Fringe Round Table: Season 4 Premiere

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

Below, our Fringe critic, Carissa Pavlica, along with fellow panelists Sean McKenna and Nick McHatton, discuss the season premiere of Fringe, "Neither Here Nor There." With Peter gone, there was a lot to ponder and 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's your guess - where is Peter?

Carissa: I don't know, but neither here nor there was an apt title given the circumstances. Thing is, I don't think anyone knows. Somehow Peter's strength of character has transcended even the overarching powers of the Observers. The way he is asking for help, though, makes me frightened for him. 

Sean: He's on the island and there's a smoke monster...oh, wait. I'm sure he's somewhere that could easily be explained with a lot of highly scientific speak, time paradoxes and stuff. Maybe he's simply hiding out in a retail store looking for a new pea coat. Peter Bishop, won't you please come back!

Nick: He's in the TV, obviously. Or maybe it's the mirror? All lame jokes aside I'm going with what the Observers said that even though he's erased and the timeline is rewritten his presence is just too strong and continues to bleed through. Where is he physically? In the ether? Heaven? Hell? China? Did the machine create it's own separate existence plane when he merged the two worlds and Peter's there? I don't know, but I'm confident Fringe will answer it.

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What character seemed the most affected by not having known Peter and why?

Carissa: Of course it is Walter. But what I cannot understand is what went down in 1985 that lead him on the terrible path of destruction that lead to his mental breakdown and 17 years in the mental institution. Why did his wife kill herself if she never had to deal with alternate Peter and his struggles? Or did she? Is she alive? I don't believe we will delve this far into the history of a world without Peter, so I'll have to assume he was driven mad by his child's death. 

Sean: I agree with Nick that it's most certainly Walter. Peter was Walter's rock and now without him, he's a mess. Sure, still a genius, but he seems on the verge of a mental breakdown. Maybe he needs to find a new Mrs. Walter?

Nick: Emotionally and physically, there is no question, it's Walter. He's secluded himself in the lab, his emotions are all over the place and it physically feels like there is a piece of him missing. John Noble is a wonderful actor.

Joe Flanigan: Fleeting character or will he be back?
Carissa: I wish and I hope he returns. Of course, you probably got that from my review. I heart Joe Flanigan. He has to be a new agent over there. Surely they've been keeping his casting huge secret. Yep, that's what I think.

Sean: I'm going to go with fleeting character and the off chance that he appears maybe once more far down the road. After all, Walter did make that dead bird fly again and in the world of Fringe, anything is possible.

Nick: Sorry Carissa, I never watched Stargate so I don't have any prior show love for him. However, I certainly enjoyed his character and would be open to meeting him or his alt self again.


Thoughts on the new shape shifters?
Carissa: Super freaky, and they seem not to die. I could have sworn the girl at the end was the one Walter was working on in the lab earlier in the show. The question I have is whether Walternate is responsible and why. A new group of spies for our side? Why?

Sean: Besides the face that I have no idea why they look translucent or who they're working for (it can't be Walternate, can it?), I think they're pretty creepy and a great new addition. But please, I don't want to see them pull another fingernail off.

Nick: My first thought is my usual Fringe response: complete confusion. My only real guess is the new shape shifters are repercussions of erasing Peter.


What are you most looking forward to as the season progresses? 

Carissa: The prospect of the universes working together and seeing more of our dual characters share screen time. Of course I want Peter back, and I am really interested in knowing how they will suddenly bring back an infant into the fray, but to me, it's all about watching the characters play scenes with their alternate selves, bringing back old villains on the other side, whatever they decide to throw at me. I have faith Fringe will not disappoint!

Sean: The return of Peter Bishop! I already miss the guy, but I did love the season 1 feel for this first episode. It's like a back to basics. I'm curious as tow hat the new direction of the show will be, now that the crashing of universes was prevented. Where do you go from there? Either way, I'm prepared for the crazy thrill ride of questions, questions and, oh yes, probably more questions.

