“He steals children’s dreams and he replaces them with nightmares”

TV Show: Fringe
Episode Title: Brown Betty
Original Air Date: April 29, 2010
Episode Number: 2×19

Episode Description

While Walter deals with some very upsetting news, he tells Olivia’s niece, Ella, a fairy tale that includes musical performances by Olivia and Agent Broyles.

My Review

I still can’t believe Fringe pulled off a musical and noir episode and pulled it off brilliantly. Look, I dislike musicals so when I heard about the news that the show was going to do a musical episode, I was so skeptical, but after I saw it, I was so impressed. Walter’s story was sort of a summation of what has happened so far on the show and I really liked how we didn’t lose sight of what this show is really about.

Metaphors galore in this one, that’s for sure. Peter taking Walter’s heart only to find out that it’s really Peter’s heart and that he was letting Walter use it because he thought that what Walter was doing was good. Upon finding out he’s really not as good as he pretends to be, Peter takes his heart and runs away. Yep, the symbolism here is quite obvious, but I don’t care because it was well done.

Olivia singing that song when she thought Peter died made me smile (I really am going to become a full-blown Polivia shipper after this rewatch, aren’t I? 😁) because 1) they got Anna Torv to sing and she sounded fine and 2) Walter was definitely channeling his inner Polivia shipper by having this version of Olivia fall in love with Peter (love at first sight as they say).

Of course Nina Sharp is evil in this storyline because Walter doesn’t trust her at all. I’m surprised that he made the Observers evil so this makes me wonder what he really thinks of them. Does he somehow blame September for distracting Walternate in his lab that fateful day where he missed seeing that the cure worked?

Esther Ficklesworth had me laughing so hard. Astrid’s reaction? PRICELESS! Jasika’s singing voice was marvelous as was Lance Reddick’s. What a talented cast. Even John Noble got in on the singing action.

The fusion of modern-ish technology with the 1950s noir feel of the episode was very, very cool. Very steam-punk-ish, almost, especially those storage chests that housed the hearts. I enjoyed seeing a rotary phone on Nina’s desk and also Olivia using a cell phone.

I think my favorite scene was the Peter/Olivia scene in the kitchen because Olivia looked absolutely fetching with no makeup, with wet hair, wearing pajamas and an oversized white shirt. You guys can have her private investigator look with the red lipstick and bouffant, I’ll take natural-looking Olivia. I also really enjoyed her conversation with Peter about jazz and dancing. It was very cute. “I hate to dance. I’d take you, though.” This made me smile.

And how about that ending with September calling someone and saying that Peter still has not returned and that he’s worried that Walter might have forgotten his warning. Dun dun dun!


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