FRINGE REVIEW: 3.22 The Day We Died – Season 3 Finale

Welcome to our Fringe review for the Season 3 Finale, chapter 3.22 – “The Day We Died”.

In this review we provide completely honest opinions on the good and the bad aspects of the episode. We identify the answers that were provided and the mysteries that remain locked away. We take an in-depth look at other aspects of the episode that made an impression on us, before rounding off with our final thoughts and episode rating.

THE GOOD

  • Moments of cinematic quality and framing. The Walternate/Peter encounter was as aesthetically pleasing as it was compelling. The intense cut from future Peter to the extreme close-up on Peter of BBM Past. Stunning.
  • Poignancy. The desire to go back and change things by essentially going forward and trying something different played well and gave the story an added dimension.
  • Mythology. I appreciate the way the First People mythology is now directly tied in with our main characters. While this is not a totally unexpected move, it played out in an intriguing way.
  • I’ve always held a keen eye for the cyclical nature of Fringe, so see it embraced in this fashion is hugely satisfying. I see this storytelling device affording our characters the ability to learn and grow as people. I further acknowledge that this process doesn’t just happen in a vacuum (so to speak); there are consequences for actions, however well-intentioned, and I find that particularly relevant.
  • Many satisfying and convincing performances. John Noble stood out with his nuanced portrayal of the two Walters, while others also delivered strong performances.
  • Musically resonating. Particularly the Dunhamnator’s funeral score. Quite possibly the best piece of music used on the show since the Newton death scene was introduced in “Do Shapeshifters Dream..”.
  • The Cliffhanger. Overall it was well executed – leaving us with plenty to about over the Lowatus. A potential game-changer that has opened up the possibilities.
THE BAD

  • The Moreau/End-of-Dayers story-thread didn’t do as much as I wanted. While it facilitated the story and provided some context for the events that unfolded, it felt underwhelming to have what was essentially a case-of-the-week storyline embedded in one of the most important mythology episodes of the season.
  • Narrow View. It didn’t help that we only got to experience key events such as the destruction of over there, Walternate’s mercy mission and, Walter’s trial (etc) through exposition. I understand why, but it took something away.
  • Conveniences. The episode felt a bit convenient at times. Walter being in jail and the timing of his release felt a bit too easy (though I appreciated the touch of having two guards on him at all times). The the wormhole as a device also felt a bit lacking in explanation and weight, especially considering its importance in the time-loop. Walternate’s method of luring Peter to his old beach house was another contrivance that was hard to overlook.
  • Uneven. Half-way through I was a bit concerned that the finale wouldn’t deliver to the level I had hoped. Given the previous two-episodes delivered a great deal of set-up, I wanted the finale to really grab me from the outset.
  • The Do-Over. While it’s quite possible that this future still exists somewhere in the time-loop, something is lost by the fact that for all intents and purposes it never happened (at least from the 2011 perspective). It almost felt like an excuse to kill Olivia without the consequences (especially since she would never get T.K.O.’d so easily if there wasn’t a delete button). Not a big complaint, but a natural consequence.
  • Crumbs for Nina. Unless she was erased from parts of my consciousness, Nina was only in one short scene. Nothing new was gleaned. Given her unexplained absence from the highly significant events in previous episode, it feels like she was added as an afterthought.
BIG MYSTERIES POSED

  • What did Peter and Broyles lose in Detroit? What happened to Broyles’ right eye?
  • Was Walternate ever captured for murdering Olivia?
  • Where did the BBM come from? How did it get inside the time-loop?
  • How did Walter draw Peter’s consciousness forward to 2026?
  • Why can’t anyone but the Observers remember Peter?
  • Where did Peter go? Why did Peter go?
  • Who took the BBM through the wormhole?
  • Is the BBM in this new branch of the timeline still made for Peter?
  • Why did so many Observers converge at the Statue of Liberty?
  • Who or what designed Peter’s “purpose”?
BIG ANSWERS

  • Our heroes are essentially inside a time-loop.
  • It’s May 2026 in the future depicted. Agent Peter Bishop is 47. He and Olivia are married.
  • Ella has only recently been promoted to Fringe Division field agent.
  • This future is shaped by Peter’s BBM-fueled destruction of the alternate universe.
  • Astrid is a Fringe field agent in the future.
  • Walter stood trial for bringing about the apocalypse.
  • The End Of Dayers are a terrorist group trying to accelerate the end of days.
  • When his universe was on the brink of destruction, Walternate came over here to ask for help. He ended up being stuck here while he world died. He’s since become a recluse, but has been working with the End-of-Dayers to bring about the destruction of his adopted world so the people over here can know what those in his world felt when they died.
  • Walter, Peter, Astrid and Ella are the First People. At some point in the time-loop, Walter sent the BBM back millions of years in the past through a wormhole in Central Park.
  • Walternate kills Olivia in the future. Her death is ‘reset’ when Peter makes a different choice inside the BBM.
  • After seeing the future, Peter decides not to destroy the alternate universe and instead joins them, creating a bridge.
  • By changing the future, Peter also changes the timeline and its conditions. Thus, Peter never existed in this timeline and the others don’t remember him.
FRINGE THOUGHTS

  • And so we begin where we left off with Peter 15 years in the future. His ‘past’ consciousness brought forward into his ‘future’ self, initially causing confusion before the observation of his future took a more backseat role.
  • The point at which Past Peter saw this future was presumably by design. Past Peter is seeing what we’re seeing. Did he have to be unconscious for this bridge between past and future to be made?
  • Peter was injured pretty badly in the vortex scramble, but those future drugs soon work their magic.
  • We find out that Ella has followed in her Aunt’s footsteps. She might be her mother’s child, but she always had a special bond with Olivia. Indeed, it was the memory of Ella that helped Olivia to reclaim her identity while trapped in the alternate universe.
  • Emily Meade did a solid job on her Fringe debut, probably enough to earn a return next season, should the story require.

  • The older, wiser version of Olivia worked for me. She LOOKS older – not so much physically (though they did a good job there), but the way she carries herself. She’s still burdened by the weight of the universe, but it clearly hasn’t got the better of her – no doubt helped by her relationship with Peter.
  • Ella reminds Peter about what he said on the field, about the BBM and being from the past. I would have thought any mention of the machine that allowed him to destroy an entire universe would draw more consideration. Aside from the fact someone had to mention it, I find it potentially interesting that Ella would bring it up.
  • As mentioned, I found the Moreau storyline a bit lacking, but it served its purpose in giving the Fringe Team something specific to chase. Brad Dourif did a good job in that short, yet grounding introduction to the state of the future. I also appreciate the similarities between the End-of-Dayers (EOD) and the pattern groups from the first season. Technology in the wrong hands – does it ever end?

  • Moreau placing his head against the door to savor the music –  a splendid touch. Though it made me wonder why he’d destroy something he loves? I guess this is something his puppet-master Walternate would know all about.
  • Walter being in jail was somewhat convenient. It seemed odd that he’d be punished while Peter and Walternate were given a slap on the wrist, if that.
  • That being said, it helped inform the events that followed Peter going  BBM – the eventual destruction of the alternate universe, the increased degradation ‘over here’, and the public outcry at his actions. This is a world that knows about the last storm.
  • But it does raise the point that Walter really should have been in jail a long time ago. Of course, the inter-reality war was all a secret back then and he was seen as the best hope for fixing what he had ‘started’.
  • All that being said, it was worth it just to see this rendition of Walter – if the St. Claire’s years had taken its toll on him then time in the slammer had almost transformed him. The physicality of John Noble’s performance here is impressive.
  • What must time and isolation done to him? To not only feel the personal, emotional guilt – but to have the world hate him and the souls of the alternate universe weigh heavy on his conscience?
  • What did this perpetual punishment do to his notion of forgiveness? What was his relationship with God like by this point?
  • He asked for his world to be saved and to be punished instead. Like the ‘white tulip’, he received it.

  • Straight away we see that Peter still loves Walter, even though he still calls him by his first name. The reciprocating hand on the glass was literally a nice touch. It’s these visuals that help make the show so iconic. You don’t always need words, sometimes it takes poise to let the the visuals fill the scene.
  • Walter provides some valuable insight into his sense of confinement:

“I heard a rumor that the sun was burning out..[they don’t tell me much in here]”

  • What to make of the fact they are STILL using Amber as the glue to hold their world together? I can believe it. I mean, Amber did the job for many years in the alternate universe – and they were at least 5-10 years ahead of ‘over here’ in terms of advancement.
  • It goes deeper than that though. Amber was forged in the mind of Walternate – a necessity brought on by the emotional and physical damage that Walter caused when he crossed over to take Peter. And it was from him that Walter got to idea to use it as a solution for his world. These ‘mini cycles’ have led us here.
  • I said it earlier in the season, but this is another example of our characters essentially creating a problem to bring about a solution – without even knowing it.
  • Peter’s mention of the discovery of a wormhole leading to the late Paleolithic era was an indication that the cyclical nature of the story was about to confirm itself as a very real process in the journey of our heroes.
  • Walter’s response: “My old self would have been fascinated with that”.  This provides a sense of his yearning to go back and start over. He’s not living in the moment. And its to be expected, he has Peter but he doesn’t really have him.
  • Which is interesting. For something to be there but not, all at the same time. It’s only a couple of levels removed from the episode’s greatest trick.

  • Broyles as senator? Makes sense. It was odd that Peter only ‘assumed’ he had been briefed about the EOD. If they’re such a massive threat – as we’re led to believe – why on Earth wouldn’t he know about their existence?
  • Peter asks Broyles for the one thing that he’s not prepared to give him. A gun? No, that’s so 2011. He wants Walter to be granted temporary release. It was interesting to get Broyles’ reaction. He knows that Walter didn’t mean to bring the world down this path, but he also understands that this very public problem needs a face.
  • Peter seemed to think Broyles was more worried about politics than saving the world. They’re coming at this from different directions, but it’s clear that both of them are tired of ‘temporary measures’. They tried that already and it hasn’t worked. It’s time to fix..
  • Again, I have to question whether Walter is really the cure? He’s an answer, but there’s another Walter out there who probably only needed to have his son understand his pain for all of this to have been avoided. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – there was another way.
  • Peter’s decision to return over here in the season 2 finale has long been a bone of contention for me. But while I don’t necessarily agree with how the pieces were moved – for me it’s also about how we get from point A to B as much as the points themselves – I can’t deny that it has created some interesting conflicts.

  • Like the earlier moment in the prison, Peter reintroducing Walter to his Lab was one that echoed the Pilot. It was touching to see Walter inquire whether Astrid would be there, only to find out that she’s now a Fringe field agent.
  • One of the most subtly poignant moments was Walter’s response to this news:

“I suppose since she’s no long caring for me she’s able to…spread her wings”

  • A great contrast to Walter’s current predicament. But I found it more contextualizing than that. This was Walter openly acknowledging that his dependence on Astrid held her back from reaching her true potential. The implication being  that he harbored this belief all along, yet for whatever reason couldn’t get out of that cycle of dependency.
  • I find this to be a great little moment, to have a character look back on the impact he had on those around him. From an audience standpoint this is another reminder that we’re no longer viewing a linear story. We never were.
  • What we’re seeing are people stuck in endless loops trying to work things out. There’s no telling how long they’ve been trying. But what we do know is that by the end of the episode they’ve moved to a different place. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
  • Walter and Olivia’s reunion was particularly heartening. You don’t get authentic moments like that without having a story and characters that people care about.
  • It was great the way Walter half-picked Olivia up and spun around, as though subconsciously aware that they are all enclosed in a loop.

