Fringe Fries - The Recordist

Fringe Fries, those tasty morsels, Easter eggs, clues and homages that make Fringe so great.

Even though the theme of "The Recordist" was nearly identical as the week previously there was still some nuggets we could mine if we dig deep enough.  Let's start with the sense of humor exhibited by the Fringe writing team.

  • "Formerly Harvard University"  If only the gave it a Prince like spin and called it "The University Formerly known as Harvard".
  • Walter's bong hit on tape.  We're trusting this guy to save the world?  Paging The Avengers, we have an invasion problem!

  • "Shocker" exclaims Astrid to Walter for leaving the tapes out of order.  Nice comeback Astro.  BTW, don't you love her hair this season?
  • Walter jonesing for more herb when there is a world to be saved.  Again, yikes!
  • The "Wicked Tree Dwarf" from Walter  I've been known to define things "Hobbit" style also and Walter had that playful grin.  Awesome.
  • Walter's mime joke "Marcel Marceau".  Wait, it wasn't a joke.  Maybe he did a toke or two before they left Formerly Harvard University.

We've seen a lot of subterranean scenes this short season haven't we?  Do you suppose its analogous to the fact that they are operating as the "underground" or Resistance?

O2 levels are low because the Observers prefer it that way.  The last time we saw a universe that had problems with O2 levels was the damaged Red universe.  A connection?

Edwin tell the Fringe team that the Libraries we're all burned to the ground.  They use Libraries in the future?  What happened to the internet?  I'm kidding.  Isn't it odd that a race such as the Observers that watched every single historical era would now choose to erase it all?  Is there a clue in the past to defeating them?

Edwin tells the team they were refugees from the cities.  A lot of the cities were laid waste yet the countryside remains virtually unscathed.  More O2 in the country versus the cities?  Bad for the Observers? Cities are densely populated centers so, duh, it figures they would hit them.  William Bell went after Westfield as an experiment. A clue there?

So the Ice Queen melts?  Olivia spills to Peter she is not as strong as he, or we, thought she was.  Now that's a reversal.  Peter was the one that stayed focused while Olivia lost herself in the mission so she wouldn't have to face the hard truth.  Remember Walter accused Peter of abandoning them when that was hardly the truth.  Plus, aside to Walter, you wanted to stay behind to get high this time around.  Focus Walter!

Good for Olivia for opening up.   She's regaining trust in Peter and confiding in him.  The "Shippers" should be happy.  I've always worried about Olivia's repression.  She buries a lot of emotion and when you do that it resurfaces at the worst times.  She admits to being conflicted with her self.  That's good Olivia let it out.  Hugs! (I wish.)  BTW, that's an awesome jacket Olivia, can I get one for my wife?

Even though this episode was remarkably similar to last week's "In Absentia" we did get a heartfelt and succinct definition of what is to be a coward from Edwin Massey.

A coward is, "If you know what needs to be done and you don't do it."  That scene with Edwin's son River was pretty powerful. It's hard to say goodbye so sometimes you just don't do it.  At least not in so many words.  Massey knew what he had to do so he explained to his son the historical significance of action.  Instead of recording history this time he became part of it.  Now his son is the Recordist.

Tasty Morsel.

The return of the geodesic dome!  See that, the Fringe writers really are reading this blog.  Last week I got my Trojan Horse and this week some Dome love.  I still need my Green universe though!  C'mon Fringe writing staff, don't let me down.

Barring that I'll still take a hug from Olivia.  Just sayin'.


  1. Dave, witty write up you have going here. Astrid's attitude in season 5 is one I am loving and it is cracking me up. I about fell on the floor during the video tape when Walter hit the bong, not because of Walter hitting a bong, yet because it looked like Olivia (or rather Anna Torv) was having such an issue maintaining her composure. Astrid (or rather Jasika Nicole) had a bit of a mischievous look as well. My immediate impression was that they initially "lost it" and had trouble getting through the scene after. Perhaps, perhaps not. I like all the writer's references to "Formerly Harvard University" and such. I caught myself trying to stop and read the history of the Fringe team Edwin floated by. And I loved catching Gene the cow in the background of one of the Astrid shots back in the lab. Walter and the behavior with the bong and such are things that take us back and give us a good chuckle.

    AND, not sure if you were being sarcastic or what? But Ice Queen? Olivia? I don't agree. I think a lot of emotion has been conveyed with Olivia's looks about situations and people. Yes, she was standoffish with Etta, yet I trusted we would find out why and we did. I had a feeling and was pretty right. I knew I was right when I saw Olivia's expressions looking at the comic books River had drawn. By the way, I am wondering if some of the comics River had drawn were actually future telling. Yes, some were history, but he said some he made up and some of the images were brought back to mind during the episode itself as well as the promo for 504. I don't know though. Oh and minor family dynamics - has anyone noticed that since the first episode this Season (since they got Olivia back) it has been Peter/Etta in the front seat of their vehicles. At the end of this episode though I was just struck how the dynamic changed and now Olivia/Peter (the parents) rode up in the front with Etta/Walter in the back as a family does. Then there was that at the end where Olivia reached back as mother does and assured her daughter that she loved her, all was well and all would be fine. To me, the family dynamic has changed a lot now. Just something maybe I only noticed or think I notice. LOL

    1. The humor was great wasn't it Kristin? Maybe we'll see some outtakes when they all lose it on set. That's a DVD release for the future however!

