6B (Fringe)

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"6B"
Fringe episode
Fringe 6B.jpg
Alice Merchant sees the "ghost" of her dead husband
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 14
Directed by Thomas Yatsko
Written by Glen Whitman
Robert Chiappetta
Production code3X6114
Original air dateFebruary 18, 2011
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Immortality"
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"Subject 13"
Fringe (season 3)
List of Fringe episodes

"6B" is the 14th episode of the third season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe , and the 57th episode overall. In the episode, the fringe team investigates mysterious deaths at an apartment building, the result of a merging between the prime and parallel universes; while there, they encounter a woman who claims to be able to see the ghost of her deceased husband.

<i>Fringe</i> (season 3) season of television series

The third season of the American science fiction television series Fringe began airing on the Fox network on September 23, 2010, and concluded on May 6, 2011. Twenty-two episodes long, the season was produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, and its showrunners were Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. Lead actors Anna Torv, John Noble, and Joshua Jackson reprised their roles as FBI agent Olivia Dunham and the father-son duo Walter and Peter Bishop. Previous series regulars Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole, and Blair Brown also returned, along with recurring guest stars Kirk Acevedo, Seth Gabel, and Ryan McDonald.

Science fiction Genre of speculative fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. It often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.

Drama Artwork intended for performance, formal type of literature

Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance: a play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on radio or television. Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes ever since Aristotle's Poetics —the earliest work of dramatic theory.

Contents

Story editors Glen Whitman and Robert Chiappetta co-wrote "6B", while cinematographer Thomas Yatsko directed. The episode featured appearances from recurring actors Ryan McDonald and Seth Gabel as well as one-time guest stars Phyllis Somerville and Ken Pogue. The episode first aired in the United States on February 18, 2011 on the Fox network, and was watched by an estimated 4.1 million viewers. Television critics gave the episode generally mixed reviews.

Douglas Glen Whitman is an American television writer and a professor of economics.

Robert Chiappetta is an American television writer and lawyer.

Thomas Yatsko is an American cinematographer and television director, known for his work on television series like CSI: Miami, Brothers & Sisters, and Fringe.

Plot

Six partygoers simultaneously fall to the sidewalk outside the Rosencrantz apartment building in Brooklyn, apparently having jumped from a seventh floor balcony along with the balcony's furniture. When the Fringe team investigates, Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Walter (John Noble) determine by the location of the bodies that they seem to have fallen through the balcony, as if it momentarily ceased to exist. From other stories of strange phenomena occurring throughout the building, Walter concludes that the same cracks in reality that have harmed the parallel universe are starting to appear in the prime one, with the building occupying a weak spot between universes.

Brooklyn Borough in New York City and county in New York state, United States

Brooklyn is a borough of New York City, coterminous with Kings County, in the U.S. state of New York, the most populous county in the state, and the second-most densely populated county in the United States. It is New York City's most populous borough, with an estimated 2,504,700 residents in 2010. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island.

Joshua Jackson Canadian actor

Joshua Browning Jackson is an American-Canadian actor. He is known for his starring role as Pacey Witter in the teen drama series Dawson's Creek (1998–2003), Peter Bishop in the science fiction series Fringe (2008–2013), Cole Lockhart in the drama series The Affair (2014–18), and Mickey Joseph in the drama miniseries When They See Us (2019).

John Noble Australian actor and director

John Noble is an Australian actor and theatre director of more than 80 plays. He is best known for his roles as Dr. Walter Bishop in the US Fox science fiction television series Fringe, and Henry Parrish in the Fox action-horror series Sleepy Hollow. His most high-profile film role was as Denethor in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He also provided the voice of the DC Comics supervillain Scarecrow in the 2015 video game Batman: Arkham Knight, where his character served as the main antagonist. In 2015, he joined the main cast of the television series Elementary as Sherlock Holmes's father. He was also cast as a doctor in the Australian TV series All Saints. In 2012, Noble was diagnosed with osteoporosis. His charity, Noble Bones, helps to raise awareness for the disease.

Peter and Olivia (Anna Torv) are sent by Walter to observe the building as he monitors seismic equipment from the lab. Peter and Olivia go to a bar while waiting, where Olivia tries to kiss Peter but becomes uncomfortable, knowing of the influence of her parallel universe doppelganger, Fauxlivia (Torv), on Peter. Her emotional reaction triggers her ability to see once again the "shimmer" around Peter that marks him as a native of the parallel universe. She excuses herself and steps outside for some fresh air, followed by Peter. Olivia notices a similar glow emanating from the windows of apartment 6B in the Rosencrantz building, owned by the widow Mrs. Alice Merchant (Phyllis Somerville). When Olivia and Peter enter the apartment, Olivia (but not Peter) can see a shimmering figure that Alice claims is the ghost of her late husband Derek (Ken Pogue). Walter surmises that the figure is a parallel Derek seen across a crack between the universes. If the crack widens, Walter predicts they would see occurrences of the same singularities that have plagued the parallel universe, and suggests the use of the same amber-like compound they had previously recovered ("The Ghost Network") to limit the damage. With Massive Dynamic's resources, they are able to recreate the amber and a release system to encase the building, but hold it in reserve as a last resort only.