  • And how interesting to see them emotionally engage on this level – openly warm and kind towards one another.
  • How much of much of this affection was instigated in their emotional coming together in the previous episode, in the “past”? Moments like this are born somewhere.
  • I really feel as though they overcame a certain barrier in “The Last Sam Weiss”, and while this moment would have worked anyway, it’s easy to see that it really works given the emotional plotting of recent episodes.
  • It’s sad to think that Walter didn’t get to attend Olivia and Peter’s wedding. I know he destroyed the universe but didn’t the authoritaaays know that he wanted to see Peter in his purple tux?
  • It’s clear that Walter approves of Peter’s choice. “I always did want a daughter”. What a lovely thing for him to say. Wish fulfillment? Quite possibly.
  • And after smashing more glass than a bull in china shop this season, wasn’t it wonderful to see Olivia’s powers in display when using her telekinesis to catch the box of fragile things:

“I learned t control it a few years ago.”

  • As I said in my previous review, it’s great to see Olivia controlling her powers – accepting those parts of her mind that are different..special. It doesn’t cancel out the years of abuse, but it’s good to see her embracing who she is – telling her own story rather than allowing it to dictate her limitations.
  • And it’s great for Walter to see her like this, to see her ‘happy’ and at ease with herself. She’s all but forgiven him through her union with Peter.
  • It’s important for Walter to know that he’s not all bad, that goodness and positivity have come from his acts. This is where Fringe has always shone, in the hope that emerges from the shadows.

  • While on a story perspective I can understand Walternate’s motivation to bring about the ‘end of days’, it would have been nice if Moreau was more fleshed out.
  • And whoever made Walternate’s hair so striking deserves a medal. It really adds a certain chill to his character.

“It wont be long, ’til this world joins mine”

  • A powerful line, delivered with menace and contempt for the air he breathes. If Walternate wasn’t so bad, I think I’d love him. I find him supremely interesting.
  • Speaking of Walternate, he still seems relatively well-off. Was he given reparations after his universe was destroyed? Did he move in with one of his shapeshifters for company?
  • Walter acknowledges that “you may stop this group, but you cannot stop the inevitable”. Walter is playing a defeatist role here, while Peter is still fighting fate.

Walter: “Our destiny was set the day we triggered the BBM. I didn’t understand it until it was too late, that our two worlds were inextricably linked. Without one, the other simply cannot exist”

  • As I’ve pointed out before, this notion of only one world being able to survive always felt like something we had to accept based on contrivance. All Peter had to do was talk to Walternate about the problem. Not an unrealistic expectation. But to have Peter do this would have obstructed this particular plot.
  • So Walter only realizing this after the event doesn’t quite work for me, though he is lyrically on form:

“When their world was destroyed, that was the day we sealed our fate. For all intents and purposes, that was the day we died”

  • Fringe excels whenever time is involved – especially now that our experience of the time-lines has expanded. But I also found it effective because it ties in with my interpretation that there are certain moments within fate that allow for freewill.

  • Peter feels the weight of Walter’s words. He was the man driving the BBM at the time. Walter took the brunt (and rightly so), while the courts “perceived” that Peter was acting to protect his world. I would agree with that to an extent, but I find it difficult to accept that Peter shouldn’t take more of the blame. Should he (or anyone) get away with destroying an entire universe?
  • For me it’s not a case of Blue Vs Red – it’s a case of humanity. Just because the people ‘over here’ happened to fall on the ‘right side of the line’, does that mean they are incapable of feeling great sympathy and discomfort at the thought of the other side’s destruction?
  • Calling it a “war” doesn’t do it for me, because most of the people involved didn’t even know they were engaged in combat, let alone know the existence of an alternate world. I have to maintain that Peter and the Fringe Team should have done more to protect EVERYONE. The few who have the power to do something positive for the common good must go at that objective 100%.
  • Both the show and the audience often talk about the ‘hubris’ of Walter and Walternate, but we shouldn’t ignore Peter’s Pride here.
  • This is partly why I enjoy Walternate. He’s so invested in solving problems that he’s almost the main protagonist of season 3!
  • That said, I don’t pin the blame on Peter exclusively. As I said, they’re all trying to work out their stuff. If you want to take it a level further, you could almost consider the entire story as the problem-solving exercise of one person.
  • Peter tells Walter: “No matter who’s at fault, you’re my dad”. Wow. I’m happy for the two of them, but I can’t help but feel awful for Walternate.
  • I love the father/son story as much as anyone. I think it’s the very heart of this journey. But it doesn’t make sense to me that he’d be so forgiving and understanding towards Walter, yet so distant and cold towards his biological father.
  • And not because of that blood connection, but because Walternate really is one of the prime victims in all of this. There’s a point to be made all day long about the connections people make being more important than DNA – I’m totally at ease with that. But Peter’s reaction towards Walternate doesn’t seem fair.
  • Perhaps Mother’s words in the 80s have played a part – all that ‘make-believing‘ fixing itself in place to the point where his emotions towards his “past life” are now unable to really surface?
  • It shouldn’t be forgotten that for a time Peter really rejected Walter, which I acknowledge. But having learned to forgive and accept one, you’d think he could do more as far as Walternate is concerned.

  • It was interesting to get more insight on Walternate’s journey and how he survived the destruction of his universe. What was it like for him to come over here, tail between legs and cap in hand? Is he a hero for having such humility, or a coward for not sinking with his ship? And Walter actually feels sorry for him, which is a bit of a breakthrough.
  • It was touching to see Walter’s reaction to Peter calling him “dad”. It only took him 15 years, but it was duly received.
  • Peter leaves Walter a bunch of Red Vines. It’s all about memory – another device for Walter and the audience, allowing us to consider time as a sensation rather than just a series of fixed points.
  • We see further evidence of how Olivia has grown over the years. Her demeanor is different. I liked her interaction with Peter.
  • Olivia wants to have a child with Peter but she doesn’t want to bring that child into this world – which is understandable. Her world is falling apart and then there’s all that stuff she went through as a child – can she guarantee that history wont repeat itself? Which makes me wonder whether Peter knows about Baby Henry?
  • How did Walternate know the key would be given straight to Peter? How did he count on Peter not telling Olivia and bringing her along with him? And HOW ABOUT THAT? Peter still keeping secrets from Liv – it’s like the shapeshifters all over again! ;)
  • What did we learn about Astrid in this episode? Oh, that’s she’s too nice. I’m not sure what to do with that. I found it weird that they conveyed this idea by giving a random red-shirt a spoken line.
  • I guess it helps inform the sense that the characters haven’t really changed all that much.
  • In general, I’d like to see more character from Astrid – the kind that doesn’t forget when people stab her in the neck. She’s gotten a lot more screen-time this season, which is truly great, but I feel there’s more actual character development to be had.

  • The Peter v Walternate face-off was a great scene! It’s moments like this why you build an alternate universe, why you invest in serialized stories and develop characters.
  • Funnily enough my first reaction when  seeing Walternate was that he was a projection – I kid you not. Those suspicions soon evaporated as I became entrenched in this wonderful scene.
  • Although Walternate is essentially sneering Peter, I also take this as his last cry for help – one final chance for Peter to see him as someone who was wronged.

Walternate: “I couldn’t just call you”

Peter: Yes, you could have”

Walternate: “Not if I wanted the proper reunion that we both so richly deserve”

  • I struggle to see why should Walternate have to be the one to get Peter’s attention? Peter knows what happened yet he all but leaves Walternate to rot – an unwelcome member of the OTHER love triangle.
  • Peter calls both Walters “brilliant”, but places the positive weight on Walter’s side. It’s easy to see why Walternate would be upset. Peter calls them “ying and yang” and Walternate takes the words right out of my head:

“That’s interesting. Interesting that you should say that..ying and yang. Ying and yang. One man broke the universe, the other man did nothing, but have his son stolen, his life stolen and ruined. I came over here at the end, on a mission of mercy, to ask for help for my side. The race was lost – the race I didn’t initiate, but still I came. And you destroyed us Peter. MY SON! You destroyed your own people.

Peter: “You activated the BBM on your side. You were going to use it to destroy this universe. I only acted in self defense.”

  • I can see Walternate’s point here, it’s refreshing to hear him tell Peter how he feels because someone has to let him know that there’s more than one side to this story. Peter’s response is not without merit though, and Walternate seems to recognize this as he goes silent for a short while before going off on a tangent.
  • I love details like this because you can almost read Walternate through what he doesn’t say. He knows there’s a kernel of truth there that he can’t defend in isolation, so he travels down the next emotional branch that he needs to get out of his system:

Do you know what its like to wake up and just for a moment, think that everything is as it was? And to realize that it’s not. That the nightmare you had was real?”

  • It’s a great question given the context of this episode where loops and cycle permeate.
  • Walternate is conveying a very believable state of mind, one that everyone has at some point or another – those waking moments when someone comes out of a slumber, unsure of whether they are dreaming or awake.
  • To know that Walternate experiences this kind of disorientation before having the brief hope snatched from him each morning. Well, that’s the kind of character monologue I’ve been asking for.
  • We’re still being invited to consider the nature of ‘reality’ here – by the time the episode ends we’d have an even better sense of why.

Walternate: “Soon everyone here will experience loss the same way those Over There did. Air. Water. Light, even. But you. You’ll experience loss the way I did.”

Peter: “What does that mean?”

Walternate: “You destroyed my universe, son – and I’m going to destroy yours. But not all at once.”

  • Walternate associates ‘universe’ with representing the internal, as well as the external.

  • Interesting that the wormhole knocked those in the vicinity unconscious. What must it be like to travel through one of those things? Perhaps we’ll get to find out before all is said and done.
  • Peter explains why he came alone (even though he didn’t know who had invited him).

“..I’m sorry for the suffering that I’ve caused you. I’m sorry for destroying your people. ..OUR people. I’m sorry for destroying our world. And if I could take back that choice, I would. But it’s no excuse for what you’re doing now, and it has to stop.”

  • Peter doesn’t convince me here. I believe that he’s sorry on some level, but he’s far too in control for someone who has killed 6 billion people. He also acknowledges that it was a ‘choice’, which I didn’t expect him to admit. It’s interesting that he doesn’t see over there as being ‘his people’, only in afterthought does he correct himself – probably more for Walternate’s sake than his own belief.
  • My appreciation for Peter has grown in recent episodes, but my heart goes out to Walternate. He’s a maniac, but none more so than Walter. What we’re seeing with this man is Walter without those support systems, those crutches that people need to fall back on – friends, family, hope, love, ignorance even.
  • As I’ve said before, the two men are the same in all but experience (and even that has bleed-through). Peter is interesting in that he doesn’t have a living double – there’s no counter-weight for us to compare him with, so it’s important that he acts with fairness and balance.
  • We shouldn’t forget that Peter felt used by Walternate when he asked him to look at the BBM component. This is a viable factor in his subsequent actions, but only up to a point. We should also consider that perhaps Peter’s is wired with specific boundaries – ones that take less kindly to perceived opportunism than abduction.
  • He may consider that Walter at least crossed universes for him? Perhaps. But by the same token he should also consider that maybe Walter crossed universes for himself. If not for his biological son and the memories, the pain, the pride that would not allow him to watch IT happen again.
  • It’s murky and on some level I can understand why Peter would rather not face up to this issues. But again, the onus and the opportunity is on him to bring balance, to not be like his father – either of them – and to bring people together rather than divide up the people who love him simply for existing and enriching their lives.
  • Anyway, Peter gets out the handcuffs he and Olivia have fun with and has orders Walternate to put them on. He calls him “father”, which is interesting. One he calls “dad”, the other “father”.