      You calling me out Lady? You don't like my Ice Queen moniker? Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't tangle with a motorcycle aficionado. Don't forget, she was once a soldier of the ZFT army, emotions are a no-no! Blend in, right? Wear black and stick to the shadows, riiight?

      Actually, my Queen reference was half in jest. If anything she suffers from repression. Even Olivia characterized her self as being "conflicted". Poor lady, she needs a hug! (From me.) She's opening up however and I like your catch about the family dynamic and the seating arrangement in the car. Families and cadres of Resistance fighters are remarkably similar and in our case our Fringe family is one in the same.

      This dynamic should play itself out as this season progresses and there is bound to be a little heartache but all will be well in the end.

      If there is a problem they can always hug it out.

      Thanks Kristin!

  2. Hi Dave,

    Nice catch on the Red universe O2, I had completely forgotten about that. I guess all the giant holes made it uninhabitable. It does seem odd that the Observers would come to the blue/amber universe when they did though. Why not wait until a couple more generations of global warming have lowered the O2? Or maybe humanity was on the verge of going green again. So why not start a bunch of forest fires? I love the idea that the reason the libraries were burned was to hide something rather than just crush humanity's spirit. Certainly the Observers must have their own records of human history(s) somewhere. Sassy Astrid is awesome and I've loved every iteration of her hair. Gene peeking out of the amber was hilarious!

    I agree with Kristin, Ice Queen is a little harsh. Olivia has always been rather composed, but for good reason given all she's gone through. Just last week she got on Etta's case for her lack of compassion and displayed some herself. It was clear she was hiding some guilt when she pretended not to remember the restaurant, she remembers everything. I'm glad she and Peter are patching it up and both taking responsibility for the situation they are in. The re-bonding of the family is heartwarming, but on a meta level has me concerned. Another calm before a storm? Massey's self sacrifice and message about heroes and cowards certainly sounded like foreshadowing to me.

    The Formerly Harvard University thing had me chuckling, since that has never really been an actual Harvard building. I did like the way the guards reflections or shadows passed over the letters when they walked by, as though the letters were physically there. Nice touch.
    Ambered in Boston, Lynne


    1. Sassy Astrid is awesome isn't she? More please!

      That TV show formerly known as Lost had plenty of time to tie up loose threads and pretty much dropped the ball. I know Fringe has only 10 left but let's hope we get some cool answers to those burning questions.

      Now you've got me nervous concerning your foreshadowing point. Fringe loves to foreshadow. Damn! I was only teasing Oliva/Anna about being an Ice Queen. See my explanation to Sarah Maria below. Would I jeopardize a hug from our miss Torv? I think not!

      We have this Friday off, what shall we do without any Fringe? Oh wait, Grimm!

      Thanks Lynne

  3. Hi Dave!!!

    Great piece! To begin: I agree with Kristin about Olivia not being an Ice Queen. In fact, I would say it's quite the contrary. We learned last season that Olive is an empath. This could cause typical "emotional situations" to be too intense to handle... now amber an empath until it's 2036 releasing them into an occupied future where you meet your now adult daughter who is fighting to save the world (a fight you must join) all while trying to reconnect with your husband after the loss of said child in the past. That's a heck of a lot to take!
    In short: I think Olivia was completely overwhelmed and thus escaped her own problems by focusing on those of the world. I don't, though, think she was at all cold.

    Now for a couple quick thoughts:
    1) I love what you said about the Redverse's atmosphere. I definitely think you're onto something there
    2) If you get a hug from Olivia, I'm calling dibs on a hug from Peter!
    3) Could The Recordist have any connection to Sam Weiss who described what he did as being a historian?
    4) I don't think we've heard the last of the ZFT
    5) The team was in search of, and received fuel for what they will be building and it was organic. I think we need to focus on that nugget. The Observers are all about tech... could this weapon be a bit to the contrary?

    Thanks for a great post!
    Sarah Maria!

  4. Hello Sarah Maria, since you always say cheers when you sign off your replies, I found it only fitting that I report to you that I am enjoying a nice "Shipyard IPA" as I write back to you. Cheers to you!

    Here's my dirty little secret about referring to Olivia as the "Ice Queen". I had sent in some audio feedback to the Fringe Podcast and referred to Olivia as our "Warrior Princess". So I need something new for her and stuck with the whole royalty theme. Hence Queen over princess.

    Was I being harsh? I don't think so. Just a little tongue in cheek. You and I went back and forth a couple of blog posts ago on Olivia's (and the rest) "schizophrenic" personalities. I contended their portrayal was inconsistent while you claimed that at least Olivia persevered. True that!

    You pointed out above that you expect a return of the ZFT. As a soldier of the ZFT, Olivia necessarily had to adopt an icy personality. Hide in the gray areas, wear colors that blend in, keep emotions to a minimum and don't stand out. I agree that is easier said than done. As I've pointed out, I worry about Olivia's repression. You can't keep it all in. So I think it was refreshing to see her open up to Peter.

    In this short season perhaps we'll see an amalgam of all the personalities so that each character will bring out the best in each other. A true family.

    I love your Sam Weiss reference, wouldn't that be great if they get to tie that in.

    So you think the crystals are fuel? During the live airing I tweeted (remember that?) I thought they were Amphilicite. That would have been a great tie in to the past. Alas, no.

    I'll put you down for a Peter hug. They may have to "tase" me if I ever get one from Olivia.

    Cheers to that!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts