Fringe Suds Things Up with a Soapy Twist

Duh, spoilers obviously lie ahead for those of you who haven't seen the most recent episode of Fringe.

On Friday's installment of As the Alternate Universe Turns, a three-megaton Jack-in-the-Box was dropped on us, and once its song stopped playing the box sprung open, Fauxlivia popped out, and slapped us in the face with a surprise the size of New Jersey. She's brought back a gift from the other universe! And by "gift," I mean "six-week old fetus that looks an awful lot like Joshua Jackson."

There were also bugs and the gradual destruction of dreamboat-Frank's adorable little heart, but in the light of the baby mama drama (we are contractually obligated to use that phrase at least once in stories about shocking pregnancies), I think we should focus our discussion on, well, the baby mama drama.

It was the sci-fi series' most soap-opera-ish twist in the series' most soap-opera-ish season to date. But that's not a diss, as no one can deny that a large part of this season's success has stemmed from the love debacle that is the isosceles Peter-Olivia-Fauxlivia triangle. That itself is very soapy, but it's been written in so well that we barely realize it. And hey, pretty much everyone has an evil twin, so it's not like Fringe hasn't been setting up a sci-fi soap this whole time. We're one eyepatch-wearing uncle short of Days of our Lives.

But this isn't one of those twists conceived just to get you to watch next episode; it's a carefully planned, believable plot point designed to tear Peter (and us) in half. We're naturally predisposed to rooting for Olivia in the Peter's heart sweepstakes. We grew up with her, watched their relationship slowly thaw, and we're very much home-teamers—or in this case, home-universers.

So why am I at the point where, even before newly discovered pregnancy, I wouldn't blame Peter if he ran off to the other side and shacked up with Fauxlivia? The groundwork has been laid for all of us to think this, and let's face it, the whole Olivia vs. Fauxlivia thing wouldn't work at all if there wasn't some part of us—no matter how small—that believes Peter and Fauxlivia should be together.

It's been meticulously set up by Anna Torv, who has managed to play two sides of the same coin brilliantly. We like Fauxlivia because she's a likable person. She smiles. She jokes around with her co-workers. Her emotions explain her reactions. That's the same reason Peter likes her. Olivia, meanwhile, is a rainy day. She broods, she's emotionally handicapped, and she's much less comfortable in her own skin. I'm very impressed that the writers have felt no need to rush Olivia back to being a favorite. They're intentionally keeping Olivia in our dog houses to sell the possibility that Peter will jump ship, and adding a baby to the mix only sells it to us more.

In a conference call last week with Fringe showrunners Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman, the pair addressed the pregnancy and said that more info would reach our universe very soon. But they promised that the repercussions would "not unfold in a way that is traditional," citing the fact that, in this case, The Other Woman isn't really another woman at all; she's another version of Olivia. S***storm imminent! This is pretty darned good television, folks.

Phew! Now for the bad news. Fringe dropped in the ratings again, notching a 1.4 in the adult demographic. When it first moved to Fridays, the show was in the high 1's, knocking on the door of a very respectable 2.0. Four weeks later, it's all the way down to a 1.4—not good. However, Wyman did say that Fox would be happy with anything in the 1.2-1.4 range. We'll see.

Extra tidbits:
... I'm still waiting on some more explanation of Peter's shapeshifter killing spree, the whole "Peter is going to the dark side" thing we saw in "Reciprocity." Just wonderin'.

... Carrying the grandchild of the Secretary of Defense? That's one way to get a company car. Nice work, Fauxlivia!

... Bug lady: You were cute, but annoying.

... Alterna-Astrid: You are weird.

... Joan Chen, where have you been? The Fountain of Youth, apparently.

... Easter Egg! The second victim's car license plate read "APT 6B," which is a call-out to the next episode, titled "6B."

