Fringe Review: A Season Finale To Die For

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You really have to think about what the show was working with when writing "Brave New World Part 2." It had to determine what would not only be a satisfying season finale leading to another great year ahead, but what might allow viewers some fulfillment, if even brief, should it have faced cancellation.

I think the writers achieved the best of both worlds and have no doubt we will be in for a stunning final run of Fringe.

Still an avenger
Olivia's superpowers were beyond anything I imagined. Fifteen minutes in, flying was not out of the question. She was not only faster than a speeding bullet, but faster than one from a gun specially built by William Bell that couldn't be stopped by an Observer and that she could throw just as fast back at the shooter. Say what?! Bring me that cortexiphan STAT! I am ready to receive!

The sadness was that Olivia didn't even get a little enjoyment out of her abilities. Even one quick joke about Superman would have been kind of fun, but the circumstances were too dire. William told Walter and Nina figured out on her own the reason Olivia had been activated. She was the power source needed to collapse the universes. It was really too bad they couldn't curtail Bell and use her energy for good instead of evil. I say that while really liking very few comic book incarnations, so you can imagine how Olivia has won my heart.

Bell vs. Bishop

It was all Walter's idea
Creating a universe not run by God was Walter's idea. That was why he wanted parts of his brain removed. That made sense in this particular universe, but not in the other timeline. Previously, Walter might not have had "his" Peter but he did have "a" Peter. Would that have been enough to make him hate God so much as to destroy the universes and create one of his own?

The science God gave him to save the other Peter and bring him into his life had to make him realize just how powerful God was and give him a reason to keep the universes as they were. Or was the catalyst the same, but the reason behind removing the brain pieces different? One due to hatred toward God for taking his son away, and one due to love of God for delivering him a son and yet still wanting to rule his own universe?

Interesting philosophical discussion, and one that would have been more interesting if Walter knew all the creatures on the ship were humans who had chosen a different incarnation due to Bell's promises. I wondered why that wasn't discussed. I suppose it may come up next season when they start speaking and flitting between monster and human form.

Creepy bad dude of the year award
Rebecca Mader had to make one of the most frightening evil beings we've ever encountered on Fringe. The way they had her eyes rolling in different directions and blinking incrementally was terrifying. Now I know why she was so incredibly excited to see her portrayal on screen. Mader will give me nightmares, and I don't need food for them. Her part was small, and yet had a huge impact on the psyche. Freaky!

Dead, alive and normal
I wish I had been surprised that Walter killed Olivia, but once he knew she was powering the collapse, there was no doubt that given the opportunity he would stop it, even with as much as he loved her. After all, we had lemon cake and pig brains. Not to mention a letter opener. Is there any surgical device you would more wish to be saved with than a letter opener? I thought not. Thank God she was dead while he was performing that little surgical excursion. Can you even imagine doing that to someone who might live to remember it?

Walter's belief was after what had happened to her, the regeneration would essentially bring her back to a normal state. As she was hesitant with Peter in the hospital room I thought either she had a year to live or she was pregnant. Realistically, either would work given the potential future we saw because there would be time for both and in 13 episodes they could squeeze anything in, right? But knowing the threat of cancellation was looming over future of the show, I was so very glad Henrietta was encapsulated in Olivia's womb. 

Overall, we were given another thoughtful episode, created with foresight and two futures. Could we live without ever knowing what September meant by saying they are coming? Sure. Do we want to live without knowing that? No! Four brilliant, thought provoking seasons with a fifth on the way. What more could an intelligent view ask?

Other than infinity and beyond!? Thanks for reading. For all things Fringe related check out all of our content on our Fringe show page to keep up with the latest news and scoop until the fifth season premiere.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (197 Votes)

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

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    27 Comments New Comment Subscribe

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    ...and the standard flagging of a 'new war' as potential plot (say, perhaps, The War on Observers, or The War on All Months Except September, or The War on Whatever...) would also lend support to collapsing universes to avoid the tedium of repetition of non-winning patterns...

    So, not at all a satisfactory absolute finale in my view - but given that the writers have consistently created their way out of potentially blind alleys and steered away from indulgent naff-ness throughout the previous seasons, it does give me hope that these apparent obvious flaws should springboard into a worthy season 5 (that doesn't have a neat or dull finale, if it is to be the last season!)

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    A bit frustrating as a finale - reducing it all to basic chick-flick/tv was all a bit deflating...

