Fringe Season Finale Review: Where Do We Go From Here?

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As we knew last week, Peter was propelled 15 years into the future. Honestly, I wasn't all that invested in what I was watching because I didn't have a doubt in my mind that Peter would, in the end, save the day.

The future was interesting, but not awe inspiring.

There was little happening there that I didn't expect. Oh, it was fun knowing Peter and Olivia were married and sad knowing they hadn't had children because Olivia didn't want to bring a child into the world in which they lived (and, rather cliché).

It was cool to see Olivia's niece, Ella, chose the Fringe Division as her career choice, and worked directly for her Aunt Liv. However, the division was something far larger in the future, even having its own hospital.

As our world started using the amber to quell events similar to those on the other side, the would have seen no reason to keep the division top secret much longer.

Also not surprising in "The Day We Died" was Walternate carrying on as if he was somehow the injured party. Walter, spending an unknown amount of time in prison for creating the catastrophic events in our world that caused continually opening wormholes in time, was obviously tried and found guilty of the destruction of our universe.

Walternate went so far as to consider himself some sort of ambassador of peace, having come to our world to negotiate rather than admitting he was the reason the machine was built and engaged.

When Walternate shot Olivia between the eyes, I wasn't concerned. Throughout the episode I was awaiting Peter as our savior. As Peter gave Olivia a Viking funeral and her flaming casket floated out to sea, I wasn't tearing up, I was anticipating what would really happen in the finale.

There is no doubt that this was Josh Jackson's episode. It was his turn to shine, to make a run for an Emmy nomination. While Walter and Walternate has stories just as powerful, it was Peter's future we were seeing, and his thoughts propelled the story.

Thank God he got his chance, because unless there is another viewpoint to this story, we won't be seeing much of Mr. Jackson next season. By the time the show ended, Peter had never existed.

The following are just some of the thoughts (I've barely had time to process the episode, after all) that I will carry with me through summer and into fall as I await the season four premiere.

What purpose did Peter serve? If he never existed, then Walter never crossed universes to save him and never started the crumbling of the other side.

Why would Walternate be angry at him? Do they even know, standing in the room together, why they are mirror images of each other and why they are so angry?

Fauxlivia never had Peter's baby, so the Olivias don't have a reason for animosity, but should find one another fascinating (and wonder why in the hell the Walters are so upset).

Peter mentioned, before he disappeared and was completely forgotten, that he tore holes in both universes so that they could come together in that room to fix their problems. If, as The Observers said, they no longer remember Peter and he never existed, why do they think they are there?

If they leave the building, do they go back into their respective universes? Are their minds wiped clean? Would there be a compelling reason to go back inside?

You see, the deepest question I have is if Peter never existed, then what is there for them to fix? A new reason for crossing universes and destroying one or both must now be revealed. Or, I suppose the show could be about two universes discovering each other in the name of science; some sort of benign anomaly.

Yes, it was quite the twist. The producers were not kidding when they said we would have to look at things completely differently going forward. But whereas "The Last Sam Weiss" blew me away with emotion, cinematography, and intense storytelling, I was a little underwhelmed by the finale.

I don't want Joshua Jackson to leave the show. It's too long until season four. I don't feel a sense of excitement and wonder at what will be, because they've left me with so few facts to actually ponder.

Last week I was an overindulged and excited fangirl. What am I this week?

Am I the rain on your parade? Perhaps the pin prick in your balloon? Tell me what you loved about the episode and how you see season four taking shape. Of, tell me if you are feeling a bit let down and underwhelmed as I am. I want to know your thoughts about the episode. Dig in!


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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (125 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I don't know if maybe I'm wrong or some people just don't understand the finale. I think that even though Peter stopped existing the events still took place. The machine was still turned on "over there" and it was still turned on "over here". Just because Peter doesn't exist doesn't mean the events didn't happen. No they don't have any memories of him. No he didn't exist. Peter's purpose still occurred though. The writers/producers aren't going to just erase 3 seasons worth of history.


