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Fringe: “6:02 AM EST” – review
“Just a couple of drops of vanilla extract is my secret ingredient for sugar cookies that are to die for.” No, the bottle Walternate has in his hands is not vanilla extract, but it is enough of Peter’s DNA to activate the Doomsday Machine, a less desirable outcome than delicious sugary dip-in-your-milk good cookies. But triggering the potential end of the world makes for more captivating television, despite my strange addiction for sugar cookies, milk, and the Food Network.
Fringe is concluding this season in style, bringing the end of the world as we know it directly to you via the TV set. “The revolution will be televised,” as one wag put it–though in this case, it’s not a revolution that’s occurring, but Walternate’s mad schemes coming to fruition. If billions of people here must die to ensure victory for his universe, then so be it.
My mad precog skills seem to have foreshadowed the possibility that Walternate would not necessarily have to rely on either Peter nor Fauxlivia’s baby son, Henry, in my review of the episode “Bloodlines” when I asked the question: “Or is getting a sample of the baby’s blood important to him, because by obtaining it, then somehow Bolivia and the baby would no longer be as important to him?” Also, in the Comments area, I mentioned that: “…this is potentially why I am hinting at that he might have wanted the blood on the card, that the blood itself might possess enough properties that it could be synthesized or used in some other way to power the Doomsday Machine.” To be fair, this was one of a few potential outcomes I mentioned–one of them likely had to be true. Still….
1.) I’ll start with the glyphs for this episode. They spell out the word: AGENT. Why? Is it because Peter’s DNA proves to be enough of an activating force, or agent, to activate the Doomsday Machine? Or does it possibly refer to a specific Fringe agent, here or on the Other Side? I think it’s probably the former of the two choices, but what are your opinions?
2.) Discovering that it was indeed Sam Weiss who authored the book The First People was a highlight of a sort for me, though it was widely rumored that he was the probable author of it.
3.) Walternate near the start of the show refers to himself as like Shiva, “..the Destroyer of Worlds.” To Dr. Brandon, he says (after triggering the Doomsday Machine remotely): “We destroyed their world to save ours. May God have mercy on us.” Both he and Walter, both played very well by the actor John Noble, mention God in this episode (another Highlight for me).
4.) Locusts, Sheep, and Vortexes, Oh, My!
Can you tell I’ve watched The Wizard of Oz way too many times for my own good? These are three signs of the End Times not directly mentioned in Revelations, but what did the writers of the Bible know? The scenes where a flock of sheep act strangely, locusts slam into the window shield of a truck coming to investigate, and the scoured patch of earth where the sheep used to be before a vortex sucked them up into it (along with the two dudes who had been discussing the bizarre sheep/locust phenomena) were more highlights of the episode for me.
5.) Seeing Olivia waking up in Peter’s bedroom and wandering into the hallway to confront a very naked Walter there was a humorous moment of this episode. The fact that he was cooking mushroom fritatas in the nude was pretty funny, as was Peter’s comment to Olivia that (as always, I strive to write these quotes down correctly, but I haven’t checked the transcript, as it’s not out yet): “It’s Tuesday. He always walks around the house naked on Tuesdays.”
6.) Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) to Philip Broyles (Lance Reddick): “The machine came on by itself at 6:02 in the morning.”
7.) The activation of the Doomsday Machine causes very nasty things to pretty much immediately happen. Walter fears that the destruction of the universe can’t be stopped: “I think it is the end of the world. This is just the beginning.”
8.) Bolivia (Anna Torv), or Fauxlivia, and Lincoln Lee (Seth Grabel) have some great scenes together. I really liked their interactions with each other, and Lee’s finding out that what is happening Over There due to the activation of the Doomsday Machine constitutes a Class 10 threat level. But, after he gets word from Walternate, Lee tells Bolivia: “False alarm. Let’s pack it up.”
9.) Bolivia/Fauxlivia’s confrontation with Walternate was a definite highlight of “6:02 AM EST” for me, with his response to her being: “I chose to give up my son so you could keep yours. I hope there’s nothing further.”
10.) Peter’s willing potential sacrifice of himself to try to deactivate the Doomsday Machine, and Walter’s acceptance of this, was another Highlight for me, especially Walter’s reference back to the Observer’s comments to him about sacrifice, and Peter’s fall from a fairly substantial height to the floor, where he gets a massive concussion. The machine seems to be defending itself from being shut off.
11.) In my review of “Bloodlines,” I suggested that perhaps in a future episode, Lincoln Lee’s and Charlie Francis’s allegiances might shift. This turned out to not be entirely accurate, but after Lee and Bolivia/Fauxlivia come to the realization that Walternate is willing to kill billions of people to save his own universe, Bolivia decides to try to get back to our Earth to warn Peter. In some very tense and suspenseful scenes, she holds a gun to Dr. Brandon, and orders him to get the medicine she needs to inject herself with to return here. He tells her: “One will get you there and back. If you get to the Other Side, stay there, because if he finds out you’re a traitor–” and her reply is: “I’ll take my chances.”
12.) Walter’s praying to God in the hospital’s chapel was a very dramatic scene that is a highlight for me, and his soliloquy there, in which he says (among other things): “God, I know my crimes are unforgivable. Punish me. Do what you want to with me, but I beg you–spare the world.”
There you have it, my review of Fringe: “6:02 AM EST.” Really, to make a Baker’s Dozen of the Highlights, I’ll add a number 13: the scenes at the end of the episode where Bolivia is in a cell or room, like where Walternate held Olivia, and we learn that her efforts to return here and warn Peter were in vain. I can’t wait for the final two episodes of the season! Next up: “The Last Sam Weiss.” Kevin Corrigan is great in this role; it should prove to be another classic Fringe episode!
How did you like “6:02 AM EST”? Did you love it, hate it, or were your opinions somewhere in between? Please leave your comments in the form below–I’m looking forward to reading them!