  • Walternate admits he might not resist being able to kill Peter – if he was really there. I can believe his character motivation better here than I could in “6:02 AM EST”.
  • Peter’s reaction to the Projection Walternate reveal is priceless. He never was good at recognizing the ‘REAL’ version of a person. ;)
  • Despite my feelings on how crappy Peter has been towards Walternate, it’s not for him to teach Peter “about loss” – not like this, not by touching a hair on the Dunhamnator.
  • It’s a shame she hadn’t mastered how to catch bullets with her mind. Though in fairness, Walternate didn’t give her much time to react. A heinous and cowardly act.
  • All Olivia has done is try to protect her side and try to help his (admittedly, she didn’t break a neck to do it). Heck, she even gave him the tip-off regarding his son’s whereabouts. Perhaps, in retrospect, he would have rather not known to be saved the pain?
  • The fact that this future may never have happened by the end of the episode takes some (Ok ALOT) of the grief away, but we must still recognize the passing of Fringe’s First Lady:

  • RIP Olivia. Forged in the rings of Saturn, you leaped from a dang roof and into my heart. You called him PETAH! You helped burn Harris good. You travelled dreams and realities. You held on to hope when there was none. You forgave when the battle was uncertain. You eight toast like a boss. You were a boss to little Ella, but a mentor at heart. You knocked a few back, but you were always often on the front-line pushing and probing. You smashed a lot of glass. So much glass. You were two-fisted and one-handed. Goodbye Dunhamnator.
  • Walternate’s reaction – do we see traces of guilt or is he spooked by the ‘smile’ on Olivia’s face?

  • Olivia funeral was pretty moving. The reactions from those who loved her were well conveyed. There was no need for words – Peter would have probably screwed it up anyway. In all seriousness, I enjoyed the volume being pulled down.
  • It was good to see Peter eventually break down. Tears aren’t always necessary but I felt they were due because he’s a character who guards his emotions well. Perhaps too well at times. The death of Olivia, his wife, his soul-mate, is the time when we need to see how much this loss means to him. I could have done with more emotion, but it was good to see his grief along with a bit of anger.

  • What followed was a nice little scene between Walter and Ella. It was perhaps too much of him to expect Ella to cast her mind back to happier times when she used to call him “Uncle Walter”, but you can see why time was on his mind. It reminded me of “Momentum Deferred”, when Bellie reminded Olivia how she used to call him “Willum”. Ella’s reaction here is similar to Olivia’s, if a little less spiky.
  • Ella claims not to remember much before things got really bad, yet she recalls the fairytale from “Brown Betty” where she was the arbiter of hope:

“There aren’t any happy endings nowadays are there?”

  • I totally accept Ella’s resistance. Caught between resentment and compassion, it was ultimately nice to see her suck it up and share a positive memory with Walter:

Ella: “I remember the cow that stayed over there. She had kind eyes”

Walter: “She did, didn’t she? My Gene. I do miss her”

  • This happy memory coincides with Walter realizing that he sent the BBM back through time through the wormhole in Central Park.
  • He tells Peter that they can undo everything – the destruction of the other universe, Olivia’s death – they can cheat the rules of time if Peter makes a different choice in 2011.

  • Peter plays the audience and asks him why he just doesn’t choose not to send the BBM back.
  • It’s a paradox – Walter says has no choice but to send the BBM back since he’s already done it. Plus, something would happen to compel him to send it back. He has no choice but to do it again.
  • He tells Peter that he can change things within the events that have already played out. He just needs to draw his past consciousness forward so can see what the future will be like if he makes the same choice.
  • Walter has a vague idea on how this can be done and says that it might already be happening. As we know, it is happening – back in 2011 Peter is witnessing these events.
  • He says that “If anything goes wrong, Olivia can be our fail-safe”. An interesting thing to say given the proximity of such fail-safe activity.
  • It’s almost haunting to hear Walter have such joy over the possibility of ‘cheating the rules of time’. Given that this is the same man who once warned Alistair Peck of the consequences of time-travel, and sought the forgiveness of God for cheating the rules of nature, it’s interesting to see that all of that..all of it, has led him to this point.
  • Of course, we’re dealing with a circular system so there’s no real sense of beginning and end, only repetition. It’s fascinating.
  • Walter and Peter soon consider to repercussions of this plan. They’re at the point in the loop where they know all about the weight of cause and effect, but they don’t know what will happen if they’re successful. As we’d soon see, they’d create an alternative branch in the timeline.
  • Walter, who I sense is even more damaged that it seems on the surface, touches his son’s face and suggests that the cost, “can’t be worse than this”.
  • Do they have a right to make this decision for the entire population? They may argue that it’s already happened so they’re just seeing if they can create something new within the predestined cycle. Even so, this kind of thinking is somewhat reckless.
  • Peter closes his eyes and seals his decision: “what would I need to do?”
  • It’s interesting to consider the rest of this conversation and the preparation that went into providing Past Peter with this vision of the future. Not to mention the actual going back millions of years in time (whoever that was), BBM and all.

  • We cut back to the past and Peter’s joy is immediate when he sees that Walter was right, Olivia is alive! Of course she is, the future hasn’t happened yet from their linear perspective of time. It plays as though ‘fail-safe Olivia’ deactivates the BBM as she moves towards Peter.
  • Peter quickly gets to work on ensuring that the version of the future he just glimpsed never happens (except, in a sense it has already happened because it led to the past which led to this moment). He knows that if he can save both worlds by joining them together he can knock the timeline down a different path.
  • Meanwhile, in the alternate universe Walternate’s plan has backfired. Peter’s use of the BBM over here is causing his world to collapse even faster than before. Altlivia, who’s definitely not in ‘mother mode’, mocks him and almost seems to relish the chance to die as long as she can watch Walternate burn with her.
  • It was strange to see Walternate ask Altlivia to bend it like Dunham. Clearly she doesn’t have a connection with the BBM. He must have known the prophesy was referencing Olivia. A plot contrivance to bring Altlivia into position for the cliffhanger.
  • Peter’s symbiotic connection to the BBM enables him to join the two universes, instead of destroying over there. He has observed what kind of future such an act would bring, so he musters all his will and imagination to join both worlds, not quite realizing the personal consequences this would entail.
  • It’s spooky-fantastic the way they all stand around gawking at one another. At this point they still remember Peter and the their timeline.

  • As Walter and Walternate prepare to scratch each others eyes out, Peter delivers his final speech:
  • He tells Walter that the BBM came from them – they are the First People. He knows alot, he’s just not sure who took the BBM back through time. Possibly important detail that.
  • Turning to the father he suddenly seems to have a smidgen more affection for as a result of his broadened perspective, he tells Walternate that he’s seen Boomsday and that it’s worse than anything he could possibly imagine.

“This isn’t a war that can be won. Our two worlds are inextricable. If one side dies, we all die. So I’ve torn holes in both the universes, and they lead here. To this room – a bridge, so that we can begin to work together to fix..

  • And in the blink of an eye, Peter disappears – deleted from their consciousness, the timeline and the events that led them to this point altered as a result of Peter not existing.
  • Why did Peter vanish? For one thing he changed the future they would have had. Though that future may still play out in some sense, Peter has now put them on a different course. Instead of going left, they’re now going right.

  • By making this change, Peter changed the conditions of the timeline. Like the two universes, it’s quite possible that Peter was inextricably linked to the BBM. With a different set of circumstances created, it’s possible that the purpose of the BBM has also changed.
  • Therefore, if the BBM is not attuned to Peter in this branch of time, it’s reasonable to think that Peter can’t exist – as the September says, “he served his purpose”.
  • The BBM was Peter’s fate – remove or fulfill that fate and there is no ‘purpose’. As we saw with Dana Gray, once purpose is fulfilled, one can move on.
  • Of course, that’s just one possible reason why Peter disappeared. We still don’t know what exactly happened in the future after that scene. Walter’s plan worked, but did he make any other realizations along the way? Is Peter’s disappearance actually part of a larger plan?
  • We get a sense of what this ‘new’ timeline is like when Walter and Walternate square off. Walter still went on the shatter Walternate’s universe, calling it “an accident”. The education of the future removed, Walter blames Walternate for retaliating.

  • Perhaps my favorite line of the episode, Olivia picks up Peter’s train of thought (subconscious recognition? Perhaps):

“Whatever you’ve both done, we’re here now. So maybe it’s time we start to fix it.”

  • There’s a tremendous peace in that line: “we’re here now”. It’s as if she’s saying: “we’ve come to this new place together. It’s not perfect, but we’ve made it. We owe it to ourselves and those we’ve lost to fix the problem once and for all”. That’s my sense of Olivia’s unwitting subtext.
  • There’s a slight difference in Olivia. There’s a calmness.
  • Is she still a Cortexiphan soldier? Possibly. Altlivia could be Cortexiphaned in this timeline. We don’t know, but we do know that similar events have occurred even without Peter living it with them. Different reasons for crossing over, different reasons for our characters to come together.
  • Touching again on the final scene, I find it really interesting that once again the events that have occurred aligned with September’s vision. December once again gives him props. He correctly perceived what would happen, just as he did when he saw that Walter would sacrifice Peter under the right conditions.
  • I find this interesting because September is the Observer who has an intimate understanding of our heroes’ nature beyond what the other Observers can see. So if he’s guiding them down a certain path, then he himself becomes extremely important.
  • I don’t think we should rule out the possibility that the Observers are working for our very own First People.
FINAL THOUGHT

“The Day We Died” was a good episode for the first 20 or so minutes, then it turned into the energizing, compelling and satisfying season finale that I hoped we’d see.

It wasn’t perfect, but like our heroes we’ve quite possibly been BBM’d to a different path – a freshly-squeezed branch of experience. I for one am looking forward to seeing just where this wormhole might lead.

Fear not Peter, we will find you if it’s the last thing we..

Best Performer: John Noble.

Best Line: “We’re here now..” – Olivia to her First People.

Best Moment: Peter vanishing.

Episode Rating: 9/10

Seriable

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Related: Guide To The Fringe Season 3 Finale Head-Scratchers

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Comments

  1. Altair says

    No no, the best line was this one by Walternate:

    “You know Peter, if I was really there i might not be able to resist killing you.”

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    • says

      That’s a great line! It was second or third on my list. There were quite a few great lines in this one.

      I went for Olivia’s line partly because of the meaning – “we’re here now” – I think that plays on some great levels. But also because of the delivery.

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  2. DPF says

    Fantastic, comprehensive review. Analysis like this draws me deeper into the show, and makes me want to engage more with the online fandom. For the record, I thought the finale was brilliant, and I have absolute faith that they’ll pay it off in S4. Cannot wait.

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  3. says

    As usual, an excellent read. I love re-watching, once I’ve read your reviews, and picking up the things I missed the first time around. Thanks Roco.

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  4. K says

    You know, I’m not a guy who reads a lot of bliggity-blogs and uninteresting opinions, but I really look forward to reading this one. I thank you for your insights all season. It has enhanced my enjoyment of this very excellent show. Thanks again.

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  5. RebeccaHall says

    I enjoyed your review Roco but I am not sure about the Peter couldn’t tell that walternate was a hologram jab. Was there honestly a reason why Peter should have known that? I’m sure a lot of people didn’t know either, I didn’t know.

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    • says

      Oh, I’m not saying that he should have known (I agree, how could he?) – I’m just commenting on the fact that he didn’t. I think it’s a interesting theme in general, given what happened earlier in the season.

      Cheers!

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  6. Cortexifan says

    Roco.
    Awesome review. I used to ask my Fringies at work: Is it Friday yet? (IIFY?)
    Now I’m asking: Is it September yet? (IISY?)
    Please keep us informed over the way too long lowatus.

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  7. says

    Questions, questions, questions! So, if no one “remembers” Peter then the respective Peters died in each universe as a child right? So why did September distract Walternate in the original timeline? Have the last three seasons been an effort to fix what September has wrought. It certainly lets Walter off the hook. (And it explains why September looked so “thrilled” at the end.)
    But if Walternate is undistracted red-verse Peter lives right?

    I doubt J. Jackson is off the show so he has to “exist” somewhere. Is he back in the “yellow-verse” future observing the subtle changes to his time line as the two parties in the past make progress together or fail to do so?