    ...back from the brink of creating a new universe, a nominal promotion for the hired hand Broyles to 'General' with his cap out for funding, and a 'Job' for Nina (not to mention the make-her-a-breeder & give-up-her-powers conclusion to the inter-universal romance as reinforcement of the notion that that is the only way any super-woman can ever be truly happy) hardly seem likely to stop anyone with access to it from coming to the same conclusion as Bell (who was not so much 'mad scientist' as pretty well aware that the status quo is unsatisfactory, although his methodology for the formation of the new universe in his desired image was a little glossed over, other than the rather archaic ark notion, unless of course they were all his favourite foods or some such)...

    ...and the standard flagging of a 'new war' as potential plot (say, perhaps, The War on Observers, or The War on All Months Except September, or The War on Whatever...) would also lend support to collapsing universes to avoid the tedium of repetition of non-winning patterns...

    So, not at all a satisfactory absolute finale in my view - but given that the writers have consistently created their way out of potentially blind alleys and steered away from indulgent naff-ness throughout the previous seasons, it does give me hope that these apparent obvious flaws should springboard into a worthy season 5 (that doesn't have a neat or dull finale, if it is to be the last season!)

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    The ending with the Observer's statement was so...'You gotta go back, back to the future!'

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    Carissa: Watch the whole show during the summer before reviewing the coming season and do some research. "Could we live without ever knowing what September meant by saying they are coming?" We already know what is coming down the road (Observers) because of episode 4.19. "We also have a bullet that Etta wore around her neck and a living Olivia." Per the show's producers, the bullet that Etta is wearing is the bullet that was taken from Olivia's head.

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    Excellent Episode in all!! Roll on Season 5!! :) THANKYOU FOX!!!!

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    @ JAck H ...bro you haven't been watching too attentively, have ya? None of the issues you raised make any sense at all. Broyles/Nina friendship has been a mainstay since season 1, Scott WAS given a proper sendoff (Though its true he left to become Human Target), and the Charlie episode was a bonus episode and had nothing to do with the rest of season 3.

    A great finale, and I totally agree with the review. I don't know why people hate on Walter and Bell. Excellent and interesting characters with some of the best lines and quirks on TV. The people who are concerned with plot holes (and what show hasn't got them, especially one dealing with temporal and spatial shifts of this magnitude) I'd just say, read the title...cuz that's where this show operates! Excellent show! Anna Torv and John Noble just KILL in every episode of every season, and Joshua, Jasika, Lance and Blair Brown are excellent in their support capacity. Onwards to season 5, people!!!

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    Seems to me that Rebecca Mader is getting somewhat typecast - she was killed off on 'Lost' and now on 'Fringe'. But the thing with her eyes...was that acting or Special EFX?

    Anybody notice that the bullet Walter so gruesomely pushed out of Olivia's noggin looked suspiciously like the one hanging around Henrietta's neck in 2036?

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    Betting that they pick up next season after the baby is born...13 episodes are too few to go through both the pregnancy and bring it up to the Observer invasion.

    As for the episode...yeah...killing Olivia was predictable...we knew it had to be done...but I really didn't know where they would go after that...I mean Peter was presumed wiped from existence and we didn't really get any inkling he'd be back until the next season...wasn't sure if we'd get Olivia back so soon so her "resurrection" was a surprise at least for me.

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    Then what is Peter? The forgotten, the lost a universe? Let's not forget that for Peter everybody is different even Olivia. But whatever, you've got issues with the show since Season 3, and some weird anger too, so be it.

    Was anyone amused that the statis field looked like a magic symbol. Besides September said they had tech beyond them, implying help from an outside force?

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    I loved the episode until the killing of Olivia.
    Anna Torv beautiful acting in every second as Olivia dealt with her powers, abuse, the fears, the anguish.
    Would have been so great to have that as a real storyline.
    Now we got 2 lines after 88 episodes where she talks about Jacksonville.

    Abuser Bell activates her, Abuser Walter kill her like an animal, not even 1 scene of Olivia confronting them, she should have killed them on the spot.

    Hated everything from the killing of Olivia, the over the top acting of Noble and Jackson the predictable Walter/Peter saving Olivia and the baby, so Olivia needed to be pregnant when activated by Bell?
    The ultimate Rape of Olivia.

    So Olivia Dunham since midseason 3: Used, Abused, Violated, the Girl, the Object, the Victim.

    Olivia was: The Hero, Chosen One, Gatekeeper, Savior, Strong Independent Woman, a human being.




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