Fringe Review: What Is Normal?
"Making Angels" continued the incredible fourth season trip and reexamination of characters we thought we knew and introduced new layers and variables we might never have seen if the Observers hadn't erased Peter Bishop. I know many disagree, but I feel as though I owe the Observers a big thank you. First for making the decision to erase him and then for somehow allowing him back.
In meeting Alternate Astrid, it was the first time Walter ever admitted he knows that he uses incorrect names for Astrid. Given that their relationship isn't what it was in the former timeline, I wouldn't have thought the game would have continued. How wrong I was. He called her Astro, Aspirin, and Asterisks. I probably missed more, but he never once faltered on properly calling the alternate Astrid.
The interpersonal relationships this season continue to impress me. Would the former Fauxlivia have offered to cross over to get Alt-Astrid? You could tell how much she cared for her when she volunteered to go get her friend. Alt-Astrid's observations about Astrid and Walter, that he talked through her like they were one person, was something that only she would have picked up on, and it was touching that she thought it must be pleasant to have that.
Olivia and Fauxlivia working together was so much fun to watch, mostly because both Olivias are so much brighter than their former selves. I enjoyed Fauxlivia checking out Peter, imagining him like Walternate, slouching in her chair and scrunching up her face. She also had quite a good time goofing with Walter. Their dynamic of quasi-dislike was so animated and upbeat. If Peter had not been erased these scenes would have never occurred.
With Lincoln out of town and Astrid working with Alt-Astrid, Peter and Olivia were working together on a case. The suspect, Neil, was taking the lives of people quickly to keep them from suffering horrific and painful deaths. He somehow seemed to have unlocked the secrets of the Observers and their ability to see through time. That's two weeks in a row we've had cases dealing with someone's precognitive abilities.
I frequently get so wrapped up in the bigger picture that I miss the details of Fringe. I'm not a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on show names, titles, specific events and what has happened on what episode. That's why I was surprised the device the man was using wasn't found by Fringe division and that it was September's Observer gizmo. I don't recall seeing one before. What does it do? Somehow Neil was able to see the past, present and future with it, but when he shone it in the eyes of his victims, they died.
Through all of this, Alt-Astrid and Astrid got to know each other, not just through their own contact but through witnessing their interactions with others. Somehow, connections with Walter always trump those with anyone else. The same held true here, with both Alt-Astrid and Fauxliviia sharing their best moments with Walter.
My love for the alternate universe was reinforced. I prefer both alternate girls to the ones in our universe. How on earth did Fringe manage to make so many double characters so incredibly wonderful, whether good or bad?
It's hard to believe that we've never seen where Astrid lives. When she first walked into the house, I thought she was at Walter's. Instead she saw her father, no doubt much like the one her double just lost. I'm sure walking into that home and into his arms held more significance on that night than on any other of her life.
The Observers know now that September did something that allowed Peter to drift back into our world. Was that confirmation that we are witnessing the world we left last season? That Peter is home? I think it was. What that means for the future is anybody's guess at this point. The one thing I know is that I do not want the new personality traits of my beloved characters to disappear. Whatever happens, I want these lighter, less encumbered versions to stay with us. What do you want?