Fringe’s Walter Faces His Fears in ‘Equation’

November 19, 2008

In last night’s Fringe, “The Equation,” Walter Bishop had to face one of his greatest fears – returning to the mental hospital where he was locked up for 17 years.  But just what was he afraid of?

Walter tries to find a clue to help find the kidnapped boy from Dashiell.

Walter tries to find a clue to help find the kidnapped boy from Dashiell.

When a musical prodigy boy (Charlie Tahan) is kidnapped after his father is hypnotized with green and red lights, Walter must return to the mental hospital to visit Dashiell (Randall Duk Kim), a patient who was also abducted by the same woman.

The kidnap story about Ben was very interesting.  I mean who knew that a musical composition would result in being able to allow someone to reach through solid objects, like a safe, and pull out things like an apple.  An apple very much like the one we see introducing the commercial breaks.

Not to mention, who was Joanne Ostler/Ritz and the man who later shot her?  Did she use hypnosis to show her abductees what they wanted most?  Why did she fake her own death?  And why did she still look 20 years old when she should be 30?  And most importantly who were they working for?

But the real heart of the episode this week was Walter.  I don’t know that if I ever spent that much time in a mental institute and then got out if I’d ever be willing to return.  But Walter proved that despite is ethically questionable experiments, he really does have a heart of gold and willingly faced his fear.

But what was he afraid of?  Well Dr. Summer (Bill Sadler) would definitely top my creepy scale.  Anyone else wonder just how far involved he is?  Did he know about the kidnappings?  Or does he play a bigger role in the Pattern?

Dashiell, himself, was a bit scary too.  Or rather whatever was done to him to make him that way freaked me out.  Did they make him forget about the kidnapping because they were afraid someone would believe him?  Or did they know that Olivia and team were getting close?

And the freakiest thing of the night – two Walters.  And what’s worse is that the Walter we know and love didn’t seem surprised to see his other self.  Is he hallucinating?  Is he really crazy?  Or is it more?

Did anyone see The Observer in this episode?  I didn’t.  Or at least I didn’t see him as we usually do.  I think – now this is just a theory – that the other Walter is actually The Observer in disguise.  Not sure yet if it was a great disguise or if The Observer actually metamorphosized his looks. But if I’m right, our weird game of Where’s Waldo just got harder.

And lastly how sweet was it how defense Peter got about his father.  A few weeks ago he was ready to send him back to the institution and now he’s fighting to keep him out.  And my heart just signed when Walter, after expression exasperation from trying to talk to Dashiell, asked Peter if that’s what it’s like to talk to him.  Peter response was sweet.

I really can’t wait until next week.  This series just keeps getting better and it looks like the stakes are getting raised again in the next episode.

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Preview of 2007 Family-Friendly Holiday Season Movies

November 10, 2007

With the Writer’s Guild of America on strike and all our favorite television shows going dark, the place to be this holiday season for a little entertainment is the theater.   The holiday season on the big screen is fairing up pretty nicely as an option for family outings to include not only some holiday-themed movies, but some other fun family films.

Again, like this summer, I am surprised to only find one G-rated movie.  Even the chipmunks got a PG rating this year.  The list of family films this season includes only 1 1/2 animated films.  I counted Disney’s unique offering, Enchanted, as half since it’s half animation and half live action.

Without further delay, here’s a rundown by release date:

Bee Movie
Bee MovieIn this animated feature, Barry Benson (Jerry Seinfeld) decides he can’t be like his best friend Adam Flyman (Matthew Broderick) and settle for a typical life in the hive making honey.  But when he set out to discover the rest of the world, he had no idea what an adventure it would be.  Along the way, Barry makes a few new friends, including Mooseblood (Chris Rock), a mosquito headed to Alaska, and a human named Vanessa Bloome (Renee Zellweger).  But with adventure comes mishap and Barry and Vanessa find themselves racing against time to saved the flowers.  For a full review, click here.

Rated PG for mild suggestion humor and a brief depiction of humor.  View Trailer at www.beemovie.com.  Release Date:  Currently in theaters. 

Fred Claus
Fred ClausEvery family has its black sheep.  In the Claus family, it’s Fred (Vince Vaughn), Nicholas’s (Paul Giamatti) older brother.  When Fred’s shady dealings finally land him in jail, Santa steps in to bail his brother out, offering him a job in his toy workshop.  Can this sheep change the color of is wool?  Or will Fred’s antics jeopardize not only his relationship with Nicholas, but the whole Christmas holiday? Kathy Bates stars as Mother Clause and Rachel Weisz is Wanda.

Rated PG for mild language and some rude humor.  View Trailer at fredclaus.warnerbros.com.  Release Date:  Currently in theaters.

