Wednesday, April 20, 2011 10:54 AM
On the Viewer - Fringe (Season 3, Episode 18 - "Bloodline")
 by Fëanor

Here there be spoilers! Beware!

Argh! I can't believe that in the "last time on..." section at the beginning of the episodes, they keep playing back this scene:

Bolivia: "Whatever happens to me, I want you to know that this started out as an assignment, but it became-"
Peter: "-something more."

That's like the worst, most cliched exchange of dialog that's ever been in Fringe. Don't keep reminding me that happened! I'm glad that they reminded me Bolivia was pregnant, though. I totally forgot about that somehow.

Turns out Bolivia is at high risk for a condition that will likely kill her and the child - the same condition that killed her sister and her baby. And since she feels a kid wouldn't fit into her life too well anyway, she's looking at an abortion as pretty much her only option. Her mother is trying to talk her out of it - and is also not buying her story about the father (which is that he's some guy she met in a bar).

Ooh, an Observer is watching Bolivia. Always a sign that something interesting is about to happen!

And indeed it does! She's suddenly tasered by a couple of mysterious dudes. They totally made me jump out of my chair with that one.

Ha! Charlie went on a date with Bug Girl! Awesome.

Charlie is aware, as all the viewers are, that Lincoln has a thing for Bolivia.

The people who kidnapped Bolivia are pretty dumb. Why give her a pill to knock her out?? Why wouldn't you stick her with another needle, or give her an IV? This way, you have to rely on her to swallow the pill.

Man, I was certain Bolivia had faked swallowing that pill, and was going to kick all their asses and escape. I guess not! I feel like our Olivia would have done that.

Oh no! Olivia's cab driver buddy, Henry, is going to get nabbed because he's been hanging around her place too much. Poor guy. Interestingly, he may let Charlie and Lee in on some secrets about Bolivia they're not supposed to know. (Also, in this universe, the comic strip character Opus is a peahen, not a penguin.)

Looks like Bolivia's kidnappers are planning to pull the baby out of her. Kinda figured it'd be something like that.

OK, this time she definitely faked taking the pill. I would like to reiterate how dumb it is that they are administering a sedative via pills. Why would you not set up an IV??

Lee and Charlie's run-in with Henry is making them think harder about the idea that the Olivias could have been switched.

Bolivia's mother learns that her daughter does indeed have the condition that means she must get an abortion if she's to live. Just to twist the knife and make it even more painful, she happens to glance over and see a grandmother, mother, and daughter playing together with a kite. Ouch! That's rough.

The weird thing is, the people who kidnapped Bolivia might actually be trying to save her and her baby. It might actually be in her best interest to let them complete this procedure. Although obviously they didn't go about it the best way.

When Lee asks him point blank whether the Olivias were switched, Walternate admits they were. He also reveals who the father of Olivia's child is. And he gives him complete access to Olivia's mission files. He lost his son; he can't lose his grandchild, too. He's willing to do whatever it takes.

Bolivia's child now appears to be at full term, just like that. I guess they shot it up with Miracle-Gro??

They actually do have an IV set up, and they're not administering the sedatives and pain medication through that? I know I keep going on about this, but... come on! Talk about clumsy writing. The only reason they have them giving her pills is so she could fake taking one. There's no real, logical reason for it to happen, only a plot reason.

The nurse is clearly of two minds about this procedure they're doing, so Bolivia tries to appeal to her sympathy. I thought it was going to break, but no go.

Charlie makes a Taxi Driver reference and Lincoln doesn't get it. Interestingly enough, in this universe the movie was apparently directed by Francis Ford Coppola, not Martin Scorsese.

Finally, Bolivia acts! She tried convincing the nurse to help her peacefully, but if that's not going to work, it's time to bring the knives out!

Bolivia escapes and gets to a pay phone, but can't tell Lincoln much about where she is. Hilariously, she tries to narrow down her location in Chinatown by telling Lincoln, "I see a red dragon and there's a noodle store." Uh, that's every corner in Chinatown, Liv!

Emergency baby delivery scenes are pretty cliched at this point, but for whatever reason, I'm finding this one extremely emotionally effective. Maybe because I'm really not sure Bolivia is going to survive it, and I've actually come to care about her character, and about Lincoln's relationship with her.

Man, I was really sure they killed her off for a minute there. Bastards!

So yeah, it would seem that the "evil" kidnappers actually did some kind of science magic that defeated Bolivia's condition and skipped over months of boring pregnancy to give us a healthy baby right away. Couldn't they have just told her that's what they were doing? She might not have tried to stab them and run away!

Now that all this is over (for now, at least), Lincoln and Charlie have the chance to think back about everything that's happened, and what was kept from them, and they are not too happy.
Lincoln: "Makes you wonder what else we don't know."
Charlie: "Yes, it does."

The folks who take the baby's blood in the hospital are the same people who kidnapped her. (Disappointingly, Bolivia somehow doesn't realize this. She's very passive this episode. It's very unlike her.) And, it turns out, they work for Walternate!! So he engineered the whole thing. Which makes a weird kind of sense until you think about it for two seconds together. If he had some magic way of curing her condition up his sleeve, why in God's name did he go about it this way?? Why not just tell her he had the science to help her and bring her on board willingly? She certainly wouldn't have said no, and then she could have been treated safely in a real medical facility that she wouldn't have tried to escape from, instead of in a warehouse! And they could have been more certain of the procedure working. Also, a doctor could have delivered the baby, instead of a cab driver with almost no experience. Why fake a kidnapping, reveal all those secrets to Lincoln, and make him extremely suspicious and vigilant? How does that help you at all? Seriously, what the hell was the point of all that?

As far as I can tell, this episode was completely and utterly ridiculous and pointless from beginning to end. It had emotionally effective moments, but in terms of logic and reason, it didn't make any damn sense at all. Also, it turned Bolivia's character into a person that things happen to, instead of a person that does things. Yeah, ultimately she did escape her kidnappers, but at that point, they'd already done everything they needed to do. Very disappointing.
Tagged (?): Fringe (Not), On the Viewer (Not), TV (Not)

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Welcome to the blog of Jim Genzano, writer, web developer, husband, father, and enjoyer of things like the internet, movies, music, games, and books. For a more detailed run-down of who I am and what goes on here, read this.

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