ELVES! ELVES EVERYWHERE!
In other words, Frodo comes to in Rivendell. Even better, Gandalf is there. Gandalf remains reticent about what delayed him, but says that the interfering events may be to their benefit overall. Now, within the sanctuary of Rivendell, comes the time to discuss exactly what happened to Frodo... and how close all was to being lost. The Riders are not vanquished, but temporarily stymied. The rising of the river itself was in response to Elrond's power (not Frodo's invocation of Elbereth and Luthien), with flourishes provided by Gandalf. But there's something underneath the surface, with Frodo experiencing a sensation of drowning when the riders were swept away.
Frodo also learns a little bit about assumptions and prejudice. Needless to say, let us hope Frodo learns from his assumptions about Butterbur and Strider.
Of particular value here to me is the further naming/explanation of "the Last Homely House." Specifically that it is "the Last Homely House east of the Sea." That was something of particular curiosity to me in The Hobbit.
Rivendell is filled with all manner of folk, elves (of course), dwarves, a wizard, some hobbits, and men. Of all the guests and residents, Arwen seems to be the only female present. Other interesting parties include the Gloin of Bilbo's adventures. News of the Beornings makes me happy, but that, along with news of Bard and Dale does assume reader familiarity with The Hobbit.
In many ways this chapter truly is the start of a new book. The threat of the ring and the enemies at large are re-established. We're re-introduced to characters and introduced to relationships previously hidden. In particular the close friendship between Strider and Bilbo, as well as details of Strider's past.
After a dramatic transition, the film starts up with Frodo coming to in the light environment of Rivendell with Gandalf in attendance. Gandalf's statement of "I was delayed" almost comically sums things up, but through added scenes and discussions later with Elrond, we do learn about his extra-curriculars and that the situation is beyond the protections of Rivendell.
Rather than a drawn out reunion with the various hobbits, including Bilbo, we get a compressed (and joyous) timeline. Bilbo has finished his book, which triggers nostalgia for home. Frodo and Samwise in particular want to go home, they've had their adventure and done what was asked. "The ring will be safe in Rivendell. I am ready to go home." Of course, if that was the case, this would be a far shorter story. But the longing for home does emphasize how out of place the hobbits are, no matter how peaceful and gorgeous Rivendell is.
Fellowship of the Ring came out in the middle of The Matrix trilogy, which perhaps unfortunately influenced how people perceived Hugo Weaving in his role as Elrond. Personally I love Hugo Weaving, but for me his iconic role is that of Mitzi Del Bra in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Hugo is a very distinct man. So combined with the fantastic box office successes of The Matrix and Fellowship of the Ring and the deliberate speech of both his roles, the association is hard to avoid. Cyberpunk mashups aside, I am a fan of his performance here.
But because I can't resist, here's Hugo Weaving and Guy Pierce looking gorgeous: