Did “And Those We’ve Left Behind” advance the overarching story in engaging ways, or did it get left behind in its own time bubble? Read on for our take.
- It was good to see Peter back in action and, while it could so easily have been contrived, there was actually a very reason to have him join the team on the case.
- Despite a twee opening, the episode didn’t fall over itself to cram the sap down our throats. Instead, it used the dream to examine Olivia and Peter’s recontextualized relationship in this timeline and, for now, set them apart.
- The case-of-the-week was one of the better ones in Fringestory. It had a reflective quality and, importantly for the central storyline, the time-loops appear to be directly related to Peter’s return.
- The episode was nicely put together and well paced. The visuals were also pretty pretty.
- I’m pleased with the honesty with which the Walter and Peter story is being played out. It makes what they had all the more meaningful.
- I find it illogical that Peter has only just discovered he was appearing to Olivia and Walter prior to his return. It would have been one of the first things I’d have been quizzed him about. It’s even worse that Olivia only told him through a casual conversation. Seriously, Liv?
- I find it hard to believe that Raymond won’t be prosecuted. It made sense for Division to agree with Kate’s request at the time, but surely there’d be a loop-hole of sorts.
- Would Peter really be allowed to live at ‘home’ after helping on one case? I get it, but it’s still convenient.
- This episode is unfortunate in that it suffers from the overall lack of Walternate this season. If there’s a good story reason for the Silver Fox’s absence then perhaps it wont feel as strange in retrospect, but at the moment it’s a blemish. I take it Peter has asked for him off-screen?
- The importance of September not erasing Peter is losing importance. The explanation is probably something simple, like convincing the other Observers that Peter should be allowed to return, but I think this storyline needs to be followed up soon.
- The episode opens with a fake-out, but not one that we couldn’t easily detect as being a dream. There was some debate when the teasers aired as to whose perspective the dream was from. While I liked the idea that it was Olivia, it always made more sense to me that this was Peter‘s dream. There’s more weight to a person telling himself that he’s The Problem.
- It’s always interesting to examine dreams on Fringe and this was no different, partly due to the sense of displacement — for a while we’re floating around in the construct, trying to figure out what’s going on and who’s really saying what.
- What’s particularly fun is that the conversation between our dear lovebirds intentionally plays on the line of reality and subconscious, offering more food for thought on the ‘reality’ of Fringe and our mysterious narrator.
- The dream also works because it’s truthful. Peter’s return is both the ‘perfect day’ and problematic. His repressed observations, his feelings, would later explain his acceptance of the fact that he’s a stranger in a strange land.
- Olivia doesn’t quite wake Peter up from his note to self, but she certainly stirs him. Like a pot of fresh morning coffee, Olivia will do that to ya.
- The time loop scenario was well done. We know cycles are a core part of the show’s story and storytelling, and ATWLB is a good example of both being employed in an episode — a mini example of pushing the reset button.
- It was good to see Astrid out on the field and actually contributing to something. I still find it relatively interesting that this new construct, timeline, whatever it really is, has seen her become Walter‘s ‘eyes’. His perception of the world is still dependant on her.
- It was neat seeing Astrid using technology from the other side to detect universe degradation, while Walter trashes the manual. It took Brandonate hours to pull that together and Walter has nothing complementary to say?
- Crumbs, you can tell how much Olivia disapproves of Peter by the jacket she bought him. She’s clearly projecting her emotions here. I can read her like a book. 🙂
- Good to see Lincoln more relevant in this episode, although he really doesn’t need to touch his glasses to make himself seem interesting (or perhaps he does?) Come from beyond the frame, Linc, let us see who you really are!
- Broyles knows they can’t afford to indulge Walter’s unprofessionalism:
“It’s his job to investigate Fringe Events and until something suggests otherwise, HE is a Fringe Event.”
- I love that Peter is looked at as a Fringe Event. Given what’s happened, he’s probably the King of Fringe Events. He always was.
- Walter’s examination of Peter was high-larious, with his “subject” this “subject” that, poking him in the tummy like a stay puft, refusing to accept his existence. But it was also quite sad considering Walter isn’t trying to be funny (which, by the way, is when I tend to find him the most high-larious).
- This is very real for both of them. As I said in my “Novation” review, and as Olivia said to Peter, it must be incredibly difficult for Walter to see the adult version of his son replaced by a stranger, by a concept who represents his biggest temptation. It must also be hard for Peter to return to a world where no-one loves him. But like I after last season’s finale, his actions in the BBM had to be a sacrifice otherwise it just wouldn’t work.
