Fringe 3.01 “Olivia” Recap

I have to say I completely agree with Sam’s review about Fringe. It really is the best show on TV right now. Sure it has its ups and downs, but honestly? When they make an effort, Fringe is excellent. Although, really, it is a confusing show. If you’re not up to date with the mythology, you can easily get completely lost in its alternative universes and weird events.

With that said, the producers have been able to give us a really solid narrative that allows you to follow their mind-bending plot twists and double characters. When we last saw our heroes, they were trying to cross over back to what we’re calling ‘over here’. Olivia and Walter had crossed over to the other universe in order to rescue Peter, who had gone with Walternate (his real father) believing he could help fix his original world. Walternate had an agenda of his own and just wanted to use Peter to destroy this universe. Olivia finds him, they finally kiss and realize they’re totally into each other and go find Walter and William Bell, who are preparing their journey back.

However, when they get to the Opera House, the Faux-Fringe Division arrives and in the midst of bullets and grenades, Fauxlivia switches places with our Olivia and crosses back to over here with Peter and Walter. Meanwhile, our Olivia is stranded there, locked up in a facility by Walternate with no way of getting back to her universe.

That’s where Season 3 starts. A woman called Dr. Anderson is showing Olivia pictures of Fauxlivia’s life, trying to convince her that she is her alternate self. Olivia, however, insists that she is Olivia Dunham and works for the FBI’s Fringe Division, but she’s from another universe. This is not her life. Her mother died when she was 14, her partner, Charlie Francis, was murdered, and she has never won an Olympic medal for marksmanship.

In Walternate’s office, he tells Faux-Brandon — a Massive Dynamic scientist over here and a scientist that works for Walternate over there — that the experiment is not working and he wants him to try it again. Faux-Brandon alerts Walternate that if he gives Olivia another dose it could kill her. Walternate tells him to do it anyway. He says that they’re at war with the other universe and that Olivia has the ability to cross over between them They need to learn more about that, hence the need for the experiment to be successful.

They get Olivia in her cell and bring her to the lab. After strapping her to a gurney, Faux-Brandon injects her with something. When he’s administering the second dose, Olivia says she doesn’t feel good and starts having trouble breathing. The two scientists in the lab go tend to her, which is when she grabs the syringe and injects one with whatever it was filled with. She takes Faux-Brandon down and makes a run for it. In the corridor, she hits a guard in the throat and steals his gun. Other guards chase her, but she manages to make her way outside. She runs as fast as she can, but eventually finds herself on the edge of a cliff and finds out she is at Liberty Island. With the guards hot on her heels, she has no choice but to jump into the dark water below.

After the alternate opening credits — which are red and you really should pay close attention to the words there — it’s morning in ‘Manhatan’. Olivia enters a cab, where the driver is calmly listening to the news on the radio. She points her gun at him and orders him to drive, wearing a hospital gown and soaked from swimming to the shore. She also tells him she was being held against her will and that she was being pursued by a division of the government. He obviously thinks she’s crazy, saying that he just got his life back together and that he doesn’t need any trouble. She tells him not to worry; he won’t have any trouble if he does exactly as she says. Then she tells him to pull over and asks for his Show Me card — an ID that contains information about him: his name, address, blood type, immunizations and any diseases he might have had. After looking at it, she asks him to go into the store and buy her some clothes. If he says anything to anyone, she knows where he lives.

Meanwhile, Faux-Charlie makes a visit to Agent Lee, who was badly burnt in the Season 2 Finale. He’s recovering and asks about Fauxlivia. Faux-Charlie tells him she’s doing better physically, but that she’s had a complete psychotic break. Neither of them knows anything about the switch, so they firmly believe that Olivia is actually Fauxlivia. Faux-Broyles arrives and informs them that Olivia escaped the facility where she was being treated and he needs Faux-Charlie to help him find her. Agent Lee, even though still recovering, says that he’s going as well; after all, Fauxlivia is his partner.

On the other side of the city, Olivia asks Henry to take her to the Opera House. But when they get there, the guards won’t let her come inside. They’re putting the place in quarantine, which means it’s trapped in amber. Olivia comes back to the taxi feeling lost and tells Henry to drive while she’s thinking. Henry’s wife calls and after he talks to her, Olivia inquires about his family. He tells her about his wife Jasmine and his daughter and questions if she has someone like that. She mentions Peter and says that he’s sort of the reason that she’s there. After a while, she asks him to take her to 6551 18th Street, just off 10th Avenue. When Henry asks what is there, she tells him it’s a company called Massive Dynamic and that they might have technology to help her get home. Henry says that they’re going to need to fuel up if they’re going all the way down to Chelsea.

They stop at a gas station and Olivia takes the car keys while Henry pumps gas into the taxi. She goes to the bathroom and checks the tattoo on the back of her neck that Henry had noticed earlier. Then she goes into the stall and finally takes the time to cry. When she leaves the bathroom, Agent Lee is waiting outside for her. He greets her like they’re old friends — which he really believes they are — and she points her gun at him, telling him to put his on the ground. He tries to talk her out of it, but Olivia is having none of it. She takes his gun and locks him in the bathroom.

On her way to the car, other agents arrive, including Faux-Charlie. Olivia gives Henry the keys and urges him to drive. Faux-Charlie calls out to her and she points her gun at him, then at the last second, shoots the gas tank fifty feet away instead and blows the place up. Henry is impressed and says she’s one hell of a shot, but Olivia is a little surprised and tells him she’s actually not that good. Henry proceeds to tell her she could’ve fooled anyone and then rips off the car tracking device and throws it out the window, saying they can’t find them now. He is completely invested in helping her from then on.

Continues on the next page…

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