Question: Which side of the Peter-tug-of-war are you on—Olivia's or Fauxlivia's? It's okay to say Fauxlivia. I did.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Feb 19, 2011
Our Olivia all the way. But you have to wonder, after the ending of this weeks episode, if Peter were to find out that Fauxlivia is pregnant with his child, who would he pick? Cause from what I understood of last weeks episode, he will have to choose one universe to save.
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Feb 18, 2011
Read in article in EW wherein Joshua Jackson explained that Fauxoliva is more like Peter a little bit darker while Olivia is a truely decent person and that is something that attracts him and also scares him too. Team Olivia all the way!!
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Feb 18, 2011
I'm completely on Olivia's side. The only redeeming factor to Fauxlivia is the presence of Charlie, who I adore, but he could be brought over to Blue World with some of that Cortexaphan that Walternate created from Olivia's blood. Peter fell in love with Olivia long ago, even with the dour and the brooding and the emotionally stunted-ness. I think he picked his winning universe a long time ago, baby or no baby.
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Feb 17, 2011
I gotta say that since the whole discussion about Olivia vs. Fauxlivia and which one Peter will ultimately choose began, I've had a feeling that he would pick Fauxlivia. Not that I want him to, but that's the way I see it going, unless something changes in the near future. @MeforqualityTV-- I also like Walternate's unwillingness to test on children. It's probably why this side's Walter is so far ahead of the other side in crossing over "technology."
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Feb 17, 2011
Love this show. Is Olivia going to go bad when she finds out about baby PFLiv? I also love altWalt and his inability test on children. Its nice to see them giving him a more human side when we think of our Walter's past. These stories just get better and better.
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Feb 16, 2011
@zelda_of_arel yes that is true they should take all the ratings into consideration as i am from the UK and know countless people that watch the show but the whole point of ratings is to sell the time slot to advertisers in order to get money to produce the cycle. the advertisers don't care if people watch it illegally. Although i've always thought in this day and age they should release the tv shows as soon as it's aired but imbed the adverts into it - that way you can still sell the advertising (although fast forwarding would become a problem but you can do that with live tv nowadays anyway) - for the record i'm on the home side but fauxlivia isn't all that bad.
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Feb 16, 2011
Olivia has my vote. Fauxlivia, Peter's offspring & Walternate can stay on the otherside.
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Feb 16, 2011
I did not see this epp yet, don't mind the big spoiler at all, like to know before I watch, don't know why. We download too because we do not live in the US, anyways I am still on the hometeam and like our Olivia best, eventhough she does not smile a lot (why is that even a pro??? geezz) Did we all forget that she was the one trapped on the other side, horrible things were done to her, the ordeal alone is mindboggling to me, stuck in a ALT-Universe my God, hasn't she suffered anough and then to find out that the one she loved and trusted slept with someone else and now is even pregnant by him...yeah major soapissues...but nonetheless very very interesting. But I am and will stay on Olivia's side!
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Feb 16, 2011
I can't believe Fox would be happy with a 1.2-1.4 when it got an almost 2.0 rating before the move. I'm getting the feeling they are deliberately trying to tank this show.
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Feb 16, 2011
I can't believe that the ratings drop. Though I bet a lot of people are watching it online or recording and that doesn't go into the ratings. I think in this day and age when there are so many alternate ways to watch a show, only basing things on ratings is stupid. Doesn't reflect reality at all. Oh, and no one is commenting on the sheep. A world without sheep. :( I love sheep.
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Feb 16, 2011
I vote for Olivia, too.

But it's always mentioned that Olivia had a hard life and has to struggle with a lot of pain from her past. Don't forget that it was hard for Fauxliva as well, since she lost her sister and her niece. I think that made her a bit cold as well.



I don't know why but I think the writers are going to kill Fauxilia (maybe by Walternate?). I'm sorry I like the character Anne T. made of her, but I can't Peter imagine in a relationship, he is the "I'm all alone guy and I like it" and I think when he finds out about his child he will get it out of the hands of Walternate and bring it over to his (our) side and take care of her/him. I'd like to see a storyline going in this direction. It's just a though...

It would be too much of a daily soap if they keep the love-triangle, would't it?

I'm very excited to find out what is going to happen next :O)
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Feb 16, 2011
Olivia
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Feb 16, 2011
Can I have both Olivias ?! If not then I'll settle for the Bug Lady, :)
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Feb 16, 2011
http://www.spoilertv.com/2011/02/fringe-episode-314-6b-scenemaker.html >>>>>

One word. Epic!
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Feb 15, 2011
Fringe is definitely one of the best shows on air now, and these kinds of twists are exactly why. They go with the flow and they're not contrived for thrils, there's a serious reason for everything. I don't know what's going to happen next and it's very exciting.
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Feb 15, 2011
I vote for our Olivia !
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Feb 15, 2011
@Domnu_x: what about the deaf guy she kills in the second episode The Box?! He was not a shapeshifter!!! And I understand that she's a soldier following orders, but there's always a choice! Take Alt-Broyles as an example: he knew that what was being done to our Olivia was wrong and he did the right thing helping her knowing the consequences of his actions! He may have died, but he died a hero!
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Feb 15, 2011
I'm rooting for Olivia.