Peter will be in season four - they producers have already said he has been contracted for season four - so no panic about that...but who will he be? If Peter never existed due to his actions within the machine, then time will have to make amends to avoid paradox - ei, walter still needs to go to the other universe and take something valuable - or else the paradox would occur. I would have to say it would have to be something valuable to walternate, or else walternate's arrival at then end would be out of place. Since peter does not exist - at the moment - then i would guess maybe walter went over and stole walternates wife, whom walternate loved very much we got to see. I say peter does not exist, because the observer told us so - but i know he will return, we will just have a few shows in the new season to work it all out. My theory: there have been countless time the machine has been assembled and disassembled, and each time a man and woman has made the choice based on the drawings - an goes into machine and makes a choice - what seems to be the only choice, winking himself out of existence....and becoming an observer. Note there are no female observers. I think episode 4:1 will see peter as an observer, stuck in limbo with the other observers, hoping that the next time the machine is built will bring their freedom. Enter Faux-livia. If peter never existed, she has no son. She is able to use the machine, as it is as much her in that picture as olivia. I think the teams will discover that someone important is missing, and that they are stuck in a loop of time til they get it right. I think the answer is that the woman must enter the machine...Fauxlivia will enter it, cease to exist, and the observers will be freed from limbo, along with peter, who will be free to live his life with olivia!!!!! That would leave a lone female observer....and thinking she has enough badness in her to seeth over what she will realize she has lost, and become a vengeful observer. Ok - that is just my theories. I know a lot of ppl are confused by the assumed paradox of peter not existing - there is no paradox, as the timeline will adjust so that the machine will always be built, used , has to to avoid paradox. just the scenarios surrounding it will change.


It must make sense, only it is more complicated. We surely need to hear which fringe theories were used for the "paradox", and what element of the equation Peter represents. Good finale. Seeing them all in the same room made feel like crying, not the Olivia exit. Watch out for the idea- not new, but a good one, that unexplained things from humanity's past are not alien-sourced, but results of human intervening from the future - it is a very interesting theory and it must have its own rules...Looking forward for season 4, I wish they keep the cryptic things there, as long as they are theory based, and not get to explicit for commercial reasons.


@ CP Thanks for all the reviews of Fringe S3, great reading (-_-) Fringe was one episode short of a flawless season. Unfortunately The Finale garners that distinction .. The purpose of any finale is to stay in our minds... Except for the last five minutes I honestly will forget this episode by days end. The First People and The Machine's origin was no big revelation. It just came off as an asked answered. No true bridge as to what's next just questions and many possibilities.


re: Oh, it was fun knowing Peter and Olivia were married and sad knowing they hadn't had children because Olivia didn't want to bring a child into the world in which they lived (and, rather cliché). Cliche?? Surely the attitude of the eternal optimist who ignorantly procreates is more the road travelled in western society. Hard to see how a marginal attitude about parenthood suddenly became a cliche! More a cliche to be opposed to that, no?


In an interview, the creators said Bell and Walter had been trying to crossover before Peter. So they probably achieved their goal.


I'm feeling kind of numb, to be truthful. Like I'm not quite sure what to think but I'm sure there will be explanation, next season. Until then, byebye fringe :D


Wow, wow, wow, everybody needs to calm down. Joshu Jackson wll be in season 4 and there will surely be explanations. As for me, it was a perfect episode.


There seems to be some detachment going on with the story going on seemingly random tangents. I don't know if this phenomenon has got much to do with different writers handling and playing with the growing number of universes available, but I sense a certain Heroes confusion creeping up on me. It's just not a good sign when Twin Peaks made more sense than what we have to accept as the finale of season 3 of Fringe. I don't quite feel so much confused as genuinely annoyed, and that's a shame. I think the actors involved are doing a great job, but the material they are handed just seems to get more and more random. When future Olivia got shot dead, I was more pondering on the question of what possibilities this multiverse offers than actually being sad or touched in any way, which just plain isn't a good sign.


season 4*

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Fringe Season 3 Episode 22 Quotes

I feel fine, hon.


Olivia: Ella!
Ella: Peter's fine, Aunt Liv. He's in recovery. I mean, ah..Agent Dunham, mam.
Olivia: You can just call me boss, like everybody else.