“You are the mother of my grandchild.”
– Walter

Since the Olivias have returned to their respective universes, we’ve spent a lot of time Over Here, witnessing the ripple effects that the switcheroo has had in Our Olivia’s life. “Immortality” brings us back to the alternate universe, where we finally begin to see how Alt-Olivia has been affected by her time in our dimension.

The Other Olivia wasn’t introduced as the most sympathetic character. She’s cocky, she’s snarky, and hey – she assumed Our Olivia’s identity. That’s not cool. But in spite of all of that, she isn’t evil; she has been following Walternate’s orders, doing whatever she thinks it’ll take to save her world. This has required immense sacrifice, embedding herself in a foreign world, away from the people she loved. More importantly, it involved striking up a fake romantic relationship with Peter, despite the very real one she had back home with Frank.

Alt-Olivia hasn’t been forthcoming with Frank about what she had to do for her job. In fact, even if she wanted to be, she couldn’t. She is sworn to secrecy with regards to the alternate universe, and no one, not even her boyfriend, is allowed to know that she was Over Here. Heck, even Alt-Charlie and Alt-Lincoln don’t know! So when Frank confronts her about her pregnancy1 and inquires about the father, she can’t even breathe a word. She can’t tell Frank that she was just doing her job. She just has to sit there and let Frank assume that she was cheating on him with someone else that she loved.

But maybe she didn’t respond to Frank because she actually did develop an attraction for Peter. Her feelings are all complicated and confused. Rationally, she knows that she should be with Frank, that her life with Frank was great. But she also realizes that to some extent, she got lost in her assignment. At a certain point, she was living the lie, and now she’s not quite sure what of her time Over There was real and what wasn’t.

It might have taken her life falling apart for Alt-Olivia to seem like a sympathetic character, but we now know that she doesn’t have it easy. She is also now burdened with a child that she might not even want, but can’t get rid of because it’s Walternate’s grandson. She might continue to appear cool and confident on the outside, but that’s just a facade to mask a lot of pain and confusion.

To close this commentary, I have two observations. Firstly, this episode features one of the weirdest plot holes ever. If Dr. Silva was able to clone the skelter beetles from the dead, why couldn’t he do the same for sheep and then grow the cloned beetles in the cloned sheep? That would have saved a lot of lives. Secondly, BUG GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For more information on the Fringe rewatch project, please click here. For my review of “Immortality,” please click here.

1 The moral of the story is: always wear a condom, kids. And you have to make sure to wear the condom properly, otherwise it won’t work. Heck, even a properly applied condom can rupture. So you know what? Just don’t have sex. You’re probably terrible at it anyway.^