Friday, May 25, 2012

Written Reviews for episodes 4.15-4.22 coming this Summer!

I'm currently rewatching Season 4 from the beginning (and it's awesome!).  Hopefully, I'll get my reviews for the remaining season 4 episodes up sometime soon.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things)- Part VI


1. Peter and Olivia

2. Peter and Walter Relationship

3. The Observers

4. Peter’s journey to go home

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

6. Olivia and Nina relationship

7. Olivia’s destiny

8. The character of Lincoln Lee

9. Cases of the week

10. Use of secondary characters


6. Olivia and Nina Relationship (Click HERE to listen to the audio)

Because my schedule has gotten quite busy, I will be doing audio reviews of the fringe episodes from this point onwards- it’s just a lot easier than typing out my reviews. I will try to transcribe the notes whenever I have a free moment, but that might not happen until this season is over. I will definitely do full written reviews once the season is over which might be better actually since I’ll have a full picture of the season by that time.

I’m pretty much picking up where my written notes left off: Review of Episode 4.12, 4.13 and 4.14 where I discuss the Olivia and Nina relationship. I also touch on the relationship as it is portrayed in Episode 4.15.

I hope that this is okay. Let me know if you have any problems with the audio and any comments or questions that you have about the audio itself. I would love to hear your comments or questions about what I said and I will definitely try to address any comments in future audio pieces.

Length of Audio: 6 minutes and 52 seconds

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things)- Part IV and V

1. Peter and Olivia

2. Peter and Walter Relationship

3. The Observers

4. Peter’s journey to go home

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

6. Olivia and Nina relationship and Olivia’s destiny

7. The character of Lincoln Lee

8. Cases of the week

9. Use of secondary characters


4. Peter’s journey to go home

I will touch on this topic more in my review for “A SHORT STORY ABOUT LOVE.” I just wanted to say that I am really admiring this story line since it ties in very well with the character’s overall journey and his constant quest to find his home. At the end of THE END OF ALL THINGS, Peter comes to the conclusion that he is not in the right place and needs to go home. To me, this conclusion seems natural considering how confused Peter is at the moment and how he has been lied to before about Olivia (Season 3) and about where his home is (Subject 13). His determination reflects his insistence on not being lied to anymore and his determination to find out where he is and where he needs to be. In the past, he’s been very passive in giving in to the illusion in front of him despite knowing that it is false. When he was kidnapped, he was firm in his belief that his home was someplace else. He noticed all the differences. However, Elizabeth and Walter kept telling him that he was confused and rather than continuing to fight against them, he gave in and accepted this new place as his home. When AltOlivia switched places with Olivia at the end of season 2, Peter saw the differences in season 3, but he chose to ignore them in favor of being happy. In THE END OF ALL THINGS, he is insisting on returning to his own home and he insists on noticing the differences in this Olivia and staying away until he is completely sure that she is his Olivia. I feel that this has provided some really great development for the character.

I recall reading a post on Tumblr that commented on the fact that Peter doesn’t have an alternate and how this fact actually allowed the character to be the most consistent character on the show. I just wanted to briefly touch on this and how much I agree with this statement. Giving each character an alternate has allowed the show to explore their main characters in far more depth by allowing the characters to appreciate the weight that their choices and experiences have in shaping their lives. For Walter and Olivia, however, we are introduced to many alternates and sometimes it can get confusing and any consistent character development can get lost. For Olivia, for example, we have Blue Olivia, Red Olivia, Amber Olivia and Olivia as Bell. In all that confusion, it is easy to lose sight of the character and who she truly is. Peter is always the same regardless of which universe he is in (Blue or Red or Amber) or which time period he’s in (Past or Present or Future). We can track the same character from the start of the show to now and see how much he’s grown on his own merits without having an alternate to help him.

A lot of fans have been asking about the purpose of this new Amber Timeline since, understandably, fans want to know that this whole season has served a purpose of some sort. As far as I can tell, being in this Amber world has served the story emotionally since it has allowed Peter to see the significance that his presence has had in the lives of those he loves. It has also provided us with some new relationships and has given us the opportunity to reintroduce old characters like David Robert Jones. What would be really amazing, in my opinion, was if the show provided a mythology-related reasons for why we are in this amber world. Maybe something needs to be done in the Amber world that can only be done in the Amber world and not in the Blue universe, which is why we had to leave it. I think that our presence in the Amber world will help to build the machine that we saw in season 3. We already saw that Peter and Walter are working on the beginnings of the machine (WELCOME TO WESTFIELD) and David Robert Jones is working with Amphilicite, a substance whose power is comparable to the power wielded by the machine.  It would be interesting if the "first people" were the people whose lives we are experiencing in the Amber world.  

