I love it when a plan comes together.
I've received some feedback for recent reviews, scoffing at the notion that the writers of "Fringe" have a clue where they're going. I've had faith, because the seeds were right there in plain view. Now the pieces are starting to come together, as elements from previous episodes are intersecting and overlapping in ways clearly designed to catapult the series into a new direction.
Not only do we have technology from The Pattern coming into play, but we have more insight into the crazy experimentation that Walter was conducting back in Peter's childhood. Who knows what Peter was actually subjected to over the years! Just the fact that the experiment worked raises the question: how did they know where to find the pieces of the device? The obvious answer would be William Bell.
That connects to Massive Dynamic. Nina Sharp certainly seems interested in some kind of information in John Scott's memories, and the simple assumption would be that it is related to the current situation. This complicates matters; the previous episode seemed to indicate that Massive Dynamic was directly involved with The Pattern. Now it shifts back towards the notion that Sharp is using the product of The Pattern for some other purpose. Perhaps David Jones is a competitor, and Sharp is trying to find a way to contain a potential threat?
It's safe to assume that these items will gain clarification in the next episode, so for now, it's enough that the writers managed to bring so many pieces of the puzzle into clarification. The most interesting aspect of the episode, however, had to be Olivia's sudden memory issues. Her inability to distinguish between her own memories and those of John Scott is a game-changer. Did Olivia really learn those card tricks, or was that John's childhood? How many other stories and insights have come from John since the beginning of the season? Or is this just the effect of her second trip into the tank?
It does make sense of her dour disposition. Olivia was certainly able to break out the charm in this episode, but how much of that was her? Is memory the only thing affected by this phenomenon? Or is John's personality and psychology also creeping its way into Olivia's everyday life? What if Olivia is only seems to be loosening up, and it's really a sign that John's influence over her is slowly but surely strengthening?
Olivia's mental condition may be at the heart of her current predicament. Sharp is going to want her to gain access to some important memory that John Scott possessed, and perhaps Jones wants her for the same reason. Considering that the next episode represents the mid-point of the first season, it seems reasonable to assume that whatever they want out of Olivia will prove to be the central motivation for the second half. If they continue to pull the pieces together and build on their strengths, as they did in this episode, then it will have been worth the wait.