And every episode so far just breaks my heart for our Olivia. I just want her to be happy, like when she used to be with John. At first I didn't like the Immortality episode, but after sleeping on it.. well i suddenly realised how brilliant it was! and how brave for the writers to have Fauxlivia preggy. WHAT's gonna happen next??!?! P.S. I love Astrodox :P
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Feb 15, 2011
@dark7angel: right, and you would just ignore the secretary of defense's order knowing that what do you decide to do might change the fate of your universe. She's a soldier and she's just following orders. You think, at first, that she enjoyed cheating on frank? No, she did it because something larger is at stake. And how is she a cold-blooded killer? Name one character she killed (shapeshifters don't count).
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Feb 15, 2011
Oh man! If Olivia was mentally/emotionally effed up before, shes gonna spontaneously combust like she did as a Cortexifan kid now that Fauxlivia is preggers. How is no one watching this show????
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Feb 15, 2011
Fringe is no longer the show it used to be or the show I fell in love with. Not liking where the show is heading at all.
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Feb 15, 2011
I LOVED this episode!! And was I the only one who felt sorry for Frank?!! Poor guy finding out his girl was with another dude and is expecting his child after asking her to marry him! As for your question Tim, I'm on Olivia's side. It's true that Fauxlivia has grown on me as a character, but even though she has an easier smile and all that that makes her more fun than our Olivia, she's also a cold blooded killer and she's ok with blindingly following Walternate's orders! Even if she began to question them, she didn't do anything to change it (though I think that might still happen in the future!) On the other hand, our Olivia has been through a LOT more than Fauxlivia and that made her more emotionally wounded but it also made her a better person! We saw her going against superior orders, doing what she believes it's right and not what others tell her too!!! And most of all, she's not trying to help destroy the other Universe, if she can find a way, she wants to try and save both!!! I just hope Fringe gets renewed and I agree that Anna Torv is truly brilliant
More+
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Feb 15, 2011
Bolivia being pregnant makes things even a bit more complicated and by that even more exciting. Fringe is giving me a hard time picking sides, because it builds up a lot of sympathies for the AlterUniverse as well. If the show should really come to a solution and not being cancelled in the middle of nowhere, I'm sure, they are going to find a way to save both universes. I wouldn't call it a "feel good show" in any way, but I'm pretty sure, they wouldn't have one dimension destroyed with people in it we've come to like and care for.
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Feb 15, 2011
poor olive, she deserves something good so i'm gonna pick her...as for alterna astrid she makes me laugh
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Feb 15, 2011
Lol any girl watching this show would be all for Olivia, while any guy if he's being totally honest will go for fauxlivia. she's way hotter and way more fun to be around. why would you want a moapy depressed troubled Olivia when you can have a really cool, fun Olivia instead?... As for the episode itself, I actually really liked it, but that might be because the villain of the week was an Israeli actor I really like, + the red universe is way more fun. Oh and I gotta agree Tim - Anna Torv has been truely incredible
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Feb 15, 2011
Olivia. All the way. Don't like Fauxlivia's unquestioning obedience, don't like how she's had it "easy" (no nasty experiments done on HER) and still ended up a cold-blooded killer (i.e. happily murdering all her contacts on this side of the divide) etc.