    Other points…
    > I’m starting to think the Observers don’t so much as move through time as it changes around them.
    > Do you think future Walter had pieces of past Walters brain removed so as to not disrupt everything he was trying to fix. I.e. past Walter may have become aware of the future through “Brain Porting” etc.
    > I wonder if Walternate “Brain Ported” or traveled to the future bringing all that tech to his past only to have Bellie steal it from him.
    > You’re right Roco, John Noble can really bring it in the acting category. He certainly can do evil. It recalls his evil stint as “Denethor” from The Return of the King. Oddly enough Denethor wanted his son, Faramir, to suffer greatly (dead in fact) as Walternate wanted Peter the same. Eerie.

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    • says

      “So, if no one “remembers” Peter then the respective Peters died in each universe as a child right? So why did September distract Walternate in the original timeline? Have the last three seasons been an effort to fix what September has wrought. It certainly lets Walter off the hook. (And it explains why September looked so “thrilled” at the end.)
      But if Walternate is undistracted red-verse Peter lives right?”

      That’s a possibility. That both Peter’s died from the childhood illness, or some other happening.

      Another possibility is that Peter never (ever) exited in this branch of time. That’s to say he wasn’t born.

      “Do you think future Walter had pieces of past Walters brain removed so as to not disrupt everything he was trying to fix. I.e. past Walter may have become aware of the future through “Brain Porting” etc.”

      That’s an interesting suggestion. While there appears to be an answer for Walter’s brain surgery, I wouldn’t rule it out. One of Future Walter’s biggest threats (to his plan) is surely himself.

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      • NDRS says

        Sorry for my bad english i’m from Ecuador(Latinamerica), excelent blog by the way.

        I remenber in the second season Newton destroy walter pieces of brain that belly took from him, if i worng sorry at least the doubt it will gone.

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  8. Underseer says

    Just from a scientific point of view, this is, to the best of my understanding, how physicists view time and causality:

    Paradoxes created by time travellers is resolved by the Universe ‘splitting off’ into a new universe. So Peter did not – and according to physicists cannot – vanish from existence. He can only vanish from our Universe into another, new universe created by the event that obliterated him from our ‘verse.

    Frankly I still don’t see how this resolves the paradox in the originating Universe, but the multiverse is mainstream theory in quantum physics.

    Sam Weiss’s comment about the Universe somehow ‘course correcting’ is what some opposing theories propose. The idea is that there is some unknown aspect to physics and time that will always ‘intervene’ to prevent paradoxes.

    As Nature abhors a vacuum, perhaps Time abhors a paradox.

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    • TenisonJr says

      Although I don’t know what exactly “abhors” mean – I’m brazilian, don’t understand everything in english yet ^^ -, this frase has its strength… I just thought in September saying it with all that observerish lack of expression.

      I am also happy that I think as the most part of the scientists. In the guide to the S3 finale made by Roco I post the following:

      “That future that Peter conciousness was transferred to did happen in that timeline. They sent the machine back in time and once it can’t be destroyed its parts were only separated. Great, but they can’t previne that that timeline were destroyed, because – I think – you just can’t come back to the past in the same timeline” – and changing it, I forgot to put this idea in the original – “without erasing the part of the timeline that you left behind and, with it, erasing yourself. […] BUT Peter stills exists in a different timeline where he couldn’t create the bridge between worlds (…) where he is trapped inside the machine.”

      The problem with the course-correcting theory is that, for it becomes true, the time-traveler have to make a different choice when he comes to the past, then the future he witnessed… wait. Houston whe have a problem

      If the time-traveler just witness the future, like Peter did, then it makes possible for him to make a different choice, with no problem, ’cause he witnessed just a possibility becoming true.

      But, if the time-traveler came from the future to the past and tries to change it, then the course-correcting theory acts, because with the changing his future won’t exist in that timeline, then he could never come back to that past to change the future. With the past remaining the same, he still would try to come back and change it, and there is our paradox.

      The time-loop would just be posible if all the time-line, or part of it, could only exist with the time traveling. One good example is presented in Harry Potter and The Prizoner of Azkaban, where he and Hermione just can travel back in time because they already did it, and their travel led then to the part of the history when they have to travel.

      But in that example, the characthers aren’t in a time-loop continuum (the time-loop continues forever, but each version of the characthers just make it one time), different from the machine, that it’s always time-looping ’cause was sent to the past before the first human being, before any decisions need to be made and different futures being created.

      OMG! Suddenly Fibonacci spirals come to my mind, paradox inside paradox, inside paradox… theories inside theories inside theories…

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  9. augusta says

    Loved reliving the finale through your review, Roco. Fantastic read.

    Enjoyed the comment about Olivia and Walter’s hug — a reflection of the loop that they are in…

    I’m interested to see how the two Olivias deal with each other — what their history is in this timeline, and how cortexiphan and the walters… fit in.

    Also — do you think that Walter already knew, on some level, that Peter would be x’d out? The way he touches his face… I got the sense that he knew he was losing Peter all over again.. that this is was really the ultimate loss he was being prepared for. Or maybe the touch was just a comment on the loss that he was experiencing in this moment — that Peter was there but not, as you suggested. I wonder about this, because throughout Fringe, Walter always seemed to have more knowledge than he was sharing, even if he wasn’t sharing it with himself either!

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    • says

      Cheers augusta! Glad you enjoyed it.

      “I’m interested to see how the two Olivias deal with each other — what their history is in this timeline, and how cortexiphan and the walters… fit in.”

      Yes, I’m very curious to see the differences and similarities between the characters and conditions in this timeline. It’s potentially fascinating.

      “Also — do you think that Walter already knew, on some level, that Peter would be x’d out? The way he touches his face… I got the sense that he knew he was losing Peter all over again.. that this is was really the ultimate loss he was being prepared for. Or maybe the touch was just a comment on the loss that he was experiencing in this moment — that Peter was there but not, as you suggested. I wonder about this, because throughout Fringe, Walter always seemed to have more knowledge than he was sharing, even if he wasn’t sharing it with himself either!”

      I didn’t quite read it that way, but that’s a very interesting perspective. I took it as Walter’s realization that the price of attempting this change could cost him Peter. I think he touched his face because Peter’s the one thing he doesn’t want to lose.

      I don’t think he knew for sure at this point, otherwise I’m not sure he’d say “it can’t be worse than this”. But as you touched on, there’s often the sense that the simultaneously occurring timelines bring with them a kind of unconscious awareness of the repeating cycles.

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  10. Peter Bishop Must Die says

    So what’s up with Man X? Olivia said he was the man that was going to kill her, and yet Walternate was the one to kill her. Now that their futures have changed, will Man X be the one to kill her this time? Or, now that their futures have changed, will he have nothing to do with it? If so, what was the point of him?

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    • says

      I think Man X will come into play. As you mentioned, Walternate killed Olivia in the ‘A’ timeline. This has since been reset, in some sense, by Peter who brought them to a new place by making a different choice. So while Olivia dies at the hands of Walternate in the ‘A’ timeline, she could still meet a grizzly end at the hands of Mr. X in this new ‘B’ branch of time.

      I think that’s what the writers are going for, and it would possibly say something about Olivia’s ability that she was aware of the new timeline prior to Peter taking them there in the linear sense.

      I think to drop Man X without any explanation would be poor form, but I don’t think they’ll do that. I expect to see him in some guise.

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    • Darth Kate says

      i still think Man x is out for altliv rather than olivia. they found him in the red zepplin…

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  11. KLA says

    Roco- you saved the best for last. Well done. Loved the line about Peter and not recognizing Walternate as a projection!!!!

    I have enjoyed each and every review this year and wanted to say ‘THANK YOU” for the hours of amusement and the mental gymnastics. I can’t wait for season 4.

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    • TenisonJr says

      “I have enjoyed each and every review this year and wanted to say ‘THANK YOU” for the hours of amusement and the mental gymnastics. I can’t wait for season 4.”+1

      Consider your words borrowed and used ^^

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    • Owl says

      Thank you for saying that KLA…the thank you for the mental gymnastics and amusement…perfectly said. THANKS from me too, Roco.

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  12. kira says

    Your analysis of every episode is always very insightful, Thanks for writing it!.

    It was a good season finale, however I’m still a bit indifferent to it.
    Yes, we got some answers, more Walternate, Beautiful Olivia x 3, and all the aspects that you mention. But for me, something missed (not Peter), I don’t know what exactly. I’ll be waiting Season 4.

    By the way the captions are very funny, e. g. (“The sick SOB. I still love him”) and the previous one (“The BBM turned her back on me. She said I don’t know who she really is”) ROFL. [And the list is growing, Peter].

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    • says

      Thanks kira.

      I can understand that. There have been episodes like that for me this season. Glad you’ll hang in there for the journey as that’s the most important thing.

      Oh, and it still surprises me that people read the captions. I do them as a little bonus thinking that hardly anyone will notice them, so I’m glad you enjoy them. :)

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  13. Schwakamole says

    Excellent review Roco! LOVED the purple tuxedo comment!

    I just have to comment, because it seems no one else has mentioned/noticed it, that Walter had a stroke at some point. He was talking out one side of his mouth – even through the beard you can see it! – and that is why he gave Olivia the one-sided hug. He must have used novocain to do it since it’s done amazingly well. Interestingly, Walternate did not suffer the same fate.

    Also, when Walternate asks Peter if he knows what it’s like to wake up and realize it isn’t a dream, I felt was interesting given that Peter knows EXACTLY how that feels – that’s what he lived when he as little and brought over here. So even while daddy-o is feeling all alone and bitter, he’s talking to the only person in the world who really does know how he feels. I was disappointed that this wasn’t the moment where Walternate softened.

    Loved your RIP too!

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    • says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Schwakamole.

      “I just have to comment, because it seems no one else has mentioned/noticed it, that Walter had a stroke at some point. He was talking out one side of his mouth – even through the beard you can see it!”

      Good point. I think you’re right there. The ‘physicality’ of that performance was great.

      “Also, when Walternate asks Peter if he knows what it’s like to wake up and realize it isn’t a dream, I felt was interesting given that Peter knows EXACTLY how that feels – that’s what he lived when he as little and brought over here. So even while daddy-o is feeling all alone and bitter, he’s talking to the only person in the world who really does know how he feels. I was disappointed that this wasn’t the moment where Walternate softened.”

      Very nice! It’s those underlying connections and experiences that they share. I wish they’d come together, walk in each others shoes for a while. They’d be amazed.

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      • SF says

        I find it really interesting Roco that you think Peter should make the move to healing with Walternate, when Walternate was going to destroy the world Peter chose to live in, that contained the woman he loved. I think Peter is right to be angry with his father, because Walternate, even when faced with knowing Peter is all right, safe and happy, chooses to proceed with using the machine to destroy the world Peter is in. That’s what Peter understands and can’t forgive in his father. Yes, the world is falling apart – and literally is now, in both. I wish we had seen when Walternate had crossed over again, asking for help to save his world – what happened to change his mind and ask for help? what did the machine not do – not work, so he was faced with utter destruction? How compelling is that, that in the final moment, Walternate goes to ask for help? I would like to have seen the two Walters facing each other at that moment, and what it does to both of them. Maybe we will still get it, in the room Peter has created for them. The irony is, that Peter gives it to him, only not in the way anyone expects, by building that bridge/room. Walter and Walternate could never find their way to one another, Peter had to do it for them. And that I find tremendously moving, and shows how much Peter grew as a character through the series.

        I do think that Walternate has never given any credit to Peter for having survived with his sanity intact in the alt world, and has never asked him what it was like. I think if Walternate had seen Peter as a real person, too, then he would not have said about the living nightmare/dream he experiences every day, or maybe would really have asked Peter, if this was what it was like for him after he was kidnapped. Maybe this is what neither of them is able to do, is see each other as people. So they get ‘images’ of each other only as reflections of how they are perceiving one another.

