This was a fascinating episode of Fringe. Since about Season 2 when we discovered there was an alternate universe, the writers have had fun showcasing the characters Over Here as well as their alternate versions Over There. Prior to Peter’s disappearance, we understood Fauxlivia was much warmer and didn’t have the issues with connecting with people Olivia had because Fauxlivia’s mother lived in her universe.
In ours, Olivia’s mother died and then she was physically and emotionally abused by her stepfather. When Fauxlivia inhabited Olivia’s life, she was able to more readily connect with Peter and the relationship progressed very quickly. When Olivia reclaimed her life, she experienced a lot of negative feelings towards Peter about what happened between Fauxlivia and him but she seemed to realize that with different circumstances, Fauxlivia’s personality was much more open and accepting and she didn’t seek to keep people at arm’s length. In the wake of Peter’s disappearance, it has been quite interesting to see the change in Fauxilivia. She seems more malevolent and somewhat antisocial than she did before. Hopefully, we will find out more about the changes that have occurred as a result of Peter never having existed.
The freak-of-the-week perfectly illustrates how different circumstances can produce such diverse results when you have essentially the same person. Our universe’s Professor McClennan acknowledges that he shares the same darkness inside that his counterpart over there has. He had some major intervention though:
“… her name was Margery… and what my father did with cruelty – she did with love. She taught me that I didn’t have to live in the darkness… That when I got the urges, that I could just step out of it and into the light.” – Professor McClennan (to the investigative team on why he did not grow-up to be like his serial killer counterpart)
This quote encapsulates the essence of what put the professor Over Here on a much different path. It’s quite interesting that he ended up working as a forensic psychologist who specializes in studying serial killers. I thought it was quite noble of him to want to save his doppelganger Over There from himself but I knew he would end up being victimized by him. The ending was quite poignant. Despite the memories of Margie being robbed from him, the professor maintained the spark of goodness he had. As Broyles stated, Margery’s soul made an indelible mark on him in spite of not having an active memory of her.
That made me think, is Peter the soul that has left an indelible mark on everyone around him and is the missing piece from each person’s life in the orange universe?
More questions I’m pondering:
- Where is Walternate? We are hearing about him but we haven’t seen him in action yet.
- Where is Nina Sharp over here and over there? Prior to Peter ceasing to exist, Nina was curiously absent Over There. Now we haven’t seen her at all.
- Is the world better off without Peter? I have my answer and I’m hoping the writers have the same answer I do.
Fringe airs Fridays at 9/8C on FOX.