'Fringe' Episode 3.1 -- 'Olivia'


Fringe 3.1
Directed By: Joe Chappelle
Original Airdate: 23 Sept 2010

In This Episode...

Olivia is being interviewed by a shrink.  Though her hair is brown and she has a tattoo on the back of her neck, this is “our” Olivia.  Of course, the shrink doesn’t believe Olivia’s tale of alternate dimensions and dopplegangers, and runs painful drug trials on her at the behest of Walternate.  Naturally, Olivia has to break out.  She escapes, and takes a cabbie hostage, begging him to just drive.

Their first stop is to get Liv some clothes.  Next, they go to the opera house, in the hopes that Olivia can reopen the wormhole that brought her here.  The place is being quarantined by some kind of smoke that appears to seal the building into amber.  Failing that, Liv has the cabbie drive her to Massive Dynamic, but in this world, Massive Dynamic doesn’t exist; all that is there is a park.  Upset, Olivia tells the cabbie to just drive her around while she tries to figure out a plan.  An address pops into her head.  She doesn’t know what it is, but feels it might be a safe house.

The cabbie stops at a gas station to fill up, and Charlie and Lincoln catch up with Olivia there.  Liv and the cabbie take off, and she shoots a large gas reservoir.  The whole place goes up in a fireball behind her.  Charlie and Lincoln aren’t hurt; it’s more of a delay tactic.  On the way out, the cabbie rips out the taxi’s tracking device.  His Stockholm Syndrome is in full effect.  When the cab reaches its destination, Olivia sends the cabbie back to his own family.

Inside the house, Olivia runs into her mother.  In our world, Mrs. Dunham died when Olivia was 14.  Liv fights her urge to give in to the alternate universe, and insists this woman is not her mom.  “If I’m not your mom, and this isn’t your home, then how did you know to come here?”  Olivia can’t argue this logic, and when Charlie comes to collect her a short while later, she doesn’t fight it.  Walternate is pleased to hear that she is “our Olivia” now.  The drug treatments she had been getting were to implant someone else’s memories (in this case, the other Olivia) into our Agent Dunham.  The adrenaline that pumped during her escape helped the drugs to absorb properly.

Back in our universe, Fauxlivia is babysitting Walter while Peter is giving a statement about his universe-traveling to a suit.  Peter is asked why, after all he went through, did he come back to this universe.  We get the answer when Peter comes outside and kisses Fauxlivia deeply.

Dig It or Bury It?

The other universe is boring.  Their Walter is serious and straight-laced; their Olivia has no warmth; their Astrid is a soldier; and they don’t have a Peter currently.  I bet Walternate doesn’t have a pet cow.

This season premiere was rather dull.  I understand that Fringe can be a complicated show, and this episode did a really good job catching people up on what they may have forgotten over the long summer hiatus.  But why do the alternates have to be so boring?  Does Peter bring the fun to whatever universe he happens to be in?  And this Peter/Olivia (or Fauxlivia) relationship is a bit fishy.  I knew last season there were serious sparks, but I thought he was still mad at her for lying about his origins.  Does he know this is Fauxlivia that he is making out with?  At some point he is going to see her tattoo - will that tip him off?


Sadly, our Walter was only in this episode for a few scant minutes.  In that time though, he was truly enjoying a little bag of Oreos.

In the Other Universe...

...They have daily tourist flights to the moon, the World Trade Center still exists, and the Statue of Liberty is gold.


A drug that can give you someone else’s memories... isn’t that called a roofie?


I suspect this season we will alternate episodes in each universe.  “Normal” or blue credits indicate “our” universe; red title sequence indicates the “alternate” universe.