Brave New World

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Daniel: A- | Grade It Now!
If You Try to Knock Me You’ll Get Mocked

After the commercial break, a nearby chess board has become much more prominent in the staging as Jones remarks that Bell doesn't seem too concerned with Olivia beating them today. "Don't confuse a winning move with a winning game," says Bell, which is parallel and pithy and all, but I don't know that I've ever heard the terms "winning move" or "winning game" before. If those are chess terms and I'm revealing my chess ignorance here, so be it.

Turning his attention to the chess board, Jones notes that it never changes and asks how long he takes between moves. "Since the last move, about twenty years," says Bell. That's the problem with chess not on the computer or a cellphone: no Nudge function.

Maybe the game is taking so long because Belly has to launch into a half-hour lecture on the art of chess and knowing which piece is most valuable and then being willing to sacrifice it. "For in the vacuum created by the loss of what is most precious, opportunity abounds, influence is maximized, and desire becomes destiny," he says. He picks up the bishop, saying that on this board, it's the most valuable piece. Therefore, for the game to be won... "The bishop must be sacrificed," says Jones, understanding. He says he'll attend to it. "Promptly," says Belly, as Jones leaves.

Over at Massive Dynamic, Walter is agitatedly trying to convince Nina that Belly is alive, that Jones' plan was too ingenious, that it had to have come from William Bell. Nina points out that Jones had access to many projects at Massive Dynamic and Bell could simply have copied Belly's research. You know, like umpteen villains copied Walter's work for various episodes over the past four seasons? But Walter's unconvinced: "It was the work of a master, not an imposter! I know the difference!"

Olivia asks Nina about Bell dying in a car accident on New Year's Day seven years ago and Nina confirms it, saying she went to the hospital herself and say the body. "But it wasn't New Year's, it was Christmas," she says.

Walter, confused, says it was New Year's Eve; he remembers because they gave him additional shocks that day just to celebrate, but those shocks prevent him from remembering what Belly said. Nina actually gets angry with Walter and tells him that the car crash wasn't an accident; William had lymphoma, but he didn't want Nina to see him that way anymore, to be vulnerable. He wanted to go out on his own terms. Surely the founder of Massive Dynamic could have come up with a more elegant death, though, no? Walter is still skeptical -- and truthfully, knowing that Bell apparently intentionally crashed the car would only make me more skeptical too. Nina utters a line that could be said on not many shows other than Fringe: "The man I knew wouldn't try to destroy a universe." Although I suppose it's a little too early to know exactly what Don's going to do in the new season of Mad Men, hey, Couch Baron?

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