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Fringe Season Finale Round Table: "The Day We Died"

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Welcome back to the latest edition of TV Fanatic's Fringe Round Table!

Our Fringe critic, Carissa Pavlica, and fellow panelists Sean McKenna and Nick McHatton discuss the season finale of Fringe, "The Day We Died," in a Q&A below.

It was a jaw dropper, for sure! We'd love to hear your own answers to the questions, so feel free to drop them in the comments.

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What do you think of Olivia’s choice to not want to have a child with Peter?

Carissa: Given the obvious decision on Peter's part, gave up a lot to be with her. It's too bad he didn't know he had a child. He could have been a part of Henry's life and it might have goaded Olivia into changing her views on the issue. But, none of that will ever happen now. I'm so confused.

Sean: I don’t blame her choice either Nick, but Peter made a great point. There are still plenty of families surviving in that tumultuous time. As much as you want to protect a child from the horrors, you shouldn’t give up on the assumption that the world is going to end. It might not.

Nick: I can't really blame her since the world is ending.

Was Ella a good addition to the Fringe Team and the finale in general?

Carissa: At first I thought Ella was Olivia and Peter's daughter, forgetting that she had a niece. One thing that having the character on screen did make me notice was the absence of Olivia's sister at her funeral. The funeral that didn't really happen.

Sean: Ella who? For a moment I forgot all about her character, as the last time she even appeared was far earlier in the season. Overall it was an interesting idea, especially with showing how the universe problems impacted children in the future. Unfortunately, it felt flat to me, and more of a throw away character. Plus, most likely we won’t even see her adult self again.

Nick: It's a good idea on paper to get a glimpse to how Ella turns out, but actually watching it on screen is a different story. Unfortunately, she really didn't have much an impact on me nor the finale really. To me she just felt like the character thrown into the time jump in order to prove what we're witnessing is really the future.

Theories on how Joshua Jackson will return to Fringe?

Carissa: I'm guessing he's going to play a completely different character. A doppelganger. Doppelgangers are all the rage. Or, and I never even thought of this. Peter was born, to our Walter, and we've never met him. He'd be a completely different person, but still Peter. Just because Walternate's Peter never existed, doesn't mean our Peter never existed. He just didn't get the disease and die. Oooh! I like my answer.

Sean: I’m predicting one character will start hearing his voice or getting some sort of sixth sense vibe. Maybe the Observers made a mistake and they’ll have to bring him back. He can’t be gone forever, especially because he brings a great personality and charm to both his character and the show in general. It can’t be Fringe without Joshua Jackson.

Nick: I shouted so much profanity at my TV when Peter disappeared I would have made sailors jealous. Especially when no one in the room noticed he vanished. My guess is, since the observers said "he never existed" Peter is somewhere he can exist. Maybe with the machine and the first people? I honestly have no idea how they're going to bring him back.

Given the ending, do we know anything about our characters, or nothing at all?

Carissa: I have no idea. Peter drove so much of the storyline that if he didn't exist, then those stories will be completely changed. We can't even just take it back to the first episode, because Peter's existence influenced the lives of both Walters and Olivia since he was about 10 years old. That's a lot of time for characters to build based upon certain events. I think we will be looking at new personalities on old characters, which is basically like knowing nothing at all.

Sean: Well, after shouting out “What the Fringe!?” with Peter’s disappearance, it’s hard to say. Sure, there might be a few minor differences with his absence. In all honesty though, no real time elapsed between the last episode and the finale. We know how they might act if that particular future comes to fruition, but in present time it hasn’t. Ultimately none of those actions or decisions might ever take place. I’m sure it will all unfold itself next season, but it’s really too early to know the repercussions of Peter’s actions.

Nick: I still believe they're the characters we all know, but just like before when we were introduced to the alternate universe the characters are largely the same but with subtle differences. I'm guessing they largely behave the same and made the same mistakes just tweaked to do so without Peter.

The finale ended down in the ratings. Do you think the finale will help or hurt the season premieres ratings next year?

Carissa: Judging from the overall reaction in the comments, I wasn't the only one who was underwhelmed and disappointed in the finale. While that won't stop me from watching, it might stop others. I have to disagree with Sean. Since the series is, in effect, starting over, maybe it will bring new viewers to the table. You never know.

Sean: Oh, the ratings system. It’s so hard to tell, but most likely the next season will either garner similar ratings or drop lower. With it being season 4, it’s going to be hard to gain new viewers who haven’t watched from the beginning, so I don’t doubt if Fringe will find itself on the bubble again next year. However, I know I will certainly be tuning in to find out what happened when fall rolls around! Where have you gone, Peter Bishop?

Nick: Ratings are a fickle beast, so it's hard to crystal ball, and from what I've read online on Twitter and on TV Fanatic the finale was polarizing. Will people tune in during the Fall (assuming that's when Fox schedules it)? Absolutely, and ratings will probably be up a bit too since less people are out doing things. How it goes from there is anyone's guess with time slot competition, how the fans react, etc.

Do you think that Walternate will actually be willing to work with the other universe or will he still be intent on its destruction?