Anna Torv Australian actress

Anna Torv is an Australian actress known for her roles as FBI agent Olivia Dunham on television series Fringe (2008–2013), for which she was nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series in 2011, and as Dr. Wendy Carr in Netflix's Mindhunter (2017–present).

Phyllis Somerville American stage, film and television actress

Phyllis Jeanne Somerville is an American stage, film and television actress known for her work in The Big C, Little Children, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Kenneth Pogue was a Canadian actor.

Olivia suggests the possibility that the effect is due to quantum entanglement between Alice in the prime universe and Derek in the parallel one. Alice previously told Olivia that Derek died recently from trying to replace a faulty fuse after they flipped a coin to decide who would replace it, and Walter surmises that the parallel universe Alice died in a similar fashion due to a different outcome of the coin flip. Alice's connection to the parallel universe Derek is causing the crack. As the building starts to exhibit the initial signs of a singularity and Broyles (Lance Reddick) prepares to release the amber, Olivia and Peter attempt to persuade Alice that the man she sees is not really her husband. Alice does not believe them until Derek starts to refer to their children. Alice, who is childless, realizes Peter and Olivia are telling the truth; the connection is broken and the effects on the building ebb away.

Quantum entanglement Correlation between measurements of quantum subsystems, even when spatially separated

Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated, interact, or share spatial proximity in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the state of the others, even when the particles are separated by a large distance.

Lance Reddick American actor

Lance Reddick is an American actor and musician. He is best known for playing Cedric Daniels in The Wire and Phillip Broyles in Fringe. He is also known for portraying Detective Johnny Basil on Oz, Matthew Abaddon in Lost and Charon from the John Wick franchise. He has provided the voice and likeness for video game characters Martin Hatch in Quantum Break, Sylens in Horizon Zero Dawn and Commander Zavala in the Destiny franchise. He currently plays Chief Irvin Irving on Amazon Prime's Bosch.

Though they did not need to deploy the amber, Walter realizes how close he was to making the same decisions that Walternate (Noble), Walter's doppelganger in the parallel universe, had to make to save his universe; Nina (Blair Brown) helps to counsel him. Meanwhile, Olivia and Peter attempt to reconcile and rekindle their relationship. Though still cautious about moving forward, Olivia and Peter kiss and head upstairs at the Bishops' home.

Blair Brown American actress

Bonnie Blair Brown is an American theater, film and television actress. She has had a number of high-profile roles, including in the play Copenhagen on Broadway, the leading actress in the films Altered States (1980), Continental Divide (1981) and Strapless (1989), as well as a run as the title character in the comedy-drama television series The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, which ran from 1987 to 1991. Her later roles include Nina Sharp on the Fox television series Fringe and Judy King on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.

In the parallel universe, Fauxlivia and Lincoln (Seth Gabel) investigate reports of a Fringe event in the Rosencrantz building, and speak with Derek, who tells them he has not noticed anything out of the ordinary. The two leave, and Derek is left paging sadly through a photo album filled with pictures of him and his late wife and their daughters.

Production

Filming for "6B" took place in December 2010 at Hastings and Cambie streets in Vancouver, staged as New York City. Fringe filming in vancouver.jpg
Filming for "6B" took place in December 2010 at Hastings and Cambie streets in Vancouver, staged as New York City.

The episode was co-written by story editors Glen Whitman and Robert Chiappetta, while being directed by cinematographer and Fringe director of photography Thomas Yatsko. [1] The last credit Whitman and Chiappetta received was for the season's sixth episode, "6955 kHz". [2] Yatsko last directed the second season episode "White Tulip". [1] Alluding to the week the episode broadcast, executive producer Jeff Pinkner called "6B" "our Valentine’s Day episode. It’s all different versions of a love story." [3]

While filming, first assistant director Brian Giddens summarized the episode as "the fringe team [finding] out there's been an accident on a balcony". [4] The focus of "6B" centered on the idea of ghosts, which was affirmed by actor Joshua Jackson, who called it "a Fringe ghost story". [4] Referring to the episode's intensity level, Jackson noted that "on a scale of chile peppers, I'd say it's high habanero". [4] Pinkner remarked that "6B" and the following episode "Subject 13" would "tell deep and meaningful sides of the Olivia and Peter story. One in the present ["6B"] and one in the past ["Subject 13]." [3]

