Thoughts on the Fringe Series Finale – Liberty / An Enemy of Fate

by Amy Yen

fringe finale

Of course.

I mean, of course it was a white tulip. The moment you saw it–the last image of Fringe ever–you knew it could never have been anything else. (It’s kind of like Lost in that way.) There were a lot of things wrong with “Liberty” & “An Enemy of Fate,” the series finale of Fringe, but Joel Wyman got the last moment exactly, perfectly right.

I’ve watched every episode of Fringe and consider it one of my favorite shows ever. To me, it wasn’t a perfect finale, but it got enough of it right that I can say goodbye the way I wanted to. I think it’s all we can ask for.

What I loved about the episode was all of the last hurrahs for the staples we’ve loved about the show for five years. One last crazy trip across universes. One last gruff but well-meaning Broyles exchange. One last Walter & Astrid moment in the lab. One last bad-ass Olivia sequence. One last Walter & Peter father & son moment.

“The time we had together, we stole. I cheated fate to be with you. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.” Isn’t this what it comes down to? The original sin of the entire show was Walter tearing a hole in a universe to take a son that wasn’t his. Now that he knows the damage he caused, if he had it to do all over again, would he?

How could he not? Maybe that’s what Walter is actually asking forgiveness for. Not that he did this horrible thing. That he would do it again. Without question.

fringewhitetulip

So what does the white tulip mean? September took it from the original timeline to give Walter strength. Walter sends it to Peter when he knows he will disappear from the timeline. I think it can be interpreted a number of ways, but I took it to mean he’s found his forgiveness, his peace with what he’s done & what he will do, because one led to the stolen time he got to have with his son and the other to the time his son will get with his daughter. That’s an ending to these characters I can live with.

In the end, I stand by my admiration for this show because of its fearlessness to completely disrupt the status quo, even when maybe it didn’t need to be disrupted. To tell the story it wanted to tell, and never mind anyone else. There’s probably not ever going to be anything else like it.

If nothing else, it definitely had the highest average number of acid trips shown on screen per season ever. I’m willing to bet on it.

One last thing. It’s clear that the writers went out of their way to include callbacks this season, like little gifts for long-time viewers. But while many of them have felt simply like inconsequential Easter eggs, I thought the attack on the Observer headquarters was fantastic: a lovingly assembled greatest hits of the show’s grossest of the gross. So fitting because Fringe was about many things–identity & humanity & fathers & sons & love & loss–but it was also about showing the weirdest & most disgusting images you could possibly get away with on network TV, & doing so in the most entertaining, gleeful way possible.

I really am going to miss the hell out of this show.

More random thoughts on “Liberty” & “An Enemy of Fate”:

  • My God. How did they get through these two episodes without a single major character getting killed? (Unless you count September?) Not even Astrid! And I was terrified that Fauxlivia or Lincoln were going to end up as collateral damage.
  • Speaking of whom, it was so great to see the red-verse again! I really have missed them. I’m so glad to see Fauxlivia & Lincoln getting their completely adorable bad-ass Fringe agents happily ever after.
  • “You deserve all the happiness that you got.” So great to see Seth Gabel back, however briefly. That little moment when he first sees Olivia again & lets out that little breath, it’s so terrific. I like that there’s still that awkwardness between them, after all this time. And I like the moment between them where she tells him it’s okay that he got to be happy. Like their own white tulip moment. Lincoln was always one of my favorites.
  • I also loved the easiness between the two Olivias, which is remarkable when you remember all they’ve been through. Even if you discount the original season 3 timeline, remember just how much they hated each other at the beginning of season 4? Now they’re like old friends.
  • I think that overall, the scavenger hunt nature of this final season didn’t really pay off. I wish the different pieces of the puzzle came together in a more clever way, instead of just being random components. As it is, the pieces could have been anything.
  • What is it about “this era” that makes the Observers–all of them, as it turns out–develop emotions? If it’s being among our humanity that causes it, couldn’t it have happened in any era?
  • “It’s a beautiful name.” “What is?” “Astrid.” So wonderful. It’s funny, all these years, they never ran out of awesome names for Walter to call Astrid. It’s such a nice moment for a character that meant way more than her development ever gave her any right to be.
  • Also lovely to see Gene the cow one last time. I found it to be a way more emotional moment than I ever thought any moment involving a cow could be.
  • “Because it’s cool.” Nice moment of levity. Also another cool callback to another standalone Fringe case (“Os” from season 3).
  • “It’s not about fate, Walter. Yours or mine. It’s about changing fate. It’s about hope and protecting our children.” You know, while I like the nice parallels between Walter & September, I kind of see September’s & the Observers’ expanded role this season like the Jacob/Man in Black stuff in season 6 of Lost. It’s just a little too disconnected from the rest of the series, where it doesn’t quite feel like this was the inevitable endgame. But I do like this moment between two fathers.
  • Nice parallel imagery of Walter holding hands with Michael, walking into the wormhole, calling back to him walking with Peter through the door back to the blue-verse, back when this whole thing began.
  • Lovely Tilton score through the entire 2015 sequence.
  • Did you catch the bloody handprint on the wall during the attack sequence? It had six fingers like the glyph. Nice touch.
  • Among the callbacks in the attack sequence: the orifice-sealing bio-toxin from “Ability,” the giant cold germ from “Bound,” the killer imaginary butterflies from “The Dreamscape,” the exploded head from “The Box,” the bone-disintegrating powder from “Concentrate & Ask Again” & possibly the grossest of them all, the horrible tentacle worm parasite thing from “Snakehead.” Bravo, Fringe, you’ve really made me regret eating dinner quite a lot in the last five years.
  • Can’t go without saying the performances were, as usual, outstanding. I mean, hey, why not, one more John Noble Emmy moment for the road.
  • PS: If you’re a total Fringe geek like me, be sure to check out TVGuide’s oral history of the show, EW’s extensive podcast about its history and of course, my mythology episode guide & standalone episode picks, should you be so inclined.