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  14. nathan says

    Wonderful review. I too noticed the shift in Olivia when peter vanished… and the Olivia’s older self in the future was wonderfully played. I am completely in love with the dynamics that the big three have.

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  15. Page 48 says

    I was hoping we might see mercury ooze out of future Olivia’s “right-between-the-eyes” head wound. Ha, that was probably their backup cliffhanger.

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  16. Gene the Cow says

    Roco, this is perhaps your best review I have read. Your insights are quite amazing and dare se insightful :) I was especially caught by your repeated theme that Peter had an alternative path, multiple times, that he never pursued in reasoning with and trying to engage Walternate.

    In some way, Peter’s lack of trust and disdain for Walternate at points this season mimics his relationship with Walter during the early episodes of Season 1, where he begrudgingly was around taking care of Walter out of the hospital because he had too. And he couldn’t wait to get done whatever he had to so he would be free from the obligation. It is like Peter is so takenaback by Walternate that he likewise wants to wash his hands of him.

    Thanks again for a stellar review!
    Gene the now extinct cow (perhaps Gene likewise accomplished his purpose, providing a few nice steaks for people in Walter’s absence).

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    • says

      That’s very kind-eyes of your Gene, thanks!

      “In some way, Peter’s lack of trust and disdain for Walternate at points this season mimics his relationship with Walter during the early episodes of Season 1, where he begrudgingly was around taking care of Walter out of the hospital because he had too. And he couldn’t wait to get done whatever he had to so he would be free from the obligation. It is like Peter is so takenaback by Walternate that he likewise wants to wash his hands of him.”

      I agree. It’s a similar cycle. And now neither Walter gets the boy in this ‘new’ timeline. At least for now. There are interesting story dynamics in mootion. :)

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  17. Geoff says

    I still don’t see any reason for Peter to not be a part of the timeline. If he prevented his birth, sure. But 2011 is after his birth.

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    • Dc says

      I’m with you. I still can’t “accept” or wrap my brain around how he never exisited in that timeline. It is just not adding up for me.

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    • says

      Geoff. I see what you’re saying, however it might help to not think of time as running in a straight line. My understanding is that past, present, future are all essentially happening at the same time in “Fringe”.

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      • SF says

        I have to say that after a week of thinking this through and reading everyone’s comments on both sites and watching the episode twice, I STILL think that Peter lives in that timeline up until that moment. I don’t understand how he can’t ever have existed in it, AND one key point is that who would get custody of Walter from St Clair’s – presumably he still ends up in there when ‘Fringe’ opens, and if everything is the same in both universes except Peter doesn’t exist, would it be the Fringe department who takes control of Walter? Or would Elizabeth on our side still be alive, because she never had to deal with the loss of a son and the deception to the second son? I know it sounds nitpicking, but even if time is ‘timey-wimey’ wobbly stuff, it still has rules that must be obeyed. I am fascinated by this storyline and what has happened to Peter, I just disagree that he has completely disappeared from this timeline and never existed in it. Uh-uh. There’s more to this than any of us know yet……

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        • nora says

          Elizabeth alive on our side too – I like the idea. I would REALLY like that in this new situation.

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  18. mlj102 says

    Well Roco, we’ve certainly had our differences of opinion over the years (can I really say years — has it really been that long?) but I have to say, I think this one takes the cake. And the ironic thing is that it all stems from something towards which I think we have very similar perspectives. I just think you’re taking it a bit too far. And I’m going to apologize in advance, because I have a lot to respond to, and I’m probably going to repeat myself a lot, but here goes.

    So I’m just going to cut right to the point. You’ve certainly made it clear this season that you are in “camp Walternate”. And I can understand that. I’ve argued in Walternate’s defense on numerous occasions myself. I agree that he was wronged. I agree that his reaction is very much in line with how I would have expected Walter to react if the roles were reversed. I agree that his actions have been understandable based on his experiences and his perspective. But I think you’re taking it to the extreme. Reading your review, you were very open in pointing the finger of blame and responsibility on Walter, Peter, and even Olivia to a small extent. But there is little if any mention of Walternate’s role in all of what has happened. You make him out to be nothing more than a victim, an innocent bystander. Even after his heartless action of murdering Olivia with no hesitation and no seeming regret, the only criticism you felt necessary was to point out that it wasn’t Walternate’s place to teach Peter that lesson, and that it was a “heinous and cowardly act.” (though I’ll admit, you described it very well with those words). But that’s it. Really? There were all sorts of things you could have explored and concluded from that story development. But with those few choice words, you moved on. And I expected more than that after such a deliberate act.

    I mean, clearly you have a strong opinion about this whole matter — you must have spent 75% of this review talking about it. And you made it clear how you felt, with numerous comments defending Walternate while simultaneously blaming Walter and Peter. Just a few of the mild examples include:

    “there’s another Walter out there who probably only needed to have his son understand his pain for all of this to have been avoided.”

    “All Peter had to do was talk to Walternate about the problem. Not an unrealistic expectation.”

    “but I find it difficult to accept that Peter shouldn’t take more of the blame. Should he (or anyone) get away with destroying an entire universe?”

    “I have to maintain that Peter and the Fringe Team should have done more to protect EVERYONE.”

    “Wow. I’m happy for the two of them, but I can’t help but feel awful for Walternate.”

    “Both the show and the audience often talk about the ‘hubris’ of Walter and Walternate, but we shouldn’t ignore Peter’s Pride here.”

    “But it doesn’t make sense to me that he’d be so forgiving and understanding towards Walter, yet so distant and cold towards his biological father. And not because of that blood connection, but because Walternate really is one of the prime victims in all of this. I’m totally at ease with that. But Peter’s reaction towards Walternate doesn’t seem fair.”

    “I struggle to see why should Walternate have to be the one to get Peter’s attention? Peter knows what happened yet he all but leaves Walternate to rot — an unwelcome member of the OTHER love triangle”

    I could respond to each of those comments individually, but that would take up way too much time. So I’ve selected just a few of the bigger comments to address:

    “What was it like for him to come over here, tail between legs and cap in hand?”

    Can we really trust Walternate’s version of events? We’ve seen how he has blatantly twisted the truth when dealing with people over there, in order to fit his own purposes. As much as I do sympathize for what Walternate was forced to endure during his life, I have a hard time believing he truly crossed over as he said he did, with the intent of seeking a “cease fire” so to speak. It sure didn’t look like he was considering that option by the time Peter made the bridge. For all we know, Walternate crossed over to try and shut down the machine, or to make his final stand. No one can really know what his true purpose was, but based on past experience with him, I’m reluctant to believe he really crossed over in the end “tail between legs and cap in hands.”

    “I can see Walternate’s point here, it’s refreshing to hear him tell Peter how he feels because someone has to let him know that there’s more than one side to this story.”

    While I appreciate Walternate’s perspective here, and I agree that he is, in very many ways a victim, I thought it was rather unfair of him to place all of the blame on Walter and Peter. Yes, Walter was responsible for shattering the universe. But Walternate was the one who chose to respond by building the machine to destroy over here. It was his actions that forced those over here to respond as they did, which is what ultimately destroyed over there. If he hadn’t been so set on revenge and destroying over here, they would have never been in that position. And I thought alternate Olivia expressed that very well when she pointed out how those over here had outsmarted Walternate and that they were reacting, and it was because of that that over there would be destroyed.

    “Peter doesn’t convince me here. I believe that he’s sorry on some level, but he’s far too in control for someone who has killed 6 billion people.”

    Hey, he’s had 15 years to come to terms with what happened. And time can be a remarkable healer in a lot of ways. Add to that that he’s also fully involved in trying to protect over here from the same fate, I’d say that takes greater precedence right now, rather than dwelling on past mistakes. I don’t think it’s fair to judge him on how he feels over destroying over there. Would you rather see him a shadow of the man he was, unable to go on living because of what he did (which, as awful as it was, was an act of defense)? He didn’t set out to destroy over there. Only to protect over here. Walternate, on the other hand, has been focused on destroying over here ever since young Olivia unintentionally crossed over and informed him of the existence of the other side. But I don’t see you appalled that he shows no regrets.

    “What we’re seeing with this man is Walter without those support systems, those crutches that people need to fall back on — friends, family, hope, love, ignorance even.”

    And whose fault is that? Walternate’s. I believe he pushed away everyone who tried to support him and help him — his wife, included. Walternate closed himself off from all of those things. Sorry, but I don’t feel sympathy for him on that level. Walternate may have lost everyone on his side, but Walter has similarly been essentially abandoned by everyone on his side (aside from those closest to him, which must be little comfort when he’s not even allowed to associate with them). He’s pretty much in the same boat.

    “This is partly why I enjoy Walternate. He’s so invested in solving problems that he’s almost the main protagonist of season 3!”

    You made a lot of comments in defense of Walternate, but I think this one takes the cake. The main protagonist? Really? You seriously sound like Brandonate when you say that. Is this some sort of joke, because if it is, the sarcasm didn’t come through as much as you intended. As much as I’ve agreed with you this season that Walternate isn’t the evil villain a lot of people make him out to be, I think that’s taking it a little far. Sure, he may have been actively engaged in pursuing his cause, but that doesn’t make him a protagonist. His whole goal was to destroy over here. And yes, that’s active progress, but that doesn’t make it commendable. He was more at fault of being prideful and destroying his own side than Peter was. He forced over here to react. And it was all out of pride over what was done to him.

    Sure, Peter and Walter could have made different choices. I agree with you there. They all could have been more proactive in finding “a better way.” And that might have changed things. We can’t know for sure what would have happened. Perhaps it could have improved the situation if Peter had stayed over there last season. Perhaps they could have prevented events from unfolding the way they did if Walter had actively tried to come up with some sort of solution. But as subtle as their efforts may have been, at least they were trying to fix things. Walternate, on the other hand, had one goal in mind: to destroy over here. As understandable as that reaction may be, doesn’t that kind of active hatred and desire to destroy deserve any sort of condemnation from you?

    Sure, you alluded to the fact that Walternate never helped the situation, but then you just let him off the hook. Your words of accusation against Walternate are really rather soft compared to how harsh you are towards Walter and Peter. Yes, they share the blame, but Walternate is far from innocent in all of this. Would it be asking too much for you to look at things from the over here perspective… to admit that Walternate has had a key role in the unfolding events? If you’re going to point out how Walter and Peter could have prevented things, or what they did to cause it, you also have to be willing to point out Walternate’s role. He certainly had no intention of finding a way to end things peacefully. Similarly, would it be asking too much to ask you to extend even a small amount of the sympathy you have for Walternate towards Peter and Walter? They maybe could have responded better, but they gave a good effort. Give them a break. Walter may have initiated this cycle of events, but Walternate has allowed it to escalate into what it became. The bottom line is, I think you’re letting Walternate off the hook far too easy in your review. He shares as much of the burden of responsibility as Walter and Peter. And if you’re going to still sympathize for him, then I think you have to be willing to extend the same courtesy to Walter and Peter.

    Now that I’ve said all that, let me point out that I feel I can make a comment like this because I feel like we’ve “known” each other long enough that you won’t take it personally. Certainly my intention is not to attack your opinion, simply to express my surprise at certain points you made. But none of that diminishes that I still consider your reviews to be the best ones out there. In many ways, the very fact that I have so much to say in response to your review is evidence of the quality of your reviews. Your reviews show a different perspective. And they make me think. And I want to thank you for continuing to support Fringe and to explore everything Fringe throws at us in a way that allows such deep discussions to develop. Watching Fringe is that much more rewarding because of all the analysis and perspective that you provide.

