String theory posits not only multiple dimensions, but also a myriad of alternate realities. We forget this sometimes when watching or reading something that takes place between two realities. Think of alternate realities as mice you find in your home: where there’s one, there are ten more you just haven’t seen yet.
In watching Fringe this season, we have been pointed toward believing not only that the time jumps Olivia was experiencing may have been a product of her Cortexiphan exposure, but also that Peter had been actively trying to break through to this reality which, for some reason, still does not recognize his existence.
‘And Those We Left Behind’ brings in Stephen Root as Raymond, an electrical engineer who has built a device based on the work of his theoretical physicist wife whom has advanced Alzheimer’s. He has built the machine out of love and grief over the loss of the woman he once knew.
The consequences of his grief are much more far reaching than he ever could have known, both in terms of the fabric of space/time, and in a spatial sense as these “time jumps” that Olivia has been experiencing have begun to expand, causing time displacement and neutrino fission decay. In other words, Raymond’s actions are wrecking havoc despite their pure intentions.
‘And Those We Left Behind’ is, by far, one of the better Fringe episodes I’ve seen in quite some time. The plot and subplot are equally entertaining, and while the science behind the tech is fairly complex, it is presented in a straightforward way that is easy to grasp and understand.
The big reveal that answers some questions comes in two parts, the first connected to the visions both Walter and Olivia were having of Peter prior to his arrival. Peter had no idea what Olivia was talking about, thus meaning that him breaking through was not a conscious act. At the end of the episode, Peter comes to the realization that it isn’t the timeline that needs to be rebooted, like he surmised, but rather that he is simply in the wrong timeline and must return home. This not only explains the disruption that has occurred by his existence in this timeline, but also the Observers’ insistence that he should not exist in this reality.
Joshua Jackson was in great form, rolling up his sleeves and getting all science/Fringe Division geeky again. Strapping the portable Faraday cage on and stepping into the Time Chamber after seeing an agent go all ‘Dust In The Wind’ was a great moment.
Stephen Root was fantastic as well. Arye Gross last week, and now Stephen Root this week. If Rutger Hauer shows up in the next couple of weeks, then Fringe will officially be the most awesome show ever. Maybe not, but that would be pretty cool, as I’m a sucker for a little Rutger.
– James Zappie