The Mad Science of Fringe: Taxicab Confessions with Olivia

Welcome back to the multiverse, fellow Fringe fans! Has the summer been long? Many times, have you found your thoughts drifting to poor Olivia, trapped in some alt-world prison under the menacing gaze of Walternate!? Yeah, me neither, really -- been watching a lot of Mad Men. But, you know, from time to time. Regardless, last night's Olivia, written by showrunners J.H. Wyman & Jeff Pinkner, was an excellent return. Did it make sense though? Read on for a breakdown of your mad science capsules!

(Actually, there wasn't too much science in last night's premiere, so pardon me as I take some liberties.)

Scenario: After a very Sarah Connor-tinged chat with an alt-world psychiatrist, Olivia, looking all kinds of hopeless and despondent with her red-ringed eyes and scratched face (though her hair looks fabulous) has had enough of this pop stand. Just before a brainwashing session (more on that in a bit), she takes out some guards via needles and her fists, makes a mad dash through the woods and jumps into New York Harbor.

Plausibility: 6 of 10. Alt-Broyles tells Walternate that the chances of just anyone surviving that jump are marginal. But we know our Olivia. She can manipulate the fabric of the universe. New York Harbor is surely no challenge for her. I'm more puzzled over the lax security at the prison facility. This is why you have holes in your universe, alt-folks.

Scenario: Despite the red rings of death around her eyes and her sopping-wet hospital gown, Olivia manages to cozy up to a cabbie, who helps her for the duration of the episode.

Plausibility: 4 of 10. Oh it takes some threats, some tears and at least one well-placed bullet, but Olivia wins him over. Enough, even, that when she orders him to buy her some clothes or else, he comes back with some choice wares -- and perfectly sized, too! And when they part ways at the end of the episode, he even has a personal anecdote to relate about how he, too, felt like somebody else for a time. It's nice and everything, but if I were that taxi driver, I would totally be fleeing at the first opportune moment.

Scenario: Walternate, who has sent Bolivia "over here" to gather intelligence/thwart many things, transfers Bolivia's memories to Olivia so he can open a door between the universes. He injects her with some unnamed drug that goes into effect once she escapes and her adrenaline amps up.

Plausibility: 8 of 10. I'm a little unclear about what exactly they were injecting into her. Were those the memories? Did they get them from Bolivia's Pensieve? Otherwise, I buy adrenaline being the vehicle for memory transference. And watching Olivia slowly morph into the enemy was pretty horrifyingly awesome.

Scenario: Peter and Walter have no idea that Olivia is Bolivia.

Plausibility: 6 of 10. Where Olivia's special skill is hopping through universes, Bolivia's special skill is having instant and flawless knowledge of alternate histories. It just seems like she would have slipped up at some point. But, then, I guess a night of Wikipedia racing would probably help her out a lot. (I wonder what the alt-world version of wiki is?)

What did you think of last night's premiere? Or did you elect to watch Nikita instead? (For SHAME!)



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