Television Review: Final Fringe Friday: The Day We Died of Disbelief

It literally took me three days to finish this episode. Part of it was timing and friends coming into town, part of it was my wrist giving out as I took notes for the extensive reviews I always do, and part of it was my sadness that the season had come to an end and the moment the clock ran out on the episode it would be over. But finish it I did.

This episode was a great season finale, explaining many unanswered questions and popping up with a few more mysteries at the same time. The show begins with Peter injured from a blast, for a minute he thinks he was from the past, but that is soon all straightened out and the fun begins. It’s a dystopian universe in the future and things are heated and complicated and frustrating. There was a literal jaw dropping moment for me, and I enjoyed nearly every second of this episode. At the end of everything I have great love and great hate for J.J. Abrams. I have great love, because he seems to have finally pulled his act together after Alias  and Lost, in that he actually answers the big questions, and many of the tiny ones too. Yes, it’s a cliff hanger, and yes there are some unanswered questions, but I’m actually beginning to hope that they will be fleshed out in Season 6 (::Crossesfingers:: ::Knocksonwood::).

Peter is injured and being rushed to the hospital. Olivia’s niece is now an agent and shows up to check on his progress. Astrid is a Fringe agent and tells Olivia and Olivia’s niece that Peter is ok, but he is supposed to take it easy. WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO HER HAIR!!!!! Ok, sorry, that is out of my system. I absolutely loved Astrid’s afro, but I get that they changed how the characters looked to make them seem older and different.I like that they’ve added some gray temple hair to Joshua Jackson to make him being older, it’s extremely subtle and I think really effective. Plus I’m a sucker for slightly graying men, so distinguished looking. Peter assures everyone that he feels fine. Niece asks him, don’t you remember how you thought you were from 2011? But Peter assures them he no longer thinks that and to prove it, tells Olivia what he made her for breakfast.

Three guys plant a weird looking bomb and blow up the Opera House. Peter, Olivia, Niece, and Astrid show up at the scene and watch as a half body is taken out on a stretcher. Quite gruesome, even for this show. The crew cannot figure out what the device is, and Peter realizes that they need to call in Walter for his expertise, but Walter is in prison. Peter goes and visits him there, Walter comes out looking like the Doctor from “Day of the Moon.” Walter says to Peter, whatever is happening must be bad, and Peter says yes. He explains that while the sun is still shining (contrary to prison rumors) the wormhole which took out Central Park was not a rumor. It was a Wormhole through time, to 2 millions years ago. Peter says, “I need your help.” The terrorist group, End of Dayers- are using “Light Bombs” to accelerate the end of days. Walter agrees to help but he will need his tools, his lab.

Screen Stills from Fringe and Doctor Who

Peter walks into an office which shows a vortex over the Thames, swallowing it. Peter shakes Broyles, who is now a senator, hand and tells him that Walter is needed. Broyles says that it is out of the question to release Walter from prison. Walter is responsible for multiple vortexes. Broyles continues with, “There is not a single person out there who has not been hurt by what he did.” Peter counters with the argument that if they are able to figure out what the technology is, maybe they can stop the end of days.

Peter and Walter arrive at the lab, which is empty because Walter’s things are all still in evidence. However, Olivia soon shows up with Walter’s stuff, Walter is happily swiveling on chairs, but gets up to give Olivia a great big hug. He welcomes Olivia to the family (she and Peter are now married), because he was unable to make it to the wedding seeing as how he was in jail. As the agents are bringing in equipment a box starts to fall to the ground, but Olivia uses her telekinesis to set it down gently, she has mastered her mind control skills.

There is another light bomb being set up and we discover that Walternate is in charge of the End of Dayers. He says menacingly, “Wont be long until this world joins mine.” Walter can’t make sense of the technology. He says that maybe they can stop the group, but they wont be able to stop fate. Walter explains how the two universes we inextricably connected, and the day they destroyed the Alternate Universe (A.U.) they sealed their fate, and their world was destroyed also. It was the day we died, says Walter. Now, explains Walter, Walternate is stuck here when his world was destroyed. Once again, Walter has a pity party. But Peter stops him, “I started The Machine.” He says. I ended the other universe, the courts may have seen it as an attempt to save this universe, but I am the one who ended the A.U. Stop your pity party Walter. Ok, so what I want to know. What happened to Peter’s son???!!!!!

