Fringe Review: Is That You, Olivia?

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"Welcome to Westfield" was one of those episodes that left your mind reeling by the time it was over. Episodes that grab me, toss me around and fling me back to reality are some of my very favorites to ponder. If ever there was a time to speculate on the future of Fringe, that time is now. Let's play a guessing game.

Strange things were happening all over the town of Westfield, but they didn't start there. We learned more about Peter and Olivia's relationship through her incredibly sexy dream and Peter's description of their relationship to her than we ever did when they were together. Yes, Olivia is beginning to remember her life as Peter's Olivia. Last week I posited that the Observers confirmed we are in Peter's world. I'm even more sure of it now.

Shotgunned Peter

Fringe tried to sucker us into thinking that what Olivia was remembering might have to do with Westfield, as the entire town was being used as a lab experiment for David Robert Jones (and, I would imagine, Alt-Broyles and our Nina). He had been mining nearby a source that would create a tremendous energy, enough to accomplish what was happening.

People were growing two sets of teeth, had two sets of irises, were going crazy with memories that were not their own, and yet seemed to be. Much like when the older couple in "6B" were seeing through the universes and thought they were talking to ghosts, but these people were living completely new memories that felt like their own.

In conjunction with this, we saw it happening with Olivia. She talked to Walter about a case in detail, and he said they never had a case like that. Peter had one with his Olivia, however. She was having a hard time looking at Peter, having felt what she did in her dream. She knew what it was like to be in love with Peter. Being awake didn't seem to change her feelings.

Although the subject wasn't discussed or played out in any way, Olivia did note how different Walter has become with Peter in his life. While this could just be is acceptance and need for his son to be alive, he could also be remembering things and not sharing. After all, he was in a mental institution. Weird thoughts and feeling are just his way of life. Of one thing I am certain: neither Olivia nor Walter are as eager to help Peter get back to his own time as they were at one time. 

At the end of season three, so much of Peter and Olivia's relationship happened without including the audience. I had no idea they had settled into a Friday night Italian pattern. Peter is a very smart man. I think, at first, he's going to think she's messing with him, or that Westfield did a number on her, but he will figure it out. That his being back is changing things. If my theory is right, Olivia and Walter, being closest, are the first to feel the change. 

As time passes, others will begin to remember things that didn't really happen, and yet feel as though they did. Somehow the time lines will merge. How? No freaking clue. I really do not think we will outright lose either side of the personalities of those who changed when Peter was taken from earth. I am extremely excited to see what they will do to make it happen, if it will be seamless or if people will go nuts, as they did in Westfield. The newer memories should be the ones that fall away since they were "created" in a short time, but to disappear completely? I don't think so.

It's crazy exciting to think of all the possibilities and I've only touched upon a slight few here. What do you think is going to happen? Do Olivia's memories coming back excite you as much as they do me? Share your thoughts below!

Odds and ends:

  • The look on Walter's face when the pie guy got mean with him was so sad. All he wanted was rhubarb pie and he was so frightened. I don't like to see my Walter in peril.
  • I loved Walter using the school intercom system to call Peter and Olivia to the biology lab. I bet he was getting such a kick out of it.
  • It seems that in the other universe, there was no Westfield. When it merged, only the bicycle shop remained surrounded by, well, nothing. What I didn't understand was why they were in our universe and not in the other or someplace completely "new."
  • Was that THE pea coat Peter was wearing, or some variation? Either way, he looked fabulous (hello, I'm a girl!).
  • That poor dude on the bus with the two faces really got the worst of it. I felt bad they had to kill him. Was he trying to hurt them or just reaching out for help? Who could tell?
  • I did toss around the possibility that whatever drug Nina gave Olivia could be causing her memories, but wouldn't they have had to know about Peter in order to keep the two Olivias separate? Why not use the unknown Alt-Nina as the guinea pig since she wouldn't even be missed? So I scrapped it in my theories.
  • Maybe my life is really that boring, but if I started having new memories, I'd be psyched, not psycho. Seems exciting. Yes, odd and slightly worrisome, but exciting. Just me?
  • Is it next Friday yet?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (167 Votes)

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


@djmac1946 - I don't believe that these are different universes in Season 4, they just adjusted to the fact that the timeline was changed when the Observer went back and did NOT save Peter from drowning. He had to do this because he was never supposed to save him and many of the problems they had up through Season 3 were caused because of that intervention. By the way, I believe that altAstrid is the same before and after the timeline change we just know a little more about her now.


Don't we already know that Olivia and Walter are Peter's? He was erased from both universes when the observer changed the timeline by going back and NOT saving him from the lake. The universes adjusted and now no one has any memories of him. The observer was supposed to erase him totally but he didn't for some reason. Thus we have Peter both having drowned as a child and existing as an adult and memories are still stored in people's minds. Like someone said, I don't believe that there is another universe out there missing this Peter.


Watch it live people!! We want a season 5!!!!!!


That was such a good episode that when it was ending I was like "no no, don't be over yet, you can't just end NOW" at the tv lol


Awesome show, awesome review. How dare they even think of cancelling the show.......I save to watch
over and over again in cased I missed something. Olivia's dream needed to be longer! Can't wait till
next week!


"It seems that in the other universe, there was no Westfield. When it merged, only the bicycle shop remained surrounded by, well, nothing. What I didn't understand was why they were in our universe and not in the other or someplace completely "new."" No, you got this all wrong. There probably is a Westfield in the other universe, and they BOTH got destroyed. By merging together, they were not able to coexist, and got destroyed. I think if we visit the other universe, we'll see Altlivia investigating the disappearance of the town.


@djmac1946, you bring up super valid points, and I think you are probubly right (I mean they would have to supress way more than just the main charecter's memories for this to make sence, I mean in last weeks episode they went to MIT, and I think Peter having conned his way into a proffesorship would be something people remembered), but I'm pretty sure Prime Linclon is alive in Peter's universe, and the first AltAstrid had Asbegers.


Great cinematics.
I thought Olivia not getting an injection was the cause of her memory issues in Westfield. Nina trying to prevent Olivia from remembering is a good theory. There was also the episode with the guy fused with his alternate.


the problem with the no timeline theory is that Olivia simply remembering her Peter from season 3 leaves us with serious issues regarding the other characters. In season 3 alt broyles is dead, Prime universe Lee is dead, Alt Astrid does not have Asperger's syndrome, Jones is dead and Nina is not the reincarnation of satan. Without an alternate timeline "you got a lot of 'splainin to do Lucy"


Regarding your odds and ends, there WAS a Westfield in the alternate universe. The few people that weren't affected by the merger were the only people who didn't have counterparts in the other Westfield. The bike shop remained because it was the "eye of the hurricane" - everywhere else was destroyed because the laws of physics break down when you force two things to occupy the space of one.

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Fringe Season 4 Episode 12 Quotes

Oh, I'm not allowed to drive. I haven't renewed my license since I got out of the mental institution.


Olivia: I love you. Do you love me?
Peter: I do.
Olivia: Then tell me. I want to hear you say it.
Peter: I love you.