TV Show: Fringe
Episode Title: Grey Matters
Original Air Date: December 10, 2009
Episode Number: 2×10
A patient at a mental hospital undergoes impromptu surgery that leaves his brain exposed. William Bell resurfaces during the investigation of the strange circumstances and Olivia finds reason that the leader of the shape-shifters may have something to do with it.
Great episode for Walter and Peter and also in advancing the alternate universe story and also for Olivia. Okay, it was a great episode overall, lol. Lots of backstory and emotional beats especially with the Bishops.
Of course Bell was involved back in the day when Walter had pieces of his brain matter removed in order to keep the secret of how to open the door to the other side. The question is, did Bell force Walter to do this? It looked like Walter was okay with it, but he seemed unsure if this was a good solution.
Having said that, I’m going to agree with Olivia’s sentiment earlier in the episode that perhaps Walter going “crazy” made him a better person and a better father. The shift when Walter’s brain reconnected with his brain matter was so dramatically different and I could sense the menace in his voice and how egotistical he is (kudos to John Noble) especially when he said of course he remembers this place since it’s his house. So I guess we have Bell to thank for this better version of Walter because watching a sane Walter on this show would not have been as enjoyable as watching not so sane Walter.
How fucked up is it that Bell endangered and practically stole a decade and a half of those three people’s lives just so he can keep this secret intact? If he really wanted this information to never get out, then why didn’t he just destroy those three pieces of Walter’s brain matter? And how exactly did Newton find out about these three patients? Did someone torture Bell on the other side to get this information out of him?
The opening scene of the episode was so gross, though. We see the guy’s scalp all pulled back and part of his brain is exposed. Only on this show would something like that be normal fare.
Poor Peter being worried for Walter throughout the episode. I felt for him and how helpless he must have felt not knowing where Walter is. I may or may not have teared up when Walter got the cure and said one of his Walter-isms.
And now on to Olivia. She was mostly in the background in this episode, but I felt her concern about not understanding something that she’s supposed to fight against? She was designated by Bell to be the guardian between the two universes and she, like Peter, feels helpless because she doesn’t have much to go on.
Her letting Newton go to save Walter was definitely the rational decision and not an emotional one (glad Broyles vocalized this to her, otherwise she probably would have blamed herself non-stop for Newton walking away forever) and it was also the right thing to do. There is only one Walter Bishop and they are definitely going to need him. I wanted to hug Broyles during this scene for just reassuring Olivia: “Don’t be so hard on yourself. We’re going to be needing you too.”
Newton messing with Olivia and saying “Now I know how weak you are” was him playing mind games and Olivia should not even listen to him. She’s a smart woman and she shouldn’t let this affect her. I believe in you, Olivia.
Lastly, how awesome was it seeing Olivia shoot the driver right in the head while the van is speeding away and she’s about 30 feet away? Such impeccable aim, damn! And she shot the other guy straight in the head, too. That’s my girl.