Jun 12, 2009

Looking back at 103 - “The Ghost Network”

Fringe - 103 The Ghost Network | Posted by Scully

"The Ghost Network"

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Well now that I’ve watched the entire episode, things make much more sense to me.  Some of the things here might not be new to most of you, but they’re new to me, so I am including them.

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What did we miss? - or should I say…What did ‘I’ miss? lol

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- Last week in “Looking back at 102 - Same old story”, I touch on the idea that Peter himself might have a bit of a gift. This week, during the part of the episode that was missing from my copy, Peter and Broyles talk…

BROYLES: I’m not entirely sure yet. But it’s hard to say he’s lying.

PETER: He’s not. I like to consider myself to be a fairly good poker player, which requires me to have the ability to read my opponents’ tells, knowing he’s bluffing. He’s not bluffing. Regardless of what the actual explanation is, he sincerely believes that what he’s saying is the truth.

BROYLES: In that case, what do you suggest? How has he learned of these incidents?

This gift may or may not be supernatural, but he openly admits that he has it.  I just wonder how much or how strong that gift really is.

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- Walter examines Roy’s pupils, much in the same way that he examined Peter’s in the Pilot episode.

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What theories were overlooked?

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- I wonder if Walter used the neurostimulator on himself at one point?  Over the season, we see many instances when Walter’s thought process and food cravings happen at the same time.

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- In episode 1, Broyles didn’t want to work with Olivia, calling her ‘Liaison’ and treating her like less an agent and more like an unwanted guest.  In episode 2, Nina didn’t want to work with Olivia, saying “What were you thinking when you recruited Olivia Dunham?“. But now we see both Nina and Broyles being protective of her, both wanting to keep her in their own circle.

NINA: If I know you at all, this isn’t the only reason you’re here. Is this because of our interest in Agent Dunham?

BROYLES: Seems a bit early to be poaching my newest hire, with only a three-case resume under her belt.

NINA: I didn’t achieve my position without the ability to evaluate someone’s talents immediately.

BROYLES: Neither did I.

NINA: Oh, you feel protective of her, don’t you?

BROYLES: I’m in the business of protecting all my agents.

NINA: I want nothing but the best for her.

BROYLES: Of course you do.

Notice Nina says ‘our‘ interest in Olivia, not ‘my‘ interest.  What’s up with that?  Is it a case of ‘Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer’?  And the comment that Nina made earlier in the episode, “You’ve been investigating these cases for a very short while now. At least three of them have occurred right in your own backyard. I might suspect that you, yourself were somehow responsible.”.  What is her importance?  Must be something big, for these two to be fighting over her.

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- Not an overlooked theory, but more evidence to the idea that Broyles may not be batting for our team.  In episode 1, John says “Ask yourself, why… why Broyles sent you… to the storage facility. Why you?”.  It was speculated then, that Broyles might be bad.  In this episode Walter says to Broyles, “I posit that Roy has no control over his abilities. That he’s linked psychically with someone or less likely but still possible a small group of people responsible for these events. Equally possible, someone’s who merely discussing them. Perhaps he’s communicating with you Agent Broyles.”  This is most certainly another hint that Broyles might be bad.

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What makes sense now that didn’t before?

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- When Peter and Olivia go to Peter’s old house in Cambridge, Olivia says: ” Well, I pretty much knew this was what I wanted to do by the time I was nine.”.  We learn in episode 6 - “The Cure” that her step-father beat her mother badly, and upon his return, she shot him, twice, but was unable to kill him. It appears that a sense of regret from that incident, plus a sense of justice, put her on the path toward becoming a federal agent.

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How have the characters developed?

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- I found Olivia to be kind of whiny in this episode.  Wah, “He said he loved me.”, Wah, “He used me.”…Wah, Wah, Wah.  She looks like she’s about to cry.  MAN UP!  Yeah, I know, she’s been through a tramatic experience, but thank goodness her whiny days are over now.

