28 February 2011


Flashback Episode - which means kickass 80s retro credits. You really have to love Fringe's dedication to the time period - low-quality audio on Betamax recordings, retro bag of Peanut M&Ms, all the old computer equipment. Love it!

Young Peter once tried to drown himself in an icy lake, thinking it would take him back home to Earth 2. There's lots of, "You're not my mother and you're not my father!" drama. Wow, so this poor kid knew he was stolen -- but at some point he must forget or something, right? I guess I should have realized he'd know he was kidnapped, and that he didn't belong - but I suppose I figured he'd kind of developed amnesia or something as a result of his illness or the crossover.

Walter's conducting his experiments on his kids in Jacksonville, and Little Olivia's being beaten by her stepfather. She crosses over for the first time when she runs away from him. Walter figures out fear is the key, and so frightens poor Olivia until she unleashes a fireball in the lab and disappears.

Other Universe. Walternate and his wife are dealing with the aftermath of Peter's mysterious kidnapping. Walternate works for Bishop Dynamic, where there's a space shuttle launching pad outside his window. He also drinks a lot. (Whereas, in Our Universe, Peter's mom develops the taste for booze when she can't stand lying to Peter.)

Our Universe. Young Peter finds Young Olivia hiding out in a white tulip field. OK, it's weird that they met each other and don't remember. These kids better develop amnesia in a couple years or something. Then again, my memory sucks... but I never had a traumatic fireball incident either. I'd probably remember everything surrounding that.

Olivia confesses to Walter that her stepfather hits her, and that that's when she crosses over to the Other Universe. Unfortunately, she crossed over right before going into the office, so really she confesses to Walternate. And that's how Walternate came to know about the Other Universe.

This Week's Code: SWITCH.

27 February 2011

20 February 2011

I've Done It!

It came down to the wire, but I have now seen all 10 films nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Normally, there are some on the list that I don't have any interest in seeing, but since they all seemed good this time, I figured I'd try to see them all. I saw Winter's Bone, which is a dark, depressing movie about poor, dirty hicks... but it's good, I promise! The young lead, Jennifer Lawrence, is most definitely deserving of her Best Actress nomination - she carried the whole movie. And I finally got out to see The Fighter and loved it. It's pretty much your typical, feel-good sports film, but the performances are amazing. Christian Bale is just as good as you've heard he is - really disappearing into the role. Mark Wahlberg kind of plays Mark Wahlberg, as always, but he's great. Their family of sisters is hysterically crass, and their mother is a flaming bitch. I'm a sucker for foul-mouthed, working-class, Boston-accented families. They're awesomely horrible.

My Oscar Picks:

I still have to give Best Picture to Inception. No other movie made me leave it instantly wanting to see it again. No other movie sparked conversation and debate for months. Christopher Nolan not being nominated himself is Grade A Bullshit - the movie is amazing and original. Honestly, though, each of the 10 movies is amazing in its own way (I love how varied they all are!) and I can't be pissed if any of them win. (Unlike last year, when I would have thrown something out the window if Avatar or The Blind Side had won.)

Best Actor is tough - I've seen 4 of the 5. I actually just watched last year's A Single Man and think Colin Firth should have won for that, and that Jeff Bridges should win this year instead for True Grit. But since Jeff won last year, let's just call it even and give it to Colin.

I've only seen 3 of the Best Actress nominees, but that doesn't stop me from passing judgment and saying Natalie Portman should win for Black Swan. She was great - and has a decent history of great roles - plus I want to see her onstage in a fabulous dress with her baby bump. (It would be secretly great if Jennifer Lawrence won for Winter's Bone.)

Best Supporting Actor: I really, really wanted to give it to my boy Jeremy Renner -- until today when I saw Christian Bale in The Fighter. That son of a bitch has been amazing for years and it's about time he get the recognition!!

Best Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit. Now that I think about it, her role was kind of like Jennifer Lawrence's - tough, young girl and everything - it would be kickass for feminism if they both won. I just liked Hailee's role a lot and thought she really held her own with the likes of Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. Honestly, Melissa Leo in The Fighter played a hateful role so well that she made me hate her too much. Also, she took out hella tacky "For Your Consideration" ads which knocked her down a couple notches. I'm rooting for the young bitch in this one.

The End.

19 February 2011


Freak of the Week: A haunted apartment building in Park Slope, which results in a bunch of people at a party falling to their deaths on the street below. Freaky.

It's not haunted though - it's coming apart - a tear in the Universe. The people didn't jump off the balcony, the balcony just disappeared beneath their feet for a bit and they fell through. The dead dude who appears to his wife isn't a ghost, he's from the Other Universe.