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

I honestly have no idea what David Robert Jones is up to and I think that this will be the biggest mystery of the season moving forward. Before I continue, I just wanted to mention one thing that some fans have been complaining about: the fact that the conflict between both universes is no longer the center of the story as it was in season 3. I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of the alternative universe plot line since it took time away from the original characters that we love. I did, however, appreciate it for what it provided us with- rich character development. I feel like the plotline concerning the two universes has been resolved for the most part since the source of the conflict (Peter) was removed (at least in the minds of those that were involved in the conflict) and the bridge that was established has stopped the decay that was threatening both worlds. I really hate it when shows drag out plot lines for more than one season since it begins to lose its importance and significance. The next logical step of this plotline is seeing the two worlds work together. We haven’t been able to see that very much this season since there have been other more pressing issues that we’ve had to deal with on the home front. I hope that we see more of the alternate universe going forward since it probably will factor in heavily with regards to Jones’ plans.

In the episode WELCOME TO WESTFIELD, we observed a phenomenon in which the individuals in a town were being merged with their alternate selves in the other universe. Peter proposed amphilicite as an example of a chemical that could potentially harvest enough power to do this and the teams’ thoughts went immediately to David Robert Jones who they concluded was the mastermind behind what was happening in the town. If merging the universes is Jones' ultimate goal, then the event in Westfield might have just been a trial run to see what would happen.  But, why would David Robert Jones want to merge the universes? What could possibly be his end goal?  I can see how merging the universes would serve the overall plot (since a lot of fans have speculated that that is the direction that this season is ultimately heading in), but what benefit would it have for Jones the character? How does he plan to use Olivia in his goals? He is definitely not just using her in his goals to cross over since he can do that just fine himself. In THE END OF ALL THINGS Jones stated that Olivia’s abilities are far greater than he realized. What does he mean by this and how does he know this?

I watched the season 1 finale during the hiatus and the David Robert Jones in the old timeline also reassembled himself on the atomic level, but unlike this new Jones, he gradually started to fall apart, using bandages to keep himself together. How did this Jones find a way to keep himself together? I think that in this timeline, Jones crossed over to the other side (since Peter wasn’t there to close the portal on him) and found the technology necessary to repair himself in such a way that he wouldn’t fall apart. Also, what role do Shapeshifters have in Jones’ plan? Are they still relevant to the plot line? I ask because they were seemingly dropped in episode 9 (Enemy of My Enemy). How do AltNina (Meana) and AltBroyles play into everything that is happening with Jones? What motives do both characters have in working with Jones? My theory is that Meana has very ambitious goals for herself and that she sees Jones as a way to achieve those goals. I think that Meana will contribute to Jones’ dismiss and downfall in the end. I think that AltBroyles is being blackmailed into being cooperative. Maybe Jones is holding his family ransom or is holding another threat over his head.

We have 7 episodes left of this season and we still have to wrap up the mystery with the observers and with Jones. These are two really big plot lines and the only way that I think that the show can manage to do both justice is to have them both be related to each other in some way such that by exploring one, they are exploring the other.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things)- Part III

1. Peter and Olivia

2. Peter and Walter Relationship

3. The Observers

4. Peter’s journey to go home

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

6. Olivia and Nina relationship and Olivia’s destiny

7. The character of Lincoln Lee

8. Cases of the week

9. Use of secondary characters


3. The Observers

Although the observers were only touched on in the last episode (episode 4.14), the plot line with the observers is really what everyone is talking about during this hiatus and which I feel will play a major part in the plot as this season wraps up.

When Peter went into September’s mind during the episode THE END OF ALL THINGS, September explained three things to Peter: 1. He explained who the Observers were, 2. He explained why Peter was erased, and 3. He explained what Peter needed to do now. September explained that the observers are scientists from the future and that “September” is a code name that was assigned to him; it’s not his real name (which wasn’t given for some reason). They have access to technology that has enabled them to turn back the clock of time in order to “observe” their beginnings. So, in a way, they are like anthropologists which I found to be fascinating. September also states that they are only ONE of countless possible futures for humanity. I took this to mean that they are the result of a very specific path that has been taken. When you look at all possible futures, there are some things/events that are inevitable and are thus, present across all futures. The fact that the observers exist in only ONE possible future out of many supports the idea that their existence is the result of specific choices/events that didn’t occur in other futures. September also reveals that the observers are HUMANS in the future whereas before I know that a lot of fans thought that they were aliens, machines, robots, etc... So, it’s nice to receive a confirmation that they are humans. But, what has caused them to lose their hair, their taste buds and their emotions? This episode was so great in that it revealed some things about the observers, but it didn’t reveal everything. It kept the mystery of who they are and where they’ve come from alive which to any true fan, is a blessing. Part of what makes the observers so interesting is the mystery that surrounds them. 