One last time, thank you cast & crew of Fringe. It’s been an amazing ride.

J.H. Wyman, Anna Torv, Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole, John Noble, Joshua Jackson

Thoughts on the Doctor Who 2012 Christmas Special – The Snowmen

by Amy Yen
DOCTOR WHO S7 CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

“I never know why. I only know who.”

Can’t it ever just be a companion anymore? Right girl at the right time with the right amount of clever & the right amount of spunk & just enough crazy to drop everything & go travel time & space with a stranger in a police box?

I suppose after Amy, after River, that would be all too boring for Steven Moffat, so until we switch showrunners again, I guess every companion is destined for be just another mystery for the Doctor to solve. I won’t complain too much, the mystery that is Clara Oswin Oswald is by far the most interesting thing about “The Snowmen,” the 2012 Christmas special. It certainly wasn’t the Snowmen themselves, or the sinister Dr. Simeon, who is like a less interesting, less memorable version of Michael Gambon’s Kazran Sardick from “A Christmas Carol,” the best of Eleven’s Christmas adventures. I found the Snowmen plot utterly confusing & the way everything was magically solved by tears utterly lame, in the same way everything being magically solved by everyone chanting “Doctor” in “The Last of the Time Lords” was lame.

But anyway, back to Clara, or Oswin, or whoever. Despite the gratuitous kiss (at this point, it’s almost like Moffat’s just getting it out of the way, although I did feel a little indignant for River…hey Doctor, aren’t you married?), I found her charming & likable. She’s got the signature companion qualities, listed above, plus that irresistible  mystery (she’s impossible, like Amy) the Doctor will chase because he won’t be able to help himself. And at this point, I’m going to tolerate it, because hey. Whatever gets us back to the adventure.

More random thoughts on “The Snowmen”:

