Fringe Friday! Anyone else feeling bad for Peter?

Moving to Friday Nights
Fringe returns this week on a new night. The Fringe producers are adamant that this move to the Friday Night Death Slot is not intended to kill the show, so fellow Fringe fans, let’s take them at their word and continue to support what is arguably the best SciFi show still airing on network TV.

The Recap
In the last episode aired things were looking grim. It was what romance fans like to call the BBM, big black moment, a time when all hope seems lost for the hero and heroine. In this case, Olivia was back in our universe and safe for the moment, but evil-Olivia had accomplished her mission—putting the universe in greater jeopardy than ever—and Olivia’s relationship with Peter had hit the wall. Splat!

Olivia Undone
I’ve been rooting for Olivia and Peter to become a couple from the beginning, but the events of this season have put a huge wedge between them. Season three has not been kind to Olivia in general, but the last two episodes were heart-wrenching. Ana-T did a great job of making us unravel along with Olivia as she dealt with finding out that faux-livia had slipped completely into her life, lived in her home, fooled her friends, and fell into bed with the man Olivia had fallen in love with (when SHE  hadn’t even taken that step). It was hard not to want to cry along with her as she fell quietly apart. It was easy to grieve with Olivia, but what about Peter?

Don’t do it, Peter!
As we were forced to watch Peter fall under the sway of faux-livia in the first half of the season, I wanted to scream at Peter in much the same way as you scream at the girl in the slasher movie. Don’t do it!  Everyone knows if you do IT in one of those movies then you are doomed! When Peter failed to figure out the reason for the differences in Olivia after the trip to the other side, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to forgive him. But that all changed the moment he got the late night call from a stranger with a message from good-Olivia. For me, that was a pivotal moment. It had been clear that he’d seen the signs and had just wanted to believe the changes in their relationship accounted for the changes in Olivia. What guy doesn’t want to think he can make his woman happy?

I ❤ Peter
When Peter got the call, everything changed. You could see it in his body language. His loyalty was with good-Olivia from that very moment. He didn’t hesitate to act. He could have rolled over and ignored the call. It would have been easier to continue on in denial, but everything he did from that moment on made it clear that his heart truly belonged to good-Olivia. As viewers, we all knew the evil deeds faux-livia had been up to, but he didn’t. He could so easily have made excuses for her. She was only trying to protect her world, right? When faux-livia tried to play the my-feelings-for-you-were-real card, Peter shut her down without any hesitation. This reminded me what I’ve always loved about him. He’s smart and he has his own, very clear, moral compass. We know he had a shady past, but he seems to have come through that dark past with his values in tact.

So, while we’re grieving with Olivia, let’s not forget that Peter’s got his own heart-ache and his own set of baggage. His history with Walter made it impossible for him to lie to Olivia about what had happened even when he knew it would forever change their relationship. In his own way, Peter is every bit as wounded as Olivia. He was made a fool of by faux-livia, his newly discovered Dad figure is the one who sent her there to do it, and he has to live with knowing that not only did he let Olivia down by leaving her in a hostile alt-universe for months, he betrayed her in the process. What a mess!

Eeny, meeny, miney, mo, which way will Fringe go?
As Fringe returns, I’m thinking back on the fabulous episodes already aired in season three and wondering where the show will go when it returns from hiatus. Will they continue to focus on the bigger story line of the competing alternate universes? Will they continue to focus on the character relationship story line? Or will they return to a focus on the episodic, fringe-event pattern that launched the show back in season one? I’m hoping the show will continue the delicate balance of all three that we’ve seen in the first half of the season. But, you know what? Every part of this show is good, so whereever they go it is going to be good.

I can’t wait to see what happens with these terribly broken characters and their mixed up, crazy science world!

14 thoughts on “Fringe Friday! Anyone else feeling bad for Peter?

  1. Aside from total confusion about which witch is which Fringe has become a creepier version of LOST. My husband likes it – I read while he watches. S

  2. Great post. I literally yelled at the TV when Peter & fauxlivia began their physical relationship. I can’t imagine how horrible Olivia must feel. Reminds me a lot of the Buffy episode when Faith switches bodies with her (a spell I think) and sleeps with Riley. When Buf is back in her own body and finds out that she’ll never get to have a “first time” w/ Riley b/c Faith beat her to the punch, that was gut-wrenching.

    Then there’s the part of you (them) that wants to know HOW COULD YOU NOT HAVE KNOWN THAT WASN’T ME?!?!? If you love someone, wouldn’t you notice if there was something slightly off about them? I guess it’s easy to say in theory, but unless you’re in that position, who knows.

    I’m just super excited Fringe is back tomorrow. YAY! =)

  3. <<>

    Yes exactly. But it ruins it for them BOTH don’t you think? If they ever got together physically, faux-livia would be between them the whole way.

    >>Then there’s the part of you (them) that wants to know HOW COULD YOU NOT HAVE KNOWN THAT WASN’T ME?!?!? >>>

    Yep. You know Olivia’s got to be thinking this and Peter knows she’s thinking it and blaming himself for it.

    It is all so wonderfully horrid. In TV world couples can never be happy because it kills the show’s tension, but so often the writers but stupid stuff in to keep them apart. This is so much better because it was really no one’s fault but it really bad stuff that absolutley can’t be easily fixed. Most viewers will relate to the feelings on some level and will understand why the characters struggle to recover.

  4. I think Olivia actually said to Peter, “How could you not have known?” And yeah, he looked totally devastated realizing he *hadn’t* known. Heart breaking for both of them. Watching Olivia tear through “her” dirty laundry and closet was gut wrenching. To know what went on in her own apartment? Her own bed? Peter wasn’t the bad guy here, and she knows it. They both do. He was as much a victim as Olivia. The poor guy could do nothing but tell the truth and it still made everyone miserable. This will definitely keep them apart and ratchet up the tension.

    I applaud the writers and the actors this season. We got a fabulous mix of emotional kick and kick-ass action. Let’s hope the rest of the season is as good.

  5. I’ve never watched Fringe but after your incredible review, I feel the need to go out and rent the first two seasons and try to catch up on reruns of the third while its in hiatus.

    Thanks for opening my eyes to a “new” show.

  6. I’m not a big fan of episode based shows – unless they have an underlying story-arc. I’m so glad that Fringe has evolved beyond ‘mystery/incident of the week’. Even though most incidents where done a lot stronger than other shows!

    Fringe is def in my to-watch top 3 and I hope it’ll stay there for a long time 🙂

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