It’s hard to judge the first part of a two-parter on its own for all the obvious reasons. However, I can say pretty easily that part one of “Over There” was fantastic.This episode brought so many of our wishes together: We finally spent a substantial amount of time in the altUniverse, where we learned that they didn’t know who Andrew Jackson was, had MLK on the $20 bill, Texas is separated into two states, people have to show their “show-me” IDs everywhere and the statue of liberty is bronze. We also were able to see the alt-Fringe Division — an arm of the DoD in this world — in action, including a red-headed, much feistier Olivia and a shaved headed Charlie! Don’t forget a much more intense Broyles, more active Astrid and another guy who might just be important later (they noted something about his important father). Finally, it’s strongly hinted at that Walternate wants to use Peter to do something that looks completely creepy and ominous.
Actually, “Over There” brought us some things we probably didn’t even think about before, but are also very, very cool: A reason for William Bell’s reason for not coming back to the proper universe? It’s messed up his body so much it’s surely too dangerous. All the former Cortexiphan-infused villains-of-the-week had been rehabilitated and joined Olivia and Walter to create a mini super-team of heroes! And then they all died. Also bad news: Walter is shot and on face-down in a hospital parking lot. So now we have Walter injured, Walternate getting his crazy looking machine ready for Peter, Olivia with William Bell and a whole lot bad things coming down the pike.
Now, it’s difficult to determine what exactly this machine Walternate wants Peter to use. It’s still unclear if Walternate was always evil and had this big plan for Peter in the first place, or if Walter’s 1985 journey to grab Peter pissed Walternate off so much that he’s been on a tirade ever since. It’s interesting that Walternate has kept the other universe from the world, even though his ZFT manifesto was published. That surely means something. And what are we to make of William Bell’s appearance? What is his plan for Olivia?
This episode was expertly paced, action-packed in certain parts and emotionally resonant in others. Peter waking up in the home of his “real” parents and spending the day with his mother was fantastic, as was Olivia’s stalking of her alt-self and seemingly being very upset that this gal has a man in her life. I don’t have much else to say about it, and will choose to spend more time talking about both hours once the second-part comes around.