  • This was definitely the most I’ve liked Vastra & Jenny & Strax, all of whom were randomly introduced in “A Good Man Goes to War” in a way that was supposed to make us care about them immediately but didn’t. This episode, they finally earn it, especially Strax, even if he is now inexplicably alive again. “When you find something brand new in the world, what’s the next thing you look for?” “A grenade!”
  • New credits! I like them quite a bit.
  • The memory worm bit was both funny (again because of Strax) & vaguely uncomfortable, in that it seems a little too unethical a device for the Doctor to be using, either on Clara or the villain. I guess chalk it up to the Oncoming Storm & grief?
  • Speaking of grief, while I understand the Doctor’s over losing Amy & Rory, it did seem especially petulant &  bit out of character for him to be refusing to help. I would expect him to do his usual thing where he travels alone for a while, believing he is a danger to anyone he takes with him while not learning his lesson that he needs someone with him. But to sit in his box & flat out refuse to help when his friends call? Is that the Doctor?
  • Totally missed at first that the Doctor was wearing Amy’s glasses. Lovely touch.
  • Besides the great Strax one-liners, the one time I really sat up & said, “Now, that‘s clever,” was the one-word test Vastra & Jenny give Clara. Her one word message is “Pond,” because of course it is. What’s clever is that it’s perfectly set up, right under our noses, which is the sign of real clever writing, as opposed to the mess that is the conclusion of the Snowmen plot.
  • The new TARDIS is interesting. It feels a little less organic, a little more sterile (I understand it’s more similar to some of the ones from the classic series), which makes sense considering the Doctor’s frame of mind before this story.
  • What was the point of Clara having two jobs? Why couldn’t she just be the children’s governess? Again with the unnecessary mystery.
  • Speaking of unnecessary, sorry, that was a pretty lame Sherlock meta tie-in, IMO. If you’re going to have Sherlock exist in this universe, have him exist for real & have the Doctor have an adventure with him.
  • Does anyone else feel like the Doctor is just passing TARDIS keys out like candy these days? Remember how Martha didn’t get a key until like the fourth time she saves the Doctor’s life? When he pulls one out almost immediately upon Clara stepping in the TARDIS, I literally said out loud, “Seriously? Did she earn that?” Ah well. I’m sure she will.
  • I just want to mention again how disappointing the Snowmen were as a villain, just because they had so much potential. The Snowmen design, with the eyes & teeth, were actually quite scary (although there is no payoff to that initial scene where the Snowmen eat a bunch of people) & the idea of “snow that learns” is ominous in that wonderful Doctor Who way.
  • “Winter is coming.” Man, I miss Game of Thrones.

PS: New trailer! Enjoy:

Thoughts on Doctor Who Series 7 Mid-Series Finale: The Angels Take Manhattan

by Amy Yen

Best. Companion send-off. Ever.

I read that on Twitter after I watched the mid-series finale of Doctor Who, “The Angels Take Manhattan,” the much anticipated (and dreaded) goodbye for Mr. and Mrs. Pond, & I can’t disagree. It wasn’t a perfect story, but it was a perfect ending for them. Even if the Doctor can’t see it right now.

I have to say, I’m so relieved Moffat did these characters justice. It’s been, let’s just say, not my favorite series, & the main reason is that, for a series that has been leading up to their inevitable departure, I’ve felt like the first four episodes were the least effective use of the Ponds yet. Not one of those stories even came close to featuring them as well as something like “The Girl Who Waited,” or “Amy’s Choice.” Luckily, when it came down to it, Moffat went back to the one thing that was always consistent about Amy & Rory: they will always, always choose each other.

The two choices that were made in this episode — Rory & Amy choosing to jump off the building in blind hope that the paradox would erase Rory’s fate of a life without Amy, and Amy choosing to let the Angel zap her back in time in blind hope that it would save her from a life without Rory — were consistent with every other choice we’ve seen them make. Amy choosing the frozen TARDIS timeline when she realized she would lose Rory in the Leadworth timeline. Rory choosing to stay by the Pandorica to guard Amy. Amy choosing to let her older self die so her younger self could grow old with Rory. In the end, when the Angel took Rory and Amy had to choose between trying to be with him or staying with the Doctor, it never was a choice at all.

The Doctor does not take it so well. It’s interesting, the Doctor hates endings & he’s desperately afraid of losing Amy. That’s why he dropped her & Rory off after “The God Complex.” He’s “saving” them, so says Amy. But he can’t give them up any more than they can give him up, so he keeps coming back (as if to keep making up for not showing up the first time). Here, he is selfish. He tells Amy he doesn’t know if the Angel will send her back to the same time as Rory, when he does full well that it does. That’s why Billy Shipton winds up in the same time as Ten & Martha. He begs Amy not to do this, not to leave him, asks her to “come along, Pond” when he knows it would mean she wouldn’t see Rory again. It’s all very human of him.

What the Doctor can’t see in his grief, in this moment, is this is really the best possible outcome for Amy & Rory. Maybe they didn’t quite go out on their own terms, but they went out together & they lived. And considering how often each of them has died (especially Rory, who, hilariously, died again this episode…one more for the road, yes?), this is a borderline miraculous ending.

