Fringe

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I Miss You, Baby. Good Luck, Goodbye, Bobby Joyce
n apologizing again.

After they leave, Roscoe remembers that his son was wearing a brown shirt that his mother gave him. "He told me I would meet you... Walter... Bishop. He called you by name. Bobby said I was supposed to... help you," says Roscoe, who is really going to have to pick up the pace if we're going to finish this episode on time. Walter asks how Roscoe is supposed to help him. "I don't know. Don't you?" asks Roscoe.

In Cambridge, The Observer is standing on a city sidewalk, and he's joined by December. Good thing these odd-looking fellows who dress exactly alike try to avoid attention, hey? The Observer tells him he has set everything in motion, but December says he's watched Dr. Bishop for just as long as he has: "Perhaps not as closely, but I think you're wrong. He won't do it." The Observer disagrees, saying that he thinks Walter has changed. They watch as a guy parks his truck and locks it, then walks away. December registers his disagreement again, and says they'll find out soon enough. The Observer strolls over to the freshly parked pickup truck, presses his finger up against the keyhole, and then gets in and simply drives off, without setting off any kind of alarm.

Back in the lab, Roscoe Joyce is playing a much more jaunty number, but they still haven't figured out what Roscoe was supposed to do to help Walter, who is at least enjoying the music. "Just hearing you play, I feel like I'm a teenager again," he says, and then he asks why Violet Sedan Chair broke up. Roscoe shrugs and chalks it up to creative differences. They decided to take a break and give the band a chance to regroup, but a couple of years away from the keyboard turned into a couple more, and a couple more. "Eventually, it just seemed easier not to. I suppose that's hard to understand," says Roscoe, and Walter is all, "No, as usual, it parallels exactly some personal situation of mine."

Over at the jewelry store, the woman with asthma tells Peter and Olivia about how the Observer somehow saw what she needed (well, you didn't have to be a doctor to think to look for an inhaler) and got it for her but didn't say anything. "It was like nothing affected him. He had this calmness. I didn't even think he was real, except ... he saved my life."

Back at the lab, Roscoe is taking in all of Walter's scientific contraptions, and he asks what it all is. Walter explains that he recently invented a "liquid base to aid in the process of brain-mapping," and Roscoe says "Brain-mapping" would be a good name for an album, and pretty much just from the fact he thinks so tells me that Violet Sedan Chair was probably an awful '70s prog-rock band. Anyway, Walter explains: "I don't want to bore you with the details, but I'm missing parts of my brain. And I have to rejuvenate them in order to rise to the intellectual challenges before me," he says, as he adds a dose of his special brain juice to a quart of milk that he puts in the fridge, which we watch with the extra-special Foreshadow-cam, telling Roscoe that the milk acts as a bonding agent for the other compounds, and helps disguise the taste. "I don't see how I can help you in any way. My knowledge of science begins and ends with inventing a recipe for a strawberry milkshake," says Roscoe, which can only make Walter love him more. It's like in Step Brothers when John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell realized all the activities they could do together. Walter yells for "Ashram" and asks her to run to the food-jobber to pick up some strawberry ice cream, sweet whey, yeast and sugar. Astrid grouchily agrees but apparently mainly because they need coffee anyway.

And then Walter starts big-upping his milkshake recipe that took him six years to perfect, and Roscoe is looking at Walter like he's some kind of lunatic. While he blathers on about his strawberry milkshake recipe, the door opens and closes, and Walter assumes it's Astrid forgetting something, but it turns out to be the Observer. "Hello, Walter. We need to speak," he says. Walter looks shocked.

And they go for a stroll on campus grounds, amid the fallen leaves and golden light of fall. "You call it... autumn. Is that right? Lovely word," says the Observer. This guy can catch bullets but he's still not clear on the names of the seasons? I'm not too impressed with a guy who could be bested by my daughter if she got some favourable categories on Are You Smarter Than a Preschooler?.

Walter doesn't have time for the small talk, and he wants to know what the Observer knows about Peter and the doomsday device, and how he can save Peter from dying. The Observer obliquely says that there are various possible futures happening simultaneously, and he can tell Walter all of them but he cannot tell Walter which one will come to pass, and then he outlines a butterfly-effect scenario for Walter (i.e. a real one, not the way it happens in that horrible Ashton Kutcher movie which manages to get it completely wrong EVEN THOUGH THEY NAMED THE MOVIE AFTER IT): what if after the Observer pulled Peter out of the lake, that later that year he caught a firefly, the same one that would have been caught by a little girl, except she didn't get that one so she stayed out later that night looking for one, prompting her father to go out looking for her, driving in the rain, skidding through an intersection at Harvard Yard, killing a pedestrian. Walter's all HOLY SHIT DID THAT HAPPEN, and the Observer simply says, "You and I have interfered with the natural course of events. We have upset the balance in ways I could not have predicted. Which is why now I need your help." Walter wants to know what he means, and the Observer "explains," which is not exactly the right word for it, "When the time comes, give him the keys and save the girl." Walter, understandably, has no idea what this means, and asks for an explanation. The Observer says, "You should answer your phone" only he says it before the phone actually rings.

Walter answers it, and it's Peter: "Apparently your friend is fighting crimes now," and he explains that the Observer (who, as Walter turns, has naturally disappeared from sight) foiled a robbery at a jewelry store: "Three guys came in, killed the owner, tied up the girl who worked there." Walter's all, "Girl?" like yes, Walter, females make up about half the population of the world. When Walter finds out the Observer saved her life, he insists on speaking to her. Peter says he'll have to wait, because the cops are about to take her downtown so she can give a statement, and Peter demands that Victoria Dimiro be brought to him after she's finished with the cops. You know, the last few lines of dialogue could have been used in any movie featuring a pimp.

Back in the lab, Roscoe is chowing down on the ice cream that Astrid brought back, and he tells a much sadder-looking Walter (and it's only going to get worse) that he remembers something else, a phone call from Bobby years ago when (ugh) Violet Sedan Chair were out on tour, to tell him about a strange dream he'd just had. Yeah, great, hearing from people about the strange dreams they had is always loads of fun. "He dreamt a bald man in a dark suit took him to see me. I was an old man living in a nursing home," says Roscoe, whose mind is blown by the thought of his son dreaming of something that happened twenty-five years later.

Walter, however, doesn't think it was a dream at all, but the Observer taking his son through time: "And it was only just last night that you caught up to the other end of the visit," he says, and this completely fries what's left of Roscoe's synapses.

But there's more from Roscoe, who says that it was the last conversation he had with Bobby. "We were playing a show that night, a club in Harvard Yard. Bobby was on his way to the show. I remember looking outside and seeing how hard it was raining," says Roscoe, realization quickly coming to Walter that Bobby was the pedestrian who got hit by the truck skidding through the traffic light. John Noble, excellent as usual. Roscoe's own voice gets huskier as he says that when he lost Bobb

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