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Episode Analysis: The Parent-Child Relationships in Fringe “Making Angels” 

Photo Credit: Andrew Matusik/FOX

“Making Angels” was a great episode. I love the fact we got to see more of Astrid and Alter-Astrid. Kudos to Jasika Nicole on a great performance. What developed in the episode was a theme: we witnessed the effects of the love between parent and child — both positive and negative. I thought it was so interesting to see the interactions between parents, parental-figures and how they affected the adult-children.

It was fascinating to see this especially after the previous episode, “Forced Perspective,” which also displayed how parents and children deal with each other. Currie Graham’s character was the extremely protective father who was seeking to keep his daughter from becoming another guinea pig to Massive Dynamic. You could view him at first going totally overboard but he truly loved his daughter and wanted to keep her from being harmed. This was contrasted with Olivia being “cared for” by Nina who we know doesn’t have Olivia’s best interest at heart.

Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX

In “Making Angels,” the writers continue this theme with the strained interaction between Walter and Peter. Walter tells Peter he prefers Lincoln because Agent Lincoln spends time with him by playing chess. This begins a rather tumultuous expression of feelings between these main characters.

  • Alter-Astrid shows up in the orange-verse in order to meet Astrid because she wants to see the person she perceives that her father would have preferred to have as a daughter. Alter-Astrid really broke my heart as she expressed how her father seemed to be so disappointed to have a daughter with Asperger’s syndrome – she is brilliant but unable to express herself emotionally or appear to form connections. We see through her initially telling Astrid about the funeral, that she is feeling the loss so deeply that she makes a very ballsy move by using her own clearance to take herself to the other side. The tear that streaked down her rather expressionless face said it all. When she tells Astrid later that she wished she was more like Astrid so that her father could have loved her was so sad.
  • Walter and Peter’s father-son relationship was front and center in the episode. Walter struggles with wanting to help Peter get back home. He seems so ambivalent with how he feels about Peter. He starts out with alternately being annoyed with Peter for being too focused on getting home and then angry that Peter seems to be usurping his role. They haven’t achieved yet that rhythm of working together that Peter had with Walter from his original universe. It’s a difficult road they have with each other because of the circumstances.
  • Alter-Astrid with her shortcomings in expression seems to be the most astute of all with asking Walter if he could just love this Peter as his own even though he’s aware this isn’t his Peter.
  • The third storyline that resonated on the theme was that of Neil, the freak-of-the-week who could see past, present and future all together just like our Observers. What made this more poignant was that he reveals to his mother how he overheard her saying that the wrong twin died and he spent his life seeing the disappointment in her eyes whenever she looked at him. This motivated him to overcome the burden of this statement but it was so sad to see he viewed himself as unworthy because of the legacy of the statement his mother made in a time of extreme grief. This one statement colored the rest of Neil’s life.

“Making Angels” was an awesome episode that showcased various parent-child relationships from different angles. The love of a parent is powerful and various characters were impacted from receiving or not receiving the love of their parent. Alter-Astrid and Neil were suffering from the effects of not receiving the parental love they craved to have. The writers really showed the consequences well.

Fringe airs Fridays at 9/8c on FOX.

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