This week's episode is a bit different than normal, and takes us back to 1985, after Peter was taken by Walter. It shows us the lives of both parents after these events, and shows us how it effected them. It's like the back-story of Lost, in season 6, except this episode didn't suck super balls.
Episode 15 - "Subject 13"
Zach says: The episode opens with a scene of young Peter at Reiden Lake, the place where Walter crossed over to the other universe to take him. Peter knows he is not at home, and believes that this lake will be where he can get back. The entire episode, we can see that Peter is completely aware of the fact that he is not from this place, and that Walter and his wife are not his real parents. I find it interesting that Peter, at a relatively old age, somewhere around 8-10 perhaps, is so sure of himself that this place is foreign to him, yet in his adult life, from what we've seen of previous episodes, he doesn't remember this at all. So basically, it seems like a big contradiction the show has shown. How could adult Peter not remember this stuff? Don't make no sense.
Anyways, aside from this drama that is presented through most of the episode, with his mother trying to affirm that he was simply sick, and everything is ok, lies of which take their toll on her, we see Walter trying to discover, through his children test subjects, a way for them to transport to the other universe to take Peter home. So, we can see that Walter has good intentions here, or so we think. Olivia is the one, of course, who exceeds expectations, and actually went to the other universe.
As the episode progresses, she does it multiple times, and even warms up to Walter and confesses that her step father has been abusive. However, it was actually Walternate who she spoke to. We also see what has happened to the alternate universe in this episode. Here, Walternate is the one breaking down over the loss of his son, which leads to issues with the marriage, over his obsessive behavior. However, he has a breakthrough when he meets young Olivia from the regular universe, and he realizes what has truly happened to his son. A breakthrough that assuredly leads to events in the present.
I really enjoyed this episode. It was definitely different than regular episodes of Fringe, and showed how certain events effected everyone involved, and how things became the way they are. There were a discrepancy or two I think, like how Peter doesn't remember this, but overall, there was a lot to learn and I liked the emotionally driven episode.
Zach's Score: 9/10
JDW says: It's hard to say anything Zach already hasn't, but here's a nifty bit of trivia: the back story episode of Lost Zach mentioned in the opening of this post was the 15th episode of Lost's 6th Season. The original 80's episode of Fringe from Season 2, "Peter," was the 15th episode of that season. And now this 80's episode is also a 15th episode... 4 8 15 16 23 42 What are you up to Mr. Abrams?!
But, back to the episode, the last time Fringe went to the 80s, in "Peter," I gave it a VFH Seal of Approval, and rightfully so, I still think that it's the shows finest hour. "Subject 13" follows in that tradition of making the 80s episodes the best thing this show has to offer. I think this further proves my theory that the further away Fringe is from its formula, the better it is. I already prefer Other Side "case of the week" episodes over our own side's case, and the 2 80s episodes (which awesome 80s opening) are even better than those. Sure, it was more of a surprise when "Peter" did it, thus making the episode a bit more special and original, but "Subject 13" is still a really strong episode, even if they didn't get around to explaining why Peter and Olivia at their current age don't remember any of this... And last week's standard case of the week sucked, so I think my theory is fact...
JDW's Score: 9/10
Overall Score: 9/10
Missed the episode? Watch it on Hulu