This was a great Walter episode - he gets hella bitchy and testy as he's investigating. I love unstable Walter. He's concerned that this "soft spot" will open up into a vortex, and he wants to be ready with some amber to encase the building and prevent the spread.

Olivia's not keen on starting the whole amber thing over in this Universe. So instead it becomes this whole thing about the woman grieving her dead husband on This Side and the man grieving his dead wife on the Other, and their inability to let go of each other. Look, the show has gotten hella touchy-feely lately, but this is a little crazy! It's all about feelings, people! All about feeeeeeeelingggggggs!

Anyway, the old couple resolves their feelings in the nick of time, and the amber isn't needed. But Walter knows this is all just a sign of things to come - more cracks in the Universe to come.

Here's the most important question to come out of this thing: Are there really old people named Derek? That was the old dude's name. Just seems like a younger name to me.

In the end, Olivia goes to see Peter and they go upstairs to hook up. We switch to the Other Universe, where Lincoln and Fauxlivia investigate a possible rift in their version of the apartment building. Hi, Lincoln!!

Fun Fact of the Week: The President doesn't like Broyles because Broyles beat him at golf.

Walter's Food Thing of the Week: Walter made loads of blueberry pancakes for Peter and Olivia, trying to get those 2 crazy kids together. Unfortunately, after tense relationship talk and a call from Broyles, they weren't hungry.

This Week's Code: HEARTS. See? It's all about feelings.

17 February 2011

Top Chef All-Stars

Quickfire Challenge: Make cookies, which will be judged by Elmo and Cookie Monster. Enough schtick from the damn Muppets - I want to see some cookies!! Angelo and Michael have never made cookies before, so I am already 100% better than they are. Dale makes some freaking amazing-sounding no-bake cookies out of potato chips, pretzels, and chocolate ganache. I REALLY want him to marry me NOW. Dale wins!!

Elimination Challenge: Raid a Target in the middle of the night and create a dish for 100 employees. They have to get everything there - knives, rice cookers, cutting boards, tables, dishes, whatever they need.

There's a lot of soup being made. Dale re-creates dorm living and makes tomato soup cooked in a rice cooker and grilled cheese -- grilled with an iron!!!! MARRY ME!!

Antonia, Dale, and Richard all put forth the most effort, and were all in the top. Winner: DALE!!! Holy crap!! He won $25,000 for that freaking soup and iron-grilled cheese!!!! I LOVE THAT CRAZY BASTARD!!!

Bye-bye: Angelo for his salty-ass potato soup. I kind of felt bad for him - because he showed actual human emotion in the end - but then again YAY! No more Euro-Douche who wears knee-high black socks!!

14 February 2011

Top Chef All-Stars

Quickfire Challenge: Create a unique fondue. They mostly look good -- lots of cheese, some chocolate, it's all good with me. The contestants judge each other, and Dale, Antonia, and Angelo are at the top. The winner is Dale and his Pho-ndue. Gotta give it up to him for the pun alone. Go Dale!

Elimination Challenge: Corporate Synergy Alert! Cook one of Jimmy Fallon's favorite foods for his birthday. The dishes they have to cook are chosen via Cell Phone Shootout, which appears to be a game played on Jimmy Fallon's show. Yes, Jimmy Fallon appears to have a show.

How is beef tongue one of his favorite foods!? PUKE! Antonia has to make that, otherwise people get things like burgers, Ramen noodles, chicken pot pie, and chicken and dumplings. Dale makes a cheesesteak on a pretzel roll and blows my mind. Dale, will you marry me!? They said it had too much salt. That's OK, I love salt. The marriage is still on. On a related note, Angelo's pulled pork sounded amazing, but I still hate him.

The show's a little annoying, and I blame the energy that Fallon brought. The contestants were even more attention-whorey than usual. Even Angelo was making up songs about beef tongue.

Winner: Carla. She also gets a cooking segment on Jimmy's show. She was the craziest of all of them this episode. Don't start annoying me, hon.

Bye-bye: Fabio. I'm OK with that, only because I was really sweating it out that Dale was gonna get the boot for his salt-fest. Fabio made a bad burger, so screw him.

P.S.: Thanks for the huge in-show commercial for Buitoni pasta, assholes.


We return to the Other Universe! Fauxlivia greets her boyfriend at the airport. At the same airport, Poor Man's Robert DeNiro is slipping something into another guy's drink that makes a billion beetles eat their way out of his body.

