Fringe: Bad Dreams   Rewatch 
August 20, 2014 9:07 PM - Season 1, Episode 17 - Subscribe

Nellie the Elephant - Gruesome - Yes, Walter, it would have been - corner of the sky - we're cavemen in this story - cinnamon - Hey, Jude - brightness - Jacksonville - Dream a better world - Summer Camp! - Oh. - Infections - Torre Attack - Who knows everything? - Olive - What was written

"I wore the blacks and grays. "
posted by the man of twists and turns (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't believe we're 17 eps in and Broyle's response to the crazy shit going on is "You know how what you're saying right now sounds, right?" I guess he's got the angle of having to actually manage a staff of people, never you mind the nature of their investigations.
posted by carsonb at 10:35 PM on August 20, 2014

Somehow Astrid sounds the most right of all the characters I've heard read aloud from the ZFT.

How come Olivia doesn't go home to her sister and say, "Hey, remember when I was a kid and went to those drug trials? WTF?"
posted by carsonb at 11:03 PM on August 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

OK, also, finally, GODDAMMIT WALTER I was just starting to like you again after tank boners.

Hopefully vague spoilers for several seasons down the road ahoy.

IIRC Walternate attained his greatness by himself basically, without the help of Bell, right? And became what he became, etc. Meanwhile on 'our' end of things Bell acted as a check on Walter and instead of a Fringe division headed by the investigative super duo you get Olivia Dunham, FBI and crazy random reverse empath dude. Right? Because over there they paired up and lived full-throttle at the behest of unchecked Walternate. No forgetting, no soldier activation, no sneaky science society, just life with the singular goal of figuring out how to deal with the alternate universe exactly in the way Walternate wants.

So Walter's biggest secret is Walternate—the fact that un-checked he is an utter monster. Actually, I guess it's better to say that even checked he's pretty monstrous. It's a miracle he's got any goodwill at all. Or a heavy dose of drug-induced amnesia in a whole lot of people.
posted by carsonb at 11:16 PM on August 20, 2014

Both Walter and Bell are monstrous. In any universe. I always thought the variable characterising the expression of said monstrosity was Peter.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 12:52 AM on August 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

I think this is a subject JJ is somewhat obsessed with: what lengths will a parent go to for their child? Where is the line? See also Michael and Walt, Locke and "Mr Sawyer", Faraday and Eloise, Ben and Alex in Lost and Sydney and Spydaddy in Alias.

It's Isaac and Abraham. What would you do?
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 1:03 AM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I thought with Isaac and Abraham it was God demanding his son's sacrifice? IIRC that's not exactly what happened with Walter/Walternate/Peter.

You're right about that variable though. Losing Peter drove Walter to his most monstrous act, and the execution of that fiasco spurred Walternate's extent of evil.

Anyway, Walter's cute for just a second when he intentionally pauses between "Astral" and "Projection" to get a rise out of Astrid.

Another question: Is Peter's ability to calm Olivia down attributable to their as-yet-unacknowledged feelings for one another or to something more deliberate that Walter's arranged either in his son's constitution or between the two when they were younger?
posted by carsonb at 12:56 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I think what I mean about Abraham is that all these shows put parents in the position of having to choose between their child and something bigger. Granted Walter never knew the consequences we're going to be so bad at the outset.

I never thought about Olivia and Peter being deliberately engineered in some way. I thought it was more of a meant to be thing.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 10:04 PM on August 22, 2014

But maybe I'm just sentimental.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 10:13 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh I'm sentimental! So sentimental! At least as far as my logic brain will let me be. Fauxlivia's deception was devastating for me.
posted by carsonb at 10:41 PM on August 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Re: Fauxlivia Me too!
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 10:52 AM on August 23, 2014

I'd forgotten we hear Bell's voice in this one for the first time. I didn't recognise it first time round, maybe because of the distortion on the tape, but when Olivia's about to meet him I recognised that voice immediately and instantly went squee! But that's still to come.

I found this one so chilling with its sense of culpability, both Olivia's and Nick's and finally Walter's. Having had something of a bad night, I really felt for Nick. That feeling of futility, that nothing you do can turn out right. And he's actually not delusional for feeling that he can only bring harm to others, and killing himself is a logical thing to do in the circumstances. Although seeing all the people following him, turning around to walk after him... He might have been better off using his gun himself instead of trying to make Olivia do it. Still, I feel for him.

Oh, and how the hell did they get Grand Central empty for that opening scene? Talk about spooky! I've never seen it less than packed.
posted by Athanassiel at 6:42 AM on October 14, 2014

First in-show mention of alternate/parallel universes?
DOCTOR MILLER: Typical paranoid fare. Nick was convinced he'd been recruited as a child for a series of top-secret experiments. That he was being prepared to serve as a soldier in the coming war against denizens of a parallel universe.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:28 PM on January 23, 2022

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