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.

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