Somewhere in the midst of the opening, I get a vibe. A vibe I don't like. Is Fauxlivia gonna be knocked up by Peter!!!!????? If true, I'm gonna freak. OK, let me take a deep breath and get back to the show.

Fringe Division works on the beetle case (these beetles are rare - they used to be found in sheep, but all the sheep died off in 2001). Poor Man's Robert DeNiro, meanwhile, runs an experiment on a beetle he took from the guy's body, and isn't happy with the result. So he tries again on a fellow diner patron. They figure out that he's trying to bring this beetle back from extinction, because this guy thinks he had the cure to the avian flu (which could have saved millions of people).

Fauxlivia's BF tells Lincoln that he's going to ask Fauxlivia to marry him, which Lincoln promptly tells Fauxlivia. Because he can't keep a secret. I love the Otherworldly Fringe Team so much! Fauxlivia, Charlie, and Lincoln RULE! He ends up asking her spontaneously while she's leaving the house, and she says yes. I'm still worried she's pregnant. But I really like Fauxlivia. It's amazing how different she is from Olivia, even while she's played by the same actress. Pretty cool.

When Lincoln and Fauxlivia track down the Mad Scientist's lab, they get separated and she gets captured by the Bad Guy! He feeds her the beetle solution, and the rescue team arrives just as she starts pre-beetle-explosion puking. So here's where I figure that they're working on the whole pregnancy/beetle gestation parallel. Because this show is all about parallels.

Fauxlivia's BF works on her in the ambulance while Lincoln and Charlie work on the Bad Guy to get a cure for her. Fauxlivia's BF gets out the ultrasound machine. Oh guess what - it's a BABY!!!! Turns out the Bad Guy had given himself the beetle solution, not her. And Fauxlivia's BF ditches her ass when he finds out she got pregnant while he was away - and when she can't answer the question, "Do you love him?" I mean, the dude moves out when she's recovering in the hospital. Cold!

And now I don't know what to feel. Am I always right? Yes. But are we now in even more soap opera territory than ever with this show? Yes. I don't know how to feel.

In future-grandfather news, Secretary Walternate's experiments continue. He injects a chemical from Olivia's brain into subjects, one of whom develops abilities, all of whom die. They figure they need to use younger subjects, but Walternate says no children. Also in the Other Universe, Walter is a smooth operator. Walternate has a hot Asian wife/GF in his bed and everything. Go Walternate! OK, it's a little weird to see Walter getting laid....

Gratuitous Maryland Shout-out of the Day: Obrycki's!

Fringe Code: ROMAD. I had to Google that to make sure I was right. The military meaning is Recon Observe Mark and Destroy. That totally fits!

10 February 2011

Trailer of the Week

I'm all in on this X-Men: First Class movie!!! All in!!!! I really love that it's set in the '60s - it somehow makes it even cooler. It just looks so classic. And I LOVE me some Michael Fassbender. Love him. His Magneto's gonna be awesome.

06 February 2011

127 Hours

I am continuing in my quest to see each of the 10 films nominated for Best Picture. I only have The Fighter remaining.

127 Hours is definitely a great film. It's weird to see a movie where you already know the story so well. I hadn't read Aron Ralston's book, but you only had to see bits of his interviews or watched a Today Show segment to know what went down. And it's horrifying. So you go into this movie knowing you're gonna watch a guy get stuck and hack his arm off.

Still, I think it's the way the movie was filmed (as opposed to this advance knowledge) that made me feel like I was having a panic attack during the movie. I had to literally take deep breaths and drink water and tell myself it was just a movie. And he'd only been stuck for a minute.

The movie is very claustrophobic and definitely makes you feel like you're trapped there. Not gonna lie, on the drive home I felt a tingle in my right arm, between the wrist and the elbow. Still do, now that I think about it. I went into the movie thinking, "How can a movie about a guy stuck in one place for a long time be interesting?" But it is, and Danny Boyle deserves the Best Director Oscar this year (since Christopher Nolan can't have it) for making a movie that portrays exhilaration, claustrophobia, panic, pain (he has a great way of portraying pain), small joys and triumphs, and, finally, relief. It really is great. He's a really creative, dynamic director, and the film always moves at a quick pace (amazing, considering it's about a dude trapped in a canyon). James Franco is a large part of that too, as he's practically the only person on screen for much of the movie. I thought he did a great job at portraying those same emotions. His reactions all seemed very real. I'd be talking to myself at least twice as much if I were down there. The movie is a great portrayal of what the human body and the human spirit are capable of.