September then goes on to explain the mistake that he made after he admits to Peter that he’s done more than just “observe.” He shows Peter the moment where he interrupted Walternate as he was searching for a cure for Peter. It’s interesting how September tells Waltnerate that he is an admirer of his work and that September had the very human desire to simply witness this important moment. I’m assuming that this moment was important since it involved Walternate finding a cure for someone who is very important, Peter. September goes on to say that his mistake caused Walter to cross over and kidnap Peter, initiating a war between two worlds and bringing about a child (Henry) that was never meant to be. If Henry were to have existed, he would have altered everything that was to come (in good or bad ways?) and thus, in order to erase Henry, the observers had to erase Peter. September admits that he didn’t know how Peter continued to bleed through and how he managed to return to physical form. Nevertheless, he feels that now that Peter has returned, he has a chance to make things right. He states that Peter must find the right Olivia for she is the one whom a (?) shared life is meant to spring. I don’t know what exactly September was implying here- whether he was saying that they are suppose to share a life together or that they are (additionally) suppose to create a life (a child) together. Why is this so important? Before I get into my theories about this, I wanted to explain one discrepancy that a lot of people have noticed about this scene

September says that Peter is meant to be with the Olivia from the Blue Universe and that he made a MISTAKE when he distracted Walternate from discovering a cure for Peter. If the mistake ended up bringing Peter to the Blue Universe and hence, closer to Olivia, how is it a mistake? I think that what happened was that September did indeed make a mistake in distracting Walternate from discovering the cure for Peter. If no further intervention was done, then the Peter from the Red Universe would have died. But since he was important, the observers looked at all possible futures and found a way for Peter to be saved through Walter crossing over. They allowed this to happen and September even helped Walter out. Thus, Peter being in closer proximity to Olivia was an unintended consequence of the observers trying to rectify September’s mistake. Even if Peter had never even been brought to the Blue Universe, we can assume that he and Olivia would have found some way to be together (Olivia or Peter would have crossed over). This would naturally be the better path since Peter and Olivia would be together and a war would not exist since Peter would have been raised in his home universe. It’s interesting that the observers never felt the need to intervene in the death of Blue Peter, but Red Peter’s survival was important. What is it about Red Peter that was so different and which made him so important?  My theory is that it was crucial that a Blue Olivia be united with  Red Peter.  I can see how this would be important on a thematic and mythological level, but on a practical level, what would this accomplish?  Would it bring the worlds closer together in ways that the current bridge cannot?

The theory going around currently is that Peter and Olivia are the ancestors of the observers. This would explain a great deal like why Olivia had that connection with the observer child in “Inner Child,” why Peter was able to operate the observer’s gun in “August” and why September is so heavily interested and invested in Peter and Olivia’s future. It would explain why there is only one version of the observers since they are descendents of Peter of whom there is only one version. It would explain how they have acquired the ability to travel between universes since they probably have Cortexiphan in their blood from Olivia. It is likely that the abilities that Cortexiphan bestows on an individual get stronger with every generation such that by the time that you reach the observers, the abilities have become very powerful and controllable. But is Cortexiphan inheritable? Walter took a snippet of Olivia’s hair and was able to see Cortexiphan in her DNA (I think) so I would assume that, yes, it is heritable. It would explain the observers ability to travel through time since they probably use the technology of the machine and the fact that they have Peter’s blood running through them enables them to use such technology. The blue wands that they use are remarkably similar in appearance to the machine. The only flaw in this theory (that I can think of) is the fact that Neil was able to operate the observer’s blue wand (in MAKING ANGELS). But, the even bigger flaw in this theory is that the other Observers seem to be set on removing Peter’s presence in this timeline. Since Henry is still gone even with Peter present, why is it important that Peter still needs to be erased? And why would the observers want to erase someone whom their own existence depends on so heavily?  This is just a theory and so I could be completely wrong in everything that I'm saying here.  :)

