Fringe, "Subject 9": future feedback

Quick Take: Fringe, “Subject 9”
“I suppose I’ve learned that “crazy” is a lot more complicated than people think.” – Walter Bishop


Review: Fringe, “Subject 9”
(S0404) When a bizarre blue energy appears in Olivia’s bedroom, creating an electromagnetic field and burning her before it disappears, the Fringe Division “over here” is forced to delve into Walter’s old Cortexiphan files in pursuit of who they believe to be an astral projector. Even though Walter has recently dedicated himself to catching the apparitions of Peter on video, a more pressing concern presents itself when he discovers a letter from St. Clair’s sent to Olivia with a checkbox that will decide his fate.

Walter finally takes a field trip outside of the office in order to prove his mental competency to Olivia, whom he accompanies in the search for “Subject 9.” Intrigued by the temporal phenomena that accompany the “regular” electromagnetic events associated with astral projection (he watches the future unfold on camera before Astrid and Olivia experience it) Walter’s doubt builds as to whether Cameron, Subject 9, is really the culprit behind the destructive bodies of energy that are following Olivia.

Cameron is the first Cortexiphan patient Olivia has ever met, which implies Nick Lane, the hyper-empath, James Heath, the harbinger and healer of disease, and Sally Clark, the pyrokinetic, are still alive, having not sacrificed themselves in order to cross between universes. I hope they get their respective reprieves – the Cortexiphan kids have been an integral part of each season’s development, and the new season has a chance to put these characters to use properly.

More revelations abound, we discover that Elizabeth, Peter’s mother “over here” took her own life. This is and isn’t news; the timelines have significantly changed, though there are things that remain the same. Nina’s relationships, for example, haven’t – her entire character is now suspect of having changed. She and Walter are particularly apprehensive towards each other, and she seems to know certain intimate details about Olivia’s past – such as her prom date. Different but significant, I assume.

When Walter, Olivia, and Cameron realize that the blue energy is entirely autonomous from Cortexiphan abilities, they try to lure it to a power grid, which Walter believes Cameron can use to amplify his ability to manipulate the strange entity. The energy becomes more focused at the power plant, and begins to take shape. After months of asking, “Where is Peter Bishop?” and a few weeks of “blink if you miss” hints, we finally get our answer: right here. He briefly appears to Olivia before dissipating into the air, and thrust back into reality, emerging at Raiden Lake, the ground-zero of the Fringe multiverse.

Peter is taken to a hospital, where Fringe Division meets him after getting a report of his eerily accurate account of who they are and what they do. He requests Olivia personally, but when she shows up, she has no idea who he is – of course she doesn’t; he never existed! September is very much aware that Peter is extant again, though he remains entirely... observant. Unable, or unwilling to intervene, September seems to be escaping the hivemind of his fellow Observers, allowing the chaos of his first transgression to unfold unimpeded.

Even though Olivia has signed off on Walter’s (assumedly) unconditional release from St. Clair’s for the time being, he is far from the man that Peter left behind in the “blue” universe. If Peter is given the chance to work with Fringe Division – I assume we’ll be seeing some new-old technology that requires his expertise – it won’t be with the team he left behind.

By Mark D Curran

About the author

Mark is a freelance writer, student of English and Philosophy, and still has too much time on his hands. If you have any of your own, check out the blog and follow him on Twitter!!/MarkDCurran

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1 Comment
On: Saturday, October 15, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

Dude, I realized at "old Cortexiphan files" that I need to go way back to catch up on this show, dropped out somewhere late in season one or early season two !


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