Mark Watches ‘Fringe’: S03E16 – Os

In the sixteenth episode of the third season of Fringe, as the team investigates a group of thieves who can seemingly ignore the laws of gravity, they discover a desperate father wanting to improve his son’s life. Meanwhile, Walter is busy making sure that this show WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Fringe.

Anna Torv deserves an Emmy.

There, I said it. I don’t care. I WILL FIGHT FOR IT. I cannot imagine what it’s like for her as an actress to be part of show that has her play so many characters. At this point, she’s played…five characters? Six? Olivia, Fauxlivia, Olivia thinking she’s Fauxlivia, Fauxlivia pretending to be Olivia, and now Bellivia. (I love you, Fringe fandom, for so quickly coming up with that term. I love you.) For people who complain that Torv phones in this character, I say to you:


I haven’t much spoken about the acting on this show beyond begging for more Astrid. But, if anything, “Os,” showed us not only how rich and deep the character of Olivia Dunham is, but how dedicated Torv is to this role. So much of who Olivia is, is based on subtle facial expressions. Because of her childhood, she’s closed off. We’ve seen this time and time again. She’ll give an awkward smile, or a nod of the head, or her gaze will fall to her feet. Knowing that, watching how much her personality has changed since she advanced her relationship with Peter is transformative for us as we grow with Olivia. Yes, their relationship has moved much faster than any of us expected. I still sort of can’t believe it’s happening. But it just feels right, and for something happening so rapidly, the chemistry between Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv on screen is undeniable.

We see that throughout “Os” as we watch the two of them interact and Olivia smiles more in this single episode than in THREE YEARS OF THIS SHOW. And I really don’t care: It makes me so happy. I want Olivia to be happy. I relate to her loneliness and detachment and maybe it’s a spark of hope for myself, too.

“Os” is an interesting story and I’m beginning to really appreciate how the writers can still deal with fringe science in a way that consistently respect the serial nature this show has taken. Of course, it would be awesome, I’m sure, if the show was 100% serial at this point, but at the same time, giving the main story some space like they have allows them to explore some pretty hefty issues. At the heart of “Os” is Dr. Crick. I mean Cameron. LOL. Sorry. Walter’s interest in the case is somewhat distracted throughout the episode, but it actually helps to keep the momentum moving. The opening of “Os,” beyond giving us HURLEY OH MY GOD BEST SURPRISE EVER, establishes that Walter is considering finding a way to bring William Bell’s consciousness back. Which is ludicrous, yes, but I’ll get to that.

I could not figure out the key to the anti-gravity injections Dr. Crick was giving the muscular dystrophy patients until the show told it to me, but I wanted to comment on that particular storyline a bit. The show has done a few things with its Friday night slot that are a bit more gruesome than before, and watching Dr. Crick amputate that dead leg was REAL FUN. But I was actually more worried that this show would head towards something else. Were they going to fall into all of the familiar tropes of disabled people on television and in movies? ( And while what Dr. Crick did himself was pretty heinous, to take advantage of people in wheelchairs, there was a wonderfully powerful moment near the end of this episode. Dr. Crick’s son sent a message with his rejection of his father’s plan: He was already happy in his wheelchair and it was offensive to him that his father thought he couldn’t be happy if he couldn’t walk. What Dr. Crick did was unbearably presumptuous, especially since he didn’t even consult his son first. That’s not to say that this episode perfectly portrayed those who use wheelchairs, but it was a moment I haven’t seen in a long time on television. (Of course, if I’m wrong about this, please correct me.)

This episode wasn’t largely creepy or terrifying, but I will say that watching Vince float precariously upwards inside the museum was an unsettling images, especially the shot of him with the open roof in the background. I mean….jesus, could you imagine dying like that? Floating up into space until you suffocated or the pressure killed you or you froze or WHY AM I THINKING ABOUT THIS.

But seriously, it’s all we want to talk about, so let’s just get to it. The reason we could not make sense of the mixture of osmium was because it was not obeying the laws of physics. It’s a rather genius way of tying everything back together to the larger story. Our world is starting to fall apart. This anti-gravity injection was a pure accident. Good lord.

The fact that when Walter confronts Nina about this and uses a “bell” to contact William “Bell” was not lost on me. We knew from previews that this wasn’t going to work, that Walter’s obsession with soul magnets might be a bit out there. And then it cuts to Olivia and Peter. Peter is opening up to Olivia, to show her that he trusts her and wants her in his life completely. I’m even more fascinated than ever to see how Peter’s story with the shapeshifter memory drives will play out. That scene also gave us an important sign when Olivia didn’t leave immediately after learning Peter was continuing research on the doomsday machine, or when he basically admitted to killing the shapeshifters to get the devices.

When Olivia suddenly switched, we get to see the brilliance of the writers and Torv’s acting. Choosing to have her imitate William Bell, rather than become him, is brilliance. It’s a beautiful testament to her skill as an actress and it is SO FUCKING EXCITING.

“Hello, Peter, it’s nice to see you again.”

I fucking love this show.


