Over There Part 2
Season 2 Episode 23 (Aired: May 20 th, 2010 on FOX)
Walter and William need to talk, Olivia tells them to work it out another time and Peter realizes he's a pawn in his father's evil plans.
News of him being admitted to a hospital reach the alternate Walter Bishop (John Noble). He sends out the Fringe division to deal with his doppelganger swift and quietly. Luckily for Walter, William Bell (Leonard Nimoy) is well connected and manages to find him just in time and stall the Fringe team long enough to allow Olivia (Anna Torv) to escape with Walter. Their reunion turns out far from cordial, as Walter has a bone to pick with William.
The alternate Walter, meanwhile, tells Peter (Joshua Jackson) a bit more about the drawing he asked him to look at. The machine is supposed to to repair the damage done to both universes. It's old tech, he says, and he hasn't been able to get it to work. He replaced parts but suspects it might be the power supply that's at fault and asks Peter to go over the plans.
Peter has to step outside while the alternate Olivia reports to his father. She's a bit miffed at the secretary of defense because, while he told them to expect invaders from another universe, he didn't mention those invaders would be their counterparts. Bishop cautions her, saying those were monsters in their skin, ready to do and say anything.
Bell, Walter and Olivia retreat to a diner to discuss their options. One of the biggest problems they face is how to get back without the others to enhance Olivia's powers to open a door to their universe. Bell suggests Walter build a doorstop to keep the crack open long enough for them to slip through. He and Walter drive to the alternate Walter's old laboratory at Harvard. On their way they pass through dead strips of land and an abandoned city. A somber Walter asks if all of that was his doing. Bell tells him yes.
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In the lab Walter makes his anger hurt and frustration known to Bell. He accuses him of exploiting the other world's technologies for his own personal gains, grew rich and influential, while he spent 17 years in a mental institution and had his brain scrambled.
Olivia pays a visit to herself, in the meantime, to find out to where Peter was relocated. A well placed hit over the head knocks out the alternate Olivia during the fight and gives our Olivia time to tie her up and dye her hair red to pass for her counterpart. When Charlie (Kirk Acevedo) comes calling with another mission, she lies to him, saying she just got a call from the secretary of defense, instructing them to move Peter because his current location is no longer safe.
Peter, by now, has come to the conclusion that the machine needs a biological interface and it alarms him when some of the parts on the workbench react to him. Olivia brings with her the document from the bar and informs Peter that she got it from an Observer to warn them about what would happen if he ever returned to the universe he was born in. Charlie's questions about what the hell is going on are silenced with another well placed smack over the head. Peter realizes he's been lied to by his father when being told the machine would heal the damage that started with his abduction. His intentions for bringing Peter back never were rooted in a desire to repair this world but to destroy the other.
Peter no longer feels he belongs in this universe, but the same is true for the other and it is Olivia who brings about the decision. She tells him she tried to think of a good reason why he should go back to a life of taking care of Walter, fighting shape shifters and safe the world. But in the end it all comes down to it that he belongs to her and they kiss.
At the abandoned opera house their return is desperately awaited as time is getting short. Peter helps Walter set up the doorstop while Olivia and Bell hold the local Fringe division at bay. Bell looses consciousness during a heavy explosion which the Fringe division uses to switch Olivia's. Thinking they rid themselves of their pursuers, Bell and Olivia join Walter and Peter inside. There Walter and William say their final goodbyes. Bell will act as the power source for the contraption that will transport them over and it's going to rip him apart.
Back in the laboratory Peter comes to terms with Walter's role in the scheme of things who crossed universes twice to safe his life. The episode ends with a shot of our Olivia locked up in a cell without windows deep in the vaults of the ministry of defense.
Going Out With a Bang: What the Press Has to Say
Scenario: To get from the other side (and is that a proper noun now?) to our side, Olivia has to create a tiny portal. But since our heroes lack the backup from last week, they need a particle accelerator to act as a door jam and hold the portal open. Unfortunately, they also need the energy from all of Leonard Nimoy’s atoms splitting apart. William Bell, we hardly knew ye.
Plausibility: 5 of 10. The door-jamb analogy strengthens this one quite a bit, though what’s not clear is how Bolivia, without possessing Olivia’s Cortexiphan-heightened abilities, can open the portal in the first place. I suspect something has been over looked. But I suppose concessions had to be made for that cliffhanger. I’m forgiving, but that’s kind of a big one.
Do you really think Bell is dead? I know that in what we laughingly call real life, Leonard Nimoy has said this was his final acting job, that he won’t appear in Fringe or Star Trek or anyplace else. What a marvelous final performance, if that’s what this truly was. But what’s to stop Fringe from making William Bell reappear in another form?
Leonard Nimoy plays his most active role yet in a Fringe episode, and since he announced his retirement from acting last month, this may also be one of the last times we ever see him on the small screen. If this is his swan song, it's certainly a worthy one. The William Bell character truly comes to life with Nimoy at the helm. There's a classic bit of "old man" banter between Bell and Bishop when they meet again for the first time in a long while. The two have a few bickering moments that are just priceless, and portrayed by two veteran actors. The on-screen dynamic between John Noble and Nimoy is one of the better parts of the episode.
John Noble does a great job of playing both sides of the Walter coin. On one side we have the confidence and control of Walternate, and on the other side there's the frustration, sadness, and self-loathing of Walter. The scenes with Walter and Bell in Walternate's old lab really say everything about this show's mythology and the history between two of its main characters – there's Walter's animosity at what he perceived to be greed on Bell's part, Bell's frustration with the consequences of Walter's actions, and Walter's feelings about having had his brain picked apart. It's great sci-fi drama, made even more poignant by Bell's self-sacrifice at the end of the story.
Before we move on, I want to acknowledge the fantastic career of Leonard Nimoy. The former Spock from "Star Trek" has announced his retirement from acting and he has stated that this would be his last performance. Fortunately, William Bell proved to be a richly rewarding role, which Nimoy played to perfection.
Bell is an important figure in the mythology of "Fringe," who was often spoken about but rarely seen. If another actor had been cast in this part, it's likely that Bell would have continued to play a larger role in the future of the series. However, without Nimoy as Bell, the character would have definitely lost the gravitas that he brought to it.
The chemistry between Nimoy and John Noble's Walter Bishop was also really impressive work from two veteran actors. Their interplay was riveting and made good use of the history between the two characters. Their earliest interactions in the restaurant are largely played for laughs, but they also captured powerful moments like Walter's realization of what he had unleashed upon the alternate world and his fury towards Bell over losing 17 years of his life to an institution.
|More behind the scenes photos and videos can be found at Cinema Spy, on Flicker here and here and at BSC.|