(Contains plot spoilers)
Episode 11 “Making Angels” gives its viewers a rare treat in that the parallel Astrid meets our Astrid for the first time, and I have to hand it to Jasika Nicole, who plays both Astrid’s, as her performance from both sides was none other than exceptional as we see two totally different characters acting in front of our eyes. It becomes apparent that the parallel Astrid suffers from Asperger Syndrome and with her father recently passing away, she feels that the only person she can talk to is her other self. She decides to cross universes under the radar and goes to meet our Astrid. After they meet, our Astrid warms to parallel Astrid instantly and parallel Astrid begins to opens up about her late father and that he didn’t understand her condition or needs. Our Astrid who has had similar experiences with her own living father but says that she managed to find a way to deal with it. However, later in the episode, we see our Astrid going home to a welcoming father, and its clear that she has said what she’s said to parallel Astrid to comfort her. It’s clear from many other episodes that parallel Astrid doesn’t really do emotions, and relies on statistical information to communicate and be useful to others. Our Astrid on the other hand, understands emotions all to well, as we see her cope and care with Walter, sensitive to his needs. Anyway, a truly beautiful and emotional scene, but like I said before, so beautifully acted by Nicole and, apart from Walter and Walternate, possibly one of the best alternate acting we’ve seen since the two universes came together.
Back to the story, and once the parallel universe discover that their Astrid has crossed universes, Fauxlivia is sent to retrieve her. However, Walter is less than pleased to see her, still angry about her deceitful antics when she previously posed as Olivia, although as Fauxlivia teases Walter around a bit in her jokey manner, Walter starts to warm to her.
A new case comes in about the death of man, recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and informed that he had a short time to live, but his death wasn’t cancer related. He had been subjected to a toxic gas that gave him bloody tears, Walter describing as the “Tears of Ra” Just to add to all the confusing things going on in this series, Walter deduces that this toxic gas is not something that could have been developed in either of the two universes.
Not that long after, another incident has happened involving a man called Jared, who was in a car accident but survived, although leaving him paraplegic. Jared tells the Fringe team that there was a man who said he could see the past, present and future and that he wanted to save Jared from his future by killing him before it could happen. However, Jared, freaked out with what the man was saying, ended up running into an accident himself.
After some information digging and assistance from parallel Astrid, the Fringe team manage to identify the man as an airport security officer who had been screening his victims as they went through security checks. Peter and Olivia track him down, but he notices them and manages to get away in time. They then find out that the man is called Neil, and used to be a professor from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). An ex colleague from MIT says that Neil quit work after he became obsessed with a series of high-level equations after spending some time at a lake house at Reiden Lake (it all comes back to Reiden Lake!!!!) Peter and Olivia go to the lake house and find out that Neil was in a car accident himself when he was a child, but both his father and brother died in the accident. His mother is still alive, and when they arrive at her home, Neil is there. Neil tells his mother that after his father and brother had died, he had overheard his mother saying that God took the wrong son and that all his life he had tried to do good in the world to prove that she was wrong. As Olivia approaches Neil, he says that angels don’t belong on earth, shoots his gun towards Olivia and she returns fire and shoots him down. While investigating his gun shot afterwards, Olivia realises that Neil missed her on purpose so she would kill him, as he could not have been an angel if he had killed himself.
Finally, at Neil’s mothers home, two Observers turn up and collect a blue tube from Neil’s safe, which contains the toxic gas he had used on his victims. They indicate that the tube belonged to the Observer September after he lost it back in 1985 when he saved Peter as a boy from drowning in Reiden Lake. They also both comment that Peter has now returned to this timeline.
One thing I have to say straight away about this ending is that aren’t they The Observers so therefore shouldn’t they already know that Peter has returned to this timeline? Especially as he’s been here now for quite some time. Also, aren’t they the ones who have experienced the future so shouldn’t they already know what’s going to happen!!!???……….
I did find this weeks story a bit empty, and didn’t really go into much depth in the story of Neil and all seemed to come very quickly at the end of the episode. It just seemed to final and accepting, especially when they examined the scene after Olivia shot Neil. And what has happened to the Observer September, is he dead then or what? And where was Lincoln? Did he take the day off or something as its unusual for him to not be around for the Fringe cases these days?
One thing that I did like about the episode was the story of the two Astrid’s, which, in my opinion, is very long overdue as we finally get some real depth to Astrid’s character. And, one of the things that did really make me laugh in this episode was the fact Walter got parallel Astrid’s name right, much to our Astrid’s disbelief! Just another warm little gem that we get from Walter, and the fact he does know Astrid’s name but prefers to variate it, to keep things interesting!!
By Kirsty Wavish