Fringe: August
October 22, 2014 10:43 PM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

A man in a gray suit and trilby stops watching, and kidnaps a woman. The team tries to figure out why. Olivia misses out on quality time with her niece, Astrid gives up taste-testing privileges, Watler reminisces about Bhut Jolokia peppers, and Peter is skeptical.

Seven-nitrogen compounds are usually pretty exciting, I don't blame Walter for being intrigued.
posted by the man of twists and turns (69 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
OK. We are at the venue. The lights are still on, the PA system is playing The Smiths, and we've bought our first beers at the bar. All ready for show time at: 0600 PDT (1300 GMT).

Join us!
posted by Sonny Jim at 5:25 AM on October 26, 2014


Just when you thought it was settling into a routine of Weird Shit of the Week, along comes this episode.

August's revelation of feelings makes the Observers' usual anhedonia make a lot more sense. This is why they can observe: they feel nothing. This is why they don't get angry with August. This is even why they need such massive amounts of capsaicin, to be able to feel or taste anything.

And of course, there's no happy ending here, just sacrifice - again - for the loved one. Walter never learned how to do that.

I can't remember if we meet Christine Hollis again, and haven't yet seen S5. I hope she makes something of herself.
posted by Athanassiel at 5:32 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


We're planning on doing a live rewatch of this episode in about 20 minutes, Athanassiel. You up for staying around on this thread?
posted by Sonny Jim at 5:43 AM on October 26, 2014


That would be cool but it's pretty late here and I have to work tomorrow. Maybe next time!
posted by Athanassiel at 5:45 AM on October 26, 2014


No problem! Hope to see you another time, maybe.
posted by Sonny Jim at 5:49 AM on October 26, 2014


Got DVD cued on "previously on Fringe", today we find out if we Region 2 folks are missing all the good stuff. Like extra scenes with Zachary Quinto' s eyebrows etc

No worries Athanassiel, it must be getting on for midnight.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 5:51 AM on October 26, 2014


Well I don't know what good stuff might be in the Region 1 package so I have to extrapolate.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 5:53 AM on October 26, 2014


Just hit play! I'm watching on Amazon, does that count as a specific region?
posted by carsonb at 6:00 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pryzbylewski!!
posted by carsonb at 6:02 AM on October 26, 2014


And we're off! Love the creepiness of the opening sequence, making the otherness of the Observer quite clear and establishing visual links with September's introduction in the diner in the Gherkin episode. And then the utter surprise when this previously detached and otherworldly figure intervenes in the most physical way possible.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:03 AM on October 26, 2014


We were gonna do Netflix too but our new whizzy smart tv has glitchy wireless connection and we didn't want to risk it.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:03 AM on October 26, 2014


Wow, I totally hit play on the wrong episode. Zachary Quinto is in this episode?
posted by carsonb at 6:03 AM on October 26, 2014


Yes this is an Observer doing something. Which is disturbing.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:04 AM on October 26, 2014


No. Wish he was.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:04 AM on October 26, 2014


I used to have a pair of binoculars that popped open from a little cigarette case-sized box like August's.

Interesting that the old man puts the pin on August. Sure, he's inclined to interfere anyway, but it almost feels like he's being dragged in to the affair when the pin is put on his lapel.
posted by carsonb at 6:05 AM on October 26, 2014


The way he goes about the kidnapping is Not A Good Indication of the Observers intentions, even if we're to believe he's acting the rogue.
posted by carsonb at 6:07 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wondered about the significance of that. I get that helps us distinguish which bald man it is. But that pin seems like a talisman.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:08 AM on October 26, 2014


What kind of frame rate does this security camera record at to be able to capture the bullet's flight? Pretty whizzy for a college campus.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:08 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


So creepy how he anticipates what she will say. Gives me the heebie jeebies.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:09 AM on October 26, 2014


I was watching closely during the shooting, and there's a definite glitch where the bullet catching happens. Peter sees the same glitch. It's just as plausible that Astrid/FBI has all the zooming/freezing capability slow-mo capability rather than the security camera being special.

BAKERSFIELD!, September did that same thing with Peter in the woods out by the lake.
posted by carsonb at 6:11 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Astrid was a linguistics major. Again. For those of us just joining the show.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:11 AM on October 26, 2014


It's not just creepy. It's annoying.

Time isn't linear. Got it. Didn't the Puritans think of time like this?
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:14 AM on October 26, 2014


The Iron Pillar of Delhi. Brandon's 900 BC dating seems a little dubious there, but perhaps the Pillar really is that old in the Fringe universe.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:15 AM on October 26, 2014


Brandon is an interesting cat. Isn't he basically Massive Dynamic's answer to the FBI's Olivia Dunham? Nina says, "this shit is weird, Brandon, figure it out!"
posted by carsonb at 6:16 AM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


This idea that Christine's background as a BU Fine Arts postgraduate student makes her "so ordinary." Yeah, we're all talented sculptors with portfolios good enough to gain us entry into world class Art programmes. Totally.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:17 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


We have glyphs - go Region 2!

This girl is so ordinary. I love it.

Should I mention that there's a guy who gets on the Thames Clipper at London Bridge. HE IS BALD AND HE WEARS A FEDORA EVERY DAY. I have a blurry photo of him just like that one somewhere on my phone.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:18 AM on October 26, 2014


Ford!
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:18 AM on October 26, 2014


Sonny Jim, I suppose that's probably in comparison to having been force-fed Cortexiphan when she was a kid.
posted by carsonb at 6:19 AM on October 26, 2014


"She emailed me her itinerary, I can print a copy out for you."