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What questions were never answered?

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- Why did Broyles give Nina the disc?

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- Who was Agent Mendoza?  Why did she have one of those discs in her hand?  Was she part of the pattern somehow?  Who was she really working for?

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- Who was the man taking pictures of Peter in the diner?  And who was Peter supposed to ‘check in‘ with?

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- What’s the story with Peter’s mother?

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What tie was Broyles wearing?

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One tie.

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Just one tie this week, as the entire episode happened in one day.  Nice continuity.

OLIVIA: So eleven innocent people die today, we risk losing another by drilling through his head, all for something we know nothing about?

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Tune in Wednesday, June 17 for “Looking back at 104 - ‘The Arrival’”.

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10 Responses to “Looking back at 103 - “The Ghost Network””

  1. mlj102

    As always, wonderful recap!

    Regarding Peter mentioning his ability to read people, I do think it could be more than just a simple 6th sense type of thing. They’ve really gone out of their way to point that out to us. Along with him actually mentioning it, we see in many instances how, for example, Olivia is distressed about something, though trying to hide it, but Peter is still able to pick up on it. He also mentioned it in the Pilot after he discovers that Olivia was bluffing about having a file on him. He said that he is able to read people very well and it was obvious that he usually isn’t fooled by people. I wonder, if that really is an ability that Peter has, why was Olivia able to deceive him that time?

    As for Nina and Broyles, they definitely confuse me. I’m curious as to the nature of their dealings together. Throughout the season it seems as if one minute they’re working together, and the next they’re working against each other. I also don’t understand why Broyles suddenly went from having a strong dislike for Olivia in the beginning, to recruiting her and protecting her, unless his dislike of her in the beginning was just some sort of an act he put on in order to test her. But if that’s the case, why? As for Nina, I don’t think she was expressing dislike of Olivia when she asked Broyles why he recruited her — I look at it more like she was playing devil’s advocate and wondering what really prompted Broyles to recruit Olivia so quickly. What I’m curious about is why Nina is so interested in Olivia so soon. In episode 2 Nina tries to get Olivia to go work at Massive Dynamic — I get the impression that that’s sort of a big deal. Why would Nina want Olivia to come work for her? She must know something about Olivia in order for her to make such a big offer so quickly. I definitely agree that there must be something very special about Olivia that both Nina and Broyles know about that would be prompting them to be fighting over her.

    I am very curious about Peter’s mother. Olivia asks Peter about her and he is very quick to change the subject and not share any information. I wonder what the story is behind that.

    One final question I have: at the beginning Olivia goes to John’s funeral and while she’s there, John’s mother is looking at her and looks really angry or something. Is there any significance behind that? What reason would his mother have to be focusing in on Olivia and conveying such bad vibes?

  2. Jo

    The disk. Broyles gave Nina the disk from the agent mendoza as well as the guy from transformation and they were trying to use Agent scotts implant using his body because they found out once the disk is out they can’t retrieve the information.

    About Olivia: I’m starting to think there is a file on the corteziphan kids and their lives and especially how they have developed since the trials which makes me wonder if the events that happened to them were staged.
    Think about this for a minute. Olivia was a stable child till the incident where she turned into a human fire ball and apparently burned up the missing man. I’m guessing she shut down emotionally and blocked herself off then years later after many failed relationships in comes Agent Scott who opens her up emotionally then bingo all sorts of things start happening. This could tie into the clone theory. I bet there is a “station” somewhere where all these things are recorded. Her sister too show up at the time where she needs to stay emotionally plugged into the world giving her an anchor and someone to be strong about. that is what Nick Lane said isn’t it. (phew!)
    Broyles definitely has a tie (yeah pun intended scully) into a larger organisation but I have a strong feeling he doesn’t have the whole picture even though he knows more than Olivia does. What colour eyes do the corteziphan kids have. So far i am starting to see a physical resemblance between them. I was thinking that after Walter mentioned Peters eye colour in episode 2. Then again i keep watching it over and over again i could be reaching.

