- Air Date: 12/14/2012
- Directed By: Tommy Gormley
- Starring: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown
- Guest Stars: Shaun Smyth, Jenni Blong
- Author: Kristin Cantrell
With only four episodes remaining after last night’s, it comes as a bit of surprise that J.H. Wyman and company decided to continue the tradition of wacky episodes. Normally they come in episode 19, but seeing as this season is an abbreviated 13, it makes sense that it would occur with episode #9. And while “Black Blotter” may not go down as the best one (“Letters of Transit” will always take the prize), it’s a fun, trippy psychedelic trip into Walter’s mind and the possibly disturbing transformation taking place there.
Astrid wakes up to a series of noses emanating from somewhere in the Harvard lab, tracing it to the radio that the gang recovered in a pocket universe Walter created to meet up with Donald. It didn’t work out that way, but they did recover the radio, and it’s finally going off. Walter watches on, high off his ass. He just dropped acid, a particularly good batch of “black blotter,” and hey, there’s your episode title. John Noble is brilliant as always, making what could be a one-note loopy “I’m messed up” performance into a multi-faceted and wonderful one. Peter, Olivia and Astrid aren’t nearly mad enough at Walter for being high during their rescue-the-world mission, but I guess that’s what you get with Walter. They can’t decode the message, so they (of course) bring in (the only viable resistance member) trusty Anil who helps them track where the signal is coming from. Get this guy a medal.
Peter and Olivia, fresh off removing the Observer-tech from Peter’s mind, are lovey-dovey and grateful for each other. Especially Peter, having been on the cliff of full-on Observer-dom. All he’s got are some band-aids and headaches, and appears no worse for wear. It’s nice to see the couple actually click together again. They track the signal to a backwoods forest in Connecticut, and happen upon a dilapidated RV and three skeletons. Two are Observers and the other is a loyalist. In the driver seat is another body, presumably Donald. Olivia recovers the man’s ID…and it’s Sam Weiss (Kevin Corrigan), the man who mentored Olivia when she returned from an alternate timeline. After not really mentioning or discussing the multiple universes, the dual Peter’s and Walter’s hole in the two universes for almost all this season, all of that comes back with a vengeance this week. Peter discovers that the signal is really being relayed back somewhere else, so they meet Astrid and Walter (who’s still tripping balls) to go track it.
Throughout the episode, Walter is visited by visions of Carla Warren (a beautiful and off-putting Jenni Blong), his lab assistant who burned to death trying to stop his mad experiments. Carla seems to be a manifestation of the Evil Walter, pushing our Walter onto the path of his former Dr. Frankensteinian ways. He’s also joined by a green and a red fairy, a kind of angel and devil on his shoulder, and a younger Nina Sharp (I’m happy for Blair Brown in some shape or form). Walter has been worried that the pieces of his brain that they surgically put back into his brain (which he asked to remove for the benefit of all mankind previously) would corrupt him and bring back the villainous Walter that set all of this into motion. We get a step closer in figuring out what may happen, as well as getting closer to the end game of Walter’s plan, as Olivia, Peter and company find the source of the signal and are surprised by what they find. There’s also a brilliant Monty Python and Yellow Submarine inspired acid trip, which I embedded below. Until next week!