Even after this episode, we still don’t know who shot September. Peter and Olivia seem to be asking all the relevant questions that the audience wants to know (Who shot September? Why does Jones need Olivia to cross over when he can do so himself?), but the individuals being questioned failed to give us answers. September says that the question of who shot him is irrelevant. I don’t know whether or not there is any truth to that. Maybe he means that “what is done is done” and how it happened to begin with is irrelevant since it can’t be undone. Or maybe he doesn’t want to say since it might alter things too much. The other question is what happened to September after Peter was removed from his mind and after he told Peter that “they are coming.” He seemed to have vanished, but I think that he was probably taken by the other observers who rewrote things such that they were not seen, the only evidence of their presence being the table that was turned over. Lastly, is there any significance to the fact that September was labeled Mr. X and that his consciousness merged with Peter’s? Does Peter now have a piece of September’s consciousness permanently in his brain (like what happened between Olivia and John Scott) and will he thus play a role in Olivia’s death? There are so many questions to be answered and I worry about how the show will answer them in the 8 episodes that are left in this season.  All of this discussion is making me even more eager for Fringe to return!  Just 6 more days!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things)- Part II

1. Peter and Olivia

2. Peter and Walter Relationship

3. The Observers

4. Peter’s journey to go home

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

6. Olivia and Nina relationship and Olivia’s destiny

7. The character of Lincoln Lee

8. Cases of the week

9. Use of secondary characters


2. The Peter and Walter Relationship

If there’s one complaint that I have about this season so far is that it hasn’t done a very good job regarding developing the Peter and Walter relationship which is surprising since this relationship has been such a strong point in past seasons. The relationship has been so glaring in its inconsistency. Walter alternates in his attitude towards Peter almost every episode. For much of the first part of the season, he was fearful of Peter and avoided him like the plague. At the end of ENEMY OF MY ENEMY, Walter agreed to help Peter, but in MAKING ANGELS he was angry at him again because he was taking Walter’s place on the team. In WELCOME TO WESTFIELD, he and Peter worked together gloriously after Walter considered AltAstrid’s advice, but in A BETTER HUMAN BEING and THE END OF ALL THINGS he grew angry at Peter again when he posed a threat to Olivia’s safety.

For most of the beginning of Season 4, the relationship between Olivia and Walter was primarily highlighted, especially in SUBJECT 9. Although, I loved how sweetly the relationship was portrayed by both John and Anna, I never thought that it was as close as it was when Peter was around and it was certainly never as close as Walter’s relationship with Peter. Nevertheless, I’m glad that this season is taking the opportunity to develop the relationship between Walter and Olivia. I’m glad that Walter’s close relationship with Olivia was brought back in these last three episodes. In WELCOME TO WESTFIELD he talks a great deal about what Olivia was like when she was a child which was similar to how he always talked about Peter as a child in previous seasons. In A BETTER HUMAN BEING and THE END OF ALL THINGS, you see Walter’s protective side come out with regards to Olivia. He sees her changing and he sees that Peter may be doing more harm than good and that Olivia could potentially get her heart broken and lose herself in the process. He immediately voices his disapproval. I actually don’t think that he disapproves of the relationship that is (re)developing between Peter and Olivia. I think he’s jealous of the deep connection that they share and wants to be apart of it, but doesn’t know how. Alternatively, he could be jealous about how much Peter is stealing Olivia’s attention away from him when all he wants is Olivia to pay attention to him only (in a father-daughter way). He could see Peter as a threat to the relationship that he has with Olivia. Peter hasn’t done anything bad that would give Walter the indication that he’s a bad person. When times get tough (as they have in the past 2 episodes), he naturally looks for someone to blame and he ends up pointing fingers at Peter, the person that he knows the least. His jealousy, I think, is what prompts him to make Peter the villain. Their relationship is the opposite of what it was at the beginning of the series when Peter was the resistant one and Walter was the willing one. So, it’s interesting to see how the dynamic has flipped this season and how glaringly different it is compared to past seasons.

In WELCOME TO WESTFIELD, Peter and Walter are very in sync with each other and they bring out the best in each other. Their minds both work in similar ways and complement each other and generally come to the same conclusions. In A BETTER HUMAN BEING, in the mist of being distraught about what is going on with Olivia, he remarks to Peter that what Peter is supposedly doing to Olivia is wrong, even though it is tempting. He himself has felt the temptation before. Is he referring to his feelings towards Peter throughout this season? On a side note, I truly loved how Walter didn’t hesitate to drink the vials of “Cortexiphan” when he was questioning Nina. If anyone would know what Cortexiphan tastes like, it would be Walter. In THE END OF ALL THINGS, Walter didn’t seem too alarmed at the prospect of sending Peter into the dying observer’s mind which disturbed me a bit. In general, actually, I felt that John Noble’s acting in this episode was a bit stiff.

