Fringe Season Finale Round Table: Now What?

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"Brave New World Part 2" would have worked very well as a series finale, but lucky fans around the world have 13 more episodes to discover just what the future of Fringe could look like.

But before we look forward, let's look back: Below, Round Table panelists Nick Shere, Sean McKenna, Nick McHatton and Carissa Pavlica discuss the finale and what might be coming. Gather around and jump in, TV Fanatics...


What was your biggest disappointment from the finale?

Nick S: "STASIS RUNES???" I mean, really, come on.

Sean: William Bell simply disappearing at the end. I know the world was saved but one ring of the bell and he gets to vanish as if it was no big deal? 

Nick M: I agree with Sean, they built up Bell to the point where something had to happen, and instead he just disappears.

Carissa: Bell just disappearing was very disappointing. I would have hoped for a bigger moment of truth between he and Walter, because Walter deserved it. It leaves the door open for Bell to return, but I'm not so sure that his role is that important to the end game for the fans.

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Did Walter take the right action to stop the universes from collapsing?

Nick S: Yes. A huge part of Walter's story arc since Fringe Season 3 has been about learning when to sacrifice others for the greater good.

This is interesting, because American viewers are conditioned to expect the highest moral virtue to manifest as self-sacrifice, usually self-sacrifice motivated out of concern for loved ones. Walter's whole story is about moral problems that cannot be addressed in this way.

Sean: It was certainly a bold move and begged the question about sacrificing the life of one in order to save everyone else. I think he made the right choice, a tough choice, but the right choice because if he didn't make it, Bell would have won and it wouldn't have mattered if Olivia lived anyway.

Nick M: Absolutely, because he knew what would happen. Walter knew he could stop the collapse and save Olivia. He actually reverted back to mean Walter a little bit, and that's not something that happens if he doesn't know what he's doing.

Carissa: Yes, but I don't know that he would have made the same decision had he not been absolutely sure the amount of cortexiphan in her would regenerate her thanks to his lemon cake experiment. His confidence was riding high and the chance was small, in his mind, that permanent damage would be suffered.

Do you believe Walter's assessment that Olivia will be "normal" now?

Nick S: I'm guessing she'll be normal most of the time, but that as soon as we get used to thinking of her as Olivia 1.0, they'll sneak in a new power.

Sean: I agree with Nick. After all, she's always seemed "normal" and then when she really needed it, some power would pop up. This is Fringe after all.

Nick M: There's no such thing as normal in Fringe, so not at all.

Carissa: It's entirely possible that she will be normal and her baby will inherit everything else she had that wasn't. There's always a movie or two roaming around where the mother can utilize the baby's powers when needed. We already saw 2036, and while what we saw wasn't too out there, it was brief and Etta's full capabilities might have been hidden.

What's one thing you were hoping to see that you did not?

Nick S: There's a giant mad science monster ark. And yet, a marked lack of epic creature fights/chases/etc.

Sean:  I was kind of hoping to see more Observers or at least the lead in to that crazy 2036 episode. I know that technically the final moment might allude to their takeover, but I really enjoyed that episode and was hoping it would all tie in.

Nick M: I wanted to see something from the other side. Wasn't the "ark" on the other side?

Carissa: I can't put my finger on it, but I wanted to see something monumental. For the team to see what was on the arc, put their past cases and the creatures together to get the full scope of Bell's madness? It all just felt too easy with Bell escaping and the team not getting the big picture. Something tells me that whatever Bell was trying to do also helped anger the Observers in the future. I refuse to believe it's a "your earth wasn't green enough" lecture I'll be receiving after four years.

What are your predictions for the final 13 episodes?

Nick S: Well, they're going to need to connect up Evil Bell with the Observer occupation -- does Bell foresee the occupation, and is that why he tried to reboot the universe? Alternatively, do the Observers use Bell's actions to justify changing their non-involvement stance? Farther out...I hesitate to even guess.

Sean: Well, ultimately, I felt like this episode could have served as a great series finale, wrapping everything up and putting it in its place in a quiet but good way. As for the next 13? One final hurrah with a chance to simply go big because next season it all ends.

Nick M: It's kind of hard to say since this finale except for the final few seconds, was easily a series finale. I would love to go back to 2036 one more time, or the other side, but as far as predictions I can't say I have any - just hopes.