- I’m thrilled that their need for Peter is not great, because why should it be? Sure, these people have relative holes in their lives, but they’re functioning and the two universes appear to be reconciling. Things aren’t that bad on the other side of the line. Not necessarily better, but not so terrible that Peter can just swoop in and instantly put Gotham right.
- And I say that with the belief that all of this is on some level a ‘process’, which means that the problems take a while to solve and may actually be a necessary part of the healing process.
- Peter discovering that Walter lives in the lab was interesting to watch. It shocks him, saddens him, perhaps uplifts him for a moment as he sees a slither of his own ‘importance’, before focusing his mind on The Problem at hand.
- Credit to Peter for having a bash at ‘helping himself’, it’s pleasing to see him wake up to his calling, putting all that he learned in the Elsewhere to good use. And while his proactivity annoys Walter, it eventually earns his admiration.
- Peter says something very interesting regarding the damaged space-time continuum: “there may not be any rules to it”. His later time-jump experiences and the open-ended nature of the story suggest we’ll get to explore this is more detail. I think it would be neat if Peter somehow uses his unique position in time to help him get back to Kansas, if indeed that is where the season is heading.
- It’s not often that a case-of-the-week can be fairly obvious in its direction and yet still be engaging. This Green’s story certainly was that. Owed much to its reflection of the overarching story and the interesting concepts involved. You can also tell that Stephen Root and Romy Rosemont are married, and that helped sell the relationship.
- What also helped is that we were let inside this intimate journey. It wasn’t rushed, even though the ticking clock factor added that all-important squeeze. I’ve said it before, but Fringe is often at its best when it lets things breathe. The show is so inherently visual that sometimes less is a tool for more.
- It was good to see Walter rising to the challenge. Unlike last season where for long periods his shunned the stage, crippled by his own selfishness and fear, he’s more proactive as he imparts his wisdom. Sure, it’s predicated on his different emotional landscape in this timeline, but that’s the point. It was also just neat to see the team working together, bouncing off one another like little bouncy things.
- I’m glad Peter queried the possibility that he and Olivia experienced a shared dream state.
- Olivia was a bit blunt with him: “you’re a stranger, so what would I feel?” I know she can be ruthless, and perhaps feels somewhat threatened, but it felt a wee bit unwarranted in the way it came out. That said, it’s a building block to the larger point — and one I appreciate.
- Like “White Tulip”, “Marionette” (and several other episodes) we touch on the ever-poignant theme of bringing a loved one back.
Raymond: “What better thing could I do for you than this?”
- But this raises the question of who Raymond was bringing Kate back for? The bubble is certainly a fitting metaphor.
- I’m not sure how Kate had the time to blank out the entire book of equations without Raymond noticing, but I knew she’d sabotage his progress and leave him a message. You can even see her committing to the decision at one point. And that message is a poignant one:
“Raymond, I love you. How you repay me..Just love me and live your life.”
- The woman has a way with words. Succinctly said. It taps into some of the themes we’ve explored throughout the series, the idea of the true self, and whether we are bound by circumstance or choice.
- Multiple universes and timelines have allowed us to travel the lines of this question. Last season we spoke long and hard about the soul. Olivia felt cheated that Peter couldn’t recognize the ‘real her’ from his elbow. This season the ruby shoe is somewhat on the other foot, with the team not recognizing Peter.
- We also have Walter’s continued loathing of his other half — Walternate. All of these strands trace back to the aforementioned themes. Would we still love someone under different circumstances? Do we really choose who we love? Do the answers lie somewhere in the middle?
- Just as relevant are the external considerations these questions afford, perhaps allowing us to understand ourselves better in order to better understand others.
- Raymond now has to decide whether he completely loves Kate, or just a time encapsulated version of her. As much as he misses the person she was and the way she made him feel, can he sacrifice all of that to love her as she is, under any circumstance? And can he do that and still ‘live his life’?
- It’s a difficult question, but the difficult ones..the problems.. are often the most important. Raymond’s impulse to go back and try again and again, speaks to the human condition. It took the strength and courage of his wife to break that cycle.
- So, for a story so inherently based on what I like to call its cyclical nature, does Peter have to go against impulse and live out this path, loving the memory of those he left behind? Is that the ultimate sacrifice and redemption? Or can he get back to the versions of those he loves, and where that affection is reciprocated?
