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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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+.


Peter definitely misunderstood September. He projected his own answers into what he was told. Truth is he already IS home. This is the universe we all followed the first four seasons and where Peter belongs.


Great Episode! Can't believe we have to wait 4 weeks for the next one, at least they will show all 8 straight. I am on the 'This is Peter's correct timeline' theory, bandwagon, that Observer scene at the beginning really nailed it in for me along with Peter's encounter with September.


aw man! fringe is just jerking us around now


Beautiful episode, but incomplete. This is only half of Septembers death, when he disappeared and the lab equipment was knocked over was the moment were one of our team (probably Walter) from let say the season final. The team will be involved in Septembers shooting possibly unsticking or damaging Septembers time technology forcing them to hop through time to get him back.
When speaking to Peter inside of that construct he told Peter they were coming, which could be literal saying the others were coming to get him, I suspect he might mean the team was coming and the future and the past should not meet. I have no idea as to which universe or timeline were in, that's irritating to me.
If,if,if we have a fifth season the nemesis of the arch will be evil Observers sprung from the baby Henry timeline fighting our Observers.


Peter is cornered. Not only has he painfully learned how deeply hurt Olivia's feelings were when she learned the truth about "faux-livia" and him. But now the Observer has actually confirmed that there would be unique consequences should he consort with the wrong Olivia(s). By entering the Machine, he actually got a second chance to make things right. The fact is, should he choose to live in the wrong universe/timeline, he would irremediably damages it by just loving an Olivia. He is really a living anomaly or oopart.


The BEST show on Television! Please 'like' "The Fringies Page: We Want a 5th Season of Fringe" on Facebook and help us get the 5th season that this masterpiece deserves!


I loved last night's episode Fringe!! I was a little confused as well because at the beginning of the season I thought that we were seeing universes 3 & 4. I'm not sure where Peter is because in season 1, Olivia never had headaches that I recall. Walternate seems a lot nicer too. The shapeshifters have a different type of "brain" than the ones we've seen previously. I don't recall Lincoln at all, so I'll have to rewatch all of the seasons. Plus I know Olivia wasn't raised by Nina when she and her sister were younger. They never really got along in the previous seasons. If she did stay with Nina, I don't recall that being mentioned. Maybe I'm wrong, but with Fringe, there are endless possibilities. I hope thos keeps going because I don't want to lose another show. I'm already losing House, In Plain Sight, and The Closer, I don't want to lose Fringe too.


This show is absolutely amazing. I love the mystery and the fact that at the end of every show you still are not quite sure what exactly happened. I look forward to each week. Tha acting is fabulous!!! I was not disppointed at all with last night show only with the fact that I have to wait four weeks to see a new episode.


The only thing that's getting me down about this brilliant season is this: "I continue to believe we are indeed with the people we always loved, who have been altered due to Peter’s erasure." Really, what's the difference? If he's in a "different timeline", it's because the objects and people in it are "altered" compared to the "original". But now maybe he's in the same timeline but with the objects and people in it "altered". Really, is there any tangible distinction between the two other than in terminology? Is there something fundamental to the fabric of the universe of a given timeline other than in there being "differences"?


Hats off to Fringe for the little details. I loved how Walter was making and eating Fairy Bread (buttered bread with the crusts cut off and sprinkles). This is a purely Australian dish for kids. You can't have a kids party without it. You so know the cast was sharing Australian/American anecdotes of food from childhood and this came up. Just Brilliant!

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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!