  • We got extra time with Astrid this episode, but still. More. Astrid. Please. STOP UNDERUSING HER.
  • What information could the data discs provide? I CANNOT FIGURE THIS OUT.
  • Seriously, I love that it was kept a secret that Jorge Garcia was guesting in this episode. That was so fun and silly. AGAIN. LOVE THIS SHOW.
  • I was worried that Peter lied to Olivia at the opening of the show because I didn’t want their relationship to start off on such a bad foot, so I’m very glad that Peter finally opened up to her by the episode’s end.


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Fringe and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

318 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Fringe’: S03E16 – Os

  1. NB2000 says:

    "Anna Torv deserves an Emmy."

    WORD! She really captured Leonard Nimoy's voice in the final scene. Her smiling after the phone call with Peter at the beginning of the episode was so charming. Love her!

    OMG SURPRISE JORGA GARCIA! I was half expecting him to show up again later in the episode but hey, it's Jorga Garcia and John Noble in the same scene, enough awesomeness for one night I think.

    NGL I did giggle when Walter and Nina looked at the door after he tried to summon Bell, you know that's not how it's going to work but it was still hilarious to me that they had that moment of thinking it might.

  2. bookling says:

    Dude, seriously. When Olivia started speaking in Bell's voice, my jaw dropped. GIVE HER ALL THE AWARDS. Anna Torv and John Noble have really been snubbed for their amazing performances on this show.

    • NB2000 says:

      This! I will never understand how John Noble hasn't won EVERYTHING yet. If they don't even get nominations for this season then I'm going to be very disappointed.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Ugh, yes. It's a crime that John Noble hasn't even been nominated for an Emmy, and I had no idea that people criticize Anna Torv for "phoning it in." She's great! This cast deserves a lot more recognition.

  3. katherinemh says:

    Don't forget Olivia trapped Over There, knowing that she's not Fauxlivia, but still pretending to be Fauxlivia.

    Also, I like Bellivia, but someone on Tumblr came up with Willivia Dunbell and it makes me laugh every time I type it.

  4. monkeybutter says:

    What Dr. Crick did was unbearably presumptuous, especially since he didn’t even consult his son first.

    Kind of like kidnapping a kid from another universe? Oh, Walter, I still love you even though you caused the laws of physics to unravel. I think we've all been waiting for Bell to come back, but I was not prepared for this! Poor Olivia, always getting screwed around with. At least she was happy for most of the episode! I'm soooo excited to see what Anna does with Bellivia!

    Oh, and Cameron played an excellent creeper. Add his moustache to the list of Emmy nominees!

    ETA: I can't believe I forgot Walter and his plan to put balloons in people. Dude. No.

    It sucks that DST is starting; I'm guessing the people in the UK and Ireland won't be joining us in the liveblog for a bit. Haha, nevermind, it will be an hour earlier for them. I am stupid and I hate Daylight Saving Time.

  5. SecretGirl127 says:

    Yes, this episode caused me to have yet another conversation with television. When Olivia was looking in the mirror and the bell tolled, I was off the couch and rambling/gasping so much that my husband came in from the other room to check on what was causing the ruckus! I believe I was muttering, "ASKDLAKSJDFHAKSJD;LFKJS;LKDFJ!," or something close.

  6. Hotaru-hime says:

    Poor Olivia. Dealing with the bomb of Peter killing all of those shapeshifters and before she even has time to process the revelation (you could see her face shutting down as her brain was trying to figure out what do with new information) she stops. She then becomes possessed by William Bell.
    I started shrieking while I was watching this.
    Anyone who thinks Anna Torv is not a good actor should be beaten over the head and chucked into outer space. The subtle nuances of her acting are so amazing good that an Emmy should be guaranteed.
    But next episode we will have Bellivia and LINCOLN LEE. FUCK YEAH.

  7. Emily says:

    Okay, I'm not gunna lie. I loved this episode and i agree with just about all of the above but my first thought once the episode ended? (and this is of course after my brain gained consciousness from the sheer OMFG of Bellivia)

    …. Now William Bell gets to see Olivia naked. Da fak? A girl has to shower eventually.

    lol just sayin'

  8. liis says:

    The part where I started to yell at my tv was where Cameron told his son he wanted to fix him. I was really glad the son shut that down. Well-intentioned, but misguided.

  9. Openattheclose says:

    I loved this episode. William Bell made a horcrux. Hurley! Cameron! And then the awesome Nimoy impression Anna Torv does at the end.

    Bellivia is the best name ever.

  10. Annie says:

    Anna Torv doing a Leonard Nimoy voice in all of next week's episode? YES PLEASE

  11. shelly says:

    So when do we think bell put these soul magnets in Olivia? While she was still in the clinical trial in jacksonville? If so he has been planning this for quite some time and this truly is horcrux like. That seems a little creepy to me. Like, how does Olivia get bell out of her.

    • Hotaru-hime says:

      I think the bell itself was a soul magnet and Bell's soul went to the most appropriate host.

    • unicornseatrainbows says:

      in the episode, walter tells nina that bell proposed inserting microscopic soul magnets through injections, food or a cup of tea. in the season 1 finale when bell brings olivia over to the other side, he gives her tea to drink.

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