‘Fringe’: From whom the bell tolls

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Finally! The scene we’ve been waiting for all season. Don’t get me wrong, the last three episodes have had their moments. I enjoyed all the fun with the shape-shifting soldiers from another dimension, the scary mole boy and the ex-colonel fighting his own war against the Observers, but since the finale of last season, I’ve been waiting to find out what happened in that meeting between Olivia and William Bell. Now we know, though it might be too late.

Who knew that the key to unlocking Olivia’s memories would be a tape worm smoothie? They need to make that an optional boost at Jamba Juice, with or without strawberries.


I’m not sure if I completely understand Walter’s science behind the worms. He explained that when worms trained to respond to light were fed to untrained worms, the second group gained the abilities of their consumed brethren. How that translates to Olivia remembering her time in the déjà vuniverse is beyond me, but I’ll gladly suspend my disbelief for more Leonard Nimoy.

The worms didn’t kick in right away. It took Walter ringing a bell. Not sure if that was a subconscious trigger, a bit of symbolism for William’s last name, or just a happy coincidence, but when Walter rang it, Olivia went down for the count and began reliving her meeting with Walter’s former’s lab partner.

Of course, the meeting didn’t supply a surplus of answers. William Bell has definitely been schooled in the J.J. Abrams style of conversation. Lots of vagueness and promises of future answers. The one specific Bell did give Olivia was that the shape-shifting soldiers from another dimension, or hybrids as he called them, were searching for a person in our universe. A man who could help them open a gateway between the two worlds. Bell showed Olivia the symbol that would be on this man’s body and gave her the name of the cryonics lab she’d find him in. It’s easy to understand why she might have forgotten, what with all the time slips and flashing lights. The déjà vuniverse can be distracting. Bell’s warning might have come too late. Back in our universe, the hybrids are already frantically clamoring for this man’s head. Literally. They’ve been stealing heads from every cryonics lab in North Carolina, shaving them, and tossing the ones they don’t want out in the forest. What a horrible discovery that has to be for some hikers or Boy Scout troupe.

Unfortunately, when Olivia does finally remember everything William Bell told her, the first person she tells is Agent Francis. Or more specifically, the hybrid shape-shifter posing as Agent Francis. Bad news for the Fringe division, giving their enemies the information they need to find said head, but good news for the audience, giving us a new villain. He does nothing more than open his eyes in this episode, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing much more of him as the season progresses.

Other than the meeting with William Bell, “Momentum Deferred” had a bunch of other fun moments.
In an effort to track down the shape-shifters, Walter and Peter tracked down Rebecca, the woman who gained the ability to see hybrids back when Walter was pumping test subjects with every psychedelic drug they could get their hands on. Their attempt to recreate the experiment didn’t net many results, but it did give Walter the chance to flirt with an old flame. That netted some nice results for Walter.

Plus, did you notice Olivia and Peter talking about “Invasion of the Body Snatchers?” A film that features Leonard Nimoy. Nice wink there.

My favorite detail in tonight’s episode had to be Brandon, the Massive Dynamics scientist Nina Sharp asked to look into the shape-shifting device. He was goofy, excited and just a whole lot of fun. I hope this isn’t the last we see of him.

So long Charlie – Tonight seems to mark “Fringe” moving into its next chapter. One person not moving is Agent Charlie Francis. The original Charlie was killed and replaced in the season premier by one of the hybrids, but we still got to enjoy Kirk Acevedo playing the evil imposter through the last couple of episodes. Time was clearly running out for him. Even drinking a mercury filled Slusho couldn’t help him any longer. In the end, Olivia was forced to shoot and kill the creature disguised as her partner/confident. So long, Charlie. Here’s hoping that like “Lost,” dead doesn’t mean gone forever.

Astrid Action – Astrid got into a few good quips this week. Like after Olivia downed the glass of tape worms, Astrid answered the phone, “Bishop’s Deli.” But our favorite little lab assistant spent the majority of the episode being a lab assistant. Hopefully, she’ll get her chance to shine soon.

Spot the Observer – Did you catch him? He was pretty easy to notice this week. At least the back of his head was. He watched as hybrid Charlie met Olivia coming out of Massive Dynamics. I’m sure he, like the rest of us, wanted to bid a fond farewell to Agent Francis.

--Andrew Hanson

Leonard Nimoy on William Bell

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PHOTOS: Above: Leonard Nimoy returns as William Bell. Below: Walter (John Noble) experiments with a witness’ memory. Fox Television