More random thoughts on ‘The Angels Take Manhattan”:

  • “To save you, I could do anything.” Don’t doubt it. He’s got two thousand years to back it up. Rory Williams truly is among the most romantic figures in recent pop culture. And to Amy, for Amy, he’s every bit the hero the Doctor is.
  • It’s fitting this episode read like a book, considering Amy Pond’s story has always had a little bit of fairy tale to it.
  • The Weeping Angels really hold up. They’re still every bit as terrifying as they were in “Blink,” & I like that we see them in their original flavor here. I always thought the zapping-people-back-in-time thing was way more interesting than what they did in “Time of Angels.”
  • So. The Statue of Liberty is a Weeping Angel huh? Of course she is.
  • Look, I really liked this episode, so I’m going to choose to ignore a bunch of plot holes here, like why the hell the Doctor wouldn’t take the TARDIS to go to the hotel instead of stealing a car, or where the hell the Angel went after it zapped Amy at the end, since neither the Doctor or River were looking at it, or since when could the Doctor just heal injuries with regeneration energy?
  • “Just you wait when my husband gets home.” While I don’t know that River was really essential to this story, it’s appropriate she’s here, since it is her parents & all. Plus, it made for a whole lot of awesome flirting between her & the Doctor. Especially loved the Doctor checking his breath & straightening his bow tie before seeing her. Aw.
  • Speaking of River, it’s nice that she was pardoned for that murder she didn’t actually commit (which I’m still kind of appalled by, so hopefully this is the last we’ll hear of it). Yet another convenient side effect of the continuing Doctor-erased-from-everything sub-plot. And there’s that pesky Question again. Hidden in plain sight.
  • I thought for a while, when Amy & Rory were on the ledge about to jump, the Doctor would end up saving them in the TARDIS, like he’s done with River a few times. But I like that the Doctor was so powerless in this episode, that he couldn’t save them & they had to save themselves. This story isn’t about the Doctor.
  • So lovely to see little Amelia Pond again. A lovely touch to end where it began. Amelia, unlike Amy, will never grow old.
  • I’m so not a fan of these split seasons. These series are not long enough to split…there’s barely any momentum & it’s over again. Now we have to wait all the way until Christmas to meet Oswin or Clara or whoever she is.
  • I can’t go without saying, Matt Smith & Arthur Darvill & especially Karen Gillan were all terrific this episode. “Raggedy man, goodbye.” Argh! Just heartbreaking.
  • Did you notice the newspaper Amy is reading in the park at the beginning of the episode? The headline reads “Detroit Lions Win Super Bowl.” And if that wasn’t an indication they were in some bizarre, Fringe-like alternate timeline, I don’t know what is.

Thoughts on Fringe’s Final Season Premiere: Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11

by Amy Yen

There are a lot of ways you could describe what kind of show Fringe is. It’s really well acted. It has a rich & terribly complex mythology. It’s got a lot of ludicrous science that doesn’t make any sense. It can be, in the same hour, terrifying, thrilling, hilarious & heartbreaking.

It’s incredibly brave.

Whether you thought the Peter disappearing arc really paid off or not, or whether you think they really told all the story there was to tell in the red-verse before closing it off, or whether you think it’s the best choice to set the final 13 episodes in 2036, you have to admit, Fringe doesn’t do safe storytelling. That may mean it can go off the rails a little, but you have to admire it for trying it in the first place.

Fortunately, based off of “Transilience Thought Unifer Model-11,” this final leap may pay off yet. I found 2036 this time around completely engaging. It was smart to bring the entire core team forward, so that we haven’t actually missed very much of their story. And Etta — perfectly cast Etta (who, looking at her now, I can’t believe we went through “Letters of Transit” without knowing who she was, because it is so very obvious) — Etta is exactly right, exactly who a daughter of Peter & Olivia would be. A wonderful performance from Georgina Haig, highlighted by the scene reuniting her with Olivia. 

Really, every performance was pretty much amazing in this episode, although it would be a crime, which should be punishable by horrible Observer mind-probing, to post this without saying that John Noble was, for the millionth time, incredible. And although I found the scene between Peter & Olivia, where they explain to us, but mostly to each other for some reason, what happened to them after they lost Etta, clunky & unnecessary, I did think Joshua Jackson did an admirable job selling it. I just don’t really see why it was necessary to break them up again. (It reminds me of Amy & Rory’s break-up in this year’s Doctor Who premiere. Is it just that the writers think it’s more interesting when they’re a little star-crossed? In both cases, I just feel like the characters have developed beyond that.)

