Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fringe 3.08: "Entrada"

“It’s all because of that temptress. She tricked my son with her carnal manipulations, and he fell right into her vagenda.”

“Entrada” finally brought us the long-awaited return of Olivia to our universe. It’s clear that nothing is ever going to be quite the same, but it’s good to have some of the pieces back in place where they belong. I’m curious how much the Other Side will figure into the rest of this season, since some big changes have taken place there. This two universe experiment was intriguing, and it gave many of the actors, especially Anna Torv, great material with which to showcase their talent, but it was time to put the band back together and move forward. And I’ve got a feeling that moving forward is going to be quite painful. It has to be, after what Peter has done. The final scene of this episode is just gut wrenching in that sense. And on that happy note, on with the more recap-y part of this blog post.

This episode picks up right where the last one left off- in fact, there’s some overlap. We once again see Peter answer the phone call from the Statue of Liberty gift shop janitor. But now we get to see what he does about it. First he’s in a bit of shock. Then, when Alt-livia asks him about the phone call, he lies, saying it was a telemarketer. He feigns going back to sleep, deliberately turning away from Alt-livia. Later, when Alt-livia is asleep, Peter starts snooping. First, he fires up Alt-livia’s work computer. My reaction: “Yeah, right…like the DoJ would ever really issue a Mac.” Alt-livia catches him, but Peter pretends that he’s reading e-mail on his own computer, which is a conveniently identical Mac. He then tests Alt-livia, concocting a story about how he first heard the Greek phrase that Olivia uttered when she regained consciousness after her first trip to the Other Side. Not surprisingly, Alt-livia fails the test miserably. She doesn’t recognize the phrase, and she doesn’t know Peter is telling the wrong story.

Alt-livia figures out pretty quickly that Peter is on to her, and she points a gun at him. She makes him inject a paralytic into himself, and then she makes her escape. Alt-livia’s first stop, naturally, is the old typewriter shop. She forcibly makes the shopkeeper give her the key to the typewriter that connects to the Other Side, and she uses the typewriter to request an extraction due to her blown cover. Meanwhile, a whole FBI team, led by Broyles, responds to a finally-regaining-feeling Peter. I guess Walter must have alerted them or something, even though Peter was at Olivia’s apartment. I know it’s Olivia’s apartment, because Broyles questions what Peter was doing there. Walter tries to cover Peter, telling Broyles that Olivia had called them about possible intruders. I thought that was kind of cute. Walter is such a Peter/Olivia shipper. Peter decides to come clean, though, and he admits to Broyles that he and Alt-livia were more than friends. More importantly, when Alt-livia escaped, she mistakenly took Peter’s computer instead of her own, so the FBI now potentially has a lot of data about the Other Side. It doesn’t take Alt-livia very long to realize her mistake.

Over on the Other Side, Brandon takes a meeting with Walternate, and they discuss the immanent extraction of Alt-livia. Specifically, Brandon wants to know what to do with Olivia once they have Alt-livia back. In order to extract Alt-livia, they have to send something of equal mass across the universes. Brandon wants to know if Walternate wants Olivia to be alive or dead when she’s sent over in exchange for Alt-livia. He’d prefer dead because she has “valuable parts to study.” Alt-Brandon is one sick, sick puppy. Alt-Broyles gets the next meeting with Walternate, and on his way out of DoD headquarters, he sees what has become of Olivia. She’s back in the white gown, screaming as she’s being manhandled by soldiers. He looks horrified for a second, but he plays it off and leaves.

Back in our universe, Astrid has been able to break into Alt-livia’s computer enough that she can see video of Alt-livia’s regular debriefings. Walter is still really frustrated, though, because he can’t find a way to cross to the Other Side safely without Olivia. Broyles arrives with an update. Not only has Alt-livia escaped, but she’s stolen a piece of the doomsday device, too. There’s a breakthrough, though, when Walter starts to eat a pastry. The pastry is from a bakery in the Bronx, and Alt-livia, impersonating an FBI agent in Boston, had no reason to be in the Bronx. The team heads to New York immediately, and it doesn’t take Peter long to find the infamous typewriter shop. He has no doubt that the shop is connected to Alt-livia and the Other Side when he sees his own computer there.

