juice to make her think she was Faux, but in the end, she still hung on herself. I get the impression that Olivia has lost complete control of her mind and body with this twist.

      • Kehidupan

        Great review of an idseope that just reduced me to one word WOW. Thoughtful analysis of a truly awesome idseope. I couldn’t imagine how they could have a satisfying finale that didn’t wrap everything up. Man did the writers deliver on this one. I don’t see how altlivia can fool everyone but now I’m eager for season 3. This finale left me where a great finale should desperate for the next season.

    • Cass

      I, too, noticed Nina’s reaction to the Peter-Olivia romance, and remembered that it was because she was told the machine will create or destroy based on which Olivia Peter chooses. I loved seeing them happy, and Walter’s glee is always adorable, but I knew that they were focusing on the happiness because they were about to throw a wrench in it. I just wasn’t expecting the HOW. Oh–and it is OUR universe’s Lincoln Lee. Seth Gabel (the actor) did an interview in which he said that our universe’s Lee is in the FBI, but a different division of it, and doesn’t know about parallel universes or weird and disturbing happenings, etc. (But your theory is cool, and I guess you never know what FRINGE will do!) HOWEVER! Olivia is the only one who would recognize him; she’s the only one who met and worked with the alternate Lincoln Lee. But if she’s inhabited by William Bell… Will she recognize him? Did Bell ever meet him on the other side? Ooooooh! This is gonna be interesting! I’m giddy. But poor Olivia. How many times will someone take over her mind?

    • Amy

      It’s our universe’s Lincoln, and I’m so psyched to see what Seth Gabel does. I read on Facebook that we were going to see our Lincoln, but I thought it was this week’s episode, so that was a bit disappointing…

      • Emma

        The whole Peter in Olivia’s head reminds me of the Baltar/Number Six daiymnc on Battlestar Galatica when she was in his head. Does Walternate have a God complex? Maybe. But I think it is more of a personal beef with our universe as his son was stolen from him. He is yet to realise why Walter did it. As for our regular Walter “You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you’ve created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can’t hide from the things that you’ve done anymore” Commander Adama These words are coming back to haunt him. His inital forays into the alternate universe inadvertedly have triggered present events.

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