I LIKE my heroes emotionally wounded and faithful. ;)
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Feb 15, 2011
tooo soapy for my taste, but i guess they needed a twist
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Feb 15, 2011
tooo soapy for my taste, but i guess they needed a twist
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Feb 15, 2011
Fauxlivia 100%. Didn't really liked her untiil i started liking her..how it happend? dunno and dont care. Put peter walter and broyles in the red universe and u can blow up our world.
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Feb 15, 2011
Great episode. I like how the twist unfolded even though I've already heard the rumors. I can't wait to see how the writers are going to work the pregnancy Fringe style. I'm definitely for Olivia because I like her personality and I feel like she's meant to be with Peter having watched her for 3 seasons now. Plus Fauxlivia's got Frank and he's a good guy.
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Feb 15, 2011
Very entertaining episode. I think they are trying to shuffle things up making it more difficult to figure out whats going to happen, which is why we keep coming back for more. I can't wait for the next episode!!!!!!!
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Feb 15, 2011
If you know someone with a Nielsen box, be sure to have them watch live Friday nights. If they are going out tell them to leave their t.v.'s on. Just a few Nielsen viewers will make a world of difference in the ratings.
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Feb 15, 2011
Olivia because I'll never be able to take Fauxlivia at her word. But I honestly don't know which one Peter will actually choose. With the baby, he's now got ties to both.
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Feb 15, 2011
I'm on the side that gets Fringe the ratings it needs for season 4 and 5 and beyond. I worry too much about the fate of this show to want anything more than a promise of renewal.
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Feb 15, 2011
I think she should be referred to as Astridox. It fits the other alternate character puns better.
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Feb 15, 2011
Man, Fauxlivia cleans up. 3 dudes were pining for her in that episode-- Though Dr. Fiance is outta the running now... Peter is a stand-up guy so given the choice he would wanna raise the baby, alternate universe style!! And Lincoln, well he's not so secretly in love with Agent Dunham as well.// Anyone else notice Dr. Fiance flirt with Alterna-Astrid twice, right in in front of Fauxlivia too?!?! Maybe it's the Valentine's Day in me, but I see a future for them!
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Feb 15, 2011
Almost forgot . . . boneslover4 i completely agree with you, Olivia has had a tumultuous life to say the least and of all people deserves some happiness. Tim I respectfully disagree with you, though Peter may still have feelings for Fauxlivia and now unknowingly shares a universe-traveling baby with her(pretty impressive for only 6 weeks) he still loves Olivia more.
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Feb 15, 2011
tixo123: don't judge Canadians promo creating abilities on a City TV ad, if you watched our CTV or Global ads you would see we are much better than that, at least half as good as FOX.
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Feb 15, 2011
Our Olivia FTW! We know why Olivia's 'emotionally handicapped'. She's had a rough life. Something that Fauxlivia has never had to deal with. So far Fauxlivia has had to deal with the death of her sister, niece, and Frank left her. Our Olivia had an abusive step-father, had to deal with the death of her mother, her partner/lover (John Scott), another partner (Charlie), and she was tested on as a child. She's been through a lot. I just feel as though Olivia could use to know what happiness feels like. She never really got that chance. However, I can't wait to see what happens next!!!
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Feb 15, 2011
Fauxlivia - and remember, it's just Olivia with bangs.
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Feb 15, 2011
Haha okay, if you say so. Why would I take offense to that? The point of it was clearly the ending of the promo. If they had shown something like that in the promo for the states they'd be giving Fringe a better chance of retaining viewers week to week and staying on air another season.
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Feb 15, 2011
vstherevolution: no offense, but Canadians don't know how to create promo's...... I was about to sleep in the 30 second clip
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Feb 15, 2011
http://www.spoilertv.com/2011/02/fringe-episode-314-6b-canadian-promo.html

Peter/Olivia fans... watch that promo and try to contain your excitement and anticipation for Friday, I promise it's worth it!!! Things are going to get much more complicated from here on out indeed.
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Feb 15, 2011
Fauxlivia, of course. A tree expresses better its emotions than our Olivia.
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Feb 15, 2011
This plot twist does make the show a whole lot more complicated. If Fauxlivia decides to keep the baby and give birth to it (meaning that nothing happens to the child before that), what can happen then? No way will Peter leave the child. So what can possibly happen other than Peter being united with the child? Him moving to the other side? People don't like that. Fauxlivia moving to the blue universe where Olivia is? People don't like that. The child surviving and being reunited with Peter, but Fauxlivia somehow getting out of the picture, maybe dying? People don't like that. So what can this mean?
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Feb 14, 2011
I don't really care which Olivia he ends up with, but if both universes can't survive I'm rooting for the one with Walter in it, not Walternate. Walter and Peter's relationship is what makes this show work. Walternate isn't half as interesting as Walter, and his chemistry with Peter just isn't the same...
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Feb 14, 2011
I was hating on fauxlivia the moment it became a competition between her and our olivia but after that episode i'm kinda starting to like the damn woman. Having her pregnant was an amazing twist and it definitely caught me off guard.
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Feb 14, 2011
I say Olivia. When she was with John Scott in the beginning episodes you could see she was very much like Fauxlivia when she was with him. And Peter thought that Fauxlivia's different personality was because they had finally gotten together. I think he saw what I did. All it would take for her to warm up from her cold spell is someone who loves her and would not let her down again. - J.C.
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Feb 14, 2011
i say olivia, we need peter on our side
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Feb 14, 2011
It may be too obviouse that Walternet is going to use the kid to get Peter back, so what if "the doomsday machine" (that only works with Peter), could also work with someone that is only part Peter ?!? Who knows...that's just great about it! Before this part i was totaly rooting for Olivia, but now I'm really torn, cause Fauxlivia is also just a pawn (and a human, even if she's from another universe), and her feelings for Peter seem genuine...plus there's the pregnancy.
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