    Ooh it would be so cool if Agent Scott were a clone it would mean he could be back. A girl can dream can’t she?

  3. Daryl Tay

    First time comment and I just wanted to say I love the re-watches that you’re doing! Really loved the “wahh” comments in this post. I felt the same way when I was watching it!!

  4. Pr3sidentspence

    I’m starting to think with Peter’s claim to know when people are bluffing that he was just playing hard to get in Iraq. I have a feeling that Peter may be exactly where he wants to be (or at least where someone has assigned him to be).

  5. Jo

    @ Pr3sidentspence Ooh. Nice one. Peter a secret spy. COuld explain why he doesn’t mind about his debt and just what happened after he went “crazyy” and why that man was taking his picture. Hmmmm. Needs further investigation

  6. Mic

    I think you might be right about Walter using the neurostimulator on himself, Scully, and I also think it’s tied into Walter’s weird food cravings– he seems to crave a food when he’s working on something he worked on before… Am I making any sense? I might need to research that more.

    I agree with Jo, pr3s– that’s a knockout idea! It could explain why he wanted to know what Olivia saw in his file in the Pilot. He was probing to see how much she really knew about his status.

  7. mlj102

    @ Pr3sidentspence -

    Wow. That would certainly be a twist people weren’t expecting. I don’t know — I know he’s very good at bluffing people and all, but he would have to be a phenomenal actor for that to be the case. It’s just that he really seems genuine in his surprise that Olivia had been bluffing, in his reluctance to stay in the first few episodes (think about how he almost left in episode 4), and in his growing concern for Walter and Olivia. For me personally, I do feel like he’s been hiding something, but I think it is more connected with his past with “Big Eddie” and those people. As far as the pattern and all that goes, he really seems ignorant and like he’s just going along for the ride. Perhaps we’ll find out that, while he didn’t know it, the group he’d been involved with before is one of the cells involved with the pattern, but he hasn’t known that. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  8. Mic

    There are a few things that struck me as odd in this episode. When Walter is giving Roy the sedative, Roy says Walter looks very familiar and Walter responds, “I hear that a lot– (in a sing-song voice) in the mental institution where I lived.” I’m pretty sure we are going to see St. Claire’s rise up from Walter’s past again.

    Like Pr3sidentspence brought up Walter’s reflection scene in Same Old Story, there are a number of scenes shot like that in Ghost Network. The diner and the interrogation room’s window to name a couple. More foreshadowing of the worlds and more than one of everything storylines.

    I wonder if Peter knows more about the owners of the old house than he lets on. When Olivia suggests finding them for permission, he gives her a slight look and immediately begins the b and e. He may not want her to find out who is living there.

    It’s interesting you brought up Broyles giving Nina the disk– something to note is that the bad guys of this episode didn’t know about the disks in the palm until after they checked Mendoza’s bag, which implies they weren’t the ones to put the disks there. So who did implant the disks? Nina says the data on them is encrypted and MD is having trouble decoding the info so they didn’t implant them. Is it ZFT’s doing or do we have yet another shadowy organization out there… Maybe a part of the US government?

  9. Scully Scully

    @ Mic: Nice catch about the disc. I hadn’t thought of that. I think that there is another organization of some kind, I had speculated that early in the season. This might be more proof.

    I also think that we have not heard the last of St. Claires or Bruce Sumner. They seem important to Walter’s possible alter-ego and his memory problems.

  10. Jo

    There seems to be another government agency investigating the pattern which sent out Scott but why allow another agency to be set up. Maybe because that organisation has been compromised in some sort of way which would explain why they sent (forget his name evil creepy guy that got crispy in the last episode)
    Apart from them is ghost network peps who speak in latin- clearly not government officials.
    Now the only question is why the code word aeger for this episode. No one was ill or sick here. Or did i miss that. Is there someone behind the scenes who is causing the latin-group to investigate.

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