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    • SF says

      Well said, mlj, now I don’t have to say it about Walternate! lol I agree with you here, I think Roco was way to soft on Walternate. I think it is reprehensible that Walterate could not stop wanting to take away from Walter what little he had (our world, even from his jail cell). I was just making the point to Finchase offline tonight that Walter and Walternate end up in the same kind of situation: they are both shut off from the main world, in the end, Walter in jail, and Walternate a recluse by choice. I think this is very interesting way to portray how they cant’ be part of normal society, almost like they are ‘too much’ for normal society. I also wonder that Peter wouldn’t reach out to his real father – somehow, like mlj says, I think he would have, and probably even Olivia – after swallowing her nerves, he did lock her in that cell and have her on the table to be carved up, remember? this is the man whose goal was to kill Olivia just because Peter loved her. Peter couldn’t live in both worlds at once……he had to choose one, and it makes sense he would go with the one he relates best to as an adult and holds the woman he loves.

      I don’t think that Peter takes destroying the AU all that easily, either. I think knowing that his mother is dead at his hands, and a whole world, must weigh on him – but he still has a job to do, which is protect this world. I like that even after all that, when he gets the chance to change it, he jumps at it. It was never his first choice to destroy either world. That’s what saves him from being like either father, and why he isn’t ‘guilty’.

      I agree too with how you put, mlj, that Roco’s reviews of Fringe allow us to have such deep discussions. They are pure pleasure to read, and to participate in, and I thank both of you because you both bring such thoughtful ideas about the show to us!

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      • FinChase says

        I have to agree that you are being a bit harsh on Peter, Roco. And those who know me are probably checking now to see if hell actually did freeze over! We can’t really know what’s happened in the past 15 years. Perhaps Peter did try to reach out to him in the beginning. While I can’t quite see Olivia wanting sit down with Walternate across a dinner table, she probably would have done so for Peter’s sake. We aren’t given that info, only that Walternate has become a recluse, which implies choice to me. I can understand why he might do this, but it’s still a choice.

        I’ve been thinking a lot about Walternate the last few days. Roco, I think you are correct that he is a victim, and I’ve always had a little bit of compassion for him, even as I despised what he was doing to our Olivia.
        But Fringe is full of victims: Peter is a victim, both of the Elizabeths are victims, Olivia is a victim, all the Cortexiphan children. Even Walter is a victim of his own hubris and bad judgment. But most of these people have chosen to move forward with their lives and not be a victim forever. As my friend SF says, Fringe isn’t a show about victims, but about choices and consequences.

        The difference between these other characters and Walternate, though, is that in spite of what happened to them–or perhaps even because of it, in Walter’s case–they all retain a measure of compassion which prevents them from giving in to their basest nature. That compassion seems to be totally lacking in Walternate. He reminds me of an abused child who grew up to be a serial killer: You hate what happened to that child and have compassion for that child. But that doesn’t excuse what he turns into, or mean that you should let him continue what he is doing. Adults are ultimately responsible for their own actions. Walternate made a choice, and his choices all along aimed towards vengeance and destruction.

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  19. LMH says

    “I find this interesting because September is the Observer who has an intimate understanding of our heroes’ nature beyond what the other Observers can see. So if he’s guiding them down a certain path, then he himself becomes extremely important.”

    I find it interesting that the words on the ground near Olivia in the parking lot knockout scene appear to be “ONLY SEPT.” There’s too much in this review that I would want to express my enjoyment of and comment on so let’s just go with fantastic as usual Roco. I have to stop reading these at night as they keep me up thinking–they’re like breakfast for the brain ;)

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    • says

      I too found the “Only Sept” to be an interesting little detail.

      “I have to stop reading these at night as they keep me up thinking–they’re like breakfast for the brain”

      Hehe! I try to deliver bowls of ‘seriable’, morning, noon and night. So that’s good to hear. ;)

      Cheers!

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    • MISSNETT says

      First I want to say this is the first time I have ever left a comment so if I do something wrong please let me know.
      I also was wondering about the words “ONLY SEPT”. Is it referring to the Observer September? Is he the one manipulating everything? Or does this mean he will go against the other Observers and help Walter and Olivia find Peter? He does seem to have a lot of investment in our characters.
      I thought about this a lot after the finale but more so after a re-watch of “Fractured” this weekend. In the final scene between Broyles and the Colonel they talk about who was passing the briefcases and what was in them. They were watching us. Studying our technology and science and wanting to use it against us. Exterminate us. Can we trust the Observers or do they have their own agenda?
      I just want to add that I love this show! I have never been more fascinated or obsessed. I just discovered FringeBloggers after season 3 started but have been on every day since and read everything. Love your reviews and observations the most Roco!

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  20. nora says

    Excellent review, as always, Roco! I really enjoy them. But actually I think that was late Paleozoic Era. “Theropods!” said Walter. Dinosaurs… The First People… men before the dinosaurs…

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  21. Ella says

    “But it doesn’t make sense to me that he’d be so forgiving and understanding towards Walter, yet so distant and cold towards his biological father. And not because of that blood connection, but because Walternate really is one of the prime victims in all of this.”

    We have to understand, as you mentioned, that from Peter’s point of view, Walternate was the one that triggered the BBM first. if Walternate had not done so, Peter would not have to respond by going into the BBM himself. From Peter’s point of view, Walternate was the one that started this. And also, you mentioned the fact that Peter felt betrayed by the fact that Walternate lied to him about the BBM.

    One thing I am disappointed about though, is what happened to Olivia’s promise to Broylnate that the “war” would not happen? she promised him that with enough hope and faith, his sacrifice will be worth it. Cos she will do anything to prevent the “war” and the end of one the of the universes.

    Not sure if anyone of you noticed, but Walter in 2026 was speaking with slight problems as his mouth was twisted? Probably something that happened to him to cause his mouth to be so-called disfigured. The right side of his lips drooped down a little.

    And we have to consider that Reiko kept Walternate grounded over there. If the universe was lost, and Reiko was gone together with it, there is no longer anyone else to keep him grounded. And not to mention, Brandonate, his faithful and evil follower, is gone as well. Therefore, Walternate will have to carry everything out himself.

    Something that has bothered me, whatever happened to the tattoo that was put on our Olivia? Did she remove it? Or live with it? After all, she has had her hair tied up most of the later episodes. and also, what happened to Rachel? I know that you, Roco, dont really care about her. (: But personally, I dont think Rachel would have allowed Ella to join the Fringe division. So I think, she has probably passed away, or committed suicide after her divorce, or something.

    I thought that the scene between Ella and Walter was rather sweet though.

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    • Schwakamole says

      I believe we are supposed to assume that Walter had a stroke at some point. I’ve seen several people who have had strokes and that is exactly what they look like. Notice also, that he never uses his right arm – especially noticable when he hugs Olivia. I wonder if it happened during his trial! Peter didn’t seem surprised by his appearance so apparently he’s known about it for some time. Hopefully we’ll get to see that trial at some point.

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    • hsa says

      Thank you swo much for your comments. Roco you are wonderful, but I am also bothered by your allegience to Walternate. We need him so that we can see more of John Noble’s fablulosity, but a good father gives his son unconditional love.

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      • says

        hsa,

        We all see things from different perspectives. If you interpret it as being ‘allegiance’ then that’s fine. I just think one of the most interesting things Fringe has done is make the ‘villain’ the ‘hero’, and the ‘hero’ the ‘villain’.

        I see this story differently, but we each hold value in our shiny eyes.

        “but a good father gives his son unconditional love.”

        But at the same time, love is not one thing.

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    • says

      “We have to understand, as you mentioned, that from Peter’s point of view, Walternate was the one that triggered the BBM first. if Walternate had not done so, Peter would not have to respond by going into the BBM himself. From Peter’s point of view, Walternate was the one that started this. And also, you mentioned the fact that Peter felt betrayed by the fact that Walternate lied to him about the BBM.”

      I agree to a degree, Ella. But by the same token it was technically Walter who ‘started it’ by kidnapping Peter from Walternate and putting a hole or two in his universe, which eventually led to its destruction and the downward spiral of a man who is Walter in all but experience and son. I’m just saying, if anyone started this from a linear perspective, then I don’t believe it was Walternate.

      But that’s the point. They are all caught in a cycle, there is no real beginning or end. They’ve all made many wrong choices that have become entangled to the point where choosing one over the other will lead to the destruction of both. Hence, my stance has always been that Walter, Peter and Walternate need to come together.

      I can understand Peter, but I would also like for him to understand the situation with more fairness. I ask a lot of him, but he is the one with the ability to embrace both worlds – to be a better man than his father, which is to say be better than both of them.

      I believe that by changing things and speaking to Walternate in the way that he did at the end of the ep (even going as far as to touch him on the chest), I think Peter made some giants steps forward in that regard.

      Of course, it’s just my opinion! You have equally valid points.

      “One thing I am disappointed about though, is what happened to Olivia’s promise to Broylnate that the “war” would not happen? she promised him that with enough hope and faith, his sacrifice will be worth it. Cos she will do anything to prevent the “war” and the end of one the of the universes.”

      Oh I’m down with that, Ella. I mentioned a couple of episodes ago that I thought she kinda forgot about those once so important (and moving) words. I guess she had a lot to deal with upon returning home like stuff and..stuff.. :o

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      • SF says

        “But that’s the point. They are all caught in a cycle, there is no real beginning or end. They’ve all made many wrong choices that have become entangled to the point where choosing one over the other will lead to the destruction of both. Hence, my stance has always been that Walter, Peter and Walternate need to come together.”

        I like this idea, Roco. It makes me think that this whole season, maybe the idea behind Fringe itself, is about choice. I didn’t think of it as a cycle though, until now when you’ve put it this way in the review here. Certainly I’ve seen story ideas repeated and shown in different ways and layers so we get a fuller grasp of the meanings of an idea, in Fringe. But a cyclical story and timeline is something new – I didn’t catch it in either rewatch of this episode, I think partly because I’ve been going with Walter’s view of the alternate worlds branching off from choices. That there is one world (one person) in the beginning, then all the branchings off every time a decision is made – one goes here, one goes there. This is partly why I think if Peter doesn’t exist in the time line now, he does exist in other timelines/universes, somewhere. The idea of Peter exists in the universe.

        Maybe one thing we can do this summer, is look for in other episodes, clues that explore this idea of cycles and time loops? Other than the obvious one of White Tulip, I mean.

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      • RebeccaHall says

        The “war” happened because Walternate activated the machine first so I’s not sure how Olivia can “find another way” or “prevent this war”.

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        • RebeccaHall says

          and the fact that Olivia spent more time complaining over her Fauxlivia/Peter issues. LOL

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          • Real1 says

            In ep9 Olivia learned about AltOlivia and red Peter thingi , ep10 she learned about the wrong book , ep11 red Peter had a dark side and Olivia was opening up to get past AltOlivia while red Peter is working for his nothing killing , ep 12 red Peter was bringing a wrong coffee to Olivia and as how AltOlivia is liking her coffee while red Peter is assuring that it’s all about Olivia just to discover that he still has feelings for her , ep 13 was over there , ep 14 Olivia give in to red Peter !

            So how many episodes after ep9 ? only one episode =ep 10 , and what ever red Peter did ? nothing …

            So .. be fair , :)

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  22. JK says

    I had missed the significance of Walter calling his shattering Walternate’s universe “an accident” – I’m personally EXTREMELY curious as to how they’re going to explain how the ‘conflict’ erupted in the first place if there was no Peter for Walter to risk destroying the universe to save. Really not a point that can be ignored, given that it’s not just the source of the problem, it’s the source of a fundamental part of who Walter and Walternate are.

    I was impressed by Emily Meade – hope to see her again, and really the entire 2026!verse crew. The characters, as well as the story, played out better than I had hoped. While their First People adventures would obviously be the focus, I thought the End-of-Dayers storyline had potential as well. Couldn’t help but notice that Brad Dourif looks more than a little like Kevin Corrigan with a few decades more behind him… wouldn’t that be a different direction for Sam?