But let's be honest - the chances of me being in that situation are small. If you ever get me out hiking in the desert, it'll be with a satellite phone. And I'll definitely leave a note.

04 February 2011


Freak of the Week: Guy gets a freaky cloth doll delivered to his office, which releases some kind of powder all over him. He starts collapsing strangely, and then - and this is awesome, classic Fringe, people - he falls bonelessly to the floor. Literally boneless. He's just skin in his clothes, no more bones, like they just turned to dust. Love it!

The team figures out who the sender is using post office footage and facial recognition software. You know what, they really do solve this crap quickly and easily, don't they? The killer is a soldier, and the dead guy was the scientist who oversaw an experimental weapons project the soldier was involved in. The soldier's pissed because his unborn daughter died 7 months into the pregnancy - because she had no skeleton. He's not working alone either.

The team finds the soldier at his house, but he's pwned by a car when he runs away into traffic. Walter looks up a former Cortexifan Kid. We thought we'd seen them all, but conveniently, no. I want to start assembling them like superheroes. This one has the ability to read minds (everyone's except Olivia's), and so they want him to read the comatose killer's mind. Wow, they really should just make a Super Team already. I hope someone can spin webs.

Cortexifan Kid pulls some stuff from the guy's head, including the name Project Jellyfish. There were 3 experimental subjects, all of whom couldn't have kids because their kids didn't have skeletons. The team finds evidence of the toxin manufacture on one guy's property (they're working on a mass delivery system), and they figure out they're going to attack a Senator's fundraiser at an art museum. (The Senator used to be involved in Project Jellyfish too.)

Olivia gets dressed up and puts on some foxy red lipstick, and takes Cortexifan Kid to the fundraiser with her. He identifies Killer #2, and Olivia shoots him dead after he draws first. They find Killer #3, and she shoots his ass right through the back of the neck as he's about to detonate. PWNED! And she looked hot doing it too. Rock on, Olivia.

Nina goes rummaging through William Bell's Storage Closet of Random Things, and finds a German edition of The First People. This is, of course, the book that talks about the Otherworldly Peter Death Machine. She gives it to Olivia, and they have a little girl talk about Peter. (Olivia says that Fauxlivia was just like her, only better. :( Not better, Olivia!!! Never!)

Olivia and Peter find some time to talk about things, of course. We don't have to bring this stuff up EVERY week, do we? He says that when he explained the differences between Olivia and Fauxlivia before, it wasn't that he was comparing them, or saying he preferred Fauxlivia. He was trying to explain that he DID notice a difference, but that he thought he was causing those differences, that Olivia was loosening up because of their relationship. You know how those uptight chicks are - they get some and they chill out.

In the end, her Cortexifan Pal tells her that he read Peter's thoughts, and gives her a note to read later.

Best news for last - KEVIN CORRIGAN IS BACK! Nina figures out some code while reading through The First People, and goes to see him at the bowling alley. He knows about the Otherworldly Peter Death Machine, and says that the fate of their universe depends on which Olivia Peter chooses. The one he chooses will survive. That's kind of weird. BUT WAIT!!! Olivia opens the envelope from her Cortexifan Pal and it says, "He still has feelings for her." Oh snap!

Walter's Food Thing of the Week: He eats fried chicken so that he can use the bones to test out the powder. I will also note that Walter still plays the Punch-buggy game. Awesome.

This Week's Code: HATCH

Next Week: Back to the Other Universe!!! Yay! Charlie AND Lincoln!!!!

03 February 2011

Top Chef All-Stars

Quickfire Challenge: Make a plate to be judged on aesthetics only. Guest judge Isaac Mizrahi (Bravo Cross-Promotion Alert!) isn't even going to taste the stuff! Of course Euro-Douchebag Angelo is into fashion. Gag. He models his dish after crocodile skin. Pretentious Euro-Douche. Our other Euro-Douche (the lovable one, Fabio) gets hella pretentious with a whole backstory for his dish, about a woman getting stuck in the rain. What the hell is this, Project Runway? Some people (Angelo) made some hella ugly stuff. And Antonia basically made kid's macaroni art with beans and nuts. Boo. Richard wins for his cool black ice cream thing. Immunity!

Elimination Challenge: Create a dish fit for some allegedly-famous Italian restaurateurs. I love me some Italian food, and there's a lot of good-looking stuff. The pasta dishes all looked good, but apparently they all tasted like crap. Damn, cuz the pasta guys were Mike, Dale, and Tre. One of my boys is going home.

Winner: Antonia and her mussels.

Bye-bye: Tre. Sadness! His risotto was allegedly too stiff. SADNESS!