Fringe

Season 3 Episode 12

Concentrate and Ask Again

3
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Feb 04, 2011 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

9.1
out of 10
Average
492 votes
  • Concentrate and Ask Again

    8.0
    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.
  • Got more Info

    8.5
    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.
  • Elegant and surprising...

    9.0
    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'.
  • Mediocre case, excellent "Fringe" benefits!

    7.0
    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.
  • 312

    7.0
    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.
  • While Nina Sharp figures out who might be behind the book "The first people", Walter, Peter and Olivia are trying to stop a team of former military members from killing people that have experimented on them.

    10
    At least once in their life everyone gives mind reading a second thought. Wouldn't it be great to have that ability? Well, a certain Simon in this episode has it, thanks to Walter and his experiments on children. Simon can read everybody's mind but Olivia's, because she is immune. Walter seeks out Simon to ask him for help, because the suspect is in a coma. That is Walter - still using his former victims. Simon reluctantly agrees to help and the killers are brought down by Olivia who has certainly kept her newly gained marksmanship. Case solved, but the question remains what Peter is really thinking about Olivia.
    Olivia learned that we do not really want to know what the people we love are thinking - the hard way. Peter still has feelings for the other Olivia. Besides the heartbreaking part of this information, the viewer learns that there is more at stake than Olivia's happiness. Peter is the key to the device and which Olivia he will choose is in fact also a decision for a universe. It is Peter's heart and mind that will save or destroy our world.
    But I guess there is still a catch, it won't be that simple. Maybe there is a third universe on the way? And does reading the mind really mean that you can read a person's heart, too? I would be surprised if Peter really knew his heart at the moment.
    Does it all come down to the question who Peter loves? Well, there will be a lot of people pushing him in one direction or another. And we still need to find out how the device is changing Peter.
    An important question remains: How on earth does the bowling guy know everything?
  • As usual, revelations and then more teasers.

    9.5
    Such a cleverly woven conundrum, and each episode still introduces asides with new people influenced, for better or worse, by Walter and Bell. And while they may appear to be side stories or stand alone episodes, there is always the reinforcement of just what one "simple" act can do to the fabric of time and the people who populate it.

    Simon is one of the stronger of these characters; in this case, a victim. But one with an anomaly or gift depending on who you are and what you need, that may come in handy for the Fringe team in the battle to come. Meantime he has really thrown a wrench into the lives of Olivia and Peter.

    Speaking of Peter, I had the feeling after last week that he was going to be the deciding factor in all this. Whooda thunk it being dependent on how his love life is bound to go! Talk about playing with the fabric of time and the people who populate it!

    And best of all, we find the oracle works in a bowling alley. What a statement! Guess which pill he took?!

    Shame that FOX has all but walked away from this brilliant piece of work. maybe a network with half a brain will pick it up...
  • *Spoiler Alert The series has dramatically changed as it now makes sense as to what fate has in store for Peter Bishop.

    10
    It is true now that Peter has feelings for Fauxlivia. It has now been stated that whichever Olivia he chooses is the one that he will be with and he will end up destroying the other's universe. It seems to be conerning that now Peter will choose Fauxlivia over Olivia in the end. Nina was surely shocked by this, but who's to say the show which Olivia he will choose.
    It is true now that Peter has feelings for Fauxlivia. It has now been stated that whichever Olivia he chooses is the one that he will be with and he will end up destroying the other's universe. It seems to be conerning that now Peter will choose Fauxlivia over Olivia in the end. Nina was surely shocked by this, but who's to say the show which Olivia he will choose.
  • Concentrate and Ask Again

    10
    Concentrate and Ask Again was a perfect episode of Fringe. This episode had a definite creepy feeling to it with the little gifts being given to men involved with a secret military project. The results were disturbing and will make your skin crawl thinking about it. I also enjoyed meeting Simon, a cortexifan patient from Walter's past, who did not complete the trials and tests because he developed a unique ability. I thought it was interesting to see Olivia still feeling the after affects of the other Olivia as Peter makes little mistakes. It was sad to read what Simon read in Peter's mind, especially after learning what Nina found out about the First People Books, and Peter's connection to the Machine. I look forward to the next episode!!!!!!!
  • People were upset (or at least disagreed) when I said Peter really loves the other Olivia. Well, I won't say I told you so but ..............

    8.0
    Remember, the person we call Fauxlivia, is just Olivia, raised in a different environment. She is as dedicated to her job, as one would expect, so what she started out doing to Peter was necessary. That she developed feelings for him was natural. I also love it when one of the other "children" is introduced. How said his life is - but maybe he and boring Olivia can get together. The rest of the mythology is not that interesting - I don't think either world is going to be destroyed - the existence of two worlds is critical to the Fringe story. What I believe is that William Bell is not dead - that's my second prediction.
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Ωlivia, simplex character development, smart dark science-fiction, soul reaving freak of the week, ossifragous (?!) investigation

    10
    You know a show has become more than a simple televisual production when you begin to dream about it. It's exactly what could happen to you after watching this 12th installment of Fringe. The softness of her milky skin. The trembling beauty of her whispering lips. The magnetic curves of her golden hair. Olivia Dunham's profile has reached a rare complexity where the boundaries between fiction and reality seem to have vanished. The last time I was so moved by a performance was probably after watching Smallville's Idol and Hostage starring – out of memory – as Lois Lane. When I thought Anna Torv would never make me forget about Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully this episode finally unveiled the tremendous potential of the triangle between Fauxlivia, Peter Bishop and Olivia. Far from the Manichaean connections we can't relate to the writers have nourished the character development with mature concepts that can only wild the intellect and senses. But Fringe wouldn't be so praised by its audience if it only featured disturbing scenes and heartbreaking moments. Among all its undisputable qualities the wavy writing keeps dazzling the viewers. One episode after the other the dream team behind the show delivers entertaining, smart and amber fluid stories. When the freak of the week is not pure evil it shakes your emotions. It's specially controversial when you know Walter generally gave birth to these tormented creatures. Concentrate and Ask Again's one was in the same vein as the others but with a double-edged twist that should make you care for it even more. The performer was perfect for the job, from its figure to talent. Add the weekly dose of wicked ingredients from body horror to cult references and you get an other pray before your TV UFO. You'll probably consider my brain has French fried but only the ending slightly disappointed me because I think they shouldn't have shown the note Olivia had in her hands. A delicate close-up on her figure would have been more considerate. Otherwise it's only a minor issue and Torv would definitely make a fine Bond girl !
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