Since I don’t know how Peter will get home and what the result will be, I don’t know how it will impact the other characters (will they return back to their old selves, will they become a mixture of Blue and Amber, etc...). I sincerely hope that Peter and Walter find a way back to each other again. As much as I deeply love Peter and Olivia, I hope that they find a way back to each other in episode 15 so that we can proceed to repair the relationship between Peter and Walter. The warmth and understanding that they have for each other has been severely lacking in this season and I hope that they give the relationship the attention that it deserves for the remainder of the season since this whole conflict did start, first and foremost, because of a father’s love for his son and if this is the show’s last season (which I pray to God it’s not!), then it should end on the same note.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fringe Episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things)- Part I

Review of Episode 4.12, 4.13 and 4.14

I decided to review episode 4.12 (Welcome to Westfield), 4.13 (A Better Human Being) and 4.14 (The End of All Things) together since I feel like these episodes are kind of like a trilogy in that they belong together and should probably be examined together. I really like how this middle part of the season is organized and there’s an urgency in episodes 8-14 that wasn’t present in the first batch of episodes this season. Episode 8 and 9 belong together since once directly leads into the other and they complement each other plot-wise. They expand on Peter’s quest to go home and they introduce David Robert Jones. Episode 10 and 11 feel like two sides of the same coin to me and they expand on the issue of Olivia’s fate and introduce the observers as a mystery to be explored. In Episode 10, we are presented with the idea that our fate is not written in stone and that it can be changed. In contrast, episode 11 presents us with the idea that our fate is predetermined and that there is no escaping it. Episode 12, 13 and 14 bring everything together: David Robert Jones, the observers, Peter’s journey and Olivia’s fate. Although this middle part of the season was infinitely better than the first part of the season, I’m not sure whether we got any definite answers for where things are going for the remainder of the season. Fringe seems to excel at giving us everything, but at the same time, giving us nothing. :)

During this spring hiatus, I hope to review the season thus far (while recapping the past three episodes), by creating posts where I address the following topics:

1. Peter and Olivia

2. Peter and Walter Relationship

3. The Observers

4. Peter’s journey to go home

5. David Robert Jones’ agenda

6. Olivia and Nina relationship and Olivia’s destiny

7. The character of Lincoln Lee

8. Cases of the week

9. Use of secondary characters

My first post will be devoted to Peter and Olivia.

1. PETER AND OLIVIA:

I think that the best part of these last three episodes have been the fact that they’ve really developed the relationship between Peter and Olivia. The relationship is in a completely different place compared to where it was at the end of Wallflower. I honestly think that these episodes have been so rewarding because of the wonderful acting by Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv. For some reason, the acting and the relationship itself is much more believable this season compared to season 3. I think that it just seems so much more genuine in this season which may be due to the fact that much of the drama surrounding the relationship overshadowed the relationship itself in season 3.

In WELCOME TO WESTFIELD, we finally find out the content of Olivia’s dreams. When I first saw the scene, I was genuinely surprised by how graphic the scene was and I wondered how FOX ever approved its airing. The more I watched it (and I’ll admit, I watched it several times!), however, the more I appreciated how beautiful it was with the lighting and emotion and music. The color of blue is splashed everywhere, reflecting the universe where the true Olivia and Peter belong. Olivia asks Peter whether he loves her. We have never heard him say that he loves her and when she said that she loved him in THE LAST SAME WEISS, he didn’t say it back. If this is a memory, then he must have said it off camera, when they shared an intimate moment prior to Peter getting into the machine. For someone like AmberOlivia who has felt a hole in her life for as long as she can remember, this scene of such intimacy must have made her feel complete and loved beyond measure. When she was questioned by Peter about her dreams in AND THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND, she said that she didn’t feel anything towards him. This was understandable (to an extent), but now that she knows Peter better, does this dream carry more weight for her emotionally? Peter gives her a wake up call (literally) and when she sees him in the lab, her face is vibrant and alive. She doesn’t look at all as tired as she claims.

