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So, JJ Abrams is terrified of airplanes. 
Now that we've established that, I feel this episode is one of the highlights of season 1: the character development is fantastic, and, pardon my french, the complete lack of fucks given in the science (SKIENCE!) department drives the point home that this is not a show that really cares about realism much, outside of an emotional and psychological sense. Like comic books and Stephen King before it, all that matters in Fringe Division is that crazy science has a cost that is too high eleven out of ten times, and that its fallout resonates with the characters as people, and aids in the exploration of their psyches. 
Like most of the other great episodes of the season, this one is personal for Olivia. It is the resolution of John Scott's arc, and it deals with that niggling doubt that Olivia has carried like a ton of bricks since her once-lover died in the pilot. In the end, this episode is meant to restore Olivia's confidence in her own judgement and her own feelings, and leaves her ready to face the personal hardships that will come by giving her a sense of closure on the events that got her involved with Fringe Division in the first place. It struck me about this episode that the writers were willing to close off the well of possibilities that was having John's memories in Olivia's head, but I remain grateful that they never backed down on that decision, and in retrospect I'm glad of it; John was a weight Olivia needed to let go of to start the journey of becoming the best she could be. 
Also of note is the little shown but greatly appreciated inclusion of Astrid as a definite part of the team. Someone whose judgement Olivia trusts and is willing to listen to. Astrid is the person that, by virtue of being shoved to the sidelines so often, has had the chance to learn who each one of the people she works with is, and what makes them tick. Astrid can recognize Olivia as a great judge of character only because she is one herself--the mere fact that she is willing to work with Walter, after being assaulted in the way she was, speaks volumes about the person Astrid believes Walter to be: damaged, cruel, crazy and arrogant, but ultimately both necessary and redeemable.

PS. UNDERCOVER SHENANNIGANS! There should have been more of those. Hell that could be another series. Maybe there's an alternate universe where Fringe Division does corporate espionage for the US government as some sort of regulatory organism for scientific development.

Writer: J.R. Orci
           Zack Whedon
Director: Brad Anderson
Originally Aired: 03 Feb 2009

Synopsis:  The team delves into a bizarre case when the freakish corpse of a passenger is discovered at the crash site of another international aviation disaster. Olivia's memories tip the team toward a promising lead, but the bigger picture and mysterious threat eludes them. With limited options and insufficient intelligence, Olivia and Peter go undercover to expose an international bio-arms merchant.

Most Memorable Quote:

OLIVIA: You didn't have to come with me, you know.

PETER: Shady deals with shady guys in shady hotels is my M.O. - and typically, if someone is going to kill you, it's a good idea to have an ally in the room.

OLIVIA: I'm not scared.

PETER: Being fearless doesn't mean you're being safe.

IGN Review
AV Club Review
Polite Dissent

The Blueverse, by Cotillion66 - this one hasn't really gotten to The Transformation (The Equation is the latest chapter) but more than a fic it's a very well written episode-by-episode novelization, full of good character insight. 

If someone's got any more episode specific recs, please leave them in the comments!


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