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  23. Dylan says

    Not going to post again, for some reason it takes forever for seriable.com to load for me.

    My only statement will be that, even if the machine were no longer attuned to Peter (something that conflicts with the idea that he just returned from the future and was changing the future, not the past – so he shouldn’t of disappeared otherwise nothing in that room would be there), it still wouldn’t mean he wouldn’t exist.

    While it still has its own problems, having September say “no longer exists” as opposed to “never existed”, would have made this less flawed.

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  24. vlada_vvv says

    Great review Roco, as usual! Thank you!

    I agree that the absence of Nina was really disappointing. It seemed like they completely forgot about her and then shoved her in the last minute. She’s such an interesting character and they keep wasting her.
    Still have faith in the 4th season, though)

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    • says

      Cheers vlada.

      Yes, the lack of Nina was not a sharp move! Hopefully she’ll be a bigger part of proceedings next term.

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  25. Real1 says

    Excellent review as usual Roco ,

    I maybe with you on the death of Olivia , Walternate didn’t kill Olivia .. but he assassinated her . and in my opinion it’s a pointless event why ? because Walter did give it right : “Our destiny was set the day we triggered the BBM. I didn’t understand it until it was too late, that our two worlds were inextricably linked. Without one, the other simply cannot exist”

    So all the future will die by a way or another , why they didn’t think about BBM and fix every thing ?

    I hated that future a lot … but I hope it will not come to pass .. or it’s the repeating history/future .. all the time .. and every time Peter is going to scape from it by cheating the time and stick in that ??

    I agree about how comes that Peter is agent and still keep secrets from Olivia which lead to let her alone at field and Walternate assassinated her , Olivia never fail .. but she didn’t get a chance to defend herself at that moment , i would love also to see Ella shooting Walternate right there after killing her aunt that was a missing scene imo .

    I don’t need to say any thing about how Walter re-send BBM through time wormhole or how this wormhole is there any way , and am not buying that the first people are the future people .. because that’s mean .. what ever the events will be … Peter will destroy the red universe by a way or another and Wlaternat will assassinate Olivia by a way or another … and Peter will remain cheating the time by a way or another .. so they killed Fringe !

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    • says

      Cheers Real!

      I’d say that Walternate killed Olivia, and that he killed her good. Or bad, rather. :(

      Is the act itself negated by the ‘reset’. I’d say not. Which means that the collective process (realities, timelines, etc) is the system by which we judge all of these characters. Can they find redemption?

      Thanks for sharing your mind-thoughts.

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      • Real1 says

        Cheers back Roco!

        The thank is for you really to let us having this opportunity to say our thoughts and ideas .. theories and share it with other fans and with you , regardless of some fans are upsetting sometimes from criticizing the episodes , but in general it’s really fun and class posts :)

        ( now with that thank you … it’s look like the thank you between THE LIBRARIAN and STORE OWNER from Entrada LOL ;) )

        :D

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  26. Gillian says

    “But it doesn’t make sense to me that he’d be so forgiving and understanding towards Walter, yet so distant and cold towards his biological father. And not because of that blood connection, but because Walternate really is one of the prime victims in all of this.”
    So torturing the woman who he gave up his world for doesn’t factor in Peter feeling? Plus the whole Switcheroo where his father once again manipulates him but this time on an even more of an emotional level than when he asked him to cross over to heal the worlds.

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    • says

      And let’s not forgot those clinical trials that Walter conducted on Olivia (child abuse, I think it’s fair to say). Or the countless times he endangered her life, much to Peter’s disgust.

      Now consider that Walter is Walternate, and vice-versa.

      My perspective is (partly) this: If Peter cannot find a way to love, or at least feel something approaching sympathy towards Walternate (considering he has with Walter), then on one level it suggests that what he loves of Walter is actually the scenario, over the man himself – since the man is shaped by his circumstances.

      Perhaps this is the answer. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with this. We are but mere humans, after all. But this is a story where we are being invited to consider the intricate circumstances that influence human nature.

      I believe Peter is capable of much more than turning his back on one version of his dad, who happened to fall victim to his other self. Hence the battle of self, and the hope that both worlds can survive. Both worlds, in every sense of the word.

      For me this is interesting, and much more complicated than you seem to make out.

      Cheers!

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      • mlj102 says

        “My perspective is (partly) this: If Peter cannot find a way to love, or at least feel something approaching sympathy towards Walternate (considering he has with Walter), then on one level it suggests that what he loves of Walter is actually the scenario, over the man himself – since the man is shaped by his circumstances.”

        As you may have already guessed from my previous rant (unless you’re ignoring me, which is quite possible), I think you’re being too hard on Peter. His reaction towards Walternate is no different than his initial reaction towards Walter. When the story began in the Pilot, Peter wanted nothing to do with Walter. Absolutely nothing. Olivia had to blackmail him into even being in the same building as Walter. And things were not smooth sailing between them for a long time. I imagine that if Peter had been confronted with some old girlfriend in the second episode who asked him to come back to Iraq with her because he belonged with her, he likely would have gone with her. But because of the way things unfolded, he ended up giving Walter a chance and his forgiveness and love towards Walter grew over time. He’s never had an opportunity to develop that with Walternate.

        Sure, part of that is his fault for returning over here when Olivia asked him to in Over There. But I can’t blame him for that entirely. There wasn’t very much reason for him to stay over there. On the other hand, Olivia was someone he cared about who also cared about him. She made him feel like he did belong somewhere. And there was the hope that they would be able to make a difference in the war from over here. She gave him a lot of good reasons to return over here.

        Aside from time and opportunity to learn to forgive Walternate, there’s also the fact that Walternate hasn’t given him much reason to trust or forgive him. Walternate never tried to reach out to him. He never tried to meet him half way. He never felt it necessary to explain himself. He only continued in his quest to destroy Peter’s adopted world. From Peter’s perspective, all Walternate did was lure him over there so he could use him to destroy the universe. And in the future, he decides to punish Peter by killing the person who means the very most to him. Walternate could have made better decisions that would have given Peter reason to give him a chance.

        Yes, Peter is partly at fault for running away from Walternate without giving him a chance to find another way. But Walternate is also at fault for those same things. Peter could have chosen differently, but Walternate also could have made better choices. If you’re going to point the finger at Peter, I think you have to be willing to point the finger at Walternate, as well.

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        • SF says

          And if Olivia told Peter what Walternate did to her over there – held her captive in the room, then had her on the table ready to chop her up into pieces for Brandonate to study so they could get at the cortexiphan in her brain – and this is the woman Peter loves! – I mean, would you really be able to be in the same room with Walternate after that? It’s not like Walternate has even allowed Peter to have torn feelings about both universes – it’s all or nothing for him, you’re either with Walternate or against him. That’s not to say it’s not the same with Walter, though I think we have seen that Walter just ignores whomever he disagrees with, (ie Claire the lab assistant who died, who warned him not to cross over). We have had plenty of opportunity to see how callous Walter was with all the experiments he did on people. But where Walter was genuinely in search of knowledge and ideas and science, Walternate is consumed with hatred and revenge – so much so, that when he gets his son back, he can’t let go of his need for revenge. Yes, he’s fascinating! But really scary too.

          So yes, totally agree with you mlj here, Walternate has to share in the blame fully for not meeting adult Peter halfway once back in our universe after crossing for help. I guess we haven’t seen Walternate atone for his sins, whereas Walter has been atoning since Fringe opened. I wonder if the difference between them is this idea of sacrifice – what is Walternate willing to sacrifice? we’ve seen that Walter is willing to sacrifice Peter, in the right conditions, as you say above, Roco.

          Really, Walternate crossing over to save his world, could also be seen as him saving himself AND pursuing the ones who wronged him and his world. That he is justice personified, and as a commentator mentioned above, if Olivia doesn’t find a way to save both universes, the justice wreaked on her is her own death at Walternate’s hands.

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  27. Real1 says

    Roco :

    Nina : William Bell said if the doorway between the 2 universes was ever opened ,only one universe will survive. Now we have bridge = doorway = one universe will survive = Olivia’s death = Peter will cheat the time ?

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  28. jacksonheights says

    Only one other person brought this up and it was one of the main reasons I wasn’t thrilled by this episode. If Peter never existed then who or what tore a hole between the universes. If he never existed then Walter/Walternate should not be mad at one another because Peters abduction never happened.
    My theory to explain this was that Peter was “constructed” by the observers to give the Walters and the remaining first people a reason to solve the hole between universes that was never really their fault. Their losses had to be so powerful that they were motivated to look past their personal gratifications and find a solution to this problem. I actually looked at it as an homage to Joss Whedon similar to when Dawn was created an inserted in Buffy’s life as her sister, in order for Buffy to be motivated to protect her. When in actuality Dawn was the key.
    I would like to think that Peter will be introduced in another reality but I have a hard time wrapping my head around that one. Perhaps that is the reason I seem to be disappointed in this cliff hanger. There were so many incongruities this season that went unexplained that I was hoping the season finale would make clear. This just seems to be on more. I don’t mind questions but this seems like a head scratcher. I am open to hearing suggestions and don’t worry I am not tuning out but I am having a hard time buying this.

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    • mlj102 says

      The executive producers addressed this question in an interview with tvline that was posted the day after the finale:

      If Peter “Never Existed,” Wouldn’t That Mean No Feud Between the Walters, No Machine Activated, No 2026 Doomsday…?
      In a word, no. “Walter and [William] Bell were always trying to find a way to cross over, even before the Peter [abduction] incident,” Pinkner reminds. “So things may have happened differently.”

      It makes sense to me that there would have been other things to motivate Walter and William to take that leap and cross over. In other words, it’s one of those “fate” issues that Roco is always talking about. Some things can be avoided by making different choices. Other things were “meant” to happen no matter what choices were made or what the circumstances were. It could be that this war between the two sides was inevitable and the only difference was how they got there.

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  29. Mochi says

    Hey Roco, One of my favorite past times is watching an episode of Fringe, reading your review and re-watching the episode. The first watch is for entertainment, the second is to learn to pay attention to detail and to make me use my gray matter a little more. I swear, you’ve made me smarter!

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  30. Red licorice says

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Roco!!!
    I was waiting for your review: as always you really helped me understanding every little detail of the episode. And with this mind-blowing episode I needed your help more than ever!!! You really are my Fringe-guru!
    And that’s why I’d like your opinion on this other theory: September’s words “Peter never existed” could mean that he never existed IN THAT ROOM on Liberty Island. I mean…what if the Peter that we saw in the BBM actually was FUTURE-Peter (not present-Peter, whose consciousness came back from the future). And since future-Peter changed the present, HE never existed, because he’s a product of a future that doesn’t exist anymore. So my take is that OUR present-Peter is still in bed, in coma. After all…he did start acting strangely after waking up…as if the Peter that woke up in the hospital was actually future-Peter sent by future-Walter back to our present. Future-Peter was confused, didn’t know what to do and so he humored Walter and Olivia and went into the BBM…just to remember a few minutes later WHY he has been sent back…: to create an alternate future.
    Could it be possible or am I still too confused?
    My guess is that in Season 4 not only we will have episodes over here and over there, but also glimpses of the future of both universes, in order to see if they’re correcting the course of events rightly or not.

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  31. Blackpanther says

    I’ve marathoned all of Fringe in the two weeks prior to this finale – and fell in love with it! And I’ve been reading all of your reviews and observations with much interest, they’re always very thought provoking and offer an interesting perspective.

    There are two things I wanted to point out: Walternate’s line “Do you know what its like to wake up and just for a moment, think that everything is as it was?” – Walter has a very similar line in season 2, I think. He says something like “You know what it’s like to wake up and think for a moment you were whole?” It’s a very interesting thematic statement. If there’s something that either Walter is familiar with it’s loss.