Peter and Olivia prepare dinner together and talk about having kids. Olivia decided she did not want to bring kids into the Universe with the trouble going on. Peter says they could change their minds, and that things could get batter. Walter’s diagnostics on the canister reveal that it leaves behind a signature, which could lead them to the End of Dayers. Peter and Olivia go to a camp which is where their diagnostics show the same signature has been left behind. An agent finds a small box and hands it off toe Peter who hides it from Olivia. For shame Peter. Married to the woman and still hiding things from her. He goes to the vehicle and opens the box which reveals a key.

Astrid enters command central and mutters, Hows come no one respects my desk? The guy with the desk next to her says, “You’re too nice.” No Shit Sherlock moment of the episode. An alarm sounds. Back at the lab Walter is enthralled with the technology of the “Light Bomb” which is years ahead of it’s time. He would have liked to have invented it. There is a pause. “For peaceful purposes of course.” He amends. But he can’t tell where the parts were made. Olivia leaves because there has been a security breach at the Wormhole in Central Park, which has now been covered with amber to stop its effects.

Peter has gone off by himself to some house. He gets a call, but can’t pick up the line because there is no signal for his cellphone. Using the key found at the crime scene he enters. It’s the house that he and Walter used to live in. Sitting there waiting for him is Walternate. Walternate left the key because he wanted to speak with Peter, and couldn’t just call him. Peter realizes he should have known the “Light Bomb” was from Walternate. He calls Walter/Walternate, yin/yang. Walternate is bitter that the A.U. is gone, he had come over to ask for help, and instead Peter, his son, destroyed the A.U. Peter reminds him how he started The Machine in the A.U., Peter says he acted in self defense. “You destroyed my universe, son.” Walternate says menacingly, “And I’m going to destroy yours.” I think this is about to get reeaaalll personal. “But not all at once.” Walternate claims.

Astrid can’t get a hold of Peter. The breach is a bus. A “Light Bomb” goes off, Olivia and her agents are on the ground. Olivia gets up, a wormhole has opened up. Peter makes a personal plea to Walternate, apologizing for causing suffering. But there is no excuse for Walternate’s terrorist acts. Walternate turns out to be a hologram. Walternate claims he is going to go after someone that Peter loves. Olivia is working to contain the wormhole when the real Walternate kills her.

Peter gives Olivia’s eulogy, saying she was everything to him. Astrid, Nina, and Broyles. The extended funeral scene seems rather unnecessary. Obviously she cant be dead. Did you hear me J.J. Abrams, you are not allowed to kill off the real Olivia! But wow I loved the lighting of the pyre and sending her body off down a river set on fire. If I could be sent to the next world like that when I die, I’d be looking down at the funeral going, how awesome is my death! In the car ride after the funeral, Niece tells Walter that agents are still trying to seal the wormhole near where Olivia was killed by Walternate. Walter wants to be taken back to his lab.

Peter sits drinking and not crying after the funeral, until he sees the picture drawn by their neighbor’s kid of Olivia, Peter, and their non-existent child. I really hate watching men cry. Bah. Walter and Niece talk about how there are no more happy endings in the world they live in because it is collapsing. Walter’s cow is gone, Niece says, “She had kind eyes.” Walter figures something out on the computer. Walter rushes over to Peter. “You can save both worlds!” He tells Peter. Peter at first dismisses Walter’s ramblings, “She is dead!” “She wont be.” Walter says.