- What’s interesting to me is that at the moment is that Peter’s affection for Olivia can be looked at in two intertwined ways. On the one hand we could say that he’s not prepared to love every iteration of Olivia (understandable). On the other hand, there’s a certain redeeming aspect to the fact that he wants to go back to the Olivia he knows, whose qualities and flaws define who he is. It’s not just about Olivia, but she’s a useful tent pole for this examination.
- This dichotomy works both ways, as I don’t think one holds precedent over the other. I think it’s possible to be both defined by something and have a greater understanding and consideration for the things that appear to be outside of ourselves. For me, these apparent disparate strands come back to the same place, and I think that somehow makes sense.
- The final shot of Kate is interesting, her faint smile seems to suggest some recognition of events, playing into LOST’s “The Constant“, where a similar ‘mental time-travel’ is employed. I’d like to think that on some level she’s aware of the sacrifice she made. It’s almost a catharsis, except it’s not really resolution, but continuation.
“I got too many competing theories, I can’t balance the equation. There’s too many variables and not enough constants.”
- “I was going to make myself a baloney sandwich, would you care for one, [Olivia]?” It’s a sad day when a traveller from another timeline isn’t offered a baloney sandwich. If this is the shape of things to come I don’t want any part of this timeline. It’s SO selfish!
- “I’d be happy to join you, as soon as my lab is available to me again. AH! my copy of Carol’s cosmology, I was just looking for that”. Gosh Walter is Petty. I love it! And he takes the bread into his ROOM. OT Walter makes me laugh. 🙂
- And yet, a sad Peter makes me feel bad for engaging in the merriment. Him and that bloody jacket, it’s just too much for my heart. “He can’t even look at me”. 🙁
- Peter suggests that Olivia and Walter were seeing echoes of the other timeline when they saw visions of him. A reasonable theory that has been kicked around. But Lincoln is not going to get on side if he keeps INTERRUPTING INTERESTING CONVERSATIONS! The glasses thing will only get you so far, Linc. Seriously, unless someone is dead or agent Jessup has returned, you just DON’T barge in like that. Nothing is that important!
- Very cool scene when the FBI agent was stripped from time. It was a very X-Men moment if you ask me. What makes the above scene sad is that the poor guy cried out for agent Dunham. Listen, he’s not the first or the last grown man who will scream her name.
- It looked like there were still some civilians in the Tunnel Of Doom. Why didn’t Lincoln evacuate completely? Oh yes, I forgot, he has NO IDEA what he’s doing. Still, good to see him attempt to stand up to the Tidal Of Devastation, while everyone else legged it.
- Gosh, Peter’s become so snotty since he came back from ‘saving us all’. He has no problem breaking up our time-displaced lovers’ kiss, yet expects us to champion his journey home to Olivia? None of us complained when you took your FINE time getting into the BBM, Pete.
- I’d love to say the world doesn’t revolve around him, but..it probably does. Still, I’ll call him out when he deserves it.
- Peter comes to the conclusion that the timeline didn’t need to be reset, that he did. And his complex should start kicking in annny minute now.
- The final scene didn’t have the bells and whistles that we’ve become accustomed to in modern Fringe, but it hit the right notes for me. Maybe I’m biased because I’m not chomping at the bit for things to just go back to how there were, but I think the story is being honest. We may well get a happy ending when the BBM lights are turned off, but nothing worth having came easy.
- Sleep tight Peter, don’t let the fringebugs byte. I know what you’ll be dreaming about tonight. 😉
- What did Peter do in Olivia’s dreams?
- Peter’s time jumps.
- Has Peter’s presence in the new timeline changed any other fundamental rules?
- Are the Observers suddenly cool with Peter living it large in their ‘Peter-locked’ timeline?
- Will Peter find his way back to the OT?
- Does the BBM still work for Peter?
- Olivia explains that shortly before Peter arrived they were dealing with cause & effect anomalies.
- This episode takes place three days after Peter returned in Subject 9.
- Olivia says Peter was showing up in her dreams almost every night.
- Olivia and Peter didn’t share the same dream.
- Peter was not aware that he appeared to Walter and Olivia before his arrival.
- Kate’s theory worked because Peter’s arrival to the timeline changed the rules.
- Walter still owns the Bishop crib.
A quality episode that resonated and entertained, while providing a clearer view of this season’s journey.
Best Moment: Raymond reading Kate’s message and Kate’s faint smile.
Best Performance: Joshua Jackson.
Best Line: “How you repay me..Just love me and live your life.”
Takeaways: Peter needs a peacoat. Continuation.
Rating: 9/10 Seriable Stars