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
Mr. Magorium’s Wonderful EmporiumWhat throws a worse tantrum than a toddler who has lost his favorite toy?  A toy store that has lost its favorite owner.  Mr. Magoriums’ Wonderl Emporium is a delightfully magic place or at least it was until its 245-year-old owner Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) leaves the store to his timid manager Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman).  Together with the help of the doubtful accountant Henry (Jason Bateman) and a nine-year-old (Zach Mills), Molly must find the magic to keep the store alive.  For a full review, click here.

Rated G.  View the trailer at www.magorium.com.  Release Date:  November 16

August Rush
August RushThis drama follows the young and musically talented August Rush (Freddie Highmore) on his search to find his parents — Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), a Irish singer and guitarist, and Loyla Novacek (Keri Russell), a privileged cellist with an overprotective father (William Sadler).  Drawn together by their love of music, Louis and Loyla had shared one magical night together in New York 12 years ago, but due to an unfortunate turn of event the two were separated from each other and August.  Living on the street and under the protection of the Wizard (Robin Williams), August is determined to find his parents through his music.  Terrence Howard stars as social worker Richard Jeffries. 

Rated PG for thematic elements, mild violence and language.  View the trailer at augustrushmovie.warnerbros.com.  Release Date:  November 21.

Christmas in WonderlandChristmas in Wonderland
Patrick Swayze stars in the comedy as Wayne Saunders, a father who moves his three kids from to LA to Edmonton, where the kids think they’ll die of boredom.  But they are in for the adventure of a lifetime when they head to West Edmonton Mall for some Christmas shopping, but find a bag of counterfeit money instead.

Rated PG for rude humor.  View the trailer at christmasinwonderland.com.  Release date:  November 21

Enchanted
EnchantedWhat happens when a fairytale comes true — or in Enchanted‘s case, comes alive?  We find out when the evil Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) pushes an animated Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) down a well and she winds up in modern day New York in living color.  Will the gritty streets of New York change Giselle’s romantic look on life?  Will Giselle trade her storybook prince, Edward (James Marsden), for a real life romance with Robert (Patrick Dempsey), a handsome lawyer?

Rated PG for scary images and mild innuendo.  View the trailer at enchantedmovie.com.  Release date:  November 21

The Golden Compass
The Golden CompassBased on Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy, this fantasy follows Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards), a rebellious orphan, on her quest through a parallel word full of shape-shifting creatures and witches to find her best friend, Roger (Ben Walker), who has been kidnapped by the government for experiments.  But with the coming war, Lyra might be destined to save more than her friend — her world and all the parallel worlds connected to it.  Daniel Craig stars as her explorer uncle, Lord Asriel, and Nicole Kidman is his colleague, Mrs. Coulter.

Not Yet Rated.  View the trailer a www.goldencompassmovie.com.  Release date:  December 7

The Perfect Holiday
The Perfect HolidayNarrated by Queen Latifah, this sweet little tale is about Emily (Khail Bryant), the youngest of three children, whose only Christmas wish is for her single mom, Nancy (Gabrielle Union), to be happy.  So she asks Santa for the one thing she overhears her mom wish for — a nice normal man.  Benjamin (Morris Chestnut), an aspiring songwriter working as the mall Santa, is more than happy to fulfill this Christmas wish.

Rated PG for brief language and some suggestive humor.  View the trailer at www.theperfectholidaymovie.com.  Release date:  December 12

Alvin and the Chipmunks
Alvin & the ChipmunksA live action/CGI version of the 1980s cartoon about how songwriter David Seville (Jason Lee) turns three chipmunks — Alvin, Simon and Theodore — into pop stars while the trio turns David’s house and life upside down.  Fun fact: the Chipmunks were named after Liberty Records executives — Alvin Bennett, Simon Waronker, and Theodore Keep.

Rated PG for rude humor.  View the trailer at www.alvinandthechipmunksmovie.com.  Release date:  December 14

National Treasure:  Book of Secrets
National TreasureA highly anticipated sequel to the 2004 hit, Book of Secrets promises even more intrigue and action as Ben Gates (Nicholas Cage) sets out to defend his family name when a missing page from John Wilkes Booth’s diary reappears and implicates Ben’s great-great-great grandfather in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  Look for more mysteries and puzzles as Ben and his crew travel to Paris and London before returning to the states.  Jon Voight reprises his role as Ben’s father, Patrick.  Also returning is Diane Kruger as Abigail Chase, Ben’s love interest from the first movie.

Rated PG for some violence and action.  View the trailer at nationaltreasure.com.  Release date:  December 21

The Water Horse:  Legend of the Deep
Water HorseDiscover the magical beginning of one of Scotland’s most famous legends when a young boy discovers a very unique egg, one that takes him on an enchanted journey when it hatches into a water horse.  Walden Media, the company that brought you the Chronicles of Narnia, promises another fantastical tale.

Rated PG for action/peril, mild language and brief smoking.  View the trailer at thewaterhorse.com.  Release date:  December 25

Well I think I can find several good options to fill the lulls in my holiday shopping schedule.  Hope you find one or two you enjoy too.  See you in the concession lines!