Their interactions during this episode are wonderful and I loved how it felt like the old gang of Peter, Walter and Olivia were back together. Peter’s concern about her was refreshing to see and I really appreciated his speech about how his Olivia was his home. The conversation mirrors the conversation that he had with AltOlivia in OVER THERE where she also asked about his Olivia. Both conversations are different, reflecting how different their relationship is now (in season 4) compared to then (at the end of season 2). He says that she is strong and stubborn and that they met when he was doing some “criminal activity” in Afghanistan. He says that she sees the best in others even when they can’t see it in themselves and this Olivia automatically says that he doesn’t look like a criminal. She is already seeing the best in him, saying that he is not as bad as he believes he is. The most interesting part of the episode, however, comes when Olivia starts to experience symptoms that are very similar to what the rest of the town is experiencing as they merge with their counterparts in the other universe. She remarks that she feels like there is someone else in her head, leading her to feel unstable and confused. Walter summarizes it best, when he examines the woman in the town who believes that her husband is both alive and dead. He states that it must be terrible to have someone else’s memories inside your head, not being able to distinguish between what is real (your memories) and what is not (memories from another life). At the very end of the episode, when Peter drops by her apartment to check up on her, she is acting very much like the old Olivia. She is glowing, her smile is wide and she pours herself and Peter a glass of wine (correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that AmberOlivia has drunk alcohol at all this season). On a shallow note, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Olivia look more pretty. She leans in to kiss Peter and when she does, he draws back in surprise with a small smile on his face, thinking that this is some kind of joke. He quickly realizes that Olivia doesn’t see the problem with the kiss and his expression turns to one of shock and confusion.

A BETTER HUMAN BEING might just be one of my favorite episodes this season (probably on the same level as ENEMY OF MY ENEMY) due mostly to the fact that the acting was so very good. I remember initially thinking that Olivia’s joy at these new memories was a bit over the top and I was disturbed by the fact that she wasn’t concerned or alarmed. But, once I watched the episode a couple of times and read a couple of reviews, I realized that her response was very natural. Throughout the episode, she receives the memories of Peter’s Olivia and those memories with Peter are warm and happy. She goes through a process of rediscovering herself. With each memory that she acquires, she grows to understand herself more and falls more in love with Peter again. With this newfound love, comes a new confidence and a greater sense of self. Of course she wouldn’t worry about what is going on with herself. She’s is happier than she ever remembers being and these memories appear to make her a “better human being,” whereas before, she was only a shadow of the Olivia that we know. When we are changing in positive ways, we don’t question it. Rather, we rejoice. Peter’s resistance to these changes causes her to be even more drawn to him in an attempt to achieve the closeness to him that she “remembers.” Being so sure, she doesn’t understand why Peter is questioning these feelings. Peter’s hesitance is understandable. He has been burned by the wrong Olivia before and after having distanced himself from the people in this timeline, I can imagine how overwhelmed he must feel upon all of the sudden seeing his Olivia right in front of him after having dreamed about it for so long.

Throughout the episode, everyone seems to believe that Peter is the one who is altering Olivia’s memories in an attempt to force her to become his Olivia. Walter’s hypothesis is that Olivia is using her empathy to feel Peter’s desires to be reunited with his Olivia. She meets those desires by becoming his Olivia. This is such a wonderful idea because isn’t that what love is all about? Sensing what the other person needs and becoming that for them? I think Walter is very much against Olivia having any kind of attraction towards Peter and it is very clear that he sees this change in Olivia as a bad thing. In this timeline, he has a closer connection to Olivia and thinks about Olivia’s welfare before Peter’s which is definitely something new. It was a bit hilarious seeing him come between Olivia and Peter throughout the episode. It’s as if he’s an overbearing father trying to protect his sweet girl from the new bad boy on the block that she’s deeply attracted to. But his efforts are in vain since clearly, Peter and Olivia are smitten with each other. The crucial realization comes when Olivia mentions how she and John Scott discovered that it was Sementex that was stored in the storage units from the pilot. Peter didn’t know this and so he concluded that he cannot possibly be transferring his memories to Olivia since if that were the case, she wouldn’t have memories that he never had. I also thought that it was interesting that Olivia so casually mentioned John Scott throughout this episode and I know that a lot of people felt that it was weird since she had such an intense relationship with him in season 1. I don’t think that it feels weird at all since, after 4 years, I fully expect Olivia to be a very different person. She probably doesn’t even recognize who she was in season 1 before all this stuff with the fringe division tore her life apart. John Scott, in a lot of ways, represents the old life that she left behind. In the remaining moments of the episode, Peter confesses to her that he is scared, but that fear dissolves away when he looks into her eyes and sees that she is there. She interrupts their kiss to take a bathroom break (honestly, Olivia!) and ends up disappearing, leaving a confused Peter to wonder where she went. I really love how vulnerable and open Olivia was throughout this entire episode and it contrasted so well with how resistant Peter was.