Anyway, overall, I found the whole thing reason to hope, like a single dandelion growing on scorched earth, that this final season, which we are lucky to have regardless of what it turns out being, is going to give this story the ending it deserves.

More random thoughts on “Transilience Thought Unifer Model-11”:

  • I thought the callbacks to the some of the familiar little things we know about these characters, like Walter trying to eat egg sticks like licorice (“What a miserable future.”) and calling Astrid “Afro,” were used really well. Not only did it bring a little humor, but it was kind of subtly sad, calling back on something that was lost in this future.
  • “You seem much more interesting as a human being than a vegetable. But, all things being equal, I don’t mind which one you end up.” They’ve done a great job of making the Observers straight-up terrifying.
  • If Peter & Olivia lost Etta when the Observers invaded when she was three, how does she know who she is? And what exactly happened to her?
  • The carbon monoxide thing was a nice touch. If you think about it, the air is only going to get more polluted in the future, where the Observers came from, so it makes sense they’d adapted to it. And ironically, by polluting the air on purpose now, they may be speeding up the ruining of the world that eventually leads them to go back in time in the first place.
  • I did think during the scenes at the resistance headquarters that those bits would have been so much more interesting with Simon still around. Stupid Scandal, ruining everything. (I don’t mean that, I actually quite like Scandal.) Now that Henry Ian Cusick’s available, I really hope they find a way to bring him back. With the way the bit of dialogue referencing Simon was written, I have to assume we will.
  • I wonder what happened to Ella, Olivia’s niece, in this version of the future. If you remember, in the “The Day We Died” future, she ended up a Fringe agent.
  • It’s kind of nice to see Markham again, even if him using amber-ized Olivia as a coffee table is really messed up. I have the feeling we’re going to be seeing a lot of familiar faces on the farewell tour this year.

Ad Post: Google Chrome – The Web is What You Make of It

by Amy Yen

Google Chrome 1:00 spot
Agency: Google Creative Lab/Bartle Bogle Hegarty

The latest from Google’s “The Web is What You Make of It” series promoting their Chrome browser, “Jess Time” is every bit as captivating & lump-in-the-throat inducing as their first spot, “Dear Sophie,” which remains one of my very favorite pieces of creative from 2011.

Both ads tell such touching, relatable stories — capturing the moments as you watch your child grow up, staying close to your kids when they go off to college (I thought there was also such a beautiful underlying sadness to the “Jess Time” spot, with saying without saying it that this is also a family in mourning) — it’s remarkable that both spots also somehow manage to demonstrate the features of the product in such an inspirational way. I love that it actually inspires imagination, without any sense of manipulation. Isn’t that what really great creative is supposed to do?

Google is notably new to traditional advertising, and has put a lot of promotion into Chrome, which finally overtook Internet Explorer (who themselves have a solid, if not as emotionally resonant spot in rotation) in the browser wars earlier this year. In addition to “Sophie” & “Jess,” the Chrome campaign includes spots with Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber & “It Gets Better,” a chronicle of the movement that began with Dan Savage’s inspirational video message, which is an especially wonderful in that it’s a true life example of how technology can change lives.

Top Five Standalone Fringe Episodes

by Amy Yen

With Fringe finally, FINALLY returning this week (unfortunately, that’s the only good news), I thought I’d do my top 5 standalone episodes to go along with the mythology episode guide that I recently posted. Fringe is one of the few mytharc-based shows where monster-of-the-week episodes can be some of its most compelling & engrossing stories, & although, as I’ve mentioned before, the mythology is what makes the show what it is, many of the standalones are definitely worth checking out.

PS: Regarding the bad news out of the FOX TCAs, I still think there’s a chance Warner Brothers works out a deal for a 13-episode final season, but I do think we need to be realistic. This is the first time Reilly & FOX have been so candid about the financial hit the network is taking on the show & while I think part of it is a negotiation ploy to put the ball (& the blame for the cancellation if it comes to it) in the WB’s court, I also think Reilly is trying to prepare us for the inevitable. I mean honestly, it’s a miracle we’ve gotten four seasons with the ratings being what they are.

I think the bigger issue is, if there really are only 15 episodes left, whether the producers can wrap this thing up in a satisfying way. I’m as big of a fan as there is, but I think there’s a lot of validity to the criticisms about the Peter storyline from the beginning of this season. For the show’s status being what it is, with this in all likelihood being the final season, the amber-verse storyline just hasn’t paid off nearly enough for all the time that has been spent setting it up. It just feels like we have a limited time left in this world & I just want to  spend as much of it as possible with the characters we’ve grown to care about the most, that being the blue-verse & red-verse versions of these people.

