Fringe

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Bridge Over Troubled Father
iew. Meanwhile, Peter's having equipment problems. The network cable's been disconnected. He scrambles to plug it in, and then notices, on the shimmery alternate-universe bridge, a man walking away from him to the other side. The FBI agent draws his gun, but there's a loud piercing noise that sounds like when your computer used to have a dialup modem to connect to the internet. "You OK?" yells Peter to the agent, over the noise. But the agent doesn't answer, as he's too busy being disintegrated. Meanwhile, Peter just gets knocked on his ass. Broyles and Olivia and Walter can't do much other than watch from their (fortunately) safe vantage point. But good news, everyone! The screen now says "cancellation frequency locked" and the bridge disappears from view. However, the shadowy figure has already made it across to the other side. The shockwave from the bridge's dissolve sends Peter flying backwards into the grille of the SUV, knocking him out.

He comes to, with Olivia standing above him. "Welcome back," she says. Peter stares at her groggily for a few moments, then smiles and asks how long he was out. About a day and a half, Olivia says, offering him some ice chips to eat. "The doctor said you'd be fine, but Walter was worried," she says. Peter says he's fine, and asks if Walter's there. Olivia goes to get Walter, and Peter tells her that he'd like to speak to Walter alone. Looking like she'd like to ask a question or two about that request, Olivia just says OK.

A giddy Walter comes rushing into Peter's room, thrilled that Peter's OK, but Peter's just kind of coolly looks at his dad, and the room gets awkward quickly. Yeah, he knows. He calmly tells Peter that there was another man on the bridge, and while Walter was right about the vibrations being devastating -- they disintegrated the non-redshirt-wearing FBI agent -- they didn't kill the man from the other side. "And they didn't kill me," he says. Peter does not sound at all confused about what implies.

"I'm not from here, am I?" he says. Walter closes his eyes. "You didn't just open up a hole to the other side. You went through ... and you brought me back. That's why I was able to survive Newton's device. It's why I can't remember my childhood." I imagine now would be a terrible time to tell Peter that this means the title of the episode has a double meaning, right? Probably wouldn't appreciate it.

A distraught Walter tries to tell Peter that he was dying, but Peter's not finished: "It's why my mother committed suicide, isn't it? She knew, didn't she?" Walter's reaction is a touch of surprise and whole lot of "Oh, you figured that out too, didn't you? Well, this is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better." Peter thinks the guilt was too much for his mother to live with.

"Peter, you need to understand something," says Walter, but an increasingly colder Peter says he understands EVERYTHING now. "Son," says Walter, but Peter cuts him off: "I am not your son." Walter looks like he's been slapped. I've argued in favour of current and future Emmys to be awarded to John Noble (as well as past ones retroactively handed to him), but I don't know if Fringe has the kind of audience numbers for him to make it. Which is a shame, because week after week he knocks it out of the park. As Peter says he'd like to be alone, I can barely watch as Walter's face collapses and he shuffles out of the room, looking back through the observation window as an angry Peter leans his head back on the pillow and closes his eyes.

Meanwhile, Newton is preparing a syringe for Mr. Secretary, who, judging from the sounds of his breathing is Darth Vader. He advises the Secretary not to talk: "Despite the preparation, crossing over is quite an ordeal on your body, and the consequences are unpredictable." We don't get to see the Secretary's face, mainly because he's wearing some kind of breathing apparatus. Newton administers the syringe and says it should help him sleep. The Secretary holds up his hand for Newton to clasp. Can anyone offer any reason to think that the Secretary is not Walternate?

Over at the Bishop house, Astrid's there at six in the morning. Way to go, Walter! He's getting ready to go, but she says Peter's probably still sleeping. Somewhat angry, somewhat distraught, Walter snaps, "I have to go to the hospital now. Are you going to drive me, or shall I call a cab?"

There's a knock on the door. It's Olivia. Jesus, do you people ever sleep? She comes in and takes a few moments to tell Walter that Peter checked himself out of the hospital three hours ago. "He isn't at the lab, and he's not answering his phone. He's gone." Walter's lower lip quivers. The only thing that could make this worse would be if it turns out next week is a musical episode.

What's that? Oh, shit...

Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. He hopes they both forgive him if he ever has to yank someone from an alternate universe. Follow him on Twitter or email him at danieljdaniel[at]gmail.com.

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Fringe

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