Carissa: Time jump. There's  no way to wrap things up satisfactorily without one. How much time I'll leave to the pros, but without skipping the small stuff, like pregnancy, birth, parenting, etc., we'll be wasting 13 episodes. I'll be happy with one "what was" episode showing how they got to the jump but now is not the time to sweat the small stuff. 

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


I love fringe so much.I ope we get more peter/olivia/walter/astrid/broyles and nina.


1. Bell /?
2. Yeah.
3. Sure.
4. Just more. 5. I said it a couple of weeks ago and for me it's important to see a future without Peter. Why this Peter and not our Peter is/was more important ? Also 2036 is really entertaining, along with the other side. Finally less dialogue and more action..


Fringe S4finale and season 4 in total was Pinkners HATEletter to Olivia Dunham.
Version A Olivia via Cortexaphan has to change in Version B Olivia for Peter to be home and fall for him and be pregnanat with him when Bell Actvates her, so that she can be killed like an animal by Walter. Abuser Bell and Abuser Walter, 2 men who destroyed and ruined Olivia Dunhams life, but she gets no scene to confront them 4.20,21,22 were Olivia Dunham episodes, but NOTHING done with her backstory, except for 2 lines at the end, once again we got Walter in st Claires, for what? Do we really have to feel sorry for him?
I am certain that Walter put some extra needles in Olivia to celebrate her 4th birthday. Fringe is now left with Walter and Peter fans, as Olivia Dunham fans are disgusted with how they ruined a brilliant character.
Anna Torv once again sacrificed for Jackosn and Noble, after S1,S2, and since Firefly SAnna awesome in each scene, having to destroy her own character over and over again.


I have every confidence in the show-runners to do it right. having a set number of episodes to finish this excellent series is a gift to a good writer, and lord know, they have good writers on Fringe.
"We definitely know where the series is going to end and how it’s going to end and what we’re saying with the final season. It’s a perfect amount of time to be done right and to be doled out in the right pace. We feel really confident that we can have a satisfying ending for us but also, of course, for our fans and supporters within the timeframe of 13 episodes. I think that’s really what we were hoping for. FOX is so great to deliver, and continues to demonstrate their incredible support."
— Co-showrunner J. H. Wyman on season five[4]

Beverly brooks

I have enjoyed every episode of Fringe. As far as the way Bell escaped, this is Fringe at its best. I feel that this way, he can reappeared next season if needed. I loved the way Walter shot Olivia knowing somehow he would be able to save her. Looking forward to next year and the grand finale.


1. The way Bell disappeared
2. Yes
4.The chimera
5. Jump to Etta's birth then a 4 year jump in the premiere and then 2036 for the rest.


While I wasn't forecasting the death thing, I was thinking that the upkick in Olivia's powers had less to do with the dosings and actually more to do with the baby and that she had already been genetically altered by the dosings and Bell was actually accessing the combined powers (Olivia's might be the causing motion and Etta's are the blocking of powers, hence, why she can block the observers). I agree we are going to have a time jump, just because I doubt they want to do the whole pregnancy thing with their last season and would rather just let the weird things that happened during it be cryptically referenced to in the story. I do wonder what effect this had on 2036, because if none, then I would say we are leaping forward four years, they last time Etta saw her parents, but I wonder since we all assumed Olivia died because of Bell, Walter was being cryptic at that point about what had happened to her. Maybe in the version of 2036 we saw, Walter had not saved Olivia and this time, maybe September's visit to Walter took place before the scene on the boat and the lemon cake.


I love Fringe and I enjoyed the season finale...but like others, I was disappointed when Bell escaped with just a ringing of the bell. I was glad that Astrid did not die; I really like her would be interesting to see her become a bit more like her counterpart on the other side. I think our view of 2036 was intended to give us clues as to how the series will end...Olivia believed dead at Bell's hand with Walter/Peter/Astrid and Bell encased in amber; with the closing scene from the 2036 episode being the opening scene for a movie version. (I hope we see more of September in the final 13 episodes)

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Fringe Season 4 Episode 22 Quotes

At least now we know how you got shot. I've seen you shot before, like this. You came to me, at the opera house. You said in every version of the future, I would have to die.


The bible tells us God created his universe in seven days. It has taken me considerably longer.

William Bell