    The other thing is Peter’s choice to go back to the past and change things. Essentially he makes the same choice Walter did all of those years ago, he chooses to take an action that will radically change things for everyone, and he does it for what is, ultimately, a selfish reason. I think this is the scene that actually shows us why Peter sympathises more with Walter rather than Walternate. He has someone he would rip the world apart to save. Walternate’s mission changed from rescuing his son to revenge, and using his son (or nephew) to enact that revenge. Of course, the holes in the universes aren’t Walternate’s fault but I think Peter understands Walter better on an emotional level, and I think that the scene between Peter and Walternate’s hologram should be viewed in this light.

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  32. Peanut says

    Roco—I applaud your “ability” to take us along on an interesting journey. Fringe isn’t just a destination—it’s a trip (even when the Fringies aren’t on LSD!). Thanks for navigating us through the sometimes murky waters of Season 3.

    It seems a waste to bring in an actor of Dourif’s caliber & then barely give him any screen time. I appreciate the usually outstanding performances of the guest stars on Fringe as well as the excellent regular & recurring cast members (& it wouldn’t hurt for us to see more of Ninakins & Sam).

    I don’t remember Olivia previously being able to levitate objects. That Cortexiphan must really be something.

    The death of Olivia didn’t affect me that much because, as Roco said, we could anticipate a reset in the timeline. Someone suggested that maybe Viking funeral pyres were so that the dearly departed didn’t come back as zombies. It could have been just an Olivia thing, however, based on the ZombieBrandons running through her mind, as we learned in “LSD.” You may be relieved to know that the U.S. Government has a plan for the zombie apocalypse so if you’re interested, here it is:
    http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog.asp

    I am concerned about the timey-wimeyness. With Peter deleted from the picture, then why did Walter cross over to Redville? If Walter just accidentally blunders into another universe, without a life-or-death reason—such as saving Peter(nate)—then one of the major Fringe themes is lost. “White Tulip” showed both a compelling motivation & consequences (& I’m not even that big a fan of that episode). I hope that we don’t lose those aspects with the Peterless plot line.

    Peter said that he had seen Boomsday (thanks for that term, Roco), and that it was worse than anything that could possibly be imagined. Peter must have a limited imagination, or he never saw an episode of “Jericho.” In Pete’s futureverse, people are “reduced” to eating (canned) steak & drinking (boxed) wine. That sounds like living pretty high off the cow (by the way, Gene, RIP), so to speak, considering the approaching Apocalypse. They are dressing nicely too—must still have their sheep. I do wonder about the coffee supply …

    Maybe Peter was thinking that even in 2026, cell phones are still getting terrible reception in the hinterlands. Yes, that’s definitely a future worse than you can imagine.

    It’s not that I don’t like Peter. I do. I still am wondering, however, how he suddenly evolves from being a troubled, shapeshifter killer into the ultra-sane voice of reason & wisdom.

    The bad memory epidemic continues—& worsens—on Fringe. We now have, as one person called him, “Suddenly Nonexistent Peter,” who no one remembers. Maybe it’s a virus; maybe it’s aliens. Really, now that Fringe has time travel, why not introduce aliens? In an early episode, Walter said that humans, except for children, had lost abilities that they formerly possessed & that they had been taken from us & that he suspected aliens were responsible. The First People didn’t “shut down” these abilities so who—or what—did?

    But I digress. I jokingly previously suggested that the fringies sew their names in their underwear to help out with their flawed memories, but now I see that even more drastic measures are needed now that Peter has been wiped from the fringe team’s memories. You just know that Astrid does needlepoint. Maybe she could put vital information (names, relationships, etc.) in their underwear “Walter—you are Peter’s kidnapper dad & a mad scientist & you really like strawberry milkshakes.” And the needles could serve a dual purpose; Astrid could use the needlepoint needles to jab the next guy who dares to leave trash on her desk.

    Both times when Walter has been sprung from incarceration, I have had the same question. No matter how smart he is, how come he still knows more about science than practically anyone else although for many years he hasn’t been reading up on the latest discoveries or had access to the latest scientific equipment?

    Wormholes—aren’t they tricky things? A wormhole was supposed to have ended the Red Universe so maybe you don’t want to tamper with them that much? I’m no scientist, but I don’t think that you can just hop off a wormhole to some convenient specific date like it’s a stop on the New York subway. With the Central Park wormhole, either it’s 250 million years ago, or it’s the present day—unless Wacky Wally soups up the diz-ray (however you spell it) machine so that the team can travel to certain key dates.

    I don’t know if it’s advertent or not, but there seems to be a convergence of dates for certain events. Some of you may have better recall than I have, but this is what I remember. An Observer was in the Boston Massacre painting, which was just before the American Revolution. I think that was the first appearance for the Observers. Then Grandpa Sam Weiss, the first one, must have been digging for mastodon bones about that same time; he died in 1797. I believe that this would also have been about the same time that the Red & Blue universes may have been formed. Because Andrew Jackson was a prominent national figure in the Blueville United States by 1814-1815 (a famous war hero & later President), the universes had probably gone their separate ways by then based on Lincolnate’s (& the rest of the Red fringies’) failure to recognize the portrait on the Over-Here $20 bill. So I’m thinking that the split in the universes, the Observer appearances, & Sam Weiss’s excavations all occurred about the same time, the late 1700s.

    My theory is that Projection Peter is still there in Olivia’s head. Olivia is bound to be curious about why a peacoated dude is running around her mind. That’s how the team will rediscover Boy Wonder.

    To continue with the sheep references in previous recent episodes—a “flock” of Observers gathers at the Statue of Liberty. If they are supposed to be observing important events, then this must be a biggie.

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  33. qbanarik says

    “What to make of the fact they are STILL using Amber as the glue to hold their world together? I can believe it. I mean, Amber did the job for many years in the alternate universe – and they were at least 5-10 years ahead of ‘over here’ in terms of advancement.”

    Only 5-10 years ahead of this side? I recall Walter showing a copied sample of the Motorola RAZR to his perplexed audience back in 1985. That phone was released here on Q4 2004 and early 2005 (I got one back then). That makes them 20+ years ahead of us technology wise. And don’t tell me that weekend trips to the moon as a tourist attraction are just 5-10 years away here ;) The finale leap into the future was only 15 years, so they’re still catching up with the other side in technology.

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  34. Patafamilius says

    Can someone explain how Peter was able to make himself disappear by creating the bridge. I didn’t really understand that.

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  35. LuMay says

    I know this has being dead since May 14th, but I was only able to see the last episode 2 days ago… :( Hope someone is still here, but I’m posting this on ‘fringe predict’ also.
    So, I think that the third universe is one of the two possibilities for Peter to be brought back into the show.
    One, is that they screw it up all over again and it becomes important that Peter lives till adulthood to fix it again. Boring.
    But my favorite theory is that if there is a third (yellow) universe, and I hope there is, it is a fact that that universe is also tangled with ours and the red one. So is hard to believe that it has not been affected by what’s going on with this “war” between red and blue. So, if Peter was able to make a bridge between these two, it is very likely that the yellow Peter is going to connect the yellow one to the other two as well. So I think, ultimately the characters’ are going to find out about the third one and realize that that one is not only being affected by what is going on here (or might already have being destroyed – unlikely) but that they have to save that one to prevent the destruction of all three. That’s when Peter comes back. His role in all this is to reunite all universes and bring peace. So, that’s Peter role, and I think he’ll disappear at all from all universe’s after he concludes his purpose.
    I just don’t know from what point of view they are going to do that. Maybe from multiple (3), maybe next season there will a lot of yellow on the show, maybe Walter will cross over to yellow once he finds out there is one (really don’t doubt he’ll do that again), and let’s hope he’ll do that with caution this time… or not (more seasons… ). Who knows?!
    I do believe they (producers) are writing things as the show is happening and the possibilities are emerging. So anything can happen. They might be reading blogs and getting ideas for all I know.
    I’m I tripping here, Rocco? ‘Cause I feel like I’m on LSD every time I watch this show… I love it.

    Also, TenisonJr, Excuse me for changing languages here folks, “abhors” significa “abominar” no sentido de impedir que exista, aconteça. Então o paradoxo é imediatamente exterminado quando acontece, assim como o vácuo, que a natureza “conserta” assim que ele ocorre.

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    • says

      We’re still here, Lu.

      Interesting theory! I’d worry that since Peter failed to bring peace between two universes, three might be way too much for him. (though to be fair, the new timeline has given his people a new path to tread). But I do think we’ll be introduced to a third universe at some point.

      “I do believe they (producers) are writing things as the show is happening and the possibilities are emerging.”

      That’s a good way to put it. I agree, they aren’t writing to a tightly woven framework. They surely have their tent-poles, but how they get there is – to a degree – driven by what they think works at the time.

      You’re not tripping, you’re just experiencing the Fringe. ;) Thanks for sharing.

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      • LuMay says

        Thanks for replying and writing this blog. Without it, I’d be lost inside my head… you really clear thing out!! You’re awesome! <3

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  36. tasham72 says

    So walter sent the machine back in time and thats where it came from in the first place. So who created it??? and how come the worlds qre fighting if Peter wAs never kidnapped?? walternate only found out from that drawing (i thought they was more advanced,shouldn’t they of worked it out first?) so how did it all come about. And is rachel person dead cos you’d think shed go to her own sisters funeral. I’d be crying me eyes out if my sister died! And if they are the first people what has old sam gotta do with this all?? Is he half observer?? And why would walternate want to destroy the blue side. It was pretty crap fir him but thats never a excuse to kill innocent people and animals and all life (aliens!) just because thats what happened to him he should try to protect whats left,not destroy it. Jeesh!!
    I liked they episode and the review but i didn’t quite get the whole “puff! Im gone!” thing.
    Have to see how that works out in season 4. Is that coming back in september (in england)???? I’ve just bought a box set of season 1 (which ive never wAtched) to last me through but its really takes the mick the big breaks. At least when it came back in march (?) it didnt do that stupid thing where its would have 3 episodes and then a two week break. But hey ho i liked the review :) evn though it took me ages to write this on me ipod

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  37. says

    “So walter sent the machine back in time and thats where it came from in the first place. So who created it??? and how come the worlds qre fighting if Peter wAs never kidnapped?? walternate only found out from that drawing (i thought they was more advanced,shouldn’t they of worked it out first?) so how did it all come about.”

    tasham, have you seen our Guide to the Fringe Finale? See if it that helps shed some light on certain aspects.

    I agree there are still questions concerning Peter (including those of logic). While I very much like the current trajectory, his decision to destroy the other side was a terrible one – and a bit of a narrative cheat in the way it was executed.

    His excuse? He was ‘confused’ after being zapped by the BBM. But that’s having the character completely go against everything he fought for during the season (not necessarily a bad thing), while at the same time having the ‘story’ refuse to place the blame on him for doing so – in the 2026 he barely understood Walternate’s fury. I think it would have been more rewarding had Peter shown more remorse for his actions (however confused or whatever he may have been). After all, a similar (albeit far more gradual) act almost destroyed Walter. Peter?

    That’s why it’s healthy when the audience pick up on these things – it shows we”re still thinking. :)

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  38. AnotherRandomGuy says

    Nice review Roco

    Damn when I thought that Olivia was finally gonna kick Altlivia’s butt peter had to ruin it by disappearing . And with his disappearance the tension of the love triangle gathered throughout S3 goes with it. And as such the season finale ended up with olivia just chilling and calling the remaining bishops to reason, instead of evening the score with her counterpart.
    Just hope that this event wont change history much to the point of erasing olivia’s experience OT and her alt’s over here.

    Let’s just wait(crosses fingers) and see!

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