For all we know, the payoff is still to come & the promo for this week’s intended fall finale does look incredible, but if this is the end, I desperately hope this thing goes out with a bang & not a whimper. It’s a great story that deserves a great ending.

Still catching up? Here’s my top five standalone Fringe episodes:

Note: This post contains spoilers for aired episodes.

Honorable Mention: Northwest Passage
This episode didn’t work for everyone because it lacked the defining “team” dynamic that’s at the heart of Fringe, but I really liked it. It’s a moody Twin Peaks-esque episode that features an appealing guest spot by Martha Plimpton & just enough mythology tie-in, in the form of our old friend Thomas Jerome Newton, to keep things interesting.

5) One Night in October
An extremely clever exercise in how to execute a cross-universe adventure, this story also crystalizes the main idea of the multi-verse premise of the series: that little changes, the smallest of differences, can change who you are drastically. John McClennan from the red-verse is a serial killer who steals people’s happiest memories, while John McClennan of the blue-verse has the same impulses but learned to control them after he met a woman named Marjorie, one night in October. Fauxlivia’s mom is still alive, so she didn’t have to live with an abusive stepfather who she was eventually forced to kill, so she’s more carefree, more happy, than our Olivia. And Fringe once again proves to be the gold standard when it comes to actors acting against themselves. (Whatever, Ringer.)

4) Marionette
This is cheating a bit because if you go back & look, I actually included “Marionette” on my mythology episode list. But in actuality, it’s more of a standalone dealing with the emotional fallout of all the mythology episodes preceding it. This is a particularly good example of something Fringe does extremely well, which is tie the themes of a standalone story in with what’s happening with its main characters. Olivia’s “She’s taken everything” speech to Peter at the end is heartbreaking & you feel awful for both of them at the same time & it’s just devastating.

3) And Those We Left Behind
Besides that both deal with time travel, this episode shares a common theme with my top pick, “White Tulip”: the lengths people will go to to be with the ones they love. It’s that theme that also makes Peter’s dilemma in season 4 so tragic. (I would argue Peter’s realization of not belonging to the world he’s found himself in reflects our feelings that the amber-verse is not quite the show we’ve all loved for three years.) There are lovely guest spots from real life husband & wife, Stephen Root & Romy Rosemont, and a very cool execution of Lost-esque plays with time. Like many of Fringe’s best standalones, the strength of the episode lies in its ability to build very complex, textured one-off characters whose stories we become invested in very quickly.

2) The Plateau
From a pure narrative standpoint, this is one of the most riveting stories the show has ever told. Michael Eklund makes a brilliant guest spot as the one-off “monster-of-the-week,” Milo comes off, like many Fringe antagonists, largely sympathetic, even as he is killing innocent people. I also love the clever mytharc tie-in where the fact that Olivia, brainwashed into thinking she is Fauxlivia, isn’t from that universe that saves her life & allows her to capture Milo. Plus, it’s just fun watching all the Rube Goldberg scenarios Milo sets into motion using a pen (another fun red-verse detail).

1) White Tulip
This episode manages to tell a poignant and deeply romantic story using probably the most sci-fi device Fringe has ever touched (besides, you know, the whole alternate universe thing), time travel. Peter Weller’s terrific Alistair Peck’s tragic story mirrors Walter’s own overwhelming guilt over the grief-induced mistake he made all those years ago & their conversation is the highlight of the episode. Even more than usual for Fringe, which has feature-level cinematography, this episode is beautifully filmed & scored. I especially liked how there wasn’t sound in the scene when Alistair finally makes it back in time to his fiance & you realize (as is a theme with many Fringe “monsters” of the week), this man isn’t a monster at all. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone & he is, in fact, acting on the most human of instincts, to find where belongs. He know it’s not where is he now, in a world without his love. He’s just trying to right a wrong, to go with her when he should have. He even gives Walter the sign he so desperately needs, a tremendous act of kindness. “White Tulip” isn’t an alternate universe story, it doesn’t involve Observers or Cortexiphan or Massive Dynamic. In fact, it’s standalone story in the ultimate sense: by the end of it, it’s like it never happened at all, at least to our main characters. But it actually has everything to do with the emotional condition of our beloved characters & their relationships with each other at this point in the series, & that’s what makes it excellent.