Fringe: Olivia   Rewatch 
March 22, 2015 3:54 PM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Imprisoned in the alternate universe, Olivia once again shows her mettle by escaping and trying to find a way home after commandeering the services of taxi driver Henry Higgins. Lincoln Lee and Charlie try to bring her back to the fold. Meanwhile in the blue universe, Peter reveals his real reason for returning.

The glyph spells AMBER, a fair summation of what Olivia must feel as her escape routes close off. Andre Royo, who makes his first appearance in Fringe, is another former cast member from The Wire, and has got to be the best taxi driver ever. The connection to Liza Doolittle's brainwasher/patron/inexplicable love interest is unclear, however.
posted by Athanassiel (13 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
And so begins a set of episodes where I frequently wonder how I get me some of that freaky good Bishop rationalization (I am good at bullshitting myself but those Bishop boys are on to some next level shit) but also frequently say to the moving picture box, "what the fuck, Peter?" It was at this point in the series that it dawned on me how talented Anna Torv is.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:32 AM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

There are quite a few differences between universes that we see or hear about in this episode. The three I thought that stood out: JFK wasn't assassinated. There are daily flights to the moon. The ad on top of Henry's cab is for the broadway show "Dogs" (instead of "Cats".)

The park Olivia finds where Massive Dynamic's New York headquarters is supposed to be, is the Martin Luther King Jr., / Eldridge Cleaver Memorial Park. That probably indicates that Cleaver led a very different life in the alternate universe than he did here. Cleaver has actually said that prior to King's assassination, he despised the man for preaching non-violence, but eventually came to respect him.

It's an interesting visual, and makes me wonder about alternate Astrid's uniform -- a beret with a military jacket. There are thematic similarities to what the Black Panthers used to wear. I'm convinced that was deliberate.

Hidden depths.
posted by zarq at 7:46 AM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

The alternate universe fringe division logo has always reminded me of the ss/nazi stuff and cold war russia stuff.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:04 PM on March 23, 2015

I also want to punch everyone in the alternate universe for calling identification, "show mes."
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:07 PM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

My appreciation of some of the geographical differences between universes is hampered by not knowing New York very well. Quick googling reveals no MLK Jr park in NYC, although there is one in Buffalo. But the thought of our universe's MLK sharing anything with Eldridge Cleaver is pretty shocking. They seem pretty much polar opposites.

As for other differences, there's the Statue of Liberty being made out of bronze (or a bronze-coloured metal anyway). Though we've already seen that, I suppose. It always gives me a shock the way some of the other differences don't. See also (but spoilers if anyone hasn't seen it all).
posted by Athanassiel at 9:24 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also, do we have strong opinions on Fauxlivia v Bolivia? I like Fauxlivia, personally, especially because that's what Walter dubs her. But apparently the creative staff called her Bolivia (B-universe Olivia = Bolivia).
posted by Athanassiel at 9:29 PM on March 24, 2015

there's the Statue of Liberty being made out of bronze (or a bronze-coloured metal anyway)

The characteristic verdigris color is a patina of the copper. The original color is bright like a penny. Maybe they just shined it up.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:57 PM on March 24, 2015

I have strong feelings that Walter calling her Fauxlivia is the correct and true way. Bolivia just doesn't work for me.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:09 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

John Noble is quite good. (We've discussed that previously.) Such a prick as Walternate in this ep and a few upcoming eps where there are a few shots of him doing little steely gazes, eye flicks, not quite openly being evil.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:13 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I knew the Statue of Liberty had a patina, but somehow never pictured the copper being so... brown. Might just be my monitor but the copper Lady Liberty seems more, well, coppery and somehow less of a shock than that dark brown from the alternate Fringe universe.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who dislikes Bolivia (as a moniker), which I cannot separate in my head from the South American country and/or BolĂ­var.

And yes, John Noble is awesome. You could never mistake Walternate for Walter, ever, and he does it in such a subtle way.
posted by Athanassiel at 10:54 PM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Nice big Zeppelin From Another World in this one.

It's unsettling, seeing Anna Torv move from Olivia to Fauxlivia in this episode.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:45 PM on March 25, 2015

It's an interesting visual, and makes me wonder about alternate Astrid's uniform -- a beret with a military jacket.

Black berets are not uncommon in US military wear. The Army has them as a uniform item, and it's optional for women in the Navy. Over There's Fringe division wears blue US-navy type digis, or what looks a lot like Multicam.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:34 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Excellent vehicle to showcase John Noble's talent.

Calling ID's "show me"'s is totally fascist, and there are a lot of other signifiers thrown in this episode. My interest is whether that began with zeppelins and JFK not being assassinated etc. or if it started purely in response to The Blight.

Thinking about the Statue of Liberty, now re: verdigris/ metallic copper oxidation, maybe in the alt universe the SoL was made from a different alloy that is resistant to corrosion? But the alternative proposal where labour is expended to keep it polished - another bit of flavour for a more totalitarian/ authoritarian mindset.

otoh, induced verdigris ultimately protects the underlying material where polishing will deteriorate it over time, so "different alloy" might be more plausible since the SoL isn't shown polished down and looking like an Oscar trophy.
posted by porpoise at 12:05 AM on March 9, 2021

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