On the Other Side, we see Alt-Broyles in a bar. On the TV, there’s a news story about how it’s the anniversary of a deadly vortex that cropped up in the East River. Alt-Broyles was clearly personally affected by this event, because the news story makes him even more surly than he already was. He is moved to go visit Olivia, and she unsuccessfully begs him to help her escape. He has creepy marks drawn all over her, because before she’s sent back to our universe, Brandon is going to do surgery on her to remove her brain and most of her organs. It’s really rather horrific. It’s even more horrific when we get to the scene where the surgery is about to start. Olivia is immobilized in clear plastic, and she’s not fully anesthetized, because apparently that would ruin her organs. She’s going to be taken apart while only somewhat sedated. Like I said, Brandon is one sick puppy. Luckily, just as Brandon is firing up some sort of nasty looking saw, Alt-Broyles has a change of heart, arrives in the OR, and shoots Alt-Brandon dead.

Alt-Broyles has to give Olivia adrenaline to counteract the sedative, then they begin their frantic run down to the laboratory. Olivia is hoping to jump in the tank one last time and travel home. She sees that they’re already reproducing Cortexaphan in higher quantities- there are bags of it in the lab. Then Olivia discovers something much worse. The tank is empty, so she can’t use it. As she makes this discovery, alarms start going off. She and Alt-Broyles have to come up with another plan quickly. They’re going to go to Boston. Olivia hypothesizes that since Walternate once had a lab there just like our Walter, there might be an abandoned sensory deprivation tank just like the one Walter had Olivia use way back in Season 1.

In our universe, Alt-livia meets up with a shapeshifter at a train station in Newark. They go into a bathroom, and the shapeshifter gives her some painful looking injections, presumably to prepare her for the extraction. An unfortunate woman happens to walk into the rest room. Peter and the FBI team soon arrive at the train station too, thanks to a clue from the typewriter, and Peter spots Alt-livia as she leaves the rest room. Alt-livia sees Peter, too, but she has a plan. She has the unfortunate woman as a hostage. It doesn’t take Peter long to figure out what’s really going on, though, and over her daughter’s screams, Peter shoots the hostage. It turns out that it was the shapeshifter. Peter has no kind words for Alt-livia as she’s led away in handcuffs, although he softens a bit when he sees opens Alt-livia’s bag and sees she kept a strip of photos they took together at one of those cheesy machines.

On the Other Side, Olivia fills and gets in the tank while Alt-Broyles stands guard. They hear soldiers approaching. The soldiers were drawn to their location because Alt-Broyles has a subcutaneous tracking device. Alt-Broyles is able to hold them off long enough for Olivia to finally go home. She winds up in Walter’s lab, where Astrid is just working and minding her own business. To say Astrid is shocked to see Olivia is an understatement. She drops the glass she was holding on the floor. Olivia then passes out.

In New York, Alt-livia is being transported to some sort of holding facility when the extraction kicks in. The Fringe team checks out the now destroyed van, and Peter warns Broyles that he may not want to look inside the van. Inside is the dead body of Alt-Broyles. Remember, in order to extract someone, equal mass had to be sent in the other direction. I guess that was Alt-Broyles. Over on the Other Side, his loss is already being felt. Alt-livia strides into Fringe headquarters feeling mighty pleased with herself. After some banter with Lincoln, she sees Astrid is frantically perseverating on the fact that she can’t contact Colonel Broyles. His wife doesn’t know where he is, either.

All of the intrigue between the two universes is nowhere near over. A shapeshifter visits the typewriter shopkeeper, The shopkeeper has the piece of the doomsday device that Alt-livia stole, and in exchange for that piece of the device, the shapeshifter gives the shopkeeper injections that allow the shopkeeper to walk again. Meanwhile, Peter visits Olivia in the hospital. He’s the first person she sees when she regains consciousness. Right off the bat, he tells her that he’s sorry, but since she has no clue (yet) how stupid and hurtful he’s been, she thanks him for saving her life. She tells him that the thought of him was what kept her going on the Other Side. Olivia is going to be so destroyed when she learns the truth.

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