FRINGE REWATCH: 3.04 Do Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep? — Mecroid

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Our Fringe Rewatch continues as we search for new perspectives ahead of the fourth season. Up next: Do Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep? - or what we’re calling: “Mecroid.”

Please note: these rewatches may contain references to later episodes.

In case you didn’t manage to rewatch this episode, here’s a promo to give you a sense of where the story was:

This retrospective is focused around two main areas: NEW PERSPECTIVES, where I look at the episode with new eyes. And FINDING PETER, where I share my speculations and thoughts in relation to Peter ‘ceasing to exist’ and the new timeline.

As mentioned previously, I’ll be making an effort to avoid going over old ground, but there will be links at the end to my previous rewatch articles should you wish to drill down on my previous thoughts.

NEW PERSPECTIVES / FINDING PETER

Investigation is afoot.

  • Nina tells Peter that Walter “made some regrettable choices in the past but his brilliance is undeniable.” Is that undeniable brilliance still present in a world without Peter? We know that at least some of those regrettable choices are.
  • More questions: does Massive Dynamic exist in the new timeline? Does Walter own it? To what degree did Peter influence William Bell?
  • It’s easy enough to see how the search for shapeshifter Van Horn’s memories relates to the current storyline.
  • The shapeshifters storyline also lends itself to the concept of moving between lives. Newton uses the term “way station.” Perhaps the timelines are somewhat like that?
  • Ray is ordered to leave “no traces” behind. What traces of Peter will Walter, Olivia and the others find in their sideways lives?

Nina and Peter talk about Walter.

  • This episode along with others in the eight episode arc dig deep into the concept of identity, much of which is weighted towards the external. For example, the team’s inability to notice that Olivia had gone.
  • I can see this concept shifting even more towards the internal in season 4. Rather than the onus being on external observations, it may be more about our heroes subconsciously noticing the ‘differences’ within themselves through Peter’s absence.
  • That’s not to say we didn’t talk about these notions last season — we did. But with Peter stripped from their memories there will likely be more weight placed in this direction. The story has overarched its way from the Olivia/Altlivia identity storyline.
  • Here, our team don’t consciously notice that Olivia is missing. At the beginning of season 4 our heroes, presumably, wont realize that Peter is missing — not consciously, at least. Very similar scenarios, just weighted differently.
  • It will be interesting to weigh and compare the two scenarios. Obviously our heroes have technically been without Peter for their whole lives in the new timeline, whereas Olivia was only gone for 6 or so weeks. But it’s still a relevant comparison.
  • So, who will have been missed more, Peter or Olivia — and more to the point, why? Like I said, I suspect we’ll be looking at internal triggers that will cause our heroes to examine their lives in new context.

Astrid tends to an injured Walter

  • Questions like: why are they the way they are? We know that it’s partly because Peter is not in their lives. How they get to such realizations and rationalize it should be the really interesting part.
  • Peter suggests that Patricia may not have realized her husband had been replaced by a shapeshifter because she subconsciously chose not to “deal with it.” This also related to Peter’s own inability to notice that Olivia was gone.
  • Perhaps we can apply the same notion to the new timeline. I’ve said this before, but maybe there’s a part of our heroes that doesn’t want to remember Peter because they had it pretty rough in the ‘original’ timeline?
  • That’s only one side of the story, because they also gained and grew so much in that stream of time. But without knowing the context of their new lives, I think it’s a reasonable point to raise at this stage. (that said, there’s the wider worlds to consider too.)
  • On a similar note, it might be a case of the trauma experienced in that timeline outweighing the positive aspects.
  • Or it could be the fact that they are now where they need to be? As Olivia said, “we’re here now.” For Peter’s so-called “sacrifice” to not be in vain, maybe they have to forget him — at least for a time? ..until they need him. It’s this ‘need’ that really intrigues me.
  • Sometimes what we want and what we need are two different things. Will they subconsciously yearn for Peter because they could quite do with satisfying that yearning, or do they absolutely need him? It’s a difficult question simplified by love, but even then..it’s a question.
  • These are the kind of underlying concepts that will, surely, help fuel the engine of this upcoming arc.
  • Finally, that closing scene between Newton and Altlivia? Still golden. Worth mentioning again: Newton telling Altlivia that there are some lines she’s not willing to cross. We all know that this provoked her to cross them by sleeping with Peter. But it’s another appearance of that phrase that has since taken on additional context.

Retrospective Rating: 8.5/10 Seriable Stars

Want more? Check out my previous DSSDOES? write-ups:

3.04 Do Shapeshifters Dream Of Electric Sheep?: ReviewObservations

 

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Comments

  1. Real1 says

    Actually Roco , i can’t compare : no one is missing Olivia and noticing AltOlivia vs no one is remembering Peter . because .. there was a physical existence for Olivia by Alolivia but no one notice the difference while it’s clear that AltOlivia is different than Olivia , while Peter is never existed physically and no memory for him so i can’t blame any one if they didn’t notice that there was Peter .. because I think the theme of linking both universes together is much more important than trying to find who’s behind that linking …because they are there now and both sides are failing a part , maybe if they would like to use the BBM .. then they will search on the driver of it .. or even trying to re-programming the BBM to work without the one which is in the drawing , imagine doing as Cinderella !!!! who’s fitting in that BBM ! :)

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  2. Underseer says

    “…does Massive Dynamic exist in the new timeline?”

    If I’m not mistaken, at Comic Con Blair Brown (Nina) indicated that Massive Dynamic does indeed exist, and that in fact may be more sinister than in the original timeline.

    Lance Reddick (Broyles) also hinted at Comic Con that a new adversary was on the cards for season 4.

    Just from the perspective of good plot structure, if the two universes are now reconciled through necessity, a new adversary – or one who has covertly been there all along – is now needed.

    Given that the writers in Fringe seem to have a penchant for retcon and shocking revelations that upturn what we thought we knew about already established characters, it’s a definite possibility that it’s somebody we thought we knew.

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    • says

      “If I’m not mistaken, at Comic Con Blair Brown (Nina) indicated that Massive Dynamic does indeed exist, and that in fact may be more sinister than in the original timeline.

      Lance Reddick (Broyles) also hinted at Comic Con that a new adversary was on the cards for season 4.”

      Underseer: Very true. I should clarify that for these rewatch articles I’m ignoring spoiler information as it kills the objective.

      “Just from the perspective of good plot structure, if the two universes are now reconciled through necessity, a new adversary – or one who has covertly been there all along – is now needed.”

      Good point. That would be interesting.

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      • Underseer says

        “I’m ignoring spoiler information as it kills the objective”

        Oops! My bad, sorry Roco, I didn’t realise, and apologies anybody who might *not* have wanted to know!

        In future I’ll be sure to put a spoiler warning in my post.

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        • says

          No worries, I should have made it clearer. I know that not all of our readers follow spoilers, so I thought it would be best to discard spoiler info while writing up the rewatch articles.

          A spoiler warning will be fine. Cheers!

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