Season 3 Episode 12

Concentrate and Ask Again

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Feb 04, 2011 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
496 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The CDC calls in the Fringe team to investigate the death of a scientist whose bones were disintegrated by a mysterious blue cloud. Someone from Walter's past reluctantly agrees to assist the team... despite their connection to Olivia.

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  • Concentrate and Ask Again

    I often read the synopsis and see the promotional trailers. Images, names, times. Little escapes me in preparing a more sacred Friday. This was no exception and to know in advance what this "Concentrate and Ask Again" had to offer, I could not help thinking of a word: filler.

    And we know that "Fringe" has exhausted his claims in this field. It took nearly two full seasons to fill sausages. Now, we breathe health, is not it time to retreat. Yes? Well no, unlike what happened in the past, where a case of the week monopolized and dictated the entire narrative, this season reverses the game skillfully and accurately: the mythology, characters and their luggage are the engine, the rest is fuel . And this option clearly demonstrates that not only the series took a giant step forward, as there is a whole respect for the viewer / fan. They are giving us their best, better than the one we want.

    The pretext was then to evolve a vengeance. Very cold, just as it should be served. A trio of ex-military, after being subjected to secret trials that have left them sterile - not quite right but in practice it is like - decide to take revenge on those responsible for such irresponsibility, cruelty. They then prove that these creators of their own medicine: subject us to a toxin that deprives them of all the bones of the body! We remember then "The Protected" body and shudders at the sound of each snap. However, despite the scary doll and always bizarre deaths, this point was the least interesting of the whole episode. The motive for the crimes that have been used more and villains appeared as mere puppets of cardboard, with no content or depth.

    On the other hand, everything was built around it was quite interesting. Firstly, the patient for testing the Cortexiphan lost somewhere in the woods ice. His ability to read minds isolated it in the world, not only because you can always see the truth, but also because this mechanism consumes him slowly. So, a bit like those that were used in the rescue of Peter (Joshua Jackson), he is "hired" to this dangerous mission. But where he really did was more dent in the heart of Olivia (Anna Torv) to prove to you that your most of all still have feelings for each other. Which is equal to it. And here he could be very novelistic, get a whole other dimension, bizarre and complex.

    It is what they are and are not the same person. If we put together, we had the balance, but so are two different reflections of the same mirror. And figured out what was already suspected for a long time - Samuel Weiss (Kevin Corrigan) wrote the book about the First People - is revealed to us then that the fate of a universe or another depends entirely on the choice of Peter - and there around the love of take the reins. The protagonist is then assumed as the major cornerstone of the series and at a time when his personality is more gray than ever, we are very tricky to forecast. And that is excellent.

    In relation to Mr. Bowling, little is known. But he knows a lot, lot, maybe everything.

    The Best: The moments between Olivia and her co-Cortexiphan.

    The worst: the worst case was the third week of the season.moreless
  • Got more Info

    Got a decent amount of information from this episode. Olivia knows the truth about Peters feelings towards Bolivia, because of a mind reader. I knew as soon they brought the mind reader will be further complication than whats already there. It was very cool the mind reader read peoples minds he would be good for the fringe division than again everything will pretty much be to easy to solve lol. We now know the truth between who wrote the books of the other people and about the machine that only Peter can use. Hope for details soon.moreless
  • Elegant and surprising...

    When I saw the end credits - or more exactly the end leaf, two words came to mind about "Concentrate and Ask Again": elegant, surprising.

    Elegant for the way the story, in spite of the initial standalone-episode signs, managed not only to advance the season arc but also to merge the Olivia-Peter subplot into it.

    Surprising because when I understood the mind-reading would be used to advance the plot, I initially expected something about Peter and the "killings" in the previous episode.

    I however understood the choice made when the bowling alley manager connected the Machine, Peter and the Olivias. Reading Peter's thoughts could not have provided that connection and its far-reaching implications. Avoiding what lesser authors would have done, Fringe writers made all the right decisions and delivered everything in a single episode.

    I liked how things gradually fell into place in the second half. The aha moments are typically different for each of us. Me, I had two of them: at the mind-reader's house where I first mistakenly thought he would be used later to let Olivia know of Peter's "murder" spree last week, and then at the hospital when his conversation with Olivia took a personal turn and it became obvious we were bound to have an insight into Peter's feelings.

    I liked the fact that Olivia was immune to Simon's invasions. It put her - unlike last week, at the center of the story, which is where she belongs.

    I liked seeing Olivia in a dress, though her hair required some getting used to, and I was at a loss to understand how she could produce a gun with a silencer (read bulkier) so readily...

    I generally don't bring up "Walterisms" but here I particularly liked the exchange about the plate of vegetables. It was all in the context. Nothing in Peter's tone implied he was delivering a sharp rejoinder; besides, Olivia and Broyles didn't blink.

    Oddly enough, for someone very much concerned with Olivia's happiness, I wasn't sad or angry at the very end. That may be because with the previous episodes and the conversation just before, I knew what to expect.

    The writers outdid themselves once again. I should add that in its construction and obviously not its content, this episode reminded me of 'Marionette'.moreless
  • Mediocre case, excellent "Fringe" benefits!

