Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Life, Death and Life of Walter Bishop

A new season of Fringe is right around the corner. In fact it seems to be heading our direction like a runaway train.  Gone is the interminable summer that separated us from the end of season four and the onset of this truncated season.  Many great themes will be explored this coming year but because there is precious little time for stand alone episodes or thematic diversions we should get right down to the nitty gritty.

There has been much discussion in the blogosphere and the internet in general as to whether Walter Bishop will finally get his redemption.  Even if the season four version of Walter isn't aware of the transgressions of the previous iterations of Walter the sins of the past and his inter-dimensional machinations remain largely the same.

There was a time when Walter used to openly beseech God for his forgiveness but the season four version of Walter while guilty of the same sins in general is more likely to drift into a state of depression and resignation.  So how is this Walter going to receive redemption if he isn't the same man he used to be?  Literally!

Thanks to the future Fringe Division, Walter Bishop isn't even the same man he was in season four.  He is now the cantankerous, impatient bully that many of us found repugnant.  With his faculties fully intact Walter now seems even further from redemption that he ever was.

So how will Walter find redemption?  The answer may lie with William Bell.  The last time we saw Bell he was left ambered in the year 2036.  It's a mystery how he was with the ambered version of the Fringe Division from approximately 2016 in the first place.  I suspect with the onset of the Observer invasion, Bell's usefulness was once again sorely needed.  He may have disappeared following the events that left Olivia with a bullet in her forehead but that doesn't mean he left the scene entirely.  I believe Walter may have even openly sought Bell's help once the Observers took over or Bell may have volunteered his help because despite his illness and his plans being thwarted, a world ruled by the Observers is not something Bell would want to see.

So how will Bell have a hand in saving the future and enabling the redemption of Walter Bishop?

When the nicer version of Walter was freed from the amber in the year 2036 he left Bell behind to be permanently encased in amber and explained to Astrid that he deserved to stay there because of what he did to Olivia.  Walter, however, removed Bell's hand and I believe he did it knowing that one day he would need Bell's brilliant mind once again.  (Sharp eyed reader, Lynne, [duckyislost] points out in her comment the hands usefulness is primarily to gain access to a biometrically protected safe room or lab.)    I'm thinking Walter will clone a new version of William Bell and this new version will receive and accelerated growth engineering.  Walter will probably stop the accelerated growth in Bell's twenties so he will have a long and useful life ahead of him.  This way Leonard Nimoy will be freed of having to play Bell and younger actor  will take over the role.

The new younger Bell will be able to work with the old brilliant but miserable Walter and help defeat the Observers perhaps by completeing the device that will rid the world of the Observers together.

But at what cost?

I envision a scenario where Walters puts himself in harms way either because the device is near completion or he has to manually operate it as the Observers draw close.  Even the cold and bitter Walter of the future know what's at stake.  He willingly sacrifices himself so the mission will succeed and the world will be free of the totalitarian bondage of the Observers.  As the Fringe Division rushes to his side the dying Walter regards them all.  The family is whole again and the future is safe.  As Walter passes away he finally finds the redemption he deserves.

Walter's passing is mourned deeply.  The world may be safe but a shadow is cast over what is ahead.  There is much work to be done to undo what the Observers have wrought.  In a quiet darkened space that used to be a laboratory at Harvard University a young William Bell hangs his head at the enormity of the challenge before him.  As the tears well in his eyes a silent figure appears before him.  He doffs his fedora and extend his hand.  A vial is placed in the care of Bell and with it the future is remade.  "Thank you" offers Bell, "My old friend and I have much to do."

And so in a world where darkness once prevailed two brilliant minds forge the beginning of a new era.  The echoes of their greatness reverberate across time and space.  So as it once was so it is to be again.  Such is the life and death and life of Walter Bishop.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Picnic In The Park.

Werewolves got you down?  Follicly challenged invaders from the future ruining your day? How about killer robots with a propensity towards time lord eradication?  Solution?

Picnic in the park!

Have you noticed that a lot of favorite "geektastic" shows are featuring picnics in their promotional pictures?  What better bucolic scene to be shattered than the relative calm and assurance than a family or romantic picnic.

Take for example the above image taken from the upcoming Doctor Who episode, "The Angels Take Manhattan"  So serene.  The picnic is such a great way to relax, lounge about, catch up on the news and converse with friends.  Heaven forbid those angelic stone harbingers of doom should descend upon this tranquility.  Where are the Muppets when you need them?!!

Here's another study in quietude.  Our favorite Blutbad, Monroe and his new love Rosalee from the TV show, Grimm. It was such a great idea to give Monroe a love interest and what a terrific addition to the cast in Bree Turner as Fuchsbau shop owner Rosalee Calvert. Only the untimely intrusion of a Hexenbiest could disrupt this blissful tableau.

Lastly, here's another look at the reverie of quiescent euphoria.  Fringe stalwarts, Peter Bishop and Olivia Dunham.  Finally, a moment together where they can peacefully enjoy each others company while young Etta traipses about.  Peter is utterly relaxed, soothed by the calming heartbeat of his heroic companion.  For her part, Olivia casts a knowing glance at Peter not minding the interruption into her study of the upside of "Strawberry Flavored Death".  What could possibly shatter this glimpse into paradise?

Oh right, the aforementioned follicly challenged calender crew from the future.  Sigh, can't our heroes enjoy one peaceful moment?  It's no wonder that the people behind these respective shows have chosen the idyllic setting such as the family picnic. Nothing says security and comfort like plunking down the ol' picnic basket and spreading out a blanket onto the soft green grass.  And what better counter point to this rapture than to have it defiled by their respective nemeses.  You can't measure happiness until its gone and we can only hope our heroes can get it back.

You stay away too Yogi!