TV Show: Fringe
Episode Title: What Lies Below
Original Air Date: January 21, 2010
Episode Number: 2×12
When a man enters an office in Boston for a meeting, he becomes disoriented and collapses, only to have his veins erupt and spray blood everywhere. Shortly after Olivia and Peter arrive at the scene to investigate the bizarre case, it’s discovered that a lethal virus with deep ties to something very valuable is spreading, so the CDC moves in to quarantine the building and eradicate the pathogens. Isolated inside with the rest of the exposed office employees, Peter and Olivia face life-threatening circumstances, sending Walter, Broyles, and Astrid on a frantic search for a solution to save them.
This was a great episode for Astrid. She really has been a true asset to the team and especially to Walter for being such a trusted, dedicated, and loyal lab assistant and FBI junior agent. I really adore her friendship with Walter and it’s truly one of the best relationships on the show (I think I might have mentioned this before).
She was there with Walter when they were trying to figure out a cure for the virus and it really warmed my heart when she took the vial from Walter because his hands were shaking too much and she assisted him by administering the cure on to the Petri dish. Such a sweet gesture.
I’m so glad she asked Walter what he meant when he said “I can’t let Peter die again” because we always have this happen in shows and movies where someone says something revelatory and no one would bat an eye so I appreciated this scene. Of course I wasn’t expecting an answer from Walter, but at least now we (and Astrid) know that there’s more than meets the eye with Peter.
The mythology arc of the show didn’t really move forward (except for the last scene) with this episode, but it didn’t matter because we got lots of character moments again especially with Olivia and Peter. Peter asking Olivia if she called Rachel yet just to tell her what’s going on and then Olivia completely ignoring him made me laugh.
Then we get another scene where Peter asks Olivia again if she tried contacting Rachel and this time Olivia opens up. She says that there’s no point because they will get out of this and there’s no need to worry Rachel again since she’s still recovering from Olivia’s time at the hospital and that she’s been having nightmares about Olivia dying. I loved Peter’s comment: “That’s just like you. Even now, you’re protecting her. I thought that was the point of having people who care about you in your life…to have someone to talk to when you’re scared.” He essentially captured who Olivia is as a person. She will put someone else above herself to protect them.
And this is perfectly shown when Olivia volunteered to go back in the building to turn on the ventilation system. She’s willing to risk her life just so the people inside, including Peter, will get a chance to be cured instead of being killed by the military to contain the virus. The fact that she didn’t even hesitate one second to volunteer speaks volumes as to what kind of person she is and this is just one of the MANY reasons why she’s my favorite character of all time.
Also, how about that Peter/Olivia fight? It was pretty freaking awesome, no? Olivia got the upper hand on Peter with them fighting in hand to hand combat. Pretty brutal fight, too, but I’m glad that neither of them came away with any serious injuries. I got chills when Peter aimed that gun at Olivia even though I’ve already seen this episode and know that he’s not going to shoot her. So good.
Their last scene made me smile and tear up at the same time. Despite my resistance on being a Polivia shipper when I watched this show the first time, this second go-round is quite a different viewing experience. I’m really appreciating their dynamic and their relationship and how it was grown organically and never felt forced at all.
“You weren’t yourself.”
“It’s lucky for me that you were.”
Lastly, I cracked up so much at Astrid correcting Walter when he said “Ash” and Astrid thought he was saying her name so she says “Astrid.” 😄