    First things first. It would appear that the ratings are slowly but surely slipping. I have no idea if this is the much-feared "Supernatural" vs. "Fringe" effect, or just the inevitable switch of viewers to DVR time-shifting, but this is not what fans of "Fringe" wanted to see happen. Hopefully the numbers will level out, because honestly, these latest episodes have just continued the excellence we've come to expect from the third season.

    This particular installment dials back the mythology factor a bit, and instead focuses on advancement of several ongoing plot and character threads. Perhaps the most important, in terms of the progression of the season arc, was Nina's discovery that William Bell had a copy of the book on the First People, and that Sam the Bowling Alley Guy knows all about them. I didn't see that coming at all, yet it explains his significance in the second season.

    The notion that Peter's choice between the two Olivias will be critical to the fate of both Fringe Prime and Alt-Fringe is a nice touch. Yet Sam made a point to say that the Vacuum had the capacity to create and destroy. One would assume that has everything to do with the person energizes it, so Peter's allegiances would necessarily be relevant. Hopefully it's more complex than just where his heart lies.

    It's been effectively half a season since we last saw one of the other Cortexiphan subjects. It felt like this entire case was an excuse to bring in Simon so he could eventually read Peter's mind and make it very clear that his protestations regarding Fauxlivia were less than honest. Considering that the previous episode revealed that Fauxlivia's feelings for Peter were more than mission-dictated, this makes Sam's portents all the more dire.

    Beyond getting Olivia in an evening dress, I can't say the stand-alone elements of the episode were particularly interesting. As usual, it's the overarching context provided by the mythology that keeps the episode from falling into completely average territory. That's what a solid and relatively deep mythology affords a show like "Fringe", and why these ongoing mysteries are worth the time to let them advance organically.moreless
  • 312

    This episode of Fringe started off with a little bit of promise, and I would have liked the show to feature more Nina and Olivia scenes, but it eventually got way too ridiculous. The scene at the banquet was totally unnecessary and it just seemed like JJ Abrams wanted to channel his Alias past moreso than anything else. The problem with Fringe is that since the move to Fridays they have actually made it harder for new fans to pick up the show, when you would think they would make it easier. Just look at tonight's episode, with the man from the bowling alley being reintroduced. How would someone, even someone who started watching three weeks ago when the move to Fridays was made, be able to figure out what was going on.

    They did try to have a one-off storyline tonight, but that wasn't great either.moreless
J.R. Bourne

J.R. Bourne

CIA Agent Edwards

Guest Star

Omid Abtahi

Omid Abtahi

Simon Phillips

Guest Star

Jody Thompson

Jody Thompson


Guest Star

Kevin Corrigan

Kevin Corrigan

Sam Weiss

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Trivia: Walter focuses on Volkswagen Beetles. This is a clue toward the next episode, "Immortality."

    • When Olivia approaches the body of Dillon just after shooting him through the neck, a large pool of blood is already forming around his head. Just seconds later we see an overhead view of Olivia and the body, and there is no longer any blood pool.

    • One of the thoughts that Simon gets from Downey's mind is "Project Jellyfish." The Fringe team is looking for information on a project and that's the only project on the list. However, they don't think it's important to investigate until they realize the significance of jellyfish. The reasonable course would be to start an investigation into Project Jellyfish as soon as they see the word "Project," since they're looking for a project.

    • Trivia: The Observer can be seen in the overhead establishing shot of the fundraiser, entering through the door at the top of the screen.

    • Trivia: The glyph code for this episode is HATCH.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Simon: Do you know how it feels to be burdened with something that makes it impossible for you to relate to another person? That makes you feel completely alone in the world?
      Olivia: I can imagine.

    • Olivia: (about the Other Side's Olivia) She's like me but better.
      Nina: Oh, Olivia...
      Olivia: No, I mean she still has her mother and, she wasn't experimented on as a child. And she can laugh, she has real friends... she even wears a dress once in a while.

    • Walter: Why would anyone kill a scientist? What'd we ever do?
      Peter: Really?

    • Walter: I feel nauseated.
      Peter: Yeah, this is pretty disgusting, even by our standards.
      Walter: I'm not talking about the body. I fear I may have broken wind inside my suit.

    • Astrid: You used to work for President Nixon?
      Walter: It was uncomfortable. His wife kept coming on to me.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Injoke: In New Hampshire, Walter is seen drinking Slusho, the popular fictional drink popularized by J.J. Abrams in his various movie and TV projects.

    • Injoke: The code to Bell's safe is 052010. May 20, 2010 was the premiere airdate of "Over There, Part 2".

    • International Airdates:
      Canada: February 4, 2011 on Citytv
      Australia: February 23, 2011 on GO!
      Latin America: March 1, 2011 on Warner Channel
      UK: April 6, 2011 on Sky1
      Sweden: July 1, 2011 on Kanal 5
      Finland: November 23, 2011 on MTV3
      Poland: April 16, 2012 on TVN
      Czech Republic: March 18, 2013 on FANDA