Nick: I can't wait to see how Peter is reintegrated in to the timeline because it's going to be a very fine line to walk. How will the bring that prior Peter history and storyline that we all know and love with this new post Peter Fringe

For the near future, though, I'm looking forward to seeing more of Lincoln and watching as he's woven into the story.

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

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James- August is the Observer that distracted Walternate from seeing the cure for Peter, saved Peter & Walter from the lake, etc. Walters brain parts were removed so he couldn't re-create how to get to the other side again, too.

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oh, i almost forgot... remember walter re-animating the bird early on in the episode?
well, we have dr. walterstein's monster on the table ready to go!!

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am i the only one who realizes peter is the main 'shape shifter' in this episode... and is shot down by our new agent?
Walter is doing the autopsy on him as he discovers the bio-mechanical hybrid circuit that's 'not from here.'

Fortyseven

@Stefan, Nimoy said he wouldn't be doing anymore episodes.

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I'm looking forward to all the little (and not so little) surprises.
I'm suspecting Peter to come back not as alt-Peter but as 'this side' Peter.. I'm hoping William Bell will return..
I'm really looking forward to the interplay between the characters and their alternates, especially if we're surprised by charactistics that may have 'switched sides' due to the 'reboot'..

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Olivia did not feel normal to me at all. She felt too...distant, like she was just about the job and not going to be about anything else. It might have just been overshadowed by how much Walter was affected, which was portrayed excellent and not overboard. Obviously he's going to be affected the most, and it was perfect. I just don't get the sense of how Peter served his 'purpose', and then he vanishes. If he vanishes and is erased from their minds, then how would he have been there in the first place to fulfill his destiny? That's what I still have trouble understanding, and I really hope Fringe explains it in future episodes. Still love the show, and can not wait to see how they pull this season off! Oh, and I agree, I think that the women at the end was the one that Walter was working on too. Or at least it was the identity of the women, but it was actually a shapeshifter?

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i thought Charlie's much better than Lincoln as a member of Fringe Team. why did only Walter get affected by Peter? what about the others? they didn't feel something wrong, did they? Olivia seemed to be too normal! nothing's changed except for Walter. it's so sad. they all appeared to forget about Peter.

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So I have several questions about what others said and then a few observations of my own. First, who is September? And who is Jon Flanigan? Second, Walter didn't go crazy because of stealing the other Peter. He went crazy because he had parts of his brain taken out and was institutionalized because he experimented on children...I think. But I don't think it was because he stole Peter. OK. As for the show, I love that Peter is stuck somewhere and blipping in and out and Walter doesn't know who he is. I didn't care for Lincoln's know-it-all goodie goodie attitude. He's not a good replacement for say...Charlie! Bring back Charlie! Although the alternate Lincoln was cooler. Question: What are the Olivia's doing and is there some tension between the Walter's if Peter wasn't stolen. So what exactly is the relationship between the two universes. And are there still two universes with a sort of portal spot where they can meet up. The shape shifters are cool, but are they going to lay off the deeper stuff for now? Cause that would seriously take away from the show. In general I thought it lacked some brain teasers.

Fortyseven

1. Neither here nor there. Another plane/dimension/quantum something or other.
2. Walter
3. Fleeting though I wish it were otherwise.
4. Freaky.
5. Peter's return.

Uncle-jackass

@Anonymous, agreed it seemed like a lot of mis-opportunities that led to the problems of the two worlds without the "saving" of Peter. Without the interference of the one Observer then Peter and Walter wouldn't have been saved in the icy lake. So it seems that Walter managed to save himself but child Peter died in a not-so Leonardo Di-DiCaprio Titanic way. As for Peter's whereabouts? I feel like he's stuck in an interstitial wall between two M-universes. Imagine two bananas intersecting two points at the same time while slightly out of phase but coherent to an infinitesimal amount. Okay that's my Doctor Who knowledge...

Fringe Quotes

I'm stuck here.

Olivia

Criterion collection, forgive me.

Walter

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
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