"The beguiling Olivia Dunham beguiles." This is said by Walter when young Peter first sees young Olivia and can't get his eyes off of her. And why would he? Or more to my point: how could he? Given that the young girl was every bit as beguiling as the adult character. With the proper material, she managed - just like her adult self, to make other characters revolve around her emotionally...
This episode seemed to be about young Peter dueling with his 'mother' to get her to admit he wasn't her child. It seemed to be about Walternate actively engaged into self-destruction. It even seemed to be about Walter's fight with morals.
It ultimately ended up being about young Olivia allowing Peter to find a reason to believe this could be his world, about her giving to Walternate the information he needed to sober up and start his quest, and finally, about her inspiring Walter to make the right decision.
The above distinction matters to me as it means she made things happen by influencing others' lives. It means that just like her adult self, she drove the plot...
I liked the tulip field scene. Both kids sounded much wiser than their age would allow but it worked. Plus the cinematography was wonderful, just like at Reiden lake.
I particularly liked the scene in which young Olivia ended up in front of Walternate. It was brilliantly constructed, with an icing on the cake: the puzzled but adorable look on Olivia's face when she turned to speak to Walter standing at the door.
I liked that though she had a stronger character, both kid actors were very good.
I liked that Peter even as a child was already extremely smart in a con-artist sort of way: "Because it was the only drawing that looked happy."
And finally, I liked the attention to details about the eighties: the episode intro, the lab equipment, the furniture, and my favorites: the Betamax reference by Walter and the Macintosh computer in Peter's room.
The episode was wonderfully put together and only improved our understanding of the overall story and more importantly of the characters. I had no issue whatsoever with the few points that raised some red flags as they can easily be dealt with later.
How I wish I knew how to convince viewers that matter (Nielsen families) to watch Fringe live...