Imagine a pregnancy without stretch marks or swollen feet, without cravings or contractions, and without wearing muumuus or getting morning sickness. Sound too good to be true ladies? All you need is a human easy bake oven from an alternate universe. Fringe speeds up the standard 9 month 'bun-in-the-oven' pregnancy and microwaves it faster than a TV dinner.
Fringe's latest episode, "Bloodline", returns to the alternate universe, a couple of weeks after the reveal of Fauxlivia's pregnancy. Fauxlivia still in shock from the big news is worried that she might have a pregnancy condition known as VPE (viral propagated eclampsia). A common, and yet serious life threatening condition for pregnant women and their unborn children in this alternate universe; having only a 20% mortality rate for both. Before Fauxlivia can find out if she has this deadly condition, the same condition that already claimed the life of her sister Rachel and niece Ella, she is abducted by a mysterious medical team. Unaware of their intensions Walternate and his fringe division go on high alert to find the mother of his future grandchild.
Although some of the best Fringe episode's this season have been those from the original universe, these ones in the alternate always seem to leave audiences wanting a little bit more. "Bloodline" delivers the typical story twists, turns, and reveals for standard Fringe episode, while still managing to end the episode on the unexpected. It seems like the main purpose for "Bloodline's" unique medical treatment was to fast track the Fuaxlivia pregnancy story-line. The introduction of this deadly fictional condition (VPE) for Fauxlivia's character appears only be used as an excuse to accelerate her pregnancy to fit some kind of time-line for the show. Its just unclear yet why exactly the show runners decided to hit the fast forward button so soon, but when has this show ever been straight forward.
Aside from the main story of Fauxlivia's abduction (then childbirth) a couple of small scenes with Walternate's right hand man, Brandon, stuck out for me. The main one being the scene near the beginning of the episode where the alternate Brandon is again trying to push the idea of using younger subjects in their Cortexiphan trails on Walternate to approve. Although that scene may seem a little redundant seeing as how adamant Walternate was against experimenting on children last time Brandon suggested it, the scene may have been added for some foreshadowing. Brandon has been very aggressive in his efforts to convince Walternate to change his mind, so I could see him possibly going rogue at some point and performing those trails without Walternate's consent. I don't think the alternate Brandon is ballsy enough to try it on Walternate's new grandson. However, that being said, since the kid will share some of Peter's DNA its possible the child might be able to activate that mystery machine with a little Cortexiphan in him. Also because of Fauxlivia's pregnancy being accelerated the way it was its not too big of a stretch to think they couldn't accelerate the child's age again, making him a teenager or older to become a more active character in the show.
Whatever the case, the landscape in the alternate universe was definitely changed after this episode. The story Fauxlivia told her mother about who the father of the child actually was, that being just some guy (aka Peter) who she met at the bar while Frank was out of town, may not fly when the truth starts to come out. With Lincoln and Charlie having already started to put some of the pieces together it won't be long until they become more connected with Walternate's intentions. Also with certain civilians like Henry the cab driver knowing certain classified details about the alternate universe who's to say others in the either universe haven't started putting two and two together yet? In any case I don't see Fauxlivia going on mat leave anytime soon, so expect the newborn to cause some problems for both sides when Fringe returns on April 15.
Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.