In THE END OF ALL THINGS, Peter goes into the observer’s mind in an attempt to figure out where Olivia was taken. The observer tells Peter that the primary reason for his erasure was to erase his son, Henry, since he was born to the wrong mother. Peter’s reaction upon learning that he had a son was very sad to watch and I think that Joshua Jackson did an excellent job with the material here. I think one of the major themes in Fringe revolves around the relationship between a father and his son. It would be interesting if they continue with this plotline to show how Peter relates to his own son and that strengthens the relationship that he has with Walter. September tells Peter that although he is mystified regarding Peter’s return, Peter’s return will provide Peter with the opportunity to set things right. Peter must find the right Olivia, the one from which this shared life (Henry?) was meant to spring. He tells Peter to go home and Peter takes his words literally.

Upon arriving at his home, he is knocked unconscious by one of Jones’ accomplices and taken to where Olivia is. Olivia apparently told Nina that Peter was the only one who could unlock her powers with Cortexiphan. With Peter in the same room and his safety in jeopardy, Olivia gives Jones’ exactly what he wants and much more. This was probably one of my favorite scenes in this episode. I read a comment somewhere that this scene was an interesting twist in the traditional dasmel in distress scenario since Olivia finds a way to get Peter to where she is (by revealing to Nina that Peter is the key to unlocking her powers), but once he gets there, instead of having him rescue her, she uses him as a battery to fuel her powers and then ends up saving the both of them. It’s such a beautiful message- she uses her amazing capacity to love Peter to unlock her potential. She fries to a crisp one of his men as Jones and Nina escape. Upon encountering Jones at the portal, Jones remarks that Olivia’s love for Peter must be quite profound since she was able to expend her powers so much. Once outside, Peter gives in to his doubts and Walter and Lincoln’s accusations and tells Olivia that he doesn’t know what she is anymore, but he is sure that he is doing her more harm than good (as evidenced by the fact that she had a seizure after her fireworks show). After having seen his son in the observer’s mind and after having learned that he ceased to exist because of Peter’s association with the wrong Olivia, Peter’s hesitation and doubt are understandable. He doesn’t want to proceed unless he’s absolutely sure. Peter leaves her in the pouring rain (did Olivia cause it to rain?), reiterating the phrase that has been his mantra for most of the series: I’m going home. Olivia is understandably heartbroken and the degree of vulnerability that she shows in this scene is just absolutely amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so desperate.

The whole plot line between Peter and Olivia really highlights some important themes. One such theme is the idea of identity- what makes us who we are? This Olivia from the Amber timeline is genetically identical to Peter’s Olivia and has all her memories, but does that mean that the two Olivias are the same? As an audience member, I’m tempted to think that it does, but according to Peter, it doesn’t. What’s been so interesting about this season is that everything is so interconnected: You have Olivia who was given a ultimatum by September who appears to be trying to save her from her fate (I assume that’s how he got the gun shot wound). But, September is also trying to save Peter and may be Peter’s answer for how to get home. But, David Robert Jones with his plans to apparently merge timelines/ universes/whatever may also be Peter’s way home, but Jones is more concerned with activating Olivia for some unknown reason. I think that there are major questions that need to be answered regarding these two characters:

1) How will Peter get home (if there is a home for him to get back to)?
This seems to be THE question in this season and honestly, after 14 episodes, I still don’t have a clue what the answer to this question is. On the one hand, I applaud the writers for keeping the viewers guessing regarding the answer to this question. Peter’s perspective on things constantly changes- one minute he thinks he’s where he should be (AND THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND), the next minute he thinks home is someplace else (majority of season 4), the next minute he thinks he’s actually home (A BETTER HUMAN BEING), and the next minute he thinks he’s not (THE END OF ALL THINGS). Our opinions shift with Peter’s opinions and it’s made for a really heart-wrenching ride for the most part. On the other hand, it’s a little frustrating that we’re no closer to answering this question than we were when Peter first reappeared in SUBJECT 13. I’m a bit impatient for the answer to this question. The interviews with the actors and producers have been misleading as well- the way that they’ve answered questions has been very ambiguous and vague. In a recent interview with The Fringe Podcast, I believe that Jasika Nicole stated that this new “setting” for season 4 is neither a new timeline or a new universe. As was stated in THE END OF ALL THINGS, I believe that this is the old timeline, just rewritten to account for the fact that Peter is no longer apart of it. The old timeline is gradually starting to bleed through and I think that something will happen in the next episode that will help to speed up this process to the point where it gets Peter’s attention and he is able to finally accept that this is his home, but that it’s just a little different. I’m so glad that in THE END OF ALL THINGS, Peter finally got an explanation regarding why he was erased and who was behind it.