The episode guest starred Phyllis Somerville, known for her recent work on the Showtime series The Big C that ended in her character's death. Somerville expressed hope that the science fiction nature of Fringe would convince The Big C writers to hire her back, commenting "maybe I can get those sci-fi folks to hook me up with a good gadget that will allow Marlene to come back to life and bug Laura Linney some more." [5] "6B" featured recurring guest actors Ryan McDonald and Seth Gabel as Massive Dynamic scientist Brandon Fayette and Agent Lincoln Lee, respectively. The episode also featured one-time guest star Ken Pogue as Alice's husband Derek. [6] [7]

As with other Fringe episodes, [8] [9] Fox released a science lesson plan in collaboration with Science Olympiad for grade school children, focusing on the science seen in "6B", with the intention of having "students learn about spectroscopy and how it can be used to determine certain characteristics of things." [10]

Cultural references

Some critics believed that the name of the apartment building, as well as Walter's coin tosses coming up heads, are references to the 1966 tragicomedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead , which in turn derives from the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet . [1] [11]

Reception

Ratings

"6B" was watched by an estimated 4.1 million viewers on its first broadcast, earning a ratings share of 1.5, up 7 percent from the previous week's episode. [12] It led other shows in the same timeslot by more than 20 percent for the 18-34 adult viewership market, and second only to Kitchen Nightmares for the night. [13] Three days of time shifted viewing increased the 18-49 adult rating to 2.3, a 52 percent increase from its previous rating of 1.5. [14]

Reviews

Entertainment Weekly staff writer Ken Tucker thought it was not "the best Fringe episode", primarily because of "its Twilight Zone construction, with a supernatural event serving as a big, obvious metaphor for... the rift between lovers (Peter and Olivia; the elderly couple Alice and Derek)". Tucker disliked Olivia's return to "season-one-Olivia poker-faced dolorousness" and also "worr[ied] about the imbalance between the series’ romantic, family, and mythology ingredients". [15] Andrew Hanson from the Los Angeles Times felt that the episode's emphasis on emotions (instead of plain science) was "turning its back on the science that made [Fringe] great". Hanson also wished the parallels between Walter and Walternate's decisions had been explored further. [16]

The A.V. Club 's Noel Murray graded the episode a B-, explaining that, despite the "nice moments (including a strong start and a sweet finish)", the plot was minimal and there were many moments he was exasperated with the Peter-Olivia relationship. For Murray, the episode was "saved" by its small touches, such as when Alice is finally convinced the ghost is not her husband when he mentions "the girls miss you". [1]

In her 2011 book Into the Looking Glass: Exploring the Worlds of Fringe, author Sarah Clarke Stuart found parallels between the episode and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which occurred several weeks after "6B" aired. Items of comparison included the "cracks" in the universe and shifting tectonic plates, and the "vortex" and the tsunami swallowing up entire villages. Clarke Stuart noted that "because of its destabilizing character, the natural world is often depicted as the antagonist in science fiction and adventure narratives" like Fringe. [17]

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References

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  2. Thomas Yatsko (director), Glen Whitman (writer) Robert Chiappetta (writer) (2010-11-10). "6955 kHz". Fringe. Season 2. Episode 6. Fox.
  3. 1 2 Roffman, Marisa (2011-02-18). "FRINGE: Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman Tease '6B' and the Latest Twists in the Love Triangle". Give Me My Remote . Retrieved 2012-03-01.
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  5. Wightman, Catriona (2011-01-07). "Hickey wants 'Big C' season two twist". Digital Spy . Retrieved 2012-01-30.
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  8. "TV Show "Fringe" on Fox Partners with Science Olympiad". Science Olympiad . Retrieved 2011-07-19.
  9. Holbrook, Damian (2010-11-11). "Fringe Unveils Science Sites". TV Guide . Retrieved 2011-07-07.
  10. "The Science of Fringe: Exploring Spectroscopy" (PDF). Fox Broadcasting Company. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
  11. Holman, Curt (2011-02-20). ""Fringe," Season 3, Episode 14". Creative Loafing . Retrieved 2011-02-21.
  12. Hibbard, James (2011-02-19). "'Fringe' ratings improve; Fox ties CBS for Friday win". Entertainment Weekly . Archived from the original on 20 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  13. Seidman, Robert (2011-02-19). "'Fringe' Wins with Younger Adults Age 18-34". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on 1 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  14. Seidman, Robert (2011-02-24). "'Fringe' Friday Episode Gains 53 percent With 3 Days of DVR Viewing". TV by the Numbers . Retrieved 2011-02-25.
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  16. Hanson, Andrew (2011-02-19). "'Fringe' recap: Good grief". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2011-02-20.
  17. Clarke Stuart, Sarah (2011). Into the Looking Glass: Exploring the Worlds of Fringe. ECW Press. p. 193. ISBN   1-77041-051-1.