Carissa: Who knows? Since he son wasn't stolen, he might not have taken the intrusion to his universe as personally as he did up until now. We also don't know if a person actually crossed over and didn't leave, so might that have changed the effects of a short term crossover? Maybe only our side is affected now, and theirs is all peaches and cream. Right now, we know absolutely nothing.

Sean: Walternate is a crafty foe indeed. He may pretend to work with the other universe, but I think he still holds a lot of anger and resentment. He’s not going to go quietly either, so, his confrontational presence will still be a threat.

Nick: Walternate's a smart man, I'm sure he's willing to work and help out to save his universe. I don't think he'll actively try to help our side however (at least not in the beginning).

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

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I think you have your answer right here on how many care at all about Fringe anymore. Seven comments after a month, that is not a good sign. Besides, the writers wrote themselves into a box in the finale which is sort of overlooked here. The whole premise of the problems between the two universes is the move of Peter from one universe to the other when Walter took him and cured him. If Peter no longer exists, the problem of universal instability is no longer in existance. Yet, the problem is still there although Peter never existed at the end of the episode. To disassociate the show from Peter is its death knell - too many like the character and he was a focal point of the show. To say the inter-universe problem was caused by something else serves a diservice to the show. To be honest, as much as I liked Fringe, I am also about to write it off. It just "jumped the shark" way to much for me to even to enjoy the fantasy of it anymmore. When the basic premise of the biggest conflict is just eliminated, it better have an amazing explanation in the first episode of the next season or I will be trying out "GRIMM" (as distasteful as that appears) on NBC next year in its timeslot, right after "Chuck" which for the most part has stayed consistent in it writing - something the writers of Fringe might learn a thing or two.

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Very interesting. My mouth was left open trying to figure this one out. I too wondered why no one mentioned the baby Henry, but Im sure there was a reason that we will see next season. Cannot wait to find out!

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Sooo love your round tables! I agree with you, mostly with Nick and ohh I like Clarissa's idea too!!! Have we totally dispensed the idea that none of the Peters died? Since Peter is not the issue between the two universes any more that means that either Walter made a different decision in the past and did not steal Peter, or did not have to make a decision because Walternet saved Peter. I believe that the parts that changed though are the ones based on decisions. Anyway, doesn't that mean we are actually in a different branch of the same story, the one where Walter did not steal Peter? That means that even though Peter (as we know him) never existed, at the same time both Peters can actually exist because we are not in the same branch of the story anymore. I think a similar theory has been analyzed in one of the episodes in the first season. Anyway just brainstorming here in the hope that P-Olivia as we know it isn't totally lost :( Keep up the good work!

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If you talk to the showrunners by chance, please ask them why they have made Peter and with that Jackson the talking point for the coming months including Comic Con with this cliffhanger??
Especially knowing how he milks the media. Season 3 has been mostly carried by Anna Torv and then John Noble, and all we read etc is Peter and Jackson, and as I pointed out earlier, he has done nothing but complain about the showrunners over and over again, even backstabbing his costar Anna Torv in one interview. Since the Emmy's seem to be out of reach, multiple parts and multiple emotions are not as highly valued as heavily made up cliche parts, the least the showrunners could have done is giving Anna Torv and John Noble the cliffhnager aka talking point.
Very very dissappointed about that.

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I was like what the hell!? When Peter suddenly disappeared after merging the two worlds. But one thing still lingers with me, why is Walternate mad at Walter when Peter never existed? Did Walter kidnap someone else to cause the fabric of the other world to crumble or is there something else?

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The final was really an anti-climax, more like a series ending and Fox/Warner Brothers wanting Jackson central. The scenes people talk about from the future part are those between Olivia and Walter in the Lab and the scenes of Olivia before and during the brutal killing. Then the final minutes had the best acting by Anna Torv and John Noble as the double Oliva and Walter, but thanks to the last line of the observers everyone talks about Peter and Jackson. You seem all three to agree that every storyline of Fringe is about Peter, so how come the actor himself does not get that at all, and has done Fringe no good by complaining in the media the entire season 3? Finally I do hope that Anna Torv and John Noble will get that Emmy nomination, especially Anna who this season did 2 Olivia's and the mixes of them and Bellivia.

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The not having a child thing made me sad, but aren't they like 45 in the future, it is not likely even if she reconsiddered she could have a child. Although since Walternate was on their side I thought it was weird no one brought Henry (I think that's the baby's name) up. My only real problum with the last two episodes was not seeing a resolution to the other sides stories, like why wasn't fauxlivia conserned and I miss Lincoln. I agree with Sean on how Peter will show back up. I would have clicked more with registering Ella if adult her still had blond hair. My favorite detail of the finnale might have been the wierd boxed wine that future Biships drank. The subtle changes are what make Fringe's alternate worlds awsome.

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About Rachel not being in the funeral, I think that the whole conversation between Walter and Ella was about Rachel dying in some tragic way, probably related to a vortex or the like. I only saw the episode once, so I might be wrong.

Fringe Quotes

Peter, look at me. I love you.

Olivia

We gotta get out of this town.

Peter

Fringe Music

  Song Artist
Song Poor Little Fool Ricky Nelson iTunes
Dear mr fantasy Dear Mr. Fantasy Traffic iTunes
Blue bayou Blue Bayou Roy Orbison iTunes