2) Is Olivia still destined to die and if so, can her fate be changed?
One theory regarding a possible cause of Olivia’s death is that CorteXiphan is the killer (= Man X where the “X” comes from the “X” in Cortexiphan). In the human mind, sometimes we can take inanimate objects like drugs and personify them as Olivia did in the episode LSD. In Olivia’s mind, Cortexiphan has damaged her beyond repair and so it makes sense that she would think that it would bring about her end as well. The seizure that Olivia experienced at the end of THE END OF ALL THINGS may give support to this theory. Expending her powers caused her to have a seizure, exhausting her. David Robert Jones stated that Olivia’s potential is far greater than what she exhibited in this episode. The effects of expending her powers must be far greater as well, perhaps great enough to kill her. If the cortexiphan is what is putting her life at risk, I think that the key to her survival is finding a way to control her powers (like she mentioned in THE DAY WE DIED). Another theory is that September is Man X (he was labeled as such in episode 14), but that doesn’t make sense since he has obviously been trying to save her and was concerned enough about her mortality to warn her. Since Peter merged with his consciousness, however, some of September’s consciousness could still be in Peter (similar to what happened with Olivia and John Scott in season 1). Thus, Peter could potentially be Man X which honestly, is a terrifying, but intriguing, thought. A third theory is that September’s prophecy doesn’t mean anything at all. I remember an interview from Joshua Jackson around the time of episode 4.08 where he said that September’s prophecy could mean everything, but on the other hand, it could mean nothing at all. I don’t know if the question of Olivia’s fate will be addressed in the next episode or if it will be something that will play out over the rest of the season. This plotline has been a bit forgotten over the last few episodes and so I hope that it comes back into play soon.

3) Is this Olivia Peter’s Olivia?
In response to the question of whether or not this Olivia is Peter’s Olivia, I think that she is and she isn’t. That would explain why Peter recognized her to some extent, but still feels the need to pull back because there is a part of her that he doesn’t recognize. This is consistent with the theory that the old timeline has just been rewritten. The aspects of Olivia that are bleeding through are what Peter recognizes, but the rewritten portions that are still there are what he doesn’t recognize. The question is whether the rewritten portions will gradually fade away over time and we will eventually get the old timeline back, whether there will be a merger of some sorts, or whether Olivia (and everyone else) will fluctuate between their two states forever. If the old timeline comes back in full force, then there needs to be some other justification for why have been in this Amber “timeline” all season. By having a merger of some sorts, we can preserve the good things about the old Olivia (which would satisfy the fans that love the old characters) and also preserve the things we’ve grown to love about this new Olivia (and satisfy the fans that don’t want to be told that this season has been a waste). I think that to some extent this Olivia is not our Olivia since I don’t think that the writers would have Peter screw up again and have him not recognize Olivia.

Another big mystery centers around how this Olivia acquired the memories of the old timeline Olivia and why she is the only character that has done so. One theory is that, with the help of Cortexiphan, she is able to access the experiences of individuals in different timelines similar to how she is able to cross between universes. Although she was doing this to some extent before Peter’s arrival (as indicated by her dreams), Peter’s presence allowed her to fully embrace this ability, allowing her to fully immerse herself in the memories of the Olivia from the old timeline. Another theory is that she is acquiring these memories from Peter himself and that her desire to immerse herself in his world is so strong that she is sometimes able to fill in the blanks herself (i.e. sementex). I think that Cortexiphan is the key to why she has been experiencing the memories from the old Olivia and no one has.

4) What greater potential does Olivia have that Jones was referring to?
This ties in to what Jones’ goals are and I have no idea how he even knows the extent of Olivia’s potential. This seems to be a big plot point and I think it’s something that will play out over the rest of the season.

5) How is Olivia’s storyline connected with Peter’s storyline?
This is one point that I’m a bit confused about and it’s frustrating because, in my opinion, this should be a topic that should be very clear by now at this point in the season. It’s almost like we have two plotlines (Peter’s and Olivia’s) independently going on at the same time and that seem to be at odds with each other rather than complimenting each other. For example, at the beginning of WELCOME TO WESTFIELD, Peter is on the right track towards finding a way home, but all the issues with Olivia throw him off course. I think Olivia’s storyline is connected with David Robert Jones and Peter’s storyline is connected more with the observers. I think that we’ll get answers to Peter’s storyline in the next episode, but Olivia’s storyline with David Robert Jones will continue to play out for the remainder of the season.

NOTE: I’ll talk more about how Peter and Olivia relate to September/The Observers in my section on the observers.