Erm, or just forward it to my email@FBI.gov?
posted by carsonb at 6:20 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's a good point, Carson. Comparative ordinariness.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:20 AM on October 26, 2014


You're not going to change the world with pottery... oh wait Exekias, sorry getting back in my box.

Lost reference!!!!!
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:21 AM on October 26, 2014


Love the incredulousness of August's "You hurt yourself."

You do it to yourself, it's true. And that's what really hurts.
posted by carsonb at 6:22 AM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


If this were made post-Snowden, I guess Olivia would've whipped out a print out of the itinerary herself at that moment and said, "that's fine. I already did that for you."
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:22 AM on October 26, 2014


May be the Observers are just a group of those guys who try to prove their manliness by eating the hottest meal possible.

Though intestinal also works - thanks autcorrect
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:23 AM on October 26, 2014


Thom Yorke is totally an Observer. The floppy hair's an obvious front.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:26 AM on October 26, 2014


Le sigh.

August: I brought you food, special girl.
Girl: WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?
August: Let me show you.
[Turns on news, they watch.]
August: Now I have to go, sorry to have to gag you.
Girl: It's ok, I understand now, but can't we eat the food you brought first?
August: No.
posted by carsonb at 6:26 AM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


And THAT'S how you can watch plot being plotted.
posted by carsonb at 6:27 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I totally thought Walter was giving Astrid some knock-out potion when he stopped her with the cough syrup milkshake, but sending her to the market isn't quite as horrible.
posted by carsonb at 6:30 AM on October 26, 2014


Love the pseudo lens flares in the diner, caused by reflections outside. Another visual shorthand for the Observer's otherworldly nature.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:30 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


You'd think for such advanced tech, it'd have the option to print screencaps without all the observational mumbo jumbo.
posted by carsonb at 6:31 AM on October 26, 2014


This is like that shitty movie that everyone thought was good but was really meh. You know the one. There's a girl in that too. [Bangs head against wall.]
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:32 AM on October 26, 2014


Er, Marie Antoinette?
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:34 AM on October 26, 2014


Or perhaps a voice over to explain to us what is happening very slowly and carefully...
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:34 AM on October 26, 2014


Sonny Jim: No!
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:35 AM on October 26, 2014


Olivia gets her man (again).
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:35 AM on October 26, 2014


It had lines in it. And corrections. And a bus.

No not Speed Sonny Jim.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:36 AM on October 26, 2014


Observers understand the concept of Trust, but can't quite grasp Love. Hm.
posted by carsonb at 6:36 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


See I thought all this emotion crap was ruthlessly stamped out.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:37 AM on October 26, 2014


Was it just my imagination, or was September looking a little misty eyed there too? Or am I just projecting later events onto this episode?
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:39 AM on October 26, 2014


Did he say anything? He gave her a freaking power point presentation on the plot and now she's all "bah I dunno"
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:39 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Broyles is rocking that sling.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:40 AM on October 26, 2014


Man, I totally made up a false memory of the Observers eating carnival food in that final scene. Weird.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:43 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


September: She's Important
August: (thinks)Because I love her
SINGLE TEAR
*dies*
September: No, because of her you're dead.
posted by carsonb at 6:43 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Adjustment Bureau
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:44 AM on October 26, 2014


It's heartbreaking when you put it like that, carsonb. Poor August.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:45 AM on October 26, 2014


Maybe the tears were just a delayed after effect from eating all those chillies.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:47 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


That was a brilliant observation, heh, about the lens flares in the diner. At least Abrams' crew is attempting to earn them now.
posted by carsonb at 6:47 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah he started to feel something but he died before it had any lasting consequences. I see it as a win/win from the Observer perspective.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:48 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, what have we learned from this episode? The Observers are plural, they have A Plan, they're morally ambiguous ... and they like chillies. It's a brilliant piece of scene setting, IMO
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:50 AM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think this episode is the key to this season' s big reveal. Like a giant arrow this prefigures the Peter plot. If you haven't figured that out by now you need those big giant letters they use to set up locations to follow Peter around stating OTHER UNIVERSE
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 6:52 AM on October 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also established/reinforced:

Walter is cagey and devious about disguising his caginess, even with Peter.
Surveillance tech, even at this advanced zoom, enhance, and freeze (then print) stage, has some catching up to do to reach the levels of the Observers, who don't even have to be there to know something happened.
posted by carsonb at 6:52 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Peter's a Glimmer Boy. (He's fierce.)
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:54 AM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Question that feels like I should be able to answer myself:

Why can Peter fire the gun? Are the Observers from the other universe too?
(Which would make their tech available for use by Peter but non-functional in our-universe hands, right?)
posted by carsonb at 7:02 AM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Interesting. "The boy is important."
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:09 AM on October 26, 2014


Very good point. Could it be to do with The Machine?
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 7:11 AM on October 26, 2014


That was fun y'all! Sorry I peaced out so quickly, my kitchen sink backed up while we were watching and I've been de-scumming my counters and floors. My own personal Fringe episode, yech.
posted by carsonb at 7:46 AM on October 26, 2014


No worries. I enjoyed watching this together too.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 7:53 AM on October 26, 2014


Gah! Sink incidents are Not Fun. On a different note, I really enjoyed doing that and, as I've said over on the Fanfare talk thread, would totally be up for doing another, perhaps as BAKERSFIELD! suggests, on "Peter." Hope the rest of your Sunday goes well, carsonb!
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:57 AM on October 26, 2014


It's about to! Cheers!

Count me in for 'Peter'.
posted by carsonb at 8:05 AM on October 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


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