Fringe: “Concentrate and Ask Again” – review
“Dem bones, dem bones, dem dis-solv-ing bones…..” Yes, dissolving bones–that’s what the mysterious blue powder used by the villain of “Concentrate and Ask Again” does. What a way to go. Though I enjoyed this episode for several reasons, which I’ll get to with its highlights, I am still not positive why the killer chose to use dolls sent to his victims to disperse the blue powder. Maybe I didn’t hear why, and accidentally missed it. Since the dolls had notes with them, like “Happy Birthday to Carla,” I believe that the killer, in using the dolls, was doing so because his two little girls died due to his participation in Project Jellyfish, and he is carrying out the murders as a form of revenge. What are your thoughts about this, and the episode, in general? Do you think Peter’s (Joshua Jackson) and Olivia’s (Anna Torv) relationship will ever get back to “normal”? Who will Peter wind up with, Olivia or Faux-Livia, and how will this affect which of the two Earths will survive, and which will be destroyed? Please leave your thoughts on these questions and any other Fringe-related subjects below!
There’s logic, there’s logistics, there’s fuzzy logic, and one of my favorite quotes from Mr. Spock is: “That’s highly illogical!” Why do I quote Spock? The actor who played him, Leonard Nimoy, also played William Bell, who was one of Walter’s (John Noble) best friends and the founder and CEO of Massive Dynamics. According to one blogger I read, Jellyfish was the name of Mr. Spock’s ship, though if so, I’m really not sure when he had a spaceship, or why it would be named this odd name. Maybe it’s not true at all that he had one, but that’s neither here nor there (though leave a comment about it if you know, please).
1.) The first victim consults a Magic Eight Ball at his birthday party. I think this is (at least in part) where the episode gets its title from, like it’s an answer one might get from this toy about the future.
Anyway, the first highlight for me is when the man, Dr. Warren Blake, opens up a box he believes contains a present for him, and ingests a cloud of blue powder that explodes from the doll he finds in the box. (I do like the scene a bit earlier, though, where Olivia confronts Peter, and tells him it’d be only natural if he liked Bolivia or Faux-Livia better than herself. She says: “She’s like me, only better.” Is she experiencing a bout of self-pity, or is she just trying to rationalize how she fells about Peter and vice-versa?)
2.) I found the scene where Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) appears to console Olivia interesting enough to be one of my highlights, but also kind of creepy. That’s because I’m not at all sure about Nina’s character. She’s very mysterious, and often seems to be working more for the people in the alt-verse than the ones in ours. She tells Olivia: “William and I also had a complicated relationship.” I’m guessing that’s a huge understatement. Do you believe Nina is actually trying to be nice, or is just seeking to get Olivia lulled into thinking that she’s not such a bad person? Does she have an ulterior motive, in other words, for her apparent act of kindness?
3.) One of my favorite Walter Quotes from this episode is when Walter seems puzzled about anyone’s possible motive to want to kill Dr. Blake: “Why would anyone want to kill a scientist?”
4.) …which leads to my next favorite Walter Quote from “Concentrate and Ask Again”: “Hmmm…..This is curious. It seems that there’s not a single bone left in this man’s body.” It’s when we first hear about what the blue powder does to anyone who ingests it.
5.) ….anyone up for a third Walter Quote? This one is when he’s chowing down on a fried chicken leg, and he asks Astrid (Jasika Nicole) in an exasperated way: “You think I enjoy eating greasy fried food?”
6.) Walter’s Plan
Another highlight of this episode for me is how Walter figures out how to question an unconscious man in a hospital who also has brain damage. Simply ask someone else who was involved as a child in his and William’s Cortexephon experiments and who developed an ability to read minds, to help them. This character is Simon, a man who is tormented by headaches, and not being able to shut out the clamoring thoughts of everyone’s minds. This forces him to live in a secluded area, away from people–that is, until the Fringe Division tracks him down to ask for his help. He likes Olivia, because he believes it’s wrong to know what other people are thinking, that it’s an invasion of privacy. He finds it refreshing that he can’t read Olivia’s mind, because she has taken part in the Cortexephon experiments as he has, and is immune to his abilities.
7.) Nina and Sam Weiss: Birds of a Feather?
This definitely has to be one of this episode’s highlights for Fringe fans! If you might have had any doubts previously about Nina’s alliances, the scene in this episode where she meets with Sam Weiss in Sam’s bowling alley should serve as persuasive evidence that she is working for the folks in the alt-verse. Is the Nina Over There working secretly for ours? What is Sam’s role in Walternate’s plot to use Peter to destroy our Earth? Did he really write the book The First People? Is it still possible that Nina might be on our side, and is just trying to learn more about what the ultimate fate of our world might be by consulting with Weiss? Which Olivia will Peter end up with, and how will that affect which universe/Earth will be destroyed? Kevin Corrigan is back to reprise his role as Sam Weiss, and does an excellent job, as usual.
8.) The glyphs for “Concentrate and Ask Again” spell out: HATCH. Why? Does it refer to some scheme that Nina and/or Sam Weiss is hatching, or has hatched, or is in the process of being hatched? Is it a Lost reference to a hatch? Admittedly, this sounds a little far-fetched, though both Lost and Fringe are J.J. Abrams’ productions. Any thoughts on the meaning of this word in relation to tonight’s episode?
The episodes since Fringe has been moved to Fridays seem to be leading up to a great season finale–let’s hope so! Do you think it can possibly be as good as, or maybe even better than last season’s superb two-part finale? The only way I think it might be is if…Peter choose sides, and the Invasion begins! Wouldn’t that be a pretty cool way to end the season?