Apr. 26th, 2015

sprocket: The trusted assistant at work (Astrid Fringe)
[personal profile] sprocket
Hello Vancouver! I did not peg that Edwin should have looked a little familiar from other genre shows.

The resistance continues:

WALTER: I have Tape Number One.

OLIVIA: Have you watched it?

WALTER: No. I've only just liberated it.
(Emphasis mine)

Contrasted with the new season's new "us against the Observers" vibe, Fringe goes back to some familiar themes in this episode. Walter and drugs. The return of the station wagon. (How on Earth is that station wagon still functional? It must have been rusting in peace for twenty years.) Olivia's perfect memory. Edwin wrestles with being a good parent to his son River, as Olivia reflects on her choices after Etta's disappearance, and what it meant about her parenting aptitude.

In the spirit of embracing the show as it is, how does this week play into the larger theme(s) of the season? Edwin tells Walter, my father started this historical record. He believed our history, like that of all other conquered races before us, would be rewritten by our oppressors. Someone has to survive to tell mankind's story. There's a pretty bald statement of the war/resistance angle: resist by surviving and controlling your story. An interesting idea in the context of a story which has rewritten history within its own continuity, when Peter was erased at the end of the third season, and also in the context of Fringe's writing decisions. The show has a long history of treating its own history (canon) very flexibly when it has a better storytelling idea.

Parent-child relationships are huge in the fifth season. River and Edwin's relationship plays a big role in "The Recordist", in some ways paralleling Etta's relationship with Olivia, and with Peter. Peter and Walter bicker constantly through this episode, but pull together when there's problems to be surmounted.

Speaking of problems, the fifth season brings up the problem of sacrifice and dying for others over and over again. Simon jumps into the amber in proto-s5 "Letters of Transit", Edwin takes one for the team (and his son, or his son's hypothetical Observer-free future) in "The Recordist", and other sacrifices are coming up in future episodes. The fifth season uses willingness to die for a cause as a quick path to demonstrating commitment to resisting the Observers. It's a remarkable shift from prior seasons, where dying for the cause was usually a fate chosen by our protagonist's opponents (Thomas Jerome Newton, anyone?).



Writer: Graham Roland
Director: Jeff T. Thomas
Originally Aired: October 12, 2012

Synopsis: The next tape in Walter's plan directs the Fringe team to a mine in rural Pennsylvania, where they discover a settlement dedicated to the preservation of human history. The residents are plagued by a disfiguring skin condition, which isolates them from other humans. The condition emanates from the mine, forcing Peter and Walter to devise a safe way to enter the before the Observers and Loyalists close in - or before one of the settlement's number can sacrifice himself for Walter's plan.

Meanwhile, Olivia and Peter continue to reconnect, and Walter learns the identity of the last visitor to show interest in the mine: Donald, associated with a scientist in Boston.

Most Memorable Quote:
Two contenders:

OLIVIA: You were talking about going up to Maine to this refugee camp that you'd heard about. And I was looking at you and nodding, and in my head I was thinking, I can't go. Behind you - you couldn't see it - but there was a wall of missing-person flyers. You know, with every day, the odds of finding our little girl the way we wanted to find her were getting worse, and we didn't talk about it. I mean, I... I couldn't put it into words then, but... I felt responsible.

and also

EDWIN: There's a time for recording history, and there's a time for making it.

Links:
Transcript
A. V. Club
Entertainment Weekly
Polite Dissent
Pop Culture Nexus

Fanfiction:
Olivia. In the Lab. With a Comic. by beautyofsorrow and Elialys.

Apologies for the late post. 5x04 will be up on schedule this Tuesday.

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