Walter begins to explain what he has just figured out. He goes, while in prison I could never figure out how The Machine was here in the first place. How did the pieces get buried by the First People so long ago. HOO BOY! Are we about to figure out how the First People play into this?!? “Now I understand,” Says Walter, “I sent them there!” Of course he did. God, I love this time travel loop de loop stuff! I had a conversation of Doctor Who with a friend and the traveling back in time to fix the present and having to go back once you realize that is what you did before. My friend couldn’t understand what that really meant, and where did the people go. But the beauty of it, is that its a loop and it just keeps on happening. Walter explains that he must have used the wormhole to send the pieces of The Machine back in time. Some times, J.J. Abrams is absolutely clever! I was wondering how they were going to explain the pieces of The Machine, but of course Wormholes!!! “Peter, you can stop the destruction before it occurs.” Peter counters, just don’t send The Machine back, then we wont discover it, and nothing will happen. No, no, no, Walter interrupts. “I’ve already done it!” See, always the loop de loop de loop. Until you do something different. Make different decision. Peter is on the same questioning mindset as my friend, “That doesn’t make any sense.” Drum roll please…… “It’s a paradox.” Walter counters. Exactly!! Wait…. does this mean I think like a mad scientist?


Walter explains that he can’t change what has happened, but Peter can make a different choice in the framework of what has happened. We just have to bring your past consciousness forward to now, so you can see what will happen if you make the same choice. Ok, so yah, that one I did not already think of. Lost my mad scientist award already. Walter explains that they can cheat the Roles of Time. But Peter is also a thinker, maybe not a mad scientist, but he is no slouch either (just like my friend). But imagine the consequences, he says somberly. Walter says, it can’t be worse than this. Similarly Giles makes such an argument when he breaks Anyanka’s necklace that Cordelia wore, made a wish, and turned Buffy into a scarred, evil fighting machine, Willow and Xander into horny vamps, and Angel dust in the episode “Wish.” Anyanka asks how he can be sure the real world is a better one. Giles replies, “Because it has to be.” Peter, you have to fix things, because a new way has to be a better way. Any world without Olivia, is a sad world indeed.

Suddenly we are back to the scene with Peter in The Machine. Walter says they can’t take him out of it because he is linked to it on a biological level. In the A.U. The Scientist is explaining to Walternate that something is happening with The Machine in Our Universe (O.U.). Walternate needs Fauxlivia. Walternate has the drawing of Olivia/Fauxlivia and The Machine, they are connected he tells Fauxlivia. “You can stop it.” He tells her. “They out smarted you, didn’t they?” She says with a smirk. I’d be smirking too if he had put me in prison. Fauxlivia figures out that O.U. realized Walternate started The Machine, and that is why O.U. put Peter in theirs. “Now we are the ones that are going to get destroyed.” She tells him.

In the O.U. the team rushes around because they realize something is wrong with Peter, even though The Machine has stopped. Olivia heads up to him. Peter consciousness comes back, “Olivia! Your alive!” The Machine starts back up. Olivia, Peter, and The Machine are transported to the A.U. It is unclear if Peter does this with The Machine, or what. It appears the both Universes are in the same place at the same time. “I understand now.” Peter tells Olivia. Good, because I really do not. Peter brought the worlds together so neither of them would break apart? Because if one breaks apart, they both do? They are linked, and because they are linked they needed to be made one? “I understand what The Machine does.” Peter tells the Walters. The Machine came from the First People, he tells them. But the First People are us. “I’ve seen Dooms Day. And it worse than you can possibly imagine. This isn’t a war that can be won. Our two worlds are inextricable. If one side dies, we all die.” Fauxlivia and Olivia circle each other. “I’ve torn holes in both universes.” Peter tells the Walters, which has led to this time and this room. We need to work together, Peter says seconds before he shimmers out of the room. Um. Peter. Peter. Hello, Peter. The Walters argue about who is the bigger asshole, personally, I think they both could win a prize. Lets not be greedy, pass the love around. Olivia tries to broker piece, I think Fauxlivia will be on the same page. Ok, so when, when is Peter going to find out he’s a Baby Daddy? I mean seriously. I’ve been waiting for that moment ALLLLL season. Ugh, I guess I’m left to wait for next season.

The show ends with several Observers standing on a grassy knoll looking at the O.U.’s Statute of Liberty. “You were right.” Says one of them to another. “They don’t remember Peter.” “How could they,” Says the other, “He never existed.” Soo… no more baby? “He served his purpose.” Literal Jaw Drop. DAMN YOU J.J. ABRAMS!!!! Damn you. Ugh.


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