Fringe Review: What Answers?

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The commercials promised answers. By my calculations, "The End of All Things" brought us two. We know what the Observers are, and we know which Nina was held captive with Olivia. Other than that, we have just as many questions as ever. I call foul!!

Because I had the pleasure of being on a conference call with Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman the other day, I know that this was not the episode they expected to go into a break with. I bring that up only because I feel like I have been left dangling, once again, over a huge chasm of information that is on the brink of being shed, but they lifted the cup up just before the knowledge spilled onto the floor.

Peter on the Phone

Let’s talk about the easy part first. Poor Nina had no idea she had an alternate and was duped. Blair Brown finally got to show her acting chops by biting into two characters. This was relatively easy in this particular timeline because our Nina here is quite a bit nicer than our first Nina.

When she jumped up off the gurney and took a sailor’s stance to tell David Robert Jones that their plans wouldn’t work without Peter, Blair got to have some real fun. Welcome to the alternates, Ms. Brown!

Here’s a big question: Why in the Hell were Broyles and Lincoln coming down so hard on Nina? They have both seen their alternates. They KNOW there is a possibility that a Nina could have come over. That part really confused me. But enough of the Ninas.

Let’s talk about the Observers. They are humans many generations beyond our own - and only one possibility of who we may become - that can also see through time and space. Not a lot of info given there. The simple answer was that they are human. The more complicated answer was that we may never get to that place. Sigh.

September showed up in the lab and scared the heck out everyone, but not before we learned a little bit about his going rogue from the other Observers. I’m sorry to report that I do not know their scientific designations. In essence, they asked why he had disobeyed orders and let traces of Peter remain in “this timeline.” They also determined he is the only one who can say for sure if he is responsible for Peter’s “return.”

I put those words into quotation marks because the way they said it made me think we were still in the same timeline we had been in all along. With Peter erased. Even after this episode, I continue to believe we are indeed with the people we always loved, who have been altered due to Peter’s vanishing.

When Peter entered September’s mind, he found out about Henry. Sadly, September also told him he would never meet Henry because when Peter stepped into that machine, Peter and anything begotten from Peter was erased. Peter saw memories of his past and September explained that important events need to occur with the right Olivia Dunham, and he need only go home.

At first, Peter got it. He meant home, as in, I’m heading home now. But then Peter started to over think things. He just had to realize that he IS home to get home. He almost let himself find it, but then he tried to outsmart himself. Peter "thought" September said he had to get back to his timeline and his Olivia. I’ve rewatched scenes over and over. Not once did an Observer mention timelines needing to be crossed for him to find what he is searching.

Peter has never been as smart as Olivia. She tried to reason with him. I’ve never see her so passionate. She could barely make out the sentences in explanation of what she feels for him. He didn’t listen. He kept thinking back to Fauxlivia before he was erased. He was so afraid of making the same mistake twice that he refused to see what was right in front of him: His life.

So, let the infighting begin! It’s the same question every week: Where is Peter? Is he home? Do you think he is or that he must flee this place to find the right person? Did hearing the Observers chat amongst themselves help or hurt your decision? I’m going to be crazy for the next three weeks. We have eight episodes remaining in Season Four. The final episode has not yet been written. What are your hopes?


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (156 Votes)

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


I think Peter is in the rigt timeline and it was Olivia that brought him back after he was erased.Maybe Olivia will become an early version of an observer when she is fully activated. Maybe their son is the original observer, all related to the Cortexifan trials. To early to tell at this point.


okay... but can't olivia see when someone is from the other universe? don't they glow? wouldn't she know? she remembered being able to do it with peter. oh well, i don't want to overthink this because i love this show.


What? The baby scene was over dramatic? How was it over dramatic?
The guy just found out he had a son who was erased as a result of his sacrifice, and I'd say that's pretty big.


I couldn't agree more with this review. I think September & Peter's disclosure was a bit cheese and somewhat frustrating with Peter's over thinking results. I've always hated the machine plus baby Henry story line, so maybe that's why I didn't connect to Peter's reactions to the news. What are Peter's insights of what he experienced after his re-emerging from Reiden Lake? If Peter has so much knowledge and advantage over these characters, why does he keep getting it all wrong? My favorite part was Olivia playing Nina & Jones to get Peter here so she could get activated. I love her character being so smart and in control of the situation, including the end, when Peter dumps her, she gets tough. Meana was fantastic to watch, hilarious I could say, but I appreciated more Nina's scenes when being interrogated by the bad cop, bad cop? scene, despite that Broyles & Lincoln already knew that SS are genetically indistinct.


I believe Peter is in his own time-line, but I think it is more then a simple, "Oh Peter, wake up and realize this is home." No, FRINGE has something more up their sleeves. Somehow just Olivia remembering her life with Peter before he sacrificed himself and was erased is not going to be enough. Besides, his Olivia, the real Olivia, would appreciate Peter taking every precaution to remain faithful to her alone. No matter how real other versions may seem. Remember when Walter suggested (in the future after Olivia was killed by Walternat) that, "Nothing could be worse then this." And, Peter reluctantly agreed to make a different choice to save both worlds and his Olivia, even though he was worried about the repercussions? Well, being erased and never having that life with Olivia hurts. Talk about un-pleasant side effects! The answer is more complex then the question, and every time you get an answer the question changes. Welcome to FRINGE!


...Olivia asking for Peter was a set-up only for her needing Peter there after she had used her powers, she knew exactly what she was doing, but also knew that afterwards she would collapse, so help needed to stay on her feet to escape.
The end how Peter left her, go to walter he will fix you, a dog gets better treatment and especially the way he said it, Peter a robot?
I think our Nina and Walter have both been dosing Original Olivia for her to forget Peter and her ability and what they did to her. Now because of Jones the Original Olivia returns, but that will change the relationship with Nina and Walter. Olivia and her mind are the source and power of everything, that is why Jones needs her, tested her, only did not think she was that powerful.
I do not like how Olivia has become an object to be injected and used/abused, that she is still this great character is all thanks to the awesome acting of Anna Torv.


From the first scene on between Olivia and Nina it was clear that Olivia knew that this was not her Nina, Nina only called her OlivE once, at the end of 4.10, Nina never took care of Olivia when she was sick, that was already testing Nina. So from then on we saw two women pretending to be what the other wanted them to be.
But people who did not watch closely, decide that Great acting of Anna and Blair was bad acting, once again the lack of info concerning Olivia, with more Olivia/Nina scenes in private places, people would have understood what is going on.
I hated the baby scene, over the top sentimental, as was the reaction of Peter, he did not once showed any emotion about Olivia that way.

Uncle jackass

This isn't the fist time that a Sci-fi like show has showed both a Grandfather and Pre-destination paradox occurring simultaneously. Star Trek Enterprise, Sliders, and Quantum Leap had notoriously used such temporal paradoxes to confuse the hell out of the audiences. I.e. they set up an arc where the very intervention of travelling back in time caused the necessity of characters to fix the timeline because somebody screwed up.

Uncle jackass

@marine, I'm not entirely sure. I think it may be something to do with 'one of many' futures that will be created. Perhaps, the order of things in nature is that 'the observer' race aren't suppose to exist in the first place?


@Uncle Jackass: But if the Observers are supposed to be a species of human beings created by the progeny of our Olivia and Peter why would they want so badly Peter erased? Wouldn't that make it impossible for them to one day exist??

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Fringe Season 4 Episode 14 Quotes

Olivia Dunham. I've waited so very long to meet you.

David Robert Jones

I don't know you that well, but I'd like to think you weren't ignoring her safety for personal reasons. And that you aren't ignoring me right now!