As promised, I have arrived.
*Steps out of Beacon 's light*
I haven't really posted any opinions on 4.15 yet, so I suppose I will lay out some things here for potential use in the newsletter.
What OJ enjoyed:
-The Peter-centric storyline was probably the best part of the episode. From witnessing September's retrieval at the lab by his colleagues, to Peter trekking to September's safehouse, to finding the Beacon; there weren't many words in these scenes, but it made following the journey more engaging. The scene at the house was neat as well; the effects of the Beacon and September's return had a certain Fringe-iness to it. And there came the best line of the episode.
"They hid the universe from me."
-The Beacon reveal was satisfactory. Obviously, the name gave away quite a bit, so that the device is a marker for inter-world travel (or space-time buoy, as I like to call it) is fitting. I suspect we will get more on the Beacon later on, because we still need to know why they are necessary in the first place, and what is it about them that would compel someone like John Mosley to seek one out.
-Nina/Olivia also had some strong scenes (particularly their last conversation), as did Peter and Walter at the lab, with the latter at last admitting Peter was the better man.
-It was interesting to watch knowing showrunner Joel Wyman directed (and wrote) this episode. And the direction itself was pretty good, as was the acting, which I assume Wyman's presence also benefited from (seeing as he would naturally know the characters more than the actors would).
What OJ enjoyed less:
-A lot of the messages/subtext were more overt and heavy-handed than they needed to be, especially when they pertained to love (or should I say Love). It has been Fringe's tradition in these past years to have the events of an episode reflect the state of the characters at that point in time, but this episode in particular seemed more forced than usual in its delivery, to the detriment of the installment.
-As much as the central antagonist was interesting to watch, I find that context as to his circumstances and motivations were bit lacking, or could have been explored in slightly further depth. I realize that you don't always need to have things laid out explicitly, and I enjoy piecing things together on my own, but I would have liked a couple more pieces, so to speak.
-The ongoing plot didn't seem to progress much, as I (and apparently, the majority of viewers) had already suspected many things that were laid out, particularly in regards to Peter's situation. I suppose it was necessary for the characters to catch up to what we know, so it is understandable, but such a point cannot go unaddressed.
-September's explanation wasn't very satisfactory as it applied to the reasoning for Peter's persistence of erasure. They've already set up the precedent to emotional QE in past seasons, so it came as no surprise, but the wording itself was kind of flat.
"I believe you call it...Lurve."
Well, ain't I an Observer's uncle.
-I'm also not too enthused on Love being The Answer***. As the series has progressed, the shift of balance towards emphasis on the P/O relationship has had me concerned, as naturally, this would hinder all the other aspects, like the science and the mythos. With such a grand-sweeping saga, that the concept of love would be addressed is to be expected, but surely, it need not be the driving force; because with September seemingly placing P/O as having existential significance (as it was with Sam Weiss' "Which Olivia He Chooses" explanation in S3), it seems the relationship angle is overshadowing other aspects.
And then there's the matter that it seems every damn story, regardless of medium, ends up with Love as The Answer. What's up with that? O.o
What OJ is trying to say:
As a whole, this episode was a weird one, and it left me rather ambivalent. In the end, there were more cons than pros to this one, making my final rating 6.5 Bishop Potato Chips out of 10.
I suppose this is due to this episode acting as a transitional piece, however, as it set everyone up for the remainder of the season. With any luck, the next seven episodes will provide more engaging fare.
***By this, I mean in the way Love is usually invoked, as some kind of ultimate transcendent force more powerful than any other force, as well as being championed as the height of human experience.