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Fringe “Concentrate and Ask Again” 

Photo Credit: FOX

“What I can tell you is this… That device can either be used as a tool of creation or as a weapon of destruction. Depends on your point of view. And Peter Bishop is uniquely tuned to operate it. Whatever frequency Peter’s vibrating at will determine how the machine reacts… Depends on his state of mind, which, in turn, will depend on who he ends up with. Olivia from here or Olivia from over there. Whichever one he chooses, it’ll be her universe that survives.” – (Sam Weiss to Nina Sharp, explaining the connection of Peter to the device)

I thought I would start by citing this explosive quote spoken by the mysterious Sam Weiss at the end of “Concentrate and Ask Again.” Great to see Kevin Corrigan again on Fringe. I’ve been wondering if he would be back and wow, he did resurface, didn’t he? So, here’s a question: who is Sam Weiss and how did he become a contributor — or potentially the creator — of the First People books? There is so much to speculate about him as well as where this story is going. We’ve known Peter Bishop is the fulcrum point between the universes; now we know that the frequency of the device is intricately intertwined with Peter’s mood and his feelings for Olivia and FauxLivia. Wow. Isn’t that a little pressure for Peter if he finds out?
This episode was chock full of things we learned about our characters:

  • William Bell attended Yale and Princeton Universities. There was also a little wink to the audience with a copy of Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care book.
  • Olivia revealed to Nina Sharp that she feels Fauxlivia is more intact and healthy than she is. In fact, she sees herself as defective.
  • Nina and Bell had a similar relationship to Olivia and Peter but they never expressed their feelings to each other. Nina actually outed herself as a romantic.
  • Peter unconsciously made Olivia coffee the way Fauxlivia liked her coffee. At first, I believed his explanation regarding the differences he experienced with Fauxlivia were attributed to her opening up more because of their relationship. In light of what we learned at the end of the episode, I wonder if Peter hasn’t realized he still has feelings for the alternate Olivia. So, it’s only natural for Olivia to feel inferior to Fauxlivia.
  • Through working with mind-reader Simon Philips, another child of the Cortexiphan trials, we saw more fully how Olivia feels her abilities are part of what was holding herself back from being “normal.” She pushed Simon to have that normal life even though she thinks it’s not in the cards for her. In the end, it wasn’t in the cards for Simon either; he chose the solitary path.
  • I liked how Peter asked Walter how many more test subjects he didn’t include on the list of cortexiphan kids. Walter has justified the reasons for the experiments, but on moral and ethical grounds, William Bell and Walter are pretty shaky.

This was definitely a thought-provoking episode. While Olivia was working with her fellow test subject, we really were able to see more of a window into what’s been plaguing the federal agent and hindering her ability to truly be a happy person.

In light of the developments in “Concentrate and Ask Again” coupled with what we saw in the previews for the next episode (we are heading back to “over there”), I’m recommending you check out this article written by Tiffany Vogt for The TV Addict on the differences between the universes especially with the alternate characters.

A couple of things to ponder until next time:

  1. If Peter knows that who he chooses hinges on the survival of one universe, what will he do?
  2. In light of what The Observer said in “The Firefly” about it being hard to be a father, I’m wondering if that statement is going to come into play in Peter’s decision if Fauxlivia is pregnant with his baby. I’ve kind of been hoping that isn’t where the story is going but it’s beginning to look like it’s possible.

So what do you think?

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