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Monthly Archives: December 2012

My Hopes for Fringe

WARNING: Here there be spoilers! If you haven’t watched the latest episode of Fringe, you should do so before reading this post! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!

So I was all into Fringe for the first three seasons. (Which, as you know, I got into late and just got caught up at the beginning of this season.) The fourth season was a bit off for me, though. The whole Peter being removed from the timeline at the end of season 3 was a great curve ball, but I didn’t feel like season 4 explained sufficiently why and how he came back. Then, Olivia had that whole alternate history, which wasn’t explained if the only difference between the timelines was that Peter was never in her universe. Then she forgot it all by being near Peter, anyway. So it seems like they are the same characters that we’ve been following for five seasons, but everyone else is slightly different.

But on the other hand, they don’t act any different. Unlike their doppelgangers in the alternate universe, they seem like the exact same people. Perhaps it’s because most of them didn’t meet Peter until they were adults, but what about Walter? I would have thought that seeing both Peters die would have had an affect on him, but maybe the removal of bits of his brain and subsequent insanity has something to do with it. Nina may be a little more attached to Olivia, but she was always sort of weirdly protective of her, even before Olivia supposedly was raised by her.

I was also disappointed that season 4 saw the gateway between the two universes was sealed, presumably never to reopen. We’d invested a couple of seasons in these alternate characters, and now they seem to be gone for good. Did they have any purpose beyond driving a conflict in the show? Now that the two sides have made peace, we have to lose them?

Then we came to season 5. It got off to a rough start with me. The finale of season 4 was great, but it seems like the whole plot with William Bell trying to create a brand new universe should have happened earlier in the show. All of my difficulties with that season were still outstanding, too. And season 5 seems really disconnected with the previous seasons. I think it’s because of the loss of the alternate universe. And maybe the jump 20 years into the future, as well. In addition to the time they’d been in amber, we also lost the years between the end of season 4 and the team ambering themselves. If we’d had a season about the Observer invasion, I think that might have helped some, although it may have also removed all the drama of figuring out Walter’s plan.

It really turned the corner for me when Etta died. I liked her, and her death shook things up, both for the characters and the viewers. I started realizing that Walter’s plan was not going to be easy, and that the characters we love are no longer safe.

Now – you have watched everything, right? Including the 12/21 episode, “Anomaly XB-6783746,” right? Because if not, I’m about to seriously spoil you. I’m going to talk about the previews they showed for the last three episodes, too. If you don’t watch the previews, stop reading now. Don’t blame me.

After last night’s episode, though, I am dying to see the rest. Nina’s now gone, too. I wonder what Michael showed her? Was it scenes from her past, like he did with Walter, or something else? The plan, maybe? Plus, now that we know Donald is September, I’m wondering if the boy is actually September? Will he somehow grow up to become him? The most exciting revelation for me, though, was in the preview for the final episodes. Someone said something about having to reset time. I’m really hoping that somehow the whole Peter being part of the timeline will be straightened out. What if September changes his own past, or eliminates himself, so that he never distracted Walternate, Walternate was able to save his Peter, our Walter saw it, and so he never tried to cross between the universes? Would that somehow prevent the Observers from ever being?

Darn it, my head hurts now. The good thing is that I’m more excited about Fringe now than I have been in a while. The bad thing is that it will be three more weeks before we get a new episode. I can’t wait!

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Labor and Delivery

I could no longer deny what was happening. When I had dismounted the donkey in favor of walking, despite Joseph’s protests, I thought perhaps the back pain was from the long, bumpy journey. When the contractions began, they were light, and I thought it was only the walking. But this one forced me to stop, my entire body clenching around my womb, as if to embrace the child within.

As the pain receded, I became aware of Joseph’s solicitous concern. “Can you go on? We are almost there.”

“How much longer?” I asked.

“Maybe a quarter hour. The shepherds back there said it’s just over the next hill.”

“Yes. I’ll make it,” I declared. “We’ll find a bed, and a midwife, and our son will not have to be born on the side of the road.”

The minutes stretched into nearly an hour, however, as I had to stop for several more contractions. Joseph had helped me back onto the donkey so we could walk faster, but he still stopped to steady me during the worst of them.

Finally we entered Bethlehem. The streets were packed with people, vendors, residents doing business, travelers like us. Joseph asked directions to the inn as I fought against the worst pain yet. Thankfully, it was not far. I stayed on the donkey as Joseph went in to secure a room for us.

By this time, I was engrossed in a private world of pain, but it seemed to be taking a very long time. Finally Joseph returned, followed by the innkeeper and a woman I took to be his wife. The woman came over to me directly and asked, “How is it? Will it be soon, do you think?” I was unable to answer, as a fresh wave of pain and pressure washed over me. But she nodded over her shoulder, saying, “She can’t go any farther. We will have to put her in the stable.”

The stable? With the animals? Joseph and I didn’t have much, but before leaving Nazareth we had carefully packed money that we had hoped would purchase a small, private room, at least for the birth, if not for our whole stay.

As the pain lessened, I became aware of the woman’s gentle, soothing stream of chatter as she led me into a surprisingly large cave partitioned into stalls. “I would give you my own bed, my dear, but it has already been rented out as well.” This she said, casting a dark look over her shoulder at her husband. “But we still have room in here. It’s not as comfortable as the house, but it will perhaps be a bit more private. The stable boy has put down some fresh straw, so it’s as clean as we can make it.”

She escorted me into a stall with high walls not far from the entrance. The straw was indeed fresh and clean, and Joseph threw his cloak over it for me to lay upon. As the pains began again, I was glad for the chance to at least rest my weary legs. They were coming faster now, with not much time between to catch my breath.

The innkeeper’s wife shouted orders to someone outside the door. The dear woman stayed by my side the whole time, encouraging and comforting me through the worst of the pain. It seemed like a long time, but I don’t think it was actually very long before she told me that the child was almost here. One more contraction that felt like it must either free the child or tear me in two, sudden relief, and she was holding up my son. He gave a gasp, pulled in his first breath, and let it out in a small, piteous wail. She laid him then on my breast saying, “You have a fine, healthy son.” She provided towels to clean and dry him and soft cloths to wrap him. I held the small bundle to my chest, finally holding the tiny boy that I had been promised. That day now seemed a very long time ago.

“He is your first born. Will he be named after his father then? A little Joseph?” she asked as she bustled about, removing the soiled straw and replacing it with fresh.

“No,” I replied. “Joseph and I have agreed that his name will be Jesus. His…his father’s family asked us to give him that name.”

“A fine name for a son of David,” she said, kneeling next to me and gently brushing her hand over his head. “Yahweh saves.”

“Yes,” I agreed, hugging the little boy tighter to me. “He does.”