(CONTAINS PLOT SPOILIERS)
“And those we’ve left behind” is the 6th episode of Fringe which begins to properly deal with the distortion of time we’ve been seeing in previous episodes and what a treat of an episode we have in store!!
Various incidents of time distortions or time leaps are taking place, of which Olivia believes that Peter may have caused or is causing! Although the Fringe team still doesn’t fully trust Peter, he is invited along for his expertise on the case! Broyles instructs Olivia to get Walter to give Peter the once over medically to establish if Peter is actually causing these anomalies, and much to Walter’s anger and frustration, he obeys, treats Peter like a “test subject” and concludes very quickly that Peter is not the cause. Peter, unsure if Walter actually examined him properly and unconvinced that he is not causing the anomalies, decides to investigate further and begins to work in Walter’s lab!! I found this scene really sad in some places as Walter stubbornly refuses to have anything to do with Peter, and I couldn’t help but feel that everything that Peter has gone through, including coming to terms with him being brought over from the parallel universe as a child, has been so much and now this!! There is a real sadness in Peter’s eyes as he continues in a world where he is a stranger to everyone!
During an investigation of yet another time leap where a train was seen crossing on abandoned tracks, Peter begins to experience these time leaps himself and regularly, seemingly unknown to everyone else around him, where he jumps from one conversation to the next, and tries to understand what is happening. It becomes apparent that these time leaps keep returning to events that took place 4 years ago and Peter returns to Walter’s lab to further investigate. Walter is really quite funny in some places during this episode due to his absolute refusal to be involved in the case if Peter is present and we see a brilliant scene where Walter is listening to music in his headphones whilst watching the team, trying so hard not to involve himself! He explodes out of his seat proclaiming ‘I’m am ready to present a theory’!!! True and classic Walter style!! Brilliant!
Walter believes that the incidents that are occurring, pinpointed on a map, are forming a spiral shape and believes that the source of all of this will be found at the ‘epicenter’ of the spiral. Fringe team are dispatched and quickly locate the house in question as a poor old FBI agent is vapourised when he approaches the house, which is covered in some sort of time bubble (Walter explaining that one can not just cross over to another time without taking precautions!!!)
In the house reside a husband and wife, Raymond and Kate. Kate, who used to be a professor in physics and researched the concept of time travel, retired 3 years ago after she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. However, Raymond, an electrical engineer, struggling to come to terms with his wife’s illness and desperate for things to be how they were, used Kate’s research to build a machine to go back in time to be with her, although her work was not complete and Raymond had to keep returning to 4 years ago, before Kate became ill (with the machine only giving him small bursts of time) so she could finish the work and therefore he would be able to make the change permanent. I couldn’t help but think of how similar this was to Walter’s desperation to save his own son, and the lengths we will go to be with our loved ones, even if it’s only for a moment longer!!!
Back to the outside, Walter instructs the team that a ‘Faraday Cage’ has to be worn in order for someone to cross between the two times safely, and due to Peter’s expertise, he offers and manages to enter the house. If any of you Lost fanatics are reading this, you’ll remember that Faraday was the chap who was a physicist, discovered time travel and eventually lost his own memory!! Hmmmm……
At this point, Raymond tells his wife (of four years ago) what he has done, pleading with her to finish the research so they can be together forever. After being struck on the back of the head by Raymond after entering the house, Peter comes to and overhears Raymond telling Kate that the machine only started to work three days ago, the same time that Peter arrived in this universe!!!
The Fringe team find out where the next time leap is to take place which could flood an underground tunnel that hadn’t been built four years ago, potentially endangering thousands of people. Peter tells Raymond what he has done, who hadn’t realised the implications of jumping through time, and created a distortion in the space time continuum. For all those Family Guy fans out there, this will amuse you as I couldn’t help but think of Stewie!!!
Kate urges Raymond to shut the machine down and asks that her husband is not prosecuted as he didn’t realise the implications of his actions. With the FBI agreeing, Kate informs Raymond that she has completed the research and he asks her to write them down in the notebook where the equations reside so he can build the machine again in a remote area. The machine is disabled and returns to the present day, and Kate returns to her present self. As the FBI remove the machine from the house, Raymond looks in Kate’s notebook, only to find that she has put a black marker all over the equations, sealing their present fate, but also left him a message telling him to live his life!!
Broyles acknowledges Peter’s efforts and informs him that he can move into house he talked about on the university campus, that he used to share with Walter in the previous series. As Olivia helps him move in, she asks Peter if she meant something to him in another universe as she had noticed the way he looked at her! Peter tells her that she did and it almost felt that he had accepted that this wasn’t his universe, therefore not his Olivia!!! Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!
What a fantastic episode, really touching and it really feels like Fringe is finally taking off!!! I think this is becoming the best series of Fringe yet and the story just keeps getting more and more intriguing!! Although I was starting to get a bit annoyed with Walter with his stubbornness and refusal to interact with Peter, it almost seems at the end of the episode that he is softening after Peter embarks on the time bubble house!! I’m just dying for the Bishop double act to return as they moved so perfectly together in previous series!! I’m sure patience and time will pay off ………. Roll on episode 7!!!!!
By Kirsty Wavish